Posted in 365 Days of Blogging

Day 104: Humbleness, Humility, and their Racial Connotations

I have issues with people’s obsession with humbleness and humility. Nine times out of ten people only talk about those traits when discussing people of color and even then what they really mean is something different. What people really mean is they want you to be submissive and self deprecating to the point of developing self esteem issues. I know I’m not the only one who’s noticed that those terms only seem to come out as insults when talking about confident PoC.

When Beyoncé made Bow Down, ***Flawless, or generally does anything ever, how many people come out the woodwork to say they think she is “arrogant”? How many people say the same thing of Nicki Minaj? Peoplle say she’s “full of herself” and they want to “take her down a notch” all the time. How many discussions center around the fact that people hate rappers bragging about what they have while ignoring context for why they brag about money, cars, and jewelry? People talk shit day in and day out about Rihanna and how they hate her cockiness.

On the flip side of that, how many people (some of the same people) praise white celebrities for their confidence? It’s been talked about before, but look at how obsessed people are with Robert Downey Jr. There was a whole meme on tumblr about how people can’t tell the difference between Robert Downey Jr. and Tony Stark and people love it. I’m being serious when I say I’ve rarely seen anyone, especially those in the media, say that Robert Downey Jr. or any other white celebrity needs to be more “humble.”

Why is cockiness acceptable from Robert Downey Jr. but not from Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Rihanna, or any Black rapper ever? That question is largely rhetorical because I’m sure we all know the answer to that.

I’m won’t make any friends saying this, but I really feel like it’s a subconscious form of racism. It’s so subtle that I see that type of speech and thought coming from PoC (Black people in particular) just as much as white folks.

This is one of those times where I’m kinda left questioning myself. I’ve seen it so many times though that I’ve detected a definite pattern and I’m pretty sure I’m right, but I can be wrong. How do you feel about this? Is there a subtle form of racism at play, or am I just imagining things?



I'm a simple single mom living a complicated life.

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