When Memes Attack


This meme floating around depicts a quote from a very popular television show called “Being Mary Jane”.

When I first saw the meme I immediately understood it, but I was bothered by it and not willing to accept it.

I’m well aware that in the workplace you must put on a little act and always display how intelligent you are to be taken seriously, but this meme infers that when you act according to your own culture that you are inappropriate when it comes to getting to the money.

This is a slap in the face and I don’t care how factual or realistic it is.

I’m mad at those reposting the meme and even more mad at myself for assimilating.



I don’t like the idea that you have to do a “black check” before you leave the house if you wish to make any money. I dislike even more that this has been accepted by my race, and I as well.

Before I walk into my office I  am always sure to leave my personality right at the door. My culture is a huge part of my personality and I cannot display it because for some reason it feels inappropriate.

When at work I am sure not to make any references to black culture; not to use anything deemed as slang and  sometimes I just all around shut the fuck up because God-forbid some accidental blackness comes out.

The closest semi-black cultural references I allow myself to use at work are from “Scandal”, and that’s because the show has reached national popularity, and it’s the only references I can think of that don’t give me the Dave Chapelle syndrome, that makes me think people are laughing at me, and not with me.

The only slang I use in the office are office terms which I picked up over the years, such as C.Y.A. (cover you ass), and the corny phrase, which I hate, of “getting your ducks in a row” (getting shit together).

Besides small comments, as I said above most of the time I am quiet as a church mouse because I left my black self, my real self, at home.

She is not appropriate for the office.

Personalities including race and culture, are sacrificed every daily for the all mighty dollar, only because of the stigma that there is no place for culture in the corporate world.


On the contrary, I wonder if those seen as American (we all know that the meme means white, let’s not be naive) ever have this thought or feeling of being driven to not show any trace of culture before they get to the money?


I’m going to place my bet on no. White culture is always acceptable and should be the standard.

White American…you are the prototype.

There is no pressure for you to act a certain way or suppress a natural state of being because you are the corporate money making blueprint!

Other races are to conform to your culture in the workplace because it is right.


I rant and rave about this meme and this subject, but still find myself conforming to it and accepting this standard of “black checking” as normal. This meme is posted and reposted because people are cosigning this bullshit and by me playing the part I’m doing the same.

Can we get it together?

Photo credits: Awesomely Luvvie/Panda Whale

7 thoughts on “When Memes Attack

  1. My situation is kinda the opposite of yours, but I feel you!!! I’m one of very few black faces in my job and certain people love to go out of their way to show off their ‘black knowledge’ when I’m around. They wanna talk hip hop, Obama, and Lord knows working during the Ferguson riots was some of the most awkward days of my life! Everybody had an opinion they to bring to me so I could see they are one of the ‘good white ppl’ and they were on my side. I feel like them being fake around me is worse than me trying to be fake around them. Good post.


    • That’s so weird because I’m in an office where I started off in the “black people section” and always acted like myself. Then I worked my way up and suddenly felt inadequate being myself. Then evolved the white girl voice when I realized my coworkers have no idea what I may be talking about, even when I say “somebody is tripping” .


  2. Hi! Found this on Opinionated Man. I’m a white guy who grew up and lived my whole life, until the mid-twenties, in a very poor inner-city neighborhood. That’s literally my culture. One of the very first posts I ever wrote on my blog was about how, since I’ve moved to what at times seems like a different world, I don’t really fit in anywhere. That said, I’ve never had a corporate job, but seeing what my SO goes through, they seem to discourage individuality. Great post!


  3. Pingback: Being Black In America | Looking in the Popular Culture Mirror

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