So I was reading a Clutch magazine article the other day written by Bene Viera entitled “Are you a Rose or a Thorn in the Black Man’s side?” The article itself wasn’t that groundbreaking. I didn’t read anything in it that was wildly controversial or offensive. But the comments section just fucking exploded. You would have thought Al Qaeda wrote a blog titled “Why Jews are evil” and the readership consisted only of ADL members and Hamas loyalists.  Witness one comment:

I’m probably more of a thorn. I regard most black men with an air of disdain. Too many of them are liars, players, and have no interest in black women. The black man you described in your article is somewhere salivating over an Asian, Latina, or white woman… Trust & believe sweetie. He is.

Honestly I barely pay any attention to black men and rarely speak to them unless I absolutelly need to. The only black men I care about are my two younger brothers and President Obama. The rest are sorry ass bums with more kids and baby mamas than money in the bank who always have an excuse and are looking for sympathy. I have no sympathy or praise for them. I like and respect the ones who give me the same in return. Other than that, the black man can keep on stepping. I have no time or patience for their games and schemes.

My natural reaction was one of disgust, disdain, and hatred. My inclination was to rip into her something awful. But I thought better of it. I don’t know her from a hole in the wall and yet, she made me feel some kind of way. So instead I said this:

@cosmoblkgirl: “Honestly I barely pay any attention to black men and rarely speak to them unless I absolutely need to.” Wow. That statement sounds like it comes from a place of deep disappointment and hurt which has turned into some real hostility. I don’t know how or if it’s even possible for you to have a productive relationship with a black man with that kind of worldview, but I hope something happens to lessen your pain. That’s a lot to carry around.

I was surprised buy what I got: honesty. Not anger, not insults, just what she was feeling:

@ Brandon St. Randy Too much disappointment & hurt to mention. I don’t trust any of them. It is very doubtful I will ever let my guard down again. When I go out with friends and brothas approach our table, I’m the one who excuses herself and goes to the bar or the bathroom. When I’m out and about, I keep my headphones on and my eyes are staring straight ahead. I don’t have time to get off track and fall prey to a man with malicious intent. It may be extreme to you and others reading but the last brotha I was with I gave him all the love, encouragement, and support he needed and in return he used me, lied to me, and played on my sympathy. He broke me. That’s why a black man gets NOTHING from me anymore.

Earlier in the week, over on twitter, I saw this hugely toxic interaction between this guy and Dream Hampton:

  1. I was busy scratching my balls. Couldn’t hear you. Louder. Your Boat to hell leaves soon. #fb @drgoddess @dreamhampton313 11:45 AM Aug 22nd via Twitter for BlackBerry® in reply to drgoddess
  2. Yawn…. 11:17 AM Aug 22nd via TweetDeck

  3. WHO SHOT BIGGIE AND TWO PAC??? @dreamhampton313 Just ask her home town former mayor @KwameKilpatrick 11:15 AM Aug 22nd via TweetDeck

  4. CUNT I ASKED YOU IF YOU STILL MOTHERING BIGGIE SMALLS BASTARD DAUGHTER!!!!!??? @dreamhampton313 11:08 AM Aug 22nd via TweetDeck

  5. You still mothering Biggie Smalls Bastard Daughter? @dreamhampton313 11:03 AM Aug 22nd via TweetDeck

So another poster on the clutch piece said this:

My field requires me to study a lot of research that covers many different cultural and psychological issues. One of which that interests me is gender mistrust in the Black community. It seems that, when we meet a Black person of the opposite gender, so many walls are put up due to the expectation of “attack”. We are so hypersensitive of being made or expected to submit that we seem to equate natural courtesies with injustice (example here; support/love=submit/degrade). OF COURSE it’s natural in any healthy relationship for each person to want to support and openly love the other; EXCEPT when one thinks that the other person is looking to take advantage (in such cases, the focus switches from sharing love, to self protection). Speaking only for myself, I find myself verbally and explicitly asserting my worth more often with BM than any other group, as if I EXPECT them to automatically think otherwise. From what I’ve read, heard, and experienced, BM seem to think the same about us (BW). I feel that I have so much of this type of baggage that I’ve given up hope of having a fulfilling relationship with a BM (call me bag lady, Erica ^_^). Until we can learn to enter a relationship and dialogue without all of the baggage of mistrust, the issue of “who supports who” is always going to be an area of fiery debate and the simple job of coming together (in terms of culture/gender or relationships) is going to be undercut by fears that The Others are merely out to control and devalue us.

I think she hit the nail on the head. Thoughts?

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“SUMMER”

(For Aiyana Stanley-Jones)

By James A. Britton

“NO NIKKI, NO!”

That was the piercing cry that shot through the Summer air on that early Sunday afternoon—suspending our Sunday ritual of fried chicken, California blend mixed vegetables, rice, gravy, poundcake, and of course, grape kool-aid.

The voice was unmistakable.  I looked at my brother—both of us still clad in our stocking feet fixing our Sunday dinner.   Without a word, we both ran headlong down the street—my brother arriving at our neighbor’s house first, some seven houses down.

