Once upon at time  not long ago, I stumbled upon a most interesting conversation. This was a conversation being held by three white guys who worked with me. They were talking about welfare and how America needed to add the stigma back to the use of the welfare system. One of the gentlemen made it a point to note that anybody who needed public assistance was somebody who just needed to work harder. You know, coming into the game on some modeling sh*t.

These guys kept going in more and more until I, at one point, joined into the fray by letting them know that I was the child of a mother who was a recipient of welfare and food stamps and that her need for help didn’t diminish the type of person she was as a human being. Of course, the guys immediately dispersed the conversation with one levying a, “sorry if I offended anybody” missive in my general direction. I told him to do what he does and to keep it moving. I also nearly went into the co-worker’s office to let him know that there were no hard feelings and that he’s subject to his opinions. Then I thought better and realized that…

…sometimes white people need to be made to feel uncomfortable. It would seem that questionable decision-making and messed up ideologies run rampant. So I ran Forrest ran. I’ve noticed, even within myself, that at times I have attempted to make people feel better about the ridiculous things that they have said so as not to breed confrontation. And yo, son, yo that is wack, yo. But you know, this same thing plays out across racial and gender lines.  For instance…

…the name of the Washington Redskins. I had a lengthy convo with a coworker about this phenomenon. While I’m generally indifferent to the name of the Deadskins, the arguments that I’ve heard about why using the word and likeness wasn’t a bad thing were effectively, “It’s the Redskins. Period. Get over it.”  But here’s the better question: if anybody were to actually see an injun in the streets, would they call them a “redskin?” Probably not. I had this same argument with my coworker that got pretty hardcore at times. And again, I didn’t want him to feel guilty for thinking the name was okay and I was all prepared to go into his office to  let him know that there were no hard feelings.

But again, maybe he needed to know that what he said hit a nerve.

See, in my attempts to attempt to make these folks feel better, I would have lost my own perspective and encouraged them to go further with the completely jacked up lines of thinking. But the really real is that ever so often, somebody needs to be totally checked about the attitude they bring to the table, especially in a room with one Black guy who hears it all. Every now and then I feel like it is my duty to call out somebody else’s views. And sometimes, they just need to be uncomfortable.

While that’s as far as the challenge tends to go, it does all the service we need at that point to further the cause of race relations in this country (I’d use Canada too but you know they have beady little eyes and big flopping heads….haaaaaaaaay boo). I’m fairly positive that my coworker didn’t change his opinion about the welfare system based on the fact that he actually knows who happened to have lived in some less than stellar surroundings from age 3-6.  But he got a different perspective from me in such a way that he might at the very least refrain from speaking pure f*ckery into existence next time. Killa Cam.

Anyway, folks of VSB, have you ever intentionally made somebody (and by somebody I generally mean white people) else uncomfortable after speaking up about a jacked up opinion? Do you think they cared? Why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways? Did the minor check change the way they speak to or with you? Basically, does everybody need to feel a little bit of discomfort at some point??


Filed Under:
Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • King Tremaine


  • she


  • Nay

    FIRST. that is all

  • TheQueenWithTheNappyHair

    I Definitely agree that sometimes certain white people (read the ones who run around spewing ignorance like it’s fact) need to feel uncomfortable. While I don’t think it changes their opinion at all, I think it at least helps them to censor themselves around mixed company and maybe that will spare someone else the uncomfortability of having to hear their crap. As a kid I went to an all white high school in a rural town after moving from a very racially diverse urban neighborhood and was ( still am to an extent) super shy. I Cant tell you how many of these conversations I endured in class while sitting silently and waiting for the bell to ring. I know kids are ignorant, but a lot of times the teachers would participate and cosign too. I distinctly remember sitting in an all white class while everyone around me moaned and groaned about affirmative action and how racism doesn’t exist anymore and that affirmative action was making them pay for being smart well off white people and how they WISHED they were an unintelligent minority. Yeah.

    That being said this is officially my 3rd VSB comment and I’m working on coming put of lurkerdom lol but between work and college I never read the posts until the convo is over
    And now to bed I go :)

  • TWIsM81

    I’m tired as all get out, but I just wanna say +10 points for throwing in an unsuspected South Park reference. Well played, good sir. Well played.

    I’ll be back in the morning.

  • TheQueenWithTheNappyHair

    Whoa! I was second…I just launched from lurker to almost regular lol

  • Anastasia!!!

    I am one of those black people that white people seemingly feel comfortable around. My clothing does not make them feel uneasy, my speech and general energy makes them feel like, “Hey! I think I can trust this negress.”

    Then they get too comfortable:::

    I’ve told this story before on here, but must say it again. I was working an overnight inventory shift. Its 4am in the morn, people are tired and red-tago home. A song with drums comes over the speaker. My former co-worker proceeds to look at me and the only other black person in the area and click his tongue at me. Like the south african click clakc language.

    I checked that muthafudgecake so hard that later on he came apologizing making sure we was still cool. Nah dude.

    And what killed me the majorest was that my two minority managers just branded me as the over-reacting (black) girl with a chip on her shoulder.

    White people must be let known. They must or they’ll think that ish is ok.


  • CaribbeanQueen

    when people wore pajamas and lived life slow..
    cool points for the Slick Rick reference, P.

    While I have never had to check a 2520, I do think you were right in not going over to that person’s desk to say no hard feelings. Sometimes people need to feel that discomfort so that they think about how what they say affects the people around them. I bet that after you said what you did, they took a moment to think, like “Damn, maybe the welfare system and why people use it isn’t as black and white as I thought it was.” And they’ll think twice before they go to say it again.

  • I let people feel bad about the whole lightskin-darksin and good hair assumptions even though honestly, I don’t particularly care personally. However, I do care about the self esteem of young girls that are subject to ridicule around these themes so I feign my strength of offense regarding those topics.

    I had to do a lot of fake-being-offended in my school years being always the only black kid in every classroom and social situation. I unfortunately had the “privilege” of being the spokesperson for all you Negroes, lol… good times -_-

  • Yoles

    yes i have and i do it ALL the time… I have perfected my quiet well spoken put you in your place insult… sometimes you just have to do it…

    that being said i have some things i would like to address to the VSB community:

    #1… i am LOVING all the new pics and posters that i am seeing… please keep it up… having pics just makes people seem more real to me so even though i’m not on the welcome glitter and confetti squad let me say

    ???????W-E-L-C-O-M-E ???????ONE???????AND???????A-L-L!!!!
    and sing ??? baby won’t you just stayyyyyy ???

    #2… as some are aware i am a nurse and i work 3-11 so i come when i come home and need to decompress i read VSB that being said i click on E-V-E-R-Y link to a page that people have here and sometimes, im just angry… after i work so hard i need things to read, so those of you with blogs— get on it… its not fair to me, the vsb family and my patients that are depending on me… what about your loved ones??? you guys aren’t working to your full potential not firing shots but tes i’ve been clicking for over 2 weeks now where is your new post?

    #3 i think i have some html down pat and it wouldn’t have been possible without Yeah… So and Liz… thx so much ladies…


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