A Black Person Answers. . . 27 Questions Actually Directed at me for Once

Oh my God, Buzzfeed. This video is still mainly learned helplessness distilled into audio/visual format, but (kudos where kudos is due) I recall saying that I didn’t think you’d have the intellectual integrity to make a “black peoples’ questions for other black people” video, and you proved me wrong. You actually made it, and I am both legit surprised and happy about that. Thank you for actually being consistent.

So first I responded to black liberal mouth pieces talking down to white people. Then I replied to the nonstop white guilt on steroids that was the follow-up video. Now, Disorderly Politics goes where its never gone before by responding to a video actually addressed towards it!

Now let’s answer Buzzfeed’s 27 Questions Black People Have For Black People!

Why is it so hard to be on time? Why does five to ten always become twenty to thirty?

Is this a thing? Is it a stereotype? I’ve never heard of lateness as “a black thing.”

Also, I’m just gonna go ahead and assume that benign racial stereotypes are going to be okay here even though they wouldn’t be if white people were involved, acknowledge the hypocritical nature of it, and just move on.

If my dab is on fleek, am I lit?

God, I feel so old. What?

Why is it a problem if I like anime?

Hey, a legit point! The answer is that black communities in America have essentially always relied on creating insular spaces away from other people and the influences of other people. Anime is, in that way, an alienating thing from outside the “black bubble.” And if that’s not the reason, it probably has something to do with anime being associated with geekiness, which is mistakenly seen as interchangeable with nerdiness, and nerdiness is “a white thing.” And being associated with a white thing is bad.

That being said, I like anime. I’m in Japan right now largely do to young me being enamored with anime. I’ve also talked about the borderline bullying I went through at the hands of other black kids for “being an Oreo,” bullying that I didn’t get from any other racial group. That all being said, the blerd community is pretty extensive and visible at this point. It’s not that hard to find us nowadays. And yes, the fact that we still have to call ourselves “blerds” because nerdiness is seen as so antithetical to blackness that being a black nerd needs its own qualifier is stupid. But I don’t think you could honesty treat this like a pervasive attitude anymore.

Why do black people look at your shoes before they greet you?

Is this a thing? I don’t do this.

Why are we more likely to engage in a new dance trend than we are to get involved in politics or open a business?

Yeah, now you choose to acknowledge that black people are part of mainstream, trend-following culture. That definitely wasn’t the case when you were bitching about white people following stupid trends like they were the only ones who did that.

Also, I think this traces back to the anti-intellectualism you find in the black community. Ever since the sixties (ie, post-segregation), insular black communities started putting “intellectual pursuits” below things like sports or musical prowess when it came to impressiveness. I don’t know if this applies to the business thing. I’d be willing to bet that most stores in black areas are owned by black people. I’m too lazy to research it, but the “black people don’t start their own businesses,” idea seems a bit farfetched to me.

 

How did watermelon become our thing? Everybody should love watermelon.

This is just a rehash of your fried chicken joke from the white people video! Write new jokes, Buzzfeed, God. Also, I’m allergic to watermelon, so I definitely don’t love it.

Why do you get upset when I don’t like a black celebrity? Race aside, some people are just terrible.

I agree that this is stupid and this is something black people do sometimes. But I’m gonna go ahead and pull the first of many bullshit cards here because this video is on Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed: the king of treating people who don’t like certain things or people as some kind of -ist. People didn’t like the pretentious chick who made Selma because they’re racist, don’t you know? Also, we need to support our black celebrities because institutionalized racism, and we need representation, and blahblahblaaaaah.

Why do we call each other the n-word but get vehemently upset when a white person  using the n-word? It drains my soul to hear the word, and I just don’t understand how people who have any understanding of history can use that word.

Another actual point, but once again I call bullshit. Also. Nigger. Nigger. Nigger. Nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga (that’s a song lyric, by the way. Black artistry at it’s finest). The n-word? Are we fucking twelve? Oh no, I just said the f-word, somebody go call my parents.

I agree that it makes no sense to vehemently insist that the word “nigger” is inherently and objectively awful in every conceivable way.  . . If you’re white. If you’re black it’s totally fine and not bad to say at all. It’s stupid. It’s a fast way to ingrain the word into public consciousness as something awful even though, in the end of the day, it’s six letters and two syllables of a totally arbitrary language system, and the fact that “nigger” can be used as a term of endearment or just a placeholder just goes to show that acting like words have objective power and weight doesn’t make sense. I think the black people who get all up in arms over someone else using “our word,” context and intent be damned, are dumb. And the other races perpetuating that knee-jerk, irrational offense taking by reverting to children afraid to even say the actual word are doing nothing but making that word’s arbitrary power and sway over people worse.

