Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Sometimes, be real, do you wonder what Black people really think about a given subject, not the hype or PC orotundity you hear?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26798points) March 23rd, 2015

Inspired by an idiom on another thread which was said to be derogatory to Blacks, it got me thinking, we all heard the hype and PC lip flapping on what Black people think and why, but haven’t you ever wondered what we really think, or say about something when it is just among ourselves? Do you wonder if Black men really see some mystique in Blonde white women? Does ”Buppies” (young Black upwardly mobile suburbanites) get DWB (Driving While Black) as the hood rat in “hooptie” (old beater car)? Do young Black people really care so little about college as the stats would indicate? I know you have had to have had some of those questions cross your mind, even if you never shared them for fear of being labeled a racist.

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35 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Not about the things you name. WTH?!

They don’t care about college? Good God. How about you tell me why white Protestants care less about higher education than Jews and Asians? That’s what the statistics seem to show.~

I am interested in what black, white, Asians, Native Americans, and every other group thinks about many topics. It’s why I like Fluther. The questions you mentioned—no, I’ve never wondered about those.

ucme's avatar

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha…<hiccup>

canidmajor's avatar

Yes, of course I do (not what was in your details, that was incomprehensible to me) in the way that I wonder how any group that is not part of my cultural norm (white, middle class, middle-aged woman) reacts to specific situations. My friends from Mumbai were quite vocal about cultural depictions in Slumdog Millionaire.

I imagine that the discussions of Ferguson are a little different in your circle than in mine.
I imagine that the discussions of Bill Cosby are a little different in my circle than yours.

I think it would display an alarming lack of curiosity/empathy to not wonder about other cultural groups, whether one or a thousand miles away.

CWOTUS's avatar

Specifically, I have wondered what defect must exist in a lot of black culture (not all blacks, obviously; I don’t generalize to that extent) that punishes a child for “talking white”. That is, some black children are punished by their peers if they attempt to learn Standard English and speak it clearly and well, as if this is some kind of race betrayal. I purely do not get that.

cookieman's avatar

I don’t have to “wonder”. I can simply have a conversation with any number of my students, my niece, some of our friends, my coworkers — ‘cuz, ya know… they’re human and individuals like me and you.

If you really have no regular contact with anyone other than white people, to the point where you actually have to ask what “black people think” (as if they are a single-minded, mass), you may want to move.

rojo's avatar

@CWOTUS
As Col. Quaritch said in Avatar: “Hey Sully… how does it feel to betray your own race? You think you’re one of them? Time to wake up!”

canidmajor's avatar

@cookieman: the use of the pronouns “we” and “ourselves” in the first sentence of the details would seem to indicate that @Hypocrisy_Central is, himself, black.

janbb's avatar

@CWOTUS I find that easy to understand. When you speak in a way that is not common to your sub-culture, whatever one it is, it can be seen as setting yourself apart from the group. I’ve seen this most often in England; one guy I knew said he was made fun of at school in the north of England for talking “posh.” Speech, at least there, and I think here also to an extent, is seen as an indicator of social class.

kritiper's avatar

I don’t label anyone of a different skin color with any particular mindset. “Different strokes for different folks” applies to anyone.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The one thing certain is that there are as many disparities in the views of individuals in any collection of black folks as there will be among their white counterparts. Generalizations become ever more tricky as cultural isolation grows ever more rare. That lusting for blondes thing always fascinated me. Let’s suppose for a moment that it’s true. Should anyone be surprised that a stereotype universally hyped as THE benchmark for beauty and perfection should somehow leak into the consciousness of a black man born and reared in the midst of the propaganda. Why should black men react any differently than their white male counterparts? What better proof of assimilation to “American culture”. What’s more American than chasing blondes?

Objectively, however, there are a couple of generalizations difficult to ignore. The overall view of blacks in this country that their road is paved less smoothly than their white peers, and the UNIVERSAL complaint from ALL black folks regardless of educational, social or financial status when it comes treatment at the hands of the police.

There are however certain generalities that any objective

Mariah's avatar

I really prefer to hear first-hand accounts on relevant subjects, yes. In this day and age there are too many people speaking for others. There are a whole lot of young white kids on the internet these days patting themselves on the back thinking they’re doing POC a favor by promoting their own brand of social justice. I do want to hear from actual POC on their issues.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@canidmajor Yes, of course I do (not what was in your details, that was incomprehensible to me) in the way that I wonder how any group that is not part of my cultural norm (white, middle class, middle-aged woman) reacts to specific situations.
First off, for those who will get stuck on the examples that are just that, examples. There are dozens of dozens of things I may not even know, that people pondered. People, mostly white, but other nationalities as well pondered why young Black males started sagging their pants way back when. They heard the hype or the scuttlebutt the media floated out there, but when I inject the subject into the conversation it opens the door for them to share what they believe, and is surprised when they find it was mostly misinformed media hype. As you say, we all wonder certain details about others whose shoes we will plausibly never walk in. I don’t know a person who hasn’t wondered what a day is like for someone stuck in a chair, or is blind, or lost a limb or two. They would never go up to a guy in a chair with both legs gone and ask him how he makes cereal in the morning or get things off high places. If they ever knew anyone in a chair well enough, I am sure they would ask to wet their curiosity.

