Terrorism and Racial Profiling

A couple of days ago, ABC World News asked if we should implement racial profiling in response to the attempted attack by the Nigerian terrorist. Of course, this is not the first time that racial profiling has been supported. Many "brilliant"*smirk* minds such as Sarah Palin believe this is a great idea, no doubt because of the effectiveness of the racial profiling of the Japanese during WWII, which caused many to lose their lives and be destitute and resulted in the US paying over a billion dollars in reparations. Also, considering the United States' long history of racial discrimination and genocide, who wouldn't want to return to those happy times again? But besides these obvious reasons for racial profiling, one wonders why it hasn't suggested it before considering the frequent (non-Islamic) attacks that have been planned and implemented before 9/11. I'm not just talking about Columbine, Oklahoma City, and Virgina Tech, but other attacks which, for some reason that I just can't imagine why, the media doesn't like to stress as much as the Islamic extremist attacks. In short, Americans act like this regarding terrorism (yes, hearing those advocates of racial profiling motivated me to draw this. Cute, I know):

Gee, if they are going to start implementing racial profiling, they better target everyone (not just those people).


I am worried because for the first time white people are calling things as racist, and I'm giving a pass. I read this article, which states that Avatar is nothing but a white fantasy about race intended to alleviate their guilt. After reading this, I watched to see for myself. I was blown away. Perhaps it's the sci-fi lover in me or maybe my own philosophies about life distorting my impressions, but I was not rolling my eyes through this film but actually loved it.

A big objection that I hear is that the main character is white. He plays a major role in the resolution of the conflict, and therefore we have the "white man is savior" complex all over again. This year has been overrun with movies like this; however, I do not see this particular movie this way. The white guy, Jake, betrayed and used the Na'vi, and just because he had a heart and fought against his race doesn't make him a savior. He was worng, saw the light, and was redeemed, and there is nothing wrong with that in my mind. I don't like that he was leading the people to battle with the biggest dragon, but in all fareness it wasn't all about him either. The writers did balance the different elements in the story so that it wasn't just the white man's battle. The Na'vi's goddess, Eywa had a substantial part in winning the battle by turning all of the animals against the whites, and Neytiri saves him twice at the end. Another objection is that by having Jake as the main character, the writers are making the story white centered rather than devoting the focus to the aliens. This may be cliche, but it is the writer's prerogative. I see nothing objectionable in it.

After being flooded with movies like the Blindside and Precious, this is one of the most racially honest films this year. Instead of being shown as infallible beacons of light, whites are greedy, lusting creatures who have no sense of what is sacred. They believe in destroying anything and anyone for more money and power. Jake comes into Pandora in with this attitude having no respect for natural life until he meets the Na'vi who teach him differently. Besides a few, most whites see the Na'vi and their world as primitive and worthless, and therefore deride it as such (as we hear them do in real life all the time). However, we learn with Jake that they are more than that as they have their own culture that surpasses the whites' in some areas, and that the whites are barbaric in their own ways as. In short, we learned to appreciate "primitive" societies. This was very refreshing as we are always bombarded with images that "primitives" are just animals, with no brain, mind, or cultures of their own to be respected, and that the "advanced" societies are pure and perfect. A perfect example of this is Star Trek, mostly TNG and later. (Even though I like it, I can point out it's flaws.) Throughout Star Trek, species with greater technology, especially the federation, are portrayed flawlessly. Those who are not as technologically advanced are labeled "inferior species" and "unworthy of assimilation," and basically portrayed in a clumsy, stupid way. We are always left with the impression that species must develop as the federation did, and that is the peak of their perfection. At worse, twice on TNG, Picard let two planets filled with people to die because they had not developed warp drive. Because they were not "advanced" they were are not people, and we can morally justify letting them all die. When you pay attention to the plots of these films and shows, bigotry is evident.

Avatar puts this in reverse. It does not equate technology to true advancement. People can look at the Na'vi without feeling "those are pitiful barbarians in need of a white savior" because they are thriving. They have a society where everyone supports each other and lives in harmony. The idea of destroying the world for wealth as the whites have is deplorable to them. Avatar illuminates that Western culture is not the peak of superiority as it was built on the destruction of life. Contrary to shows like Star Trek, the West has many kinks in its shining armor.

Okay, maybe I may not be entirely fair here. Perhaps I'm giving Avatar too much credit. I watched Avatar with my prejudices and experiences. Someone else may not get this message. However, the life of the Na'vi appealed to me, so for now, this will be a favorite.

The Princess and the Frog

What are they feeding the next generation of sisters? How did Disney treat its first Black princess? I watched the Princess and the Frog yesterday to find out. First I'll address my concerns about the movie and how they were handled, and then I will say what the positive and negative aspects were.

