Lists, Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

The Mirror: Uncomfortable race-related questions we (African-Americans) need to ask ourselves

Between ESPN’s “Content of Character” Town Hall panel at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Henry Abbott’s “The NBA race conversation,” and Bob Kravitz’s “On this special day, we search for perspective,” I spent much of MLK day (and the weekend preceding it) reading and watching different examples of people involved with athletics attempt to tackle the race monkey.¹

Predictably, the most interesting aspect of each of these conversations came in the responses they generated. For those who aren’t used to seeing race issues discussed in predominately white (well-intentioned, but still white nonetheless) settings—and yes, although the Town Hall meeting took place in front of a mostly black audience, there’s no doubt that the majority of the people who actually watched on TV were non-black—you usually have a few intelligent responses sprinkled in with a cacophony of idiocy.²

But, while this idiocy comes in many forms-guilt-ridden acknowledgment of race issues (“I hate being a white person.”) and back-handed acknowledgment of race issues (“I know my ancestors did some messed up things, but when are we going to get past it?”) are a couple of my personal favorites—two trains of thought in particular are extremely troublesome:

Willful ignorance and stupidity (“This is some bullsh*t. Me and none of my friends see race. It wouldn’t even be an issue if you didn’t keep talking about it.“) and Willfully dangerous ignorance and stupidity (“This is some bullsh*t. Me and none of my friends see race. The real racists are people like Kanye West and Michelle Obama.“)

What annoys me so much about these types of responses is the fact that they’re caused by an unwillingness to discuss difficult questions in mixed company; a head in the sand-ness in regards to race that continues to disturb, anger, and sadden me…at least until I remember that we do it too.

You see this—black people refusing to discuss certain race-related issues—on blogs pretty much every day of the week. For instance, someone will write something up about how a very large percentage of popular—and underground, too. Don’t get it twisted—rap music, for lack of a better term, sh*ts on black women, and the conversation will quickly devolve into “Well, white people do it too! Ever listen to Johnny Cash? He’s been murdering bitches on wax since 1940!”

It’s understandable why this happens, though. Even if they’re asked without personal indictment intent, people tend to take these types of questions personally, and when questions are taken personally, people become defensive or willfully ignorant.

Knowing why many of us refuse to acknowledge certain tough questions helps me understand why some white people do the exact same thing. Still, we can’t ask them to be open-minded, intellectually curious, and self-critical if we—all of us, not just “some” or even “most”—aren’t willing to do the same thing, and here are a couple questions I think we need to be more willing to answer or at least discuss.

1. In the history of the recorded world, there has never been a popular music genre that consistently, enthusiastically, and creatively sh*ts on a group of women like rap does with African-American women. Why is that?

2. Why are African-American women the only women on the planet where a good many of them (not all, of course. but enough to matter) expect men to be attracted to certain personality traits that are the complete antithesis of what most men are attracted to?³

3. Even if you control income, education, and background, African-American men still get married much, much, much later than men of other ethnic and cultural backgrounds (if they even get married at all). What’s up with that?

4. Our history in this country has given us a bit of a “they’ve been oppressed, so it’s ok for them to do and say openly racist sh*t” pass. And, we’re not particularly shy about using it, even in jest (myself included). Anyway, we especially know how hurtful racially-charged insults and comments can be, but we continue to do it. Why? (Also, would you rather continue to have the “pass” or complete equality? Think about it a bit before you respond, though. When you think about the creative and communicative freedom the pass gives us, the answer isn’t so easy.)

5. Through our words and actions, both black men and black women promote and take pride in the idea that black men are typically virile and extremely hyperheterosexual. Why haven’t we realized that the acceptance and promotion of this perception has many, many, many more negative effects than positive?

Anyway, these are just a few questions off the top of my head. Does anyone have any answers? Or, better yet, does any one of any more uncomfortable questions we need to ask ourselves?

The carpet is yours.

¹Why I did choose to watch and read these sports-related takes on race instead of, I don’t know, CNN’s or Salon.com’s or something? One reason: The sports world forces people to encounter certain unique racial situations and dynamics that no other part of society really has to consider, and I deeply value the race-related thoughts and feelings of those involved with sports—players, fans, management, and most importantly, media.

²I’m not saying that most white people are unable to have thoughtful discussions about race, just the ones who usually feel compelled to comment in these types of venues. Big distinction.

³ To expound, the personality traits I’m referring to come in the form of taking pride in being a “handful,” giving 1001 reasons why smiling in public is bad, etc. Again, all black women don’t act this way. In fact, most don’t, but enough to make a difference. And, while I’m sure most of the women reading this can name strange entitlements many brothas have as well, what separates the two is that the brothas with ridiculous entitlements usually don’t expect women to actually be attracted to and admire the ridiculousness.

—The Champ

Filed Under: ,
Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • http://bubblyblackgirl.wordpress.com Renae

    #1 leaves me saddingly speechless.

    • Wise Diva

      Me too. I am sitting here wondering about the evolution of that, like what was the first song? Who was the first artist…to take it there? Why did that theme resonate with our community like it did in the beginning? It’s like I’m clamoring to reach this thought: IF we can find the start, could we find the end?

      • DanceHallKing

        The finding the start is pretty easy. The success of N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton” back in 1988 showed the profitability of misogynistic “gangsta rap”. While there were other examples of hardcore at the time (Scholly D., Kool G. Rap, B.D.P.’s first record, and Ice-T) N.W.A. were the first to blow nationally .

        • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

          I agree. Like when did the word “bitch” become cool? We did that.

        • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

          I agree. Like when did the word “b*tch” become cool? We did that.

        • Mo-VSS

          Nope, NWA was not the birth of the bitches and hoes movement. That “honor” belongs to Luther Campbell and the 2 Live Crew. That whole album was an ode to the more vile filth a 10 year old could hear about women…on the radio no less. I remember it vividly and I was banned from listening to it. I had friends who had the tape and as I listened to it, somehow my 10 year old mind comprehended why my parents banned me from listening to it. I didn’t enjoy it, didn’t get it and was offended…at 10.

          I’m still the same way about certain artists now. I wish more of us were and they’d get less mainstream exposure, leading the artists and record companies to reconsider the trash they put out.

          • DanceHallKing

            Straight Outta Compton (1988) predates As Nasty as they Wanna Be (1989).

            • http://jouromeo.blogspot.com/ Sage of Silence

              http://thoughtcatalog.com/2011/chet-haze-tom-hanks-asher-frat-boy-rap-college/

              this link is about white frat boy rappers that feel like they own hiphop because they grew up while HipHop was a major influence. They acknolwedge the blackness of the art form but refuse to see it as exclusive.
              I do not blame them but I also do not endorse them. Its just how I feel, I won’t be trying to relate to them by listening to their music. #TurnsKanyeWest’sMBDTFup

            • http://OverTymeRadio.com OverTyme

              2 Live Crew actually debuted in 1986, and that album was very raunchy, which many others tried to copy, except NWA was more street and less club as 2LC.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “It’s like I’m clamoring to reach this thought: IF we can find the start, could we find the end?”

        so basically widespread misogyny in hiphop is exactly like a rainbow?

        • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

          “so basically widespread misogyny in hiphop is exactly like a rainbow?”

          In more ways than one…

    • MB

      I think the mysoginy (sp?) comes from low self-confidence. Theyre bullies. U know, put others down to raise urself up.

      They feel insecure in this crazy world, so they exert their power by verbal and physical violence against women and other “feminine” characters, like gay men.

      Theyre self-worth is so tied up in being a “man” rather than stuff like creativity and intelligence.

      And it sucks for black women, bc to overcome it, we cant take part in it. How can u be supportive of someone who looks down on u? Maybe we need to all just go inter-racial marriage and get over it. WHo says black men and women have to end up with each other.

      • Zindzi

        “WHo says black men and women have to end up with each other?”

        NOBODY. Certainly NOT Black men. But over and over I hear sistas talking about how they’d never date a white man, how they LOOOOOVE the brothas, etc, etc, etc. Black men, on the other hand, are saying we don’t smile enough. *smh*

        Black women better wake up and OPEN UP.

  • WeGottaDoBetter

    Good question, right? (Jay-Z voice)

  • http://iamyourpeople.com/ I Am Your People

    I just threw something like that out on Twitter – why do Black people so enthusiastically support such degrading trending topics? It’s appalling

    • coldsweat3

      haha I have had the same sentiments and also wondered is there a disproportionate amount of ninjas on twitter cuz we stay with some ratched TT.

      • http://lizburr.com Liz

        There are a disproportionate amount of Blacks on Twitter. We make up something like 25% of twitter, but only 12% of the country…something crazy like that. Still, I think we are all guilty because if we aren’t the ones participating in the crazy, then we are complaining about it (thus contributing to the TT).

