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On role models

So often people talk about what terrible role models Rihanna and Nicki Minaj are, and what great role models Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift are. To which I have to say…really?

Taylor Swift writes most of her songs about men she’s dated. She is cunning and saavy, especially when it comes to manipulating the media, but she hides that in order to maintain her sweet, “all-American” image. Selena Gomez is most famous for her relationship with Justin Beiber. 

Rihanna has long maintained that she does not want to be a role model. She is young and living her life, and she owns her mistakes. She is unapologetic about her success. Nicki Minaj, whether on Twitter or in interviews, constantly reminds girls to succeed in school. She has made it clear that she is first and foremost a businesswoman looking after her family. After being betrayed and raped by ex-boyfriends, she has remained single for the past ten years. She started writing rhymes and rapping as a means to cope with her life, and she was eventually discovered when she posted her music on MySpace. Her life story is one of resilience and perseverance despite the odds. 

The problem isn’t that Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez are role models. The problem is that we don’t allow women to be complex. We don’t allow different women with different life stories to be considered role models because we fear that complexity. God forbid they define their lives in terms other than men.

So why can’t she encourage women/young people through her music instead of focusing on pointless vulgar raps that does not exist to empower, ie- her intentions to clearly promote empowerment and education.

Businesswoman playing into whats expected of her and not Defying it all? Still objectified and playing towards an image that only the media/”norm” expects?

Also a female role model, in my eyes, is not someone who gets implants, bleaches or isn’t the original brown skin color she was and sticks to a “barbie” image. Encouragement goes a longg way.

what do you think?

"Black Women Still Battle Mad Men in Corporate America" by Rebecca Carroll

black women in the workforce…I work at a baseball stadium with my friend. One of the guys who’s a manager sometimes for us comes in and has more conversations with her than anything, however I’m sort of shadowed and I have the feeling he thinks I’m dumb-no joke, the vibes from him have not been the best. We are judged so hardcore as black folk and as women… 

"When I was in high school, I had a secretarial job at a fuel company in a small town in New Hampshire. I had the usual duties—answering the phone, taking messages, filing receipts. The company was owned by a local family. One day, one of the sons, a grubby high-school dropout, trudged past me, walked into the bathroom, then came out and ordered me to clean it. When I said that wasn’t in my job description, he replied, his voice low and rotten, “You know, we give you people a chance to work.” Then he turned and mumbled, “But you’re all just lazy niggers.”…

For starters, black women make up only one percent of U.S. corporate officers, according to a 2011 survey conducted by the League of Black Women. This is despite the fact that 75 percent of corporate executives believe that having minorities in senior-level positions enables innovation and better serves a diverse customer base, the same survey found.

We are a different kind of one-percenter. We are the one percent who work hard and put in the overtime without getting promoted. We are the one percent that is the other—the unseen.

In Fortune 500 companies, black women don’t fare much better, holding 1.9 percent of board seats, compared with 12.7 percent for white women, according to a study called Missing Pieces: Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards, conducted by by the Alliance for Board Diversity, a collaboration of five organizations including Catalyst and others.

Indeed, the reality in corporate America, says Erica Kennedy, a black social-media strategist and bestselling author of the novel Bling, is that the challenges for black women come down to business. “If having that person of color is not going to add to that corporation’s bottom line,” she says, “why should the white powers-that-be bother to find or promote execs who are often outside their normal networking circle?”

Despite the oft-perceived magical fix-all of having a black president and an extremely fly black first lady in the White House, succeeding in the white-male-dominated corporate system is still an uphill battle for black women. And even Michelle Obama gets her fair share of jabs—last December, a charming Republican congressman from Wisconsin criticized her for promoting a campaign to fight obesity when “she has a large posterior herself.”

Often black women deal with the notion that they need to look more “white” to appear professionally acceptable. And no wonder: a few years ago, a Glamour magazine editor described natural black hair as a corporate fashion “don’t” at a presentation to women lawyers on what to wear to work. She showed a slide of a black woman with an Afro, saying, “Just say no to the ’fro.” The lawyers thought that was uncool, and an article about the incident popped up in American Lawyer magazine. Glamour apologized, launching a series of panels and accompanying articles on race. The first was titled: “Do You Have Friends of Other Races?” Oof.

People often don’t stop to think about what it’s like to be the only black woman in a sea of pale faces. For example, at a recent Newsweek roundtable discussion with Oscar nominees, actress Charlize Theron interrupted Viola Davis midsentence, as Davis was trying to explain the difficult reality of what it feels like to be unseen in Hollywood.

“I’m a 46-year-old black woman who really doesn’t look like Halle Berry, and Halle Berry is having a hard time,” Davis said.

Theron interjected, “You have to stop saying that, because you’re hot as shit.”

Whoops. She totally missed the point. Daily Beast writer Allison Samuels later wrote, “What difference does it make if Davis stops speaking a truth, if the reality remains?”

