Black History Month is an annual celebration of the central role of black people in US history. More than ever before, African American culture is being embraced worldwide. Why? Because everybody loves the cultural and creative contributions of Black people… Especially when it’s being done by non-blacks!
I have been doing annual Black History Month blogs for 10 years. Sometimes it goes viral. One year, it even got read on The View! So to continue my celebration of how dope we are (and making bigots hella mad) here are 10 things my White friends better not do AT ALL, under any circumstances, during the month of February.
Don’t hate on Meghan Markle. We don’t know how challenging it must be to join a royal family. All we know for a fact is two things: One, Meghan didn’t make her husband do anything. He’s a grown a$$ man who can make decisions for himself. And two, which happens to be the most important thing in this entire conversation… it’s none of our business. Proceed accordingly.
Don’t act like your fave appropriating a$$ entertainer is not problematic. Trust me, white friend, I understand your dilemma. On one hand, it is extremely gross when people who don’t belong to a particular ethnic group start commodifying their aesthetic, slang, and culture as a way to help them market their newly recorded inner-city bops. On the other hand… sometimes those bops are good as hell!!! Have you even heard the music that the chick from Karmin has been making since she became a white woman of color??? Her new name is Qveen Herby, and her song “Sade in the 90s” is an undeniable banger. She’s really talented. Homegirl can sing, rap, write, and has a fun personality. But since sis started using black girls as props in her videos and costuming herself in Black and Latinx aesthetics, I can’t take her seriously. And she’s not the only one who does it, either. It’s pretty common these days. I’m not a fan. When you want a peoples’ rhythm without their blues, your whole vibe sounds offbeat. When the time comes where appreciation of our culture blossoms into standing up for the injustices we face, I’ll feel a lot better about this whole culture sharing thing.
Don’t bring up Eminem when we talk about people who appropriate Black culture. Don’t do this unless you are in the mood to make yourself sound dumb. Sure, there was that moment when Em wore durags to be in solidarity with his squad and do hoodrat things with his friends. But wasn’t that more hilarity than appropriation? (What waves were you trying to lay down, Marshall… What? Waves?) Eminem has not exactly been non-problematic throughout his career. But I never felt like he was pretending to be Black. Em literally came into the game with blonde hair and blue eyes. He has repeatedly acknowledged that hip hop music and culture was birthed by Black people. He has repeatedly acknowledged his own white privilege and the role it’s played in his success. And it just so happens that he’s a lyrical beast whose talent can’t be denied. So what you’re not gonna do, white friends, is disrupt legit discussions about the harm caused by appropriation by tossing out an ill-timed “What about Eminem?” Fam. Shut up.
Don’t be petty. For some reason, people were really salty about J Lo and Shakira being sexy badasses during their performances at the Super Bowl. But… did y’all not see topless Adam Levine the year prior? Two huge Latina superstars in immaculate costumes were too provocative… But NOT the nationally broadcasted nipples of topless Adam Levine? Make it make sense. This is not a Black issue, but I’m sure my Latinx homies would agree that you can keep this particular brand of misogyny and antagonism to yourself. During Black History Month and beyond.
Don’t talk to me about PETA. Yeah. I’m a vegan. But I’m mad at PETA. Like… have you noticed how many times they have “borrowed” symbols of black social & political struggle? I mean… they recently dropped an ad featuring animals taking a knee like Kaepernick. Supposedly as a way of paying an homage to Kap. Not even thinking that it might be offensive af to Black people. Soooo you’re just gonna intersect your specific brand of fighting against speciesism with Black people’s fight against racial injustice??? That’s interesting, PETA. Because we definitely saw y’all when Michael Vick got caught abusing innocent animals. But where were y’all when the cops killed an innocent Eric Garner? Or John Crawford? Or Sandra Bland? Or Tamir Rice? Yeah… don’t bring up PETA to me.
— PETA (@peta) January 31, 2020
Don’t pretend White Lives Matter is a thing. Cosmopolitan Magazine recently canceled a cover shoot with Victoria Fuller from The Bachelor because they learned that she had modeled White Lives Matter attire… Yasssssssss! Salute Cosmo! We see you, boo!!! It is extremely stank to insult the Black Lives Matter movement by countering with the same “white pride” sentiments that led to BLM becoming a rallying cry in the first place. That’s so dumb. And insensitive. And stank. The entire point of the movement has completely gone over your head. And that’s fine… just pretend to not be dumb, insensitive, and stank during Black History Month.
When singing along to rap songs, don’t say the n-word. How can you love hip hop without respecting Black people? Don’t be that white person. I refuse to explain what it means to reclaim oppressive language in the year 2020. And I refuse to unpack how privilege enables some folks to believe that even the reappropriated slurs historically used against others should be available to them. If you’re not black but choose to use the n-word, be prepared for the consequences. It doesn’t usually end well, shawty.
Don’t use a “blaccent.” Don’t you dare lie and pretend like you don’t know what a fake black accent sounds like. It is one of the most cringey things you will ever hear in life. It legit sounds like stereotypes mixed with thirst and insecurity. We can tell when you are just speaking like the environment you grew up in versus when you are trying to “talk black.” We can always tell. And we judge you.
Don’t act like America’s history of racism is in the distant past. Let me tell you something… My momma was alive during Jim Crow. The first Black girl to ever attend a desegregated school is only 62 years old right now. In fact, if Martin Luther King had not been assassinated, he would be the same age as Barbara Walters! That is how new integration in America is… Let that sink in, white homey. I’m not saying that things haven’t come a long way since then. I’m saying that racial injustice wasn’t dismantled a lifetime ago. There were literally state and federal laws that upheld racism and white supremacy in this country. It will take more than a single lifetime to fix the consequences of that. Never forget.
Don’t let your peers get away with calling the police on innocent people. We know that in recent years, it’s become pretty common to see videos of racist white folks calling the police on Blacks and other people of color for no reason. If it ever happens while you are around, cuss them out. Shame them. Get involved. Don’t sit quietly by and do nothing. Stand up for the people who are being cruelly harassed. Be the hero that Gotham deserves and flex on them hoes.
If any of the words I wrote here offend you, please allow me to apologize in advance for you being easily offended. I’m sorry that you need to work on that. Happy Black History Month!
In my real life, I’m an artist & mental health activist.
Follow me everywhere at @nikkiLynette
If you want more blogs to be offended by, here ya go!
- 10 Things My White Friends Don’t Get to Do During Black History Month
- 10 Things my White friends better not complain about during Black History Month
- 10 Things That Will Make Me Dump My White Friends During Black History Month
- 10 things my White friends BETTER NOT ruin during Black History Month
- 10 things my White friends aren’t allowed to lie about during Black History Month
- 10 things my White friends can’t do on social media during Black History Month
- 10 things my White friends BETTER NOT discuss during Black History Month
- 10 things my White Friends should do for me during Black History Month
- 10 things my White friends aren’t allowed to do during Black History Month
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