Open Forum: What’s On Your Mind? Talking About Self-Control and Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day, everyone. May our troops, veterans and allies stay safe.

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Time Travel(s)

I’m in the middle of a long, lovely, idyllic and idle weekend. Rather cold, but I like it like that. I remember a couple of summers a few years back that were rather chilly. Time is going by much too quickly, as usual. When we work, the week drags. When we have days off, they simply fly by. And I cannot believe it is half-way, mid-way through the year.

So, I’ve been asking myself lately:

  • What have I been doing?
  • Is it moving me forward?
  • Have I advanced in any way?
  • Have I (re)moved any major milestones?

I verbally spank myself a great deal. I try not to be annoyed with myself so much. To me, the perfect state of being is literally a blank mind. I wont be able to sleep if I cannot do that. I wont be able to drive. I wont be able to function. I often dwell and think too much about really really unimportant things I have absolutely no control over, because I do not want to focus on the big things that I must do.

Getting It Done

My approach for dealing with life is usually two track: 1) Little bites, 2) Big major moves.

It’s surprising to me, although it shouldn’t, how often I stay on the same track. It’s good when it is applied to stubbornly working to accomplish a difficult long term task, yet deadly when it’s used for avoidance and getting stuck in a rut.

Does that make sense? I know I’m beating dead horses in my life. I recognize it. Yet, I wont stop it. I discover notes, diaries and checklists from years ago. Same stuff, different day. Nothing seems to be changing.

Do you know how aggravating that is?

One of the things I’m always looking at is, How do I move forward? My personality, which I’ve been trying to change, or adjust for these situations, and for such a long time, I consider to be one of my greatest impediments. It is great for somethings. I am a Pitt Bull where it counts.

And I don’t ask for much. My list is quite short. However, it requires multiple steps to get there.

Lost in Lack of Self-Control

On some level, I think I can understand why people get up and run away, take too many prescription drugs, drink, get high all the time, work excessively long hours, push themselves too hard, are addicted to pain, pleasure and dangerous (sometimes criminal) activities. It’s about the distraction. It’s about getting the mind off that groove.

Unfortunately, it’s replacing one deep ditch for another. And one could get lost in the self for many years, forgetting what one wanted in the first place.

There’s this perfect limbo between absolute killing boredom and excitement so keen you could die of bliss. One cannot always chase the bliss … it can be destructive. But when you have to keep a certain state of equanimity day after day, month after month, because that is life… Oh goodness, life is extremely tedious.

I think it is a fine recipe for going bonkers.

So, what to do?

***

Everyone can talk about what’s on their minds. I’m just doing a little mental purging. 😀

 

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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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Ladies, Is He Good Enough For You?

As we often see in the news, or experienced based on observation, plenty of men reach powerful positions, have a lot of responsibilities, and will be totally, absolutely morally deficient. They will be amoral, immoral, with a massive touch of egotism. Oh, they’re Alpha Males alright, better known as dogs, not wolves. Dogs are wonderful animals, but you know I mean the two legged kind. 🙂

Ladies, don’t ever let anyone tell you that “everyone does it” or “all men are the same.” Have some standards. The media likes to plate up degeneracy like it’s the latest delicacy. All you’ll get is food poisoning down the road. Imagine the kind of society they are pushing us towards.

Has shame gone out of style? Do we really want to continue lowering the bar until adults have sexual relations with small children and call that progressiveness? Imagine a society where no one shows impulse control, like everybody driving through red lights, or drunk and high. Would you feel safe?

A society without moral codes and mutual trust yields chaos and bedlam. I’ve lived through two blackout with riots. I’m not exaggerating when I say those aren’t fun experiences. Imagine living with that all the time. And we know there are places around the world where this is the case.

I don’t know what it will take to stave off further decay in this society. We need a society full of strong families with honest people. Everyone has flaws. Everyone makes mistakes. But a world where people relish a world without any sort of decency ethos yields a declining standard of living for everyone. Without stability what we’ll get is … well, think of those Zombie Apocalypse books and movies having an element of truth to them.