        • http://jouromeo.blogspot.com/ Sage of Silence

          Thanx, no I’m closing my twitter account. Because clearly, it is N*gga technology.
          Without you, I still wouldn’t know.
          yes, I have a bit of hesitation because I’m just getting to like it. But if I’m going to improve anything, I need to start with me.
          And yes, I’ll charge you with the ember that sparked the fires of a personal revolution.
          Thank you Liz. <3

          • http://lizburr.com Liz

            Hahah! yw!

          • Perfect Square

            Because clearly, it is N*gga technology.

            Quotes like this promote a similar problem. It seems (and if I’m wrong about you please correct) that we love suggesting that there are “Black people” and “Niggers.” As if we can separate “ourselves” from “those people” the racists are always talking about.

            • http://lizburr.com Liz

              if you’re not a part of the solution then you are part of the problem.

              • http://jouromeo.blogspot.com/ Sage of Silence

                @Perfect Square
                You clearly don’t watch the Boondocks and cannot appreciate my lack of proper quotations. Sheez, next time, I’ll make sure that I reference the Show, the author, the character that says it, the moment that the character says it.
                OR, you could just not point fingers because no matter what, people don’t respond well to it and rarely if ever is there any progress made.
                Now, on the off chance that you are aware of the origin of the quote and still somehow don’t have the sense of humor to take it as a joke, calm down, you ain’t solving nothing with that attitude.
                You cannot relate to me like that and I’m hardly on that variety of bullsh**, how will you relate to others?
                My point was merely to share that Liz made a significant contribution to my thought process on involvement and growth and that is to say, that being involved in things that don’t contribute to growth is a bad thing.

                Now, I could have said I’m done with twitter a bunch of different ways, but this site and the topics we go over are typically done in a humor related way and even when serious, getting a chuckle out of it is almost a necessity. Thus I pursued my comedic effect however lame or unwarranted. Was I wrong, maybe? But geez, coming down hard with criticism on THIS BLOG RIGHT HERE N****, is a bit premature if you are fighting nationwide/worldwide/localwide ignorance.
                Thank you for the fuel, I’m getting off my soap box now.

                • Perfect Square

                  I don’t really watch the Boondocks very often. So I was wrong. I thought I was respectful and even offered a disclaimer just in case. In any case I figured I was speaking in the same spirit that we all do on this blog. My bad…

    • http://twitter.com/sonofthehorizon stlunatic

      it’s embarrassing. I sit and watch helpless, wondering what the majority is thinking as they see and read the flood of tweets under the day’s TT.

      #flamingyoung

      • http://lizburr.com Liz

        They ignore us. I read the TT reports on the tech blogs and they do al they can to find a reason to ignore TTs started by us. “We are excluding all…black topics….and found once again Justin Beiber ruled the TT this week.”

        • http://yourchildsmother.blogspot.com/ KMN

          EXCEPT for The Game…I don’t know WHY that trended and everything related to The Game trended ridiculously when it premiered on BET. I guess Viacom paid MTV money to make it trend ~kanye Shrug~

          KMN

      • TH

        They laugh at us because that’s what they expect. They think it’s how we all live. Ever read the comments those racists leave behind on a Yahoo! topic? They often cite Twitter abuse as one of the reasons they feel superior to us.

    • Miss A

      Hello all! I’m mostly a lurker, and decided to come out and make a comment. And @I Am Your People, I couldn’t agree more. Everytime I get on twitter and see a topic like #IhatewhenH0es, #ihatewhenwomen, #ihatewhenmen or something along those lines, it breaks my heart to read all the rude, disrespectful and nasty comments that follow. And it’s mostly Black people that do it. The same goes for facebook. Out of all my friends (I don’t have a lot, but its enough), only the Black people get on there “going off” on somebody about trivial stuff. Not saying that white people don’t do it, but we do it a lot more.

      • http://lizburr.com Liz

        we are an angry people.

        • Sula

          we are an angry people.

          For very good reasons.

          • http://uphereoncloud9.com Wu

            We have great reasons to be angry. Anger, however tastes like cheap beer and I can stand the aftertaste anymore.

      • Dude

        We grow up jonesing on each other. It’s pretty much a way of life – kill or be killed, have thick skin, quit being so sensitive – it’s how we bond. We have a much harder time telling our patna we love them and respect their friendship than saying “ninja you look like a pterodactyl and I smashed ya moms”. Twitter is just playing the dozens with strangers, but there is no love in it.

    • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

      Yes. This is why I can’t fool with twitter sometimes. I’m not saying I’m deep and don’t laugh at the occassional foolery…but it absolutely baffles me at how much of us spend ALL DAY on twitter, tweeting foolishness.

      • http://www.shesoflyy.com Muze

        “but it absolutely baffles me at how much of us spend ALL DAY on twitter, tweeting foolishness.”

        this.

  • http://brandonsaintrandy.wordpress.com Brandon St. Randy

    I’m pretty sure someone’s gonna get knifed behind an answer to question #2

    *Wraps phone books around torso like Omar*

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      lol, i dont think it’ll be that bad. just in case, though, do you have an extra phone book i can borrow?

    • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ The Uncanny Wu Young Agent of M.E.

      @Brandon St. Randy

      Props for using the name of the funniest character from Zack & Miri (The deleted scenes with Brandon St. Randy were funnier than most of the film.) and major props for using Dan Halen as your avatar.

      • http://brandonsaintrandy.wordpress.com Brandon St. Randy

        Props to you sir for knowing both of those obscure pop culture references

  • coldsweat3

    1) I feel like hip-hop disses women in general and not with a targeted attack on black women. Obviously there are references to black women in songs and in the videos but I dont think that the issues/commentary is exclusive to sistahs

    2) Clarification please or maybe im one of the few thats lost.

    3) Brothas got options, too many options its like going to a big @$$ mall to look for one shirt, your just going to check out all the other stores even if you have a good deal elsewhere and hey you may leave with two with plans on returning one later because you just didnt want someone to pick up the last one of your size before you came back…

    • coldsweat3

      *4) I went to a Eddie Griffin standup this weekend and was in a group of mostly blacks but also with a white woman in the group and i realized “Damn ninjas really go in on white people on every single issue” I even felt uncomfortable for Becky(her real name) in the group.

    • http://www.depthsoffemininity.blogspot.com Madame J

      Bingo! Nailed #3 on the head.

    • http://lizburr.com Liz

      The options thing is tricky. On the one hand a lady like myself wants to be seen like a good option. But I don’t want to be too desperate looking. Then I wonder, if I pretend like I don’t need to be chose then I will attract him even more. Needless to say. I am tired of yall and your options.

      • tgtaggie

        @Liz. I hope you enjoyed your trip. I hope I am not offending you….I think a lot of black men in general don’t want to admit that they like playing the field like Cam Newton at an SEC championship game. lol. And a lot of black women don’t want to admit that they genuinely enjoyed being played (hence the reason they attract, date, marry habitual players)

        • http://lizburr.com Liz

          hmmmmmm. I think we know men enjoy playing the field lol. But I don’t know if we enjoy getting played. Enjoy is such a strong word lol. Maybe we allow it to happen due to #lowselfofsteam and today’s hip hop music (see #1).

          P.S. yes my trip was great! can’t wait to go back!

          • tgtaggie

            I think I used the wrong choice of words (probably sleep deprivation). I can’t understand why bw can’t see through the game and see the guy’s true intentions.

            • Deeds

              They maybe able to see the guys true intentions but choose to ignore it for various reasons like self esteem issues like Liz said or thinking that all men are like that and they don’t deserve to be treated better.

              I saw a clip of Kevin Hart’s soon to be ex-wife do a “stand-up” routine. The whole bit was of her talking about how she knows her man cheats, expects him to, and talked about her “naive” friend who just found out her man cheats and told her that all men cheat. I was like dang is fidelity in a marriage that an elusive a concept to expect and something that should just be put up with.

              • tgtaggie

                She should have expected more out of that marriage and held Kevin accountable. Now ole dude bout to take her a** to the cleaners.

            • http://lizburr.com Liz

              Well, I can only speak for myself. I know I let it happen because I act too soon, and am too hopeful that XYZ situation is ABC, when it’s really QRS. If I just gave it a few months I’d see the guy for who he really is. I also think I am a bit immature and buy into romanticized fiction too much. but I’m workin on it.

              • http://twitter.com/KitKatCuty84 KitKatCuty84

                I have the same problems, Liz. You’re not on your own. :)

              • tgtaggie

                Hey at least you mature enough to admit your faults. Most bw act like they’re the best thing since the invention of the internet.

              • http://twitter.com/KitKatCuty84 KitKatCuty84

                @tg: To be fair, with all the hate directed towards BW, the arrogance on our part might be a defense mechanism and our attempt to practice self-love when any other type of love is scarce. I have NO problem with people tooting their own horn when everyone else is trampling it.

              • http://lizburr.com Liz

                I agree w/ both of you tg and KKC!

          • Perfect Square

            Exactly! Who enjoys getting played?

