Years ago I did a post on things that made me judge people and those things do still make me question folks. But sometimes it doesn’t take a whole action to give me pause. Sometimes it’s commonly used phrases and/or cliches that invoke the side-eyer deep within. Like, I ain’t got no worries. A phrase made popular recently by it being the title of a song by some random, auto-tuned, rapper-crooner of color. Sir you have worries, you are a person of color in America. You probably are riding in a car you can’t afford and wearing some outfit that looks like the Lourve threw up on you. You HAVE worries. But I digress, here’s a list of some other phrases that make me pull out my inner shade-thrower.
I’ve heard this one time too many.
Mostly by people trying to validate some oddball, off the wall thing they just did/said. Basically people sometimes latch onto ONE thing that they are counterculture on and decide that that makes them overwhelmingly separate from mass culture. For example, I was talking to a male friend about my problem with most things in society because of their anti-feminist nature and he agreed with me on many of my critiques, and when I complimented him on his progressive attitudes he proceeded to respond with “yeah I’m different than a lot of people”. Which caused a complete internal side eye because that’s basically the indicator of “i think I’m the most unique person to ever be and you should be impressed by my difference”. And to this I reply with wisdom I learned from the elders, “if you gotta point it out, then it’s probably not true.”
Not Trying to Be Rude But…
I don’t think this one requires much explanation. When you say this, just know that I’m COMPLETELY expecting for something rude or offensive to come out your mouth. Same goes for ‘not to sound like a sexist, but’, ‘not to seem like a racist, but’, ‘I know this makes me seem like I hate poor people, but’, etc.
But I Feel Guilt for Being (insert privileged group here)
I’ve usually heard this from white people when i’m talking about the state of black America and how racism, and slavery, and colonialism, and capitalism have created this huge system that solely functions to destroy not only Brown/Black people the world over, but also everyone who is not a European-descent man who loves women. (BUT most times it pans out the worst for Brown/Black people, never forget, Brown/Black people ALWAYS lose in this system because that’s the way it was designed, this is a different post though soooo) Anyways, this is sometimes the response I get, not how can I help make this better, not omg i shall now pledge my allegiance to all ways that seek to oppress you and your people, but “oh my gosh, I feel SO MUCH WHITE GUILT”.
Most vivid instance of this was a segment on MSNBC the Sunday after the Zimmerman verdict was dropped where one of my she-roes Melissa Harris Perry and another Black female intellectual was on a panel with a white male anchor. The two women were discussing the systemic conditions that created the travesty that was the murder of Trayvon and the implications of the verdict and then the male correspondent adds his two cents by discussing how much White Guilt he felt burdened with….
Not to throw shade solely on White folks, but please stop saying this, please stop telling people who are marginalized by the structure your race benefits from about your guilt. This also goes for any point of privilege, males stop telling women about your guilt/shame for your brothers and go join the fight and so on and so forth. if you’re not going to actively do anything to help the situation, literally just say NOTHING.
Well I Feel I Have the Right to Be Offensive Toward This Group Because This One Group Member Said So
Yeah this is another one, that people should stop. Recently I got into a discussion with an peer about why if people say they don’t want to be called something then you shouldn’t call them that no matter who else said it was cool. His argument was well the people interviewed in this article said it was cool so i can just call every member in that group that.
No. You. Can’t.
I’ve also had this told to me when non-Blacks used the word nigga in my presence and as I untensed my face they quickly blurt out that they “grew up around black people” or “they have a bunch of black friends”. Word to the wise, ethnic/racial groups do not go to annual conventions and decide as one unit what is cool and acceptable for the whole race therefore do not think just because one person or some people from a group say its okay for you to do something means the whole group is gonna be fine with it. And once they say they’re offended do not pull the “well my friend said…” out your behind.
Well That Is Horrible, but there’s (insert totally unrelated thing) which is a step in the right direction
So this summer was bad for Black people on a political/social scale. I’m just gonna call this one, feel free to disagree, but Zimmerman was freed, the Paula Deen mess came out, and the VRA was gutted all in the same week or so. Yeah America turned the “Screw you Black People” scale up to a 10 (we’ve almost got yall back on boats), from it’s usual level of 5 (we’ll just harass you on the street and occasionally shoot one of your youth for no reason), that week. I was discussing the blow that gutting the VRA was to civil rights and the person I was talking to was like “well DOMA got struck down so that’s good though…”
Are you saying I shouldn’t feel as bad about the possibility of voter discrimination coming back as strong as ever (even though it never completely went away) because gays can marry in California now? Yeah that may be a victory but like hell does it negate the importance of the striking down of the VRA. It’s like “hey I know years of hard work and lives lost have basically been declared all for naught but look these other group of people who may or not be marginalized by this loss are doing good”. When someone presents a horror address it as such, don’t try to pacify it with some random feel good fact. Just don’t.
That’s all I got. Let me know any other phrases that make you side eye, neck roll, or otherwise be displeased.
-Briizy, aka Brini-Bri, aka Girl with the ‘fro
“Circumcision and uncircumcision aren’t worth anything to those who believe in Christ Jesus. The only thing that really counts is faith that shows itself through love”- Galatians 5:6