We cannot predict the future. We cannot always assume what’s in the hearts of people. But you cannot have a decent life with someone who has no shame, feels no guilt, likes to tell a lot of little lies, stealing, bullying or cutting corners. He’s not worthy of you if he’s freely giving everyone around him the shaft. (Pun intended).

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Independence Day

A short note here:

This is not only a day where the country is celebrating independence from its colonial ruler, remember that for you – it can be a day to celebrate your independence from toxic, negative, life-draining, selfish a**h*les!

God bless America.

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Stay in good health and peace of mind, ladies and gentlemen.

😀

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The Nice Good Black Man

Using an interesting quote from Classic NYer:

But that being said, perhaps I can show you another point of view. Take for example my brother, a stand -up individual raised by my mother and father with correct morals, treats his mother and two sisters with respect, graduated with degrees and working on another one, acts sensibly, never been to jail/gotten into drugs/did general dumbass criminal shit/etc… in other words, none of the damaged-beyond-repair symptoms that are often associated with black maleness.

It’s a little sad that there are some black women who have become so disillusioned by the bottom-of-the-barrel-negroes that they will look at any black man, even my brother, and all they will see is gangsta rap. I’m not saying, of course, that black women should be required to take a fine-toothed comb to our race before venturing out…

I myself am finding happiness right now with a non-black man… but it bothers me when I hear people say things like “I’m done with black men!” and I do hear this sometimes… and it speaks a couple volumes about our own damage when we become so jaded that we can’t see the black men in college because we’re blinded by the black men in jail… I say “to hell with them” if they can’t get their shit together… but what about my brother?

 

GoldenAh:

Thank you for this comment, Classic NYer. This brings up the flip side of the “watch out for the abusive, bad, and damaged beyond repair black males (DBR)” topical threads. I’m not going to talk about your brother, since I don’t know him. I will write solely from observation and experience.

Blog Purpose: Black Female Consumption

The reason why so much virtual ink is spent discussing black males, at times, is because a number of us still interact with so many of them. Obviously, there are good and bad folks in every group. The consistent theme here has been to urge black women to put as much physical, emotional, and mental distance between themselves and the toxic people in their lives. Statistically, the ones most likely to place them in grave danger happen to be black males.

We must remember that the goal is winnowing and thinning the herd of good from bad. Once the ladies physically move, then adjust to becoming emotionally detached, it becomes easier for them to think about the positive, uplifting, and affirming changes they want to make in their lives.

I too have stand-up, nice, good and great brothers, uncles, cousins and wonderful black men as friends and associates. Yet, if the ladies reading my blog, and others, decide that they cannot be bothered with black men in general, then that is their right. Perhaps they’re exhausted, wounded and weary from using a fine tooth comb, fishing in a tiny dirty pond, or dumpster diving for a decent black man. Some might even decide that from a statistical vantage looking for one would be an enormous waste of time. I cannot blame them.

I approach this topic from this perspective: what a black woman decides to do with her life ultimately has nothing to do with anyone, especially black men. He will matter if he is the one man who makes a concerted effort to be the special man in her life: a moral, decent, financially sound, emotionally mature, and responsible husband or friend.

Black Men Always Do What Suits Them

I don’t feel bothered, or disturbed when black women say that they are “done with black men”. If my brothers, uncles, cousins, and male friends felt they weren’t making headway with black women, I know they would promptly move onto Latinas, foreign-born black women, and non-black women without pause.

They would do it, because they aren’t concerned with my feelings or impressions about their women. They would do it, because as black men, they are quite willing to enjoy their prerogative to freely date and mate whomever they please.

Who black men decide to have as a life partner is really none of my business. They find happiness on their own terms. And I don’t take it upon myself to worry about who they want or who wants them. Black men, in general, never seem to have trouble finding a woman.

