Home Empowerment Double Standards in Media: Psych Today, Joakim Noah, and blacktags

Double Standards in Media: Psych Today, Joakim Noah, and blacktags

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SMH This the ish I'm talkin bout!!

Over the past few weeks, the Internet has been bombarded with articles for so-called experts which hold African Americans in a negative light. First we had the unfathomable article from Psyche Today which claimed that African American women are less attractive than other races. Then we had the Slate article which coined the cringe worthy phrase “blacktags” referring to hashtags in which “black people create and participate the most.  Finally, the one that pissed me off the most was the “feel good” article in the NEW YORK TIMES, which spoke of Black Twitter(!!!) and their affinity for this subset of Twitter culture. Now, I don’t usually get on soapboxes about social/political views, but I was compelled to, after reading this nonsense and seeing it regurgitated all over the Internet. While these articles insulted, gave back handed compliments, and characterized blacks, it actually proved useful to me. You see, it opened my eyes and reaffirmed a few things I realized about Blacks in America and the culture in general.

Race will always be used to tell & sell stories

That “scientific” study by the dude who’s name ironically looks like “Kwanzaa”, was the biggest reach I’ve seen scientifically since they said the Earth was flat. This, along with the blacktags articles, show me that in America, race is still the biggest seller. You can create an immediate buzz and get thousands of blog page hits if you piss off a group of people. Facts don’t matter. Just trump up a series of absurd claims, bolstered with “research and opinion polls” and Voilà! You have a winner! This won’t go away anytime soon, and I have to commend the authors for going with a sure thing (media buzz), even if their content is pure drivel. What’s worse is some people will buy into these claims… people of ALL races. I mean, check out some of these quotes:

Twitter 2011 is in fact a wiki-wit machine that specializes in black one-liners in the spirit of Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Wanda Sykes.

and this:

Over the cycle of a blacktag, too, the voice of users might also swerve from comedy to spirituality, in the style of comedians like Tyler Perry and Steve Harvey. Sure enough, last week, “I wanna slap” led to “I #iWannaSlap everyone that doesn’t LOVE God.”

I don’t think you need to be black to see the underlying racism in these quotes. Using African American comedians to identify our culture with Twitter use…sheesh!

Black People have contributed to this issue

Now, before you jump down my throat, you have to understand that we, as a people, have some blame in the way media portrays African Americans. The blame I place is on the use (or lack of use) of the true power that we wield. I respect the power of the Jewish community. You say ONE THING about Jewish people sideways, and you will be scrambling for an apology within minutes! Why isn’t it the same with us? I don’t criticize people’s twitter use (much), but I believe in balance. Yes black folk have a lot of funny twitter hashtags, and social media entertainment, but I think we need equal amounts of substantial content. I find striking similarities between the power we contain with our dollars and the power we contain on Twitter. The same way that we can use our money better in our communities, and when attacks are made against us, we can use Twitter more effectively as a people more often. I mean, people are setting off revolutions in their countries on Twitter. We can make a difference too, and it would be nice to see that every once in a while too.

Then you have the even greater issue that when we do use social media in a positive manner, it’s almost NEVER accentuated. You all know controversy creates cash, but African Americans deal with the perception of “guilty until proven innocent” daily. We fight a constant uphill battle to change preconceived notions of the volatile racial overtones of Americas past, and the latent racism of the 21st century. It’s almost as if African Americans have to go above and beyond to prove that we’re more than coonin, jokin, and ghetto individuals. I hate it as much as the next man, but it’s the name of the game in 2011 in this country.

We also contribute when we indirectly demean ourselves. I’ve constantly stated how much I hate the term Black Twitter. I hate it because we are the only group that would segment our usage of a social media site

There is a huge double standard with race and media

Just take a look on the news. At least in my city, it seems like any crimes or negativity has a common theme: black people. Think about the general respect given to other races as opposed to us when reported in the media. I find it hilarious, that Kobe and Joakim Noah can get thousands of dollars in fines for saying a homophobic slur (the “other” f-word), yet the n-word is being hurled like fastballs consistently. As someone who adores basketball, grew up on the sport, and has talked more trash than a little bit, I don’t have an issue with it, but it’s interesting that certain language  associated with one group of people is tolerated, while language associated with another group is ridiculed.

Media can promote any and all Real Housewives shows and Bad Girls Club’s, but where was the noise for Oscar Grant? Why is it that all of a sudden, they have black women made to look as if they’re in crisis mode? You let them tell it, they can’t get a man, are unattractive, rude, sassy, and will roll their necks and tell you off if you cross them! OK the last one MIGHT be true sometimes but still, that’s effed up! We have an asinine study done on us daily, yet other races seem exempt. Let’s not even talk about Hollywood!

I appreciated these articles in retrospect, because it forced me to use my mind, look at the world from outside the box, and truly comprehend the effects that media has on race in this country. It made me re-evaluate myself, and whether I was contributing to the problem or to the solution. It made me yearn for my people to grasp the concept of power. To utilize our monetary and social prominence to create real change. To stop resting on our laurels and make a difference. I also want African Americans to be cognizant of how we’re perceived by the outside world. Yes, I enjoy a good #Hoefood trending topic as much as the next person, but when the ignorance outweighs the intelligence, it’s a problem. When we are easy to clown ourselves, we give others the carte blanch to do the same, then they wonder why we are mad because “if Black Peoples say this about themselves, why can’t I?”. Now, I would quit Twitter and Facebook if it became a den for tightassess and 24/7 serious conversations, I like to be entertained by social media. I just want us to see these attacks and ignorance in the media and preemtively triage foolishness like in the cited articles.

Let’s continue to be active in controlling perception, and let’s be mindful of how we’re perceived.

 

 

 

P.S. – You can check my twitter rant on the issue HERE. Start from the first tweet from May 23, and scroll up. It was the catalyst for this post, and kind of sums up my main idea.

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Comment(104)

  1. "It’s almost as if African Americans have to go above and beyond to prove that we’re more than coonin, jokin, and ghetto individuals."

    ^^THIS^^

    Although I owe this world nothing, subconsciously I feel the need to do just this

      1. its natural for anyone to be concerned with public perception, and for the most part the public perception for a 22 year old black man is f***ed. And so i feel i have to do my part to change that

        1. As young black men it's our birth duty to change perceptions. It's effd up, but it makes me love being A.A. in this country more, because I overcome obstacles daily and pressure makes Diamonds!

        2. <blockquote cite="comment-313542">

          Streetz: As young black men it’s our birth duty to change perceptions. It’s effd up, but it makes me love being A.A. in this country more, because I overcome obstacles daily and pressure makes Diamonds!

          "As young black men it’s our birth duty to change perceptions"

          I like this train of thought but we know not everyone feels or thinks this way, WE as black people are too busy on that SMS grind "Saving MySelf"

  2. This is a dope post. Made me really contemplate a whole lot of things. You speak the truth Streetz. I'ma post this to my Twitter right now! This was my favorite piece:

    "It made me re-evaluate myself, and whether I was contributing to the problem or to the solution. It made me yearn for my people to grasp the concept of power. To utilize our monetary and social prominence to create real change. To stop resting on our laurels and make a difference. I also want African Americans to be cognizant of how we’re perceived by the outside world."

    oh and side bar: I was sure I was the only one who realized that Satoshi Kanazawa looked eerily similar to Kwanzaa. Funny.

  3. I'll have to mull over this some more….

    But, pertaining to Blacks' Twitter usage, I really don't understand the media's focus on this. As you said, why is it an issue how Blacks use Twitter and no other race? Even if we account for 25% of users. Are there no studies on the other 75%? Does no one care? Further, why are there no studies on all the websites were Blacks are 0% of users, etc? I honestly haven't seen ANY study on any other race's use of Twitter besides Blacks. (There have been studies but they aren't race based, they're Twitter usage in general. If I'm wrong, I'll be happy to read a link to a NEWS story. Your favorite blogger's opinion doesn't count).

    I don't know. Generally speaking, the frustrating thing about having half a brain in America is how the media loves to talk about race out the left side of it's mouth then will turn around and say race is no longer an issue out the right side.

    At this point though, the media talks to everyone like we're all dumb. Worst of all, most "news" organizations are becoming nothing more than well organized entertainment/blog websites with poorly or un-vetted information. This is evidenced by the very examples you provided above. It's even funnier when they CYA by posting them in the 'opinion' sections, so they can have that infamous all inclusive disclaimer: "the views represented by our authors/affiliates are not necessarily the views of our organization."

    1. <blockquote cite="comment-313502">

      WisdomIsMisery:

      Generally speaking, the frustrating thing about having half a brain in America is how the media loves to talk about race out the left side of it’s mouth then will turn around and say race is no longer an issue out the right side.