Was the first Black Princess actually Black?
Yes. I was pleased with this. When I first heard of this film, I was worried that African-American girls would be subjected to more colorism by being given a woman's who race was up in the air. Instead, she's clearly black. I'm also happy that they didn't give her long straight hair to her butt like Black barbie dolls have. Tiana has wavy/curly hair, which is a step forward considering how Black girls are portrayed in dolls and cartoons. (Basically, white with a super tan.)

Was this a minstrel show?
No, not really. It didn't come off to me that way, which is rather strange considering that it is set in the deep South. They have a range of stereotypical characters that you would expect and like to forget exist there such as the Southern Bell, Big Daddy, hillbillies, etc. Even so, I did not feel that this show portrayed Blacks negatively, on the contrary in fact. They showed us as hard workers in comparison to others, which is an interesting feat considering where the show was set as I said before.

Was the "Black" princess really green?
Yes, and this was a big disappointment. The movie is approximately 89 minutes, and she turns into a frog at 29 minutes and stays that way until 86 . This definitely makes Disney's triumph over the color barrier less monumental.

Was the prince Black?
No, but that is actually a good thing as you shall see.

What were the good parts?

The princess herself, really. She is unique in that she isn't a damsel in distress waiting for a prince to save her. (If anything, she saves him.) She's a hard worker, and is a good role model because she is adamant about her goals. This is the first Disney movie besides the Lion King that doesn't teach kids that your dreams will come true because you are entitled to them. Finally Disney is telling them they have to work for what they want.

What were the bad aspects?
The film itself was mediocre. It didn't have the magic of its previous films. This isn't good, it isn't bad. It is simply adequate. I don't know if it's because it was set in the U.S. or what, but it didn't feel special, and I felt disinterested. If the princess was just another white one and I wasn't watching to see how Blacks were being portrayed, I wouldn't have watched past the first ten minutes. It's fine if you want a cute movie, but if you want an captivating story, watch the Lion King or Pocahontas.

Secondly, Tiana seems short changed--not only because she's a frog for the whole film but also because her "prince" is a bum. The only thing he cares about is partying, and he's absolutely broke (which is why it's good he wasn't Black. In comparison, the Black man, Tiana's father, is extremely industrious). Since he has no money, his goal is to marry a rich woman so he can squander more money. Instead, he marries Tiana and they open a restaurant together. By the end of the movie the "princess'" life has no royal aspect to it at all. We don't get to see a castle or anything, and she stays in Louisiana. I'm not saying whether this is good or bad--I'm just saying don't expect anything rather princess-like regarding Tiana.

I don't like how Tiana setled for that prince/playboy/bum. Girls do that anyway, we don't need to teach them to do that through their cartoons.

Disney made a decent movie, but their approach to the first Black princess wasn't what I hoped. With the Arab, Native American, Chinese princesses, they made exotic stories by setting them in their own countries or land. There is nothing exotic about Louisiana. I wish she were an African princess instead. Of course, it's not to late, Disney could make an African princess--unless Tiana is just another token and our first princess will be our last.

Africa Is Equal To AIDS

AIDS ˈādz\ noun: 1. the continent of Africa. 2. acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. 3. a disease of the human immune system that is characterized cytologically especially by reduction in the numbers of CD4-bearing helper T cells ....
This morning, I was a bit annoyed because I was thinking about how Americans see Africa as one giant country instead of the diverse continent that truly it is. So, I decide to tweet about the topic, but then to my surprise my tweets were in red. I quickly realized that every tweet that mentions HIV or AIDS today is red on twitter. But why were mine in red, as I didn't mentioned either? Apparently, Twitter thought it was a bright idea to put not only tweets that mentioned AIDS and HIV in read, but those that mentioned Africa too.

The fact that the words "AIDS" and "Africa" are apparently interchangeable was not the only thing that annoyed me today. Most of what I saw about AIDS today was about Africans. It is curious that on World AIDS Day, AIDS is being treated as if it is only a problem that affects and concerns just Africans. Why is it so vital that we stress and make the distinction that AIDS kills mostly Africans when it kills around the world? What point are they trying to make here? I'm feeling the air of condescension coming from this campaign. It is as if they are not only promoting AIDS, but the "white man's" burden as well. I got the same feeling from all of this as I got from this video, which attempts to advocate peacein Africa by showing the Whiteman save the warring savages.

Once gain, Africans are projected in the flat stereotypical light of being helpless, needy, and desperate for the white man's help. In addition to Precious and the Blind Side, it looks like this will be a reoccurring theme for the rest of '09.

