Are Black Children Too Stupid to Learn? Part II: Black and Asian People

I really liked the following comment by bretagne, so I decided to make it a separate post. This was in response to, “Are Black Children Too Stupid To Learn?

So, let it rip bretagne:

We can never have these discussions without re-inscribing tropes about Asian achievement.

As someone who has been teaching in the Korean school system for the past two years, at best, I’m ambivalent about the way in which we valorize (inflate?) Asian academic prowess.

The fact that some Asian students perform well on math and science standardized tests is not insignificant and should not be dismissed. But really, it only tells a part of the story.

The Korean education system (I have the greatest familiarity with Korea) is, in large part,a vestige of the Japanese colonial presence in Korea. There is a a heavy (disproportionate, in my opinion) emphasis on testing, and student grades are based almost entirely on mid-term and final multiple choice exams. So naturally, the entire educational system–from the instructional style of teachers, to the lucrative Korean test-prep cottage industry–is designed around this testing apparatus.

In my opinion, this has made for a very rote, flat, one-dimensional, excruciatingly boring, needlessly joyless and harsh, authoritarian educational experience. And while I agree with the commenter who said that learning is often difficult and time consuming, this is an entirely different animal. I have Korean friends (friends who performed well in the system, did well in university, and are now professionals)who describe their primary educational experiences as TRAUMATIC.

Anyways, the kids here become very good at gaming tests. You would, as well, if you spent 8 hours a day at school studying, and then another 3 or 4 hours after school at the hagwon memorizing and cramming test material. So naturally, when test day rolls around, the kids are well-prepared to regurgitate with aplomb.

But I question how much learning is really taking place in all of this. When I give my high school students an assignment or task that requires them to deploy creativity or think an original thought, they are stumped, paralyzed even. They prefer work that is rote and adheres to a rigid right/wrong binary. And I question if this paradigm is what will best prepare children to innovate and provide leadership for the world of the future.

I’ve also taught in an alternative high school that serviced students who would be labeled “at-risk” stateside. Many of the students were poor, came from dysfunctional homes, and a sizable portion were contending with untreated emotional and learning disabilities. Let me tell you: some of those Korean students could give the students at any urban black high school a run for their money. For me, this simply underscored the fact that underachievement is not cultural or racial, but highly correlated with socioeconomic factors.

This has been a really long winded way of saying that while there’s certainly a crisis with regard to the academic achievement of a sizable demographic of black children, we need to be discerning in terms of what we deem as solutions. And I would proffer that the solution will probably not be found in a wholesale emulation of “Asian” education systems.

There are certainly useful takeaways–namely, the notion of practice and effort making perfect. Asian people (E.Asians–Koreans, Japanese, Chinese) aren’t as invested as we are in the notion that one is a “math person” or a “science person” or whatever. In other words, they do not believe in some sort of inherent ability or inclination towards one subject matter or another. They believe that skills are cultivated, incrementally, over time, with immense practice, and under diligent guidance. In contrast, when American students, even at the elementary level, appear to struggle with a math concept, parents often throw up their hands and say, “Oh, well. Johnny just isn’t a math person.” It has been my experience that E. Asians tend to think that this is ludicrous. You work at things, assiduously, until you improve. Of course you aren’t born a “math person”.

But on the other hand, the Korean system is flat, lacks a certain dynamism, demands absolute obsequiousness from students, and really doesn’t stimulate the majority of students to think in a way that is innovative, critical, risky, or creative. And did I mention that most students find it pretty joyless? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Silicon Valley is located where it is. The hard science skills have to merge with a measure of creativity. This is what, I believe, should be the target for black children.

I will just say that if I were to raise children here in Korea, I would certainly not put them in the public system. More than likely, I’d enroll them in the nearest international school.

My response:

Tropes? Oh, okay.

Then, henceforth, let the exaggerations commence: Asian countries were at par, and sometimes even worse off, than African countries during the 1950s. (I know a good number did not receive independence until years later.) Look at most of ’em now. Except for perhaps a few, even the most die-hard Communistic and backward regimes, have realized that too much stealing from productive citizens, and keeping most ignorant, ends up starving the general population….

That progress didn’t happen overnight. Asian leaders thought about what works and put efforts into making it happen. And that took what, maybe a generation or two to get there? That is incredible. It cannot be discounted, dismissed or denied. Of course, it takes enormous energy (effort) to study, build, create and endure than to sit around and do nothing.

We are the ones that are forgetting what works: a rigorous and challenging education. And, of course, learning isn’t easy for everyone. Some people are traumatized leaving their homes, commuting, working, and just talking to other folks, but they have to do it anyway. Maybe some folks can go and live comfortably in their mother’s basement for the rest of their lives. Overall, life remains hard, brutal sometimes, and we’re all bound, at some time or the other, to even get our feelings hurt.

The Black Nation: Is This What Hell Looks Like?

However, let’s get real: If all of Black America were to leave, and form a separate nation, does anyone see it turning into a first world industrialized country? A second tier one? Maybe even third? What businesses could we turn to for jobs? Are there enough skilled people around who are self-sufficient? Who are entrepreneurial? Do we have enough: farmers, engineers, doctors, carpenters, or plumbers? Seriously, it’s not like we can live on barbers, hairstylists and fast food restaurants alone.

