Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Why I Hate Being Black No. 899

Black Women And The Race To The Bottom: Will the Fascination With the Bad Boy/Thug Ever Begin to Wane? And How Are Black Celebrity Women Contributing To This Problem?

Does their position as validators, legitimizers and apologists for a destructive culture harm young women (and young men) and drag down the Race? I don’t think there is any question that their role is and has been harmful. The question is…. how harmful has it been and can their influence be curtailed?



There is all sorts of data that suggests that the Rap industry and the Rap culture are problems for "Black America". (1) (2) (3)
Even Black youth see it as such. Yet the Black culture, especially its women, continues to embrace it, even though it is a culture that degrades the image of young Black women (and literally dehumanizes Black men to the point where they are seen as animals).

Over the last several years I have noticed the trend of famous Black women…. Women who are role models to thousands, who seem to be attracted to Bad Boys…. Those who represent a negative Black male image. An image that only helps to perpetuate negative stereotypes. What has this done to the Black image as a whole? Black women in particular seem to be afflicted especially hard by this sickness (The Bad Boy disease). I don’t believe that this is a coincidence.

This is a part II of a commentary from back in 2006 entitled "Why Are Women Attracted to Thugs". I think we are now far beyond the question of whether this is a problem. Clearly there is a certain narrow image of the Black male that has been mainstreamed. So I want to raise the questions of how and why it has happened.



The image of the Black Bad Boy “thug” has become enormously popular over the last decade, largely due to the impact of the Black celebrity culture and its acceptance by the larger American celebrity culture. But something else has catapulted this negative Black male image into mainstream acceptance- Black women…or “women of color”. (Can’t forget about those like Jennifer Lopez who blur the lines and straddle two or more worlds at once). But this is a problem instigated especially by Black celebrity women. These celebrities (more than any other group in my opinion) have popularized the “thug” male image, and the “Rap Culture” with its negative & damaging value system.




The vast majority of Black female Pop stars & actresses either currently date Rap stars or have dated them at some point in their careers. It has pretty much become the norm to see Black or minority female stars dating the hot rapper of the moment, or the producers or the so-called “moguls” of the industry (translation- thugs who happen to have the most money in the industry). In fact, it is rare for Black celebrity women not to be with someone who personifies the “thug”. I’d say many of the women do it for the same reasons that Gold diggers seek the financially well-off alpha-male- they see them as a meal ticket perhaps. In the case of celeb women…. These men could represent some sort of boost to their careers. Sometimes, simply for the controversy and publicity created from the public relationship. This is not the case for all…but I suspect that it is the case for some. I have a term for these women.... but I will refrain from using that language here.

But who pays the brunt of the consequences for these celebrity relationships? Certainly the celebrity women themselves don’t carry the weight of all the social problems created by the trends that they set. These women have the money and the means and all the safety nets to avoid the pitfalls that come out of the “thug life”. And actually…I have read that many of the so-called “Bad Boys” are really not as bad as the images that they portray…and they too have the safety nets to avoid the real pitfalls that come from the lifestyle that they promote. So who is paying the price? Ordinary, everyday young Black women (and young men) who end up emulating the thug image personified and perpetuated by their superstar role models (and yes, these people are role models whether we like it or not…that argument is a dead one). Lakisha doesn’t have the safety net. So why in the Hell are Black celebrity women promoting this lifestyle?




The impact of this phenomenon is twofold:

#1. These women help to sanitize & validate this negative Black
Male image. They send the message to the rest of the so called “Black Community” (I hate that term because it suggests that Blacks are a monolith…but for the sake of discussion) that this Black male image is harmless, is acceptable and in fact, it should be seen as the ideal. This is why thousands of Black boys from urban communities & beyond, aspire to be rappers, and why young minority women want to embrace the Hip Hop/Rapper thug culture and aspire to be with men who carry this persona, despite the damage that it has done to Black women. That in itself is fascinating to me.

#2. These women help to establish the ideal image of Black men and set the trend for young Black women in the wider community. Black youth, especially young Black women- emulate what they see in the celebrity world. …everything from fashion, makeup, hair, music, and what kind of male is hot or ideal. Black men are almost like a fashion accessory for some women, particularly a certain kind of Black male. This is particularly the case in a Black culture where parenting is lacking and where youth are being raised by the Television and by the Rap culture.

Some may say (usually apologists for the degenerate Black Rap culture) that the “Bad Boy” is also popular in society in general. There are many White women who prefer these men as well. And I will agree with that to a point. Women have been attracted to s---heads since the beginning of time. It’s biological. “Bad Boy” traits are often mistaken for strength, power, & confidence…all markers that women pick up on that suggests a strong male. But women often can’t make the distinction between good examples of male strength & confidence and bad examples of the same. Their hormones cause all kinds of confusion. This is how women go for criminals, drug dealers, playboys, etc. The comment that I often get from women is that these men make good protectors. But these women fail to realize that these men can’t protect them or be good fathers from the grave or a prison cell.

Yes the wider society has this problem but it does not have the same impact on the larger society- particularly on the White society, as it does for “communities of color”. The larger white society has many more positive images of white men & women (white men in particular). There is much more of a balance in terms of images. In contrast, the negative Black male thug image has become the predominant image of Black men, both within so-called Black culture & within the wider society. When people see me walking by (esp. Whites) & they don’t know me…they don’t see Dr. Ben Carson, nor do they see any positive potential I may have. Instead, they see the “Hip Hop” TV image & everything negative that has become associated with the Black male. This is the case even though there is nothing about me that says “Hip Hop”, criminal, thug, etc. I don’t dress Hip Hop, nor do I speak Hip Hop. I have come to despise the Hip Hop /Rap culture, yet, because I’m Black, I cannot escape being associated with it in terms of perception.



(I don't want to read any nonsense about Kim Kardashian being White... i'm well aware of that fact).

The fact that these women help to perpetuate, sanitize, & legitimize this image drives me crazy. It seems as though most of the negative stereotypes that harm Blacks today are perpetuated by those of the same ethnic group. Black Hip Hop culture has become a laughing stock nationwide, providing fodder for non-Black Americans who enjoy seeing their racist predispositions reinforced by the images and lifestyles that they see promoted in popular culture (mostly by Blacks.... not whites... there is no need for Blackface minstrel shows today...Black folks have that job covered). Basically these women are helping to perpetuate their own degradation in many cases, and certainly the degradation of the image of Black women as a whole. By bolstering the status of men who symbolize the thug or Bad Boy, these women send the wrong message to their counterparts in the general community.

Now this undercuts the arguments of Black women who complain about the treatment that they get from such men. On one hand, they complain about maltreatment from the thug/Bad Boy community, yet these are the kinds of men who these women (for the most part) seem to pursue time and time again. In the world of glaring contradictions, this one is near the top. Like the Black women who complain about their negative image in the degenerate Hip Hop culture, yet they continue to court men who are steeped in that very same culture, and continue to buy the music that supports the rap entertainers who they are complaining about.

This represents one of the fundamental underlying problems that I have with Black women & women in general. In High School & College I never bothered to pursue the opposite sex. I noticed that the young women around me (particularly Black women) always seemed to go for the jocks, thugs, the troublemakers, the gang members…and the wannabe Rap stars. Any guy who was concerned about actual schoolwork, came to class everyday, took notes, etc.. was most often seen as boring and socially unattractive. That seemed to be the easiest way to ensure that you would be ignored by young Black women in school- carry lots of books. It acted as a repellent to Black women, although I didn’t intend it to be as such. It wasn’t until years later that I got a better understanding of this or realized why it happened. I saw the same pattern in adulthood, only worse. I also came to realize that if I ever wanted a partner, that I may have to look outside of the Race….even though that is something that I don’t necessarily want to do as a purpose driven thing. But it may become necessary. It may be my only option once I start to date seriously (after I reach financial viability… only God knows when that will be). As much as I want to love Black women…. I have too many issues with the culture….so many that I don’t see Black women as the most dateable. It goes back to the issues that I have mentioned… Black women who are racing to the bottom with the kinds of choices they are making, particularly with men….ultimately dragging the Race down the tubes.