While it’s lovely that Theron thinks black women are hot, there are people out there—medically trained doctors, no less—who maintain that black women are, in fact, not hot. Last year, Psychology Today posted an article by Japanese psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa positing that black women are less attractive than other women. The article was swiftly removed from the site after a firestorm of criticism.

Kendall Reid, a black producer for HBO, says that when she started out as a field producer, she often went on the road for sports events, where she fielded an array of racist comments. She cites one incident in which a cameraman randomly thought she would be interested to know that he once saw a black man spitting watermelon seeds. “He said to me, ‘I saw Sugar Ray Leonard one day spitting watermelon seeds all over the place.’” She adds, “I always encountered some crazy racist.” Her colleagues, she says, were so incredulous when they heard the stories back at headquarters, they thought she was making them up.

Former Random House editor and author Carol Taylor recalls being at a swank cocktail party on Central Park West and chatting with a white publishing executive. The two women quickly hit it off, finding they had a lot in common. Taylor recalls, “Things are going along swimmingly as I tell her about a recent trip to Amsterdam and a book I’ve just acquired. She smiles and shakes her head and says, as though she can hardly believe it, ‘You’re so articulate and sophisticated.’ Why on earth would she think I would not be able to have an intelligent conversation? Oh, it’s because I’m black. Comments like that make me feel like the equivalent of a monkey in a suit.”

Sometimes, the problem is just the opposite, says one magazine editor. White women will often tread so carefully when talking to a black woman, it’s as if they assume “I will transform from the person they go on coffee breaks with into the Mad Black Woman who thinks every word out of their mouth is racist,” she says.

I’m a former managing editor at The AOL Huffington Post Media Group. Last year, I was tasked with relaunching an all-black news and opinion section for the site. I had been running GlobalBlack, the joint venture launched by Arianna Huffington and former BET cofounder Sheila Johnson; after The Huffington Post merged with AOL, the decision was made to replace GlobalBlack with a relaunch of a similar AOL web page, called Black Voices.

The goal was to assemble a team of black writers and editors who would write, research, and edit stories about things that interested them as individuals. I was excited about the mission. Others weren’t. Shortly after I’d been hired, I asked a white supervisor how to respond to reader inquiries about GlobalBlack. She said: “Ignore them! No one cares!”

It came to sum up my experience to a large extent. Although we did assemble a great team of black writers and editors, the more I tried to guide the mission forward—proposing thought-provoking stories and headlines that countered stereotypes and truly represented black voices—the more clear it became that this was bad for business. An in-depth multimedia profile of Anita Hill to mark the 20th anniversary of the landmark case was deemed not buzzy enough. A provocative black media figure I suggested as a regular contributor was dismissed as “gross.” My idea of ignoring Black History Month, which many black Americans feel has become nothing more than a diluted and packaged ritual, was deemed unacceptable, given the advertising dollars it generates.

I’m not saying this is racist—a business needs to stay in business. As Erica Kennedy points out, “A corporation exists to make money, not to salve societal ills.” But still.

In the days leading up to the relaunch of Black Voices, an executive decision was made to have white journalists at The Huffington Post write most of the stories featured on the first day. The voices were white. Mine is not.”

Click on the title-it goes to the link, I skipped a good chunk of the article to get to the point.

BLACK HAIR; from Yale news

When white folk see black folk hair…well thing is when my hair’s a giant fluff-they do ask to touch it, and rub all up in it only cause I’m cool with it.

But other folk…not so much. The interesting part that I found in this was the infamous “Don’t you dare touch my hair.” Dammit it’s hair, if one so chooses to touch it then they can, as long as they don’t expect to run their hands through it like it’s silk.

"Carol Crouch ’14 has natural hair.

She wears it in a big Afro.

And people at Yale are constantly commenting on it.

“Wow, it’s crazy,” they say. “It’s like a jungle in there.” They ask if they can pet it, poke it, stick their fingers in it. They ask questions. “Can you comb it?” “Do you wash it?”

“Some questions are kind of silly and lacking in common sense,” Crouch said. “There are some times when people say something, or they ask to touch it, and it makes me feel a little uncomfortable. But it’s just them purely not knowing.”

Crouch says she went to a high school where people were used to her hair. They didn’t see it as unusual. Now, she said, she tries to remember that many people at Yale have never been exposed to hair like hers before. They’ve never had black friends. They’re curious; she answers people’s questions in order to educate them.

But sometimes their comments — comments like “forest hair” — are hard to swallow.

“When they see hair that’s really different, it’s like they forget there’s a person there, too,” she said.

The majority of black women, at Yale and around the United States, “relax” or “perm” their hair, chemically straightening it. But Crouch is one of a handful of black female Yalies who wear their hair “natural,” choosing not to remove the kinks.

