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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Does this Sound Racist?

"Ya know, ya can't sleep in every morning and mama ain't here to wake ya," one of the recruits told him. He was a big black guy, muscular, and someone the opposing team wouldn't want to meet.

"I know dumbass," Ben had mumbled with some French toast stuffed in his mouth.

"What was that, boy," the man had said.

"I know," he spoke loudly. "By the way, my name is Ben. I'm linebacker."

"Antoine, wide receiver."

Ben sighed. He sat down and continued eating his breakfast.

Any thoughts would be helpful!


  1. depends. What part of the US is the black character meant to be from? (I assume it takes place in Wisconsin, but the character can be from elsewhere.) Both black people and white people in the US can say "ya" or "mama" depending on whereabouts in the country they are from.

    When I read the part where Ben calls the other man a "dumbass", I interpreted it as Ben merely being annoyed with another person, rather than him being some sort of bigot. Other people could read it differently, though.

    I'd probably drop the first "ya know", however, and perhaps the "boy" word too, as I don't think either of them really help the character speech.

    1. Antoine is from the South. Maybe I can put he's from Atlanta in the introduction.

      Will take out "boy" lol.

      These are just the VERY rough drafts. When I'm done, I'm going back to edit. I suppose this is what comes off the top of my head while at work.

    2. Okay, since Antoine is from the South he would likely talk that way, and a lot of white people would, too, so I don't think there's much to worry about. :)

  2. Of course it's racist to discuss the race of your characters!

    I think what you meant to ask is "Is this bad?" or "Will I offend anyone by this?"

    I claim it is too short to tell.

    Some more meaningful questions might include, "Is this too stereotypical for my taste?"
    "Can I pull off portraying characters of such a different background?"
    "How may I expand the characters of Ben and Antoine?"