Answer by Marvin Powell:
Most people when they look at me, almost always assume I'm ghetto trash. That I'm some ex-convict, weed-smoking, masturbating, deeply Christian, lazy and unmotivated, N-Word-every-other-word-using product of Urban poverty and the streets. Also, add in the fact that I'm short, overweight, and considered ugly by most women and its even more cemented that I must be a ghetto thug.
But I'm probably the least likely "thug" I know.
(This picture was taken right after coming home from work, by the way. I work in security and we have to wear all black.)
Yes. I did grow up dirt poor. However, I don't speak or act "thug." I don't want to go around raping White ladies. I don't have any tattoos. I don't smoke weed, or even like drugs. I don't smoke cigarettes, either. I don't drink. I mostly eat healthy, though it does little towards my weight. I'm not a blind Barack Obama supporter (I think all of politics is a joke). And I'm not at all religious.
I'm not super-smart or anything, but I do have an IQ of 148 and constantly make sure I'm using correct spelling and grammar. I went to a public high school, but continue to self-educate myself to this day thanks to the wonderful tool that is the internet. Thesaurus.com is bookmarked on my browser.
No, I don't have a "large Black penis." No, I can't play basketball. No, I don't care about any sports, whatsoever. No, I don't know how to hot-wire a car. No, I don't know every other Black person in the world. No, I don't want any fried chicken, as I hate chicken! No, I don't listen to Lil' Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake, or care about most rappers. No, I don't have a deep, intimidating sounding voice. In fact, quite the opposite. I sound like a girl!
In fact, I'd say my personality is probably closest to a Don Cheadle or Terrance Howard than some random guy from The Wire (I've never watched this show, so I don't know anyone on it). Don Cheadle can play a thug, but he's really a well-spoken genius.
I can't change how anyone sees me upon first meeting me, especially upper middle-class White Americans from nice neighborhoods. However, I can slowly try to change what they expect of me, and how I act, so that their first impressions of me slowly start to fade away and they start to go "Gee, you're a lot more well spoken and educated than I thought."
The assumptions don't annoy me that much, but rather, when people are less willing to get to know me or be more open-minded due to the assumptions. I'm sure lots of darker-skinned people have had that moment where someone locks their car door when they're walking down the street or gets extra attention in the aisles of a local store from the owners. I'm not trying to make this sound like a "racism" thing, but rather just express my own life's experiences and how the stereotypes hinder or somewhat slow down people from getting to know who I really am.
I'd say, speaking solely on personality, I'm part Don Cheadle, James Woods, Mila Kunis, Kanye West, Moe from The Simpsons, and any average Japanese teenage girl. Not Rick Ross or any other "scary fat Black man" stereotype.
Oh, yes. And I love anime and Disney movies. And my favorite bands are Paramore and Panic! At The Disco.