Kinfolk I must say that I have been somewhat disconnected from the presidential election campaign. This is vastly different from 8 years ago when President Barrack Obama ran, I was fully invested. I don’t know what it is this time around that has me so uninvested, at a time when I should be immersed in each candidates politics. After the fiasco that ensued with the GOP trying to narrow down their long list of unqualified and out of touch candidates, I think I was fatigued. Then to find out that I wasn’t in an episode of Punk’d and the American people did actually chose Donald Trump as the republican candidate for President of the United States. Donald Trump, who can’t properly manage his hair, is actually in the running for commander and chief of the free world. This is absolutely mind boggling and has caused side-eye strain for me. Continue reading
We were surfing the net, and ran across an article on The Root. The article was titled “When Racism Slips Into Every Speech: Using these common words and phrases with questionable histories just might make you an accidental racist ” to say the article was eye-opening would be an understatement. It’s always interesting to find out the origin of phrases the we use everyday. Check out words and common phrases that may make you an accidental racist it will surprise you:
1. “The peanut gallery”: Just a dismissive term for hecklers or critics, right? Wrong. You’ll probably never use this phrase in reference to a group of black people again once you know its history. Itoriginally referred to the balconies of segregated theaters, where African Americans had to sit. (Why “peanut”? Apparently, peanuts were introduced to America during the slave trade and thus became associated with blacks.)
2. “The jig is up”: Although this expression is used today to describe a joke or scheme that has been revealed or foiled, you’re the one whose fun might end quickly if you say it to the wrong person. This hasn’t been proved beyond a doubt, but many believe the saying was used in its original form by some in the American South to refer to the lynching of a black person. Replace “j” with “n” andyou’ll get it.
3. “Call a spade a spade”: For more than 500 years, this expression has meant “to tell it like it is.” But it wasn’t until the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s that “spade” became a disparaging code word for black people. It’s probably best to retire this phrase forever.
4. “Sold down the river”: Today, if people say they’ve been “sold down the river,” they probably mean they’ve been betrayed. But when the phrase originated, that betrayal was a lot more serious. During slavery, being “sold down the river” was literal. Slave owners would sell their slaves and send them via the Mississippi or Ohio River to plantations in the Deep South, where plantation conditions were much worse.
5. “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe”: Learning the history of this phrase might taint your childhood memories. Heard at playgrounds around the world, this counting-out expression comes from a classic children’s rhyme dating back to the 19th century. Some early versions include the lyric, “Catch a n–ger by the toe.” The n-word was replaced by “tiger” in later years. Not quite as cute now, is it?
6. “Cotton-picking”: “Are you out of your cotton-picking mind?” We’ve all heard the phrase, but the term has an ugly, if debatable, past. Some say it was used to denote the inferior status of poor farmers and field hands in the Southern states, many of whom were slaves. We’ll just say you’d have to be crazy to say this to anyone who might associate it with that history.
7. “Spook”: How can this word be so bad? If you’ve ever celebrated Halloween, you’ve used some version of it. What is now used regularly to mean “ghost” or to frighten is also a slur akin to “n–ger.” It may have its origins in the perception that dark skin blends into the night, making black people ghostlike. Scarily racist.
8. “Grandfather clause”: You may have been lucky enough to be “grandfathered” into your cellphone plan, but this term has an ugly past. During the 1890s, half a dozen Southern states enacted laws to defy the 15th Amendment and prevent black people from exercising their newfound right to vote. In these states, you were allowed to vote only if your parents or grandparents were able to vote before the year 1867—which was conveniently before blacks had access to the ballot. These days we all have equal rights to this phrase, but it’s probably best if we agree to go ahead and drop it.
After reading this article we will choose our words wisely, because in the words of one of favorite our blogger/podcasters Crissles, “Words mean things” So think next time you say one of the words or phrases above.
Whut say you?
