My Facebook Is Really Black » VSB

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My Facebook Is Really Black

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Do you remember a few months ago when people were unfriending folks left and right because they found out their friends were Donald Trump supporters or über-conservative or even sometimes closet racists? Yeah, that never happened to me. In fact, I’ve only had to side-eye a few people because of their pseudo-support for Bill Cosby, but never to the point of unfriending people for their racist views.

In fact, I’m not sure anybody on my Facebook timeline has even expressed really racist views. Because I think that my timeline is too Black. I’m not sure how many white people I follow on Facebook, but it surely is a very-minimum amount, which isn’t on purpose, but alas, such is my life.

There are no active racial debates. The only contentious debates that seem to happen on my timeline are relationship-centric because somebody writes some article and then, usually, some dude says that women need to be the ones doing x, y or z, and then all hell breaks loose and almost always, Brick kills a guy.

You know what does show up on my timeline? Every day? Another police shooting. Another interesting or funny meme that usually includes Michael Jordan’s face. Some random fight from WorldStar. Discussions about the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. Discussions about hip-hop losing its way. Notices about really Black events happening that will largely include lots of Black people doing or saying Black things. Some article with the term “Black” in the headline about what black folks aren’t doing, what white folks are doing or what black folks should be doing, while white folks are doing what they do. An article saying to never do what they do. Some story that explains Blackness or why we shouldn’t have to explain Blackness.

My timeline is Dead Mike from CB4.

Folks talking shit about Serena Williams? It’s there. All things Yoncé? It’s there. Kanye West love and hate, LeBron love and hate?

How much we will all miss Obama? Swooning over the first family? Love for Sasha and Malia? Check. Check. And Check. The first family swagger on a hundred, thousand, trillion? Check.

It’s also full of articles from news sources that I’m pretty sure are legit but feature stories that never show up on CNN or other traditional news media. I’m not saying that you people don’t read legit news; I’m just saying that my Black-ass timeline includes a large number of news sites that I’ve never heard of before that clearly are doing the reporting on news that America isn’t talking about.

Also, my timeline is full of criticism of conservatives, though every so often a comment will show up questioning if we Black people are a monolith and why we can’t have our own opinions about any number of topics, especially those political. Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders? My timeline is a Skittles-like explosion of articles and opinions on who we should choose and why. Though my timeline is extremely Sanders-centric.

Now, to be fair, I don’t find this to be a problem … so much. It’s the same issue I have with my Twitter, which is decidedly Black as fuck. I know it is not representative of conversations that are happening outside of the Blackosphere. Effectively, my timeline is one big-ass barbershop, and this isn’t a bad thing.

But sometimes I am curious about what is happening on the timelines of other people who have to unfriend people. What the hell are white and other non-Black people up in arms about? Case in point, on last Sunday, President Obama made landfall in Cuba, as the first sitting president to do so in almost 90 years. This was a monumental event no matter where you fall on the Cuban political spectrum. I know for a fact, and because I read lots of articles all day long outside of Facebook, that a vast many people felt negatively about Obama’s trip. I understand why the opinions are split on Cuba, especially in Miami.

My timeline? Everybody’s gearing up to head to Cuba, and it was full of discussions about Black Cubans and how excited everybody is about hopefully normalized relations with the tiny island. Plus, free Assata.

Now, there is a way that I could open up my timeline to some of this nonblackness that I am curious about on occasion. For one, I have two FB profiles: one for Panama Jackson, who is part of VSB and lends itself to lots of Blackness all up and through this dancery. On the other side, though, is my FB page that utilizes my real name, which includes tons of my classmates who have no idea who Panama is from high school. In Alabama.

Now, it’s not to say that I would expect any of my high school classmates to be raging racists or anything; quite the contrary, actually. While my high school was in the great state of Alabama, we had some pretty solid race relations, despite the Confederate flags and paraphernalia that were plentiful. It is Alabama, after all.

