Our Beloved Stereotypes

You looked at the title and thought I was about to go off, didn’t you? No, I am not. I just want to let people know a few things.

I will start off by saying that I am a Black American. I was born in raised in America. I haven’t visited any other countries so I don’t think I can speak for any other experience except for the black experience in America.

I grew up in a mostly black area. I went to a school where most of the kids were black. Seriously, from what I remember there was like one or two white kids at some point. But, when I became a teenager is when I moved and started going to a mostly white school.

Now, we all know that when we get older, we start to care/notice the differences in each person we meet. I didn’t have a problem with going to a mostly white school, I was more worried about them paying attention and feeling uncomfortable with me being black.

At this school, there was like a few black people. Maybe 10 or less. At the high school, a little bit more. The kids were chill and I never had drama at this school. I had some pretty cool white friends. My first, actually, because I didn’t grow up around a ton of white people.

The biggest “prejudice” thing I experienced was a white boy coming to me saying, “I’m black, I’m from the hood, I eat fried chicken.” It was the craziest thing I’d ever heard in my life. This same white boy asked me if I knew of any “black” names that he could use for his children one day.

My name is Skye.

So, this is where we get into the post foreal. He asked me those questions because he ASSUMED that I would know/do stereotypical black things because I’m black.

Instead of yelling at someone or getting completely offended to where I just write them off, I want to share some things about stereotypes that just AREN’T always true about black people.

We love fried chicken

Okay, there are plenty of people in the world that love fried chicken, and there are plenty of black people who love fried chicken. But, not all of us do. In fact, my aunt is a vegetarian. So, don’t assume that your black friend wants to go to KFC, Lee’s, Churches, or Popeyes.

Note: Chick-Fil-A is a different story. You can assume anyone wants Chick-fil-a because they should.

We come from the hood/ghetto/projects

As I said above, I am not from the hood. Many black don’t live in the hood. So, I wouldn’t assume that your friend knows their way around if you catch yourself there.

We use slang like “bruh” “yo” and many other slang words

In all honesty, if you use slang, it doesn’t matter. I’m sick of the whole what you should talk like issue. (I’ll discuss that in another post possibly) But, not all black people talk the same way. Some have a southern twang and others have a news reporters accent.

Black women are angry

No, just no. I am definitely not angry. If you make a mistake, I won’t “pop off” on you. I would simply guide you to the right way. Many black women are kind and considerate and warm. They are loving and compassionate.

Black people are “ghetto” (whatever that actually is)

Let’s start by explaining what I mean by “ghetto”. When I, and you too probably, think of ghetto, you think of hands flying in people’s faces, a bunch of slang and cursing, and loud-mouth talking.

Black people aren’t ghetto. There a some who act like that, but you can’t say BLACK people as a whole are ghetto. Because I know black people that don’t act/behave that way. I, for one, don’t. I’ve seen some white people, Latinos, etc. that fit that description, though. Not all, but I’ve seen a few.

It’s funny, because I was talking to someone who isn’t from the USA, and she told me that it was funny how I talked because she expected that “ghetto” sound to come out of my mouth. I just don’t have it. Many black people don’t. I’ve seen white people try to get that sound around their black friends, but you should never do that. Especially, if they don’t have that sound.

Black women wear weave (and because they don’t have good hair)

Some do and some don’t. But, we aren’t the only ones. I, for one, don’t. I never have. I’m not looking down upon wearing weave. If you want to, you can. The thing about it is, people assume that if you wear weave your hair isn’t good enough by itself. That’s simply not true. I know people who wear weave and their natural hair is amazing.

Baby mamas and baby daddies

Black people do get married and have families with the people they’re married to. Never, ever, ever assume that a black lady with a baby has a boyfriend. There is a great possibility that she is married.

Black kids don’t have fathers around

My dad and mom are married and have been for 18 years. I was born while they were married. So, that is obviously not true. Don’t ask your friend, “are you going to visit your dad this weekend?” unless you know for sure that their parents aren’t together. That’s rude.

