Tuesday, December 21, 2010


How ironic that I'm discussing this after my last post. But whatever. So I took my kids swimming at a local aquatic park. When we got there, it just so happened that there weren't anymore seats left for parents to watch. My initial (absolutely first) thought that popped into my head to ask the staff were these words: "ya'll ain't got no more chairs up in here?" ( I think it was just my mood) And I had to laugh because my "filter" would never allow it to come out that way.

And then it dawned on me how easily I could turn that dialect on instantly without thinking. It's almost like lazy-talk. Like the way non-native english speakers or those with a southern dialect,etc. have a stronger accent when they are tired. It doesn't sound forced, or fake. But if you've ever heard a white person try to do it, it always sounds very fake and contrived.

Actually I always knew I could bust out in this dialect, but what dawned on me was that it came so natural like, without even trying. Yet at the same time i don't have to* try* to speak proper,sounding" white", as some would say.

So I'm wondering if all black people have this so called "ability". Do you?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


can i just start by saying: "hisself" is NOT a word black people?! i hear so-called educated black people use this all the time and i just cringe...it's HIMself!!!!

*sigh*. now that i finally got that off of my chest, i must blog about the experience today that reminded me to do that public service announcement. i was out shopping and this young-ish black woman-probably mid-thirties was at the department store complaining about a service. i didn't hear the entire story, but what i did hear was that she wasn't as articulate that she needed to be in order to get what the results that she wanted.

black people! don't you realize that when you don't speak properly, or try to mix your ebonics into modern english thinking that the person you're complaining to will care just because you're upset, you're wrong? people immediately write you off mentally and are no longer truly listening to what you're complaining about. it's the difference between "i'm sorry, there's nothing we can do" and "let me get my manager/sure, what i CAN do is..."

i worked in customer service not long ago and black people would call me on the phone complaining about this or that and, i gotta admit that if they were older in age i'd give them the benefit of the doubt and help them. but what i couldn't stand was people from my generation who could not articulate in a professional manner what they wanted. i was like, REALLY? in 2010 a young black person still speaks like they haven't been allowed a proper education?

it's hard for me to have patience for those people. we all have the opportunity to learn proper english and be articulate. and that's the only way we'll truly get what we want.

Friday, November 12, 2010


so, i was out with some white friends last night. we decided to go to happyhour over in the alberta district. i don't mind hanging with the white friends, i mean, i'm so used to it, you know. but i have to say that something that was said got under my skin.

one of the girls started talking about a snoop dog song, i don't remember exactly what she was saying about it, but we were all laughing and drinking and talking. so anyway, i thought the story she was telling was pretty funny, so i started singing the song: '....sippin' on gin and juice...laid back....'. everyone was laughing until one of the girls says, "could you make it sound any whiter?!" and then began laughing hysterically with the others.

so according to her, because i'm black, and singing a rap song, i should sound black when i sing it. i'm not gonna go into the whole sounding white vs. sounding black argument, i've already done that. it was just that....they were laughing at the way i sung it because i'm black. if i were white, no one would have cared that i sang it without...bass in my voice ( i guess that's what you'd call it, per martin lawrence in Bad Boys), or whatever it is that makes black people sound "black".

what is that, anyway?

so no matter how much they consider me their "girlfriend", no matter how much i have inadvertently assimilated into the white culture, they still expect me to be able to just "whip out" the stereotype when they happen to be talking about a rap song. should it matter that i happen to not even like most rap?

however, on the flip side, i 've been with white people before where i did happen to "whip out" the slang talk only because it was apropos, and you would not believe the stares and dropped jaws i get as if to say, "wait a minute... you're black??"

Monday, October 25, 2010

hang out

where do the black people in portland hang out? i've posted before about a similar subject, but really. all the cool places i go, it's just white people. white people, white people, white people. but there ARE BLACK PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN PORTLAND.

and, to be fair, i do see black people here and there. i really do. but i'm talking about the events in NE portland, you know, in the part of town where most black people used to live? i do realize that it's been gentrified. okay, but ...there are still many black people over in the hood. and even if they don't live in the hood anymore....there's nothing going on in the lame 'burbs, so why not hang out over in the "hood"? why not expand your mind a little bit? engage in some culture (shudder///did i just say culture and portland in the same sentence?)

i go to the alberta district for dinner with friends. no black people.

i go to various neighborhood street fairs with kid friendly activities. no black people. okay, there might be 2.

i go to concerts in the park. no black people.

i take my kids to oaks park (carnival, etc). no black people.

i go to a free friday at the portland art museum with my kids. not a one black person. and it's freaking free!

i go to the greek festival with greek food, fun and games. no black people.

i mean, the question is not where are they. i know where they're at. whether still in the hood, or not in the hood, or way far away from the hood, they're at home. or.... the mall? being a dumb consumer?

but the question is not where they are, but WHY don't they come out for fun events in the city? why not make the trek-or not (if they live close-by)? what else could they possibly be doing?

and by the way when i say 'there's no black people', i'm exaggerating a little. i mean as a group. sure, OCCASIONALLY there's a couple sprinkled in. but that doesn't count. it just doesn't.

and black people in portland should represent more than that.

