Think Pieces: Erasing Guilt by Justifying Your Blackness

I read think pieces, some of them I really enjoy, even if I disagree with them. I'm a fan of think pieces that actually make me think. A lot of those I read are written by black people, looking at black issues. I never finish most of them for one reason. No matter how pro-black the writing is, there is an overwhelming sense that the author didn't actually begin associating with black people until recently. They finally felt that it was cool and trendy to be black.

You've seen them as well. Articles about how toxic the barbershop culture is, but admitting they've never gone to more than one barbershop. Articles about how shocking recent R. Kelly allegations are, from black people in their 40s. People spreading their unpopular black opinion. Long Twitter threads about how people finally feel free to embrace their blackness because of a new Beyonce or Kendrick Lamar album. Drawn out articles about how it's unfair for biracial people like J. Cole to identify as black. I can't help but question when these people started being black, and why they make these overwhelming claims.

The conclusion that I came to was guilt. These people feel guilty about turning their backs on black people at some point in their lives. This is how they are attempting to reconnect and embrace people that they shunned at some point. You may think that sounds odd, but follow me for just a second. Myself included, a lot of black people were called Oreo's growing up. For those of you who don't know, that means black on the outside and white on the inside. Similar terms exist for other races as well. Twinkies for Asian people, yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Coconuts for Latinos, brown on the outside, white on the inside. Those are the ones you hear most often but plenty of different races have them.

People can be labeled with this term for a variety of reasons. Maybe you like rock music, you're a nerd, use proper English, go to a good school, the list is endless. I never took the term as any different than four eyes, just something kids said. But, I'm not everyone. A lot of people hold a lot of resentment because of this.Everywhere you look there's going to be someone mad about the 8th grade. These are people who don't ever get over it and become the relative you despise. Black people who ask "what about black on black violence," when police kill another unarmed black person. The people who never attend the stop the violence events that happen in every major city every weekend.

On the opposite end of the same spectrum are the "bad and boujee," black people. These are the black people who constantly complain about black culture as if black culture in Mississippi and New York are the same. These are often the people who complain about how hip hop has destroyed the black family and so on. Often they're a fan of what many of us call respectability politics. These are people who come down the hardest on black people who they don't find respectable. This causes them to distance themselves from a vast majority of black people. These people often have their own dirt. Take for instance Bill Cosby, a man known for dedicating millions to HBCUs, promoting family values, shaming rap music, comedians and anything else he felt didn't fit what he thought was respectable. Bill Cosby also had over 100 women coming forward stating that he raped them. I have an aunt like this, you probably have an aunt or uncle like this. It could be your parent. If you don't have a family member like this, you are that family member.

The idea I'm getting at is these people attempt to justify their blackness through their writing and it shows. It's just dripping with sarcasm and often covering some discovery they just realized. I saw someone over 40 drop a Twitter thread about how black people who swag surf but didn't go to an HBCU are appropriating an HBCU tradition. They were serious. The song "Swag Surfin," was released in 2009. I was swag surfin at school dances. Then nobody bought the album and we all got a nostalgia kick so we were swag surfin all over again in college. To my surprise when I looked at Google there were dozens of people who thought this. They would not think this if they weren't busy shunning Hip Hop almost a decade ago. It's not new.

I love Craig of The Creek, I don't care if I am 25. Did you know there were people upset about the show? Craig wears a purse because it's where he keeps his treasures, random things he finds, and there is no shame in it. Apparently that represents the feminisation of black males. Do you know how many purses I have held? Purses for my mother, my sister, aunts, girlfriends, women who weren't even my girlfriend. I get that you're worried about or young black boys, but maybe we should be more focused on the school to prison pipeline. Then there's people who have an issue with Jessica, because she's smart. The problem with this apparently stems from a person having only seen portrayals of black girls who were either obsessively "hood," or smart. Imagine basing your entire being on fictional television shows, because you don't know any other black people.

I love seeing representation, and I write about it because I wish I had more black cartoon characters when I was kid. A lot of people wish that, but the problem is it becomes clear, they never had any because they didn't care about black art. There was recently a man who said Black Panther was the first movie he had ever seen where black people did not portray gang members, drug dealers or slaves. Thousands of black people agreed with him. I was in shock, it's the reason why I promised to review at least one black movie a week on the site. Where have these people been? If they were not avoiding black people they must have been living in a cave somewhere like the classic In Living Color sketch. I'm not even asking they be an expert on black films from the 90s. Were they stuck in LaLa Land.

I don't feel the need to be overly black because I've always been black. There is no need for me to prove that I'm down with the culture because I always participated in the culture. The film Black Dynamite has a moment when the title character Black Dynamite has his commitment to the black community questioned to which he responds:
I'm blacker than the ace of spades and more militant than you and your whole damn army put together. While you out there, chanting at rallies and brow-beating politicians, I'm taking out any money-fronting sucka on a humble that gets in my way. So I tell you what, when your so called revolution starts, you call me, and I'll be right down front showing you how it's done. But until then, you need to SHUT the FUCK UP when grown folks is talking.
That's how I feel every time someone tweets the Blerds Online account and ask why we are not covering XY and Z. Because none of us were ashamed of our blackness so we did it five years ago. We're not new to being black and the New Black people who think they should question just how black everyone else is. Especially when they just decided to embrace being black last year.

I didn't need to tell you how T'Challa made me proud to be a black man, because like James Brown, I'm black and I'm proud. I been that way. I never been anything else. While these new people are showing you how they're on board with the black community here I've been here and I'm not going anywhere. Just stop asking me to cover your newly found black issues because I've been doing that.

There was never a moment when I turned my back on black people because I felt I was better than them. I just don't need to tell you how black I am. The rapper Nas has been accused of not being black before, yes that rapper Nas who attempted to name an album about Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, Nigger, has been accused of not being black. His answer is "what would it take to authenticate my nigganess." Not every think piece is bad but the thing we have to remember with a lot of these are that they were written by black people who simply put, did not fuck with other black people until it became trendy. Now they spend all day questioning the black levels of others because they feel guilty about all the years they turned their backs on other black people.

You should buy Darrell's Book, watch him on the Blerds Online YouTube Channel or The CP Time and Powerbomb Jutsu podcasts. 
Think Pieces: Erasing Guilt by Justifying Your Blackness Think Pieces: Erasing Guilt by Justifying Your Blackness Reviewed by Darrell S. on Friday, April 20, 2018 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. There is a lot of confusion and stupidity stemmed from these people. It gets to the point that I block them and black related words because they're too busy trying to fit in while having a superiority complex based on ignorance.


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