      Similarly, and I know this is going to be a wildly unpopular opinion, but here I go with the remix antyway: the frustrating thing about having half a brain in America is how the the Black Community loves to talk about race and self segregate out the left side of it’s mouth then will turn around and call racism if anyone else so much as makes note of it out the right side.

      As Streetz pointed out, the term #BlackTwitter was not handed out by white folks. I'd venture to say that white folks aren't really the ones reading all the "Death of the Black Family" posts. When I saw the Dateline special about the dismal outlook of dating for the Black woman, I gotta tell you, I sorta just skipped right over the "Black" label and just related as a single woman. Call it ignorance, call it white privilege, call it feminism, or just accept that I can effin relate on that level, but as a white woman, race just really doesn't effect me to the level that it does a racial minority, unless I'm amongst minorities. That's when I hear the most blatantly racist ish. And no, this isn't a continuation of that article saying that white folks are actually more effected by racism today *major sideye to that concept*, but being used to life without the race factor, and then being immersed in a world where it's seemingly all about race…well it'll lead to some defensiveness, divisiveness, and fear.

      I gotta tell you, in my experience, no one talks more about race than the Black community. And that is with good reason, I can conceptualize that race is a huge factor in daily life when you're not of the majority race. It makes sense that women's issues would be discussed more among women and parenting concerns would be discussed more among parents, etc. But when a man chimes in or a childless person chimes in, it can't always be dismissed as hate if the goal is to ever work together harmoniously.

      I've been commenting on this site for a long time, been reading about twice as long, and I'm still scared as hell that by giving my commentary one of these days (like today) I'll cross that invisible line and be ostracized and branded an ignorant white girl masturbating to minority culture…I'm sure I already have been in some circles, matter of fact I know I have been. But if we ever intend on improving race relations, sh!t, interpersonal relations between single individuals, we've got to be able to hear opinions from all sides without scapegoating race as the primary factor in developing said opinion.

      I think there's absolutely a double standard. And Streetz is right, we gotta look into self if we ever wanna change things. But that may mean that we can't play up racial stereotypes for jokes so much, or at least we can't get mad when someone that doesn't look like us or believe like us does the same thing. The standard is double, as in two sides…two standards.

      Said in love.

      Now I lay me down to sleep…I pray the Lord my esoul to keep.

      1. <blockquote cite="comment-313508">

        Starita34: Similarly, and I know this is going to be a wildly unpopular opinion, but here I go with the remix antyway: the frustrating thing about having half a brain in America is how the the Black Community loves to talk about race and self segregate out the left side of it’s mouth then will turn around and call racism if anyone else so much as makes note of it out the right side.

        1. <blockquote cite="comment-313508">

          Starita34: Similarly, and I know this is going to be a wildly unpopular opinion, but here I go with the remix antyway: the frustrating thing about having half a brain in America is how the the Black Community loves to talk about race and self segregate out the left side of it’s mouth then will turn around and call racism if anyone else so much as makes note of it out the right side.

          Star, this is the typical sort of victim blaming and blame shifting that occurs when the oppression of minority cultures becomes ingrained into the social fabric of a society. The first thing you need to understand is that Black Americans do not "self-segregate." That's a misnomer. Black people and white people have been living together in this country for nearly 500 years. For about 450 of those years segregation and oppression was legal. We never segregated ourselves, the social segregation you see today is a direct result of the majorities oppression of the minority. To call it anything else is factually incorrect. And segregation didn't end because the oppressors wanted it to end, it ended because the oppressed decided we didn't want to live that way anymore. If we didn't say anything, the majority wasn't going to.

          What you're calling "self-segregating" I call talking amongst ourselves. The problem is, for some reason, whenever black folks try to talk amongst ourselves the whole world seems to eavesdrop. And it's really, really annoying. That's my main issue. You're whole point seems to be that black folks are exacerbating the weird fetish American media has with the analyzing of black culture. You think that by making everything about race and by shunning the opinions of the 'good white folk' who don't think about race, we bring all of this on ourselves. I hear you to a certain extent, but that's not the point. The point is … eavesdropping is rude! Mind your business and let us rock. Or, at the very least, don't eavesdrop and then get offended when you hear us talking about you or when you hear something you don't like. (I don't mean you in particular Star, but I mean, American Media, Angry White folks etc.)

          All this stuff about #BlackTwitter and about the plight of black women, and about black male perceptions of black women – all these trends and topics we see hitting mainstream media had their birth in conversations black folks were having with other black folks when we assumed no one else was listening or watching. Obviously, we understand it's the internet, we understand that these sites don't have racial passwords you have to use to view their contents, but at the same time we still treat these conversations as extensions of the private conversations we have with each other in real life. So there's a certain freedom in how we express ourselves and very little censorship. And you know what, we're not the only minority culture that does this on the internet. But, for whatever reason our proverbial "sh*t" always seems to hit the fan. Now it seems that even on the internet, even on social networking sites like twitter and facebook, just as it was when we had to have secret meetings in slave quarters during slavery or in the church during the civil rights movement, we have to find a way to meet in secret to be ourselves on the internet because on the public internet we have to watch what we say because the white folks are watching and formulating opinions.

        2. Sorry, tornados have had me in the basement all day :-/

          I don't intend to tell others how they should feel or discredit other opinions in my comments. Simply sharing my unique perspective, as Streetz did.

          Most: I do believe that people of all classes and cultures self segregate for the sake of comfort and the familiar. We obviously differ in that opinion.

          Saying that the Black community doesn't self segregate and then turning around and saying that "others" wanna "eavesdrop" into "our conversations" doesn't really jive to me. Especially if you're talking about social mediums like Twitter. Are whites/Hispanics/others really not supposed to notice what people that are Black are saying?

          What you call a "weird fetish", I call people gravitating to greatness/comedy/trailblazers/intellects/beauty/common interests. Do some people use all that against minorities? Yes, they do. Do some people look at what is meant as a joke (like an intentional misspelling of a word or the billionth fried chicken joke) as further proof of their perverse ideas about African Americans? Yep. I'm in no way stating that we are post racial and there is no racism and that the Black Community is the cause of all of their issues. I'm simply not absolving them of all responsibility either.

          In my opinion, this is a very dangerous concept reminiscent of the 50/60's, "Mind your business and let us rock. Or, at the very least, don’t eavesdrop and then get offended when you hear us talking about you or when you hear something you don’t like." Call me Pollyanna but until a convo is made about race specifically, I sorta feel like convo on a public arena is fair game. And even in race talks, I feel like everyone should be able to feel safe in sharing their perspective. Isn't that how we learn? And those that aren't there to learn, but rather to spread hate, wouldn't you rather they speak up so that you can deal with them (in whatever way you deem necessary)?

          "All this stuff about #BlackTwitter and about the plight of black women, and about black male perceptions of black women – all these trends and topics we see hitting mainstream media had their birth in conversations black folks were having with other black folks when we assumed no one else was listening or watching." I read this and see progress, the Black community has a voice nationwide! "Black" issues are now American issues. When it's always skewed toward the negative that's a problem, and these types of posts can begin to deal with that. But the Black community SHUT DOWN that Pysch Today site *snaps fingers* like THAT. That's power!

        3. Real talk,

          If tornadoes have you in the basement and you're checking SBM and replying to comments, something is up. My prayers go out to the Great Plains, but if there's ever a time to focus more on what's going on in front of you and get off the internet, today would be that day.

          Peace be with you and your family.

        4. I wasn't on the internet while I was in the basement…the storms have passed. All is well, but thank you for your well wishes.

          Also, this conversation is important to me.

      2. Waddup Star,

        I think Most and Wim summed up my thought process perfectly (as I knew they would), but I wanted to respond to you in my own words too.

        Thank you for always giving your perspective on an issue. We appreciate any and all comments from anyone regardless of race, sex, or creed.

        The one issue I have with what you said, is the whole double standard of us talking race issues but being mad when others do it. Everyone gets mad at that though!

        I have no problem when white comedians juxtapose our race. We do it to ourselves and it's comedy. Family Guy is a perfect example of how "anyone can get it in comedy"

        What you have to understand is, as the majority, race will NEVER affect you in a negative way in America. Yes I said NEVER! I will never know what it's like to walk into an establishment and not think that I'll be ridiculed because of how I look, or treated differently. Yes, you can flipside and say that if you walk into an all black establishment the same can happen, but you know what? You can avoid it because you really don't HAVE to deal with us. As the majority, there will be times when we will have to work for, deal with, and interact with whites. It's the nature of the beast.

