Black History Month, founded by Carter G Woodson in 1926, is a time for everyone to celebrate the contributions that Black people have made to the past, present, and future of society. America is a cultural melting pot, and for most of us, having friends of other ethnicities is a natural part of life. For the past 4 years, I have done a Black History Month blog. Sometimes it makes headlines, like the time it was featured on The View. And sometimes it gets me stalked on Twitter by angry racists for the rest of the year. The reason I enjoy Black History Month so much is because it gives non-Blacks (particularly the White ones) an opportunity to prove their solidarity with my people. In the spirit of this special month, this year I present to you my 5th annual BHM blog outlining 10 things my White friends aren't allowed to lie about during Black History Month.
- "Iggy Azalea is an amazing rapper." You don't really think that. If you said that to me, I'd sit you down, look you in your eyes and gently ask "Why you lying?" I understand that it's awesome to see one of your own skinfolk excelling at something that your people don't normally get acknowledged for doing. Maybe it's sorta like the pride I feel seeing Serena Williams kick all types of tennis ass. But the difference is Serena Williams doesn't have to appropriate or speak with a phoney accent to be successful. I'm not really on the "Dump on Iggy Azalea because it's the popular thing to do" bandwagon. If you REALLY wanna keep it 100, most of Iggy's early press before she became mainstream was from hip hop blogs doting over her.... some of the VERY SAME blogs that were lusting her under the "snowbunny" act a few years ago are writing think-pieces on how awful she is for the culture now. Yeah...I said it. So this first Black History Month no-no isn't really about the fact that a pop act with a contrived persona who doesn't even write her own rhymes is about to win a Grammy for being the modern day Vanilla-Ice. Nah. It's about the fact that by 2015, white folks should really know better than to be liking shitty rap. You are supposed to be defying stereotypes, white people. Shame on you. You're on a time out for the rest of the month.
Which one of you white girls made this pic.twitter.com/5GXINhuI9n
— Common Black Girl (@CommonBlackGirI) January 31, 2015
- "Obama is the worst president ever!" So we're just gonna act like we never learned about Richard Nixon in social studies? Or did you miss class that day or something? Seriously, all you have to do is Google "Watergate" and the extent to which you need to shut up will be evident. And I'm not saying Obeezus is perfect but ummm... Warren G. Harding employed a bunch of corrupt politicians and got put on blast by his former sidechick for being a hoe in the Whitehouse long before Maury Povich even existed. Gerald Ford actually pardoned Nixon. Rutherford B. Hayes getting elected pretty much laid down the red carpet for the dirty white supremacy laws known as Jim Crow. John Tyler was expelled from his political party while he was still president! So yeah. Stop the lies, y'all, at least for the rest of the month. After that you can go back to being haters.
- "Pharoahs in Egypt weren't black." What continent was Ancient Egypt on? "Africa." Oh.
- "#AllLivesMatter." Ok white folk, let me tell you something... when you try to remix a hashtag that others made for their social movement and neaten it up to make it more comfortable for you... ohhhhh myyyy godddddd it's so corny!!! How is it possible you don't have a "corny" detector that kicks in and gives you self awareness when you do something to embarrass yourself? "Hey guys, all lives matter, stop making this about race." Bitch... how can you ask me to stop making a racial issue about race? Can you make Chipotle not be about food? Can you make the ocean not be about water? Changing the conversation from "Black Lives" to "All Lives" pretty much means you are ignoring the specific issues that affect Blacks because you think talking about those issues is not very nice. You wanna erase me? Do it next month, it's Black History Month now and I don't feel like having to cuss anybody out until after February 28th.
- "I don't understand why black people can say the n-word but I can't." Quit lying. You know why yo ass can't say it. It's because you'll get stomped. Mollywhopped. Torn asunder. And it'd totally be your fault for using hate speech. Folks reclaim words that were once used to degrade them all the time. Some women choose to reclaim the b-word and hella Gay folks I know reclaim the f-word. So if you want a word to reclaim just go look up a slur that was used to degrade your people and go for it. But ummm... do it after Black History month.
- "Stacey Dash makes some valid points." Don't even try it. That broad is the Patron Saint of basic bitches.
- "I don't see color." Come on now. You're not about to sit there and invalidate the awesomeness of my complexion. You acknowledge it right now!!! The "colorblind" approach to racism is dumb, so if you insist on keeping that lie going then keep it to yourself until after Black History Month is over. I don't agree with it. If I didn't see race, how else would I have noticed that Charlie Hunnam is a fine ass white boy? I mean... is that fair to Charlie Hunnam? I just don't want to do anything to offend Charlie Hunnam. Man. Charlie sexy ass Hunnam. Anyway, my point is that not seeing color doesn't make you less racist... seeing color and not caring about it does.
- "I'm blacker than you!" Hold up... Smashing a few black homies and owning Lil Wayne's greatest hits doesn't exactly make you blacker than a black person. While I openly admit to being the kinda black gal that doesn't fit conveniently into any box (the fact that I make alternative music for a living has made that painfully clear,) I'm very much a black woman. Being black in America is an experience that everyone wants to try on these days seeing as how African American is the new black. That's cool and all, long as it doesn't go to your head. Besides, you'd get mega offended if someone said "You don't worship bacon, kiss your dog on the mouth, clap at the end of the movie in theaters, and know the entire menu at Starbucks by heart?!? Damn, I'm whiter than you!" Let's put that little lie away until next month, shall we? Thanx.
- "I don't have White privilege." Yeah, you do. Because 'Merica. Now use that privilege to help other people. Or stfu.
- "The officers were just doing their job." I know a lot of entitled white folks make a hobby of getting offended about stuff and then bitching about it to writers like me. (Spoiler alert: We don't care.) But I'm willing to consider the possibility that maybe I'm just blind to the suffering of entitled white folk. In my defense, I've never been an entitled, blissfully unaware, culturally insensitive, completely oblivious white person so I don't have the privilege of being able to ignore statistics and believe that all police are awesome. For example: In 2011, there were 120,000 police stops of Black &Latino boys between the ages of 14 and 18 in New York City. (There were only 177,000 Black & Latino boys in NYC at the time.) What's the likelihood that they were ALL suspicious individuals? And let's not even talk about the numbers of unarmed death-by-bad-cop cases we've learned about over the past few years. I'm pretty sure killing unarmed people is not a police officer's job. If it was then they would be killing people in YOUR neighborhood as well, wouldn't they, entitled white homey? And it makes it even more difficult to relate to the entitled struggle when so many realistic white folks who are sick of the injustice are out protesting in the streets and demanding that crooked cops be held accountable for racist behavior. So during Black History Month I'm not trying to hear the police apologist talk. Not all officers of the law are bad. But all bad cops are supposed to be officers of the law.
Thank you, white friends, for agreeing to abide by these 10 little rules for the rest of the month. Your participation in the celebration of this wonderful time of year is welcomed and appreciated. And I know some of you are reading this and thinking "How dare she!" I realize seeing some audacious little black musician mouthing off about what white folks can and can't do might seem outlandish to you. And that is what's so awesome about Black History Month. There was a time when I would never have been able to openly convey my thoughts in a humorous way that might potentially anger easily offended people. But now, you can get butthurt all you want. Because my ancestors fought for me to have the freedom to not give a damn. Happy Black History Month!
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out the my previous Black History Month articles.
Filed under: friendly advice