All Articles Tagged "white people"
I was just on Tumblr when I stumbled across the image above. Underneath the caption reads:
When white girls say we cant grow hair, I be like…
My initial reaction was “Boom!” Then I chuckled. What white girl would say, to a black woman, that our hair can’t grow?! That would be bold as all hell. And just as soon as I was about to dismiss the comment as being funny but unrealistic, I thought about my middle school homeroom teacher, Mr. Litts.
Now, before I share the comment Mr. Litts made about black hair, I have to tell you I don’t mean to totally piss on his life and legacy. Mr. Litts was a pretty cool dude and a great art teacher. He solicited students to paint murals all throughout the hallways, he let our homeroom class do a dance at our school’s pep rally; and so we would look cool while we danced, he personally airbrushed t-shirts with our nicknames on it. (Ya’ll know airbrushed t-shirts were everything back in the day.) He dee-jayed all of our school dances, complete with a fog machine. He was very passionate, genuinely cared about us, his students, and I’m sure he imparted some wisdom I’ve since forgotten over the years. Good man. Great teacher.
But in this particular story, Mr. Litts let his ignorance hang out. The details are fuzzy right now but he was telling our homeroom about one of his pieces, a painting or something in which he had depicted an African American subject. As he was telling us about the painting he got to the hair. As he’s describing the texture of the hair he said, (I’m clearly paraphrasing as this was over a decade ago.) “You know, black hair is thin and short.”
He said it so quickly, the room, comprised of mostly black 8th graders, didn’t have a chance to challenge him. Mr. Litts was the type of teacher you could challenge but this was a lesson that was going to take far more time than our 30 minute homeroom would have allowed. Instead, we all just tore our faces up and looked around the room at each other, silently asking “Can you believe this dude?” I shook my head, thinking it really didn’t bother me. But since I’m talking about it over a decade later, it clearly did.
The rest of that day I couldn’t stop thinking about Mr. Litts’ words. I knew I had thick hair and a lot of black folks had/have thick hair. But I also had a perm the time. And though my hair was still thick, the perm made it look thinner and in some instances broken and unhealthy. I thought perhaps, in the midwest, before folks started wearing their hair natural…again, that was the type of black hair Mr. Litts was familiar with. But then I thought, naw! Just as there were times when my hair was thinning, there were also times when it was thick and luscious, majority of the time actually. Even if Mr. Litts hadn’t paid attention, he’d surely seen blacks in the ’70′s when the afro was in. And if not that, he had to have at least glanced at Oprah on the tv everyday, for all those years. Back then, I really didn’t know, could not figure out how he could say that.
Today, I can see Mr. Litts was just underexposed to black folk, even though he spoke to, taught and is still teaching predominately black students everyday. I grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. I know there are plenty of black folk there but that’s because I’m black and I hang around black people. Sometimes it catches me off guard but every once in a while, there will be these glaring reminders that a lot of white folk are largely clueless about our lives. That can be good, bad, annoying etc, but it just is what it is.
But anyway, I bring all of this up to ask you has a white person ever told you, you can’t grow black hair? If this has ever happened to you, did you take the opportunity to educate them or did you just shake your head and walk away?
Tim Allen took heat on Sunday for his insistence in an interview released over the weekend that ”the ‘n-word’ is worse to me than n*****.”
The comment came during an interview the “Home Improvement” star sat down for with the Tampa Bay Times last month. The conversation took place on the same day news broke about Paula Deen’s admission during a deposition to using the racial epithet. Allen argued that the taboo against white people saying the word was itself a damaging practice.
Eric Deggins, the Times reporter who interviewed Allen, explained:
For him, the criticism that keeps any nonblack comic from using the word is a step backward from the days when [Richard] Pryor and [Lenny] Bruce were breaking comedy boundaries by purposefully using street language in ways middle-of-the-road comics wouldn’t dare.
“If I have no intent, if I show no intent, if I clearly am not a racist,” Allen argued, “then how can ‘n*****’ be bad coming out of my mouth?”
Allen also insisted that the an unfair double standard was at play.
I do a movie with Martin Lawrence and pretty soon they’re referring to me, ‘hey, my n*****’s up.’ So I’m the n***** if I’m around you guys but 7 feet away, if I said n*****, it’s not right. It’s very confusing to the European mind how that works, especially if I’ve either grown up or evolved or whatever, it literally was growing up in Colorado, with Hispanics and Anglos, that’s all I remember.
