Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Five: 5 phrases respectable negroes need to retire

New feature time. In "Friday Five," we will post a themed list of five things relevant to respectable negroes.

This week's theme is 5 phrases respectable negroes need to retire immediately.

1.) “Dr. King didn’t die so we could…”
Enough with this shit, people.

2.) “Oh, but when white people do it, it’s OK?”
The stock response from those who break their necks defending black criminality and irresponsibility…by noting that white people are also criminal and irresponsible. What a compelling defense!

3.) This is a “(modern day) lynching.”
James Byrd was lynched. Tookie Williams did not suffer a "legal lynching." "Uncle" Clarence Thomas was not subjected to a "high-tech lynching." Moreko Griggs, the black valedictorian who had to share the honor with a couple of white kids due to his school’s sketchy rule-changes, was not the victim of an "academic lynching." Referring to some minor offense as a lynching is insulting and highly disrespectful to actual lynching victims. Speaking of being lynched…

4.) “It’s just like Willie Lynch said...”
I don’t want to go into great detail about this because we plan to write pieces on black myths and conspiracy theories in the future. But I’m sick of hearing black folks bring up this fabricated, though masterful piece of victimology.

5.)“We use ‘nigger’ as a term of endearment among ourselves to remove the power from the word.
Nonsense. First of all, it's not only used as a term of endearment; many black folks use the word in a derogatory fashion, often to distinguish themselves (supposedly respectable) from classless, ignorant, degenerate black people. Second, you’d have to be an imbecile to argue that we have become any less sensitive to white people calling us “niggers.” While we're at it, please stop with this nigga/nigger foolishness--it's the same damn word! In most black and white Southern dialects, words that end in "er" are pronounced with an "a" ending. Can you name any other "er" word with a corresponding (though somehow completely different) "a" word? Gangster/gangsta? Nope. Give it up.


Anonymous said...

I have another one:

The reason why there is ____ in the ghetto is b/c the black middle class left.

gordon gartrelle said...

Ah, that's a good one!

Anonymous said...

How about my ultimate favorite -"It's a Black thang, you wouldn't understand"?

Another one is, "I'm Black, we don't_________ or we____________."

Although I am only 35, I increasingly feel old and alienated from popular African-American culture - or at least what BET would lead me to believe my culture is (what's up with "Hell Date"?).

Are my only choices the zip-coonery of the Wayanesque shine or the over-the-top-fist-in-the-air Uber-Africanity of the funky underarm quasi-revolutionary crowd?

Anonymous said...

A little about myself by way of introduction. I am an attorney with a west-coast urban public entity. The organization I work for is set-up on the civil service model and is highly unionized. African-Americans are heavily represented at all levels, but more so at the administrative assistant, support, and service levels. The higher levels are almost equally representive of the areas African-American, white, East-Indian, Latino, and Asian population.

Here's what irks me about my fellow brothers and sisters at the lower strata: (1) sending out emails on the organization wide email list that invite other African-Americans to exclusively African-American functions (picnics, baby showers, happy hours, etc.); (2) sending out emails with pictures of Jesus and chain-mail prayers for you to follow; (3) sending out invitations to the Black History month buffet with the text written in Ebonics ("Hey Yall, We's gonna have yo mammas black-eyed peas, Aunty Flo's fried chicken wings..."); and (4) using in-house email to advocate Obama (I'm voting for him) for President.

To coopt an earlier post, if whites did the same kind of thing, our cousins would be up in arms claiming racism and inappropriate use of organizational bandwidth (well maybe not the bandwidth).

I also can't stand the pictues of Jesus, lengthy printed prayers, the RIP pictues of dead young men, open Bibles placed conspictuously in cubicles, the gaudy faux-African pastiche-wear which always shows up in February and on MLK's birthday, and eye-rolling when you politely request that your admin assistant perform at least a few of the tasks she's supposed to perform for you.

Also, why is it that my white and other non-African-American colleagues get more cooperation and respect that my African-American colleagues do? Please stop referring to me as "my brother" in both public and private.