So let me preface this entire post by saying, emphatically, this is just for fun. Racism, in all forms, is disgusting… and I think we’ve made it clear at Jones and B we are about as open minded a group of writers as can be. However, sometimes we just have to tackle a controversial subject like racism or stereotypes because well… there’s something to say.
This past 4th of July weekend I was at Whole Foods picking up some food for a BBQ. I went into the store without really having a plan for what I wanted, and figured I’d just let the grocery list come to me organically as I walked through the aisles. As usual the produce section is the first section you arrive in, and I was hit immediately with the most obvious purchase for the BBQ, Watermelon! I picked 2 or 3 out, and brought them, along with my other groceries, over to the BBQ. The party was people of all races and ethnicities, and yet every single person was equally stoked to see the inclusion of Watermelon amongst my packages (albeit many people were already thinking about drunken watermelon with Vodka). Which for some reason got me thinking…
“Why do people act like black people loving Watermelon is such a negative stereotype?”
Hold on… let me explain my thinking.
I understand that the black/watermelon stereotype dates back to the times of slavery and the ridiculous and cruel assertion that black people were inferior and animalistic. It’s an ignorant and idiotic assertion. However, let’s just fast forward to modern day and remove the context for just a moment…there are actually much worse stereotypes to have. In fact, it’s actually an awesome stereotype in isolation. I mean… seriously, watermelon is absolutely delicious. Have you ever met anyone that didn’t like watermelon?? No! Why? Because it tastes so damn good (and for all you sorority girls it’s low calorie…BOOM another stereotype). I’m Jewish… our best stereotype is that we’re rich (which I’m not), but that is immediately followed by the stereotype that Jews are also cheap. That’s like the backhanded compliment of all time. But black people are “stereotyped” with loving fried chicken and watermelon like it’s a bad thing. They’re stereotyped for loving delicious food. Why can’t us Jews get an awesome stereotype like, “Those Jews… boy they love their Slurpees.” Or “damn, don’t try and get between a jew and their mac and cheese.”
If you think about it, a lot of the stereotypes attached to black people are really, if you think about it, not that bad. Don’t believe me? Ok, how about this one… “They all have rhythm.” Come on now, you’re telling me that being able to transition from popping and locking to the running man to salsa dancing… without any practice… is a bad thing? You’re crazy, that’s awesome. White people are known for being so bad at dancing that our stereotype is the “white man’s overbite”, from trying to concentrate so hard on the beat.
How about this one… “They’re all so athletic.” Talk about something you’ve never heard associated with Jewish people. Lastly, how about the ultimate black stereotype…”All the guys have huge dongs”. Please, someone on the planet tell me how that’s a negative? You know what Jews have that’s huge? Our noses. That doesn’t have quite the same utility, well unless you’re all about pulling the flipper move when you’re going downtown.
Again, I understand that these black stereotypes can tie back to some terrible times, but seriously these are still some stereotypes that I wish I had. I mean think about what the girls might have to say about me, “Ooooo, that’s B. He’s a great athlete, he can dance, and he’s always having the best BBQ’s… and he’s packing if you know what I mean. He can drip some Watermelon on me anytime!… Ohhh Haaiiiii B!” Doesn’t sound so bad when you put it like that now does it??