Minorities are the Stars in This New Picture

I was rather disappointed about how some of the movies of '09 depicted minorities, Blacks specifically. (This year was filled with "the white-man saves the black-man" films and "Black people and their neurosis/hopelessness" movies.) But as this year comes to a close, I see a glimmer of sun light shining from Hollywood's dismal clouds.

When I saw the trailer of Ninja Assassin, I was actually surprised. Not only is the cast Asian, but the lead is as well. What?! Aren't all of the most skilled martial artist supposed to be both white and raised among or trained by the Asians or some other minority? Asians aren't supposed to get the lead, and when they do, it's not as glamorous as their white counterparts.

Ninja Assassin breaks another rule. It has a sister (Naomi Harris) as the female lead, and she gets rescued by the hero in the film!

I hope this movie does well at the box office. Films with a mostly minority cast (that are not designed to be historical or social commentaries or that don't mock or stereotype us) rarely come around. Ninja Assassin appears to be a refreshing relief. I pray that Hollywood is a good grasshopper, learns from this, and makes it a trend. (Wishful thinking, I know.)

Dang, I wish this movie were PG-13. Looks so bloody.

Proud to be an American--Really?

Everyone identifies with this: When one of your friends or family members aren’t looking or acting their best, you don’t want to be seen with them because it’s embarrassing. Why? After all, he or she is the one who is not appropriate--not you. Even so, you feel that you have a personal stake in their actions. This is because your family and friends are seen as a reflection of yourself, and you want them to do well because you are affected positively when they do.

Americans are totally lost on this concept.

Americans are perfectly content with seeing inequality as long as they are getting theirs now. I understand this because it’s our culture—after all, if it were not for greed, this country would not even be here. However, to maintain a sense of apathy to fellow Americans while having national pride is contradictory. Americans can see poverty, hunger, and disease in their own land and not be moved to remedy it because they see those conditions as a natural part of life that cannot be changed or they think it has nothing to do with them even though the people affected are connected by being Americans. At the most, the average American will be moved to donate a buck or two, but he or she will not be convicted enough to devote much effort to trying to solve the problem. How much pride can Americans have if we are content enough to allow our fellow citizens to live in disgrace? How strong is our national identity?

What makes matters worse is that it can be done—we can greatly reduce these problems we have today. Take Denmark and other European countries, for example. They have practically little crime and poverty, offer health care and education to their citizens, and are considered the happiest people in the world. The United States cannot reach this point, however, because our gratification is derived from the accumulation of personal wealth, in addition to the fact that we do not want to sacrifice to help our fellows because we simply do not care about them. However, what Americans do not realize is that when they help the poor, they are helping themselves, as well. For example, the uneducated who feel desperate and hopeless will turn to crime, but when their needs are taken care of and when we work to remedy their situation, not only do they have a better quality of life but are more productive, helping society as a whole.

What contributes to this apathy is the arrogance that Americans have. We are taught that we live in the greatest country in the world because it’s free (as if America holds the monopoly on that). Anyone can do anything he or she wants to here. This sentiment teaches Americans at an early age that there is nothing wrong, so complacency is welcomed. I often see many who view poverty is a self-caused problem that can be cured simply if people weren’t lazy. After all, since this country is the greatest in the world, if someone’s in poverty, it must be because of her or his own doing. If more Americans didn’t see each other in such a distant way and were more concerned about each other, we wouldn’t have such a one-dimensional perspective of the underprivileged in this country.

(Interesting observation: Why is underprivileged in Microsoft’s dictionary but not overprivileged? Americans have no concept of it.)

Waiting for a Disaster

A great problem Black America (and America in general actually) is that we often are unaware that a problem is developing and only act when something extreme happens.

Consider this for instance. It concerns gun sales skyrocketing despite the fact that we are stuck in a recession:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Now, here they attribute rising gun sales to the fear that a Democratic president will take their rights away. I'm not denying that this could be a factor; however, when coupled with other trends, this report is disturbing. Besides, nothing has to do with race anymore according to most of white culture today. I'm not buying their explanation. The number of skin-heads has increased in the US from 5,000 in 2001 to 10,000 in 2007 (National Geographic video). The number of hate groups has increased more than 50% since 2000. The Secret Service has been overwhelmed with threats against the president as they have increased by 400%. Neo-Nazis are joining the military so they can gain the skills to create a Racial War in the U.S. And many conservatives (especially in Texas) are advocating secession (TYT has more videos on this). Just today, a Black man was thrown in a bonfire by white supremest.

