Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reality Check: African-Americans STILL Need To Have Racial Discipline In the Obama Era

Emmett Till before and after his trip down South. A reader mentioned the following news story during a recent conversation:


I said the following in response:

RESPONSE: I remember how furious I was as an undergrad when other Black students and I were singled out by campus security to have our backpacks searched as we left the libraries, etc. However...my friends and I did NOT associate with criminals. Now that I think about it, we didn't even associate with people who weren't also college students. We did NOT associate with anybody who had friends/relatives that were gang-involved, etc. We quietly excluded losers from our social circles.

We also didn't dress like hip-hop video criminals. Our range of clothing styles were basically the same as those among the White students at the time. From preppy to punk to new wave to grunge to the "standard uniform" of jeans and a t-shirt/blouse/Izod. A couple of things stand out to me about this unfortunate tale:

(1) The invented, ghetto names (including of the BF student who's whining).
(2) The access (key card) that another (BF) student apparently granted to a killer.
(3) The apparent ABC self-presentation of the whining BF student: "The honest answer to that is that I'm black and I'm poor and I'm from New York and I walk a certain way and I keep my clothes a certain way," she said." Really now, who wants to go to an Ivy League school to encounter ghetto bums? Who wants to be bothered with that?
(4) I would really be surprised if the "songwriter"-murder suspect is actually a songwriter and not an aspiring rapper. The reporter might have said "songwriter" out of political correctness.

As Evia has repeatedly pointed out, non-Blacks have a hard time telling us (normal, "survive and thrive" Black folks) from the "acting Black" mutants. I don't care about Harvard giving Miss Chenequa the boot. Good riddance to what sounds like bad trash. And maybe other "Sheniquas" will learn to STOP bringing ghetto trash onto that campus. That is, if they want to remain enrolled in Harvard.

I don't have much more to say about these sorts of news stories. There's very little left to say that hasn't already been said. These stories will continue to multiply unless and until WE change the cultural atmosphere that surrounds our children."
This incident brings up something that I touched upon during a comment to an earlier post. I said:

"It's too long for me to get into at length, but here's another example of what I mean by this. Non-AAs are often mystified by our current knee-jerk response of supporting Black criminals.

What non-AAs often don't understand (because they did not live through it) are the historical experiences that created these responses. Things like the Scottsboro boys, Emmett Till, other lynchings and Rosa Parks. These things are stories in history books for non-AAs. By contrast, these events are part of the LIVING MEMORY of my older relatives.

My paternal grandfather escaped a lynching because he looked White. That's why he ran away from the South. My friend's grandfather founded the Chicago church where Emmett Till's funeral was held. Emmett Till's funeral was a big deal, and a common, shared point of reference.

In terms of my living memory, the parents of most AAs in my age group (40s) made a POINT of showing us old pictures of what Emmett Till looked like in his open casket when we were around 11-12 years old. And, so did our teachers, for those of us who went to Black grammar schools/junior high schools.

They did this so that we could truly understand what lynching meant. Almost every AA I know in my age group saw that horrible picture as a pre-teen or young teenager."

As a result of the photos and the explanations surrounding them, most African-Americans in my age group and older were not naive about the potentially deadly consequences of wandering into unknown, non-Black residential areas. This horrible picture of Emmett Till was worth more than a thousand words about carefree wandering into certain places.

We were also not naive about the potential consequences of any of us "showing out" on a White campus, in a White workplace, in a majority White residential area, or any other White setting.

Our parents and other relatives drummed into our heads the message that if we "clowned" and did something inappropriate in a White setting, our actions would have consequences not just for us as individuals. But also for every African-American person that came to that particular setting after us. We were exhorted and raised to not be the Black person who screws things up for every Black person who comes behind us. This was one example of racial discipline.

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, my generation of African-Americans failed to communicate this message to our children. That's why there are African-Americans (like the foolish Black female college student interviewed in this story) who are shocked that there's a backlash splashing onto them when other Blacks do inappropriate things.

Many of us want to believe that those days are over; and we're living in a post-racial country. Well . . . on some levels, yes. On others levels, NO. We need to snap out of our Obama-induced delirium and understand that we're still perceived in a category separate, apart and inferior from everybody else.

As I've mentioned before, everybody except African-Americans is in the process of becoming perceived as White. I see this in the police reports and government forms that I work with everyday. Unless somebody is blue-black in color and without a single strand of hair that could be called wavy, they are classified as "White" on these forms. This includes deep-brown East Indians. This includes Black Arabs. This includes deep-brown, Indian Latinos. This includes everybody except African-Americans.

One benefit of being perceived as either White or sort-of White, is the ability to access portions of White privilege. This is why a Korean student at Virgina Tech could kill over 30 people on campus without his actions leading to a pogrom against Korean or Asian students on White campuses. This does not apply to us. Anything any one of us does will most likely be held against the rest of us.

Just like before the Obama era. We still have a need for racial discipline.
*Note* Here's an excellent blog post about the importance of "understanding where you are."http://www.groupnewsblog.net/2007/09/do-you-understand-where-you-are.html

127 comments:

Enlightened said...

Hey Khadija!

I totally agree with the general premise of this post. On a predominantly white campus, a black student absolutely has to be aware that they are being watched at all times. Some black folks do get on campus and forget this tidbit until they have a run-in with the campus police or a racist white student and get a reality check. And trust, this attitude of "I'ma do me all up on this white campus no matter what" was there before Obama even got on the scene. Since I graduated, I heard this mindset on my undergraduate campus has gotten WORSE.

However I have some questions/comments:

1) What is Chanequa supposed to do about her name being Chanequa? I know the ghetto names our cousins are coming up with these days are ridiculous and frankly embarrassing, but I guess I don't understand what the origin of HER name has to do with anything. She is not the suspect or the victim. She has no control over her name and aside from changing it or slapping her mama, there's not much she can do about it. Obviously her name was not a significant issue to Harvard's admissions committee.

2) Where did it say a black female gave the killer an access card?

3) Where do you get the impression that she's "ghetto trash"? Just because she said she's poor and from NY and dresses a certain way?

4) Dressing similar to white students and not acting out does not make you exempt from racism on a white campus. In fact, the white students at my UG institution frequently made ignorant assumptions about other students of color [b]during classroom discussions[/b]. Your wardrobe was irrelevant. I know you didn't say that, but I know quite a few black students who think their Abercrombie jeans and Polo shirts make them different than the black students who wear chains and jerseys. They will be disappointed when they find out otherwise. That very article mentions a black professor who had an altercation with the police because he supposedly matched a description of a criminal they were looking for. If the black professors can get hemmed up, I can't imagine what the students deal with!

5) The Emmett Till murder was atrocious and my family surely showed me the picture and had that discussion with me. But I have to be honest: I've seen plenty of BWE bloggers rip black men to shreds for cat calling/whistling at/"hey baby"ing Black women, which apparently is the same thing Emmett Till was doing. He certainly did not deserve to die for it, but I wonder how some of the BWE bloggers would react to an Emmett Till in 2009.

Your post just seems to be really harsh on Chenequa when, according to the article, she wasn't even involved in the shooting aside from knowing the killer's girlfriend. From what I've read, I think she has a reason to be upset. This looks like racial profiling at its finest.

Anonymous said...

Again, we are defending bad behavior. Just google the case there are several articles that give more info. Essentially,

-she was buying drugs from the deceased

-Her boyfriend, not a student, was given her access card

-Her boyfriend planned on robbing the deceased.

- Altercation follows, drug dealer is shot.

So as a woman at Harvard, the Ivy league, why are you hanging around with someone who is not on the same path as you? Who has a criminal mindset. The majority of the parents pay $40K+ so that their kids can go there, and they do not expect shoot outs in the dormitory.

Why can't we be held accountable for our bad decisions? Her behavior is going to reflect on every poor Black women coming there from now on. You are at Harvard, you should be leaving the hood behind not bringing it with you. (also note she was on scholarship and had been mentored to come to Harvard for several years)

Of course she is not totally to blame, I am sure she was pressured to keep it real and not forget where she came from.

Khadija said...

Enlightened,

[Blogger is doing something strange again. I'll have to break up my reply into sections.]

Part 1:

I'm happy you asked. This is why these sorts of posts are called "Reality Check." LOL! Let's go through it point by point:

You said, "What is Chanequa supposed to do about her name being Chanequa? I know the ghetto names our cousins are coming up with these days are ridiculous and frankly embarrassing, but I guess I don't understand what the origin of HER name has to do with anything. She is not the suspect or the victim. She has no control over her name and aside from changing it or slapping her mama, there's not much she can do about it. Obviously her name was not a significant issue to Harvard's admissions committee."------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Profiles get started for a reason. It's not always "pure" racism. People aren't totally stupid. Folks notice the correlation between certain attributes and certain behaviors. Some traits really ARE a fairly consistent proxy for other traits. The unfortunate reality is that "ghetto issues" (inappropriate, unprofessional behavior, violence, crime) tend to accompany people wearing "ghetto names." For example, the Black lawyers I see at work doing totally inappropriate names (such as speaking "Ebonics" in court) tend to have these made up, ghetto names.

These invented, ghetto names MARK people as having been produced and raised by folks with slum values. People tend to stick with whatever values (functional or dysfunctional) that they were raised with.

If Chanequa had any sense, she would stop using/change that invented name. Above and beyond this incident, that sort of name leads to one having one's resume thrown away. I know that I would discard resumes bearing these sorts of names. Hiring/admitting folks with ghetto names tends lead to having to deal with ghetto problems in that particular setting.

Khadija said...

Part 2:

You said: "Where did it say a black female gave the killer an access card?"----------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: The news story didn't directly say this. But let's put 2 + 2 together. The story said "Chanequa Campbell, of New York, is a friend of the shooting suspect's girlfriend, another Harvard student, but has no connection to the suspect or the victim, her attorney, Jeffrey Karp, told The Associated Press.
. . . Copney gained access to the Kirkland House dorm with an electronic card key given to him by a student, prosecutors said. That key did not come from Campbell, Karp said. Campbell was at an exam and at work the day of the shooting and lives in a part of the dorm far from the scene."
Birds of a feather tend to flock together.

Now, it IS possible that this friend of Miss Chenequa's who is ALSO the suspect's girlfriend could be non-Black. If so, that would explain why this other girl's name isn't being thrown around in the media in connection to this shooting.

However, I wonder what the odds are of an "acting Black crew" BF having a non-BF as her friend on that campus. Over the years, I've learned while doing criminal defense work that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. It seems to me that the odds are that this friend is also Black.

Khadija said...

Part 3:

You said, "Where do you get the impression that she's "ghetto trash"? Just because she said she's poor and from NY and dresses a certain way?"-------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Miss Chenequa's statement of ". . . Campbell told The Boston Globe for a story Tuesday she believed she was being "singled out."
"The honest answer to that is that I'm black and I'm poor and I'm from New York and I walk a certain way and I keep my clothes a certain way," she said."
is practically the ANTHEM of the "acting Black crew" when they are faced with the logical, predictable CONSEQUENCES of their self-presentation choices.

What Black folks need to get through their heads is that these hip-hop, ghetto (read: criminal) "uniforms" have CONSEQUENCES attached to wearing them. Just like a White person running around in a Ku Klux Klan hood and sheet has CONSEQUENCES attached to wearing it. We don't listen to excuses from Whites for making "I'm dressed like a violent racist" fashion statements. Why should anybody listen to our excuses when we make "I'm dressed the way many criminals from 'the hood' dress" fashion statements?

Spend a day in the criminal courts. You will see an endless parade of Black defendants wearing the exact SAME style of clothes---the hip-hop video, ghetto uniforms of saggin' pants, long white t-shirts, etc. You will also noted that there's VERY little deviation among how the Black defendants are dressed. That's why I call it a "uniform."

Just from watching people enter criminal court buildings, one can usually pick out the defendants and their relatives from everybody else. [For those who live in Chicago, it would be instructive to go to the front steps at 26th & California and watch who's coming in and out of that building.]

People are NOT being unreasonable when they steer clear of, and give heightened scrutiny to, folks wearing these "dressed for gangbanging" unforms.

You said, "Dressing similar to white students and not acting out does not make you exempt from racism on a white campus."--------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Didn't I describe my OWN experiences with campus racism as an undergrad? However, we need to understand that choosing to come onto a White campus wearing gangbanger "uniforms" IS making a statement about yourself. You're saying that you're trouble, and you need to be watched. And you need to be avoided.

This comprehension of basic, common-sense reality (making the wrong self-presentation choices leads to negative consequences) was part of the racial discipline earlier generations of AAs were raised with. Most of us knew better than to do something like that.

My parents' generation would NOT entertain philosophical arguments asserting one's "right" to go to a White campus dressed like a criminal.
THAT'S CRAZY, and that's NOT what folks' spent their hard-earned money on college tuition for!

Khadija said...

Part 4:

You said, "The Emmett Till murder was atrocious and my family surely showed me the picture and had that discussion with me. But I have to be honest: I've seen plenty of BWE bloggers rip black men to shreds for cat calling/whistling at/"hey baby"ing Black women, which apparently is the same thing Emmett Till was doing. He certainly did not deserve to die for it, but I wonder how some of the BWE bloggers would react to an Emmett Till in 2009."-------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: When the adults around me talked about Emmett Till and the photos, the point was NOT to convey the message: "You better not offend/upset White people." I was NOT raised to be afraid of Whites or normal White settings. Tiptoeing through KNOWN-racist & violent Chicago-area neighborhoods like Cicero, Marquette Park, etc. was another matter. Obviously, doing so would be to take one's life into one's hands.

What I'm talking about with this post is the racial discipline to know better than to "clown" in normal White settings such as a White campus or work environment. The purpose of the Emmett Till discussions was not just about the potentially deadly risk of carelessly wandering into unknown, non-Black areas.

It was about making sure that I understood:

(1) That the consequences of doing something questionable or downright inappropriate in White settings would be different AND enhanced for me as a Black person in these settings.

(2) That, if I did something questionable/inappropriate, I was NOT going to be given the same "pass" that Whites give each other (and now give to those they feel are sort-of White).

(3) That these consequences would not be just for me; they would be inflicted on the Black people who came behind me.

(4) That my presence in these places is NOT fancy-free and footloose. That I need to THINK about whatever I'm doing while I'm there. That I need to understand "where I am."

Apparently, NONE of this has been communicated to modern AAs. They seem to mistakenly believe that they're going to get the same "pass" that non-Blacks get. NO. That's what this post is about. Miss Chenequa is creating consequences for herself and other Black students by her self-presentation and affiliations. She's messing up for more than herself. I don't have any sympathy for her. She and other AAs need to wake up and smell the coffee.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

I almost forgot Part 5:

I'm not totally convinced that Emmett Till actually whistled or catcalled at a White woman. I'm somewhat reluctant to but into this version of events. First, it's buying into the racist murderers' self-proclaimed "justification" for torturing and then killing him. That type of scum does NOT need a "reason" tied to behavior to murder Blacks. They often tortured and killed our people for ENTERTAINMENT.

Second, a few years back there was a Black filmmaker working on a documentary about Emmett Till. I heard several interviews with him on local Black-oriented radio stations.

As I vaguely recall, he had apparently uncovered evidence that a [traitorous, cowardly] Negro had helped the White murderers dispose of Emmett Till's body. It seems to me that there's a lot of details about what led up to Emmett Till's murder that we still don't know about.

So, for all we know, Emmett Till never street-harassed any woman at all while he was down South. Therefore, his case cannot reasonably be compared with the KNOWN details of cases involving Negroes attacking and shooting BW who refuse to give them their phone numbers.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

anna said...

part 1/2

This is just a guess, but my guess is that her removal was over the drugs.

The victim (the girl's friend's bf) was selling drugs might have made the college suspect her of being aware of that. The murder was the result of a drug deal gone wrong - the girl didn't appear to have anything to do with that.

But that's completely irrelevant: if she knew that there was drug activity in the dorms, and didn't report it (or, god forbid, was suspected of participating) then they could ask her to leave. Or it could be as simple as the shooter implicating her, rather than his girlfriend, and the school having her leave until it's all figured out.

Universities sometimes take administrative measures to deal with crime (dismissal, restriction of being on campus at all) instead of pressing charges. And because a student actually died (plus the fact that there were guns on campus, period) the school might well ask for anyone associated with this to be removed until the whole situation is settled, even if the person isn't formally charged.

The very least reason is because this is a PR nightmare. The school is built upon a certain reputation, and the last thing that Harvard, as an institution, wants is to be thought of as a location of secret drug rings that get people robbed and shot. Or that their minority scholarship students are the instigators of these actions. This is not what alumni donors want to hear, and colleges are very responsive to the concerns of their donor base. Especially when their alumni are as powerful/rich as the ones from Harvard.

anna said...

part 2/2 (blogger didnt want it all at once)

Not to say she should go down quietly, or that she deserves what's happening, but if she's suspected of being involved at all -- I mean, AT ALL, by knowledge or action, they will immediately respond. The suspicion alone will incite them to do this. And realistically, even if she's not involved, what can she do? The lawyer strength that the school possesses is far greater than what a scholarship student can obtain. So they can afford to delay her until they get to the bottom of it. She probably can't afford to fight it. And what is she fighting? The ability to attend commencement isn't something she can afford to fight -- they can argue the honor/conduct code against her. The only thing she could reasonably argue is that she was proven to be innocent and was expelled anyway.

As an individual against the institution, she's in a vulnerable position. Being a poor student doesn't improve matters. She's earned an amazing opportunity, and this is where some prudence was necessary. There's no way now to tell what she did or didn't know, but with so much at risk, and so little ability to dodge the crap hitting the fan, one would hope that she'd had the sense not to associate herself with anyone doing anything illegal...her friends may well be her undoing.

And there's no doubt there's racism at Harvard - there's racism everywhere. But if you know that you're being targeted, don't be stupid about it: don't align yourself more strongly with the reason that got you targeted in the first place. Especially when things go sour. The right answer here was something that would have covered her behind, like:

I am near graduation and I have been happy and proud to be a Harvard student. I came here on a scholarship, and I worked my tail off both to get here and to make the most of this amazing opportunity. I would never, ever ever do anything or associate with anyone that would jeopardize the people at this school. I trust that the real perpetrators will be found and punished.

She should have been sympathetic, distancing her image from those involved, and focusing on her work ethic and grades. But she jumped square into the "I'm dressed and acting like the drug dealers/killers and what Harvard thinks criminals look like, but I'm not involved so don't blame me for wearing the uniform."

This is not a good survival tactic. It looks really bad when you accentuate the negative and use it as a defense.

The school's not making the same mistake. They're saying, "we love Harvard, and we would never ever ever associate with anyone that would put this school in jeopardy. So we got rid of the students that we thought posed a risk."

The fundamental issue here is the institution's desire to protect itself. Racism can/probably is helping this along, but really...it didn't need any help. It's bad enough on it's own.

anna said...

ehh -- I meant to say "she should have made herself appear sympathetic by distancing her image from those involved, and focusing her image on her work ethic and grades."

I can understand a person not wanting to change who they are or how they present themselves. But at the point where it's going to be an issue against you, it's necessary to let everyone know that you really do belong in the group, even if your appearance doesn't immediately mark that.

Like, there are anti-racist skinheads. They're in the scene, but against neonazism and racism. This means two things:

1. They have to accept the fact that some people aren't going to risk getting to know them, just because of appearance.

2. They have to work overtime to act differently from the racist skinheads, so people that do give them a chance are quickly steered to the correct assessment of what the non-racists believe. They've got to make sure they understand and deflect the negative images associated with their appearances.

But people want expression w/o effort -- they don't want the judgement, and they want to avoid the work needed to override the negative stereotype. It just doesn't work that way.


Another example - a buddy of mine dresses (and is) a crunchy hippie type. But he is in a customer-related setting, is a very hard worker, and wants to be seen as such. So he had to modify his image, taking on some of the stereotypical markers of high-level professionalism (his clothes), to balance his granola-toed self. And when he's working, he purposefully takes on a conservative demeanor, instead of his typical goofiness so people take him the way he sees himself.

So there can be balance, but it comes with a price tag.

I'm sorry for being such a comment-hog! :(

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,


This leaves a poor taste in my mouth. Pun intended I suppose.

Her comment about being poor, black etc made me cringe. My feelings are all over the place, but my first thought was what does that have to do with anything? Why say that?


Perhaps she is trying to get sympathy/support from other AAs to by saying this?

But if that is her strategy then I would have never mentioned race or class - I would have just presented myself as the most wholesome wonderful AA student that Harvard ever had - which would have been true and just laid low and got my ducks in a row. Depending on what happened when things settled - then I would have stuck it to them.


But that comment felt so stinging. It feels humiliating and degrading.


Even if she wasn't at Harvard why would she be friends with drug dealers? I mean not just school penalties in general, but federal/state aid penalties are harsh for students who end up with drug convictions. Even is she was at state u somewhere why chance it?



I am praying that she is not guilty, but my feeling is that she may be. I mean if she is smart enough to be aware of all the ways that she doesn't fit in, smart enough to even succeed at an Ivy school then she has to know the ramifications of her actions- associating with dealers etc..


Which make me think that maybe the comment about being poor and black and from NY are a poorly constructed Blago-ish ploy.

Khadija said...

Anna,

Please don't worry about being a so-called "comment hog"! LOL! You're adding some valuable insights to this conversation.

And you're saying them in a much more graceful, and diplomatic way than I can muster at the moment. I'm saying many of the same things the rough way---I'm not really editing my comments to make them more palatable.

I'm DEEPLY annoyed that the common sense "reality checks" that you've patiently explained have apparently NOT been communicated to the generations that came after me.

How did we get so far out of touch with reality? I know that part of the answer is many AAs' desperate desire to believe that all of that negative historical stuff is completely over. But this mass notion of "there won't be any consequences for my choices" is amazing to me.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Aphrodite,

You said, "Her comment about being poor, black etc made me cringe. My feelings are all over the place, but my first thought was what does that have to do with anything? Why say that? Perhaps she is trying to get sympathy/support from other AAs to by saying this?"-----------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: The way that statement came off to me was that it's probably sincere. Most of the defendants that I've represented are really into that whole "pity party" thing. And that "Oooh, I'm poor, so feel sorry for me" stuff usually DOES work with other AAs.

We have a knee-jerk response of rallying around such persons. For the historical reasons I mentioned in the post. However, earlier self-proclaimed (and usually real) victims held up their end of the "y'all need to rally around me" equation: They were NOT asking us to rally around them for doing something inappropriate.

