3 things people get wrong about blerds
June 03, 2016 at 11:30 am
Blerds are blowing up. Nerd-centric programming is dominating the box office and your tv screen. The black and nerdy, like a reflection of our people at large, are still a minority in the context of nerdom, but our collective voice is very loud and it just keeps growing.
Over the years, the blerd identity has been tagged with tons of misconceptions and labels. Although that’s obviously the easy way to do things, it’s just not the way they are. Through conversations IRL, on social media and personal experience, I came up with a list of some common offenders to help get you right.
Here are some things that people get wrong about blerds:
1. Oreos are food, not people.
We aren’t trying to be white https://t.co/fLI5SBMs9n
— southerncynic ♒️ (@southerncynic) June 1, 2016
I’m not an Oreo, I’m not trying to be white. https://t.co/DxlJNbPUuh
— Justin (@GigawattConduit) June 1, 2016
I don’t know who came up with the term ‘blerd,’ but I’m almost 100 percent sure this is the exact reason black is at the very beginning of it.
If you identify as a blerd, you know there’s a section of the population that has given ownership of most things you’re interested in to white people. Because you like comic books, Japanese manga, American animation, Japanese anime, video games, trading card games, cosplay, fanfiction, fan conventions, etc., you have been defined as the ‘Oreo’ guy/girl that likes “white stuff” or “stuff for kids” – and by proxy are “trying to be white,” won’t grow up, or some mashup of the two.
Albeit, I personally have felt a cultural shift in the perception of comic books and video games, especially as they continue to cement themselves as staples of popular entertainment.
@SpikeHobbsJr why am I a grown ass man still purchasing comics.
— Nick K (@nickkrzyzewski) June 1, 2016
If you’re saying, “I don’t do or say those things,” then great. You’re a decent human being and I thank you. But if you do —or if you just think them deep down but never say anything about it — fam, this has to stop. Blackness has nothing to do with personal interests or hobbies and everything to do with…being black. White people who consider themselves the real nerds are already trying to get us out the paint with a vengeance. Not you, too.
2. No, we are not all the same.
— TalkBlerdyToMe (@talkblerdy) June 1, 2016
— Kristen Halbert (@khalbert128) June 1, 2016
There is no black nerd handbook/uniform/archetype required to be a part of the community other than self-identification. We don’t all like the same stuff or even each other sometimes. You know, like real people.
There are literally dozens of genres and sub-genres in nerd culture (just do some Tumblr searches if you’re really interested). Each and every one of us is some mixture of all those things, to varying degrees. And if you broke us down by fandoms (communities built in celebration of specific shows, movies, books, games, etc.) we’d literally be here forever.
Don’t try to pair me up with your cousin based on your assumption that we have things in common. Because if he likes Bryan Singer-directed X-Men movies and we hate each other, I’m going to be extra salty that you didn’t at least do some research. And I’m not inviting you or your lame cousin, to T’Challa-fest in 2018 (jk, but X-Men: Apocalypse really sucked).
3. Most blerds are not elitists.
I am not a special snowflake or think that I’m “better”. I’m just into different things and want to enjoy them. https://t.co/E4npm4Zl5n
— insomniacs anonymous (@mcgarrygirl78) June 1, 2016
Just like we all aren’t into the same things, we all don’t act the same way either. There is a dwindling section of real nerds in the culture that have the entirely wrong idea about what it truly means to be a fanboy/fangirl.
Let’s get really real, some folks in the nerd space are not happy that you now are interested in playing in their sandbox, especially when you represent a certain somebody (or somebodies) that gave them a wedgie in 4th grade. That’s just the truth.
However, most of the community is not waiting to breath down your neck about how you aren’t a “real fan” of (insert here) and if you were, you would know all about (obscure reference). We realize that this is the absolute best time for nerd content in the history of the world, because people are collectively paying billions of dollars for it – which means they will keep making more. We get excited to share the fun with anybody that wants to participate. So there’s no need to anticipate a negative experience, and if you’ve had one #NotAllBlerds.
If all of this was common sense to you then that’s wonderful, but you definitely know at least one or two people that think one of the things on this list. Send this to their email. Passive aggressively DM it to them on Twitter. Share it on Facebook and tag them in it.
And if you did think one of these was true before you read this, hopefully you feel differently now. But if not…