Monday, July 12, 2010


so i'm at the store. a really upscale store in Portland. one of the checkers, who is also black gave me a REALLY hard time when i checked out. i'm talking attitude and all. to make a long story short, he didn't believe that the correct price tag was on my order from the deli.

i said, "no seriously. it's right. i always buy this, and they always mark it this way'. his reply was (abruptly), "and i work here every day". i was pissed. i would have been super pissed had he been white. but yeah, i think maybe i was even more pissed because he was black. i mean come on, dude. i'm black, you're black, what's the big deal. and it wasn't even the black/black thing that got to me(the black/black thing just added insult to injury). it was mostly that it was such a SMALL deal, and people were starting to line up behind me. not to mention that the customer is always right. who freaking cares? i must admit, i would EXPECT that from someone white. i just would. but not so much from someone black.

when he saw the other customers line up behind me, he sighed and said 'fine', that he would honor the price i had told him. i mean, he acted like it was his paycheck on the line or something.

but me, being the sometimes vindictive and passive aggressive person i can be, decided that i was going back over to the deli and straighten it out. it turned out that I WAS RIGHT. he saw me speaking to the deli person and then as i walked past his register i grinned and said, "i was right".
i swore that the day i was calling the store manager and complaining.

my friend said to me that maybe he was having a bad day and not to call, sort of insinuating that well, you know...he's black, i'm black...just leave him be. not so! he didn't seem to care about us being paisanos, why should i?

what would you have done?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


[if you are black], have you ever noticed that whenever you tell to a white person about some racial injustice that you've experienced by someone white, the person you're talking to "acts" all upset and starts preaching and going on about how that was just SO WRONG? i'm talking over and beyond a simple comment. it's like they're somehow worried that you'll lump them in with the racists and they want you to know that without a doubt, they're NOT racists.

my husband's family is extremely racist. and whenever the situation comes up in conversation with friends, i never act sad or upset about it- i intentionally don't want anyone to think i'm trying to have a pity party. 'cause i'm most definitely not. but i will bring it up, if the conversation warrants it.i'm not afraid to talk about it. and 9 times out of 10, i'm talking to someone white, and i'm telling them some retarded act that my husbands family has done because of hating black people (me), and my white friends/acquaintances almost choke on their food trying to make sure that i know they are nothing like that. it is actually pretty funny.

it's funny because a white person will never, ever say: 'well, i can see why they didn't want their son to marry a black girl'. but i'd venture to guess that probably 5 out of 10 white people feel the same way as my husbands parents. but of course they'll never say it. so in my mind, the harder they choke trying to convince me how un-racist they are....well, it might just indicate how racist they know their family really is.

and when i tell black people about my husbands parents, they're like: "whaaaat? seriously? whatever. they're idiots".

end of conversation.

Sunday, June 06, 2010


after leaving the farmers market today, i went to one of my favorite grocery stores. i saw a black woman there with an obvious hair piece. she had her hair all done, her "stylish" outfit on, her name brand handbag. the first thing that went through my head was "hair weave". i mean, not that she didn't look nice, but a black woman can usually spot a hair weave or hair piece a mile away.

but what's the point of wearing a hair weave if it's obvious? every other black woman knows it's a weave. white people rarely know, so maybe that's the idea? i'm not sure. i've never had a weave, and as i waited in line with my own hair pulled back, in need of a touch-up i wondered which was worse: having a hair weave that almost everyone knows is not real or wearing my real hair out when it's obvious that i have new growth and need a touch-up?


lately, i've been feeling like i'm really getting annoyed with the tree-hugging, crunchy granola, save the earth community around me. not that saving the earth is a bad thing-it's a great thing. but most of the time, the people around me (earthy white people) go really overboard with it. i mean, REALLY overboard.

i mean, most of the (white) liberals around me pride themselves on being non-judgmental and spiritual-but-too smart-for religion, etc., but don't let them find out that you didn't recycle your plastics, or that you bought products at a big box store instead of a local spot, or that you don't regularly bring your own reusable shopping bag with you to Whole Foods or New Seasons or People's Co-op( is there anywhere else to shop???). Uh oh, you're the devil, and you're contributing to the earth's demise.

and i don't know if it's just me? i know people love their pets. but why does it seem like oregonians are the only ones who treat their dogs like human beings that must be taken into the stores and restaurants? and don't let them find out you purchased your puppy from a store or a breeder instead of a shelter adoptee. ohhhh no...you're going to hell! wait....they don't believe in hell, or heaven, or god. i guess they'll just consider you a dispicable human being.