      • Nameless for Now

        LOL, cosign on “I am tired of yall and your options.” I guess I’ll just be me and hope not to end up as a crazy cat lady : D

      • S Emm

        I actually agree w/ the options theory. One of my male friends even admitted to it. He made an interesting statement. He asked me how many women that I knew that had degrees, good careers, etc. And then asked how many men I knew aside from those I went to school w/. He was right, while there are plenty of successful men out there, women just outnumber men. Especially in cities like New York, where it is truly a dog eat dog world out here. So in a sense, they do have more options and aren’t willing to necessarily settle down early b/c they don’t have to.

        One of my girlfriends told me yesterday that maybe she’s asking too much from her boyfriend and she’s trying to hard for a perfect relationship, when honestly she doesn’t really ask for much if anything. So it’s sad that when men do less than the minimum, but the woman still feels like she’s asking for too much.

        But of course not all situations and there’s still hope that we won’t all end up the bitter cat lady!

        • Elle

          “So it’s sad that when men do less than the minimum, but the woman still feels like she’s asking for too much. ”
          Ummm EXCUSE ME!!!! But HOW do you know me so well and WHY are you talking about me to people i dont know?
          (going to the corner to suck on my thumb now)

      • http://twitter.com/KitKatCuty84 KitKatCuty84

        Cosign. F y’all’s options. Apparently I don’t have any options at all but to deal with the foolishness of brothas and their “options”, LOL.

        I recently realized that I’m my most unhappy when dealing with sex/relationships, and that every other area of my life is not just fine but AWESOME, so I’m going to cut that area out. Y’all are too much for me. I quit, LOL.

        • http://www.legallysane1.blogspot.com Tempest

          like for real, for real yall tellin my business. Due to black men n their lil options game, I have actually lost all hope when it comes to marrying a brotha. Im not joking. I am a young, ambitious, beautiful woman with a bachelors who is taking time to travel and work before I start working on my masters. There are VERY few black men in my category even though I went to Howard (aint that some shit?!) and they know this. Hence why they fuck around so much. Its not okay to take the low road when given the option–thats not good character. So with that said, I used to dream of marrying a black man but now I say fuck it! I’ll marry who is right for me and more likely than not-it won’t be a brotha cuz they like their options a lil too damn much.

          • http://www.africanfly.com B Easy

            Umm…to clarify, the options ain’t what it first appears to be for brothas. With so many sistahs in DC it actually becomes harder to find a woman who actually wants you and not to be an arm piece to make her girlfriends hate. Obviously this is not always the case but when their are too many women out there some go into “If the room were filled with brothas, I wouldn’t even notice you but since it is just you…I can settle”.

            So now a brotha got alot of options that don’t really love him but you won’t find that out until after the wedding. This is just one aspect that nobody ever talks about. To get to the ONE you have to go through way too many.

            There are plenty of f-buddies and husband hunters to be had but true love? Eh! I never thought I would say this but I need some brothers out there to get the wrong women out of my lane!

    • iRocksox91

      1) I feel like hip-hop disses women in general and not with a targeted attack on black women. Obviously there are references to black women in songs and in the videos but I dont think that the issues/commentary is exclusive to sistahs

      Thank you for typing exactly what I was thinking. Rap sh*ts on all women regardless of race. Can sum1 plz point out to me how Black women are singled out in this genre?

      • http://lizburr.com Liz

        the better question is why is hh sh*tting on women so much, period? Your argument is closely related to champ’s Johnny Cash argument in the piece.

        I think Black women are targeted in HH because nobody is gonna stand up for us. Let some black men ride on white women like this for decades and somebody somewhere is not gettin their check. Alternatively, it could also just be that HH creators are Black and thus their female counterparts are Black women, sooo there you go.

        • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

          Black women are the target in hip hop. That is as obvious as a lime green mack truck. Rappers aren’t talking about women in general, they are talking about US. Look at all the black women in the videos. I agree, let’s get real, white men would never allow the bashing of white women at such levels.

          • Mo-VSS

            THANK YOU! If it were a bunch of women like a tampon commercial then I’d say they are speaking of women in general. However, when I turned on the vids and see faces mirroring my own on the screen, I know they are talking about black women. Period. End.Of. Discussion!

            • http://www.flaglerhill.com Mass

              I don’t hear too many white women listening to hip hop unless its “Bust a Move” or “It Takes Two”..or if its your simple easy going Pop, Top 40 songs. HH is definitley targeting (not all but mostly) black women.

          • Perfect Square

            Cosign! This is exactly what Champ is talking about! people are unwilling to be honest about race issues – especially when they are between Black men and women. It is as if women in particular feel uncomfortable talking to men about certain issues. #airingourdirtylaundry

            • whykendra

              ive noticed that its hard for the black community to really lay it out to black men like that. people tiptoe around it and/or make up excuses as to why they show so much disrespect because of XYZ. but the truth is (and not just in music) black men make up a large part of the perpetrators against black women. and we dont want to fess up to it because the way black men are portrayed and treated we dont want to feel like traitors by saying it. but unfortunately black women (who have suffered the same abuse and carried the same burden) are getting the short end of the stick. again.

              these are just my opinions and when i say ‘perpetrators’ im talking mainly in terms of personification/violation of women in music and music imagery, domestic violence againt black women,and sexual harrassment/assault againt black women.

              again, just my opinions based things that ive observed in my life.

        • Dlamp

          I don’t know if you’ve been to a club lately, but there is never a shortage of women on the dance floor when these songs come on. I don’t approve using the B* word to refer to any female, but itsl doesn’t seem to affect the female population. HH may be degrding towards are beautiful black sistas, but until the decide to not participate anymore it will more than likely continue. Not to single out any one rapper, but when’s th last time Lil Waynes concert wasn’t sold out, with a lot of screaming women? Do they listen to his lyrics and then think “Well he’s not talking about me specifically, so its ok.”

          • http://lizburr.com Liz

            I agree. I dance to the same songs too! Which is why I’m not harping on hh attacking black women. Change starts at home. Until I can break free of a waka flaka beat, I won’t be pointing any fingers. Raising questions? Sure.

            • DODIE

              I would like 2 say that you said what the problem is. It is the older and younger bw who need tocheck themselves. It is the women who make these rappers millionaires and give them the high status they are trying to achieve. It all comes down to the mighty $$$$$. A spot in the video,low self esteem, lack of parental ivolvement,attitudes and peer pressure. I wonder if the black females supporting these artists even pay attention 2 the lyrics or just move to the beat of the music. Why aren’t so many of them not offended is the big question?What makes it acceptable in their mind set? What are we teaching the younger generations? Teenage parent(s) listening 2 these songs and passing along acceptance to their young sons and daughters . Self evaluation of knowing the differences of the negative talks need to be addressed to all. No matter what their race may be each person needs to be taught how to decipher a concept of not accepting this behavior because they weren’t taught how to understand the differences of degrading vs. non-degrading lyrics to a song no matter what genre it may me.

      • Deeds

        Come now it can definitely be inferred that HH is referring to black women when it comes to disrespecting women. Look at videos, the women represented in most tend to be black. If a women of another race is beging referred to then usually the race of the woman is referred to like in the hook in Kanye’s song when he says 30 white b!tches, but that type of singling out is few and far between.

    • http://twitter.com/urbups Hustlin While Preppy

      Coldsweat, This goes against the my Man Card membership rules, but I’m going to challenge you on your defense of brothas on 1 and 3.

      1. Even if the lyrics were geared at women in general and not just Black women (When Snoop said “B’s ain’t *ish but hos n tricks” I pictured a sista in my minds eye, personally), why the near constant need to talk about women in such a negative way? And why do listeners apparently like that *ish so much? Other music genres may talk about how a particular woman ain’t *ish for one reason or another but too often rap lyrics go for the gender-wide knock down.

      3. The options argument alone isn’t a strong one to me. There has to be more to it than that. Who has more options that White and other men who overall are better off than Black men in general? For what ever reason (i think somehow related to whatever the answer is to #1) the generations since the 80s has taken a more cynical view of marriage than men from other racial backgrounds.

      • coldsweat3

        @Hustlin While Preppy lol at Man Card membership.

        I think HH which honestly has sales to a lot of white listeners represents the men many men WISH they could be. Despite the “bad morals” that HH portrays. Money, Cars, Clothes and Hoes is the ultimate goal of most men regardless of race. Running through women on the reg gives you more props and everyone who is a player always gets respect/admiration. Put that together with hot beats to make a female bounce that booty in the club and you are a multi-platinum artist. LOL Like yourself, i think of black women in the lyrics cuz im black and the rappers are but If i were white I may think of a white woman.*Disclaimer: These are not my personal views*

        In regards to #3 I think those who are well off and white do have options and take advantage of them also. With the exception of China there are more women than men. However, coming from a 2 parent household makes you want a 2 parent household more. Blacks arent typically coming from a married household then we you factor in music & the reality that there are options(cuz who is trynna just SETTLE if you think the one who is a dime personality and in looks is out there) then we are delaying that journey down the isle. Not to mention as someone earlier mentioned how black women like getting played(i dont agree per se). Women however do chase after the guy who is chasing multiple women as if they think their p**** is special and can make him change/settle. Saw this story on Dr.Phil with a white woman and it was sad, so sad. Dr.Phil told her you cant change him, any more questions…

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “In regards to #3 I think those who are well off and white do have options and take advantage of them also. With the exception of China there are more women than men.”

          this is untrue, btw.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sex_ratio

        • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

          @ColdSweat
          I respect you trying to spread the hate and all lol but when I hear these lyrics, I think of black women…and when white people hear these lyrics, they think of black women too. The music videos show black women bouncing booty, etc…not white women. The only thing these songs do is spread that negative stereotypical images of Black women….and only Black women.