Now, it's very easy to dismiss all of this information because this is America. We're "post-racial!" History could not possibly repeat itself, and we could not experience a race war or any similar conflict.
It is because of this kind of thinking that we will not take these reports seriously until a large scale tragedy happens. (Many people are victims of hate crimes now, but they usually do not get much media attention unless the person who is targeted is well-known or if the attack is large scale.) It's no secrete that there is much tension between whites and POC right now. The poor economy and incidents like the attack in Texas just make it worse. Immigration is no longer the hugely popular topic that it once was, but if it gets the attention that it once did again, we can only expect these groups to augment at a faster rate than they are even now. I'm wondering when (or if) our relations are going to get so tense that they break and some sort of attack occurs.

However, I wonder if the United States were subject to a racial conflict, would Black people be able to react to it effectively. Our unity, pride, and self-respect are relics from the past. We're too busy tearing each other down , which makes me question the impact of us banning together to fight any confrontation. The fact of the matter is, Black people cannot afford to not support each other. We're only about 13 percent of the population, so whatever action we take needs to be forceful, meaningful, and effective.

The probability of such an event happening is uncertain, but one thing is sure: we need to be aware that it could happen and be prepared for if it occurs. When we are disrespected, degraded, or attacked, be it physically, in the media, or in some other area, we need to have the power, unity, and influence to let the country know that we will not tolerate it. That is impossible as long as we stay assimilated, keep fighting each other, and promote black ignorance (such as BET).

Please watch at least the first two parts of this video from the National Geographic. You cannot prepare for what you are not aware.

American Christianity

This morning I logged on to YouTube as I normally do to see if my favorite subscription, The Young Turks, had updated their channel. They had uploaded a new video about Carrie Prejean and her newly found sex tape. After hearing this, my initial reaction was, "HA!" Because this woman is the epitome of what I've been saying about American Christianity all along.

One of the most irritating phrases that I hear is that "America Is a Christian Nation." There never has been anything Christ-like about America. Christianity has just been used in America to create solidarity among whites, to suppress other races, and to keep other races/people out. American Christianity is not about following the precepts of God. It's not about living a holy life. Furthermore, American Christianity was never concerned with walking the Christian walk. This is why it annoys me when pastors and other Christian leaders get in a panic because America is now just turning away from God. "Americans are aborting millions of babies and are going to bring the judgment of God!" they proclaim, as America has just started on a crime spree. Well before that, America was slaying indigenous people and Africans. That's not really a change in its behavior; however, no one likes to bring up things like that. America is not turning away from God, because it was never turned to God in the first place.

But now, I'm being drawn away from my original point. American Christianity is a construct to keep certain groups down or out in order to maintain the supremacy of white values. This is why I must roll my eyes when I hear someone bashing Muslims and using the ever favorite "America is a Christian Nation" line to justify not treating them with the same respect they would give to a European American. I would think that Americans would welcome Muslim immigrants as most of the time they act more holy than they ever could. They could learn something from them. In fact, I remember hearing NPR report a few years ago on a story where Muslim immigrants were absolutely shocked at the wickedness and indecency of the "Christians." Muslims aren't going to destroy these alleged Christian values as the Conservatives fear. But they aren't battling over Christian values. They're afraid of the Muslims coming because they don't want those brown people from the Middle East invading their land. Prejean illustrated this point further. If she was so afraid of her precious Christian values being degraded in America, she wouldn't have posed nude or made sex tapes. American Christianity is all about keeping groups out, suppressed, and maintaining "white culture."

(What's even more ironic about this is that even the most white Americans are "Christians," a recent study by the found that Blacks are the most religious group in America and are more likely to believe biblical principles than we did 15 years ago.)

Tyra Banks and Blackface

I've never been fond of (though I've not disliked) Tyra Banks. She seems to be the kind of person who tries to hit the mark, but ultimately misses it by a mile. Example: when she initially was talking about the "good-hair/bad-hair" debate, she was telling people to be proud of their African hair, while looking like Goldilocks. Later, she creates this hoopla that she's wearing her real hair, but she comes on stage with it straight. How permed straight hair is more significant than weave straight hair, I do not know; however, I dislike her new assumed role as ambassador to the white folk about black women's issues. She keeps saying, "If you are white, you may not understand that in the black community..." during if-you-do-not-know-you-don't-need-to-know situations. From watching her, one could gain the impression that black women have a neurosis. Even through this, Tyra Banks didn't get on my nerves too much. (I'm such a nice tolerant person you see.) However, she crossed the line with her blackface shot. People like her just make life worse for us in the world who try to stop racism and who want respect for minorities. When black people promote blackface, it sends a message that we see it as acceptable. Racist love to use people like her to justify racism, and man if Tyra didn't give them more firepower in their next argument. Well, it seems that since 2008, blackface has become fashionable, so Tyra had to take part.

