BETTY CHAMBERS

Narcissism for Black Women: The Very Good and Healthy Expression of Deep Self-Love, and Extreme Self-Devotion. Why? Because It's Good For Ya! And Sometimes I Write about Natural Hair, Among Other Things


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Black Culture As Defined by the Japanese

Posted on | November 20, 2011 | 12 Comments

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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Comments

12 Responses to “Black Culture As Defined by the Japanese”

  1. MsMellody
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 11:31 AM

    Yes and yes again Betty!!
    I left that link and request for you because I wanted some younger ladies to see in “graphic” detail the effects of years and years of bad behavior/grammar/socio-economics can and have done for the image of quote unquote Black lifestyle.

    I am of the mindset now that that small percentage of subculture will eventually die off. And by die off – I mean that subculture element will eventually become extinct. Simply because this subculture element will suffer disproportionately from the coming upswing in technological/economic advances. Which will in turn shut them out from moving up or even participating in hegemony..or even move into gated communities. Will disproportionately shut out what was once free public education – because as anyone who has been reading and paying attention – education is moving toward privitizing i.e. becoming a money making venture.

    I thank you Betty for your review of this subject. I could go on and on but I think all if not most of your readers realize the sadness of this video. But for those of us who do not live this so called “lifestyle”..onward and upward!!!!

    GoldenAh: I know some black folks see this kind of thing and think of it is a compliment. The point is how many other cultures get that sort of mockery disguided as flattery? Little to none, because folks know that it is disrespectful.

    I don’t know about this particular subculture dying off. There will always be people who express themselves by wearing clothes and accessories that scream “look at me”. Malcolm X wrote about how black men wore ridiculously loud colored clothes back in his days… It’s one thing for black or other folks to represent themselves in whatever fashion they want, but people need to understand that it is a sub-culture. We seem to be the only people defined by the most outlandish who deliberately set themselves outside of the “mainstream”.

    And as you rightly pointed out, MsMellody, these days that’s enough to create a lifetime of poverty and grief. There’s nothing romantic or authentic about a life filled with want and begging….

    Just like the Japanese girl will outgrow it. Hopefully, a lot of young girls here will outgrow the hiphop or “hood” style and work to look like functional adults.

    Glad you liked my post on this topic, MsMellody. Thanks for making your contributions. 🙂

  2. Oshun
    November 23rd, 2011 @ 3:22 PM

    Re: your comment from the other thread – Thank you Betty. I don’t know about providing great insight, but I am glad that sometimes my comments are beneficial.

    I do appreciate and like the example that you provided re mimicking Japanese culture. It would never be tolerated.

    This is not African American culture by any means. Imitating those subculture behaviors and style of dress don’t bother me. Saying this is the end all be all of AA culture is.

    And I am very deeply disturbed that some people/women think it is ok to openly imitate my very physical body. The one that is disrespected, unprotected, viewed as public, too sexual, and disposable.

    GoldenAh: See Oshun, those last two paragraphs you wrote are powerful. You again, summed up the essence of the problem with this misappropriation of a subculture: we are being turned into commodities (again). Our revulsion (in a historical context) is because we’ve had enough of it. Exploiters should try this mess with some other groups, but that doesn’t happen, because those groups wont allow it to happen.

    Always a pleasure to hear from you, Oshun. 🙂

  3. GoddessM
    November 27th, 2011 @ 3:37 PM

    I swear this video is like herpes of bwe sites recently.

    This “style” is nothing new. Its sometimes referred to as b-gyaru aka black girl. What I am finding new is the reaction to it and the lump summing of the japanese people over what some idiots do. Sound familiar?

    We’re reacting to this small subculture of a subculture like we’ve never heard of vanilla ice. Don’t get me wrong, this is an epic travesty but there are more than just “twits in japan” who can actually separate media from their ideas of what a culture is.

    And your role reversal is a real situation. It built Gwen Stefani’s career as well as Nicki Minaj

    GoldenAh: Thanks for defending stupidity, GoddessM.

    I meant some of them – by saying “group”, but I guess in your hot defense of the Japanese twits you feel like you taught me something. You have not.

    Regarding BWE sites: yes, we all think alike, we all talk alike, we all have midnight strategy sessions on doing the same shit day in and day out. I’m glad you noticed. That makes me proud.

    Take care. 😀

  4. Nkosazana
    November 27th, 2011 @ 3:54 PM

    Urgh. Now I get why black men flock to Japan, I bet they get hundreds of easy Japanese woman per month. They will put up with that to get a little bit of Asian p*()#. One day they may wake up like a lot of European have done and realise they are not really that good at sticking with those milk chocolate babies they create.