Don’t we take the nice and cozy stuff for granted – the infrastructure, electricity, education, police / fire / military protection (which is overwhelmingly provided by white men), in essence a stable society – because all the other groups are doing the work? ‘Cause all we seem to produce are people filling up jails, “entertaining” in the most demeaning ways, increasingly taking up social security disability payments – for “slow children” – along with a miniscule elite replete with great corporate and government perks. I suspect the country would be a basket case before even the week is out.

What Keeping It Real Really Looks Like

Asian empowerment, and I use that term deliberately, is real. And I don’t see a few laudatory comments as inflating their achievement(s). This is an extremely competitive world. A good number of Asians seem to understand the nature of this global “game.” Unfortunately, black people seem to function under the impression that we can infinitely live off of the goodwill of others forever – like well tolerated beggars and perennial wards. (And I ain’t talking about nothing new here, W. E. B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington dealt with this subject, black progression or regression, if you will, over 100 years ago.)

I don’t believe I’ve ever stated that Asians were perfect and invincible, but goodness, they rank at the top and we (black folks) rank at the bottom in American schools – and likely globally. So, who’s fooling who? And we import their woefully TRAUMATIZED brains to keep most of Silicon Valley, and various industries, afloat these days.

I would LOVE to see the Asian attitude towards education to be emulated and adopted by black people. However, the decision to make schooling more rigorous is up to the parents. And if they are content and satisfied with themselves, and their children, being seen by society (or the world for that matter) as “stupid” – so be it. Everyone else will gladly pass them by.

No One is Better Than Me

And before anyone gets me wrong: I don’t see any group as superior or inferior. I tend to look at things in terms of applied effort. I honestly feel a substantial portion of the population has given up (on life). It saddens me, and I sometimes lament the problem, but overall I don’t see how anyone can change a culture committed to a downward slide into …. what? I dunno.

We’ve had these conversations on these blog(s) before. Black people have a deep and enduring suicidal wish, like death-cult members, wanting too many sane folks to join them. This horror is masked by “black entertainment” mesmerizing people over trivial issues driven by low-rent morons and self-prostituting idiots; the notion of a utopian “black community” which can only exist on the back, sweat and tears of black women; or phrases like “that’s how we do” to make young women conform when she’s simply trying to define her own terms of freedom.

Don’t buy it. Stay alive and thrive.

Okay, I’m done. 😀

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Are Black Children Too Stupid To Learn?

Florida School System Gives Up on Black Children

Are black children really that hard to educate? Or are people who are supposed to be professionals, you know – experts at teaching, declaring that there’s an actual limit to black intelligence?

Are black children really too stupid to learn?

A nephew of mine believed he wasn’t as bright as Asians, and he was only in 2nd grade at the time. Who’s at fault for demotivating him from learning? If all black children hear is how stupid they are – why would they feel inclined to pay attention in school?

My mother pulled my brother out of a school system that declared him not-too-bright. She recognized B.S. and sent him somewhere else.

In high school, I was questioned as to who was writing my essays. Meanwhile, I was writing essays for my brother while he attended college. And he was studying to complete a degree in Mechanical Engineering, which is almost entirely nothing but complex mathematics.

Here’s the article source link: Florida Passes Plan For Racially-Based Academic Goals

A few excerpts from the news article:

The Florida state Board of Education passed a controversial plan to set reading and math goals based upon race.

On Tuesday, the board passed a revised strategic plan that says that by 2018, it wants 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of black students to be reading at or above grade level. For math, the goals are 92 percent of Asian kids to be proficient, whites at 86 percent, Hispanics at 80 percent and blacks at 74 percent. It also measures by other groupings, such as poverty and disabilities, reported the Palm Beach Post.

JFK Middle has a black student population of about 88 percent.

… Florida Department of Education said the goals recognize that not every group is starting from the same point and are meant to be ambitious but realistic.

Robinson called the state board’s actions essentially “proclaiming racism” and said she wants Palm Beach County to continue to educate every child with the same expectations, regardless of race.

We all – especially mothers and fathers – should have the right to any and all learning alternatives. And these children should not be hostages to any group. The only pertinent issue is that they get an education which allows them to be self-sufficient and productive citizens.

This reminds me of the voter registration issue, where we are singled out as the only people too stupid to follow directions.

Frustrating, to say the least.

 ***

Update: NY Times Article – Florida Defends Learning Goals

***

November 4, 2012

Update: NY Times Article – How Do You Raise a Prodigy?

Money quotes:

There is no federal mandate for gifted education. But if we recognize the importance of special programs for students whose atypical brains encode less-accepted differences, we should extrapolate to create programs for those whose atypical brains encode remarkable abilities.

Once again, it falls to parents to advocate for their children’s needs, often in the face of a hostile or indifferent educational system.

Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, himself a conductor and a former wunderkind, remarked dryly, “If Beethoven were sent to nursery school today, they would medicate him, and he would be a postal clerk.

