I am beginning to realize that people are starting to stop me in the street and quote articles that I have done or witty video game reviews I’ve done or other reviews or news stories, or even editorials. It is starting to scare me a little.
The other day I was at my favorite Starbucks when two very sexy black boys just walked over to my table where I was happily typing out an article and blatantly sat down next to me, turned to me, and filled my ear with slushed tongues as they “aksed” me
“Wuz you da guy who do the rap article?”
I wanted to respond properly so that these slippery tongues would feel at one with me, so I tried to think of a response they would have said. “Yeah nigga.” Seemed like a response that would get me decked, so I smiled, nodded, and said,
“Yes. I’m the very one who wrote that article about rap music and its good points.”
The first homie, or brotha, I wasn’t sure witch, scooted closer to me and shockingly exclaimed,
“But you be white dawg!”
“And you’re as brown as chocolate candy.” I shot right back.
“But you white. You can’t speak fo’ us.”
I twiddled with the idea of saying “well you two twits aren’t going to do it in an accessible medium, so, yeah, I can.” But I thought that made me look just mean, so instead I said,
“You can’t tell me what I can and can’t write about.”
Indeed, I can write about whatever issue I want to write about, regardless if I live in the community.
I believe that’s what makes me a well-rounded reporter because even though disability issues are high on my story lists I often write about other issues as well such as religion and ethnic issues.
The essay in question was an essay claiming that not all rap was bad and that black people were being judged based off of past notions and this is a new day and age and it definitely shouldn’t happen. I went into extensive detail about black oppression and the movement of civil rights, and I pointed out the various achievements of Malcolm X, explaining about him and where he came from and what he did to better the black population. Apparently, I’m not qualified to write about that kind of stuff because I’m white.
I actually feel offended that they assumed that a white man wouldn’t say anything positive about their triumphant success in civil rights and or rap music. I was hurt that I had to be black in order to help black people. I didn’t understand why this was. I was definitely capable, it received most read article of the month.
So then why couldn’t I say anything positive? And even shout it in a way that people would have to listen? I don’t know. They claimed I didn’t understand what it was like being black and I never would, no matter how hard I try.
First of all, I’ve looked in a few of the rap magazines editions and there weren’t any articles defending rap music at all, ever. I emailed the editor and asked him if anyone had published an article like the one that I had in mind. He said no so I began crafting white sentences to speak for the black population, apparently.
In this day and age, shouldn’t we all stand together and not try and do everything ourselves? I don’t think it should matter that I’m not black, because I possibly know more about this than many black people do. I have a disability, so while not directly the same, I can definitely sympathize with the stereotyping and the discrimination and the bias opinions about us as a populace. I know what it feels like and if I can say it in a medium that’s powerful and that many people will be reading then why not dispel some black myths and open people’s eyes? Why not harness what I know, instead of shutting me out because of what my ancestors have done. If you have someone with a unique gift, a craft for eloquence, and even better yet, an understanding perception then why the hell shouldn’t that package be used?
Sometimes I just don’t understand people, you know what I mean dawg?