    No seriously. This is stupid. I don’t care what people say about them not meeting real black people…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djZIpmp_nVo

    Yeah. Spears and drums.

    GoldenAh: I want to caution those who may look at the link. You will feel assaulted. It could be bruising to the psyche. Again, once the total picture is complete, we understand the mimicry isn’t sincere or flattering imitation.

    I also want to say that I notice it’s only women involved in this clip, unless I missed a guy somewhere in there.

    I have nothing more to add, because like I said, if black folks over here did anything like that about these people they’d be asking our President for a response.

    Thanks for stopping by, Nkosazana.

  5. MsMellody
    November 27th, 2011 @ 5:34 PM

    Hi Betty!
    In my November 22nd comment to your article, I incorrectly stated ..”…or even participating in hegemony.”

    My apologies – I meant to say ..” or evn participating in HYPERGAMY.”

    That is a big difference in terms of the point I was making. I do hope that my correction will clear up my point I was making. That being – young ladies who participate in this kind of subculture will find it very difficult to MARRY UP – in the long term beneficial meaning of the word. The MARRYING UP which will afford you access to gated communities, social power, social presence, security etc.

    And yes, before any of your readers burn their little fingertips up on their keyboard to respond…yes there are no guaruntees in life that will provide you the “secure” assurance of perfection – there are as pointed out by another writer – great probabilities of certain things happening when you learn EARLY in life to mingle with men who share your values and actively SHOW you that they share your values.

    GoldenAh: Oh, I see what you mean. I gotcha. 🙂

    Thanks for the clarification, MsMellody.

  6. GoddessM
    November 27th, 2011 @ 5:39 PM

    I’m not defending anyone. I just dislike some of the tones people are using when it comes to this topic. I just hate seeing clips represent a people. You’re an adult, I came to you as someone with a different opinion not a tirade. Its just tiresome to see so many people fight marginalization by marginalizing.

    And

    GoldenAh: GoddessM, I like Asian people. I respect them like I do everybody else. Someone asked me to write on this topic. I did so. I’m just not happy seeing my people depicted in this fashion.

    I honestly feel that if we don’t say something, folks (even if it’s just four of them) will continue to think it is acceptable.

    They need to know why it is not right. If it seems like we’re bringing down the hammer, then sometimes that’s the necessary thing to do.

    And I get what you are saying.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  7. GoddessM
    November 27th, 2011 @ 5:41 PM

    Forget the and, my cell refuses to participate. Lmao. Happy holidays and belated welcome back.

    GoldenAh: Happy holidays! And let’s all work to keep it spicy. 😀

  8. meh
    November 29th, 2011 @ 5:31 AM

    “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?””

    Honestly, I doubt most of them would give a damn. It’s not like there aren’t tons of weeaboos (mostly white but some black) doing as much.

    Anyway, the video is ignorant and a shame but I can’t help but wonder why so many black blogs are are up in arms about some old ass video on some obscure, minor subculture. It’s kind of random.

    GoldenAh: The Japanese are people with high suicide rates. They actually have a sense of shame. They believe in saving face. That is something that seems to be lacking in a lot of black people out here in the west. And I believe we’re viewed as the embodiment of a culture of shamelessness, vulgarity and stupidity. That’s why these girls have to look like black people to be so outrageous. It’s easier to be ridiculous when dressed up and “acting” as a black person.

    But a number of us are not too bright: we think we’re being complimented, or we feign ennui. Gosh, we’re just too sophisticated to be “up in arms” about these clips and an “obscure, minor subculture.” Crack open a history book and read about racist propaganda, especially when it first starts off as harmless, innocent, good ol’ fun…

    ‘Cause rap music isn’t talking about you when it mentions bitches and nappy headed hoes, right? Goodness. The things that fly over people’s heads. SMH.

    That’s defense of stupidity, number 2. We’re on a role in this thread.

  9. meh
    December 5th, 2011 @ 12:44 PM

    Listen broad, I don’t know who you think you’re schooling over here but it ain’t me. Point me out to where I defended these dopes in my post, because I certainly don’t see it.

    My POINT is that this keyboard warrior routine isn’t gonna do a damn thing, they’re not reading this s&^t and probably wouldn’t care if they did.

