Ouch. Cringe. So those words were actually written like that in a sentence. But now that I’m done cringing, I did as you ask and considered the statement and underlying believes and I have two things to say about it:
- While fundamentally unjust, the statement is not incorrect.
- When I look at the intent of the author I have to believe it has less to do with race than the poor word choice suggests.
“if black people just acted like people and dropped that black culture thing, they would experience far less prejudice”
Seems to stem from a conformity bias more than from a racial bias. While this is still a nasty bias to hold (and one black people have to deal with on top of racism) it is a bias everyone has and has to deal with. I say it has less to do with race, because if we exchange “black people” and “black culture” with nonconformists groups that are predominantly white, it holds up. Look:
If Punks just acted like people and dropped that crazy hair thing, they would experience far less prejudice.
If Goths just acted like people and dropped that scary morbid thing, they would experience far less prejudice.
If Bikers just acted like people and dropped that covered in tattoos thing, they would experience far lass prejudice.
Or in general; If people would just conform to the group, they would experience far less prejudice.
There is a part in this video about the bystander effect where a (white) actor is ignored by everyone who passes him while he plays unconscious. As soon as they dress this same (white) actor in clothing common in that area he is no longer ignored. That’s not race, that’s conformity. That are cues in how you present yourself to those around you to signal “I am part of your group”
Anyone who choses to present themselves in a way that signals to others “I am not part of your group” will be met with distrust.
I do think ‘black culture’ here is used as signals they are not part of the ‘main’ group. In a way this is correct. This is done on purpose. With good reason.
I want to stress again that the conformity bias is ugly and any person should strive to accept people outside of their group and let everyone express their identity as they feel fit.
But I can not call this awkward statement as it stands incorrect.