i am just finally realizing that it's time for us to consider moving. this liberal, granola mentality is just SO. NOT. ME. and it seems increasingly hard to find people like myself. sure, i'm into saving the earth, or abused dogs. but let's keep it in it's place, people.

i cringe when i see bumperstickers that say "keep portland weird". i cringe because for the most part, portland is not weird. yuppie, granola, yes. but weird? where? there's a small section of people that are weirdos. i'd rather not be lumped into that entire group just by living here.

when i go out, people here don't dress up. i went out to a late night spot in the Alberta district recently. i'd say 90 percent of the people had jeans, clogs, no make-up on, some type of fleece jacket type gear. i actually felt out of place for looking nice.

this place is just not me anymore. i went to the farmers market today, and of course the people were all one-dimensional(all white). as the morning went on i counted 4 more black people. i kept trying to make eye contact with them to make myself feel "okay". and before you say that i have insecurity issues, let me just say that i'm around white people CONSTANTLY. occasionally it would be nice to see more people of color in one place besides a nightclub!

Friday, February 26, 2010


this week we're celebrating the birthdays of two of my kids whose birthdays are both within weeks of each other. i went shopping last night to stock up on treats and presents when i spotted a white woman in the store with her black boyfriend.

okay question number one: how come whenever someone white(a 'dominant' race) is married to an ethnic person/person of color, they always take on the characteristics or immerse themselves in the culture of the minority race, and not the other way around? i think occasionally i see it, but not as often. there's nothing wrong with it- i even notice it in my marriage. just an observation.

i looked at the black guy she was with, and he did not appear to be that great of a catch. i often wonder what white girls see in the thuggish-ruggish black guys that are SO far from being in my league. i would have higher expectations if i were in the dating scene AND dating a black man. it's just so weird.

she kept looking at me...i don't know what she was thinking. i interpreted the way she was acting around me as her showing off her black man to me, as if to say 'i got one of yours'. if she only knew...i would never date a guy like that. she can have him and then some.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


are black people friendly? from MY experience in portland, oregon, some are, but i have ALWAYS found white people easier to receive a smile or a 'hello' back from. i don't mean to give any props to white people or start self-hating here, but i would rather try to dissect why black people aren't as friendly. or at least why they don't give off that friendly 'vibe'. (i don't think white people are better, nor do i want to be white)

some of my readers might be aware of the fact that we moved to the laurelhurst neighborhood but still have our daughter at the hood school, which is now mostly black. there are a few white people sprinkled in, but black students are truly the majority there. at the beginning of the school year, i spent a lot of time on the playground while my kids played. i noticed that while the white parents were busy introducing themselves to the other white parents, immediately forming bonds, the fewer black parents on the playground barely said hello to each other(and that is still the case). one thing was for sure- they weren't itching to get to know the other parents, or discussing what they did for work. as for the white parents, i doubt it had anything to do with the fact that they were the minority trying to band together, because i've noticed this "instant comraderie" at other places where white people are (work, group interviews, expos, supermarket lines, etc).

of course, there are exceptions. i'm not going to presume to know every black person in portland. occasionally i've met a non-threatened black woman who was friendly and outgoing without sizing me up about whether or not i'm bourgeois because i'm light skinned, or because i'm obviously or evidently married to a white man or because i appear more confident than she is. but i'm sorry! those women are few and far between. whenever i've managed to meet and talk with another mother of color, i cherished it.maybe being in portland has something to do with it. i'm not exactly sure. i was born and raised in portland and i can honestly say that in my entire life, it has always been easier to make friends with white people. for example, in school or at school or work the dark skinned black girls (more on that later) were always (okay, not always but 8 times out of 10) distant, mean, unfriendly until time had passed and they got to know me. they would always automatically assume i thought i was better or for whatever reason, disinterested in sparking up a conversation. which, by the way is totally ironic considering that in portland we are such a minority-you'd think we'd want to get to know each other. why are white people so quick to do that? there are a gazillion of them. i'd always instantly make friends with the white girls in school (and even now, although now, i make more of an effort to be the one to befriend other black women), and almost immediately the black girls would start making jokes and poking fun and calling me 'white girl' for hanging around the white girls. yet, the black girls never initiated any type of friendship. they were always too busy calling me 'bougie' and 'white girl wannabe' and other stupid names. in hindsight, i think they were just jealous.

so whether it was my school days, or now in my 30's, it really hasn't changed much. a clerk in a grocery store, someone walking down the street, people i come into contact with on a daily basis- whites are friendlier to me than the black people. 8 out of 10 times, i'd say. black men are friendlier because well....they're black men. they'll say hi because i'm pretty. that's just a man for you. i've never had issues with a black man being mean to me.

maybe the reasons just boil down to numbers. i know there are white people who are mean and distant and unfriendly. perhaps it's just the law of large numbers. since there are so few black people, and so many white people in portland, maybe it's easier to spot the unfriendly ones, and not so easy to spot the unfriendly white people.