I am all on board with political correctness, it is greatly needed in some situations and it really does serve a purpose. It put in place barrier for those that deemed it ok to just open their trap at will and let all kinds of nonsense escape. We would never want people to feel as if they could yell slurs whenever the need strikes them. Although recently people have not been abiding by this unspoken rule. But ANYWAYZZ, that is totally another post for another time.
Recently, I’ve noticed a weird sort of nervousness I detect when speaking with some and there is reference made to blackness. It is really odd and frankly a bit silly. Maybe this is just in professional settings, but when I’ve mentioned something in reference to being black, people that are not black really seem to feel uncomfortable. I have noticed that sometimes the people I am speaking with start to get nervous and speak in a whispering tone. The first time that it happened, I looked around as if there was someone lurking about because the weird whispering and nervousness was so strange. Then the second time it happened I started to realize that there was a pattern in the behavior. I realized that every time I mentioned something pertaining to black hair, black food or black culture people got all, weirded out and started the odd whispering thing. I thought, what the heck, am I secretly auditioning for a new show called The Black Whisperer? I think I can speak for all black people on this one point. I will let ALL of you whisperers in on a secret, we ALL do know that we’re black. So, there’s no need to whisper. Seriously, it’s ok. On a related topic, it’s ok to say black, too. Again, we do realize that we are black and will probably continue to be so it’s ok to say black.
I am saying this in a semi-joking manner but all of this really made me think and especially recently due to so much N word blasting about. Is it that folks are legitimately uncomfortable around black folks, do they not care or is it that they believe us to be so insignificant that speaking of our blackness is off-putting. OR could it be that in the need to embrace political correctness it has caused an atmosphere in which people are nervous about acknowledging the obvious blackness that can’t be ignored even if anyone tried.
Speaking about black life and black culture is a part of who we are as black people. Just like other people speak about their culture, it’s the same concept. Other folk talk about their sunburn, hair issues and other things that pertain ONLY to them, yet when something about black culture, food or hair is mentioned, folks tend to look uncomfortable. Well, we have hair too, I don’t have the sunburn thing happening but we have skin issue too.
NOTE to the Whispering folks: There is never a need to feel uncomfortable, whisper, or laugh uncomfortably when THE Blackness comes up in discussion. Remember, we do know that we’re black; it’s not a secret.
So many cultures assume that WE as black people know so much about their culture and that we want to know more. They actually speak about it as if most things are common knowledge ABOUT THEM. However when WE speak about our blackness there’s a noticeable discomfort.
There’s no need ever to feel uncomfortable about general discussion because that’s HOW we move past cultural barriers and open the door to much needed dialogue about race, race relations and moving past racial stereotypes.
Think about this, if you never had a discussion with friends, you would have never really had an opportunity to get to know that friend. So opening the door to conversation is imperative if we want to ever move past racial stereotypes and learn to see people as people. Just remember, You Don’t Have To Whisper, We DO Know That We’re Black
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