I had plenty of white friends, and should I reach out to most of them, I would fully expect a friendly conversation to follow. But opinions are opinions and are shaped and molded by experiences large and small. So I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the folks I went to high school with did have some opinions that fell on the opposite end of the spectrum from mine, and possibly offensively so. Granted, I don’t begrudge anybody his or her opinions, but I also rarely go onto that FB page, for reasons. It also includes my white family members who might also have strong opinions that I’m not sure I want to know about. I like loving my family.

Now, it’s entirely possible that it’s all kumbaya and unicorn hugs, but maybe it isn’t.

Which leads me to living mostly on my possibly too Black timeline. Again, there are times when I’d like to know what the other side is thinking, but I also know what websites to read for this purpose, so I guess it’s a minor inconvenience, like somebody double-parking in a spot really close to the entrance to a building when there’s an additional spot a few spaces over. Sure, I’m annoyed that you double-parked and cost me a close spot, but I’m trying to get my steps up on my Fitbit anyway.

I do think my page is too Black, since I don’t know the life many folks lead where they have racists and malcontents and unsavory figures all over their pages, but I also suppose that’s not a bad thing. I’m just super abreast of the Black conversation.

I guess my Facebook, like my president, is Black.

There are worse problems to have.

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.

  • My timeline is such a mixed bag. I did have to cut off quite a few people in recent years after police shootings, protests, and other race-related topics. I have amazingly not come across any Trump supporters though. Although the cynic in me believes that half the people denouncing him publicly are also voting for him privately. But I’m not one to gossip, so you ain’t heard that from me.

    • TJ

      I’ve definitely had to clean up shop with the following:

      1. What about black=on-black crime?
      2. If we don’t respect ourselves, how do we expect law enforcement respect us?
      3. Any and all hotep shenanigans.
      4. The “man” is setting up Bill Cosby.

  • TJ

    I feel you Panama. Simply put, I don’t have white friends on and offline. However, I do have white people I effs with HEAVY from my time in the DC-area and some high school/college classmates who are seen and not heard. Most of my social media circles are pro-Sanders too. I might have to unfriend folks closer to November.

    I was having a similar phone conversation with my mother the other day. She’s like, “You’d think after all the private school I’d pay for you’d have some white friends or be open to dating outside of your race.” And when I thought hard and deep about it, I was like…I think that’s why I’m blackity black black…because of those experiences growing up.

    • porqpai

      ALL OF THIS. I just had the exact same convo with my mother last week. I was like, “I don’t mind that they exist. I’m totally not hating, but when it comes to socializing, I simply have a preference.” My experience has taught me it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Other people’s mileage may vary, and I ain’t mad at em. I’m just not going out of my way to change the perspective I currently hold.

      • TJ

        Amen! It’s really a matter of preference, and I won’t be going out of my way.

      • lauryn

        Mileage. Exactly.

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      Damn, mom trying to put you out there with these wypipo.

      • TJ

        Mom is trying to get me married off, and she’s now desperate. As long as he has pulse, she’s straight. Lol.

    • Momofuku O’Murphy

      I grew up in Switzerland and until I moved to Cali at age 20 always went to white schools. After some intense experiences, initiated by a cancer diagnosis (thankfullly over now), and having done some extreme growing as well as cleaning house, I notice that the only people I get along with are effectively marginalized people. It’s sad that you can only seem to empathize with or even be interested in the experience if you’ve somehow lived it yourself, but that’s what it’s been like. But I’m also thankful, of course.

  • skinnynow

    I’ve thought about this a lot. I have quite a few melanin-deficient friends who question among their friends why they’re voting for Trump. I’ve never had to pose such a query.

    I grew up in a black household, went to a black elementary->middle->high school, went to black church, was in a black Girl Scout troop and even attended the black Boys & Girls Club. Basically, I didn’t really have to interact with white people until I got to college and started working. Even still, I found white people who were different but not so different that they couldn’t hang with my uncles ‘nem. One of my closest friends is from a small town in the middle of nowhere Iowa.

    I say all this to say, I love being black, I love surrounding myself with black people, and now that I live abroad, I’m thirsty for more of what’s going on with my people back home. My FB timeline is like onys, and I’m ok with that.

