When talking to a friend who is not aware of the lasting implications of their statements, it can be difficult to brace yourself. A scenario could flow as follows: a conversation about race is on the table and a friend who is not black, gets upset about a statement made. The following rebuttal statement may go something like,“You people always….”
A statement that generalizes the black race generally follows the infamous “you people” statement. Someone who may be angry at something a black person has said or done always uses it. It is generally in an argument and makes a point about how blacks are always mad about something done to them i.e “You people are always blaming the system for your mistakes” or “You people are always playing the race card.” These sweeping statements are stereotypes and should be addressed as they come about.
When dealing with “you people” and any other generalized statement, the easy way to address it is by asking “what do you mean by you people?s” or whatever variation that they use. Easily knock those statements down by knowing the statistics of your race and understanding what is positive and negative statistically. With this, if the person is making general statements, then show them how and why they are misinformed. If the person is making an angry “you people” statement, explain to them why that statement is offensive. Because you have facts and figures, you can debate knowingly and make the argument a teachable moment to the person who may not know the truth.
If you would like to see the other 11 statements in the Atlantic Black Star article, click the link below.