Fog of War

The ones who have a problem with dating and mating with whomever they desire are black women. A number of us haven’t truly embraced our freedoms 100% yet, which is why we still linger over black males and their issues. I gave that up well over a dozen years ago. I left my “black nationalism card” in a drawer to catch dust. I found it less complicated and emotionally bothersome to date Indian, white and Latino men than black men. I couldn’t handle the “fog of war” with them anymore. I had no interest in being cannon fodder or a combatant in their superficial “race war” with white men.

I’ve read and heard the complaint from black men that more than a few, if not all, black women aren’t “feeling” them for one particular reason or another. Well, just because he’s a nice guy, educated and speaks well it doesn’t entitle him to any black woman who happens to catch his eye. As women, we have millions of self-help books telling us to let go when “he’s just not that into you”. The opposite is also true. If a number of black women aren’t into him, he needs to let it – that feeling of entitlement – go.

The Reasons Why Multiply

The nice, good black guy might not accept this, but the following are some of the reasons for their lack of success with black women:

  1. He’s boring. Point blank.
  2. She’s not attracted: no zing, no tingle, at all. Why waste his time?
  3. He’s not her type. She finds his height, weight, complexion, sense of humor, level of sophistication or intelligence lacking.
  4. His self-esteem is low.
  5. Her self-esteem is low.
  6. He lacks the ability to court, entice, tantalize, and seduce a woman.
  7. He lacks a few of the qualities on her “must have” list.
  8. She only digs white, Asian or Latino guys.
  9. His social circle is of poor quality, insufficient or deficient.
  10. He lacks ambition.
  11. Embarrassingly cheap.
  12. Spends too much. Trying to purchase affection.
  13. He believes he’s mature, but he’s really quite childish.
  14. He’s passive-aggressive, and resorts to sarcasm when angry.
  15. Refuses to be candid, upfront, honest or blunt.
  16. Immediately clingy. Reeks of desperation.
  17. He who hesitates loses the game. Wants her to make all the first and last moves.
  18. Exhausting dead-weight. He’s indecisive, and wants her to decide everything.
  19. Every black woman is not his type, supportive, or “good enough” for him, but accuses every black woman of having “unrealistic expectations”.
  20. Very critical, and doles out compliments like a miser with money.
  21. Competitive with black women, and not other men.
  22. Jealous.
  23. Complains about “white people” all the time, with “white people” being only white men.
  24. Believes that an education, lack of a criminal record, employment, and being a black man entitles him to the good graces of all black women.
  25. Added 5/25 Single, but unavailable. In between women, living with a baby Momma and “looking”.
  26. Added 5/25 Lacking manners: a failure to express thoughtfulness or consideration.
  27. Added 5/25 Momma’s boy: treats his female relatives nice. The same can’t be said of how he treats other women.

It’s not a comprehensive list since it is culled from observation and experience. As we know one woman’s bore, could be another woman’s “steady Freddy”.

Black Men Have the Advantage

The fact is that black women with an education vastly outnumber educated black men. In a perfect world, starting in college all black women would like worship all the “nice good black men” and quickly snatch up each one. Let’s not forget these guys want to play around too. He will meet some that like him, and he’ll meet some that wont. If he’s expecting an easier time with black women due to the sex imbalance, it will not make a difference. If he’s expecting an easier path to dating black women due to the abusive bad guys, it will not make a difference.

The black women who write off black men might seem a massive amount due to the nature of these blogs. Yet, it is exaggerated since the fact remains that the number of black women dating interracially is minuscule.

Black men avail themselves to non-black women at a rate of 75% to black women with non-black men at 25%. The nice, good black males don’t have it so bad. They are living in the land of plenty where women of all races outnumber the men. If the nice, good black man is truly a worthy catch, he will have no trouble finding the right woman.

Eventually, the numbers will be on his side.

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I Hurt This Black Male’s Feelings. Weep For Him.

“Brian M.” has something to say. These are all his words.