Through the sobs and tears, we learned that my sister’s boyfriend, a teenager still, had earlier that morning  been shot and killed—murdered as he sat with his brother in his car.  His brother, the boyfriend of my sister’s best friend, was shot in the foot but survived.

Too much time has passed for me to remember the motive—if there was one. Doesn’t matter anyway.  What matters is that another young black man, eighteen or so, tall, muscular—A Native Son–would not make it to see his twentieth birthday.  Some years later, his nephew, the seed of his brother and my sister’s best friend, would bear his name . . .

When you grow up on the West Side of Detroit, you know what it is to fear Summer.  Not the heat index or the prospect of summer school, but that Summer, through convulsions and fits of anger, would purge the earth of one its young.  Summer has always had a way of corrupting young idle hands and idle brains that had idle time But the corruption it worked was no idle one.  Summer, too often, played a zero-sum game. It is no wonder then that, when my brother was out of my presence, and perhaps stayed out longer than normal, that I began to worry that my brother had become one of the Summer’s latest casualties. It is also no wonder that I felt a sense of relief when he would come home safely—the same applies to my sister.

It could be anything really—the bad end of a prolonged stare down; because he wanted your shoes, coat, chain, or car; because you bumped each other at the Afro-World Festival; but usually, it was because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  At least that’s what the sonless mothers, funeral preachers, family and friends told each other and themselves. No sense in attempting to further rationalize the irrational.

Honestly, that aggressive, take no mess mentality was with all of us to a certain degree.  It’s with many of us still.   It’s a familiar ritual.  First, there would be the stare down—on the basketball court, at the mall, at Hart Plaza—didn’t matter.  Next comes the throwing up of hands as if to say, “What Next?” a symbolic “Whatchuwannado?”And depending upon which tools one  had been given to express his young, wild, undefined rage, the answer to the “What Next?” could end up being another story about a young black being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And so it was—an endless parade of horribles.  Summer after seemingly endless Summer.  Some names I remember, many I’ve forgotten, or never knew.  Lashern Moorer (his fiancé was pregnant—isn’t that always the case?), Chris Moore, Bimbo who never made it back from Minnesota; my mother in ’88, although hers was a self-imposed violence of a different kind; Russell, my best friend in kindergarten, his father, shot in the head—that one made the news; there were others—My uncle Stony, Easter Sunday 1983 right around the corner on Alpine. I was too young to remember. Sometimes, I didn’t go to the funeral—a couple times I did.  It’s hard though, to stare down your own mortality and see it carried away by six sobbing friends.  I remember Chris and I were about the same age, almost the same height, same complexion and build.  Sometimes it was better not to go.

* * * * * * * * * *

In the middle of May, 2010, Jerean Blake, a 17-year-old high-school student, was killed because he looked at a man too long, too strong, or too wrong.  His life was taken absent any ensuing outrage.

Three days later, the Detroit police, executing a no-knock warrant at the suspected killer’s address, shot and killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones as she slept on the front living room couch.  Before entering, the police threw a flash grenade through the window—normally used to stun the occupants of a building, especially when the police are certain that only the suspect is in the building.  The spark from the grenade set little 7-year old Aiyana’s blanket on fire.  The police entered, made contact with little Aiyana’s grandmother, the police officer’s gun fired, striking Aiyana about the neck and head. She died there.

Unfortunately, this tragedy was a predicutable consequence of a recent ruling from the highest court in the land,

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

Booker T. Hudson, Jr. was sitting in his home in Detroit on August 27, 1998 when the Detroit Police, only three or four seconds after announcing themselves, burst in and seized cocaine that was in his pocket and a gun, may have been hidden in a nearby sofa.  Mr. Hudson was sitting on a chair in the middle of the living room and never had an opportunity to answer his door.  The police were executing a search warrant for drugs and possibly a gun. Mr. Hudson was tried for possession of cocaine with intent to deliver and the possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

At trial, Mr. Hudson argued that the  evidence should be suppressed  because the police officers admittedly violated “knock and announce rule” under the Fourth Amendment, which requires that police officers must first knock, identify themselves and their intent, and wait a reasonable amount of time so that the residence’s occupants may let them in.

The trial court agreed and  ruled that the prosecution could not use the evidence at trial.  The trial court’s ruling, however, was overturned on appeal and Mr. Hudson was tried and convicted of drug possession.  He was sentenced to 18 months probation.

Mr. Hudson appealed his conviction arguing that it was unconstitutional based on the knock and announce violation.  The Court of Appeals rejected this argument and affirmed the conviction.  The Michigan Supreme Court declined to review the case.  .

The United States Supreme Court, however, decided to hear the case.

Professor David Moran of Wayne State University Law School represented Mr. Hudson before the Supreme Court. Professor Moran argued that, based on the court’s earlier cases ruling that a violation of the Fourth Amendment renders tainted  the evidence seized as a result of a Fourth Amendment violation, that the evidence seized by the Detroit Police should be suppressed—which would likely result in a dismissal of the charges against Mr. Hudson.

