Ashley, our new co-worker Velda and I were at a popular downtown nightclub Friday when we encountered something we’ve come up against many times before – a Caucasian girl doing her best impression of a black girl. Or at least, what they think all black girls act like.
As we were leaving she stopped and said, “Oh no, the sistahs are leaving.”
I braced myself for another ridiculous situation. And I say another, because this is something we all encounter all the time.
“The sistahs can’t leave. We gotta show these white boys how it’s done. Shoot, some of these white girls too. But I swear my momma must have been black.”
As she’s saying this she starts doing some type of dance, popping her butt.
When we get down to the valet she stops and adds “OK, well let me slap a sistahs (butt) before I go.”
As always, I excused her. Told myself she meant no harm.
But I’m tired of that. They always get excused. Always.
That took me back to high school when my friends in marching band would ask me to teach them how to step or do the dances they’ve seen on videos. And to all the conversations about why “we” – as in black people – had to put grease in our hair, etc. etc.
Shoot, that even took me back to a few situations earlier in the week where I had to excuse some folks.
So, here’s the deal.
Talk to me like you’ve got sense and I’ll talk to you the same.
Talk to me like we’re all alike, because we are. We’re all humans and contrary to popular belief, the color of my skin doesn’t automatically dictate my interests, my level of education or how I talk.
As Ashley said, BET, MTV and all the other sources of "entertainment" that have commercialized our culture and created these stereotypes have ruined it for us.
Now, to others outside of our culture, it’s cool to talk slang and shake your butt to the beat. It’s all just a fad to them while it’s a way of life for others.
But I guarantee you we’re not all like that. We do more than figure out ways to butcher the English language, come up with new dance moves and aspire to more than owning an Escalade we can put on "dubs."
Never met someone like that?
Hello, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Janelle…