According to Deggins, the comedian did not censor his use of the word, but rather said it freely several times in “talking about how using racial [s]lurs feels from a white guy’s perspective.”
Read more at BlackVoices.com
You may noticed ever since Miley Cyrus appeared in that animal costume “twerking,” the dance has garnered nationwide attention. There have been articles on several major news outlets including the Today Show who did reports on the “dance craze.” Even the “famous grandmothers” imitated Miley twerking something. And as you might imagine, it’s just as terrible as you would imagine. And now that white folks have grabbed hold of twerking, we think there are a few things they need to know.
Yesterday, we gave you the beginning of our updated list of white people black folks love. Here’s the rest.
Sarah Jessica Parker
“Sex and The City,” need we say more? We ride for Miss Carrie Bradshaw and her fabulous fashion and her struggle to find a good man, and her love of Cosmos. She’s our white sister girl in our heads.
Two years ago we made a short list of white people black people love — shout out to the best man on that list, Abraham Lincoln — but now it’s time for an update. We know the world is multi-cultural now and everything isn’t seen in black and white anymore, but you can’t deny that there are some lily white Caucasians that black folks have taken and adopted as our own. Whether it’s a singer who sounds soulful or a designer making bags we can’t live without, we absolutely adore the white people on this list.
Oh and part 2 to come tomorrow!
When we first toured my daughter’s private school, I saw a little African-American girl toddling around, grinning happily and looking adorable in her matching jumper and sandals. I looked around for the girl’s mother, happy to know that there were at least a few black parents there.
But then the girl’s mother, a slim white woman with short blonde hair, came and swooped her up, nuzzling against her smooth skin. Oh, I thought to myself. Why did I just assume that a black child would have to have a black parent?
I probably made that assumption because, despite what you may see coming out of Hollywood, black children tend to get adopted at lower rates than do white or Asian children. Here’s a number that may surprise you: More than 30 percent of the American population has, at one point or another, considered adopting a child. But how many have actually taken steps to do so? Only two percent.
That type of numbers game may be one explanation for why so many black children are waiting to be adopted. As of 2010, more than 115,000 children were in the foster care system on adoption lists; these children are disproportionately older children of color. However, most adoptive parents request the children be younger than two years old, have no disabilities or significant trauma and, oh yes, be white. While the number of transracial adoption has grown over the years (some estimate the number to be 40% of all U.S. adoptions), white parents adopting black children is still rare.
Rachel Garlinghouse, a white woman and author of Come Rain or Come Shine: A White Parent’s Guide To Adopting and Raising Black Children, has adopted two black children and shares her story at WhiteSugarBrownSugar.com.
“Transracial adoptive parents have a unique responsibility to foster racial pride and identity within their children,” she writes on her blog. “I do not believe in entering into transracial adoption lightly. However, I’m heartbroken at the lack of families willing to parent children of color.”
Read more on MommyNoire.com.
You may have heard of the phrase “the good ol’ boys club,” but it seems like that club has gotten bigger and it’s not just for the boys. In February, only 6.8 percent of white workers remained unemployed while 13.8 percent of black workers and 9.6 percent of Hispanics were unable to find jobs. The latest jobs numbers show the biggest increase in claims for unemployment benefits — 28,000 — for the week ending March 30.
We know there are a lot of explanations for these types of numbers, like the fact that fewer black college students graduate from college than whites, however beyond that, could white people just be helping other white people get jobs? This might seem like common sense to many, but I’m not referring to racial discrimination. Only the notion that whites help those in their network get jobs, which for most whites, tend to be other white people.
I recently wrote an article describing how minorities have very little representation at S & P 100 companies. If this reflects the overall management at large companies, many people in positions of power will not be looking to give black people a leg up when it comes to finding a job, but helping out those in their own white circle.
Nancy DiTomaso, a white woman and author of the book, The American Non-Dilemma: Racial Inequality Without Racism, conducted 246 interviews of working-class and middle-class whites over the course of a decade in Tennessee, Ohio, and New Jersey. She stated, ”Across all three states where I did my research, I heard over and over again [white] people admitting that they don’t interact very often with nonwhites, not at work, not at home or otherwise.”
