For those of you who email me

From an email convo I just had:

"She" writes:
I live in Washington, a very non-racially diverse state. The other day I was talking to cousin from Southern California via Facebook. I randomly scrolled through her friends list and looked at a couple profiles. I don't mean this in a racially depreciating way, but I was slightly appalled by both what I saw on several African American young people's profiles and what seemed to be white adolescents imitating their African American friends. Where I live being primarily white, middle class, and "hipster", we have certain stereotypes we associate with "ghetto" or "hip hop" culture. But I found the photos of girls wearing low cut, midriff revealing hot pink tube tops and large hoop earring, too tight jeans, and 5 layers of pink sparky lip gloss on puckered lips while looking seductively at the camera while striking a sassy pose with one hand on the hip to portray a very negative image of that culture. Not only that, but the comments underneath:
"Daaaaaaayum, gurl, You look fine. Just holla anytime."
"Dis pic is hot, girl"
"sexy little shawty"
"id fuck that"
No spelling. No grammar. And guys comments on it looked no better. Every picture they had of themselves was of their shirt taken off, showing off their abs.

Maybe I'm just [not] used to this kind of thing. But it really doesn't seem like the image a community wants to portray.

My reply:
Appalachia, where I live, is extremely white. Here young girls wear Confederate flag halters, blast classic rock from their boyfriends' pick-up trucks and call themselves "rebel girls". As you would say, it's not the image a community would want to portray. As I would say, it's not representative of the entire community.

This isn't about "ghetto" or "white trash" culture; it's not a black thing which has somehow "infected" impressionable young white girls (which you're implying). What causes this behavior involves parental negligence and pop culture (mainly reality TV these days), resulting in low self-esteem and attention-seeking behaviors typical of adolescents.
Her reply:
Well, I do have similar issues with blacks [white] girls around here who bleach their hair blonde and get fake tans and try to imitate this very fake, slutty SoCal look. I'm not really attacking blacks as a race. People of all colors can be crude or trashy.

I'm just not a big fan of hip hop culture. Most of the people I know from the Pacific Northwest don't even have any black friends. All they know is that blacks write that hip hop and rap music.

It actually makes me happy when I see more white guys wearing baggy shirts and chains and white girls wearing poofy jackets with fur trim. Or black guys wearing skinny jeans and rock shirts. Or black girls wearing surfer clothing.

It shows it's really not about the race.
So, naturally, I reply:
Keep in mind, you requested my opinion.

I also notice that this email is vastly different from your last email. In fact, the statement, "I don't mean this in a racially depreciating way..." comes to mind.

Secondly, you didn’t bring up these observations in your first email. Thirdly, if this is not about race, why exactly are you asking my opinion? What is this whole conversation about?
You guessed it. She replies:
Neither e-mail is different.

The first e-mail I stated that I didn't mean for it to be "racially deprecating" in any way.

The second stated I was attacking a specific race as well. Also, the "white girls around here who bleach their hair blonde...".

Well, for the most part when I see people following hip hop or rap trends, it's blacks. Or emo or surfer trends, it's white. I just said noticing one race following trends not usually associated with their race is refreshing.

My main question is if you think that hip hop culture and the hip hop and rap icons you see in the media are a bad reflection of black America and a bad influence on today's youth?
So...typical Moi, I ask her why she's asking me this.  To which she replies:
I've seen a lot of social commentary on your blog about Blacks in today's society (with an emphasis on Black women). Also, you seem like an intelligent and reasonable individual.
So then I reply:
Here’s why I asked you. You’ve made it clear that you don’t like/approve of hip hop culture. You’ve made it clear you see it as a negative influence. When a person clearly has made up their mind about something, they often ask for another person’s opinion in hopes of having their own confirmed.

Here’s the thing: “hip hop” and “rap” aren’t the problems. What you hear on the radio and see on channels like MTV or in poorly written, disastrously casted “gangsta flicks” aren’t real hip hop or rap. They’re commercialized hip hop and pop rap (it helps to be specific). To hear real hip hop and old school rap, you have to go underground. You have to track down all those unsigned rappers who quote scholars and philosophers and discuss social issues in their rhymes. Unlike mainstream rappers, they’re often college-educated, have little to no criminal background, and are regularly engaged in community service, like rapper/educator Asheru.

