2013-10-16

The Problem With Tommy Sotomayor, Tariq Nasheed, and the Cult of Black Female Degradation

This is nothing new, at least in the last decade or two we have had the black community theorize and explain the current condition of the black community.  The focus is always on relationships and how black men and women communicate with each other, usually focusing on the shortcomings of black women.   Black women are vilified, insulted, stereotyped, and shamed.  Not by white men, not by white women; but by black men, and even sometimes other black women. Check out YouTube.com.  You will see it en masse just by simply entering a search for 'black women'.   There are a few who currently stick out in this universe.  You have Tommy Sotomayor, who not only has a strong disdain for black women, but fiercely believes in the color hierarchy; even though he himself, is dark skinned.  We also have Tariq Nasheed, who teaches men how to  be "Macks" and feels it is a badge of honor to put a woman out of your house and car.  

I'm focusing on these men because of their following of black men who love and embrace their message, and because frankly, they are the ones most talked about. 

They both oppose feminism and say it is the biggest problem that black women face and the downfall of the black community. 

The biggest problems I see with this whole cult of black women degradation are that they are not steeped in reality. 

Feminism is not the downfall of the black community. It never ever was.  The biggest issue of the black community is inequality, and the feminist struggle for black women has always been different than from white women.  We never had to fight to work outside the home, like most poor people, black women and black men both worked outside the home just to make ends meet.  We were never seen as "weaker" or "fairer" we were treated as masculine, we were never treated as gentle and meek.   Not to mention the base definition of feminism is essentially to treat women as equals to men.  It was never the idea to surpass men or dominate men, but for some reason the idea of feminism is seen as domination.  I do not know if this is due to how the Civil Rights Movement, the Feminist Movement, and the ability of black women to be seen as less threatening to non blacks helped black women achieve in areas of education and work in comparison to black men, but we wanted to be equals, not just to black men, but white women and white men, and not that black women are anywhere close to that place, but we've moved ahead, and it has changed the gender norms in our society.

With all that being said, the gender norms of society have never really applied to black people in America.  Black women did domestic work, but we didn't just do it in our own homes.  We did it as a way to make money.   We did it as a way to survive. We did it because we had to do it.   We did it to help support our families along with black men, who did jobs that they were forced to do. We did what we were limited to, and for us to assume gender norms that applied to the white community does nothing for us.  We have to make our own "norms".   I'm thinking with the amount of women in professional jobs and the work force, this is the case in many instances for ALL people. The feminist movement has made both men and women of all genders adapt.  

The message of these men and others like them are confusing.  They want traditional male roles, but they want their women to reap the benefits of feminism all while adhering to "traditional" gender roles.   You don't want gold diggers, your woman needs to work and have her own things, yet when she gets off of work, you want her to cook your dinner, clean your home, and assume what you say is law.

If you feel feminism is about domination of black men, what are traditional gender roles to the domination of women?  You feel black women protect white men and put them on pedestals, but you've bought into European beauty standards that never applied to black women in the first place.  You want black women to be weave free, but have "good hair", and if a black women with "nappy" hair does go natural, you're the first to make jokes and tell her to straighten it.

You can't have it both ways, something has to give.

2013-09-28

Racism vs. Preference




Note to black ladies:  Don't cry, but you can't have the guy in the picture.  His name is Romeo Rose.  Yeah, I don't think his mom named him that.   He has a website, Sleepless In Austin.   He's looking for a woman. He's even willing to pay a finder's fee.  He has some requirements.  Too many requirements.  I'm not going to focus on ALL the requirements, just a couple. 

Let's focus on these comments:


I will not date a Black girl.

I don’t care if she looks like Halle Berry, I will not ever date a Black girl. 


However, I will date any other race, Hispanic, Mexican, Spanish, Russian, Italian, French, European, White, whatever, anything except Black.

Yeah. I've heard this before from "non racist" white people.  Like all of my life.  Welcome to Texas, and yes this mother fucker is from Texas. 

The people who usually say this are also tired of the word "racist" being thrown around.   They have no idea why saying things of this nature is racist.  So I of course will share why saying stupid, idiotic things like this are racist. 

