Code talk and behaviour! They’ve now made a scholarly discipline out of it. Some of my Favs! Firstly, what are some of these codes? Code is the everyday bombardment experienced by black people in their respective countries. It may vary according to the area which one resides of course. In a nutshell, they are the slight, everyday indignities perpetrated on blacks and other racialized people. However, blacks tend to be their favourite targets. Hence, I will concentrate on my own fellow black folk. There are several kind of micro aggressions that scholars have lent scholarly terms to. Here are some!
1. The macro-assaults which are patently obvious or should be, such as being called nigger, spook, porch monkey(I have been referred to by these names at certain times in my life). A couple of others would be passing a black person on the street and crossing to the other side, or ignoring them when they walk into a store whilst waiting on others who come after. The last two would be of the non-communicative sort. You are constantly subjected to racist images via the media. Most of these images are based on racial stereotypes regardless of their intent; these stereotypes can run the gamut from the blatantly racist to the seemingly benign. A current prime example of blatancy, would be the clown who festooned his restaurant in Hamilton Ontario, Canada with a Confederate flag. The name of this ‘five star’ restaurant is ‘Hillbilly Heaven’. http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/story/2013/03/04/hamilton-hillbilly-heaven.html.
2. The micro-insult. Ever been asked why you don’t try for a promotion? When you ask the white person why they are asking you this, you are told that ‘you are black and a woman, a double whammy of a shoo in to get the job’. There is never any mention made of any qualifications or interpersonal skills you may possess. Another favourite is being told you speak ‘good’ English despite having the same accent as the person telling you this. Another one I am particularly fond of is calling you by another black person’s name because they either don’t remember your name and hope you will correct them, or think all black people look alike, take your pick.
3. The micro invalidations such as being asked where you are from despite the fact that your family may have been here for generations. These observations are based solely on your outward appearance. You are asked constantly your ‘country’ of origin despite your accent being indistinguishable from that of the inquirer. This is similar to being complimented on your’good’ English, but encompasses you origins as well, I guess they are intertwined! They see that you are black and therefore assume you ‘ain’t from here’. When other blacks ask you this they are seeking some commonality in regards to culture etc. When a white person asks, you are being subtly informed that you don’t belong ‘here’, or, depending on the context, you should be grateful to be here.
The danger of the more subtle forms of racism is that the person being subjected to this behaviour may not be aware of it. They may sense something is wrong, but can’t quite put their ‘finger on it’, as this may involve second guessing the person perpetrating the behaviours. The blatant behaviour, because it is blatant and obvious, can be dealt with head on if one is so inclined(depends on the person obviously). White folks, who perceive themselves as being basically ‘good and ‘decent human beings’ become upset when their behaviour is pointed out to them. White supremacy is so inherent in societies that they deny or are supposedly unaware of their racism. After all, they send money to places like Haiti and the country of ‘Africa’ don’t they?
One may ask what some of the deleterious effects of theses seemingly banal forms of racism. For the unsuspecting for example, it can cause spiritual, mental and physical health concerns whilst being bombarded on a daily basis with these assaults. Personally, I have come to prefer the blatant racist as I know where they stand and they are comical if they do not resort to violence. They are also stupid to the point that other whites don’t like them despite the fact that they make them feel good as they are not like these ‘losers'(the blatant racists). They are an embarrassment to the ‘regular’ whites as they are an extreme manifestation of the racism whites harbour. In the ‘old days’ this type of aversive racism was referred to as talking and acting in ‘code’. The ‘professionals’ became aware of this prevalent behaviour and put ‘scholarly’ names and began trying to ‘define’ code and its’ accompanying results. Folks, there is nothing new under the sun! Folks, racism is supposed white superiority versus supposed black inferiority. Blacks cannot be racist as any striking out is a reaction to white supremacy. Terminology can be affixed to any type of mode of speech or behaviour. Simple is best! Racism due to the prevalent white supremacy, is for the most part banal, for whites. Wake up folks!!!!!
#1 by Kushite Prince on March 5, 2013 - 22:26
“The danger of the more subtle forms of racism is that the person being subjected to this behaviour may not be aware of it. They may sense something is wrong, but can’t quite put their ‘finger on it’, as this may involve second guessing the person perpetrating the behaviours. The blatant behaviour, because it is blatant and obvious, can be dealt with head on if one is so inclined(depends on the person obviously).”
I can definitely agree with that! You hit the nail on the head! Great post!
#2 by brothawolf on March 8, 2013 - 18:03
Lots of gems of much needed information.