Young white girl turns ratchet trying to be black, “Catch Me Outside”February 22, 2017
Recently on an episode of the Dr. Phil Show, 14-year-old Danielle Bregoli, from Florida, appeared with her mother. The teenager apparently has anger and emotional issues of which her mom sought assistance from Dr. Phil to resolve. Bregoli has become a social media sensation as she portrays her version of ‘blackness’ of which she calls it “learning from the streets.” She has long fake nails, her hair is colored, and her speech and mannerisms are similar to what could be considered “ghetto.” She’s had constant run-ins with the police and seemed to have no fear of getting into altercations which would lead her to future police involvements.
Dr. Phil asked Danielle of the origins of her accent, for it is obviously authentic streetwise for a white girl who, as her mother advised, is not from such environment. She replied that her accent came from the streets. Phil continued to question whether she completed the 5th grade. “Well I stopped at the 7th if you want to get technical,” answered Danielle. Phil asked her about her instances of stealing cars. She told him that she’s never going to get caught and if she does, jail is nothing to her. There was a reaction from the audience and Danielle turned to them and said “And all these hos laughing like its so funny.” There was a loud reaction to that comment. Phil asked Danielle “Did you say the hos are laughing.” She responded “yep!” “So the audience is a bunch of hos,” asked Phil. Danielle nonchalantly responded “Yep.” To that comment they began to applaud unmoved by her words. Then Danielle shouted out “Cash me outside, how bout dat.” Phil asked “What does that mean.” Danielle replied “What I just said.” The girl’s mother advised Phil that she meant that she will go outside with whomever and do what she has to do. Then she reacted to her mom for telling Phil “See this is all mouth.” To that Danielle threatened her mother with “Do you want to take this outside, because they can take the cameras outside.”
Phil’s prognosis was that Danielle had been hurt and her lashing out was used as a defensive mechanism. “Your attitude is clearly a “get them before they get me” attitude,” Phil told her. He said that she puts up a mean front with her defenses up so that she can’t get hurt. He further stated that psychologically if she doesn’t care or admit that she cares about getting hurt, it won’t bother her and her “Cash me outside” act protects something that is bothering her emotionally and psychologically.
I consider this a new form of blackface. It’s not the blackface meant to mock blackness but one with the intent to imitate to the point of defense. What an age to live in where whites who want to get away from being white or find themselves trapped in the same socioeconomic environment as minorities, have to act black in order to feel safe. Blacks have been on the defense in the streets for a very long time. Not only do our youth observe adult black males and females in their everyday involvements with one another, but it is apparent that white youth are making similar observations, taking notes, and acting on such lessons. It’s common to hear hip-hop music blasting from the sound systems of Jeep Wranglers and Chevy Pickups….in the streets. I’ve often wondered if that same music is played in the comfort of white homes. Is it just a show for the streets? A safety mechanism that says “Hey, I’m cool. I listen to rap music?”
However entertaining the show may be and however entertaining our hip-hop ghetto culture has grown, this is not all we are. It is very interesting that we have made this version of ‘blackness’ so easy that white youth are imitating it. As we look back throughout history, where was this imitation before African slaves became necessary? Where was this imitation after emancipation? During Jim Crow? Why couldn’t whites imitate being a slave? A servant on the plantation? An attendant on a Pullman sleeper car? Putting on some fake nails, dyeing one’s hair, dangling some flashy jewelry, and rolling the neck doesn’t make one black. Our skin can’t be rented. It has to be worn permanently. Danielle may think its cute or even a great defensive mechanism on the street, but its obvious imitation. We should be impressed that white kids want to be like us. However, they should imitate our various forms of greatness and not us in our lowest forms of conspicuous consumption. Imitate our scientists, our educators, our lawyers….and certainly President Trump could change his whole persona by imitating Barack Obama. Catch him outside!
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