You tend to have preferences.  Everyone has preferences.   I have a preference for pale, tall nerdy guys with dark hair.   I tend to not be attracted to short guys.   That being said, have I dated guys who weren't pale, tall, and nerdy.  Why yes I have!!!! I've even been on dates with guys shorter than me.  ::gasp::  I should note all this happened a long time ago.  Like you know before 1999, when I met my husband who is pale, tall, nerdy, with dark hair.  However this guy has essentially said this, he doesn't care what the black woman looks like, he will not date her simply because she is black, even if she looks like Halle Berry, who happens to be half white.   Even if you fit ALL of his criteria, if he sees the blackness, you're out, because you know blackness is a thing, and it's a BAD thing.  He can even be attracted to you, but that black thing CANNOT be overlooked.

He has also fallen into the "everything but black camp".  I should correct that "everything but black and Asian".  He's willing to lower his standards to hispanics, but he can't go beyond that, as it would be too primal for him to fathom. You know hispanics are assimilated in his mind for them to be ok enough to consider.  Congrats Hispanic women everywhere, you've got a shot with this looker.  

Mr. Romeo participated in a Reddit AMA, and he goes extra crispy crazy referring to black people as gorillas and compares having sex to a black person as bestiality.  Also he will not date a white woman who has dated a black guy and believes that whites and blacks should not mix sexually and make babies. He's not racist though......in his mind......in his warped, deluded mind.  

Sad thing is I know people like this, and in their minds they aren't racist either.  

2013-09-06

I'm Already Messing Up



Dear Rabbit,

I've had you for over three years now. You're awesome.  You're sweet. You're really smart.  You're also the most beautiful thing in all of my world.  I love you bunches, and my job is to be your mom, but sometimes as a mom I fail you, and I'm sorry.   I'm supposed to protect you and defend you, but sometimes I don't.   I have come to the realization if there is conflict in the room, I always assume you're at fault.  I shouldn't do that.  Yes, you've taken toys, yes, you've probably said or done things you shouldn't have, but I should have the common sense and foresight not  to assume.  You can talk now, and you talk a lot, so I need to just realize I can ask you, listen to you, and listen to your side. You are worthy enough to listen to.  I will not believe that you should only be seen and not heard.  You're voice is important and deserves my ear.

I've been taught all my life to expect the worst.  Just because I was taught that doesn't mean you should be.   You deserve to know that there is a good and bad side to just about everything in the world.   You are going to be living in a world in which people will make assumptions about you, so why as your mother should I pile on?   You're going to be viewed as a black woman in America.  People are going to assume a lot about your based upon your appearance.  People are going to say things to you that aren't fair.  There is going to be a lot of generalizations, and that's not fair either.    So as your mom, I'm going to try harder.

I'm going to make sure I don't fear you are to blame for all "conflicts" at play dates. I'm going to make sure that you love your hair, your skin, and just you in general.  I'm going to make sure I stick up for you when grown ups make mistakes. 

I'm sorry Rabbit, you aren't always the center of all trouble, and I shouldn't assume you are.  You are not inherently bad, you are a three year old, and like all people you are multifaceted.  You are you are growing, learning, and changing by leaps and bounds every single day.   You deserve better, and I'm going to give it to you.  


Love,

Mom

2013-07-17

If Trayvon Was White

If Trayvon Martin identified as white and George Zimmerman was black, this case would be seen so differently by so many.   If Trayvon was white, he would have been heralded as brave, taking a stand to fight off the armed man who was following him.  He would have been a symbol for taking a stance for what is right.  The media would have mentioned his lack of criminal history, they would have considered him a normal, everyday teen, a little mischievous, but a great kid with a promising future. We would have mourned his lack of opportunity to live out his future. The police would have done a thorough investigation, so that his parents would have had their questions and concerns answered, so even if it turned out it was an accident, they could lay their heads down at night knowing that there was no fault to their son's death.  

If Zimmerman was black, he would have been the thug. His criminal history would have been mentioned several times.  His views on other races mentioned repeatedly.  His list of calls to 911, seen as wasting tax payers resources and time noted, over and over again.  He would have been seen as a menace to society, a person who should have never ever had a gun.   He would have been seen a murderer and been sentenced to prison time. 

Alas, this is America, this is not how these people were portrayed.  Trayvon Martin was noted as thug. Trayvon Martin was the aggressor, even though George Zimmerman was following him with a gun. George Zimmerman was treated as a hero and a champion of gun rights. George Zimmerman is a free man and Trayvon Martin is dead. Trayvon's crime was walking while black.  His crime was noticing an armed man following him and being alarmed.  His crime was questioning the authority of someone lighter than him.   In America, being a vigilante if you're white or identify as such, is seen as a great thing, if you are black and do the same thing, you're a troublemaker intent on killing someone.   Zimmerman is seen as the hero for getting rid of a thug....with no proof of Martin being a thug.  Martin is accused of attacking Zimmerman, the armed man following behind him as he came home from a convenience store. We praise vigilantism when a white person does it, and gasp at the concept a young, unarmed black man thinks he can too.  

