argument

While perusing several of the hundreds of Django Unchained conversations happening on social media, I began to get this nagging feeling that just wouldn’t go away. It had nothing to do with the hatred hurled at Spike Lee or the brittle enthusiasm over Quentin Tarantino. It didn’t have anything to do with the film’s slant towards colorism and depiction of the White-Savior Complex as heroism — or even why the Tupac song at the end stopped right when I was getting into it.

All of that faded in light of the revelation that we — as in black descendants of slaves in America — converse as if we hate each other.

*And please skip the “Who is we?” question. If it’s not for you, the browse button is that way.*

Sambo, coon, nigger, nigga, and Uncle Tom have all been spoken with such a deep-seated hatred and resentment that I have literally recoiled from my screen at times — in disbelief, in dismay, in sadness. And it’s not just Django; any conversation that involves race spirals out of control so swiftly it’s as combustible as a lit match on gasoline. I asked myself, “Why are we using plantation language to insult one another?” “Why are all these black people fighting over a white man’s rendition of slavery, or a black woman sleeping with a white man (see: Scandal); or the infallibility (or cultural mirage) of a black president?” And the answer is simple:

Because some of us are still slaves.

Oh, the shackles aren’t there — for those of us not in the Prison Industrial Complex — but the damage has been done. And we are still divided into a contemporary version of what Ancestor Malcolm called House Negroes and Field Negroes.

There are those who have the mistrust and discernment of the field slave. They dig deep for motivation, intent, lurking dangers. Because of this, their vantage point is both clearer and cloudier than one “on the inside” and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get away from the Big House. Which leads us to the house slave. They may know what field slaves  go through on a daily basis, but by virtue of something as arbitrary as genetics, they are able to distance themselves from the brutality, the blatant degradation — and because of proximity, their vision of freedom is not to flee the Big House, but to one  day own the Big House.

This dichotomy dictates that we must be at odds for an inherently racist system to survive. Descendants of field slaves and house slaves don’t want to join forces because we’re so determined to prove to White America how un-alike we are that we’re afraid to be seen on common ground even for a minute. So while on the surface  it may appear that we’re arguing over Scandal or Obama or Django, what the field slaves want to broadcast is that they’re not sell-outs and the house slaves are telecasting that they’ve bought in.

Am I lying?

We have to face it, people. “Even our conditioning has been conditioned.”  And when people — like myself — bring it to the forefront, I get criticized for being divisive. Hell, we’re divided. And how else can we come together if we don’t first figure out why we’re apart? My motto for 2013 is:

Let’s be real so we can heal.

To begin the healing process, we need to talk to each other. And to do that , we have to stop attacking each other, so I’ve listed points to help us on the road to getting there.

1.) We are not enemies.

We may not all be friends, but we are not yet enemies. Speaking to another person with respect, even if you disagree with their opinion, goes a long way to ensuring a productive, mutually beneficial conversation.

2.) People may not always remember what you said, but they remember how you made them feel.

Dr. Maya Angelou had it right. If you approach a conversation as if you’re going into combat, people are going to put on their armor. If you attack, people are going to defend. Put people at ease and you’d be surprised what you can learn from each other.

3.) Everyone’s opinion has value.

If your goal is to prove how right, or smart, or “better” you are, walk away from the conversation immediately because you’re having it for the wrong reasons. Listen to opinions without prejudice. While it may not change your mind, it can’t hurt to have a multi-dimensional view of a single issue.

This is by no means an extensive list, but I guarantee if we try these three things, the quality of the conversations that we’re having on pivotal issues or those that lead to deeper understanding will dramatically improve. And, be honest, aren’t you tired of the fighting, Black people?

Let’s talk.

 

  • The Artist

    Thank you! Thank you! I’m so glad you put this into prospective, these issues are much deeper. Love your work Kirsten!

  • http://www.urbanexpressive.com J. Nicole

    Am I the only one who did not pick up on any colorism in Django? That’s actually the one undertone I did not see, but if anyone else did, please elaborate. However….

    “we’re so determined to prove to White America how un-alike we are that we’re afraid to be seen on common ground even for a minute.”

    I could not agree more! To some people, for the sake of the article, the “house” negros, this is an ongoing shucking & jiving for them. I’ve corrected white people who thought it was a compliment to tell me I’m not like “other” black people. Ok, I went off on them. I love my people, even when they make me shake my head in disgust.

    It’s time to have real convos w/out hostility. Truth is, some have it “easier” than others in this society of white supremecy, yet we are still in the same game. Being honest with your disdain or why you feel privilaged is the only way. I used to try to force people of color (African American, Afro-Latino, Afro-Caribbean) to have more of a “field” mentality but it isn’t for everyone & I’m not Harriet Tubman.

  • politicallyincorrect

    Black America have a decent discussion? How can 40 million people have a decent discussion? You bring enough people into any discussion it will be disagreements

  • Deidra

    After reading this article, I feel like there are two ways the comment section could go…

    and it’ll probably go both ways.

  • http://gravatar.com/rockthecatbox rockthecatbox

    I couldn’t see any colorism in Django either (does the author mean colorism in casting, or the colorism that historically happened between house and field slaves? Not all house slaves were light, and not all field slaves were dark, so thought was was shown accurately (wait a minute… did Tarantino host a secret octaroon ball with certain cast members?! I knew that man was evil! LOL) Seriously though, the plantation lexicon is part of American culture, and as ugly and divisive as it may be, Willy Lynch’s letter and the divisions therein are American cultural staples. So it would be a matter of unlearning a discourse that is centuries old and really does color (pun intended) our interactions about race. I agree that we can try to treat each other better. It’s one thing to mention these words as examples of history, another to say them among “family” where the meaning and intent is understood, and another to use them as accusations in a who’s black enough contest.

  • ASK_ME

    I think the MAIN reason why we can’t have a conversation is because we are NOT monolithic. The house has always been divide. Jim Crow has fallen and overt racism isn’t the thing forcing us together anymore.

    We are divided based on class, gender, education, political ideology, religion etc. I think this is okay because I appreciate variety and differences.

    Forty million people will never see eye to eye. I accept it. When I hear people saying things like, “We need to worry about the black community…” I tune them out because we don’t really have a community. We have a group of people that share RACE, who come together on occasion to protest race related issues. That’s about it.