This kinda stuff one cannot make up. :D

Go forth and tell us how you feel, kind Sir:

Now look let me say this up front I am not here to pick a fight with you or anything I just going to say this because whatever I say I will be wrong anyways to you. Me personally, I understand of what you are saying about us black men which is true and sad but let me be the first to tell you WE ARE ALL NOT LIKE THAT!!!!! I am sorry for what my brotha’s has done to black women and honestly if a bw wants to be with a wm I am not hating at all as long as she is happy then I am good I respect my black women and I am proud of you to become so successful as a career as a black woman no doubt. Further, I am here to say that even though I get reject sometimes by black woman but that doesn’t mean that I hate her it’s like hating on my mother or my sister…………. plus you expired me to make a website to show not only to america, our black women and society but to ourself that there are some good unicorns as you expected left in this nation true there a good few no good black men who ruin for all of us for every 15 good black men it takes 2 of them to bring them down. As so far as wm asking bm advise on how to treat a bw well for any matter I don’t ANY man should ask another for advise on how to treat 1 especially if you friend treats woman like crap so there you go. No I don’t wm males who takes a glance a bw. (All right got the good support stuff out the way)BUTTTTTTTTTT………….. Here is my problem with you. Okay kool you like white guys I get that but don’t label us black men as the devil. You have some nerves to make threads like these. Why can’t be other men from other races. You act like white don’t do nothing wrong and that they are perfect. It cracks me up that you that white are more committed to marriage and not ending up in divorce cout. I’ve seen more divorces from white couples then I do most black couples. You are something else (word to advise to other black women on here) if you are looking for love then love that person because you can get pass by the outside shell. I have white male friends that said to least treat their women like shit but you don’t talk about that do you (AND DON”T SAY THEY DONT BECAUSE YOU ARE FULL OF IT). When you are going to get it in you head that men are men and women are women true there are some trait when it comes to race but come on. You having these sista’s believing that we black males are evil as it comes. Now your probably asking yourself why if you website doesn’t bother me then why I am post a comment on here bashing and everything. It’s not that bw wants to find love in other races that gets me mad (like I said earlier as long as she is happy then I am kool with it as a matter of fact my childhood classmate who is white is married to a black woman and I treat him no different then anybody else) it’s the fact you continue to bash on black men like it ain’t nothing like we are all the same no class, no education, no self respect for himself or for his woman I can go on forever. ALL BLACK MEN DONT LIVE IN THE GHETTO, not all of us act that way, so you need to be realistic in words (but hey this is you website you probably have some smart remarks to say but if you are any kind of human then you will respect my opinion. Let me make a website to how much bm needs to be with a wm I bet I will get all kinds of hate mails. I get it YOU HATE BLACK MAN but the convience these sista’s that there are none or little black men. So let me ask you this how come it’s about love when comes to bw\wm relationship but when it comes to bm/ww relationship we have to be weak, hateful towards black women, sell-outs you get the big picture. I know that is a four page letter and didn’t even enclose it with a kiss but I am calling you out email me back or you can just ignore it (which you probably will) and make it seems like i am just another angry black man just because a white guy has taking another black woman yeah yeah yeah. Oh I trust me I had more to say but I think that this is enough. You are the biggest hypocrit, bitter, sour sell out black woman I ever heard in my life but do I hate you for it NOPE……. You need to be one-hundred to these black women on here AND STOP JUDGING us black males like that it’s not even cute at all it makes you look even dumbe. Black women love whatever man that loves you black, white, latino, asian, indian whatever!!!!!!!! Please stop listening to this woman (now she I didn’t disrespect you are anything I just the creator how it is.)

Brian M.

GoldenAh: Say what?

Nothing personal Brian, but long rants like yours bore me.

You need to realize, I don’t care about your opinion(s). I don’t know you. You ain’t my peeps. The only black men I care about are family. But I don’t worry after them like children, because all of them know how to be a Man. They handle their business. In other words, they’re normal.

Your black male entitlement credit card isn’t accepted here. You cannot buy pity, sympathy, respect, or a facsimile of your imaginary “black community” here.

The current disaster of the “black community”, whether rural or urban, rests on the shoulders of you and your “brothas”. Not those of black women. The notion of a black matriarchal society, community, and culture is a myth. They’ve never existed. What’s going on is black male abandonment. Own it.

