The OP explains that her friend, who is white, often adopts a “stereotypical African American voice” to express emotions like surprise or anger.
One day, the OP asked her why she affects that voice—and got an earful.
“Background: We are both white women in our mid 20’s. Her whole family is white as far as I know. I’ve known ‘Sally’ for a few years but this has only come up in the past couple of months. Basically whenever she wants to convey emotions like surprise or signal that she’s worried or angry about something/someone, she puts on this exaggerated, very stereotypical African American voice (not gonna type it out, but if anyone has ever seen Bunifa on MadTv it’s like that). It’s completely different from her normal voice and frankly it makes me uncomfortable,” the OP writes.
“A few days ago, it was just the two of us and I asked her why she puts on that voice and told her it’s a bit weird. At first she played dumb and then she flipped out and started screaming at me, calling me a “good white liberal” and saying that I have no idea about the real problems Black people face (??? if I don’t then neither does she?) I told her it makes me uncomfortable and asked her to stop. She said that no one else has a problem and I’m labeling her as a racist and trying to ruin her life. She proceeded to storm away and now is making all these passive aggressive posts on social media.”
“I haven’t talked to anyone else about this and afaik neither has she, but now I’m wondering if I’m being too sensitive and ridiculous. AITA?”
What do Redditors think?
“NTA. African Americans have stated on multiple occasions that the appropriation of aave (African American vernacular english) by white people or non-black poc is embarrassing when used like this. If she really cared about black people and the issues they faced (like she accused you of not doing) she would listen to them and how they feel about this issue. The fact she got so defensive over it probably means someone has called her out on this before and she refuses to change it,” said Julieruebee.
“NTA – It’s never wrong to ask someone to stop racist behavior. Her putting on a “black voice” does not suddenly make her an advocate for black people, or give her any extra understanding into black issues,” stated KaijuAlert.
“Your friend was racist. You called her out. Good for you,” said stares-motherfuckily.
“NTA. Blaccents are irritating and offensive. DOUBLY so when used to convey anger, toughness, sassiness, etc. OR when talking to black people as a way of ~relating. Stop! Stop!!!!” said labicheenrose.
“NTA. When people talk about cultural appropriation, this is what they mean. Not eating sushi or buying stuff from indigenous people. But like taking parts of their culture that are personal and subject to discrimination and acting like it’s okay to use,” said bite_me_losers.
If you think something is racist, it probably is!
Lead image: Pexels
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