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3:07 PM

53sonnenuntergang-m181It’s amusing. The very same people who vigorously shake their heads YES, obviously in agreement concerning white’s (white people’s) “blind eye” to racism, has that same sort of “blind eye” concerning colorism in the US along with other things. The response seems to come to an abrupt stop or somewhere around “No, let’s focus on other people” or “Black folks don‘t have issues with color”. In realizing myself, I quickly realized others around me. For the past, I’d say 8 months, I’ve seen an increasing number of “hits” for “white power”, though I can’t say I’m surprised with a black man as president and all. What comes to mind besides the obvious burning crosses and Ku Klux Klan, is black pride. Yeah, the real black pride. I don’t mean the artificial black pride that comes with trying to pretend everything black is great and that black people have no issues, because that’s just foolishness.

Some things are just too obvious to address, and when you know that, you know these people are lodged somewhere between trying to defend something they know little to nothing about or blind patriots of blackness kind of like blind patriots of America. Black pride as little to do with pretending everything is great with black people, and more to do with acknowledging the good with the bad, that’s black pride because if you don’t acknowledge it, you are just ignoring it which shows a lack of concern or an inability to address the issue at hand; it’s like knowing you are sick and not going to the doctor to figure out the problem—the problem will likely persist. It’s not going to go away simply because you say it has gone away.

 

I remember growing up in MS. My family never really had much but I never felt it. My parents made sure I never felt it. I had a wonderful childhood, a sheltered little black girl, who in at least my sister’s eyes, was spoiled and full of potential. I never felt wronged by the word black, in fact I felt it was something that was more or less a part of me simply because it was just as I was and not because it shouldn’t be.

My immediate family is a range of shades of brown. My father, brother, and I of a darker hue and my mother and sister of a lighter hue. Though this was the reality, in my family, the range in skin color was not discussed but our common blackness was, and it was almost always a pleasant conversation or at least one full of humor.

I can recall looking in the mirror as a young girl and admiring who I was physically and mentally. Again, I had a pretty good childhood, family always around, and again…a pretty sheltered childhood as well. Then into society and away from my family’s protective words, hugs, and kisses, things changed. An unsuspecting child that thought that every other black person more or less had the same ideas about blackness as myself. Wrong. WRONG.

Wow, did I quickly get the low down and dirty on the many divisions that exist between black people by personal experience and through others’ experiences from skin color and class to black Americans and Africans who came to America—not useful things, not productive things, but hurtful things. I don’t want to go into too much detail then this entry would be entirely too long, but Africa, which is now divided up into countries is divided because some colonialism, took place at some point, with that being said color would by virtue play some part to that exposure, just by virtue [skin bleaching, perms, etc]. In America the same sort of thing but much worse, and the same can be said for the Caribbean and for similar reasons. It use to really bother me a lot all, today in my mind, it’s just another ill of this world.

Black pride to me is the same as it was 17 years ago, black people, regardless of where they are from, who share a common blackness, though different cultures because the one thing we can not change regardless of how rich, poor, smart, the language we speak or the language we don’t speak, African, or African American–black is the color of your skin, and that’s not a bad thing–not at all. It makes me wonder when I hear black people say “She/he thinks he/she is too good, or he/she says they are mixed with Indian, well, he/she is just plain ole black like everyone else”—wtf is plain ole black or plain ole anything dealing with blackness? Is black a step down from everything else? I’m going to need people to think first, speak later. Now, I have a letter to write.

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WashedOut|”Impressions”

      First Impressions”? Yeah, I could see why for an interview maybe because you really want or need that job, sometimes you have to make a stretch. After all, they can’t fire you when the charm you had in the interview suddenly leaves after the first month on the job—its business as usual.

     For everyday, normal people? I fail to see the reverence. You may counter argue that maybe one day these normal, everyday people may be in a position one day to do some extraordinary things. It is true, however, if I only interacted with people who I thought would “be somebody” one day, I’d be cheating myself out of my own potential.  In situations like these, reality can get you kicked out the door as fast as illusion got you into it; it’s not an interview with laws to protect you after the fact. Beyond this, when most people do things “extraordinary” for you, it’s a give and take situation. Nothing not given freely will ever come freely.

