Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dem Negroes

I'm so over the Rick Warren faith forum after reading that John McCain wasn't in a soundproof room like Warren insinuated. I'm not writing a long piece on that, it's pretty obvious what happened.

They cheated.

What I want to discuss is a convo I had with my best friend the other day. We hadn't had a long conversation in a while, but we got the chance to chop it up over the weekend and discussed everything from women, to sports, to racism. It was a pretty standard convo for us.

Anyway, during the conversation my friend was telling me about visiting a ghetto in an area where he was surprised to find a ghetto. My homeboy grew up in the 'hood, and the area he was visiting is considered the suburbs. However, even in the suburbs you can find a little ghetto, and my friend said he wouldn't feel safe living in this particular suburban ghetto. We talked about a particular crime that occurred in the subdivision, and during the conversations, he said something like "Now, that's some stuff only black people do."

And I had to stop him.

My friend is a conscious cat, shoot, sometimes he's even more militant than I am. And it's not like his comment was new to me; I've heard black people of every age and economic class make similar statements. Previously, I never really thought about it, hell, I might have nodded my head in agreement at the crazy actions of "Dem Negroes."

Dem Negroes.

All black people love to talk about "Dem Negroes." You know, the ones that talk loud on the bus or subway, and even use racial slurs when arguing with other ethnic groups. The ones with their pants hanging off their butts, or those wild dreadlocks. Dem Negroes that are shooting and killing up each other something fierce, the negresses with two or three babies at 17-years old, and just as many baby daddies.

Dem Negroes.

My friend wasn't setting himself up as being above certain folks, but there was a hint of self-hatred in his comment. I told him that contrary to popular opinion, black folks have not cornered the market on certain pathologies. We may have a higher incidence of certain problems than other races, but we do not have a monopoly. I added that the only reason black people say stuff life "only Negroes" is because we've been trained to think of ourselves as some particularly debased race.

There has a been systematic campaign to encourage black people to believe that not only are we more prone to certain evil acts, but in some cases, we're the only ones who do these heinous things. After all, if those in power could convince us that we were evil beyond all others, well it was easier to convince us that we didn't deserve certain rights until we got our act together. So many of us have accepted these lies that we are willing to see the failures of some black folks as an indictment of our entire race.

Look, for better or worse, black people in this country are viewed as one big collective. Although we love to divide ourselves into "Dem Negroes" and "Good black folks," in the end, we're all just black people.

The thugs with prison records are black just like the Howard graduates with masters degrees. We may not be on the same life path or making the same contributions to society, but we're all black folk. We can't pretend that black people who are not productive are part of some separate race. Doesn't work like that.

While it is unfair that all black people get blamed for the failures of some of us, I think black people's response to this injustice is counterproductive. We cannot pretend that "Dem Negroes" are another species we can't understand and don't really like.

A smarter move would be to embrace the good and the bad. We don't have to celebrate the bad, but we need to embrace it. We need to refuse to hold ourselves to some different standard than everyone else. We need to force the world to understand that we cannot be denied equality based on our imperfection.

Our imperfections bestow upon us our humanity.

We have to give ourselves the permission to fail in order to free our minds to succeed. We are all black and we are also human. As humans, we struggle just like everyone else. We are no better and we are no worse. We should not feel debased by our chronic ailments, but rather more fully human. There is nothing wrong with black people because some of us are "Dem Negroes."

We need to stop regurgitating self-hatred because it sounds good.

22 comments:

E.J. said...

We can't advocate holding on to a collective black identity and then turn around and get mad when people don't see us as individuals or assume we all follow Al and Jesse. We need to REALLY start seeing ourselves as individuals.

WNG said...

Amen, Big Man, Amen.

the uppity negro said...

Well, this is where I somewhat depart my uppityness and move into elitism--so be prepared for it.

First of all e.j. has a VERY valid point. We can't argue for this "oneness" motif amongst ourselves, and then get mad when people view us collectively, that's just to contradictory and gets into other psychological issues such as cognitive dissonance.

Secondly, one with Master's degree from Howard has already put me on a completely different level than homeboy from SouthEast. I mean, the two talk different, and moreover think differently. And frankly, the "Dem Negroes" is a two way street. Homeboy and his crew think of the educated as "Dem Negroes."