This is why I call this phenomenon “The Race To The Bottom”. Women (especially Black women) seem to be making exceptionally poor choices in terms of what kinds of men they seek. And it’s not all women out there. But it is certainly a large portion - I will go out on a limb and say that it is a majority, although it may be a slight majority. Many women, particularly in minority communities, seem to be after the lowest common denominator. The impact is that it is slowly but surely harming the Race. These kinds of bad choices are a main factor, in my view, behind the breakdown of the “Black Family”- lack of fathers in the home, the out-of-wedlock births, low marriage rate, etc.

This situation of men choosing the “Bad Boy” image (because they think this is what women like), and women choosing to be with these men is such a normal practice that it’s as if this is a Right of Passage.


The Hovey Street Murders


A few months ago a horrible mass murder of two young Black women & their babies took place in Indianapolis, Indiana. The incident became known as “The Hovey Street Murders”, and is famous nationwide (Look it up for detailed background or follow the links provided below).

One of the young women was a resident in the home, and the other was simply a visitor, at the wrong place at the wrong time, although I’m sure that she knew what was going on at the home. A group of armed thugs barged into the house through a bedroom window and brutally gunned down the 4 victims in cold blood…as the women begged for their lives and the lives of their babies. The motive? The thugs were hoping to steal money and drugs from the home. The house on Hovey Street was a known drug location. One of the victims resided in the home with her drug dealer boyfriend who was not there at the time. This young lady was apparently aware of what was taking place in the home, and was likely a willing participant in the drug activity along with her boyfriend. (link 6) (link 7)

Read the Official Police Probable Cause Affidavit /Investigative Report on this case (names of officers & witnesses have been blacked out).

I felt sick inside after reading about this case. Of course I felt sorry for the victims, especially the children. But I also noticed that there was a lot of misdirected blame taking place…. That only the home invading monsters had a hand in the demise of these 4 victims. I simply wanted to suggest that the blame for these incidents (which play like a broken record in “Black Communities” all across the Country) can’t be laid at one doorstep. I simply wanted to mention that, although they were victims here and didn’t deserve this ending, the young women shared at least some blame for the positions they placed themselves & their children in.

When I raised the issue of choices & personal responsibility on a fellow bloggers site, suggesting that the adult female (I’m purposely leaving names out) who lived in the Hovey Street home bore at least some responsibility for putting her life & her baby’s life in such danger, as well as the lives of her friend and the other child, I was absolutely vilified. Vilified for even making the suggestion that Black women shared any responsibility whatsoever (not for being harmed…but for knowingly putting themselves in such dangerous positions where the risk of harm is high). One of the Black bloggers (a female) stated that “The victim was just doing what she had to do… we shouldn’t blame her for that”….and she was part of a chorus of Black women who dismissed my statement as an attempt to blame the victims and to side with the thug animals who targeted the house- an idea that couldn’t be farther from the truth….anyone who has read my postings long enough knows better. If you’ve read some of my creative suggestions for dealing with criminals, thugs, & rappers…you would probably get the urge to contact the authorities. But I swear…all of these measures would be legal and just (if I were in charge). (Just kidding). But many of the responses were discouraging. But it wasn’t surprising that the attacks came from Black women.

I raised the issue because I hear/read about such tragic stories constantly. It seems as though there is a similar story played out each week, either locally in my hometown (The St. Louis Metro Area) or nationwide. Frankly I’m tired of reading about the same stories over and over again. I knew ahead of time that I would be attacked by Black women for bringing up the issue of choices that women make which place them (and their children) at serious risk. As I have stated, this lifestyle has been so accepted & embraced and has become so much of the “norm”, particularly for Black communities, that it is a Right of Passage- so much so that many young women see nothing wrong with the choices made by the Hovey Street victim who placed herself, her child, and her friends in danger. They (Black women) don’t even recognize and/or refuse to acknowledge that raising a baby in a drug house is even an issue. Half of the young Black women who responded to my comments about choices saw no problem whatsoever with the idea of a young Black woman dating a known drug dealer & raising a baby in that kind of environment. (A Right of Passage).

To most people in the wider non-Black society, such a situation - a baby being raised in a drug house- would be viewed without question as appalling, deplorable & unacceptable. They would balance their rage- expressing empathy for the victims, but also calling into question the choices made by at least one of the women. That’s the normal response to such a tragedy. And this is all I wanted- a balance…an acknowledgement that this was not right. But no. Not according to at least half of the Black women who participated in the discussion. They immediately made excuses for the women….and demonized ALL Black males…as animals. Somehow I allowed myself to be personally offended by that…. Because I get enough of that in the general society….simply for being a Black guy.

According to these women, the young lady from Hovey Street bore little if any responsibility for the increased risk she found herself in. I believe this condition of normalization & acceptance of this kind of lifestyle…the mainstreaming of it, has had a numbing affect on these women. They can’t even recognize that the situation was wrong, that the choices were harmful and they can’t even empathize with the babies on that basis. The women in this case (and similar cases) are seen by Black women as helpless victims, not smart enough to make good choices, as women who should not be expected to be held accountable for anything. First we had the pre-women’s Suffrage era, when women were essentially seen as helpless, unintelligent, dependant on men, and even seen as the private property of men. Then we went through the Suffrage era of the late 1800’s - the 20’s and 30’s when women gained more independence, more legal rights, gained control of their own bodies, and gained the right to vote. Then we went through the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 60’s and 70’s. Then to the empowerment, independence and equality that women worked to establish in the 80’s and 90’s. And now in the 2000’s we are back to Pre-Suffrage times, when women were not responsible for their actions, were helpless, were taken care of by men and couldn’t make their own decisions. At least that is what some people would like us to believe. On one hand, women (especially Black women) want to be seen as strong, independent, smart, and responsible, but on the other hand they want to be seen as helpless damsels who can’t possibly be responsible for the decisions they make. What is really happening here is that these women want it both ways.

What I am getting at is that this issue is like the elephant in the room.

People want to ignore the issue of legitimization and validation of this negative Black male image, and the role that some women are playing it in. People want to gloss over the consequences that this is having on Black youth and on society as a whole. And it’s an image that is just as harmful to Black men as it is to Black women. Black women are helping to create & prop up this negative image…of the kind of man that they claim is harmful to them.

Do you believe that Black Hollywood (particularly its women) are playing a harmful role in encouraging young women to seek the wrong image in a mate? Do they promote the wrong image of Black men? Is this trend harmful to the “Black Family”?

And why are Black women so reluctant to criticize other Black women on this issue? Why are they so reluctant to point out the negative role that some Black women are playing in the deterioration of the Black social condition? This kind of criticism seems almost taboo. Instead, Black women (some, not all) seem to defend & make excuses for certain behaviors of other Black women that are helping to destroy the Race.

I understand that there is a need to love these women as a way of helping them, but you can’t get to the point of helping them when no one wants to point out what the negative behaviors and choices are. Without identifying them, and acknowledging them, the problems cannot be corrected. Black folks are in a serious state of denial on many of these issues.

**********************************


UPDATE: R. Kelly Getting Support from Black Women, Even His Victims.

Child rapist R. Kelly gets support from an unlikely (but somehow not surprising) source- Black Women. It seems that the victim in this case, along with her mother, have been bought out by R. Kelly. The victim now claims that she is not the girl on the tape. Obviously, with all the time that was allowed to elapse between the videotaping and the trial, R. Kelly has been able to influence the victim.

As if that's not bad enough, Kelly has a loyal group of cheerleaders who attend the trial, some being so "supportive" that they disrupt the proceedings. Who are they? Black women. The scene described in the Courtroom literally mimics the Boondocks episode which featured the trial....with mindless Black folks rooting for Kelly.

So now it is o.k. to rape underage Black girls....as long as you are wealthy and you can buy the girls and their mothers? When did Black women (and Black families) begin this practice of literally putting their daughters up for sale?

Hear an NPR report about the proceedings

59 comments:

Truthiz said...

I don't "hate" being Black but...

Well Said on your post!!!

It absolutely boggles my mind how it is that We (as a people) will publicly accept_and even support_ all kinds of reprehensible and humiliating behavior within Black America that no other racial or ethnic group would even entertain!

It's almost to a point where I'm asking is there ANY act that's too low for us anymore?! Any standard at all?!

