Black History Month is a time for all Americans to celebrate the contributions of black people to our country and society. Every year on February 1st, I take time away from my music career to welcome this special month by writing a blog especially for my white friends. And everybody else's white friends, too. I'm totally a humanitarian.
In the past, my yearly Black History Month blog has gotten some pretty strong reactions, from being featured on The View to just plain getting me told off in my comments. This year, due to recent events online, I thought it was a good idea to discuss 10 things my White friends can't do on social media during Black History Month. Because knowledge is power. Black power.
Don't use the n-bomb in hashtags. Avoiding using a hashtag like #disnigga seems like it would be a no brainer, but nah. Madonna's recent Instagram drama proved that even international pop superstars with publicists and images to uphold aren't immune to this slip up. (And she didn't even use the term correctly! Smh.) The fact of the matter is if you're white and you don't want people to think you're racist then you shouldn't do stuff that white racists do, like use the n-bomb. Just like if you don't want people to think you're a crackhead then you shouldn't do stuff that crackheads do, like using crack. Just say no, white homies.
Don't post any statements that start with "I'm not trying to be racist but..." There is nothing you can say after that sentence that will make it okay. How would you feel if someone said "I'm not trying to f*ck your mom, but..."??????????????? Exactly.
Don't pull a Justine Sacco. If you wanna tweet some ignorant xenophobic bullsh*t that will get your ass hella fired, be my guest. But please try to avoid doing it during Back History Month. (The only thing Justine Sacco did right was posting this in December instead of now. ) As an African American, I'd hate to see the unemployment rate increase under our Black president just because some White folks decided not to think before they tweet.
Don't throw a "Black Party." Ummm... that's just dumb. Don't be dumb. Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Arizona State University thought it WASN'T a dumb idea to have a “Black Party” on Martin Luther King Day and they posted pics online of themselves wearing basketball jerseys, throwing up gang signs, and drinking outta watermelons. Do you know what happened next? They got expelled. LoL!
Now, I'm all for mercilessly making fun of each other, but this was DUMMMMMB. And unless Arizona State University is ran by a bunch of black folks, I'm willing to bet that there are some non-black who thought this was dumb, too. As a black person who never wears sports jerseys and only knows how to do one gang sign, I encourage you to do this offensive crap on your own time, white friends. Not during our month. Or just throw a "white party" where we all show up dressed like Macklemore.
Don't bring up the dumb ass Martin Luther King "twerk party" that got canceled because of the flier.
Don't post twerk videos anymore. Don't do it. Let me school you on something real quick... twerking was not invented by Miley Cyrus. It's something us ethnic folks have been doing since forever... it's probably how my ancestors got conceived. But during Black History Month can you appropriate someone's culture other than ours? I hear Peruvian Folk Dancing is awesome, go appropriate them.
Don't confuse Twitter with your diary. Sure, ranting about your frustrations can be good therapy. But doing it on Twitter in 140 characters or less makes it public, and could very easily have you looking like Racey Racerson, Debbie Downer, or Little Miss First World Problems. So do us all a favor this month and save the drama for your momma... via email or something.
Don't participate in racist hashtags... unless you wanna get cussed out. Because of the first amendment, you have a right to say whatever you want online. And I have a right to cuss yo ass out. Freedom of speech does not make you free from consequences, some people (like me) will just tell you off for saying racist stuff, but others will straight up try to end you. During Black History month, let's not get ugly. I think a good rule of thumb is if you wouldn't say it to a big muscular black dude's face, don't say it online. Not only do you make yourself look like an idiot, but you make me look a jerk for saying "I told you so" if someone kicks your ass for it.
Don't make fun of us. I have found quite a few "#BlackPeopleBeLike" pics on my White friends' Instagram pages, and it's hard to get mad when the post is hilarious. This month, don't do it, it might seem harmless but it's actually culturally insensitive and demeaning. But you can resume posting them again next month, those pics are funny as hell.
Don't accuse us of "playing the race card." I've seen this happen online more than once. It takes some hardcore entitlement to think you're the authority on what someone else goes through. If something unfair happens to ME because of my race, I'm pulling out that race card, I'm throwing it in the air and waving like I just don't care, I'm making photocopies of the card and passing it out on the street, and whoever doesn't like it can kiss my ass. Actually this one isn't just for Black History Month, it applies year round.
This February, there are many things you can do online to learn more about Black History. You can search on Wikipedia to learn more about famous black heroes like Harriet Tubman, Percy Julian, and George Washington Carver. You can check out the NAACP's site to learn more about what issue are currently facing Black people in this country. You can buy a pair of shoes from Nike's Black History Month Collection since all proceeds from those kicks will go to the NIKE Ever Higher Fund, a charity that uses sports to reach out to inner city kids.... OR you can just wait until a public figure does something racist again and watch Black Twitter tear them apart so bad that it starts trending nationwide like we did to Paula Deen.
I'm just a recording artist, so I have no idea why my opinions would upset folks so much, but still, every year I catch so much hate over these blogs. I am sure this one will offend some people who lack either the ability to process satire or to handle the truth. So from the bottom of my heart, in all sincerity, if this truly offends you, then please visit the complaint department located at the intersection of your lips and my ass. Thank you.
Happy Black History Month.
Filed under: blogging