But I'm sorry, but me and limited worldviews don't work well. I'm just not going to advocate willful ignorance. To often "Dem Negroes" who are committing these crimes that we attribute to just black people do NOT see the world beyond their block or their neighborhood, their dreamed was deferred long before they were born in some instances--does that make it their fault? Not necessarily.

They need to know if they've been dealt a spades hand or a poker hand. Poker always gives you the option to try again (until you outta money), spades hand, you gotta play what you dealt. It's no one's fault but you and your teammate if you don't play right. (Yeah, I know it's a lot of what ifs possible in that analogy and I look forward to the loopholes many of you will find in it.)

I guess all I'm saying is, real talk, it's a class issue when you start talking about intraracial interaction. I have more in common with DuBois than I do Booker T. Washington. But my dad, who didn't go to college is in love with Washington--but this is from a guy who has a memory of goint to pick cotton as a kid in rural Louisiana in the 50's.

Even though I cringe myself when I hear the "Dem Negroes" or the other n-word, I can't help but feel as though people from such a socio-economic background HAVE in fact developed a very unhealthy pathology. I think for us to not see it as such is downplaying a serious problem.

On the flip side, I think it's equally as ignorant for more educated people to say "Dem Negroes" as if they are the only one's doing stuff--even though it seems like it.

Truthiz said...

@TUN: Well said..your entire response!

I was especially struck by the following:

"it's a class issue when you start talking about intraracial interaction. I have more in common with DuBois than I do Booker T. Washington."

The same is true for me, going back to my early teenage years when I really began to study the works of both men. I've always respected the accomplishments of both men_but I've always identified moreso with DuBois's way of thinking than with Booker T. Washington.

Another thought provoking post Big Man!

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Great post Big Man! I have always had an issue with the Black Kennedy mentality (also known as being “bouggie”) Its like this song and dance for white folks (and more importantly each other) trying to show them we are different than the stereotypical blacks that are out there giving stereotypes more clout on the daily. I just have a problem with people who move away to suburbs and leave the inner city to distinguish themselves (nothing wrong with wanting a better life but please acknowledge a better life can be made with out moving away from black people and in with whites), and people who remind us at every turn how they are different because of education or socio-economical status or they hate this about us or that about us while being a part of the collective us.

I have noticed it’s usually those people that get reminded they are one of us by the very same people they are trying to convince of their difference or exception to our supposed genetic inferiority. I have made every choice to embrace the good and bad of black life, it is what it is. It makes us who we are as a colorful (pun intended) race of people. I often struggle with some of the things I love because of where I’m from, that are in direct conflict with some of the things I truly know are detrimental to our health as a race, I guess like a fat kid does with cake (or big macs).

For example, the fact that you have some of the most enlightened men and women sporting lochs and some of the most unaware sporting loch shows that we are people are of many mindsets often expressed the same way. We will always vary among a group no matter what no human group is homogeneous in thinking not matter what some groups try to get us to believe or get there members to believe. .

But in fairness, I don’t know if your boy was practicing self-hate more than he was being human, this is based on the background you given us and the fact you two are friends. I mean there are whites who utter that just PWT or rednecks or whatever other sub-group of the group is doing the shaming is known as collectively. I don’t think its more than pointing out the dynamics of a group which will be to gravitate towards the like minded. Face it most humans don’t like change its scary so they go where there’s comfort and they also go where there is like thinking and they will always point out the different or the people who rep change from what they know. I think we sometimes are over critical of our group. Because we are minorities the microcosm of life that exists in all racial groups seems more pronounced, plus others chose certain groups for minority, actually for groups they don’t have extensive contact with, to represent for that group.

For instance before Wayne sported his lochs many thought those wearing their hair in similar fashion were completely in touch with the essence of blackness where I was from. Then Waynes embrace of the style changed what it could mean, all of a sudden it could mean hood! Then along came Katrina and loch wearing, white tee sporting, blinged out front flashing young black men showed up on my doorstep. I had to catch myself from doing the same thing whites do all the time, identifying evacuees from Katrina as those young men. Not remembering they were but a section of the whole group. Remember just because they were in the NOLA uniform as we called didn’t mean they were ignorant no matter how many times I saw ignorance walking around in that uniform. Anyway …I’ve said way too much. I’m out!