    You cannot force people to like each other. You cannot force people to see your point of view. You cannot force people to operate as a unit with so many difference amongst them. The best we can expect is common courtesy and respect.

  • Whatever

    Great article. I especially liked this:

    “If your goal is to prove how right, or smart, or “better” you are, walk away from the conversation immediately because you’re having it for the wrong reasons. Listen to opinions without prejudice. While it may not change your mind, it can’t hurt to have a multi-dimensional view of a single issue.”

    This is so true. I find that some people just can’t have a decent conversation or debate without getting personal or taking something personally. It so important to get their points across that instead of listening objectively, they are just putting their brains into overdrive coming up with a rebuttall before taking what the other person is saying in and actually thinking about it first. No need to be hostile to have a discussion.

  • Whatever

    “To some people, for the sake of the article, the “house” negros, this is an ongoing shucking & jiving for them. I’ve corrected white people who thought it was a compliment to tell me I’m not like “other” black people.”

    I am so with you on this!

  • Anthony

    First of all, internet conversations tend to pretty aggressive because people can go at each other that way when they are not face to face, and don’t have to worry about the implications of aggressive behavior. I have read plenty of non-black internet conversations that were extremely aggressive.

    As for “Django Unchained,” it is the sort of movie that will elicit strong reactions. Tarantino movies are not everyone even when they have nothing to do with race. A black comedy/satire about slavery just won’t appeal to a lot of people no matter who made it.

    As for Spike Lee, I think a person can respect him as an artist and still feel that he comes off from time to time as if he knows better than anyone else, or that he is annointed to speak for all black people. As for Tarantino, I feel one can be a fan while seeing his blind spots and shortcomings in how he relates to black people.

    I just think the house slave/field slave bit is overly dramatic and shopworn in relation to this topic.

  • Winning Yve

    Incredibly well written article. Kudos to the author. Haven’t seen Django yet, so can’t speak to that. But I do want to point out that sometimes we’re a little harder on ourselves. There a plenty of other social media forums with predominately non-AA people that go in on each other based on cultural or economic differences. I don’t think this is exclusively an African American issue. People in general will run into heated debates anytime you have the informed and the uninformed or the respectful and ill-mannered in the same room.

    But the way the author categorized the differences in the black psyche is genius. Don’t really consider myself a slave or in any kind of bondage but I get the point being made

  • KR

    The root of this current divide comes from Black militants and Black Nationalist. They have been around for the last 100 years starting with Marcus Garvey and going forward to the Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers. I understand why they were created and they were needed at one time. However, it has been distorted over the years and used for some leaders personal agenda and enrichment to the point now where I call it FAKE Blackerthanthous, FAKE Pro Black and FAKE Black Nationalism with their fake laughable purity and conformity test. These fake blackerthanthou’s and Black Nationalist run around with great vitriol talking loud questioning everyone else but become outraged when they are in turn questioned. I understand why those organizations were created and they were needed at one time. But, what have the Black Militants and Nationalist accomplished over the past 100 years? I mean, really, what do they have to show for all of their big talking? Where are their hospitals, colleges, trade schools, manufacturing companies, farms & food distribution networks and businesses and organizations? They want to call everyone else out but what have they accomplished?

    Pro Black and Black Nationalism in my mind means exactly that. The upliftment of your people by setting an example through positive constructive means. See Jews, Asians, East Indians, Arab Americans and now the Mexicans. It is not the black militants/nationalist wraped distorted interpretation which is anti every other race, useless flapping of gums signifying nothing, anti intellectualism, conformity and catering to the base fears of the ignorant. It’s now about putting pressure on the immature and ignorant to conform. They think (especially the ones who are broke, jobless or ex-cons) that they are somehow more authentic. If you’re not down with hating all other races and hating blacks who don’t think exactly like them then you’re not down with (the cause) black power! SMMFH Pressure from degenerates and blackerthanthou negroes to conform IMO is the biggest reason why a lot of kids in these ghetto schools and communities fail and become unproductive adults. Publicly proclaiming your hate for other races is bad for business. It’s a failed agenda that has not accomplish anything long term and has been rejected by the overwhelmingly majority of Black Americans because of it’s message of hate and intolerance. It might have been successful if it was based off of tolerance of others and stayed focused on black pride, black love, education, making money and businesses as some other groups have done. Their world is getting smaller and smaller.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    you are probably right about forcing those things, but there is no reason to believe that you can’t use influence to achieve unity as opposed to force.

    Not for all, clearly, there are some that have no desire to be a part of the community. But for a great many of us that still have a common cause of ending the 2nd class citizenship of black people in this country, there is a basis for unity. Those that don’t want to be involved can continue to look out for themselves, while the rest of us go about fixing issues plaguing the community. Jim Crow was only the start. Education, employment, poverty gap, and prison industrial complex are much bigger fish to fry.

  • leelah

    I feel the whole conversation about Django got derailed once they started throwing insults at spike lee. To this day, I haven’t heard one conversation about the fact that in a story about slavery Django’s greatest nemesis was another black man. The movie wasn’t over until he killed steven. And it goes back to that white american argument that slavery wouldn’t exist without black people upholding the institution just as much as white people. That from our capture in africa to our 300 years in slavery in the americas, our mental weakness(despite our physical strength, which displayed by all those half naked black male bodies in the movie) upheld the institution. I’m waiting for this movie to be really critiqued instead of everybody running to save quentin tarantino.–I also noticed that Kerry Washington’s hair flowed down and not up, was that an artistic/stylistic decision so she fit more into the literary mold of a damsel in distress. That and the fact she spoke german kinda elevated her from a regular slave woman to a more cultured, refined woman worthy of being saved.

  • leelah

    About black people and their name calling…a while back a professor of mine took us to a racist website for a lecture on hate communities. Reading some of the comments there, I heard some insults and theories I never heard before. They call us the mud people, savages, rats. Now looking at the names that black people sling at each other, they are just as racists, mud ducks and hood rats, gorillas, baboons, and straight from slavery favorite chicken heads. When and where did we start reducing each other to animals.

  • Ask_Me

    @Ravi

    I said we come together to protest race related issues (mainly because we are ALL affected by that issue)…good luck coming together beyond that!