          • Perfect Square

            Thanks SGF. BTW we can shut this “HH is targeted to all women” with this right here. View and tell me you still feel this way. BE HONEST!

            http://dospestaneos.com/hilton/raplyrics.html

          • http://codecipher.blogspot.com MeteorMan

            Because Rapper started having ONLY white women in their videos there would be a revolt.

    • http://inquisitiveinasea.wordpress.com nyah

      “Brothas got options, too many options…” An uncomfortable race related question based off of that is why do brothers have options and not sisters? I’m personally tired of seeing all of the news specials on how “stable” (educated, career oriented, etc) black women out number “stable” black men and because of this black women are less likely to get married and if they do get married its going to be to someone of a lower socioeconomic status. While the statistic comparing stable black men to stable black women may be true, I don’t think its true that “stable” black women out number “stable” men (black, white, asian, latino, etc.). This is an issue that needs to be addressed as a whole because it can be used to answer numbers 1 & 2 in addition to many other “uncomfortable” issues that involve black women.

      • coldsweat3

        @Nyah While the statistic comparing stable black men to stable black women may be true, I don’t think its true that “stable” black women out number “stable” men (black, white, asian, latino, etc.)

        Ahhh this is true but alas, other races arent that interested in sistahs…. At least not long term i mean who doesnt want their own Hottentot Venu for a night?

        Now if something were to be done about the “angry black woman stereotype” then perhaps yall would get a leg-up in the dating game but until then umm 0_o
        In defense I did not laugh when he said we just need to put our d*** in our mouth everytime you start talking nor was it funny when he went into a very long rant about how women should be subservient to your man and god made us in his image, yall are just a rib….

        To sum up Eddie Griffin from the other day: “Black women talk to much. Talkin causes stress. Stress causes heart attacks. Black women are litterally killing us.” Regrettably i laughed but he had a really good delivery, sorry sistahs.

        • meghan j

          @ Nyah you asked “An uncomfortable race related question based off of that is why do brothers have options and not sisters?” The better question would be why does the media give the idea that brothers have options and sisters only have brothers?

          @cold Ahhh this is true but alas, other races arent that interested in sistahs…. At least not long term i mean who doesnt want their own Hottentot Venu for a night?

          i disagree. Ive lived in Europe (during and after college) and European men overall had no problem with black women (of course I ran into some stereotypes but those were the same stereotypes I run into in America) and no it wasnt a “lets hook up for the night” it was “regular” dates (trips to museums, concerts, etc.) that involved conversations about our family’s now & possible our future family’s. While that whole “angry black women” stereotype may be the reason SOME ppl dont want to date black women the issue also needs to be addressed as to why the media (when i say media i mean news outlets and producers who give the green light for television shows and movies. Not comedians who do sketches although low key I did laugh at the eddie griffin sketch) plays up the angry/slick talking black women & why does the media insist on doing hour long segments on black women as if we’re going through some sort of life threatening illness.

        • http://codecipher.blogspot.com MeteorMan

          Ahhh this is true but alas, other races arent that interested in sistahs…. At least not long term

          The same thing can be said when it comes to general relations between black men and black women. But I digress.

          Other races are interested in black women. It is also true that there are many men who aren’t interested in certain individual women. All the black women I know that are/were open to dating outside of their race are either single by choice or married.

          This “I’m alone because I’m a black woman” ish has to stop.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “An uncomfortable race related question based off of that is why do brothers have options and not sisters?”

        black women do, they’re just not as willing to explore them as men are.

        • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

          Negative. Black Women are at a decidedly, and documented, disadvantage when it comes to the open SMP (Sexual Market Place). See: the OKCupid study, among a great many others.

          But if its consolation to the Sistas, East Asian guys ain’t having a picnic either…

          More on these and related points here: http://www.verysmartbrothas.com/the-mirror-uncomfortable-race-related-questions-we-african-americans-need-to-ask-ourselves/#comment-232378

          Holla back

          O.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            “Negative. Black Women are at a decidedly, and documented, disadvantage when it comes to the open SMP (Sexual Market Place). See: the OKCupid study, among a great many others.”

            the okcupid study was greatly flawed because of the population it got its data from. all it told me was that the type of men who sign up for “alternative” dating sites like okcupid are less likely to be interested in black women, not men in general.

            until someone comes up with an accurate study with controlled controls, you can’t say stuff like “Black Women are at a decidedly, and documented, disadvantage when it comes to the open SMP” as if it’s a concrete truth

            • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

              Hi Champ,
              Alright then, the OKC stuff is suspect, and in truth I have my own concerns about them that I will give voice to over at my place. In the meantime though, what if we consider the US Census data?

              Now per that, BM/WW couples outnumber the reverse; there are presently some 70% of such couples, versus barely a third of the reverse? This is an expression of what I said earlier – Black Men enjoy a position out on the open SMP that Black Women do not. Mind you, I’m talking about aggregates here.

              Your response?

              O.

              • whykendra

                explain that percentage to me. im slow. 70% of couples, 70% chance, 70% more than the reverse???

            • http://lizburr.com Liz

              yeah I agree. not to mention the pool of men on okc are also a separate suspect group of men.

            • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

              I have to agree with Obsidian (shocker) that Black women do not have as many options as black men. Women in general are more open to race relations and dating outside of their race than men. For example, there are more white women in interracial relationships than white man. Unfortunately, white, hispanic, etc men are not open to Black women and are more stubborn in their traditional beliefs.

              • tosweetheart

                Another interesting point is that inter-racial couples actually have a much higher sucess rate in staying married

              • Mo-VSS

                As someone who has lived abroad, I’m going to challenge your assertion SFG. Black women in the U.S.A. have less options because of race relations here. There are a few other places where race relations between black people and others are tense as well…and those places are where black women don’t do as well with broader options. But, in places that don’t have that history, black women do well with men outside the race.

                We are so conditioned here to believe that only black men find us attractive and no other race really could (unless they are “experimenting”) that we limit ourselves. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy of sorts in the dating world.

                • http://www.remthemulatto.wordpress.com RemTheMulatto

                  I’m not sure I buy that black woman insecurity about only thinking black men find y’all attractive.. In fact, in my experience, black women tend to prefer black men and in turn expect black men to prefer them (and be mad as hell if ever they don’t). I think in general if black women were more excepting of interracial dating, that would make all the difference.

              • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

                @Mo
                I agree and said the same thing babes lol I have lived abroad and well traveled. I was speaking of the U.S. and yes race relations is the sole reason for the lack of interracial relationships. I agree we are conditioned but I believe the hard core proof lies in the lack of acceptance of Black people amongst whites. My point was only that when it comes to dating, white women are more open to black people than white men are open to black people.

              • whykendra

                black men have that reputation/stereotype of being physically and sexually superior making them an ‘achievement’ (for lack of a better word) for women of all races. im just speaking on attraction not relationships. while in reverse…we (bw) have many negative things associated with our looks (not to say we all look the same). and the general public, as evidenced by commercials, movies, etc., dont find black women to be that attractive unless it is some ‘special’ case

              • http://blackpicket.com brownivyx

                I’m going to have to respectfully disagree here.

                Obviously, I cannot speak for all Black women but, from my own personal experiences as well as some of my close Black female friends, I can honestly say that there is not a shortage of “others” that are looking and flirting and holding out their respective dance cards.

                On the whole, I get approached *far* more often by White, Hispanic, and European men than I ever do by African-American men (this classification does not include Caribbean-American or actual “African”-American men). And not always on some “Hey how you doin?” but some serious, best foot forward, aggressive pursuit stuff. Here in the heart of Atlanta. Or in gallery boutique in San Juan. Or the streets of Florence. In a restaurant off the Champs-Elysees. By the friendly business owner who did the paint renovations in my office building…or the very married coworkers in same said building. Heck, I *just* had a very lovely date with an colleague from the Netherlands Sunday night.

                And don’t get me wrong. I’m cute and all…sometimes I can be downright adorable, in a slightly neurotic way. But I am *not* a traditional or Euro-centric beauty by any measure. And I am decidedly Black (whatever that means). I just smile and act demure and display decollatage and stiletto boots…you know: the universal signals that *all* men understand. My roommate-also Black, but *very* different from me in physical stature (much taller and Boticelli-esque) pretty much dates nothing but men of not-so-vague European or Latin descent. Conversely, I have seen some of my Black girlfriends completely denounce the possibility of dating “other”, either through body language or in ideology…and quite frankly, I just don’t understand it. I am currently breaking one of my girlfriends of this silliness via random dive bars around town though…a little pet project of mine.