Essentially, the argument goes, because  the “knock and announce rule” is firmly embedded in the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees that persons will be secure in their homes, papers and effects, and will not be subject to unreasonable search and seizure, police officers should not be rewarded for violating this core constitutional requirement.   Thus, because the Fourth Amendment insists that an unreasonable search or seizure is an illegal search or seizure, the use of evidence secured through an illegal search and seizure is barred in criminal trials.

Professor Moran also focused the Court’s attention on the protective role the exclusionary rule serves.  Obligating officers to knock and announce, he argued, protects    the occupants of a home from surprise and embarrassment and preserves the dignity of a person who would be otherwise surprised at the insistence of a police officer banging at a door.  Professor Moran also argued that the rule protects both the occupant and the police officer from harm since, in a perfect situation, the occupant would have an opportunity answer the door as opposed to having their door or window broken in order for the police to obtain a surprised entry. (Otherwise, as Justice Antonin Scalia pointed out, an occupant would be justified in using force to repel an officer who doesn’t announce himself since the occupant has no idea that the officer is not otherwise an intruder).

As a practical matter, Professor Moran argued that suppressing the seized evidence would be the only effective way to keep police from violating the “knock and announce rule.”  Contrary to the government’s arguments, the fact that private citizens could sue for monetary damages would not be sufficient to make officers abide by the “knock and announce rule” because, among other things, at the time the Hudson case was heard, there was no single reported case where a private citizen was able to successfully sue the police department and obtain anything other than paltry damages—even in the case where the police had inflicted grave bodily harm.  As such, and because police are most times protected by qualified immunity, if the court ruled that the seized evidence could not be suppressed, police officers would have no practical incentive to honor the “knock and announce rule” rendering nugatory the constitutional mandate that police officers knock and announce themselves before entering a home or building in order to serve a valid search or arrest warrant.

The United States Supreme Court rejected these arguments in a 5-4 majority—Justice Antonin Scalia writing for the majority.  And while the Court made several observations as to why it chose not to honor the “knock and announce rule”, the Court’s principal justification centered on the rationale that the policies underlying the rule itself, protecting property from being destroyed, preserving a person’s dignity and the sanctity of their home and officer safety (Justice Scalia reasoned that the fact that an officer could be shot would be a sufficient incentive to otherwise abide by the “knock and announce rule”) were not related to the evidence that would ultimately be seized, (i.e. crack cocaine).  And because the “knock and announce rule” was not aimed at protecting the “papers and effects” normally found in a home and protected by the Fourth Amendment, the normal rule that Fourth Amendment violations lead to the exclusion of evidence didn’t apply.

Two things are telling from oral argument (actually, there were two rounds of oral arguments). In the first argument, Justice Sandra Day-O’Connor began questioning Professor Moran with a series of soft-ball questions, asking Professor Moran about other states with no-knock statutes and why a police officer would want to execute a no-knock warrant. However, because Justice O’Connor retired before the Hudson decision was issued, the case was called for reargument, the second time with Justice Samuel Alito in Justice O’Connor’s place. (Professor Moran believed that the case might have turned out differently had Justice O’Connor remained on the Court when it rendered its decision.)

At the second argument, Justice Stephens asked a poignant question: why did the government concede that there was a violation of the “knock and announce rule”?  Because the search warrant allowed the police to search for both drugs and guns, and because one of the principal reasons police officers may dispense with the knock and announce requirement is to prevent the destruction of evidence (such as crack cocaine) and to protect officer safety (such as being shot with guns), Justice Stephens signaled his discomfort with the government so easily conceding that a violation had occurred. (Justice Stephens suspected, rightfully, that, by conceding that there was a violation, that the government was seeking a categorical rule with respect to all knock and announce cases. If the court had found that there was no violation, there would be no need to decide the suppression question, which was the central issue in the case, because as a rule, the court attempts to decide cases on the most narrow grounds possible as to avoid deciding thorny constitutional questions if at all possible In essence, if there was no constitutional violation, there was no need to answer the next question—whether the evidence should be excluded).

Despite Professor Moran’s best efforts (aided by the Michigan ACLU), the evidence seized as a result of the Detroit Police Department’s violation of the “knock and announce rule” was not suppressed and Mr. Hudson’s conviction stood.

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

On that warm Summer Sunday night, Aiyana Stanley-Jones did not stand a chance.  How could she?  Weeks earlier, one Detroit police officer, Brian Huff, had been fatally shot and four other officers wounded after responding to a midnight disturbance call.  Weeks later, an elderly woman was killed by a stray bullet after another elderly man tried to protect himself from being carjacked.  Tension was palpable.  On the night they executed the arrest warrant, the police were looking for a man who reportedly killed a teenage boy because he looked at him wrong. (Besides, what business did little Aiyana have living in the same house with a man such as the suspect they were looking for?  And weren’t the people in the house guilty of harboring a criminal?)* It didn’t matter that the home was a two family flat—so the suspect could have been in either unit; didn’t matter that there were children’s toys dotting the front yard; it also didn’t matter that neighbors told the police officers that children were inside the home; it didn’t even matter that there was a camera crew from a major cable television station—there was danger inside. Besides—why would the police officers knock, announce themselves and wait for someone to answer the door as opposed to throwing a flash grenade through the window? The Supreme Court had removed any incentive the police ever had for following the Constitutional rule.    One flash grenade later, Aiyana Stanley-Jones was dead—her grandmother a witness to Aiyana’s horrifying demise.