  • October 2009 - Whitney Isleib
  • October 2009- Tyra
  • October 2009- Hey Hey It's Saturday
  • October 2009- Vogue
  • August 2009 - Mad Men
  • November 2008-Tropic Thunder
Who will be next, I wonder?

Black People Have No Pride 2: Assimilation

What were our goals after we gained our Civil Rights? It would have been great if we focused on being more independent and improving our communities, but instead I believe that many Blacks saw it as an open door not to be equal to whites, not just in rights. Whites are perceived to be at the top of the racial ladder. Therefore, by assimilating into white culture, we had the chance to have all of the power we had attributed to them thus far. Assimilation has been our goal since the Civil Rights Movement, and it still is.

High Opportunity Cost

The more you work to gain something, the less you can work to gain something else. You can not hope to assimilate into white culture, which doesn't even value those who are not white, and advance black culture simultaneously. However, Black people seem to be under the impression that we can have it both ways. I do not believe that Black people as a community can thrive under a white system because it was designed to oppress minorities and establish white power. That's why I don't understand why people are surprised when they hear about studies that concern racial profiling or unequal hiring practices. People act as if it should be a surprise when Black schools are underfunded. Black people believe a white culture will act in their best interest--that the more we assimilate the more this will become true. Considering the state of things today, this is definitely faulty reasoning. We should have worked on establishing independence after the Civil Rights Movement. To borrow the words of Malcolm X.

It only means that we should control the economy of our community. Why should white people be running all the stores in our community? Why should white people be running the banks of our community? Why should the economy of our community be in the hands of the white man? Why? If a black man can't move his store into a white community, you tell me why a white man should move his store into a black community. The philosophy of black nationalism involves a re-education program in the black community in regards to economics. Our people have to be made to see that any time you take your dollar out of your community and spend it in a community where you don't live, the community where you live will get poorer and poorer, and the community where you spend your money will get richer and richer.

Then you wonder why where you live is always a ghetto or a slum area. And where you and I are concerned, not only do we lose it when we spend it out of the community, but the white man has got all our stores in the community tied up; so that though we spend it in the community, at sundown the man who runs the store takes it over across town somewhere. He's got us in a vise.

So the economic philosophy of black nationalism means in every church, in every civic organization, in every fraternal order, it's time now for our people to be come conscious of the importance of controlling the economy of our community. If we own the stores, if we operate the businesses, if we try and establish some industry in our own community, then we're developing to the position where we are creating employment for our own kind. Once you gain control of the economy of your own community, then you don't have to picket and boycott and beg some cracker downtown for a job in his business.(Ballot or Bullet)

Black people still depend on white people for whether we have food on our tables or not. Whether or not Affirmative Action comes in for us or not shouldn't determine whether or not we have a job. We seem to have been under the impression, since the Civil Rights Movement, that we "came over hear on the Mayflower"--that now that we had equal protection under the law we are seen as equal to whites in this country's eyes. We tried to be a part of a white system, but didn't recognize that it would always put us at the bottom. Furthermore, not only did assimilation make us dependent on whites and put us at an economic disadvantaged, but adopting its values caused to have a low opinion of ourselves.

It is impossible to be assimilated into a society and not adopt is values. This is why we suffer so much from internalized racism, not just from the values of slavery but from trying so hard to be a part of white culture. We believe that dark skin is inferior to light skin and in "good hair" not only because of slavery, but because those are principles of white culture, and by assimilating into it we have adopted their method of thinking.

I believe that if we had established our own society after the Civil Rights Movement instead of working so hard into integrating into white society, we would have had stronger community both economically and mentally. Self-hatred would have been a distant memory.

Black People Have No Pride: Introduction

People often ask why did all of the progress stop after the 70s? Why did we lose our pride then? How did all of these problems suddenly crop up? It's amazing how Blacks did a 360 from being pro-Black to being what we are today, in such a short period of time. It's not just that we stopped being pro-Black. We lost any and all self-respect that we had.

Is there any other race that belittles itself to the extreme that we do? I don't see white people running around and calling themselves honkies and crackers. Asians don't call themselves chinks. Black people are the only people who use terms that were meant to dehumanize us as if they were badges of honor, or worse, we use them to disparage other black people. We have no problem degrading black women. When Malcolm X said in the 60's that "The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman, the most unprotected person in America is the Black woman, the most neglected person in America is the Black woman." I wonder if he would have thought the Black people would be perpetrators of this in 09'.

Furthermore, we've just stopped caring when people disrespect us. Starting since 2008 with Tropic Thunder, blackface has seen a revival, and this time Black people are laughing right along with the white. We think that our portrayal in Transformers is acceptable. When we laugh at "comedy" such as the Cleveland's and the Madea movies that make a mockery out of black ignorance, the joke is ultimately on us.