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For Black Women: R.I.P. Whitney Houston

I did not know her personally. Yet, there’s so much hear-say that black folks like to pass along – gossipy nonsense – just so they could pretend they knew her. You know, a friend of a friend of a friend. I live in New Jersey. So, I’ve heard my share of crap.

Back in the day, pre-innernets, Bossip and TMZ, et al, I couldn’t read a black magazine or go to a hair salon without people talking about Ms Whitney. It was the same for Eddie Murphy, and a few other fresh faces of black super-stardom. That’s because there are neighborhoods in NJ where some wealthy (famous and non-famous) blacks clustered. I can recall people who saw her in person – shopping at a local store – and they spoke about not only how beautiful she was, but nice and graceous.

I grabbed this image from: http://praisedc.com/videos/praisedc/whitney-houston-sings-yes-jesus-loves-me-in-final-performance-video/

Acting Black / Acting White Dogma

The criticisms of her back when she was a rising star, collectively uttered from the Black Thought Police, had very little to do with her supposed attraction to roughneck DBR (damaged beyond repair) black males. It was actually the opposite: she was criticized for being extremely tight with her own crew of close-knit female friends, and being very accommodating – polite and very willing to mingle – with white people. Folks were also up-in-arms, because her music writers were white. I kid you not.

Black critics complained about Ms Whitney like they were frightened of her becoming – I dunno – white or something? The accusations were so bizarre and idiotic. I think they just hated the fact that she was classy, well spoken, and kept to her own little group. Yet, isn’t this the weird stigma that blacks who do well in school have to face? Being smart and well spoken is being white?

I recently had some chicks at my job ask me why I’m always well dressed. Digest the stupidity of that for a moment. You don’t need to ask if they’re black. 🙂

Think of it this way: wasn’t the fear of her “escaping” somewhat similar to the grief black women get for thinking for themselves? You know, dating IR, leaving the neighborhood, getting a better job, finishing school, and living to the best of your ability? Do you think it’s an accident Tina Turner left the country? Or how Diana Ross ran from black folks? Isn’t Halle Berry running away too? These women have self-preservation utmost in their minds. They know that kowtowing to the Black Thought Police is detrimental.

The Hood Chick Fiction

I’ll be honest. I hate reading about people trying to make Ms Whitney into a rough neck girl or a hood-rat that hid it well from the public, because she grew up near or in Newark, NJ. Come on, now.

You ever watch Whitney during her early days when she was being interviewed by the mainstream media nationally and internationally? You cannot fake that kind of class. You cannot fake speaking that well unless you went to a good school and learned how. You ever watch some our illiterate, uneducated and gangsta wannabe athletes struggle to utter a coherent sentence? So, why are people trying to put Whitney down there with them? Come on, now.

How could she be hood, when her mother is Sissy Houston, a well-known R&B singer, a famous cousin that is Dionne Warwick, and a father that was in the music business long before she was born? Come on, now.

And don’t we always say we speak differently depending on the environment? There’s relaxed “I’m among friends” speech, and then there’s formal speech. Listen to Whitney sing: she could enunciate like nobody’s business. Try listening to Mary J. Blige and some of these girls who really are hood. Good luck figuring out what they are singing about. (And I like Mary J., so don’t get me wrong.)

Even if she was from a tough neighborhood, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t a sensitive, delicate, vulnerable and emotional woman. That’s the part that bothers me the most when people are dismissive of black girls or women who come from rough neighborhoods. They have feelings too. Just because they are better at masking it doesn’t mean they still don’t hurt. You think it’s easy to be dogged on a daily basis? That’s emotionally damaging, folks.

Anyone coming out of that environment untroubled is miraculous and highly improbable. The damage lingers for years, the scars cannot be seen, because they are the emotional kind.

An American Icon

She was one of the last true divas whose music I purchased. I cannot think of anyone who can hold a candle to that voice.

“I’ll Always Love You,” makes me cry every time I heard it.

You think any of these synthetic, Auto-Tune, overly-dramatic, yipping like a dog struck by a car, too cute to be for real, computer assisted chicks really know how to sing? Come on, now.

She blew the roof off with her rendition of the National Anthem. Now, look at how many twits cannot even remember the lyrics to give a decent performance singing it. They have no shame. They have no class. They show up for themselves. They aren’t there for the fans who made them rich. I cannot stand most of them.

What I loved about Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson is that they were old school in their professionalism. They showed up and gave 110% of themselves to their fans. I’ll give Madonna and Prince the same props – they’re performers who give it their all.

The music business keeps wondering why the sales of their music declines every year. It’s because they’re running out of real talent, here in the USA, that appeals to everyone. And passing restrictive Internet laws isn’t going to recoup those losses either.

I’ll miss you Ms Whitney Houston, because I was rooting for you to come back and blow everyone away again.

**Update**

Kevin Costner Stays Mum About Their Relationship
He Will Speak at Her Funeral

***Extra***

Lessons In Synchronicity & Love: Kevin Costner On Whitney Houston – A fantastic post from Faith’s Blog. Check it out.

Had no idea they were friends....

 

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Black Culture As Defined by the Japanese

MsMellody writes:

I would like you (Betty) to write a blog piece on the following Japanese news story. I came upon this video while just looking around on the web…to say that I was shocked would be an understatement.