        You also have to look at the fact that since those slavery years, it has been woven and engrained in thsi country that White is Right and Black is Whack. African Americans are taboo. We arre sub class. Shyt we were 3/5 of a MAN in 1776! We have lineages that cannot be traced. So yes, we are sensitive about race because we have to fight an uphill battle from birth!

        These engrained double standards don't help, and we do talk about race constantly, because we believe in the village raising the child. maybe young blacks don't know about perception and reality. We need to educate one another and know whats going on so we as African Americans, and even black immigrants ca know the rules of engagement and work towards breaking down the Great Wall of Racism in America.

        Hope that provides a better perspective as to why we talk about it a lot

        1. Thanks for the thoughtful reply Streetz.

          I do disagree though, that my race never negatively impacts me, but the scale at which it impacts me and the scale at which is impacts a minority are grossly different, so I'll let that go. You make a great point that I could live my life without interacting with minorities. That's a fact.

          I do believe that Black is Wack is fading…is that naivete? Is that America fetishizing? I'm not sure, but seems to me that the Black dollar is rising every day…then again, that's just my perspective.

          I understand why race is a huge issue in America, I do. What I don't understand is why it can't be just important to America, without it being about specific races. You being a proud Black man, shouldn't take anything away from me being a strong white woman…it's not an either or proposition. But I've been called Pollyanna before…

          Thanks again for your response and kind handling of this very sensitive subject.

      3. <blockquote cite="comment-313508">

        Starita34: is how the the Black Community loves to talk about race and self segregate out the left side of it’s mouth then will turn around and call racism if anyone else so much as makes note of it out the right side.

        Starita,

        I really appreciated your comment, because it seems like it came from a sincere place. I guess I kind of understand how you came to the conclusions that you did, particularly if your social group is primarily composed of black people and especially if you ARE coming from a sincere place and just don't understand.

        I grew up in a predominately white city and went to predominately white schools. We definitely had white folks who were outright racist… but then there were also the white people who we were really cool with. Since we were cool with them, sometimes they were privy to conversations that we black folks would have amongst eachother, and they never understood why we were allowed to say certain things that they would get a side eye or cussed out for saying. I've heard alot of the exact same things that you said from some of my white friends when I was growing up, so I definitely don't take offense to anything you said because I know you're just be honest about your perspective. Even after YEARS of having discussions about this subject, I'm still not sure that my white friends will EVER fully understand.

        I think Most and WIM both gave very insightful and honest responses to your comment and I agree with both of them. They both pretty much said everything that I was thinking.

        I hope nobody takes too much offense to your comment, because like I said, it seems like you are coming from a sincere place.

        This is a good discussion today. Great post, Streetz 🙂

        1. Thank you Socialite. I didn't sleep easy, trust, lol.

          I still have much that I don't understand, much that I never will, never could. A turning point came for me though right outta college when I moved to Texas with some friends. We were obviously very close and we were having a discussion one day and race came up as per usual, and I got frustrated and asked "why does it always have to come back to race?" and my loving friend told me clearly, and for whatever reason it rang so true that I've never forgotten it – simply, "Because it is always about race." Typing it looks so ridiculous because of it's extreme simplicity, but it really registered to me that day that, for her everything that she's done in life had had a racial component to it. Whether it was bucking stereotypes, embracing stereotypes, a perception of inequality, or downright racism. And that's a completely foreign concept to me. I am white, but it's nowhere on the list of descriptors that I would use to describe who I am. Whereas many of my minority friends use their race as one of their top descriptors. I didn't realize any of that until that day. I was like 22. O_O

          Ignorance gets a bad rap as something negative, but sometimes people just don't know. Which is why I think "our" community and "their" community is such a bad idea.

          So thank you for continually having these seemingly rudimentary conversations with your friends and accepting my comments in the light that they were intended.

        2. <blockquote cite="comment-313573">

          Starita34: Ignorance gets a bad rap as something negative, but sometimes people just don’t know.

          Lol… I learned this lesson growing up, so I completely agree with this statement. Sometimes people really just don't know…

          Of course… its always the racists a**holes who are make it difficult for the people who ARE really trying learn to get any kind of positive feedback when they are asking sincere questions…lol.

      4. I totally forgot to address this, thanks for the reminder…

        Star, I heart you for being so brave in a room full of negroes… If you would threw a N-word here & a "you people" there, glittered with a few "Junglemonkies", I would give a ring over Max… You deliver next time tho…

        BTW, you wasn't part of the slave trade & the discrimination that negroes face, so I am slow to direct my anger towards you or any other white person who inherited the present day current situation…

        Just like you mention here, I don't want to think about a cracker until negroes handle their own issues… Now a days, white people don't have ro be racist… We do it to ourselves…

        I want black people to so well, as a collective so white people can start being super saiyan racist again…

        Then we can talk about how the man is holding us down…

        Star, your comments are always welcome, esp. When race is being discussed …

        Enjoy

    2. That 25% accounts for a large number of trending topics. These topics usually validate certain pre-conceived notions about black folks.

      Now do you see why it such a big deal?

      1. i think the issue with twitter is that when you log on and see ignorance, theres almost no excuse for it…no longer can you say its the media making us in that light, because we're controlling the content. Its a harsh reality but for the most part theres alot of ignorance in black america and social media is just giving the world a peek into the window.

        1. <blockquote cite="comment-313521">

          Trizz:

          i think the issue with twitter is that when you log on and see ignorance, theres almost no excuse for it…no longer can you say its the media making us in that light, because we’re controlling the content.

          I think we're all underestimating the amount of white folks who are on the internet pretending to be black, or, at least participating in these sorts of trending topics. You'd be surprised. Anybody who's spent a significant amount of time on Hip-Hop blogs knows what I'm talking about. It's not just us, it's also those who have weird infatuations with our culture. That's how these crazy trending topics reach the top 10. The numbers just don't add up otherwise.

      2. <blockquote cite="comment-313518">

        Lucious:

        That 25% accounts for a large number of trending topics. These topics usually validate certain preconceived notions about black folks.

        Now do you see why it such a big deal?

        No. First, what people overlook and give no credit to is the fact that Twitter coined the term 'trending topic.' Before Twitter, breaking news coming, there were trending topics. They simply were not centralized to one website. Therefore, common sense tells me that these topics were undoubtedly discussed long before Twitter's existence and will be discussed long after Twitter falls.

        Furthermore, most of the ignorant trending topics are sustained by YOUNG blacks. I believe studies have shown the majority are under 25 – and it would not surprise me if the majority were under 21. Anyway, personally I don't need world wide news organizations to do "news" stories every other month to inform me, "Hey did you know that young black people talk about ignorant stuff?!?" On top of that, I don't need them to say that this minority representation of a subsection of blacks speaks for the entire black community.

        It is of course frustrating to know/see young black people talking about topics as ignorant as the hash tags we've highlighted above and below. However, am I surprised that young people of any race on a website like Twitter are discussing mundane and often ignorant topics? No. Nor do I personally think its news worthy. And as I said before, if it is news worthy why are we not concerned with what young people of other races are discussing?

    3. Going to respond in subject related segments.

      <blockquote cite="comment-313508">

      Starita34: Similarly, and I know this is going to be a wildly unpopular opinion, but here I go with the remix anyway: the frustrating thing about having half a brain in America is how the the Black Community loves to talk about race and self segregate out the left side of it’s mouth then will turn around and call racism if anyone else so much as makes note of it out the right side.

      For clarification, as I believe you missed my point, although I find it interesting this is the direction you went, I was speaking of ALL races. Not black versus white. I personally find it strange that race in America is mainly spoken of in terms of only black (12% of the population) and/versus whites (70%) as if there are no other races present here. However, given America's history, I guess this makes sense.

      This point is going to come up a few times as I respond so I'll address it here now. I find it annoying that the 'Black Community' phrase, in general, is used to describe the viewpoint of all blacks. For instance, I never used the term 'racism' and yet because some black person somewhere did, I am now part of the 'Black Community' and cannot have an intelligent conversation about race because apparently my copout will be to call "racism" whenever the conversation turns to a subject about race I do not like? Doubtful or we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

      <blockquote cite="comment-313508">

      Starita34: As Streetz pointed out, the term #BlackTwitter was not handed out by white folks. I’d venture to say that white folks aren’t really the ones reading all the “Death of the Black Family” posts. When I saw the Dateline special about the dismal outlook of dating for the Black woman, I gotta tell you, I sorta just skipped right over the “Black” label and just related as a single woman. Call it ignorance, call it white privilege, call it feminism, or just accept that I can effin relate on that level, but as a white woman, race just really doesn’t effect me to the level that it does a racial minority, unless I’m amongst minorities. That’s when I hear the most blatantly racist ish. And no, this isn’t a continuation of that article saying that white folks are actually more effected by racism today *major sideye to that concept*, but being used to life without the race factor, and then being immersed in a world where it’s seemingly all about race…well it’ll lead to some defensiveness, divisiveness, and fear.I gotta tell you, in my experience, no one talks more about race than the Black community. And that is with good reason, I can conceptualize that race is a huge factor in daily life when you’re not of the majority race. It makes sense that women’s issues would be discussed more among women and parenting concerns would be discussed more among parents, etc. But when a man chimes in or a childless person chimes in, it can’t always be dismissed as hate if the goal is to ever work together harmoniously.