I believe that these and the majority of problems in Black America stem from an overall lack of respect for ourselves--it's beyond self-hatred. I don't even think this problem came so much from slavery, but from assimilation into white culture and from adopting white values. I'll be examining this in my next post, but for now, let me know what you think. What was the biggest cause of our overall lack of self-respect?

Black women need to be more independent

I know the above statement may seem to be overkill. Black women are stereotyped to be too independent. However, I do not believe this is true, and if it is, it is certainly not a bad thing.

Black women are way too hung up on what everyone thinks about us, and we should complain less about being undermined by society and the media. This is America. Don't expect it to hold you above the light-skinned girl above you. However, many black women act under the assumption that America will come around, and the black women will be glorified along with white. The problem is you can not live by wishful thinking or by your opinion of what America should be or what America should do. Stop expecting America to give black women justice.

Those who make such assumptions allow their self-concept to be defined by whether society gives them its stamp of approval or not. It then negatively affects their self-esteem when black women are persecuted because they take it personally. One thing black people fail to understand is that as long as aspects of your life rely on the majority's acceptance, you are still under their control. Black women should follow the John's advice of "being in the world [or America in this case] but not of it." We should not allow America's injustices to affect us to the point so that we conform to it.

Black women are at the bottom of the barrel in every aspect of American culture. Therefore, it is impractical to remain a part of such a system. I often hear black girls complain that white guys don't like them as they like white girls (not as if these black girls should be worried about getting white approval anyway), but they fail to realize that they are operating in a system that was designed to uplift the white woman and demean the black woman. That's why you are still not appreciated in the media, even though you straighten your hair, bleach your skin, or wear color contacts. The black woman will never be appreciated the way that the white woman is, so stop trying to be. Don't try to be the way that she is and find your own path. We need to find non-conventional goals that works for us. Think of it this way, when lab rats realize that there isn't cheese in a certain part of the maze, do they continue to return to it? They try to find cheese in a different location. Black women keep returning to an empty slot hoping that "cheese" is there, when we need to find fulfillment in places the that we aren't now.

In addition, black women should stop worrying so much about what men think and getting married, especially since black women aren't in demand by men anyway , it is wasted effort. I'm not saying that black women should give up on men or love. I'm just saying that this IR movement among black women is misplaced effort. Date, absolutely, but dating shouldn't be our main goal, and neither should be being accepted. We need to learn skills that enable us not to only survive but to thrive in a racist society. An example of this how the Koreans took over the black hair market. That was a great opportunity to add more power to our community by creating a market that made by black people and target to black people. Instead, our desire to conform to white standards was exploited and a $9 billion dollar industry is going to people who could care less about us. Imagine if we took all of that money that we spend to conform and used it to empower ourselves.

Focus on ending things that matter like black ignorance. Stop worrying about men and dating. Stop worrying about the stand of beauty. Most importantly get out of the Eurocentric mode of thinking because you will always be at the bottom rung of its social ladder if you operate under it.

Why Hair Matters

This is partly a response to AJR's post where she says how she's sick about the politics of Black hair, and that hair shouldn't matter. I disagree.

Now first of let me say that I don't think it's a sin to press hair or to wear a weave. I don't think that there is anything wrong with changing it up hear and there. However, I do not think that it is "healthy" for Blacks to chemically alter our hair or to always hide it with a weave.

The first thing many women will say to defend their non-natural state is that white women perm, press, curl, and weave up to. However, they fail to recognize that that we are not white. Black women and white women are not in the same situations, are not viewed the same way, and are not held to the same standard, so white women can not possibly be used to justify black hair choices. White women have been romanticized as Cleopatras and Aphrodities for ages. Black women have been forced to be Aunt Jemima's through the years. As a result, white women's hair choices don't impact them the way that black women's do. Most white women don't pretend to have an afro through childhood, and when I see pictures of whites trying to look silly, I see them wearing afro wigs, not long flowing blond hair. Black hair has a stigma. What percentage of black women do you think would walk down the street with an afro?

Anytime that someone puts significant time, effort, and money to change something, it matters. Anytime a portion of a population alters itself to look like the majority, it matters.
If you would never wear your hair in its natural state, hair matters to you.

Hair is not irrelevant because it is a reflection of culture and therefore a reflection of self. What do you think when you see a woman walking down the street in a sari ? You know she has Indian heritage, and any other perceptions you have about her are subject to your possible prejudices about Indians. Likewise, when many people see women in scarfs or burqas, they assume that they are oppressed or think little of themselves. What do people think when they see a woman in an afro. People frequently say that she looks uneducated, unprofessional, or something similar. This is because they recognize an afro as being a Black feature and since one has Black features she must also carry the negative attributes of Blacks.