Like I said earlier, the message my elders communicated to me about the Emmett Till situation was NOT "Don't upset/offend Whites." The message was "Be aware of where you are. Think about what you're doing while you're there. Make sure that you're in the right. Make them have to LIE on you if they're going to do something to you. DON'T give them the baseball bat to hit you in the head with!"

There's are righteous problems that are IMPOSED on Black people by racists. And then there are "unrighteous" problems that are generated by Black folks' own choices.

I'm not going to rally around some unrighteous mess that was totally unnecessary. As far as I'm concerned, bump Miss Chenequa. She's a liability for the rest of us.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

"Like I said earlier, the message my elders communicated to me about the Emmett Till situation was NOT "Don't upset/offend Whites." The message was "Be aware of where you are. Think about what you're doing while you're there. Make sure that you're in the right. Make them have to LIE on you if they're going to do something to you. DON'T give them the baseball bat to hit you in the head with!"

You are absolutely correct, Khadija. I have had this type of conversation with my oldest daughter numerous times. It is NOT about being afraid of anyone. It's about understanding where you are, and how people view you. To take these things into consideration at ALL times, in ALL places, around ALL folks.

It's funny, because I received a phone call from my daughter's school about a year ago. She and another child (a boy) was involved in an altercation. He slapped something out of her hand.

Because my daughter and I had these kinds of talks in my home prior to her ever entering school, she knew what to do, and how to carry herself. To make a long story short, her guidance counselor was calling to APOLOGIZE TO me. To make sure my daughter's feelings was not hurt and to let us know that an apology (from the boy and the school) was to be issued the very next day.

I am certain if I had raised my daughter any other way, they would have found a way to nail us to the cross.

One other thing, raising an AA child up any other way, leads to constant confusion and frequent battles. I will not live my life like that, nor will I raise my children like that. It is my duty (as a parent) to minimize the amount of "fighting" my children get into. To teach them how to fight, when to fight and most importantly --how to win.

One of the only guaranteed ways my children can win is by (as you mentioned Khadija) making sure they remember where they are at ALL times.

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,


"The way that statement came off to me was that it's probably sincere. Most of the defendants that I've represented are really into that whole "pity party" thing. And that "Oooh, I'm poor, so feel sorry for me" stuff usually DOES work with other AAs."



You are right it is a pity party statement, but it is like she is saying being poor and black is being defective/handicapped/deviant - like she has no pride- like she can't stand on her own . I guess this is a real life example of the keep it real/class hateration mentality.


I will say that although I was never told explicitly about conducting myself around whites- I did get lots of implied info from stories, conversations that adults in my family had, and watching their behavior around whites.


The messages I got were not about "showing out" (as if that needed to be discussed), but there was so much talk about sundown towns - which still exist here, or about the beliefs that felt that some whites held about AAs and so the adults would exhibit certain behaviors to counteract what they felt were certain assumptions.



I do recalled being told that there were certain things that you didn't talk about with and in front of whites


I however did drink the kumbaya kool aid - so I thought that my mother and other family members were being dramatic, but as an adult and after having a few experiences I see that there is some truth to what they were saying.

Khadija said...

DeStouet,

You said, "I have had this type of conversation with my oldest daughter numerous times. It is NOT about being afraid of anyone. It's about understanding where you are, and how people view you. To take these things into consideration at ALL times, in ALL places, around ALL folks."-----------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: This is common sense. What's interesting is that people who really HAVE "overcome" as a group (Asians) are still VERY racially disciplined. Most of the Asians I've encountered are very conscious of not doing things in White settings that would reflect badly on their group. Even though Whites aren't looking at them like that.

You said, "One other thing, raising an AA child up any other way, leads to constant confusion and frequent battles. I will not live my life like that, nor will I raise my children like that. It is my duty (as a parent) to minimize the amount of "fighting" my children get into. To teach them how to fight, when to fight and most importantly --how to win."----------------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: You're right. Failure to raise AA children to understand "where they are" doesn't just lead to fighting constant battles. It leads to fighting constant, LOSING battles over the WRONG things.
______________________________

Aphrodite,

You said, "I however did drink the kumbaya kool aid - so I thought that my mother and other family members were being dramatic, but as an adult and after having a few experiences I see that there is some truth to what they were saying."---------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: It's one thing when a child foolishly rejects the survival information given by their elders. That's on the child (who often has to come running back to the family when they get blindsided and "burned" in White settings).

It's something totally else to fail to teach one's children how to make it and win in White settings. You've reminded me of something pathetic and funny I overheard a few years ago. One of the near-retirement age group Black secretaries at work was scolding a BM juvenile delinquent client as he waited in the office lobby for his attorney.

She said, "Why are you walking around with your drawers showing, a huge earring, and a gold tooth like a pirate?! You're not going to be able to get a job looking like that. What are you doing?" He started the ABC "anthem" of "I dress how I like; people shouldn't judge me, blah, blah, blah..." She quickly cut him off.

She said, "You're not going to get a job looking like that. How are you going to make it in life? Are you goind to spend the rest of your life standing on the corner yelling "Rock, weed, blow"?" He shrugged his shoulders. Apparently, standing on corners yelling out "Rock, weed, blow" WAS his plan for life. Oh well.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Sister Seeking said...

Of course she is not totally to blame, I am sure she was pressured to keep it real and not forget where she came from. -Anonymous

Talk about crabs in a barrel! Yet, another reason to flee the ABC crew, and their strongholds! They have a history for leaving a trail of chaos, and destruction.
What a shame this student, allowed her conscience to be manipulated at the expense at an opportunity some would die for…

roslynholcomb said...

You've brought back some memories with this one! Of course, I remember my folks showing me the Till photos, and telling us about how to comport ourselves with dignity. I can still hear my mother telling me that life isn't fair, and that people will judge you on your skin color. Given that fact, it's totally illogical to give them a stick to beat you, and every other black person they encountered, over the head with. Of course, my parents put it a bit more bluntly than that, but that was the gist of what they said.

I shake my head at this young lady. She had an almost unimaginable opportunity and chose to squander it. Because of her, the next Chenequa to come along is far less likely to be given this chance.

I think somewhere along the line black folk have really gotten it into their heads that life is not only fair, but that they're owed something because they're 'black and poor.' Uh no. I've been black and poor for quite a while now, and that's so not happening. If anything, people are going to give you even less access primarily because that mess played out in the Reagan Administration.

If you're fortunate enough to reach the Ivy League and not have enough sense to let the ABC crew go, trust me, that opportunity will dry up so fast it'll give you windburn. There's too much money at stake. Harvard has an endowment in the billions of dollars, they can't afford to have this kind of nonsense going on.

I was afraid that something like this would go down when they announced these scholarships for 'disadvantaged' young people. I remember something similar occurring at the small public school I attended. Everything was cool when I first arrived, then they decided to start advertising on 'urban' radio. Things went from sugar to, well you know.

These schools are not going to take the time and energy to screen for the best of us. They've decided to let some Negroes in, and they really don't care about the caliber. In fact, it's to their benefit to admit low-quality people. That way they can say, "Look at them, even with an Ivy League education they still act like this."

They don't have anything invested in elevating the black community. In fact, they have the exact opposite. And, of course, we continue to give them that stick.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Greetings, Khadija!

I was raised in NY, and I just spoke to the folks about it; they had not heard the story.

My dad moaned, "Lord have mercy!" He said, "PVW, start saying you are from Virginia"!

My mom: "Those who assemble, resemble..." In other workds, if you hang with them, you will start to look like them and act like them. The world will presume you are one of them, no matter how hard you try to claim you are not!

Another one of those words of wisdom from the "old folks"!

Like you said, it is as though some bits of wisdom, of how to act when out in the world, especially in the white world, has become lost for a whole bunch of people!

Perhaps she is the only striver of her generation in her family? If there were any strivers of earlier generations, perhaps they are long gone or have no influence today????

This pity party thing reminds me of something. Earlier generations of poor blacks, like their poor white and immigrant counterparts, defined themselves as poor BUT dignified (working class), which has long been a trope in American history and culture, one which brought the Republicans numerous election victories in recent years.

It is the recognizable trope from which M. Obama defined herself and her family: it resonates in this culture and throughout the world as something positive.

Doesn't Chenequa have any clue of what describing herself as a poor black woman means in this modern day context? Since the Moynihan report, it does not mean poor BUT dignified; it means poor AND dysfunctional.

Do we have to call central casting to show this young woman all the images throughout the media and popular culture, of how she is defining herself, and what that means?????

ak said...

Khadija

OMG A black person helped those white people bury Emmet Till? [shakes head alot]

That is just too sad. This is why I said what I said about black unity back in the day.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Further thoughts, thinking about the Emmett Till story.

At the time, of course, the story became a means of teaching young black men and women how to act in public, all-white settings, of being careful in how they interact with whites, so as to avoid those sorts of confrontations, to "know one's surroundings..."

Focusing on the young black male angle, what is striking is the way it is taken as a criticism, of course, of Jim Crow, but thinking about the gender angle, the popular contemporary understanding from the left is that his behavior was harmless, but for the Jim Crow issue.

I don't know whether parents back then mentioned this, but there seems to be no discussion, however, in this modern day context, of what might be appropriate behavior for a young man with respect to catcalling. Do young men want to present themselves that way, as men who would act like that?

It is the same issue at stake, when the secretary in your office spoke to the young man, asking him whether he intends to present himself as a thug for the rest of his life.

Lorraine said...

"It's something totally else to fail to teach one's children how to make it and win in White settings. You've reminded me of something pathetic and funny I overheard a few years ago. One of the near-retirement age group Black secretaries at work was scolding a BM juvenile delinquent client as he waited in the office lobby for his attorney.

She said, "Why are you walking around with your drawers showing, a huge earring, and a gold tooth like a pirate?! You're not going to be able to get a job looking like that. What are you doing?" He started the ABC "anthem" of "I dress how I like; people shouldn't judge me, blah, blah, blah..." She quickly cut him off.

She said, "You're not going to get a job looking like that. How are you going to make it in life? Are you goind to spend the rest of your life standing on the corner yelling "Rock, weed, blow"?" He shrugged his shoulders. Apparently, standing on corners yelling out "Rock, weed, blow" WAS his plan for life. Oh well."

Boy is this a familiar scenario. Having issued many a petition "arrest warrant for juveniles" I saw this way too many times. And at the end of the day after trying to reach them, and show them their errors, they still reject reality and the "straight- to-the-adult-system or death path they are on and all you can say is "Oh well". The listen just enough to blame white people for the stupid choices they made to be waiting on an attorney in the first place. They identify as victims of white society and although we know there is enough of that to go around, it is not usually the facts in these cases. A white person told you get get up and take marijuana to school? OK. It's all their fault. Unfortunately, that group with the 5 letters in its name and so called Reverends are too quick to sell this bill of Non-goods and too many of us buy into it.

Muse said...

Khadija,

I commend you for speaking so honestly about the issue of race on academic campuses. As I mentioned in my reply on Lisa Vazquez’s blog, this situation at Harvard is sad on many levels. What in the world are Ivy Black students doing associating with criminal elements? This may come off as harsh but this situation will make people question if Blacks from impoverished backgrounds should be allowed at this types of institutions. Harvard is an amazing opportunity and for the life of me I can’t comprehend why anyone in their right mind would risk jeopardizing their status there. Chanequa is the prime example of a Black person who fails to adapt to their environment. Obviously the young lady is intelligent to be at Harvard but lacks common sense.

All the information of what actually happened that night has not been revealed; however Harvard wouldn’t take extreme actions unless they had strong evidence that Chanequa was involved somehow or violated university policy. I believe in the upcoming weeks, more information will be revealed about how she is connected to the murder. If she did loan her key card to the man who killed the Harvard student, they may have cause to keep her from graduating.

Unfortunately many Black people who grew up in all black urban enclaves don’t understand that they can’t bring hood behavior to mainstream environments, especially at a place like Harvard. You have to be the one to change your mindset and behavior when you enter new environments. Some Blacks have this entitlement complex where they believe that Non-Blacks have to accept them and all their baggage. My gut tells me that Harvard will throw this young woman under the bus if it means saving face. She has no connections or influence. The fact that Chanequa is speaking to the media before her name is completely cleared is pure insanity and her attorney should be fired. She’s not out of deep water yet. The suspect accused of murdering the Harvard student may implicate her in the crime. It wouldn’t be the first or the last time that a criminal tries to bring as many people down with them.

Ensayn1 said...

Khadija, I would like to clear up something concerning Emmett Till's murder.
@Enlightened, Young Mr. Till never whistled/cat called anyone including a white woman. Mr. Till suffered from a very overwhelming stuttering problem. Often when he would attempt to speak a slight whistle would preceed his speech. This was the excuse used to murder the boy from up north. I know personally the scorn whites would have for Black people in their little Mississippi towns that were from out west, as in my case or from up north.
Khadija, you are correct. Another Black person helped to dispose of Emmett Till's body. It is reportedly is cousin that participated in the disposal of his body, and in fact he was given over to the whites by his family out of fear. A fear NONE of us will EVER understand. I watched a PBS documentary on the court preceedings, I couldn't call it a trial. In the documentary, reporters were shown asking other Black people in the town what they thought of the outcome of the "court program" (my words). It was astounding to see all these Black people of ALL ages bow their heads and refuse to comment on the case. Visible oppression!

Khadija said...

Part 1:

SisterSeeking,

You said, "What a shame this student, allowed her conscience to be manipulated at the expense at an opportunity some would die for…"-----------------------------------------------------------------
RESPONSE: Miss Chenequa might not have been under any particular pressure to so-called "keep it real." For all we know, she might be a true believer in "acting Black."
___________________________

Roslyn,

You said, "These schools are not going to take the time and energy to screen for the best of us. They've decided to let some Negroes in, and they really don't care about the caliber. In fact, it's to their benefit to admit low-quality people. That way they can say, "Look at them, even with an Ivy League education they still act like this."

They don't have anything invested in elevating the black community. In fact, they have the exact opposite. And, of course, we continue to give them that stick."
--------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: As you've pointed out, letting in AA ghetto bums WORKS on several levels for the racists within these White schools:

(1) First of all, they can meet their diversity numbers without having these same AA students graduate. They can maintain diversity numbers by admitting a rotating set of ABC fools who never graduate.

The ABC nuts are almost certain to do something to get themselves booted out of such places. So the White school gets the diversity credit without creating AA graduates who are competitive with their White children.

(2) The racists within these institutions don't want to be bothered with even the highest caliber AAs. They prefer foreign Blacks (if they just have to be bothered with Blacks at all).

After enough "Sheniqua antics," these schools will have justification for OPENLY favoring foreign Blacks over AAs for admission. They can shift that scholarship for poor Blacks" money to some poor student from Somalia, etc.
_______________________

PioneerValleyWoman,

You said, "Doesn't Chenequa have any clue of what describing herself as a poor black woman means in this modern day context? Since the Moynihan report, it does not mean poor BUT dignified; it means poor AND dysfunctional.

Do we have to call central casting to show this young woman all the images throughout the media and popular culture, of how she is defining herself, and what that means?????"
-------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Miss Chenequa might feel that "poor and dysfunctional" is all the more reason why she's "entitled" to a pity party.

Khadija said...

Part 2:

AK,

You said, "OMG A black person helped those white people bury Emmet Till? [shakes head alot]

That is just too sad. This is why I said what I said about black unity back in the day."
--------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Respectfully, you're not understanding the time, the place, or the gravity of the situation. Part of this is because, due to our over-emphasis on "love" anad "reconciliation," AAs never used accurate terminology to describe what was happening. Our ancestors felt that it was too harsh to call these things what they actually were.

The South was basically a series of open-air concentration camps for AAs. If asked, I would imagine that the Negro who helped dispose of Emmett Till's body would probably have said that he had no choice: It was comply with the White murderers commands, OR also be tortured and murdered.

From Wikipedia:

"The main suspects were acquitted, but later admitted to committing the crime.

Till's mother insisted on a public funeral service, with an open casket to show the world the brutality of the killing: Till had been beaten and his eye had been gouged out, before he was shot through the head and thrown into the Tallahatchie River with a 70-pound cotton gin fan tied to his body with barbed wire. His body was in the river for three days before it was discovered and retrieved by two fishermen."
How many concentration camp prisoners would resist commands from Nazi guards who are empowered to torture and kill you on the spot? Especially when you're looking at the body of another prisoner who had his eye...gouged...out...before he was finally killed.

I'm NOT justifying what any Negro collaborators did. I'm putting it in its proper context. People will ask: "Why didn't they just run away from the South?" Many AAs did run away. This is why I don't have any relatives in the South. All of my elders ran away from such places. Much of this was during what history books call "The Great Migration."However, there were still often problems with running away. So many AAs ran away that in some Southern towns, the White sheriffs and Klan members would keep the train stations under surveillance to prevent AAs from getting on those trains to leave. With consequences such as beatings dished out to any AA who seemed like they wanted to leave their town.
_______________________

Lorraine,

You said, "They identify as victims of white society and although we know there is enough of that to go around, it is not usually the facts in these cases. A white person told you get get up and take marijuana to school? OK. It's all their fault."------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Yes, it's really quite crazy.

Khadija said...

Part 3:

Muse,

Thank you for your kind words. I truly appreciate it. You said, "What in the world are Ivy Black students doing associating with criminal elements? This may come off as harsh but this situation will make people question if Blacks from impoverished backgrounds should be allowed at this types of institutions."---------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Harvard NEEDS to question letting poor Black folks from the "hood" into that institution. This is waaay beyond "showing out." This is a life and death, public safety issue. Why admit people who are apparently prone to bringing gun-toting criminals onto the campus and into the dorms to have drug-related shootings?

Miss Chenequa might have messed things up for the poor but WORTHY AA prospective students who come behind her.
___________________________

Ensayn1,

Thank you for providing the details about all of that. My memory is quite vague. I agree that modern AAs (and others) can NEVER truly know how it felt to live in those open air concentration camps. Here's my issue: Does this excuse the collaborating prisoners from ALL culpability for collaborating?

After the Nazis were defeated, most conquered European countries punished the citizens who collaborated.

As I mentioned before, because of our complete buy-in to the mealy-mouthed Dr. King agenda of "love" and reconciliation, AAs never settled accounts with those colored folks who collaborated. In fact, we never sat down and discussed what level and type of collaboration could be excused. Or what level and type of collaboration could NOT be excused.

I don't know. I haven't thought these issues through. I just feel that not everything collaborating Black folks did can or should be excused due to fear, coercion, etc. There should have been a reckoning about some of the things that some of our people did out of fear.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Muse said...

Khadija said: (2) The racists within these institutions don't want to be bothered with even the highest caliber AAs. They prefer foreign Blacks (if they just have to be bothered with Blacks at all).

After enough "Sheniqua antics," these schools will have justification for OPENLY favoring foreign Blacks over AAs for admission. They can shift that scholarship for poor Blacks" money to some poor student from Somalia, etc.


Khadija once again you are so on point with your statements. There was a study that came out about two years ago that stated most of the Black students at Ivy League institutions are actually foreigners from Africa and the Caribbean. The controversy was that these foreign Blacks were benefitting from the affirmative action programs meant for AAs. I have an associate who works in admissions at an Ivy League who told me straight out that preferential treatment is given to foreign Black students over AAs. With foreign Black students attending, the institution gets “diversity” points and they don’t have to lower the criteria because usually these students are highly competitive for admissions and usually offer a lot to the institution.

Khadija said...

Muse,

Thank you again for your kind words. I truly appreciate it. I was so agitated about what this trend means for AAs' long-term interests, that it was one of the first topics ever discussed on this blog. We had a lively discussion about all of this.

This trend (our being replaced by foreign-origin Blacks in higher education) is part of why we're going to be a PERMANENT UNDERCLASS in this country. I believe that AAs have completed about 85-90% of the permanent underclass process.

The post was from 9/6/08; it's titled "Charity Should Begin at Home, Part 1: "Study: Universities prefer foreign black students" Among other things, I said:

". . . Before I get too far into this topic, let me make it clear that I am not advocating resentment against any other group of people. It is perfectly natural (and fair) for people to look out for their own interests. I'm simply pointing out a trend that is not in our long-term interests; and the fact that we need to do a better job of self-preservation.

. . . Many African-Americans refuse to understand that other so-called people of color (including many of our foreign Black cousins) are actually RIVALS for many of the resources and opportunities that our people's struggle created. We want to believe that we are in "coalitions" with other people.

Umm. . . No. What has happened is that other ethnic groups have harnessed our energy and resources in support of their agendas. When African-Americans participate in coalitions, we allow others to capitalize off of our unique history and the unique debt that is owed to us.

Resources that should go to us as restitution for the specific harms that have been done to us in this country are siphoned off by other groups. The African-American Civil Rights Movement created resources that should have been used as restitution for the centuries of slavery, followed by the century of official Jim Crow segregation that our people have suffered right here.

Instead, these resources have been converted into vague "diversity" programs that benefit everybody else."
--------------------------------------------------------------------

This is really our own fault for not making sure that WE reaped the benefit of our martyrs' sacrifices. Miss Chenequa is helping to make this happen by her lack of common sense. Through her antics, she's helping to cut off our people's access to higher education. This is why I have NO sympathy for her. She's a liability to our long-term interests.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with some of your post mainly the part about style of dress.It seemed to me as if you were saying people just need to fit in with everybody else like you and your high school friends fit in with the white kids at your school.The reason why I disagree is, because while I hate the "hip hop" style of dress,Because I dont dress hip hop, lately i've considered changing my hair to natural and i'm sure some white people are going to have something negative to say.However there is no excuse for prejudice.My hair isnt going to make me a bad person but i'm gonna be treated worst because of it.BTW as far as the name issue go I have a name noone has ever heard of in America.My grandma was a nurse and she named me after an African doctor she worked with.I was reading a post in a magazine about an Ethiopian girl who was feautured in the mag because she gave birth standing up and there were complications.That girl had the same name as me.I like my name no American has been able to pronounce it by looking on paper and generally people think i'm foreign but i'm AA.My name has worked for me it gets me in the door to the job but once they find out im just AA that's how i'm treated.I feel my name is beautiful even though most dont appreciate it I like my name.I've always felt that blacks should'nt have to be exactly like whites especially in name to be accepted.So with that said my question to you is do you think we should still be fighting for black preservation i.e. physically,should black women continue to have children by with black men even if most black men have huge issues,cultural,should we continue to name our kids different names or arab names etc.?

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Roslyn:

I think somewhere along the line black folk have really gotten it into their heads that life is not only fair, but that they're owed something because they're 'black and poor.' Uh no. I've been black and poor for quite a while now, and that's so not happening. If anything, people are going to give you even less access primarily because that mess played out in the Reagan Administration.