Whatever there is to be said and done about the almost-suffocating violence that happens in most of our major urban centers, one thing is certain: Aiyana Stanley-Jones did not have to die. And despite the fact that our United States Supreme Court has decided that the capture of evidence is more valuable than the lives and dignity of those persons who reside on the other side of a police warrant, Aiyana’s death does not have to be in vain. There is nothing in the Supreme Court’s Hudson decision that would prevent individual states from strengthening a citizen’s Fourth Amendment Protection with respect to the “knock and announce rule.”  For instance, Michigan could do away with the use of “no knock” warrants altogether. Michigan already has a statue requiring an officer to have “permission refused” before he or she may break a window or door in order to gain entry. MCL 780.656.  This statute could be strengthened to require suppression of evidence where this statue has been violated absent exigent circumstances. (For instance, in the case of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, the existence of children’s toys and information that children resided on the premises would be sufficient proof that executing a “no-knock” warrant would not be proper because the need to secure and protect children in the dwelling would be more important than entering the home unannounced in order to surprise a suspect.)  The City of Detroit could outlaw no-knock warrants altogether. At the very least, as a matter of internal police policy, the Detroit Police Department should be made to abolish the militaristic tactics used to execute warrants in areas where our babies, mothers, fathers, and grandparents reside. There is much that can be done to make sure another case like Aiyana Jones does not happen again.

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

I am twenty-eight years old now. I have lived many Summers since the last time I went to the funeral of a young black who was in the wrong place at the wrong time—Detroit, Atlanta, D.C. Most of those Summers have been without the attendant grief and anguish  of some of my early Summers in Detroit. There was Clarence about three years ago—we used to play basketball together in the neighborhood. I saw him last at a picnic for my neighborhood high school. He was shot and killed outside a night club. There was also my roommate in Atlanta—carjacked at gunpoint—he wasn’t harmed. Because they had taken his keys and ID, I didn’t sleep well that night.

For the most part though, those that I love and care for no longer find themselves in those “wrong place/wrong time” situations.  We live above the fray so to speak. That is not to say that, like me when I was growing up, there aren’t some kids who look forward to, not only the warm days of summer, but its passage without incident.  (Jerean Blake had friends. There were grief counselors at the school I’m sure. That’s normal. Aiyana Jones had friends too. What can a grief counselor say to a seven year old?) But for the most part, the Summer and I have a satisfactory, even if tenuous, relationship. Work slows. Vacations are planned. And the vestiges of a cold, hard Winter are shuffled off. I consider myself fortunate, blessed. Like Equiano, “a special favourite of Heaven.” Somewhere though, a young black boy looks out of the window in mid-June–the jump rope twirls, the basketball bounces, the bikes glide along—and he hopes for September.


* As my friend and colleague Michael E. Carter, Esq. has pointed out, in the case of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, there is no evidence that the occupants of Aiyana’s home knew that the police were looking for the suspect. Without the knowledge that the police were actually looking for the suspect (or that he had allegedly committed a heinous murder just days earlier), no one in the house could be charged with knowingly or willfully concealing or harboring persons who are the subject of arrest warrants–which could be an actual crime if the occupants of the home actively concealed the identity and whereabouts of a police suspect.

Sooooooo….The Big Boss of the Nawf is in a wee bit of controversy lately. From a recent Vibe magazine interview:

The way Black people think in general is messed up. Both men and women need to change their way of thinking. It’s hard to trust a Black woman [sometimes] because a lot of Black women’s mind frame is that the man gotta do everything for her⎯ he gotta pay for this, he gotta pay for that, and if it ain’t about money then a lot of them ain’t fucking with him. If that’s what you’re here for then I don’t want to be with you.

Most single Black women feel like they don’t want to settle for less. Their standards are too high right now. They have to understand that successful Black men are kind of extinct. We’re important. It’s hard to find us so Black women have to bow down and let it be known that they gotta start working hard; they gotta start cooking and being down for they man more. They can’t just be running around with their head up in the air and passing all of us.

I have a brother that dates a White woman and he always be fucking with me about it saying, “Y’all gotta go through all that shit [but] my White woman is fine. She don’t give me no problems, she do whatever I say and y’all gotta do all that arguing and fighting and worry about all this other shit.”

