Unless you've been under a rock, or in space, or North Korea, or some other place with little to no internet service, then you've probably seen at least one of the Sh!t (insert race/gender/group here) Say videos. The original "Sh!t Girls Say" has over 10 million views and has spawned numerous clones. My current favorites are "Relaxed Girls Say to Natural Girls", "Mixed Kids", "Spanish Girls 1" and "Nobody." Most of "Say" videos I've seen are hilarious and play to the most skewed stereotype of the noted group.
As it is a PARODY, I found myself wondering why people were taking offense to some of the videos. It's a joke. And if you don't get it, it's probably because the joke is about you. That being said, I could not for the life of me understand why people were moving beyond moderately angry to genuinely pissed about one of the current Sh!t say videos.
From HuffPo to some random site I just happened to click on, women, both black and white, were taking offense to "Sh!T White Girls Say to Black Girls." Some called it racist and insensitive. Some called it inaccurate. There were cries of reverse racism. And people were ademently villifying, the comedian who made the video. "She's so wrong!" one post read. I counter with SHE'S SO RIGHT!
While this video in no way speaks for ALL white women, you're lying to yourself if you think that it doesn't speak for some. Not the majority by any means. But some. I can go almost line by line and remember someone saying or doing something from the video.
The following are lines pulled directly from the video and my responses and/or thoughts to them when they were said to me...YES...I have heard ALL of these at some point in my life.
- "Not to sound racist..." - usually followed by a backhanded racist comment
- "My best friend is black" - If you have to define him/her by their race, y'all probably aren't the besties you think you are.
- "Why isn't there a "White Entertainment Television" - 1. I'm pretty sure I heard this at least once a year for about 2 decades. 2. It's not as if the other 10000 stations are littered with minorities. 3. White Entertainment Television would be called W.E.T. That sounds like a porn station.
- "Is it bad to do black face?" - I remember having to explain why this was not okay to a white friend. In his defense he'd grown up his whole life not knowing ANY black people.
- "You can say the N-word but I can't...?" - I understand your confusion but no one should be using the word. PERIOD. Not me...not you. NO ONE!!!
- "OMG I'm practically black" - I spend a lot of time at the pool/beach with my white friends. I have quite literally lost count of how many times I've heard one of them say this after a day in the sun.
- Ghetto any thing...Brown skin DOES NOT EQUAL knowledge of all things ghetto. And "ghetto" behavior is not strictly a brown people thing. I know some REAL GHETTO white guys.
- "Can I touch your hair?" - Real talk, that happened to me YESTERDAY.
- "Do you know (Insert Ethnic Sounding Name Here)" - Do you know Bob White? No...okay, so you don't know everyone of your race either? Just checking.
- "Girlfriend" - STOP! No seriously, everyone REGARDLESS OF RACE stop using the word "girlfriend"...unless you're referring to the show. #bringitback
- "I don't really like rap" - Me either
- "It's almost like you're not black" - Go read this...*sigh*
I'm neither overly sensitive or overly militant. So for the most part I usually let things like the statements in the "Say" video roll right off my back. I believe that in general when things like this are said, the person saying them meant no harm. I will say that I was usually inclined to correct someone who said something like that and EXPLAIN why their statements could be construed as insensitive. While I was not offended the next person of color might not be as gracious.
I truly believe that there's something inherent in most, if not all, of us that is at the very least intrigued by things that are different from ourselves. I saw it every day in the preschoolers I used to teach. They noticed the differences in one another but didn't let what made them different separate them. So when white friends said things that noted our racial differences I always viewed them as more acknowledgement rather than insult.
So for the people who are getting completely bent out of shape over a satirical video, I invite you to calm down and take a seat. If you can't find the humor in something that has a grain of truth to it then that's your fault. No one is calling you racist. No one is saying that the video represents ALL white women. What is true for some is not true for all. Calm yourself please.