Recently a coworker of mine wanted my opinion on where his daughter should go to school. For very different reasons, two of his top choices were Howard and Harvard. She had already been accepted into a few Ivy League schools and Howard; she was waiting on a response from Harvard. We discussed the pros and cons of both, but the biggest factor in his argument for why his daughter should go to Harvard was not the education, but the network she would build. I couldn’t disagree with him.
It’s not that “the good ol’ boys club” is impenetrable for black people; we just have to get out of our comfort zone to get access to it. Not everyone has the opportunity to go to Harvard, but we all do have an opportunity to build a network outside of those that look like us. Just like white people have a network of mostly whites; black people generally have a network of mostly blacks. White people may have less of a financial incentive to extend the olive branch to African Americans, but we as black people definitely have something to gain by having some white contacts in our Rolodex.
Now I’m not saying be some phony Uncle Tom, but if you are having trouble finding a job or looking to start a business, you have to expand your network. Unfortunately there are more white people of influence in the business world than minorities and sometimes to get ahead in the game you have to know the rules. It might be a hard pill to swallow, but the Black Tax may not just consist of working twice as hard as whites, but befriending them as a means to get ahead.
Follow CAP on Twitter: @in_allcaps
My father’s name is Edward. And if you should meet him, you’re to call him Edward. Not Eddie. Not Ed. Edward. He’s very particular about his name. Growing up his parents and family members referred to him by his middle name; but by the time he got to college and had an opportunity to “reinvent” himself, he insisted that he was no longer to be called DeWayne. He helped his family adjust to this change by simply refusing to answer them until they called him Edward. And it worked…for his family.
As a child, when my parents started allowing me and my sister to answer the phone, people who clearly didn’t know my dad would call, trying to perpetrate as his old college chums. This happens to everyone but we knew these people didn’t know my dad because they would say things like, “Is Ed there?” “May I speak to Ed, please?” No you may not because there’s no Ed here. Most of the time we’d correct them, “Do you mean Edward?” People were often taken aback by the fact those close to him, his family members, referred to him as Edward. One time when someone called with the “Ed talk,” I gave the caller my typical, “Do you mean Edward?” response, and he said smugly, “Yeah, same thing.” Uhh, no it’s really not. I told him that no Ed lived there and hung up.
But this, I’ve noticed is a thing with white people. Years later as an intern I was assigned the task of making a series of phone calls. And sure enough as my boss was telling me what to say and how to say it, she said “And if you notice that they have a name like William or Richard, you can say Will or Bill so you sound like someone they know.” I liked my boss but I couldn’t do that. Years living under my father’s roof had taught me that everyone doesn’t appreciate being called a nickname they never gave you permission to use.
I’ll never forget the time I saw President Obama called “Barry” in the newspaper. What the hell?! The man’s name is Barack. It’s a strong, African name yet this nationally recognized publication was whitewashing it, calling him Barry. For what?! When I expressed my disgust about the nickname, someone less ignorant told me that he’d been given that nickname very early in his life. Oh.
But he, like my father, decided to go by his formal name once he came back from college, feeling like he needed to connect to something bigger than himself. The name connects him to a history, whether he decides to run down his family tree or not. It demands respect. So yeah, I revert back to my original perturbance about the use of Barry. Why the publication would refer to the president by his first name, I don’t know; but if you must, call him Barack.
The latest person to undergo the nickname treatment is 9 year old Quvenzhané Wallis. During the Oscars’ red carpet, Ryan Seacrest announced that he and his E! coworkers had decided to call Quvenzhané “Little Q.” Oh ok. Did you ask Quvenzhané if she was cool with that? She’s a very outspoken little girl, I’m sure she would have been able to tell you if she approved or not.
And that’s the problem with these despicable nicknames, rarely is permission requested. They’re not given because the person has gotten to know the other and feel a pet name more appropriately suits his or her personality. The names are given because the person’s formal name, the names the parents decided upon, most times, before they were birthed into the world are “too hard to say.” Which is really a nice way of saying too “non-white” to be bothered with. I don’t recall anybody coming up with a nickname for Arnold Schwarzenegger. We just learned to say his name. And it’s no more difficult than Quvenzhané. It’s just more European. Really, this nickname thing is just lazy and further perpetuates the “ignorant” American stereotype. We know the least about other countries and cultures because it’s hard to learn about other countries when you’re determined to call Ting Feng “Lisa.” If you won’t even attempt to pronounce her name, why would she feel comfortable sharing her culture with you? Americans just don’t care. When white folks hear those foreign sounds and their brain just shuts down temporarily and only reboots as it searches for a more appropriate, more westernized moniker. It’s not cool. So, white people, black people with white friends, or black people who’ve adopted the habit of giving out unapproved nicknames. Cut it out. These nicknames are more than just annoying they represent a lazy, insensitive culture and we have to do better.