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    Your asking for people with opposing view points to have discussion from different sides with out being somewhat hostile? Especially if you KNOW that the other side is not interested in listening but pushing an agenda? Thats like asking for a boxing match were the fighter keep both hands tied behind their back. You have these discussion to get your point across if you just want to hear both sides and play the fence you have no business giving an opinion just sit back and watch. And this writer blatantly stirs the pot and is stunned when a riot breaks out? Nigger please!

  • Anthony

    You make some good points Leelah. Kerry Washington was “whitened” metaphorically, and I admit that I missed that point. I can see making the house slave the greatest enemy because he had intimate knowlwedge of the abuse of slavery, yet he chose to support it. DiCaprio or Don Johnson’s characters were privileged members of society who did not question their privilege, which made them simply “average” humans.
    Remember, average does not equal good. Many of the worst atrocities committed in history have been carried out by average people who did not question the prevailing wisdom.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “we — as in black descendants of slaves in America — converse as if we hate each other”

    we DO hate each other. that is what we have been TAUGHT by the system of white supremacy that we ALL live under. BLACK SELF HATE is the systems best weapon to keep us down. BLACK LOVE is the greatest WEAPON we can deploy in defense.

    LOVING OURSELVES and OUR SISTERS is one of THE most radical things a BLACK person can DO.

  • http://theharlemtimes.com Shea Zephir

    While I admit I am guilty of debating intensity by default because of my passionate nature. I do agree that even in the most controversial and sensitive topics our culture (blacks) do not know how to engage in a heated debate without emotions being so fired up that things become disrespectful. That is not to say the Bill O’reillys, or Ann Coulters are better people when they reveal their opinions than us because they are white and just as abrasive and down right disrespectful when debating, but its is to say that our culture which is already embedded with a dysfunctional and tortured past of slavery struggle more than our white counterparts to accept, respect, and value one another as a complete whole.

    We are the most divided culture that disrespects one another on a daily basis. So, yes its is about time someone challenged the issue that we as a whole need to start respecting one another period. Self-control has always been a struggle for the black community and we need not to continue to perpetuate the stereotype that we in fact are animals, who act like animals and treat our own the same as such. Nobody said the work would be easy, but there is much work to be done. Stop making excuses and check yourself out of the respect for others and your people period!

  • chike

    I have always had a problem understanding black americans, who go about calling each other niggers-kinda confusing i dare say-and demand nobody else calls them that-double standards.
    Am an african, it really hurts to see black americans (whom i used think as salvation of the black race) make less of themselves by themselves for all to see. its not doing us any good. people should talk to their children, and make them read-the more u know about your history, the less u try to perpetuate some should-be-forgotten idiocies.

  • ASK_ME

    For once I actually agree with some of your points.

  • leelah

    see, with movies like Django there was so many juicy scenes and characters and interesting dialogue to examine. But it never happened once the insults started to fly. In a way, I think quentin wrote the story to appease white folks. Its a slavery story that spread the guilt all around, whites and blacks are all guilty for the institution. Kinda like white people saying ‘you know black people sold other black people into slavery you know’, it eases that white guilt. Now whether or not Quentin wrote his story to be politically correct or to be historically accurate is an interesting debate that should of got some press. But I guess Spike Lee, the person I thought would’ve brought it up, did his community a disservice by not seeing the film before he critiqued it. Spike should’ve did it like me and saw the film on bootleg. I too had a hard time going and paying to see this movie, quentin didn’t need my money and I didn’t want to go to a white theater to see a movie that I thought was going to make my people look like fools. But I was pleasantly surprised, I like the film and think there’s a lot to the film for discussion.—-Also I think a whole essay could be written on black women and the damsel in distress, in relation to Princess in the Frog and Django Unchained.

  • leelah

    The essay didn’t ask why are the men here. It asked why are the trolls here. If you are a man who doesn’t value black women or their opinion. If you are a man who thinks feminist ideas ruined the black community and any feminist discussion can throw you into a fit of rage, I think its a fair question to ask why come to a site that you don’t respect or value?

  • http://gravatar.com/nattynay nattynay

    To answer the question in the title:

    Aside from being individuals with our unique personalities:

    -There’s still the light-skinned/dark-skinned nonsense (within our own people)
    -Many blacks in America(due to slavery) have no culture to identify with. For example most hispanic people speak Spanish(a language), and have a country to identify with.
    -The black people who aren’t American-born look down at the blacks in the US(look up ‘Akata’)
    -It’s been so ingrained that anything considered “Black” or “Afro-centric” is looked down on.
    -Some of us would rather except our state(in media,community,or our own lives) than to fix it.
    -Some of us would rather flock to ignorance than, rise above it.

    I could go on all day…

    I often joke that if there was ever a race-war in the U.S. (God forbid) we as a people wouldn’t stand a chance, because we’d be too busy dividing each other up into pieces: By skin-color,hair-type,education-level, what region you’re from, if you’re Nigerian or Haitian, etc.

  • http://crystalspraggins.blogspot.com/ Crystal Spraggins

    I don’t think that anyone could argue that we’re divided. I’m not so sure the divide is along the “field Negro/house Negro” lines, though. I think the divide stems from a serious frustration about the state of black Americans, which on the whole is pretty dismal compared to other groups, and we’re still trying to figure out why and who’s to blame. Some of us want to blame white people (those in the past and those in the present) and others are more inclined to take an inward look. Both positions brings with them power and peril, which is why we fight so strenuously about it. Either way, as a group we have some work to do. Virtually every societal ill that you can mention—failing schools, broken homes with absentee parents, drug and alcohol addiction, illiteracy, and violence, to name a few—hits the African American community hardest. If these things aren’t worth some heated debate, then I don’t know what is.

    As for all the name calling, well, this IS the internet. As another commenter said, internet debates tend to be less civil in general. I’m pretty sure that if we were in a room talking face-to-face we wouldn’t be calling each other names.

    Having said all that, some of us are still seeking approval from white people, and we’ve been doing so for centuries, because it was to our benefit to be seen as “approved” by white folks. Heck, in some circles it still is, because generally speaking, we are not in control. I think this phenomenon is not uncommon to underclass groups. Look at how women hold each other back in the workplace, for goodness’ sake (see Queen Bee syndrome for more on that). It’s shameful.

    So, what’s to be done? Well, we aren’t going to undo hundreds of years in conditioning overnight, that’s for sure. But conversations like these are a start.

