“Why does everything have to be about race?”

Good afternoon Tomodachi’s,

Nothing grinds my gear more than hearing someone say “why does everything have to be about race?” If you truly believe that everything in this world does not involve race and [in many cases religion] then you are either:

  1. Completely blind to other’s plights;
  2. It does not affect you so you do not want to know or do not care to know;

  3. You are in denial.

A couple of days ago I made a comment of on a Facebook post promoting anime merchandise. I made a comment of why every clothing marketed to women had to be so skin-tight. Which if we take a close look at the clothing marketed to women they are all somewhat skin-tight and leaves little room for the imagination. I actually do not mind skin-tight clothing but to think that that is all that is marketed to women is both annoying and frustrating while the men clothing were always loose or slack and never skin-tight like the women. I went on to say that if I were to buy the pants that were being advertised then I would buy the men’s sweat pants instead.

Anyway, a white female commenter made a comment saying “Buy the men’s sweats then, homie”. To think that this complete stranger addressed me as ‘homie’ as if we knew each other or as if we were friends was amazing. It baffled me. Look at the screenshots below

My mind was just wondering why would a complete stranger call me like that? Did she call her white friends like that? Did she call other non-black strangers on the internet homie as well? It just made me think of how so many white people who try to sound and act cool by using words and slang that black people have created and have used for ages whenever they see a black person or people of colour (PoC) around; Or when they are in close proximity to one then the “ebonocs” come out. I lived with someone who would call his black Africa male friend and a Chinese Bonarian friend who grew up all his life on the Dutch Antilles as “Brother”. However, I have never seen him do the same thing around his white male friends. Every time I heard him say this to these men, who by the way, said nothing in return about it, made my ass itch. Excuse for my French.

This has happened so many times to black people and PoC that I was internally side-eyeing her through my phone screen. At first, I was not planning to say anything about it but it just irked me and rubbed me the wrong way so much so that I needed to say something and get it off my chest. I do not want to be addressed by any white person or any other race trying to act cool by using black people lingo whenever they see a black person around. Address me like you would address any other person if they were not black.

Anyway, I spoke up about it and of course, she made it seem like I was the problem and I should basically just accept her calling me like that. She claimed that she calls everyone homie, which I completely doubt. She refused to see that the way she was using it was not the correct way and then told me I was taking it too seriously and to chill. Now, originally I was not really upset when conversing with her but after she said these things it just started to irritate the hell out of me. At least if you want to use black lingo try and learn to use it in the correct way and that is exactly what I told her in one of my comments after going back and forth with her a couple of times trying to tell her not call me, a complete stranger, a homie.

And this is what she had to say:

She felt so entitled that she absolutely refused to see her error and kept calling me homie even though I tried to explain to her that I do not like complete strangers off the internet calling me that. To some people probably reading this post you might think it is not such a big deal and it is just a word but that is not the point. A lot of black lingo is used among friends and family, so they are very intimate words used only between people who are deemed close. And I clearly told her I did not like her calling me that and she refused to adhere to my feelings and kept calling me homie. She even went so far as to claim that she lived around black families and made friends with some of the kids there and no one told her for 18 years that she was using the word wrong which I do not believe for a second. Her comments just came off as some racists who claim that they are not racist because they have black friends. I was not amused

She tried to throw in some half-assed apology why still trying to get her way on why I should let a complete stranger call me homie.

Colourism

Hello everyone and good evening.

As some of you may already know Wednesdays is the day I usually like to pick a topic that interests or inflames me and I write about it. This, in a sense, has become therapeutic for me because this is how I relieve myself by typing out all of my thoughts and feelings I am experiencing in that point in time. However, I am thinking of possibly changing my Opinionated Wednesdays and its content from now on. I am still figuring out this thing called blogging, so please be patient with me. But if you like my Opinionated Wednesday posts and would like me to continue, then please let me know below in the comment section.

Anyway, a couple of days ago I came across some comments that made me want to write this blog post because I think it is important. After reading a particular manga some commentators were calling other commentators out, saying that they were being too sensitive and always crying racism when it was not necessary. Well, I beg to differ. Those who are not ‘coloured’ or ‘people of coloured’ as they like to say will never know and understand the experiences of black people and other people of colour because they cannot see things from our perspective. Most will forever be oblivious to the hardships we face and then tell us later that we are being ‘oh, too sensitive’ but they will never think of themselves as being too insensitive. It will always be us being ‘too sensitive’ and we have to ‘lighten up a little’.

Let us take for example the entertainment industry. How often do we see more than one or two black people or people of colour (e.g. Asians, Hispanics) play in movies, television shows etc. without them being portrayed negatively or stereotypically? Do these black people or people of colour get as much screen time and get to say as many lines as the rest? Do they even get to survive until the end of the show, movie or series?  In scary movies how often have we seen the only black person in the entire show getting killed off first? Not to mention do these same actors who are black or people of colour get nominated and awarded during Oscar Awards and how often are they awarded?

I am honestly tired of seeing how black people are portrayed in the media. Whenever, we do see a black person (or person of colour) in the media they are almost always portrayed the same way. If a black person is not portrayed as a gang banger, they are portrayed as drug dealers, or prisoners in jail, a slave or the white main character’s supposed best friend who we barely get to see or a broke poor person barely making ends meet.

In the music industry it is pretty much the same thing. We only have to look at [Lil’] Kim to see what discrimination and colourism has done to her. She admitted to a reporter in the early 2000s that she was cheated on time and time again by [black] men for the lighter or European looking women. So, there is no surprise that she ended up changing herself because of all of this pressure to look lighter or whiter. That goes to show that this is a problem even within the black community. I guess that is to be expected after being force fed this ‘white is right‘ nonsense our entire lives via the media and peers.

Moving on, let us talk about the fashion industry. How often do you see black people or people of colour do the catwalk on the fashion run way? Sure, there are a few but I am sure some companies have done so as not for others to complain how there are no black people or people of colour on their team. Or how often do you see the black models or models of colour plastered on billboards, flyers, posters, bus stops, store windows, shopping websites and literally everywhere as opposed to a white person? I have noticed that even a lot of websites that sell (female) clothing do not start to show their few black models or people of colour wearing their clothes until around the third page. You would be very lucky to see one [dark skinned] black person on the second page of a [clothing] website. The Free People’s website is a good example of this. Even though they apparently like to culture appreciate when making their clothing and accessories but they never use people from the culture where they got their inspirations from to model their clothing.

In addition, let us not forget the job market. The chances of a black person getting turned down for a job they are more or less qualified for is higher than not. Especially if they have a ‘black sounding name’, forget about it.

Also when dating is involved some studies have shown that black people and Asian men have a much harder time trying to date online than any other race. We have so many things stacked against us as a race that it is not even funny. Let us be honest here. In this world and white [or light] skinned praising society many view darker skin negatively. Even my lovely anime and manga is sometimes guilty of this. That is just how it is. But I want to know why?

Anyway, thank you all for reading. And to repeat what I have written above, this may possibly be my last Opinionated Wednesdays post I will be  making. However, if you like reading these types of posts and would like me to continue with them, please let me know in the comment section below.

Take care and have a great day.