A Compliment to Me, an Insult to my Culture

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Courtesy of Patriot Talon

“You talk so white.”

“Are you sure you aren’t white?”

“You’re so proper for a black girl.”

“You don’t sound like you’re from the South.”

These are all things that I have heard growing up, from family, friends, and strangers.  When I was younger, I took these as compliments, but then I realized these are actually insults to my race and culture.  There are stereotypes that African-Americans are uneducated and talk “ghetto” and that people from the South have a “country accent” and are ignorant.  None of those stereotypes describe me.  Yes, I am African-American.  Yes, I am from the South.  However, I am educated and I use proper grammar. I don’t have a “country” accent, nor am I ignorant.

It especially makes me angry when African-Americans say these things to me because they are insulting themselves.  They are calling themselves uneducated, but they get mad when someone of a different race calls them that—I find it very hypocritical.  Instead of labeling ourselves with stereotypes, we should defy those stereotypes and relieve people of their ignorance.  I realize it’s hard to change opinions of others, but we can create new opinions of ourselves in society.

-Damare Baker