-OG

Big Man said...

OG said:

Its like this song and dance for white folks (and more importantly each other) trying to show them we are different than the stereotypical blacks that are out there giving stereotypes more clout on the daily.

This what I was trying to address. Not saying my homeboy was consciously doing this, but on a certain level that's what was happening. We as black people try to distinguish the good Negroes from the bad Negroes and I can't help but feel like that's our misinformed way of fighting back against stereotypes.

EG and TUN

I've noticed that black people have no problem embracing the whole "collective" idea when they talk about how "we need to do better" or when they are bragging about black people who accomplished something. The general sense of pride many black people feel about Obama is a direct result of the whole black collective mentality.

However, where the problem develops is when that collective is expanded to include those of us who are not reaching our potential and are in fact making the world worse. I think you can maintain the idea that black people are a community, while also demanding that each member of that community be treated as an individual. I think we as black people should have sense of responsibility towards each other, and we should be willing to sacrifice our individual goals at times to uplift the community as a whole.

In fact, I think wholeheartedly embracing the idea that all of us are individuals without any responsibility to the larger community is the reason why so many of our young black brothers are content to sell dope and kill each other in the streets. Their mindsets are the end result of super capitalism, an ethos that is grounded in the idea that life is all about looking out for number one.

Finally, I don't see myself as really being different from regular cats. Maybe that's because I grew up around regular cats, some of them involved in the wrong thing. I didn't grow up with "thugs" but most of the people I grew up with didn't go to college and are regular working class folks. My brother and I may have achieved more by the world's standards, but see cats raising their children and working everyday and I don't see a real difference between us.

the uppity negro said...

@Big Man

Well, that philosophy has DuBois written all over it--the talented tenth raising up the rest. But then, you run into the problems of the Afristocracy versus the Ghettocracy. We somewhat speak different languages and the gulf between the two can erupt in the case of a Juan Williams, Shelby Steele, even a Bill Cosby and at times a Barack Obama (just think about the Father's Day speech).

I'd be lying to myself if I said I identified with the kats from Southeast, or that I fully identified even with all the guys that I went to college with who lived in the lower 9th ward and hopped on RiTA to get to school(granted I think college skews many true statistics for the simple fact everyone is in college). It is a struggle, a real struggle to remember that some people I need to stay friends with, if for nothing else to keep that connection alive. We're going totally different directions, but I think that intracultural us and them connection MUST be maintained.

The problem is that the Afristocracy is walking the thin line between assimilationism with white culture and elitism within our own culture. The Ghettocracyis dealing with (on some level) crabs in a barrel syndrome calling people with degrees and working 9-5s sellouts, and then they suffer from ignorance--a limited worldview in many cases.

There are somethings that are universal as you said, the raising of kids, but look in what different contexts. I mean, there exists a black subculture of the Afristocracy and Ghettocracy all with different philosophies, theologies and ideologies. I mean, in one context the definition of a real man is one who can procreate at will, grab a female, prolly more than one, and in some cases how many people they've beat up or killed, or how many drugs they can move.

I don't identify with that AT ALL--there's not ONE thing I identify with!

I think trying to put us all in the same group, at least on this one, is committing a big fallacy. I'm not saying that this is the main reason why we're not moving forward, I think it's farther back on the list, but I think once some of us realise that we are different then a different kind of conversation can be had.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

@uppity but have you ever thought perhaps that element needs to be exposed to the ideals of manhood that you do identify with and in that exposure they get to something other than their dysfunctional thinking. I believe exposure to new things and ways of thinking is what helps us grow. And while I don’t think it is the talent tenths responsibility to hoist the rest of us up, for no one really can do that. It is the talented tenth’s responsibility to expose those to possibilities and options that are available to blacks besides the status quo. I think that is what is meant by the collective.

At the same time my exposure to those who are not perhaps the salt of the earth reminds me of who I am and where I come from and where I don’t come from. I know a few people in my life who have made the choice. I call it choosing to be a nicca. They despite being raised beyond the hood mentality have for what ever reason chosen the street. Many of those cats get eaten up by the same streets they chose. If it was more of a collective we would have less dudes choosing street life because they would be expose to the bad choice that it is.