My reply:

So many people act as though Johnson's Great Society programs still exist in the way they existed then, and with the mindset that motivated it, that poverty is a societal program that needs to be rectified.

Granted, many still have the Great Society mindset, and they go into those fields for that reason, but do they gain the support they need from a social policy people? Are they effective at what they are doing, from a policy perspective?

That Great Society mindset lasted as a public policy position for like what, five minutes. By the 1970s, it was being jettisoned, and it was solidified like you said, under Reagan.

Clinton then nailed its coffin shut in his effort to "triangulate" when he put in place welfare reform, officially known as "The Personal Responsibility and Work Reconciliation Act of 1996". That was 13 years ago. Don't the words alone explain what was going on?

So although this young lady went to Harvard, I wonder about her education. She is a sociology major. I imagine she learned the Great Society mindset and that of its detractors.

I know my people in the academy, and I would guess that the message she got was that the Great Society mindset is the best, in its idealism, and that its evil detractors are just evil.

But was she taught to engage critique? Was she exposed to any of the real world experience that you and various bloggers have spoken of, who have seen the Great Society mindset "on the ground?"

This reminds me of your post from a few weeks ago, about black women and the helping professions. Her education might very well have reinforced the ghetto mindset she conveys. It might have disabled her ability to engage in critique of the Acting Black Crew mindset.

Khadija said...

Part 1:

Anonymous,

Why are you equating dressing like a criminal (the hip-hop, gangbanger uniform) with wearing natural hair? Would you support Whites wearing Klan uniforms as simply a celebration of their Southern heritage?

Wearing a Klan uniform is NOT a legitimate fashion choice. Dressing like a gangbanger is NOT a legitimate fashion choice. Both of these choices invite and deserve to have negative consequences attached to them.

The idea that you're expressing (dressing like a gangbanger = Blackness) is a large part of the problem. Dressing like a gangbanger does NOT equal "Blackness." Dressing like a criminal has NOTHING to do with wearing "natural" hair styles.If you want to make a clothing analogy, a legitimate comparison would be the choice to wear traditional African garb or a Muslim hijab scarf at work, school, etc. Isn't it funny how these clothing choices are never mentioned, or supported by us? We only defend the gangbanger uniform.

[Let me note for the record that I believe that women should NOT be allowed to wear full veils in public. That's the same as somebody running around in a ski mask. Both of these things that create the FULL concealment of one's face are a public safety issue. I believe that the need for public safety far outweighs any individual's need to wear a full veil. Any Muslim woman who doesn't like it can move to countries like Saudi Arabia, etc.]

I also begin to wonder if some of the natural hair evangelists are living in a time warp. From what I've seen, White people don't care about BW's hair. I know plenty of BW attorneys who work in a range of places (including as judges and in corporate firms) who have natural hair. They have NOT been harassed at work over their hair. The last time I heard or read of such things happening with any frequency was in the 1980s.

I believe that part of the reason why White people stopped caring about natural hair styles is that they figured out that there's NOTHING political about natural hair at this point in time. In previous eras like the 1960s, wearing natural hair was an indication that the Black person wearing the natural style had liberation on their mind.

Not any more. And not for a VERY long time. Whites long ago (since the 1980s) learned that a Black person with natural hair can be AS or MORE mentally enslaved as any other Black person. Blacks with natural hair are no longer perceived as threats to White supremacy.

Also, made-up, ghetto names do NOT equal real names. Even if a name is unfamiliar to the listener, most people can tell the difference between a made-up ghetto name and a REAL name that happens to be "foreign." Not to get too metaphysical, but invented, ghetto names have a totally different "vibe" attached to them than real names. You can hear the difference.

I work in the court system. The court dockets are filled with these invented, ghetto names. There are also a percentage of immigrants (from around the world, not just Latinos) who come through the family courts where I've done rotations at. There are also a high percentage of South Asian and African social workers that come in to testify.

You can hear the difference between totally unfamiliar Ethiopian, Nigerian, Bangledeshi, Indian, etc. names and made-up, ghetto names. Made-up, ghetto names do NOT equal Blackness. How in the world did we confuse having made-up, ghetto names with having a legitimate, separate ethnic/racial identity?

Khadija said...

Part 2:

PioneerValleyWoman,

I'm not sure that I understand your comment/question. What set of attitudes or beliefs are you referring to when you say "the Great Society mindset"?

Are you talking about the idea that a country's government has a duty to help alleviate its citizen's poverty and hunger?

Are you talking about the various "I want something for nothing" entitlement mindsets that the Black underclass has at this point?

Or are you talking about a combination of other ideas and beliefs?

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

anna said...

@ Anon,

Every environment has it's own culture. This includes the workplace and the classroom. The issue isn't looking one way over another way. The issue is realizing that there is a dominant and accepted culture in your environment, and understanding how your behavior and appearance is both 1) perceived independently of what you do , 2) reinforced/negated by what you do 3)how well it matches with the dominant group 4) where does this perception come from?

Ok, so with hair: there is an opinion (which I do not share) that natural hair is not as accepted as a professional look.

Going now from 1-4

1. it's seen as less professional looking

2. How are you styling it to reinforce/negate that look? Are you wearing a big Angela Davis 'fro while defending in the courtroom? Or are you wearing two puffs with ribbons like a kid would? If so, the point's been lost here: professional looks are often equated with conservative, non-attention-getting looks. If you're in a professional setting, you may choose to wear your hear pulled back, cropped short, or in locs that are in a bun/twist.

3. By wearing your natural hair conservatively, you are matching with the dominant group, in effect: showing that natural hair can be worn in a conservative style . It deflects the issue away from what grows from your head to how you are presenting yourself.

4. Do you understand where the perception comes from? First, that Blacks are unprofessional, generally, and secondly, that loose, or big hair appears untamed/unprofessional. If you're White, with thick hair, the same will apply to you: you rarely see women or men in professional settings with long, loose hair. It's pulled back, kept short, or in some other way unobtrusive. So understanding the point, can help you bypass the racism -- you can argue that your hair is unobtrusive by style, and that the issue of your genetics is unfair.

(As an example, look at the issue of wearing braids in the military -- this has an extremely conservative and narrowly dictated rule about appearance.)

Again, there is absolutely racism and oppression in the world, but it's too easy for us to look at that reason for the problem, when sometimes, it's the pretext for a more mundane issue. Sometimes, the real issue is that people just do not understand the culture and expectations of their environment, and then act in a way that goes against those rules. They haven't learned how to navigate the system, and they're not in a group that's going to get help with this process.

When they fail, then racism will permit others to say that your mistakes were due to your Blackness (which now implicates other Blacks, because racists do that.) And because people weren't expecting you to make it anyway. But there's a difference between someone knocking you down, versus you tripping on your own feet.

No one is a special snowflake, when it comes to the workplace. This rule is going to apply to everyone. It's understandable not to want to totally subsume your personality/opinions/style for your job, but it's completely unreasonable to expect that people don't need to make some accomodations or changes in order to get along with th group.

If you dress+act+talk in a way that makes people think "she doesn't belong" rather than "one of us" then you will have to work to excess to compensate for that net liability. If you can't show that excess, then you're sunk. The reason that will be given could be a bogus one, like racism or sexism, or some other nonsense, but the true reason is that you failed to understand and adapt to your environment. Your environment will not adapt to you. It will just drop you. This applies to EVERYONE. Not just Blacks.

Khadija said...

Anna,

THANK YOU again for patiently explaining the nuances to this. Common sense dictates that there's a difference between carefully groomed hair and messy hair. This applies to all types of hair, and all types of hairstyle choices.

The White men I see at work with long hair are NOT running around the workplace with loose, flowing, "Fabio" the romance novel model"-type of hair. They have it pulled back into a ponytail. Which is also usually slicked back with gel. All of which creates a more "sleek" look for their hair.

People, let's get a grip on some common sense. YOU need something from these workplaces, campuses, etc. These workplaces, campuses, etc. ususally DON'T need anything from you as an individual. You can be replaced. It would behoove folks to keep this basic fact in mind when they're contemplating these "I've gotta do me" SELF-CREATED issues.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Khadija said...

Part 2:

PioneerValleyWoman,

I'm not sure that I understand your comment/question. What set of attitudes or beliefs are you referring to when you say "the Great Society mindset"?

Are you talking about the idea that a country's government has a duty to help alleviate its citizen's poverty and hunger?

Are you talking about the various "I want something for nothing" entitlement mindsets that the Black underclass has at this point?

Or are you talking about a combination of other ideas and beliefs?

My reply:

Greetings, Khadija!

I apologize for the confusion. I meant a little of both.

There was a time when more people believed that poverty was a problem that society as whole had to deal with, this was at the heart of Johnson's Great Society agenda.

There was also a time when more people were willing to blame racism in the way the underclass is using it today--that racism is the cause of all problems.

Nowadays, there is a countervailing trend towards considering the significance of personal responsibility. Some might argue it is becoming the prevailing trend, especially in light of Obama's election.

roslynholcomb said...

I've had natural hair since 1998. I've worn a range of natural hairstyles and now have long locs. I've never, repeat never had any comments from any white people about my hair. When I was working I was frequently in court in front of judges and interacted with a range of professions from psychologists, to teachers to law enforcement. It was never an issue. For work, I wore my hair in an updo, or kept my twists or locs pinned up. My hair was professional and neat and no one ever had beef with it. Like Khadija said, that nonsense was over 20 years ago.

My hair grows out of my head this way, no one has the right to tell me I must alter it's texture. However, my employer most certainly has the right to tell me it must be neat and professional.

Hip-hop (gangbanger) clothing is not professional, and cannot be made professional. It came from the penitentiary/street gangs, by definition you're supposed to look like a thug while you're wearing it. Why someone would think that is appropriate on a college campus is beyond my comprehension.

Anonymous said...

Someone said Perhaps she is the only striver of her generation in her family? If there were any strivers of earlier generations, perhaps they are long gone or have no influence today????Reply: Of my 50 or so first cousins, I am one of three (all female) who have degrees and the only with a graduate degree. The few older strivers in my extended family limited their contact with my maternal grandmother and her descendants, probably because they figured we wouldn't amount to much. So my cousins and I didn't have contact with the older strivers who were related to us. Fortunately, a few of us had the good sense to attract and maintain relationships with other role models.

Pioneer Valley Woman said, This reminds me of your post from a few weeks ago, about black women and the helping professions. Her education might very well have reinforced the ghetto mindset she conveys. It might have disabled her ability to engage in critique of the Acting Black Crew mindset.Reply: This could very well be true. I taught in a multi-ethnic working class California city from '98 to '07. 10% of our students were black. Our "research" and equity initiatives resulted in a school culture that encouraged our predominately middle class white teaching force to be "sensitive" of our black students "culture." This resulted in low expectations being lowered and an acceptance of that "poor black kid" mentality Cheniqua talked about.

Khadija said...

PioneerValleyWoman,

After some reflection on your question, here are my thoughts:

I think the first point about all of this is a person's understanding of what certain terms mean. For example, I believe that every government has a duty to alleviate poverty and hunger among its citizens. But I define "poverty" and "hunger" in absolute, NOT relative terms.

When I think of "poverty" and "hunger," I'm thinking of conditions that literally make life impossible. I'm talking about necessities. Things such as no heat in the winter, no shelter from the elements, no access to drinkable water, and no access to sufficient food to survive.

For example, when was the last time that somebody involuntarily starved to death in America? This does not happen. "Poor" Americans are rich by absolute standards.

When most of us are talking about "poverty" and "hunger," we're talking about conditions that make a comfortable (read: affluent) life impossible. We're talking about creature comforts. Such as centralized air conditioning, the ability to frequently go out for lunch and dinner, the ability to purchase the latest fashions, the ability to purchase the latest and most expensive electronic toys.

Part of the problem with the Black underclass is that they want to live the lifestyles of those who can afford to do these things, WITHOUT having to work.

Another part of the problem with the Black underclass is that they have adopted a "pity party" mindset. This self-pity is mixed with arrogance ("I'm gonna do me, even though I need something from this setting and this setting does NOT need anything from me").

This is a bad combination. It doesn't work in the real world. It leads to being tossed aside (like Harvard tossed Miss Chenequa aside) and left behind. Ultimately, it leads to permanent underclass status.

There are others (such as the White, middle class---and I would say naive---teachers that Anonymous at 3:45 p.m. referred to) who have humored us with the "pity party" ideology. However, it's NOT costing these other people anything of any great value to humor our "pity parties." Their children go on to be competitive in the real world.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

From the Department of Miracle of Miracles:

An Internet Ike Turner (IIT) that I routinely ignore and delete (see Part 4 of the Table Talk for Activists series of posts for a detailed discussion of the reasons why) finally submitted a comment that was non-insane, and non-trollish. Now, I think that what "Ike" is expressing in this one comment is ill-conceived, but it's a popular view that I've heard from many other people.

Something that I've actually heard expressed by many sane Black people that I happen to disagree with.

Which is why I'm publishing the comment while omitting mention of the IIT's identity. [I WON'T give publicity to IITs.] I have NO interest in dialoguing with this individual. So, Ike, don't bother submitting any replies to my response---I won't publish or respond to them.Nevertheless, I do feel that it's worthwhile to respond to this particular (wrongheaded) idea that this individual is expressing.

The IIT commenter said:

"Dear Khadijia

I see you are blaming economic disadvantaged black people for being "poor". I wonder who you blame when middle class blacks fall out of their "middle class" lifestyle due to this current recession.

You sound like an old white conservative when you mention "pity party" for African Americans. I live in a conservative town and they have more 'social services" for minorities then do in "liberal" states.

You were right about the country being so wealthy it would be hard to find 'Americans" starving in this age. The only problem with your assessment is that you have people that advocate for poor people. Unlike places like "Africa" where you have no "rule of law".

If poor people in dire circumstances never had "someone" to guide them to charitable organizations or govt help then in theory they would be starving like any "minority" is a third world country.

You mention the black underclass having a "pity party" for their circumstances. Since I was raised in New York City. I have never seen black people throwing pity party. They seem oblivious to the circumstances they are in.

They all this delusional idea of "hitting it big", whether it is in music or sports.

Some negros like yourself make to many comparison to "other races" of people that are successful. It is good to strive to "be as good as them" in what society "deems" is successful.

In the context of the average middle class black person. We are often overlooked by "criminal" subculture in our race or they focus on the "super rich black athletes and musicians".

In conclusion, your opinion of the underclass striving for something they can't least afford is what I disagree with. I think you can strive for anything you can't afford. It helps build the motivation to attain those things.

The Black underclass just goes about it the wrong way. Thus you have the tremendous amount of black men in prison. If they poured more energy into getting things "legally" they would get aheead.

Of course society, wouldn't like the black underclass to be successful. You can just tell by the Obama criticisms and his pick of a Latina woman Judge.

The few blacks that gets past the ceiling is a problem. Imagine if the black underclass channeled their energy differently."

Khadija said...

Part 1

First of all, I don't blame poor Blacks for being poor. I blame them for remaining poor. In a country where there is a totally FREE public education system, and access to junion/community colleges, there is no excuse for anybody remaining poor for their entire life.

There are ways out of poverty in America. We see legal and illegal immigrants all around us making their way out of poverty. There are ways to escape poverty. They mostly revolve around hard work and delayed gratification.

The Black underclass is NOT interested in hard work or in delayed gratification. Instead, they pursue lottery-type odds of making "easy money" from sports or "music" (hip-hop). Unlike hard work and delayed gratification, "easy money" is almost always a losing bet.

When middle class Blacks fail to maintain middle class stauts for themselves, or fail to pass it on to their children, I generally blame these middle class Blacks. I talked about this in great detail in a post dated 10/15/08 titled "The Art of Majesty, Part 2: The Imploding Black Middle Class."

As I said in that post, the Black middle class is "'fragile' because of our own incompetence and foolishness. Others do much better at maintaining their station in life." Some formerly middle class Blacks lost that status due to the current economy. MANY formerly middle class Blacks lost that status due to their own financial foolishness.

And yes, the Black underclass IS oblivious to reality. They're too busy hip-hopping their way into permanent underclass status. And into ghetto "quarantine zones" where their murders and atrocities against each other will be ignored by everybody else. Like it's ignored right now in places like Dunbar Village. All long as they don't rob, rape or kill people who are perceived as "mattering," they'll be free to do as they wish.

While the Black underclass (an any other Blacks who have the misfortune of living anywhere near them) are living in Rwanda-like conditions, life for OTHERS in this country will go on. Without missing a beat. Just like our lives go on no matter how much suffering is happening in places like Africa.

Khadija said...

Part 2

This process of becoming Rwanda will continue as long as misguided Blacks continue to make excuses for the Black underclass. Here's my question for all who buy into the "pity party": If the North American Negro can't make it in the U.S., exactly where on this planet can such people survive? Conditions DON'T get any better for poor members of a racial minority.

Let's get real. As much as I've enjoyed travelling in Western Europe, I could see that racial minorities in those societies DON'T have as much class mobility as we do in the U.S.

For example, in the little viewing that I've done, I've noticed that there are hardly any Black, North African, or South Asian reporters on French or UK news shows. I've seen a few while watching online. But very few. I have no idea what's going on with German or Italian tv news. I wonder how many Turkish-Germans are on German tv in any capacity. Probably not many.

And this is in Western European societies that at least have the pretense of assimilating others into full-fledged citizens. From what I can tell, most non-Western societies don't even pretend to integrate racial minorities into their cultures.

We need to stop tripping. While we're having our pity party, other groups of people (Latinos and Asians) are leaving us behind in the dust. And unlike some Whites who felt pangs of White guilt because of their past history with us, these Latinos and Asians WON'T respond to our sob stories. Latinos and Asians are not part of the US slavery and Jim Crow historical narrative. They're not trying to hear any of that. They have their OWN sob stories.

While we're having our pity party, these other people are moving ahead AT OUR EXPENSE. These other people's political (and other types of) advancement comes at OUR expense.

For examples: See Miami. See Los Angeles. See the Negro fools in New Orleans who allowed the 1st Vietnamese-American (a Republican) to be elected into Congress. From a Black district! I've read reports that Blacks are going to lose 6-8 Congressional seats after the next census due to the influx of Latinos. [Which our idiotic leadership encouraged us to support. For a detaile discussion of this angle, see Part 2 of the Charity Begins at Home series.]

Those who wish to do so can keep tripping with your pity parties, if you want to. God respects free will, and I do too. This is fair. This is just. Those of us who are going to survive and thrive will keep moving ahead. Without you.

With justice in mind.

Anonymous said...

Hearing about this mess is so disappointing! I don't believe that misbehaving is a phenemon with blacks from the inner city. Back in the old days when poor blacks were given these opportunities, they flourished. They represented themselves well whether they were from the ghetto or not. Look at where the top black business people are from...the slums. I know a few of them. Look at the members of the Executive Leadership Council. That kid from Moorehouse who shot the other kid (who was allowed to stay and graduate) was from a wealthy black family.

The sad thing is that this ghetto culture that rap has created is celebrated by young folks. Back in the day being black,classy and carrying yourself with dignity was cool. When Berry Gordy (Motown) took young black folks out of the ghetto, he dusted them off and they became polished black stars. What happened to that time? These kids need to go through some type of program that teaches them how to conduct themselves. This should definitely be taught at these black, inner city, charter schools. Also, it should be mandatory for black atheletes to attend a similar class (and I dont mean a crash course)LOL!

I've also heard on several news reports that suburban black kids from upper income families do not do as well in school as their white counterparts with similar incomes/backgrounds. We just can't seem to win!

ActsofFaithBlog said...

I don't know where to put this comment, but it just falls into so much of what we've discussed here. So I've been out and about and went to an internet cafe in a different area than I usually hang out. It's run by an Arab family as it turns out. The one employee who's been here is a Continental African woman and one of the owners had the nerve to give me some sort of look for using the "free" wifi. There's a sign on the window that says FREE WIFI as I did a search on my phone to find a cafe with it. I only mention this because I of course spent money buying food but needed to put in a few hours of work. I made a joke about how I wasn't going to hog the space without spending money but haha I guess the joke is on me. This cafe is in a more recently gentrified area and I could tell it's populated by locals so perhaps that's part of it. I know it's not me because I spoke to the cafe employee for a few minutes as well as a few other patrons so I don't think I have horns growing out of my head. So why am I posting this (and Khadija you don't have to publish it) is that I've been thinking about how we've been asleep at the wheel and are being usurped one by one. What was stopping an AA family from opening a little coffee shop with 8 tables? We really need to wake up from our complacency and yes I'm including myself as well.

Khadija said...

Anonymous,

You said, "I don't believe that misbehaving is a phenemon with blacks from the inner city. Back in the old days when poor blacks were given these opportunities, they flourished. They represented themselves well whether they were from the ghetto or not. Look at where the top black business people are from...the slums. I know a few of them."-----------------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: I also "know a few of them." Starting with my parents who grew up poor, and in tenements on the South side of Chicago. The problem is that these are NOT the old days. Modern poor AAs have attitudes that are totally different from those of earlier poor AAs.

Much of the time, you can't tell modern poor Blacks anything. They're too arrogant to listen. Even when they need help from others. Who has time to debate with dysfunctional ingrates while trying to help them? Time out on that. This is a large part of the reason why I say that it's time for BW to leave the helping professions. It's a waste of time and a drain and detriment to the "helpers."
________________________

Faith,

What you're describing is connected to the point of the post. You said, "So why am I posting this (and Khadija you don't have to publish it) is that I've been thinking about how we've been asleep at the wheel and are being usurped one by one. What was stopping an AA family from opening a little coffee shop with 8 tables? We really need to wake up from our complacency and yes I'm including myself as well."-------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: You're right. We've been comatose at the wheel. Meanwhile...We. Are. Being. Replaced. As. Functioning. Citizens. Of. This. Country.

That's why I've lost all patience with the "pity parties." We ALL need to wake up in various degrees. That's why I'm spending so much time on my computer. I'm working on the information products I'm creating for my side business, as well as other projects. Just like the rest of us, I CAN'T afford to be complacent.

I've also been giving some thought to the secondary skills I probably should learn while the opportunities for training are plentiful. A friend's daughter (who is a teacher---God bless her) took bartending classes before she graduated from college.

This was a VERY shrewd move on her part. Sometimes, she works as a bartender part-time and during the summer breaks for extra money. People are going to be drinking in bars and restaurants no matter what's going on with the economy.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

A friend's daughter (who is a teacher---God bless her) took bartending classes before she graduated from college.