Somebody please tell me what the H*LL happened to the self-esteem, self-respect and Dignity of so many Black women?!

As I wrote on another blog_ all of this and more are stark examples that WE are in Crisis..and WE had better get our Sorry act together or we're done!!!

The Angry Independent said...

Truthiz,

All you have stated is the absolute truth.

I'm resigned to the fact that "dating out" is probably going to be my only option.

I just believe it will be very difficult to find a Black woman who shares the same values & social beliefs as I do...
The culture is just too screwed up.

And you are correct when you stated...no other group would put up with this nonsense. They wouldn't even entertain the idea.

The Angry Independent said...

Oh yeah....

On that other issue you mentioned...
Well, i'm just one of the few people who are willing to admit it.

I don't always feel that way though.... just most of the time.

Deedlelee said...

Angry Independent,

I am a 45-year-old black woman who has been involuntarily single for the last (harrumph) years. I am cultured, educated, possesses a viciously wicked sense of humor, and can cook (I was a chef in a previous life). I have also considered dating "out." I also think that our black men are in a woeful state. I wished that the black men I meet met my expectations as well, but I won't give up on them. I love them too much.

A.I.: Don't give up on us. We need men like you.

I don't know why our women act like hell sometimes and make bad choices. Some of it may be societal, as you suggest. I don't know about that kind of stuff. What I do know is this: In my demographic (35-49), most of our women come correct. I don't know your demographic, but I am going to assume you are between 25-35 years old; that is the demographic that would affect you in the dating world.

Women my age were raised with a sense of pride; one, to have pride in your skin (black pride), and two; to have a sense of self-worth as a woman. Our girls have derived their sense of self from outside the home. hat is sad.

A.I.: I ask you to reconsider your thought processes. Where are you meeting these women? Are you looking to "hook" up in a club? Asking friends to link you up? Ask yourself these questions, because I want you to know that there are some good women out there; and one is out there looking for you, too.
Are you willing to give a black girl a chance that may not meet your physical requirements?

I am not asking you to settle; A.I. I am asking you to be open to a different kind of black woman. You must be open to love to receive love.

I have not been able to meet a someone nice in awhile. And, I am not so young anymore, so my time is limited. But I have hope. I have become open to dating a man who may not be my physical ideal; but if he can make me laugh and appreciate my love for Vivaldi and the Wu-Tang Clan, then I am his.

Until then, I keep looking. You should too. And if my future love is of another race, then so be it. But it won't be because I excluded possibilities from my own race.

Just don't give up on your future queen; She is looking desperately for you, too.

Andre said...

Truth,

"It absolutely boggles my mind how it is that We (as a people) will publicly accept_and even support_ all kinds of reprehensible and humiliating behavior within Black America that no other racial or ethnic group would even entertain!"

Brilliantly put. I can't think of any other racial/ethnic groups who allow themselves to be dictated to by a subcomponent of their culture. If the Jerry Springer, redneck crowd came to somehow personify white America, we'd all assume that every white person considered West Virginia their mecca, loved fried SPAM sandwiches, and lived in a mobile home resting on cinder blocks.

It's interesting to me that if we (not us, per se. But "we" in a general sense) describe a professional of color -- outside of a rapper or an athlete -- we have to qualify their race first. e.g. "He's a black doctor." "She's a black lawyer." When's the last time somebody had to say "This dude is a black rapper?" I suspect that it's been a while since we had to.

AI, I share in your sentiments that there are quite a few black women of questionable character who get involved with even more questionable black men -- the thug types. And I also agree that the images they popularize can indeed pose a social problem for the ordinary people who subscribe to that mess.

But...

I'd also encourage you not to fall into the trap of typecasting all Black women in that light. Similar to how you don't want to be defined by morons who have gold grills in their mouth (and I feel you on that), I'm sure that Jane Q. RighteousBlackWoman doesn't want to get associated with/defined by some of the ridiculous antics of some of these shallow, vaccuous, and -- yes -- chickenheads out there.

There are -- what -- about 4 billion people in the world; 300 million in the U.S. They can't all be like that. Right...?

I am not Star Jones said...

mmmmmmmmmmmm..............

I feel that anyone who emulates a celebrity needs to take ownership of their choices. Whether you are 15 or 45, you've got to own your f**k ups and triumphs and live with it.

Yes Beyonce married Jay Z but if Tenecia or Lark do the same for their supposed Jay Zs in training and he turns out to be Jay Z in Rikers then.
that's on them.

This is something that bugs me about people (regardless of race, class or socioeconomic level) ...
no one wants to own their ish.

It's always someone else's fault that they screwed up and someone else's job to fix.

And I'm tired of it.
I don't think it's fair to blame any celebrity for some moron's asinine life choices.

There is a real case of arrested development going on in the American psyche that justifies never taking responsibility.
It's not just blacks but it seems to damage blacks more.

The Hovey Street Murders-

I do believe some black women due to economics and class see their lives through very limited prisms and that colors their worldview.

What will it take to change that?

Intellectual curiosity?

Anonymous said...

You think you hate being black? I hate it with a passion these days. I hate that I am black and female, because of posts like this. My skin and womanly features is enough to cause hateful remarks to be thrown at me. I have never in my life seen so much hatred within the black community, and at 22 years old how am I supposed to be proud of us? We do not even know how to come together to work out our problems. Instead I see post after post online about what is wrong with black women. What is wrong with ME, yet these men do not know me. They refuse to even get to know simply because I am black and female.

I do not like gender bashing at all. I do not like it when all we can do as black people is point out each other's faults. I hate the fact that we constantly compare ourselves to other cultures, as if they are flawless and sinless. I hate the fact that black love seems to be dead. I hate the fact that God made me black. I really do. There is nothing anyone can say or do to change my mind.

There is no black community. There is no black love. There is no black responsibility, pride, or humility. There is nothing to be proud of when it comes to black people of this day and age. What is even more frightening to me is that the adults older than myself act more childish and ignorant than kids where this type of behavior is seen in high school. You all constantly fight amongst each other, bashing each other, but then say we need to get our act together? You do not even have your act together if you are participating in such nonsense.

What kind of example are the older adults of our communities setting for those who are younger in age such as myself? What kind of love am I supposed to model myself after, when most of you hate each other so much? How am I supposed to say I am proud of my people, when my people are not even proud of themselves? How do you expect the next generation to change anything, when you are set in your ways and refuse to fight for the upliftment of black people?

I am not interested in dating interracially, and no I do not wish I was anything but black (pretty strange, hm). I have no complex. This gender divide, self-hate, and hatred of others is just pushing me further away from the hope I wish I could see in black people. I don't think anything will ever change.

Nadia said...

Wow, did I really expect more from a post that started off with the headline "why i hate being black...." How can anyone "hate" what God intended. You may hate the actions of some or even your own actions but to say you hate yourself is sad. Oh don't try to tell me that you don't hate yourself because that argument doesn't work here. Note that before your were female, before you had the personality you have, before all of the BS that you use to define yourself, you were Black.

BTW, what is your definition of "thug" because most of the people in the pix you displayed do not include "thugs." I hope you are not using style of dress or music choice in your definition because that would be elitist and at worst racist.

The Angry Independent said...

Deedlelee,

"A.I.: I ask you to reconsider your thought processes. Where are you meeting these women? Are you looking to "hook" up in a club? Asking friends to link you up? Ask yourself these questions, because I want you to know that there are some good women out there; and one is out there looking for you, too."

I am not activily participating in the dating scene right now, so I am not looking for anyone. That's a common response that I get... people think that i'm looking, or ask..."where are you looking for these women?" whenever I post a commentary like this one.

But if I were dating, I would be open to dating Black women, I just wouldn't necessarily seek them out as a first choice. I don't tend to have much in common with Black women....in terms of music, values, politics, social beliefs, etc etc etc... But i'm open to dating women from any ethnic/cultural background.

And nightclubs???? I don't frequent nightclubs... wouldn't be caught dead in one.

The last time that I was in a nightclub was my 21st birthday....and that was for a Concert...so it doesn't count as a nightclub visit. :) I'm in my mid 30's now...so do the math.

The Angry Independent said...

Andre,

I tried to make it a point to mention throughout the post that I was not referring to all Black women.

