Monday, July 09, 2012

i have come to the realization, according to MY experience that most white people are fine until they meet a black person who is confident and smart. from many of my experiences, not all of them but many, white people feel most comfortable when a black person around them fits their stereotype.  as long as i don't appear as smart or intelligent as they are, they're fine. but it seems like there are certain white people who get really uncomfortable when i deal with them. like they don't know how to treat this non-ghetto, proper-english-speaking black girl.

and i don't even think that white people realize that they feel that way on a conscious level. but i've experienced enough of it to know what i'm talking about, especially in portland, where black people are only like a side dish that someone may or may not choose to taste. wow, did that sound poetic? i wasn't even trying. it was just the first thing that came to my mind.

11 comments:

Thank, Q said...

I agree with you, but I honestly think a lot of races are like that. It's the same when white people try to fit into black cliques. They may feel that if they don't know the vernacular, that they may not be accepted.

I think it's all about how cultured a person is growing up. If you only hang around your race, then you're not going to understand or be comfortable around another.

Sorry things suck in Portland, but I'm in Mississippi and I can relate to what you're saying to a certain extent.

Anonymous said...

Very true. It seems many people- not only white people, believe in this fixed stereotype of how black people should appear, how intelligent we should be, what we should eat, what music we listen to, etc. I have arrived at the conclusion that those who fit such stereotypes make many white people feel at ease because these blacks fit an assigned role in society- they do not deviate from their place in society. I suppose when we are confident and intelligent it makes them feel awkward. Such white people who exhibit this awkwardness see blacks not as people but as something "other." Stereotypes that dehumanize black people confirm this. When you are completely different from stereotype- the alarms start going off. Lol...and after all society has not illustrated how whites should behave around blacks who do not act according to stereotype.

The Crazy Person said...

Wow...I'm so sorry that stuff like that happens to you or anyone. I'm white so I couldn't possibly understand how you feel. I want to share some of my experience with you. I am from Pittsburgh PA and I now live in a small town in NW Florida. There are radical differences in both black and white culture here. When I was in Pittsburgh I can honestly say that the "stereotypical black people" Intimidated me for a long time until I moved into the projects that are primarily black. I learned a lot there and made many good friends. One of the things I have learned about the people who used to frighten me is that they are so passionate about thier families and especially thier children. One of the thing that scred me the most was how boisterous they could be, which I later learned was mostly a firm confidence that many many many white people lack. Before this experience I felt totally comfortable with what I used to call "normal black people". I know that is extremely offensive but it is how I was because I was fearful and ignorant. My coworkers were fine because they conformed to societal norms. I'm glad for your blog...hope I didn't offend by this post, that is never my intention. I only wanted to provide a truthful perspective from a white person

Anonymous said...

This is so true. But you are in Portland. Well, its common on the East Coast too. Sometimes they will try to subtlely insult you if, say , you have "better credentials" than they. More prestigious school, higher degree level. Not all, but definitly quite a few.

Saidah Wilson-Knutson said...

Hahaha. Try being black, and "proper," and well-informed, and super liberal, and atheist, and highly ambitious, and married to a white guy. Seriously. People panic more than just a little. Oh, and then hang out in Lake Oswego. lol

Anonymous said...

actually i wish there were more black people who used proper english. It's sad grown adults cannot speak correctly. Don't get me wrong, I use slang sometimes. But for every single word that comes out of my mouth to be wrong is ridiculous especially in professional settings.

Anonymous said...

You're inappropriately stereotyping white people. What makes you think that every white person thinks like that? And what would give them reason to?

I'm a caucasian male and every black person I know (and I know many) are very intelligent with hearts of gold. People are people regardless of their ethnicity -- we come in all flavors. There are many white people who aren't educated or who speak differently, too. People are people. I don't look down on anyone just because they're different or of a different ethnic group. We have different motivations, backgrounds, and opportunities.

In terms of dating, I'm very attracted to the black women here in Portland, but they need to be more open minded in regard to dating men outside their ethnic group.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Being 15 and educated black teen definitely causes lots of stuff. And i have long hair and don't act ghetto. I do have lots of black and white friends though but usually i've been referred to as an "oreo". Black on the outside white on the inside. Lol I think it was kind of clever but nice blog ! (:

Anonymous said...

You left out one thing TBG. They are also fine unless the Black person is in a position of authority.

Anonymous said...

Yes, when the black person is in a position of authority, suddenly they panic and have to either, set up stumbling blocks, try to get the person fired, or try to make the person into a caricature.

Anonymous said...

This is the first time that I have felt sorry for you. I'm not debasing your opinion or expereinces--it's specifically because I believe you that you have my sympathy. I am white and don't feel this way. In fact, it would make that black person more attractive as a friend, neighbor, whatever. Maybe there is something about Portland and its lack of diversity...