Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Token Negro: Part One

Recently, I saw a trailer with that boy that makes these highly popular Youtube videos where  he plays this guy named "Fred", and the thing that makes Fred different is that he has a squeaky voice.  I personally didn't see the point, but he's become HUGE!  He's done cameo appearances on iCarly, a pre-teen Nickelodeon show, he appeared on the Tyra Show, along with other Youtube stars, and now he's getting his own movie on Nickelodeon!  I'm proud of him, and I can't hate him for doing his thing, but I'm just angry at how many shows that Black people are left out of, or are very few in.  Throughout history, Blacks have not been included in anything in the film industry, unless they were playing stereotypical roles, and now that we have some sort of constitutional amendment backing us up, we still can hardly get any television roles!  Shoot, there were more Afrocentric television shows when I was little, or more shows that embraced diversity, but now, you hardly see an African American in the main cast, and if you do, there are only one of them: The Token Negro.
For those of you who don't know about the token Negro, let me tell you what it means: the token Negro is the one Black person they put in a TV show or other media, shows like "90210"and magazines like "Girl's Life", so we can't call them racist.    The token Negro also gets less air time in some cases.  This happens so often that a lot of us are use to it, but this just makes me so angry!  Then there are the shows with absolutely no Blacks at all in the main cast, and it's sad how many Blacks are disappearing out of media today, and sad how it is up to us to make our own TV shows so that we can get a descent more than 20 second appearance on television, and it is up to our magazines to have more than five Black models.  And it's funny how White people that do the dumbest things, like this guy, can get their own television shows, movies, endorsements, and camera time, while us Blacks barely ever get more than a few seconds of fame for doing something good.  Actually, the only time that Black people really get their chance to shine is when we're about to get arrested.  Sad face.  I just wished that the younger Black kids could see other girls or boys like them doing something right for a change, but now I guess since the mainstream is not buying, we will have to fend for ourselves here in America.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The N-Word: Part One

The N-word is something that is very sensitive to my conscious as it should be to all of us, and this week was a great example of why NO ONE should use it, including Black folk.
Sometime this week, this white Dr., Dr. Laura Schlessinger, took a five minute phone call during her radio show.  This phone call was from a Black woman who was calling about her White husband's friends making racist comments.  So Dr. Laura wonders why she is even in an interracial relationship when she is so "hypersensitive" to race, and she went on to tell her about how often she hears the N-Word on HBO or from Black comedians as if the woman is suppose to be use to it.  Then she decides to use the N-Word several times during the phone call, and when she realized that she messed up, she took herself off the air and issued an apology to the Black community.  In that apology letter, she says that since she heard so many Black guys use [the N-Word] it, she thought it was all right for her to use [the N-Word] it!  Come on!

The word "Nigga", derives from the word Nigger or Negro and I'd be a Negro before I'd be a "Nigga".  I can't stand to hear that word, and I don't even use the word myself because how can anyone take a bad word and try to flip it around to become a good word?!  I mean, you don't hear White people calling each other "cracker" or "hunkie" in their music.  Actually, I've never seen that in public, unless their making a racial joke about themselves.  But I hear the N-Word everyday, whether it be in the music, or someone is bleeping it out from a TV show, or just on the street while I'm riding in the car or sitting outside.  Why?  Why do we use it?  I understand that we have a lot more pride than we did back in the early 20th century, but calling each other a racial slur?  I don't get it!  I really don't!  In my opinion, those stereotypical pictures they drew of Black folks back then is what a "Nigga" is.  Yup, a dumb, poor, ill-mannered, sloppy, clumsy Black person is a "Nigga", and to call each other that is just plain unprincipled!  But when I do use the word, I separate the N-Words from Black people just like Chris Rock.  It's innovative how he separates us saying that Black people do what they gotta do, and N-Words just mess everything up.  So true.
Still, I don't condone the use of the word because of the blood shed by so many African Americans when they refused to be called that very word, and the struggle that was needed to get to where it was illegal.  Now here we are putting all those marches and lynches in vain because WE chose to call each other that.  One of my favorite stories about a Man that stopped using the N-Word was Richard Pryor, and we all know that he used it probably more than anybody we know.  Then he took a trip to Africa and realized that the word was wrong to use all along.  And this I learned in English last year because we were about to start the book "Huckleberry Finn" and the word "Nigger" was used frequently because it was the 1800s,  and thats what we were back then.  Our teacher, that I give a lot of props to, made sure that we talked about the power of words before we started the book, and we talked about the word "Bitch" along with the N-Word.  He showed use a badly put together video about people's opinion on the word, but it had a great message in the end.  And my classmates, notorious for using the word, fell silent knowing that they were indeed wrong, but after they left the classroom, they started using the word again as if it wasn't anything; as if they didn't hear the story about the man's uncle who was killed when he talked back to a white man that called him the N-Word!
This story above with Dr. Laura is another reason why we shouldn't use the word: other races will begin to use it too because they think it's okay!   You just don't know how many times I heard the White people at my school with Black friends, use the word!  Hispanics too!  See, what kind of message are we sending to the masses?!  What kind of message are we sending to future generations?!  To me, this word holds a lot of disrespect to older generations that fought during the Civil Rights Movement, and we need to BURY THIS WORD FOR GOOD for the sake of our morality, because to me, every time this word is used people forget what morality is.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why Does It Hurt?: Black Men and White Women