It’s a man’s world, and this entire mess belongs to y’all.

Furthermore, your issues are your problem. Some of y’all think you’re slick trying to get any, and all, black women worked up over your unresolved manhood issues. I’m not one of them.

You cannot make me feel guilty or sorry for you (and you are pitiful), because I’ve noticed – all of my life – how black males treat black women. Everyone notices. It’s a secret everyone knows: Google the stats – they’re easy to find.

Black women not talking about it won’t make it go away.

You’re bothered that the sistas come here and testify as to just how rotten, creepy, deadly, and sick some of y’all are. They come, because they can speak freely. They can no longer be guilt tripped into silence. No longer do they believe that “victimized” black males should be entitled, allowed or enabled to stomp and grind a black woman’s brains, dignity, color or complexion, beauty, “spicy” personality, and self-esteem into dust. Whereby this brutality towards black women somehow results in a re-built Utopian “black community”.

It don’t work no more.

Their stories show they are emancipated. They have moved on: mentally, emotionally, physically and financially. We all have. And more will join them. That’s why you’re squealing. You’re the proverbial pig that got struck.

You black males need to adjust to this fact: your competition has never been, and never will be, black women, it is other men. And black women don’t need y’all.

Their relationship goal(s) aren’t about scraping the same filthy bowl swapping pitiful, useless, and damaged beyond repair (dbr) black males for abusive white men. No, these women’s standards are higher. The non-black men black women decide to be with fits their criteria. It has nothing to do with a perceived shortage of black males. It’s simply that a majority of black males no longer measure up.

Who black women date, mate and marry is their business. Why they date, mate and marry non-black men is their business. They don’t need, or require, black male acceptance or permission. Your opinion and approval don’t mean jack. Their reasons for liking and loving non-black men don’t have to go through a Negro Interracial Committee acceptance vote.

So, mind your own business from now on.

You gonna need to take the same attitude a lot of black women take towards those who’ve made billions selling the world degrading rap(e) music – realize that the words negroes, bitch-ass-niggas, and stories of how badly these bastards treat others – don’t always apply to oneself.

In other words, if they ain’t talkin’ about you, then it ain’t about you.

And I will continue to blog what I want to blog about.

Consider that advice to help you sleep at night, you poor, distressed, little child.

Cheers. 😀

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Black Actress Review: Just Wright – Big Boned Gurl Gets Good Guy Balla

I like Queen Latifah (Dana Owens), so I am willing to sit down and watch her movie(s).

Long Descriptions Ahead

Did I like Just Wright? To be honest, I dunno. Sometimes I’m too busy thinking about its message to appreciate whether it was fun to watch or not.

What message? Oh, the Good Employed Hard Working Non-Glamorous Big Boned Unselfish Black Woman versus the Shallow Unemployed Shopaholic Flighty Glamorous Beautiful Slim Selfish Man Eater.

Two of the Black Woman Archetypes

Here’s a simpler description of the main characters: Mammy versus Gold Digger. How’s that?

Queen Latifah, as you might’ve suspected, plays Mammy. Gold Digger is obviously Paula Patton. Common plays the Good Guy Balla. Pam Grier was delightful as Queen Latifah’s mother. Phylicia Rashad played Common’s mother.

I don’t think these roles were done on purpose. It’s so automatic that it’s nearly impossible for any film to get away from certain portrayals of black women. They fall into the slots effortlessly. I suspect that Queen Latifah was aiming for a hard-working-sista-sorta-Cinderella type story. The effort is appreciated, since her character is always cast as the best friend, BFF type, certainly not as the object of desire.

Oh, For the Want of Good Old Fashioned Lust Desire

Except that the problem with the movie is that there’s no chemistry between her character, Leslie Wright, and Common’s Scott McKnight. Excuse me for saying this, but Common is one of the meanest looking guys around. No matter how nice he tries to act, his face and voice doesn’t erase that vibe. I don’t know him, I don’t have anything against him, but it’s just how he comes across to me.