Crouch knows that people at Yale recognize her because of her hair — she’s, you know, one of those quadruplets, the one with the big Afro. Her sister, Martina Crouch ’14, gets the same kind of response. She has long, thick braids with strips of yellow, lime green and purple fabric woven in. People regularly come up to her, tell her how “wild” it looks. She says she can’t help but view these comments through the lens of race, reinforcing historical stereotypes of black people as uncivilized or barbaric.

“It’s weird to think that these casual, sort of jokey comments get translated into this bigger picture,” Martina said. “And I think most often people link hair with race.”

Two Decembers ago, Carol, Martina and their two brothers were all accepted to Yale early action, the first set of quadruplets in recorded history to do so. The story was all over the news; a feature and accompanying photo of the four of them appeared on the front page of the The New York Times.

“When we were, like, all over the news and stuff, we all wanted to make sure that we kept our hair, you know, natural, the way we’ve always had it — not press it down or do anything to suppress it or cover it up or hide it,” Martina said. “And a lot of people noticed that.”

In comments on the news stories, people pointed out the Crouches’ hair. Martina and Carol both remembered reading a comment on the New York Times website suggesting that the quadruplets were only accepted to Yale because of their “nappy hair.” (That comment has since been deleted from the website.)

Carol said that comments like those made her think twice about coming to Yale. Perhaps people saw her hair and assumed that she was “just a big affirmative action thing.” She wondered if Yale had accepted her and her siblings because the school “wanted to show off a certain image.” In the end, she said, she decided not to let people’s comments about her hair change her feelings toward Yale.

Still, comments about hair — comments that often have racial undertones — have become a regular part of Martina and Carol Crouch’s life here on campus, especially because they keeps her hair natural. The choice — to relax or “go natural” — is a decision fraught with cultural notions about what it means to be black. Carol says that she thinks about hair a lot more now that she’s in college, and she believes that she is not the only black student to feel this way.

BLACK HAIR 101

Dilan Gomih ’13 gets a lot of questions about her hair, too. She loves them.

“I love explaining my hair care regiment to people,” she said. “It gives me so much joy to bestow the teachings of black hair onto others.”

Like most black women on campus, Gomih regularly applies a “relaxer” — an alkaline cream that strips away the proteins in hair and causes the curl to straighten out, or “relax.” For most black women, it’s a painful process. The white cream is applied to the root of the hair and left to marinate for a few minutes. Then, the itching and burning sensations begin. While the relaxer dissolves parts of the hair shaft, it also starts burning through the skin on the scalp.

The chemical has about the same pH-level as Drano, the stuff you pour down your drain to eat away the gunk in the pipes.

A woman having her hair “relaxed” usually sits with the chemical in her hair until she can’t stand the burn any longer — usually about ten minutes. After the relaxer is washed out, the hair must be conditioned immediately or else it will start to break off just above the root. Soon after, raw spots on the scalp begin to ooze with blood. A couple hours later, scabs form.

Repeat every six to eight weeks.

Gomih first relaxed her hair when she was 14 years old. When the hairdresser started to rinse the creamy chemical out of her hair, patches of hair on the back off her head fell out into the sink.

“It freaked me the hell out,” Gomih recalled. “Luckily, my hair grows pretty fast. But I knew it wasn’t there. It took about a year and a half to get it all even again.”

But that bad experience didn’t deter Gomih from continuing to relax her hair. Now, she keeps it sleek, shiny and straight. She schedules a three-hour chunk of time every week to style her hair, usually after her last class on Thursdays. She keeps a portable hair dryer in her room. She has a specific playlist on her iPod just for when she’s doing her hair. (Lots of Kings of Leon, Fleet Foxes and that new album by Adele.)

When she first arrived at Yale, none of Gomih’s suitemates knew anything about black people’s hair — how it works, how it’s styled and maintained. They asked a lot of questions. They watched her while she stood in front of the bathroom mirror, applying different oils and serums and keratin infusions, setting her hair in curlers, blow-drying, straight-ironing. When they went on trips to the pharmacy together, she would take them through the black hair care aisle. They wanted to see it wet, because they never see it wet — Gomih, like most black woman who straighten their hair, only washes it about once every 10 days.

“At first, they tried to look at me like I was nasty,” Gomih recalled, laughing. “But I had to explain to them that that’s just how black hair works.”

That kind of instruction came with romantic relationships, too. Gomih’s boyfriend is white. He had never dated a black girl before. The first time he tried to run his hands through her hair while they were kissing, she gently pulled his hand away. The second time he did it, “it became more of a slap,” she said.

“Any guy who dates me knows that you don’t touch the hair,” Gomih said. “There’s no ‘Ooh, lemme see it messed up, lemme see it wet.’ I love you, but you don’t touch my hair.”

Gomih is not the only black girl on campus who has found herself giving her suitemates and boyfriends a lesson in Black Hair 101.

For Taylor Vaughn-Lasley ’12, it was concerns about hygiene that prompted the hair questions.