Let me add this last bit of info – seeing that I am well past this age demographic ( young 20 somethings) I STILL was sadly impacted by this seeming caricature.

And when I say caricature…I really mean it in all it’s glory..a total summation of all the GLARINGLY tacky … outlandish … ways. But somehow the Japanese have synthesized everything we the audience of these blogs would NEVER want to be associated with- nor glamorized!!


That’s A Lot of Black Folks They’re Talking About

Oh man, we need to shut down the music and entertainment industry immediately. Forget Free Speech. Ignorance and stupidity on this level shouldn’t be allowed – in any country on this planet.

There are roughly 150,000,000 Japanese people in the world. I padded the number to include those scattered outside the country.

People who are pure blooded African and of African descent might roughly be nearly a billion, if not slightly more. ‘Cause as you know, there’s too many of us, at least according to the environmentalists who love to only show pictures of black people when they talk about overpopulation. What’s fascinating is that they reason in the same unpleasant direction as the white supremacist sites. Same difference on a bad day, right?

Am I to understand that the twits in Japan claiming they know “black culture” think this represents 1 billion people? I know I am being rhetorical here.

Whose Culture You Talkin’ About, Willis?

Unfortunately, it is a global world. Overflowing with toxic “entertainment” waste. The context of this is garbage in, garbage out. Nothing more. Even the mother in the clip is hip to her daughter’s optional lifestyle, “Sooner or later it will get boring.” Momma is right. Her chubby unattractive crooked teeth offspring might go into Goth next.

‘Cause it doesn’t make a person black or a part of “black culture”, if one:

  • Has hair that turned “frizzy” in primary school.
  • Goes to a tanning bed monthly, weekly, or even daily.
  • Reads magazines showcasing “cool blacks”. WTF does that even mean?
  • Watches music videos full of “cool blacks”.
  • Attends late night clubs to hear hip hop.
  • Has hair braided into small plaits. Even the ancient Romans and Greeks did that, along with the Egyptians.
  • Has multiple piercings, wears tattoos and brightly colored or tacky clothing. I mean, seriously now? (Useless data: the first folks to wear tattoos in the USA among the “mainstream” folks were sailors. That was cool, because you understood – life was rough for them. That’s what tattoos represented. Tough guys making marks of their adventures.)
  • And as we know, the list of stupid, made-up dumb stuff passing as “black culture” could go on…

Let’s be real: being black or of African descent is not an optional lifestyle, something that can be appropriated or worn like the latest fashion.

We Are Not Accessories For Any Funking Group

As Oshun eloquently stated:

I am trying not to throw up at that vid. Ok, this is not “Black Lifestyle”, but a lower class black subculture they are mimicking.

Perhaps a letter writing/email campaign is in order to make them recognize that this is not us and they need to be careful of their labels – to further delineate the separation?

I say glamorize and mimick away. It is a subculture. I don’t care what happens to the cretins that created this trash. I hope it all comes back to bite all the woman hating negroes in the butt. There are already new school white MCs thinking they can call ni@@@s ni@@@s – so good luck to all of them with that.

What I do not like is this, and this may not be the right word, appropriation, co-option of the Black woman’s image whether she be working class or lower class or not. What is up with these folks and thinking that that is ok?? First some WW do it on the sly and now this mess? Is this everyday black face? I am feeling some type of way about this and it is not good.

I can understand the entertainment value of hip hop. It serves to amuse and distract for the period of time one gets immersed in it. That’s all. Just like other forms of “art”.

Hey, Do That Thing You Do

And in similar fashion to Oshun, I would tell this group of Japanese:

“Go ahead. We know it is a strange, bizarre, weird, and artificial construct on your part, since you have no idea, and will never know the true essence of any black culture. There are multitudes of them. Just like you would be thrilled to tell my black behind I could never appreciate, understand, emulate or become Japanese. There’s no way on earth you could ever appreciate and understand what black culture is, or even know what a real black woman is like.

But keep playing at it: for me, it’s entertaining to watch you all look stupid.”

But Y’all Can’t Do That

Folks, lemme ask you this: Imagine if groups of us walked around with faces painted white, spoke a little Japanese, bowed at everybody, carried swords (I don’t think I’d mind that), wore kimonos, along with those odd flip flops and said we were living a “cool azz Japannezzy lifestyle”, having never stepped one foot in the country? Honestly, I think people would be calling up President Obama and asking him, “What’s up with that?”

To wrap up, I’ll say why this is a problem. In the words of Ms Mellody:

The very idea that people from other countries only take in and synthesize what they see on MTV, Youtube, BET, VH1 and the like. Just the very idea that  THEY think this is the TOTALITY of Black culture..is just shocking in this day and age. ….And yet this is exactly the way some BWs present as well as BMs present to the world.

Just because some of us easily invite disrespect – and call it entertainment or “art” – for a few dollars, doesn’t mean all of us will.

We ain’t asleep, folks. We see what’s going on.

Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

 

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Hollywood’s Obsession with Nazis

Missing Pieces of the Puzzle

One of the first scenes in X:Men First Class is devoted to a concentration camp … and Nazis. I turned to my friend, asking, “Why?”