                Anyway, I’m gonna have to call a foul on this one. At the end of the day, men are men…it’s just a matter of being where they are and taking a good look around.

                Oh…and smiling.

            • Jhane Sez

              “until someone comes up with an accurate study with controlled controls, you can’t say stuff like “Black Women are at a decidedly, and documented, disadvantage when it comes to the open SMP” as if it’s a concrete truth”

              This is interesting because I wonder if it has anything to do with geography as well.

              Example I live in a middle to upper middle class suburb of Chicago metro which attracts a large number of interracial couples and observationally it is split pretty even bm/ww and bw/wm.

              The same thing in the tech industry here you see the wives and husbands of middle management to C level and you see a 50/50 split of IR couples.

              As an observation the only time I see a significant shift is when I am in predominately black environments… which I think is a result of women becoming absorbed into a man’s lifestyle.

              I also think that the numbers skew when you look at dating organically i.e. people you know socially and/or professionally vs. inorganic dating i.e online. ~JS

              • Sula

                Example I live in a middle to upper middle class suburb of Chicago metro which attracts a large number of interracial couples and observationally it is split pretty even bm/ww and bw/wm.

                Same here. My own empirical evidence shows me that in my vicinity (family, friends etc…) I actually have more Black Woman/Non-Black Man couples than Black Man/Non-Black Woman couples… I’m sure my sample is very skewed, but I am trying to figure out on which parameters… :)

              • Medium Meech

                @Sula

                Na. I see more BW/NBM, or wrong way miscegenation as I like to call it, couples running around. Perception is still stuck in the 80s or 90s.

                • Dave

                  In my neck of the woods I see the same thing. Funny.

                • Jhane Sez

                  “Na. I see more BW/NBM, or wrong way miscegenation as I like to call it, couples running around. Perception is still stuck in the 80s or 90s.”

                  This is an interesting comment considering it steamed from the idea that black women have attributes that aren’t desirable.

                  I think that more and more black women are starting to think that if they want marriage and children black men aren’t a viable option.

                  Real talk… if brothas consider this “wrong way miscegenation” then what options are left to them when so many brothas are so vocal about how unworthy sistas are on so many levels.

                  Some of the opinions in this thread alone give the appearance that unless you can walk on water you aren’t worthy… complete with a check list of things that are wrong with women.

                  In addition brothas make it sound as if their options are limitless and I often wonder if they are in such high demand why would they care what a group of women who aren’t in their radar do.

                  I do believe that women in part are motivated by the propaganda of black men dating and marrying non black women in larger numbers than are supported by fact.

                  But can you blame sistas when they receive so much negative feed back from the world at large and black men in particular.

                  If you meet multiple non black men who say that you are attractive and desirable and I want to marry you and have children and build a life together…

                  In the end doesn’t that trump waiting for brothas to get on the same page ~JS

                • Medium Meech

                  I’m not really sure where you’re getting this black men saying how unworthy sisters are thing from. If were to judge which side complained more about the other, I would say the sisters complain more than the men. I’m out there. I deal with the hostility. I’m not going to have the same argument about black women saying they want one thing but chasing another, I’ll let Chille do that for me, and honestly I’ve been more “the other thing” for most of my adult life.

                  The women I deal with that want to date white guys generalize and lump all black men into one group. It’s like the girls in high school that wouldn’t date anybody from their own school because they were all lame. In fact, it probably is those same girls.

          • tosweetheart

            Asian men and black women are the 2 largest groups of “unmarried” people in todays society. Personally I don’t believe that it’s because men do not find black women attractive (or women do not find Asian men attractive). I think that it’s because black women are less inclinded to consider inter-racial dating than black men. IF they would open their minds, and hearts to other races… it might not be an issue.

            In Indian and China it is completely disproportionate right now and there are WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY more men than women (due to their distain for female babies for decades). There’s a whole lot of availble men right there… LOL

            • YaleGent

              How About some Honesty.

              Asian men are less attractive to women because of ideas about them having small private parts.

              Black women (if the study is correct) are viewed as less attractive, not because of look (many black women are beautiful) but mainly because of personality (attitude) and masculinity. Some would even throw in the slave stereotype that black women are sexually insatiable and aggressive.

              Black men are stereotypically seen as good sexual partners and white men stereotypically offer money and some societal authority.

              Asian Women are sought after because they are typically submissive and White women are a social prize when they can call on their feminine qualities to the males advantage.

              I don’t happen to agree with these ideas in general but these are ideas that have persisted for generations now. Even if you would like to think otherwise.

              I have never dated any other race than black women, some of them have been amazing black women. So I know these ideas are not true across the board but things become stereotypes for a reason,

              fair or not

        • Absolutely Ridiculous

          I can honestly say that my friends and I are ALL open to dating non-black men, and enthusiastic about it. Hell, I’m the one that needed convincing to look @ white men because I kept saying I only like minority men (that is, anybody but white men). All of us are college-educated young professionals,or we’re in grad school/law/med/dentistry, in large cities (New York, D.C.), seeking men in similar situations–men of ANY and ALL races.

          However, I also feel that as open as we are to dating non-black men, we often don’t get approached by non-black men. We run the spectrum in terms of appearance, but all of us are attractive at least in a general sense, and productive young women. I think the reason we are passed over is because non-black men
          a) see black men devaluing black women so there’s this idea I think of “If they don’t like their women and they’ve been around them their whole lives, then why should I like black women?”
          b) Non-black men have been hearing their whole lives to “not bring home a black girl.” Black women are viewed as a downgrade, unfortunately, no matter how accomplished they are, and I think in terms of desirability there are many men who place black women at the bottom of the totem pole.

          Btw, someone made a comment about how European men love black women. However, I don’t think European men and American white men have been socialized the same way in terms of how our respective societies handle race.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “1) I feel like hip-hop disses women in general and not with a targeted attack on black women. Obviously there are references to black women in songs and in the videos but I dont think that the issues/commentary is exclusive to sistahs”

      Eh. I think this answer is a bit of a copout. We all know that those cats aren’t referring to Bethany from the suburbs.

      “2) Clarification please or maybe im one of the few thats lost.”

      I added a bit of clarification as a footnote this morning:

      To expound, the personality traits I’m referring to come in the form of taking pride in being a “handful,” giving 1001 reasons why smiling in public is bad, etc. Again, all black women don’t act this way. In fact, most don’t, but enough to make a difference. And, while I’m sure most of the women reading this can name strange entitlements many brothas have as well, what separates the two is that the brothas with ridiculous entitlements usually don’t expect women to actually be attracted to and admire the ridiculousness.

      3) As far as the options thing goes, couldn’t you say the same thing about an attractive and successful white—or any other non-black—man?

      • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

        Excellent points wrt Black Women and their patented Scowl. In fact, I’ll be writing a bit more about this in due course, because it is becoming a pandemic.

        As for your points on Hip Hop though, I must respectfully disagree. I think the main reason as to why so much is said by the rappers about the Sistas, is because there is a great deal of truth there, hence all the costernation on the part of Sistas and socalled female “Hip Hop scholars” in the first place. It is indeed a kind of mirror of the mirror we’re discussing right now, where Sistas refuse to grapple with what is actually being said by so many rappers and those who purchase and imbibe the music, and I think it goes right back to your first point and that observed by Whites, that Sistas have adopted certain behavioral norms that make them come off as way too masculine and the like. I think this is something Sistas need to honestly confront, if their goal is to be better received in and by the wider public.

        O.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “I think the main reason as to why so much is said by the rappers about the Sistas, is because there is a great deal of truth there, hence all the costernation on the part of Sistas and socalled female “Hip Hop scholars” in the first place. It is indeed a kind of mirror of the mirror we’re discussing right now, where Sistas refuse to grapple with what is actually being said by so many rappers and those who purchase and imbibe the music, and I think it goes right back to your first point and that observed by Whites, that Sistas have adopted certain behavioral norms that make them come off as way too masculine and the like”

          i wouldn’t say that the latent cause behind much of the misogynistic music is a great deal of truth. great deal of pain? sure. a great deal of opportunism? definitely. truth, though, is letting these men (and the consumers) off easy; not holding them accountable in the same way you think women should be.

          i agree that black women also need to look in the mirror a bit more and start asking “why?” instead of “what?” and “how?”, but we do too.

          • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

            Champ,
            Correct me if I’m wrong, but there have been all manner of various public figures who have had a hand in holding rappers accountable, up to and including at the US Congressional levels, am I right or wrong? Now, when was there a Congressional Commission on Sistaface Scowling, Cobrahead Gesticulation & Noise Pollution Harangues? I’ll wait…

            Of course, no one, present company included, is saying that there isn’t any room for legitimate critique of Hip Hop along these lines; but I just find it deeply fascinating that after all these years, NO ONE has ever stopped to consider, once, as to whether what all thesse rappers are saying about the Sistahood, just doesn’t have a weebit of truth to it. After all, 50K Frenchmen, can’t be wrong –

            Right?