“I definitely had to explain to my suitemates that I don’t wash my hair every day,” Vaughn-Lasley said. “Basically, what I will say to them is that the amount of time that it takes for a white person’s hair to get oily, which is like two days, takes a black person’s hair more like two weeks.”

Vaughn-Lasley has straight dark brown hair that hits below her shoulder in layers. Her suitemates, like Gomih’s, are fascinated by the intricacies of black hair care.

“I wrap my hair every night around my head and hold it with bobby pins, and my suitemates have always just thought that it’s really comical to see me walking around with my hair pasted to my head.”

For most of her life, Vaughn-Lasley wore her hair natural, or in little twists. She began straightening her hair at the end of high school, right before prom. She liked it. She could change her hair whenever she wanted, to whatever she wanted — bone-straight, curly, wavy. She could add extensions and make her hair longer, sleek and flowing.

“When I had a ’fro, I felt like I was the girl with the ’fro. When I had the twists, I was the girl with the twists. And I think I didn’t want that to be the defining factor of who I was to other people,” Vaughn-Lasley said. “So when I started getting my hair straightened, which is seen as a more normal way of presenting one’s hair, I sort of felt like I could craft my own image after that.”

For Vaughn-Lasley, maintaining straight hair is time-consuming and painful — her hands cramp up, and she accidentally burns herself with the straight iron. But it’s worth it to have hair that makes her feel beautiful and confident every time she walks out the door. She does not feel like herself with natural hair.

She recalled a time at the end of her sophomore year, right around finals, when she was too busy writing papers and studying for finals to take the time to straighten her hair. So she washed it and wore the kinky hair up in a sort-of bun. Her confidence took a big hit. Every time she walked out of her door, she said, she felt unattractive.

“That saddened me because I still have the same face, and I still am the same person, and I still do all the same things, so why should wearing my hair up in a curly bun, like, make a difference to anyone or to myself?” Vaughn-Lasley asked.

“I don’t know that it did to anyone,” she said. “I just think it did to myself.”

‘PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE’

Up until her junior year of college, Kayla Vinson ’11 had been relaxing, or “perming,” her hair every couple of months since she was 12 years old. But once she came to Yale, she realized that there had to be another way. She wondered if she could become a part of Yale’s small, but growing, community of women with natural hair.

Vinson feared the long-term effects all that chemical processing on her hair. Relaxers can cause hair-thinning, and sometimes even baldness.

Moreover, she said, she was tired of feeling dependent on straightening treatments in order to feel confident in how she looked. After each perm, she said, “you think your hair looks really nice and pretty. And then maybe five or six weeks later, you need a perm but it’s not time yet.”

“It’s that awkward, ‘I don’t feel pretty, why even put on nice clothes, my hair is not going to look good.’”

Vinson is a sociology and African American studies major, so she uses a lot of seminar-speak and phrases like “gendered racial identity” and “black cultural capital” and “hegemonic forces of power” when she talks about the reasons why she decided to stop straightening her hair.

“There are certain hegemonic forces of power at work,” she says, “that I feel have a negative impact on the black community as a whole, and I think one of the many things that would fall underneath that category would be a kind of psychological warfare, for lack of a better term.”

Wait, what?

Vinson tried to explain it in simpler terms.

“I think that, like, it’s a contradiction to tell someone they’re beautiful just the way God made them, but every six weeks you need to go to the beauty salon and make sure your hair looks like the white person walking down the street,” Vinson said. “I just think it’s a contradiction.”

Vinson also had examples to follow. She says that she saw more women at Yale with natural hair than she ever saw back home in Atlanta. She believes that this is because black women in academia are more likely to understand the connotations of their hair, and the ways that a relaxed hairstyle can be construed as “trying to be white.”

So, she started to consider “going natural.” She agonized for most of her junior year.

The problem was that “relaxed,” chemically straightened hair never returns to its natural state. New, curly hair just grows in at the root. If Vinson wanted to go natural, she would have to start from scratch — cut off all the old, straightened hair, leaving only the new growth from the last time that she had applied a relaxer.

She avoided making a decision by holding off on relaxing her hair, instead keeping it in twists or braids so no one would see the roots growing in. She wondered: How would it look? Would she regret cutting off all her relaxed hair? What would guys think?

Then, one morning at the end of spring semester, she woke up and knew what she wanted. She made an appointment for a haircut the next day. She didn’t tell anyone except her mother about the impending, life-altering decision. She arrived at the salon.

“I want you to cut my hair off,” she declared to the hairdresser.

The woman begged Vinson not too make such a drastic decision.

“Cut my hair off,” she repeated.

Vinson said she had anticipated that she would cry when the hairdresser started to snip off strands of hair. But instead, watching herself in the mirror, she burst into a smile.

“When she started cutting and I saw the first three inches of my hair sitting on my shoulder, I couldn’t have been happier, which is not at all how I expected to feel,” Vinson said. “I kind of wish I could go back to that day, and have that feeling again.”