This was a VERY shrewd move on her part.
SHREWD indeed! As a matter of fact, why aren't more AA women buying up liquor stores? I know the typical AA woman would think, "oh I can't do that!" Or "I don't want to do that!" LOL!

Actually, it could quite easily be done if say a certain number of AA women were to incorporate a company (simple to do) that would be the legal structure needed to form an investment group for the sole purpose of amassing enough money over time to buy liquor stores. Professional expertise could be hired to handle the nuts and bolts of the legal, business stuff, and people could be hired to manage and work in these stores. This is a business that doesn't need to be marketed because as was said, folks of all kinds are always going to just naturally buy liquor without any or minimal advertising.

Just an idea.

Khadija, I think you and I go back and forth on urging AA women to move ahead as ***individuals*** and then we lapse into efforts to move AA women ahead as an ethnic ***group*** or to help. LOL! Sometimes, there's a serious conflict with this individual vs group focus, but at the same time I realize it's a matter of degrees--those nuances again. It's not either/or.

For ex, speaking of discouraging AA women from flooding into those draining helping professions, aren't we urging AA women to create screenplays, books, produce movies, and such to ***HELP*** AA women's image? LOL!

I may have a different take on this but it's very important for younger AA women to NOT spend years or excessive amounts of energy and time trying to HELP others. Period. They must first help themselves. They must first insure that they have the pieces in place to know that they will ***personally*** 'live well' no matter what.

I can afford to spend countless hours on the internet writing essays, commenting, etc. because I'm already living well, and have various people around me who will do various things to make sure that I continue to live well. I'm trying to sell my essays, but even if I fail miserably, I will still 'live well.' In my 20s and 30s, I invested heavily in certain activities and in certain people and these are all paying off very well for me now.

What I've noticed with many AA women all of my life is that they don't make good investments in people or in activities. Also, even when a typical AA woman learns that her investment is bad, she will most often refuse to pull out of it. And your returns are only as good as your investment unless you hit the lottery.

Bad investments--this is why so many goodhearted AA women end up po'. I also have a good heart, but I'm a shrewd investor. I can turn on a dime if I discover my investment is bad or not paying off. I am not emotionally attached to bad investments in people or activities. Remaining emotionally attached to bad investments is one of those mental inclinations that plague AA women.

This is why I've advised some of the other bw-ir or bw empowerment bloggers to spend 98% of their time trying to find a QUALITY spouse (if that's what they want) instead of spending all of their waking, free hours on these sites HELPING. A quality spouse is a highly valuable part of a women's investment portfolio and this is why I put so much emphasis on marriage. Many among other groups of women already know this because it's pushed by the older women in their group. As an older (LOL) AA woman, I KNOW firsthand the value of quality spouses since I managed to get 2 of them, and I'm trying to pass on this knowledge. Many younger women--both online and offline--don't realize how quickly time passes and a woman's youth is a VERY valuable commodity. Every woman has that window of opportunity. Life IS fair in that regard.

Khadija said...

Evia,

You said, "For ex, speaking of discouraging AA women from flooding into those draining helping professions, aren't we urging AA women to create screenplays, books, produce movies, and such to ***HELP*** AA women's image? LOL!"-----------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Actually, we're helping ourselves in the long run. Our collective image has an impact on the social environment in which those of us who are unmarried seek quality husbands.

It also affects those of us who are blessed to already be happily married to quality men. God forbid, a drunk driver could hit such a woman's husband, making her a widow. At which point, she would be back in the marriage market. A good, attractive collective image is a form of insurance for all BW.

You said, "I may have a different take on this but it's very important for younger AA women to NOT spend years or excessive amounts of energy and time trying to HELP others. Period. They must first help themselves. They must first insure that they have the pieces in place to know that they will ***personally*** 'live well' no matter what."------------------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: This applies to all of us, not just younger women. This is why I'm working triple time to get my own situation "straight." Right now, I'm totally dependent on my "good job" in order to live comfortably and to have access to quality medical care (if I ever needed it). This is an extremely vulnerable spot to be in. I'm working very hard to get myself into a much more secure spot.

And having seen so many examples of previously quality husbands "morphing" into different, non-quality men over the years of marriage, I don't think it's wise for a woman to put all of her "living well" eggs into the "quality husband" basket. People change over time. Sometimes they change in ways that are not conducive to sustaining a marriage.

I've known a number of men who were quality, "good guys" at the point when they got married and then started cheating on their wives when they got older. Sometimes it was the peer pressure of being surrounded by men in the workplace who were cheating.

[Law enforcement is really bad for this. My uncle was a Chicago police officer, my (male) cousin is a police official in DC, and I've known other peace officers over the years. (I also dated a few. LOL!) Of all races and ethnicities.

These are HIGHLY dysfunctional work environments. In addition to (male) cheating, law enforcement workplaces also encourage heavy drinking in order to fit in with one's (male) coworkers.]

Over the years, some of these previously quality, "good guys" start to feel that they've been missing out on something by remaining faithful to their wives. And then some of them start cheating.

I'm saying all of this to say that acquiring a quality husband is an important part of any sensible woman's "living well" strategy; but it can't and shouldn't be her ONLY strategy. People can change. Sometimes they change in ways that are not conducive to sustaining a marriage.

Anyhoo, whatever is happening with other people, MY interests/security come first! I pay myself first. First dibs on my time, energy, effort and money goes to ME. Many AA women have been programmed to think that prioritizing their own interests is somehow being "selfish." AA women need to wake up and smell the coffee.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

A good, attractive collective image is a form of insurance for all BW.I agree that a a woman must ALWAYS look out for herself FIRST AND FOREMOST. This is why I stress that so much. A woman must always consider herself #1, and especially in dealing with men. This doesn't mean she has to be selfish at all; but as I've said, she must mate at her level or higher and insist on reciprocity. This, in itself, takes care of a lot of problems with men or with people in general.

Personally speaking, I've always generated and saved money, starting from my very first paycheck because I was taught to "save money for a rainy day." My paternal grandmother always said to me that "a fool and his/her money are soon parted," so I knew very early that she felt that anyone who spent all of their money was stupid and I wasn't about to be stupid in her eyes. LOL! So, I've always managed money well.

I'm not materialistic, but I insist on living in a comfortable, quality manner across the board. In my 20s, I started fiddling with investing money. One of the things I never did was tell people how much money I have. Nobody. I didn't need the ego stroking. I didn't tell my first husband and I haven't told Darren. LOL! I've always had separate accounts from both of my husbands and that's fine with us. They knew/know my salary, of course, but they didn't know about my other accounts. On the other hand, I've never asked either of them exactly how much money they have because I know they have enough. Neither of them was ever interested in knowing the details of my entire "worth." Of course, I had the obligatory discussion about money with both of them early on and that was enough.

Since my first husband was a brainy man, he did well financially and he didn't expect me to pay bills, though I did in some cases, so I was able to invest a large portion of my salary. When we got divorced, he never asked for anything from me and I never asked him for anything. Maybe this is why we're still good friends. LOL! Suffice it to say that when I met Darren, who is also non materialistic and a good money manager, I was already financially okay. He, however, had made good, conservative investments early in his life, so he was able to raise me higher in terms of lifestyle. Because of our niche, the children are set.

So, if I were ever in the market for another husband, I wouldn't need him for money, but any man I spent more than a minute's time with would have to be at my level or higher. If he wasn't, he could likely be a drain on my assets and it wouldn't be smart to allow that.

Back to the image thing. I think we should ALL work on improving AA women's image, but one of the reasons I turned off my commenting feature on my site is due to the volumes of time some women seemed to be spending reading and commenting there AND writing me notes behind the scenes trying to correspond with me. Now that I'm on Twitter, it's started there too. The fact is that talking about meeting, dating, and marrying quality men is not the same as actually DOING it. I suspect that some bw are looking for a substitute activity?????

I know several bw my age who now regret how they allowed their younger years to slip away while they did this or that. Some of those women are ticked off, even bitter about it now, and wonder why it is that no one ever told them to FOCUS on certain things they wanted like getting married and having children. AA women have got to do BOTH: work on the image but also spend the bulk of their time securing themselves.

Khadija said...

Part 1

Evia,

You said, "Back to the image thing. I think we should ALL work on improving AA women's image, but one of the reasons I turned off my commenting feature on my site is due to the volumes of time some women seemed to be spending reading and commenting there AND writing me notes behind the scenes trying to correspond with me. Now that I'm on Twitter, it's started there too. The fact is that talking about meeting, dating, and marrying quality men is not the same as actually DOING it. I suspect that some bw are looking for a substitute activity?????"-----------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Of course audience members are using our blogs as substitutes for taking action. Talk instead of action is practically an AA tradition! Why would it be any different with these blogs? It's not different. People take their behavior patterns everywhere they go.

I understand why you closed the comments section to your blog. I understand your desire to NOT feed into this sort of behavior. However, as you see, all that happened as a result is that the "all talkers" migrated to other places to talk. Including your Twitter page.

Once my self-imposed blog deadline expires and I shut down this blog, the "all-talkers" will find other places to talk.

The bottom line is that neither you, I, or anybody else can control how others use their time. All we can do is encourage folks to take life-enhancing action. Whether they do or not is on them.

This issue flows into another constant concern I have about all of the discussions on all of these blogs: I can see that people are taking away messages that were NEVER intended by the blog hosts. Unfortunately, this is inevitable. Try as we might to be precise in our statements, some women are going to hear what they are conditioned to hear. Or what they want to hear.

For example, I made the "all eggs in the good husband basket" comment because I know that some audience members have the naive belief that they will automatically be "set" for life once they find their Prince Charming husband.

Evia, you know better. I know better. We were both raised to understand that women have to gather their own resources to be able to live comfortably REGARDLESS of what's going on with other people (including husbands). This isn't about being "materialistic," it's about securing a way to make it in life that's not dependent upon others.

I don't even have to overtly talk about this with you to know that you know these things. I can tell from the previous things you've said that we're "like-minded" enough (as you put it) to have similar understandings of how the world works.

Khadija said...

Part 2

We both understand that women must continue to gather these resources even while looking for a quality husband. Women must do both things simultaneously.

However, I can see that some of the commenters at various blogs DON'T understand this. And they're looking to exchange one type of extreme vulnerability (not having a male protector/provider) for another type of extreme vulnerability (being totally dependent upon their male protector/provider).

I can also see that some of the commenters at various blogs have put themselves in a position to be TOTALLY financially dependent upon their husbands. Evia, you can afford to be a certain type of stay at home wife. You have ways of providing a comfortable life for yourself and your children no matter what happens.

These other woman CANNOT afford to be YOUR kind of stay at home wife. They have NOT done what you've done. They DON'T have any resources gathered for themselves or their children. They DON'T have any savings or investments. They wouldn't have a "pot to p*** in" without their husbands. Some of them barely have a "pot to p*** in" right now with their husbands' support! And they have NOT kept their self-presentation together to make it easier to find another husband if something were to happen to their current ones.

They've put ALL of their eggs into the "good husband" basket. We've all seen what happens to such women when something happens to their husbands, or their husbands suddenly aren't so good anymore after several years of marriage and leave them. It's not a pretty picture.

All anybody can do is warn against seeking out, or maintaining, this type of extreme vulnerability. What people do is up to them.

Khadija said...

Part 3

Yet another underlying concern I have about all of these conversations is that I can see that some commenters at various blogs are confused about what "quality man" means. You've been very careful and precise when talking about securing a QUALITY husband. I've also tried to be precise about this topic.

Despite our efforts at precision, some commenters persist in mistakenly thinking that "NON-AA man" automatically equals "QUALITY man."

I will say this: The odds of finding a quality husband are better among non-AA men for the following reasons:

1-Non-AA men are more likely to have been born and raised in married, two-parent households.

2-Which means that they are more likely to have fathers.

3-Which means that they are more likely to have grown up seeing a living example of a live-in, full-time husband and father.

4-Which means that they are less likely to need "special ed" coaching in order to know how to be a good husband and father.

5-They also tend to come from cultures that VALUE marriage and family life.

6-Which means that they are more likely to actually WANT to be husbands and fathers.

However, noting that the odds are better among non-AA men does NOT equal believing that any particular non-AA man would be a good husband and father. The odds are simply the odds. The odds don't apply to every person within any particular category. People are still individuals that need to be carefully screened.

Unfortunately, there's a segment of commenters at various blogs who don't get this. Some of them think that "WM" equals "quality man." So they are fixated on discussing the question of "Where can I find a WM?" They ponder this instead of pondering the question "Where can I position myself so that QUALITY men can find ME?" These are 2 very different questions that lead to 2 very different sorts of answers. These different answers lead to very different outcomes.

The "Where the WM at?" BW are setting themselves up to be involved in BAD IRRs. They need to understand that an IRR does NOT automatically equal "empowerment" for a BW. For the same reason, BW-IRR blogs are NOT automatically BW's empowerment blogs. Some are about empowering BW. Some aren't, and are only about BW seeking out IRRs.

So again, we do what we can to encourage life-enhancing action. We do what we can to be precise in our statements, so they don't easily lend themselves to distortion. But at the end of the day, each woman is responsible for their own life and outcomes.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

The "Where the WM at?" BW are setting themselves up to be involved in BAD IRRs. They need to understand that an IRR does NOT automatically equal "empowerment" for a BW.Exactly!!! I have NEVER said that all or even most wm are quality men or that all bm are non-quality. That would be ridiculous. That's the interpretation that others have imposed on what I've said, and they then go ballistic about their OWN interpretation.

Insofar as empowerment and bw in IRs, that's another bad distortion I've seen that some people have about this issue. Being with a wm DOES NOT equal empowerment, but feeling and ***exercising*** the FREEDOM to choose your mate without asking for permission from strange people to be with him or without feeling that you have to explain why you're with a wm to strange people or explaining over and over to strange people why you'd prefer to be with a man who happens to be white is an example, IMO, of operating from an empowered state of mind. No adult woman should have to get permission from strange people or even from family members to choose her mate and should disregard what they say IF the man is a Quality, loving man. That's her very basic right. MANY, MANY AA women, dare I say the vast majority, do NOT feel empowered to do that in 2009.

Re your other comment, both of my husbands came from backgrounds in which men marry women. They also both had fathers who played their role as fathers. I've only been in one serious relationship with a man who didn't have a father who played the father role and there were problems. I don't know whether his insecurities stemmed exactly from his not having a fathering father. I think that people are much more complex than that because some men who do have regular, live-in fathers are messed up.

It is most definitely a matter of vetting and as you say, it's about those odds. Even if both of my husbands had turned out to be DBRs to the max, I personally would have been okay because I always have my parachute ready, just in case. That's the 'first and foremost' (f&f) part. To me, f&f is a complete ideology that has lots of little pieces involved in it. I managed my relationship with both of my husbands so that I didn't need my parachute. But both of them place value on marriage and family life since they came from that type of background. I didn't have to talk them into getting married. They could see that I could add value to them in various ways because I am an emotionally developed woman. They both knew that a woman like me was not going to invest more than a few months in a relationship without them talking serious and making serious moves towards marriage. Why would I?

Both of my husbands are very strong men mentally and emotionally, and they're both brainy men. I'm only attracted to mentally and emotionally strong men. And brainy men have always made me weak-kneed. LOL!

Anyway, it would have been my children who would have been devastated if their dad had turned out to be a DBR because children don't get a parachute.

Khadija said...

Evia,

You said, "Being with a wm DOES NOT equal empowerment, but feeling and ***exercising*** the FREEDOM to choose your mate without asking for permission from strange people to be with him or without feeling that you have to explain why you're with a wm to strange people or explaining over and over to strange people why you'd prefer to be with a man who happens to be white is an example, IMO, of operating from an empowered state of mind."----------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: This is the key!Freedom of choice = empowerment! The more GOOD choices a person has available to them, the more empowered they are. To use money analogies, the more disposable money you have, the more things/experiences you can choose from. You can choose to buy this OR that; OR that over there; OR that on the right; OR that on the left, etc. If you've really got it going on financially, you can afford to choose ALL of "them"! LOL!

Poor people have fewer choices than affluent people. People who aren't free (such as prisoners) have even fewer choices. Some unfortunate people put themselves into situations where they have virtually no choices at all.

As you've stated, most AA women in the year 2009 have given away their inherent freedom to choose whatever is best for them. And they call this self-entrapment various names such as "Black love" etc.

Most of these self-entrapped AA women are NOT going to make it. Those that sort-of, kind-of stay afloat financially will eventually break emotionally. This self-imposed downward spiral is firmly entrenched for many AA women, and many, many vultures have positioned themselves to feed off of this death-spiral. Such as the colored girl demons over at Essence who feel that it's fitting and appropriate to tell BW to go to strip clubs to find a man.

This type of colored "imp" will advocated anything and everything except BW expanding their dating/marriage horizons to include non-Black men. I guess the next step for them is to organize BW to become pen-pals for BM inmates.

I admire your patience in repeating this simple message of FREEDOM OF CHOICE in the face of: (1) belligerent opposition from so many willfully confused BW; and (2) willful distortion from so many BW over the years. I'm trying to be patient. But I'm not quite there yet. *Smile*

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymous said...

Ladies
You are on fire!! Woo WOo
I hear you about some bw just don't get it. They have freedon of choice in America, but they have this mentality that it's all about the brothers. No it is about you and your life! Just like my girl who lives out in Seattle. I went to visit her in March and I saw nothing but IR couples. BW with WM all over the city. She is one of those sisters who just wants a bm God Bless Her and her other nothin' but a black man sisters. They will be dateless. I told her that Seatle has always been a ir dating city. Most West coast cities are like that. Some of these sisters will be left behind Khadija and Evia. I realize this just be observing. I am in transition my self. I have been applying and inquiring about opportunties to move up and out of the ATL. If you want to change your life you got to get up and do it!! No excuses. Sisters need to do what they got to do without all of the drama

Khadija said...

Anonymous at 10:34 p.m.,

You said, "Just like my girl who lives out in Seattle. I went to visit her in March and I saw nothing but IR couples. BW with WM all over the city.-----------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Let's hold up a minute right here. I'm going to try to say this is as diplomatically as possible. Do you hear what you're saying? Can you see what you're doing? You are doing the exact SAME thing as the Negroes who give other BM a wink and a "high-five" when they see these men with non-Black women. You're assuming, just on face value, that these BW you saw are in GOOD relationships just because they're in relationships with WM.

This is the SAME slave thinking that these WW-obsessed Negroes have. For all anybody knows, any of those WM could be boxing any of those BWs' heads behind closed doors. Much more than face value would have to be known about any of these couples to assess whether or not any of those relationships constitutes a "win" for any of the BW involved.

You said, "She is one of those sisters who just wants a bm God Bless Her and her other nothin' but a black man sisters. They will be dateless. I told her that Seatle has always been a ir dating city. Most West coast cities are like that."-------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: This is more "Where the WM at?" type of thinking. I would be more interested in determining if a city has a large number of available QUALITY men; as opposed to whether or not it is a so-called IR-dating city.

My point is to encourage AA women to seek out QUALITY men in whatever racial/ethnic package they come in. You are encouraging the pursuit of White skin as the only criterion. Just like the Russell Simmons of the world. We're NOT talking about the same thing. Not at all.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

ak said...

Khadija

Whites back in the day deployed the KKK to keep cullud folk within the Southern towns and now their trailer park descendants are telling blacks to go back to Africa?

I will never understand humans.

I have heard that they used to kill black shop owners who ran successful shops with a lot of black customers taking from the white shop owners.

Khadija said...

AK,

In whatever context, and between whatever parties, oppression and exploitation usually pays off for the oppressors/exploiters.

In many ways: the esteem "boost" of having somebody to step on, the financial benefits, the freedom to rape and sexually exploit the victims, etc.

When oppressors have a good thing going (good for the oppressor,that is) they do NOT want to see that "good thing" end. They want the situation to remain as it is OR go backwards in time to become even MORE oppressive (which means more "goodies" for them with less hassle from the victims). This is the inherent nature of political conservatism. This is also the inherent nature of religious fundamentalism.

Conservatives and religious fundamentalists usually want to reset society to an earlier time in which there were fewer rights available for whatever group they're targetting. This is why I've always found it peculiar for AAs to buy into political conservatism and/or religious fundamentalism. None of these Black folks' new "friends" were on the side of Black folks' freedom and advancement.

All of the conservative politicians around at the time (such as Patrick Buchanan, and others) were OPPOSED to Dr. King's efforts while he was alive. These same White conservatives were OPPOSED to the Dr. King holiday. These same White conservatives were/are OPPOSED to affirmative action. The same is true of the White Protestant fundamentalists that these Blacks have cozied up to.

Basically, these conservative Blacks' White conservative and Christian fundamentalist "friends" were OPPOSED to everything that made these same Black folks' freedom and advancement possible!

These Blacks are supporting a Republican party that wants to undo (and has been in the process of undoing) everything that made their right to vote, access to higher education, etc. possible! This is mindboggling to me.

As a local Chicago journalist/activist named Lu Palmer said, "I don't understand Black Conservatives. Blacks don't have anything to conserve except their chains." I think what makes Black Conservatism possible is that a lot of these folks are single issue voters. They're so focused on banning abortion or denying gays their rights that they've lost sight of anything else.

Blacks aren't the only ones who do this (vote against a majority of their own political interests because they're focused on one issue).

As a teenager, I watched the White, working class, unionized steel mill workers in a neighboring community repeatedly vote for union-busting Pres. Reagan. They were so focused on enjoying the thrill of politically opposing Black folks (under the guise of opposing so-called "special interests groups"), that they forgot that they were a "special interest group" (unionized labor)! The steel mills that these White "Reagan Democrats" worked in have been closed for a long time.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

La♥Incognita said...

"Many of us want to believe that those days are over; and we're living in a post-racial country. Well . . . on some levels, yes. On others levels, NO. We need to snap out of our Obama-induced delirium and understand that we're still perceived in a category separate, apart and inferior from everybody else."

Hello Khadija!! So true.

I don't have much to add, you along with everyone did a great job. I'm just piggy backing and sticking my 2 pennies in between. As for Emit Till, I was in the Elementary back in the 80's when it re-appeared in (jet magazine?). I was flipping through my Aunts tote back and I saw those pages were folded. The pictures troubled me as a child, but I think it was the beginning of my consciousness about Jim Crow. In school they only teach you about Slavery and the various dates it was supposedly abolished.

Ensayn1 said some things that I suspected about the circumstances surrounding Till's death. A couple years ago I was reading through the documentaries online, and that painful idea came to mind (I even felt like a traitor of some sort to even think it at the time). But we can't pretend, and I have always figured that might have been one of the hardest things for his dare mother to have digested.