  • KR

    Black Feminism and Black Matriarchy has been a disaster for the overwhelming majority of black women, black kids, the black family and the black community. That’s not about valuing an opinion. It’s just a fact. How many more generations are we going to lose before black women and emasculated black men admit this extreme left liberal ideology on family is not for (black folks) us?

    The Black Family: 40 Years of Lies Kay S. Hymowitz http://www.city-journal.org/html/15_3_black_family.html

  • GeekMommaRants

    We receive hateful messages in the media daily. We do not like ourselves or each other because we are programmed not too. Everything from religion to skin color has a message filled with hate. We are what we feed our minds. Television is the best tool for teaching self-hate. This has always happened, the media programs with subliminal messages this hatred. We need to do the things we use to do before the advent of media. Dance as a community. Eat as a community. Destroy the TV as a community. IMO this is how we get to a place where communication can start.

  • I got sense!

    Having seen the entire movie, Kerry’s was not the only woman in the film with flowing hair that went down and not up. There were at least 6 – 10 that I can actually remember right now. The fact that she spoke German definitely made her a hot commodity in the film but it wasn’t a thing of all the white people speaking it so she was special because she was more like them. It was more of a “oh look she can speak something other than English”. I don’t agree that it made her more cultured, refined or worthy of being saved from Django’s perspective but I can see how you got there.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “Some of us want to blame white people (those in the past and those in the present) and others are more inclined to take an inward look”

    and SOME of US do BOTH..

  • http://elegantblackwoman.blogspot.com Elegance

    Why does disagreement among Black people always have to be related to slavery? Black people are not a monolith! Individuals have different upbringing, beliefs, values, and goals and that is why they disagree! Step out of the box and stop relating everything to slavery for once.

    Stop living in the past and blaming that for the simple fact that people have always disagreed with other people! Stop acting like you are still a slave and that you lived through slavery already. If you disagree with someone, don’t call them a racial slur or say they are a slave. Listen to them, try to understand them, and figure out why they think the way they do. Then decide if you still disagree based on what they have said, not based on if you think they are a slave. Seriously, enough!

  • leelah

    how many more generations are we going to loose?

    First off, I’m open to having this conversation. I think a conversation is different than a belittling lecture which is what the ‘why are you here’ article was criticizing. I will read the essay you linked to because I’m open to new ideas. But I don’t think black feminism can be blamed solely for single parent homes. And single parent homes have not resulted in a matriarchy because the black community is still a dysfunctional patriarchy. black men hold most of the power in the community. gang culture/drug culture/black male masculinity would not run the streets if we had a matriarchy. And are you claiming that all the black males that you think are the problem are emasculated, are all the thugs, drug dealers, rappers, and athletes emasculated?

  • PBR

    You are so right. The blackerthanthous motives are questionable in 2013. If you look at the loudest Black National/ Black power voices signifiying all over social media, blaming Obama for everything that’s wrong, they are usually broke/unemployed/powerless. How can you be powerful but yet can’t even properly support your own family and kids? How are you about black power but don’t own or create anything? How are you black power but secretly lusting over white flesh / refuse to marry your black baby momma? Time to go back to the drawing board.

  • leelah

    for discussion sake, can you point out the 6 -10 slave women whose hair flowed down. Please don’t include the cook, or the woman who was saved from the whipping because they both had buns. Also master Candis’ girl had a relaxer so she don’t count either. At Don Johnson’s plantation the slave girl who pointed the outlaws out to Django had a very messy flowing up afro and she spoke in a very broken stereotypical, almost comical accen(I think that was on purpose)t.–who speaks german but white people? And what does it mean that broomhilda was squirreled away with a german woman that she was able to become fluent in german? it means that she was raised in a bubble, a vacuum, completely separate from her environment to be a proper lady. She wasn’t a slave but a lady. So it hurt, it was surprising when the audience saw her being treated like a slave. I never said anything about from Django’s perspective, I said her character was written to fit the mold of the damsel in distress, she’s a true lady, refined, fragile, worthy of being saved.

  • http://crystalspraggins.blogspot.com/ Crystal Spraggins

    True enough. As we embark toward more respectful conversations, I’d like to say, “Thanks for pointing that out, brother.”:) (I’m from Philly, too!)

  • I got sense!

    @leelah

    I don’t remember the characters names so…. I don’t see why how you know the black lady on the house ( I believe her name was Sheba) had a relaxer but ok. Nonetheless Kerry’s character wasn’t the only one with hair that went down not out. I don’t really see what that has to do with anything, but ok.

    “And what does it mean that broomhilda was squirreled away with a german woman that she was able to become fluent in german”

    Idk what you mean by squirreled away but in the movie it was stated that broomhilda’s owners were German and the lady of the house wanted some to speak German with that’s why she talk broomhilda. Again, I DISAGREE. If you find all this extra (was not stated in the movie information) that fine, I don’t. She was very much a slave and if you think her knowing German meant she wasn’t ok, but I disagree. I never said you did say anything about Djangos perspective so I don’t see what that’s about either. Again, (for the third time), I don’t agree but I can see how you got there.

  • princessevilina

    Took the words right out of my mouth.

    I don’t have strenuous opinion about Django that would move me to argue about it and name call anyone. Actually, in 45 years, I have never come across anything that moved me to level racial epithets/slurs at one of my own. Nothing is that serious that I would feel compelled to denigrate a fellow Black man or woman in such a hateful and degrading manner. Nothing. I leave that kind of hatred to the redneck racists and others of their kind. I prefer to have as little in common with them as possible.

    I enjoyed the Django. It’s entertainment. If people choose to assign all kind of ulterior and nefarious motives to the film, that’s their choice but it’s not got a thing to do with me. I refuse to let anyone dictate how I spend my free time, or what I can and cannot enjoy. It’s as simple as that. There is enough day to day grief and aggravation in this world as it is. I’m not going to let it enter and ruin the land of make believe too. Not even when that land is loosely based on reality.

    I’m not trying to argue the point with anyone either. Those who have tried have had the surprise, or maybe even the pleasure of watching me walk away. How they take my refusal to engage in a heated debate full of name calling and craziness, is on them.

  • KR

    @leelah

    The gang and drug culture is the end result of Black Matriarchy. Do you really believe it could exist in communities full of men (head of household) in the homes? No way possible.