This Is How The Game Is Played

I’m also ambivalent about Morgan Alexander’s character (Paula Patton). I don’t see her as the bad guy. She’s beautiful. She’s learned that it enables her to get what she wants from nearly any man. Her character has decided that her looks are worth trading for a wealthy man.

And the problem with that is what?

Nearly every Hollywood flick with a white woman in her position celebrates her desire to marry a wealthy, educated, Good Guy Balla, millionaire, and all-around-nice-fellow. Is it because a white woman is entitled to a wealthy guy that this negative stereotype (of a gold digger) is rarely used to denigrate them? (Think about Tiger Wood’s wife. They didn’t meet by accident. And that scenario applies to a lot of meet-ups between women and wealthy men. S’okay?)

Back In the Real World

I’m glad no one said anything about Leslie’s weight, but I felt the film created an unreasonable expectation. Not only are there very very few Good Guy Ballas, but if they didn’t marry Morgan, they would still reject Leslie and move on to the next “arm piece / candy / gold digger”, and a number of them would be white women. Yet popular (rap) culture continues to denigrate black women seeking a provider, protector and father of her offspring.

Wow, how weird that must be, a black woman wanting what every normal woman around the planet usually aims for.

Why is what’s good for other women considered a bad move for black women?

Man Hunting Is Normal

I don’t see Morgan as the bad girl. She knows how to look her best to attract a man. She’s an expert at the bait and hook. I’m not mad at her. Thankfully, her character didn’t plumb the depths of depravity to ensnare a man. Scott was freely willing to marry her. He found her to be someone worthwhile and lovable in the weeks he dated her.

Also, I see Morgan’s behavior as no different from a man whose flawlessly beautiful fiancee (arm piece) gained weight and became horribly disfigured. He’d take off as well.

Leslie’s character is a goodhearted person, but I wasn’t convinced that the unpolished, sports nut, “home girl” routine was enough to bond her to Scott. Nursing a man through sickness yields gratitude, not love. I see that he nursed her at one time she became sick, but as we can see he predictably, and quite easily, dumped Leslie the moment Morgan returned.

In this film, I wished that the premise began and ended with Leslie learning how to “get a man” from Morgan. She didn’t have to be duplicitous, but Morgan understood the “rules” way way better than Leslie.

Because what if Scott didn’t see the light? Leslie would have been alone again, although in a better job. Morgan would have been Mrs. Scott McKnight as she planned.

In Real Life, the Morgans of the World Usually Win

I have no objection to the idea of the film: let things work out for the Mammy or overweight plain Jane this time, but reality almost always rewards the gold digger or ambitious man-hunter. We can see that with our eyes everyday. And the pro-Good Employed Hard Working Non-Glamorous Big Boned Unselfish Black Woman message that this film relays creates a problem.

It’s not a bad thing for black women to be quasi – and certainly not full bore – Shallow Shopaholic Flighty Glamorous Beautiful Slim Selfish Man Eaters who plan and pursue the kind of man they want to marry who has wealth, a good future, and education, etc, etc.

Unfortunately, Just Wright continues to points us in the direction of staying plain, heavy set, unglamorous, with a “keeping it real” demeanor, and not making any effort or plans to be attractive and attract the “right kind of man.” She’s working on chance, hope, and possibly prayer; black women deserve better than that.

Good luck alone wont work. It certainly isn’t helping us now. Life rewards the proactive, and more often than not you have to look fly, be positive, as you pursue your dreams and desires.

Phylicia Rashad
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A Brutal Murder in NYC: Some Women Better Wake Up!

Bellydancer quote – on why it’s good to be selfish:

That is why I think some black women are afraid of BWE women is because they are tired of their trifling sons and other male relatives living and mooching off them and are looking at us like why don’t you want to take them off our hands. I have read where BWE are selfish and self serving because we put ourselves first. We are not trying to serve a dying community that does not benefit us.

If you go to school and succeed you are looked at like you are crazy cuz black men can’t keep up. Not my problem try harder. Just because I did not help you with your homework while you partied that does not make me selfish. I do not understand the woman/jock thing at these colleges. Why the hell are you doing this man’s school work just so he can play sports.