Roslyn said: "In fact, it's to their benefit to admit low-quality people. That way they can say, "Look at them, even with an Ivy League education they still act like this." ...And, of course, we continue to give them that stick."

Very profound. I have more comments to read, but I want to comment quickly on this one below made by Muse. I also where you may share similar sentiments....

Muse said: ”There was a study that came out about two years ago that stated most of the Black students at Ivy League institutions are actually foreigners from Africa and the Caribbean. The controversy was that these foreign Blacks were benefitting from the affirmative action programs meant for AAs.


At some point I can agree with this statement, and definitely understand the various points of frustration it may arouse, or may have derived from. However, I just want to add a little thought to the mix. I can’t speak about direct African people/immigrants/students, but I do know that many black Americans seem to disregard that many black Caribbean slaves were also subjected to the same European-American slave laws and oppression. As we all know African slaves were sold, traded, "bred", and labored heavily between America, Euro Caribbean, Brazil etc. What some don't realize, even after the generations were taken out of Africa this also continued up until abolishment. Also, America still greatly profited from actual Caribbean slaves apart from having generations of it's own slaves on soul.

Most importantly, we should also keep in mind, there are currently generations of black Caribbean people who were born as American citizens (on Caribbean soul), pledge allegiance to the American flag for generations and are also “entitled” - at the least by law to the various compensation benefits as black Americans on the US mainland soul.

There are thin gray lines when trying to distinguish this "entitlement" between black Americans and most black Caribbeans in particular - especially due to the close knit Euro-American partnership in the free labor/slave trading throughout the 400 plus years. I just needed to point this out.

Thanks, and continue to spread your wisdom.

La,

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Khadija:

Basically, these conservative Blacks' White conservative and Christian fundamentalist "friends" were OPPOSED to everything that made these same Black folks' freedom and advancement possible!

These Blacks are supporting a Republican party that wants to undo (and has been in the process of undoing) everything that made their right to vote, access to higher education, etc. possible! This is mindboggling to me.

As a local Chicago journalist/activist named Lu Palmer said, "I don't understand Black Conservatives. Blacks don't have anything to conserve except their chains." I think what makes Black Conservatism possible is that a lot of these folks are single issue voters. They're so focused on banning abortion or denying gays their rights that they've lost sight of anything else.

Blacks aren't the only ones who do this (vote against a majority of their own political interests because they're focused on one issue).

As a teenager, I watched the White, working class, unionized steel mill workers in a neighboring community repeatedly vote for union-busting Pres. Reagan. They were so focused on enjoying the thrill of politically opposing Black folks (under the guise of opposing so-called "special interests groups"), that they forgot that they were a "special interest group" (unionized labor)! The steel mills that these White "Reagan Democrats" worked in have been closed for a long time.

My reply:

Yes, indeed! Crazy beyond words. But quite true, they are one-issue voters, and so they cozy up with people who share that one issue but who oppose them on everything else.

Some of them oppose so much of what they take to be the problems of liberal social policies, ie., like welfare, that again, the cozy up to people who barely tolerate them.

I see myself as middle of the road; many people do, and don't even ally themselves with any political party. Each one has issues and problems, I'd rather not claim any of them.

geekgrl said...

I consider myself a Black conservative, not a republican. I actually I’m a conservative libertarian (fiscally conservative, socially liberal). I’m a libertarian for the same reasons that Zora Neal Hurston was a republican : non-interventionism, individualist, small gov.

I don’t blindly assume that because someone states they are a conservative or libertarian, that we agree on many matters or that they are my ‘friend’. As some of your earlier posts, mentioned on import issues, discensus is valid.

I can kinda understand the black and gay republicans, in the sense that the official line is very different from the way they actually act. Its like black and gay republicans support what the party should be, not what it actually is. Plus, I think there is an element that watches gay pride parades, and thinks ‘I don’t what to be in a party that supports that!’. SMH

La♥Incognita said...

"Latinos and Asians are not part of the US slavery and Jim Crow historical narrative. They're not trying to hear any of that. They have their OWN sob stories.

While we're having our pity party, these other people are moving ahead AT OUR EXPENSE. These other people's political (and other types of) advancement comes at OUR expense.
"


Khadija, thank you. I tell people this all the time, I've been called a bigot by other blacks because of it. This needs to be embedded in the minds of our children who are going to be competing against Asians, Middle Easterners, and Latinos etc. This is why I am always selective with my deep support of non-blacks. Some black people expend way too much energy fighting for others, when others would never give the same courtesy in return.

This may sound harsh, but since black people make up a smaller percentage in the US as compared. Why must some of us always try to "prove something" by giving away our time and resources to heal and protect non-black hungry entities (which have their own agenda) when it's only going to turn around bite us/our children - and without empathy? This self-destruction when it comes to education, security and opportunities for financial success makes no sense. We also need to learn to support each other, as others do for their own. I hope I am not misunderstood.

Khadija said...

Part 1

LaIncognita,

You said, "The pictures troubled me as a child, but I think it was the beginning of my consciousness about Jim Crow. In school they only teach you about Slavery and the various dates it was supposedly abolished."----------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: I remember how disturbing those pictures were to me as a pre-teen. A little bit of my childhood ended after I was shown those pictures. This was unfortunate, but necessary for my own safety and future success.

We'll agree to disagree about Caribbean folks being "entitled" to reap the benefits of AAs' civil rights martyrs and struggle.
_________________________

PioneerValleyWoman,

You said, "Some of them oppose so much of what they take to be the problems of liberal social policies, ie., like welfare, that again, the cozy up to people who barely tolerate them.

I see myself as middle of the road; many people do, and don't even ally themselves with any political party. Each one has issues and problems, I'd rather not claim any of them."
-----------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: I've always been amazed to watch these Black Republicans politically get into bed with the worst of the anti-Black racists. Mind-boggling.

I'm also dismayed by how superficial Blacks folks' thinking is in general about these 2 "mainstream" political parties. Why would any sane Black person claim, or have strong emotional attachments to, either of them? They are both WHITE parties dedicated to supporting majority (read: White) interests.

It's one thing to leverage our votes in return for policies that suit our interests. AAs have been scurrying from one to the other party; depending upon which 1 of the 2 was offering more crumbs at the moment. But this deep emotional attachment that AAs form with these parties is crazy. [First with the the Republican party as the party of our so-called "Great Emancipator," the racist named Lincoln. And then with the Democratic party.]

This is CHILDISH thinking. A more adult approach is to pick and choose particular politicians (and policies) that meet our needs. But we're stuck on stupid with emotionalism and "messiah politics."

Anonymous said...

No I am not like so called other damaged Negroes as you said. I am just making an observation of the social dynamics I saw in Seattle. I was trying to help a dateless friend. Sure one should look at all men of color. No I don't think I sound like a Black man who only dates White women. I was just responding to Evia's comments. I did not know it would ruffle any feathers. I know that you aren't a pro interracial dater, but some black women will have to get off the fence about ir dating .

Khadija said...

Part 2

Geekgrl,

You said, "I consider myself a Black conservative, not a republican. I actually I’m a conservative libertarian (fiscally conservative, socially liberal). I’m a libertarian for the same reasons that Zora Neal Hurston was a republican : non-interventionism, individualist, small gov."--------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Well, I'm not sure what you mean by "non-interventionism" (whether you mean regarding national or international affairs, or both). But I will reiterate that it was aggressive government intervention (specifically, intervention from the federal government) that made your, mine, and the rest of our current quality of life possible.

I'm also not sure what you mean by "small" government. Again, the things that made many of us now-highly educated AAs possible (Head Start, free lunch programs, etc.) were the fruits of "excess" government programs. By "excess," I mean programs that weren't really needed for the functioning of this country.

We also saw just how "small" the government can be during Katrina. This did not work out very well for those within the most vulnerable demographics (i.e., mostly us).

In terms of gay Republicans, I find their posture to be utterly insane. Gay Republicans are supporting a party that organizes and energizes its base around hatred of THEM. I guess some people will vote to be imprisoned in death camps. {shaking my head}

Geekgrl, here's my underlying thing about all of this: Black conservatives are supporting idelogies that reek of being anti-Black folks' interests in theory AND practice.

Specifically, these ideologies are/were opposed to every...single...public policy that made our people's advancement in this country possible. The things that made our advancement possible came from interventionist, BIG government.

These ideologies are/were opposed to every...single...public policy that makes our modern work lives possible. Things such as the 40-hour work week, paid vacation and sick time, and minimum wages did NOT come from conservative ideologies. They came from the labor movement.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not misty-eyed about the racist history (and in many cases, current reality) of the unions in this country. But I know where the "butter on my biscuits" came from. Black conservatives don't seem to understand where the butter on their biscuits came from. And are supporting folks who wanted us to starve in the first place.

The other thing is that most of the Black conservatives I've encountered make NO (or minimal) effort to draw a distinction between themselves and the racist baggage of their ideologies. This omission raises eyebrows.

Let me give an example from another context.

In what is passed off as "official" ideology AND in most current practice, all 3 monotheistic religions (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism) are PROFOUNDLY anti-women.

It would be extremely contrary to my interests as a woman to support ANY of this stuff in its current, "mainstream" format. Women who support what passes as "mainstream" interpretations of these 3 faiths are supporting their own (sometimes violent) oppression.

This is why I make a point of drawing a distinction between myself as a "progressive" Muslim and the rest of what are perceived as "mainstream" Muslims. I draw this distinction for myself because I want it to be clear that I'm NOT with the false, "mainstream" anti-woman, anti-justice interpretations of Islam.

[It's too long for me to get into here, but I believe that the understanding of all 3 of these faiths has been thoroughly corrupted---sometimes deliberately---by centuries of male clergy and religious scholars. In short, I believe the "maintream" has been poisoned.]

Most Black conservatives' choice to NOT draw clear lines between themselves and the racist baggage of (and persons within) their ideologies is why most Black folks give Black conservatives the "side eye."

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Anonymous,

Well...you said what you said, and the underlying message came shining through.

In any event, I'm not "pro" or "against" IR dating/marriage. Racial considerations are NOT the criteria I'm suggesting that BW use for these matters. I'm pro-QUALITY marriages with QUALITY spouses. Period.

I'm pro-AA women finding QUALITY husbands of whatever racial/ethnic package these QUALITY men happen to come in.
QUALITY is the only criterion I care about.

And QUALITY is the only criterion I believe it's best for BW to use. Not chasing after a particular skin tone (be it the "nuthin' but a BM" type, or the "Where the WM at?" type).

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

Khadija, I consider myself very left leaning, but some AA folks consider me very conservative (LOL) BECAUSE I advocate marriage & family, delaying sex, being disciplined across the board, exercising common sense, saving & investing money, valuing education, self-reliance (as much as reasonably possible), being responsible, parents behaving like parents, people behaving with decorum, avoidance of embracing silly trends in popular culture, etc. They therefore consider me a dinosaur who is trying to roll back in time. LOL! Or a conservative.

Some white Republican conservative racists also advocate many of these same things, so it's easy for some AAs to think that black people like me are anti black just like those Republican conservatives--whereas to me, what I advocate is basic common sense that doesn't have a skin shade attached to it.

It really confuses some black folks to know that I am pro gay marriage and pro anyone of age expressing their sexuality anyway they choose as long as it's with a consenting adult and as long as they take responsibility for the consequences.

I think that sometimes people get LABELS that are very inaccurate and people are often too complex to be defined by labels. For ex, I'm hearing a cross-section of AAs say that AAs are worse off now than they were during segregation and there actually was a mini movement in a neighboring state by some black educators to re-segregate the schools. Some black folks are just fed up with AAs so they foolishly embrace whites who don't promote their interests.

Anyway, most of this falls under the heading of AAs not having a Rucoss (reasonably uplifting culture of some sort). Without a Rucoss, most AAs will continue to run around like chickens with their heads cut off. A culture serves the purpose of a compass and we know what happens when any group of people wanders around without a compass.

Evia said...

To respond to the Anon who'd mentioned that she saw lots of bw-wm couples in Seattle, I just want to say this in general.

I think the reason Khadija may have sounded annoyed may have been for the same reason I get tired of bw asking me about meeting wm or any kind of man. Instead of AA women putting in the ***time and effort*** to LEARN how to vet men, they continue to want to meet more and more men. It is clear to me that many AA women should not be around any kind of man because they don't know how to VET men. This means that a typical man can easily use them. And when this happens, there's just another AA woman who's broken and angry.

Many of the women allow the man to string them along and this can happen with ANY man of ANY skin shade, if the woman allows it.

One of my male cousins is dating a woman now who is a typical example of this. They are 6 months into the relationship and she has not YET set the tone of the relationship. She's not steering it at all. She hasn't yet mentioned marriage to him. She's leaving it up to him or to LUCK or whatever, yet she told me that she was looking for a serious relationship. SMH She's behaving like a 4 year old girl!!!

Of course, many women from ALL groups do this same thing, but most other women aren't in the same situation as AA women. I know a ww right now who is going ga-ga over a DBRbm, and another one who's doing the same with a loser wm, but these women have big safety nets to fall back into when these guys are finished with them. A typical AA woman doesn't have this.

So it doesn't necessarily make me feel good to know that bw are meeting wm or any type of man. I'd like to hear more about how bw are LEARNING how to get what they want and need from these dates or relationships.

La♥Incognita said...

Hi again Khadija, I can respect that, but I wasn't trying to say all Caribbean people. I was also trying to show you how there isn't that much of a distinction between the two groups at the larger picture. We can not deny that Caribbean people were also involved in the American civil rights era, even most who were not on US soul. At one point before and during the civil rights era, many black civil rights leaders in America were also inspired by the Caribbean emancipation struggles. And of course, various civil rights movers and shakers had Caribbean heritage - just like a good much of black Americans you see around you today.

It's just interesting you hear the "talking black heads" praise the memories of Marcus Garvey, Alexander Hamilton, Shirley Chisolm (Caribbean parents) and even Malcolm X (who's mother was Caribbean) just to name a few, but when it comes down to the real kinship or "reaping" of benefits, there is unfortunate division and resentment. Perhaps from both sides.

Anyway, I won't mention this on your blog again.
Peace and Blessings!

La,

Khadija said...

Evia,

Part of the reason for the mass confusion that you're describing is that AAs are trying to fit themselves into Western-European-derived political divisions. Specifically, divisions derived from the French Revolution (such as "left" and "right").

From Wikipedia:

"The phrase left-wing was coined during the French Revolution, when left-wing referred to the seating arrangements in parliament; those who sat on the left opposed the traditional hierarchies and supported radical reform." Most of our people's views don't comfortably fit within these White political divisions. Your views don't fit neatly into these divisions.

Mine don't either. This is why I agree with Ayatollah Khomeini's slogan of "Neither East nor West." He was opposed to Iranians and Muslims in general adopting either Western capitalism or Eastern communism. He referred to the sickness of educated Iranians adopting and fighting over European ideologies as "Westoxication" (sort of like intoxication--LOL!). This is one of the few points of agreement that I have with Khomeini.

[For the curious, here’s a bit from Wikipedia: "Gharbzadegi (Persian: غربزدگی ) is a pejorative Persian term often translated as "Westoxication," "West-struck-ness" or Occidentosis. It is used to refer to the loss of Iranian cultural identity through the adoption and imitation of Western models and Western criteria in education, the arts, and culture; through the transformation of Iran into a passive market for Western goods and a pawn in Western geopolitics."]

I think it would be good for us to develop our people to develop our own political terminology. This would be part of developing a "reasonably uplifting culture of some sort" as you call it. Unfortunately, we lack the will to do this. So, as you noted, we run around like chickens with no heads. {sigh}

You said, "I think the reason Khadija may have sounded annoyed may have been for the same reason I get tired of bw asking me about meeting wm or any kind of man. Instead of AA women putting in the ***time and effort*** to LEARN how to vet men, they continue to want to meet more and more men. It is clear to me that many AA women should not be around any kind of man because they don't know how to VET men."-------------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: This is exactly the primary thing that ticks me off about these sorts of comments and questions. It's apparent from the focus of their comments, that many of these "Where the WM at?" BW REFUSE to learn how to screen men. ALL they want to talk about is "Where the WM at?" and NOT what to do once they are approached by one of these WM that they covet.

There's also the added irritation I feel when I hear any sort of DBR slave talk. By God, these "Where the WM at?" BW are the mirror image of the Russell Simmons, etc. of the world who are asking "Where the WW at?" and wondering which cities are "safe" for them to chase WW. All of this INSTEAD of looking for QUALITY people.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

LaIncognita,

You said, "Anyway, I won't mention this on your blog again.
Peace and Blessings!"
-----------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Oh no, please don't feel like you mentioning this is any sort of problem. It's not. We can amicably agree to disagree. No feathers ruffled here about this.

In fact, I'm happy you brought it up because it gives me another opportunity to point something out to other AAs that most of us are too foolish to consider:

I'm not aware of any nuclear-armed country that gives the codes to its nuclear weapons to any...other...country. No matter how long they've been allies. No matter how close their friendship and alliance is.

AAs have the unfortunate habit of giving other people access to our "nuclear codes"---we allow others to have COMMAND and CONTROL over our organizations. We allowed a handful of West Indians like Stokely Carmichael and others to run and set policy for many of OUR organizations during the 1960s. While we took orders from them, and served as footsoldiers.

The same way we let WM serve as chairman and run the NAACP until the early 1970s. [In his speeches, Malcolm X used to ridicule the NAACP for its failure to "advance" a Black man to the head of that organization!]

And there is NO reciprocity with this situation.

Nobody else allows AAs to control and set policy for THEIR stuff that really matters to them. And I don't blame them. It's the height of stupidity to allow others to exercise control over critical functions.

So, LaIncognita, here's my question for you---and I mean this in all seriousness and sincerity:

What's in it for AAs to share slices of the pie (created in America by our civils rights martyrs) with Caribbean folks? What do WE get in exchange for diminishing our portion of the pie?

For example, are some of these Caribbean countries going to offer AAs dual citizenship (for those who want it)?

Maybe a dual citizenship deal already exists for AAs in some of these countries, I don't know. I just know that it would be nice for AAs to have some place else that we could automatically run to if things got politically "tight" here in the US. [Similar to the way that any Jewish person can automatically run to Israel/Palestine.]

I realize that on one level this is a rhetorical question (for a variety of reasons). But I want AAs to learn the mental habit of asking "What's in it for me/us?" We desperately need to learn how to demand reciprocity from others.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymous said...

Sure AAs Thanks for clearing up the responses about bw dating/mating wm. Black women are very smart and I think they can vet men very well if they want to. I give a guy 6 months and if he is not talking serious than I stop seeing him. I don't have time to waste. I was talking to my dad about this last year and he said I should cut down to three months!!LOL

Evia said...

BW REFUSE to learn how to screen men. ALL they want to talk about is "Where the WM at?" and NOT what to do once they are approached by one of these WM that they covet.RESPONSE:

I don't see anything wrong with women sharing notes about where to find more Quality men of whatever skin shade, and I believe that was the intent of the ANON, but as we're asking, "what are so many AA women doing with these men even when they do encounter them?" I've been paying very close attention to this over the last couple of years to find out why it is that more AA women cannot or will not "make the sale" and "close the deal" with a black, white or any kind of man. I can clearly see GLARING errors that AA women make.

As I've pointed out many times, ANY person will get over on you IF you let them. Even my own children would get over on me IF I let them.LOL! That's basic human nature or self preservation. However, as Halima often points out, it seems that so many black women have lost that instinct.


Khadija, this is one aspect of this dating situation that I'm paying a LOT more attention to now. Yes, I have proven that I can certainly get bw more interested in wm and wm interested in bw, but does the AA woman know her ***script***? He ALREADY knows his script. ALL men are basically sex hunters. Don't mean to be crude here, but if a typical man can get anywhere near a woman's vagina, he's going to get HIS. LOL!! And once that happens, many women foolishly ***think*** that they're very close to closing the deal. WRONG!


Due to the lack of black-white "genuine" interaction, there is this lack of basic knowledge that whites and blacks have about each other. I encounter this with whites too who have misconceptions about AA women and some of these misconceptions are positive, but they're still stereotypes. The typical, even well-intentioned white person I've met is still not able to see us as INDIVIDUALS and the bulk of AAs don't see whites as INDIVIDUALs either. So, usually when a black and white person encounter each other, the stereotypes interact with each other--not those 2 individuals.

By God, these "Where the WM at?" BW are the mirror image of the Russell Simmons, etc. of the world who are asking "Where the WW at?" and wondering which cities are "safe" for them to chase WW. All of this INSTEAD of looking for QUALITY people.RESPONSE:

A typical ww has been branded, advertised, and instilled in the minds of men worldwide as a woman of beauty and value. She CAN close the deal with a typical AA man by just standing there, but AA women have lost most of their positive brand that they had from yesteryear and don't have the benefit of a positive brand now--not YET. An individual AA woman has to create her own brand, marketed it and sell it. She's a 1-woman business. She therefore has to know how to 'handle her business.' This should motivate AA women to scour the earth to LEARN how to do that. That's what a LOT more AA women need to focus on instead of engaging in magical thinking or complaining about how "life is not fair." Those 2 attitudes are NOT a part of a positive brand.

And to the Anon who thinks that AA "women are very smart and can vet men very well if they want to," I disagree and that smacks of a type of ARROGANCE and bravado that AAs have that I can no longer stomach. Those are 2 more attitudes that are NOT a part of positive brand.

Either these women aren't very smart OR they're not vetting well at all. This is OBVIOUS. Just look at the stats. AA women are definitely sexing men, but are the bulk of them getting what THEY want???? We need to stop with the fronting. And decide to LEARN.

Evia said...

I think that many AA women could learn a lot about 'making the sale' and 'closing the deal' from continental African women. Yes, many typical African men are much more marriage minded from the get-go, but in that case, many more of them would be married to AA women because they definitely date AA women here, though less so now than before. Instead, many African men have come to view AA women these days as "easy" to get favors from, but not to be taken seriously as potential mates. They view ww as "easy" too, but once again, ww derive benefits from a positive brand and can more easily bounce back no matter what happens.

I know that many AA women might not believe this, but a typical man of any skin shade is going to have to jump through some critical hoops to get a typical continental African woman because she makes it clear that her time and her presence in his life are to be valued. And she doesn't convey this in a shrill way. She does it with her actions. If he isn't doing what's right, she instantly withdraws from him and when he starts doing what he should, she makes herself more available. LOL! SMART! She definitely would not date and sex a man for 6 months without knowing where the relationship is going because she steers the relationship. She starts steering it very early in the relationship. And if the man refuses to cooperate, he's not in the car anymore.LOL!

