Many people are infatuated with black culture in the sense that they want to dress and act like the African American celebrities portrayed on TV. We are so eager to dress like our favorite rappers and modify our bodies to appear more like the famous African American women. And why wouldn’t we? The celebrities appear to have a great life. They are surrounded by loads of money, booze, and admirers.
Let’s face it, white people, more than most, are infatuated with modern black culture. However, when it comes to black life, there are no white people in site. White people are so quick to flock to so-called, “black fashion and music,” yet so quick to shy away from racism and crime within the African American community.
We have a major race issue in this country and I think it’s time to acknowledge it. Hundreds of young black men are gunned down each day from careless judgment and fear. And even more young black men are pulled over and ticketed by the police. A 2014 report by Washington Monthly states that, “being black is also the leading influence on how far police officers pursue their inquisition in investigatory stops. After taking into account other possible influences, black drivers in our survey were five times more likely than whites to be subjected to searches in investigatory stops.” According to The Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Black drivers (12.3%) were about three times as likely as white drivers (3.9%) and about two times as likely as Hispanic drivers (5.8%) to be searched during a traffic stop in 2008.”
So why is it that people are so proud to proclaim the black culture but not the black life? It’s a touchy subject, no doubt, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve shed away from such serious issues in the past for fear of judgment and sensitivity. We talk and joke about much more sensitive and meaningless topics on a daily basis; so why not talk about the race issue this country has endured for far too long? Some people may neglect to talk about the topic due to its sensitive nature and others simply don’t care. We have found a way to honor a culture while mistreating its people.
I believe it is possible to celebrate black life just as much as black culture by giving credit where credit is due, broadcasting black issues, and taking the time to emphasize and understand modern black life.