Friday, March 13, 2009

Does One Man's Troubles Stigmatize Their Race?

In the case of Black Americans... I say absolutely yes... And it's not just one man's troubles. There are constantly reports of prominent Blacks screwing up... Add that to the general stigmatization that already exists...and it easily creates a situation of constant collective shame for the wider group. At least that's how it is for me. I admit being embarrassed every time someone who looks like me screws up. Because whether I like it or not....their behavior reflects negatively on me... it will have a negative impact on the collective image of Blacks. NPR's News and Notes discussed this issue on Wednesday... they suggested that there should be no collective shame.... that negative images no longer exist (that seemed to be what they were getting at).

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In a related story....it appears that Rihanna is cozying up with her abuser. I'M SO SHOCKED. Folks can't say that I didn't predict this... it fits the predictable pattern that I have mentioned before. This is why I wrote 'Black Women and the Race to the Bottom III' (my third rant on this issue, lol)... because I already saw this coming. This is why it is hard for me to feel sorry for women who seek out these "thug" characters... and return to the same abusive situation or seek out the same qualities in the next guy..over and over again. It's a never ending cycle. And what a great example Rihanna is setting for the young women who emulate her...and for the young men. This is the kind of thing that poisons the race IMO. This... and just about everything else that comes from the Black Hollywood/BET culture.

There have to be issues within these women from the beginning regarding how they view their self worth... how they feel about themselves, etc. Something is screwed up in the brain IMO.

Any Black women out there who care to explain this? And before you say... "Rihanna is under the control of her abuser and she is trapped". That excuse relates to women of ordinary or modest means who are trapped financially, fear for their children and therefore feel that they can't leave the relationship...or women who fear further abuse. None of that applies to Rihanna. She's rich.... so the financial argument is out of the window... she doesn't need to rely on any man for financial support. Secondly...she doesn't have children and is not in a home situation where she is "trapped". So that argument doesn't apply. Some might say..."Well perhaps she fears reprisals". That argument might work... except for the fact that this is an independent, wealthy young woman...who has family....the resources to leave....plenty of places to go....and she can hire bodyguards. So please....spare me the excuses.

But if anyone has a logical explanation for this behavior... then fire away.

5 comments:

I am not Star Jones said...

and does one person's success uplift the race?
Oprah being a billionaire is nice but has done nothing to improve my bank account. If I can't benefit from the good, why am I stigmatized for the bad?

And your Rihanna question?
I don't believe anything that is being reported unless she speaks with words from her mouth

I forgive Chris Brown and we have decided to pursue our romantic relationship.

but if the unconfirmed rumors are true, then Rihanna's an idiot.

She's not the first and definitely won't be the last. C'est la vie!

And so are any women who would let the actions of a pop star guide their lifestyle choices.

Everyone has got to learn to own their choices.

Andre said...

"If I can't benefit from the good, why am I stigmatized for the bad?"

In theory, I would agree. Positive attributes or negative: one person's lone actions should NEVER be falsely associated with every single person in an entire race. But realistically, I'd be a fool not to believe - as A.I. argues - that negative behaviors do not stigmatize black men. For reasons beyond my immediate understanding, we are one of the few groups in this country dictated to by its subculture. For instance, as a black man, people look at me in shock when they find out I listen to Celtic Woman, hate B.E.T, and watch CSPAN. For them, it is difficult to fathom the idea that a black person falls outside of what is commonly accepted as "being black." By their estimation, 50 Cent is black, but Carlton Banks is not.

So even when there are TONS of righteous brothas out there who refute those misguided beliefs about "being black," we still have to face the negative social imagary too conveniently assigned and accepted by other folks.

Sorry Star, but A.I.'s right on this one.

I am not Star Jones said...

but just because people can't believe that you don't fit the stereotypes that they have in their minds doesn't mean that you as an individual buy into it.

i still say so what?
so what if Carlton Banks doesn't type black to them ...
that's their flaw that has nothing to do with you.

A.I. may be right but I still I'm on the side that I need to let people be their stupid and keep it moving.

Now Andre...
any thoughts on Rihanna's supposed quandry?

Andre said...

"but just because people can't believe that you don't fit the stereotypes that they have in their minds doesn't mean that you as an individual buy into it.

i still say so what?
so what if Carlton Banks doesn't type black to them ...
that's their flaw that has nothing to do with you.
"

That's fine and dandy...until you find yourself in the unenviable position of trying to gain validation (be it social, professional, political, or otherwise) by proving to the world that you're "one of the good ones."

The world is ready to cast aspersion on the entire black race because of the behaviors subscribed to by a subset of people. In no other group is that more the case.

As far as Rihanna goes, if she hasn't already embraced Ike...I mean, Chris Brown yet, she will. She'll do it most likely to satisfy the phenomenon of women staying committed to their bad boys. If history is any indication, the moment "Beatdown Brown" becomes a 'good guy' (thus losing cred, his manliness, his edge, or whatever other hardcore things women like), he's as good as dumped.

Paradigm said...

I just wrote a 4 paragraph response to this topic and to the discussion on it. I erased it. I erased it because I couldn't deny the impact that I feel, right or wrong, when an African American makes an a** of themselves or if they do something to instill pride.

I erased it because in the last paragraph I was going to quote Farrakhan. Now, don't stop reading, I'm not a fan. I'm not willing to trade white nationalism for black nationalism. But one thing he said stuck w/ me and quite frankly I find myself living by. On "Saints Day? (I think)", I believe, he said this [para] "Racism is dying but African Americans need to let it die a natural death. But the only thing that can kill it, is black excellence."

Now, I don't change who I am to fight racism. I try to live an inspired life. So Id say my focus isn't whether or not I'm helping or hurting the race, even though that may be a bi-product in someones eyes. My goal is excellence. Inner and outer excellence. So I guess I'd say I try to be a light in the darkness instead of cursing it.

Convoluted I know but I'm trying to get out to lunch and this blog always holds me up. LOL, Peace.