Now, this doesn't apply to every single situation. I'm describing patterns here.

If my bm cousin does eventually marry the AA woman he's dating, it'll most likely be due to my influence on him. LOL! She's clueless about steering that relationship.

Lawdy! Many AA women used to know how to make the sale and close the deal and did it--BEFORE common sense vanished from the bulk of the AA population.

Khadija said...

Part 1

Evia,

You said, "I don't see anything wrong with women sharing notes about where to find more Quality men of whatever skin shade, and I believe that was the intent of the ANON..."------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: We agree to disagree. I think you're being very kind in reading sensible things into her statements that were not there. NOT ONCE in either of her comments did Anonymous mention quality. Not even after I challenged her first statement. ALL Anonymous talked about was:

(1) The number of random BW she saw with WM;

(2) That "Seatle has always been a ir dating city;"

(3) and after I challenged her statement, her allegation that I'm "not a pro interracial dater." [Whatever that means. I guess it means that since I don't give preference to men's color over their quality, this means that I'm not "a pro interracial dater".]

There's a pattern with this particular anonymous commenter. I have a pretty good idea of who she is. Sometimes she uses her screen name, sometimes she posts anonymously. I notice that she interjects interracial dating as BW's salvation no matter what topic is being discussed. Even when the discussion is about some of the internal work that AA women need to do.

When she interjects these irrelevant "BW just need to find the WM" comments into discussions, she does so under anonymity. I've seen her do this on other blogs. If the blog host discounts her "Where the WM at?" comment as irrelevant to the discussion (which it often is), then she accuses the blog host of "not being pro-IR" or of "dating IR herself while trying to keep other BW away from WM," etc.

This particular chick doesn't care about quality. The word "quality" is NOWHERE to be found in her incessant "Where the WM at?" comments.

You said, "but as we're asking, "what are so many AA women doing with these men even when they do encounter them?" I've been paying very close attention to this over the last couple of years to find out why it is that more AA women cannot or will not "make the sale" and "close the deal" with a black, white or any kind of man. I can clearly see GLARING errors that AA women make."----------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: You see it. I see it. Nevertheless, so many AA women are too arrogant to admit (even to themselves) that they need to start doing things differently. As was demonstrated by Anonymous #2's comment. As you noted, a lot of AA women are obviously sexing a lot of men; but nothing comes of it---no marriages.

I don't think that AA women so much sincerely buy into stereotypes about WM (although AA women repeat these stereotypes to each other to justify the "nothing but a BM" madness). I think AA women are simply gullible and foolish about men in general. ALL men.

The heightened risks I see for the "Where the WM at?" type of BW are:

(1) This type of AA woman also doesn't know how to screen for quality. All she's screening for is White skin.

(2) Since non-AA men are more likely to be raised to at least KNOW how to pretend to be gentlemen (unlike so many fatherless, savage-acting AA men), already-clueless AA women are even more vulnerable to being used and abused.

The bulk of AA women are so accustomed to the rock-bottom, Ar-ruh Kelly-I-wanna-verbally and literally-p***-on-your-head level of treatment that is dished out to them from AA men, that even the slightest bit of courtesy from a non-Black man makes them think that man is a knight in shining armor to them. And then they are taken advantage of. This last bit applies to AA women in general, including the "Where the WM at?" type of women.

Khadija said...

Part 2

Anyway, other types of BW such as African women are better skilled at steering relationships toward marriage. But then again, Africans come from intact families; and cultures that raise women AND men to highly value marriage. African women have a better environment to work within as far as the marriage tip goes.

AA women USED to know how to steer relationships toward marriage. As I've mentioned in previous conversations, my "old-school" older female relatives taught us to "Give a n-word 90 days!" That meant that if the Negro did not offer marriage (provided that further courtship didn't reveal any nasty, "dealbreaker" surprises about each other) after 3 months, it was time to dump him and move on to other prospects.

Unfortunately, most of us younger women in the family thought our mothers, aunts, etc. were being harsh and crazy. It turned out that they were right. About many things.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Halima said...

Hi Khadija

Re AA and black women not knowing how to vet men i think a lot of it has to do with the 'instructions' and messages they have been feed over the years, primarily to not be too hard on black men, and this has developed into a full blown culture of 'foolish' and lack of comonsense dealings with men (AA/black men have then taken full advantage of the lowered requirements).

Underpinning it all however is the notion that bm are brothers and will treat a sister right and are different and set apart from other men in their responses and actions towards bw. Many bw are still running with this script at the moment, regardless of the damage and destruction they can see around and possibly because believing this 'positive brief' about bm has been made an expression of faith and hope in their community (which every bw is supposed to have). Also they are still operating within the idea of 'well intentioned' brothers, because there appears to be a 'disconnect' between black womens 'real' experinces and their 'lived' experiences (you can indeed see how this disconnection has become necessary to keep black women believing the promise of black unity and black community).

As you have noted, in a more structured culture where marriage is elevated and comonsense is still in operation, bw pick up marriage savy dealings with men automatically, so really i believe it is about the culture and mindset unleashed and once bw have been made to see the dysfunction inherent in aspects of 'black think,' and adopt more favourable ones, their actions and reactions will follow through and become more savy.

I am not quite sure that widescale 'foolish dealings' will automatically follow into the interracial arena, and the reason why i am of this view is because, like i said, the underpinning of bw current 'lack of savy dealings' is the notion of brotherhood between bm and bw, which bw assume bm are operating in. White men do not occupy the 'brother' space in the minds of bw anyway, and black women have already been conditioned to be hyper vigilant with white men. I think while it is very possible for bw to get misused, this whole dynamic, reduces the probabilty significantly at least for the time being. In terms of white men, i dont even think the average one understands the internal dynamics within black community to even begin to believe that bw can be approached for exploitation, on the contrary, i think many of them are very careful when they approach bw lol!

roslynholcomb said...

"Give a n-word 90 days!"I'm giggling because the women in the family said much the same. I generally advocate six months. I honestly believe that most men know in a very short timespan whether or not they're going to marry a woman. That's why you see these guys who've strung a woman along for a decade, then marries the next woman he dates within weeks.

I've been accused of dating/mating IR, but trying to keep other black women from doing the same as well. It's a bizarre accusation, but the people who make it have already proven their inability to think or speak in a logical manner. That's their fallback position whenever someone says that this desperate quest for a white man is ridiculous.

If every dude you've ever dated was a loser, it's time to start looking at yourself. There's something seriously wrong with your selection process. You can argue until the cows come home that it's lack of availability of decent men, but that being the case, a woman with a healthy ego would elect to be alone rather than with poor quality men. The fact that you chose poor quality men based on the belief that higher quality men aren't available to you is further evidence that you need to do some self-work.

And a man's melanin content won't make any different. There are plenty of white men out there who have the same or worse problems than black men. (Many of them are actively seeking black women because they believe that we have lower standards than white women.) The main benefit to casting a wide net is the fact that you have a wider selection to choose from. However, you still have to be mighty darned selective. I've had too many black women come back and tell me IR horror stories. This 'Where the white men at,' mentality is absurd and downright dangerous.

roslynholcomb said...

...and black women have already been conditioned to be hyper vigilant with white men.That hasn't been my experience, nor is it what I've finding in my in-box. As Khadija said, for the black women who are accustomed to the brash manner of manner black men, white men with even the basic common manners come across as Sir Galahad. Basic things that most women are generally accustomed to seem foreign and the women feel as though they're being 'treated like a queen.' These men are then free to be absolute DBs and the women accept it because in their mind he's still head and shoulders above a black man.

Rather than being wary of white men, as previous black women have been, this generation of black women have the mindset that white men are 'soft,' and less likely to use and/or abuse them. We can't operate from the belief system that we were taught as young women, because these young women are operating from a totally different play book. They don't see white men as dangerous, they barely see them as 'men' at all, and therein lies the principal risk. I've seen too many posts from black women saying things like, 'White men aren't obsessed with sex like black men.' Chile please. ALL men are obsessed with sex, just because he's not grabbing your butt doesn't mean he can't be just as much a primate as any other man.

We also cannot underplay the role of white supremacy here. For many black women, especially the ones who have the Where the white men at? mentality, a white man is a pearl beyond price. They flock to these IR blogs and before that IR message boards on a desperate quest for a white man to salve their egos. They seek white men in a quest to get their own back against black men.

I've been talking to black women about IR dating for more than a decade now, and I've seen this pattern over and over again.

geekgrl said...

When I wrote non – intervention, I was speaking of foreign policies. The official stance of the US used to be ‘friends with all nations, alliances with none’. But I think that started to erode after the Spanish War.

I readily concede that federal intervention was/is necessary when states abuse their power. But I also feel that the federal government has/is abusing its power, and there is no intervention. So I support a smaller gov.

geekgrl said...

Khadija said:
“The other thing is that most of the Black conservatives I've encountered make NO (or minimal) effort to draw a distinction between themselves and the racist baggage of their ideologies. This omission raises eyebrows.”

I agree. I don’t understand if there need to belong is so great that they would do this or there is another underlying reason.

Evia said:

“…some AA folks consider me very conservative (LOL) BECAUSE I advocate marriage & family, delaying sex, being disciplined across the board, exercising common sense, saving & investing money, valuing education, self-reliance (as much as reasonably possible), being responsible, parents behaving like parents, people behaving with decorum, avoidance of embracing silly trends in popular culture, etc.”

I support those things and was surprised when my friend since high school first called me conservative (and she’s homophobic!). I tried to fight it, but as labels go, I can live with it.

Anonymous said...

I know that interracial dating is not the subject of this post but since it seems to have evolved in that direction with the webmistress' permission, I just wanted to add my 2 cents.

Evia always says that BW must "vet" a man. I looked up the word "vet" in my dictionary and it says "to evaluate for possible acceptance or approval". But what does that mean in the context of "vetting a man"? Do you ask the man questions? If so, what questions? How can you tell if he's giving honest answers?

It has already been pointed out that most modern BW do not know how to vet a man. Just because Evia says over and over that 'you must vet a man' doesn't mean that a typical BW knows how to do it effectively in real life.

How does a BW "vet" a man or, as I perfer to call it, "date for marriage"? Perhaps Evia (or someone) can write a book for BW about how to date for marriage. I'm serious. Dating for marriage seems to be a lost art for most black women these days.

Anonymous said...

Of course black women should look for quality in men of any color. I don't think white men are our saviors at all, but they aren't our enemies either. Black women can think and reason just like anyone else. Black women have a better chance of finding there happy ever after with a non-black man due to environmental and social issues in the black community. Who are black women going to marry? There are more white men vs black men out there to choose from as mates. I find it interesting that some of the Ir bloggers are now focusing on just quality men of any race when in the beginning they were telling black women to date and marry white men. I guess it would be discrimintory to leave out HM or AM. I was just making an observation and it has turned into something off the chain. I guess it looks like we will have to agree to disagree. To all the single black women on and off line its Every woman for herself.

Southland Diva said...

Enjoying the coversation, but let's not restrict outrageous racial oppression and racial terrorism to the South. The entire United States has had, does have and continues to have conflicts regarding race. I know Till was murdered in Mississippi (where I live) but let's not forget horrible acts like Emmet Till's murder occured/occurs all over this country. Detroit, Chicago (especially), et. al. are still known as Up-South and not just because southern negroes migrated there; racism was/is alive and kicking there too.

{rant switch off}

When we were young, my mother told me and my brothers to look and act 'presentable' when we left the house. 'Presentable' translated into dressing appropriately (no undergarments exposed, no dirty clothes, no wrinkles either); displaying proper/courteous behavior (especially to adults); etc. I don't remember hearing the term 'home training' growing up, but this is how it is commonly referred in today's parlance. We also understood, at least back then, rude behavior was just that, rude behavior (ex. loud talking; cursing, specifically in front of (or heaven forbid at) elders and kids).

I haven't forgotten those lessons. I don't have children of my own to pass these lessons to, but I do have nieces and nephews and any young people (OMG, does this mean I am....gasp...OLD?!) with whom I come into contact.

Peace

Khadija said...

Halima,

From your lips to God's ears!

Here's my underlying concern---I've noticed a cultural shift that has left those AA women & girls who buy into it even more powerless than those who came before them: the "hook-up" culture.

When I was in high school and college, weak-minded girls allowed themselves to be pressured into sex in hopes of keeping guys that they thought were boyfriends. The sequence of events was that you dated a bit and then the guy tried to see if he could get sex from you.

From talking to my cousins' teenage and young adult kids, a common modern sequence of events seems to be that girls/young women engage in sex ("hook-up") and then hope that it turns into a dating relationship![Which is even less than a proclaimed girlfriend/boyfriend relationship.]

Apparently, there's an expectation that females will have sex with casual acquaintances, and then the guy will choose one or more of these "hook-ups" as somebody he will then ask out on an "official" date.

Now, I'm not saying that girls/young women didn't have casual sex when I was in high school and college. The difference is that most who did so fully understood that this was CASUAL sex.

The girls/young women might have been hoping to eventually leverage it into something more. But there was no common expectation that a girl/young woman would have sex to simply be "in the running" to later on be asked out for a date.

I can't assess how widespread this "hook-up" culture is among younger AA women and girls. But if THIS is the social environment that these women have acclimatized themselves to, then they are in a UNIVERSE of trouble no matter who they go out with.
______________________

Roslyn,

You said, "I honestly believe that most men know in a very short timespan whether or not they're going to marry a woman. That's why you see these guys who've strung a woman along for a decade, then marries the next woman he dates within weeks."----------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Oh yes!! This is true. I've seen it over and over.

You said, "They don't see white men as dangerous, they barely see them as 'men' at all, and therein lies the principal risk. I've seen too many posts from black women saying things like, 'White men aren't obsessed with sex like black men.' Chile please. ALL men are obsessed with sex, just because he's not grabbing your butt doesn't mean he can't be just as much a primate as any other man."-----------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Exactly. What I've noticed is that AA women tend to screen WM only for the warning signals that he might be a racist; NOT for the warning signals that he's a guy looking to get over on them. They're only hypervigilant looking for a flashing red light that blinks "racist." Not for a flashing red light that blinks "guy, like ANY guy, tring to get over."

As you've pointed out, this is dangerous.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Geekgrl,

One thing I can agree with the founding slaveowners about is the need for this country to avoid unnecessary foreign entanglements. The US has faced so much blowback and losses over the years (long before 9-11) over unnecessary meddling in other people's affairs.

For just one example, how has Vietnam having a communist government affected the US? Not at all! All those American lives wasted for no reason. All those Vietnamese people killed for no reason. Idiotic foreign policies kill. In large numbers.
_____________________

SouthlandDiva,

You said, "Detroit, Chicago (especially), et. al. are still known as Up-South and not just because southern negroes migrated there; racism was/is alive and kicking there too."-------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: One point of having the Emmett Till discussion was to ensure that I understood why I had to stay far away from certain CHICAGO-area neighborhoods and suburbs.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

I find it interesting that some of the Ir bloggers are now focusing on just quality men of any race when in the beginning they were telling black women to date and marry white men.RESPONSE: Since I've been ACCUSED of this by obsessed folks who are addicted to what I write but OBVIOUSLY have poor reading comprehension, I'll respond to this. I have NEVER advocated that AA women date and marry ONLY white men.

I am now married to a wm and my blog started from that basis: my INTERRACIAL marriage. My message has ALWAYS been that "if you can't find your socks in the middle drawer after searching and searching AND searching, then it's just common sense to broaden your search and look in another drawer." I used to tell my children that when they couldn't find what they were looking for in ONE place.

Another drawer in the case of finding a loving and lovable man can be another race, another ethnicity, another state, another town, another neighborhood, another country, etc. . . . . or anywhere in the global village. I've certainly dated my share of "anothers," and married 2 of them. It was common for young bw in my social set in NYC to date men of various backgrounds at that time. NYC is full of men from various backgrounds. Virtually ALL of my girlfriends dated and married "anothers." I can't think of any of them who married an AA man. This is why I've never understood the hoopla about my blog.

To me, it's still shocking that so many AAs go off the edge about my blog!!!! That just goes to show how very narrow and limited their world is.

My first boyfriend when I was 18 was an AA; my 2nd boyfriend was a central american Hispanic guy, and my 3rd one was an Iranian. I've never dated an Asian. The rest of the guys I dated were continental Africans from East and West Africa and white men.

The fact is that of the "anothers" in this society, a major portion of them are white. By virtue of sheer numbers, if a woman like me reaches into the man drawer, I'm most likely going to pull out a non-AA man because I have never tried to specifically find an AA man or any specific man based on nationality or race. I was always just in the vicinity of the men I started dating. I never lived or mingled in an "ONLY AAs" environment since the time I was 17.

It was surprising to me to find out 3 years ago that so many AA women had such a STRONG preference for AA men, but that's their perogative. However, they then need to STOP complaining about how he don' them wrong.

As I've said so many times, I don't have a preference for AA men or a white man or a Nigerian man or any other type of man based on non-important traits; I have a preference for a loving, lovable, suitable, and compatible man who makes the effort to treat me like he loves, cherishes and adores me at least 90% of the time. That's what's important to me, and I've made that clear from the VERY beginning. I repeat: I've said that from the very beginning and many folks who've read my blog from the beginning, can recall that.

I also stated at the very beginning that I was married to a Quality Nigerian man who is still a good friend of mine. So I definitely know there are lots of good guys out there of various backgrounds and races and that's something else that I frequently say, since I believe that.

It is dimwitted. issue-ridden, self-hating OTHER black folks who read what I write and translate: Quality = White and then they start arguing with themselves about their own interpretation which has nothing to do with me. And as I've pointed out, I can't and won't try to be responsible for other peoples' interpretations of what I write.

People have THEIR ISSUES. These are THEIR issues; not mine. I'm very clear about that.

Now, if I were in the market for another husband, there's no telling what nationality or skin shade he'd turn out to be, but one thing for certain is that I would not settle for less than what, IMO, is a QUALITY man.

Anonymous said...

Khadija,
I'm coming out from my observer chair. I'm from Trinidad originally but I've been living in the States for many years. I mostly blog on beauty, hair and skin care, not much on race. I really try to stay away from race topics. But while blogging, I have met so many African Americans online who have west Indian roots and some are first generation. I am not saying you are fully right. I do think it's limiting to exclude west Indian people as a group based on your criteria. Where would you place President Obama as an African American scale?

Like Laincognita, I see the big picture, I think I got her drift. As for the piece of pie, why not? How different are we all amongst the racists. I know about many west Indians who have made positive contributions in the civil rights movement. It was the 'black' struggle then and many took part. So now I don't debate in the African American vs Island Folk. I'm older and wiser now, but I have learned in my early college years that I will always be seen as an outsider among African Americans. I had to make up my mind to never let that stop me from doing my part when uplifting black woman here in the States.

anna said...

@ Khadija

black women who are accustomed to the brash manner of manner black men, white men with even the basic common manners come across as Sir Galahad. Basic things that most women are generally accustomed to seem foreign and the women feel as though they're being 'treated like a queen.'

Ok, can we just have a post about this, LOL. I know in my own experience (growing up w/o a father, and having that father grow up w/o his father) I didn't really have a lot of adult male attention that wasn't related to my sexuality.

This isn't a good model for girls, because it fails to reinforce their self-worth outside of what they can do for a man. I've never had a relationship with a jerk or been treated badly, but I can say that I've often confused general manners with "I'm interested", simply because I never saw someone be courteous or nice to me because they were just nice.

This became apparent to me when I realized how much I'd elevated a man (not a potential dating partner, just some guy I knew at work) just one the basis of his courtesy and good manners -- and had completely overlooked the fact that really, our approaches had been frequently at odds. And while he was a good guy, I gave him a lot of accolades that I couldn't strictly justify on the basis of our interactions. I made a lucky guess, but it was still guesswork, when I should have used facts.

I know this transcends race, but I just want to put out there that it can be necessary to really check ones own perceptions, just to be sure that we're advocating on our own behalf, and for the right reasons. I know now that I should ask myself "what is it about this person that I'm valuing? Am I giving this attribute the proper worth?"

I'd love to see some posts on dating/vetting quality men. Honestly, I'd like to know where to find them...I'm single! :D But really, I think this is symptomatic of two larger issues: the ability to identify one's self-interests, and to create alliances that reinforce those interests.

I think most people can find their way to the former: people generally have some idea of what it is that they want. But achieving the latter can be difficult - knowing what makes a good ally, how to find them and also how to keep them. This is hard (it is for me, anyway.)

Khadija said...

Anonymous at 7:52 p.m.,

Pres. Obama is half-continental African and half-White. He is not descended from those Black people who were held in slavery HERE in the US. Therefore, he is not African-American. He's a complete outsider in terms of his birth heritage.

He is an example of an outside carpetbagger riding the coattails of dead AA martyrs. He is profitting from AAs' naivete and gullibility. We're so desperate to see Black skin advance (symbolic advancements) that we don't question whether or not that Black skin belongs to one of us. Or to somebody else who stepped in to grab the goodies produced by our dead martyrs.

He is also a complete outsider in terms of his cultural heritage. He was not raised by AAs. He did NOT grow up among AAs. He had to learn about AAs from his wife.

He has no organic connection to me or mine. He's using us; and using our aspirations; and using our gullibility (our desperation to see "Black faces in high places" even when those faces don't belong to us).

I notice that you haven't responded to the points I raised before. Let me repeat them:

I said, "AAs have the unfortunate habit of giving other people access to our "nuclear codes"---we allow others to have COMMAND and CONTROL over our organizations. We allowed a handful of West Indians like Stokely Carmichael and others to run and set policy for many of OUR organizations during the 1960s. While we took orders from them, and served as footsoldiers."------------------------------------------------------

ADDITIONAL COMMENT: What, if anything, of YOURS have y'all allowed AAs to control and set policy for? Is there anything similar to the way AAs allowed some West Indians to run and set policy for some of our organizations in the 1960s?

Incidentally, 1960s AA organizations were NOT global (so-called "bigger picture") organizations. Their purpose was to alleviate the suffering of AAs right here in the US.

I said, "So, LaIncognita, here's my question for you---and I mean this in all seriousness and sincerity:

What's in it for AAs to share slices of the pie (created in America by our civils rights martyrs) with Caribbean folks? What do WE get in exchange for diminishing our portion of the pie?