But certainly the number of women that i'm referring to is a pretty large chunk of the pie, esp. for those between 21-35.

I don't want to deal with searching for the needles in the haystack. Why do that, when finding a better match elsewhere is so much easier...

I'm just bringing that up to say that Black men should not limit themselves...nor should Black women. I'm 100% in favor of Black women "dating out" if they can't find an acceptable match within their own ethnic group.

The Angry Independent said...

I Am Not Star Jones,

Are you suggesting (and it seems that you are) that the celeb. culture has nothing to do with setting trends in the wider culture? Everyone knows that this is the case.... this is why corporations use celebs to push their products.

Are you saying that these celebs have no impact on Black youth? That they have nothing to do with the rise in thug culture?

I can't accept that premise.

These celebs don't operate in a vaccuum.... there are consequences that go way beyond their world.

Whether you like it or not... these people are role models for Black youth...and Black youth do try to emulate these Stars.

Deedlelee said...

Angry,

I guess what I was trying to point out to you was that there are great black women out there; we volunteer in political campaigns, we frequent jazz listening parties/concerts, we work out in gyms, and we go to church. When you are ready to see us, we'll be standing right in front of you. We may not be in the packaging you want right now (older, taller, heavier, lighter, darker, ect... you get the picture)

Good luck to you!

The Angry Independent said...

Nadia,

#1... I'm 150% male...not female.

Also,

I expected to get comments from Black women who would split hairs and attempt to argue about the definition of a thug. I'm not going to partake in that argument because it is a waste of my time. I think most people generally understand what is meant by "Bad Boys", "Thugs", & "Rappers" (As compared to other kinds of men) in the context of this topic.

You showed up like clockwork.

Most Black women have been so conditioned regarding what the ideal Black man should be...and you are so immersed in the Hip Hop culture that you have a much different perspective about what is "thug" and what isn't. A "thug" or "Bad Boy" to someone else, could be viewed as perfectly normal to you.

The problem here is that women like you have no point of reference. You have a more narrow view of what a Black male should be... The Hip Hop image has become the predominant image....so much so that it is hard for some to see the broader picture.

So your comments are no surprise.

JustATest said...

While I share your exasperation with black women, I reject the notion that they are responsible for the asinine choices that black men make. Black women did not start the thug party, they were dragged along for the ride and have succumbed to the same brainwashing.

I also skidded to a stop when you said that you 'didn't try to date' in college -- but then turned around and declared that black women wouldn't date you. How would you know this if you weren't trying to date THEM?

Give me a break with the needle in a haystack talk. There are truckloads of SINGLE, EDUCATED, BLACK CHURCH WOMEN on every freaking corner of America. Are you just mad because they don't look like Kim Kardashian or Beyonce? Be honest.

How can you frequent blogs like WAOD, BWV, AuntJemimasRevenge, all beautiful, single, black women with politics similar to yours, educations as high as yours, and probably SMARTER THAN YOU and say that you're looking for a needle in a haystack? Their blogs ARE a bloody haystack of gorgeous non-thug-loving black women. Have you asked any of them out?

I wait for your answer.

Kieya said...

I think this is a pretty funny post...

And I agree with Justatest, while there are women who are infatuated with that "thug" appeal, there are many more who aren't. The fact that you weren't able to find any that suited your liking says more about you and not the "faults" of Black women.

Professor Tracey said...

First, you should give credit to stories you read about on other people's, particularly black women's blogs! I was the person that started the coverage on the Hovey Street Murders and wrote about the case extensively, months ago! There was a full discussion on my blog about not blaming the victims of that horrific crime instead looking hard at the black male monsters that committed the heartless crime.

Second, you could have written the same post with black men married to white women. What is it with famous black men married uneducated white women, like Tiger Woods who married the nanny of another golfer. (And please spare me the "she's a model" crap, she was not.) Should black women hate being black because of that?

Third, you could have turned around your own post period. Who the in the hell are these women you picked as examples. Not one has a college degree or a real job. Kim Kardasian, now black women have to carry her jobless ass too? She's not black and she's whore. I don't think she's a catch, video-taping her sex acts for sales. Reggie Bush has no morals and neither does she, they are a perfect couple.

All the black women that you picked are the fakest black women possible in the world. Hair weaves, diet pills, and make-up by the tons. Do you want really a REAL black woman or one of these fake human blow-up dolls? Mariah Carey, she's crazy! And you want her? Go get her, she and Nick Cannon won't last long.

The truth is black men really HATE black women. No matter how much we stand by you or support you, you STILL hate us. It boggles my mind that black men are the only men on the planet that blame the women they hate for hating them!

Stop blaming us and look at yourself. You are a smart brother, this posting was beneath you.

Just a few words from one bad sista waiting for R.Kelly to be convicted and locked up for the next 15 years!

Andre said...

Prof. Tracey,

Being on the receiving end of the "You're a nice guy, but..." speech; I don't think that AI's assessment is that far off. I mean, nowadays, being anything outside of gruntling, mumbling rapper with a gold grill is a capital offense according to some bylaws. Being kind, gentlemen like, and intelligent are somehow intepreted as signs of weakness. Trust me.

I also agree that -- while most of the celeb women AI included in this post shouldn't exactly be standard bearers (as you brilliantly suggest), they have a high degree of mainstream validation. Whether or not they're college educated, cultured, etc., is irrelevant when you considered how emulated and worshipped they are by their young followers. As such, these celebs start kickin' it with 'thug' types; suddenly it becomes fashionable for others to do the same.

Still -- as I pointed out to AI -- no social group I can think of is behaviorally homogenous. Just by virtue of some of the folks I meet on blogs, on campus, or in the general public, I can tell that there are all sorts of women -- and, yes: Black women -- outside of the Beyonces and Mariah Scaries of the world.

But in the end; though I can't speak directly to AI's situations, I can personally acknowledge that getting burned in favored of hypermasculine, insensitive badboys DOES sting. And it DOES make a brotha wonder what's wrong with women folk; even when this pheomenon clearly doesn't apply to every woman. In my mind's eye, one bad apple doesn't ruin the bunch. But it does make me question that bunch.

Symphony said...

I don't tend to have much in common with Black women....in terms of music, values, politics, social beliefs, etc etc etc...

Exactly what are these interests that would keep you from having much in common with Black women.

Black women and men say the same thing. They are good but can't find someone equally good of the opposite sex, I sit back and laugh at that. So many good Black men and women who want to (or wouldn't have a problem) date each other but they can't find each other.

I agree with Prof Tracey in that everyday Black women should not bare the cross of celebrities who can afford to indulge in whatever dating patterns they so choose.

I had no idea Nick Cannon was a bad boy. Did I miss a shoot out or jail term?

SheCodes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SheCodes said...

I agree with Prof. Tracey. Not one of those women are admired or even emulated by the type of woman that (I hope) AI would want in his life.

Have you even looked at the profiles of our readers? Thousands of sisters visit our bw ring of blogs every week, and I don't know of ONE who wants a thug. Some of them are drop dead gorgeous. You live in a cornucopia of single black women of every hue, shade and size, many who are desperate to have ANY man who doesn't beat them and will contribute financially to the household.

This is why I simply fall down laughing when I hear the brothers say that 'all/most black women want are thugs'. The reality is, shallow, immature, vacuous black women want thugs, and those are precisely the women that the 'nice' brothers trample down 'nice' sisters to lust after.

Personally, I have always been revolted by thugs, and there was even a time that I would have given my eye teeth for a bookish black man who wore a tie in places other than funerals.

A lot of men who consider themselves 'nice' believe that they are entitled to the "Beyonces" (beautiful, overtly sexual, worshipful of masculinity), and are disappointed and angry when that fantasy is not fulfilled.

Many of these men are NOT 'nice'. They are BITTER and take that rage out on the very women that they should be pursuing -- women like us, who are mere mortals, who have a level of attractiveness commensurate with their own, with similar politics and ethics.

I actually encourage AI to seek his nirvana with a white woman, because I don't want any man who hates his own blackness within a 10 mile radius of a black woman.

Somehow, we always end up being the recipient of all that hate.

Attorneymom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Attorneymom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Attorneymom said...

