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Thursday, January 20th 2011

7:19 AM

VSB's "Mirror" Discussion: Uncomfortable Questions Black Folk Need To Ask Themselves

The other day over at one of my favorite Internet hangouts Very Smart Brothas, The Champ puts up a very interesting post about the need for African Americans to engage honestly in a discussion on Race that has been dogging our Republic almost since its beginning. The following is my take on the matter, and you can see the fuller discussion here, as well as the responses to my comments. (An interesting sub-theme of the conversation was my take on Sistas in our time - what a hoot!) 

Before I begin, please allow me to draw your attention to the blatant evasions, red herrings and straw man arguments in response to my comments, as well as quite a few others. This doesn't help us when engaging Whites on these issues, and which in my view goes a ways towards leading many of them to think as they do. The more we African Americans duck and dodge these and related hard questions, the more fodder we give to those on the other side, some of whom may not have any of our best interests, and I'm speaking as a nation now, at heart. And we risk alienating those Whites who might otherwise be allies to our cause. Just something to thnink about, as I'm always in social experiment mode.

Comment & reply, invited!

"Good morning Champ, VSB folk,

Good post you got here! Can't say I saw the program to which you are referring, but I am very familiar with its focus and tone, and I agree, such shows always seem to come off as deeply contrived or at the very least, labored. I spend a great deal of time in what some have come to call the "Manosphere" - a gaggle of blogs, forums and websites that focus on Men's issues and concerns, and is virtually all White. In said "sphere", Race is discussed a lot, and usually not in a good way, ie, a way that is favorable to African Americans. This is done because many in the Manosphere, feel that they have been cowed into silence about what they truly feel about Race and Black people in particular; that even legitimate criticism that they may have is looked upon, by Blacks and many Whites alike, as racist. As you are very familiar with the blogsite Roissy in DC, I am sure you get some sense of what I'm talking about here.

I think what these denizens of the Manosphere want to openly tackle and discuss, is the whys and wherefores of, for lack of a better way of putting this, "Black Pathology" - like, why do Black people have babies out of wedlock at such high rates? Why are Blacks so loud, aggressive, uncivil (indeed, uncivilized?) - both Male, and especially Female? Why must Affirmative Action persist in our time, when there are the Barack Obamas of the world? And speaking of Obama, why are Blacks from other areas of the world, like parts of Africa and the Carribbean, act so differently from African Americans - and achieve at much higher rates? Why do African Americans do so poorly in school, in spite of exhorbitant expenditures per student (like Washington DC and Newark, for example) and even when controlling for socioeconomic status of the parents (like the John Ogbu Shaker Heights study)? Why can't African Americans drop the ghetto culture and fully assimilate into the American way of life - including names, religion, mannerisms and work ethic? Why is it that every Black country languishes in Third World status? And why can't we have honest discussions about Race and Intelligence, with a view toward crafting public policy that reflects the truth about these things? Why do Blacks commit violent crime at such high rates - including rape of White Women?

These and other questions/issues are frequently discussed in the Manosphere. And whether we like the questions or not, I think if we're willing to be honest, the questions do have some legitimacy to them.

Now, in response to the questions you posed:

1. In the history of the recorded world, there has never been a popular music genre that consistently, enthusiastically, and creatively sh*ts on a group of women like rap does with African-American women. Why is that?

O: Because Black Americans are in a unique place on the scale of human history, much in the same way that America itself is in a unique spot on said scale. But I have an even better question that never seems to get any facetime among Hip Hop's critics:

Is ANY of what so many rappers are saying about Black Women, TRUE? Forget for the moment that it may be airing dirty laundry, or that its crudely put accross and so forth - is what the rappers saying, at rock bottom, have ANY shred of merit to it? You see, like the White Manosphere's concerns about "keepin' it real" along race discussion lines, I think the answer to this question, as much as we don't like to admit it, is YES, there IS indeed much truth to what the rappers are saying. And if that's true, the only logical conclusion has to be, that we all, and Sistas in particular, has to honestly confront that. I mean, if we're really interested in the truth and actually addressing problems...

2. Why are African-American women the only women on the planet where a good many of them (not all, of course. but enough to matter) expect men to be attracted to certain personality traits that are the complete antithesis of what most men are attracted to?

O: See first response above. Also, see my article here (http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com/entry/60053), which makes the case in a most cogent way, that African American Women have greatly benefitted from two of the world's most significant post-WW2 era civil movements known to Mankind. That colors things considerably (to say nothing of the unique place Slavery and Jim Crow put Black folks in to begin with, and had deeply profound effects on the way we get on with each other in a romantic and sexual sense), and hence the impetus for your question.

3. Even if you control income, education, and background, African-American men still get married much, much, much later than men of other ethnic and cultural backgrounds (if they even get married at all). What’s up with that?

O: Simple: GAME. Black Men have been noted for having more broad-based sexual appeal than other groups of Men on balance, and thus do not need to do what other Men do in order to secure feminine company and sexual favors. We don't get married as much because we don't have to. Just anyone else does what they do. *shrugs* Nor is this likely to change anytime soon, in large part because far too many Sistas really enjoy the Magic Stick too much to get them to close their legs unto a Bruh puts a ring on it...

