10 things my White friends better not complain about during Black History Month.

10 things my White friends better not complain about during Black History Month.
Photo by Amanda farmer for Vegans In Music

Black History Month is a yearly celebration of Black people's achievements and contributions to society. Founded by Carter G. Wilson in 1976, what began as “Negro History Week” has blossomed into a full on annual commemoration... during the shortest month of the year.

Since 2011, I have published an annual Black History Month Article. It has resulted in experiences ranging from my blog being read by Whoopi Goldberg on The View to me being banned from Facebook for a month. (Haters gonna hate.) Personally, all of my white homies are cool as hell and actually care about Black issues. But just in case any of them wanna act up, I present to you "10 things my White friends better not complain about during Black History Month."

  • Don't complain about the Black Panther movie being too Black. If you are one of those people who are offended by the unapologetic blackness of the Black Panther film, then I need to tell you something that is probably gonna change the way you look at the world: Everything. Isn't. For. You. Sometimes, OTHER PEOPLE like to see their own aesthetic and culture represented in entertainment. I know that we've spent hundreds of years n this country with whiteness being the default, (white maleness, if we wanna be specific,) but in 2018 we ain't doing that. So shut up about it until Black History Month is over. After that you can ay whatever you want, most folks will ignore you anyway.

  • Don't complain about Black people rooting for Black people. When Issa Raye said "I'm rooting for everybody Black," she verbalized a sentiment that many people of color feel. If you really don't understand why an underrepresented demographic might feel that way, it's not my job to whitesplain it to you. Especially not this month. In fact, feel free to go donate to black excellence right now. There's lil Black kids out here building robots. We need to be rooting for all of them.

 

  • Don't complain when we remind you that you are immigrants. Just in case you forgot, the original citizens of this country are called "Native Americans" for a reason.

 

  • Don't complain about any athletes who choose to take a knee during the national anthem. From the moment Colin Kaepernick said "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," there have been scores of white folks who are more angry about the protest of the American anthem than they are about the treatment of Americans of color. You might be surprised to know that when the anthem was created on September 13, 1814, it was written by a slaveowner who believed black folks to be an inferior race. In fact, in the lesser known third stanza of the song, the writer shows exactly how he felt about slaves: "No refuge could save the hireling and slave, From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave." That doesn't sound very inclusive to me. So technically, black athletes who protest the anthem aren't doing anything wrong. The song wasn't written for them anyway. 

    • Don't complain about black people calling out appropriation. Let's say that everyday when you went to your job, you ran the risk of a coworker taking credit for the things you do. And whenever those coworkers take credit from you, they got recognition, money, and respect. You'd be pretty pissed, right? Well now you kinda understand why people of color call out appropriation.

     

    • Don't complain about us getting racists fired and/or expelled for being racist. If you ain't with us, you're against us. Either join in or sit down and shut up, White homies. Minding your business is free.

     

    • Don't complain about reverse racism. Y'all have no idea how silly you sound when you do this. Most of the time when White folks play the reverse racism card they're doing it because of the fact that they are so accustomed to having privilege that racial equality feels like oppression to them. Racist and prejudiced are not synonyms. Both are wrong, but only one of them has a history of being upheld by law. There was never a such thing as Reverse Jim Crow. Yeah. I said it.

    • Don't respond to outcry about Black issues by complaining about Black-on-Black crime. 83% of White murder victims are killed by other White folks. 54% of all mass shootings in America were done by White folks. 100% of White folks complaining about Black-on-Black crime need to be complaining about White-on-White crime.

     

    • Don't complain when we die laughing after a White person someone says "I don't have White privilege."  Haaaaahahhahahah hahahaha hahahahaha haha aha hahahahahhaha hahah ah aha hah ha ha ha haaaaaaaaa!

    • Don't complain when we call out a brand for being culturally insensitive. Just because you aren't offended by something doesn't mean it's not wrong. During Black history month, try to seek understanding about our issues instead of rejecting the validity of it... or maybe just trust that your Black homies' feelings are valid.

    With racial tension at an all time high, it's important that we are able to talk about our differences with humor and candor. I realize I'm really lucky to have friends of different ethnicities who love me and genuinely care about Black issues. Black people are more than just the creators of Hip Hop and popular fashion trends. We are human beings, as essential to the human experience as oxygen and water. Instead of striving for a society where we don't see color, let's create a world where we accept all complexions of people and strive to correct the disparities that stand between them and equality. Or you can just be a hater. The choice is yours, White homies. Happy Black History Month!

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    If you enjoyed this post, check out my previous Black History Month articles.

     

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