Vinson says she believes her natural hair is more reflective of who she is inside, of her beliefs in black pride and empowerment. And she feels prettier now, more comfortable in her own skin. She loves her new Afro, likes to touch it and play with it. She likes that she will never have to sit down with a relaxer burning into her scalp again.

“When I look in the mirror now I feel like I’m looking at myself,” Vinson said. “And I didn’t realize until I cut my hair that I didn’t feel that way before.”

But most of all, she says, she likes the idea that she has become a role model for other black women who struggle with having to straighten their hair.

“One of the biggest impetuses for me to really go natural, besides the fact that I should do it for myself, was that I wanted little girls growing up to see someone with natural hair,” Vinson said, “to see that if you wanted to wear your hair the way it grows out of your skin — imagine that! — then that is fine.”

MAKING THE CHOICE

Carol Crouch said that since arriving at Yale, she has appreciated seeing fellow undergraduates such as Vinson walking around campus with natural hair and bold Afros. It makes her feel that her hair is not so strange. But still, she says, she grapples with the way that people perceive her hair and the comments she receives.

One thing she’s noticed, she says, is that while people like to ask questions about her Afro — to touch it and talk about it — she gets the impression that people don’t always think that it looks attractive. She said that when she braids her hair, the compliments that she gets from people are more stereotypically feminine. People call it “pretty,” rather than how they usually describe her hair as “crazy” or “cool.”

“Part of me realizes that not everyone thinks that Afros are pretty,” Crouch said. “Just because they think it’s interesting or sort of cool or fluffy, doesn’t mean that they think it looks pretty.”

When Crouch was younger, she said, she sometimes wondered if guys liked her better without her Afro. She sometimes felt that boys talked to her more when she had braids than when she had her out and natural.

She’s worried her Afro might scare guys away. Perhaps it intimidates them. Or maybe the type of black women who are most often considered beautiful — the Beyonces, Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbells of the world — rarely wear their hair natural.

“A lot of people don’t know what to do with it, because they’re more used to black women with relaxed hair or a weave or braids,” Crouch said. “If you’re a woman of color, I don’t think guys are seeking girls with natural hair, whether they’re a black guy or a white guy.”

But Vinson says she has had the opposite experience since going natural. It’s been less than a year since she started rocking an Afro, and she said that in that time period she’s received more attention from guys of all races than in her other three years of college combined. She wonders if the cause of that new attention is her new hair, or if it’s more about her newly acquired self-confidence.

“I don’t know if it’s my hair or if it’s how I wear my hair, if that makes sense,” Vinson said. “But I think it’s how I wear my hair.”

Still, for black girls with natural hair, an added dimension of concern comes with the prospect of how their hair will be received in the professional sphere.

Vinson recalled an instance, after she went natural, when she went to get a haircut and came back with her hair blow-dried straight. It wasn’t her; she was planning on washing it out the next day. But when she ran into a friend on the street, he complimented her hair, saying that she looked “ready for the business world.”

“I wasn’t offended, but it reminded me why I wanted to go natural in the first place, to break that stereotype,” Vinson said. “I don’t think that he’s racist. But I do think that his attitude in a professional setting could lead to a racist outcome.”

Carol Crouch is currently a freshman, so she has a while before she needs to worry about how her hair will affect her employment prospects. Still, she remembers how she felt before her interview for Yale: she made a point to wear her natural hair. She hopes that three years from now, when she’s looking for a job, she will make that same choice.

“When I interviewed for Yale, I didn’t really think about straightening my hair or taking out my nose ring, because I didn’t want to present a sanitized view of myself,” Crouch said. “If they think I’m unprofessional because I wear my hair natural, then I don’t want to work there.”

Plus, she said, she thinks it’s important for her to continue wearing her hair natural, to change people’s notions of what it means to be a black woman at an Ivy League school.

“If you look at professional black women who have gone to high-ranking institutions, you generally see them with relaxed hair,” Crouch said.

She doesn’t think that natural hair is necessarily better than relaxed hair — both can look beautiful and empowering, she says. But she wants to help create an environment on campus where all kinds of hair are celebrated and embraced.

The thing is, it’s not really about the hair. It’s all about having the freedom to make the choice.”

Thank you Yale that was really dope to read…

The Devaluation of Black Life

"In a blog post for Strong Families inspired by Trayvon Martin’s death, contributor Shanelle Matthews reflects on the ways in which she says society lacks regard for the lives of African Americans.

As the news of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s murder floods the airwaves I sit, familiarly reflective and saddened by the loss of yet another Black life at the hands of a sanctimonious racist. But like many of you, I know that this experience is not an isolated one. Largely, the lives of young Black men have never held great value in this country. From birth to untimely death, they’ve been treated as mules for labor, obvious scapegoats, easy targets and disposable — at no consequence to the disposer. We’ve watched as the media and policy makers have heavily overlooked the outright assassinations of countless Black boys and men with little to no significance placed on the value of their lives or the racial implications of why they were murdered.

