It is often comical and some folks try to tell you that you are out of touch with your own people and I’ve been living in the suburbs too long. It happened two weeks ago when I said there is an unfortunate tone in the inner city where black kids who want to play baseball are sometimes teased because baseball is a “white sport.” In black culture any signs of trying to get out of the hood is frowned upon by some.
I got emails from whites who said that is not true. They said look at Major League Baseball. There are a lot of Hispanic players in the league. Blacks do not look at baseball as a white sport. Never mind that I got my information from kids who are actually teased about playing baseball and said they are going to play any way. And this was not an issue about the reality of the sport. It was about the perception by some people who really don’t know.
I remember a few years ago I said that black kids like to wear NASCAR gear and hockey jerseys. You should have seen my email. My white friends attacked me because they said you never see blacks at hockey games and at NASCAR events so why would they wear the gear?
I don’t know. Maybe they think it looks cool. I’ve never been to Brazil but I used to wear a Brazilian soccer jersey because I thought it looked cool.
I fired back by emailing a photo of Tupac spitting while wearing a Red Wings jersey and sending out stories on how the Rev Jessie Jackson got NASCAR to gear up driving programs in the black community because black kids were spending so much money on NASCAR clothing.
A couple years ago I got a letter from a guy who said “you people like to stick together no matter what.” I told him that was not true. Black people have been turning on each other since the days of slavery. I also pointed out that there is a battle between light skinned blacks and dark skinned blacks.
This guy got so upset. He called me a liar and said there is no such thing. He had a black friend who told him that was not true.
I bet he did.
Maybe I am old fashion and dumb. But when somebody tells me about their culture and real life experiences I shut up and try to learn. And I ask questions. Sometimes you learn things. But that’s just me.