We're all aware that Black characteristics carry strong negative connotations around the world. Therefore, the more "Black" one looks, the more these negative undertones will be attributed to that person. This is why people bleach their skin. This is why people straighten their hair. We do not choose our hair styles at random because they matter. We not only pick the styles we like based on our own preferences, but the preferences of others. People naturally want to be accepted by other's, and if that means changing themselves to look more white, they will do so. It's important to know why we make our decisions. Every choice we make is relevant because it is based on something learned. This includes hair styles.

Chris Rock Is Not in Black Women's Best Interest

My perception of people is generally negative, positive, or neutral. Chris Rock was in neutral status, until he produced Good Hair. When I saw the trailer, I was extremely disappointed. It didn't address the politics of Black hair. On the contrary, Chris Rock decided to use the emotional confusion that Black women experience with our hair and capitalize on it. I have been intensely following this Good Hair since it was announced, and I have come to the conclusion that Chris Rock does not respect black women nor is he trying to help black people with this film. He's just as caught up in the concept of good hair as all of us, and has no intention of tearing down Blacks' mental chains. This movie has no other purpose than to entertain whites.

Chris Rock Does Not Respect Black Women
I'll start this from a quote from the man himself:
Barack Obama has a black wife. And I don't think a black woman can be first lady of the United States. Barack has a handicap the other candidates don't have: Barack Obama has a black wife. And I don't think a black woman can be first lady of the United States. Yeah, I said it! A black woman can be president, no problem. First lady? Can't do it. You know why? Because a black woman cannot play the background of a relationship. Just imagine telling your black wife that you'e president? "Honey, I did it! I won! I'm the president." "No, we the president! And I want my girlfriends in the Cabinet! I want Kiki to be secretary of state! She can fight!"
The comment pretty much speaks for itself. Here, Rock is making his sister, a woman who has more education than he will ever have, sound ignorant simply because she is a Black woman. Brava, Chris Rock.

Apparently, black women are stupid and self-absorbed, which is funny. So it makes sense to make a movie out of that. So hear we have a movie mocking black women spending so much time, effort, and money making our hair texture look like someone else's. We're even buying someone else's hair and installing it into our own, and it's...hilarious? Really? According to Chris Rock, this is all a joke. He doesn't address that a whole race of women wouldn't do this for so many decades for no reason. He does not discuss the "why." He does not about talk where this mentality comes from. (He avoids this topic completely because he doesn't want to make his white audience upset but rather amuse them.) There is obviously something seriously wrong if a whole race of people are ashamed of their hair texture. The A.V. Club made great points:

The film is filled with sadly telling moments, like a black beauty student telling Rock that she'd have a hard time taking a job applicant seriously if he had an afro, yet its tone is one of amusement rather than indignation. Rock is an entertainer, not a polemicist, and Good Hair will never be mistaken for a college course in African American Hair And Racial Identity, though it does stress the pain women will endure and the exorbitant prices they'll pay to keep up with follicular trends. To the film's subjects, paying thousands for a complicated, high-maintenance weave is less a luxury than a necessity, even for those low on the socio-economic scale.

In order for Chris Rock to make a movie mocking Black women's insecurities this way, he must have little respect for us. In addition, in order for him to think that it's hilarious that Blacks believe that wearing our natural hair is so unacceptable that we must change it, shows me that he has little respect for his own people. I started to realize this even more after he was on the Oprah show. He could not get his fingers out of her hair, and was practically worshiping it on stage. He then said that Stedman was a lucky man. To make matters worse, he calls Oprah's natural hair "slave hair." And he wonders why his daughter was crying? Give me a break! I remember seeing him have a similar reaction when having an interview with a white woman. He didn't touch her hair, but he stated how he would love to run his hands through it and was practically drooling. Chris Rock believes in "Good Hair" as much as any other Black person.

I also hate how he avoids the real issue behind this "good hair" sentiment among Blacks, and maintains this "It doesn't matter what hair style you have, as long as you like it " stance. If that is true, what was the point of laughing at all of these women for perming and weaving in this movie? The only thing that he did was state the obvious. Black people know what we do to our hair. This was only an eye-opener for the whites, and it was for their entertainment. Of course, they thought it was hilarious how all of these Negroes are changing themselves to look like them. That's was the point of this film, to amuse the white man at the black woman's expense.

