New Discrimination


I call it "new" discrimination, but it's really not new. Picture two kids: One is into Mos Def, watches 106 and Park everyday, dreams of starting a record label, and rocks Air Force 1's with a white tee. The other is into System of A Down, watches The Office obsessively, plans on starting a news website, and is mostly known for flip-flops and jeans.
Both of these kids are black.
The latter daily falls victim to what I dubbed "the new discrimination". I have both witnessed and practiced it myself. This new discrimination is the act of having a negative perception of one's own race because of not fitting certain stereotypes. Loosely, it means hating on somebody for not being "black enough", be it in speech, clothing, or habits.
I was greatly offended once when a white coworker told me I wasn't really black. Why did he say that? Is it my love for soccer, varied taste in music, or speech? How about the fact that I vote, have a job, don't get welfare, or read? Do those things make me less black? I almost punched him dead in his mouth when he said that.
But what happens when black people do the same thing to each other? Have you ever looked down on someone for doing things you consider faux pas- like using "faux pas" instead of "questionable" or "suspect"?
For example, I almost cut off a friend of mine when I found out she owned Jerry Senfield's stand up DVD, but had never even seen a Chris Rock special. (Read it again, and yes, she's black)
In my head, I was like "what the $#@*?", but had to take a step back. How many times have I been ridiculed for similar reasons, be it accent, Star Wars obsession, or whatever. It's like I'm too black for most, but not black enough to others. It's ironic- the very stereotypes we hate to be forced upon us, we apply to each other.
I've taken a step back to re-examine my reactions. From now on, if a black person wants to listen to country music, vote Republican, or watch Laguna Beach, they can do it without fear of judgment from me.
I would advise the same for all my brothers and sisters. Before you look down on someone for doing things you consider "white", think twice. Ask yourself- "If a white person said this to me, would I punch them in the mouth?" Besides, we all could stand to expand our horizons a little, and System of a Down be jamming. Love.

3 comments:

  1. A friend sent me your link... yay!
    Why should the color, size or shape of a person determine their tastes?

    I'm reminded of feeling stunned when recommending a book to a co-worker and her reply was "Black people don't read science fiction..."

    "Um, SOME Black people WRITE science fiction... " and pulled a few names out of my memory, from authors on my own bookshelf at home.

    Read what YOU want to read, LOVE what you want to love, dance to the music that moves you...

    :D Even if it's Star WArs... :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm white and Native American (Indian) I find this disturbing. It's not ridiculous enough that people of different color are racist or prejudice against each other but now we're going to have
    racism against people that enjoy different different culture.
    One is the white suburban kids that are into gangsta rap, self proclaimed "Wiggers" who speak Ebonics and try their very best to appear black. They get put down a lot from different whites. I don't put them down, I'm a firm believer in each to his own. Be what You want to be, but on the other side of the coin I wonder why they can't enjoy the music and culture without trying to be something they never can, a different color than they were born. Also, I wonder if this offends the serious Gangsta Rap community, here's these kids coming down out of the Suburbs with daddy's credit card "playing" gangsta.
    I believe political Correctness has created much more barriers and riffs than any bridges it might have built. My best friend and drummer in my band is Black and he feels the same way. He went as far and I do quote to say "Until we all get over the horrible past
    and take advantage of opportunities before us the black race will remain stagnant and angry. My Bro's words, not mine.

    I really like this.
    "I would advise the same for all my brothers and sisters. Before you look down on someone for doing things you consider "white", think twice. Ask yourself- "If a white person said this to me, would I punch them in the mouth?" Besides, we all could stand to expand our horizons a little, and System of a Down be jamming. Love."

    Still, I look forward to the day that when you say your Brothers and Sisters and it's assumed you're speaking of all colors and culture. Sometimes it seems it's coming, other times ignorance on all sides and Government interference will never let this happen.
    If the people put all differences aside and become one family it will be the controlling, manipulating United States Government's worse day, as they
    -Power to the People!
    Thank You.
    Christopher Scum
    http://www.myspace.com/dirtyworks

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm white and Native American (Indian) I find this disturbing. It's not ridiculous enough that people of different color are racist or prejudice against each other but now we're going to have
    racism against people that enjoy different different culture.
    One is the white suburban kids that are into gangsta rap, self proclaimed "Wiggers" who speak Ebonics and try their very best to appear black. They get put down a lot from different whites. I don't put them down, I'm a firm believer in each to his own. Be what You want to be, but on the other side of the coin I wonder why they can't enjoy the music and culture without trying to be something they never can, a different color than they were born. Also, I wonder if this offends the serious Gangsta Rap community, here's these kids coming down out of the Suburbs with daddy's credit card "playing" gangsta.
    I believe political Correctness has created much more barriers and riffs than any bridges it might have built. My best friend and drummer in my band is Black and he feels the same way. He went as far and I do quote to say "Until we all get over the horrible past
    and take advantage of opportunities before us the black race will remain stagnant and angry. My Bro's words, not mine.

    I really like this.
    "I would advise the same for all my brothers and sisters. Before you look down on someone for doing things you consider "white", think twice. Ask yourself- "If a white person said this to me, would I punch them in the mouth?" Besides, we all could stand to expand our horizons a little, and System of a Down be jamming. Love."

    Still, I look forward to the day that when you say your Brothers and Sisters and it's assumed you're speaking of all colors and culture. Sometimes it seems it's coming, other times ignorance on all sides and Government interference will never let this happen.
    If the people put all differences aside and become one family it will be the controlling, manipulating United States Government's worse day, as they
    -Power to the People!
    Thank You.
    Christopher Scum
    http://www.myspace.com/dirtyworks

    ReplyDelete