Posts Tagged ‘stereotypes’

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It’s funny how ethnocentric our views can be. Even when we think we are accepting and welcoming and respecting of all people, no matter their creed, race, or religion, sometimes can can inadvertently be so ignorant it’s astounding. Now, I know that I’ve mentioned this form of prejudicial obstinate attitude before, like when I told you all about the story of the pick up line that goes a little something like “I don’t date black girls, but I would TOTALLY sleep with you“. Then again, I’m well aware of when that kind of attitude is being directed at me, or people I have something in common with (based on race, religion, gender, etc.). Like most of the world though, I often remain blissfully ignorant of my ignorance until something like the following Slam Poetry video crosses my path.

Now, this one is pretty hilarious, and it’s meant to be. However,

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This being the last Slam Sunday in our Black History Month saga, I really wanted to end things off with a bang. I wanted to wrap up every important message I have tried to get across, give you all the general message, in five minutes or less. I figured I would have to give you all several videos, each one saying a lil something something to cover the bases. And actually, that’s exactly what I had started out doing. And then I stumbled across this one. Does it mention in direct words ever little point I’ve mentioned in the past month? No. But each individual point by itself doesn’t matter. There’s a common theme to everything that has been written. A general message that I want to send out with this month of posts. There is a general misperception, a general issue, with the perceptions and knowledge about the North American black community, both from within and from the outside looking in. This young woman managed to sum it up so beautifully….man, it was priceless. Seriously. The raw emotion in her voice, in her words, in the tone and delivery and (more…)

Source: ethiopiannewsforum.com
Yeah, in a very blatant way, this is what your typical Uncle Tom charge is referring to.

Hey y’all

So, instead of just basically defining what an Oreo is, and why it`s absolutely a sign of self-hate and self-prejudice, I decided instead to do an in-depth look at exactly where this term most likely really comes from, as in what the driving force behind it really is, and to understand the very complex nature behind this extremely confusing obsession with calling successful, educated black people Oreos. Why is being educated a white trait, exactly? Come along on this two part special with me, and we can explore this new racially charged and highly offensive terms origins together. Let’s get right to where it alllll started… With the Uncle Tom.

All About The Uncle Tom

The term Uncle Tom, for those of you who don’t know, actually originates with a character from a novel that was later made into a movie. Harriet Beecher Stowe published her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852. As an avid abolitionist, Stowe penned the novel as an anti-slavery message, highlighting the horror, cruelty, and inhumanity of slavery in the hopes of making the reasons slavery should be abolished tangible to millions. Her mission succeeded, and it is even said to have been one of the major catalytic forces behind the Civil War. In her novel, Uncle Tom was a placid, ever humble and ever subservient slave, who also happened to be quite (more…)

source: http://www.youtube.com
Look at the left side: just a nice girl smiling, right? Then you see all that blue…what do you REALLY think??

Hey y’all,

I want to talk a little bit about hair colour this fine Monday morning. And my take home message to anyone of ANY nationality is this: if you aren’t picking some variation of a colour that exists in nature, you’re going to generally look ridiculous. At best, nobody will take you seriously, unless perhaps you work in some form of the entertainment industry, or a hair stylist. And yes, with your hair being streaked blue, purple, or green, I will automatically think that either you are a child thinking you are really being outrageous and counter-culture, which is so super cool *rolls eyes*, or that you are a grown man/woman from some lower socioeconomic background with little self-esteem or ambition. This isn’t just because I absolutely hate the colours or anything, and this isn’t just my opinion. When anyone sees blue or green hair they think either “ghetto girl” or “emo punk wannabe”.

If you want to test this theory, show up for your next job interview for a credible, big-time company with blue streaks in your hair. Might as well just write “underachiever” all over your forehead and come in smelling of day-old whisky, with (more…)

This slam poet will knock your socks off, and boy am I happy to introduce him to my slam series with such a bang! This Black History Month, I’ve been on a journey of discovery. Not just to either learn or to reacquaint myself with the history of black people within North American Society, but to explore in-depth the issues that a black North American faces in today’s world. In this process, which I have shared with you step-by-step, I have also gotten a chance to learn a great deal about the many, many opinions you guys have, and the variety of reasons behind those thoughts and opinions. I am always so honoured when you choose to share a little piece of yourselves with me. Not only am I getting the chance to share in your insight, but you often give me a chance to further reflect on whatever topic of discussion we have at hand that day. So thank you all for that, and I look forward to hearing from you all on the rest of this journey.

