BLOG » racism sux – part 2:
i wondered how young black dudes and dudettes felt about being a twenty something nowadays and dealing with racial tension, especially in the indie/American apparel/hipster social scene. black girls who like white dudes, white girls who like black dudes. what are the underlined feelings and issues that arise? when will this heavy feeling go away? and how come someone can refer to me as ‘white’ and it’s no big deal, but if you refer to someone as ‘black’, you take the chance of them being offended? why is that taken in a negative way? the worst part about it, is that it’s a case by case scenario. so, since there are no rules, you never know who you’re going to offend.
my heritage is Russian and German. but i was born in America. but you don’t refer to me as ‘Russian american’. so, why do we have to say ‘african american’? i was told it’s because all black people originate from Africa and that they didn’t leave because they wanted to- that they were taken as slaves and by calling them ‘African american’ it acknowledges this. it’s a matter of respect. but how politically correct do we need to be nowadays? what’s the general consensus? teach me what i should do. none of this is written in a hateful way. all of this is meant in a loving, trying to figure it all out kinda way.
and ‘white’ people have to stop being afraid to use the word ‘black’. do you, or anyone you know, ever do that avoidance dance by saying ANYTHING else they can to describe what someone looks like, without saying the word ‘black’? and when they finally DO (because ‘black’ is the ONLY descriptive word left that can be used in a situation because there happen to be two dudes who are tall, wearing a blue sweater, jeans, and are brunette at the party) they say ’(full voice) he’s the (whisper) ‘black’ (full voice again) guy.’ this has got to stop! I’m sorry, i don’t have any negative connotation with the word black, and i don’t have any negative connotation with the word white. they are just descriptive terms. how i JUDGE people is by their actions, personality, and attitude towards me. this is on a person to person basis.
here’s an e-mail from a black girl who reads my blog. i told her i wanted to write a piece on contemporary racism and reverse racism that exists in indie culture between young people nowadays. it’s epic and says it all:
“Actually I think if you wrote about racism as honestly as you possibly could that would be fantastic, especially since it is still unfortunately prominent today. For me and my sister it kinda blows because my mom has always taught us just to like, be carefree and love who you want and all that and try to treat everyone the way you want to be treated and whatever zen mantra you could think of, mind you my mom had me at a young age and was a total club kid so we were raised a bit differently which I am so thankful for!!!
Alot of young black kids are all about thug life and that’s fine, but not all black people are like that! I feel like I am constantly judged by white people AND black people and it truly pisses me off and here is why: I get judged by older white people, which isn’t right but understandable because they grew up in the fifties or whatever and their moms and dads were racists, so I get it- but it makes me sad. I think I am pretty awesome and for Christ’s sake I’m not going to rob anyone so don’t look all weird at me when you see me. Also, the black people have an issue with me because they say i ‘sound white’ and the clothing i wear and the music i like. they don’t understand- so they think I’m white. i mean, my grandparents and aunts even say ‘oh, she’s kinda different’ and they are my own fucking family!! Are you serious!? My sister is the same way, but she is more of a tomboy, she into like, i dunno death metal (whatever, it’s her world) but we share the same issues as a whole.
I have a lot of white girlfriends and alot of black girlfriends, but they don’t hang out together. it’s like I have to like jay-z with one group and Uffie with the other group, soooo annoying! So I end up hanging out by myself. That can be dangerous in a good or bad way. But, while I’m on the topic, me being black sometimes gets in the way of trying to find a new mate. like I said, the boys on your site are what I’m into- but I like all guys; black, white, Spanish, Italian, whatevs. It’s just hard because if I see a guy I like, my first thought is ‘oh boy, is he even down with the ‘ebony persuasion’ or am I wasting my time?’ The first white guy I dated, I was head over heels for. he was very intriguing and was in a band and just like sooo gorge! Super pale skin tone reddish brownish hair and a lot of tattoos and he was so sweet to me and I was super into him. He introduced me to his friends and at first they were sweet to my face but I could tell they were giving him a look like ‘is she Spanish or is she black or what?’ His brother also felt compelled to listen to rap or r&b around me, which wasn’t bad, but it felt forced- like that’s all we could relate to or that’s all I listened to or something, which was very weird because he knew I liked a lot of other things.
Eventually me and the hot redhead just remained friends, but it sucks that it’s hard for a girl like me to find a guy like me and not have race be an issue. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I’m black. I’m proud of it! but damn! I am sure I’d have to work twice as hard to get the guys you interview (other than Rickey Kim) because of my skin tone. I’m 5’8 and I weigh 120lbs, so I know it’s not because I’m a fat ass and I haven’t been beaten with an ugly stick (at least I think not) so what the fuck?! Okay wow this email got very long winded but um if you want me to elaborate more or if you have a specific question about this topic or anything else feel free to ask! I have a terribly bad habit of rambling… Keep up the great work!!
ps: I just wanted to say that tonight I went out with my white friends and the white guy I liked- my white friend got with!! He looked at me and realized I wasn’t spanish and totally blew me off!! Put that as an example is your race post!!! I have a case of the sads!!! Sorry alexi for emailing you wayy late, just wanted to let you know.”