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NewYearsResolution1:AnEndtoDraggingCultureintheBlackCommunity

Nsikan Akpan
over 1 year Story
New Years Resolution 1: An End to Dragging Culture in the Black Community

The definition of "dragging:"
1. pull (someone or something) along forcefully, roughly, or with difficulty.
&
2. to deliberately mention an unwelcome or unpleasant fact.

Today's culture of dragging is "another way to anonymously abuse others, courtesy of the internet."
-Bri Griffith, Carlow University

Hate is not a new invention, however, the sources of which hate can be spewed are relatively recent creations: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., etc., etc.
Though "trolling" is not limited to just one race, as members of all groups partake in online harassment, I am a black woman who is about my community and I have noticed a pattern amongst my people.

Black people are funny. Even when reading biographies and historical fiction pieces, I spot many ways we have laughed to keep from crying. In the 2016 version of Alex Haley's Roots, it is July 4, 1776, and while African slaves are still in shackles, America is declared "free."  An event that would leave those in bondage in despair does not remove the smiles of my ancestors. Fiddler says to Kunta Kinte and Belle, "White folks finally got their freedom." The three friends laugh. I had to rewind because I couldn't believe it. They laughed. Laughter is a sign joy. While cooking for their free oppressors, Fiddler, Kunta Kinte, and Belle were able to laugh.

Nevertheless, in recent years, due mainly to social media, many reasons for our laughter is the cause of many tears: the enjoyment of child abuse on Facebook live, finding the hilarity in a legend's humiliation (Usher and herpes/Lil Kim's transformation as a result of self-hate). Without realizing it, the black community takes part in dismantling our own for the sake of retweets.

In the words of Evelyn from the Internet “I ham not peh-fect;” please have mercy on this Naija gyal. I, too, find it a guilty pleasure to laugh along with my peers when someone is being called out and drug on my timeline. But in the end, when it is over, that person is left to deal with the embarrassment alone, and their names will forever be attached to the insults from the internet.

I'm not saying we shouldn't have fun but as creative as we are, I know we can come up with healthier ways to enjoy ourselves and one another. Teasing is fun. Tearing someone apart? Not so fun.

Happy New Year, Y'all!
Love, Peace & Coconut Oil,


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