Some women better wake up!

Why did I use that quote? Let’s realize that if certain types of black males (see below) cannot live parasitically off of black women, they will turn to (or on) another group of women flattered and later trapped by their attention.

Described as “charming” and a “ladies man”, a black male is persuaded by his father to turn himself in after allegedly killing his girlfriend.

In the NY Post, a “brotha” (Paul Barrera, 33 years old) stabs a white girl (Sara Coit, 23 years old) with such violence, using 8 knives, that she’s nearly decapitated, leaving her organs outside the body.

According to the article:

The attack was so grisly, it left a piece of a knife lodged in her head.

For those who fret over the well being of black-women-hating black males, must realize that if they don’t love black women, it certainly might not be love they feel for white women either. Keep in mind that they hate all women. What black women are spared from (when we have the sense to run from these violent, dangerous lunatics) they will turn onto the next group of women, or victims, if you prefer.

Here are some money quotes from a friend about the situation:

“Sarah was trying to get away,” said Blum, who called the 33-year-old Barrera a freeloader and said he took advantage of Coit for years.

“He was awful. He gave you bad vibes instantly. He was horrible. He was controlling over her . . . He broke her computer when she wouldn’t let him use it. He would take her BlackBerry for a week at a time, saying she didn’t need to use it,” Blum said.

Her friends saw the abuse.

The neighbors heard the abuse.

But when she was ready leave, she couldn’t get away.

Remember this the next time someone calls you selfish. You are looking out for number one by not letting a controlling man-child run and ruin your life.

This other story, I got from What About Our Daughters (on Facebook), is about a sista doing everything for her man-child, and he thanked her with a murder-suicide.

She was moving on up with her life, and he couldn’t bear it.

Dannette Willory (Photo courtesy of The Miami Herald)

Note: There are some abbreviations here and in the comments section I’d like to define. Sometimes I forget people may not know the meanings.

BWE – black women’s empowerment. A name for blogs that discuss black women’s issues from a point of view of doing what’s best for black women first and sometimes only.

DBR – damaged beyond repair, usually describing men, but plenty of women fit this category.

BM – black male / black man.

BW – black women.

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Black Women: Please Yourself First

Note: This is a random rant.

I’m a selfish person. I’m not afraid to admit that. It’s probably because I’m the last child, the only girl, and spoiled rotten. I’m generous, friendly or kind – when it suits me.

Guilt Gets One Nowhere.

I’ve racked my brain to find instances of when I’ve pitched in, because I got “guilt tripped” into something I really didn’t want to do. Outside of my immediate family, and a best friend or two, it doesn’t happen. I will help people, but I don’t make a big deal out of any time, resources, and money given to causes I believe in.

However, anyone who comes at me with a “I gotta do such and such for groups X, Y, and Z”, since I am a woman who happens to be black will get that person nowhere. I’ll just smile at you sweetly, and say softly, “No, thank you.” I will take off. I wont hover around waiting for someone! anyone! to try and persuade me that I need to do something out of obligation to folks or “causes” I don’t care about, and probably never will.

I only worry about things that are of concern and interest to me, or within my control. I don’t apologize for that mindset. People who use guilt tripping are the biggest users you will ever encounter. Their awareness of this particular problem means that they should be organizing and managing it themselves, or if they want your help – they need to suggest a financial – yeah, I’m talking money – benefit you will reap from it.

Ever notice that whenever a celebrity supports a cause – they always go looking for time and money from their fans? Think about that for a second….

Your Time Isn’t Free.

I’m suggesting you be (a nice) mercenary. It wont make you a mean girl. You are simply teaching others how to RESPECT you. It can be done in the sweetest, most polite manner ever witnessed in a black woman. ‘Cause you know how everyone thinks we’re all crazy angry bitches. Right? :)

All that giving you’ve done, which will supposedly enrich you “spiritually” is nonsense. You are being used. If you are being volunteered for something people are usually compensated for – get PAID or get OUT of it. You have other and better things to do.