      You know what, you're right. Even as a black male, I am sometime dumbfounded, frustrated, and overwhelmed by how much Black people can talk about race. At the same time, I am not the least bit surprised.

      Whether you realize it or not, your comment is illustrative of your options. I'm not going to label it "ignorance, white privilege, feminism" or any of the terms you used, because I don't know – and honestly, it's not that important. What is important is that you have the option to "skip" over the issue as it relates to blacks. As you said, "a white woman, race just really doesn’t effect me to the level that it does a racial minority, unless I’m amongst minorities." Honestly? Must be nice. But that's exactly the point. You don't have to take race into consideration because for the most part you'll always be part of the majority. It is only when you are "amongst minorities" that it has to be taken into consideration, if at all.

      I'm not sure I understand your other point. Ok, for example, let’s say that overweight people and women talk about issues that directly affect them more than issues that do not. I get that. But I'm not sure I agree that if a skinny person (who was never overweight) or man came and gave their opinion that community would readily accept their opinion as gospel without contention or argument. The skinny person doesn't know what it's like to be overweight as much as a man knows what it's like to be a woman. Sure, as you said, we can "conceptualize" and thus, empathize but we can never live in their shoes so to speak.

      Each of the groups you provided examples of face difficulties and outsider's opinions are often dismissed. It is no different from those who dismiss white's opinions of blacks and vise versa as "hate" as you said. The only difference is that when someone dismisses a white/black person's opinion, it becomes race-based and people take this personally because race is such a contentious issue. For instance, if my skinny @ss tried to tell an overweight person why they're overweight, they'd probably tell me off. No harm no foul. But if my black @ss tried to explain to a white person about their perceived privileges, they'd probably tell me off too. The latter, however, by the very nature of the subject – race – is more sensitive. Therefore, I'm not sure the two issues are as readily interchangeable as you are trying to make them.

      <blockquote cite="comment-313508">

      Starita34: I’ve been commenting on this site for a long time, been reading about twice as long, and I’m still scared as hell that by giving my commentary one of these days (like today) I’ll cross that invisible line and be ostracized and branded an ignorant white girl masturbating to minority culture…I’m sure I already have been in some circles, matter of fact I know I have been. But if we ever intend on improving race relations, sh!t, interpersonal relations between single individuals, we’ve got to be able to hear opinions from all sides without scapegoating race as the primary factor in developing said opinion.I think there’s absolutely a double standard. And Streetz is right, we gotta look into self if we ever wanna change things. But that may mean that we can’t play up racial stereotypes for jokes so much, or at least we can’t get mad when someone that doesn’t look like us or believe like us does the same thing. The standard is double, as in two sides…two standards.

      Personally? You won't offend me, as I am hard to offend. Honestly, I enjoy the discourse regardless of the topic or I wouldn’t participate. Specific to you, I like that you give me a fairly open and unbiased view into how white people think (we've had similar discussions before). Namely, because of the sensitivity of race issues, people are scared to say anything – let alone what they really believe. We've been conditioned to speak in code, political correct, hush tones that really do nothing to educate either side. So, I'm appreciative of that but I, of course, can only speak for WIM. Others will not be so welcoming to your opinion, such is life. My opinion isn’t always welcomed either.

      Let me close by saying that race has been an issue since the beginning of time and I imagine it will be until the end. This extends beyond America to all over the world. We can have these debates until all our collective faces turn blue but I doubt much will change and if it does, it won’t happen quickly. Still, I believe candid conversations like these can do little harm and wish more like them took place.

      1. <blockquote cite="comment-313567">

        Starita34:
        Sorry, tornados have had me in the basement all day :-/

        I don’t intend to tell others how they should feel or discredit other opinions in my comments.Simply sharing my unique perspective, as Streetz did.

        Most: I do believe that people of all classes and cultures self segregate for the sake of comfort and the familiar.We obviously differ in that opinion.

        Saying that the Black community doesn’t self segregate and then turning around and saying that “others” wanna “eavesdrop” into “our conversations” doesn’t really jive to me.Especially if you’re talking about social mediums like Twitter.Are whites/Hispanics/others really not supposed to notice what people that are Black are saying?

        What you call a “weird fetish”, I call people gravitating to greatness/comedy/trailblazers/intellects/beauty/common interests.Do some people use all that against minorities?Yes, they do.Do some people look at what is meant as a joke (like an intentional misspelling of a word or the billionth fried chicken joke) as further proof of their perverse ideas about African Americans?Yep.I’m in no way stating that we are post racial and there is no racism and that the Black Community is the cause of all of their issues.I’m simply not absolving them of all responsibility either.

        In my opinion, this is a very dangerous concept reminiscent of the 50/60′s, “Mind your business and let us rock. Or, at the very least, don’t eavesdrop and then get offended when you hear us talking about you or when you hear something you don’t like.”Call me Pollyanna but until a convo is made about race specifically, I sorta feel like convo on a public arena is fair game.And even in race talks, I feel like everyone should be able to feel safe in sharing their perspective.Isn’t that how we learn?And those that aren’t there to learn, but rather to spread hate, wouldn’t you rather they speak up so that you can deal with them (in whatever way you deem necessary)?

        “All this stuff about #BlackTwitter and about the plight of black women, and about black male perceptions of black women – all these trends and topics we see hitting mainstream media had their birth in conversations black folks were having with other black folks when we assumed no one else was listening or watching.”I read this and see progress, the Black community has a voice nationwide!“Black” issues are now American issues.When it’s always skewed toward the negative that’s a problem, and these types of posts can begin to deal with that.But the Black community SHUT DOWN that Pysch Today site *snaps fingers* like THAT.That’s power!

        Thanks for the response Star. I feel like I said everything I've wanted to say in my initial response. So – as far as the above is concerned, I'll just say – I disagree with almost all of it – and I'll leave it at that.

      2. I can see how the phrase "Black community" can grate your nerves, as if all Black folks move as a whole and are all alike. However, I picked that term specifically because IMO it's the least offensive and while others may be able to say #TheBlacks even just "Black people" I'm trying to be sensitive <del>and not get my head bit off</del> for any terminology that may appear racist. And I am discussing mass behavior, not individual actions, so "community" seemed to fit. You have no idea how many times I went over my comments to be sure I never said "you". If there's another term that preferable, I'm open to suggestions. But I can't speak as off the cuff in this discussion as I could normally, for fear of the many interpretations. I apologize that in my attempt to be sensitive, I offended. :-/

        While you may have brought up "racism", believe me when I tell you that it gets thrown out quickly when a white person enters into a race discussion. And as I've shared with you before, the "racist" label pains me on a molecular level. I'm throwing up defenses based on past experiences, that's all I know to do.

        The fact that I chose to speak though, in this setting, on this site (and previously on your site), with these commenters (and you) should be somewhat indicative that I don't lump you into some class or massive, and that I do believe that intelligent conversation can be had here, even about race.

        As I conceded to Streetz, you're absolutely right, I do have the privilege of the option not to deal with race. I chose to deny that privilege, but it is there nonetheless.

        As per the overweight/underweight example. I believe that we can and should all learn from one another. The fact that you've never been overweight and I haven't been underweight since I was 8 pounds 10 ounces doesn't mean that we don't have things to learn from one another. You have #SkinnyPeopleProblems, I have #FatGirProblems…odds are, we still share some common ground and can learn from one another. And I welcome contention and argument, just don't let it be solely be based on my race/weight in the example. Old skin n bones may have been fat before and you'll never know because you judged him before he got the chance to share that part of himself with you. Like I said in my response to Most, I don't seek to tell you about the Black experience, or YOUR experience, but to share my perspective. I agree the comparisons are poor due to scale and impact, I was just trying to make my point more clear with less heated, relatable examples.

        I disagree that change won't come, but I agree wholeheartedly that it will be slow and never all inclusive. Watch the Freedom Riders documentary and tell me that things haven't changed.

        Thanks as always WIM for your comments, transparency, and acceptance.

  4. "Yes, I enjoy a good #Hoefood trending topic as much as the next person, but when the ignorance outweighs the intelligence, it’s a problem."

