Wednesday, April 20, 2005

membership has its privileges: parte dos...

fecundmellow presents: 'shit black people can do that other folks can't: an overview'

a follow-up to a prior post on the ways of white folks.
  • say nigga: this is pretty much self-explanatory, but i just want to reiterate the point. one of the benefits of being part of the 'in' (read: oppressed, marginalized, etc.) group is that you get to employ epithets non-pejoratively (i think i just made up another term). i, for example, get to call women bitches, black people niggas, and damn near e'rybody dykes. but mostly, i call e'rybody nigga. now don't get me wrong, there are surely a group of black folks--namely those of the civil rights era--out there who disagree with that statement. like, they don't think anyone should use the term at all. i can understand this, but at the same time, since this generation did such a terrible job of passing on the legacy, they can pretty much go to hell if they give me shit about using the word nigga. it's, like, my second favorite word. saying 'this nigga' sounds so much better and flows off the tongue more easily than 'this person'. but i digress. i just wanted to make sure that folks don't forget. there are very few exceptions to this rule, if any. if you're quoting text, i can understand that (just don't sound too happy when you say it; sound nervous, make it seem like you ain't never said that word before.) i can understand, for example, if i'm in the car with a white friend he/she is playing some hip hop, say jay-z, i say 'nigga what' and he/she accidentally says 'nigga who'. i know you didn't mean to say that, so i might let it slide. then again, it lets me know that you prolly say that shit when you're playing hip hop when black folks aren't around. that said, under no other circumstances are slip ups acceptable--not even when retelling a richard pryor joke. that said, no one has told me why it was ok for j.lo and fat joe to use the word in their songs. i didn't think ghetto privileges extended that far.
  • make up slang: black folks can really change the meaning of or make up a word, can't they? who knew diamonds went *bling*? black folks make up the best slang ever. hands down. here's a test, which sounds better? a) 'that concert was totally awesome!' or b) 'them niggas freaked that shit.' see? also, as a general rule, white people should really try to limit their use of slang, if they use it at all. i mean, it just sounds stupid. i was eating lunch at a restaurant, and i overheard this suburban soccer mom use the terms, 'ghetto' and 'bling'. all i could really say was, 'eeew!'
  • find a purse that matches that obscure color of lime green: this is also known as 'pimpin shit' (hence the name of the show 'pimp my ride'). this may be a midwestern thing. but, if you ever go to a black function, or a function that is going to attract a lot of black commonfolk (like a chittlin' circuit play), you'll see that black people added that extra syllable to co-oooorrrr-dinate. niggas be matching: hat, suit, tie, shirt, socks, and gators. it's as if the entire ensemble was made from the same ream of fabric. but that's the amazing part: it prolly wasn't, unless it was specially made. homegyrl will scour all the malls, marshall's, and value cities to find the bubble gum pink purse to match them pumps she bought at t.j. maxx. and believe me, she's gonna find it. what's more, her man (who's prolly blacker than train smoke, 6'2, and three hundred pounds), has a suit that is the same color. sure, he looks like a bottle of pepto bismol, or perhaps a box of good 'n' plenty, but you bet' not tell them they ain't clean. despite the fact that seeing such spectacles is often quite funny, the shit is also quite impressive.
  • make your party cool: for a lot of my life, i have been the only (or one of few) black person (people) in many circles i'm required to move through. as a result, i often get asked to parties where i will again be the only negro within lyching distance. most times i don't go. there are several factors contributing to this, 1) at a certain point, i don't have shit to say to these people; 2) too many white people and alcohol puts me on guard even more, and i just can't deal with the extra stress-- i don't need ulcers at 25; and 3) my idea of party and 'their' idea of party is, like, waaaay different. (who the fuck stands around and talks about kant at a party?) anyway, when i do decide to go, word of my impending arrival takes on paul revere type rhetoric, 'summer's coming! summer's coming!' of course, i show up, e'rybody pisses their pants because i'm there. next thing i know, i'm taking photo ops with the digital camera, kissing babies, and autographing breasts. i know that part of this is that diversity training you were required to take back in high skool, but it just cracks me up. i guess my blackness makes me the literal embodiment of cool.
  • play the race card: but admittedly, we often do this at the wrong time and incorrectly. kind of like alanis morrissette's usage of the term ironic, feel me? for those of you who would like to see evidence of the race card employed incorrectly, recall that crazy bitch omarosa, and/or the moniker/my nigga scene in beauty shop. that said, 'it's because i'm black' is unfortunately still a legitimate conclusion, though it is often used irrationally. 'it's because i'm white' like damn near never works. maybe this is why i think anti-affirmative action rhetoric is so stupid. '(is) it because i'm white(?)' sounds so fucking silly to me.
  • rap: here i go opening up a can of worms. i'm beginning to think that the beastie boys, eminem, and 3rd bass were anomalies, or, as my great-grandmother would say, 'had a nigga in the woodpile somewhere.' case and point: last sunday, the chix went to go see the roots in indianapolis. the original opening act (howie day?) canceled, so they got this rainbow coalition/integrated rap group called the cleptoz (look, i just gave y'all pub) to open for them. the group was made up of these two white dudes, a random black dude, and some reggae hype man that was prolly the best of them all, but didn't really say shit the whole set. now i'm not arguing that there is something essential in black people that makes them better emcees; i'm saying, a lotta niggas can't rap. but these dudes just had no stage presence whatsoever. like, they were sooooo wack: rhyme style so unsophisticated and unoriginal, as if they were trying extremely hard to pull the shit off. sure you're pacing the stage and sweating, but i'm not feeling you. maybe it's me. i have a tendency to giggle when white dudes do things like rap and dunk basketballs. as for white women, check out northern state.