    • Mochasister

      I like surrounding myself with Blackness too. Sometimes you get so tired of being a minority that you need Blackness in your life to decompress. Let’s face it. Wypipo can stress you out. After dealing with their micro agressions, I need to be around some people who understand what it is to be Black. I can let my hair down and code switch between Ebonics (or AAVE if you please) and standard American English to describe my day without being judged. It’s just nice to be around people who understand the importance of washcloths and lotion for a change.

      • skinnynow

        This right here–>”It’s just nice to be around people who understand the importance of washcloths and lotion for a change.”<–is why I love my people.

        • Mochasister

          Lol! ;^)

  • AquaTeamV3

    I like having a somewhat diverse timeline. Being able to see different opinions and schools of thought (even if I don’t always agree with them) can be very educational, especially when a major even happens (i.e. Trayvon Martin, Obama election, etc).

    • panamajackson

      I agree with you. I go out and seek the other opinions just so I know what’s going on.

    • ChokeOnThisTea

      I think my timeline is somewhat diverse too. The problem is, a lot of my Facebook friends hold really prestigious positions/job titles so they don’t speak out as openly on issues. As a result, the only people that really voice their opinions are my black lawyer friends and black friends in entertainment or social activism which makes my newsfeed look one-sided. I ain’t complaining though. #BlackPower lol

      • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

        Same here. Wide spectrum, but eventually one of my IDGAF friends will go in and then my stiffer collared or more cautious corporate associates will chime in.

  • Kat

    Black I’m proud and so is my timeline. Add to that it’s effin gay to the max because of the various things I do and have done in the community. I also have my family page…which I rarely go on…cause family. I almost feel as if I’m to distinct personalities and I’m sorta cool with that. Also the world minimizes us enough, why can’t I keep the circle I control in my control.

    All that to say, I didn’t choose my FB timeline, it chose me!

  • MissusMaxwell

    I’ve not unfriended anyone, but I’ve been unfriended, largely by white folks I went to high school with who apparently saw me as the ‘cool black, but not too black’ girl though I sported a jheri curl my first two years there. *shrug* I guess I shattered their previous image of me, being all pro-black and errr’thang. The white girls from high school who I had a genuine level of friendship with are still cool with my pro-black a s s now.

    • Momofuku O’Murphy

      errmahgerrrd, you’re with THEM after all???

  • I view my social media accounts as an escape and a way for me to connect with others that may have similar hobbies or interests as me. In my day to day life, I am constantly exposed to viewpoints that differ from mine and I embrace them.

    However, when I am online, I prefer to seek out spaces where I am not always having to bend and stretch to understand others. I prefer spaces where I can just “be”.

    • PhlyyPhree

      Maybe this is just me, buuuutttt I’m one of those people who still has social media just to be social. I don’t allow a lot of unknowns into my social circles, mostly because i sometimes post pictures of my child and I can’t be having her all on the nets like that.
      My facebook? For my friends and some “slightly more than casual” acquaintances.
      My IG? Friends
      My twitter? Well, that’s open-ish, but you view that at your own risk. I’m not responsible for your offense at my opinions

      • I can totally understand not allowing a lot of unknowns in your circles.

        I tend to be the opposite, I do not like to follow people I know in real life or for them to follow me. I don’t have a facebook, and my IG and Twitter accounts exist largely to follow authors I like.

        The only thing that I dislike about Twitter is the “look at what sexist/ignorant/racist/homophobic thing that someone said or did, retweets” that some are fond of doing. It’s as if some don’t think of how spreading that negative energy can affect others.

      • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

        Exactly the same here.

  • uNk

    Probably showing my age, but I stopped using FB couple years back due to the fact it was getting out of hand with ppl I was friends with. That and parents of all ages making it their breeding ground.

  • Mika

    I am a firm believer of exercising the mute feature on FB.

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      Never had a problem with this. If people have a problem with what I post come see me. You knew from our PWI or my preppy high school how I turned out.

      And your silence speaks volumes anyway.

  • -h.h.h.-

    i wish my facebook was more diverse. the world is bigger than my world.

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