I like the collective idea because really I have no idea who’s life I changing simply by living in my hood. Maybe one of those bad azz kids that plays basketball at the street corner I turn into every day will be impacted by the fact that they see me going to work everyday. Or maybe my neighbor’s daughter will ask me what it is that I do that has me out of Texas maintaining my home. I know my little cousins have asked what do you so and how can I do it and my response has been stay and school and take it serious and you can do whatever you want.

That is how I envision the collective community working. Now I understand it ain’t perfect and I understand that same bad azz kid my choose to run for the dude at the end of my street that I KNOW is hustling, but I have at least done my point by showing there is a better, more stable choice. And the hustler at the end of my street reminds me daily I made the right choice.

-OG

WNG said...

So this got me thinking about a convo I had with Papa G about the Olypics. We were talking about Cullen and his gold medal when Pops said, "We all know black people don't swim".
He's the one who TAUGHT me to swim. ALL of our relatives swim. We're Sea Island people from SC - down there, black people swim.
Which isn't the point.
The point is that it bothered me when he said it - because that is exactly the notion that Cullen is trying to change, because once again it isn't enough for the black man to be an Olympic Champion he has an additional duty as a representative of his race. And I knowwe've all felt that at one time or another and i'll tell you that a lot of the time it chafes me. I didn't say anything to Papa G about it - he was joking and I knew how proud he is. But it would have been nice if he could have just said that he was proud instead of making a joke.

I guess I'm saying that it cuts both ways.

I have been blessed to have parents who never forgot that they were one step away from the projects, that all of their family hadn't made it out and who instilled in me a sense of responsibility to reach back and lend a hand.

We've ignored 'dem negroes' and many feel guilty about it. Yes, there are class issues - but those should be attacked. We should all be working together to make sure that the 'dem' have the same chances as 'us'...and while we're at it let's just be happy for and proud of the stars...

the jokes aren't funny

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

@ Big Man

You said Not saying my homeboy was consciously doing this, but on a certain level that's what was happening.

Do you think this is black or human? I think it is somewhat innately human to separate yourself to some degree from groups that do not share your ideology. That’s why I used white folks and PWT and rednecks, those more educated and yuppie whites differentiate themselves from those groups. Or here in MA I can tell when more progressive Italians and Irish folks try to differentiate themselves from those with more traditional racist ideas, like I have heard those Southies before.

Or even how liberal whites always try to write of West Virginia, by rolling there eyes and saying disparaging things of their beliefs. Now ofcourse because I’m black I benefit from them and they ”self-hatred” but the the point I’m making here is that at some point doing this is just human nature. I think it takes much more than what your friend exhibited to be attributed to some self-hatred pathology.

I actually am starting to tire of the over use of the self-hatred spiel that is given to any embrace of things that are Eurocentric. They is a degree where one can healthy embrace f things that are not of his/her culture all culture, and there are things that are inherently human not black or white. The over use of self-hatred pathology dismisses those things and doesn’t allow us to truly determine and discuss and describe what self-hatred looks like and sounds like. I mean even self-hatred itself is human, man is not happy with himself he is always constantly striving to be better, or should I say capitalist American man. If you are Christian you could say it’s part of the curse. Anyway, does that make sense?

-OG

Big Man said...

OG

Good point about whether that is a human trait. It might be a human trait to try to separate yourself.

But, what my friend said was that only "black people" behave in a certain way. The fact that he thought that only black people would be debased or ignorant enough to do something was the self-hatred angle for me.

Now, where the weirdness comes in, is that he was using the term "black people" but what I heard was the term "dem negroes." It could have just been me, and after reading this blog, my friend told me that he said what he said because he's more concerned with the problems black people have then the problems others have. Plus, he said that his comments were a result of his ignorance about the pathologies in other communities.

However, when he said it, I felt like he was saying that black people are effed up in a special way, while also taking care to say that he's not one of those effed up black people. It was like he was agreeing that black people have problems, but only certain types of black people.

It wasn't the first time I had heard that sentiment and I just felt the need to post on it.

Uppity Negro's comments have another post moving about in my mind.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

@Big Man

Yes, that makes sense but I still think we all do it. Liberal whites think only certain whites can be racist when there brand of caring is just as racist and demeaning to us, but I smell what you cooking. I can not wait to your response in blog to Uppity’s comments.

-OG

jelana said...

