BLERDS: Stop Disparaging Blackness in Pursuit of the perfect Cos-Play

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Self proclaimed BLERDS really get on my damn nerves, and for good reason too.

First of all  you maybe asking yourself, “What is a BLERD?”

Well, BLERD is a cute/clever little amalgamation of the words Black and Nerd. Blerds are a thriving community of Black people who enjoy things that are typically not associated with blackness (more on that later) such as: Comicbooks, Japanese Anime, Manga, Death Metal music, Cos-Play, and various other things that Black people are allegedly not supposed to enjoy (or even supposed to be cognizant of).

The typical BLERD will always find away to indulge you with meandering melancholic spiels about how they were picked on in school, by other black kids, for liking any number of the aforementioned things. Moreover, you will often hear them complaining about the following…

“Oh, they (read: Black people) always said I talked white.” (As a side note I always get the idea that people who continually say this are actually proud of the fact that they get told that they talk stereotypically “white.” There always seems to be a reverence in it, as if they are perfecting their “white” costume)

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Or…

“They always told me I acted white for getting good grades.”

Or

“This one girl/guy told me that the food I was eating was white. ” (Chile what? I literally had a Blerd tell me that a black woman jumped in her car to tell her that the salad she was eating was “White.” I’m thinking, “Why the fuck you letting a stranger, in your car, be all up in ya damn food in the first place?”)

That is just naming a few (please feel free to add more)…

You get my point and if you are a black person, who happens to frequent the spaces that this type of person inhabits, you’ll know that these are well worn diatribes.

For the record I am a geek myself (I refuse to label myself a Blerd. Given what I’ve told you so far you can understand why). I love 1980’s cartoons and popular culture; I still read comic books; I love movies; and I very much enjoy art museums and the ballet. My geekiness, when it comes to the former subjects, is unparalleled. They are a fun past time for me and I revel in them. Geek culture is a beautiful thing to me. It allows adults to embrace their inner children and escape from the mundane of the day to day. And meeting other people who have the same reverence for shit like: Star Wars, Lord of The Rings, The Terminator, and etc, as you do is like the closest thing to god to me, seriously.  However, unlike your typical Blerd, I really love being Black and make no effort to distance myself from Blackness.

My issue with most Blerds (mind you I am not saying ALL of you, for those who gonna comment) is that they care more about approximating whiteness rather than enjoying their hobbies. Again, whenever Blerds announce what their favorite things are it is usually followed by how much other black people antagonized them about it growing up. Moreover, the Blerd in question will say that is the specific reason why…

(1.) He or she ONLY hangs out with white people.

(2.) He or She only Dates white people.

(3.) He or She only occupies white spaces.

Again, if you know one BLERD you pretty much know them all. Considering that BLERDS are Black, if you close your eyes You’d swear it was a bunch of racist white people bandying about anti-black stereotypes. They are that bad. They don’t see it but because I’m operating on a different wavelength it is apparent as fuck to me.
Whenever I randomly join a group or message board, hoping to connect with other cool black people who like the things that I like, I now fully expect to be assaulted with a deluge of maudlin platitudes deriving from internalized anti blackness. Once the stories about being bullied have subsided then it usually culminates into…

“We need to disprove these antiquated stereotypes!”

“Not all Black people like Chicken! I don’t!”

“Not all Black People like Waternmelon! I don’t!”

“We are not a Monolith!”

Not all Black people this. Not all Black people that. That is literally all you will read or hear. Nigga, who are you trying to impress that upon in a BLACK space?

Again, the real issue with the average Blerd is the need to distance themselves from Blackness. Given that we live inside of a white supremacist construct and our deep history, as Black people, in relation to that it makes sense. But as someone, like myself, who woke up and learned to love his Blackness and culture, in totality, I find it maddening how we jump through hoops to please white people and they don’t even have to be in the goddamn room.

When I was growing up I never had an issue with being picked on for my general interests. I was a black kid, in the hood, who was a first chair violinist! I was also engaged heavily in the art honors society, in addition to reading comic books and essentially staying in my room until I graduated high school. You wanna know something? I knew other black kids who were EXACTLY the same way. Granted, I was bullied; however, that is par for the course when you are openly gay and grow up in a highly religious background. That in and of itself is what kids antagonized me about. That aside I chose my friends based on what it was that I liked as opposed to what I hated about my culture. I befriended those other kids, who happened to be Black, and who happened to be ostracized, and it was cool. Blackness, or supposed “Lack thereof”, was never the issue.

Let me tell you something…

Black culture is diverse. It is beautiful. It is creative. It is malleable. And it is all encompassing. I personally think we are the most: wonderful, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating people on the face of this planet and I am VERY proud of having been born into the skin that I live in. I wear my blackness like a badge of honor. In a world that tells me I should hate who I am loving me in totality sets me apart from everyone else, including ya’ll self loathing fools.

Yes, I love the ballet. But I also love ratchet hood shit too.
As far as I’m concerned Sushi should be a food group, but so should fried chicken and watermelon (and I will chomp on chicken right in front of white people and not bat an eyelash).

You can be Black and like whatever you want. What is not required is for you to disparage and dishonor the culture simply because you still have a problem with the person you see in the mirror and therefore feel compelled to run from that obvious fact. I see ya’ll Blerds and you were more than likely ostracized because the people you were seeking to escape felt like they were being rejected by you as well.

Therefore, I will never append the BLERD label to myself. I love being a Black person. I make no apologies for it and I feel absolutely no need to try and fit into the white box.

I personally think Bleek (Black + Geek) is a better word, and we who like being Black should use that one. If it becomes a thing credit it to me…Thanks!

Prince.

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