All of that being said, though, screw you. People can say whatever the fuck they want. You don’t like the word “Nigger”? Fine. Don’t say it. But you have no authority to tell people what they should or should not be saying because you find it offensive. Those other black people clearly don’t find it offensive, in certain contexts at least. Why should they? Because you think it’s unforgivabley awful, and you’re black, and they’re black, so they have no choice but to agree with you, otherwise they’re idiots? Shared skin tone doesn’t mean shared opinion.

Also, fun fact for people who love to bring up history as an excuse to be brought down to your knees in pain by hearing a word: “Nigger” does not and never has been a slur for black people exclusively. It is a catch-all slur for anyone thought of as lesser by someone else. Yes, it’s most associated with the racism of American slavery and the years following. But that doesn’t negate the fact that, at the same time, Irish and Italian people were being called niggers too. Also anyone from Eastern Europe. Also South Asians. But it’s okay because the South Asians in turn used it to apply it to South East Asians. Also, African slave traders (who already had a wide array of slurs for lesser people before white people showed up) refered to their African slaves who they sold to Europeans as niggers. And, according to the racial slur database, anyone can be a nigger, a qualifier (like sand-nigger and the like) being totally optional as far as being an asshole who calls other people racial slurs goes. So yeah, history is a dick to everyone.

Why is my natural hair, the hair that grows out of my head, a political statement.

Bullshit card! Someone should start keeping count. Buzzfeed, you have absolutely no room to talk on this point. You have backed yourself into a corner with one phrase that I know you support: “the personal is the political.” I know you support this phrase because your website is one of the first to talk about the dreaded culural appropriation. This is an argument that constantly instists, I remind you, that hairstyles are political things, expressions of culture by default. This is why white people are “appropriating black culture” if they ever wear dreads or an Afro, according to you. Hair existing a certain way for a certain group of people is apparently an expression of a shared cultural trait.

So, long story short, random-pretty-haired black girl, you can complain about this if you don’t also complain about white people appropriating your culture by perming their hair. Those are two dissident beliefs that can’t be held at once without some major cognitive dissonance. Either hair is just hair, or it’s an expression of your blackness. I don’t know which one you think because I’ve never see  you before. But I sure as fuck know what Buzzfeed thinks on the matter, so I call bullshit.

Why do we think people with light skin look better than people with dark skin?

I know terms like “high yellow” and whatnot were used in the past to differentiate light skinned black people from “less-attractive”dark ones. I don’t really see this as a cultural thing at this point though. Some black people engage in this line of thinking, but is it pervasive? If anything, it seems to be a matter of extremes, from what I’ve seen. Being really light is pretty, and being really dark is pretty. And the rest is kind of up in the air. So, I think this is stupid, but I don’t know if “black people” are doing this to the extent you imply they do.

Do you really believe that black is beautiful, or is that just something you say because it sounds cool?

I don’t think black is beautiful, and I don’t say it because I don’t think it sounds cool. Individual black people can be beautiful, but most people aren’t “beautiful,” black or otherwise. I’m all for self-esteem, but this 20-something obsession with being beautiful is stupid, and it’s also kind of sad if you’re attaching your self worth onto your skin tone like that. If you’re going to insist that you’re a beautiful, worthwhile person just by default, the least you could do is attach that insistence onto something you actually had a say in cultivating. You can’t control your race.

Yeah, I get it. You say it to combat Western  beauty standards. I know. But you’re taking it a bit to far, in my opinion. Beauty standards are dumb and arbitrary. Hardly anyone actually meets them. The white girl down the street is probably just as far off the mark as you are. Stop treating unattainable beauty standards like they’re important, and they won’t be important.

Why do some people say that you’re pretty ‘for a dark-skinned girl’? When that is said to me, it still makes me feel like the ugliest little black thing.

The people who say this are racists. Funny how black people can be racist assholes too, right? Also, how often is this said to you? You act like it happens all the time. Does it? Because if it does, I’m gonna go out on a limb and call your experience an outlier, because even racists aren’t this blatant most of time.

Why do some black men only date white women?

Because that’s what they find attractive? Unless you’re going to start dictating to people who they can and cannot find hot (which Buzzfeed seems to want to do, so I guess this makes sense), I don’t know what you want done about this.

Why is it okay for black men to date white women, but not okay for a black woman to date outide her race?