I may be irrational, but this just ticked me off

When I found out that a white woman was just named Miss Hampton University, I was ticked. I hate that a white women are held above black women, even in a black University. In every area in life, black women are told that we are inadequate. In other beauty pageants, we see a sea of white faces. When we turn on the TV, we she extremely light skinned, Hispanic, or even white women portraying black women (unless of course it is a ghetto black woman). Even in black dominated rap and hip hop, Hispanic and light-skin are taking black places. This is why it is disheartening that even in a predominately black beauty pageant, sisters don't have a chance to shine. Is there one place where black women are safe from white privilege and can be appreciated?

Even though Europeans are the standard of beauty, I'm usually not annoyed by this. However, I believe that there is a breaking point to everything. I can see sisters around me, desperately looking for validation because they recognize that, as black women, they are outcast in society. Black girls as young as 4 or 5 are picking up on this, and it is affecting their self-image. (Sisters, I think we all can remember playing with a towel, and pretending it was our hair as young children. It's even worse for girls growing up in '09.) This is why this story concerns me.

Really Alienated Conclusions has a good discussion about this. Be sure to check it out. You won't regret it. http://nerdsevolving.blogspot.com/2009/08/what-black-women-were-white-women.html
The other day a white woman that I know was complaining that she was called racist because she said "black people speak their own language." She was referring to ebonics of course. Now this woman is an English teacher, and if most of her white students spoke the "language" that blacks illegibly do, she would call it bad grammar and correct them. Then, why is it acceptable for blacks to speak this way. (This reminds me of that scene in Roots where the blonde-haired person asks her father why don't they teach blacks to read. If you remember this scene, you know what I'm talking about.)

I'm sure many of my brothers and sisters out there when they have been bestowed the honor of being told that they are "articulate" or that they "speak so well" as if just because I'm black, I shouldn't be able to put a sentence together. However, I'm not...really bothered by these ignorant people stereotyping me. I'm more concerned by the Pygmalion effect of it. When you live in a society where most of the members expect you to be uneducated, how does it influence your life? How does a child develop in a world where most of the people think that being ignorant is proper and right for him? Once one thinks of it this way, these passing remarks become much more serious because people generally fulfill the expectations that others have of them.

But back to the original question. Why is black ignorance acceptable? When we hear about failing white schools, everyone gets in an uproar, but when this happens to black schools, no one cares because it is to be expected. Black schools barely get any funding because putting any effort in them is seen as a waste. Of course, it is unacceptable to treat white schools with this same apathy. People have no problem treating blacks this way because they want blacks to be uneducated. The United States feels threaten by educated blacks, which is why they propagate the idea that blacks are supposed to be ignorant. They will do everything in their power to ensure that blacks stay this way.

However, the ultimate question is how can we change this?

First, I think blacks need to invest much more in their children than they do now. Sending away a child to a public school may be fine for a white person, but it frankly isn't good enough for a black person today. Black people have to work twice as hard for half of what white people get, which is why the school that children are sent to must be chosen very carefully. I believe that children should be sent to private schools or be home-schooled. Making sacrifices to ensure that your child receives a proper education is worth the effort.

Columbus Day and White Supremecy

Imagine that someone breaks in your house, kills you, and puts your family in slavery. He then proclaims that he "discovered" your house and takes ownership of it as if you were never there in the first place. The city awards the killer, and proclaims the day he killed and stole from you a holiday.

This is why I don't understand Columbus day.

Why is it alright to celebrate the someone who opened the door for genocide and slavery of the Native Americans and Africans? This is morally justifiable only if these groups aren't really "people." In reality, they are not respected as people in American culture. Americans develop this perspective when they first go to school. They are taught that Columbus "discovered" America, even with the logical fallacy that no one can discover a place where someone else lives. By not acknowledging the the Native Americans in this way, children learn that the NA's are lesser than white Columbus. In addition, by not discussing the atrocities of Columbus and the consequences of this "discovery," we reduce the Native Americans' injustice to being as insignificant. It's not worth even addressing after all.

We can see the affects of this demeaning of Native Americans in popular culture. In TV and books, Native Americans are portrayed as ignorant savages who want to tear down the marvelous civilization that the whites have built on their land. However, we fail to address the NA's rich civilization--well, the rich civilization that was there since it was almost destroyed. We are just taught that the white's culture is superior. Therefore, the destruction of the NA's way of life is justifiable. To further illustrate America's respect for NA's, we see how whites use NA's as mascots for their football games and dress up as them
in minstrel fashion in order to show their reverence for their culture. We then learn that NA's are no better than a eagle, a bear, or any other animal since they can be used as a mascot.

How can we fix this? Should we end Columbus day? I propose that this holiday should be replaced with one that celebrates Native American culture and serves as a memorial to those who suffered from atrocities because of Columbus and those who followed after him.

In addition, minorities would be respected in America if we addressed their cultures and achievements in schools, instead of giving history from a white or biased perspective.