fecundmellow essentializes regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, et. al.

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison


Blogger rrrrrrrachel said...

i think "the literal embodiment of cool" is over-reaching.

(i'm sick of everybody using this space to kiss fecundmellow ass!)

but you are spot on, as they say, about the white folks spazzing out when you show up for a "party". don't look at me.

20/4/05 13:59  
Blogger Lee said...

so now that i know why you avoided my punk-rock party last year, i wanted to point out that there was no talk of kant whatsoever. someone tried, but he was thrown off my balcony and forced to wear eyeliner and slam four shots of dewar's before being allowed back in.

i just wanted to say -- as someone who gets severely sunburnt by dying flashlights -- that a couple of us know what to do at parties.

but i completely agree with the general assessment. good parties should not involve jokes based on allusions to rousseau.

20/4/05 13:59  
Blogger Jdid said...

hol up, you get to autograph breasts. damnnn!

20/4/05 16:45  
Blogger summer m. said...

@rrrrrrachel--you know i'm coola than a polar bear's toenails.

@lee--you had a punk-rock party? i'm sad i missed it. but now that i know you know who to party, i'll def. be at the next one.

@jdid--here's some t.m.i.:i've done more to breasts than autograph them.

20/4/05 17:31  
Blogger **Christen** said...

I can soo relate to making the party cool.... lol great post

21/4/05 08:27  
Blogger Alii said...

love your new pic

almost as much as i like your blog

21/4/05 22:50  
Blogger summer m. said...

@alii: thanx. you can see golden girls was on the idiot box. i swear i love that show.

22/4/05 08:05  
Blogger solitaire said...

As I said before, love the watch.

and of course, I'm always and forever laughing at the fact that you called Moby a 'nigga'... ha ha. You know how I use it in context...IGNORANT PERSON! Bush, Condi, Osama, WHOEVER, WHATEVER, if you're ignorant....

bwah hahahah!

23/4/05 19:16  
Blogger grothe said...

this was interesting...

24/4/05 00:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I call anybody, and especially somebody that's getting on my nerves or being fucking ridiculous in some way, a nigga. Sort of along the lines of Solitaire's usage. And I don't care if I say it in front of non-black people. Like you said, Summer, membership and its mutha fuckin' privileges.

My boyfriend is the king of making up slang. Current faves include: "Way" as in "That nigga is way" - short for "way outta here" which is his term for wack or ridiculous; "bladed" which means "faggoty" which isn't the same thing as gay; "butt whore" which is a male or female that trades sex for drugs, money, or noteriety, generally promiscuous and indiscreet; and "nig" which is the abbreviated form of the all-time favorite "nigga."

I have a sister that matches every fucking accessory of every outfit she wears every fucking day, and though the shit is ghetto and sometimes tacky as hell, I do admire her tenacity, because the search for an avocado green belt and purse to match your platform avocado green loafers is exhaustive, and she went there and scored both purse and belt.

I, unlike Summer, don't make a party cool, but I do hate when people make this big show of inviting the token black, spend, like, five minutes chatting you up when you walk in the party, and then basically conduct conversations for the rest of the night that they know don't touch on shit that you're interested in or fucking give a fuck about. It's like, if you're going to be standing around with your heads up your collective ass, stroking your own dicks and reveling in your own boring, insular shit, then W-T-F do you need me here for? I get enough of seeing white folks preen in my seminar classes, honestly.

I play the race card, true, but only when that shit is real. Like when people don't like me, I don't automatically think it's 'cause I'm black; I think it's 'cause I'm obnoxious. So I think I might have more perspective than the av on this shit.

Cleptoz really did lack in stage presence, though they were working hard for the money. But, like Summer said, niggas just have this gift when it comes to pimping shit, and rap shows are one of the things that they just have on lock. So what are you going to do?

All this said, I obviously love this post. Shout out to Summer for always daring to go there when it comes to talking about racial issues. 'Cause I'm an essentialist, too, and I'm damn tired of being lectured about the shit. I mean, if I can't stereotype black folk, then, W-T-F?
Nobody can.

25/4/05 04:28  

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