Never Ask Your 'Black' Friend These 8 Questions

Never Ask Your 'Black' Friend These 8 Questions

Don't do it, Karen, just don't. I know you weren't raised to be culturally sensitive but please just don't.

msmry
msmry
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Going to a PWI and finding yourself as the only black person in your friend group sometimes can offer you the title of "Honorary Know-It-All" regarding your race and culture. Now before you start yelling at your technological device, don't.

Giphy

I am not saying it is not OK to ask questions especially if you want to be more informed about who to interact with those of minority races. It is good to try and be more informed about a different culture but sometimes the way people try to achieve this can be insensitive.

"OMG Your hair looks so soft! May I touch it?"

Giphy

No! Just No! I don't care if it would make your year you can not touch my hair. And for Pete's sake do not do that thing were you ask but YOU ARE ALREADY TOUCHING MY HAIR. Seriously, what was the point of asking? Foreal those don't ask and don't touch unless maybe it's like your best friend. Most people of color work very hard to get there hair perfect and also we don't know where your hands have been. No touchy!

"Is that all your hair?"

Giphy

Just don't. Like, seriously just don't. And also don't assume you know the answer because there are a lot of black women now that have a lot of hair. Not to mention because our society pressures us to fit this ideal image that usually results in the damaging of our hair we often use fake hair to protect our own from the everlasting effects of colonization — sorry, I meant "relaxers." (Not really.)

"Where are you 'really' from?"

Giphy

OK, this goes for all minorities. Do not do the whole "well where are you "really" from?" because you not "really" from here either Karen. Especially for black people this is a question that is directly related back to colonization because half of us have no clue were our ancestors came from and the chances of us ever knowing is basically none because of the everlasting effect of you know whipping out an entire civilization for reasons I still say is bullshit.

Why is it OK for black people to say the "N" word?

Giphy

OK, let's get one thing straight even we can not come to condenses on this topic. However, it is NOT OK for anyone who is not black to say the "n" word. Why is this you ask? Let me give you a history lesson.

The "N" word is a racial slur often directed towards those of African descent. This term is deeply rooted in a very racially charged era of American history and sadly is still used today to have the same offensive derogatory effects typically when coming from those, not of African descent. Now there have been some efforts to rebrand and claim words that were used to degrade areas in society and the word "nigga" is one of those. Again, even we can't get on the same page with this but I would say us using the term is a way of reclaiming the past that was intended to break us down.

"Do you have a mom AND a dad?"

Giphy

"You sure that's your name?"

Giphy

Yes, I am sure! This is the bane of my existence. My name is MARY ELIZABETH MINNS. And yes, it is spelled just like the queen of England. No, it is not Marri, not Marre, not Merri, not Merre or any other convoluted way you can find to spell my name. No, not all black people have some unique name with some unique spelling.

"You DON'T like chicken and watermelon?"

Giphy

Yes, I am black and I am proud. But no I do not necessarily live on fried chicken and watermelon so if you invite me over don't ask if that's what I want. I would rather have pasta. Do not make assumptions off of any type of stereotype but especially this one.

"Can you swim?"/ "Really, you can swim?"

Giphy

Yes, I can swim and so can other black people. No, not all of us are good at track and basketball and yes, some of us can swim and enjoy it too. I mean for Pete's sake, our ancestors were brought over in boats and there is still a bunch of us in the Bahamas.

This is, of course, supposed to be a light-hearted way of addressing a serious issue. But, next time you are talking to your minority friends, just be aware and culturally sensitive. Think before you speak. I mean really think before you speak.

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I Am A Female And I Am So Over Feminists

I believe that I am a strong woman, but I also believe in a strong man.
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Beliefs are beliefs, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm all about girl power, but in today's world, it's getting shoved down our throats. Relax feminists, we're OK.

My inspiration actually came from a man (God forbid, a man has ideas these days). One afternoon my boyfriend was telling me about a discussion his class had regarding female sports and how TV stations air fewer female competitions than that of males. In a room where he and his other male classmate were completely outnumbered, he didn't have much say in the discussion.

Apparently, it was getting pretty heated in the room, and the women in the class were going on and on about how society is unfair to women in this aspect and that respect for the female population is shrinking relative to the male population.

If we're being frank here, it's a load of bull.

SEE ALSO: To The Women Who Hate Feminism

First of all, this is the 21st century. Women have never been more respected. Women have more rights in the United States than ever before. As far as sports go, TV stations are going to air the sports that get the most ratings. On a realistic level, how many women are turning on Sports Center in the middle of the day? Not enough for TV stations to make money. It's a business, not a boycott against female athletics.

Whatever happened to chivalry? Why is it so “old fashioned" to allow a man to do the dirty work or pay for meals? Feminists claim that this is a sign of disrespect, yet when a man offers to pick up the check or help fix a flat tire (aka being a gentleman), they become offended. It seems like a bit of a double standard to me. There is a distinct divide between both the mental and physical makeup of a male and female body. There is a reason for this. We are not equals. The male is made of more muscle mass, and the woman has a more efficient brain (I mean, I think that's pretty freaking awesome).

The male body is meant to endure more physical while the female is more delicate. So, quite frankly, at a certain point in life, there need to be restrictions on integrating the two. For example, during that same class discussion that I mentioned before, one of the young ladies in the room complained about how the NFL doesn't have female athletes. I mean, really? Can you imagine being tackled by a 220-pound linebacker? Of course not. Our bodies are different. It's not “inequality," it's just science.

And while I can understand the concern in regard to money and women making statistically less than men do, let's consider some historical facts. If we think about it, women branching out into the workforce is still relatively new in terms of history. Up until about the '80s or so, many women didn't work as much as they do now (no disrespect to the women that did work to provide for themselves and their families — you go ladies!). We are still climbing the charts in 2016.