“It’s Not Just A Dance, It’s A Lifestyle” Real Harlemites Are Not Feeling The “New” Harlem Shake Dance Craze
If you’re internet savvy, chances are you’ve stumbled across the “Harlem Shake” by now. And I’m not talking about the original Harlem Shake black folks have been doing since the ’80′s, popularized in 2001 by G Dep, Diddy and ‘nem in his “Let’s Get It” video.
I’m talking about the viral videos that feature groups of people jumping about, dry humping the air in masks and outrageous costumes dancing to a type of dance/techno song made by Brooklyn producer, Baauer. The song, which is over three minutes long, only features a single sentence of intelligible, English lyrics: “Do the Harlem Shake.” Perhaps the makers of the first “Harlem Shake” video that went viral didn’t take the time to actually research the original Harlem Shake. Instead, they just proceeded to gyrate about in Power Ranger costumes. And for whatever reason, the meme and subsequent videos spread like wildfire. If you haven’t seem them, this is the new interpretation of the Harlem Shake. (In an attempt to promote our brother site’s efforts, I’m embedding Bossip’s Corporate Office edition below. But if you want to see how the white folks, who are the majority of the meme’s participants are doing it, check out some more here. The underwater version is my favorite.)
Filmmaker, Chris McGuire, had just made a Harlem Shake dance meme video himself; but luckily, he didn’t stop there. He decided to do some research about the true origins of the dance. Here’s what he had to say about his discoveries:
Then I began researching it a little bit and discovered that the Harlem Shake was a whole other thing. I learned that it was a long-standing tradition in Harlem and that what people were doing had nothing to do with it. I wanted to add to the conversation.
I felt like someone who had sinned, and saw the error of his ways. As such, I decided to let the people of Harlem tell the world what they thought.
Given that the name ‘Harlem’ was part of this huge trend, and their dance the ‘Harlem Shake’ was their dance, I wanted to see what their perspective was.
It was pretty universal. They thought it was crap and had nothing to do with the dance or culture that they so proudly identified with.”
Check out McGuire’s video of real Harlemites responding to the dance meme.
There were a lot of opinions but not one of them was favorable. Did you hear homeboy say it was a way of life?! I don’t know about all of that since I haven’t seen anbodybreak that out in the club since 2006; but there’s no way that anyone could argue that the dance is not culturally significant. In fact, after a quick Wikipedia search, I learned that it was deeper than I’d originally imagined. In 2003, Inside Hoops interviewed Al B, the man credited with bringing the dance to Rucker Park and later Harlem around 1981. The dance was originally named after him: “albee,” and later changed. Al B described the dance as a “drunken shake,” that originated in ancient Egypt. “Yes. It was a drunken dance, you know, from the mummies, in the tombs. That’s what the mummies used to do. They was all wrapped up and taped up. So they couldn’t really move, all they could do was shake.” Other sources say it derived from an Ethiopian dance called “Eskista.” Judging by the videos, the Eskista theory seems more plausible to me.
So now the question remains, does the new Harlem Shake meme disrespect the origins and cultural significance of the original dance? Or is this just another case of white folks grabbing a hold of something started in the black community and making it more popular?
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
Black people debate over the n-word all the time and though there’s mixed opinion as to whether we have the right to use the word and should use it, one thing that’s unanimous is that white people should not use the word under any circumstances. Unfortunately, a lot of non-black people seem to have missed that memo. Consequently, they try to sneak in the word any chance they get, whether in a greeting, a rap song, or on the news. We can’t for the life of us understand white people’s fascination with using the n-word; so, we brought it up to the ladies of The Frisky to get their take on this phenomenon and fess up to whether they’ve used the word themselves and think they should be able to.
Check out the episode and weigh in below.
KEEP THE DISCUSSION GOING WITH MORE EPISODES OF I ALWAYS WANTED TO ASK.
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