    Yes, any man who thinks blacks can have a productive community without men in the home is either immature, ignorant or emasculated.

  • stef

    Thank you, I was thinking the same thing. it has nothing to do with slavery. Europeans don’t all agree with each other or even like each other. Do the English love the French? NO and they both hate the Germans and all three have plenty of negative things to say about eastern Europeans. Same goes for the Asians and Indians.

    Lets just say we agree to disagree and move on

  • Lulu

    “Same goes for the Asians and Indians.”

    Good Lord, you should hear what the Japanese have to say about South Koreans (and vice versa) and what most of asia have to say about the Chinese. It can get very ugly…

  • DownSouth Transplant

    Natty Nay, I agree with most of your points one correction that I have to make Akata is not a derogatory term as many have been made to believe, in its simplest form It means a cat that doesn’t live at home , this is used to reference mostly African Americans as they are considered Africans but the fact that they don’t live in Africa make them akata while those who live at home can be considered as Ologbo (cat). I have heard even Yoruba’s using it amongst themselves especially the ones who have lived out of Nigeria for awhile on return may be referenced as Akata. With that in mind sometimes I have heard it muttered in a negative connotation, just like some words that when uttered with anger/disgust come to be insults. But i still hope for the sake of survival when things are going down we can overlook division to save ourselves (I am optimistic of human nature still)

  • Blackmon

    This is actually a little off topic, but for a long time, I’ve thought that as Black people we need to learn to speak to each other with more respect.

    On these Black Websites, I have seen people demeaning other Black people, calling people names. I think we need to respect each other and what other people have to say.

    Spike Lee made a shady comment about Django Unchained, and while people may not agree, I think people should have respected the man, maybe questioned what he meant. (Was he mad about the n-word, or the fact that it was a Spaghetti-Western about slavery) But instead respectful discussions, he’s called a thug by Black colleagues.

    RESPECT.

  • leelah

    I think your response was a little abrasive. You made two responses but I felt like you were screaming at me “again for the third I don’t agree”. I was trying to engage with you a discussion about a movie and its literary devises not argue. I think if you’re into literature and movies, then its clear that writers use familiar forms. This movie used the spaghetti western, and all its themes of revenge and heroes and villains. It also uses some the romance from fairy tales. The fairy tale dictates that the women look a certain way, they’re small and pretty and they have long flowing hair. Black hair, or angela davis black power hair doesn’t fit into the image of the fairy tale princess so to make kerry washington more appealing they chose her hairstyle very carefully. Thats why its important. No more and no less. Its not a huge political or cultural argument besides the fact that Kerry has to fit the fairy tale princess role as much as she a black woman can. You do know when looking at a character its okay to talk about how they look and they act?–And I can comfortably say that Kerry Washington is the only black woman in the movie with that hairstyle because I noticed it and watched for other women sporting the same hairstyle.all the desirable black women had their hair pulled in buns, except for Sheba(it was relaxed or press, but it was straightened and yes I know what that looks like). Now could sheba’s relaxed hair symbolize that she’s a conformist, that she conformed to the white man’s standards since she’s living with one? All the black women that were working in the fields that one was not to notice had afros that grew out, not down. –the movie was rich with symbolism if you love literature and know what you’re seeing when you see it. Like the slaver who was going to castrate django switching all over the place.–Broomhilda was definitely a slave but her character was designed in a way that she was raised above her station. She was a contradiction. Did you really not get that?

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    Kirsten West-Savali is so full of it. SHE writes post after post stoking the fire and then when a fire breaks out she stands in the corner acting innocent. Please. If disagreements amongst African Americans really bother her then she should stop writing incendiary posts, like this one.

    I’m really starting to wonder if she’s delusional.

  • leelah

    lol..Do you all have each other on speed dial? Did you guys send out a group text or something “hey fellas one of those silly women took the bait over at clutch, time for an intellectual train.” All of sudden all of you all are here with the long a@@ posts to go.
    Do I think a gang/drug culture could exist in a community full of men? Yes I think drug/gang culture can exist in any poor community where the men feel shut out of the larger white culture and alot of men are actually shut out because of their education and criminal records. In a poor area you have two opposing male forces, the criminals vs. those regular brothers. And we see time and time again that regular brothers are victims of the criminals. I don’t believe in this romantic notion of an army of strong black men standing up to the criminals because the black man without the gun who doesn’t live by the sword just gets chopped down. Also I think as soon as black men built up gang/rap/pimp/drug culture they pretty much waved the white flag. Snoop and 2pac and biggie wouldn’t be as big if black men didn’t cosign them.

  • http://gravatar.com/congocapanilo congocapaniloo

    People forget that there was something called ethnocentrism and inter-tribal conflict before slaves even got on those boats.

    That conflict was key in European’s ability to penetrate and conquer Africans.

    Africans were already fighting amongst each other, and enslaving each other.

  • LemonNLime

    Ugh, this article made me do a full on Liz Lemon eyeroll. Phu-lease.

  • http://Clutch SL

    And selling each other into slavery for a few trinkets or pots and pans, while certainly didn’t help, the problems extend far beyond slavery – and ethnic rivalry is nothing new whites have fought against whites, Asians against Asians…human kind has issues …let’s stop seeing every subject through a colored lens….that will go a long way in helping heal humanity

  • http://Clutch SL

    @leelah, As a woman I actually disagree – black matriarchy is to blame because most black women do not do a good job at raising their sons by themselves – that is why our men do not know what is expected of them as men.

    If we did such a great job, our boys would know how to respect our girls. If we did such a great job, our boys would not be dealing drugs, they would not be gang bangers…we are in a terrible cycle. Women raising boys to be men has been a failed experiment. If we as black women were being successful, our boys would be committing to our girls instead of just leaving a string of fatherless kids behind them to repeat the cycle.

  • http://Clutch SL

    @leelah – did you have a father in your home? Do you have any brothers?

    Leelah, I was raised in one of the toughest inner cities in this country. Do you know what made a huge difference in my upbringing and that of my brothers? Our father. We were just as prone to be pulled into all the inner city ills as our friends…save but for one thing, having to face our father every evening when he got home from work.

    Neither of my brothers have criminal records. Neither of my brothers joined gangs. Neither of my brothers had children oow.