Dear Mr. Angry Independent:

Shecodes, Professor Tracey and I would like to invite you to appear as our guest on the Queen's Council Blogtalk Radio Show on this coming Tuesday, May 27th, at 9:00 PM EST to discuss your post.

RSVP at info@blackwomensnetwork.com.

Sincerely,

Attorneymom

P.S. I promise that you will be treated with the utmost respect. At least by me and Sheecodes. LOL

The Black Snob said...

AI: Well, it seems that I showed up to this party late, but I'll say my piece anyway.

I find that if you want a black man or woman of similar caliber you have to make the effort to find that person. You have to "diversify" your surroundings. One cannot settle for hanging out with superficial, pretty-girls-with-problems who are attracted to so-called "thugs" due not to popular culture, but often because of intense father issues. As in, they have low self-esteem because they never had a father. And such. Therefore pine for the attention of any man, especially the worst man.

Also, this particular lifestyle affects both sides and goes both ways and doesn't include most mature black people.

That said, you have to operate in different circles to find men or women quality. You have to join black based charity/business/Greek/professional/alumni organizations. Join a church. Get involved in the black "arts" community either as a writer, artist or patron. Go where the educated, talented, interesting black people are and mingle. They are there. They do exist. But you have to make an effort as they are often found sparsely spread out or in small enclaves.

Also, most of the black women I know (married and single) wanted a Man, with a capital "M" (or in all caps). A real man who is serious, kind, intelligent and handles business. I pine for such and individual. A Negro who takes care of his own.

I recently wrote a post about it on my blog.

So I don't think it's fair to single out some celebrities who often hook up with other celebrities who have a "bad" image. They're rich. It means nothing. The reality is that historically, white or black, some women are just attracted to men who treat them like shit. I'm not one of them, but there are tons who are programmed this way. And as I said before, that has WAY more to do with psychological daddy issues and low self-esteem than Jermaine Dupri and Janet Jackson.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

50 cent,TI and maybe Diddy, are the only thugs in your pictures. Nick Cannon, Bow Wow, Nelly Jermaine Dupri,Ludacris, Ray J and Alicia Keys boyfriend are not thugs. Have these men actually ever been arrested?
Are you a really a black man b/c you seem to judge black men the same way white people do. Do think any black man that doesn't look like Steve Urkel is a thug?
You do know that a lot of celebs are only in these "relationships" in front of the camera right? They are only in it to increase their profile.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hi there!

I too am late to dinner on this topic!

I must agree with the black women who refute the notion that ALL BLACK WOMEN desire a thug.

I also agree with those who noticed that the celebrity women used as examples in the post WERE not representative of MOST black women. (The belief that ALL OR MOST young black women who are educated and goal-oriented will aspire to emulate uneducated black female celebrities is laughable.)

What I will say will probably sound classist but I will say it anyway...

Black women who are from the upper middle class and the upper socioeconomic class (and by the way, I am not defining socioeconomic class affiliation by bank account!) can NOT AFFORD to have a male companion who is uneducated, uncultured, uncouth, under-exposed, boorish, semi-literate. This type of person will create a negative impression about her standards.

The reality is that black women who are professionals and who have successful careers (not saying jobs that pay well but I'm saying careers) and who are well-educated ARE BEING JUDGED by the company they keep.

I find it interesting to hear black men say that they can't find any suitable black women out here when they are plentiful.

Where do you look?

Can I help you for a moment?

Are you at the opera when Denyce Graves is in town? We are!

Do you frequent the local museum? We do!

Do you have any knowledge of art history? We seek black men who do.

Do you know anything about foreign film? We do!

Are you attending the latest lecture of the visiting black scholar who is promoting his/her new book? We are!

Do you know anything about Vivaldi? Do you have a membership to the symphony? Do you at least attend once a year while entertaining clients? We attend out of sheer enjoyment!

Have you been inside of a foreign embassy for a social event lately? We attend events there ALL the time!

Are you serious about establishing a solid spiritual foundation?We are!

If the answer to those questions is NO then I understand WHY you feel quality black women can not be found but this means that they are scarce in the circles YOU CHOOSE to be in.

When we come to your home, will we find a library? Or an X-box and a stereo system that you want to brag on? Or will we see magazines that objectify black women? While you are examining the mindset of black women - just please take a few seconds to examine your own.

Can I also add a newsflash to a brother who thinks that just because he's earned a MERE Bachelor's degree that ALL black women should be outrageously impressed...some of us have parents whose chauffeurs have a Bachelor's degree...therefore you'll need to step up with something a BIT MORE substantial than a MERE Bachelor's degree if you want to bring up your academic achievements as a conversation piece.

Before black men start claiming that QUALITY BLACK WOMEN are no where to be found, perhaps these men need to examine exactly what pool they think we swim in before declaring we don't exist…

Thanks for letting me blow my trumpet!
Lisa

You are welcome to visit my house:
http://blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com

Andre said...

Dag AI. If Hillary were under this much sniper fire in Bosnia, maybe I'd be a little more sympathetic.

I'm not gonna join in the cruxificion, mostly because I get where you're coming from. But if I can offer a piece of advice (albeit unsolicited), I'd suggest that (1) you not fall into the trap of typecasting black women, even if your past experiences make it tempting to do so and (2) that you listen to some of the women who posted here. Some of their responses may have been a little deficient in the sympathy department, but I don't think they necessarily had collective axes to grind through their rejoinder. I mean, what better way to learn about how women work than by actually listening to women?

g-e-m2001 said...

AI,

Let me know if you go on the Queen's Council, I'll pay to hear it.

As usual, I wonder about your revulsion of your own people. Yes I am unhappy with the choices were are making and the Entertainment Industrial Complexes' depiction of us, however, I think there is a difference in criticism that comes out of a place of love and one that comes out of any other place.

At some point all of the non-celebrities are going to have to rise out and offer up another dream. Another vision. Another fantasy, because I don't know what you have plastered up in this post, but that is not my life or the lives of any Black woman I associate with. That is a construction of a tiny group of people based in LA and NY.

PS. What Black woman passed you over for a thug? I sense a backstory.

Sandra said...

Angry Independent,

The first problem you have is thinking that all black women are the same, we're not. Your prejudice against black women puts any black woman you meet at a disadvantage, no matters how she treats you. It's like starting the first day of class with an F grade.

What black men,not all black men, say they despise in black women they fail to recognize or don't want to recognize in other races. Black women get group as a whole while women of other ethnicities are judged on an individual basis. Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian was mentioned in the post but nothing was said of Puerto Rican and Armenian women.

I only date black men. The problem I have with some black men is that they fail to treat black women as individuals. Find out what the woman you like is interested in, not what you think black women like. This goes for black women, too.

There are certain character traits that women, regardless of race, like in men. We like trust, honesty, commitment, and security. These are the most common but there are more. You must talk to the woman.

But, be honest with yourself.

sandra said...

A Black Women's Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPBH57BWhpE

This says it all.

LorMarie said...

It appears you are looking for an excuse to avoid romantic relationships with black women in favor of white women. Respectfully sir, your posture is very lame. If you want women of other races, just go for them. It's that simple. I am a black female who has and will continue to date men from other "races" if I so choose. But there is a difference between you and I. There will never be a post of mine putting black men down because they haven't influenced my dating choices. In other words, I don't date nonblack men because I feel black men are not "dateable" or marriageable. I date out because I like nonblack men. There's no need to come up with a post full of obviously biased generalizations. If we take your post as truth, we should also take the blogs filled with white racist rants against blacks (black men in particular) as truth.

As for the black couplings you posted, I don't recall hearing about any of the men having trouble with the law so why are you dismissing them as thugs?

The Angry Independent said...

Are you with me or not Andre?

You are going to leave me in the Lioness's Den to become a meal?

The Angry Independent said...

Sandra & Blackwomenblowthetrumpet

It is obvious that you didn't read the post or the earlier comments.

I'll cover it again...

I made clear that I was not referring to "all" Black women.

The Angry Independent said...

Shecodes:
"Not one of those women are admired or even emulated by the type of woman that (I hope) AI would want in his life."