My girl is Black and White. I guess the half White in her is where she still cooks and do all the shit that I say, so we make it. She just takes care of me and I like that. She don’t be begging and I don’t gotta buy her all this crazy ass shit. And she’s a smart girl too. She graduated from Columbia [University] and I like that about her so it’s cool. I’ve dated girls that will buy a $3,000 bag and don’t know how to pay it off on their credit cards. They walk around in these Louis Vuittons and red bottoms but they’re riding around in raggedy cars, so it’s just getting your priorities right.

White women treat they man like a king and Black women feel like they ain’t gotta do that shit. Black women need to stand by their man more. Don’t always put the pressure of if I’m fucking with you, you gotta buy me this and that. Black men are the ones that motherfuckers need [but] I think a lot of them need to step it up too. A Black man who gets a little bread will go make it rain in the club and be broke the next day or instead of him going to invest in a business he gonna go buy new jewelry or a new car and still live in the hood. Black peoples’ mentality is real fucked up in general [and] it’s affecting everything.

Black women need to be more genuine and be more 50/50 [but] It should be a fair exchange in a relationship period or eventually somebody is gonna feel like they’re getting fucked over whether it’s the woman or the man. I think that will help Black relationships out a lot.As Told To Starrene Rhett

As expected, the peanut gallery, and in particular, black women, came out hard against this one, citing it as yet another example of a black man stereotyping black women and extolling the virtues of “others.”Mediatakeout reported the story, but they did an interesting thing. They switched the paragraphs. If you look at the interview as it was spoken, The Big Boss started out with the phrase:

“The way Black people think in general is messed up. Both men and women need to change their way of thinking.”

But MTO started off with

“It’s hard to trust a Black woman because a lot of Black women’s mind frame is that the man gotta do everything for her – he gotta pay for this, he gotta pay for that, and if it ain’t about money then a lot of them ain’t ****ng with him”

Kinda changes the tone of the whole thing a little bit. But let’s actually explore the meat of what he said , as opposed to the usual mock outrage and teeth-sucking.

“The way Black people think in general is messed up. Both men and women need to change their way of thinking.”

Anyone care to disagree? I mean, isn’t this why we have all these relationship blogs, internet macking gurus, and Essence magazine in general? If we’re going to point to statistics and anecdotal evidence of black people having relationship issues that are more acute than others, I find it hard to argue with this premise.

“Most single Black women feel like they don’t want to settle for less. Their standards are too high right now.”

Isn’t this a constant refrain from Black men about black women? Steve Harvey et al have gotten it down to a science of what the expectations vs. reality game looks like. Hell, if you were to argue against this premise, your cause was set back 10 years by “A Real Chance at Chili”, or whatever that show was called. I don’t think the “standards too high” thing is the epidemic it’s purported to be, but I have met more than my share of lonesome single woman on the “equally yoked” bandwagon. By equally yoked, they typically mean education and income. It is what it is.

“I have a brother that dates a White woman and he always be fucking with me about it saying, “Y’all gotta go through all that shit [but] my White woman is fine. She don’t give me no problems, she do whatever I say and y’all gotta do all that arguing and fighting and worry about all this other shit.””

You know, they say there’s an element of truth in all stereotypes. And damn if this isn’t one of the most pervasive stereotypes regarding black women vs. other women. While a lot of people may find this quote distasteful, it’s clearly not out of the mainstream of thought. In many ways, black women are taught to take extra pride in being sassy and independent and to take no shit from no man. This is more a survival mechanism than anything else, but I’d wager most black women, when pressed, can name more than their fair share of women they call friends who are over-aggressive, ball-busting, or just generally ornery.

“My girl is Black and White. I guess the half White in her is where she still cooks and do all the shit that I say, so we make it. She just takes care of me and I like that. She don’t be begging and I don’t gotta buy her all this crazy ass shit. And she’s a smart girl too. She graduated from Columbia [University] and I like that about her so it’s cool.”

Here’s where I think the outrage comes in. He’s clearly attributing the positive things about his girl to her “white side”: education, compliance, non gold-diggery, and cooking. But I mean, are these really values shared by mainstream black women? By mainstream, I probably mean working class to lower middle class women who read Zane and think Nikki Minaj’s life is something to be envied. I think pegging it as a race issue is troublesome, because I think this is more of a class/upbringing issue than anything else. All the girls I date are black, they’re all educated, I wouldn’t call any of them gold-diggers, and some of them cook. I’m a very good cook, so this is less important to me, but when I cook, they’re unilaterally willing to hit the dishes or set the table. All of the girls I date are also solidly middle class or higher. They also usually have good relationships with their fathers. Now, if you’re surrounded by the HoustaLantaVegas crew of women who typically hang around rappers, well, they’re culturally different. But I imagine the mixed and white ones are just as bad as anyone else.

“Black men are the ones that motherfuckers need [but] I think a lot of them need to step it up too. A Black man who gets a little bread will go make it rain in the club and be broke the next day or instead of him going to invest in a business he gonna go buy new jewelry or a new car and still live in the hood.”

Oh, what, no one’s complaining that he takes Black men to task too? Surprise Surprise.

