When You're Black, Nobody's Ever Gonna Catch You Doing These 21 Things

When You're Black, Nobody's Ever Gonna Catch You Doing These 21 Things

Cultural differences are real.

We have all heard phrases like, "Black people don't do that," or "that's white people shit," and they are usually said in good humor or as a way to tease someone. But ironically, there really are cultural differences between us that affect our day-to-day lives. There is a laundry list of thing Black people really don't do.

1. Eat meat without rinsing it first.

A few weeks ago, the Canadian talk show, The Social, got into a hilarious conversation about how people prepare meat. The take away found that the Black people wash their meat, while white people generally don't. Of course, this conversation spilled over onto social media. Turns out the USDA actually recommends that we don't wash our meat, as it increases the likelihood of splashing germs elsewhere.

But don't expect me or any other Black person to stop washing off the blood and meat nasties. We'll just Lysol everything when we're done.

2. Atheism.

As a whole, Black people tend to be very religious. This isn't to say that there aren't any Black atheists, but many tend to keep it to themselves as not believing in God is extremely taboo.

And there's always a Black auntie ready to splash someone with a little bit of holy water.

3. Go to therapy.

Maybe it's generational. I think a lot of Black millennialS wouldn't mind seeking out professional help, but for the older generation, mental health issues and problems within the family are expected to stay in the family. And if there is someone you feel that you need to talk to about your issues, it better be the pastor.

4. Sit quietly at the movie theater.

I don't know what it is, but black people in particular always have to offer up their commentary.

5. Camp or visit national parks.

We usually don't do bugs, animals, outside toilets, dirt or the dark...so....

6. Support feminism.

Which is only half true when you squint your eyes and tilt your head a bit. Black people don't support the radicalization of white women. But many Black people, Black women, in particular, do support feminism that is intersectional and that is the belief that men and women should be politically, socially and economically equal.

7. Black parents don't host parties for their teenagers...especially not with alcohol.

Black parents favorite line..."I ain't one of your lil friends!"

8. Eat pumpkin pie.

The only pie we acknowledge during the holidays is sweet potato pie.

9. Swim.

This is a big one for Black women in particular. And to clarify, it's not that we can't swim.

For those of us who wear our natural hair, we weigh the cost of an hour in the water versus a few hours washing, sectioning, deep conditioning, rinsing, conditioning again, and then twisting or blow drying our hair, and sometimes it's not worth it. Our hair wash days are planned for the fact that it takes forrrrrrreverrrrr. And for those of us who like to wear weaves or have our hair "done up," why on earth would we want to spend $100+ dollars on a hairstyle just to ruin it by getting it wet?

10. Suffer from anorexia or bulimia.

Again not to say that there aren't any Black people who suffer from one of these eating disorders, but it rare. I think the biggest reason for this is the particular standard of beauty in the Black community, which differs tremendously from the European standard of beauty. We generally don't feel beautiful when we are "skinny," and we tend to prefer larger breasts, butts and thighs. I'd even go as far as to say that Black people just like to eat way more than any other race of people, which is why we sometimes dance when we do it.

Now, notice that I didn't label this point "suffer from eating disorders." I do think Black people struggle with body image issues, weight and eating, but in a very different way. An eating disorder can be excessive eating and many Black people tend to overeat. And in my professional medical opinion (my medical degree was bestowed upon me by Shonda Rhimes after watching 14 seasons of "Grey's Anatomy") many Black people overeat in reaction to stress.

11. Put things in the dishwasher without pre-washing them.

First of all, I know very few Black people who even use their dishwasher to wash dishes. It's simply a big ass drying rack. As we all know, the only way to ensure if your dishes are coming out clean is to hand wash them. That being said, the few times Black people use their dishwasher for what it is are during the holidays or dinner parties and even then, they get pre-washed to make sure they come out spotless.

12. Walk throughout the house with shoes on.

Black people don't track dirt through their homes, especially when they have carpet. The shoes are taken off at the door. And shoes are never worn in the bathroom.

13. Get plastic surgery.

"Black don't crack" could be one reason why you don't see too many Black women with work done to their face, but another could also be economical barriers. I'd also go as far as to say that the idea of plastic surgery is a bit taboo for Black folk who aren't in the public eye. Of course, we've seen people like Lil' Kim whose face has changed every decade, but then there are also famous Black people who have spared the face, but not some of their other body parts such as Tyra Banks, Kelly Rowland and Cardi B.

As the average person, I have to admit, If someone dropped $20,000 in my hands, I can think of at least two things I'd get done. I'm just saying.

