Perhaps by now you’ve seen BuzzFeed’s latest viral video, “27 Questions Black People Have for Black People,” but if you haven’t, take a look.
The video features several Black folk asking questions like:
Why is it so hard to be on time?
Why are we more likely to engage in a new dance trend than we are to get involved in politics?
How did watermelon become our thing?
Why do we call each other the n-word, and yet get vehemently upset when a white person uses the n-word.
Why is my natural hair, the hair that grows out of my head, seen as a political statement?
Why do we think people with light skin look better than people with dark skin?
Why do some Black men only date white women?
Why do you protest Black Lives Matter, and then tear each other down in the next breath?
Aside from being completely played out and stale, the questions sound self-loathing and like they’re geared toward a white audience, not to start a conversation among our community. Because seriously, what knowledgable Black person doesn’t know that WHITE PEOPLE pegged African Americans with the fried chicken and watermelon-eating stereotype, or introduced the idea of colorism to cause division, or doesn’t understand why protesting state violence via the Black Lives Matter movement is important.
Buzzfeed has consistently made hilarious videos about everything from food to race, but this isn’t one of them. Instead, this is just sad.
The need to be “the special Black person” in the room is palpable with these folks who probably should have asked each other, “Why do I need approval of white folks so much?”
With things like 28 Days of Black Cosplay and the rise of Blerds (Black nerds) and Carefree Black Girls, things like enjoying anime or comic books or anything “alternative” isn’t even that different anymore. So either these folks haven’t made it into the 21st century, or they’re so wedded to the idea that they’re exceptional because they’ve gotten a little education, a few passport stamps, and listen to Panic! At the Disco (or some such).
Look, Black people are complex, flawed, wonderful human beings who have been subjected to all manner of attacks from dominant culture (hello white supremacy) hoping to strip away our humanity through messages that we’re less than, deviant, and terrible. Despite it all, we’ve continued to survive and thrive, but after watching this video, it’s clear some of us have sipped the Black people ain’t shit kool aid. And it just makes me sad.