Today is a day of reflection. We as a community need to reflect upon the work that was done by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and also those involved in the civil rights movement. We need to be appreciative of the sacrifices that were made by those that came before us. The sacrifices got us to where we are today. By no means is the work complete we still have a ways to go for Dr. King’s “Dream” to be realized. We are much closer to it, but there is still work to do!
I hope everyone took some time to reflect today, and think about how we can work to better our communities.
Disclaimer: I did not write this piece. The views and opinions expressed are those of Dr. Boyce Watkins
While on my Facebook page I stumbled on a link one of my friends shared entitled, “Six ways single mothers can raise a sorry Black man” The piece was written by Dr. Boyce Watkins. In his commentary he outlines his six ways. Check out excerpts from his piece below:
1. Never make him accountable. If he goes to jail, mortgage your house to pay for the attorney. If he gets fired from his fourth job in a row, of course it’s because he’s Black. Anything that goes wrong in his life, explain to him why none of it is ever his fault. Make a long list of excuses for everything he does. If he gets in trouble at school, it’s the teacher’s fault. If he has an angry outburst and attacks someone, it’s because he had too much sugar. Remember: Nothing that he ever does wrong, to anyone, at any time, is ever his fault. Jesus will make him better eventually.
2. Allow him to be lazy. Clean his room for him, wash his clothes, don’t make him do any chores. Don’t make him work for anything….EVER. When he’s 32-years old, let him live in your basement and spend the day in his drawz smoking weed and playing Xbox. He’ll get that record deal eventually.
3. Don’t ever force him to manage his money. Buy him a lot of really expensive material possessions, like $250 Air Jordans and don’t make him work for any of that money. If he wrecks the new car you bought him, just buy him another one. Don’t talk to him about saving, investing or being a good provider. If he wants that 14th tattoo on his neck, go ahead and give it to him.
4. Congratulate him for being a “playa.” Let him treat his girlfriends like garbage without your saying a word. When he tells you that he got a fourth girl pregnant, just congratulate him and agree to watch the kids while his baby mama is at the club.
When the third baby’s mama asks you about the other girls coming to the house, lie for him so as not to blow his cover. The world is his oyster, and he has a right to sow his oats without any semblance of responsibility. Don’t forget to save money to pay his child support for him so he can be free to make more kids without the burden of those gold-digging newborn babies.
5. Don’t make him get an education. If he brings home straight Ds on his report card, just remember that he’s the best player on the basketball team. Go buy him something nice to make him feel better, since those bad grades are going to hurt his self-esteem.
6. Coddle him. He’s your baby after all, even if he is 6’3”, 250 pounds. Never throw him out to the wolves; he won’t make it. Never force him to stand on his own two feet; he might break a toe nail. He doesn’t have to be a man for anybody; he’ll always be your baby. If his wife comes around and complains that he’s cheating on her, beating her, or not taking care of his kids, explain to her that he was your man from the very beginning, and he always will be. They should just leave your baby alone.
I can’t say that I disagree much with Dr. Watkin’s he does make some valid points. I do think this message can be directed at not just black young men, but raising boys in general. Ideally it would be great if boys, and children in general for that matter grew up with both parents, but most times that is not the case. What Dr. Watkin’s said is worth considering, I know some will not agree totally with his opinions, but healthy debate is needed. You can read the full commentary HERE. Also check out Dr. Watkin’s weblog at www.boycewatkins.com
Periodically waitwaitwhut.com will feature socially conscious topics/articles. Celebrity gossip and entertainment news is great, but being in the know is always good as well!
Whut say you?
I was on Facebook today and a friend of mine posted a video from, The Nation, the article features a video about the controversial stop and frisk policy that is carried out by The New York Police Department. The video shows how discriminatory and unprofessional this policy is. It also sheds light on the fact that police officers are “allegedly” forced to stop and frisk innocent individuals to meet an unspoken “quota.”
After watching the video, I was bothered to say the least. It is amazing that a group of individuals who are called to protect and serve are stopping and harassing innocent individuals, mainly minorities. I know things like this go on, but to see it and hear it first hand is all the more disturbing.
Check out the full article HERE
What do you think of Stop and Frisk?