Re: Are white people still white people?
Tony, Your comment reminds me of thoughts I have develped about what FREEDOM is. It means any of us can "act" as we please, whenever it pleases us. As it relates to those whites that you have observed "acting Black", it is just what you say -- acting -- like whatever the popular culture dictates at the moment.
Blacks are also FREE to "act" in ways that bring them some form of satisfaction -- wearing big afros, dreadlocks, or straightening our hair; sagging our pants, wearing streetwalker platform heels, or dressing in a Brooks Brothers $1500.00 suits.
"Acting" is different than "being." At the end of the day, our act ends and we return to being who we are when we look in the mirror tomorrow morning. When I worked in corporate America, I adopted the customs and practices of my employer when I was at work. It was necessary to succeed in that environment. But that was NOT completely who I was. I could "act" differently when I was hanging out with my homies, or visiting my relatives. None of us are insects. We have the capacity to adapt to our environment to survive, or thrive.
Inside all of us -- the whites that you observe, and Blacks also -- is a set of core values, norms, attitudes, and perspectives that are shaped by our developmental environments. Few people see who we really are, because we have to be adaptable to get through the day. Only those who know us well really know who we are. Our skin color, or the way we talk or walk or wear certain clothes don't define who we are. These are only outward manifestations of how we are adapting at the moment.
The best advice I have heard in this regard is "Don't believe the Hype." What we project is in many ways our "hype" -- short for hyperbole (an exaggerated expression of reality). What you are seeing is NOT white people trying to be Black, NOR Black people trying to be white. These are all coping mechanisms employed to get certain people through the day. The danger comes when we lock into certain stereotypes and lose sight of who we really are.
We must FREE our thinking from these stereotypes so that we don't become victims of our own mental enslavement. It is self-defeating to wake up thinking "I have to act this way because I am Black." Or worse, "I am this way because I am Black." We must be able to reflect on our culture and adapt to new realities, while building on the foundation of our cultural heritage.
I didn't mean to become overly analytical. But one of our historical scholars, Carter G. Woodson, warned us about this type of thinking in "The Mis-Education of the Negro."
Last edited by Thuso : February 25th, 2013 at 03:12 AM.