I Took The Damn Quiz

As I was reading an essay a pop-up informed me that the next story was #NotAllWhitePeople. Take The Quiz. I prepared myself for a good, hard lesson in my ignorance. I completely expected to find myself saying “oh, dear. Yeah, I’ve done that, said that, DO that”. This quiz, along with many articles directed toward white people that I’ve read recently, was, for the most part, lost on me. Questions like: Have you ever been surprised when a black person was eloquent? Perhaps I’m just ultra-blessed, but I don’t even KNOW anyone who would be surprised by that. Okay, I probably do, but I don’t willingly spend time with them.

There are many questions that are just as “whaa?”-inducing as the above so I’m not going to repeat them. There are several, however, that I feel complelled to respond to. The questions may not be verbatim but you’ll get the gist.

  1. Do the words “poverty” and “welfare” evoke images of black people?

Those words make me picture a white lady in a station wagon. She’s smoking and “One Night in Bangkok” is on the car radio. If you’ve never heard that song you must listen to it. It’s wild.

2. Have you ever laughed at names like LaTisha or Daquan?

I may have, but I also laugh at names like Chad and Wendy. A goofy name is a goofy name.

3. Have you ever passed by stories of missing black kids while paying rapt attention to a story about a missing white girl?

The answer is no, but I find it really interesting that it’s black “kids” as opposed to white “girl”. Also, the question is phrased in a very trappy sort of way, as if we all have this book of missing children we’re leafing through; black kid, black kid, blah, blah, blah….white girl! Now I’m RAPT! I know this is BECAUSE of white privilege, but the white girl is in our faces. That needs to change.

4. Have you ever laughed at black stereotypes?

I feel like this is a bit of a trap as well. I have to say yes, but what comes to mind is Martin Lawrence as that Shanaynay character. I have no idea if that’s acceptable or not.

5. Have you ever cringed at a family member dating a black person?

Yes, but the family member was me and it wasn’t because he was black, it was because I’m horrible at selecting mates. Also, do only black people count? One of my sisters had a baby by an Indian fella and is now married to a Palestinian. They have a daughter and all three of ’em are Muslim.

6. Have you ever sat through an offensive racist joke and said nothing or laughed along?

Nope, I only laugh at inoffensive racist jokes.

7. Have you ever found yourself thinking of Africa as a country?

I’m not sure this indicates racism as much as poor geographical knowledge.

8. Have you ever insisted on your colorblindness?

Okay, I agree that saying you don’t see color is stupid. That is, of course, unless you actually are color blind. I think the intention is good; the ones who say it are trying to say that they don’t make assumptions based on skin color, but it’s a poor choice of words. Although, En Vogue had that song….

9. Have you ever thought of black history as separate from American history?

Only during Black History Month.

10. Have you ever affected/mimed black mannerisms when greeting a new black person?

What are black mannerisms? Are they black stereotypes? And what kind of idiot would do that?

11. Have you ever responded to a black person discussing the damage inflicted on them by racism with “not all white people”?

Personally, I have not, but I fail to see how that would be racist. If a girlfriend were to tell me about the damage inflicted on her by sexism I might say, “not all men”. JUST KIDDING! I would never say that, but what’s wrong with letting someone know that not everyone of another race is out to get them? I suppose if that’s ALL you say it’s pretty weak.

That’s it for the quiz, but what came after was just as special. I was told that I most likely had failed but hey, that’s ok. I may be feeling guilty but again, I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. I just need a bit of self-reflection.

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