I like to laugh. A good meme or joke is always good for brightening my day! Black Twitter and The Shade Room is staple entertainment for the culture. It's our literature. We will read entertaining news and gossip before something of substance.
At times that's cool, but sometimes I ask myself, “What's the limit? Where does the joke and means of entertainment end?” Someone did a comparison of "white" and "black" Twitter and the difference was significant. Naturally, we are raw and uncut. Let's face it sometimes we have no chill!
Our sensitivity and compassion deems to be questioned when the same thing that makes us laugh as a community makes us cry. When the same situations we victimize ourselves in, we’re the culprits. Physically and emotionally, black on black crime is just as relevantly noted as the evil of racism. We spot it until it's self- inflicted. We are comfortable in the recreation of derogatory terms being spewed among ourselves but not from our Enemy. We seek protection from outside sources but rarely look within.
How many times have you said nigga today but would shudder to hear the word nigger? How many times have you belittled someone of your own race because they were darker? No, before melanin was poppin?? How many times have you reposted or commented on a meme in participation of degrading your own race? Cause it was... funny?
Like the story of Kenneka Martin, a Chicago teen found dead in a hotel freezer. There are many questions surrounding her death. The case is still fresh, the family is still mourning, yet for many it is entertainment. For many the tragedy is a hashtag and trend. A means to go viral by creating a live video or sharing an opinionated post. Not in genuine concern, but for the sake of popularity. It has become a trend to do the #IreneChallenge, recreating scenes from the night of her death as a joke.
Many of the videos I have seen are from young black men. Similar to the black men surrounding her at the scene, speculated of foul play and rape. Black men who are summoned by many to be the protector of black women. Some feel a black man is the only man fit to be with a black woman. These same black men are against women like Serena or Rihanna who found love with another race. Yet, it’s her race of men who take part in the ongoing joke of Serena looking like a man!
Awhile back, a large group of young black girls went missing. Leaving the black community to seek protectors. Only to find some of the women were missing coincidently around the same time sex trafficking scandals were being exposed, ran by black men. This also aligns with the many murders of lovers in a rage-murders of black women by black men.
Both black men and women contribute to the culture of rape and abuse. Have you seen the Ike and Tina memes? Or more relatable, what about the unmentioned abuse of young black girls from a step father or uncle hidden for years because "no one would believe them anyway." Or the mother to be exact, because she feels more entitled to please her black man, than to protect her
This is not an attack on black men or black people in general. This is not an offense to the culture. This is just an evaluation of our sensitivity and awareness to the issues surrounding us created by US. Many present and past situations have proven there is evident evil and malicious intention from opponents outside of our race. (Not everyone is racist). But it's time to recognize the struggle within. Black people: "Who hates you more than you"? There is a certain sting worse than any other pain and that’s from those who are close. It hurts me to see innocent children ridiculed, but even more it hurts to see innocent children ridiculed by their own race. We scream, “Black Lives Matter,” and in the same sentence tell a light skin vs dark skin joke. We demand respect from other races and cultures but disrespect each other. We desire equality and to be seen as people, yet dehumanize each other.
I will never forget a past conversation with a Caucasian coworker. He looked at me and asked, "Why do you laugh at each other?" I asked him what he meant. He restated, "Why do you laugh at each other... why do black people laugh at each other?" I didn't know what to tell him. Maybe if he asked now I would tell him, "I don't know. Maybe because we were taught to be divided from each other. Maybe the light skin vs dark skin mentality is rooted in traces of slavery. Maybe belittling someone in our race gives us the feeling of being superior, for once.
Perhaps our sensitivity is faded from a learned immunity to years of hurt and pain. Who knows, maybe our means to laugh despite the matter or subject is preventive measures for crying. As a people, maybe we don't want to be in a constant state of depression or chasing a horrid hope that one day "a change gone come."
That's what I would tell him because I love my people & have the best intentions and desire for the culture. I don't think I'm better or separate from the issues mentioned in this blog. I just believe as a race we all should examine our sensitivity to the issues around us and each other!