Black people are always late (AKA black people time)

Look, this is debatable. I’m sorry but foreal. I will have to do another post on accepting our own stereotypes. Okay, seriously I know black people who are consistently on time and for the most part on time. I know someone who always gets to an event before everybody else.

Watermelon

I’m allergic to watermelon. End of discussion.

So, this post is not to be read with an angry tone. I’m simply stating how I feel about stereotypes. I love all people and to me cultural differences are beautiful we should stop trying so hard to ignore them. Embrace them and accept people for their heritage.

You don’t have to act or talk like them. You don’t go to an Italian and start speaking with an Italian accent, so don’t do that with black people. I think we all need to learn to embrace our differences but don’t assume that we know a person just because they’re in a particular group.

Advertisements

A Time To Be Born and A Time To Die

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak up, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV 

I think a part of me was never quite comfortable with that verse. Because I know that every time it says “time” it doesn’t mean my  time. Honestly, I am not as patient as I always try to claim to be. I think, why not now, too often. I worry that things will never be and never get done, but there is a time.

I think many of us struggle with that, though. We all wonder when things will happen. We are worried we’ll be in an endless loop of stumbling. It can seem as though we’ve been in that stage forever and we’ll be in that stage forever. But, there is a time.

Isn’t it funny how at the end of it all, things are going to work out, and yet, we still worry about it all? We want it to be our way, but it’s truly best if it isn’t. It’s good to explain that if things don’t turn out your way, but God’s way, you’re far better off. Things are going to end up better than you could’ve ever imagined. It seems to suck at first, I know. But you’ll be happy with what you do end up with. Isn’t it better to end up with what you needed then waste time with what you wanted and ended up hating it?

But, Ecclesiastes 3. That’s a bigger deal than it may seem. We read that verse and say “yeah yeah, it’s about the seasons of life. Uh Huhn, got it.” Or do you? Do you get it? Because let’s be honest, if you really got it, you would know that you were gonna be fine. You would know that everything was gonna work out in the end. You wouldn’t be moping around all day every day. I understand, sometimes we get down and we get worried. It’s natural. But to be that way constantly, you need help. You need to understand this verse (and Matthew 6 ). There is a time. Not even there will be, no it is.

I’m learning that I must be diligent and trust the Lord. I have to wait on him. I have to keep reminding myself that there is a time for me. And when that time comes, it will obviously be the right one.

Don’t Be Different, Be Yourself

When you read that title it sounds kind of funny. You might think, “don’t be different? But being different is cool. That’s what people are supposed to be. That is being yourself.” No, people have this crazy misconception about what “different” is. I’m sometimes not sure if no one wants to be different or if people just don’t know how to be different. I’m guessing it’s the latter. People always tell you to be different but they don’t really know what that is. How do I know? Because you start acting like yourself and they reel you back in and say, “no that’s not what I meant. I meant like me different.” Ironic, right? Different to people is not actually different. It’s quite the same if you ask me. If you’re reading this, you’re asking me.

You want to be different, so you try to be different. But if you’re trying to be different then you’re not different at all. You’re just like everyone else. Trying to be something that they aren’t. Everyone has convinced themselves that they are “queer” or “weird” or “different”. It’s become a popular thing, just not natural. So you have these people out here branding themselves as somebody special because they just think they’re so different, but they’re not. At the end of the day, they’re just like everyone else and will probably grow up to be just like their parents.

The secret to being different is being yourself. Doing everything that you feel is right for you. Doing everything that you like. Now you may be similar to other people, but you’ll still be different. Talk about things you want to talk about, listen to music you want to listen to, watch movies/TV shows you actually want to watch, get a job you like, don’t go to college if you don’t want to, etc. etc. etc. There are so many things that we do on just a daily basis that we do because of other people. We do them because sometimes we feel that we have to. Really, anytime we do something that we don’t like it’s because we feel that we have to.

