I met a white African-American a few days back. I’ll call him Bob. Here’s a picture of a guy that looks nothing like Bob, but it’s a white guy just to further clarify that this African-American is white.
Bob and I met under professional circumstances. I was asked by my friend, a very successful makeup artist, to do a shoot for her. Bob was the photographer for the day and I was delighted to make conversation with him. He didn’t speak like an uneducated gangbanger, he didn’t refer to any of his friends as, “my niggas,” his pants weren’t falling down, and yet every person whom I’ve ever met that did possess all of these unfortunate characteristics attributed it in some way to their African-American (AA) heritage. I recall one day a debate taking place in my English class on the issue of AA “culture.” Part of the culture, according to one guy, was that in order to be an AA, you must be black. I asked about the white AAs. . . the black people in the room became very upset with me and said that’s impossible. Oh, and they called me a racist.
Bob was born and lived in Africa, and now he is a US citizen. He is more AA than the blackest person in my English class. Those kids were born here in America along with their parents and grandparents. They are as African as I am French. I have two thoughts. First, what you see in the average rap video is NOT a part of AA culture. Second, it is not racist to say a person is black instead of calling them AA.