Popular Culture

#TrueBlackTales Trends — Here’s What I Learned Reading The Tweets


#TrueBlackTales trends.

What’s behind #TrueBlackTales?

Rachel Dolezal has been making headlines in a strange tale that centers around her altering her appearance to represent herself as a black woman before taking an authoritative and representative position in a local NAACP chapter, and allegedly lying about at least some of the hate crimes she said she suffered. However, Twitter users are sick of explaining to people that changing one’s racial identity isn’t the same as being transgender, that Dolezal’s actions have caused harm, and that this isn’t a matter of the NAACP being ‘racist’ by not wanting white members — that the NAACP has white members and officers, and that’s no problem, but lies and misleading behavior are.

Instead of continuing to talk about this woman’s false tales, there’s a hashtag campaign to share true stories of discrimination and racism faced by people of color, under the hashtag #TrueBlackTales.

The tweets under the hashtag will make you cringe, shake your head, and, if you didn’t know it already, realize racism is not dead. You may find some things you’ve said yourself, without realizing what you were doing. You may merely be amazed at how common some of these behaviors, stereotypes, and treatments are.

These aren’t my stories, and I don’t take credit for them. I’ve merely listened, believed, and collected some of them together here for you — the ones below struck a nerve with me, and made me a little more aware of the extent of white privilege.

The hashtag seems to have started with writer Ijeoma Oluo:

One thing that really stands out in the tweets is that stereotypes of black people are so strong that, instead of seeing them as untrue, people will just assume they know all the black folks who are the exception to the rule.

Incidentally, one of these stereotypes is that of the ‘mad black person’ — the tweets in the #TrueBlackTales timeline show just how frequently this stereotype disturbs someone’s life.

There are a lot of other cringe-worthy ones, too.

An incredible number of people share experiences of someone assuming they are uneducated or only qualified for menial labor. It’s also clear that a sickening number of people assume that people of color only get into college and places of employment because of affirmative action.

Even in acting, people feel the need to limit roles for people of color.

Even very small children experience the results of racism, to a degree that might shock you, and should frighten you.

Also, scrolling the #TrueBlackTales timeline, it becomes abundantly clear how frequently people demand that black folks stop talking about racism and shut up about their experiences.

If these #TrueBlackTales are shocking to you, you should check out the #TrueBlackTales timeline for many, many, many more — and listen, believe, change, and pass them on.

Steph Bazzle
Steph Bazzle is a homeschooling mom who likes to write about justice, equality, and religious issues.

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