You are correct that the kinds of women who are inspired and influenced by these women are not the kinds of women who I would be interested in. But then again, the number of women in the general population who are influenced by the Beyonce's and Mariah's is quite large. Their influence spreads all throughout the culture.... it even impacts the so-called "good girls"...the women who you are talking about with degrees, are more traditional (or those who seem traditional), who go to church (although the Black church is not necessarily a positive & is therefore something that I don't require)....the women who you wouldn't believe would like these men. MANY OF THEM ACTUALLY DO. I have seen it too many times. The influence of this culture is spreading into every nook and cranny...even into parts of the culture that you wouldn't expect it to. Please don't tell me about the "good girls". Those are some of the worst offenders. NOT ALL... BUT QUITE A FEW.

I would say that women like Shecodes are actually a minority among Black women.

I make these posts because I want to see the Shecode's and the Gina's back in the forefront. Although you are a minority, who says that you should be a silent minority? Back in the 60's and 70's, (and much of the 80's it seemed), the Claire Huxtables were leading the way for Black folks in terms of the Black image. That has since given way to something that is just God awful.

Get mad and take back your place in front.

Hell, that's why no one can find you....or they don't believe you exist (in significant numbers). Because you have given your front row seat to someone else... or you have allowed that seat to be taken from you.

I'm still waiting for you all to take back your position. Taking back your position will require you to put your blinders away, and start challenging other Black women.... that taboo thing that no one seems to want to touch from a mile away. So far, you all seem to be putting a lot of effort into making excuses for other Black women... protecting other Black women (when you know they are messing up...and are running Counter to what you are trying to do).... STOP DOING THAT. It drives me crazy.

What will be the image of Black women that your children and grandchildren see? The answer to that question is up to Black women like yourselves.

The other half or 2/3rds of Black women have already made their decision... they have decided that the image will be Beyonce, Christina Milian,etc and the celebration of thug culture, valueless lifestyles, out of wedlock birth and child rearing, education not seen as valued or important....etc etc etc etc all the pathologies we see in the degenerate Black culture today... the problem will only intensify. Within 5 years or so, I think sex acts on school grounds in urban America will probably be the norm.... drugs too. When you look at White schools in Suburbia, do you see mini-prison facilities with metal detectors & armed guards? No... that's because there is a different value system at work (and yes...all those other things like funds are an issue... but that's no longer the main issue anymore...its about the degenerate Black culture. No one wants to admit it).

But to conclude what I was saying....it is up to you to either reverse that decision... or at least fight like Hell to make sure that those women are not the only images that America see's (including your grandchildren).

The Angry Independent said...

To All,

As expected, several people took from this post only what they wanted to take or they conveniently missed all the points I tried to make.

Misconceptions:

#1. It is assumed that this post was about MY dating life... and my search for a Black woman. NO & NO.

This post wasn't about my particular situation...but about the impact that Black Hollywood is having on young Black women (and men). How the thug culture is being celebrated...and the damage that it is doing to the image of Black people as a whole.

And no, i'm not looking for a Black woman...or any woman, and have not dated for many years. Partly by my choice, and partly due to circumstances. This was not a dating post... I referenced some of my past experience to make a point about how screwed up the "Black Community" is...and I wanted to point out that this is why I (and many other Black folks... not just myself) no longer wish to identify with the Black Community or Black Culture. Those terms have come to stand for things that I don't identify with or believe in.

#2. There is an assumption (and I see this all the time) that since Black women are not the ideal choice or preferred choice for me (IF I WERE DATING) that it somehow means that I prefer white women. A lot of Black folks are locked into this bi-cultural mindset. We live in a multi-cultural world...in a multi-cultural country...not a bi-cultural one.

Perhaps I have a preference for Hispanic/Latina women, Asian Women, East Indian Women...and within those broad groups, there are many subgroups...

I will tell you this, White women are in there somewhere, but not necessarily near the top.

In fact, there is not necessarily a specific order to my madness. I like women from all ethnicities/colors of the rainbow. I don't plan to limit myself. If she has what it takes to trigger my interest...I don't care what color she is. She could be purple with yellow spots for all I care.

However, there are certain groups where my ideal is more plentiful, so I tend to be more interested in those groups. Like most people, I have preferences.

Should I be crucified for that?

Women have some of the same preferences...many have preferences that are a lot more rigid than mine.

#3. Some say that I mentioned ALL Black women in the post. NO.

I made it a point to mention that I was not referring to ALL Black women. But a significant number.

#4. I was burned/scorned by a Black woman. NOPE.

I have only dated one, if I recall... (naturally because my preference takes me into other options). She was actually biracial. And that was during a brief period when I jumped into the dating scene many years ago.
Couldn't bring myself to date anymore after the experiences I had (not a fan of the dating scene at all).

_________________

I no longer date because I am concentrating 100% on school, and getting myself to the right place financially (prerequisites for any single man in American society). That is taking longer than I had anticipated.

#5. The post was about Black culture and the celebrity influence on pulling the Black race down the toilet...and the role that some women (many) are playing in it, via their screwed up process of choosing men.... they believe they are choosing strength by picking the s---heads, ...but they are actually choosing the weak links that have contributed to the breakdown in the family. That, in turn, is contributing to many of the problems we see today....with Black youth not growing up in nurturing traditional homes.

According to the responses here.... these Black women celebs don't have any influence on youth, Black youth in particular. And we know that's not true... they have quite a bit of influence.

This is a case of Black women wearing their blinders. Black folks simply don't want to face this stuff.

If Black (& Latina) women decided today that "the thug" was no longer in style and that they would only give their loving to decent Black men, men of other races, and leave the rappers alone, etc...
This negative Black male image (an image that I have to fight everyday, although I don't identify with that culture) would begin to die pretty quickly if women began to make that choice.

Many males who shape themselves into the thug mold, do so because they believe that this is the popular thing that young women are attracted to. Once that is taken away...you would see (slowly but surely) the image of the Black male begin to change.

If young women told young men that they had to wear a tie, and study hard in school to get their loving
then that would be the new style tomorrow... (I would invest in necktie companies) lol. And grades would begin to change once...education became cool again.

But the problem is... biologically, women don't see those things as representative of strength and security (at least not Black women...in large numbers). They see the meathead brute with tattoos, bulletholes, knife wounds, a hard body from working out in prison, and a hardcore criminal record as signs of strength.

I really do see Black Hip Hop culture (specifically Black women's affinity for the ----head) as a mental disorder for Black folks, Black women in particular.

#6. I expected to get several responses from Black women who would attempt to argue about the definition of thuggery, a clown, a rapper, a minstrel, etc etc etc.

This is a symptom of the mental disorder. The fact that they would even attempt to split the hairs, shows a problem.

And like I mentioned in a response above... It shows how they really don't have any point of reference to even know what the Hell a man should be. To them, Ludacris, Nelly, = good men because they have a lot of money, don't have long extensive Prison records & have no bullet wounds that we know of (notice there is no interest or concern for the other qualities that are supposed to be important for a man, potential father, etc). These are the predominant images of Black men that they see...so they don't know anything else. Their perspective is just so narrow.

It's disturbing...and strikes right at the heart of why I wrote the post in the first place.

LorMarie said...

Angry Independent,

Whether you realize it or not, your post was an attempt to justify your preference for nonblack women. The question is, why do you feel the need to justify this? I guess the reason might be that black men do get a lot of heat for dating and marrying out. I can't speak for other black women here, but the problem for me is not that you want to date out (I would be a hypocrite for doing such), but your angst against black women. So if you want to date nonblack women when you are ready...by all means do it. What you should NOT do is put black women down in the process. Putting your own race down shows the possibility of self-hate or that you are not truly comfortable with your dating choices.

Kieya said...

"I would say that women like Shecodes are actually a minority among Black women."

And you'd be wrong. Thats the problem. Women like us are in the forefront, we're all over. But its people like you who want to act like we're not. Like LorMarie said, whether you realized it or not, you really were trying to back up why you aren't interested in black women. And if thats your choice, then you shouldn't feel as though you need to back it up with some argument.

Do you think your helping us? You sound just as ignorant as people of other races that try to dissociate the "good" black man or woman from the "bad" seeds.

