I can’t put my finger on why it makes me a weeee bit uncomfortable, but it really does. Maybe because it plays into and perpetuates racist stereotypes about Black people having ‘attitude’ or being funny? Maybe because it’s a little minstrel-y? Maybe because a non-Black internet user using a Black person to illustrate their feelings is a sort of strange virtual blackface? Maybe because so many non-Black people are fine with using a Black person to illustrate their feelings/reactions but aren’t interested in allowing Black people their own voices? Maybe because it seems akin to non-Black people adopting Black Vernacular English to be more … something?
We live in a racist culture. I can’t accept that the widespread popularity of these sorts of GIFs is totally innocent.
Ooh yeah, I think you’re onto something here, definitely.
(Cue internet freak-out when people angrily and defensively refuse to see subtle racism that they may be participating in.)
This, exactly. I also think those gifs are used as a co-option of Black people’s anger for somewhat trivial matters—or worse, as a way of trivializing the offending argument.
I feel that way about the ‘woman falling off the stairs’ gif. It’s uneasing because I saw that episode of Extreme Makeover and it was very emotional.
And the ‘saddest cry ever’ meme is really depressing. Can we just use animal gifs instead?
YES. All of this.