I imagine that the discussions of Ferguson are a little different in your circle than in mine.
I imagine that the discussions of Bill Cosby are a little different in my circle than yours.
Even amongst us, those conversations can vary. It can vary by neighborhood, education, income, or a combination of several, etc.

There were a few other good points made I will certainly get too when I have more time….

Thanks for the input cuz’, keep buz’n the quiz’estion, and comi’zons in this tri’zed.

CWOTUS's avatar

I get that, @janbb, and I’ve seen it enough in the way regional dialects across the US are questioned and commented upon from time to time. However, in certain black neighborhoods it seems to be a sort of actual betrayal (to the point where the “commenting upon” becomes more confrontational and even physical: ostracism and bullying) when a child even starts to “talk white”.

In fact, I have a black friend and a black co-worker who display this behavior to the extent that they “talk white” among groups that include me, and display a completely different vocabulary, tone of voice and accent when conversing primarily with certain other black people, including family members.

Berserker's avatar

Not really, I never assumed that blacks have some kind of different train of thought which totally puts them aside and defines them. They think all the same shit most people probably think about, exception wise being people in different countries which might wonder what other cultures and countries are like. I met this dude from Cuba once, and he never saw snow before. He was working at the hotel I was working at, and we’re going for our smoke break outside and it’s snowing and he just stands there, looking at it. We’re like, dude, you allright? He goes, what’s this? Took me a while to figure out he meant the snow.
But I think that’s the closest I can think, for this question. And it goes for anybody from a different country, blacks, whites, yellow, what have you.

I do see where you’re coming from though. If we stick to blacks, they certainly have their own culture within our societies, especially the youth. Rap and hip hop music is not exclusive to blacks, but I will dare to say it pretty much is black people music. However, tons of whites like rap, which with this example tells me that different races’ train of thoughts aren’t that different from one another.

Let’s be all racist and stereotypical for a second; black people are all gangbangers, or gangbanger wannabes who just think about getting chicks and money. Am I correct? Now can we not say the same about so many other people? When I lived in Winnipeg there were Indians everywhere, and they pretty much emulated the black culture, the youth anyway. Rap music, baggy clothes, the idolization of street gangs, which always seemed to me to have been spawned, in some way, by the oppression brought to them by white people. And what happened to Indians in North America is much younger than the blacks and slavery. Or at least I could think that given how they distance themselves from whites, and the other way around. Not sure it would be much different if history had been different, save for the number of people there would either be more of, or less.
Despite that…the white youth also aspired to this type of culture, where I lived. Let’s not try and hide it; there ARE racial boundaries, at least I saw them. Indians in Winnipeg would tend to dislike whites, there was one gang called IP, (indian posse) where all the members were native. They wouldn’t even allow blacks in the gang, and Indians there tend to respect and idolize black culture.

But where I went to school was three neighborhoods away, in a middle class school. Kids there all had well off parents, they were all snobs who went to sleep at 9pm and never smoked a joint in their lives. This included what blacks and Indians were there, too. While I will admit that these two races were a minority in my school, (both elementary and high) I come to the conclusion that what differences might serve to actually define a group of people in how they think and act, besides cultural traditions and mindsets, comes from their environment, rather than race specific, built in…whatever.

In short, I lived in a poor neighborhood where most youth acted a certain way, whereas the people at my school acted another. This is a rather gross cut and generalize statement, but there is truth to it. I blame Fresh Prince poverty and economic dissection. What is unfortunate is that some races seem more “prone” to poverty and crime than others, but I’m not ready to chisel that in stone right away. I mean you guys do have a black president lol. There are tons of blacks who have different life styles which have nothing to do with the stereotypes with which we define them.

Also I apologize in advance to whoever read this whole post and is offended by either my statements or gross generalizations. Make of it what you will, but I mean no harm. Racial and cultural boundaries exist with every race, which in a weird way serves to prove that we all pretty much think the same.

fluthernutter's avatar

I understand the gist of your question. Being from a minority background, I’m always amused to see what the majority gets all up in arms about…supposedly in my defense.

But if you’re posing your question as a way to field these questions yourself, that’s a bit flawed.