14. Go to the doctor.

Partly because many Black people are without health insurance and partly because we don't trust healthcare professionals. It's no secret that many people in the medical field think less of POC, especially Black people. So, we just don't go and try very hard not to die.

15. Commit suicide.

Maybe it's due to religion or maybe it's due to the fact that suicide is too taboo in the Black community, but Black people tend to not take our own lives. (There's really no need when cops do it for us. *cough cough*) In fact, black women in America are the group least likely to commit suicide.

And no, we don't believe Sandra Bland or Timothy Cunningham took their own lives.

16. Wash our hair every day.

The first reason is that it simply isn't healthy for our hair. Our hair dries out very quickly and constantly stripping it of its oils will cause it to become brittle and break. The second reason it that is just straight up takes too much damn time.

17. Vote Republican.

Not that either of the major political parties truly has uplifting Black people as part of their main agenda...

18. Join the NRA.

We feel like the NRA is, well...racist.

19. Put our children on leashes.

No ma'am, no ham, no turkey. It's just weird.

20. Allow our animals to eat at the table with them.

It's gross.

21. Adopt.

At least not in a state sanctioned way. You might not see a ton of black couples walking through orphanages in South America or Russia, but you will definitely see households made up of people who aren't always connected by blood. We informally adopt, nieces and nephews, cousins, grandchildren and friends of the family all the time...we just don't let the government know about it.

Feel free to add more things to this list in the comment section below.

Cover Image Credit: Julian Howard

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20 Things That Happen When A Jersey Person Leaves Jersey

Hoagies, pizza, and bagels will never be the same.

Ah, the "armpit of America." Whether you traveled far for college, moved away, or even just went on vacation--you know these things to be true about leaving New Jersey. It turns out to be quite a unique state, and leaving will definitely take some lifestyle adjustment.

1. You discover an accent you swore you never had.

Suddenly, people start calling you out on your pronunciation of "cawfee," "wooter," "begel," and a lot more words you totally thought you were saying normal.

2. Pork Roll will never exist again.

Say goodbye to the beautiful luxury that is pork roll, egg, and cheese on a bagel. In fact, say goodbye to high-quality breakfast sandwiches completely.

3. Dealing with people who use Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, or Dominos as their go-to pizza.

It's weird learning that a lot of the country considers chain pizza to be good pizza. You're forever wishing you could expose them to a real, local, family-style, Italian-owned pizza shop. It's also a super hard adjustment to not have a pizza place on every single block anymore.

4. You probably encounter people that are genuinely friendly.

Sure Jersey contains its fair share of friendly people, but as a whole, it's a huge difference from somewhere like the South. People will honestly, genuinely smile and converse with strangers, and it takes some time to not find it sketchy.

5. People drive way slower and calmer.

You start to become embarrassed by the road rage that has been implanted in your soul. You'll get cut off, flipped off, and honked at way less. In fact, no one even honks, almost ever.

6. You realize that not everyone lives an hour from the shore.

Being able to wake up and text your friends for a quick beach trip on your day off is a thing of the past. No one should have to live this way.

7. You almost speak a different language.

The lingo and slang used in the Jersey area is... unique. It's totally normal until you leave, but then you find yourself receiving funny looks for your jargon and way fewer people relating to your humor. People don't say "jawn" in place of every noun.

8. Hoagies are never the same.

Or as others would say, "subs." There is nothing even close in comparison.

9. Needing Wawa more than life, and there's no one to relate.

When you complain to your friends about missing Wawa, they have no reaction. Their only response is to ask what it is, but there's no rightful explanation that can capture why it is so much better than just some convenient store.

10. You have to learn to pump gas. Eventually.

After a long period of avoidance and reluctance, I can now pump gas. The days of pulling up, rolling down your window, handing over your card and yelling "Fill it up regular please!" are over. When it's raining or cold, you miss this the most.

11. Your average pace of walking is suddenly very above-average.

Your friends will complain that you're walking too fast - when in reality - that was probably your slow-paced walk. Getting stuck behind painfully slow people is your utmost inconvenience.

12. You're asked about "Jersey Shore" way too often.

No, I don't know Snooki. No, our whole state and shore is not actually like that. We have 130 miles of some of the best beach towns in the country.

13. You can't casually mention NYC without people idealizing some magical, beautiful city.

Someone who has never been there has way too perfect an image of it. The place is quite average and dirty. Don't get me wrong, I love a good NYC day trip as much as the next person, but that's all it is to you... a day trip.

