I love this post SO MUCH.
Earlier in the week after reading both the AV Club’s “won’t anyone think of the offended white people” article, and in the week prior, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “so what, who cares” response to WOC being less than pleased with “The Show” I mentioned that it would be nice to see a relatively prominent journalist, who is also a man of color, write an article about why representation is important and why these conversations are necessary. In this article, Cord Jefferson manages to break down some of these issues in a (surprisingly?) thoughtful way.
GENERAL MUSINGS- An Excerpt From My Thoughts
A conversation between Me and Myself. I was away, a shame because she always makes great points….
“Do you ‘like’ anyone right now?”
“‘Like?’ Yeah, I like some people. I’m an amiable sort of person I think. Somewhat of an introvert but amiable nonetheless..”
“No, like, do you, ‘like’ anyone”
“If you mean ‘Do you have any romantic feelings towards anyone,’ than no, I don’t.”
“That was all I was trying to get at.”
“What does that mean, ‘like’? If some guy were to approach me and say ‘Hey, I like you,’ I wouldn’t be impressed in the slightest.”
“It’s one thing if they said, ‘I find myself absolutely infatuated by the curve of your smile, the brightness of your eyes, and the felicity of your laughter. I can’t help but become speechless in your presence and I lack the ability to express how wonderful you really are.’ Now that is an acceptable confession of love.”
“Wow… Why would someone talk like that?”
“I want to be courted. I want to feel special. Your love towards me should be unique; telling someone you ‘like’ them isn’t unique, ‘cause if they’ve had other interests in people, they’ve already said it before, which equals no uniqueness in their affection.”
“But it’s way simpler to just say ‘like’. Everyone knows what you mean when you say that; no confusion.”
“FALSE! I don’t know what ‘like’ means! I need details…! Someone telling me that they ‘like’ me is less than flattering, heck, it’s even insulting to hear their devotion to me in such simple terms! And they had better not tell me they ‘love’ me either. Most people don’t know what it is to love someone, and to play up your scanty feelings of infatuation with such a serious expression is also an insult!”
“Then what do you want!?”
“I WANT CLEAR, PRECISE MEANING AND EXPRESSION! Only then, if your answer is acceptable by my standards, will I consider you for a potential partner.”
“…How prim. Or rather, just prissy.”
“And rightfully so!”