“Fifty Shades of Culture”

So I was having a conversation with someone and the theory was posed that I talk “white” when I’m at work or speaking with my colleagues. Now I have been told this before and at first people would laugh at me and I’d make a joke out of it. Even now, I don’t mind the joke but it got me to thinking: What is talking “white”?.

This particular person told me my voice changes or elevates and I start speaking more proper and annunciated when I’m in a room of my work peers. But why does this have to be “white”. Just like why does someone using Ebonics or not proper have to be “ghetto” (which typically equates to Black). What I came up with is that majority rules in this way of society. The majority of the black culture speaks with Ebonics and low level English while the majority of the Caucasian culture speaks proper English and more sophisticated language. Notice I said MAJORITY (everyone don’t fuss me out at once).

I took it a step further in my conversation with this person and said I’m fine with acknowledging that I adapt and change depending on my surroundings but why is it made fun of or looked down on? I mean I never take it personal because I know it’s all in fun but I just wonder why is it not ok for someone white to talk “Black” or vice versa? I mean I think it’s ok to adapt to your surroundings in order to fit in. As a matter of fact that is my number one issue with the black culture. We want to be accepted into a world without wanting to conform for success or acceptance.

Asians came into Maryland (because that’s all I can go by) and they cornered three markets: Doctors, nail techs and carry out owners. We all know in almost every town/city you’re in they have at least cornered the nail salon market. They didn’t try and go onto Wall Street speaking broken English and then get offended when people couldn’t understand them. Those who became doctors lawyers and anything else have learned how to adapt to the surroundings they wanted to be apart of. Mexicans have come to America and cornered manual labor! Farmers, landscapers, carpenters, painters etc. Anything they can do with their hands, they have their hands on. Did they go to law school and try to take over the government speaking their own language or bringing their own laws? Nope!

However! African Americans grow up feeling entitled to everything a white, Asian and Mexican have and want to take over the world instead of learning how to adapt in it or corner their own market. Now I personally feel like we have cornered the market in sports. That is one area where we have taken it and made it our own. But, we talk about going into white collar or blue collar America, we cannot walk in and take over without first adapting and semi conforming to that way of the world.

No one is saying that you have to change yourself completely however, you can not walk into something you barely know anything about and try and change it to fit you. And why do we not want to conform in those areas? Is it solely because white people corner that market? You wouldn’t go on a farm and use a lawn mower to fertilize the ground. Like wise you wouldn’t go into a nail salon and use a saw on someone’s feet. Yet, we try to become politicians, lawyers, Wall Street men/woman & professionals and want to “be ourselves”. The tools you need to succeed in those fields are not the same as the ones a farmer or painter or restaurant owner may require or need but they are tools nonetheless. Essentially if you want to corner a market you have to go in, learn their ways and then excel at them. Otherwise, because of the “majority rules” rule, you cannot succeed. Go to school, get you’re Degree if that’s what it takes, take up a trade, be an apprentice, start off as an intern; watch listen and learn!

Now that’s not to say that once you learn the ways of what you want to conquer, you cannot make it your own. You can but within reason! My point is… I learned to be professional, annunciate, talk with a smile and appear upbeat in my profession when necessary because I plan on cornering that market. My mind set and thoughts are not always their thoughts and my ways are not always their ways, however I have learned to conform to the part of society I want to be apart of. Learning, being well rounded and evolved is not a bad thing people! Just because it comes from a culture that you may not want to be, doesn’t mean it can’t help your own culture.

Adapt, grow, learn and CONQUER!!

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