By now, most black people who frequent the internet have seen the now infamous “27 Questions Black People have for Black People” video that Buzzfeed published on April 11, 2016. I have avoided addressing that video due to the mania that ensued around it, but now that I have a calmer and cooler head, I am going to attempt to answer all 27 questions with much more eloquence than is deserved of this microaggressive bullshit. Pray for me y’all.
1. Why is it so hard to be on time?
It’s not. However, when you add in the variables of lack of access to economic opportunities that lead to vehicles, forced dependency on public transit, and the cultural marriage black people have to circular time vs the Eurocentric western idea of linear time- tardiness happens, perhaps a bit more often. Black people always being late doesn’t seem to apply to job or school attendance- as black people have no more or less issue being late for employment or education than any other group of people. So if you’re frustrated that your friends are always late- realize that you’ve probably neglected that you’ll literally be able to make up whatever time they were late. That is what circular time is.
2. If my dab is on fleek, am I lit?
You? Probably not. Making fun of AAVE is funny I guess- until Mr. “Damn Daniel” gets a scholarship for creating slang.
3. Why is it a problem if I like anime?
In the 24 years that I have been Black, I have met literally two whole black people that did not like anime. There is a problem if you’re a weeaboo. No one likes weeaboo. There is a problem if you believe that liking anime makes you some special little snowflake. There is a problem if you like the feeling of “otherness” liking anime gives you. But no, there is no problem liking anime.
4. Why are we more likely to get engaged in the most recent dance trend than we are to be involved in politics or opening a business?
This is cute- but black people and black women specifically are the largest growing group of new business, black women lead college enrollment. Politics are based on popularity and ability to get people to vote for you, however, using my city for example- we just voted out Anita Alvarez and replaced her with a black woman for covering up the murder of a black man by police and protecting police murderers. We are involved politically. We are building business more than any other generation. And we are cranking the soldier boy and doing the nay nay as we do so because we are capable of BOTH.
5. Why do black people look at your shoes before they greet you?
I'm completely convinced that this isn't a thing so I'm not dignifying this with a response
6. Why did watermelon become our thing? Like, everyone should love watermelon?
Why are you asking black people this? We did not make this our thing. This was always a white person thing. It has always been about black people not being able to do something as simple as eating fruit without white people making it a subject of ridicule.
7. Why do you get upset when I don’t like a Black celebrity?
No one cares if you don’t. People asking you why is just starting conversation. No one is having trouble sleeping at night cause you don’t like Beyoncé. I’m gonna just call you a hater then continue my day. You’re so vain.
8. Why do we call each other the N-word but get vehemently upset when a White person uses the N-word?
We do not call each other "niggers" in the same context that white people have used it historically. You know how you can call your best friend your bitch but if someone else does it it’s a one-way ticket to a dragging? Didn’t you just do it? Its fine when you do it because you have an understanding about the context that you’re using it and if anyone else does it then the context becomes questionable. In short white people can’t use it because they’re not turtle-y enough for the turtle club.
9. Why is my natural hair seen as a political statement?
When you live in a society determined to make black hair, black skin, and black features be viewed as ugly a Black woman loving her hair and skin IS political. When “they” stand to profit off your insecurity, loving yourself as is, IS political.
10. Why do people with light skin look better than people with dark skin?
Another question that should be directed to white people. Eurocentric beauty standards dictate this, not black people. Do some black people buy into “light is right” mentality? Yes, but that is a result of conditioning to do so. “House Slave” mentality was not a black invention.
11. Do you really believe Black is beautiful?
12. Or is that something you say just to sound cool?
Wait, I’m supposed to be eloquent right now. In a world that wants us to believe that black is NOT beautiful, thinking it is beautiful is a counter culture. Comparing loving blackness to those emo white kids who are mad at daddy is silly as hell.
13. Why do some Black men only date White women?
Some black men only date white women because we live in a world where the white woman is the standard of beauty. They have been conditioned to like Becky. They have been taught an aversion to Black women and blackness. This is one of the only truly valid questions in the entire video.
14. Why is it okay for a Black man to date White women but not okay for a Black woman to date outside of her race?
To be clear- it is ok to date who the hell you want. It is not ok to claim that your white partner is better than a black partner would be because of their race and not much else. Some Black men, especially the ones who ONLY date white women, get upset when they see a black woman with a white man because even if they don’t want you they feel an ownership of you. This is the same ownership some black women feel over black men who date out. It is culturally more acceptable for black men to date out because white women are seen as less oppressive than white men who are the ultimate in privilege in America. This question is kind of complex.