            Holla back

            O.

            • Perfect Square

              I think when the welfare of the collective is at stake (e.g. Black people) the best standpoint to take is one of self-improvement not finger pointing or the “yeah, I’m bad but so are you” game.

              Besides, the fringe argument about Black women and their public demeanor is – well fringe. Hip Hop makes millions off of misogyny and that misogyny is targeted to Black women. Even the handful of female emcees use misogynistic tones, lewd public acts and lyrics. But because men dominate the industry it is up to them to set an example. Not to pass the buck. I promise you, passing the buck and blaming the victim is the absolute least attractive thing a person could do…

        • whykendra

          a couple things:
          1. my goal isn’t to be better recieved in and by the wider public.

          2. “I think the main reason as to why so much is said by the rappers about the Sistas, is because there is a great deal of truth there”….

          which truths, exactly?

    • Sula

      but I dont think that the issues/commentary is exclusive to sistahs

      Does that make it better though?

    • Mo-VSS

      At #1…please. It’s a bunch of black men talking about women and the women in the videos are black. So, while they may “say” they are talking about any women who identifies herself in that category (gold digger, bytch, ho, etc) they videos depict black women. So that’s not a great argument sir.

      Sorry, try again.

  • Colbs

    I would like a better explanation for #2. I’m not sure I understand where that’s coming from. What expectations do most women have and why are they unreasonable?

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      I didn’t say “most.” just enough to matter.

      anyway, i explained #2 a bit in a footnote:

      To expound, the personality traits I’m referring to come in the form of taking pride in being a “handful,” giving 1001 reasons why smiling in public is bad, etc. Again, all black women don’t act this way. In fact, most don’t, but enough to make a difference. And, while I’m sure most of the women reading this can name strange entitlements many brothas have as well, what separates the two is that the brothas with ridiculous entitlements usually don’t expect women to actually be attracted to and admire the ridiculousness.

      • sandbalance

        Black women really EXPECT men to be attracted to this? Really?

        When I didn’t smile in public, or committed other acts that are the antithesis of what men are attracted to, it was a defense mechanism. As someone who couldn’t walk down the street from 14-21 without some dude harassing me, I utilized these behaviors to lessen the amount of male attention I received.

        Are 1,2,3 new problems for Generation X-ers and now Millenials? My Boomer parents and their friends, regardless of socio-economic status married in their early 20s. Same with my (black) Boomer co-workers.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “Black women really EXPECT men to be attracted to this? Really?”

          some do, and get upset when men (and other women) call them on it

        • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

          Sandbalance,
          The problem with your approach is that it also screens out the guys you actually like and are interested in outright, andor they observe how your screwface and demeanor impacts other Men, and thet bail. It creates a really nasty feeback loop that winds up being a one way ticket to Cat Ladyville.

          O.

          • http://www.flaglerhill.com Mass

            Well said O. Then they wonder why they have limited options. If men only dealt with or hollered at women who at the bare minimum gave us a smile, our options would be limited too.

        • http://twitter.com/KitKatCuty84 KitKatCuty84

          Yes, they are a problem for the current generation, and not for Boomers. Boomers (including my parents), have no idea WTF is going on and are lucky not to be involved.

          • Absolutely Ridiculous

            Omg, my Black Boomer parents have NO clue what’s going on with young black people and the dating situation. They are sympathetic, but confused just the same. In their view, there are far more educated black people on the whole, so the increase in finances at an earlier age due to increasing college-attendance should mean there are more of us willing to settle down sooner. And we don’t. And very often if we do, it isn’t with one another.

            • Absolutely Ridiculous

              HOWEVER….one thing my dad did say one time was that maybe because at the time he attended undergrad there were limited options in terms of what institution you could attend as an African American (my parents are in their early 60′s and attended HBCU’s, as did their siblings and friends within their cohort) so young, educated black people were far fewer in number and clustered together.

  • Enginegro

    hmm…maybe as black men, we have a subconscious deep hatred for black women….

    • Enginegro

      or maybe black people dont know how to act in general….

      • Perfect Square

        negative.

    • Leila

      This perplexes me. Black women do so much, so where does the hate come from?

      • http://www.twitter.com/Stank_0 Stank-0

        I think the hate is for American society in general and our general lot in it. Everyone wants to be black but no one wants to be black. I was just thinking that about 20 years of my life have been spent being hyperaware/conscious/paranoid about being in the public arena. That constant awareness can grate and make a person angry at any and everything.

        I feel like this ties into hip hop b/c that is the medium for black men (by and large) to express their inner most thoughts to the outside world. Maybe I’m just reaching and its not that deep.

        • http://twitter.com/urbups Hustlin While Preppy

          Stank, I thinks you’re onto something here…

        • kingpinenut

          amen bruh….you speakin straight truth

        • PerceptionIsYourReality

          @ Stank-O
          This brings to mind W.E.B. Dubois and “The Souls of Black Folks” Specifically where he discusses stream of consciousness and cognitive dissonance. (If you haven’t read it check it out) Which by definition is what you are describing here. The constant push and pull of your subconscious mind which leads to discomfort. Wanting to be accepted (conforming to the majority society) but constantly being told directly or through implications that you don’t belong. I.e.; your inability to relax in public arenas because you feel you have to constantly be on the defense. (I am guilty of this especially where I work now, all 2520′s)

          This!!…..”Everyone wants to be black but no one wants to be black” Because contrary to popular belief (mainstream society) we are “POP” culture. We set the tone for everything! But no wants to be Black! It’s my mind boggling to me…….

          But I dunno…. I hope this makes since, I know I’m all over the place today. Blame it on the long weekend. Lol!

        • Absolutely Ridiculous

          OKay….so where do these inner-most angry thoughts towards black women come from?? Just because you’re angry doesn’t mean that you should direct it toward black women….explain??

      • Yeah*yeah*Yeah

        @Leila & Enginegro

        As a female, I would say I think the unresolved hatred (if any) is a by-product of unresolved anger and hatred toward their mother. I think the same dynamic that exists between their relationship with their mother is the one they recreate with their significant other by default. Of course there are exceptions to every rule…

        • sunshyne84

          Yes. Maybe the men are lashing out at the women because we aren’t able to fix things. Kinda like girls and their daddy syndrome.

        • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

          Ding Ding Ding….we have a winner.

        • Jhane Sez

          “As a female, I would say I think the unresolved hatred (if any) is a by-product of unresolved anger and hatred toward their mother. I think the same dynamic that exists between their relationship with their mother is the one they recreate with their significant other by default. Of course there are exceptions to every rule…”

          100% co-sign…

          I think that there is a perpetual male adolescence that black men are encouraged to indulge in which leads to a lot of the behaviors that we are discussing… misogynistic lyrics, disproportionate numbers for infidelity and not marrying, etc…

          I think that we as sistas need to look at how we are raising our sons… because there is an obvious disparity in behavior and achievement between black men and women raised in the same household.

          Over the holidays I noticed that the boys were given shooter video games and rap cd’s and the girls were given books and other educational toys with it being deemed that boys weren’t interested in intellectual pursuits.

          I have also observed mothers who were taking their lack of male companionship out on their sons either grooming them to be dogs… one of my ex-hommies and I fell out when she was telling her pre-school aged sons they gap you get.

          Or grooming their sons as surrogate mates so all the needs typically fulfilled in a relationship except for the sexual are engaged in with their mothers.

          Then their is the little Prince syndrome where the mothers think their sons are the only perfect male on the planet… and he grows up with this perception of self.

          Add to that a lack of positive male role models who are engaged in long term monogamy or faithful marriage you are essentially left with a group of men who have been raised by peer opinion which has the greatest influence on what they consider normal behavior…

          You are left with scores of men who don’t really know how to be men ~JS

          • Kimmy

            I think you make a great point. I don’t have any kids so maybe it is unfair of me to criticize, but I think too many mothers do not think about the kind of MAN they are raising their BOYS to become. I have met way too many men who would not want their mothers/sisters to be treated in the same way that they are comfortable treating women.

          • whykendra

            “I think that we as sistas need to look at how we are raising our sons… because there is an obvious disparity in behavior and achievement between black men and women raised in the same household”

            this is interesting. another uncomfortable question we need to ask ourselves. because i grew up in a household where men are really not held accountable for much. the expectations of them are lower (not ridiculously low but ‘failure’ for them evoked sympathy where as ‘failure’ by the girls evoked ridicule), aggression is more accepted, they had more freedom, and the most telling: when dealing with women the male family members were constantly being instructed 1. to be weary of women and their antics (i.e. my whole family thinks my cousins ex wife was a gold digger..but he doesnt have any f*ckin money!) 2. a womans mistreatment is her own stupid fault (i.e. we suspect my uncle beats his wife but if you ask my grandmother, its his wife thats the idiot) 3. all sexual activity between men and women is a direct result of pure sluthood on behalf of the women (i.e. my other cousin’s girlfriend, note:not wife, is pregnant therefore making her a slut. btw hes 26 yrs old.)

