Are You ‘Acting Black’?


Greetings and salutations.  I’ll be getting started with no delays or introductions today.  Judging by the still of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” sitcom character, Carlton Banks and the infamous rant by young Riley Freeman from “The Boondocks”, one should already be able to tell where I’m headed.

 

The Black and White stereotypes have a reputation for a reason.  Just like the stereotypes for any color, race, or ethnicity.  As time goes on, we’re able to joke about them more and more it seems.  But the jokes are just a mask [albeit a humorous one] to hide the ugly truth: Many people really feel this way.

Speaking English / Younger Years 

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Growing up, I had it rough in this aspect.   I grew up on military installations.  With two military parents, who weren’t very country, street or City.  They were just Americans.  They spoke as properly as they knew how without trying to.  They were just naturally themselves. Which is funny, because my father is from Tchula, Mississippi, and my mother, from Chickasha, Oklahoma.  Both places are ESL [English as a Second Language]. I blame the military.  Those who stayed in Chickasha, Tchula or any place like it, still sound like they wake to the sound of a rooster. Whereas, my mother and father are like room temperature water.  Not too far on one side, not too far on the other. It was only natural that I came out the same.

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With that going for me, plus the fact that I loved to read as a child, I didn’t sound like what people thought I was supposed to sound like. This among other things led to me being ostericized from many groups, friendships and activities as a youth.  I was well-spoken, proper, and corny-as-fuck. I guess I still am… any way. On top of that, while the other children were sporting Nike’s, 7-Day-Shitters [MC Hammer pants], backwards hats, backwards shirts, Triple Fat Goose jackets, Starter jackets, Timberland boots, or whatever was cool… I was not.

In my last blog I mentioned how I had a minor klepto phase. Got caught.  Ended up in a juvenile correction program. And even THAT wasn’t good/hood “black” enough. Because I wasn’t stealing the right CD’s!  The black guys on the bus on the way to Mannheim Army Correctional Facility made fun of me because stealing a DMX or a NAS CD would’ve been cool… But I was stealing Jazz CD’s.

So, even as a juvenile criminal I wasn’t “black” enough.

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Stereotypes from White People

I recall riding the school bus from NeiderWalluf, Germany to Wiesbaden one morning for school.  I used to be the one to keep everyone entertained by telling stories or acting out my favorite Eddie Murphy Raw scenes [which I barely understood]. One morning, this guy named Dan told a story.  Within the first few seconds of the plot, he mentioned that the main character of the story was “trying to act black”.

The story was never finished.

As a 10th grader, I forced him to explain to me what he meant by that. Not because I’m militant.  Not because I’m a bully, or a rabblerouser, [I wasn’t THEN at least] but because I truly wanted to understand what people thought it meant be and or to act black.

I’ve had this conversation many times since then. And it usually has to do with listening to rap music, saying shit like “yo yo yo”, baggy clothes, and stupid shit like that.  It’s pretty insulting. And stupid.

On top of that, I’ve been told that I’m “The whitest black person ______ have met” more times than I’d like to admit. And why is that exactly?  Because I’ve:

1: Never smoked weed

2: Listen to the likes of Nickleback, RHCP, Sublime, Norah Jones, Justin Beiber etc

3: I don’t like cars with overly huge rims

4: All my children are by the same woman

5: I’m not afraid of large bodies of water…?

6: I try to speak proper English

7:I don’t get offended by the word “Nigger” or any of its variants

8: I don’t participate in certain sexual activities

Which leads me to…

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Stereotypes from women

These are pretty funny and equally pathetic stereotypes as well. Backing it up to the children, I always get the same question from women when they find out I have more than one child. “How many baby-mommas do you have?”

First of all… I have ZERO “babymommas”.  Second, they’re all by the same woman.  And GASP! I also take care of them! It’s what I’m supposed to do!  But for some reason I get congratulated by new women I meet for these few attributes.  It’s sick.  I’d hate to think it were because of my skin color.

As far as the sex goes, apparently a lot of non-black [white women] claim to only like black men.  And for the DUMBEST fucking reasons.

1:We all have big, thick, hanging cocks. [Not true] Because I happen to be black & I have a TINY penis.

2:We fuck better. [I’m certain we don’t] I mostly anger women with my sex.