Again, there’s an issue here of people not wanting to listen to criticism. It’s easy to shove it aside and blame it on stereotyping or self-hatred or any of a number of factors. But if you are, in fact, the stereotype, and things aren’t working out for you, maybe you should listen a little. Truthfully, I know women who fit into the exact box Slim Thugga Mufucka’s talking about. And they’re single. I know reformed users and leeches who are much happier now and are enjoying successful relationships. It’s not because they railed against any critics of black women as being too broad based or indicting, it’s because they looked at the course of their lives and their behavior, and saw a correlation. I also know black men who fit into the boxes he mentioned. Spent every dollar stunting. And they also reflected on that, and made a change. And they’re doing much better. So yes, even when the message is clumsily delivered or slightly offensive, There can still be value in earing it.

Seriously. I mean, why not? Have you seen the people claiming to be macking experts on the twittah, facebook, myspace, etc? Almost without exception, they’re complete assclowns.

Take this guy for instance.

Is that an Affliction T-shirt?

I followed dude on twitter (back when I was actually on twitter for whatever reason) for a second because a couple of my friends did too. Against my better judgment, I hoped that perhaps there would be valuable relationship/dating advice, or at least interesting commentary. ENHHH! He has a blog called “Breaklamps” (see here for rules to twitter pimping) and Buddy’s entire persona and life is based on berating “myspace models” and bitching about groupies. My guess is, and I could be wrong, is that his borderline sociopathic obsession with girls that take lingerie shots of themselves in the bathroom:

Personally, shit like this here worries me far more:

Why, dawg, why?

is predicated entirely on frustration with his lack of ability to actually have sex with these women. Look, I’m frustrated that I can’t tomahawk dunk like Dwight Howard. But life goes on. For most of us, at least. However, buddy has attempted to create a cottage industry of simultaneously downing internet models, while at the same time, going in on #bathwaterslurpers, which is a phrase he’s codified for male groupies of these internet models. Let me get this straight, slim. You spend four hours a day posting pictures and links to myspace models’ pages and you talk about other people being obsessed with these chicks? Say word. Now, I talked to a fairly popular internet model who had been tweeting her about him. I assumed they knew each other. Apparently, not so much. He just showed up at some event he knew she was hosting, undoubtedly trying to get at her. If she’s telling the truth, he did not succeed. Which doesn’t much sound mackish to me.

Then there’s this fella here:

Now, in fairness, I’ve had dealings with this cat before, and he’s a fairly intelligent guy, and I believe a reasonable man. We had some unpleasantness in certain dealings, but I’ll just chalk that up to him being trying to negotiate the best deal he could. So my beef is not so much with the man, as it is with this character he’s created. He goes by the name “His Royal Flyness” which tells you 87% of the things you need to know already.  He’s written a book called “Myspace to My Place” I shit you not. Planned followups include “From Facebook to Face Down” And “Using Twitter to Hit ‘er.” Kidding. My homegirl he sent the book to said it could have been written by a five year old.  Dude joined a group a while ago that may or may not have been started by yours truly and mentioned in a new book that rhymes with “Snitch is the Few Crack.” Needless to say, when it came to back up the expertise, a lot of excuses were made.

So given the competition in the world of being an internet macking guru, I’ve decided to throw my hat into the ring. So, since we’re always talking about people’s dating issues, let’s try a couple dating solutions. And for all of its negative connotations,

"You's a rest haven for Hoes!"

Craig Sager, er, I mean Willie Dynamite

the truth is: The road to happy comitted black people always starts with macking. In order for a relationship to form, someone’s gotta nut up and open the conversation. Successfully. SisterToldja said as much here in lamenting the dearth of type A males who go out and mack to women. So here’s a very brief, unscientific set of pointers from your new internet macking guru:

1. Just do it. You can justify to yourself a million different reasons not to approach a woman. “She’s surrounded by her girlfriends”, “I’m shy”, “There are too many people around”, “It would be awkward”, “Them light skinned girls think they better than er’body”, etc.. But like a jump shot, if you don’t try, you won’t score.

2. Just do it alot. 1, it’s good practice, so you’ll get better at it. 2. A lot of relationships come indirectly. You may not make a love connection with old girl, but when her and her crew come to the barbecue you invite them to, her homegirl with the curly fro might just be choosing. Just talk to people without an expectation of an outcome. A lot of time, just being more social leads to good things.

3. Speaking of Choosing…That’s women’s work, not men’s. How many times have you locked in on that one girl in a crew, tried with her, and then crashed and burned. What you didn’t know was that her friend was eyeing you and has low moral standards. When there’s a group of women, actually talk to them before you figure out whether you’ve fallen in love yet.