I agree with everything you have written and I LOVE Black people
PERIOD. You should have your friend
watch "COPS". He will definitely see
the same pathologies in others.
OG expressed my feelings perfectly!

Imhotep said...

"We need to force the world to understand that we cannot be denied equality based on our imperfection."

Big Man, could not disagree with you more. We don't need to show the world a damn thing, they're not our judge. They may want to play that role to satisfy some narcissistic need. But they have NO right to play that role and certainly no f**king moral authority to play that role. And we ought NEVER to yield that role to them.

I don't see your friend as self- hating, I see him more as having some shame about his blackness, and those bros & sistas that are not "keeping up" or misbehaving or whatever. Not "keeping up" is a SYMPTOM of a condition (racial inferiority) that is super-imposed by a white society onto Black people from the cradle to the grave. Now the white media and some Black people will want you to believe that "not keeping up" is a condition, but IMO it's a symptom.

How do we come to decide that we are imperfect? Whose defination of perfection are we subscribing to? By our defination of ourself, we should be a shining success! Look where we have come from, and look where we are. Dem negroes did the agitating, dem negroes did the heavy lifting, dem negroes paid with their life. No one fought our battles for us. I only see pride, and success. I don't see failure.

Your friend talking bout dem niggas, where did he get his talking points from? More than likely he is regurgitaying some shit spewed from the white media. How can you take talking points from a source that rarely have anything positive to say about us?

As far as DuBois v. Booker T., I have respect for both men, cannot help but think that elements from both of their approach would have been the way to go. If I had to choose one of the two, I choose Marcus Garvey.

the uppity negro said...

@OG

I believe that is the purpose of those of us who are productive that we can show what we've learned to others. But there's an inherent problem--it comes off as condescending. I mean those in the Ghettocracy don't like being talked down to by the Afristocracy. It's easy for middle class and higher blacks to say "we" but sadly, I think many of "dem Negroes" really don't identify with some of us. Interestingly enough, many of "dem Negroes" have the same aspirations of the "American Dream" but somewhere there's a disconnect.

Now I believe in teachable moments. When that opportunity exists where the two classes present are in communication with each other, I'm all for that mentoring moment. But folks aint gonna change unless they want to, and I think the middle class would do more damage by trying to inflict our ideals on "dem Negroes."

@imhotep

I don't think the "Dem Negroes" we have in mind were the ones that were the agitators of our foreparents. But rather these were the section of black folks who were a bit passive and not big on challenging the status quo as we see it.

But I hear ya as to who's level of accomplishment are we really striving for.

Also, why would you be a Garveyite? Is it because of his Back to Africa movement (that epically failed) or was it because of his black pride that he sought to instill.

Imhotep said...

@Upitty, I'm aware of the "dem" negroes. I'm saying that we're all them negroes. From the brotha with the Howard MBA, to the brotha with the 5-7 for armed robbery,, to the sista with the two babies out of wedlock to the brother bus driver putting two kids through college. We all encompass dem negroes. And when some talented tenth negro talk about dem negroes, all he/she is doing is underestimating the psychological damage thats been placed upon us.

Regarding Garvey. Definately the Black pride! To not have pride is to have lost. He made it clear that we could look the white person in the eye (major move in the 20's) this black pride was printed and circulated in central and south america and africa. It's my opinion that Garvey's teachings were instrumental in the independence movement in africa and the caribbean.

The back to Africa thing was kool, he did buy the ships, rust buckets that they were, the white boys stole his money. He must have been a legitimate threat, cause the fbi got him out the country.

Sharon because it had to be said! said...

I have been MIA around the blogosphere as I prepared to send my own 18 y/o black male child off to college presumably to become part of the "Talented Tenth"....just joking but not in a way. I too identify more with W.E.B. than with Carver though I have nothing but respect for the ideas of both. However, I find that I agree wholeheartedly with OG's assessment that this is a human verses a black trait as I read the comments to this post.

I find myself reflecting on those times when crimes were committed by unknown suspects and the collective black community would say things like "that's a white boy because black folks don't do things like that"....think D.C. Sniper and the shock that reverberated around the country when he was caught. From statements and incidents like that to white fear of teen black males, to the historical if now defunct notion held by most blacks that white folx have no rhythym, I believe that it is distinctly human nature to separate and categorize one's self as well as others.