It’s enraging when I think of how capriciously Americans shrug their shoulders and turn the other cheek when considering the value of Black life in this country. Institutional and interpersonal racism has left Black America in a very precarious place; just leaving our homes puts us at risk for being assassinated by any self-righteous, gun-yielding neighborhood watchman who deems us suspicious.

This way of thinking is an example of a broader societal philosophy that literally begins at conception of a Black life. Black mothers, often considered hyper-sexual in nature, are frequently treated with little to no dignity by doctors who dismiss their pregnancies as accidental or inconsequential. With a maternal and fetal mortality rate higher than any other race (often caused by stress brought on by racial burdens), Black mothers often experience traumatic birthing experiences that include forced cesareans, trivializing attitudes by medical professionals, and contemptuous care that has led to death or serious injury. If they survive this, Black children are given the least resources, have the least access to healthcare, endure some the most toxic and contaminated environments, and deal with structural and interpersonal racism throughout adolescence and into adulthood, where they risk the chance of being shot to death by people like George Zimmerman.”

THE HARD TRUTH: BLACKS HATE WHITE PEOPLE

This is a really interesting opinion piece; In response to this I’d like to say-no I don’t hate White folk but the amount of ignorance and priveledge that they recieve gets to me…sometimes alot. Sometimes I need a break from that side of the world especially on campus. And it becomes alarmingly annoying when we have conversations and I feel like a whiner when I talk about Black American issues.    

A kid from English class one day was bitching bout how he deserves just as much as what minorities get in terms of assistance-white kid, nice house, nice family, nice car…I wanted to say bitch you have no reason to complain. But that would’ve been an argument to the death-we’re told from birth we have to work twice as hard, as a black female…three times as hard.

"Andrew Breitbart wants to destroy the leftwing mainstream media. Angry White Dude wants to destroy political correctness. I’ve never been much at pretending or lying and I have too much self-respect to fool myself into thinking something is when it is not or is not when it is. That was one of the reasons this blog was started.

Rassmussen released a poll today titled Voters Are Much Less Optimistic About Black-White Relations. The report states that just 36% of voters now say relations between blacks and whites are getting better, down from 62% last year. Here’s the kicker, thirty-nine percent (39%) of whites think black-white race relations are getting better, but just 13% of blacks agree. While that will surprise a lot of liberals, it really is no surprise at all.

While it will chill the blood of liberals, AWD will break it down for you: Black people hate white people. Certainly, there are some who have broken the hate for whites that nearly every black person learns from an early age. But nearly every black person in America has an ingrained hatred for white people. Black people can be civil towards whites in work and at play but never let yourself believe your black acquaintances don’t really hate your white guts deep down.

How do I know this? Simple! I have made the same comment to black acquaintances of mine and they were honest enough to answer that I was correct. Just yesterday, I had a conversation with two professional black men I like very much and consider to be friends…not extremely close friends…but friends nonetheless. Our conversation began on politics but quickly jumped to race relations in the United States. Both are staunch Democrats and view the tea party movement (which they know I am a part of) as a racist group. Both support Obama and big government even though, as I explained, the government takes money from their pockets as producers and gives it to moochers. I mentioned that I believe white people embrace the dream of a race-neutral society of Martin Luther King more than blacks. Most white people do not understand why in the year 2010 there is a NAACP, BET, Miss Black Universe, etc. I believe most white people try to judge others on their actions. Both black friends believed that another white friend present and I were beneficiaries of white privilege. My friend explained that he was not granted school loans because he was white when he came from a very poor single-parent home. After he graduated, he took a state police exam where the highest 300 scores were accepted. 1100 took the test. My white friend’s score was 179. He was in. Right? Wrong! After the state applied the race curve that improved the scores of lower scoring minorities, my friend’s rank was in the 800s. No job with the state police. What did he do wrong? He was white. I mentioned to my black friends that I cannot do business with local city and counties because they prefer and accept bids from minority contractors, even though they cannot compete on a service or price basis with the company where I am employed. So much for white privilege! My black friends said there were many years where blacks were treated unfairly by Jim Crow laws and it was payback for those times. My white friend asked how long he and his son and future white generations would have to pay for things done before he was born? Very few blacks who suffered under Jim Crow laws are even alive today and certainly the young black thugs who commit such a great number of crimes today was ever a slave or forced to drink out of a separate water fountain.

We then discussed the actions of young blacks today and if black Americans were better off today than they were in the sixties before the Great Society reparations began? I said I believe you cannot give someone something for nothing and expect any good to come from it. Generations of blacks have now been told they are victims, whites are evil and blacks are entitled to free money, housing and everything else when very few blacks alive today have ever faced systematic discrimination. If they have faced discrimination it is because responsible blacks are grouped with the great many blacks in America that cause such tremendous crime and problems. I also added that if I was held responsible for actions I did not commit by members of my race long ago, shouldn’t it be fair for my two black friends to be held responsible for the black thugs and criminals? It’s simple logic but not so easy under the laws of political correctness.