Seriously, imagine this world. Where everyone was into the things they actually cared about. People did things, not because of others, but because they truly care about these things. We’d have a pretty diverse world. And I’m not talking color. I’m talking personality. Why must we go about our days being like everyone else? Talking like everyone else? Thinking like everyone else? Doing like everyone else?

It starts right here. I’m going to tell you something that will release your mind. It will set you free from the grasp of sameness. Here’s what it is: you don’t have to be like anyone else. You don’t have to. It seems kind of funny because you think, “that’s simple thinking. Duh, I don’t have to.” But see, you needed someone to tell you that. You needed some real proof of that believe it or not. You needed someone else to say that to you. In this way. Not at a motivational meet, not at school, not at work, not on some TV show, not your parents, not even on some stupid commercial. No, you needed this one on one. You DO NOT have to be like anyone else.

The reason that I tell you that is, believe it or not, your brains are chained down by the thought of being yourself is “too much”. You may not know it, but some of us are pressured to feel that we need to do, be, and act just like someone/everyone else. Some of us have that burden. We may not even believe that about ourselves. You know what people call it sometimes, peer pressure. I see people in the world who have a certain viewpoint with one person and change it into something else completely when they’re with another. Why? Because they’re afraid of saying what they think and losing respect or reputation. In that moment when everyone is saying one thing and you think about saying something totally different, it’s horrifying. But why not face horrifying for your own person?

It seems typical to post about being yourself, but some people really just don’t get it. When I say be yourself, I MEAN IT. Don’t play your own self and act as if you’re your own person and you’re so different when really you’re not. Don’t be psycho and crazy, but don’t be some plain Jane either. And your views. Those are the most important things to you. Don’t switch them up just because the president or mom or grandma, or Beyoncé think something different. Take this seriously. You need to reevaluate yourself and make sure you actually feel for whatever it is in your life. Don’t try to be like everyone else and act “different”. No, just be you. If someone else happens to be similar then cool, maybe you guys can be friends. But don’t hide who you are for nothing. It’s better to be yourself than to be what others call “different”.

Life Never Given a Chance

It’s so gray, like clouds

The look in  its eyes tell me it’s defeated

But it doesn’t know it

It’s scary to look at

Scarier than a monster

Scarier than the end of the world

It’s a world never started

Never had the chance

Before it got too high it was struck down by man

I can tell it attempted to get back up

But it had no luck

It was smashed and shattered

Ripped and battered

But it never gave up

All it needed was some time

But time was not given

And now it wears hurt for a living

So, so gray when it could be fine

If only it hadn’t been struck down by a hate crime
-Skye Griffin

Young People Don’t Believe in Themselves

 

Or each other for that matter. I’ve talked to young people who only look at themselves as ignorant, little, and useless to this world. I honestly believe that they believe these things because of adults. We belittle our youth in so many ways, and we’re so oblivious to it. We say things to them, and those things are planted into their heads.

I love my youth and I think they’re excellent and very smart. The only problem I have with them, is there consistency to listen to EVERYTHING adults tell them. But, when you’re new to a world and someone has been here quite longer than you, you think they know everything. The only issue with that, is that they don’t. They don’t know everything. In my honest opinion, I think listening to some adults is very, VERY dangerous.

One thing that adults do or say that they don’t realize might affect the way kids see themselves and their peers is, “what do you want to be when you get older?” Now you might think, “but that’s encouraging them to think about their future.” Yeah, it is. The only problem is that it’s somewhat saying, “you can’t do anything now to benefit the world, but when you get older then you can start helping out, so what do you plan on doing then?” So, you think you have lazy teens? Because they think, “my life really starts when I’m 18. So, I’ll goof off now.” We don’t encourage kids to actually help out. We don’t ask them things like, “what do you think you can do to help people?” We ask them only about their future and not what they can do now.

Remember, there are kids who’ve done some remarkable things. Cory Nieves, who was on Ellen, started his own cookie company and is now CEO. And how can anyone forget, Malala Yousafzai. The girl who was harmed for standing up for her and her peers’ right to an education. There are countless more youth who have done for the world. They didn’t wait till they turned 18 and they’ve had some impressive outcomes.