As people celebrate the death and murder of a seventeen year old boy, many of us are angry.  We're angry at the death of this boy, we're angry the a dead child was put on trial, we're angry about racism, but for a lot of us, we're angry because we're going to have to have the same talks our parents had with us about racism.  About the unwritten rules that don't apply to other kids.  We have to be extra careful to look like we're not stealing.  We have to have quick answers to questions about our existence to white people of no authority, no matter what.  There are severe consequences to our insignificant actions.  We have to tell our kids that their lives are no value to most white Americans.   That is what I'm angry about, that I have to balance making sure my child is worthy with the concept that other people don't deem her as worthy as themselves because her skin is a darker hue.  It doesn't make sense, and she won't get it, until it happens to her. Unfortunately, it's going to happen to her. 

2013-06-20

It's Buttery Racism Y'all!!!!!! Paula Deen Messing Up


Oh Paula.  We wanted to believe in your buttery goodness, but alas, the butter made everything too salty.   Now we have the deposition, and it isn't looking good.   Paula and her brother were sued by a former manager who worked in their restaurant.  She accused them of being racist, and Paula's brother sexually harassing her.   She claimed that Paula wanted black servers at a wedding party, so they could be like slaves, told racist jokes, and used the n-word.   Her brother apparently wanted the employees at the restaurant to watch porn with him.

This is just a hot mess y'all!!! But are we surprised an old white southern woman is racist?   Nah.    I'm not surprised.  I'm not angry, but I am disappointed, because as this story surfaced, it was dismissed as fake.  It's like the accusation and barometer of racism has a burden of proof, and often times the person who is experiencing the racism has to be responsible for proving the acts of racism happened.

Now mind you this story first broke out on the National Enquirer.  We know this isn't a news organization well known for it's high standards, but once we started seeing this same story on multiple news sites, we should have thought that maybe the story was legitimate, but no, it was quickly dismissed as botched journalism or something done a satire site.   As one person online put it, "I get tired of folks always crying racism!".  I get tired of it too, but you know why I get tired of people crying about racism?  Because I'm tired of racism.   People in most cases would cry about racism, if racism didn't exist.  

Why is it in our country, the burden of proof lies on the oppressed,be it women, minorities, etc?  Why are we good at trying to shame people into shutting up when injustices happen?   

2013-06-17

Finding Utopia



My husband and I have discussed over the last few years that we needed to move.  We've been in the same house for ten years. It's a great starter home, and it's ok, but we want to move to a different area.  We also feel living in republican land is probably not the best for a liberal, atheist, interracial couple with a biracial child.   We also have other issues. Like we need probably a little more space because my husband does work from home, and I'd like an actual game room for my daughter to put her toys instead of our house looking like a toys r us during Christmas every day. I'd also like a rear entry garage, as I think it just makes a house look better.   Now we have a budget, so we can't build our multi million dollar home where ever we'd like, but we have a decent budget and hope to get the house we really would want, and not something to settle for.  

Schools I find is one of the most important factors, but I find, my definition of a good school is different from most. I want and I NEED diversity for my daughter. I know all too well the experiences of being one of the only or few black kids in a school, and for the most part it was ok, but there were other factors, such as crazy teachers, students who ask dumb questions and say dumb things, and the feeling of isolation you get when you, yourself are already awkward and lonely to feel further isolated because there is one thing that people are always bringing up and aware of, your "otherness". I also find the wealth of the student body tends to be important to others.  It's not to me, as I've attended schools full of wealthy kids, and they are just as fucked up, as the poor kids.  They suffer from abuse, they have drug issues, they are psycho, just like the poor kids, they just have parents with more resources, time, and knowledge to correct the behavior.   I'm not saying putting my kid in a "poor school" is my ideal, but the average income of an area, is not going to make me think it's better just because the kid's parents make good money.  That to me doesn't make a better school, or one that has "poor kids" bad.  My husband went to Dallas schools and he's just fine.  Not saying put your kid in DISD, but your kid's success is not solely dependent on what the kid's parents have.  I also find, I live in Texas, we rank last in high school diplomas.  We spend less on our students than most other states.  We're also in the middle when it comes to the quality of education we get compared to other states.   What the essentially means is this, even if I put my kids in the best schools in Texas, more than likely their education isn't going to be all that great anyway.  Yeah that stings, but it's the truth.   It's one of the reasons why we're contemplating leaving the state.   There are a myriad of others, Rick Perry, religious nut jobs, gun toting crazies, rampant poverty and wage gaps, and tea party psychos. I'm just saying, we got some issues, and I'm sure most other states do too, but I want a state with different issues.  Maybe they are still debating medical marijuana, I'm ok with that.  