Additionally, I don't apologize for the fact that I do this as I believe that it is only by acknowledging and even celebrating what is different amongst us that we can effectively understand and subsequently address the issues that exist in our society/societies. No culture black, white, or otherwise can strictly be viewed collectively if indeed it is to advance itself and the sooner we accept this to be the case, the sooner we all can get busy identifying our collective and individual issues and finding solutions and/or resolutions for them.

To suggest that for a black person to be born and raised in the ghetto and subsequently to become financially successful and move out of the ghetto into a more affluent neighborhood is to sell-out or to turn ones back on his culture even if the neighborhood is devoid of other blacks in my opinion is tantamount to suggesting that a love for Mexican, Italian, or Chinese food is to turn one's back on his blackness and as far as I'm concerned, that simply ain't so!

Love it, hate it, or be totally indifferent to it, but the bottom line is that sometimes we are collectively proud of ourselves and sometimes we cringe when confronted with some of the things that have been attributed to us be them fairly attributed or not. Whatever the case, we all need to understand that though we are collectively responsible for how others see us as a group, in order to impact the whole, EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US has a personal and unique responsibility to work on that which we can most surely change for the better....ourselves. If we do this, then collective improvement should surely follow.

I love this blog and this comment section even more!

Gye Greene said...

Thought-provoking (as always...).

To take a different spin from the "self-hatred" angle ...


Big Man mentioned in one of his responses:

"But, what my friend said was that only "black people" behave in a certain way. The fact that he thought that only black people would be debased or ignorant enough to do something was the self-hatred angle for me."

To expand on this -- and I don't know what specific behavior his friends was referring to that "only black folks do" -- but it just ain't empirically so.

As someone else alluded to, some racial or ethnic groups might do something MORE (or LESS) than another group -- but there are **tons** of (for example) Caucasian folks that [name of bad behavior]. Tons of impoverished white folk. Tons of single mothers that are white folk. Tons of white folk that do all sorts of crimes.

ACTUALLY, white folk **do** have a monopoly on ONE sort of crime: Serial murders. In the U.S., nearly always Caucasian males.


--GG

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

But there's an inherent problem--it comes off as condescending. I mean those in the Ghettocracy don't like being talked down to by the Afristocracy. It's easy for middle class and higher blacks to say "we" but sadly, I think many of "dem Negroes" really don't identify with some of us.

The truth is they don't identify with some of us who constantly try to remind them WE ARE SO DIFFERENT.

All my life I have heard members of the ghettoacracy say to me that I was cool people. I was refreshing, sure they may have thought before speaking to me that I was going to be a condescending azz and sure I can be as I think it is a part of my personality I try to keep in check, but most think they can learn something from me. They tell me I have a unique look at the world. I don’t particular care for men who have a I have arrived attitude nor do I care for men who are ok with living in the streets. My close friends see no distinction between them and the hood even though some were never raised in the hood a day in their life. They live in inner-city neighborhoods and love being among all there people not just the ones they share things in common. They believe in the collective and what it does to strengthen the community. They feel themselves equal to most in their neighborhood even though they are socio-economically three or four classes above many of their neighbors.

The hustler at the end of my street looks out and speaks and while I know he desperately wants to holla and flirts his young azz off HE KNOWS that he ain’t ready. However he also is interested in my take on things in the world that he probably doesn’t think about and I am interested in how someone like him views the things in the world and his impact on them.

My neighbors are happy to see one of us make it (even though I had never met them before I broke ground on my house, there was instant community when I moved in); granted most of my neighbors are older black folks (including my mother who moved into a house down the street from me). To me it feels good. It feels good to be a part of a community it feels good to be able to live like I want and not have people annoyed because they don’t understand my culture. Cars driving by with their booming systems don’t anger me, it is a part of life in the hood and so are the outstanding property values I have because I am in area that is in the beginnings of gentrification, mind you gentrification is not racial but economic. I wish more young successful blacks would move into the inner-city and build up our neighborhoods, that way the only change would be the face of the neighborhood not the shade, instead of running away from its problems. Sometimes just the presence of a positive influence can change an environment. These are my roots and I honestly believe one can not go forward unless they truly understand who they are and where they come from.

-OG

Big Man said...