    On her own, when my brothers became older teens, my mom was ill-equipped on her own apart from my dad to deal with those knuckleheads. A boy can only learn what it means to be man from another man – mom cannot teach him how to be a man.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    BOOM! This problem just didn’t start but was slowing building and now escalated to the point it is now that we ALL just seem so out of touch with each other while TPTB is sitting back smiling and laughing because they pockets are getting lined off of the capitalization/exploitation. HELL, even some of us market off the capitalization/exploitation of how we talk/communicate with each other and the messages we receive. Again, A LOT OF US need to beware and wake up.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    it does amaze me how people leap to defend whites…

  • Kim

    No—some people are coons and uncle toms. Get your head out the clouds – Samuel Jackson’s character in Django may have been a caricature but they exist–they existed then and they exist now and they deserve every label. Now, I do not advocate yelling or fighting, but let’s call a spade a spade.

  • leelah

    SL…you said you think that black matriarchy is to blame because women can’t raise strong men. the raising of our sons doesn’t determine whether or not we have a matriarchy, especially since most women aren’t raising their sons alone on purpose.. I think we have a patriarchy because most of the economic and cultural power remains in black men’s hands, unfortunately most of that power centers on the negative. It doesn’t matter if they are in the home or not because they still have the most power and they determine where the black community goes culturally. Now its their choice that they left the black house. some made that choice when they impregnated women that they barely knew and some made that choice when they left the home for another woman, the streets, drugs, prison or just because they fell out of love. The majority of black men haven’t left the home because of this myth of emasculating black women who kicked them out. so we have a situation where black men in mass have chose not to be in the home but to be present in the street. you go to any black neighborhood or park and they control those streets with fear and death, thats the way it was in my neighborhoods.
    .–This argument of who raised the thug sounds like what came first the chicken or the egg question. If a thug isn’t responsible for his behavior and we’re blaming his mother for him selling drugs, robbing folks, and actually killing, then we can blame the baby momma’s momma for her having children out of wedlock and the blame can go back and back and back for generations.But its always momma’s fault, where is the male responsibility in that?
    black male culture has decided aggression is important. The streets are tough. Its important that man, woman, and child all be tough and stand up for their selves in the street. Black male culture determined that rampant sexuality is important. you can’t walk down the street at 12 or 13 in a black neighborhood without being harrassed, that doesn’t happen in white neighborhoods. you don’t see grown white men pulling over to talk to young girls. black male culture decided that it can have 2 sometimes 3 women at a time, with no commitment because black women(all women) are desperate for love, hence all these extended families. and black male culture decided to co-sign drugs and criminality. If black male culture thought drugs and gangs were so wrong they would’ve shut it down when that stuff first started getting popular.

    SL, I respect your personal story but I’m reluctant to depend on personal arguments because any and everyone can pull out their personal story to support their point of view. After all our opinions are formed by our experiences. Also I can pull out some personal stories that would shoot holes all through what you are saying. Instead I’m happy you had a father in your home who made such a positive difference.

  • Kirsten West Savali

    I’m really starting to wonder if you’re just trying to get my attention.

    1.) One, you don’t know me. So your assessment of my intentions are neither accurate nor relevant.

    2.) I didn’t say disagreements bother me, I said hatred does.

    3.) If you’re looking for a writer who tap-dances around uncomfortable topics, then you should probably stop wasting your time reading my work.

    4.) I’m never in the corner, which is both the gift and the curse. On one hand, I have a lot of people thank me for tackling issues other won’t — and then there are the ones like you.

    5.) If you disagree, fine. Say why and discuss. Otherwise, you, and others like you, are part of the problem.

  • leelah

    I think we hear this ‘black women think they don’t need a man’ argument from slightly older black men who are trying to date slightly older black women with kids. If this is the case, then yes you will hear that from that population because they are jaded, they’ve been used, and abused already. Older women know the mess and trouble that the wrong man can bring into their home and lives. So they are extra cautious, and even cynical when it comes to opening up to a new man. There’s truth to that saying ‘all the good ones are taken’. black women with kids don’t want to be stuck with the lemon. –To the brothers who’re running into that ‘I don’t need a man attitude’, its time for you to do like every other culture of men and marry in your mid twenties when you still have a choice in women, before all the good ones are taken. Stop playing the field and dropping kids everywhere, thinking you’ll always be in demand. If you wait to late you’ll be out of synch with the majority of society, still trying to get married for the first time while everybody else is going through a divorce or getting married for the second time.

  • Kirsten West Savali

    Hello @rockthecatbox, I mean colorism referencing when Django makes it clear that Brunhilda is not a field slave, but a house slave and thus prettier and smarter and overall just more special and worthy of being rescued. I don’t think it was an inaccurate depiction, that thinking was common; I just think that it fed the color hierarchy. I hope that helps! K

  • Kirsten West Savali

    Thank you so much, @Whatever. I appreciate that.

    K

  • http://gravatar.com/yemi509 Folayemi (POConscious)

    I love the 2013 mantra! Let’s be real….
    Where I find myself meditating is on Esther Armah and Emotional Justice.

    She, like many of us, has come to the conclusion that as a cultural phenomena, Black people have been in a monogamous relationship with anger too long.

    Anger poisons us when it goes unattended. It can grow in a proverbial garden of emotions, as any feelings and tendencies would. But when we don’t tend to it, prune it, or give it proper re-direction as we would any tangible weeds or roots, then it takes us over.

    There are clearly historical moments and instances where anger is appropriate. Where anger is the clearest, most logical and emotively comprehensible, most humane response. Where indignation at the quotidian roots our ability to still feel in spite of…well, the quotidian. But constantly replicating the social order by which most oppressed people are yoked to anger is literally killing us. And we have to stop rejecting interventions as alien, incendiary, non-sense, abstractions or some other incarnation of projected xenophobia when the essence of how Black people are conditioning the socially conditioned (eg chronic expressions of intra-racial anger a la Vh1) is rooted in an essentialism that completely denied we could even own our emotions. The slavery analogy aptly points to how it keeps owning us.

    At this stage, we have let anger divide our attention. We are pacified by the drama of anger via television and blogs when we should be using all this TV time to have a personal revolution. The same formula for ignoring projections of pain keeps us locked in field/house negro battles when we all hurt from the macro and micro-aggressions of a racist social order. None are free of that hurt. So why enslave each other with it further?

