4.25.2012

A Reader Said....

So I don't even know where to start...

I went to a talk with my alumni club concerning the book, "Is Marriage for White People?" and I don't think I've ever been in a setting where I had to listen to white people discussing black people in person.

But it just reminded how much they like to discuss us but don't care if we are part of the conversation, b/c the only other black person there was the author and when I asked the woman hosting if they had contacted our school's Black Alumni Society, she was like "the what" and then proceeded to act like it was a waste of time...first, no, we are cross post with the city branch of the club (we are the suburban branch) and suggesting that the reason they were unaware was b/c they only got "official" club info from our school's umbrella alumni association, again, not true since the way I found my area's black alumni club was through the university web site.

They want to discuss us and our hair and our oh so funny black mating habits but don't really want us there.

I also had to deal with a white girl who got very prickly at the suggestion that the book was about black women. They are such self-involved creatures.  I can't take them.

Sorry this is so rambling but it seemed like the kind of issue you address or maybe have address, and I kind of need to vent b/c there are so few black people here. Ugh.
Ugh, indeed. This is a bona fide horror story right here. Thoughts?

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*rubs temples*

11 comments:

  1. "But it just reminded how much they like to discuss us but don't care if we are part of the conversation"

    Which is why I don't do it.

    I don't care how well-intentioned, the conversation (in a white majority setting) will always descend into the bowels of hell for the Black person participating. They only want to discuss and solidify the perceptions they were raised with and nothing else. Facts and truth don't matter to them and it actually slows the process to their conclusion of Black people's inferiority. So too many Black people participating to counter that lie is a negative for them.

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    1. You aren't lying there. I mean, I could tell that they did not like how much my background countered their perceptions...went to private school, then to our university, and I have two grad degrees. If I'm there, it's supposed to be b/c of their generosity, and b/c some benevolent white person lifted me up from the ghetto.

      And even with the author, they were shocked, shocked, that his kids went to a local private school instead of public, whereas their kids went to public school. One lady asked him why he didn't send his kids to public school. I suspect it is the same reason my parents didn't send me to public school. Their sense was that if someone messed with us and they were paying for it, they'd have to tolerate getting told for it. Any time did something suspect, my parents were contacting the principal and the headmaster.

      Mind you, this guy is a prof at one of the most elite schools in the country. Where should his kids go to school? He should have said, "b/c I can afford to bitches"...we live in an area with a lot of posers who are barely clinging to their overpriced houses in their coveted school districts, so the truth is, a lot of the CANNOT live here and still pay tuition. It had to blow some minds that he could live in a desirable area but still pay the tuition on top of that.

      I think it is worse here...so few blacks participating in the gold rush out here so their eyes get wide as saucers when they ask me where I went to school and find out that I have 3 degrees from 2 very well-known and sought after universities.

      They aren't used to black people who have more than them. I think it gives them a rash. That's why I had hoped for some black alumni, since the typical black alumni from my school, for better or worse, probably came from a pretty privileged background, and I love to see their faces fall when they have to hear from a black person who grew up with money.

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    2. "They aren't used to black people who have more than them. I think it gives them a rash."

      You are right they probably aren't used to it and that is because they believe the propagandized depictions of Black people that their cohorts submit as proof and truth of what ALL Black folks are like. And the rash that they get when they realize that there are Black folks that (to them) slipped through their long established system of barriers they are in shock. They thought that their ancestors had done all the heavy lifting to ensure that their privilege reigned. I guess they completely missed the Civil Rights Era and we are supposed to still be holding on and beholding to their greatness and our "inferiority".O_0

      As far as I am concerned it is divine bliss every time one of their faces crack at the sight of an exceptional Black person. Success is the best counter to their ignorance.

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  2. I'm with TrulyPC on this one. I avoid groups of them like the plague. They talk about us like a tourist group looking at monkeys in a cage at the zoo.

