Black Women's Improvement Project (BWIP)

Why Are We So %*@!ed Up? Demita Gives Us an Example.

Demita Usher, last week’s “Goddess”, posted this message on a private Facebook board we both belong to. I asked her it I could post it here because if anything just about encapsulates ALL that is ALL WRONG with the black community, this be it.

Take it away, Demita!

— Christelyn



I tell you MINDSETS make all the difference! I admin on another board as a favor to a friend, it is one of those “Black Consciousness, Black Women are the Mother Goddesses of Civilization?” thinking women’s boards. I posted this:

Question for the floor, what is your take on “acting white” vs “acting right”? Why in the black community do some (if not many) associate proper conduct, speaking properly (converse NOT conversate), having manners, refusing mediocrity, wanting quality and excellence as a standard for life as being “bougie”, “stuck up”, “selling out”, …or “trying to be white”? How did we come to the place where failure and mediocrity have become the standard by which we prove to be “down” and “keeping it real”? Is there something I am missing in the equation? don’t people want better for themselves? their families? their community?

1 Commenter Said:

Who set the standard? Americans don’t speak “standard” English…even when White folks travel to Britain, the British don’t understand them either…but since this is about us, Malcolm X was extremely articulate and you would be hard pressed to say he was acting White…its not “how” you speak; its what you say…

I Said:

I am not talking about other Americans, I am talking about the BC at large. Speaking properly is part of it, I am talking about CONDUCT as whole that we sometimes oppose our own success because some of the people confuse doing well …as a “white” attribute vs a “character attribute” IMHO. For example, I read about a young black girl who was pulling straight “A”‘s in Jr High and High School her friends teased her about “acting white” and “selling out” so she started “dumbing down” and got some C’s to make her peers back off. It cost her later in qualifying for certain scholarships and applying to certain colleges. I watched a primetime special where the reporter interviewed a group of black Harvard students and one common thing they all expereinced was that they were harassed in High School for being smart, speaking properly, having manners, etc., and “how” you speak does play a role. Try getting a management job speaking ebonics.

Her Response:

I understand that point…I’m reading John Ugbo’s “Minority Status, Oppositional Culture, and Schooling”…quite extensive and addresses the acting White issue..its not just a simple “acting White”…the Black girl was making A’s, mastering White schooling not education for schooling and education are two different things…for the Black kids who wanted her to make lower grades..its not that they wanted the A student to fail, they don’t want her to “succeed” at the brainwashing that happens in schools…its the Black adults who need to look at what does it mean when Black students “succeed” in school…you don’t have to agree with me…but we have way too many Blacks who have “succeed” in school, speak well and do “everything right” & end up in the same situation like the Black students who “failed” in school…

My Response:

Really? So the method by which they are “so concerned” about this girl not “succeeding” at white schooling is to call her names?? Threatening to beat her up, chasing her home from school (oh yeah that is great incentive) You cannot give these kids this much credit to have that much insight into the “schooling” vs. “education” difference. they are not operating from that standpoint they are operating from FEAR, ANGER, JEALOUSY, ENVY, and the CRABS IN A BUCKET MENTALITY. They do not give a s**t about her well being, they see her as a threat to the status quo, just like their parents probably do.

Her final Response:

…ok, I’m not going to get into an emotional argument about this. I was not giving “credit”…but I will say this and then exit, you can not impose middle class values in the ghetto….done and gone…

Huh???? Asking if people want better for themselves is “Imposing Middle Class Values in the Ghetto”? Now I have seen everything!


No, Demita, you haven’t. It will get worse before it gets better. Someone said the same thing about No Wedding No Womb imposing “middle-class values” on poor people. What the cuss? Only the middle class has some sense? And since the middle class is shrinking, so goes the brains to many black folks.

— Christelyn

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