    Typically at this point, there are many who are hung up on trying to make a “good “ first, second, and third “impression”, so in reality you don’t really get to know them until after the fact anyway, and that could be a good or bad finding.

I guess there are those who do this because it actually works on the majority! I’ve never understood and never will how someone would be charmed by someone who is trying to charm, maybe it’s not so obvious then but look at the situation and that within itself is obvious. In certain situations people tend to overcompensate for something by exaggerating some other aspect that is not just a natural inclination for them.  I’ve seen many “sweet“-labeled people eventually show their true colors as the complete opposite
 An “impression” is often giving one’s self a false persona that is more than likely revealed sooner or later to be just what it is, an illusion. The first impression is never the last.

 It reminds me of children who don’t feel comfortable being themselves, as they have to “fit in” somewhere, like a piece to a puzzle, so they pretend. The sad part about this is a lot of people will go through their entire lives not ever being able to freely be themselves–that is, be comfortable being themselves around others. 

     Maybe just being one’s self isn’t as impressive as pretending to be something else for most people. My “impression” is just me being me—but then that’s not an “impression” at all; it’s reality and incapable of becoming washedout. I’d prefer to be around people who are more in touch with themselves and the latter; those are the people who impress me, not the WashedOut Impressions– but the lasting and truthful reality being that they are genuine and there truly aren’t too many of their kind left in the world.

White| in America

Yeah, white people have thier own set of issues too…..

I found this to be very interesting. Most people were wondering what something like a “White in America” documentary would look like. Well, here’s your chance to actually see.

I saw this at Macon D’s blog:

 

Aftermath|of CNN’s Black| in America

Some are saying OK…we get the problems….where are the solutions?

What can WE do?

Well, I say to you…..put the same or more momentum in this as you did for Obama and that is your solution. This is by no means an overnight success but change is possible; it takes dedication and hard work from people who are passionate about their people and the future of black America. It’s the first step of many steps.

Resources:

The following link is a list of local and national organizations and programs designed to address many of the issues raised in “CNN Presents: Black in America” and “CNN & Essence: Reclaiming the Dream.” Some of the people or guests featured in the programs are involved in some of these organizations

CNN does not endorse any organization, and information is provided only as a resource and inspiration to help people explore the many local and national organizations involved in these areas.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/07/18/bia.resources/index.html

I imagine a lot of people probably do not know about these programs. The links are extremely helpful.

 

BET:

  1. Write letters to the network and president demanding change in videos and programs shown on BET that promote negative stereotypes and images of black people that our children often  use as a reflection of themselves, and demand more educational programs.
  2. Boycott the program (children and adults alike) so that BET will loose money and their ratings will drop. I assure you; this will ring loud and clear.
  3. Here are three petitions that are currently going around; bring awareness and send these things  to those you know and those you don’t know to the dangers of such programs:

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/change-bet.html

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/betterBET/

http://www.petitionnow.com/BETVIDEOS/petition.html

 

In Addition:

  • Promote education at home:

http://www.ehow.com/how_2147355_promote-early-reading-home.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art

 

  • Start some educational and inspirational after school programs in black schools and churches:

http://www.ehow.com/how_2335689_start-after-school-care-program.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art

 

  • Start free parenting class in your community –even if it is only one or two days out of the week.

http://www.fathersworld.com/fulltimedad/issue2/bf.html

http://www.blackparents.org/

 http://www.babycenter.com/0_fathering-classes-could-you-use-one_8249.bc

 

  • Start free abstinence classes, not just Safe sex, in your local black churches and black schools, especially HBCUs:

http://www.physiciansforlife.org/content/view/247/27/

 

  • Send copies of the CNN’s Black in America special to your church and school.  (This is something I am very intent on doing)

The “N”-Word|In 2008

To the bewildered:
To begin, let me first say that I disagree with the word myself. However,  you probably don’t  realize that the word’s meaning, for black people who do use it, is completely different from the meaning someone white may think. Most whites look at it as a disrespectful term because of the historical aspect of it, and for that reason I and other blacks think so too. The historical aspect is to degrade and belittle black people.To black people who use the word, it means, almost as if to say, “You’re one of us” but without the negative connotations that are tied to it historically. 