          • Sav

            You are left with scores of men who don’t really know how to be men…

            I totally agree… I also think that makes black men a bit jealous of black women.
            The dynamic has changed, black women are holding it down themselves. Some because they have to, some because they want to… Black men don’t know how to adjust and get that dynamic back. So it has them feeling “some kinda way”.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “This perplexes me. Black women do so much, so where does the hate come from?”

        good question

      • Beef Bacon

        Black women do it ALL. Yet, we are supposed to be all soft, simple and sweet all the time. Maybe if our men knew how to treat us, we wouldn’t have to be soildiers all the time. A soildier is not a smiley, happy go lucky person most of the times. I am not man bashing just putting the mirror up. This is reality.

        We have had to carry burdens for years that no other group of women have had to even think about. This has to matter, right?

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “Black women do it ALL. Yet, we are supposed to be all soft, simple and sweet all the time. Maybe if our men knew how to treat us, we wouldn’t have to be soildiers all the time. A soildier is not a smiley, happy go lucky person most of the times. I am not man bashing just putting the mirror up. This is reality.

          We have had to carry burdens for years that no other group of women have had to even think about. This has to matter, right?”

          this all makes sense. but, i do think that some women make themselves martyrs just for the sake of being martyrs.

          • Beef Bacon

            WHAT! So who else is going to raise the fatherless children, bring home and cook the bacon, keep a nice home all the while striving for better. Do you really think we WANT to do all this by ourselves?

            Come on now!

            I think we have done well given the hand we are dealt. Why is that we (black women) are supposed to respect and understand your struggle while you (black men) constantly undermine and water down our struggle. This is where the disconnect happens. We have walked the unfair path right along with you, where’s the understanding?

            • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

              you’re missing my point. i understand that many women have legitimate reasons to feel and act the way they do. i’m not talking about those women, though.

              i’m referring to the ones who mean mug and carry a certain attitude with the idea that it’s just them being them and anyone who thinks they should maybe lighten up a bit can go suck a d*ck. and, many times, these are women who have absolutely no reason to act like they’re so angry.

              • Beef Bacon

                Champ,

                Upon an initial meeting, you really have no idea as to why a person is mean mugging. We have hard days just like you do and sometimes a woman isn’t even aware she mugging unless someone says something. Been there done that. If I am having a crazy day, for one, I don’t care to be approached by anyone let alone a potential suitor.

                That facial expression should however cue a brother to try to make her smile. Why is that so hard? This is what you have to do in a relationship why not practice with women in the street…try and make her day. Maybe a cute saying or gesture is just the thing needed to make her feel better. Sounds like men take those looks too personal…it is not all about you, ya know?

                That is selfish thinking! Instead of thinking well dang if she didn’t look so mean I would approach…how about thinking well what can I do to make another person’s day better.

              • http://lizburr.com Liz

                Yeah I need you to clarify the mean mugging. Are you talking about random stranger women? Or chicks who you know who always scowl and say “whatever” about it. I’m definitely a mean mugger to strangers, as a defense mechanism from street harassment I’ve been a victim of since I was young. But, as you know, I am not like that with people I know or situations I am familiar with. Some women are the same. And some women are permanent scowlers….but something tells me they’re probably doing it for some reason, not just because they feel like it (despite what they say). We’re layered.

              • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

                beef and liz,

                i know women who do this all of the time. and, as far as I know, some of these women don’t really have any serious pain or issue that they’re ‘working through.” i’m willing to concede that i don’t know everything about everyone, but some women need to get the f*ck over themselves.

                • http://lizburr.com Liz

                  hurt people hurt people lol. THEY probably don’t even know they have serious pain or an issue to work through. We don’t come out of the womb with a chip on our shoulder. Somewhere, something happened to make that person that way. They’re probably oblivious to this. Meanwhile, black men like you are going around calling us mean muggers and scowlfacers.

                • UrbanDismay

                  i’m willing to concede that i don’t know everything about everyone, but some women need to get the f*ck over themselves. – Champ

                  Basically.

                  And if a chick is walking around frowning, why is it a man’s job to make her smile? I may have my reason’s to be in a frowning mood and some stranger trying to cheer me up might not be the best thing for said mood.

                • YaleGent

                  Agreed !!!! 100 %

              • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

                I used to wonder why so many Black people…women AND men walked around with such an angry disposition. That’s the thing with opression, it affects your view of yourself, insecurities, and the angry disposition is like a defensive cloak to protect them from anyone who may try to hurt them. Many of us aren’t happy and combine that with poverty and yeah you will get alot of “mean mugs”. Many of us don’t come into this world with the love and affection as white people do. We’re too busy trying to make ends meet than to hug our children and make sure they’re loved so they don’t grow up with anger. Just feel sorry for them and try to understand that there are a slew of side affects to low self-esteem.

                • http://lizburr.com Liz

                  It’s definitely an oppression. We need some hugs.

                • PerceptionIsYourReality

                  @SFG
                  This!!!!!!!!

                  “That’s the thing with opression, it affects your view of yourself, insecurities, and the angry disposition is like a defensive cloak to protect them from anyone who may try to hurt them”

                  This statement is completely outlined in “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome” by Dr. Joy Leary. I heard this sista speak in NYC in college when the book came out. She was the bomb.com!! A very interesting theory. I don’t agree with everything but most of what she said rings true…. Check it out!

                  Sorry to keep dropping book titles but I’m feeling inspired today!

            • Medium Meech

              This undercurrent of hate that black women have for black men has been growing stronger in recent years. It concerns me.

              • Beef Bacon

                Meech, no one hates black men. I LOVE YOU ALL! But it seems as if you all have literally turned your back on US, so how can we show love to people that don’t know how to receive it?

                You all are all so caught up in your ‘options’ that you fail to see what you are leaving behind. A mess. No other women feel this way about their men…so it’s safe to say it something YOU ALL are doing too!

              • whykendra

                lmao! its funny not because i disagree because i dont disagree. i think there is this two way hate going on, where the attention is always being brought on what the other one lacks or sucks at. black men cant do… black women always do too much…

                but your comment tickled me because the way i read it like a newspaper announcement. and the brevity made it read even louder. well done.

            • Leila

              “Why is that we (black women) are supposed to respect and understand your struggle while you (black men) constantly undermine and water down our struggle”

              Preach! In my last relationship, my ex expected me to cater to his every need. If he had a bad day at work, I was his cheerleader, always providing the support. Meanwhile, I was killing myself at work, taking classes, and helping out my family. When I went to grad school, the same ex did everything he could to stand in my way. He provided no support at all and then said that I expected too much from life.

          • Deviant

            I feel the need to point out the irony of your statement and the exchange that followed.

          • yoyo

            GTFOOH

        • Perfect Square

          Black women do it ALL.

          This is a stereotype. Just like the myth that Black men are better at sports we embrace it because it is “positive.” The problem occurs when sistas don’t seem to be able to do it all and feel less Black because of it. As if they are deficient.

          Some critical scholars argue that Black men (primarily) promote this stereotype because they are the ones that benefit the most from this ideal. Think about all those movies with the strong, all-doing, God-fearing, self-sacrificing mother character. Or every Heisman, Grammy, etc acceptance speech you have ever heard.

          We constantly load Black women up like farm mules with our dreams, our kids and our debts expecting that if she is a GOOD Black woman she will carry our burdens for the betterment of the community.

          But when we are left with nothing but hoarse throats from cheering for everyone else no one feels that pain but us.

      • http://www.flaglerhill.com Mass

        We love our sisters but a good number of you are unapproachable. Bottom line…but we holla anyway…

        • DiaShoni

          I have to ask. I’m hearing a lot about “screwface,” “mean-mugging,” and the like. Is it really that so many Black women are actually scowling, or is it that a lot of Black men call it scowling simply because it’s not the facial expression they expect us to have? Not having a smile on my face doesn’t mean I’m scowling or unapproachable or “being mean,” as I’ve been told. It means I’m not smiling at that moment.

    • Mo-VSS

      I’m gonna take it a step further and say that not only do you all hate us, we hate you too. Black people hate each other and feel as though anyone who breaks the mold is stepping out of the “black way of life” and we become poised to take them down. We are taught to hate, mistrust, degrade and slaughter each other every chance we get. The difference with our race and others is that we are very successful in our attempts to chop each other down.

      Oprah is a billionaire with her own (literally named OWN) network, yet black people hate her because “she doesn’t do enough for the black community.” Barack Obama is president, but folks…yes our folks…are still hating on him like he somehow set the bar too high for the “average ninja.”