What doesn’t offend me may still offend other people from a similar background. Can’t really speak for all of them—even if you are them.

gondwanalon's avatar

The skin color does not control brain function.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I really don’t think about it. I’m the only caucasian, or non-POC, in nearly all the communities I’ve been in the past few years. I have the usual difficulties one might have in interpreting the vagaries of a different culture, but I find the Caribbean people are very laid back and patient with well-intentioned foreigners. And I’m totally aware that there are mothers here that would rather have me dead than as a son-in-law. I understand. They want the best for their own and marrying outside of the culture just adds another well-known layer of difficulty onto an increasingly fragile institution.

That’s just one example, there are many, but as long as certain taboos are not pursued, all is cool. I’m lucky in that I’m not of a mind to overstep as I am well aware of my status as a guest in their house. If I were younger, things would probably be more complicated. But this iss the way it is everywhere, not just among this one race.

My experiences in the past when I lived stateside, except when I was wearing a white lab coat, was a whole different matter. Most of the American black people with whom I came in contact, mostly people of the lowest economic strata, came off as rude, aggressive and behaved as if they were angry all the time. I have zero curiosity for people who behave like that toward me. And that is putting it mildly.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know what he’s referring to, the news that using the phrase “It’s a piece of cake,” or mentioning a “cake walk” is, apparently, racist. But do all black people feel it’s racist, or just a few who have a need to be outraged every day?

Mariah's avatar

Of course skin color doesn’t mean that people think one way and not everybody in a group will have the same opinions. But surely we can admit that it is different to be inside a situation than outside it? To have issues apply to a group you’re a part of than one you’re not?

I don’t think anyone would claim, out of fear of stereotyping, that people with disabilities are as a whole going to think exactly the same things about the affordable care act as able-bodied people, for example. That’s OK to admit and it doesn’t make you ableist to wonder, or ask, for a disabled person’s opinion on the matter.

fluthernutter's avatar

By all means, there’s nothing wrong with asking someone about their personal experience with Background X. But how you frame the question speaks to how you’ll digest the information.

How do black people feel about Situation A?

VS

As a black person, how was your experience with Situation A?

It’s not about being PC exactly. It’s about being aware of how you are internally framing your question.

Language isn’t just outwardly directed.

prettypenny's avatar

Yes. I grew up in a very culturally diverse city and I learned a lot about people who were different than me because I was curious and got to know them.

great answer @canidmajor

Zaku's avatar

The only groups I tend to lump into a group and think they all think the same way, and accept common popular views about, are not ethnic groups, but groups who align against things I care passionately about, such as:

Oil industry executives
Billionaires who buy politicians
Fox News presenters
climate change deniers
water privatization fans
arch-capitalist Internet trolls
Tea Party fans
Neo Cons
people who prefer the Star Wars prequels to the original trilogy

For the most part, I don’t even know what I’m “supposed” to think black people think about anything.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@stanleybmanly The one thing certain is that there are as many disparities in the views of individuals in any collection of black folks as there will be among their white counterparts.
Even the usage of Black folk can incite some people. It is as if there is an unwritten rule that certain phrases or words cannot ever be used, and some that can be used, but only if you are Black or considered Black. For instance, the ”N” word, at least around here, is used by young people to depict themselves, with impunity. The only way you can say it even among friends you know if you are not Black but Hispanic, Asian and the likes you have to be so “in” that you can see the pink pucker of their sphincter .

That lusting for blondes thing always fascinated me. Let’s suppose for a moment that it’s true. Should anyone be surprised that a stereotype universally hyped as THE benchmark for beauty and perfection should somehow leak into the consciousness of a black man born and reared in the midst of the propaganda
As I got older I found myself having the desire to land a Blonde. The media (controlled by white people) plied me with ads, movies, etc. that made Bo Derek, Ursula Andress (even though she was more a “”dirty Blond “ than platinum), Erika Eleniak (Baywatch babe), and the likes, the crème de la cream of women; the gold standard. I bought into it, for a while, if I drank this beer, drove that car, had those sunglasses, I can get the gold standard of women. If the media wanted me to not desire Blondes I would think they would have had other options, but they did not. If you chum the water expecting a Great White to show up, Mako, Thresher, and other sharks will not know that, chum is chum.

The overall view of blacks in this country that their road is paved less smoothly than their white peers, and the UNIVERSAL complaint from ALL black folks regardless of educational, social or financial status when it comes treatment at the hands of the police.
It might have been at some time, and maybe in a few small pockets, but as long as you say it is systemic, Black people are made victims. When I tell people I am against affirmative action, you need a flame retardant suit to beat back the napalm hurled. I think if I am qualified, give me the job, don’t give me the job because you have to have some “color” in the office and I was not qualified to do the work, or there were more qualified people.

