Black gay men: Acting white vs. whitewashed

Discussion in 'Group Discussions' started by Boaxy, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Boaxy

    Boaxy SO FIERCE
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    Can someone tell me where the line is drawn from someone acting white or someone is whitewashed.

    Like acting white is as it's said. It's acting white, but not at a point to where the person still doesn't value their blackness.

    For example, at work you have to act white, you answer the phone with a white voice, or you're more polite and proper around white people. But around other black people or at the cookouts, it's all fam bam and people are more comfortable. I consider Oprah in this category. She presents this polite profile of herself, but you know when the camera's are off, and she takes her shoes and wig off, she is very ratchet.

    Another example would be Obama. He was always respectable in the public eye, and I know behind the scenes, Obama would then start to act black. So.

    But whitewashed, is something completely different, and it's someone who is washed away from their blackness.

    It's someone who's beyond acting white under certain situations. I don't want to say they are self hating, and have an identity crisis, but ugh.. In other words, they want to be white. Being conservative, treating blacks poorly. Hanging out with KKK and listening to metal music and all of that. A good example I would say is Azealia Banks. She truly does hate being black, and it's not really funny anymore. I love her music, and she's talented, but she's whitewashed.

    Another example is a man named Derek Laud. I'm not from England I'm American, but he was on their version of Big Brother. He's a gay black man, and this man is literally a white man in blackface. He is the definition of whitewashed. I'm sorry.

    To me I want to know where is it drawn, and I'm scared sometimes to what I'm perceived to be.

    I feel acting white is okay, but whitewashed might be an issue, even though it's supposed to be okay as well. I mean people should act the way they want right?

    Like growing up I was always a Carlton from Fresh Prince person. Bullies used to call me Carlton and Steve Urkel in school all the time.

    For example, as a gay black man, I don't agree with the black gay community. My attraction preference is more geared towards men who don't look like me. I kinda look identical Donald Glover/Childish Gambino and I'm feminine. I'm attracted to more opposite men.

    My music taste. I have a soft spot for soul and R&B music, but most of my music taste is kinda white I guess. How many other gay black men like The Scissor Sisters (which they are extremely popular in the white gay community) for example? Not that many I don't think.

    I'm not really into the ghetto black twitter memes. I think they are ignorant.

    I don't watch a lot of reality shows other black gay men watch, like Real Housewives and Love and Hip hop and all that.

    I'm scared to say this, but I feel like a white gay man in blackface sometimes.

    I'm proud to be black, but I can acknowledge that I'm different. I don't know.

    Ugh, I don't' know why I posted this, I just wanted to bring up this issue.
     
    #1 Boaxy, Aug 2, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
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  2. takeyourmeds91

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    I think often times we run into the issue of trying to allow others to define us but this makes sense as humans are social beings. You have to find a certain level of comfort within yourself that when you're faced with situations that challenge who you are, you just shrug that shit off (admittedly this is a lifelong building process).

    Now:

    I don't think there's anything wrong with what you're saying but you also can't be surprised (and almost have to be at peace) if people question your authenticity and obligation to black people. Are you okay living in a bubble and turning a blind eye to the plight of people that look just like you or are you still aware and engaged while bumping your TSwift lmao. Inaction and indifference is bad even if you have the strongest black card of them all but I think it's worse when you also shun your people and their culture.

    In your defense, some things aren't mutually exclusive and we are allowed to exist in different spaces. Just make sure that those spaces that you choose to occupy, internally and externally, aren't fundamentally at odds with one another or you'll be fighting an uphill battle all your life.
     
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  3. Winston Smith

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    My tldr response: just be authentic you, regardless of black or white responses. In my years in the workplace, I’ve learned no amount of code switching will make you more palatable to some white coworkers. And black folk bring our psychological bullshit to the table and you can lose yourself trying to adhere to some cultural collectivists ideal.

    I live by the simple line I once heard an angry old white lady on “Murphy Brown” tell someone

    “You want to run my life, pay my rent!”

    And nobody pays my rent but me...
     
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  4. BlackguyExecutive

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    The phrase acting white / talking white makes me cringe, in part, because it was an insult hurled at me from grade school until now. The phrase implies that whiteness is some social standard. Talking white suggest that if you have proper grammar, proper diction, and pronunciation makes one whiter. That is some colonial ass dogma in my humble opinion. The Queen's English is not the standard. Acting white seems absurd to me because white people want to try on everyone's culture but their own because everyone's culture is more chill, why would anyone want to act white but I digress.

    I do think Black people engage in a lot of code-switching. The process of adapting to your surroundings. I do it every day. The way I talk and interact with my black friends and family is different than when I am in white spaces. The language I use in a Barbershop is doing to be different than the language I used as a diplomat, who are masters of carefully crafted language. We have to remember that we are products of our experience and surroundings. I have a proper American English vernacular with a slight southern tongue because I grew up in Florida. If I travel to Louisiana or Mississippi, I won't sound like them; the same goes with being around people from Baltimore or Philly. Blackness is expansive and comes in many many varieties.

    The way I talk doesn't discount my blackness, and I don't cease being black because I can articulate my constants and spit out the words and round out the vowels. I don't become more black because I can engage in regional and cultural dialogues with my family and friends. You can't let others define you, and you are only the thing you answer to.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. SB3

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    They're the same thing. Either term means you're out of touch/lacking relatability, when it comes to general black culture. This may have been an insult lobbed at smart or well spoken kids back in the day, but kids are ignorant. Speaking correctly does not, in any way, equate to 'acting white'. Whether in the workplace or at a bbq. Different environments just call for different standards.

