The Role We Play in Our Being Targets of Discrimination.

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( I sometimes feel as though my purpose for visiting certain sites and engaging in certain discussion groups is sometimes not only misunderstood, but also highly criticized. You see, I am the one annoying chick who has the audacity to call out the guy or the girl who may post a video of Black women being disruptive, or Black men fighting, or Black LGBTQ behaving in a way that seems to be “extra” or over-the –top, particularly if the person who posts such videos is seemingly (sometimes it is difficult to prove) Black. Yes people, my inner activist admits to often-times being the party-pooper who may rain on the parade of those who feel that posting and watching videos of us acting fools is just pure fun.

After seeing a video on last night (it appears to be at least two years old) of a Black male who went into his hotel bathroom to repeatedly punch the back of his girlfriend’s head after being egged on by a room full of his “homeboys”, I asked myself if there was any wonder that people of other races (particularly white) do not have the level of respect for us that we could demand. In other words, even in 2017, do we as Black people play a role in our being targets of discrimination?

Some of us would say yes, while others of us may argue no. Those of us who may lean more toward yes, would probably feel some of what I feel when I see that a fellow Black person has posted a video of Black women and men acting in reprehensible, stereotypical ways. It can be noted that if we think that it is funny, then we may have little room to become angry or offended if other groups of people formulate opinions based on what may be their only observation of “Black behavior”. If a non-Black person has little, to no real-life interaction with Black people, but those same non-Blacks frequently observe this type of behavior as presented by us to the world via social media, I find it very possible that those images inevitably become what defines our culture to people who do not know better, and to people who have absolutely no interest in being educated about whom we really are.

Those people who may say that we do NOT play a role in being targeted with discrimination may be those Black people who feel that no matter how many positive images of Black people we may see, (including images of the most graceful and arguably the most educated couple to ever inhabit the white house—shout out to President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama), non-Black people, particularly white, will always have their negative opinion of whom and of what Black people are.

I personally feel that even though some feelings may be engrained or deeply-rooted in the minds of people who may have negative perceptions of us, perhaps we could do better to not further arm those non-Black people with the ammunition to discriminate. It seems to me that we are the ONLY people in the world who take some type of pleasure in airing all of our dirty laundry while making no apologies about or for posting videos of the small percentage of Black women and men whom the world tends to believe defines each of us.

The videos of the angry Black woman and the savage Black man have become much more than disgusting; they have become sad in the sense that it appears to be the norm for us to self-deprecate and trash our brethren. Maybe just maybe, I will live to see the day where we as Blacks do more to tip the scale or to manipulate the system by bombarding the net with nothing but positive images of us and our own. Until that time, let us at least take responsibility and admit that we just might be a big part of our own problems.

Staff Writer; Erica Van Jackson

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