14. The lack of swearing is almost uncomfortable.

Jerseyans are known for their foul mouths, and going somewhere that isn't as aggressive as us is quite a culture adjustment.

15. No more jughandles.

No longer do you have to get in the far right lane to make a left turn.

16. You realize that other states are not nearly as extreme about their North/South division.

We literally consider them two different states. There are constant arguments and debates about it. The only thing that North and South Jersey can agree on is that a "Central Jersey" does not exist.

17. Most places also are not in a war over meat.

"Pork roll" or "taylor ham"... The most famous debate amongst North and South Jersey. It's quite a stupid argument, however, considering it is definitely pork roll.

18. You realize you were spoiled with fresh produce.

After all, it's called the "Garden State" for a reason. Your mouth may water just by thinking about some fresh Jersey corn.

19. You'll regret taking advantage of your proximity to everything.

Super short ride to the beach and a super short ride to Philly or NYC. Why was I ever bored?

20. Lastly, you realize how much pride you actually have in the "armpit of America," even if you claimed to dislike it before.

After all, there aren't many places with quite as much pride. You find yourself defending your state at all necessary moments, even if you never thought that would be the case.

Cover Image Credit: Travel Channel

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Everyone Should Care About Latinx Issues, Regardless Of Their Own Identities

It's important no matter who you are or where you come from.


Disclaimer: As someone who is white, I am speaking on a culture that is not my own and which I am not an authority on. Please remember this and do your own research. Reach out to those who do identify as Latinx but as always, respect that it is not the job of any minority population to field all questions and educate.

People often say that no matter how old you get or how much you think you know, you never stop learning. I've always found this to be true but recently I was reminded of just how true it really is. On March 27, Bowling Green State University held their 24th annual Latino/A/X issues conference. I had heard about the conference in passing much earlier in the month and it piqued my interest but admittedly slipped my mind pretty quickly after hearing about it. It wasn't until a friend of mine had informed me that she and another one of our friends were receiving awards at the conference that I finally put it on my calendar.

As I looked through the program at all of the different events scheduled for the day, the first to catch my eye was a theatrical performance called Spanish Ohio: Reflections on loss, gain acceptance and belonging moderated by a Bowling Green professor and friend, Emily Aguliar. I can confidently say that I have not, in a long time felt so confused and lost in a theatrical setting in a long time. The performance was presented in about 90% Spanish and 10% English and having little more than a basic understanding of Spanish from my high school days, I was able to understand a few key words or phrases here and there but more I just found myself intrigued by what I didn't understand...which was a lot. At the end of the performance, there was a sort of Q&A; where we as the audience could ask questions to the performers. During which time an audience member made a comment that really opened my mind.

She had said that it was important for people outside of the Latinx community to be lost in that moment. That the not understanding was what so many people whose first language isn't English feel all the time.

This statement really hit me hard and stuck with me. Even though I was at a performance at my college where I knew that I was safe, secure and taken care of, not knowing what was going on around me was overwhelming and a little unsettling. Not because I fear the existence of languages other than English, but because I felt as if I was expected to understand and take away things that I simply couldn't. And the fact that people move about in the world feeling like this every day in a society where they are not looked after or cared for was a painful but oh so necessary realization.

People are being forced to exist in a place that doesn't make it easy for them to do so. All too often the one piece of 'advice' given to those who speak any language other than English is simply to 'Just speak English' as if it is more important for the majority to feel comfortable and unthreatened by the existence of a language outside of our own than it is to respect the culture, language, and diversity of the Latinx community.

This conference really opened my eyes to the struggles of the Latinx community but at the same time, it highlighted and celebrated the achievements as well. I was lucky enough to be able to see two women who are very important to me receive awards for the work that they've done in and around the community. Both of these women are beyond deserving of the accolades they received. They are passionate, strong, opinionated women with knowledge and heart and I was thankful to be there to witness both of them receiving the recognition that they so deserve. It is SO important to recognize the contributions of people who have been pushed to the sort of outskirts of the conversation so to speak and I can say that it was very moving for me to see my friends as well as the others at the conference reveling in their identities and their cultures.

This is how it should be at all times, not just at a conference.

People should feel comfortable in their identities and people who are in positions of privilege should be using their voices to amplify the marginalized. I am so very thankful to have been able to attend this event and learn and grow in my understanding of culture, identity, and people. So, thank you to BGSU and LSU for putting in the work to make this possible for everyone, and to Emily and Camila-I'm proud of you both! Amplify the marginalized and underrepresented and never stop learning everything you can.

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