What stereotypical portrayal of a "wigger" in popular culture isn't complete without an otherwise all-American white kid immersed in urban hip hop culture and a connected love affair with 40 oz. malt liquors, illegal drug use, violent crimes or premarital sex? If you've never witnessed these scenarios stop reading this blog and indulge yourself in a double feature rental of the films Havoc and Black and White. Then take a bath to wash off the sin.
"Common sense" dictates these well-adjusted suburban Timmies and Betties are often imitating urban black culture they are exposed to via hip hop. However--as with many racial assumptions--popular opinion could be wrong.
A few weeks ago the Center for Disease Control released the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance-- a report on the leading causes of death among young adults that often come from self-destructive behavior.
A few "shocking" stats about teenagers included:
Anti-racist activist Tim Wise offers the following opinion on the data and the implications that come with it (as well as providing the bullet point facts above):
"[T]he CDC notes that contrary to popular belief, it is not black youth, but rather whites who tend to lead the pack in these categories of deviance, and that among all youth who are either black, white or Latino, blacks almost invariably are the least likely to do drugs, drink, or carry weapons either on school grounds, or generally.
If all this sounds incredible, consider that the findings have been more or less consistent for over a decade, in each and every report of its kind. Yet in virtually no year has the media seen fit to make an issue of disproportionate white pathology, or the relative good behavior of black youth. If black youth kill someone, it's a headline; if they do something right, you'll be lucky to hear about it at all.
...With so much bad news constantly being circulated about black kids today, is it asking too much for the media to take note of the reassuring and positive news coming out of most African American families and communities? Is it too much to ask that in a society where surveys suggest whites in particular (and even some black folks) are quick to believe the worst about young African Americans, perhaps the media might see it as worthwhile to debunk inaccurate and prejudicial thinking?
...So long as police officers routinely admit--and they have done this to me many times before--that the first thing they think when they see a young black man driving a nice car is, "drug dealer," while the first thought they have at the sight of a similar young white man is, "spoiled little rich kid," racism will continue to poison the nation, and affect the lives of its people.