Buzzfeed, an internet giant of entertainment and information, has set the web ablaze by alienating a large part of its black viewership with the recent video “27 Questions Black People Have for Black People.”
The outrage is understandable. Any generalizations or misrepresentation should be taken seriously. However, as a community, it is important to remember to self-reflect and laugh at yourselves every once in a while, and not everyone in the black community feels it is a misrepresentation.
The video received a monstrous negative backlash from the black community because of its seemly asinine questions which don’t seem to come from any real black person. Or at least that is the general consensus coming from black people’s posts on Facebook, Twitter, and the comments section of the video itself.
What is important to remember here is Buzzfeed is known for its humorous, entertaining videos, and asinine questions are what the writers use to make them funny. This humor can then be used to highlight bigger issues, such as in their multiple other videos where they ask white people questions about the vacuous things they do and say.
Outside of the internet, it seems to be a different story. Xavier Mickens, management freshman, thought the video touched on some key questions in the black community.
“I thought it was funny, because I’ve thought of the same questions,” Mickens said. “Not all of them, but most of them are questions I’ve asked my friends and family.”
He went on to say that he has had struggles with the question on light skin being more attractive than dark skin and dating within the black community. Perhaps the video raises some valid questions if some in the community find it to be worthy of the spotlight.
Granted, the stark differentiation between what is seen on the internet and what is heard within life shows the disparity in what representation is overall. To a lot of black people online, this video was a misrepresentation of who they were, but after having a conversation with Mickens, he assured me these were questions he, at least, had for black people.
These questions were simply that—questions from some black people on the little humorous tendencies they noticed within their own community. Some of these transferred over to other cultures, like the Hispanic community.
I know for certain I have asked other Latinos why Hispanics are always showing up late to places, or always seem to be hunting for deals in a joking and humorous manner. This, in my case, makes me feel more connected with others in my community. Even if they are not important issues or concerns, these questions give us a way to laugh at ourselves as well as make it easier to self-reflect on our shortcomings as a people.
It is important to remember these kinds of questions are meant to be entertaining. They highlight at least a certain aspect of the black community in the process, but is not meant to represent every single person. It is impossible to define traits of a community or culture to hold true for every member of that same community.
I am an extremely punctual person, but my family and my culture is not, and because of that I know overall jokes about tardiness in the Hispanic culture are valid. Feeling attacked by this video because it does not fully represent you as a person is perfectly fine. However, instead of throwing their passion to a two-minute video which will be forgotten in a few months, people should put it toward fixing the very real racial issues America faces today.