As you all know, the butter has hit the fan for the Paula Deen empire. Her admission of using the N-word in the past in jokes and conversation, as well as a desire to give her son a true South plantation wedding with Black servants in white suits, did her in. There is also a discrimination law suit filed by a former White employee which brought all of this into the light of day. Paula has done her best to apologize but with sponsors dropping left and right, the damage is done.
I don’t know what is Paula in Deen’s heart. I do know what is in her cookies and cakes and that alone should be a crime, but that’s another matter. Here is the problem with all of this: how do we punish people today for wrongs which were done in the past. She said that it has been a very long time since she had used the N-word. I’m not saying all have, but if you wanted me to bet on any elderly White woman from the deep South having used a racial slur at lease once in their lifetime, the odds would be heavily in my favor. If using racial slurs isn’t part of her current behavior and she is regretful of her past ignorance, why can’t we move forward? Why is she being attacked as if this is who she is today? Our three most recent Presidents have admitted past marijuana use, yet we accept that as a misstep that no way reflects on who they are today. But when it comes to past racial ignorance (so many confuse this with racism), we are so quick to have a lynching.
We should, however, discuss a different issue coming out of this PR disaster. Southern Whites still have this habit of romanticizing all things Dixie. Paula Deen’s desire to have a real plantation wedding, with respectful and profession Black waiters (ahem…servants) goes to the heart of this problem. In their heads, they imagine a problem-free existence of Godly folks, cold lemonade, gentlemen and ladies, large porches and beautiful homes, and happy Negroes with a sole aim to please their loving caretakers. This is what the confederate flag represents to them: all things good and right and proper. And like Paula Deen’s cooking, this dream world looks good drenched in butter and deep fried, but underneath the surface was a foundation of heartache and death. I don’t think these Whites see themselves as racists but simply desiring a better, happier past. What they fail to grasp is that loving Dixie wonderland of the good ol’ days means loving the racial system those days were built on.
There are many people and organizations which dread the end of systematic racism. Fighting against racism has fueled their power and filled their coffers. One of the easiest means to perpetuate great racism conspiracies is to use statistics and leapfrog to fearful conclusions. 50% of the prison population consist of Black males; well this is obviously because white vans drive through urban cities in the middle of the night and snatch up innocent Black men with nets. It can’t be because of complex internal problems which need to be addressed? High rates of single, Black motherhood….this is only because the racist government agencies which prevent Black couples from getting marriage certificates as easily as White couples can get them.
So, USAToday yesterday published an article discussing high rate of school suspensions amongst Black students compared to others. What makes these statistics evil is that the media never provides any context but simply takes in interviews of people representing racism dependent groups, who predictably make the leapfrog conclusions which help further their agenda. When the reporter asked the leader of the NAACP of Tennessee, Gloria Sweet-Love, what she thought of the statistics, she said they were ‘appalling’. This is great as they are appalling and would her next comment be about the need to address the internal issues which are causing Black kids to get suspended? Sadly, no.
Sweet-Love believes that white teachers are more likely to deem a black student “threatening” instead of simply disobedient, and therefore more likely to “make an example” by suspending a black students.
Of course this complete ignores the large number of suspensions in schools with mostly Black teachers and administrators. It also assumes that school staff simply ignore the times Asian, Hispanic, and White students engage in fights, bring guns to school, or engage in other standard violations of school policy. But here in lies the reason why the NAACP is completely irrelevant to solving the issues afflicting the Black community. To remain popular, they ignore the obvious and spend time and effort chasing external racism ghost. A Black kid shoots another Black kid over a pair of sneakers and nothing is mentioned. But, a Black couple gets an undercooked hamburger by a White owned restaurant and a week long protest and boycott is organized. I’m not even sure what solution race baiters could come up with if suspensions are based on systematic racism. Should 100% of the White, Hispanic, and Asian kids be suspended for fights and bringing weapons to school but only 25% of Black students? This would certainly make the statistics look better but hardly address the underlying problems. If Black America is going to make progress for the future, it won’t come from these traditional organizations dependent on creating racism monsters where there are none. Furthermore, the dangling race statistics published by media outlets amount to irresponsible journalism. It is the equivalent of yelling fire in a movie theater to see what happens.