    And again, WHY is this suddenly making the rounds now when this subculture has been around for years? Do you believe it’s only these Japanese kids who have this perception of black American culture and try to emulate it (up to a certain extent)? Nah, it’s worldwide, and the only thing that can be done is for us to stop sending out so many negative images of ourselves to the world.

    But carry on thinking you’re really doing something, lol.

    GoldenAh: Broad? OMG! You sure told me!!!! 🙂

    If you had actually read the blog post, you’d notice that SOMEONE ASKED ME to WRITE MY OPINION about the clip.

    If you had actually read the blog post, you’d notice I said it was STUPID. However, they are FREE to do as they please whether it is stupid, ignorant or racist. Whether anyone of them ever gets around to reading MY BLOG is IMMATERIAL.

    I don’t know, and I don’t care what other BLACK BLOGS are writing about. I work. I’m not reading every other blog out there.

    This is the stuff that works my nerves: Don’t ask me what or why ALL these other BLACK BLOGS are writing about or why stuff is circling the Internets. There is shit that has been circling for years.

    Any idiot who writes a comment talking about the WHYs or WHATEVERs regarding the contents of other BLACK BLOGS will be deleted and banned. I’m sick of the third grade comment snark. Save that garbage for Facebook.

    And listen, meh, if you want to know the answer to something crack open a history book or Google it. Don’t come here and be a smart ass on my blog. That’s why I called your comments a defense of stupidity. You offer some information; don’t just come here requesting answers like I work for you, or owe you something.

    Check yourself.

    And don’t ever come back here and waste my time again. Go mentally masturbate somewhere else.

    Thanks for stopping by and getting schooled.

    Have a nice life. Cheers. 🙂

  10. MsMellody
    December 7th, 2011 @ 6:05 PM

    Chiming in with a response to “meh”.

    Meh, ( which by your powers or lack there of with deduction ) your screen name sounds befitting ironically with your lack of insight..”meh…so..so”.

    But as to your take on the presentation of this video clip [But carry on thinking you’re really doing something, lol].

    The purpose of blogs like this ( of which I have seen your name at several.) is to foster an atmosphere of thought provoking discussion, reviews of media and how the media potrays AA women, and the like. The purpose also from the banner up above is to be directed by the author of this blog/site.

    That being said – if a reader (such as in this example – me ) has an idea that piques the interest of the author, and a reader submits a link/book title/ post title/interesting experience etc., then guess what – the author will take the time out of her day to write about it.

    Which in this innanet’ day and time attracts readers who then comment. And as a reader of blogs like this – who happens to be a student of life – I LEARN from blogs like this, I gain INSIGHT from blogs like this, Blogs like this have IMPACTED GREATLY upon my day to day interactions, outlook, and ability to not be gaslit by a person such as yourself.

    Because your premise that this blog author is quote unquote ” thinking your doing something by posting this” is doing JUST THAT – she IS doing something. See my personal list above for the instant replay. ( Notice how I slipped that little reference in at the end of that sentence..that is because from reviewing some of your other comments at other blogs with this similar interest …your comments strike me as decidedly male in tone..thought you’d like to know!!)

    Anywho..in the mean time try being respectful of the fact that Betty pointed out. When racist/disgusting view points are “performed” in public via disgraceful caricatures such as displayed in that video clip – it is our right to discuss them here..as well as in other areas of the blogosphere. And it is our duty to take them apart- bit by bit – with keen eyed clarity, discuss them, REFUTE them by exchange of information. And then it is our duty – if we choose to take it up – to conduct ourselves in such a manner in our lives whereby the caricature (see video above ) is absolutely REFUTED in everyone’s eyesight.

    So leave us be, as we go about the business of leaving people like yourself behind!!

    GoldenAh: MsMellody, bless you for chiming in and breaking it down for the mentally impaired! I was wondering how and when it became inappropriate for us to notice that foreigners are specifically mocking black women. This person came across to me as though we LOST the RIGHT to DISCUSS it, or that we NEVER had that right. How is talking about it confusing to this individual? There definitely are folks out there that think it’s okay to insult and denigrate us all day long, and that we should be submissively grateful and humble for the “attention.”

    And as you say, it’s difficult to believe that “meh” is a black woman either. Or this would have to be one that’s missing her (common sense) femininity and womanly spirit to notice that this kind of imitation is not flattery.

    This forum is for all of us that want to examine what’s going on, without feeling a need to be mindful of people who haven’t given one farthing of a thought as to what is disrespectful and harmful to us.

    Thanks again, MsMellody, you’ve definitely handled this with a better temperament than me. I am grateful to you for it. 😀



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