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This site was created by Nicholl McGuire, Inspirational Speaker and Author. Feel free to comment, share links and subscribe. If you have a business or would like to guest post feel free to contact. Check out topics on this blog and select what interests you. They are found at the bottom of this page. Peace and Love.

Thursday

On Venting About Your Own Ethnicity

"What goes on at home, stays at home," some of you reading this remember what your parents told you, and you went running off the mouth anyway. "I don't care what they said," the rebellious teen exclaims. "Daddy just don't want me to say nothing because he knows what he's been doing...Mama just don't want grandma to know because she won't give her anything." Oh, don't we remember the things our parents and grandparents told us to keep silent about when it comes to what goes on at home. "This is my house...and until you pay the bills, you don't have sh*t to say!" A beaten down disgruntled teen often told to, "Stay in a child's place" grows up to be a big mouth adult venting about everyone including his own people. (I'm a witness!)

I've heard black celebrity entertainers in mainstream media mouthing off about one another's projects and negatively labeling this one and that one's work (as if there is a whole lot of black people running the entertainment industries, yeah right!?) I understand we live in a world of free speech, but some things are better left unsaid and if you must say it, do it behind closed doors. But what do our people do especially when they become successful, they tell the world everything about us including how much they don't like someone. They run off the mouth about what happened in the past, the present and go so far as to predict someone else's future. To make matters worse, they hate on one another right before non-blacks.

These "other" races like that "kind of carrying on" (I borrowed that line from my grandma) which means drama, hoopla, and/or craziness. As long as you aren't talking about them negatively, they are okay with you. So how does the sell-out black reaffirm his allegiance to the man? He not only vents, but he shares personal information about his own people specifically tailored to get someone demoted, fired, scandalized or anything else that affects his paper!

Go ahead, talk about your people with "them." Laugh it up. "Well you know blacks can be a bit emotional...sensitive...my friend is ghetto..." Does it make you feel good especially when they start feeling comfortable around you to add their two cents worth? It's funny because these same people who are moving up the ladder on the backs of "us" and "they" will come back around needing us when non-blacks no longer see that money rolling in like they once did.

Whether you are working amongst non-blacks in a small community or in corporate America, when you show that you don't have any allegiance to anyone, people will be more likely to befriend you even blacks who don't particularly like their own people too. They know that you are not a threat, you are "so-called" fair. There's nothing wrong with being fair as long as you are consistent. But when you are deliberately siding with non-blacks to win favor with them by talking about your own people, you have issues and you don't need a psychologist to tell you that usually there are other actions that some will do that tell the world, "I don't do my people." However, deep inside the heart of any black person that has been slighted by someone of another race, you have to know that some things just can't be said about you or those around you who are black. You have to realize that rebuking your brother before an audience of non-blacks is going to backfire sooner or later.

It's funny because the same people who don't want you to favor your own people, will question your loyalty, compassion, and other things that make up the human spirit. Behind closed doors they are talking to their friends saying, "Can we even trust this guy? I mean listen to how he speaks about his own people."

Some of the most dangerous blacks aren't the ones who carry a pistol around, but the ones who can cut a fellow brother or sister without blinking with their words. Then leave him or her bleeding to death while cashing in on his or her demise (that's cold.) But I tell you, I have seen some well-to-do blacks do just that with mere words and I don't trust them like I would my poor sister or brother in Christ. There has to be some degree of balance when dealing with an evil brother or sister and it doesn't have to be out on the street for all to see.

Peace.

Nicholl McGuire

Tuesday

When They Want to Be Your Friend...


"I don't think I have ever been friends with a black person before," she told me a few weeks into my stay at a college in a rural town outside of Chicago back in 1992. "Really?" At 18 years old, a freshman, I was still naive about what white people and other non-blacks' experiences with African American people (or lack thereof) was really like. I mean, in my mind back then, I thought that all whites had associated with non-whites at some point in their lives, but I was wrong. These white people I encountered were from some of the smallest towns in the United States and I would be the first black person they would meet in person. The most the young white woman knew about black people was from watching a show called, Martin, back in the early nineties and viewing MTV. "So why do black people wear so much jewelry...is it true they all like watermellon and chicken...my dad would kill me if I ever went out with a black guy...I don't trust them, I mean not you, but those others--they steal..."

Back in my early college years, I felt I had to represent for all black people. I was the only black in a double suite that I shared with three white females. I was one of three blacks who lived on our floor and on most days I didn't interact with blacks since many of my classes I was the only black. So when you aren't socializing much with your own kind, you tend to gravitate to those around you and adopt some of their mannerisms whether you know it or not. I will never forget when I came back to my small town and visited my grandmother and she said, "You talk funny now." Some of you know exactly what that means, "You talking white." Hanging out with non-blacks was somewhat of a benefit for me, because I was beginning to learn more about them and they seemed to be genuinely interested in being my friend back in college.

During those early 90s, I realized why mega African American stars like Oprah got so far in life--they knew how to adapt. Toss back that hair, laugh the corny laugh, kiss a cheek or two, flatter someone, wear something appealing, and talk money, people will listen! It doesn't matter that you didn't use a preposition in a sentence that needed one in your conversation or forgot to enunciate "the" and "this" and instead it came out duh and dis when you talked, just keep on smiling, "Make 'em laugh!" I learned quickly. Before long, people wanted me to join their groups and come with them to happy hour. Was I a sell-out back then? Not quite, because I found a few campus groups eventually that did have some black representation.

There were plenty of invites from non-blacks to attend alcohol serving social events--that's where I drew the line and even now I'm not interested. Some of us know how folks act when they drink too much and I wasn't about to get turned out by someone in their dorm, raped at a party, or used for entertainment for some racist non-blacks to tease. I recall a black friend telling me once, "Watch out they might slip up and call you a n*gga!" Funny, one of my friends at another college had that happen and she blackened the white boy's eye. They both got suspended for a time, but by the time the college investigated the matter, he was still on campus and she was permanently expelled. Go figure!?

I don't mind being an acquaintance in any relationship, but a friend...hmm, I have to think about that one. It sounds so personal to me nowadays. It means that I have to open up to folks, I don't know in order to start a friendship. It's easy to type something on a screen, but sit down and seriously befriend someone, while praying they won't be offended by every little thing that comes out of my mouth, well I don't know. It was stressful back then trying to stay on my best behavior for our people while standing before non-blacks. Now that I am older, I don't know if I even care anymore.

When I think of my children, I try my best not to inundate them with a whole lot of "us" and "they" conversation, but I do find myself reminding them who they are and how the world sees them and it isn't always about being an athlete or a musician either. (Oooo, I'm so tired of that!) As quick as some people want to be your friend, they can also become an enemy of yours for a number of reasons based on the ignorance that their grandparents and parents passed down to them. So I advise my children to keep their eyes open and not be so trusting of everyone no matter how nice whether black, white or otherwise. And most of all, I tell them you don't have to sing runs, act simple or play ball to win anyone's approval either.

Nicholl McGuire

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