Though there is still considered to be a glass ceiling for the working female, it's being shattered by the perseverance and strong mentality of women everywhere. So, let's stop blaming men and society for how we continue to “struggle" and praise the female gender for working hard to make a mark in today's workforce. We're doing a kick-ass job, let's stop the complaining.

I consider myself to be a very strong and independent female. But that doesn't mean that I feel the need to put down the opposite gender for every problem I endure. Not everything is a man's fault. Let's be realistic ladies, just as much as they are boneheads from time to time, we have the tendency to be a real pain in the tush.

It's a lot of give and take. We don't have to pretend we don't need our men every once in a while. It's OK to be vulnerable. Men and women are meant to complement one another—not to be equal or to over-power. The genders are meant to balance each other out. There's nothing wrong with it.

I am all for being a proud woman and having confidence in what I say and do. I believe in myself as a powerful female and human being. However, I don't believe that being a female entitles me to put down men and claim to be the “dominant" gender. There is no “dominant" gender. There's just men and women. Women and men. We coincide with each other, that's that. Time to embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: chrisjohnbeckett / Flickr

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8 Things Black People Do That Make White People Uncomfortable

Whypipo need safe spaces too.

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I recently came across a social media post about how black people living their lives sometimes tend to leave white people feeling uncomfortable. I decided to explore this a bit and set some things straight.

1. Have discussions where topics that highlight our differences come up.

Rawpixel

Dear White people,

No one is attempting to make you feel bad for being white. If you feel guilty about something, that has absolutely everything to do with your own self.

Now,

There are two types of people in this world. The happy-go-lucky who live on clouds where everything is sunshine and rainbows, and those who see the reality of the world because they recognize that our cultures, family histories, and current social standing shape who we are and solidify our personal differences.

We are not all the same. Black people and white people do not walk through life the same way, neither to women and men or even black women and black men.

You are just going to have to accept that in certain conversations, our differences might come up.

2. Mention white privilege.

Austin Distel

White privilege does not mean that white people don't or can't lead hard lives; it means that the fact that you are white did not contribute to it.

White privilege is often described through the lens of Peggy McIntosh's 1988 essay "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack." The contents of the essay, while it offers great examples of white privilege in everyday life, has often been brushed it off as just matters of inconvenience --- being able to go into a department store and find "nude" pantyhose in your skin tone, for example (because the cosmetics industry decided that "nude" was a single pale color.)

One thing white people often do is interpret having their privilege called out as being told they are a racist. And while privilege exists because of racism, the point is that they need to realize that their privilege allows them to influence systematic decisions.

The easiest way to not feel uncomfortable when the topic comes up it to understand the privilege you do have and to use it in a positive way at every opportunity.

3. Not want to be their friend.

Hain Oliveira

It's a fact of life, not everyone is going to want to be your friend, and that will almost definitely include black people. Here are the two reasons, 1. shooting your friend shot is simply hard to do in general and 2. a good amount of black people are indeed cautious of making white friends.

Why are black people cautious about making white friends? Well, for one, the topic of race WILL come up at some point, and chances are that you're gonna say some fuk shit that has us questioning how you "truly" view us, and for seconds, we never EVER want to be the "token black friend."

4. Act as if we are "owed" something.

Rui Silvestre

We are. Common courtesy, same as everyone.

We aren't asking you to change what happened in the past, we are asking you to change how you treat us NOW. Yes, monetary reparations would be nice, seeing as how other groups have received them, but most Africans Americans have accepted that this simply won't happen.

What is being asked for is an end to racial stereotypes and biases, fairness in the justice system, adequate representation in government and the breaking down of institutionalized racism.

5. Post about "wypipo" on social media.

Which of course prompt the "not all!" exclamations.

But here the rule of thumb, if it applies to you, take it in and learn something. If it doesn't apply to you, then there's no reason to be upset.

Unless you generally think POC and black people, in particular, are making up all of their day-to-day hassles that result or are made worse by the color of their skin, then it's probably safe to say that you are either completely oblivious or completely delusional or maybe a winning combination of both.

6. Have our own social "groups."

Julian Howard

I know the feeling of being excluded, and so do all black people. Our response, however, wasn't to pout (for long,) but to make spaces for ourselves in a world that would not allow us into theirs.

We have our "black is beautiful" FB groups, award shows like the NAACP awards, black cohorts, and networks, as well as universities and clubs because for so long, we weren't allowed to the mainstream versions. Even now, black people continue to be shut out or walk into certain spaces, just to realize they are the only black person there.

You don't have a right to a hurt feeling, not this time.

7. Use AAVE, or other ethnic dialects.

First of all, it's none of your business. Second of all, there is nothing wrong with being able to code switch. Our accents and dialect are a direct result of the communities, ETHNIC COMMUNITIES, that we were raised to be a part of. Which goes back to my first point of "differences." There is not a single legitimate reason as to why everyone in an English speaking community (or any community for that matter) should be forced to speak or expected to speak standard English, a dialect itself of traditional English.

What the real issue seems to be is "inclusion," as many white people seem to feel left out when they are unable to speak or understand a particular dialect or variation. Which, again, is a personal problem.

8. Be easily offended.

Eye For Ebony

We aren't, but many none black people are easily offended. In 2019, less and less is becoming acceptable, and your non-ability to change will become more and more of a problem for you.

As a general rule, using the plight of minority groups, black people in particular, as a punchline, will always be offensive and incredibly inappropriate.

I guarantee you that POC, and black people, in particular, are made to feel uncomfortable in our own spaces every single day...and we have an actual reason to be.

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