15. Why do you chant ‘Black Lives Matter’ then tear each other down in the next breath?
Valuing black lives doesn’t mean that one is above human interaction. Comparing “Stop killing us” to “where your edges at” is false equivalence. Talking shit about someone is not comparable to state funded assassination. And you’re asinine for thinking so.
16. Why do you not want to be seen as a monolith but want to take someone’s Black card away for not liking something that’s “supposedly” Black?
The thing about black America is that we’ve had our culture stripped from us and had to rebuild a new one from the ground up- inventing and reinventing what it means to be black as what we’ve built was stolen. Every culture in the world has things that are inherent signatures of that culture. Does every person in Ireland take Irish dance? No, but it is no less Irish. Does not taking Irish dance make someone less Irish, no but it still bears a cultural significance. You not liking something that is a marker of the black experience makes you no less black, and that person “taking away your black card” is joking- but I think that you knew that already.
17. Why are we so quick to support a non-Black owned business but hesitate to support a Black-owned business?
No one hesitates to support black owned businesses. In fact, many people seek out Black businesses specifically to patronize. If you provide a good, necessary product at a good price people will patronize you just as much and just as often. If you are failing to be competitive as a business, but feel you are owed patronage because you’re Black- THIS is likely why people are hesitant to give you their money. The rules of having a successful business do not change because you are black.
18. Is there a cut-off time for the whole homophobia thing in the Black community because I’m really looking forward to that?
There is not a cut off time for any personal hatred held in any group. It will always be a battle and some people will always be stuck in their ways, however pretending that it is black people that make the anti-gay laws is intellectually dishonest as hell. That one uncle that shoots you the side eye and calls you names on Thanksgiving is an annoying cunt, but you should probably be a tad bit more concerned with the politician (who is most likely white) drafting Anti-Trans bathroom laws.
19. Why is growing up without a father so common within our race?
Growing up without a father wasn’t really that common, until white people realized that there was a lot of money to be made by incarcerating black men. Then the crack epidemic took a lot of parents out of the home (mothers and fathers). However, statistics show that newer generations ARE being more active parents, having children less, and getting married more. When you know better, you do better.
20. Why don’t we want to confront our mental health issues?
This is also a truly valid question. Black superwoman syndrome and the culture of hyper- masculinity in our community makes it hard to admit that when mental health is needed. Awareness and a cultural shift is definitely needed in this arena. Too bad hardly anyone heard this question because of they turned off the video by now due to the fuckery that preceded it.
21. Why is there a checklist for being Black?
This is really a repeat of 16, so see my answer to 16.
22. Why is being educated considered a White thing? Why can’t I love school and also be Black?
This is another thing that Black people didn’t make up. This is something that white people made up then some ignant black folk adopted. Remember when they wouldn’t let us learn to read because reading was for white people? So if you’ve been taught that reading is “white” then that image stays with you. Remember when they stole rock music and told us that it was “white” now? That image stays with you. Remember when you couldn’t go to the good schools because the good schools were for white people? That image stays with you. Also, if your education is about how Columbus discovered America and you believe that and don’t question further- then your education IS white. Sorry.
23. Why do I have to be mixed in order to have long hair?
You don’t. Another thing we didn’t make up. Plus, natural black hair usually grows UP due to shrinkage, not down.
24. Why do you assume well-off Black people don’t know what it’s like to be Black?
Because most well off black people have to distance themselves from the plight of black people, black culture, and black features in order to be successful. If you or your parents have managed to be successful without doing any of that then congratulations. If not, then sit down and shut up Ben Carson cause they’re right.
25. Why is Blackness only defined by adversity?
It’s not, however the plight of black people in America is about adversity and overcoming. If you don’t know the lyrics to “We shall overcome” or “Lift every voice and sing” or “A change is gonna come, you’re not black enough to understand blackness and that’s why you’re confused.
26. Why do Black people have to say “I have Native American in my family” to seem interesting?
Even though the history of Black natives have been largely erased, many black people claim to be native because, like Anime guy, they want to be something “other” than black because they don’t think that black is good enough. Geez, I wonder who taught them to think that.
27. Why do some people say "you're pretty for a dark-skinned girl"?
Because internalized colorism
All in all these questions are basically what black people who have been educated by white people don’t understand about blackness filmed and distributed by white people. These questions are asked by black people who don’t know any black people connected to black culture or aware of the long term effects of racism, colorism, and self-hate. This is like Uncle Tom sitting down to have a conversation with Audre Lorde or Malcolm X. Ignant black folk of Buzzfeed, I hope I’ve educated you today.