4. Our history in this country has given us a bit of a “they’ve been oppressed, so it’s ok for them to do and say openly racist sh*t” pass. And, we’re not particularly shy about using it, even in jest (myself included). Anyway, we especially know how hurtful racially-charged insults and comments can be, but we continue to do it. Why?

O: Because again, we are unusual in the annalls of human history, and as such we do things that other people prior to us didn't even give much thought to. Although it is my belief that Race is very much a biological reality, it wasn't explicitly recognized as a social one until relatively recently in Human history. Remember Champ, that Psychology itself isn't a century old, and so we're still attempting to understand the Human mind, and why we act as we do. Adopting terms like "Nigger" and making it our own has a deep psychological component to it that I don't think any of us has really sat down to consider. We should.

At The Obsidian Files: Post-"Hate On MLK Day" Thoughts & Analysis

Holla back"


6 comment(s).

Posted by Black Collar:

" At face value, it seems to be an affirmation of the same thing that HBDers would say (that blacks are just too intrinsically promiscuous to have stable families and a functional society) but with a positive spin."

And yet all the Ethiopian and otherwise African professionals here and abroad have stable, intact families going back several generations and are flabbergasted when they see the family structures or lack thereof in the US.
Saturday, January 22nd 2011 @ 3:12 PM

Posted by The Deuce:

O, your answer to #3 is pretty provocative. At face value, it seems to be an affirmation of the same thing that HBDers would say (that blacks are just too intrinsically promiscuous to have stable families and a functional society) but with a positive spin.

I would say that the primary problem is a combination of feminism and the various social welfare programs meant to "help" black people.

Feminism has been terrible for the family, but especially the black family. It has contributed to the trend of black women having higher status (financial and educational) than black men.

As for social welfare programs, many people have pointed out how they foster dependency and punish productivity, but it goes deeper than that. Like feminism, these programs primarily impoverish men (because men are naturally the main producers in a society that rewards production) and transfer financial resources to women (particularly single moms). This means there are less financial resources all around, but disproportionately for men.

The result of all this is a matriarchy. As you know, when women are looking for long term commitments, they mainly look for stability, financial support, and social status - the traits of a provider. For short-term sex, however, they mainly look for dominance, swagger, machismo - the traits of Game.

When women have more resources than men, it becomes difficult for them to find a provider with higher social and financial status, and as a result they increasingly go for short term relationships instead of holding out for long-term ones. Men, as you would expect, respond by cultivating the traits sought for short-term sex (Game) and giving up on the traits sought for long-term relationships (productivity), thus reinforcing the matriarchy and the downward spiral of marriage and family.
Saturday, January 22nd 2011 @ 11:03 AM

Posted by Black Collar:

Read it and the comments. Have to disagree with you that the whole world percieves black woman as loud and loathesome. Americans do, but that's NOT been my experience abroad.

You might be interested in the documentaries of a brotha - Lenon Honor.


Scroll down to the last one;

22. Hip Hop, the Hidden Hand, and the Degradation of Black Masculinity

There are several parts.
Saturday, January 22nd 2011 @ 2:41 AM

Posted by cancer_rising72:

@Lara - no disrespect, but your comment seems to resemble stream of consciousness spit-up of what you improperly digested from your dinner last night. Are you suggesting that the misogyny in hip-hop is a outcome of black men having to "handle" black women with bad attitudes? If not, what are you saying? Connect the dots for me, please, because I'm struggling to understand where you're coming from. Thanks!
Friday, January 21st 2011 @ 10:04 AM

Posted by Lara:

I do hear a lot about how misogynistic hip hop music is. You have brought up an interesting point that maybe some of what is being said about black women is true. Also, yes, black women definitely act less feminine than white and asian females and seem to think men are supposed to find that attractive.
Black women have always been more hard working and competent (welfare has changed this) than black men which could explain some of the attitude. I do think black men are better equipped to handle them, black men don't seem to put black women up on a pedestal that much.
Thursday, January 20th 2011 @ 11:26 AM

Posted by cancer_rising72:

Good post. I just finished reading the original post at VSB and now I'm going to tackle the nearly 500 comments (not looking forward to that, and I'm sure I'll give up after about 50 or so). My only question at this point is, why are we still on this in 2011?? Black rappers sh*t on black women because black women somehow signal to black men, by their promiscuity and lack of good judgment, that they are not worthy of being treated or talked about any better, let alone married. Why make the marriage investment if you don't have to, and if there are 20 other black women who are gonna make it easy for you to stray? And black men are defintely not gonna be shamed or embarrased by black women (especially those hypocrites who holler the loudest) into doing anything different, especially when what they're seeing on the ground is more of the same. There's gotta be a major consciousness shift in the opposite direction before we can actually begin to have a reasonable conversation about these issues, but there is a stubborn *refusal* among black women to see themselves for who they've become. And sadly, I have seen this up close and personal...too many train wrecks and too much collateral damage. That is all.
Thursday, January 20th 2011 @ 10:01 AM