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  3. I wish I had the luxury of avoiding those groups. In my setting I deal with politicians, attorneys, upper management, so guess who the majority of those people are. I don't know how many times a day I'm asked if I'm okay, like I'm a child. As a supposed "valued" member of a team, I am often shocked at how many times I'm left out on knowing pertinent information. So you know what I do. I go to work, I do my job to the best of my abilities, and I get the hell out of Dodge. They have nothing to complain about if I'm doing what I'm supposed to. I'm tired of being the spokes person for the entire black community. When they ask me how a black person would feel or respond or act...I tell them just like you.

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  4. Hi,
    I wrote the letter but I was caught off guard by the demographics. I should have known better. I thought the topic would pull the black alumni out, b/c while I live in an area that doesn't have a lot of black people, there are some.

    Of course, I get there and not only is the organizer not a black alum, but not a single black face came besides the author, and it wasn't until my question about the black alumni club was dismissed that I realized why. I should add, when I talked to the author afterwards, he knew (and clearly respected) the president of my black alumni club (who was a contemporary of mine in college and who is a professor at the same university as him), and when the original girl overheard that nugget, suddenly she was all interested.

    I had pictures showing put and finding other black people and being like, oh, where do you all hide?

    It was so cringeworthy to have to watch their faces light up as they "learned" so much about us. I mean, now they are going to share this all with their friends.

    And yes, awful to sit through the stats about black men and all of their problems. Ugh.

    Considering where I live, I wondered if the author had a black wife. B/c here, that is REALLY rare.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly; the whole meeting was set up that way. They couldn't enjoy it nearly as much if Black people were there.

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  5. Oh, and @Ankhesen, thanks for printing this. There are so few black people around, and a lot of the ones who are around are all about being the good Negro so finding someone who gets it is rare.

    Next time I'll do a better job proofreading...

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  6. "....and when I asked the woman hosting if they had contacted our school's Black Alumni Society, she was like "the what" and then proceeded to act like it was a waste of time..."

    That right there sums up everything for me.

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  7. Yeah, and I should add that I've seen events on the website that were sponsored by my school's Asian American Alumni Association, so for her to act like the Black Alumni Association was just some fringe, off-shoot, unsanctioned, and to borrow her term "niche" group is all kinds of bull.

    In case anyone wonders, I live in the Bay Area, where everyone thinks that it doesn't matter that there are no Blacks, and that the Latinos are mostly serving people, since they have all kinds of Asians and South Asians.

    People will act like I should be thrilled to live in such a "diverse" area and I'm like, what, I should be grateful to one of the like 5 black people in the tech industry? Really?
    I always wonder if these jerks have been to Chicago or DC and realize that I don't to settle for being a fringe member of society in other major U.S. cities? And that I've worked for other major U.S. companies where I saw black execs like every day, as opposed to now where I don't even have black co-workers.

    I'd comfortably say that in the Bay, the only voices that count are white or Asian, and frankly, they seem to be fine with that, esp. since they seem shocked that I don't love it and it's "diversity."

    It's kind of pathetic...I only see groups of black people stumbling around the Tenderloin, and they are truly some of the saddest people I've seen in my life, since many are homeless and mentally ill, and then the rest are in Bayview, and also mostly very poor but at least not homeless, and it is kind of separated from the popular parts of the city (not sure how they managed it but they did).

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  8. "I only see groups of black people stumbling around the Tenderloin, and they are truly some of the saddest people I've seen in my life, since many are homeless and mentally ill,"

    This is so sad. There is so much stigma attached to mental health. Most of the homeless people I see here in New York suffer from some form of mental illness.

    "I'd comfortably say that in the Bay, the only voices that count are white or Asian, and frankly, they seem to be fine with that, esp. since they seem shocked that I don't love it and it's "diversity." "

    Damn. I always hear people talk about how diverse the Bay Area is and what a "melting pot" it is. *eye roll*

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