You will almost NEVER see them in popular media because they are a more accurate depiction of black people in America. Moreover, they represent us positively, and white America doesn’t want to show people that. They don’t want non-black (or even black) people to [see black people] that way. They want everyone to see us as “ghetto”, illiterate, promiscuous, and self-destructive so that they don’t have to take responsibility for – or even mention – the glaring inequality in our society.

Like I said…those girls on Facebook aren’t representatives of the entire black community. They are representatives of poor parenting and irresponsible commercialization – common in many communities.

So my answer is no…I don’t think the mainstream music scene is a negative reflection of black people, because it’s not even a reflection of black people. You say you’ve read my blog, then you’ll notice a recurring trend: white media is the dominant media; people of color in general don’t have a say. When we do, we don’t represent ourselves in this manner; it’s not who we are and ultimately says nothing about us – it only says what [some] white people prefer to think of us, and want other whites to think of us as well.
Questions? Comments?

Comments

  1. Stuff like this is why I wanted a "you're wasting your parents money, go home!" stamp for grading. Some people just need the stupid smacked out of them.

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  2. I find it really sad that you even have to explain such a simple thing to someone. I live in one the world's whitest countries and indeed get most of my exposure to blackness from media and yet I know that the commercialised portion of one subculture is not representative of an entire culture. Does she likewise think that foreigners see all USA:ians as cowboys? Oh but of course not, they're just NORMAL people, it's everyone ELSE who are made of narrow stereotypes...

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  3. This girl who wrote you is doing that very common thing white people do where they initiate dialogue with an intelligent black person and assume that because you are intelligent and educated, you must be closer to white (i.e. racist) in your opinions. She's seen commentary on this blog about black people and black women, and she thought THIS would fly?

    She even notes that both blacks and whites had the "scandalous" photos, yet whose community gets called out like this? If it's about "hip hop culture" and not race, why did she make it a racial thing? Why isn't she on a hip hop blog with this nonsense? Oh man I know all the answers to these questions and yet I still bang my head against this stupid wall.

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  4. Damn, it's only the third day of the new year!

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  5. I think you have the patience of a saint.

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  6. "She" writes:
    “But I found the photos of girls wearing low cut, midriff revealing hot pink tube tops and large hoop earring, too tight jeans, and 5 layers of pink sparky lip gloss on puckered lips while looking seductively at the camera while striking a sassy pose with one hand on the hip to portray a very negative image of that culture.”

    Funny… she just described the Bratz Dolls, because they’re mostly white. Moreover, I notice every time she used the descriptor ‘black’, she was heaping all of the world’s ills on our shoulders, even though as she said whites are just as culpable. I’m surprised she didn’t preface her comment with, “I’m not racist but…”

    She didn’t call out 'white teen' behavior in the ‘Girls Gone Wild videos’, or historically, the countless billions in porn sales where white women/teens engage in all manner of debauchery. The fact that before blacks even heard of a 'Facebook' 'scandalous photos' were uploaded regularly to pages hosted by white teens. In 'suburban communities' all over this nation white teens are holding sex parties in dorms or in their parent's home; but she fails to mention this. Oh the hypocrisy!

    Sadly, in her limited capacity all she could see was hip-hop culture (blacks). That’s what’s ruining this country.

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  7. When a person clearly has made up their mind about something, they often ask for another person’s opinion in hopes of having their own confirmed.

    Ding...Ding...Ding!

    Classically looking towards the "different kind of black person" to confirm that they are not an ignorant racist. I think it would benefit her to open her eyes and understand exactly what you said about white media being the dominant media.

    But I found the photos of girls wearing low cut, midriff revealing hot pink tube tops and large hoop earring, too tight jeans, and 5 layers of pink sparky lip gloss on puckered lips while looking seductively at the camera while striking a sassy pose with one hand on the hip to portray a very negative image of THAT culture.(emphasis mine)

    Ha, she seems to think that today's hip hop/rap industry negatively influences the precious white youth... well, what about Gossip Girl, 90210(old and new), Lindsey Lohan, Miley Cyrus and so on. Just watching the "news" and commercials I see as much if not more negative influences.

    In today's world I pay attention to EVERYTHING because a child's influences (negative or not) are not confined to a shared skin tone. A parent's job is to be their child's most important influence. I have to know what I am dealing with in today's society to know how to counteract the garbage that is out there. And that often times means saying NO.

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  8. @ RVCBard

    That's what I said!

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  9. "No spelling. No grammar."