    Couldn't agree more with this statement. It's fine and all to have fun and joke around about certain things, but it's also important to balance out discussion and conversation with topics of substance that can help evolve ourselves to greater beings.

  5. I think posts like that gives us things to talk about on our blogs. Sometimes I hate posts are stimulating by ignorance but I feel we have to talk about issues and really discuss them on our platforms. I think it's part of our responsibility. Unfortunately, so much is being published daily. I think it's hard to keep up.

    Race and media will always be an issue. Keep the discussion going! And teach the peoples.

  6. This post brings up an interesting conundrum. I have absolutely no problem with non-black comedians making black jokes (as long as they're funny); however, it's always a problem if somebody does that around me in real life. I'm not really sure why I feel this way because it's essentially the same situation.

  7. The best defense against this issue is for Blacks to remain successful and positive. Success, coupled with positivity, cripples people who are filled with hatred, ignorance and racism. Maintaining these two qualities is a non-verbal threat to those spewing negativity, which is why these people keep running their mouth. White people are the gatekeepers of media, which is why articles like the one in Psychology Today, continue to be a top news story on TV. The anchors of local news have little to do with the stories being aired. The stories that air are decided by producers and people behind the scenes. I don’t buy into any news story focusing on a Black person until I see a mug shot or some type of video. These stations are quick to talk about a Black man or Black woman engaging in a horrible, criminal act, but it’s rare that they’ll have proof to back it up. If it’s a Hispanic person, they have a mug shot. If it’s a White person, they have a mug shot. If it’s a Black person, they move on to the next story (this is what I notice for local news stations in L.A.). Then I laugh because I know they’ll end up retracting the story a few days later. To make a long story short…I will continue to be successful and positive, regardless of the perceptions assigned to Blacks. Blacks are here to stay…and I smile at those who think otherwise =)

  8. I agree Streetz..it's almost like they sit around in meetings and say "hey let's do a story about African-American's and (insert any random subject here). I just try to not to internalize it…it's always biased and filled with flaws……they know it's going to be controversial out the gate..and they hope that it will……I just keep my head up and keep it moving and I encourage everyone else to do the same….As we do.

  9. Racism is still very real. But my blk ppl sometimes we don't make it any better. We put some of our worst traits out their and give the media a way to capitalize off of them. Blk can bet a topic like #thingsghettobabymomma'sdo but can't get #MalcomXbirtthday trending at the same capacity.we have to understand while we can use the media to address some of the issues in our community like poor school systems other issues like "being a single blk women" (It made us look desperate and made it look like we had no good men in our community) shouldn't be keep within our community because nbc didn't do that broadcast to help use they did it to make us look like some fools

    1. While white ppl are the majority of gatekeepers in the media the Internet has allowed blks to pass those ppl and give the media a new perspective of blk culture. But as always coonery gets more light than good. Look at worldstarhiphop Q could put anything on his blog that he wanted to but he choose coonery and wanna be video girls to be posted on their daily.

    2. "We put some of our worst traits out there and give the media a way to capitalize off of them."

      Exactly! I don't think we should stop having fun just because another race is looking but goodness gracious!! if all you do is act up then of course they're going to form opinions and believe the stereotypes. It's not right and it's not a good excuse but that's what happens.

      Like Streetz said, we need balance.  

  10. Who is retweeting these stories? Who is bringing them up on their blogs? The point is that we serve as an echo chamber for our subculture.

    If we don't like what we broadcast maybe it's time to re-assess.

  11. Maaaaaan.. F the media.

    I'll continue to do positive work in my community and for myself and pay none of this garbage any nonesense. Twitter is not CNN and I don't expect a social media option that is primarly use for fun, to be the gospel on black thought. I have enough serious issues to deal with in real life, why the hell do I want my Tweets to reflect all of that.

    Times like this I shake my head, go back to reading a magazine and wait for the next #WetWednesday twitpic to hit my TL.

      1. Exactly. However, this isn't surprising. Generally speaking, we have alway been seen as a source of entertainment. As something to watch, to enjoy, and to exploit. Twitter has given people a venue to watch us in our "natural habitat." The media is eating this up… I wonder how many media outlets will run articles about the #sexpectations conversations from last night, where most, if not all involved in the conversation were young black adults.

        1. This is what I don't understand. Wouldn't coverage of that productive, positive, educational, responsible conversation be a good thing? Or is that your point? That that GOOD topic won't be covered by media?

  12. Twitter is kinda like coffee for me. Once a year I try it again to see if maybe I get it. But I still don't.

    Unless you are writting Haikus…..there is not much intelliegent conversation that is going to take place in 40 words or less. I'm sorry….twitter is for morons (See Sarah Palin for details).

    I'm just playin of course……I don't really think all twitter addicts are morons…..I just think it's silly to think that anything of real substance comes out of it.

  13. "I find it hilarious, that Kobe and Joakim Noah can get thousands of dollars in fines for saying a homophobic slur (the “other” f-word), yet the n-word is being hurled like fastballs consistently. "

    Maybe when the gay community decides to 'reclaim' the f-word it will be seen in a different light.

  14. <blockquote cite="comment-313520">

    TheMostInterestingManInTheWorld: For about 450 of those years segregation and oppression was legal. We never segregated ourselves, the social segregation you see today is a direct result of the majorities oppression of the minority. To call it anything else is factually incorrect. And segregation didn’t end because the oppressors wanted it to end, it ended because the oppressed decided we didn’t want to live that way anymore. If we didn’t say anything, the majority wasn’t going to.

    What you’re calling “self-segregating” I call talking amongst ourselves. The problem is, for some reason, whenever black folks try to talk amongst ourselves the whole world seems to eavesdrop. And it’s really, really annoying. That’s my main issue. You’re whole point seems to be that black folks are exacerbating the weird fetish American media has with the analyzing of black culture. You think that by making everything about race and by shunning the opinions of the ‘good white folk’ who don’t think about race, we bring all of this on ourselves. I hear you to a certain extent, but that’s not the point. The point is … eavesdropping is rude! Mind your business and let us rock. Or, at the very least, don’t eavesdrop and then get offended when you hear us talking about you or when you hear something you don’t like. (I don’t mean you in particular Star, but I mean, American Media, Angry White folks etc.)

    I'm co-signing this so hard right now!

  15. Very true "when the ignorance outweights the intellegence, it's a problem" and i really feel that this is what is praised on these social networks. We are constantly under a microscope and as unfair as it is we need to be conscious of that.

  16. Anyone else get sad bedside they never fit into ANY "study"that is done in relation to black people? Yeah me neither. I try to make it about to not partake in the collective ignorance. I do have my personal moments but I usually make up some random #longasshashtag and act foolish for a few minutes.

    Whenever the media decides to focus on some random aspect of a small, usually negative, portion of black culture I pick and chose which battles to partake in.

    The ine thing that needs to happen is to lose some of this infatuation with black culture and then stop thinking black culture is some singular organism with designated leaders that dont exist.

  17. <blockquote cite="comment-313520">

    All this stuff about #BlackTwitter and about the plight of black women, and about black male perceptions of black women – all these trends and topics we see hitting mainstream media had their birth in conversations black folks were having with other black folks when we assumed no one else was listening or watching.

    And in the media is exactly where these issues get exacerbated, twisted and turned into something shameful. Yes as I black woman I realized that finding a husband would not be a "cake walk" and yes I bemoaned the dating scene over drinks with my friends a time or two. But never did I realize I was walking around with a big, ugly "can't get a man" mole on my face until the media and essentially white America made it such a disgustingly huge problem! And with all of this "reporting" they are doing on our culture and what THEY think is ridiculous or bad about it, where is the extended hand to help (this is implying that we even need help) fix it. These articles are no better than the bully in the school yard laughing and pointing at the kid with the no name brand sneakers…uhhh yea I knew my sneakers weren't your definition of fly when I put them on this morning. Thanks!

  18. There are some days that twitter is just too foolish for me and I opt to stay away for that day and not get caught up in it. Last year I ranted a lot about not being able to get #blackhistorymonth to trend, but #urbabymama and #uknoughetto was. At one point I considered deleting my account because of blatant racism by a few users. I actually emailed one of them and politely told her my concerns. She then made a public apology via twitter.

    I despise the whole #whitetwitter #blacktwitter thing. I follow and tweet with many young black professional, single, married, parents etc….we have a good balance of foolery and serious conversations.