When Whoopie Goldberg, from The View, made the comment about “owning” the word, this is how black people feel who use the word. They feel because they have been degraded with the word down through the years, they would take it for themselves, in turn, and use it to their own advantage, as oppose to their disadvantage. I believe this came from the hurt, shame, and pain of it all.

With that being said, what reason would a white person have to say it and what would their meaning be for those who think a double standard exist? Most certainly, it would not be for the same reason I just stated above—and that is what makes it offensive coming from them. To make this simpler…think of it as reverse psychology because it is very similar. I just wanted to say that for clarification as to the differences in how some blacks view the word and how whites view it.

To my fellow black readers, and still the confused- As for my personal take on this:

My rejection of this word has absolutely nothing to do with me wanting not to sound “black” and has everything to do with respect for my ancestors, people, and myself. Unfortunately, there are so many African Americans (old and young) who use this word for each other, and either way one looks at it, it’s still negative even when said by us—truth be told, a lot of us don’t see it this way. I am not sure if this is out of habit or upbringing but it’s disgraceful all together.

When my great grandmother and granddaddy were addressed as, subjected to, whipped and killed in the names of “coon” “colored” “nigger” day in and day out— there’s absolutely nothing to take from that word, and just because one takes off the “er” and gives it an “a” at then end, makes no difference. It’s like calling a stone a rock—it’s more or less the same thing…..coming from an insider.

Check out: http://www.abolishthenword.com/

I am compelled to say, however, that most people were shocked at hearing Whoopi’s comments concerning black and whites living in different worlds. I’m sorry to break this to anyone living in “Dream Land“, but she is right.

 We have yet to reach equality for all; discrimination is still at large.

The double standard that Elizabeth talked about on The View is more in the “democracy” of America than anywhere else. There are double standards in education, there are double standards in housing opportunities for blacks, double standards exist in the media, there are double standards even with buying cars in America—- compare that to the black and white world. Want proof?

http://www.cdc.gov/omhd/Highlights/2007/HFeb07.htm

http://faculty.winthrop.edu/stonebrakerr/book/automobiles.htm

If a Tree Falls|in a Forest|& No One is Around to Hear it| Does it make a Sound?

     Self preservation is said to be the individual human’s strongest instinct. Self preservation, no doubt supersedes, humanity or the preservation of mankind. Perhaps this circuitously is the reason for ethnicities and nationalities. More importantly, and more recently, perhaps this is the establishment of race. In as much as it is individual human instinct, creating a collective group only betters individual chances of survival via the strength of a collective group instead of individual strength.

White America’s “white” privilege system, with all its obvious biases and fallacies, when dealing with people who are non-white, is present as a means of self preservation of the “white race”. Why would I change a system that is beneficial to me in every aspect? Why face the challenge of having an “equal playing ground”, so to speak—where no one is suppressed at any level that you are not suppressed and no one, on either side, can yell excuse, inequality or discrimination? This would surely threaten the place white America has “preserved” for itself and its future generations.  

This would basically mean that one is, on no level, any better than the next, at the same level being that these levels are not biased in anyway. It is a fight to keep the truth a lie, and consequently a lie the truth, from those who are truly, on every aspect an equal (which is everyone non white), at bay from knowing that equality or tasting the savory reality that one may or may not know exist but never experienced. Hence the phrase, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

The subjective answer is “No, because no one heard or saw it.” The more obvious answer is Yes. Do things exist and happen that we do not see, hear, or experience? Everday. Does that make it non existent because one has yet to experience it and/or maybe never will? Only in one’s “little world” who would probably argue control of the universe and those things seen , heard, and experienced within it are the only things that exist,  and yet even that universe exists only in one’s mind. Back in  reality, the tree fell with or without anyone’s permission or awareness through hearing, seeing or otherwise and it, of course, made a sound like any other tree would if someone was standing by watching. By my never seeing or hearing of anyone dying of AIDs, it does not invalidate the existence thereof.