3:We smack ass, pull hair, talk shit, and keep our ball caps on while we’re hitting it from the back! [Bitch, WHAT?]

I don’t cosign ANY of this shit! Like honestly… I don’t play the “Black King” card… like, ever… I’m more into individual merits, not ones based off the color you are, but out of everything one can find attractive about black men, THOSE are the things they chose to fabricate and  highlight? Really? It’s ridiculous.

Stereotypes from Black people

These are the worst.  As a child my uncles used to tease me. When  I didn’t hear something and needed it repeated, I didnt say “Huh?”. My mom would thump my forehead for that.  It was “excuse me?” or “sir?”  They’d mock me. And encouraged me to use more dumbed-down and slang-like responses. I retained all these things and used them when necessary.

My peers, who see it necessary to be everything society tells them to, love to boast about how we run faster, fuck better, dress better,  love basketball… I just don’t understand.

I’m part of a small group of black men who simply don’t belong in the brand.

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In media, it’s an uncanny tool for humor.  Again, I mention it, because it’s on many sides.  But they love to key in on what is black and what isn’t. And people love to call out any non-black person for ‘trying to be black’. There are certain devices in play that I believe “the man” [woooooooooooooooooh be scared]  has set in place to try and profit from things that probably could be seen as “a black thing”. However, I don’t think anyone should make any black [or any color] person feel they aren’t who they are because of a few character traits missing or present.  Some black people speak proper English and dress like adults and grow to be positive role models.  Some don’t.  Some white people listen to rap music loudly over 15″ subwoofers in cars sitting on axle-bending rims. Some don’t.

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And even if all this bullshit WAS “a black thing”… [like ‘twerking’] does that necessarily make it good or something to be proud of?  Can we make some new black stuff?  Like… can we make, taking care of your kids a good black trait? Can we make graduating from school a black trait? Can we get “World Star HipHop” off the internet? Can we stop appearing on Judge Judy, Judge Mathis, Jerry Springer and Maury Povich, making asses of ourselves? Let’s make holding down a job and NOT bragging about it a regular thing for black people! Helping other black folks out… that’d be a nice new Black Thing.

So anyway… there’s my rant. I know I’m right about it.  If you don’t agree, fuck ya’ll niggas.

 

Scream at me

-Rooks

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12 thoughts on “Are You ‘Acting Black’?

  1. Farrah says:

    Oh, Rooks. You are such a character! Unfortunately, stereotypes will probably always be around because we live among close minded and ignorant people. Those people raise their children to think this is an acceptable way to think. I pray one day I will live in a world where people choose to look past color and these outrageous stereotypes. It’s going to take more than just a handful of people here and there. Somehow there needs to be a huge movement to end this stereotypical nonsense. As for “stereotypes from women,” you forgot one very important reason under point #3…punching in the back of the neck! That’s one of the main reasons I love the black men. Lmao. Still waiting on my Reggie 😛 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dja Martina says:

    Dear Robert,
    I read your new blog and I just had to comment since I can relate to ALL you had to say. It opened a discussion among my friends and I found it quite interesting. It made me want to write you about some of my own experiences and views on this matter.
    Here it goes..

    Growing up as a mixed race child I always been in the middle I feel. Not really belonging in either “side” of my ethnicity. It wasn’t always easy but I guess the perks of it all was hearing how people really thought about things and people. It gave me a good example of the kind of person I aspired not to be and wanted to be.
    So, I am mixed race. I’m from the Netherlands and therefore I obviously hold a Dutch passport. HOWEVER, I have never been considered “Dutch” because of my complexion. In the Netherlands it is common to refer yourself by the ethnicity you have because of your (grand)parents. My mother is Indonesian and my father is Caribbean (Black Antillean).
    Growing up was interesting to say the least. I spoke perfect Dutch but neither of the “native” languages my parent spoke when they were growing up. So yeah. I wasn’t considered really Indonesian and not really Black because I ONLY spoke one language and because of the way I looked. I was considered soooo “Dutch/White” because of it. Funny, because there is no White person alive who considered me Dutch/White ever.
    You can imagine how confusing it all was.

