Wiktionary.com defines “blacksplain” as a slang term meaning, “Of a black person in a group with non-black people: to explain some concept which is very common in black culture but unknown to non-black members of the group.” It is a blend of the words “black” and “explain”.
For people of color, we find ourselves blacksplaining all the time if we travel mainly in white circles in society. At work, with friends, at social functions…white people will always have some sort of, “well how come black people…” or “why do black people think…”. This usually results in Trevor or Becky turning to the nearest non-white person with a quizzical look, and the expectations of all the answers that lay in generations of oppression, neatly wrapped up in a sound bite that could fit into a fortune cookie.
Blacksplaining is tiring.
And not just because you are expected to be this knowledge ambassador for an entire culture (African-Americans), but, also for the entirety of black people from across the diaspora. Yes, you’re a black kid who grew up in Kansas City, but, surely you can give us the customs of and differences between the Hawiye and Darod tribes of Somalia? Keep in mind I only know the names of the Haiye and Darod tribes because I literally typed “tribes of Somalia” into Google.
Until recently, many of us simply took the expectation that we would blacksplain as part of the landscape of being a minority in America. When you grow up and exist in a country that only teaches the Caucasian side of its own history, and only mentions the non-white peoples of the planet in their relation to white Europeans, you can’t expect white people to know. Sure, in most cultures, Todd and Emily would take the time to actually learn about non-white cultures themselves…but, hey, this is America. We don’t do that. Because = ‘murica!
But, the recent rise of the 45th occupant of the Presidency, and all of the mouth breathing idiots he has unleashed, have cause people like me to simply not want to do this anymore. It far to taxing on the minds and spirits of all of us to explain to you why your racist Uncle Phillip is a racist. Why your “MAGA” hat is offensive to people around you, causing you to get those stares. Or even how we knew that the sentence you started with, “No to sound racist, but…” was going to end with some truly racist shit.
One of my resolutions for 2018 was to cease blacksplaining the world to people I do not actually care about. This means, I only blacksplain for the white people I love, the ones in my own family or my closest friends. I will continue this time-worn practice for those whom I know simply want to understand how and why others see the world differently. Those whose opinions and feelings I care about.
But, fuck the rest of y’all.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to post some “Blacksplain 101” articles. I’m simply going to lay out facts, and when people ask shit? I’ll send them the link. They can read it. Or ignore it. I no longer give a shit.
Y’all made this shitty cheeto dust and urine soaked bed. If you’re too dense or ignorant to notice, that’s on you.
Sometimes you stand there and think, “WTF’s Next?” while looking at a situation or something on the news. And you’re left to point, fret, wonder and mull it over alone.
I instead choose to write all that crap down HERE and get it off my chest.