    Acting/washed is all about how you socialize. Are all of your friends white? Do you 'just happen to prefer white guys'? Are you never in a room where most of the people are black? If so, then you my friend, are white washed. It doesn't take a rocket scientist.

    The bigger issue is ppl having these pitiful mindsets, deluding themselves into thinking that those around them 'don't see color', or that they get bonus points for being 'this kind of black...not regular black'. Ive seen it a million times where the kid who has all white friends hits a certain age and finally realizes that one of these things is not like the other. Now he has an identity crisis becuse his parents thought being around all white ppl all the damn time was somehow good for him as a future black man.

    We ALL know, Black isn't a monolith, so we can skip that whole part of the conversation. However, there are certain cultural norms that are just there. If you don't get it...

    closedoor.gif

    Most importantly, stop making Black synonymous with hood/slang/bad and it'll all begin to make sense.
     
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  6. Boaxy

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    Yeah but you have to understand that it's different when it comes to black people when they are attacked and shamed for "acting white" or being "whitewashed".

    Latinos and Asians conform to being white all the damn time, and it's fine. Yet when it's black people, it's an issue, and it makes me upset.

    You could say it's based on upbringing. Clearly someone is going to have a different accent/vocabulary, from someone who grew up in Beverly Hills, than from someone who grew up in the ghetto or the hood. But to me I have to dismiss this kind of. As no I didn't grow up in Bel Air with the Banks, (I wish lol). But I didn't emulate or immerse myself in the gangster culture and was always attacked for not being the ideal black person.

    In fact, there are black people who grew up in sophisticated environments, that are hood as fuck, and that's wonderful. You do you. lol. But I'm just saying how that argument is implausible.

    But for the most part (well with Asians it's debatable) Black Americans and Latino Americans have a natural accent. (I'm not talking about immigrants. I mean people who grew up in America/United States).

    So when people say "talking white", what they really mean is your accent or the way you say your words, and your diction, speaking tone, which normally doesn't come out of a black persons mouth.

    For example, I have a high Peter Pan like natural speaking voice, and I am told I "talk white", and it's thought provoking absolutely.

    I'm going to use two examples of gay black men around the same age.

    This man has a high voice, is speaking proper, but you can still tell that's a black person. He has that urban flair to his voice etc. I doubt he would be called "speaking white" or "white washed" You can skip to around the 5:00 min part to hear him speak.


    However, this guy has a high sounding voice similar and kinda identical to mine, but if I closed my eyes, I would never in a million years ever think he was black. I would assume he's a white flamboyant man trying to emulate urban/black culture. To me he would most definitely be called all types of "whitewashed" "oreo" "Carlton" "wanting to be white" etc. This is where the issue is. You see.


    So that's why I feel the issue goes way deeper than that.
     
    #6 Boaxy, Aug 29, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
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  7. ControlledXaos

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    IDK. I'm from the south and hear people tell me that I don't sound Southern a lot. I usually reply with "stick around long enough and you'll hear it " but I always got the "talking white" thing since grade school.

    My bro and sis are over a decade older than me so my TV watching was what they wanted to see so hearing more mature speaking patterns and pronunciations stuck. I also was in speech classes because apparently I didn't pronounce some words correctly. Yellow being one of them. I had to deal with that until 2nd grade I think.

    Anyway.... Having been to an HBCU and around black fokes from all over the country, everyone is going to have their own patterns and dialects. You can ALWAYS tell the new Orleanians from the new Yorkers and the so cal peeps from the Missourians.

    Black people definitely have our own lexicon though.
     
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  8. Boaxy

    Boaxy SO FIERCE
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    Okay, I'm bumping this thread, because of a similar topic that was recently also brought up.

    Gay White Men of Color
     
  9. Winston Smith

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    Yeah, verbal code-switching has always been thrust on us. Having a maternal side of family from Mississippi and a paternal side from Philadelphia, as well as being a black kid that liked to read, my speech as a kid was often baffling to my teachers in Oh-hi-ya due to the conflict of southern vs Mid-Atlantic lexicons I heard as a kid. I still say “quarter” like a NYer and “soda” (people in the Midwest universally call soft drinks “pop”). By day I sound like Carlton on Fresh Prince, but piss me off and it goes straight into Charles Barkley land lol

    Everyone knows this famous code switch of the reporter from @Jai neck of the woods


    But the life story behind it is something to which many of us can relate


    Code-switching was thrust on white southerners too, who were (prior to Nixon era) told they needed to lose the accent if they wanted to be successful and not “white trash”. As a kid I always wondered why that old TV anchor David Brinkley always talked so weirdly and out the side of his mouth; I thought he had a dental impairment, but like a lot of southern whites he was taught to suppress his natural southern voice for decades on national TV to “make it big”



    But those whites eventually prevailed and made it white cultural machismo to sound like Lil Abner and Jethro in public (Ross Perot, George W Bush, etc.) so now we’re inundated with bad country music and Ford F150s. Black folk are always forced to change voice to succeed in mass society, whereas whites and Asians are given passes.

    Dialect is an amazing thing. In Chicago, many black folk sound like they straight up just got off the train from Mississippi. Being from Oh-hi-ya (the way we say it), I always thought that was curious but it shows the level of segregation in the city that so many black folk have a Deep South “time capsule” accent though generations into being Northerners. And I didn’t realize white folks in Chicagoland have a very unique accent (which I’ve yet to hear any black Chicagoan express) that is distinct too. When I saw this local white police chief on the news, I really thought she was imitating the mother in law on “Mike and Molly” (“thay’res a dohnkie on I-ninedee”)
     
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