She said, “They are the obvious bad guys.”

When we saw Shutter Island, I wondered. “What do the Nazis have to do with DiCaprio‘s character being crazy?” Maybe I missed something?

Inside Man was a great film. Fantastic build-up of suspension. The Clive Owen, Denzel Washington face-off is terrific. The bank-heist, but not-bank-heist concept was fascinating and riveting. Everything was on point, except for the reasoning behind the act. Let’s just say, it had something to do with – you guessed it – Nazis. It didn’t have to be the driver of the film, because anything more intimate, emotional, and feasible would have made more sense. It didn’t work as the glue that would have held the film together.

Even the over-hyped, critically acclaimed, creepy yet coma-inducing film American Beauty included a coming-right-out-of-left-field Nazi connection. If Chris Cooper’s character was a Confederate flag waving, KKK sympathizer, I could understand the subtext, but that kind of link never gets made. So the significance of the Nazi stuff was never clear to me. As far as I can recall, the film had no black or Jewish people.

Hollywood’s Historical Revisionism

I was reluctant to watch Inglorious Basterds. I avoid films about WWII. It got rave reviews, which made me suspicious. Whether a Hollywood film is good, bad, or indifferent, if it includes Nazis it automatically wins an Oscar. Sort of like being handed a Nobel Peace Prize, because they like the individual. It is not due to a significant paradigm changing action on the winner’s part.

Was it worth seeing? Christoph Waltz and Michael Fassbender (hotness) steal the show. It was an interesting dramedy, entirely tongue-in-cheek. It rewrote history. I wont give away much more than that. However, watching an ultra-blond Brad Pitt (Lt. Aldo Raine) say, “Nazis” with a southern drawl, over and over and over again struck me as bizarre. And his character is named Aldo? Okay.

I get that Raine was doing his patriotic duty at that time. But did America really have that kind of antagonism towards the Germans? I suspect it existed for the Japanese, based on the creation of internment camps. I read that German prisoners of war were treated better than black American troops. During that time, America quite easily turned away Jews fleeing Europe. Plus, let’s not forget the southern pastime of lynching blacks.

I guess historical revisionism makes for “fun” fiction, and that’s what Hollywood does so well.

From Flag Waving Patriots to Something Else

There are two ways of looking at Hollywood’s portrayal of WWII: the time during the war, and the films that came after. Movies were very patriotic from the 1930s to 1950s. Those movies supported the country, its soldiers and citizens. They seemed over-the-top and a bit corny, but they never wavered from the subject of doing the “right thing”: saving a civilization’s freedom and liberty. It had its flaws, but it certainly was better than what the Axis (Germany, Japan, Italy, et al.) offered.

However, once this era passed, Hollywood’s movies shifted from blatant patriotism to something else.

The Indiana Jones film series has always been top among my favorites. Yet I found it odd when he said that he hated “Nazis” in the same vein as snakes. Why did I find it odd? Jones never came across as the flag waving type. Maybe if I saw the films again, that ethos is there, but I never felt that fueled his motives. It was always about the glorification of Jones, not America. He’s a hero for his self-interests, not because he was doing it for the “greater good”.

I also wondered, why would Nazis bother him? The movie franchise showed him in countries, territories, or colonies full of non-white natives he had no trouble shooting at, destroying their environments, ignoring their laws, and all other manner of conduct filled with blatant disdain. How was he any better than the “bad” Germans?

The Easy Choice Keeps Mutating

Movies have been remaking Nazis and turning them into something far worse than ever before. Various genres have cast them as sinister, time traveling, never aging, alien(?), world altering (Hellboy shows us it’s the Nazis’ fault again!), genetic mutating, and all consuming end-of-humanity evil geniuses to be vanquished. With those superhuman superpowers, it’s a wonder the “good guys” ever won, or will win, in these never-ending Hollywood movie wars.

Right. Right. I get that they are the obviously easy choice in today’s multi-polar everyone-gets-their turn-at-being-bad-and-evil kind of world. ‘Cause if the bad guys aren’t Nazis, then it must be an individual from the US military, or the entire government defense apparatus. In today’s Hollywood, it’s one or the other. Absolute patriotism is unfashionable. Plus, there’s a world market to sell out to.

And looking back in this manner to WWII, it is way easier to focus on Nazis than by offending the nutjobs that inhabit the world today.

The Reflection in the Mirror

With each and every film devoted to Nazis in measures big or small, I suspect subjective seepage. In some ways, Hollywood itself promotes a Nazi-like form of white supremacy. Unfortunately, the industry is blind to itself and lacks self-awareness. They are certain that they are the most creative, media savvy, “hippest”, smartest, and quite possibly the most moral, wise and knowing people on the planet. Outside of ensuring they get paid with the same ruthlessness of drug dealers, they are here to bestow knowledge on us dumb and ignorant “little” people.

And don’t we require their sage guidance? Otherwise, movies wouldn’t be filled with these preening dregs of society who often lecture us about what they think a politically ideal, environmentally pure, non-judgmental, perfect world is really like.