 

Do we really know what we “learned”?

This is probably you when you get a 100% on some type of test. It feels so good, doesn’t it? It’s so important that we get good scores/grades on test that we don’t really care about what we’re learning. As long as we memorize everything in time for the test.

Do people honestly think they’ve learned something if they get a 100% on a test?  I think what most people do is memorize, test, and forget. In that order.

That’s like filing a document for a later use then throwing it away once it’s not needed anymore. Do we really want to “learn” that way?

For so many years, we’ve memorized things for a short period of time, “learned”,  just to get a piece of paper called a diploma. That’s what we call an education. That piece of paper gets us a job. Whoever is hiring us doesn’t care about what we know, that piece of paper tells them that we know everything even if we really don’t. So, this is what it takes. Not a real education. Not really learning about life, but having a piece of paper. I guess we really don’t want to know anything.

Images from http://giphy.com/

Why Do You Believe

Note: I would first like to say that I am not trying to force my beliefs on anyone and I am respectful of others’ decisions. I am simply asking a question. If anyone would like to talk to me on why and what I believe, then I am fine with that.

Recently I talked to a friend of mine named Shakir. Shakir was telling me his views on life, and I learned that Shakir believes in African Spirituality. He believes in multiple African gods and his African ancestors. Unlike me, he doesn’t believe in Jesus. I respectfully accepted that and asked when he started to put his faith into that. He told me he’s believed in that all his life. There is someone else that I know that is Muslim. I talked to that person too about their beliefs. So then, I began to wonder.

There are 7-8 billion people in the world and 4,200 religions to pick from. Some have only one God and others have many. Some have similar beliefs, and others have totally different beliefs. Some have rules and some possibly don’t.

But, the question is, why do we choose and why do we still believe in the religion we chose? Or even, why do we choose not to? What is it about your religion or faith that keeps you going? Why do you still believe? What makes you so faithful?

Now, remember I’m not being forceful or about to say why you should switch to Christianity. I really want people to think about what they believe. Even if you are Christian. Why?

I ask because something makes us want to believe in what we believe in. Even if mama took us to church everyday, you could’ve given that up. You could’ve let it all go down the drain. So, why didn’t you?

Most of us grow up in a certain religion and we haven’t strayed away from those beliefs. Things have been embedded in our minds and we can’t just shake them. Truly ask yourself, “why do I believe in what I believe in?”

Does it make you feel good about yourself? Does it bring out the best in you? Does it have a leader that loves you or died for you? If any of those are true, think about something else. Why do you still believe? Maybe you experienced something, maybe some prophecies have been proven.

Some of us don’t know why and we really need to evaluate ourselves because some of us are wasting our times. Don’t believe because other’s want you to believe, don’t believe because you were brought up that way, don’t believe because it’s popular. Believe because of YOU. YOU need to make that decision. YOU need to make sure YOU really are faithful. YOU need to make sure that YOU actually believe in what you say you believe.

You know who you are

I hate to see people say they need to “find” themselves first. Where did you go? From what I can see, you’re right here. Or when they say, “I don’t know who I am yet.” I hate to see adults tell teenagers they need to figure out who they are. Figure out what they want to do or what they want to be.

I truly believe that most of us know who we are at a young age, or should I said most of us KNEW who we WERE. I believe most of us know what we’re passionate about, or KNEW what we WERE passionate about. We had this feeling in our hearts for something. If there was a certain problem, we yearned to fix this problem. There was something that made us,genuinely, happy to do.

What people do is say, “find out who you are and what you want to be.” They tell this to all the young people, the teenagers, the young-adults. So, it makes them believe that what they ARE truly passionate about and love to do is not what they’re supposed to do the rest of your life because they found it young. Or not what they should focus on.

