Below is another installment of our featured series, #EducatedShade from the Co-Founders of GenYnot, Jordan + Jamira. Look out for the next post from your uncertified life coaches that are professionally bout that life.
Homophobia. Allodoxaphobia. Anuptaphobia. Necrophobia. Peniaphobia. Venustraphobia. Neopharmaphobia. Phallophobia. Prosophobia. Satanophobia. Somniphobia. Tyrannophobia. Xenophobia. These are all common and not so common phobias. If you are unfamiliar with any of these phobias, we encourage you to Google a few and learn at least one thing for today. Recently, Times published a piece on America’s Negrophobia, suggesting that the death of Michael Brown and the other black men that are killed twice a week by law enforcement are caused by the fear of black people. Negrophobia is a legit disorder. The author suggests that, “Phobias are extreme aversions. They are embedded deep in our psyches, activated when we come face-to-face with the thing we fear. For me, spiders trigger overreactions. For others, it can be people. Black people.” Have no fear, no pun intended, possessing Negrophobia does not make you a Fox News watching raging racist. In many ways it makes you…. American.
Seriously, it’s not your fault that you fear black people. What have we done to make you feel more comfortable? Like the TIMES article taught us, “Even the most well-intentioned people sometimes have difficulty avoiding discourses that reinforce problematic notions of Black physicality.” The following test will help you to “self” diagnosis your fear of black people, which aren’t based on any real encounters but mostly reflective of your iPod, food choices, primetime television and that one black friend you love like a brotha.
1: Who Do You Listen To?
A) Macklemore, Iggy Azeala, Kreyshawn, Eminem?
B) Kanye West, Nipsey Hussle, Tupac, Rick Ross?
If you picked option A, some may call that a preference but we all really know it’s a way to get our music and style without actually embracing black people and the culture contributions that we make. Cultural appropriation as the scholars call it. Hip hop and gangster rap were and are a form of expression that black people used to convey messages of change, anger and sometimes just plain ratchet behavior but in recent years it has been high-jacked by many white artists who claim to be influenced by “said” black artists, who were never recognized for their own work until it was whitewashed by mainstream media. There is nothing wrong with being entertained by Iggy Azeala, however you should stop and think why it is that you are more comfortable listening to Iggy over Nicki Minaj. Just saying.
2: How do you like your Soul Food?
A) Double deep fried like Paula Deen
B) Like ….well yeah, like any number of black chefs who haven’t reached no where near the state of success as Paula Deen.
For many Paula Deen has been labeled the “Queen” of Southern Food but we all know that’s just because you can make shrimp and grits, doesn’t mean you make you the best. The terminology for “soul” by most accounts originated in the 1960’s to describe African American culture and since then has been tag on to everything from our food to music. However, when “Middle America” thinks of “soul food” Paula Deen is the one comes to mind, an older white woman from the South that likes her help dressed up like slaves… But I’ll sip my sweet diabetic prone tea.
3: Which Elevator Companion Do You Prefer?
A) White male, 6’5, neck tattoos(“No isn’t always mean no”) and pierced lower lip.
B) Black male, 5’4, fitted grey suit with pocket protector. Even though I’m not sure what a pocket protector is **Googles**… But he has one.
Yes we all know that not all criminals come with warning lights or with “arrest me” tattooed across their forehead but if you find yourself clinching your bag a little tighter because the guy with the chocolate pigment got on the elevator, one might want to reevaluate why that is. And no black men don’t need to be dressed in suits in order to not be scary. The same goes for white men without tattoos.
4) How Do You Like Your Prime Time Television (Corny vs Cooning)?
A) Wayne Brady
B) Stevie J.
Let’s be honest, I can’t name anything on television that Wayne Brady has ever starred in, but I know there is a certain type of human that is comfortable with someone as corny as Wayne Brady. I will also be transparent and disclose that I don’t end a Monday without watching Love & Hip Hop on VH1, I won’t dabble into the politics of respectability however I am a firm believer that little ratchet television never hurt nobody, but cooning jokes, entertain no one.
After reading this you are thinking about your daily routine, neighborhood, office culture, classroom, or your secret interracial hookup and you immediately determine,
5) Of course I don’t have Negrophobia….
A) My best friend is black
B) I’ve dated a black girl or guy before
C) My boss is black
D) My favorite Barista is black
E) Kanye West is my favorite rapper
F) I run the Twitter account for BET
G) My favorite minorities are black
H) I donated to the United Negro College Fund
I) I love Olivia Pope
J) All of the above
It’s always entertaining when non-black people feel the need to bring out the one drop card, that will clearly define how simple minded they are about race and ethnicity. Your favorite person on the planet might be the blackest human alive, yet that does not remedy your Negrophobia. This was inspired by an article on Times that should have been on The Onion. Negrophobia is fatal. Not sure where you can go to remedy your phobia, maybe Iyanla Vanzant can fix you. =)