Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Say Cheese!

      The Associated Press just ran this article on the extraordinary lengths black men must go to in order to ensure that we don’t scare white folk and others in the workplace, in the mall… while just minding our own damn business. Definitely worth a read, although it ain’t really new news.
      Here are some of my favorite responses to the article, lifted intact from the Okay Player site:
  1. niggas always gotta show they teeth. i hate codeswitching. i hate that i have to do it, and i hate that i do it so automatically. these days i actually check myself to make sure I’m not softening up too much. ion’t care if they scared any more. (sic)
  2. puts on blackface for Massa (sic)
  3. Blah I'm doing whatever I want… Whites can be so fucking pussy I swear. (sic)
  4. Damn we wear a lot of masks don't we. I need this [article] for a paper I’m writing. but yeah its crazy how this works. Many people discuss how black men act hard, but few talk about how we have to “play nice.” Up until high school, i never wanted to smile or be polite; but my pops was like you cant scare white folks away. Don’t be fake, but make them comfortable to get what you want.
    Honestly if it wasn’t for such an open attitude i wouldn't be working on my Ph.D now. But it is still fucked up, because when you do lash out--people are shocked. Its a coping strategy that shouldn’t be neccessary.
    Black men and women that shift their attitude shouldn’t have to engage in this game of impression management -- whether its fronting like you hard or that you enjoy Chip’s bigoted jokes.
    We start to forget who the real “us” is. (sic)
  5. Black people shouldn't bother... with the mask. It was once necessary, but now it’s just pointless. If you’re a 6’7” black man who’s a lawyer white folk gonna be intimadated, he’s a lawyer, he can totally use that to his advantage. White folks gonna think what they want to anyway so black folks should just be themselves.
  6. We don't have to prove anything to anyone but ourselves… black men have very few things to smile about.
  7. that article left a bad taste in my mouth… though it pointed out that it wasn’t fair, its overall tone was that of “suck it up, bend over and take it.” the idea that we should do things like wear suits all the time and cut our hair as short as possible just to make YT happy is repulsive. They had since the late 60’s to express themselves in work places, why not us? IMHO the biggest issue is that a lot of people seem to look at us as some type of immigrants to the U.S. (sadly a lot of US see is that way too) so we get these “how to survive manuals” instead of “fuck that, do you'”ones. in all honesty at this point and time it’s about time to change that slavery way of thinking that keeps us to a high school-ish insecurity level for the rest of our short fucking lives. (sic)
  8. who was this written by… a slave owner? softening his voice so he doesnt scare white people? the fuck outta here. (sic)

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