Nazis believed that blonds are the ultimate beauty and superior form of humanity. So does Hollywood. The word “blond” is treated as synonymous with “beauty” no matter what that woman actually looks like. Nearly every pale-skinned woman in the media must become a bleached blond. Otherwise, she’s not getting any work. Just glance around and note that every film, every TV show, every cable channel, every news broadcast, and every magazine cover must have a blond woman.

The Nazis wanted to rid the world of “subhuman” (mostly dark-skinned) races to create the perfect society. This elimination theme sometimes creeps into Hollywood films, TV shows, and other venues. Black and minority characters are often the first to die, no matter how idiotically. I can still remember the cheering over the death of that Nigerian character in District 9. Usually, the stupidest scenes are where black people volunteer to be killed: The Taking of Pelham 123 (’09), Mimic (’97), X-Men: First Class (’11), The Shining (’80), etc. I’m sure there’s more, but I’m not documenting every film ever made.

So, When Will the Well Go Dry?

I’m not asking Hollywood to stop making movies about WWII, or any that focus exclusively on the Holocaust, Nazis, blond women, or their favorite character Adolf Hitler. They are free to do so, since it is an easy money maker, crowd pleaser and scores Oscars without difficulty.

At the end of the day, it is all they can think of, since the well of ideas is going dry.

Yet, still, why the obsession with Nazis? I have a hunch that if Germans were deep frying people of color during WWII, there wouldn’t be peep or mention of it in any Hollywood movie what-so-ever. I bet we’d never see a Nazi in any film, sort of like how there’s never any mention, show, or display of slave owners, white American supremacists, small town sheriffs, or national guard members shooting, lynching and killing black people and keeping their body parts as souvenirs.

Is the obsession with Nazis due to some kind of freakish admiration? I believe that their ideology has survived, undergone some mutation, going on to be adopted worldwide via the media and its corrupt offspring the fashion industry. (See designer John Galliano for a clue. He’s not a bug; he’s a feature.)

Then again, adding Nazis to every film could just be a cheap, quick, and lazy rendering of history and riven-of-meaning plot device. Outside of my evaluation, they’re just movies after all, even if people increasingly treat them as historical fact.

Captain America awaits you. Set back in WWII it will, of course, come with no surprises.

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Tears of a Clown: Keith Ellison’s Manhood Goes on Sale

A Crocodile Weeps. ++see below

Remember back when John F. Kennedy swore that the Pope didn’t make his decisions for him? (On September 12, 1960, he said, “I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for President who also happens to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my Church on public matters — and the Church does not speak for me.”)* He was promising to do what’s best as a representative of ALL the people.

I understand that that was the kind of scrutiny non-Protestants lived with. It was a sorry affair persecuting people based on their religious beliefs when they ran for office. However, I’m sure those comments reassured those who considered voting for Mr. Kennedy.

A Public Servant to Whom?

Today, we have folks who seem to define themselves solely by their religious ideology. Apparently, it precedes gender, race, nationality, dignity, and common sense. It really does not matter to me what people do, or believe in, or swear fealty to, except when this trait is exhibited by a politician. Why doesn’t Representative Keith Ellison serve in a religious temple somewhere? Is he aware that he’s supposed to represent his district, atheists included, and not just his coreligionists?

OOps. I guess he cannot be criticized for that oversight though. It might make him cry. Or something.

It’s Political Theater

I’m generally cynical about politicians. Representatives go through two year election cycles. I believe fruit flies live longer. Congressional hearings are show trials. With the “tears of a clown” display, the lead entertainer (Ellison) wants to pretend that he’s doing something! This is a fund raising ploy. But hey, pimping ain’t easy.

Oh, you mean he might be sincere? I doubt it.

He’s not crying, because most of the victims of homocide are black males, decimating the African American population. Or that most victims of domestic violence, rape and murder are black girls / women, further decimating the African American population. Or that a large number of foreclosures are putting single black mothers into the streets, generating a devastating economic setback to the backbone of the African American population. Or that black people are suffering the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Oh, no. Ellison is cynically blubbering over one incident regarding one deceased individual that happened a decade ago. He’s not even crying over all the victims of 9/11.

I could have believed Ellison sincere, if he announced he was upset at something like this picture:

African boy gets "questioned" by Libyan "rebels" with a finger on the right and a pistol on the left.

I have relatives that look like this kid.

My sympathy for the Libyans have evaporated. Then again, I never had much to begin with. These people are literally picking on the darkest people they see. This is a child they are terrorizing. They think he’s an “African mercenary”. The whole country is after these people. Poor child looks too frightened to be anything nefarious. Many central Africans came to Libya to work (in the oil fields), because Qadhafi invited them there. There are also many other groups and nationalities fleeing Libya.

I tried to find out what happened to this kid from news reports, but because the media is so much on the side of the “rebels” or “freedom fighters” they’ve pretended not to know.

It pissed me off.

Hey, I get it that this isn’t something for Ellison to weep over. There’s no money it in. However, since he’s playing the role of a sensitive politician, couldn’t he expand his interests a bit?

Just asking.

“Manhood for Sale”

Sometimes, I think some black males aren’t aware that they’re always looking for a new “master” to tell them what to do, how to think, and how to be. They are released from one yoke, only to take on another.