  19. Great post! I def have a few thoughts about this…

    Thought #1: We have ABSOLUTELY contributed to this problem. A lot of black folks are posting/saying/dressing like (etc.) foolishness in hopes that "the next righteous black person" will do the righteous thing to create balance. We've lost our commitment to the common good of our community…and it's showing. As you eluded to, Streetz, we've let everyone in on our secrets…things that we normally discussed or did amongst ourselves for pure humor (cause we knew what it looked like)…and the consequences have been very negative. We've taken "this is me", "I ain't ashamed", "I can make it look good" and ran too far with it. We've given too much for a quick laugh…and the return on the investment is lacking. There are things that I will do or say amongst fam and friends that I WILL NOT do or say in public…and this is why.

    Thought #2: I see color. There are distinct differences between cultures/races of people and I don't think it does society any good to act like they don't exist…for the sake of being "PC". Race, and all other factors that make a person who they are, does impact perception! I can have all sorts of opinions about other races and cultures…and do. But, I won't speak definitively on any of them because I haven't walked a mile in their shoes. And, I won't be discussing these opinions with them either. What good would it do? That's what bothers me about the articles mentioned in today's post (and random comments on blogs…including this one). Keep your opinions/thoughts about stuff you don't really know or understand to yourself…or graciously accept and receive the backlash that comes from it…cause it is coming. Put your opinion in the form of a question and ask it. Let us tell YOU what the deal is.

    Thought #3: Ever since I've heard about the "black women are ugly" article, I've been doing a little test of my own with the guys I know. I ask them to name their top 3 hollywood women. And, I swear, two out of 3 are super light-skinned or mixed with euro or exotic features. I had to argue with one guy about the fact that J.Lo didn't count cause she wasn't black ("she's black enough" o_0), lol. Only ONE MAN named Angela Basset, Regina King, and Erykah Badu as his top 3. Even considering comments and pics from this site, black men are, in a way, proving the Kwanza guy right, lol. What do you fellas have to say for yourselves??? Hmmmmmm……

    1. How are you going to ask to 3 hollywood women and get mad at the results being hollywood? My list? Kelly Rowland, Jessica Alba, Scarlett Jo, Zoe Saldana, and Kerry Washington. In that order. Sites that mean I'm proving dude right? How many if these men are in relationships with black women or typically date black women? Thats a better, although flawed, measurement.

      1. My bad…I asked them to choose 3 black hollywood women, lol. I hope that makes more sense. And we have a nice crop of black hollywood women for y'all to choose from…all flavas.

        Now, if I adjust your list accordingly, you are now the 2nd guy who didn't name black women who are super light-skinned or mixed with euro or exotic features. This is an on-going study, btw, lol.

        1. So if a black woman is mixed or has euro features, that makes her less black, or a brother less desireable of a "true black woman"?

          You look type light in ur avi too… is this crabs ina barrell? lol

          I mean, I like Halle, Stacey Dash, Zoe, n the black shorty from Vampire Diaries (judge if u must that show is tuff!). I think they look very black to me… I don't know. I think you're treading a slippery slope.

        2. <blockquote cite="comment-313549">

          Streetz: So if a black woman is mixed or has euro features, that makes her less black, or a brother less desireable of a “true black woman”?You look type light in ur avi too… is this crabs ina barrell? lolI mean, I like Halle, Stacey Dash, Zoe, n the black shorty from Vampire Diaries (judge if u must that show is tuff!). I think they look very black to me… I don’t know. I think you’re treading a slippery slope.

          LOL! Nope, color doesn't make a person less black. HOWEVER, they are more comparable (appearance wise) to the majority race and, if you think objectively, you can see how this may be perceived by some people. Personally, I don't care…date whoever. But, my "research" is helping me to see why this could seem bothersome or worth some research.

          LOL @ crabs in a barrell. Folks darker than me think I'm light-skinned and folks lighter than me thinks I'm light brown. I usually say I'm light brown. The jury's still out I guess…

    2. After going back and reading all the comments, let me clarify something I said in Thought #2.

      "Keep your DEFINITIVE opinions/thoughts about stuff you don’t really know or understand to yourself…or graciously accept and receive the backlash that comes from it…cause it is coming."

      If you've left room for error…room for me to clear things up, shed light, whatever, cool. Me and whoever can chat it up all day about whatever…and I won't get offended at all. And this statement goes beyond race conversations. It's really inclusive of all topics.

    3. <blockquote cite="comment-313538">

      cynicaloptimist81:Thought #3: Ever since I’ve heard about the “black women are ugly” article, I’ve been doing a little test of my own with the guys I know. I ask them to name their top 3 hollywood women. And, I swear, two out of 3 are super light-skinned or mixed with euro or exotic features. …What do you fellas have to say for yourselves??? Hmmmmmm……

      Ask the guys this question first: name five dark-skinned Hollywood women. I bet most men couldn't do it off the top of their head, and that's before you weed out the Gabourey Sidibes and Whoopi Goldbergs for lack of attractiveness.

      1. Curious…now, according to "Hugh", would this be because there aren't many or for some other reason?

        1. Yes, the reason is because there aren't many. If someone asked me who is the top black actress in Hollywood (in terms of being most popular) these days, I'd say Zoe Saldana, and she's half Puerto Rican. Who's next? Sanaa Lathan? Kerry Washington? Regina King? Thandie Newton? Anika Noni Rose? Keisha Knight Pullam? Lauren London? Meagan Good? Ask the average white man if he's heard of them. And of those I named, only Regina King, Keisha Knight Pullam and Anika Noni Rose could laughably be considered dark-skinned.

          So it is unlikely a man would name a dark-skinned actress if you asked who are his top three most attractive actresses, because there's no dark-skinned actresses to choose from. If you changed the subject from most attractive Hollywood actress to most attractive video model, I'm sure Buffie the Body, Bria Miles and Lastarya would get quite a few votes.

        2. OK, I had to catch myself. Shame on me as a black man for forgetting Gabrielle Union. She would probably get named, but what has she done lately in Hollywood? She's not the first person to spring to mind.

        3. LOL…even I gave you the side-eye for leaving Gabby off the list, smh. I'm sure she forgives you.

          Now, when I said "hollywood", I really meant celebrity, famous people, etc.

          So, the "official" request is actually, "Brothas, name your top 3 black celebrity women (actress, model, singer, video girl, etc.)." I think that gives you a pretty fair pool of women to choose from. And, to be clear, the guys I asked questioned me thoroughly before answering…so they knew they had these options.

          Yet, and still, the top answers were:

          Halle

          Paula

          Beyonce

          Now, the study continues…and some of the fellas here are adding some other flavas to the mix. So, we'll see.

          But, um…yeah, lol. Interesting results. If anyone can seriously look at that top 3 and not see how media plays a part in determining beauty (and the fact that it's working), something is wrong with your vision.

        4. <blockquote cite="comment-313590">

          cynicaloptimist81:

          And I KNOW you ain’t implying that no one should side-eye the fact that the top 3 is super high-yella and mostly mixed, huh?! Is that whatchu sayin, Streetz?! C’mon, son…

          The issue is what makes them “the baddest” to such a high number of AA men.

          LOL nah I feel you on that. sometimes we might have an inherent preference stemmed from conditioning. I think women of all shades are gorgeous and it aint because of Euro features, it's cause I have a p*nis! lol..

          but yeah the better way to ask it is "who do you think is attractive and famous who's black and a woman?" see what they say (no top 3) then if they dont mention a "darker sister" say "well why not _________" and see their reaction. Then you can tell. LOL

        5. LOL @ all of ^^^this! Based on your suggestion, I will adjust my survey question accordingly.

          <blockquote cite="comment-313592">

          Streetz: sometimes we might have an inherent preference stemmed from conditioning.

          Now, I'm not saying this makes Kwanza guy right, at all, but it's not as easy to poo-poo all of his points/"findings" as complete shenanigans either once you're willing to admit this. It def hurts to consider that…but real is real.

        6. <blockquote cite="comment-313594">

          cynicaloptimist81: Now, I’m not saying this makes Kwanza guy right, at all, but it’s not as easy to poo-poo all of his points/”findings” as complete shenanigans either once you’re willing to admit this. It def hurts to consider that…but real is real.

          I definitely wrote a post about preferences. I think its not as easy to write it off either way, you know?

          Great comments!

      2. Since I love dark skinned women:

        Kenya Moore

        Rutina Wesley

        Naturi Naughton

        Regina King

        N'Bushe Wright

        1. IMO, from your list, only Rutina and Naturi are really dark-skinned…which sadly takes us back to Hugh Jazz's point.

        2. Well regina is not that dark. I would describe her as dark brown. But the other four are dark skinned.

        3. LOL!

          Maybe…but, I personally think that Kenya Moore is prettier and more sultry than both Paula and Beyonce #nohomo, lol.

          And I KNOW you ain't implying that no one should side-eye the fact that the top 3 is super high-yella and mostly mixed, huh?! Is that whatchu sayin, Streetz?! C'mon, son…

          The issue is what makes them "the baddest" to such a high number of AA men.