People can't find us because they read posts like this & don't bother to look since there's another fool backing up their so called theory on black women. I didn't hear one person make an "excuse", I heard women defending themselves. And as much division and hate that goes on in house, I for one am not gonna throw my fellow sistas to the wolves just because their dating style doesn't include you. I prefer to work with them, help them to build up their self esteem & improve their self image instead of criticizing. But its hard to do so if people like you keep labeling them as not "worthy" enough for the "good" black man.

Trust me, your post did nothing for us, just another pathetic obstacle in our path much like the hip hop culture you stated.

You know its funny cuz people love to blame Black women for the downfall of Black culture, which I admit we do play a part, but what about the fact that there are men even classified as "thugs." Instead of being disappointed in the Black women's choice of man, I challenge you to go mentor some of these lil boys & help them to see that thuglife is completely overrated & "thug" should never be an option. Teach them to mold themselves based on who they WANT to be, not based on what they think women want.

And one more thing, in your Part I section, you mentioned an example of seeing a professional woman with someone who fit the "thug/bad boy" image. Now, my problem with that is you went based on looks. How is that any different than the white woman who clutches her purse as a black man passes? I've worked in several non profits for teenagers. I had male co workers who worked with them in lock up. And I suppose they'd be able to fit the "thug/bad boy" image, as they were dressed similar to the kids they helped. Baggy jeans, timbs, tattoos, cornrows, white tees, etc...

My point is, you can never know someone just based on how they are dressed. Maybe that story needed to be clarified but based on what I read, that was pretty sour judgment on your part. I've learned working with who I do you can NEVER judge people just based on the way their dressed.

Andre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andre said...

AI, You know I've got your back on this. As I said before, I completely get where you're coming from. But -- in the interest of establishing equilibrium -- I also understand how Jane Q. NotTheBlackWomanYou'reTalkingAbout can get incensed by your post. Even when you made it a point to disqualify the accusation that you're referring to all Black woman, the minute that I read this post I thought to myself "Aw man, AI's in trouble now." Your readership didn't disappoint me to that end. Regardless to whether or not your intentions were to cite specific instances of black women actin' a fool (by embracing the thug, supporting R. Kelly, or any other any personal stories with black women you can recall), your observations hit a collective nerve with Black women all across the blogosphere. As a result, commentary that you made based off what you see everyday was dismissed as a myopic, inaccurate, and blanket statement about Black women in general. Is that fair for people to make that conclusion based off your post? I don't think it is. But does it happen, anyway? All the frickin' time.

Interestingly, I think you answered your own question in this comment board which -- had you simply followed in the first place -- would've kept you from writing this post. Said AI,

"I'm just bringing that up to say that Black men should not limit themselves...nor should Black women. I'm 100% in favor of Black women "dating out" if they can't find an acceptable match within their own ethnic group."

I've always had an issue with people dating exclusively within or outside of their race. If we profess to be open-minded, cultural, and civilized people, why not broaden horizons? Perhaps that would better serve your personal interests.

Now, this doesn't address the rampant and menacing problem of black women (AND men. Let's keep it real) of questionable character who influence black culture (whatever that is). But it could at least assuage some of the anger (and perhaps bewilderment) you may have.

As for me (being an equal opportunist and all), I'm saving myself for Constance Marie. I mean, day-um.

Woman in Transition said...

Angry: I lurk in the background of your blog all the time. You have a unique perspective on things, especially the subject at hand. Thugs? Um... I must agree with the likes of SheCodes and Gina that the women you have used as examples in the post, though popular among many, are not the ideal among most. Yes, that's right, NOT the ideal among MOST. If people would turn off their TVs and stop reading websites that cater to the lives of the 'clueless and famous', then and only then will they be able to live the life in which God intended for them. You surely cannot seriously believe that most black women are 'lusting' after the likes of JayZ or Nick Cannon? I tell my friends that if JayZ was not The JayZ that he is now, but just a regular brotha working a regular job, the chances of him 'pulling' someone like Beyonce would be a million to one depending on many factors, including how SHE feels about herself. But Matthew Knowles (Beyonce's dad) is a smart and calculating businessman and realizes that the union between his daughter and J is a match made in black-successs-in-entertainment heaven, where ever that is. What parent wouldn't encourage the blossoming of a relationship with a man/woman as successful as JayZ?

Yes, Angry, I know that Beyonce is a young girl's (and some women's) idea of black female perfection, but since the majority of us who have reached a place of confidence and acceptance of who we are don't have the medium to showcase our 'gifts' publicly, people don't see us or hear about us. Please don't blame black women for something that media in all forms has done (and will continue to do as long as money is green).

Celebrities are not good examples of much, other than makeup and clothing ideas. I think it was Charles Barkley who said that he shouldn't be considered a role model and never since has such a more powerful truth been spoken from an athlete.

Andre said...

One more thing: I understand how post wasn't intended to address the phenomenon we know as dating. Still, the temptation to associate your observations with dating was definitely there.

But your fundamental message of the destructive effects of today's black popular culture is pretty clear to me. But as I've suggested all throughout, I wouldn't limit it to the role that black women may play in this. I'd say that black popular culture as a collective enterprise is dangerous. But even that has multiple facets worth examining.

Dude, you could publish at least five articles based on the challenging themes presented in this post. So ultimately, I'd say this was a pretty compelling read.

Sameena said...

Give black women a break - the truth is there arent enough quality black men in the community who make education and personal responsibility a priority. I have black women friends who continue to struggle to find quality men (while often dealing wiht very tough financial situations and often the extra responsibility of singlehandedly raising their children)- they need support not censure. I am South Asian and it saddens me the way black men treat women especially black women in rap videos. It is time for Black men to stand up for the honor of their women - no culture with any selfrespect will stand the humiliation of its women.

Andre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andre said...

Sameena,

There are a couple of problems with your argument; at least from my vantage point.

(1)"...the truth is there arent enough quality black men in the community who make education and personal responsibility a priority."

I think there are. Except these kind of men -- also labeled the "nice guy" -- can't always effectively sell those qualities (education and personal responsibility) as validation to some women. This is one aspect of AI's argument with which I completely agree. Being pegged into a culture that celebrates hypermasculinity and toughness as standards for "being a man", the nice guy (respectful, half-way intelligent, caring, loving) gets labeled as weak and soft. Simply put, whoever coined the phrase "nice guys finish last" wasn't that far off. Now, I'm certainly not blaming black women for that. But I AM acknowledging that such a phenomenon does exist.

(2)"...it saddens me the way black men treat women especially black women in rap videos. It is time for Black men to stand up for the honor of their women - no culture with any selfrespect will stand the humiliation of its women."

I concur. Except, when it comes to "humiliation" through exploitation, we have to be equally as critical of the women who choose be exploited as we are of the men who do the exploiting. For example, in the now infamous Nelly video "Tip Drill", it was the dancer's idea to have a credit card swiped through her backside. It's those kind of women who would look at somebody like the Angry Independent and laugh because he's not Nelly; because he doesn't think it's fashionable or "hard" to demean black women. Sadly, they're the ones finding their way on millions of televisions every night while some of the more righteous and prophetic black women (i.e. many of the sistas in the blogosphere) are left to shoulder the cross.

Do these scandalous women represent all of the "black community"? Of course not. But do they exist in one circle or another? Absolutely.

said...

Honestly I'm hearing all your saying, and yes I get the point of it. I've wondered why the hell black woman are all shown in exactly the same plastic image, I've got no problem being black my self (as light skinned as I am).

Black guys in general all seem to be following the lead of most Rap stars and R&B stars both in look and in style and even attitude, which I honestly dont find hot or attractive at all.

And I also don't exactly understand the fulfillment most woman get out of 'thugs' and living the 'thug lifestyle',
neither of the two interest me at all, I've never actually dated a black guy before because all I get is wannabe thugs and I just really cant be bothered with it all.

So yeah I date outside the culture and though some people may have specific issues with it I don't, I personally am attracted to white guys and always have been. I'm not saying I dont find black guys attractive though I hate seprating by race or colour.

The culture has been extremely diluted through the years as more celebrities aid black woman and men to be watered down, by what products dedicated to taking away your actual culture right?
Such as relaxing your hair, getting weaves, make-up which offers specific shading that can change your look and ethnicity completely.

I respect what it is your saying, purely because I slightly agree with you.

