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Thursday

That's What White People Do - What Does that Mean?

When something is done that is foreign to the mind of an African American male or female that has lived on this planet a lot longer than most of us, out comes the following statement, "That's what white people do."  A white person runs in the woods naked and plays with animals, expected.  A black person, not so much.  A white person jumps down from a tall mountain into the water below, expected.  A black person, not so much.  A white man gets jailed for doing strange things with a certain part of his anatomy, expected.  A black person, not so much.  These are simply examples of how some blacks view funny, yet strange white world.

Now I don't know where to find the list, secret society, or manual on what whites do that is so different than blacks and why black folks need to stay away from it, but if I find it, I will surely share it--I hope you know I am being funny.  But seriously, there are many differences between American blacks and non-blacks depending on where one is from, what influences he or she has grown up with, and most of all what is in one's DNA.  Black or not, we are going to misunderstand one another sooner or later.  So while blacks are saying, "That's what white people do..."  Whites are pointing out, "Well, that's what those blacks do."  And both statements are most likely followed with, "So you don't do it!"  That is if one is talking to a child.  But if you are an adult, you just know that might be an action you stay away from if you want to be approved in a predominately black or white club/church/family.

Dismissive statements like, "We are just people, different hues, but people!" are foolish!  Sure, we are people, but we have a lot going on with all of us.  Some people are just known for doing strange, out of the box things, while others are not.  Some people are just funny while others are not.  Some people just have a knack for making more money while others are not.  There are some facts about people that we simply can't escape from.  Now, when we add to the word "people" and start putting a color, gender, sex, religion, or some other description in front of the word, and add a bit more detail, then the one who is writing is considered ignorant and perpetuating stereotypes.  I'm not going to go that far and draft a list of what makes blacks and whites different from one another, but what I will say is that when I hear someone say, "That's what white people do..." nowadays, I can find black folks on YouTube and elsewhere doing the same stupid, backward sort of things and I just drop my head.

Some blacks are just not going to fit in any box no matter how hard you try to stuff them.  They are out there!  They are doing what white people do!  And they are loving it too.  They took what Martin Luther King said about freedom and jumped off the mountaintop!  But then there are some blacks, who just need to quit while they are ahead.  Some are just trying too hard to fit in, fakers!  They aren't being themselves, they are being somebody else! 

When one allows his or herself to be a blank, white canvas and walk into a predominately white atmosphere, you best believe there is going to be an artist or two that is going to want to paint on you.  "What shall we create?  What might we call you?"  From a relationship to a work environment, someone is going to want to handle the black guy or gal.  Before long, Tee-Tee Johnson (a fictional name) from around the way is Theresa Meadows (another fictional name), who is an affluent, aspiring, articulate...whatever doing whoever.  The artist has created his masterpiece. 

Here is yet another example for you to think about concerning that statement, "That's what white people do!"  Joey used to love chicken and waffles, but now that he is dating Ginger he is eating sushi.  His black grandma says, "Now boy, that's what white people do!"  Ginger gasps, she thinks, "Doesn't his grandmother see that I'm white?"  She could care less!  Ginger is lucky to even be in the same room with grandma.  You see, back in grandma's day, whites did their thing and blacks did theirs on the other side of town.  So grandma learned what white people did, because she worked for them.   

These days have we not seen such things take place with reality show characters over the years, changing their ways for that almighty dollar being waved around by white hands?  How about certain first ladies--hmm!?  Not-so outspoken, like back in the day, first lady appears to be more docile, conservative, mellow.  Oh yes, the rich, white world knows how to tame loud mouths when they want to and when they need to arouse her, look out!  "What the...? Who the?  Ya'll need to tell them who I am!"  These days that's what white people are trying to do on some of these reality shows (and even at your family get-togethers,) bring that black emotion, it boosts ratings, does it not?  Viewers need to stop giving the drama attention and just maybe producers would put some of the attitude from blacks and non-blacks to rest, but I digress.

I recognize that white, red, yellow, black, and other folks have their way of doing things and I'm not going to be a fool and say, "Oh well, that's just people being people!  Because there is more to it, then "people being people," the truth of the matter is, we are more than just people!   We have minds, bodies and spirits!  Behind the skin hues, there are spirits at work, and some are not about feeding one's soul with all things good; rather, some are more interested in taking from one's soul and filling it up with all things bad!  That's why it is never a good thing to go anywhere and be someone's blank, white canvas!  And just in case you don't believe me, look at the entertainers who were good girls and guys turned bad!  Check out some of the people in your own family who were once tolerable to be around, but since they got with this one and that one, they are all messed up!  There are some spirits, like some tribes, that don't need to do anything more than just stay where they are! It's not prejudice, prideful or crazy, just leave them be!  What's crazy is trying to do something, without evaluating whether it is right, but because it's "white," so to speak, you do it!  If "white" people do something and blacks aren't doing it, some will want to color it up! Huh!? Yep.  Look at the sports world. 

Well, for some black and non-black rich folks, it's all about the dollar and if someone is willing to be the black guinea pig, even if it's wrong, they will take everyone to hell with them and deal with the consequences later.  I direct you to black entertainment media once again!

So when blacks folks ignorantly tell me that white folks do some strange things, I have to laugh, because there are many blacks and non-blacks that are just as strange, and they only keep getting stranger!

Nicholl McGuire

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