Posted: December 3, 2014 in Politics

Few things bother me more than the phrase “acting white.” I’ve always found it uncomfortable and stupid. Even as a young kid with no friends of color, I knew too many white folks to think “acting white” could be anything good. I’ve heard a lot of young black hipsters say it recently and I always cringe. It’s super dismissive of a whole lot of poor white trash.

The whitest place I’ve ever been is Maine, but the other than Maine, every super white place I’ve been in is terrible and poor and full of oxycontin. So I’ve the term’s not just racist, it’s flawed.

As a means to get around it, I used to describe things as “Huxtable Black.” It’s still inaccurate and probably offensive, but I used it. It meant succeeding, it meant taking care of your family, it meant being educated. None of those things are necessarily white, (ever been to rural Kentucky?) but everybody knew what it meant. Now, in light of the the terrible allegations against Cosby, I’ll need to change it. However, I do now think, that Huxtable Black, is really really white.

Cosby’s criticism of Black Culture and Black youth was always awkward for me, especially when I’d hear it parroted by my uncles or other old white men. I never had outrage, just critical eye roll. I hate it when people think they know enough about things, and hide behind people agreeing with them as evidence they’re right. I also hate it when people think they’re good people because they’re well off. I’m not a big fan of believing in “right” behavior. Manners are not the same thing as values.

I hope Cosby didn’t do it, of course, but I’m pretty sure he did. I don’t trust people who over-value manners. That could just be read as “I don’t trust old people,” but it wouldn’t be right. I think that it’s just a linking variable. I trust Lewis Black, or Carlin or anybody who stays angry at society’s inability to change. I don’t trust people who don’t curse, or at least, people who make not cursing a soapbox. I think it speaks to a moral vacancy. People too absorbed with what is surface level politeness tend to miss the underlying concept. I don’t trust doctors who are afraid of blood. People who prohibit behaviors are hiding something. They want you to be uncomfortable and conform to their normal, because it will keep you too busy to notice their failings.

People upset at today’s youth for not having to conform to the same nonsense they did are harboring a resentment for that nonsense, and an inability to admit they didn’t like it. They’re the people holding on to values they know are dying. They appeal to an authority that is nonexistent, and when it doesn’t answer, they try to make themselves that authority. I hate it. And I’m sorry another example of it’s shortcoming is going to hurt so so many fans. I’m also mad it ruined my term I thought was so enlightened. It is funny though.

Yelling about black kids sagging pants and villainizing poor folks for not adopting your standards, and then perpetrating terrible terrible acts on people less powerful than you, is arguably the best example of “acting white” I can think of. God Damn It Cosby!


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