This is the response my friend sent me by email:

dude,

you and a few of your blogger friends have it wrong again. in no way is what i said self hatred. i will repeat. what you say about the statistics of other races may very well be true. but i could give a damn. there is no shame, as one of the people who commented on your blog stated. i just know that like you said, this behavior does affect us all, meaning all black people. as i always talk about the images and perpetualization of negative stereotypes have far reaching affects. i say this from the news in the media, to the movies we see, to the music we listen to. it affects young black boys in compton and southwest philadelphia, whether people want to admit it or not. it affects little black girls in these hoods too. that is why it concerns me. that is why i pay attention to it, and can say with authority, that i know it happens and that an alarming number of the things i comment on happened to and amongst black people. i say this with authority from the nature of my job, my family and life experiences and the environment in which i was brought up. i am in no way saying that this is all of black people, because obviously going to howard expanded my world and gave me a greater sized lense on the scope of black people.
maybe i might walk some of the double consciouness that dubois talked about because i truly do live it, but in no way am i complaining about what i see to make black people look better in the face of white people. i complain because it is a real fucking problem. black men are dying and no one cares. young black teens have a growing AIDS rates and STD's because they are living unhealthy lifestyles. i could give a fuck what cnn, nbc, or the new york times writes and how whites and others see it. the fact that this is happening and the numbers are real is a problem for black people in general.
if anything, i am not automatically defensive in saying that "oh, don't be fooled, white people do it to." that doesn't solve anything. what does that do, excuse the behavior? i don't want to excuse it or feel better about it. i want it to stop. i want people to live more harmonious, healthier lives. not to be rich, not to presidents or ceo's, although i am proud of them when they do, but just to live better lives.
and the funny thing is, thinking about dubois and washington now, i see some viewpoints of washington that i agree with more than ever. my biggest problem with his approach is that he didn't demand enough from people. at this point, i don't even hold to the thinking that all people should go to college and aspire to get great white collar jobs. i wish all black people could go to college, but with the situation with young brothas as bad as it is, i just wish they could find trades or skills in life that will allow them to take care of themselves and not have to turn to crime to make ends meat.
anyway, i don't think you are understanding what i am saying. this is laced with spelling errors, but you can post it to your blog if you want to, since everyone is writing about statements that i said. and don't put my name on it. lol. they will know i am the friend you were talking about.

the uppity negro said...

@imhotep

Granted me and you may agree that we're all "dem Negroes" but, I'm just not totally convinced that the middle class is able to say that, nor are those who are the kats doing a 5-7 downstate necessarily in a position to say we're all in the same position.

I'm all for moving toward that, but we're not there yet.

@OG

Perhaps this is my own limited worldview kicking in. I knew a few truly hood people, but by in large, i've have my ivory tower existence. I mean, the people that were from the streets that were I knew in college, just by them being on college placed us on the same level. So, I don't have the experience of the hustla on the corner happy that I made it.

So, iono, maybe I'm a lil off, but it just seems that what I hear from some kats is just pure ignorance.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Sharon because it had to be said! said...

To suggest that for a black person to be born and raised in the ghetto and subsequently to become financially successful and move out of the ghetto into a more affluent neighborhood is to sell-out or to turn ones back on his culture even if the neighborhood is devoid of other blacks in my opinion is tantamount to suggesting that a love for Mexican, Italian, or Chinese food is to turn one's back on his blackness and as far as I'm concerned, that simply ain't so!

Sharon I think you misunderstood what I said. My point is some of folks believing will change who they are, black, in the eyes of others. I wish for a day when we do not fly out of our neighborhoods, to the suburbs it has been seen with Urban sprawl and cities trying to draw themselves back in, and gas prices, that our neighborhoods are prime property in many cities and we have many blacks who have the same wealth and means to do what many whites have done through gentrification. Like I said gentrification is economic not racial, howevr almost everyone I knows uses that to refer to young whites moving into historically minority inner-city neighborhoods. That's neither here nor there. I most certainly think there is any sell out for anyone who moves away from the hood, but I do have a problem with those who move away because they beleive predominantly white communities to be better.

I also think the black flight to the suburb weakens our inner-city school system because all those who really care about education of their children either move or send them to private school, but I am way off topic. I just wanted to clear that one point up.

-OG

Raving Black Lunatic