Why are black people stereotyped? Because y’all allow us to be

April 19, 2018 / and

BY:  Ja’Nell Gore

Why is every black woman so ‘angry’? Why is every black man ‘in a gang’? Why is every black female so ‘ghetto’? Why is every black dad ‘on child support’?

Guess what? They ain’t! Yes — I said “ain’t.”

Y’all are so quick to believe the stereotypes portrayed in the media, and some of us, yes, are too quick to either feed into it or plaster it over social media as if it were true.

We really need to stop giving false perceptions of our culture then wondering why others look down on us. Yes, some of these stereotypes may apply, but have y’all ever stopped to wonder why? I’m here to tell you.

First of all, black women are angry as hell!

We’re angry that when we walk through a crowd, it is assumed that we are loud. We are so loud, in fact, that for those of us who don’t talk much, we are apparently yelling ‘stay away from me,’ or ‘I don’t like you.’

We’re angry that when we get our paychecks, we have to accept that we could make more money doing the same job, if only our skin pigmentation were lighter…

We are angry that when we are interested in someone romantically,we have to question if they even like black girls because, sadly, even our own race has ruled us out as dating options because even they believe the stereotype that we’re all a  hot mess.

Does that sound like a good enough reason to be angry?

How about that when I speak properly, I am told that I’m not black, or that I’m trying to be white. Or that when I do my natural hair, I am expected to let y’all come and touch it! But, that is a whole ‘nother topic

To all the black girls, we need to stop putting each other down all of the time. Then with all of this dark skin vs light skin mess — the inaccurate portrayal that those with darker black skin are more wicked than those with lighter black skin —  are y’all kidding me? Dark black skin or light black skin aside, we are all looked at exactly the same: just a black girl.

Now, about y’all trying to say that every black male is in a gang.

It is partially my community’s fault that people feel this way. We praise these guys as if they are doing something great. Some of our girls talk about how we only want someone ‘hood’ and push out the guys who want to do something good with their lives. Those good guys, some girls say, are“too soft” —then we wonder why we can’t find good men.

As black females, we NEED to stop putting down our black men. Our society already does a good job of that.  Black men have targets on their backs, and we are just making it more noticeable by putting them down every chance we get.

Now to my men, y’all need to stop letting everyone else define you.

It’s a hard truth that you guys need to work twice as hard as others to get what you want, but y’all know that it is possible. For example, you know that when people look at you, they immediately assume that you are gang-affiliated, so why lend credence to that by sagging your pants all the time and flashing your money on social media?

Y’all want to be considered men and not boys? Stop acting like hoodlums. Most of you guys have big dreams, but you are not taking the right steps to make them realities.

It’s like y’all don’t realize how blessed you are. There are so many families out there that wish their sons, brothers, cousins or fathers were still here, but fell victim to the streets. Please y’all, get your act together — and for those of you who have it together, please encourage those around you to, as well. Tell them what they are doing wrong so that they know somebody actually cares about their well-being.

We as a black community need to unite to overcome these horrible stereotypes and create a new standard. It is important to show people that we are better than what everyone thinks and build each other up so that the negative comments we get from the world mean nothing because we know there is a black brother or sister building us up.

Or, we could not unite, and instead continue being looked upon as ‘angry black women’ and hoodlum gangsters. It’s up to you.

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JaNell Gore

Ja'Nell Gore is a student at Cal State Bakersfield. In addition to writing for Kern Sol News she is a poet who loves any chance she has to perform and be with her community.