Another subtle con folks love to run on black women is the implication that helping others for FREE will help others LIKE you, because otherwise no one will. That’s the worst kind of emotional blackmail and sabotage. Folks like people for all sorts of reason, how much they can use you should never be one of them.

Demanding Busybodies Need to Sit Down.

People who spend their free time monitoring the activities of others, followed by demanding that they must fulfull obligations that no one has AGREED to are parasitic.

If you want people to do something that you can do, then DO IT, and leave them alone.

If you want people to DONATE to a cause that you can reach into your own pockets, then DO IT, and leave them alone.

The worse thing(s) I’ve seen online are the number of people who always has a job for black woman to spend HER time, resources and money on.

Yo! Slavery ended over 145 years ago. Let’s not backslide.

Black Women: It Is Okay to Get Paid.

I also want to say this: black women have the RIGHT to be paid, compensated, reimbursed, acknowledged, and thanked for any endeavors they participate in.

If she asks for funds, no one should recoil in horror and claim that this black woman is a hustler, pimp, gold digger, prostitute, or looking to dupe everybody. Let’s cut that nonsense out right now.

If one likes how she performs, PAY her. If one doesn’t, then leave her alone.

Folks love to get up in arms the minute a black woman puts a price on her labor – like she doesn’t have the right to be compensated. They’re stingy paying her – crying poverty – and will take advantage of enjoying her services / products for free, but will doggone find enough money to buy a pair of Christian Louboutins in a heartbeat.

Oy, I exaggerate.

Are people out of their minds? Why should she labor for free? Why is this demand always laid at the door(s) of black women? Economic deprivation is not a sign of spiritual purity anymore than wealth is indicative of a devious nature. If you believe that: you’ve been had.

I say, even if she’s not asking for dough, lucre, bucks, or money – send her some, buy her stuff, and tell her thank you. Otherwise, leave her the hell alone.

  • Let’s start picturing black women with wealth, health, and good spirits as normal and usual.
  • Let’s picture that as a progressive, or conservative if you prefer, trend that needs to be promoted, supported, and endorsed.
  • Let her be selfish for her own sake.
  • Let’s respect her time.
  • Let her earn her monies, and not begrudge her what she wants out of life.

Have a good one. :)

Note: This is a random rant.

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Harvard Business Review: Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Heidi Grant Halvorson writes:

Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail. The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

The details of each item can be found here: Harvard Business Review.  I didn’t exerpt the entire article, because I don’t copy and paste people’s work. The nine items listed are as follows:

1. Get specific

My response: I’ve assumed that goals I’ve accomplished didn’t require specificity. Yet, now that I think of it, when I was specific (even down to the date of achievement) I got what I wanted. So I will go back to my list(s) and include details.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals

My response: That is so correct. The years can fly by, especially in my case, when one doesn’t jump on the ball. Even acting on it a few minutes a day gets the goal(s) accomplished.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go

My response: This is a great project management point: Where am I in achieving this goal(s)?

4. Be a realistic optimistic

My response: So I cannot be a billionaire and master of all domains? Dang. I’ll take off a few zeroes, that should do the trick. 🙂

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good

My response: I don’t see myself as a perfectionist. Yet I do get into that mindset of “it has to be much much better than this” and as a result nothing will get started or finished.

6. Have grit

My response: I’m a wimp sometimes. Gotta work on that. 🙂

7. Build your willpower muscle

My response: Still wimpy.

8. Don’t tempt fate

My response: No! But I’m different! I’m not like everyone else. I’m special! The rules of reality don’t apply to me. 🙂

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do

My response: That is perfect. I think a lot of us spend too much time and mental energy on what (or who) we don’t like. I think the hardest thing to do is keep your mind engaged on the positive. Focusing too much on the negative drains your energy, drains your spirit, and then nothing gets done.

Harvard Business Review: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/02/nine_things_successful_people.html

Spring Cleaning

It’s coming! Time to clean out the cobwebs from our mental and emotional closets! 🙂

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