Being Too Proud of Your Race or Ethnicity to Annoying Levels

Posted by Anthony Mango Saturday, April 21, 2012

I know, I know, the title's got you pissed off already. Before everyone jumps to conclusions, let me clear up a few things that I'll point you back to if you start getting confused:

1. This article is in no way saying any race is better or worse than any other. They aren't. Equality means equality.


2. This article is in no way saying that you shouldn't be proud of who you are - so long as you've got something to be proud of. By that, I mean if you've done nothing but bad things, you shouldn't be proud, and if you've done something positive, you should. Don't brag because you're associated with someone who did something good that you had no part in, just as much as you shouldn't be ashamed that someone you're associated with did something bad that you had no part in. Example, I shouldn't get an ego boost if my friend wins the lottery (because I didn't do anything) and I shouldn't get ashamed of myself if the state of New Jersey has low standardized test scores (because I'm smart and I tested well on those).

Now that the fire's been dampened before it raged out of control, let's continue.

Are you like me where you get really irked when someone acts as if they're trying desperately to draw attention to the fact that they're a certain race and that they want you to know, beyond anything else, that they have that in their genes and they're proud of it?

For instance, why is it that people who grew up in the United States their entire lives still sometimes say things like "Mother Africa"? You've got to be kidding me. That's like a child having gone through foster families their entire lives giving endearing nicknames to their biological grandparents that they've never met. Even if you've made that grand trip on a vacation over to the country that you have a connection to, you're still being pretentious about it. You don't grow up in Chicago or Detroit or something and start acting like you're straight from a cannibalistic tribe civilization - unless of course, you're one of the people this post is talking about.

Many people that do this take it upon themselves to go out of their way to do things that are stereotypical of their background so as to seem more authentic. Have you ever come across someone that acted as if they were straight off the boat from Italy, speaking with a heavy accent? They start pronouncing things in a horrifically pretentious pseudo-mocking Italian accent (this becomes very prominent when talking about food like mozzarella...it's not "MOOTZ-a-DELL!!!!"). They're also likely to pretend like they're a member of the mafia just because their name ends in a vowel. Oh I'm sure you know a family member that TOTALLY has connections. You're hardcore. You must be a made man, right? By the way, unless it's specifically made from meat, it's just spaghetti sauce, not gravy. Just because you threw some meatballs in there to finish cooking with your other ingredients doesn't mean it's gravy, no matter how much your family will tell you otherwise. [And before anyone says I'm not ripping on things that I am in this post, I'm part Italian.]

Have you ever noticed that these people are always so willing to embrace the positives of their races but they neglect the negatives? You're an Irish person and you can hold your liquor like no other! You're a black person and you're hung like a horse! The only time they bring it up is if they're looking for sympathy or charity, which in turn makes it a positive for them. Just because you're 1/16th Japanese doesn't mean I should feel sorry for you because a tsunami hit Japan in 2011. You know who I feel sorry for? The Japanese citizens and their families. Unless you live there, have lived there, or know people that live there, you're not a part of this at all. This all boils down to an ego thing and when you mix ego with race you end up with the stupidest thing of all: discrimination on races. That is an underlying issue here and it works both ways. Just because you're of a certain ethnic background does not mean that you are by default a worse person than any other race out there - but at the same time, logic dictates that that means you also aren't BETTER either. If you're a teenager, you're not entitled to slave reparations because you didn't suffer like the true slaves did. Just because you're part Native American (or "Injin" if you're an idiot that can't pronounce words correctly) doesn't mean that you're one with your animal spirit guide and you're more connected to nature. Just because you're part Roman doesn't mean you yourself are some badass gladiator - and even if you're Russell Crowe, you're still overrated.

This is Sparta meme
Pictured: Every Roman/Greek/whatever descendent ever, according to these idiots
What this boils down to is a simple concept that people over-complicate due to their own likes and dislikes and pride. Every ethnicity is different in both good and bad ways. They all have rich backgrounds filled with interesting things to learn about as well as boring, uninteresting things that have happened. Every ethnicity has achievements under their belt and embarrassments they'd like to forget about. Unless you actually have a direct hand in any of these things, though, it's obnoxious of you to think that any of your culture's history reflects upon you in any way, positive or negative. Be proud of what YOU'VE done and be embarrassed about what YOU'VE done - not what came before you that you just so happen to have a familial and biological connection to.

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