50 years of welfare, social programs and excuses has had a tremendously negative effect on the black race in America. Blacks under perform nearly across the board when compared with other races. Why? Political correctness, liberal politics, ignorance and hate. It is easier for blacks, as a whole, to blame their station in society on white people for slavery than it is to blame themselves for making bad life decisions. Most people who are not black are taught actions have consequences. Young blacks are taught they can do or say whatever and they will be excused. This is why we are seeing a growing number of brazen attacks by groups of young blacks on whites these days. These young black thugs believe there will be no consequences. But there are consequences, even in the ridiculous world of political correctness. That is why such a large percentage of prisoners are black. Political correctness tells us it’s because of racist judges, police and laws…but the realistic know it is simply because so many blacks commit crimes.

Look at how so many young blacks look and act today. Wearing pants below their asses, tattoos, speaking filthy language or ebonics, loud, immoral, violent, sullen…..it that what Martin Luther King dreamed?

So it’s no surprise for me to read of Obama saying the police in Boston “acted stupidly” when they did not in arresting a belligerent, trash-talking black Harvard professor, or Eric Holder for not prosecuting hate crimes or discrimination when blacks are the perpetrators. A quick glance on Drudge Report today tells of a black judge who rejected a plea agreement for a white youth because it, in his words, “a ridiculous plea that only goes to white boys.” And you better believe a black community organizer who studied at the feet of the racist Reverend Wright for twenty years hates whitey too. It’s what blacks are taught. It is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to acknowledge. Certainly not PC liberals!

I don’t know if blacks can ever escape the ghetto mentality of white hatred that is so ingrained in their community. But I know this….blacks are the only ones who can help blacks. I am not responsible for slavery any more than my honorable black friends are responsible for Beat Whitey Night at the Iowa state fair. I cannot save blacks nor can my tax dollars. Hatred, violence, ignorance and laziness is the hallmark of the American black race in general. Many have escaped the chains of ghetto culture to enjoy the benefits of hard work, sacrifice, achievement and wealth. But far too many are chained to poverty and ignorance by the slave master….and they don’t even realize the slave master is black!

I’m glad so many white people are starting to let their voices be heard concerning racial issues. Political correctness has for too long forced us to sit back like whipped dogs and not comment or complain about what we see going on around us lest we be racist. Why must we walk on eggshells to not offend the perpetually offended when their actions are offensive!?! Nuts to that! Say it loud, I’m not politically correct and proud!”

Opinion: Racial inequality is a shared burden for whites as well as blacks

"–I was born into a country with immense opportunity and a deep history of racism.

Jennifer Gratz, the plaintiff in Michigan’s “reverse discrimination” case, and other opponents of affirmative action inherited this conflicted state of affairs as well. Yet, they want the great weight of America’s racial legacy to fall only on the shoulders of people of color. This inheritance belongs to all of us.

In the fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas. Then, the Court may deem affirmative action in higher education as unconstitutional, thus locking generations of people of color into an inherited inequality. In its present eviscerated state, affirmative action may be a mere bandage on the festering wound of American racism. It is neither a panacea nor a cure-all. However, for now, it is quite necessary.

Challengers of affirmative action focus on the last thirty years of alleged inequality. Unfortunately, for all of us, the seeds of racial injustice were planted centuries ago. Africans were part of the Jamestown Colony before the landing of the Mayflower. Anthony and Mary Johnson, a married African couple, with servants and land, resided in that Virginia colony in the 1600s. Before the century ended, laws were enacted to take their land and create chattel slavery. This is American history. For nearly 300 years, legal inequality subjugated people of color who lived, loved, hoped, and died praying for justice.

When slavery ended due to the efforts of Black and White abolitionists, the 14th Amendment was ratified. The 14th Amendment gave citizenship and equal protection to African-Americans whom the U.S. Supreme Court had previously designated under the Dred Scott decision as non-persons, outside the protection of American laws. The backlash was immediate. African-Americans became the object of terrorism unprecedented in American history. This malevolence by law and tradition would continue for 100 years, assuring every inch of progress would be hard fought and uncertain. Despite Black Codes designed to re-enslave African-Americans and Jim Crow segregation, the quest for equality under law remained the battle cry of people of color.

For one shining moment, equality under law appeared to be more than an American dream. Decades of protest, during which lives and livelihoods were lost, resulted in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat from Texas. Johnson, who knew well the depths of racism in America, signed Executive Order 11246, creating a policy referred to as “affirmative action,” in September of 1965. However, it was a Republican, Richard Nixon, from California, who in 1969, began the Philadelphia Plan, an affirmative action initiative in employment.