In most places on Earth where you find brown populations, you will also find a color gradient ranging from fair to dark. Though this sometimes came about naturally as different related ethnic groups mixed, often, the fair coloring was provided by their European conquerors. A common impact of European colonialism is the desire for those conquered brown populations to have the features of their conquerors for social advancement. Lighter and Whiter means more beautiful and desired. Though you would think that such thinking would be a relic of the past, apparently it is alive and well in India.
The British were the colonial power which took control of India. The vid belows gives you the history basics.
What I didn’t know until recently was how obssessed Indian communities still are about fair skin color. In fact, on one radio program I heard recently, I learned that some people from India even avoid sun exposure unless they get a tan. The point of this is to learn more about how brown is viewed outside of America. If you are a Black person traveling to or doing business in India, you might very well be negatively judged based on the complexion of your skin. Below are some videos to give you a good sense of what’s going on.
I am never one to look at any man’s fall from grace with pride or humor, and I do feel bad about the demons which caused Jessie Jackson Jr. to break the basic rules of ethics and campaign finance. I can understand mistakenly using funds to purchase an extra meal during a business meeting, or upgrading to first class instead of flying economy. Those are little sins. But you have some nerve buying mink coats and $40,000 Rolex watches. But the point of this article isn’t concerning what Jesse Jackson Jr. did do, but what we as the Black community didn’t do.
You have a Black leader of prominence, with a family name linked to Martin Luther King Jr. and the fight for civil rights, facing charges of corrupting and ultimately forced to resign from power. The ‘System’ could be accused once again of racial harassment and targeting. Yet, what stands out about this case is the absence of protest and rallies. There are no Black leaders throwing out racial conspiracies. All seems to be oddly quiet on the racism front actually. And I think this is a bit of a milestone. We have looked at the accusations and evidence, along with his own admission of guilt, and took it at face value. No hidden agendas. No secret racial power structures. Just a politician with his hands dirty getting justice. I think this in large part is a side effect of the Obama presidency. It’s hard to support the idea of secret racial powers controlling the strings of politics when you have a Black president serving his second term. Better yet, with President Obama seeming to serve above board, despite the extreme public scrutiny of the position, for 5 highly visible years now, perhaps our expectations and demands of the Black politician have been elevated. Growing up in Washington, DC, I was shocked when Mayor Marion Berry got reelected following a drug and prostitution scandal. My friends and neighbors strongly felt that the scandal was just a BS attempt by the powers that be to get a Black man out of office and by voting for him again, they would show who truly was boss. I have a strong feeling that this would not be possible to happen today.
Chris Rock’s comments perfectly sums it up.
This video shows a scene recently taking place in downtown Atlanta where a security guard is trying to kick some mothers and their children off of a mall’s property. Things escalated and eventually he had to tase one of them. This just infuriated the crowd and caused more to jump into the conflict. So many thoughts I have from this video that I am seeing Youtube more and more as a saving grace. We can learn as Blackneks what is needed to survive these type of situations ahead of time. Nothing is better than prep.
1) WHAT I ADMIRED ABOUT THE MALL COP: This guy did not panic at all and knew what tools he had available. He was packing a taser and a handgun. I don’t care how big and bad an aggressive person acts, there is nothing like have an armed weapon pointing at them to get them to reconsider their actions. It is so important Blackneks that you learn handgun safety and stay packing. Know the concealed weapons laws in your state. It is getting crazier and crazier out there and sooner or later some of that craziness is going to come to your door step.
2) MALL COP CRITICISM: I wish this guy can get a better job. He was doing what he had to do in a horrible situation. Unfortunately, when dealing with people in lower economic communities, you have to understand how important RESPECT is. It means everything. It affects their social standing. This cop seemed to target everyone when you really have to pick your battles. Unfortunately, because he disrespected so many of these people so publicly, I truly worry about his safety. It’s one thing if you are defending yourself against a random thug. It’s another when you are a target by an entire community. I hope he finds a new place of employment fast.