So back to this Slam Sundays featured artist. His name is Boonaa Mohammed, and I have had the pleasure of seeing him perform in person. His style, his flow, are smooth as butter. But more importantly, there’s a raw, genuine honesty to his (more…)

Source: blogs.indiewire.com

“I don’t date black girls”. Good to know, I think, as I close my eyes. So I can roll them without him knowing. No need to actually make this tipsy conversation outside of the bar any more awkward than it needs to be. After all, I know exactly what’s coming next, and considering I met this guy all of thirty minutes ago when he asked me for a light, and while we’ve politely chatted about the recent smoking room ban in bars and strip joints, we haven’t gotten to anything so deep and meaningful as a name exchange. Oh, yeah, and my boyfriend is just inside, which he’s well aware of. Since, just after part one of our 30 minute smoking-alarmist discussion, he asked me if I was dating the black guy, who just so happens to be the only black dude, and the only other black person, in the bar. And who also happens to be on the other side of the room from where I’d been standing with my boyfriend while carrying on some vapid conversation on music or some crap that I usually lose interest in after about 35 seconds. Oh yeah, and did I mention that the black dude is a complete stranger I hadn’t even noticed, let alone spoken a (more…)

Meanimated1I wrote this story almost a decade ago. With all of the discussions and commentary that I’ve gotten lately, I thought it would be a great time to just present you with a little personal story. I hope you enjoy it. 

I was 16 before I truly learned that being black wasn’t a conscious decision one could make, that it wasn’t about a way of life, but that it is a part of who you are no matter what else you do. There were only 5 other black children in my grade school, although race was never an issue. At least not at school. Of course there were those times when my race was most definitely an issue, times when I would walk into a store and the clerk would stare me down as I looked through the aisles at the toys and candy for sale. Yes, I had had times where a clerk would accuse me of trying to steal, for no other reason than because I was black. One of my best friends in grade school was told I was not allowed to come over to her house, or she to mine, because I was black. My grandparents had next door neighbours who used the word nigger rather frequently. But I always thought they were only a few ignorant people still stuck in the 1800s (more…)

erase race, make us all shades of gray

Is the key to erasing racism just erasing race? Erasing acknowledgment of the differences that make us unique? Would the world be better in shades of gray?

I hate when people say they don’t notice race. Of course you do. You’re not blind. Not only can you see the tone of someone’s skin, you can see the differences in their facial features, eye colours, hair textures, heights, and weights. You can hear the differences in tone of voice, accent, inflection, and word choice. You can look at 2 different people with generally the same skin coloring and guess that one is from East Asia, and one is from The Caribbean. There are cues and indications of race written all over us.

Why is it that some people think that saying “I don’t even see race”, or “I don’t even notice the colour of someone’s skin” is somehow complimentary, and is an indication of their lack of racist thoughts? I generally despise when people say that everyone is the same to them. Like somehow, any differences in people’s ancestry or cultural beliefs and values no longer exist. Are you so desperate to be seen as not racist, and so confused on what the definition of racism is, that you’d prefer for the concept of race and/or culture to just be eliminated all-together? Not only is that silly and naïve, but it’s downright insulting.

Race exists. And whether you want to condemn someone based on their race, or make their race disappear because acknowledging it makes you uncomfortable, you’re still expressing prejudice. What is your problem with acknowledging that someone is different from you in some ways? Does the fact that they are different in some ways make them lesser? (more…)

Hey y’all,

I’m going to preface this post by saying, I am 100% positive that 99.99% of the times that someone precedes their story or comment with “I’m not racist, but..” or “And this is not racist”… they are about to say something so damn offensive, so blatantly racist, that people from every race cringe when hearing it, deadpan, eyes widened with jaw a little slack, wondering “are they stupid, kidding, or really just that ignorant to their own closet racism???”. But, there is that 0.01% of the times that whatever is going to come out of the sayers mouth will have to do with race or culture on some level, without being racist or abusing some form of stereotype. Today, I will be that 0.01%. I swear it. So before writing off my entire rant as racist, please hear me out til the end. Because honestly…

I am not racist. Seriously. Racist commentary from other people really and truly offends me. In fact, I generally frown upon, whether in jest or being serious, drawing upon stereotypes or biased opinions about an entire culture by using one or a few people within that group to generalize (more…)

You know, every once in a while people need a laugh. Life gets too hectic, too confusing, too serious…and all you really want is to run away from it, fall into a ditch and hide there for eternity even. And then you dust the dirt off, stand up, head high and make the decision that you’re about to start moving forward today…only…how the HELL to shake it off? And that’s when someone tells you the corniest joke on the planet and you laugh your ass off for the next 5 minutes – even the (more…)