"Don't be offended by my frank analysis, think of it as personality dialysis, now that I've chosen to become a pal, a sister and advisor, there's nobody wiser--not when it comes to..."--Wicked
So, I'm starting a new public service called "Ask A Real Black Friend." You might think that a service like this is ridiculous; everybody has Black friends, right?
Apparently not. Lemme give you an example.
There's a nutjob running around these internet streets (and, actual streets of NYC) claiming she has gained enlightenment and sense of purpose from the placement of an over-sized, cartoonish, costume Afro wig atop her luxurious blonde head. Girl, what?
Haute. Azz. Mess.
She made the mistake of wanting to share this experience with the world via blogging. Posting of a ridiculous blog title, ridiculous pictures, and ridiculous tales ensued. Pictures of Black people smiling and laughing (whether they were laughing with or at her is yet to be determined) are peppered throughout. She thinks she is freeing people from their fears and insecurities by encouraging them to find their "Afro" and display it shamelessly.
THEN--after comments on her blog disparaged her and the twitterverse called for her Afro'd head on a platter, do you think she stopped? Oh hale no! She was reenergized with a new purpose--to be the spearhead of a global discussion on REAL Afro stories. Come Black people, lay your nappy heads on her pillow and just relax, relax, relax...*cues up Tony, Toni, Toné* Exhale even! This woman understands--she gets us. She wants to help you through the turmoil of Afroland, because now she, the great White Afro Wonder, has been dragged through the mud due to hers. Oprah, eat your heart out.
There are so many things wrong with this I can't even begin to list them all (I'm trying unsuccessfully to whittle these posts down a bit). I actually took time out of my highly productive day (watching episodes of "Heroes" to finally clear it out of my Netflix cue) to respond to her--but this was before her Oprah moment. After I read THAT FOOLISHNESS--which came in the form of an "I want to heal Black people's pain"(and drive traffic to my blog) statement, coupled with the "I'm still gonna do this dumb s#!t" caveat, all masked by a half-azzed apology to everyone, I was through. Hear me? THRU.
Listen, people who are not Black and/or people not raised around a substantial amount of Black folks (substantial means you can't begin to count them), I get it. Your lack of exposure explains your ignorance in certain matters. That's not your fault. What IS your fault is the lack of effort you put into figuring out whether or not your actions will offend Black people. I'm really sick and tired of people claiming Black folks are getting "too sensitive." I think it's completely the opposite. We were never sensitive ENOUGH, and the world is becoming more INSENSITIVE.
People don't tell Women or Homosexuals this when they speak up for themselves, so why is it that we are now "crybabies"? When people told this costumed fool to stop doing what she was doing, SHE had the nerve to call racism on THEM, saying she should have the right to wear an Afro if she pleases, just because she's white doesn't take that away. Ok. If it were HER hair, not a FUGGIN COSTUME, I'd roll with that (and, she could TOTALLY get a Japanese Afro Perm and be done with it). If she didn't have to act a BUFFOON every time she was photographed with it, I'd let her cook. But baby girl, if you do something that people say offends them, then the rule of being a good human dictates that you STOP DOING IT, no matter how you feel they should feel about it. Period. Which brings me to my service:
Here at "Ask a Real Black Friend," I will gladly provide commentary on things non-Blacks want to say and do for public consumption, in the vein of a friend that loves you enough to tell you when you're being a moron; a friend that is concerned for your overall safety, health and reputation, and without blurring the line between you and your actions (your actions can be completely racist, while you are nowhere near). There is nothing too silly or too small. I am here to help!
What this poor, misguided soul needed was a Real Black friend. Not someone who loves how kooky she is so they just co-sign any and everything she does. Not someone so "above labels" and "free spirited" that they turn a blind eye to the reaction a majority of the public will have. Not someone who knows her superficially and therefore didn't know how she'd take a harsh truth. She needed somebody to say: "Look koo-koo bird, I love you, but don't do that unless you are ready to get your wig snatched, literally and figuratively. Take that crazy azz costume off and let's go get a chai latte. I refuse to be seen in public with you looking like bozo the clown." Or even: "Listen, boo. I get what you're saying and all, but you look completely ridiculous--not in the 'I'm an enlightened hippie' way, but in the 'I escaped from my caretaker today' way. Unless you're ready to wear one of those jackets that buckle in the back, I suggest you leave the costumes for halloween, Kthanks."
We don't even have to know each other for you to enlist my services! You can be a dear friend of mine, a passing acquaintance, a facebook friend or a complete stranger. You can be a dear friend operating under anonymity. I don't care. JUST ASK!! I am totally willing to do this, first 2 racist actions free. (I'm just nice like that.)
So please people, don't do this to yourselves:
Just ask a real Black friend. If you don't have one already, you have one now, in me. I won't let you put yourself out there looking like a damn unaware-of-how-ridiculously-racist-this-looks fool...like this chick. Let's have a cyber chai latte and talk it out.