Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Poll Position - Should Get Out Of The Negro Nonsense Business?!?

Ya'll know is all about the upliftment of Black peoples of all races, and whatnot. This site's seldom mentioned, yet everpresent goal is to get folks to buy into taking The AverageBro Challenge™ and helping positively influence the next generation through mentoring, tutoring, and coaching, three things I do with regularity myself.

Of course, running a blog about coaching youth basketball everyday would get pretty boring, and honestly wouldn't pique the interest of many. The tepid response to last winter's The Basketball Diaries series is proof that folks don't really care a whole lot about what grassroots service looks like, even if it's told in the painstakingly witty style that should have gotten it nominated for a Black Weblog Award for Best Series. But then again, that's just my opinion.

While this site's bread and butter is my commentary on everyday events, perhaps few individual posts get the sort of views, comments, and attention of those that fall under the Negro Nonsense category. Lets face it, you can call it "talking down to people" or "being elitist", or whatever you prefer, but there's something funny about watching a young Negro pull $5,000 worth of Polos out of his closet[1], or a couple of guys compete in a Black Olympics of chicken and watermelon eating, or PacMac Jones makin' it rain $81,000 in singles for "visual effect" and blaming strippers for having the nerve to pick the money up.

I can't say why I post these sorts of videos and stories, other than as a reprieve from everyday banality. They aren't posted as a deterrent from foolishness, cause most of my readers don't do this sorta stuff anyway. It's not like my own readers are the sorts of folks who'd "make it rain $81k in singles". Sure, some of ya'll might "make it drizzle", but that's about it. Nope, I post these videos (which are always sent to me by readers, BTW) because I too, like to gawk at nonsense. Is there really anything so wrong about that? I mean, seriously, who doesn't find this clip absolutely hilarious?

Lately though, I'm rethinking this approach, because I've noticed an odd trend. Big-named sites like The Washington Post, The Detroit Free Press, and Crooks & Liars frequently feature my posts and send me lots of extra traffic as a result, but they always seem to highlight my Negro Nonsense-type posts, not the multitude of other far more nuanced (and better written) jawns I also do on the regular. Heck, even my shortlived NPR career was a result of me being discovered by a production assistant who liked a Negro Nonsense-type piece that I wrote. And I'm wondering if this is all a bad thing.

[Update: I'm am pulling the poll early. The results were pretty conclusive. Negro Nonsense stays, but I'll strive to add more context. I still hope the folks from Crooks & Liars link to my more serious posts, however.]

I don't purport to be a "representative of all blacks", despite this blog's title. But I wonder if the folks who visit me on a whim when referred from these other sites are actually seeing the regular content, or just here to gawk at the Negro Nonsense like I am we are. If so, do these posts do more harm (reinforcing negative stereotypes) than good (an uptick in hits, and the occasional reader who sticks around) in the long term? I can't really call it, and thus, today's question.

Question: Should stop running "Negro Nonsense" type stories, or are they a nice compliment to the usual, more nuanced pieces? Is it the responsibility of "black bloggers" to always put the "best foot forward", or is that too much to ask of any person?

[1] Funny, but true story. Yesterday, I got dressed for work and put on a brown Polo shirt. My wife (she didn't do this on purpose) also decided to dress our 2 year old in a brown Polo for school. So, we roll into the daycare pimpin' like a muv, and I just wanna yell out "WE BEEEEEEEN HAD POLO!!!!" But of course, I didn't.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.