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From Meme to Social Commentary

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When "Shit Girls Say" hit Youtube last month, it quickly gained more than seven million views and has spawned hundreds of parodies including "Shit Gay Guys Say", "Shit Vegans Say", "Shit Moms Say", and the extremely popular, "Shit Black Girls Say," which has over a million views. After seeing "Shit Girls Say" posted on Facebook, I reluctantly watched "Shit Black Girls Say" knowing that before I hit the play button I probably wouldn't be able to relate.

Growing up I was constantly labeled an "oreo" by my black peers because of my proper speech and "valley girl accent". But contrary to my tormentors' taunts, I didn't "want to be white" or think I was better than them; my lilting voice and preppy attire was the result of my Catholic school elementary years combined with my suburban West Palm Beach upbringing.

After I entered high school, the teasing subsided and my circle of friends grew to include girls from all walks of life; but I always seemed to fall in with the white girls from upper middle class families. I quickly became the "token black girl" in my group, which came with a whole host of awkward questions and first experiences for my peers. Unfortunately, the awkward questions and comments didn't stop after I graduated from high school. Throughout college and even today, in corporate America, I find myself fielding inappropriate questions and swatting hands away from my waist length dreadlocks.

Over the years I've found that dealing with white people faux pas can be tricky. If I get upset, I could quickly be labeled the "angry black girl." But if I don't say anything or react too passively, I risk giving friends and acquaintances permission to continue crossing the line. So I decided to create my own parody, "Shit White Girls Say...to Black Girls," to make all people laugh while, hopefully, opening some eyes and encouraging some of my white friends and acquaintances to think twice before they treat their black friends and associates like petting zoo animals or expect us to be spokespeople for the entire race.