Less than fifteen years after the Civil Rights Act, while I was being bused to desegregate a recalcitrant public school district, attacks on affirmative action began. In 1978, Allan Bakke, a White medical school applicant, brought the first “reverse discrimination” case successfully challenging the affirmative action program at the University of California-Davis. Ironically, the 14th Amendment was used to defend his rights and narrow affirmative action for people of color. Affirmative action was considered an unconstitutional impediment to White competition for college admissions and jobs. Yet discrimination against people of color had never ended. Their ability to compete remained impeded.

Even today, millions of dollars in a legal settlement by Bank of America for discrimination in lending, disparate treatment in criminal justice, a federal judge’s racist email, evidence the deep-seeded nature of racial prejudice. Certain opponents of affirmative action predict a violent backlash by whites if President Obama does not end all affirmative action policies. Preventing violence by whites was the rationale behind “separate but equal” doctrine. Once again, America’s racial past haunts our present. Racism was never torn up root and branch as directed by the Court in Brown v. Board of Education.

I’ve been an advocate for justice as well as a target of racial injustice. I understand the quandary of affirmative action. But, to blindly dismantle affirmative action would further perpetuate inequality.

America, like other nations, has a flaw in its societal fabric. In other countries, it may be religion, class, caste, color – here it is race. It is an American plight.

Ending affirmative action after only thirty years ignores the vestiges of the last 300 years. As Justice Sandra Day O’Connor explained in Adarand v. Pena, the “unhappy persistence of both the practice and the lingering effects of racial discrimination against minority groups in this country is an unfortunate reality, and government is not disqualified from acting in response to it.” “

interesting…

Christianity in the African American Community-

I believe that it has been imposed upon us since the beginning of slavery. For if we hadn’t been a part of slavery and white men hadn’t come into Africa, we would still be following the Yoruba Religion or whatever we’d been apart of. Otherwise, stripping us from our language, culture and religion was a way to brainwash us…why has this not clicked in anyones mind? Today we are the most radical followers of Christianity…especially in the media with the typical characters (especially in a Tyler Perry movie) saying “Praise god, thank ya jesus, hallelujah!” Anyone, anyone?

"When you hear the name "Jesus" what images and thoughts come to mind?

Devotion to Jesus has been a large part of the African-American experience. The black church has been and continues to be a powerful force in the African-American community. But many are questioning the propriety of African Americans following Jesus. Should we, as black people, follow this Jesus?

Some suggest that Jesus was a foreign deity forced upon our forefathers and mothers…” (which I firmly believe is true…) “Others suggest that worshiping Jesus has been nothing more than a psychological narcotic to deaden the pain of our oppressed existence. Still others contend that our forefathers’ worship of Jesus was merely a mask for the expression of more ancient religious practices, a cover for the practice of “traditional” African religions…Part of the rationalization of the slave trade was to “civilize” and “Christianize” the Africans. Missionary efforts among the slaves were allowed because owners assumed that Christianity would make slaves better workers…”

The article I got this from supports the exact opposite of my argument however mentions key facts like that. http://www.everystudent.com/features/truth.html

However I do believe that A) Egyptians, Africans etc have an older religion, Christianity is very new, B) it stole from many Pagan rituals, C) I consider it to be cannibalistic “drink the blood of christ and eat the body of christ”?, D) it’s a great way to control and brainwash the Black community…

I’d much rather hop on the Nation of Islam, though they are extremely radical and I believe resemble certain Pan-Africanist ideals…it’s not brainwashing. Islam is from a different part of the world that has nothing to do with our corrupted history AND existed in Africa. You wanna get in touch with some roots…see what Islam is all about. Doesn’t that make more sense? Or at least Imani faith.

self proclamation…

As a young person of color I feel the need to constantly educate myself and re-educate myself.

Read plays by Ishmael Reed even though I may not be a big fan of him, Douglas’ essays because he was a huge advocate of black literacy when slavery was over…Take Zora Neale Hurstons stories and read them over and over again and figure out why a little girl was obsessed with blue eyes. I want to dissect our culture and rediscover it for the sake of my own history, identity and culture…

How many others of us think this way? Or are we stuck in the contemporary means of Now. Today. Today this song came on and I must listen to it know the lyrics, dress like her, buy stolen weave that white men profit from and do myself up for the sake of media influenced images.

BlackIndianJamaicanCherokeeGerman-I think I know some of my roots, but in truth I don’t know as much as I need to know. I don’t know slavery, I don’t know severe opression to the point of lynching, I don’t know the uncomfortableness of homosexuality in a strongly religious based culture that we are apart of, I don’t know my greagreatgreat grandfather’s religion (was it Yoruba?), I don’t know my past self.

Do you? Or do you even care to know.

Reeducate yourself?

to stop the use of the word “nigger” is that really possible?

Just had an argument with some friends about the use of the word “nigger,” she believes that the use of that word can stop…”it just begins with one person” except that people HAVE been trying, popular people, people in the media-and it hasn’t.

But you can’t get rid of words, they’re in our books, our language, our minds, our mouths our life. Can you really stop the use of this word…is it even possible?  

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