I’m a damned good software developer. I’m just plain good at this shit. I mean, really, really, really good. I consider myself to be one of the best in the world and I’m willing to go up against any muhfukka out there to prove it.
When it comes to building systems and coding applications that benefit an organization, ya boi has very few equals. As Drizzy would say:
I’m the only one to get the job done
I don’t know another nigga that can cover for me
Why is any of that relevant?
Because at a pretty young age I had acquired a set of skills that put me in places and situations that I was not culturally prepared to enter.
I had a very odd combination of thug background mixed with highly valuable software development abilities.
My code acumen had me associating with White people in scenarios that no one had trained me for. So, quite naturally, all of the hood shit came right along with me.
There was no manual.
There was no one like me that could show me how to adjust and thrive in this new environment.
I was very literally the only one of my kind.
So me and the White people figured this shit out together.
Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know you muhfukkas hate the notion of grouping everyone together and painting a picture with such a wide-ass brush. I get all that.
However, in my almost 30 years of working around and with White people, I have certainly noticed a common thread that runs through each and every one of y’all muhfukkas.
This post is the first in a series of blog posts that I plan to share that talks about those common threads.
So lets jump right to it.
If there is a single word that sums up my notion of the White experience, it has to be this notion of “being comfortable”.
That’s like a magic word to White people and it means several different things.
White people play the word “comfortable” the way Black people are accused of playing the “race card”. It’s mainly used as a cloaking device to escape scrutiny.
In this joint, I’m gonna talk about the two major forms of this that I’ve seen and continue to see in White society. They each deal very heavily with this unquenchable yearning that White people have to not look bad.
One of the most widespread uses of this is when somebody wants something, but they can’t articulate a solid argument as to why the thing should go the way they want or just as commonly they can articulate but they don’t want to articulate it.
So rather than have to take a position, justify it with facts and logic, it’s much easier (and effective it seems) to just say “situation X makes me uncomfortable” and then they expect to get their way once they’ve said it.
Oh and to be sure, they definitely expect to get their way… but that’s for a future blog post.
This particular use of the word uncomfortable has many, many applications. I could go on forever about this, but I won’t. Instead, let me tell you the story of Deb.
So one time there was this woman, let’s say her name was Deb (because it was). Let’s also say that the organization was deciding if they should hire this particular ethnic person. Let’s further say that Deb did not want this person brought on board.
Do you think that Deb had to list valid reasons why the organization shouldn’t make the hire? Of course not. Don’t be silly. All Deb had to say was “I don’t know. Something about him makes me uncomfortable”.
She didn’t have to explain a single got-damned point. She didn’t have to express anything that the candidate had actually done wrong. She didn’t have to point out any flaws in his presentation or interview. She merely had to state that he made her uncomfortable.
As soon as she said it, every other White person in the room instantly understood that she wasn’t gonna explain shit else and they didn’t expect her to. It was abundantly clear that Deb didn’t want to hire an ethnic person simply because they were ethnic. This dumb bitch just didn’t wanna have to say it.
Because if she actually mouthed those words, she’d be labeled “a racist” person. And of course she didn’t want that label, even though that’s exactly what she was. So this bitch wanted to behave like a racist without having to say stuff that exposed that’s what she was.
Luckily for me and for them, Deb was out voted and I was hired anyway.
In this situation and many others like it, the term “comfortable” is used as a shortcut to express feelings or concerns caused by reasons that can’t be spoken because of potential danger to self-image. It doesn’t even have to be about racial shit. Not at all.
It could literally be anything that the speaker thinks could be damaging to their image.
I remember a time when these two developers were having an affair and a new woman was hired on. Well… the first female developer thought that the new hire was drop-dead gorgeous and she did not want the new girl working around “her man”. This ho did all sorts of shit to try and make sure that “her man and this new bitch” didn’t spend any time together.
So when the inevitable discussions ensued to try and work out the problems on the team, this dumb bitch can’t say “I’m jealous of this new hire’s physical features and I perceive her as a threat to my secret relationship with ‘my man’”. Guess what she says instead? You guessed it!