    Really?! Coming from the generation that brought you text-speak? No way! Get outta town! But let's ignore that generation being mostly white, and let's ignore the hundreds of white FB profiles who have limited to no black friends who STILL talk/write like that and point out black people instead. That works everywhere else, right?

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  10. "Here’s the thing: “hip hop” and “rap” aren’t the problems. What you hear on the radio and see on channels like MTV or in poorly written, disastrously casted “gangsta flicks” aren’t real hip hop or rap. They’re commercialized hip hop and pop rap (it helps to be specific). To hear real hip hop and old school rap, you have to go underground. You have to track down all those unsigned rappers who quote scholars and philosophers and discuss social issues in their rhymes. Unlike mainstream rappers, they’re often college-educated, have little to no criminal background, and are regularly engaged in community service, like rapper/educator Asheru.

    You will almost NEVER see them in popular media because they are a more accurate depiction of black people in America. Moreover, they represent us positively, and white America doesn’t want to show people that. They don’t want non-black (or even black) people to be seen that way. They want everyone to see us as “ghetto”, illiterate, promiscuous, and self-destructive so that they don’t have to take responsibility for – or even mention – the glaring inequality in our society."


    QUOTED FOR MOTHER FRAKKING TRUTH! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

    And if her mind is so made up, why in the hell is she asking for your input? I had an asshole do that shit to me around this time last year.

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  11. What did she say after your last response? Nothing?

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  12. All I can say is...Canada here i come LOL

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  13. "I don't mean this in a racially depreciating way, but..."

    My eyes stopped right there. Experience tells me that the very second you preface a sentence with that kind of statement, you're about to become a liar.

    And then, when I dared to read further, the rest of that letter confirmed my suspicions. .::Yawn::.

    Ankh, even though she didn't answer your question, she knows exactly why she sought your approval. She wants black cosigners to reassure her that her uninformed view is okay.

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  14. Another proof of the sheltered, distorted view so many whites have about blacks. She pretty much made herself sound like a ditzy, valley, white girl who is so scared of reality and truth, but thinks she knows more about the world than those who actually live in it.

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  15. RVCBard...cosign 3X. The year JUST started!!!


    Damn, where do these creepazoids come from? I mean, did she read what she wrote before she hit SEND? Did she really feel like you would give her permission to feel the way she does so that she could sleep at night? Break out the can of creep repellent and spray this chick down.

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  16. @ Neo-Prodigy

    Thanks, boo. I had a bit of typo in there, but I fixed it.

    @ Will

    Another proof of the sheltered, distorted view so many whites have about blacks.

    Shudder-worthy, isn't it?

    @ M. Gibson

    I’m surprised she didn’t preface her comment with, “I’m not racist but…”

    Actually, she kinda did with the whole, "I don't mean this in a racially depreciating way, but...."

    She didn’t call out 'white teen' behavior in the ‘Girls Gone Wild videos’

    Alas, they never do. And they should, since a new comes out every five seconds, and all it takes it get these girls (they've usually just turned 18) to bare their breasts, buttocks, and labia - and to sexually pleasure other random women whom they don't give a fuck about - are T-shirts.

    And these are average, random girls, all across the country.

    @ Student of the World

    What did she say after your last response? Nothing?

    I made it clear I was short on time and had to go to bed. At the end of my last answer, I told her was going to bed and did so. I have to get up for work in the mornings.

    And I didn't really see the point in dragging this out for too long.

    Here's what made me blink:

    Neither e-mail is different.

    But they are. The first email zeroed in on race, specifically black people. The second one pulled back to try to make it sound like she wasn't talking about race at all.

    But then her question then zeroes right back in on black people, and she tries to blame hip hop.

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  17. @Ankhesen Mie
    And these are average, random girls, all across the country.

    Your social life sounds so much more interesting than mine.

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  18. sigh... I really hate when that shit happens.

    A few weeks back I got a message along the lines of "why is it that black mothers rasie their sons to be thugs and gangstas"

    To which I replied "The same reason whte mothers raise their kids to be sick arse serial killers and wild kids that shoot everyone in their schools."

    She just wanted to be able to say "Well my this black chick from the internet agrees with what I sad so I'm not being racist."

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  19. To which I replied "The same reason whte mothers raise their kids to be sick arse serial killers and wild kids that shoot everyone in their schools."

    And pedophiles. You can't forget the pedophiles.

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