Maybe It’s Our Fault
The Paula Deen N-word controversy has African Americans offended all over America. Many ask how could she be so disrespectful and undermining to our culture. It’s like White people are losing regard to our painful past. But one question, how could we be upset about people like Paula Deen saying the N-word when we basically give her and other whites permission to say what they want about our race?
Rachel Jeantel testified in the George Zimmerman Trail and explained to a jury, judge, Trayvon’s parents and thousands of Americans watching the trial about her last words with Trayvon. Rachel was very timid, and quiet when she approached the stand but within minutes of her talking to prosecutors, we saw her lack of cooperation and communication skills.
Twitter blew up, with tweets not only teasing this young woman but making a mockery of her. She was compared to the overweight uneducated character of Precious but what is not surprising, all of the jokes and comments were from our own race. We were the ones on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook saying all of the harsh comments about a young African American girl who looked like any other Black girl in America.
So I go back to my question, how could we be upset about Paula Deen when we talked down to our own people. I’m not saying that what Paula did was not wrong, it was to the upmost disrespectful but what are we showing White people when we talk down to our race. Let’s not forget about Gabby Douglass and how much African Americans talked about her hair but did not look at the bigger picture and all the gold medals around her neck. When they see that we talk about our own race and make fun, critique and ridicule girls like Rachel, who is going through a struggle that half of us will never experience, it gives them permission to say what they want about our race too. But we are the first to holler when a white person says anything bad or negative towards our race.
When does this black on black disrespect stop? When will we learn that we need to stop making a mockery of girls like Rachel but encourage and help her through this time. And with her lack of education, we need to focus on African Americans and our education system. Let’s take more effort in educating our culture then insulting it.
What can we do as African American’s to bring our community together as one instead of separating ourselves from our own kind and labeling them as such. Lets change our views on ourselves so others can change their views about us.