Robservations | Lightweight Racism
They’re not alternative they’re just black folks – it’s like marketers want Afropunk to be a demo instead of something organic.
Hey maaaaaaaan, Rob Lee here and I have something on my mind – lightweight racism. Check it – Racism happens every day – it’s deplorable. Many people think it’s bad when it’s out and in the open like a visceral, almost cartoon villainy sort of racism. I prefer that version of racism – it’s like the movie “They Live” sans the glasses. I like to judge people on their merits regardless of any other factor. Do I slip outside of that value? Hell yes I do and often. Am I racist? No. But those bias, compounded, paint a picture and, over time, become one’s feelings. I work hard not to allow that to fester – I try to detach myself and work under the idea that I know nothing. As a black male, I find myself in many quasi-racial situations. Here are a few that I observed.
I try to not watch the news – it stinks! It’s bad for you – stress and injustice run rampant in news reporting with a few minutes of fluff and non-stress inducing news. There is some tech discussion and medical news but mostly shit. The one thing that I notice is when there’s the smooth brother – he’s presented as a token. I watch him and he’s a decent reporter but he’s almost a puppet. I black face saying, presenting and operating like a white male. It’s the news equivalent of “Get Out”. It’s strange to me – suddenly the black guy is mad corny. I’m not saying that because he’s black that he’s gotta have flavor. No, not at all. It just doesn’t seem authentic. Further, peep Don Lemon since Trump has been in office – his normally closely, corny black guy cropped hair has been replaced with a big of a light afro. I see that shit. It’s light weight racism because news anchors to many is where we get our news and information – so if we’re looking at some corny but that looks like us we’re confused, annoyed or in some pockets inspires – that’s the way we should act. It’s like searching for the white man’s love and their comfort.
I’ve spoken about office culture at length on Robservations but here’s something that I have really covered. So, I’ve almost always worked with white folks – that’s not uncommon. I’ve heard so many white people microaggressions that one’s head would spin. I am pensive. I observe, inventory and move on. Many people would react. For instance, I work with white women and they aren’t great leaders – they lead by fear and intimidation via e-mail and work edicts. They ignore common courtesy. However, that same energy isn’t there in the streets or even in the super market. They’re afraid of what I as a black man represent. I’ve actually seen a senior level office peer who shops at the same high-priced store – she was sporting white girl cornrolls – she saw me, refused to acknowledge me. We were both buying cheese. I saw her the next day at work and she had her normal office energy. I think it’s a cycle of attempting to break black people. Conform or leave. It’s not inherently racist because it’s not cartoony but it’s racist because culturally the message is you’re not good enough as is – as is happens to be black or a person of color. In addition, how many white guys have I noticed who answer with “yo” or try to be extra cool – cringy cool around black guys? Tons.
This one is recent – that Donald Glover interview. So, Donald mentioned his picture for making Atlanta and the only way the word ‘nigga’ could be used is if a white character could say it. Imagine that. The gull of executive telling someone who’s black and writing a black show that he had to allow an ancillary white character to say ‘nigga’. It’s strange. The executives, likely white, knows what’s best for the black audience. Atlanta’s audience is 50% black. Granted executives know their work and their audience but how do they know when they typically don’t have the experiences of a specific ethnic group. Representation matters and even behind the scenes. You don’t want a monolithically monochromic melaninless group making all the decisions. Just take notice when black people are written they don’t seem black – they don’t feel authentic.
Lastly, Alt black people. They’re my people but why aren’t they just black. Who’s determining their alternativeness? They dress weird, like art and attend Afropunk. They’re not alternative they’re just black folks – it’s like marketers want Afropunk to be a demo instead of something organic. To say they’re alternative suggests that they don’t fit into the black mold. That’s ludicrous! What black mold? Where are the alt-white – the closest thing to that is the alt-right and white people quickly distance themselves from those dicks. I associate myself with alt-black that I reject the typical banality, our lot in life. A lot that was created, programmed without our consent and well before we came along. Alt black are free to be whoever, love whoever and do whatever.
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