This has been a growing situation in our community, some may call it a problem, others may be open to the idea.  But all-in-all, a lot of Black women are getting worried that our men will disappear into that white cloud of the Kim Kardashians, and the Hedi Clums; the blonde hair, blue eyed crazy party girls; the well represented girls that take over commercials, and get their own television/reality shows.
Now what I would like to say to my Brothas is that, I personally, do not have a problem with it. . .in some cases.  And what I mean by some cases is that it depends on what the reason is for not choosing a Black woman.  In the beginning, I had a huge problem with this to the point where I couldn't as much as look at a Black man and a White woman when they were together in public.  Then I would play this game with my family saying, "oh, we lost another one."  Then it hit me: how can I have a problem with Black men dating White woman when I myself am attracted to White men?  So ever since then, I've come to terms with this going on, and had even made friends with a White girl that had a Black boyfriend in my high school.  She was really nice, and it was cool because I if you get to know a White girl before you know that she has a Black boyfriend, it really doesn't bother you, well me at least.
Then my Mom received an Essence Magazine in the mail with Reggie Bush on the front cover, and I really didn't think anything of it because after becoming hooked to Keeping Up  With the Kardashians, I saw how nice Kim was and really didn't care that her boyfriend was Black.  Then the next magazine that came, there was backlash toward Essence for letting him pose for the cover because of his interracial relationship which I thought, and still think, is ridiculous!  He's Black isn't he?!  And inside there was an article written by an angry Black woman who had her feelings broken when Black men turned her down to be with White or Asian women.  That article did nothing but anger me because not all Black men that date outside their race think they way that those men around her did! And I think that she should of seriously took a look at herself before she started blaming these men for her own dating woes!  There was one thing that made me look at their intentions a little bit differently: the thought of knowing that the reason why so many Black men are dating White woman are because they think so low of Black woman.
Yup, I've heard some of our Brothas downing us with the tired excuse that we are to demanding or controlling, and that we're this-and-that, attitude problems, all of that stuff.  Now, I'll have to admit that there are a lot of Black women out there that fit that description, but not ALL Black women do!  I myself am a principled young Black woman that believes that it is up to me to lift up my race, but never am I controlling or demanding.  If I am demanding, I only demand that a Man, no matter what race he is, would come along to treat me with the respect and love that I deserve.  If I have an attitude problem, it is only because someone has been deserving of my ill-respect because as the saying goes "treat others how you want to be treated".  But we can't be at all acting as if we are innocent; acting as if we do or did not stereotype the men that dated outside of their race because not all Black men who date White women think this way.  I have a couple family members of my own that have White girlfriends, and these men are some of the most respectful men that you'll ever meet.  The girl that I was talking about earlier, her boyfriend was very respectful and we developed a friendship as well.  He was so kind and giving that I couldn't of been mad at him at all.  They cared for each other (to the extent that a high school love can go) and who are we to tell someone that they can't be with someone that they care for when we, in fact, want that for ourselves?  Still. . . it hurts.
Jill Scott brought up something interesting in her article about why it hurts; she said that it was because of our struggle together through history.  So true, and this article didn't make me dislike the idea of Black men and White women, but it made me feel less guilty for feeling some hurt when it came to the subject.  See, we were brought here to this country by violent means, and have been degraded on our long journey to finally becoming "citizens".  We were beat together, we were sexually violated together, we were discriminated against together, and we marched toward equality together.  So do Black women have a right to be angry? Of course we do.  But do Black women have the right to be angry with a Black man because he chooses to love differently?  I choose to love all kinds of races.  I'm attracted to Asian guys, Indian guys, British guys, and White guys.  But in the end I will always put my Black Brothas before any other because of our history. . .our beautiful history.
Love Ya and always will!  Even if you may not love me back!