Religion. I'm not religious, and where I'm from it's not uncommon for someone to ask you what church you go to.  Our governor just signed some stupid ass "Merry Christmas" bill, which was a waste of time and money and to appease to the religious nutjobs. I'm not really all that cool with knowing we still have laws barring atheists from running for public office.   I need a place that is accepting of ALL religions, not just Christianity, and accepting of those who aren't religious at all, like my family.  

I need a place with political diversity.  The republican echo chamber is why I blame politics for being as insane as they are now.   I do not know how many times I've met republicans who put their kids in public schools, who take out government loans to pay for their college, proclaim "I just want to be taken care of by the government", even though I'm not being taken care of by the government.  It seems over the years the republican party has gone far right, and the moderates republicans are no longer moderate.  I need to be around republicans with some damn common sense.  I also need to be around some nice liberals and Democrats, and not all the think they are moderate Ayn Rand reading libertarians who live in some weird utopia of equality that doesn't exist.

It needs to be somewhat affordable, so California is out.   Well not all of California, just like any major metropolitan area.   We want to be able to live in our house, not be prisoners in it.  We want to go on vacations, do activities during the weekend, and you know, live life in the house we have.  

I'd like to have a house close to the park, just so my kid would have a nice place to play.

I'd like to avoid an HOA, because working for a company that managed HOA's I saw a lot of horror stories I'd rather avoid, not all HOA's are bad, but I don't think an HOA should be able to take your house and sell it because you don't pay your yearly dues.  That's just scary to me.  

A decent job market for when I go back to work would be nice, as well as ready access to higher education.  I think towns with colleges and universities tend to appeal to me because they do tend to have some diversity, as well as some culture, not guaranteed, but a nice idea, none the less.  

All in all, I have no idea with this utopia is, but if anyone knows, please let me know, and we'll consider it, as long is it is in the continental United States or Canada. 

2013-06-15

Why Cheerios Make People Mad


By now, a lot of people have seen this commercial.  Apparently, a lot of people are upset by this commercial. Why would they be upset about a commercial about cereal?   Because the family is multi-racial.   In 2013, people are upset about multiracial families?   But why? BECAUSE AMERICA ISN'T POST RACIAL.  

Multicultural families are nothing new.  It's been legal in all states to be inter-racially married since 1967.  Biracial kids were not created in 1967, and America has always had the evil miscegenation.  We've had laws dating back as far as the 17th century preventing miscegenation, when America was just a cluster of colonies.  So why are people still mad about it?    I'm guessing it's a few things.  

Black people are portrayed in television in a variety of ways, one of those ways is biracial.   Watch the Cosby Show, Family Matters, My Wife and Kids.  You'll see a trend, there are characters on this show who are portrayed as black, but really aren't, or if they are  black, they're light skinned.   This is done to "mainstream" "black shows".    It's done to make people more comfortable, similar to when house Negroes were typically mixed race or light skinned and were chosen because they were more "visually appealing" to their white masters than their darker counterparts who worked in the field, while getting darker working in the hot sun.  I don't think they used sun screen a lot. Of course, it could be because they were related to their white masters.  Regardless of why, lighter skinned people were particularly used to represent black people to appeal to white people.   It would also explain why I would run into white people who think I'm the darkest thing in the world.  Like Yaphet Khotto black.  So now we're actually explaining where all these light skinned black people came from, it makes people uncomfortable.

There is mass white hysteria about losing their "country" and becoming a "minority", and this commercial confirms it.   The media is at fault with this one.   I've seen more than a few news stories about whites becoming the minority.  It feeds into the complex of white, and then everything else being less and "other". Us blacks, asians, hispanics, etc. are being lumped into one big group in an Us (meaning blacks, hispanics, asians, etc.) vs. White (which just means white people).  White people are worthy of being singled out, while minorities aren't, we're just some faceless enemy to be concerned about, and we know those "others" aren't individual and are all working together in some plot to win a race war against white people.  White people still are the majority of Americans.  This has not changed for a long time.  However, they are shrinking from being a huge majority, and this makes people uncomfortable, too.  We also live in a world where there are people who seem truly upset at the concept of multiculturalism.