I don’t know. This confuses me too, actually. It’s like a weird inverse of Asia where it’s way more acceptable for women to have non-Asian boyfriends than the other way around. So yeah. Pass.

Why do you protest black lives matter, and then tear each other down in the next breath?

I protest Black Lives Matter because Black Lives Matter is an awful organization that took a perfectly legitimate grevience and turned it into an excuse to just endlessly play the victim whilst behaving like aggressors in high-profile events and getting nothing constructive actually accomplished. Is that a good enough explanation for you? I don’t have to support something just because I’m black. People have opinions. This is the equivalent of assuming all Jewish people have to support Israel’s war policies because they’re Jewish and Israel is Jewish, what Israel actually does in reality be damned.

What does “tear each other down” even mean here? In the context of this question, you pretty much just asked, “Why do you not support black people, and then go on to not support black people?” What? I will object to things black people do, if said things are objectionable. Is that what you mean? Isn’t that what you’re doing right now?

Why do we say that we don’t want to be seen as a monolith but then try to take people’s black cards away for not liking something that is supposedly black?

Bull. Shit. Buzzfeed. Bullshit! “We are not a monolith!” my ass. In your previous point – two seconds before this point – you had your panties in a knot over black people not supporting something that black people as a monolith are suppose to support. Not to mention your previous race-based videos where you had your infuriatingly regressive black employees speak for all black people. I think that black people aren’t a monolith, but Buzzfeed clearly does. Because that makes a complicated issue simple by reducing the number of parties involved.

And this does happen. In high school, I was effectively a white kid as far as my “authentic” schoolmates were concerned. But Buzzfeed has once again backed itself into a corner where it has no room to comment on black people judging other black people. This happens, once again, because of isolationism in black communities that promots the need to have a distinctive “black” identity, and a further cementing of the definition of “black” as simply not being like the other races. But Buzzfeed’s version of separate-but-equal diversity wouldn’t help this in the slightest.

Why are we so quick to support a non-black owned business, but then hesitate when it’s a black-owned business?

Does this  happen?

Is there a cut-off time for the whole homophobia in the black community thing? Because I’m really looking forward to that.

The black community is one of the most religious in the country. It is very socially conservative in many respects. If it weren’t for current Republicans constantly using the Southern Strategy to get votes – therefore alienating non-white political actors – the majority of black people would probably vote Republican, at least on social issues. I hate to keep bringing it back to this, but anti-intellectualism is probably to blame here again. This is slightly different because the black community’s religiosity and lack of tolerance for more secular views dated back way before the 1960s. They were an oppressed class, religion gave them hope and a solid community bond. That is still the case now, and seeing as how most anti-gay rights sentiments stem from that strong religious conviction angle, it makes sense. It should also change. But that’s why it’s like that.

Why is growing up without a father so common in our race?

Lots of reasons. I don’t have a father, so this is super relevant and stuff. This is an incredibly multifaceted issue. To be brief: A youth culture that glorifies having many sexual partners with little to no emphasis on responsibility, combined  with America’s broken welfare system that makes getting steady employment less lucrative than just staying home, combined with the school-to-prison pipeline that effects impoverished communities, combined with lack of knowledge on safe sex, combined with a normalization of single-mother homes leads to this. And children who grow up in environments where this is the norm are more likely to continue this cycle. It’s pretty bad. But it’s also something ultimately based in personal autonomy, ie, only the black community can do something about this. So I once again am forced to call Bullshit, simply because Buzzfeed has demonstrated time and time again  it’s reluctance to acknowledge personal autonomy in the black community.

Why don’t we like to confront our mental health issues? Therapy is such a wonderful, magical place.

Don’t glorify therapy like needing it is cool. Fucking hell, Buzzfeed. A.) Therapy is expensive and not a luxury many people can afford. B.) Religiosity, again. And C.) the black community is one that still oftentimes views mental health issues as a choice (much like Asian societies). Therefore, someone with issues “just needs to get their shit together,” and that’s the end of that. I agree that that doesn’t make a very healthy society, but the regressive left’s constant infantalization of mental health issues isn’t doing any favors to the cause.

Why is there a checklist for being black?

Ask that to the people who love playing the identity politics game.

Why is being educated considered a white thing? Why can’t I love school and also be black?

I already answered this. “School is for white people!” says large chunks of the black community.

I will use this as an opportunity to make a clarification, to avoid any accusations of hypocrisy which could be made without clarification. I am against generalization. You know this. Why then, do I refer to “the black community” in a more general fashion yet object to white people being generalized as a community? That is because, outside the deservedly-mocked racist groups like the KKK, there is no solid “white identity” or “white communit” in America.