How the cops treat you can or won’t make a difference. I have known Black people who one would call professional, who got pulled over and when they had all of their ducks in a row, the cop allowed them on their way with some weak explanation why they got stopped. There are cops who have the mindset that a Black person in a nice car is a dealer or the car is not his. This is not ALL cops, but there are enough, just as depending where you are if a cop hears a Hispanic person that doesn’t know English they think “illegal” first.

@CWOTUS Specifically, I have wondered what defect must exist in a lot of black culture (not all blacks, obviously; I don’t generalize to that extent) that punishes a child for “talking white”.
Talk white, act white, listen to white people music, I never really got that, but I somewhat understand that. Let me see if I can shed light from my experiences. Black people here have no native tongue, no matter where your ancestors came from (if you were lucky enough to find out or know) through slavery was lost. Proper English was the language of the ”oppressor”, or ”them”, regardless it was the proper usage. So I believe to counter that, as the cultural revolution of the 60s sought to break away from mom and dad’s rule, traditions, and beliefs, Black people (for lack of a better word) bastardize the English language to make a language out of it that supposedly represented us as a people, independent of white people. Take that further into gangs and cliques that used further code to speak of things in the open but in secret, and many, many dialects spawned. To embrace what white people embraced was kind of a tacit admission that what you had, or was left with, was not good enough; at least that is what was thought by many, at least around here. I did not make friends listening to Queen, Yes, Lead Zeppelin, Uriah Heap, The Who, etc. back in high school when everyone else (who were Black-) seemed to only want to listen to R&B, disco, blues or Funk.—When I discovered Luciano Pavarotti and got into opera I really blew some minds.

@Espiritus_Corvus Most of the American black people with whom I came in contact, mostly people of the lowest economic strata, came off as rude, aggressive and behaved as if they were angry all the time.
I will catch flax for this, some are angry all of the time because they feel entitled, and because it is not wrapped up and handed to them, they have to blame someone for their hard life. They won’t blame their absentee father or their mother strung out on drugs, because those are byproducts of them not being handed the American Way. Can it be any income level? Yes, but those at the bottom enjoy less of what the American Dream is supposed to be than the Black attorney pulling in a upper 6 to 7 figure income. They can’t get to the ”Man” of the power brokers, but they can get to you, so you become the convenient whipping boy.

kritiper's avatar

@canidmajor Hey! Even “Black” was capitalized. My latest edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., says it can be capitalized if used as “Black Americans” but not capitalized when used in terms such as “black attorney.” Odd the dictionary shows no capitalized versions when describing white people although I’m sure “White Americans” would be acceptable.

canidmajor's avatar

@kritiper: Uh, OK.
Not sure why you’re telling me this, I didn’t get the impression that @Hypocrisy_Central was offended at my use of the lower case b.

kritiper's avatar

@canidmajor Just pointing that out since you mentioned the pronouns “we” and “ourselves” in conjunction to @Hypocrisy Central earlier. I found it interesting and noteworthy. It was @Hypocrisy Central who used the upper case “B.”

josie's avatar

No. Not really. Should I?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central They get from me precisely what they give out, if I must deal with them at all. Once they know I’m willing to go to the mat repeatedly when they push, they leave me alone and move on to weaker prey. I figure I’m doing the next guy a favor. These fucking punks can’t tell who’s the bitch and who’s not after awhile and finally give the whole dominance thing up. It’s become a rough world in the states and the sooner one realizes that, the easier it suddenly becomes.

cookieman's avatar

@canidmajor: Hmm, I missed that. Ignore my second paragraph then.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Symbeline [… black people are all gangbangers, or gangbanger wannabes who just think about getting chicks and money. Am I correct?
As far as low educated hood rats the hype is not far from the tree and plants more seeds than not. Take for example the music vids done by gansta rappers, most glorify selling, hustling, flashy things, cars, dope ropes (very large gold necklaces), having lots of women and lots of cash. This, to a lot of inner city people represent wealth they can reach. No one is telling them they can reach it by being an investment banker, real estate broker, etc., and if they are told, they don’t believe they can do it. Usually the ones with the most money, that dress nice, or has flashy cars are the hustlers and/or the pimps. Most regular working Black men fled for the suburbs because if they stayed, their cars and such would be targets, because people know if anyone messed with their car, they were not going to get a weapon and come back seeking retribution against someone. If you were Black and raised on a farm, the outlook might be far different.

Berserker's avatar

Yeah, the environmental factor is one of the points I was making in my post with the stereotypical example I used. Although there is truth to traits and mindsets given to certain groups of people, as you understand yourself a lot of that comes from factors that have very little to do with race only.
The media and entertainment needs to be blamed too though, for constantly displaying images. Like your example of rap videos and culture. Rap was originally created by black youth as a way to vent and express themselves against poverty and racism. That type of rap still exists, but if MTV is one’s only source, one would never know that. :/

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