Perhaps, all in all, they are the weaker group, yet because of obvious advantages merely based on being “white”, their dominance prevails but it prevails only in the light of the obvious advantages. Furthermore, the lack of adversity faced, given more time and weight to a better establishment. Ex—slavery, discrimination, genocides is really not a part of their history because they were often on the giving end, instead of the receiving end.

Instead, the opposite of adversity by acquisition via at the expense of others has been the foundation on which they stand: exploitation of others, universalism, “whiteprivilege system, and the European catholic standard of beauty.

Ultimately, it makes a clear way to victory. In almost every circumstance of exploration and invasion, the history of the people they (whites) “conquered” was destroyed or claimed as their own and left future generations of the “conquered” people subjected to whatever imaginative fairytale they thought to tell them. In the process,  claiming themselves (whites)  as the victors in every major historic finding and scientific light.  What other proof do they (the people conquered) have that anything else existed? Again, we encounter the tree that fell while no one was around.

It’s not at all rash to think that “their” story, the “conquered” people, became literally “his” story, white people, and “his” story is a fabrication of what “their” story actually surrounds.

This, in turn, has made many, who have white skin, or close enough to it, embrace universal whiteness—perhaps another attempt at self preservation as well. One may argue that there are as many blacks, and people of color who enter the US/Europe as there are people who are passed off as white regardless of origin, and strictly based on skin color. Of course, this is a fact. However, I would ask one how many of these people of color or these black people (African, Latino, Indian, Arabs) would actually take the same route as say, the Irish, to be “white” for preservation, but for the before mentioned to be “black” in the same light? Almost no one and this is because of the advantages I have already mentioned. Most would rather assimilate by the standards of “white” for preservation as well, in spite of their own cultural beliefs and ethnicities. So, indeed, race appears to have the superseding power over ethnicity and nationality.

Perhaps, even, this is the same “logic” as to why somewhite” Americans refuse to vote for Barack Obama. Although he is mixed, many adhere to the one drop rule, espeically considering the fact that he is married and has children by a black woman.

The Revolution|will NOT be Televised



I am not angry; I am anger.
I am not dangerous; I am danger.
I am abominable stress, eliotic, relentless.
I’m a breath of vengeance.
I’m a death sentence.
I’m forsaking repentance,
to the beast in his hench men.


Armed forces and policemen
that survived off of oils and prisons until there cup runneth over with lost souls.
That wear over-sized caps like blind-folds
Shiny necklaces like lassoes
Draggin’ them into black-holes
And I may have to holla out to Fidel Castro
To get my other brothers outta Guantanimo

And the innocence on death row?
It’s probably in the same proportion to criminals in black robes
That smack gavels
That crack domes
That smack gavels
That smash homes

Justice is somewhere between reading sad poems and 40 oz of gasoline crashing through windows
It is between plans and action
It is between writing letters to congressmen and clocking the captain
It is between raising legal defense funds and putting a gun to the bailiff and taking the judge captive
It is between prayer and fasting
Between burning and blasting
Freedom is between the mind and the soul
Between the lock and the load
Between the zeal of the young and the patience of the old
Freedom is between a finger and the trigger
It is between the page and the pen
It is between the grenade and the pin
Between righteous and keeping one in the chamber

So what can they do with a cat with a heart like Turner
A mind like Douglass
A mouth like Malcolm
And a voice like Chris?!

That is why I am not dangerous; I am danger
I am not angry, I am anger
I am abominable, stress, Eliotic relentless
I’m a death sentence
For the beast and his henchmen
Politicians and big businessmen
I’m a teenage Palestinian
Opening fire at an Israeli checkpoint, point blank, check-mate, now what?!
I’m a rape victim with a gun cocked to his cock, cock BANG! Bangkok! Now what?!
I am sitting Bull with Colonel Custard’s scalp in my hands
I am Sincay with a slave trader’s blood on my hands
I am Jonathan Jackson and a gun to my man
I am David with a slingshot and a rock
And if David lived today, he’d have a Molotov cocktail and a Glock
So down with Goliath, I say down with Goliath

But we must learn, know, write, read
We must kick, bite, yell, scream
We must pray, fast, live, dream, fight, kill and die free!

Amir Sulaiman