In America, white children are typically raised in environments where their race is not important. They are raised under the auspices of being an individual because ethnic-cultural identity isn’t really an important thing. White people in America, excluding recent immigrants, are often laughed at for saying “Oh, I’m Irish,” or “My family is Scandinavian!” like those are deep, cultural connections they have when that is not the case.

The closest I can get to an example of a “white identity” existing in America is with Italian Americans, maybe. And with them, as you can see with the name, they form a community by having a shared Italian identity, not a shared white one. The “white community,” in that sense, does not exist. White people are not told to have any kind of kinship or shared identity with other white people. They’re just not.

Black people, on the other hand, are told that. This isn’t cultural. It’s not about being African or Carribean. It’s about having a skin tone – being Black. And black people in America are typically raised to regard being Black as something important. They are encouraged to have a strong connection to and a pride in their racial identity as Black. Black children actually have better self-esteem than other children because their sense of racial identity gives them a firmer sense of self at that age. Black people are typically encouraged to feel kinship with other Black people on the basis of being Black, and they form communities around this. Because of this, “the black community” is a distinct entity based in being an insulated and unique racial group, and it has its own ideas on how to maintain this separate community and maintain the “black identity.” Because the black identity, unlike the white one is taught to be deeply important. I was raised by my white family, and even they felt the need to enforce upon me the importance of my racial identity. My white grandmother went out of her way to make sure I felt a connection to and kinship with black people.

So I feel more justified in referring to a black community than a white one simply because, unlike white people in the US, black people have created community kinship based in being a distinctive racial group that has it’s own stuff and it’s own values. All that said, I still like to stress personal autonomy, especially for black people, since it is constantly implied that we have none. It is embracing the idea of individualism and lauding our abilities to determine our own actions and cultures that will get us out of this trap. But I feel like black people have been fed the notion that they absolutely need to place importance on racial connections, which makes enforcing individualism difficult in many cases. And the regressive left is not helping. Explanation over.

Why do I have to be mixed in order to have long hair?

What?

Why do you think well-off black people don’t know what it means to be black? Black isn’t only defined by adversity.

So.  . . Where does privilege factor into this then? I agree with the sentiment, and think that equating blackness with necessarily facing adversity is cynical and self-defeating. That being said, the entire idea of white privilege is based in the notion that being anything other than white is defined by necessarily facing problems that others don’t. So.  . . Are black people inherently victims of adversity or aren’t they? Another BS card for you, Buzzfeed.

Why do some black people say “Oh, I have Native American in my family,” in order to feel interesting or more valuable than other black people around them?

Isn’t this something that everyone does? Isn’t that a joke about Americans? That people brag about being like 1/36th Cherokee like that means anything?

Why can’t we just acknowledge that there are a bunch of differnent types of black people walking around, and they’re all amazing and unique and special in their own way?

Fuck  you, Buzzfeed. People are individuals now, huh? When did you decide on that? Because apparently, black people are homogenous enough for you to know what they think about all things. Also, I’m gonna need you to go back and say that “there are lots of different types of people walking around and they’re all unique and special and blahblahblah” speech about white people. Because the need to acknowledge the individual does not begin and end with you. But I can only assume that saying something nice about the Whites would give the entire Buzzfeed staff a fucking heart attack.

We, within the black community, are so quick to tear each other down and look towards other races in terms of their success and in terms of what they have, but never want to look in the mirror ourselves.

How is the black community supposed to look in the mirror and make some much-needed changes without “tearing each other down”? Hell, an article from The New Republic (which is quickly turning into Buzzfeed under its new management) called black people  self-hating and problematic for even daring to suggest that police violence was a two-way street and that black people contributed to the issue too, not just cops. So are you and your ilk going to stop screaming Uncle Tom and victim blamer every time someone points out that the black community could make some internal improvements independent of white people and their actions?

If not, shut up.

I love black folks, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have questions.

“I love white folks, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have questions.” Guess which racial group you’re allowed to express love for and which sentence makes you a creepy racist!

I’m done with this. I actually agree with some of the general  points made here, but this video still gave me an aneurysm just because of how incompatible it is with the rest of Buzzfeed’s very apparent thoughts regarding racial relations. Not to mention that, even when allowing black people to be surpsingly self – critical, this still falls into the identity politics pit that expresses contradictory sentiments of not being a monolith but totally all being a monolith at the same time.

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