About a year ago I wrote a piece titled, “A Few of My Favorite Things” where I described things that black people (at least the ones I know) really loved. A few of the things I listed included barbers and beauty shops, napkins, Pepsi, and preachers. Today, I want to share some things that Black people I know do NOT like:
◆ Oven fried chicken – Oh, we’re all right with baked or roasted chicken but when you tell us fried we expect something cooked in a cast iron skillet with a layer of Crisco. And please fry it hard!
◆ Church singing without feeling – We aren’t mad if you are a little off key, or “pitchy.” We can even deal with you forgetting the words. But, please don’t stand up there like you are not feeling it. When we say “Let Him use you” we are beseeching you to put that emotion on display.
◆ Teachers who act like they know our kids better than we do – There is nothing more infuriating than a teacher telling us inane stuff like, “He’s a really nice boy!” Well, we know that. We sent him to school nice. We need you to tell us what he knows and is able to do!
◆ Black girl children in White families with uncombed hair – We realize that little black girls can have uncombed hair regardless of their parents but something about seeing them with hair looking a mess beside white parents who have their hair well-combed just sets our teeth on edge.
◆ People who assume we only vote for black candidates – We could easily respond by saying that white people only vote for white candidates but the truth is there are plenty of black candidates most black people did not get behind. Do you remember Herman Cain? How many black people do you think are backing Ben Carson? Barak Obama lost his first Congressional bid in a largely black district.
◆ Box cakes – If you’re going to take the time to actually “cook” a cake we’d like you to actually bake the cake— flour, butter, sugar — the whole nine yards.
◆ Kraft macaroni and cheese – This needs nor deserves any explanation.
◆ Confusing co-workers or colleagues with friends – We will be cordial, friendly, and nice to the people we work with but know we tend to keep a strict line between work lives and personal lives. No matter how “important” the career or profession we think of them all as a J-O-B!
◆ White folks thinking it’s okay to say the N-word – Why on earth white people want to say the N-word is beyond me? If they think it makes them hip or cool or “down” let me assure you it does not. It is still insulting and hurtful.
◆ Minimalist looks – When people have been deprived of material things as long as we have, we want to have stuff in our houses. We like a sofa (and probably a love seat), a side chair, and a coffee table. We need to see a dining room table AND the china cabinet. We do not like homes without photos. Don’t you have some family?
◆ People who don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom – Ewwwee! This will send us into orbit. You use the bathroom, you walk right out, and then you want to start touching things? My hand? Food? Not in this life!
◆ Parties without enough food or drink – This dislike is our proof positive that Jesus was black. Do you remember Him showing up at a wedding and the host had run out of wine? That was a disaster that had to be fixed. We can’t stand showing up to significant events like weddings, graduation parties, or funerals and find “finger sandwiches” and punch!
◆ Politicians who think we’re too dumb to know what’s good for us – Black folks have been voting their self-interests as long as they have had the franchise. People who claim we are in the Democrats pockets don’t know our history. Coming out of the Civil War we almost always voted Republican — the party of Lincoln. Indeed, we remained Republican because the Democrats systematically kept us from voting and participating in the democracy. However, once FDR came into office with the New Deal we realized we were better served by a Democrat and nothing in the political process has changed that impression. We know that neither side has us as their priority but we hedge our bets and choose the lesser of two evils.