    I think the issue in this moment (bka postbellum America) is not with expecting people to suddenly break with their conditioning or macro social cultures, but to disestablish monolithic readings of how to be a Black human without disestablishing all that anger-as-persistent-indignation has won for us in the recognition of our humanity and our Blackness. Because we have been thoroughly dichotomized in our thinking (absent or extreme; Black or white; slave or free), decoupling who is badly Black and appropriately Black seems purposeful. But Kristen is right in pointing out that it’s not inexhaustible.

    I don’t confuse Black disgust and righteous indignation with an egocentric agenda masquerading as a racialist discourse, because both are expressions of anger, but only one is actually constructive for (our) freedom. In this moment, we have to decide what kind of anger we are living for. As social individuals with a real need for basket-cobra-type-anger, we have to be vigilant about expressing it when striking is appropriate. I am also advocating that we broaden our Black emotional vernacular and get into affirming the range of responses outside of anger that inequality can elicit. Conjuring anger chronically is clearly dis-serving us in this era of high-tech lynching (all ironies intended). Masturbatory anger is making our righteous, collective angers effete and, for many people, a laughable meme.

    Of course robbing us of the outlets to even freely think through what we believe to be appropriately diverse responses to a multitude of complex, mimetic social problems is part of the yoke of oppression and we *should* be angry at that. And we should turn that anger into deliberate attention and action. That certainly looks like something more constructive than Black if/thens. “If you’re a “house negro”, then you don’t suffer racist indignities.” False. Conversely, it looks like the opposite of “pound cake speeches”, too. Empowering one dimension of anger keeps us, as social individuals, uncreative at a time when the assault on us stays its course but, now moves in an ever-emotionally-baiting camouflage. Kristen West Savali’s recent media life only reflected that.

    As a people, we have been in bed with anger for too long and we must nuance that relationship. We are selling our selves as short as our proverbial fuses. And the motive for that sale is at the root of the insidious things we think and say and project about one another–which I am not innocent of either, yogic blacademic organic buppie living in the DC hood that I am. But I accept that truth—that weed in my garden—and I tend to it like I do the roses of my joy and the hibiscus of my happiness. We have got to accept that it is our time to reject the shady affect we are normalizing. This age of anger-on-command is keeping Black negativity on demand (somebody call Rev. Sharpton—tell him I’m copywriting that!). Kristen has a strong case here: Anger is to entangled in what has been definitively and defensibly Black for too long. And as the yogis say: Let’s drop what doesn’t serve us.

  • jacqueline ballou

    Kristen,
    I feel exactly the same….we must first come together with respect for eachother and our differences. I couldn’t believe how fast you’ve been attacked .

  • WhatIThink

    An article I agree with. Django unchained was supposed to be a not so subtle slap at modern black society and their attitudes and comfort level in America. The state of black America is the best way to understand this house negro/field negro dichotomy. For the house negro, or at least for those who believe America is the greatest thing since sliced bread, this is the best time ever for black folks and it will only get better. For the field negro it is just the opposite. Now, you cannot have two diametrically opposing views of the same truth. One of them has to be right or closer to the truth than the other and both views cannot be equally correct. That is the crux of this whole issue and it has everything to do with the psychological terror black folks have been put through. So do you see reality for what it is no matter how painful or do you put on a mask and pretend that everything is great and try and act as if the pain doesn’t exist? To me that seems to be the crux of the argument.

    From my perspective it seems that people don’t like Django on some levels because it reminds them of the pain and the fact that maybe their vision for a better future and better here and now is purely a fantasy. Some of us are truly invested in that fantasy and don’t want to be taken from it. Like the cliche goes “some people can’t handle the truth”

  • http://gravatar.com/congocapanilo congocapanilo

    I’m not defending whites, but pointing out a reality about black African history. Africans existed in separate ethnic groups/tribal nations, homogenous within themselves, and only interested in themselves. That’s a reality that whites used to their advantage.

    They later sent colonized Afro-American slaves to repatriate to Africa and gladly work as black-faced puppets in the name of European interests. In return, they were educated and put in elite positions of social, political and economic influence (dominance) over the indigenous people whom the Europeans wished to penetrate. These repatriated blacks people, also, enslaved Africans. This created further fragmentation among blacks in Africa, alone.

    We were never ONE unified people.

    The continent of Africa wasn’t even named by Africans. They never came together to unify by a single continental name – the Europeans did that. Africa was named after a European man.

  • http://gravatar.com/congocapanilo congocapanilo

    Historically, we must be realistic and truthful concerning the misdeeds, elitism, deliberate silence, greed, entrapment, oppression, deceit, imperialism and imposition inflicted on blacks by other blacks, both within and outside both European and Arab domination.

    Tell the whole story, not just half of it.

  • useless black middle class

    I think for me the most difficult thing to do is treat all opinions as equal. Sorry but I can’t get with some of the madness that comes out of black people’s mouths, even many of those whom I believe have good intentions.

    Furthermore, the conduct and OPINIONS of some black people is so detrimental and damaging to any aspiration for unity that they make themselves enemies.

    I don’t respect the opinions of lunatics who justify their jungle fever by demonizing black people.

    It would be better for everybody if the do nothing, know nothing, don’t wanna know nuffing</b. majority of blacks shut their damn mouths, got on with their minimum wage jobs, and kept their RECEIVED opinions to themselves.

    That way we'd at least partially kill our reputation for not respecting education.

  • http://gravatar.com/congocapanilo congocapanilo

    I realized how much of a contradiction all the claims of Pro Blackness are in terms of promoting ‘purity’ under ‘blackness’. Blackness, itself, does not in any way imply blood quantum or cultural purity. Blackness trivializes any type of homogeneity, purity, etc…by design.

  • http://gravatar.com/congocapanilo congocapanilo

    Not acknowledging history in FULL, indeed, defends and shields white hegemony.

  • http://Clutch SL

    @leelah – on the contrary, I’ve heard women in there 20′s use that rationalize to legitimize their reason for deciding to have children out of wedlock. And it is not solely a black thing – many white women say the same thing as the employ the use of artificial insemination. It’s a popular feminist retort.

    And wow did you really twist that above – It is constantly black women bemoaning that by the time they reach a certain age – usually the 30′s – that all the good black brothers have been taken.