For example, are some of these Caribbean countries going to offer AAs dual citizenship (for those who want it)?"
--------------------------------------------------------------

ADDITIONAL COMMENT: I'm repeating this question to you. What do AAs get in exchange for giving up slices of our "pie" to others? Dead AA martyrs created this pie that we're slicing up. Again, what are y'all going to do for AAs in exchange for slices created by the blood of our martyrs?

I notice that so far, nobody is answering this question. Nobody is offering any sort of reciprocity. Nope, I'm not supporting a "something for nothing" deal. AAs have been on the bad end of those for too long. And with too many different types of people.

The VAST majority of the "footsoldiers" for the 1960s organizations were AAs born of this soil in the US; and descended from those held in slavery right here in the US.

WE did this for ourselves. Other people did not come in and rescue us. Not the Jews (some of whom want to claim that they were the backbone of the civil rights movement). Not foreign Black folks. Us. Ourselves. For ourselves.

It almost reminds me of how I've read that so many French people wanted to claim that they were part of the French Resistance AFTER WWII was over. When actually only a very small fraction of the population participated in the resistance. Now that the dying is over, lots of other types of Black people want to claim that their people were somehow an integral part of AAs' civil rights movement, instead of a very small fraction of the actual participants.

To paraphrase the saying: Success has many people who claim to be its parents. Failure is an orphan.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

roslynholcomb said...

I'd love to see some posts on dating/vetting quality men.

Anna, if you go to my blog, you'll find 20 fairly concise posts called 'Free Lessons.' I think they contain the mating/dating information you seek. Lesson #5: Men Aren't Stupid has pretty much become a classic.

Khadija said...

To Anonymous at 10:43 a.m.,

It seems that now you want to have some sort of debate with Evia about what her message has been all along. Well, that's a waste of time as far as I'm concerned. This is why I rejected your most recent comment.

It's interesting. I NEVER had the impression that Evia was "telling black women to date and marry white men." I know that I never interpreted her essays that way, because I know that I would NOT have continued to read them if that was her message. At the point when I stumbled across Evia's blog, I had even less tolerance for the worship of non-Blacks than I do now.

Also, after reading your comment, I went to check my digital, downloaded version of Evia's book to check some of the earlier blog posts that she reprinted for the book. [Yes, I was quite happy to buy her book.]

Among other things, she talked about HER interracial marriage to her White husband. I didn't see anything where she was "telling black women to date and marry white men."

Instead, I saw statements like the following from her book:

---“My blog became the site of a rallying cry with the central message that black women must make use of their options to meet and marry mates from the entire global village just as black men increasingly do as well as white, Asian, Hispanic, and other women and men."pg. 16.

--"The primary lesson that I want black female readers to draw from my blog’s teaching essays regarding love and marriage is that “a ‘good lovin’ man can be any skin shade or “race.”" p. 20.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

anna said...

@ roslynholcomb

I'm there! :D And I apologize for misattributing your words to Khadija: there's so much good stuff here to talk about, that I got confused as to who said what!

Seriously though, reading this blog has made me think about the value of a solid infrastructure.

I think to make meaningful advancements, there needs to be some machinery in place, so people's efforts can be translated into some real output. Things like solid families (made or birthed into), like-minded friends, art and culture that elevates the group...all of these things.

I guess the issues now are how to identify and counteract one's weaknesses, in order to move forward? In any case, I know I have some work to do, on myself and in some key areas that I think can be helpful for the community.

This blog has given me a lot to talk about, thanks!

sistrunkqueen said...

Since there is some discord about the role Caribbeans played in the civil rights movement, I want to inject here about the importance of the black Caribbeans retaining and holding their place in home countries. i don't know if anyone here has heard the term of recolonizing of the Caribbean islands. For what I have read online and seen on youtube about Caribbean politics, there is a conserted effort by the old powers to run the islands again. This is evident in the fiasco in Turks and Caicos where the British government did an investigation on the last Prime Minister. It is important to note that the Europeans have always manipulated and controlled the black Caribbean Islands. I think that the Caribbeans need to focus on their own politics and not be concerned about black Americans because the handwriting is on the wall.

I am glad that this topic is moving from interracial dating to international politics and globalization. I just love international relations and I should have majored in it in grad school.

Aphrodite said...

"Apparently, there's an expectation that females will have sex with casual acquaintances, and then the guy will choose one or more of these "hook-ups" as somebody he will then ask out on an "official" date."


Yep, this is pretty much how it goes.

Khadija said...

Aphrodite,

Thank you for your input. That's "how it goes" for those women and girls who cooperate with "hook-up" culture.

Part of the problem is that apparently MANY younger AA women and girls have no concept of normal dating, much less any concept of courtship. "Hook-up" is all they've seen, and all they know.

If they want even a chance at healthy, wholesome marriage they're going to have to step waaaay OUTSIDE of "hook-up" culture. And refrain from interacting with "hook-up" men. And seek out higher-quality men.

As the first baby step, they will have to reserve their attention for ONLY those (eligible) men who offer actual dates as the FIRST step. And only respond to those men. They have to get it firmly in their minds that actual dates come FIRST in the sequence of events. REAL dates come BEFORE any consideration whatsoever of sexual involvement with a man.

I say baby step, because I doubt that a woman who has never had a normal DATING sequence of events (and has only been involved in the hook-up sequence) will be able to effectively steer a relationship toward marriage. If she doesn't know how to have normal dates, how is she going to know how to steer the relationship toward actual courtship?

I believe the first step for such women is to acclimatize to having real, normal dates; and NOT the hook-up sequence of events.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Halima said...

That hasn't been my experience, nor is it what I've finding in my in-box. As Khadija said, for the black women who are accustomed to the brash manner of manner black men, white men with even the basic common manners come across as Sir Galahad. Basic things that most women are generally accustomed to seem foreign and the women feel as though they're being 'treated like a queen.' These men are then free to be absolute DBs and the women accept it because in their mind he's still head and shoulders above a black man.


I guess we differ on approach. My basic premise is that bw can think and react ‘normally’ if not for the overburden of the current dysfunctional belief system within the black community. This is part of the framework within which I work because I realise that if I don’t give bw some credit at being sensible, I will not only need to chaperone them but walk them every step of the way, which I don’t think anyone has the resources to do.

Of course there will always be that 5% of folk who will be at the extreme (and who cant be helped), but I just don’t figure these to be the majority.

Another thing here is that if a wm displays attributes of kindness, thoughtfulness and respect towards a bw then in my estimation that man IS thoughtful and kind and respectful. Same goes for a a bm, hm, am.

Yes there will always be the 5% jackal and hyde characters but bw would be totally crippled if they had to totally discount how a man is interracting and presenting himself to them, for deep investigative digging( I am not saying don’t be watchful or don’t tune into what your instincts are saying because instincts tend to tell you when things are not what they seem and this goes back to bw being raised functionally).

There are some situations we cannot prevent. Such is life. Some situations we are just going to pass through and get out of, because there was just no way to predict them before hand. If a man who treated you with love and respect ends up a werewolf then you will just have to escape as soon as it becomes apparent and dust yourself off from that experience.

roslynholcomb said...

Another thing here is that if a wm displays attributes of kindness, thoughtfulness and respect towards a bw then in my estimation that man IS thoughtful and kind and respectful.

As Khadija pointed out, many of these young women today are accustomed to the hook-up culture. To them, a guy who actually takes them on a date, is something extraordinary. It's not a matter of a guy being Jekyll and Hyde, it's a matter of these women being totally unaccustomed to men who don't grab their crotch and call them 'shawty.' That being the case, dude could be an absolute creep, but she thinks he's special because he actually took her on a 'date.'

To most of us of our generation, being taken on a 'date' is normal and a basic part of the courtship ritual. For many black women of this generation, it's as rare as a unicorn, a chimera. So, when this happens, they're disarmed and vulnerable because they don't understand the difference in courtship rituals. They think it means something that it doesn't.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Khadija:


Here's my underlying concern---I've noticed a cultural shift that has left those AA women & girls who buy into it even more powerless than those who came before them: the "hook-up" culture.

My reply:

The cultural shift I'm thinking about goes back even further. Talking to some of the "old folks," they explained that in their day, people who dated did so because they expected to become seriously involved, or at least, imagined it as a possibility.

But with a shift to casual sex within casual dating, meaning sex and dating with the intent to just "see what happens," we see the result, women just waiting, and especially if they did not hear the old school wisdom of what the true purpose of dating was supposed to be. With the old school wisdom, they know that they must steer the relationship!

The hooking up thing just baffles, because to me, it is just "bass ackwards".

So let's take this apart here.

With the "hook up first" thing, what is the criteria for determining who will get the date?

Drum roll, please! The "honor" goes to...whoever has pulled the most tricks!

Think about it, this is about women being encouraged to act like porn stars/prostitutes.

Sexual freedom, the right to say yes, has thus morphed through this mindset, into no right to say no, because sex is expected? Who else is expected to say yes at the drop of a hat? Prostitutes!

Moreover, to fulfill this standard of using sex to get a date, a woman has to get enough sexual experience to pull a man with her mind-blowing sexual repertoire.

Talk about setting oneself up for failure; he doesn't have to earn the sex. The woman has to prove through her sexuality that she is datable. So his perception of bad sex, "you just didn't earn it baby," determines whether she is worthy of companionship.

What a sad, sad, state of affairs. How demeaning, how disrespectful! I can't begin to imagine how this mindset batters a young woman's self-esteem!

Going back to my old school elders, all a woman had to do back in their day was be a decent young woman in the way we have been discussing here, a young woman with home training, who presented herself well and who knew how to behave. That is what got young women dates.

The old school rules still hold true, as far as I am concerned.

Men have to earn the nookie; it is not given on a silver platter in the hope of getting a date and maybe a relationship. The dating and the relationship come first.

Khadija said...

PioneerValleyWoman,

You said, "So let's take this apart here.

With the "hook up first" thing, what is the criteria for determining who will get the date?

Drum roll, please! The "honor" goes to...whoever has pulled the most tricks!

Think about it, this is about women being encouraged to act like porn stars/prostitutes.

Sexual freedom, the right to say yes, has thus morphed through this mindset, into no right to say no, because sex is expected? Who else is expected to say yes at the drop of a hat? Prostitutes!

Moreover, to fulfill this standard of using sex to get a date, a woman has to get enough sexual experience to pull a man with her mind-blowing sexual repertoire.

Talk about setting oneself up for failure; he doesn't have to earn the sex. The woman has to prove through her sexuality that she is datable. So his perception of bad sex, "you just didn't earn it baby," determines whether she is worthy of companionship.

What a sad, sad, state of affairs. How demeaning, how disrespectful! I can't begin to imagine how this mindset batters a young woman's self-esteem!"
-----------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Yes, this is appalling. And it showed me the importance of defining terms during a conversation. When people in my age group speak of "going out" with somebody, we're envisioning actual dates. NOT the hook-up sequence of events.

I had to ask my cousins' kids extremely detailed questions, and ask what certain words meant to them to hear about this hook-up mess. ["Typically, what exactly happens when kids your age 'go out' with each other? What do you mean when you say 'date'? Typically, what has to happen for a young lady to get asked out on a 'date'?"]

If I hadn't asked for details and definitions, I wouldn't have found out about this. We were using the same words ("dating,""going out") but I discovered that these words had VERY different meanings to me and these younger relatives.

Again, this is yet another appalling situation that my generation has permitted to become entrenched (without any real efforts at intervention) among our children's generation of BW and girls.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Khadija:

If I hadn't asked for details and definitions, I wouldn't have found out about this. We were using the same words ("dating,""going out") but I discovered that these words had VERY different meanings to me and these younger relatives.

Again, this is yet another appalling situation that my generation has permitted to become entrenched (without any real efforts at intervention) among our children's generation of BW and girls.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

My reply:

As for the entrenchment, I can think of several things, one a theme which has been spoken of here, that many young black women don't see normal dating patterns and so become confused.

Another is that there are young black women who grew up with old school values who then go out into the world only to find that very few adhere to their old school values, and if anything, their old school values are mocked as being "out of date" and "hopelessly naive".

Their elder female relatives might not have had a clue of what was happening, or did realize what was happening but urged them to stay true to the traditional view.

But because these youngsters' world is so different, they feel they have no choice but to join in, because if they don't, they believe they will, without question, be left out altogether.

What is interesting is that I have seen this same conversation occurring among white conservative cultural critic types about this same crisis they see among their own, white middle class youngsters, young women more used to hooking up than dating.

But among these young participants, the rationale appears to be, that hooking up is better: who on earth wants to date, when they are too young to think about dating and marriage, they should be about having fun and open options; it is a fun way to get sexual experience while they focus on their education and careers; young men and women who want to date are just too young to be so serious. They are not mature enough to think about dating--dating is too serious an endeavor.

The difference, though, is that hooking up is imagined to be something that one does for a short time in one's twenties before becoming serious.

And yet, because they are not used to dating, when they are ready, they are incredibly jaded and complaining that they are not getting traditional dating relationships (the very thing they rejected or failed to pursue)--think Sex and the City or that dating book turned into a movie, "He's just not into you".

Sister Seeking said...

ASA/Peace and blessings:

Khadija, I found this information in Black Enterprise. This is the only black magazine I subscribe to because I believe the information is useful.

But in light of this discussion, I thought I'd share this advertisement I found:

www.pwnbooks.com

I'm into self-building myself, and since we are always talking about improving ourselves, I'd thought I'd share!

Salaam

P.S. I know you, and some other BWEB talked about selling your essays, maybe you all could do something like this?

Aphrodite said...

@ Khadija


"Part of the problem is that apparently MANY younger AA women and girls have no concept of normal dating, much less any concept of courtship. "Hook-up" is all they've seen, and all they know."


Yep that is it. Prior to becoming celibate I had been on only two 'real' dates. Both with AA men and sex was expected at the end.



@ Roslyn

"To most of us of our generation, being taken on a 'date' is normal and a basic part of the courtship ritual. For many black women of this generation, it's as rare as a unicorn, a chimera. So, when this happens, they're disarmed and vulnerable because they don't understand the difference in courtship rituals. They think it means something that it doesn't.


Since becoming celibate I have been on a few more dates (with non AA men, but men of color) in the past year or so and it feels weird having the guy pay. I never thought that they were the best thing since sliced bread bc of the date, but these men too - with the exceptions of one expected sex.



@ PVW

"With the "hook up first" thing, what is the criteria for determining who will get the date?

Drum roll, please! The "honor" goes to...whoever has pulled the most tricks!

Think about it, this is about women being encouraged to act like porn stars/prostitutes.

Sexual freedom, the right to say yes, has thus morphed through this mindset, into no right to say no, because sex is expected? Who else is expected to say yes at the drop of a hat? Prostitutes!

Moreover, to fulfill this standard of using sex to get a date, a woman has to get enough sexual experience to pull a man with her mind-blowing sexual repertoire.

Talk about setting oneself up for failure; he doesn't have to earn the sex. The woman has to prove through her sexuality that she is datable. So his perception of bad sex, "you just didn't earn it baby," determines whether she is worthy of companionship.

What a sad, sad, state of affairs. How demeaning, how disrespectful! I can't begin to imagine how this mindset batters a young woman's self-esteem!"


You pretty much nailed it. I guess I just had another revelation as to why I felt so badly after sex - and decided to become celibate. This stuff is brutal and very damaging to self esteem. Then you can factor in some of the other issues that have been discussed on this blog regarding sex and violence etc.. and you have some awful/horrible/painful experiences.



I think the times that I engaged in hook up culture - it was bc I thought that things had changed from my mom's gen and this is what it meant to be sexually liberated and open minded.

There was some natural curiosity/playfulness about sex/sexuality, but it got destroyed under the nastiness of the hook up fall out.


Another reason as you all have stated was that it seemed like this is the way things went - I knew of people who went on actual dates, but the majority of all my peers just kinda fell into bed together and girls would often tell other girls that if you wanna get/keep this guy you have to do this....



I used to feel so bad and miserable and so I said I have to stop this.



Now I am seeing this spread to older AA men- over 40+.

Open minded & freaky are two code words that send off alarms in my head and I run. Not that these are the kinds of men I am seeking to date, but you hear things in convos when you are around people.


And it just turns my stomach now.

LaJane Galt said...

I can hear the voices: give a n 90 days!

I will employ 3 mo for "serious"; 6 mo for "are we getting married".

My parents knew each other for 4 months before they got married. 39 years in Oct.

Khadija said...

PioneerValleyWoman,

Yeah, but the difference (as always) is that Whites can afford to do these sorts of things. We can't. And I notice that AAs take mess to a depth that nobody else does. We find the nth degree of dysfunction and degradation.

Let enough "Hannah Montana" White girls come up HIV+, and you'll see the White community clamp ALL the way down on that hook-up mess. And at that point, Whites will SHUT DOWN any so-called White entertainer whose work feeds into this teenage hook-up mess.

Unlike us, they don't play that with their girls.
______________________

SisterSeeking/Miriam,

Thanks for the info! I'll check it out.
________________________

Aphrodite,

You said, "Since becoming celibate I have been on a few more dates (with non AA men, but men of color) in the past year or so and it feels weird having the guy pay. I never thought that they were the best thing since sliced bread bc of the date, but these men too - with the exceptions of one expected sex."-----------------------------------------------------
RESPONSE: They expect this because they get it. And after a while, those who should know better (such as the 40+ year old AA men you mentioned) forget how inappropriate they are. It's best to run, not walk, away from such males. They are scum. Sometimes they need to discover just how contemptible they are.

I don't necesarily advise anybody else to do this, but I'm thinking of one Negro a few years back who said something utterly inappropriate at the dinner table during our 2nd (and FINAL) date.

He was, in an underhanded way, "interviewing" me to see what "category" of woman I fit into. I immediately and BRISKLY got up from the table, walked out of that restaurant, and left.

From what mutual acquaintances were telling me later on, he was absolutely stunned by this. You see, the Negro had gotten complacent about "testing" and disrespecting BW because he was considered to be a so-called "catch" as a Negro professional. Ummm...NO.

He was also apparently stunned by the fact that I NEVER spoke to him again. Despite his attempts at sending messages to me through acquaintances that he just wanted to apologize. Ummm...NO. He fully intended to say what he said. He just didn't expect the reaction he got. It never occurred to him that a BW would abruptly and totally cut him off.

Unfortunately, there's a huge pool of BW who take crap off of Negroes. And there's a large pool of BW who, even if they won't directly take the crap, will entertain Negroes' fake apologies. Which is yet another bad faith emotional game---as if these males didn't know at the time that what they were going to say/do was inappropriate. They knew.

The bottom line is that many AA women don't realize that they are training these Negroes to persist in this behavior by being bothered with it. On any level. Including wasting time listening to, and giving credence to by entertaining, Negroes' fake apologies.

But the "training" of doggish AA men is not the point. These males can and should be left to their own devices. Doggish AA men's scams only work because AA women continue to restrict their dating/marriage options to them, and serve as a (self-inflicted) "captive audience" for their antics.

It doesn't have to be this way. There's a global village of men who come from other cultures that VALUE stable marriages. What IS important is for more AA women to learn the dating skills needed to "close the deal" with QUALITY men.
_______________________

LaJane Galt,

I'm always delighted to hear about long-standing happily married couples!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

What IS important is for more AA women to learn the dating skills needed to "close the deal" with QUALITY men.

Well, since I talked about "closing the deal," I'll respond to this.

Honestly, I don't understand what exactly the question is or the questions. I don't know what the typical young woman doesn't know about dating because they DO know some things. And there can be so many different scenarios.

For ex., I had a friend who didn't go out on her first date until she was about 31, so she asked me whether she should allow the man to hold her hand on the fist date and whether she should let him put his arm around her in the movie theater. She had never been kissed, so she wanted to know exactly how invasive is kissing? In other words, she didn't know how much was TOO much in order for him to know that she was a respectable woman.

Is this what the typical young woman doesn't know or am I totally missing the ball?

I would suggest that women out there send me their detailed question(s) to my private e-mailbox (shareve@yahoo.com)and put "Dating" in the subject line. After I get enough of them, I can sift through them, condense them and determine what method would be best for responding to them.

Bloom said...

Hi Khadija!

First off, thanks for posting your wisdom online...I've benefitted tremendously from it thus far.

I just wanted to state that as a 21-year old recent college graduate, I agree that the hookup culture is in full force throughout my generation. I've gone out with more than one seemingly sweet, courteous, and friendly male who expected me to have sex with them on the third or fourth date! When I politely told them no thanks, I never heard from any of them again, lol.

I would say that more than half of my friends are into 'hooking up' because its so easy to do, and the rest are like me, and struggle to maintain a dating life without severely compromising their values. While many of my friends are bw, I also know enough ww who complain to make me think that this is a generational problem for any racial group.

I was talking to one friend not too long ago about this, and we are both thinking of dating older males, who are likely to be more mature and as turned off as we are about casual sex/dating...is this a good idea?

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,


"I don't necesarily advise anybody else to do this, but I'm thinking of one Negro a few years back who said something utterly inappropriate at the dinner table during our 2nd (and FINAL) date.

He was, in an underhanded way, "interviewing" me to see what "category" of woman I fit into. I immediately and BRISKLY got up from the table, walked out of that restaurant, and left."



I think that is excellent advice. I wish I had walked out on, hung up on, ran away from many of the men in my past. I always ignored and hoped it would get better.



"The bottom line is that many AA women don't realize that they are training these Negroes to persist in this behavior by being bothered with it. On any level. Including wasting time listening to, and giving credence to by entertaining, Negroes' fake apologies."



I know that you were talking about BM here, but when you said that it just clicked for me. Evia had been saying this all along and when you said it with that example - it finally resounded with me emotionally- that basically we as women are training men how to treat us from the first moment of interaction. And now I can see what she was saying about steering the realtionship by adjusting your behavior to his.


This has definitely built my confidence!


In the past I kept thinking it was me- something about me that provoked these reactions and responses. Intellectually I could understand that some men may have had their own issues, but deep down I always blamed myself in some way - now I think I really get it.

Thank you so much for that!

Khadija said...

Part 1

Evia,

You said, "I don't know what the typical young woman doesn't know about dating because they DO know some things. And there can be so many different scenarios.

...I would suggest that women out there send me their detailed question(s) to my private e-mailbox (shareve@yahoo.com)and put "Dating" in the subject line. After I get enough of them, I can sift through them, condense them and determine what method would be best for responding to them."
----------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: I think that would be a good way for you to handle such questions. As you noted, there can be so many different scenarios.