So it's 2013, and post racial America is still racist.  Surprised?  I'm not. 

Raising a Little Angry Black Woman

It's already starting.  My "black girl raised among white people" PTSD is surfacing with my daughter.   Now let me start with this, my daughter is three.  She is a normal three year old.  She loves to play, will give hugs and kisses freely, and sometimes can be the sweetest thing in all the world. She knows to say "please" and "thank you", she knows to say "sorry" when she sees she has upset someone, and she recognizes when people are upset, and will offer up a hug when she sees others in pain.  Other times she can NOT be the sweetest thing in the world. She's not good at sharing, sometimes she plays too rough, and she has some epic temper tantrums over the smallest of things.  She's human, and even though I think she's perfect, I know she's not, and she is going to have some growing pains, and it's going to my job as a parent to make sure she learns the golden rule, "Do unto others as they would do unto you."  I want my child to know empathy, I want her to share her toys, and I want her to be nice to everyone.  However, I do not want her to slink into being a scapegoat, and I don't want her normal three year old behavior to be interpreted as being overly aggressive or seen as a negative because of the color of her skin.   I also want to defend and protect her from such nonsense, as a black girl who grew up around white people can attest,  black girls who show confidence, tend to be viewed negatively, and are discouraged from doing what white kids have been allowed to do, and are praised for.

Growing up I was a good student, I made really good grades, I was a pretty outgoing student in kindergarten, but I was also sent to the principal's office more than a few times because I talked in class.  I also went to a 99% white Christian private school in Beaumont, TX, and there could be quite a few explanations as to why I was one of the best kids in math, and could read at a much higher grade level than kindergarten.  Thanks Hooked On Phonics!!!!!!! By high school though, I was still a good student, but in school I was very quiet, I didn't answer questions unless called upon, and I overall was just very anti student participation.   I didn't trust teachers, even though I had a mother for one, and nothing major happened it was just the little things.  It was the going to the principal's office for talking to much, it was getting the teacher in third grade who lost my in class quizzes which I made ALL one hundreds on, and giving me a zero.  It was the year I was put in remedial math because I had a seventy nine mid six week average.  The next year I was put back in the "normal classes", and by high school I had taken college level math, and tested out of most of the basic maths in college, because I HATE math with a red hot passion, and have no need for it outside of the basic stuff, and when I worked statistical data, which I like.  I like statistics, that makes me weird, and I embrace it.  I so digress, as per usual ::sigh::   Needless to say by high school my mantra was just not to talk period, as it never did any good, and the school and teachers were going to do what they wanted to do, no matter what I accomplished, and what I did.   It doesn't mean I didn't have some great teachers, I did, I had wonderful teachers who didn't see me as loud and disruptive for answering questions, but the handful that did I remember fondly, and I am a bit angrier I let them become the reason I didn't enjoy school more.

In the present I'm starting to see it rear it's ugly head.  It's going to get uglier as time progresses, even for my little biracial daughter.   I know it's post racial America, and everyone is all good, but it's 2013, and we still have people angry about a Cheerios commercial where there is an interracial couple, and a biracial child, actually being portrayed as a biracial child (that in and of itself is another post).   My child has been accused of biting, when I know she doesn't bite.  She never learned, because she was once bitten by a kid, and the few times she tried to do it, all she knew to do was put her lips against your skin.  She tried to bite me this way once, I had no idea what she was doing until the third or fourth time, and then even that sad, pathetic attempt at a bite was punished and corrected.   She was about a year and a half year old.   Sometimes she doesn't want to share with her friends, and that is expected, she's three, but sometimes it's her friends who don't want to share with her, and as my PTSD rises, my reaction is to just let the other kid have it, upsetting my own kid, which is my mistake, I should stand up for my kid, I shouldn't allow her to think I would never ever protect her, and that is something I need to work on, and it seems whenever another kid is excluded, it's due to my kid, who is always said to say other's can't play, but I've never seen it, and my PTSD then kicks in, and I wonder exactly what has really happened, as my kid has been excluded as well, but I just never bring it up, again my PTSD shining through, and that is me failing my kid.

I totally understand she is three years old, I understand she is going to have conflicts with other kids, and I know that more than likely they can and will work it out on their own, but I always worry, I don't want my kid being targeted, and I mostly don't want her to feel that she has the right to do what all the other kids do, without being labeled as a nuisance or troublemaker.