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Greg McVerry

Should We Share Racially Tinged Memes? #HipHopEd #literacies.

2 min read

We love to laugh at them. Writers parody them in theme songs and television. Yet I wonder are we laughing at the individuals or drawing humor from a deep well of intentional and hidden bias?

I am talking about memes featuring people of color who do not come from affluent backgrounds. They usually act in grandiose ways speaking local dialects that would not be recognized as standard academic English. The most famous being:

This video, with over 62 million views sparked it all for me . I won't lie. I even had the auto-tune version as a ring tone for a minute. This video went so far it served as the inspiration behind the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt theme song.

Then earlier this week we saw the explosion of "Ain't Nobody Got Time for That"

The original video is over three years old, and it took off recently.

Do we have a responsibility to not share these videos?

Laughing at uneducated black people is nothing new.

I just wonder is it as racist now as it was with Mammy Two Shoes?

Are we simply putting a digital jocko to welcome you to our online front doors when we share these memes? The auto-tuned voices no different than the exaggerated white features painted on to dark skin.