4. All you have in this life is your word and your balls…And since she doesn’t know if you’re honest or not, all you’ve really got at the opening is your balls. so let em hang low. Mack hard, with pride and confidence. Without apology or doubt. The night I got the most positive female attention in my life, I was wearing a dress. A short dress, at that. When I asked the women I met why they were initially attracted to me, the answer was always something to the effect that they were intrigued by the confidence it takes a straight man to wear a dress. In the same vein:

5. Separate Yourself.. The Phrase, “be yourself” is always thrown around by us internet macking gurus while we’re trying to tell you to do everything different than you normally would. There’s not as much dissonance there as you might think. Because who you “are” and what you show may be two very different things. You may be an artistic, spiritual left of center guy, but standing somewhere in a button up, some loafers, and a low caesar, you kinda fade in with all the other non-artistic, areligious, right wing assholes vying for the same woman’s attention. You’re wearing their uniform. You’re probably using the exact same approach. So, and this is where you have to figure it out for yourself, you’d probably be better off letting a potential mackee know from jump what it is about you that’s not like the others. Are you safe and secure, like a Volvo?  Thrilling and dangerous like a Ferrari? Tough and industrious like an F-150? What’s your value proposition? If you know this, it’s pretty easy to articulate it. Hell, you probably won’t even need to. people will just recognize it. If you’re a little confused, figure it out.

6. Wear an Ascot….I’m fucking kidding. You like a complete dickcheese wearing an ascot. There are three peoople in the world who can get away with wearing an ascot without irony. Two of them live in Monaco. The odds are not with you here.

7. Mack with honor: Don’t sell these hoes dreams. If you know she’s looking to land a husband, and you just want to see what she looks like tied up, don’t lead her on. You may miss out on some tang, but in the end, you’ll be a better person for it.

Happy macking

Happy Black Girl Day

Posted: March 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

So today is apparently Happy Black Girl day. I support this. Bitter Black Bitch Day was earlier in February and the Hallmark cards really didn’t sell well for that event. Apparently today, it also was noted on the Root that nearly half of black women have Herpes.

Way to be a downer. But in the spirit of good news, I went to a lovely Engagement party on Saturday for one of my best friends on Earth and his lovely Fiance. Now despite the never-ending parade of doom and gloom that black women’s relationship prospects are worse than the chances of a woman going unmolested by Ben Roethlisberger at a kegger, I have news for you: It ain’t so. Besides the lovely bride and groom to be (shown above), there were a myriad of married and probably soon to be married couples in attendance

1. Kelly and Melissa: They’re putting the finishing touches on the house they’re building together in DC

2. Scott and Jen; They’ve been married for years now and are still going strong.

3. Henry and his wife (I just met her) They just got married this year.Last year, that bamma was single, so clearly, he chose and chose hard.

4. K & K: They ain’t married yet, but he’s unlikely to do any better, so I’m expecting a ring anyday now.

5. O & C: They seemed real snuggly, so I approve.

Also, my sis Lauren has a new gentleman courter she’s very excited about, who even took her on a helicopter ride. I don’t have pics of everybody, nor would I want to put everyone on blast without their approval, but suffice it to say, the idea of black people in love and matrimony is not that far out of the norm. Just thought y’all should know. Also, this gentleman was single and looking, so ladies if you’re single, choose Jody

I make the fun, but he’s actually cool as shit, and all the girls loved him.

So my mom asked me the other day whether I’d read the Washington Post article advocating that black women date outside their race. Of course, not everyone was thrilled with the idea that the magic solution to the problem (real or imagined) of black women’s shortage of marriageable partners comes in an off-pink package that tans poorly. See @sistertoldja’s feelings on the matter here.

My mother being every bit as ignorant as me, but smarter, says “How come people just don’t do polygamy?” As a Ph.D in sociology, she was able to follow up the comment with some reasonably articulated statements as to why it might work too. And it got me to thinking…Why not polygamy? so let’s look at the Pros and Cons

Pros

1. Duh. Numbers: If we start at the basis that there are more marriageable black women than Black men, irrespective of height, status, wealth, etc, then even if every black man in America married a black woman, there would still be black women left out. Thus, we’re not talking about women being damned to singlehood because they’re too loud, or too fat, too intimidating, or any other manner of blame we heap on black women to remind them their romantic woes are all their fault. it’s just an unfortunate case of a numbers mismatch. The solution: Those black men that could take a second wife should.

2. The kids. Everyone knows kids thrive in a two-parent household. imgine how well they’d do with three or four. No more worrying about whether little Javarus gets picked up from soccer practice or if anyone can help Keisha with her economics homework. Chances are, someone’s schedule will open up.And with the ability to marry one’s multiple baby mamas, we could end the sniping and negativity that sometimes accompanies “baby mama drama.” They’re wives now.

3. Money! We all know how much people save by doubling up on expenses. Think about it. It’s a lot cheaper for a whole mess of folks to live in one house than it is for everyone to have their own contemporary two-bedroom condo in a trendy neighborhood undergoing “urban renewal.” Couple that with Costco memberships, being able to borrow clothes, and there’s so much wealth-building ability, it’s be unreal.