    Family stereotyping;
    At a young age I grew up with my Indonesian side of the family. I was soooo black according to them. My skin colour is way darker than theirs. I have rhythm and curly hair. I am curvy and was told I just had a “black body”, meaning to them I am just plain fat. Anyways… When I was a teenager I grew closer to my Caribbean side of the family. There I wasn’t black for many reasons. I was teased a lot. Not malicious intended but it made me feel less sometimes. My hair was too soft, my skin colour too white, my body too flat. I must have thought I was better (apparently??) because I spoke “proper”. I wasn’t acting “ghetto” and “loud” enough and couldn’t speak “Papiamentu” (Dad’s native language). I got good grades in school, how white of me! And here I was clueless, not realizing getting a degree was not black. Ridiculous I KNOW! I gained some family “respect” when I learned the language and they found out I like dating black men. I wasn’t so white after all. Weirdly It gave me a sense of belonging somewhere after feeling lost in between for a long while.
    Growing up was something! BUT I must say we all grew and changed our perspectives for the better. Knowledge is key in life and we gained a lot of it through the years. I have a nice loving and big blended family on both sides.

    So growing up mixed race was a battle (and sometimes still is). The way White people look at me is a whole another level. As I said I heard quite a bit while growing up.
    I remember moments where my Dad was questioned by people, even by the police, why this child (me) was near him. Or moments I felt the need to defend him because neighbourhood children called him a N*gger behind his back. I never told my dad about it, but yea I have been in fights a lot because of it.

    White stereotyping; Comments, questions and remarks;
    During my career so far I was pretty much excepted as “normal” (perks of being mixed race and having a Spanish last name maybe?) UNTIL It was found out I was mixed and with mixed I mean, BLACK. White people don’t seem to be affected by the fact I’m part Indonesian, but me being Black.. Oh no, that’s a problem!
    I remember a moment at work where the questions and comments came after finding out about my ethnicity… “OMG but you speak Dutch so well and you have a degree”. Do you have nappy hair? (I swear to God, I’ve been asked that question). So where is your father? Do you know him? Does he have a job? Where do you live, meaning do I live in the ghetto? Just side note, in the Netherlands WE DO NOT HAVE GHETTO’S. My house was even google mapped because they couldn’t believe my educated self could have a nice home. SMH. Believe me, many more ridiculous questions been asked over the years.
    Even about my sexual preferences. I must say these type of questions are often asked by White women. “So, is it true that black men have or do” … SERIOUSLY! I can’t say. I haven’t tried them all or keep data and graphs around. BUT OK!
    Plus, there are plenty of other reasons why I LOVE my black brothers. I love them because of their skin tone and complexion. The way they love and the knowledge they have. The way they speak and carry themselves. The way they struggle but hold their own. They work harder, appreciate harder. They don’t just conquer but overcome. They grow and blossom. They understand. I don’t want to explain my roots nor defend my roots. I want to be with my roots. If that makes sense…

    Anyways, I guess people stereotype for all kinds of reasons. It may be because of people don’t know any better or they choose not to be better. People from all ethnicitys should learn from one another. Expand your mind and stop putting people in (race)boxes. I wished parents would lead by example more and more. Get as much knowledge as you can get… READ! Not everything is learned in school. Stop watching negative shows on television. I wished media would also lead by example. Shows as Empire, Love and hip-hop and what not. It might be entertaining but it also forms stereotyping. Hey, it might even teach black children to act a certain way because they are told they need to act CRAZY to be considered black.

    I can write pages and discuss this topic endlessly, lol. Thank you Robert for your insight. I love reading your blogs and you addressing events in your life. This response almost turned into a blog on a blog but I really want you to know I can relate! And I think many people will.

    Regards,
    Deborah Martina

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robert Lovelle Rooks says:

      Wow! That was a mouthful! Thanks for the comment! Well, Blogment! Wish more people would dig in and share their opinion the way you just did!
      I’m surprised at how many countries are just as focused on race or more so than America! I would’ve never guessed it! I’m just gonna have to come out there one day and experience myself!
      Thanks again, Deborah!

      Like

  3. Connie Rooks says:

    My personal favorites are.. getting my “ghetto pass” revoked; “Black people don’t watch NASCAR, are there any black people in NASCAR?” and, why haven’t you ever seen (insert “black movie” here)? You can’t be black!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brandy says:

    You are so not the “whitest” black person I know lol! I hate this stereotype. My boys, being mixed race, are going to have to deal with this the best they can. My house is pretty damn white even though I date exclusively black. I can’t teach them how to be “black”. I only teach them right and wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

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