May 16, 2003 by AK
“Acting white” in most cases means acting middle-class. The white middle class makes up a larger share of the white population than the black middle class does of the black population, hence the identification of “white” and “middle class”. Well, not that the white middle class, except for the more educated segment, are the most entertaining people on earth — but the presence of a large, in many ways dominant middle class, provides the much-needed stability, etc. etc. — you know the rest. I don’t know who was the first to substitute “white” for “middle class”, but the substitution has done a lot of damage to the black youth as it equates middle-class behavioral patterns with treason to one’s race.
I hope Yasmin Alibhai-Brown would agree with me. A similar attitude was also found in white English schools: parents and peers of working-class kids did not want them to be educated beyond the level befitting their social class. “Don’t put ideas in his head.”
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