How much do you think that single tear will get Ellison from fund raising? A hundred thou? Maybe half a mil? That money wont be coming from us though, will it?

* Wikipedia: John F. Kennedy profile.

++ Ellison was sobbing at a Congressional hearing on the radicalization of American followers of Islam.

Note: I’ve been remiss in the past not crediting who the photos belong to. Sorry. These two are from Reuters.

___

News Update:

NY Times: American Muslim Salafi Movement – Why Do They Even Come Here?

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Korean Hip Hop / K-Pop: T.O.P – Turn It Up

Gorgeous young man. Makes me think of a young Vulcan, in a Spock-like kinda way. Sexy.

Everyone seems to move like Michael Jackson (R.I.P.) to me.

I wonder when the fusion of Korean and black American music occurred? That’s rather fascinating to me.

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Rant: To People Who Compare Every Politically Incorrect Expression or Treatment to "the Blacks"

Stop it right now.

Stop those trite, irritating, and annoying expressions of “Well, it is like doing X against the blacks,” or “Well, it is like using the N-word to describe group Y,” or the all time favorite, “Group Z going through this discrimination is like doing this to the blacks.”

For real though, those declarations do not make any sense at all. If the offense is that serious, then the blacks do not need to be dragged into the discussion.

The history of black people(s) in the diaspora is not short, simple, and it is not a convenient, slick, back of the envelope example of discrimination and suffering for other groups to use.

We are not a trick bag of goodies for others to use and (mis)appropriate when convenient.

Some folks may not mind, but I do. My suggestion: Use your own damn history. Compile and relate your own pertinent examples of discrimination, suffering, and intolerance. People will understand. People will respect you for it. People will be able to picture your complaints and take them seriously.

Right now, whenever I hear “the blacks“, whatever support I may have had for your position(s) gets negated to zip, zero, and zilch. It drops down into “I could not care less” category.

It Is Not Logical

Using “the blacks” to exemplify discrimination will not work, because it is not a correct logical construct to compare it to using the word “retarded”, being a woman, blind, deaf, dumb, alcoholic, mentally disabled, physically disabled, a drug addict, a fat ugly white woman, a senior citizen, a homosexual, lesbian, or whatever group feels they have a problem.

You know why the comparisons do not make any sense? Aside from the coalition of fat ugly white women, black people are also women, senior citizens, mentally disabled, blind, deaf dumb, etc.

Default Normalcy

Saying “the blacks” is deliberately erasing our complexity and humanity. When the slaves were emancipated, and freedmen got the vote, only black men could vote (in theory, since Jim Crow closed that door). Yet, all the time, I see idiots, especially in the media, saying “the blacks” got the vote when slavery ended. Black women could not vote until all women, excepting Native Americans at the time, were granted suffrage.

Some of you assume everyone’s default for man is a white man. Some of you assume everyone’s default for woman is a white woman. This thinking is about seeing whiteness as normal, and blackness as abnormal. It is so automatic, no one stops to think why they do it. It makes as much sense as this sentence: women and minorities. Translation: white women and others. Are minorities not women too?

That is why some of you folks love to associate every group that might be outcast, abnormal, dysfunctional, disrespected, or whatever as “the blacks.”

Get it clear, not all of us has a world view where we are a minority, secondary, subordinate, a permanent victim group, or inferior to anyone

So, shut up already.

Next time you find yourself in a search of a short hand narrative, leave “the blacks” out of it.

Put the trick bag of missappropriating black people’s culture, history, gender, and identity down. Go free ride on the back of some other group.

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Super Strong Single Black Woman Syndrome

It is one thing to be proud of the mythical black Momma who purportedly raised her children, half the block, worked three jobs, and is a care taker of a sick mother, siblings, and grandchildren. It is another thing to assume that she is a happy Super Strong Single Black Woman, who seeks more people to take care of.

At some point, she will stop and scream from exhaustion, “I can’t do it anymore!”

People have to stop looking for black women to do all of the care taking. Black women have to stop being willing to take care of everyone, and saying yes to everyone.

You cannot do it all alone. It’s not working.

There’s so much wrong with this Associated Press story, I don’t know where to begin. I’ll just put the excerpts out there.

I’m not condemning the women. I can only wonder why some black women put such enormous burdens on themselves, and other black women, without having a life replete with healthy relationships that are helpful to them.

This story is about Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, 21:

An Army cook and single mom may face criminal charges after she skipped her deployment flight to Afghanistan because, she said, no one was available to care for her infant son while she was overseas.

So, what happened?

[Hutchinson] claims she had no choice but to refuse deployment orders because the only family she had to care for her 10-month-old son – her mother – was overwhelmed by the task, already caring for three other relatives with health problems.

The Army requires all single-parent soldiers to submit a care plan for dependent children before they can deploy to a combat zone.

Let me see if I understand, Hutchinson knew her mother was overburdened – those things don’t happen overnight. She joined the military in 2007. Momma was already occupied and busy. This young woman has a child with the “baby’s father”, and is surprised that when she’s deployed her mother couldn’t handle the infant?

Did she readily assume, like some black women, and other people, that Momma was a Super Strong Single Black Woman? Why couldn’t she ask, or get, the “baby’s father” to look after the child? Why was the only person in the world she could depend on was her already overburdened mother?