      3. <blockquote cite="comment-313559">

        Hugh Jazz: Ask the guys this question first: name five dark-skinned Hollywood women.I bet most men couldn’t do it off the top of their head, and that’s before you weed out the Gabourey Sidibes and Whoopi Goldbergs for lack of attractiveness.

        uhh…Kenya Moore…and the woman that was the wife on the Bernie Mac Show….i can't think of others.

        so it is really bad for black men to say that they think Beyonce or Halle Berry is good looking? should we change our intake of entertainment so as to bolster the ego/self-worth of all black women?

        not being facetious, just following the slippery slope as i see it.

        1. No…and no, lol.

          I'm just saying that if Kwanza dude talked to a random selection of black guys and they gave this same or similar set of Top 3 black women, maybe its not so hard to see how he could jump to such ridiculous conclusions about the attractiveness of black women…HE'S suggesting that the darker you are, the less attractive you are to men, not me. But, I found it interesing that the lists that my homeboys gave me kinda supported this idea in a way. Few browner skinned women made my homeboys top 3 lists. Maybe there's some reason other than "they are the baddest black chicks" that so many AA men pick a similar Top 3.

          Just something other than "Kwanza dude is buggin" to consider. Feel free to like all the fair skinned ladies you'd like, lol. If there is some subliminal message makin guys de-rank some women, I have no idea how to stop it or fix the "damage" it has done.

    4. @cynicaloptimal81

      Why are you asking them about celebrity women? I think that has so many flaws in itself, you should use real life, everyday women. Also whats wrong with the top 3 being mostly lightskin or with Euro features? Theyre still black.

      1. It's kinda hard to do "non-official research" asking guys to name their top 3 black women…yet I don't have a clue who these said women are to analyze their choice. It's not "that" serious…so I'm not gonna have them text me the "everyday woman's" pic, you know? LOL. I'm just trying to get a basic idea of AA men's preferences.

        <blockquote cite="comment-313592">

        Streetz: sometimes we might have an inherent preference stemmed from conditioning.

        People can have whatever preferences they want. However, I start to have questions when a high number of AA men (who differ in so many ways) prefer the same types of women…or, name the same women as their top 3. Now, I didn't ask all AA men, lol…but my AA male homeboys are starting to scare me with this top 3 trend. Hence, the reason I posted the questions here…to see what was up. Streetz quote also sheds light on what I'm hinting could be/may be/is an issue.

    5. Cynicaloptimist81, (love that name by the way) I've been raising the same exact point you mentioned, regarding "thought #3." It's time for men of color to be held accountable for their supposed "preferences" and realize that certain forces are at play affecting their conscious and subconscious mind and the likes, dislikes and preferences that follow as a result. It's time for people of color to stop blindly endorsing and accepting the open and nonchalant admittance of the "exotic features with LSLH" without educating ourselves on WHY such a large percentage of males gravitate towards a certain "type." The reasons are plentiful and arguably obvious but this means nothing if dialogue doesn't happen. Men of color profess the "exotic, non-black, light, mixed is right" mentality as though it makes them unique, cool, or otherwise expressive of their inherent freedom and this needs to stop now, bc let's be honest, this preference is no longer unique. I'm aware it's easier to judge a book by it's cover and pursue whatever gets the p*nis up but It's really time for people to really place more emphasis on the content of someone's character and not only challenge these types of norms that are imposed on black culture in theory and on blogs but challenge them in their everyday choices and in everyday life.

  20. I wrote this whole post and it disappeared. Anyway, I was saying something to the effect that white media is always looking at black people like a science project. Sometimes it isn't even about racism as much as it's about writers trying to cover something that hasn't been covered before, something that's cutting edge and gives them a niche. Imagine how proud Virginia's parents were that she delved deeply into black culture and discovered a direct connection between playing the dozens and trending topics on twitter! And how proud that Farhad Manjoo's parents were (and that sounds like a distinctly Indian name) when he did enough research to discover how hashtags first started to trend. They're smart one's, they're going places, they're not afraid to get her hands dirty and they're really current and "hep" to what's happening in the world today. Hopefully someone will see Streetz article as a rebuttal and will give him the same recognition.

  21. There are things that Black people have that are different and there are things that we have that are the same as other races. For example, church. Everyone knows that going to a Black church and going to a white church is completely different. #Blackchurch is excitable, there's running, shouting, screaming, clapping, hooting, hollering, twelve foot hankerchiefs, passing out, choreographed dance moves in the choir loft, and even a full buffet after the service. #whitechurch is different. It just is. But does that make one right and the other wrong? I may be wrong, but I doubt it.

    For what it's worth I have a mixture of people I follow and followers, and you know what? We use twitter very differently. Sometimes, I want to mute followers so I can interact with my Black friends only, and other times, I want to mute the Black friends because they are on a trending topic tirade. For the record, i've never been a fan of trending topics, it's like rims on a car, I know exactly who has those.

    But all in all Twitter is like GolTV, Univision or BraTV… can you imagine if you only had one outlet for your entertainment? Twitter only has one channel, it's not like there's a choice of programming. So you're basically stuck with the channel you've set up. When it's a bad show on there, you've got to watch it, and when it's a great show, you get to watch it. But you have to take the good and the bad. I came to this epiphany because watching the World Cup on GolTV, I thought to myself, I know Black women are not the only ones who have issues with how the media always portrays women to be these long hair, perfect bodied, beautiful goddesses … but then I thought, but hey if you didn't speak English all that well, then you have to take the good and the bad, this is your channel.

    There's some truth to that. I ain't mad at Black Twitter, I just turn my Twitter off when I see something I don't like and don't feel like watching.

    1. Dr. J, I agree with all you have said there. I also have a mixture of friends and followers on twitter. I actually have way more black followers then black real life friends. Most of my friends are white and asian. I have literally 3 black real friends. That's just how its always been.

  22. Since I do not have any interest in, nor have I ever seen, the coonery and buffoonery on Twitter, I’ll focus my comment on the Psychology Today article about the inherent beauty of white women.

    Whites, particularly white men, view themselves and non-black minorities to be more attractive than blacks. I would suspect that is because other non-black minorities look phenotypically white enough. Non-white minorities are similar in hair texture, build, and of course, skin tone. Many ethnic women that appear in white publications are put under strong lighting and have makeup to make them appear more white. Even with Disney doing princess movies starting with Snow White in 1937, they are just getting to a black princess in 2009 with Tiana in the Princess and the Frog. They did an Indian (Mulan), Native American (Pocahontas), and a middle Eastern (Jasmine in Aladdin) princess before a black princess, because they look white enough.

    The question is the racist element of it. Is it an inherent hatred of blacks, or being not being attracted to blacks, or just a factor that people identify more with someone of their own race? In the same article, it noted that black men and women consider black people to be far more attractive than other races, which would suggest people are more attracted to people who look like them. If you look at a “top 100 beautiful women” list in a magazine like Maxim, and compare it to a magazine like King, you may only get two or three women on both lists, with the white magazine comprising mostly of white women, and the black magazine with mostly black and Hispanic women. This would make one conclude it is just people are attracted to people that look like them. This does not account for the fact that black men were rated very attractive, but this is probably a factor of men being more visually oriented, therefore white men placing more import on white or white-looking minorities.

    I could be way off base here, but these are just my ruminations.

  23. Self Awareness Is A Must!

    Bottom line — we are judged and critiqued harsher than any other race, evidently we don't get passes on things most people would deem asinine or trivial.

    I don't go on twitter in search for world peace or in hope of finding the answer to cure world hunger. Twitter is e-entertainment — Nothing More Nothing Less, yes some of the topics can get a little rancid/stereotypical in which I choose not to participate (wouldn't know how to anyway– still tryin to figure that ish out, geesh) but I do read and laugh nonetheless.

    I don't let these #OperationDestroyBlackWoman/People articles slow my stride but we all need to take into account that we are being watched/judged moreso now than ever as black people since occupying the white house.

  24. Twitter is a wonderful platform for exchanging substantial information its not just about jokes. When used

    properly it is social networking at its finest.

    As many of you said here, we (blacks) are being put under a microscope and watched

    then its formulated into assumptions about us via articles and blogs.

    At this point if we are interested in changing this view we have to acknowledge the huge role we have in the entire situation.

  25. Great post, Streetz. A little disappointed in the number of comments. Oh well…

    I find it hilarious, that Kobe and Joakim Noah can get thousands of dollars in fines for saying a homophobic slur (the “other” f-word), yet the n-word is being hurled like fastballs consistently. As someone who adores basketball, grew up on the sport, and has talked more trash than a little bit, I don’t have an issue with it, but it’s interesting that certain language associated with one group of people is tolerated, while language associated with another group is ridiculed.

