Sunday, December 12, 2004

This article is about the myth of acting white. However, it'll also show an interesting effect I predict. People will not change their belief about acting white in the face of this new information. I mean, I heard some boys making fun of another boy for acting white! How can the acting white story not be true?! Well, I have some ideas. First, there is selective perception. When I was a kid, I was even more awkward than I was today. I also loved books. Thus, kids of all races were like ahhahaa, you're smart! What a dork you are! This was because they were immature jerks who were jealous of my smartness. (well, at least that's my version) But to others, the white kids were making fun of me because they were immature jerks, and the black kids, to keep me down(like the Man, but shorter). (asians of all types, arabs, and others went to high school with me , but I don't remember any of them making fun of me in elementary)

Also, this perception would ignore the times I was held in higher esteem by black kids because of my smartness. Another reason may be that what we think means you care about school doesn't. Like people think you don't care about school if you speak ebonics. However, many of my cousins speak ebonics, and many of them are in college, and have scholarships due to their As. Also, wearing expensive clothes like rap artists wear, having a stylish hairstyle, and going out clubbing do not make you do bad in school or not care about school either. Caring about school makes you care about school- you can still want to be cool, and want to study at the same time.

We may also be ignoring social factors. Do the kids get enough to eat? Do their parents have time to check their homework? How about the schools? Got enough certified teachers? That may affect their performance and attitude towards school. There are many other explanations that can be considered before just assuming that we are all up to no good. Of course having this said, the popular perception of blacks as lazy shiftless people who are so much worse than the rest of the population won't change.

My guess is for some blacks, saying that sort of thing, gets them attention and they feel better than other blacks. If I can say that I'm the only good black, maybe my low self esteem is enhanced. Also, whites and people of other races also have their self esteem enhanced. "I am so much better than blacks" they may think. Of course, you'd think they'd base their self esteem on actual achievements, but that's the way it goes.

You know, another thing may be projection. People who like to believe this sort of thing may want to keep others down so that they look better, and then project their weird thoughts on little black kids. Another reason may be that they are looking only at Tyrone, who has behavioral problems, and ignoring Porche, Ronisha and Montavious who sit in their seats and do their work. There are many hard working and successful blacks- this study, despite some sexism(why is it bad that more black women have degrees? I think the men can adjust to their smart and successful sistahs) talks about the many blacks getting degrees. Also, open a copy of Black Enterprise- blacks are working hard and succeeding in business. Also, instead of "why don't you lazy n words save your money" we get the Black Wealth Initiative. You know, that might help build capital for the next generation of blacks?

Things are better than they have ever been for us, and still all we get is doom and gloom and why can't you be more like x people or y people. It totally ignores our hard work. It's like I got all As in three subjects and a C in one subject, and all you see is that C, totally ignoring all the good stuff. I need a good celebratory zine!

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