Dedicated to Gopher! I support you ma.
Nothing spikes my blood pressure quicker than non-Black people that change their demeanor around Black people. It occurs mostly between womyn; non-Blacks add “u’s” to “girl”, perform the two snaps and around gesture, push their lips out to say “boo boo!”—the list goes on. A little imitation of your culturally different friends has never been a problem, but it’s getting to a point where there is no precedent. Now every sidewalk where Black folks encounter people from different races is a stage. And brown skin marks the humorous people enough to make Blackface unnecessary. You know where I’m going. Minstrel shows seem to not have died out, in fact they are much realer, and they continue to make Black people harder to take seriously.
No I have a sense of humor, but I am not afraid and understand that a line needs to be drawn. I mean come on, in no other race would it be possible for an entire nation to ridicule the family of an almost-rape victim. Poor Antoine Dodson was expressing an honest concern about the neighborhood after helping his sister avoid a rape case. The CBS interview has been manipulated into a song called “Bed Intruder,” which supposedly gives Dodson some sort of “fame.” Need I mention that the remixers of the interviewers were White, finding some humor in Dodson’s sincere warning? WHAT? His sister was almost raped, as in almost stripped naked without consent and almost brutally impaled by an unwanted lover thrilled by her cries. But, the song commercializes and Dodson talks about recording another track. Is this a joke? You damn right, it’s about us, Black people. During the time of actual minstrel shows White sponsors claimed to jump start the careers of Black actors, which unfortunately Smokey Robinson (pure wackness 3:30-3:54) agrees with. Even in Dodson is to become some icon, it is at the cost of extending the entertainment of Blackness in an anti-Black racist country. At the rate we are going Blackness is only good for teary eyes and slow clapping hands. It’s like an ex-slave making a living off of people cracking up over him being whipped.
So when the non-Black girls at school start talking funny when they see you, the background laughter is the same situation. Cute negress with that Black attitude, let me join in with her, it’s so hilarious he he. Show me how to move my neck like a snake. Infuriating. A friend of mine recently snapped after too much experience. She slapped a boy enjoying his white privileges too comfortably. The first privilege, being able to speak out racial ignorance without negative judgment from peers, happened when he said he was blacker than the other students. My friend told me that her sad Black peers encourage the ignorance, because they let him act like a wigger, all the while he demonstrates how silly the “Black” persona can be. His second privilege dealt with his ability as a White kid to get away with slurs. “I have jiggaboo lips” flowed from his lips when my friend asked him how he was Blacker. Of course this is what prompted my friend’s flying hand. What really upset her though is the theme of Black apathy. Her experience in this class is much like the real world, where we are insensitive to the ludicrous systematic representations of us. Hence my bold claim: Tyler Perry would be nothing without the foolish Black characters in his plays, movies and television show. They make the new minstrel qualities, obnoxious commentary, incomprehensible language, and inescapable criminal behavior, elements of Black culture.