By: Tina Dube
That inability to resist chicken. The angry, aggressive and bitter black woman. The thieving black man. The guy in a top-of-the-range convertible who parties every weekend but whose worldly goods don’t exceed a fridge and a bed.
The coloured person who has lost all their teeth to either drink or drugs. The able-bodied black person begging at a traffic light. The black man who has spawned 8 different children by 8 baby mama’s and looks after none. Young black woman supporting her 3 children off a government grant.
I could do this all day, how long do you have?
It couldn’t have taken you very long to realise what the above are: stereotypes. Some bad, some not so much. All with a certain amount of truth to them, I will admit on oath that while I’m very happy to have steak on a night out and splurge on sushi and oysters if I’m being fancy, should there be a chicken fast-food outlet in a 5km radius then you can bet on the fact that I will be headed there in a near zombie-like trance for my fix. KFC zinger/dunked wings, need I explain?
That first one was cute, wasn’t it? Black people and their chicken, hahaha *cue jovial laughter and hearty slaps on the back*
The rest of them, however-not so funny are they? It’s not because they’re a bit too close to home is it? After all, what black person here can say that they don’t have that uncle who has planted his seed in every metaphoric garden and now has scores of offspring whose names he’s not sure about. What person from a coloured community can safely say they don’t have at least a few relatives who have lost teeth not to liquorice but just plain ol’ liquor?
My point is not to offend. My point is the following: As this beautiful, one-of-a-kind individual with abilities, opinions and physical make-up exclusive only to you; are you fine with this? Is it ok that you are falling into line and playing into the stereotype that your people are associated with? Why not take it a bit slower on the liquor/protect yourself from all these unwanted babies/ get off your butt and go out to look for a job? What is with this ugly need to conform to these standards set by other people-the standards whose consequences you see all the time? Would it not be the ultimately finger-flick to those white supremacists that we whine about to be the complete opposite of what they expect?
We come from people that survived slavery and unspeakably brutal oppression. You have to put in an awful lot of effort to be weak. That is all I’m saying.