      I’m 30 and it’s taken me a long time to unlearn the bad habits placed upon us, by us in relating to one another. I hear black women and men on here detailing why and how they have come to their conclusions about he opposite sex. And those points are usually decided aimed at external factors that cause their unhappiness and inability to find a suitable black mate. However, when you challenge said folks about their notions and encourage them to look inside themselves and truly examine what they believe, how they portray that and how it affects them (both negatively and positively) in the dating game, you get a bunch of folks crying foul on the play…cuz the problem can’t possibly be them. God no!!!!! (*rolls eyes)

      When black people get off the “you owe me” thinking train and take responsibility for THEIR lives and THEIR happiness, not being determined by the external forces at work in the world, then we would all get more ouf of this life…relationship-wise, career-wise, etc.

      • Enginegro

        “When black people get off the “you owe me” thinking train and take responsibility for THEIR lives and THEIR happiness, not being determined by the external forces at work in the world, then we would all get more ouf of this life…relationship-wise, career-wise, etc.”

        great statement… why do we as black people have such a huge sense of entitlement?

        • Deviant

          Because, technically, we ARE due something. We just haven’t realized that no one of us is actually ever going to get that 40 acres and we wouldn’t know what to do with a mule if we saw one.

          • Mo-VSS

            Deviant…we are NOT due anything. The sooner we get that, the better. We are not the only race of people who have endured atrocities across the board. Yet we somehow think that the pain of our ancestors and the ensuing plight we face today is more substantial than any one else’s. As if our situaiton supercedes the situations and histories of others.

            It does not.

            • Perfect Square

              No other group on in modern time has experienced slavery and oppression to the same extent and for the same length of time as the Black American. Yet many groups (e.g. Jews, survivors of asbestos poisoning, Chinese etc) have been given reparations by federal governments. So whether or not you agree with feeling entitled is one thing. Totally your own opinion and I respect that. But Black Americans have had a unique experience that cannot and should not be denied.

            • Deviant

              Black people have endured undeniable hardship and unspeakable atrocities without any acknowledgement for hundreds of years. Only within the last couple of decades has any president even publicly APOLOGIZED for slavery. It’s like our culture was raped and after centuries of torment the abuse slowed to a gentle slapping across the face every now and then, only recently, was like “My bad about the whole rape thing.”

              There’s been no resolution to that part of our history. We haven’t received any justice.But, what would justice look like now? And, where would it come from? That’s where the frustration is coming from. We’re born into the remnants of this abuse and we don’t know where to direct this anger that we feel.

              So YOU can argue who’s plight was more significant. That’s not what I’m about. I believe that all who suffer should receive comfort. But I’m an idealist.

            • mochazina

              At the very least we are due a formal apology from our country.

      • Jhane Sez

        “I’m gonna take it a step further and say that not only do you all hate us, we hate you too. Black people hate each other and feel as though anyone who breaks the mold is stepping out of the “black way of life” and we become poised to take them down. We are taught to hate, mistrust, degrade and slaughter each other every chance we get. The difference with our race and others is that we are very successful in our attempts to chop each other down.”

        Shut it down girl…

        This sh*t right here will be the righteous death of us ~JS

        • Mo-VSS

          Exactly.

          We do more to ourselves than any other race ever could. (slavery removed, however)

  • http://www.depthsoffemininity.blogspot.com Madame J

    Le sigh. Gotta let this marinate and I’ll jump back in.

    The first word that comes to mind is Emulation as a response to these questions though.

    Great Post.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “The first word that comes to mind is Emulation as a response to these questions though.”

      please expound

  • http://heardhimsay.com Drew-Shane

    2. I think this comes from the fact men and women are two different creatures, we know but add Black in front of either gender and you have a bigger beast to tackle but a rose is still a rose…

    4. I think Black people tend to use the race card just like other races. I think we just use ours more as a defense against our sometime juvenile actions. I guess we tolerate it because we are “still owed something.”

    We like to tackle issues when we are comfortable. When it comes to talking about what’s really going on we don’t want to feel threaten. I can’t wait to see what discussions come of this good post. You know people tend to feel more secure behind the computer.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “4. I think Black people tend to use the race card just like other races. I think we just use ours more as a defense against our sometime juvenile actions. I guess we tolerate it because we are “still owed something.”

      i agree that everyone uses it, regardless of race. but, the way we use it sometimes annoys the hell out of me (and sometimes i annoy the hell out of myself)

  • http://twitter.com/slimjackson Slimuel L. Jackson

    #2 very well could be one of the most uncomfortable of all time.

    I’m sure some of the answers to the questions posed will result in essays. I say that because I almost wrote one.

    This site isn’t applicable to my question, but…

    Why is it so difficult to get a lot of Black folks to talk about issues of importance, yet so easy to get folks discussing foolery and critiques of people that ultimately don’t impact their own lives?

    • tgtaggie

      I think guys like you, VSB and SBM do a great job to get the conversation started. I can’t tell you how much more I have learned about relationships and women in general from just reading the comment section. lol.

      • http://twitter.com/slimjackson Slimuel L. Jackson

        Reading comments is an enlightening experience for a lot of folks it seems. I didn’t know how much until I sat and started reading them myself.

      • PerceptionIsYourReality

        @tgtaggie
        Aint that the truth!

    • http://www.depthsoffemininity.blogspot.com Madame J

      “Why is it so difficult to get a lot of Black folks to talk about issues of importance, yet so easy to get folks discussing foolery and critiques of people that ultimately don’t impact their own lives?”

      I ask myself this question often. Although, I am incredibly guilty of indulging into the foolery that is Antoine Dodson. Love him.

      Anyway.

      Mindless activity and discussion takes precedence over substantive issues because its…well…mindless. And EASY. Black people, more than any other race, tend to take the road less travelled and the EASY way out of many life situations, beyond and including conversation. Like the brotha that chooses to sell drugs rather than completing school and becoming employed. Or the sista that remains in a relationship with “Boo-Boo the Fool” when she knows that he’s no good because it’s easier to stay than leave. Taking a step a back to analyze yourself, your race, and/or personal issues takes a greater strength and most folks aren’t aren’t willing to do.

      The Truth Hurts. Especially when it’s about you and your issues.

    • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

      “Why is it so difficult to get a lot of Black folks to talk about issues of importance, yet so easy to get folks discussing foolery and critiques of people that ultimately don’t impact their own lives?”

      Even though I think intelligent discussion and Black folks’ willingness to partake in said discussion IS out there (just not particularly everywhere), I think this comes back to the same reason why folks go to the movies or listen to music instead of doing something more “serious” such as dealing with issues in their lives or in their community. It’s escapism. Which, it’s nothing wrong with that, we all need it every once in a while. Problem is, I think we’re doing more escaping than dealing. :-/

      • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

        So the question then becomes, my dear Cheekie:

        WHY do Black folks spend so much more time “escapin’” then everyone else? We are so recalcitrant in terms of openly grappling with what are clearly pathological behavioral norms? Why can’t we honestly engage Whites in discussions along these lines, without resorting to cries of “racism”? Why hasn’t there been numerous examples of entertainment like The Wire – a series that was created and written by a White Jewish Man, I might add.

        I mean, what is up with all that?

        O.

        • Sula

          WHY do Black folks spend so much more time “escapin’” then everyone else?

          Numbers please. We can’t make blanket statements like out of our a$$es, so I need numbers. Thanks.

          • http://twitter.com/slimjackson Slimuel L. Jackson

            I mean…if we were to require stats for everything then 90% of discussions wouldn’t happen?

            See what I did there? lol. Seriously though, some things don’t require stats. As long as it’s fairly obvious, it’s worth discussing in some form whether blanket statements or not.

            • Sula

              As long as it’s fairly obvious

              Obvious to whom though?

              Bollywood is one of the biggest industries in the world…. and the whole premise of Bollywood is ESCAPISM at its greatest… last I heard, it wasn’t black people who powered the Bollywood industry…

              so what may be obvious to you may not be obvious to me.

              So I need numbers on the fact that black people are the MOST likely to dwell in escapism …. And we can’t use our “realities” because obviously my reality tells me different…

              If we have to make an argument, let’s make it a good one. Fallacies can only go so far.

        • Kimmy

          I think the issue is about a sense of powerlessness. I think it is difficult to change/take control of your life when you don’t realize that you actually have the power to do that. When I was a public defender many of my clients were young black men (actually most of them were) and it was amazing to me how little responsibility many of them took for their actions. Of course not all of them were guilty, but many of them were and it would amaze me how the guilty ones would think the Judge or the Prosecutor was sending them to prison, without actually realizing that (police targeting, unfair sentencing,etc. aside) they had a big part to play in where they ended up. Life is easier when you sit down and let it happen to you instead of engaging in it.

        • Perfect Square

          “…pathological behavioral norms?”

          Sorry but no sale!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “I’m sure some of the answers to the questions posed will result in essays. I say that because I almost wrote one. ”

      i havent made it all the way down thread, but so far no one has tried to answer that

    • UrbanDismay

      Why is it so difficult to get a lot of Black folks to talk about issues of importance, yet so easy to get folks discussing foolery and critiques of people that ultimately don’t impact their own lives? – Slimuel

      Great Minds Discuss Ideas; Average Minds Discuss Events; Small Minds Discuss People.

      And that goes across all color lines.