“She just makes me uncomfortable and I don’t want to be forced to work with her”
This manipulative bitch didn’t have to explain shit else. She’d used the magic phrase and all of her problems went immediately away. New girl was put on another team and the day was saved.
Of course I knew about the “secret” love affair and as I was watching this whole thing play out, I was like… “well I’ll be damned. She got exactly what she wanted without having to justify any reason at all why the new woman should be forced onto another team. That’s some powerful mojo.”
We needed the original woman on our team for the health of the project and no one wanted her to be “uncomfortable”.
So yeah… this form of the Uncomfortable Card is not just for racial shit. It’s for anything that would make the speaker look bad if they actually said their true reasons. There doesn’t have to be an ethnic person within 200 miles of the situation. This is just something that White people do.
In a later post I will certainly discuss how White people have this extreme need to identify with suffering. LMAO! This isn’t that time, but that desire to complain about how bad they have it factors into my point here.
If there’s someone else who’s suffered more or has a real story that involves real pain, the entitled person feels a sense of loss regarding the right to complain. They don’t like this shit at all!
It doesn’t even have to be a Black person or any minority. Even if it’s another White person that’s had a rough patch, they’ll feel the same way.
As with my first point, there are myriad applications of this in practice. But rather than go on and on, I’ll tell you the story of Jim… who wanted a new car.
Jim wanted a loan for a new Benz. He and his wife shopped around for a few weeks before deciding to pull the trigger. They weren’t able to get the interest rate they wanted and so Jim was pissed.
He drives his new car to work the following Monday and he’s telling everyone about how upset he is at the interest rate that they ended up having to pay. He’s all annoyed at how his wife didn’t want him to take the deal and how he signed it anyway. Now he’s discussing all of the ways she’s gonna make him pay for crossing her. Like he has to take her out to dinner.
So I walk in.
Most people there know about the things that I’ve had to overcome. In my world, the shit’s he’s complaining about is downright stupid but I don’t say anything. I keep to myself and get a donut and something to drink and sit down to consume it.
Well… just my presence alone makes him feel petty for complaining about the interest rate on a loan for a new Mercedes and being “forced” to take his wife out to a nice dinner. The shit that he finds “complain-worthy” is shit that a lot of people I know would trade in their left arm for.
So guess what? I start hearing about how I make Jim “uncomfortable”. LMAO!
What da fukk?
What you really mean is that just my being in the room shines such a bright light on how much you have to be thankful for but yet you choose to act pathetic and complain about dumb shit. So even if I never utter a single word, I make yo bitch ass uncomfortable because you don’t feel good about complaining about senseless bullshit when I’m around.
Nawl muhfukka. You just don’t like looking at yourself for what you really are… a petty-minded ho with a fukked up perspective on life. And you especially don’t like others looking at you for what you are.
And as always, of course you don’t wanna admit that. So let’s play the “comfortable” card shall we!!
Needless to say that every other White muhfukka in the building understood exactly what he meant and they all agreed with him, because I had the same effect on them.
They felt this profound sense of loss, because my presence alone altered all of the right-to-whine-dynamics.
I made everybody uncomfortable!! Even my White buddies who I know didn’t have a racist bone in their bodies. Yep… even they could identify with the sense of loss that I caused. Even they would say that “at times, I made them uncomfortable”.
The only thing that kept me around there was that ya boi’s mad coding skillz were too damned important to that bottom line.
So we all had to just deal with it.
Ima go ahead and end this joint right about here. There’s soooo much more I can say on this and soooo many more examples I could give, both past and recent but I won’t.
I do wanna take the time to express that just because I wrote this doesn’t mean that I don’t understand that there are legitimate times to use the word “comfortable”. It’s not always used as a cloaking device. However, I do contend that the majority of the time it is.
I’ll be back at you muhfukkas shortly with a new post in this series of On Working With White People - Part Two: Nosey AF!!