It doesn’t get more truer than this, black folks! We really do need our own pledge of allegiance that fits our needs, as well as many other things of our own. We’ve been sharing everything with every other race for far too long. It’s time to do and build for ourselves, like everyone else does. This wonderful post by diaryofanegress is spot on!
People have always told me that I talk white. I have a soft voice and I pronounce my words in full, including the ‘ing’s’ in a word. I always denied it. It was such a ridiculous statement. I know I was just being myself and couldn’t help how I spoke. I was speaking proper English. This is how people who know English are supposed to speak.
I thought about how people ask other people who speak like this, “Why do you talk/act so proper?” My own father asked me that once. We think that’s us asking, “Why are you talking and acting so white?” But, actually, it’s us asking, “Why are you speaking and acting so correctly. Because that’s what the word, “proper”, means; doing something correctly.
Apparently, many people are uncomfortable with black people speaking proper English and “acting” proper. I was never sure why. I thought there was no such thing as talking/acting white or talking/acting black. How can anyone act a color? I never knew where people got that from. It always sounded racist and stereotypical; basically encouraging black people to act and speak like they don’t know how.
But, one day, recently, I was sitting on my couch watching Alfonso Ribeiro on AFV (America’s Funniest Home Videos). I watched how he spoke and everything. Suddenly, it popped into my head, ‘There really IS a such thing as acting white!’
I figured this out, not as a criticism of how Alfonso Ribeiro acted and spoke on the show, but because watching him made me think of the history of black people in this country. It made me realize that there is a such thing as acting white. But it is of no fault of our own.
Remember, black people, our original language(s), culture(s), and custom(s) were lost hundreds of years ago during slavery. We were forced to forget everything about ourselves and have been forbidden from reading and writing for many, many years. When we finally did get the opportunity to learn how to read and write, we adopted the English language and the “American” way of living and behaving, which is the white, European way.
Europeans, a.k.a. white people, were the people who were running the country back then and they’re still running the country today. Because of this, there is a such thing as acting white, but there is no such thing as acting black here. It’s either you speak and act to their standards or you’re the negatively stereotypical black person: ghetto, uneducated, unruly, violent, unintelligent, etc.
What we classify as “talking/acting black” is not really talking/acting black at all. It’s just a butchered version of the standard European way of talking and acting.
I now believe that, whether people know it or not, that “There is no such thing as acting white” and “You can’t act a color” are lies created and used to hide and sugar coat the fact that white people stole, stripped, and, later, replaced our original languages, cultures, and customs. Until we learn what our original languages, cultures, and customs were, we will always be speaking and acting as something we’re not.
The Black Lives Matter movement was started in 2012, after the murder of Trayvon Martin. His murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted of the crime and was able to walk free. Martin was an unarmed 17 year old. It is believed that because Martin was a teen and unarmed that the situation could’ve been handled much differently. Killing an unarmed teenager was deemed as excessive force, especially since Zimmerman wasn’t even an officer. He was just a neighborhood watch captain.
Years after that, many other murders of black people by police that were deemed as unjust were caught on camera, including Mike Brown, Alton Sterling, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, and Korryn Gaines, to name a few.
Black Lives Matter was started because it seems like this society doesn’t seem to care about the lives of black people and treat us very unfairly in the justice system compared to other groups of people, especially white people. Not very long after it was started, it got spun into a huge negative and caused a lot of controversy. The response to it was, “All lives matter”.
Black people are upset at this because it is taking away from the plight we are fighting for. Black Lives Matter does not mean that only black people’s lives matter or black people’s lives matter more than other people’s lives. Apparently, that’s what people think Black Lives Matter is, which is why they are responding like this. People also think Black Lives Matter means “anti-police”. That’s not what it means, either. What it means is black people’s lives matter, TOO; our lives are just as important as other people’s lives and we should be treated like it.
Hearing other black people, especially high profile black people, such as celebrities and politicians, saying “All lives matter” is even worst than a white or any other nonblack person saying it because other black people should be the main ones to know why Black Lives Matter was started and what its purpose is. It’s a little more understandable hearing it from nonblacks than other blacks. Hearing other black people say, “All lives matter” is majorly disappointing.
Saying “All lives matter” as a response to Black Lives Matter is pointless and just looks like a deflection. And why is it that “All lives matter” is a response to Black Lives Matter, but Blue Lives Matter was started to fight for the plight of law enforcement? If “All lives matter”, why do we need Blue Lives Matter? How come no one is telling them that “all lives matter”?
The fact that Blue Lives Matter was created to shed light on the injustices done against law enforcement shows that everyone knows why the Black Lives Matter movement was started. They know what we’re speaking out against. People just don’t want to address it and feel uncomfortable at the thought of addressing it. Everyone else is just trying to, not only deflect and sweep our issues under the rug, but also piggyback off of our movement and plights for our people.
When we’re trying to fight for justice and equality for our people, other groups of people playing off of and latching onto our movements makes our plight look like it’s not important or that other groups of people’s plights should be addressed and handled before ours.
When Black Lives Matter was created, it wasn’t to cause a divide and create hate. It was just to ask for justice and equality. That’s all we want.