UPDATE (January 21, 2010): Those of you who are reading this post because it has been linked to by Guy White on January 20, 2010 should know that I commented twice on that post on that same day. However, Mr. White keeps my comments in moderation while he lets subsequent comments through moderation to be read. While I did disagree with Mr. White, I said nothing rude or out of line, but as of 11:25 AM PST, my comments to that post languish in moderation. Therefore, I will post the important one here--the second comment was merely a compliment on Mr. White's site design. (Other readers: please read Mr. White's post and comments for context.)
First commenter: If a white bride and groom dance to black music, how is that an indicator of black cultural dominance? Is music the sole indicator of cultural dominance? No.
Are white guys having trouble attracting white women? I see white couples everywhere. And black ones. And others.
GuyWhite (clever) says: “This is not our America anymore and we don’t belong here. In this New America, we are inept socially and have to pretend to be like the ‘diverse’ populations.”
Give me a break. The very, very few white guys who act black are usually doing so to attract black women.
Let’s stipulate this: the Left has been trying to foment racial discord for a very long time. Some whites were only too happy to go along with it when they were on top. Now some blacks are foolish enough to buy into the reverse which our new overlords are offering.
It’s a losing battle either way for all.
Forget about the silliness of nerd/”hyper-whiteness”–a concept typical of Leftist discord mongering–and join the few Americans who are trying to educate the others about the gift of God to us all–freedom.
Those of you who take the time to read: thanks for considering my thoughts.
ORIGINAL POST: With America’s culture being more diverse (sorry) in recent decades, one often sees white kids acting “black” as Mary Bucholtz--a linguist at the University of California, Santa Barbara—points out as she unpacks the “hyper-whiteness” of being a "nerd."
Nerdiness, [Bucholtz] has concluded, is largely a matter of racially tinged behavior. People who are considered nerds tend to act in ways that are, as she puts it, “hyperwhite.” [SNIP]
By cultivating an identity perceived as white to the point of excess, nerds deny themselves the aura of normality that is usually one of the perks of being white.Keep the last sentence in mind for later.
Bucholtz sees something to admire here. In declining to appropriate African-American youth culture, thereby “refusing to exercise the racial privilege upon which white youth cultures are founded,” she writes, nerds may even be viewed as “traitors to whiteness.” You might say they know that a culture based on theft is a culture not worth having. On the other hand, the code of conspicuous intellectualism in the nerd cliques Bucholtz observed may shut out “black students who chose not to openly display their abilities.” This is especially disturbing at a time when African-American students can be stigmatized by other African-American students if they’re too obviously diligent about school.(Emphasis mine.) Back when I was a school girl, the schools I attended had majority black student bodies (one school was all-black). In such schools a black kid—a “nerd”--who used proper English and/or did well in school could indeed count on occasionally being “accused” of acting “white,” as Professor Bucholtz points out. This sort of thing still happens to me when I use my natural speaking cadence. (On the other hand, I once had a white person at another blog say that I “sounded ridiculous” when I used a phrase that’s common in “black English.” What’s a girl supposed to do? I did and will continue to use such phrases, however, if a particular phrase gets a point across better than an identical Standard English phrase does. Ya feel me?) What confused me about the professor’s assertion about “nerdiness” was the notion that white kids who appropriate things from black American youth culture are stealing from that culture and, thereby, exercising the “white-privilege” of white (American) youth culture. White nerds, however, in asserting their "hyper-whiteness" are denying themselves the "aura of normality" that is inherent in being white by foregoing this "theft." Let's turn this idea on its head. If black youths who are academically proficient and who speak Standard English aren’t “stealing” from white American culture or trying to become white themselves, how is “acting black” some sort of theft? And if the black kids are committing some from of theft, is the professor asserting that blacks should “stay in their lane” and not speak Standard English or aspire to obtain academic achievements? Is she saying that choosing to remain uneducated and unarticulate is a “black thing" and, therefore, an "aura of normality" for this particular group of Americans? And then there’s this:
Even more problematic, “Nerds’ dismissal of black cultural practices often led them to discount the possibility of friendship with black students,” even if the nerds were involved in political activities like protesting against the dismantling of affirmative action in California schools. If nerdiness, as Bucholtz suggests, can be a rebellion against the cool white kids and their use of black culture, it’s a rebellion with a limited membership.This passage is also confusing. Is Bucholtz saying that people cannot be friends unless they have identical sub-cultural references? (From my experience in the military, the answer is ‘no.’) Or is she saying that there are no black “nerds” or too few of them? Or is she saying that, in order for white “nerds” to become friends with black people that they have to “steal” from the American youth subculture in question? Darleen Click, who opined on the article at Protein Wisdom—and from whom I stole the link—says that the notion of sub-cultural theft in the context of a singular American culture in which the whole is sum of its parts is an assumption
that African-American youths are somehow less “American” than American youths of pallor[.]Heh. She said "youths of pallor." More than that, it’s an assumption that most black American kids, because of their race, do not inherently have in them the natural ability to better themselves and those who do have somehow aspired to shed their “blackness.” The notion that any endeavors requiring innate intelligence and/or hard work are not “black” endeavors covertly displays one of the more common tenets of anti-black racism: intellectual inferiority and indolence.