3)HOW TO DEAL WITH A KIR SITUATION: I will refer to the aggressive individuals seen in this video from this point on in this blog as the ‘Keeping It Realers’ or KIRs. As you can see in this video, KIRs can turn any living area into a war zone. IF you ever visit a city with a low-income community, you are bound to encounter KIRs. Often this might be on a bus or subway or in a store. One of the keys to surviving an encounter with KIRs is to not escalate their aggression. Avoid eye contact but don’t appear timid or fearful. Act like you belong. If a KIR starts to act up directly towards you, it is likely an attempt to impress their friends but could be a planned robbery. Let them express their bravado and remain calm. Stay polite. Especially if it is women involved as they can join together pretty quickly and through being vocal, as seen in the video, attract onlookers and more aggressive male KIRs. Remember,they are looking for any sign of disrespect. At the same time, stay alert and plan your defense in case the KIR desires to make a physical move. KIRs only act big and bad because they either have a weapon or are surrounded by friends and associates. If you have to reveal your weapon in self defense, back the KIR down but then remove yourself from the location/situation before the KIR can set up their attack or get reinforcements. I highly support having a taser as it allows you to make the first strike without it being fatal.
4)NEVER SEND YOUR KID TO A KIR SCHOOL: As you can see in the video, the children were kicked out of the mall for being unruly. Apples don’t fall far from the trees. In a largely KIR community, these are the bulk of the parents. Your child will either be influenced to be like a KIR kid or be the victim of them. If you want to give your kids any kind of chance at all, avoid living in these types of communities at all cost. If you love the city then live somewhere just outside to make weekend trips easy but don’t risk your family to crime and chaos.
5) Thank you Youtube. It is easy for us not to deal with internal issue when others are reporting it, but when we can see the ugliness and disease ourselves, we have no choice but to confront these behaviors and issues and improve.
Pretty good article and figured I would try this reblogging thing for the first time.
Here is the most troubling statistic facing the African-American community: 72% of black children are being raised in single family homes. This above all else must be addressed but is seen as dirty laundry. To have that high of a statistic (world average is around 15%), shows there is chronically bad decision making occurring from one generation to the next. It is also cyclical as kids raised in such homes view this as normal and grow up to expect and repeat the same behavior. Just a few episodes of the Maury or Bill Cunningham Show will demonstrate the sad state of affairs as paternity test are the new form of daytime entertainment.
When this kind of foolishness becomes the norm, we are officially tossing the idea of family and stable homes to the side. Now there is a show coming to the Oxygen network about a rapper and his TEN baby momas. This is not a sad documentary but a sleazy reality TV show highlighting each ‘baby mommas’ attempts to gain the affection and financial support of this so called father.
There have been protest and petitions to not air ‘All My Babies’ Momas’ for the moral trash that it is. I, however, am on the opposite side of the fence. If this was some fictional portrayal which never happens then I would also protest the show. But with 72% of Black kids being raised in situations similar to this if not as extreme, I support anything that will bring this conversation to national prominence. We have ignored this problem for way too long. Now let the world see how dirty our laundry actually is and maybe that will spark change. Maybe young people will see this sadness and want to value themselves enough to not repeat this cycle….to end the statistic. Is this show embarrassing ? YES. But the fact that it is should cause an immediate call to action. Not to sweep the dirt back under the rug but to address this issue head on at the #1 problem hurting the black community. Our acceptance of fatherless homes has gone on too long. As BlackNek parents, be sure to teach your daughters to have high expectations of themselves and their lives and that they need to do everything possible to bring children into the world in stable, safe homes. It is not cute to have a baby. It won’t make you popular or the guy love you more. And if a guy has lived irresponsibly all their lives by not taking school seriously and being involved with the criminal justice system, they aren’t going to suddenly become responsible just because you are carrying their child. And please tell your sons to avoid getting in this situation to begin with and explain all of the responsibilities involved with fatherhood. If your son gets a girl pregnant, they better be there 100% with no exception.
This takes us to the topic of the grandparent as the primary parent. This is common in the African-American community as the primary parent might not be available for any number of reasons. Grandparents have been the glue holding families together. As burdensome as it might be, if your child has brought a baby into the world without a stable environment, that baby will likely fall into the CYCLE (single parent home, dropping out, criminal activity) unless some intervention is done. As a BlackNEK, we can do a great service to our community by saving these babies and becoming heavily involved in their lives. This is the case for any young children in your family at risk for the CYCLE. Even if you can open space in your home to give them a new community to live in, this could have wonderful effects in a kid’s life.