Even though to give a meaningful answer, you would have to know some details about each situation, I can think of some broad outlines of categories of dating mistakes that AA women tend to make:

1-Dating without a firm purpose (as PVW described earlier, "casual sex within casual dating, meaning sex and dating with the intent to just 'see what happens,' we see the result, women just waiting...";

2-Dating without a deadline of how much time one is willing to invest in a guy without any progression to serious intentions/Dating too long (I've watched my middle-aged Negro player cousins string a series of BW along for 5-8 years);

3-Giving sex waaay too soon in the relationship;

4-Giving one-sided emotional intimacy waaay too soon in the relationship. Blabbing all one's innermost feelings, and blabbing all of this waaay too soon---which often equals giving men the emotional "stick" to hit you with;

5-Being willing to "shack up" ['nuff said about that];

6-Becoming "clingy." Which is usually the result of only dating one guy at a time---not understanding that it's better to juggle dates with several guys until 1 of them shows himself to be worthy;

7-For those who choose to have sex before marriage, not having figured out a gameplan for how they will handle the sexual side of their relationship. From what I hear, even a lot of BW who maintain their demand for reciprocity up to that point, give it all away once they start having sex with a guy.

They allow the guy to run over them in bed (giving in to demeaning/degrading sexual demands that the woman has NO interest in performing) in ways that they didn't let the guy do outside the bed;

Khadija said...

Part 2

8-Not paying attention to disrespectful warning signals, which are actually "tests" to see what kind of treatment they'll take off a guy;

9-Not being willing to walk away from disrespectful males. Continuing to interact with disrespectful males, despite the warning signals.

For example, I've know several grown, professional BW who will call men back AFTER the Negroes got angry (because they disagreed with something the guy said---!!!--shaking my head) AND hung up the phone on them [!!!--shaking my head]. Of course, they were left with deep emotional wounds after these men finally kicked them to the curb;

10-For those BW who are "mature virgins," not thinking and talking through with a female friend the sorts of questions that your friend who hadn't dated until she was 31 asked you;

Well, let's see...those were the broad categories of "legitimate" mistakes I can think off of the top of my head. There are some common mistakes that are totally illegitimate:

1-Ignoring signals that the guy is already married/shacked up/has a girlfried and continuing to interact with him;

2-Being willing to knowingly date a married/shacked up/already has a girlfriend guy;

3-In any way, shape or form, fighting with other women over a guy (be it telephone harassment, physical fights, vandalism, or verbal confrontations);

4-For those BW who have children, allowing men that they are not on the verge of marrying to have any contact whatsoever with their children.

I've seen a lot of BW who are so frantic to try create instant families with guys that they bring each new guy around their kids (bringing their kids along for overnight/weekend excursions with men that they were casually dating);

5-Even worse than the above, putting men they are casually dating OVER their children (having/allowing casual dates to discipline their children).

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aphrodite said...

Hello Bloom,

"I've gone out with more than one seemingly sweet, courteous, and friendly male who expected me to have sex with them on the third or fourth date! When I politely told them no thanks, I never heard from any of them again, lol."


Where are you finding the ones who want to hook up after the 3rd or 4th date??

The majority of the men I run into want it at the end of the first date or even want it without having a first date.


I have a profile on a dating site and men contact me asking me to come over to their house and this is the first contact message. They usually say "let me wine you and dine you by cooking you dinner at my place".

My first thoughts are cheap/trying to get me drunk/slip me a ruffie- and I hit delete.


"I was talking to one friend not too long ago about this, and we are both thinking of dating older males, who are likely to be more mature and as turned off as we are about casual sex/dating...is this a good idea?"


I know you addressed this to Khadija, but I think some of the same rules apply to older men as young men. I don't think older men are turned off by casual sex at all. :) I have had instances where some older men were like "why do you want an older man- money?"

And then I have had some older men come on really frighteningly strong sexually bc they are all gassed up about looking at me as an object and I have been propositioned by them or propositioned to set up "arrangements".



I think like Patty S said on Millionaire Matchmaker - its all about the peen.


So I think you would still need to have the skills that Khadija and Evia have discussed when dealing with older men.

Khadija said...

Bloom,

Thank you for your kind words, but I don't feel all that "wise." I'm just describing what I've learned through observation and life experience.

About "older" men: First, as Evia stated, there are so many different variables and scenarios that it's difficult to assess any situation without knowing its individual details.

Second, I'm not sure what you mean by "older." Are you talking 5, 10, 15, 20+ years older than you?

Speaking in generalities, I will say this: I'm uneasy with situations where there's a huge disparity of any kind, including age, between the partners. I believe the Bible refers to this sort of thing as being "unequally yoked." Huge disparities usually mean huge power imbalances between the partners. Huge power imbalances usually invite mistreatment from the more powerful partner.
______________________

Aphrodite,

I'm happy you got something useful from my personal tale. That makes my day, because that's what this blog is about! LOL!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

Khadija, thanks for responding to my requests for the dating questions by posting a slew of dating mistakes bw make.

I think it's very important not to get caught up in a mainly EMOTIONAL response that we, as bw, are inclined to do to some of these situations.

As I figured out many moons ago, many of the issues embedded in those 'dating mistakes' have to do mainly with the "shortage of men" illusion that so many AA women live in and their INSECURITIES.

Until the bulk of AA women (of various ages) can break out of that illusion and clearly see and believe that there is NO shortage of good, decent, Quality men in the world, and see themselves as VALUABLE, they will continue to make these mistakes because these doggish men are in large supply and willing, ready, and AVAILABLE and without requiring the women to change. They accept these women as they are, as long as the women are opening their legs.

This is the heart of the matter: Typical AA women have a BIG, BIG, BIG, BIG, BIG problem crossing racial and sometimes even ethnic lines to connect with Quality men of other races and ethnicities. And many of these women are arrogant and do NOT want to CHANGE.

Also, I realize that some folks want AA women to teach adult AA doggish males to be decent, responsible MEN, but they can't because they cannot control enough of the variables. There are plenty of other women around these days for AA men to be doggish with.

So it's not just a matter of explaining to them how to date and 'close the deal' or telling them to just "Stop it!" I've discovered firsthand in my chat sessions that I had with some of the women who bought chat sessions from me that it was usually their insecurities that were causing the biggest part of their problem. Explaining the dating skills is the EASY part. LOL!

That's why I stopped doing those chat sessions and quickly. They were straight up THERAPY. In effect, I was once again trying to help a bw to see that she was 'worthy.'

However, I can easily respond to 'dating mistakes' in one format or another. Maybe my view of this is TOO narrow, so I invite more discussion about this. The crux of it is: do you or y'all think that just telling these women that these are mistakes will be beneficial to most of them when you consider that they will still be living with their insecurities in THEIR 'shortage of men' zone, which is an illusion, but that's where they live. That's their reality.

Also, most of us are ALREADY talking in great detail about many of these various mistakes on our sites.

Or are we only talking about helping a few women? OR?????? And why is it that our sites are not ALREADY helping those women? Why aren't our sites sufficient? Or will such a dating mistakes book just be preaching to the choir?

Khadija said...

Evia,

You said, "As I figured out many moons ago, many of the issues embedded in those 'dating mistakes' have to do mainly with the "shortage of men" illusion that so many AA women live in and their INSECURITIES.

Until the bulk of AA women (of various ages) can break out of that illusion and clearly see and believe that there is NO shortage of good, decent, Quality men in the world, and see themselves as VALUABLE, they will continue to make these mistakes because these doggish men are in large supply and willing, ready, and AVAILABLE and without requiring the women to change. They accept these women as they are, as long as the women are opening their legs.

This is the heart of the matter: Typical AA women have a BIG, BIG, BIG, BIG, BIG problem crossing racial and sometimes even ethnic lines to connect with Quality men of other races and ethnicities. And many of these women are arrogant and do NOT want to CHANGE. "
---------------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Well, there's the heart of the matter. Actually, this is the underlying theme to everything that we've been discussing. This arrogance plus unwillingness to do anything different was underlying the debates/excuses during the Flawless conversation. It was the reason why some folks immediately came up with "reasons" why it's "impossible" to have the art that we need during the Sojourner As An Artist conversation. This is intertwined with the general AA mental habit of "all talk, no action." It's all connected.

I think that it's impossible to know whether or not one is just preaching to the choir. For example, if I had remained a lurker online, none of y'all would have any way of knowing the effect that your essays were having on my thinking about these matters. There are a LOT of AA women who are silently lurking during these conversations. I'm sure that at least some of them are taking heed.

I also think that sometimes it takes hearing information repeated in several different ways for it to sink in. Especially when what's being said/recommended is outside the group's comfort zone.

As you noted, crossing racial/ethnic lines is way outside most AA women's comfort zone. Taking the steps necessary to feel confident and SECURE in one's value is also way outside most AA women's comfort zone. We would rather make excuses for why our self-presentation is pitiful and "broke down."

I dare say that most AA women are looking for "reasons" to not do any of the seemingly obvious, common sense steps that we've been talking about (the litany of lies/excuses that we've all heard in opposition to what we're saying).

Finally: Horse. Water. Drink. I feel that as long as I communicated a life-enhancing message to the best of my ability, that's all I can do. Whether or not some, few, many or any AA women listen, or take heed, is on them.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Evia:

As I figured out many moons ago, many of the issues embedded in those 'dating mistakes' have to do mainly with the "shortage of men" illusion that so many AA women live in and their INSECURITIES.

My reply:

This is why black women need to stop reading those women's magazines like Essence and those targeted to white women that only prey on women and their insecurities.

Gina at What About Our Daughters has been speaking of this lately in light of the recent issue of Essence.

These magazines (and other sources of popular culture) for years have been telling women that in a world of fierce competition, they are hopeless, but if they only do x, y, and z, all will be well, putting them on an endless treadmill of insecurity, and buying the media conglomerates' products in the hope of improving things.

They have also been formulating, as Gina argued, a "new normal" of shady dating practices. The "sex on the third/fourth date" thing is one those magazines had been talking about for years.

But when the standards of the "new normal" fail, and women are left feeling worse than before, the media vultures are ready to say, "well, things happen"; "you were just not tough enough"; "you just have to toughen up and get back in the game".

They make drama and dysfunction seem normal.

I speak of the women's magazines and other sources of popular culture, because where else are the popular and trendy standards coming from, the standards certain segments in society want to convey?

I want to add too, the importance of cultivating friends who adhere to similar values and who share similar outlooks, because it seems to me that some of those adhering to the new normal and who urge other women to do the same, are really about "misery loving company".

They know about the shortcomings of their views and experiences, but are too arrogant to do anything different, or they are naively pursuing "magical thinking".

Thinking about doing something different would be too traumatic, because then they would have to think about their worldview, their experiences, and think about how they might in some way be responsible for their experiences.

It is so easy to hold pity parties than to wake up and say, I messed up, I need to do something different. It is so easy to get other women to follow them down their path, fellow travelers to commiserate with and so forth.

Khadija said...

PioneerValleyWoman,

100% co-sign. {raised fist salute}

I'll just add that I'm amazed (and disgusted) by a segment of the commenters over at Gina's site who seem hell-bent on asserting that degradation equals liberation.

I'm not going to call the worst offender's name (and please, don't y'all do it either---I'll delete your comment), but I can't comprehend how this woman can be such a FERVENT champion in favor of almost every...single...degrading thing that is mentioned in Gina's posts. Things such as so-called "sex work," stripping, pole dancing, women hanging out in strip clubs to meet men, and the magazines that play on women's insecurities, etc.

It occurs to me that many of us have "friends" like this particular woman in our inner circles giving us personal advice. For the sake of one's own emotional, physical, and spiritual health, it's time to walk away from such persons.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,


"hell-bent on asserting that degradation equals liberation."

I drunk this kool aid for a minute, but then everything came crashing down on my head and I had to stop.


"It occurs to me that many of us have "friends" like this particular woman in our inner circles giving us personal advice."


This is very true, but I wonder about many young women bc there are so many on this type of kool aid that they def make drinking it seem normal.


"I'm not going to call the worst offender's name (and please, don't y'all do it either---I'll delete your comment), but I can't comprehend how this woman can be such a FERVENT champion in favor of almost every...single...degrading thing that is mentioned in Gina's posts. Things such as so-called "sex work," stripping, pole dancing, women hanging out in strip clubs to meet men, and the magazines that play on women's insecurities, etc."


I noticed that too and I wanted to comment, but it would take a book and I would be too emotional. I think this is outright destruction and sabotage. This person knows better.


It is kind of like MB (the radio personality) recently announced that when hiring he is doing credit checks, going on social networking sites (including his own) and checking pictures, performing background checks, and turning away women who dress provocatively/inappropriately. Now this is from the man who encourages women to swing, pole dance, and pass out flyers for "passion parties" at church.


This commenter reminds me of that.

They both know better, but innocently try to persuade others to plunge headlong into their own destruction.

roslynholcomb said...

I suspect that many of those who call sex work 'empowering' are probably trying to rationalize away their own actions. I've talked to a lot of women over the years, those who were 'pros' in various aspects of the field and amateurs who had a lot of partners. Most of the time they eventually realize the absurdity of their position, some however, are unable to own the fact that they've been used up and thrown away, so they continue to claim some type of ersatz empowerment. Total nonsense, of course, and worthy only of being dismissed.

Oh, and back to the subject of Chenequa, it would appear that other black students at Harvard aren't rallying around. It seems she had a reputation as a dope girl, and they're not willing to waste their political capital on someone who may well have done something wrong. Good on you black students at Harvard, too bad black folks in general have forgotten that lesson.

Khadija said...

Aphrodite,

You said, "I noticed that too and I wanted to comment, but it would take a book and I would be too emotional. I think this is outright destruction and sabotage. This person knows better."----------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Yeah, I also decided not to engage that commenter. It would be a complete waste of time.

Anyhoo, that's very interesting about MB. LOL! These creatures (such as MB, what a reader at Gina's site calls "Messence," and BET) really have a LOT of contempt for their audiences, don't they?
______________________

Roslyn,

You said, "I suspect that many of those who call sex work 'empowering' are probably trying to rationalize away their own actions.

...I've talked to a lot of women over the years, those who were 'pros' in various aspects of the field and amateurs who had a lot of partners...some however, are unable to own the fact that they've been used up and thrown away, so they continue to claim some type of ersatz empowerment."
---------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Interesting. You might be on to something. Hmmm.

You said, "Oh, and back to the subject of Chenequa, it would appear that other black students at Harvard aren't rallying around. It seems she had a reputation as a dope girl, and they're not willing to waste their political capital on someone who may well have done something wrong. Good on you black students at Harvard, too bad black folks in general have forgotten that lesson."---------------------------------------------------------------------

RESPONSE: Good for them! May more of us wake up to reality. Ameen. ["Amen."]

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

tasha212 said...

Part 1

Khadija said:

1-Ignoring signals that the guy is already married/shacked up/has a girlfried and continuing to interact with him;

2-Being willing to knowingly date a married/shacked up/already has a girlfriend guy;

3-In any way, shape or form, fighting with other women over a guy (be it telephone harassment, physical fights, vandalism, or verbal confrontations);

4-For those BW who have children, allowing men that they are not on the verge of marrying to have any contact whatsoever with their children.

I've seen a lot of BW who are so frantic to try create instant families with guys that they bring each new guy around their kids (bringing their kids along for overnight/weekend excursions with men that they were casually dating);

5-Even worse than the above, putting men they are casually dating OVER their children (having/allowing casual dates to discipline their children).

RESPONSE:These are definitely the patterns that I observe with my female friends and relatives with regard to relationships with men. About a year ago, I published a series called Rules of Engagement in which I discussed the dynamics that I observe in male/female relationships. One of the essays was entitled 20 Questions. It outlined the information, in the form of questions that women should find out about a man before even thinking about being intimate with them. Alot of the things that I mentioned were basic info such as his first and last name, was he married or involved in a relationship, does he have children. If he has children, how many and is he involved in their lives. You won't believe how many women willingly have children for men who already have children that they are not taking care of. The other essay was entitled "Love Defined" and discussed the true definition of love in the context of a male/female relationship. It deiscussed the necessity of reciprocity in a relationship. It gave examples that I have observed and experienced of NON-LOVING relationships that most people believe are loving. I always encourage women to have high standards and to use their common sense when engaging in relationships. So many successful and intelligent women seems to leave their smarts at the door when it comes to men.

tasha212 said...

Part 2

Evia said:

For ex., I had a friend who didn't go out on her first date until she was about 31, so she asked me whether she should allow the man to hold her hand on the fist date and whether she should let him put his arm around her in the movie theater. She had never been kissed, so she wanted to know exactly how invasive is kissing? In other words, she didn't know how much was TOO much in order for him to know that she was a respectable woman.

Is this what the typical young woman doesn't know or am I totally missing the ball?

RESPONSE:

At the "mature" age of 29, I have only had 1 boyfriend and the relationships wasn't "serious". So though I haven't had much "experience" in relationships, I have eyes and ears and a mind and spirit to lead me in the right direction. I also have a mama who taught me things through her words and actions about what to do and mostly what not to do in relationships. What I mean is that a woman doesn't have to experience 20 horrible relationshops in order to know what to do. I learn alot through observation. To me, a wise person notices patterns and learns from other's mistakes. Seeing what mistakes my girlfriends and female relatives make over and over again causes me not to make these mistakes. Also, because I grew up in an abusive household I tend to be hyper-vigilant about signs of future abuse. Like being overly possessive, clingy, verbally abusive or inappropriate, signs that many women overlook. These things often precede physical abuse.
___________________________________

Khadija said:

I'll just add that I'm amazed (and disgusted) by a segment of the commenters over at Gina's site who seem hell-bent on asserting that degradation equals liberation.

I'm not going to call the worst offender's name (and please, don't y'all do it either---I'll delete your comment), but I can't comprehend how this woman can be such a FERVENT champion in favor of almost every...single...degrading thing that is mentioned in Gina's posts. Things such as so-called "sex work," stripping, pole dancing, women hanging out in strip clubs to meet men, and the magazines that play on women's insecurities, etc.

It occurs to me that many of us have "friends" like this particular woman in our inner circles giving us personal advice. For the sake of one's own emotional, physical, and spiritual health, it's time to walk away from such persons.

RESPONSE: I also notice that this particular female is a particularly vigilant supporter of many things that are degrading to black women. I think many women have friends who are confused about how to conduct a healthy relationship. That old saying "misery loves company" is definitely true. Some women are malicious and want to see their "friends" in the same messed up situations that they are in, while others I think mean well, but are genuinely confused. Women should definitely be careful about who they take advice from. If a women is consistently in relationships with DBRs, then why would you think her capable of giving sound advice about relationships?

Peace and solidarity

Khadija said...

Tasha,

I'll be sure to check out your essays. Thanks for mentioning them!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Aphrodite said...

"hell-bent on asserting that degradation equals liberation."

I drunk this kool aid for a minute, but then everything came crashing down on my head and I had to stop.

My reply:

I like the way Anxious Black Woman, a black female academic, has spoken about this.

All those "sex-positive" feminist types who spearheaded the early move towards "degradation as empowerment" have led a lot of women down the path to self-destruction.

Their views became mainstream, through the popular culture, and a lot of young women bought into it.

Incredibly irresponsible, though, for some of my colleages who preach the "sex-positive" feminism, but who do not at the same time talk about critiques of that view coming from others in the academy, who have spoken about the domination of women and their exploitation.

Bloom said...

Hi Aphrodite,

"Where are you finding the ones who want to hook up after the 3rd or 4th date??
The majority of the men I run into want it at the end of the first date or even want it without having a first date."

I mostly met them through different college functions at my university (special lectures, performances, etc.), except for one guy I met when I went to see a movie by myself. I make it clear to anyone I date that I'm looking for a long-term relationship, so maybe that's why they try to "wait a while" before revealing what they're all about. Who knows??

Hi again Khadija,

"About "older" men: First, as Evia stated, there are so many different variables and scenarios that it's difficult to assess any situation without knowing its individual details.
Second, I'm not sure what you mean by "older." Are you talking 5, 10, 15, 20+ years older than you?"

Sorry for not explaining my definition of older- I was thinking around 7-10 years older than me. I don’t think that many people in my age range (early twenties) date seriously, and while I'm not trying to get married tomorrow, I dislike wasting my time on purely superficial relationships of any kind.

"Huge disparities usually mean huge power imbalances between the partners. Huge power imbalances usually invite mistreatment from the more powerful partner."

That, and the fear of being taken advantage of by someone who has mastered the art of deception have stopped me from dating more than a few years up. I might focus on making more male friends, and take a dating break.

geekgrl said...

NPR has a story on hooking up, as a positive. SMH

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105008712

Khadija said...

Geekgrl,

{shaking my head in disgust}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

ak said...

Hi Khadija

I just wanted to go back to what you wrote in the Comments section about Emmet Till. In that 80s PBS documentary EYES ON THE PRIZE they interviewed Till's male cousin who came from the area where Till was killed and who was probably the same age as Till. Till's cousin said in the interview that Till told him he said 'Bye baby' to a white woman in the diner and Till told his cousin he had a white girlfriend in Chicago where Till came from.

I remember you saying that people now believe that Till may have said nothing to any white woman but do you think Till's cousin may have been lying?

But back to the direction of this Comments section

I want to move back to the States soon but while I'm still here in London I have been reading the book called The Rules and practicing it out on a British-born and raised Nigerian guy who not surprisingly is well educated.

We'll see how this goes but if it doesn't go anywhere I'm not gonna go and kill myself over this LOL LOL

I too have learned how to seek men out for quality marriage purposes now later in my life unfortunately; I should have practiced this in my 20s but c'est la vie!

I grew up without a father and my mother is a very smart, hard-working, educated and common sensical woman but she got pregnant by man who dropped her flat once she found out BUT before she met him she had already received FOUR marriage proposals from different educated professional men and businessmen.

She turned them down because she wasn't ready for marriage at the time SMH I never got that.

Khadija said...

AK,

You said, "I remember you saying that people now believe that Till may have said nothing to any white woman but do you think Till's cousin may have been lying?"-

Who knows? Who can tell at this point in time? NONE of the atrocities committed against our people were ever properly investigated. Trying to backtrack more than 50 years into the past for the truth is nearly impossible at this point. Witnesses are long dead. Memories faded decades ago. The trail is ice-cold.

You said, "I too have learned how to seek men out for quality marriage purposes now later in my life unfortunately; I should have practiced this in my 20s but c'est la vie!"-

I hear you. If I had know better I would also have had a plan in mind when I was in my 20s. I think our older relatives advised us as best they could; it's just that BW's prospects and circumstances underwent a drastic change from their generation to later generations.

It turned out that what worked for BW in my mother's age group was no longer workable by the time I came of age. Circumstances within Black social circles had changed. I just didn't realize it at the time.

Onward and forward.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.