    This is all our fault. We made a choice to "re-claim"(silly argument pro usage) a racial slur. We use it all the time, and many of us use it in front of other races. Well, the homosexual community doesn't use slurs as terms of endearment. You won't hear a new crop of gay rappers referring to their homies as "my fa*****". Not going to happen. I always say, you treat people how to treat you. If black people are ok with it, then why would the NBA fine black players for calling each other n*****?

    As for the Pysch Today article, I refused to read it. I've seen bits and pieces of it reproduced in other articles, but I wasn't going to allow myself to be worked up into a frenzy by racists nonsense. There have always been "scientific" articles about us that seek to diminish our intellect and our abilities on one hand, and enhance, or to prove our perceived hypersexuality and propensity for violence on the other hand. Its the oldest racist trick in the book, and they've been using it for centuries.

    The moment the POTUS was sworn in, I knew that black people would be under the microscope in the most negative of lights. They've moved on from the welfare queen. junkie, gang banger images, to these new, shinier, yet still dirty classifications and analyses of us as a people in this country. The crazy thing is, while they watch us closely on Twitter, they still seem to not see us. That is, until the next installment in the Black in America seriies, and even then, the root of the issues aren't truly addressed and delved into, because that would not be good for ratings. I wonder how many in the media even realize the racist implications of suggesting the President is not American, and that his qualifications don't measure up. Ohno, let's not deal with the hard stuff, lets just watch them on Twitter. That's entertaining… I feel myself getting worked up, so I'll end it here.

    Anyway, good post Streetz…

    1. Thanks Nia. Im not worried about the comment number. Im more concerned that the message gets to the people.

      As far as the N-Word, Im desensitized to it to be honest. Unless a non AA uses it, lol. Either way thats a story for another day.

  26. This is a great post and the comments are wonderful as well. Streetz, you are slowly stealing my eheart from another blogger *bats eyelashes*.Anywho I am really too tired and emotionally spent to give a coherent response, but thank you for writing and excellent piece and giving something to chew on tonight.

  27. Great post Streetz!

    Here's my approach to all of this. FCUK the media!

    Media is about imagery and the manipulation of imagery. I think it's ridic to use media as a baseline for understanding one another and/or motivation to better oneself. Yes, people have done discriminatory acts and shown hatred of my skin color. You know what though… I don't care. The idea of a glass ceiling (which elders will "teach" you exists) never was something I thought of as true. It wasn't there. The people who don't want me to push forward are haters regardless of what they are hating or the reason. So media, to me, has become a "hater culture." In fact, it cultivates hate. Make hate digestible and "normal" and thus propagate the negative ideas along. The "Hate" they propagate isn't even in the titles of the articles or the questions they ask/answer, it's the line of thought they promote for non-black people. You see, the racial aspect appears on the illusion of the examination of the mechanics of a race created by manipulated imagery. In other words, them ho3s are using the false imagery of black people to train the public to think of black people as specimens. Essentially, denying blacks social currency. That's how they treat us.

    But how should we react? Like this… -> …….

    The standards for our own imagery are to be defined by us. Let them propagate the stereotypes, assumptions, etc… At the same time, instead of wishing they quiet down those ideas, simply do as we do. Use experience of the individuals to beat the media behemoths at their own game: manipulation of imagery. Manipulate the imagery of the media. Use the manipulation of our image and the taught line of thought to control public opinion. With the public taught to "examine" the black specimen, we have their attention. Use it to our advantage. Not to prove we're "just like them," but to reveal the underlying ignorance and hatred they have in reference to blacks, to themselves. Show them their uglies!

    How do we do all that? It's simple… Control oneself. Just like bloggers can write posts to provoke readers, the media makes/leaks ideas or "reports" that are used to gauge public opinion. They already know how the black people (paying attention) will react, they use it as a tactic to gauge non-black public opinion through direct questions and "revealing discoveries" about the imagery of blacks to non-blacks. Those articles are not to inform anyone… They are tools for measure with the side effects of spreading a certain image of "us."

  28. This was a great post, I was hoping that you would touch on these articles when I saw your twitter rant lol. I agree with what you (streetz) WIM and Most had to say and I really enjoyed reading all of the commentary. Star, while I didn't agree with you I do think it was brave of you to put your opinions out there so kudos to you :)…so I guess I didn't really have much else to say, just wanted to show my face.

  29. Haven't read all the comments.
    Commodification of blackness. We make shiz cool. we sell papers. Cousins always traded on our energy. Ain't no different in the 21st century than in 17th century.

  30. Just because America is supposed to be post racial doesn't mean that African Americans should loose their own culture and identity. The truth is people do scrutinize what we do in a different way then the "real Americans". I get all pissed when whites try to denounce what you say or feel, or the problems and plights in the community that is a direct cause of supremacy. I get even more pissed when whites who "assimilate/hang" with African Americans feel as though they have to play some type of devil's advocate just because they can't see how we aren't all the same. We all human but we have our own culture. You don't have to be us to be with us, and thats what some people do not understand. I don't want a colorblind society f that sh*t. We need a truly equal society where different cultures and perspectives are respected. They don't say nothing when the Chinese don't hire people smh.

  31. <blockquote cite="comment-313538">

    cynicaloptimist81:

    Great post! I def have a few thoughts about this…

    Thought #1: We have ABSOLUTELY contributed to this problem. A lot of black folks are posting/saying/dressing like (etc.) foolishness in hopes that “the next righteous black person” will do the righteous thing to create balance. We’ve lost our commitment to the common good of our community…and it’s showing. As you eluded to, Streetz, we’ve let everyone in on our secrets…things that we normally discussed or did amongst ourselves for pure humor (cause we knew what it looked like)…and the consequences have been very negative. We’ve taken “this is me”, “I ain’t ashamed”, “I can make it look good” and ran too far with it. We’ve given too much for a quick laugh…and the return on the investment is lacking. There are things that I will do or say amongst fam and friends that I WILL NOT do or say in public…and this is why.

    Thought #2: I see color. There are distinct differences between cultures/races of people and I don’t think it does society any good to act like they don’t exist…for the sake of being “PC”. Race, and all other factors that make a person who they are, does impact perception! I can have all sorts of opinions about other races and cultures…and do. But, I won’t speak definitively on any of them because I haven’t walked a mile in their shoes. And, I won’t be discussing these opinions with them either. What good would it do? That’s what bothers me about the articles mentioned in today’s post (and random comments on blogs…including this one). Keep your opinions/thoughts about stuff you don’t really know or understand to yourself…or graciously accept and receive the backlash that comes from it…cause it is coming. Put your opinion in the form of a question and ask it. Let us tell YOU what the deal is.

    Thought #3: Ever since I’ve heard about the “black women are ugly” article, I’ve been doing a little test of my own with the guys I know. I ask them to name their top 3 hollywood women. And, I swear, two out of 3 are super light-skinned or mixed with euro or exotic features. I had to argue with one guy about the fact that J.Lo didn’t count cause she wasn’t black (“she’s black enough” o_0), lol. Only ONE MAN named Angela Basset, Regina King, and Erykah Badu as his top 3. Even considering comments and pics from this site, black men are, in a way, proving the Kwanza guy right, lol. What do you fellas have to say for yourselves??? Hmmmmmm……

    Cynicaloptimist81, (love that name by the way) I've been raising the same exact point you mentioned, regarding "thought #3." It's time for men of color to be held accountable for their supposed "preferences" and realize that certain forces are at play affecting their conscious and subconscious mind and the likes, dislikes and preferences that follow as a result. It's time for people of color to stop blindly endorsing and accepting the open and nonchalant admittance of the "exotic features with LSLH" without educating ourselves on WHY such a large percentage of males gravitate towards a certain "type." The reasons are plentiful and arguably obvious but this means nothing if dialogue doesn't happen. Men of color profess the "exotic, non-black, light, mixed is right" mentality as though it makes them unique, cool, or otherwise expressive of their inherent freedom and this needs to stop now, bc let's be honest, this preference is no longer unique. I'm aware it's easier to judge a book by it's cover and pursue whatever gets the p*nis up but It's really time for people to really place more emphasis on the content of someone's character and not only challenge these types of norms that are imposed on black culture in theory and on blogs but challenge them in their everyday choices and in everyday life.

  32. We need to stop believing in stupid things like 'god', 'god' is a white mans invention designed to keep the black man down. Africa was just so much better off before whites and arabs invaded and imposed their made-up deities 'god' and 'allah' and enslaved us.

    Let's free ourselves from this nonsense.

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