We start this so young. We make the kids believe the best jobs are doctors and lawyers. About 90% of the time when I ask someone what they want to be, it’s something in the medical field. Why is that? Why does everybody want to go into the medical field? Because people have taught us that these jobs are good jobs. Not just because you’re helping people, but it makes you look educated and wealthy. Who doesn’t want to be around someone who’s “educated” and “wealthy”. That’s the two main things adults focus on. Education and they only focus on education because it can get you a good job with a good salary. Adults thoughts = money (not all of them.)

If you look it up on google it explains passion as a “strong barely controllable emotion.” I like that definition. Think about civil rights leaders. When Ida B wells wrote about lynching, I’m sure the reason she did that is because of the feeling she got from seeing or hearing about lynchings around the United States. When she felt those things, something stirred inside her to want to take action. You ever hear someone say, “I tried to ignore it, but I just had to do something about it,” or those nice little words, “something must be done.” To me, that’s passion. When you just can’t let it go, you’re passionate (or obsessed.)

So, the things we’re passionate about at a young age, whether it be Civil Rights or soccer, are the things we love. And don’t say, “well, I’m passionate about helping people.” I believe that is God’s goal for the world. For people to help people. That’s too general. How are you going to help people, is the question.

Now, not everyone finds their passion at a young age. Some people God has wait till they’re older, but not everyone does not know what they’re passionate about at a young age.

Basically, don’t let anyone tell you that you have to graduate high school or turn 18 to know who you are and what you’re passionate about. I found myself in Christ and you should too. If we give our lives to Jesus I can guarantee that you’ll be on the right path. I just hate to hear young people say they don’t know who they are. Young people can be really smart and world changers, but our biggest problem is listening to every thing the adults tell us.

Wanting to be

In my imagination there’s this girl… This girl is the best girl ever! She’s perfect to me. She’s the most kindest, most wise, most loved girl. Everyone loves her. She has tons of friends. She does everything right. She always knows the answer. She’s perfect! She has the perfect brain, body, face, hair, etc. She’s special. She can do anything. Her life is together and she has no troubles. She’s always happy and peaceful. She never hurts anyone’s feelings or does anything stupid. She is amazing and no one can doubt that.

The only thing that’s strange is that this girl has the same name as me. She somewhat looks like me just prettier. She knows some of the same people, has the same parents, same background. Oddly enough, she’s living the life that I want to live. Has the job I want, the kind of friends I want, the kind of hair I want, the body I want, etc. She’s someone I wish I was, but not. She’s someone that I want to be, but can’t be.

I can’t be her because I’m too me. I’m not perfect. I get attitudes, I do foolish things, some people may not like me. I don’t have a ton of friends because I’m too introverted. I mess up quite a bit. I never have the answer to anything it seems. I’m not perfect! I have some learning to do, my body can do some exercise, my face gets covered in weird colored circles, my hair needs a bit moisturizing. I can’t do everything. My life is a bit messy sometimes. I get upset and go mad. I sometimes say things that aren’t so nice and I do stupid stuff a lot. I’m human and no one can doubt that.

But, I’m okay.

Understanding People

In my opinion there is nothing more important in life, no matter what you do, than understanding people. When I say understanding people I mean finding out about that person. Observing that person, their behavior, their reaction to things, finding out what they like and don’t like, what makes them happy/mad, etc. When we understand someone, we are able to make better decisions dealing with that person. Even with little things. For instance, you have a friend who’s parents died in a car crash. You probably won’t want to take that person to see a movie in which the parents die in a car crash.

Understanding people would probably help us in a lot of situations in our lives. If we look back and observe a person; if we see what they’ve been through, who’s raised them, where they grew up, etc. , we’ll understand why they feel the way they do about certain things. If a person has been through a lot of tragic events, they may not be the most optimistic person in life. That doesn’t mean they will be pessimistic, but that would be a reason.

People have been through things to make them the way they are, to make them see things the way they do. If we can understand someone’s past we can understand their present and why they live the life they live. We’ll be able to communicate better with them. If we want to deal with people we have to understand people.