Even though I've been relaxing my hair since I was about 8 or 9 and I've been weaving my hair for about 5 years, and really I don't care much for weaves I purely used them to grow my hair so that when I cut it it'd be in good condition.

So yeah my hair is extremely loose now due to the relaxing process its been through throughout the years, it's been permanantly dyed black for the past three months so I get classed as an 'emo chick' a lot which I dispute as to whether im excaping my true ethnicity.
Si I guess I fit in to your category of a fake black woman.

Though not every black man and woman you've placed up there actually fits into your thug wannabe fake catagory.

Alicia keys boyfriend isnt a thug or a thug wannabe, neither is Nick Cannon & Jennifer Lopez isn't black so you should really take a second thought before you label and judge people.

Or maybe you should clarify your definition of a thug, because as I've stated previously you don't have a very good selection of serious thugs up there.

Either way I understand where your coming from and can atleast understand what your reasons are all of them.

Though most of the reasons or images youve stated and placed seem as though they'd com from a typical white guy classing every black celebrity as a thug and so on...

Malacyne said...

There is some fault with your logic. The images you placed to demonstrate your point are celebrities. It's quite unfair on your part to equate the celebrity world with the real world. But let's entertain your fancy: most black women have limited choices when it comes to choosing mate. Black men, for the most part, have the highest instances of incarceration, lack of education and poor job prospects. Entire generations of black people have lived in poverty with only a few rising above the ashes, so to speak. Those that do rise, have done so by education. Research supports that there are more black women with college degrees than black men. These black women are expected to take any black they can get their hands on. The educated black man is rare and he knows that he is a prime catch. It's not unheard of for an college bound/graduated black man to have multiple relationships with competing women.

Also, you have discounted the most obvious and damaging influence on black culture: BET. Through an ever increasing culture of violence and misogyny, generations of women have had their whole world paradigm shaped by BET. To say that black women are responsible for this is ridiculous. At the helm of BET was Robert Johnson, a black man. This soon passed into the hands of Viacom, headed by a white man...go figure. Record companies and rappers are very much a male dominated profession.

Whereas the hallmark of education was no longer regarded as the enlightened path out of poverty, a degenerate culture flourished in the ghettos of America. There's alot of research out there if one looks for it regarding the decline of the black family and pointing to many issues like acceptable poverty, the impact of a drug culture and changing values.
You point to black women being the root of all of this but do no take into account black men's involvement in this mess. You bemoaned a youth in which black girls ignored you and went for the jocks. I am certain there are plenty of studious, dark-skinned, not-long-flowing-hair (good hair for some of you southerners)black girls that you just looked right through. And given the number of black women who are college educated versus black men who are college educated, it looks like these girls were quite plentiful. Given the number of black women in black churches, praying to find a man versus men who are praying to find a good wife, these girls, still praying and waiting, must have some social values.
I have crossed the color lines when dating and will continue to do so. Do what you must to gather the courage to cross the line but do not do it at the expense of tearing down black women.

Ensayn1 said...

I am often baffled by Black men that say they cannot find a Black woman that can match their "standards", if and when they decide to date. I wonder if these Black men have limited themselves to a small minority of our huge world wide population of women. AI, have you ever been in contact with (I say contact since you are not dating now, but that doesn't mean one cannot have female friends or assoicates) Black women born and raised in Britain, Canada, Trinidad, Jamaica, Tobago, USVI, The Bahamas, Borinken, Panama, Belize, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa or Zimbabwe?
I have found Black men that say they cannot find a Black woman that have the same "standards" as themselves are actually put off by Black women that are intelligent, independent, and have the verbal ability to express their opinions. Thus, these men run away from intelligent, independent, opinionated Black women, search out the lowest mentality of women, then say they cannot find Black women with high moral standards. Our women come in too many different forms from women who's parents have drivers with Bachelor's degrees, to women that live in the lowest poorest slums in the world with the highest standards and could careless about a Beyonce, JayZ or a Mavado. When you are ready to date stop searching out the lowest mentality of Black women and be strong enough to deal with the power of an intelligent, independent, opinionated Black woman. Because, most of these thug images are being sold to and for the entertainment of non-Black people, and has the most negative impact on their psyche as we Black people know who we are.

I am not Star Jones said...

AI,

yes there is an overreliance of celebrity influence in certain people's lives but the choice remains
within each of us

to either be a sheep
or
to be strong and be your own person.

i'm sorry that the majority of Americans don't know how to do this but

I recommend finding and loving the people who do, embracing that passion to live and think independently and learning to cope with the rest.

so if there's a generation of kids and their parents
emulating jay z or 50 cent or beyonce, ultimately, to their detriment, I say try to help when you can and if you can't, move on.

VickiLynne said...

Wow, looks like you spent a lot of time on this - how fruitless.

The Angry Independent said...

Malacyne,

Regarding Black Exploitation Television... try going to the search box up top and typing in "BET", "Debra Lee", "Bob Johnson" and read the results.

I have been writing about BET since before this blog got started.

I'll give you a 'late pass' for this one.

The Angry Independent said...

Vicki,

I beg to differ. It beared fruit for me, because #1. It was cathartic; and #2. It only served (through the comments) to reinforce my beliefs regarding what is wrong with so-called "Black America"....with their unmitigated & constant state of denial among other things.

If you mean fruitless as in I didn't change any minds. I already knew that I wouldn't change any minds...especially when it came to Black women. Therefore I never intended to change any minds. I usually know what to expect when dealing with Black folks when it comes to these kinds of issues. It's been that way for as long as I can remember.... nothing has changed.

The post served the purpose that I had for it...although 95% of readers missed the point, or took from it only what they wanted to take. (I knew that was going to happen before the post was completed).

witchsistah said...

Dude, just go and get you a White woman and call it a day. Believe me, most Black women would not give a damn as we are busy trying to live our daily lives in a world that despises us.

No need to have our names in your mouth. Just hie thee to any non-Black woman and put everyone out of their misery!

Andre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andre said...

"Believe me, most Black women would not give a damn as we are busy trying to live our daily lives in a world that despises us."

I can feel that -- to an extent. But when I see some pretty righteous brothas get castrated for being "too nice" and then get cruxified for shifting outside of their race (many black women actually do "give a damn" and make no bones about it), I can also feel the frustration that AI has. There really isn't a right or a wrong answer in this situation; only unresolved questions.

Afroamericawriter said...

This is a very narrow way of looking at the sisters. I look at the group of women I hang around and I don't see them attracted to any "thug looking brotha."

I'm not saying this phenom doesn't exist. But please, broaden your playing field a little bit.

Brenda said...

Well said, at one time I was proud of being black, back in the 80's, and early 90's we were the fad, the fashion icons, the now, the hip. Cultures were trying to be like us and somehow we got it twisted and became twisted and now I am ashamed to be black, white people see me with my children and assume I am welfare mom with kids.. I am married and have been for 20 years. They see my son and and assume he has no fater, they see my husband and are in fear. Now we are thrust into a new era, in a dieing culture. We are a rarity we are Black Family... and I have taught my children to seperate themselves from what is black and do and be what is good. Because now what is Black is not what is GOOD... It what is a Blight on the American Society..one that steals and stifles good people... single mothers breeding an army of hate and bitter men, that will be killed and damaged before old enough to vote.

The Angry Independent said...

Brenda,

My "hate being black" title is more of a metaphor that I use to express my frustration with a situation I (we) can't control. Is it literal? Not really...not 100%, but this is how I sometimes feel...and it's the way I felt when I wrote this commentary; and it's a conversation starter...because I know i'm not the only one who has this stuff swirling in their heads. I'm in a constant identity struggle. One day I may see something that makes me proud.... and the next day I hear a story that makes me want to jump out of my skin and run as fast as I can.

While there is some truth to what you wrote... being Black isn't ALL bad. Although it seems as if the bad overshadows the good. I believe Black folks offer just as much good.... (although the media doesn't like to tell those stories).

Rather than running away, use your family as an example.

But I still believe that the image of young Black women (of which too many accept...and too many take part in perpetuating) is a horrible image... the same for young men.

I still have problems relating to the modern Black culture (as it is today)....and I have problems forming relationships because of it.

Unfortunately I don't see this changing anytime soon.