Sunday, June 13, 2010

6 Ridiculous Things Heard Below the Mason-Dixon

First official post of Girl Conception's Summer Blog series! Hope y'all enjoy!

Now I grew up in the South - North Carolina, to be exact. And though it really is a nice place, with its barbecue and cows roaming about, there is a certain preoccupation that a lot of the people have with race. Now I'm not gonna call anybody racist - but let's just say I keep a running tally of how many times I hear the n-word every time I'm down there. Which is somewhat awkward, seeing how I happen to be black.

But there is something so subtly racist about some of the things I’ve had to hear throughout the years, and after awhile, it’s just obnoxious. So I’d like to take the time to specifically address the people who have said some of these inane things and explain to them why exactly being ignorant has been steadily going out of style since the 1980’s.

1. “I’m not racist - my best friend is black!” (after saying a racist comment about a completely different ethnicity).

It’s just a statement I picture plantation owners in the 18th century saying:

“Yeah, I ain’t no racist - I talk to ol’ ma workin’ in the kitchen all the time.”

Maybe I should be glad that we’ve progressed from having black people as slaves to having them as best friends, but that doesn’t give you a free pass to use any racial slur you please. I guarantee that showing an angry group of black people a picture of your Puerto Rican best friend after you’ve made some ignorant remark about them and fried chicken isn’t going to keep them from cursing you out.

2. “When I call someone the n-word, I don’t mean it against black people at all. It’s just another word for someone stupid.”

As if saying that slur in the first place didn’t dig you into a deep enough hole as it is. I don’t care if you’re using the n-word in regards to a black person, a white person, your cousin, your pet gold fish, or yourself after making the above statement. I think the point of re-defining a negative word isn’t to keep the negativity. I don’t even agree with people re-defining the word to mean “my BFF of the African American variety (and occasionally hispanic)”, but I’d rather that than your version. And once again, telling that excuse to an angry group of black people after you’ve referred to your little brother as the “n-word” is not going to keep them from doing things of a violent nature to you. I just wanted to know what happened to good old wholesome insulting terms, like douchebag?

3. “Well, you can’t call me racist, because it’s racist that there’s a BET and not a WET.”

Wait, there’s not a White Entertainment Television network? I could’ve sworn that NBC stood for “No Black Comedies.” Now I’m not one to get into this argument of black entitlement and however many acres and mules I’m supposedly owed, but do white people really want their shows on BET? I’m black, and I don’t think I’d ever even want a show on BET. Besides, they’re all probably produced by white people, anyway, so if you’re genuinely offended, then seriously, chill out. Perhaps you should be offended that BET exists, but for entirely different reasons, such as its airing of music videos by “Soulja Boy.”

4. “You are the whitest black person.”

After hearing this, I always have to step back and gauge how offended I want to be. Should part of me be complimented that you find me articulate and well mannered, but wait - that means that you’re implying that black people are supposed to be ignorant and ridiculous while white people are the epitome of well-behaved and poised. Someone obviously doesn’t know who Kevin Federline is. I wasn’t aware that getting good grades and listening to the occasional rock song undermined my skin pigmentation. I’d go to the tanning bed in hopes of retaining my “blackness”, but then someone would probably call me white for that, too (and okay, maybe in that case, it would be justifiable...) And though it is questionable what is taught in some Southern public schools, I think we all know by now that there is no genetic link between skin color and intelligence. Yes, there are definitely “ghetto” black people, but there are also ghetto white people, Asian people, Latino people - I could go through the whole rainbow if you’d like with examples.

5. “I was out the other day, and this black guy - “

To get cliche - why does he gotta be black?! No, seriously - why? Unless you’re telling me a story about how you witnessed a man’s skin color transform before your eyes (a story I could just see during a Michael Jackson biopic, anyway - too soon?) or the moral of this story is “And it turned out that he was Denzel Washington!”, then what need is there to specify what race he was? The kicker is how if it’s a white individual, it’s never specified, so the excuse of “I just wanted to tell a descriptive story” doesn’t cut it. You didn’t tell me where you were out at, how the weather was, or even what day it was, yet it’s important to the heart of the tale that I know what color this man’s skin is? Right. Can I also get his height, approximate age, and outfit? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

6. “Hey, is that your mother?” (After pointing to a random black woman walking in our general direction)

No. That woman is about three shades darker than me, has a completely different nose, and would have to have given birth to me at the age of ten for me to be her daughter. And while we’re on the subject, the black kid you saw me talking to earlier is not my brother, and if he is, then there’s an important conversation I’m going to have to be having with my parents (which, once again, does not include that woman you were motioning to). I know we’re a minority group, so there aren’t as many of us, but we’re not all related. I would give you a taste of your own medicine, but it would take too long for me to ask you if every white woman who walked by was your mother.

It really is uncanny how I haven't heard anything like this in my three years living in New York City. The South will always have a part of my heart, but maybe it would have more of it if I hadn't had to hear these ridiculous things throughout growing up there.

-Chanelle

Note: This was originally written for a class assignment for a comedy course.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Summer Blog Series!

On twitter, Lady Gaga calls all of her followers/fans her "little monsters." So how about we here at Girl Conception call all of you our "little fetuses?" You know, going on with the whole "conception" theme...

But no, that's not why I'm here. I wanted to let y'all know that even though sadly, Nina and I are separated for the summer (she's at camp; I may or may not be in prison, doing a secret collaboration with Lil Wayne), we still aren't gonna leave all you semi-dedicated fans hanging!

So we're gonna be blogging like mad this summer. Thus the title of this post: Summer Blog Series! You can expect something at least once a week - a funny something. Rants, raves, intricate satirical musings - the basic sort of thing. You know we're silly - now watch us be clever! Nina and I will be alternating posts, and if you look closely, there may be hints as to what our upcoming projects will be, coming in September.

Yes, I know I'm acting like we already have a large fanbase and not like Nina and I are our own biggest fans. But hopefully this will gather us more "little fetuses" (which I do realize could be taken the wrong way out of context...and, well, in context, too). So follow us and please please please PLEASE spread the word.

Thanks!

Chanelle "Ol' Crippy"