4. Guys would go for it When you hear men talk about the reasons they don’t want to get married, a lot of it stems from this fear that thye’re going to choose the wrong person. Well, what if you could rectify that potential mistake without a costly and painful divorce. I mean, let’s consider old buddy from Oracle:

Yeah, that guy. Let’s face it, this dude had no interest in a monogamous marriage. But it wasn’t like he was out running the streets whoring it up either, as far as we know. He just wasn’t a one woman man. Clearly, he could afford two wives, and effectively, he basically had two wives. So why turn this into some big scandal where everyone’s pockets and feelings get hurt. Why not just take Ya’vaughnie (such an unfortunate name) and make her his second wife? Who loses in that scenario? No one!

Cons

1. Logistics Everybody knows, if you get two women in the same room and leave, 30 minutes later one is crying and the other is holding a knife. OK, maybe that’s a bit stereotypical, but still, women being competitive, things could go South real fast in this situation

2. Christianity A lot of y’all New Testament folks gonna dig up some passage or other bout how it’s supposed to be one man and woman, ya, ya , ya. Just saying, them folks who look a whole lot like you and lived in warmer climates somewhat South of Europe who DIDN’t Enslave your monkey ass in the name of Jesus thought different.

3. You ain’t fina do that shit. Let’s face it, people have egos. Especially these days. And people’s expectations for what a monogamous marriage will be like are already so unrealistically rosy that to tell a woman she’s going to have to share a man isn’t gonna get you too far. even if she’s already sharing a man.

4. Y’all equal now and shit. Polygamy at its core relies on a fairly patriarchal system to work. It’s hard enough keeping a housewife happy and in line when you’re bringing home the bacon. I imagine it’d be well nigh like herding cats if you have three women in the house who don’t need you to provide shelter and buffalo meat. Hell, depending on the ownership structure of the house, they may own more of the roof than you do. Polygamy works real well for lions because they have a pretty clear delineation of responsibilities. Lady lions hunt Gazelles and provide food for the family unit and man lion protects she-lion from bigger meaner animals and other he-lions. Real simple. Everykitty stays in their lane. But with our gender roles pretty much up for grabs these days, this isn’t really going to work for the upwardly mobile professional female.

In any case, I think it’s a fine idea for those who want to pursue it. I realize that may be a small segment of the population, but hey, some dude had to be the first to say “I’m fina rock these tight ass jeans and it’s not gonna look gay”

So if you follow me on twitter (I don’t recommend it, I’m banal and highly annoying), you might have seen me going back and forth with a number of other twitterers about gender, male privilege, and some other highfalooting concepts with which I’m sorely underqualified to deal with. I’m a very tactile person. I deal best with what I can touch, taste, smell, and feel. I like the feel of boobies, the sound of a Hemi exhaust, and the taste of bacon. The conceptual and theoretical, I sometimes have a hard time dealing with because I don’t necessarily see how it relates to the real world. That said, there are people far better than me at explaining the theoretical, especially in terms of race and gender politics. I present:

Saida

SisterToldja

R. L’Heureux Lewis: Who wrote this treatise for the existence of Black Male Privilege

Here’s Brother Lewis speaking at Morehouse’s Founder’s Day Symposium:

If you’ve been an unfortunate witness to my sloppy back and forths with the above folks, you’ll know I carry a certain amount of skepticism about the concept of “Black Male Privilege.” I’m not saying it doesn’t exist. I just haven’t necessarily been sold on the idea that there’s something particularly special about Male Privilege as it relates to Black men.

What’s more interesting, I think, is how we address these concepts in reality, and in particular, in relationships. What a lot of my intellectual friends have suggested is a pathway towards making men and women more equal. Reducing the negative effect of male privilege and patriarchy on women, so that they have greater opportunity, safety, and stature.

I fully support this. But one of the things that I think will make an interesting sideshow to this is the fact that:

women still want a man that’s more powerful than she is!

Even a couple of the women I’ve mentioned above have had conversations with me saying that they either want or expect either an Alpha Male, or for a man to contribute financially to a relationship on a higher level than she is. If that’s the case, isn’t that a huge disincentive for men to give up what privilege they have from a socioeconomic perspective? After all, if women typically want a man that has more power/money/status than they do, why would men want to dismantle the power structure that provides them with these traits? I ask this as a means to discussion, not to prejudge an argument. Seriusly, I really think this needs to be talked about. I find it especially interesting that even very feminist women who rail against patriarchy are often themselves still somewhat tied to gender roles in their personal lives. I was watching Millionaire Matchmaker the other day (which probably deserves its own slice of the gender/socioeconomics discussion as men who have some kind of male privilege basically get to pick and choose from throngs of young, attractive women) and saw this:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Ain’t it wild to see women pushing for what many consider to be antiquted gender roles which clearly label the man as the stronger, protective party and the woman as the person to be taken care of while the man argues against it? I mean, think about that for a minute. Who’s right? And where does buddy’s hesitance to engage in chivalry come from? Is it a legitimate attempt to treat women as equals as opposed to being patronizing, or is it just laziness and narcissism? And is Patty right? If gender roles HAVE worked for millions of years, what happens when those gender roles change? How do both men and women adapt successfully to these changing roles? Or is that impossible?

As women and men: how do you deal with these sometimes conflicting issues? Discuss.