Hutchinson is no longer in a relationship with the father [of the child].

Is that how it is today? You cut the guy off, because things don’t work out? Or is it the assumption that once the relationship ends the only thing the guy was good for was sperm donation? Is it really that easy for the guys? Is this how women let themselves and their offspring be treated? Are they ever going to teach their own sons to be respectful and responsible to the mothers of their children?

Hutchinson’s son, Kamani, was placed into custody overnight with a daycare provider on the Army post after she was arrested and jailed briefly, Larson said. Hutchinson’s mother picked up the child a week ago and took him back to her home in California.

Hutchinson’s mother had to come all the way across the country to Savannah, Georgia to pick up Kamani.

Look at the load Hutchinson’s mother, the Super Strong Single Black Woman is carrying. I’m not surprised her daughter thought she could do it all alone, and then some.

She’s already having to care for her ailing mother and sister, as well as a daughter with special needs. She also runs a daycare center at her home, keeping about 14 children during the day.

If Super Strong Single Black Woman collapses from exhaustion, who will be there to take up her burden? Her daughter?

Where are the men in this story? Why are some black women doing it all alone? Why are they teaching their children that men aren’t necessary? Why are they involved with males who wont be men? 

The “Black Community” Doesn’t Exist

I see this as the tip of a “black community” ice berg. Once the Super Strong Single Black Women starts to go the way of the American Passenger Pigeon (it’s extinct), who’s going to be left to take up the burden?

The government cannot raise children, nor take care of any individual, or group of society, only family can. How is the “black community” supposed to function if there’s no one left to take care of it and its offspring?

By the way, my answer isn’t the search for mythical “black love”, it is for Super Strong Single Black Women to put their burdens down and learn to say, “Oh, hell no. I am not doing that ever again.”

Learn to associate, and form reciprocal relationships, with men and women who can help you and you can help them.

Being a black woman doesn’t have to mean a life of suffering from day one.

Let it go. You are allowed. You need no one’s permission to be selfish.

It’s a healthy impulse to look after yourself first, that’s the key to a long happy life.

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Black American? or American Who Is Black? Part ii

Please note for those of you who are literalistic: I mean some, not all, when referencing black or white Americans.

I have a confession to make: I rarely think about my race.

I’m not saying that I am color-blind. I don’t even know what sense to make of that word. What does it convey? That’s like saying: I don’t see men or women, everyone is the same gender. That’s just stupid.

I admire all sorts of things about different groups of people, be it their coloring or cultural or religious heritage. I also enjoy being brown skinned. I enjoy my complexion. I like who I am. I delight in it. It’s just that the race I am (in America) is not at the forefront of my thinking.

However, I like my own definition of self. Yes, for practical reasons, at this point in time, my race is black. Lord knows what tomorrow will bring: What black Americans or the US government will call the group next.

It doesn’t change who or what I am.

And no, I don’t see myself as African American. That’s a misnomer. I was born in Europe, shouldn’t I call myself European American?

I am an American. My cultural heritage is West Indian. I like saying black, because it’s a shorthand term: a political, social subset of Americans with a degree of African heritage, among others.

I have noticed that amongst some generational Americans taking note of your background upsets them. They act like it is an either or choice. Pick one and it’s offensive, pick the other and you are rejecting their social and cultural dictates.

They get upset with hyphenated Americans, or there are others who want people to emphasize the hyphen and fit within their group definition.

White Americans seem to dislike the hyphenation and emphasis on racial / ethnic background.

Black Americans seem to dislike black immigrants who don’t immediately accede to their definition of “black”. For example, a Jamaican, Nigerian, Hutu or Guyanese, etc. may see themselves as a West Indian or African, or whatever first, and not ascribe to being “black”.

Somehow that accurate self-definition is a rejection of them.

I’ve always looked at it this way: black Americans have to stop thinking that immigrants of any color owe them something. They do not. Unfortunately, no one cares if your ancestors fought in the Revolutionary or Civil War or any of the following wars.

They didn’t march and die alone in the Civil Rights movement: some whites and even some black immigrants were right alongside them.

When America decided to change, they felt they were changing it for the better of everyone, not just generational black Americans. Otherwise, the words used in Civil Rights legislation wouldn’t have been “minorities.”

Black Americans also have to stop telling immigrants, Africans and Caribbean peoples, how to define themselves. These people are coming from countries where everyone is more or less the same race.

Who are you to tell them what they are?

Those who complain are the same ones that resent the immigrant for his appearance and progress in this country. Hey, it is a struggle to come here, work, study and start fresh from scratch. It makes them grateful to be here.

They aren’t carrying the scars of past historical racial antagonism with white Americans. So don’t expect them to. They’re not here to do that.

Last, but not least, they come here for a multitude of reasons. If this magnificent country lets them in: they will take advantage of it.

In some cases, that may mean staying, and letting their kids become Americans. Or it may mean going back home to retire after working here a number of years.

Yet, it is not up to black Americans to define who is black in this country.

They have to learn to accept people who come here as they are, and stop demanding more from people who happen to have a degree of African ancestry in common.

At some point, every group assimilates.

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