    And since we are promotin equality, the same should be said to women having the string of babies left behind by the men: stop having babies for men who are playing the field – it will increase you chance of marriage because as equal as we want things to be, we still rely on a man to ask us to be his wife, so ultimately, he chooses and though many men do marry women who have a child that is not his, men typically are reticent to ask a women with multiple children who have multiple baby daddies cause in the end brothers don’t want chaos and confusion when they settle down having to deal with other men – just like many women don’t want to be bothered with a man who has children by other women because of the potential drama in dealing with those baby mamas….

    You increase your chances if you are untethered – but in the end even that doesn’t matter cause it is about relating to each other – if a guy is feeling you and you are feeling him – you become willing to deal with the challenges – there are lots of married couples with blended families

  • http://Clutch SL

    @Folayemi

    Hey partner, what an amazing dissertation on the subject!

    I am most intrigued that unlike most others, you did not tie black anger to “slavery”. I noticed your African moniker – Nigerian?

    AA’s seem to be restricted to framing the discussion only in juxtaposition to the effects of slavery – yet you are purposing that it even goes beyond that – that there is some kind of systemic cultural origin going back to Africa long before our feet touched the soil of these shores.

    Are you saying slavery aside, that if slavery never happened, that there has long been an issue with blacks being able to engage in proper discourse together without losing ourselves to the heat of anger?

    So is this less about having a field slave vs a house slave mentality and more about having a tribe mentality.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    yes, there is always a negro present to point out supposed black short comings.

    my statement said the way to counter black self hate is with black love. within that context, there was NO reason for you pointing out black ‘history’. you reacted to the mention of black love with negativity.

    the system of white supremacy has programed, COINTELPRO agents ready to attack ANY mention of BLACK LOVE.

    black people loving ourselves and loving one another is THE most radical thing we can do.

  • http://Clutch SL

    @leelah – do you believe we have a black matriarchy in the black community? If so, what has given rise to it? If it exists, Did it come about as a result of black women desiring equality with black men or was it actually the by-product of the what was happening with black male/female relationships? If there is Black Matriarchy – is it an AA thing or is it prevalent in other black countries/communities.

    I’d like to ask some questions on some of your comments:

    “raising of our sons doesn’t determine whether or not we have a matriarchy, especially since most women aren’t raising their sons alone on purpose.”

    I actually agree, raising sons is not the determination of Black Matriarchy, it is the RESULT.
    If you start a family with no HUSBAND onboard, you have decided to ON PURPOSE to raise that child a lone. In contrary, if you divorce or become widowed then your raising of the child alone owes to some other event that might not have been your choice.

    You said:

    “we have a patriarchy because most of the economic and cultural power remains in black men’s hands”

    Yes, if we are keeping with the formal definitions from an outwardly social (cultural) and political standpoint you are correct; however, I question the ability of personal values and self-identity to be shaped at this level. Collective social and political values and identity can be effected, but personal values upon which these are formed at developed in the home and the immediate community.

    You said:
    “black male culture has decided aggression is important.

    I actually with you here! There is a lethal mindset amongst A SEGMENT of black men and the whole notion of “playing” versus “being played” and what it means to be a man.

    My iPad mini refuses to cooperate so will continue in another post.

  • http://Clutch SL

    @leelah – pls disregard the opening of my last post – I thought I had removed those questions – no need to respond to them. Thanks.

  • isolde3

    @leelah

    Props to you for taking on Mo (Perspective), Larry (KR), and Curly (SMH) all at once (LOL).
    ______________________________________________

    “I think we have a patriarchy because most of the economic and cultural power remains in black men’s hands, unfortunately most of that power centers on the negative.”
    ______________________________________________

    No, I would argue that it remains in the white man’s hands, because they control the economic and political institutions, but I do agree with you about the patriarchy part. They’re reasoning skills are pretty basic, aren’t they? The idea of single women raising children alone in a patriarchal system is truly baffling to them because in their minds, if single women are raising children alone, then that must mean that the system of patriarchy has been dismantled and replaced by a matriarchy. Here we have Mo talking about divorce rates and who gets the house like blacks are or have been on par with whites in divorce proceedings when from 1950-1990 fewer than 50% of blacks were homeowners, and around the time the feminist/ womanist movement was picking up steam, the number of black home owners hovered at around 40%. Here we are in 2010, and that number still hasn’t hit 50%. And that’s just one of the fallacies that Mo spouts. I literally don’t have the time to shred his other BS arguments.

    http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/census/historic/ownrate.html

    But don’t worry. As you can see, anecdotal evidence is all they offer and citations from reputable sources that aren’t youtube clips are rare among this lot.
    __________________________________________

    “GOTDAMN – I hate engaging in conversations with women like you who assign the behaviors of a matriarchal community on BLACK MALE CULTURE that is rooted in the soil of a matriarchal community where women build, maintain, and establish nothing.”
    ___________________________________________

    @Mo

    LMFAO. Now, if that were really true, then you wouldn’t spam this black woman’s space the way you do, but based on what I’ve seen on this blog and what others have said about your activity on other black women’s blogs, this is your sad life. I’ve suggested to you in the past that your considerable energies would be more fruitfully spent bettering yourself so that you could find a job or a hobby where people would be more apt to listen to you off the internet, (you know, so you wouldn’t have to resort to this), but I guess some things are easier said than done.

  • http://clutch SL

    @leelah

    really, I wasn’t trying to address matriarchy/patriarchy from a social or political standpoint but more from an internal family unit perspective – society and politics while it certainly can impact – in large part it is parents who establish homes and raise kids in the background of those things that I was actually focusing on and it is my belief that usually the values taught in the home have more weight in how children turn out than anything else…but there are always exceptions and I am not blinded to the pull of the environment with its social pressures…

    Even within a largely Patriarchal society there can be a subculture of matriarchy and that is what I am suggesting exists within our community.

    When women head-up homes with no husband for male leadership – her young son is vulnerable to now having to look outside the home to other men to define his maleness or look within his home to gain some meaning…

    It is my belief that the lack of proper male role model within the home leads to rogue males: over sexualized, non-committal, unemployed, vicious, thug-life criminals…

    As a matter of fact, there was a study done on male elephants whose parents were victims of poaching – elephants who in their natural state when the herd is in order are peaceful and orderly…when the natural hierarchy of the herd was disturbed and decimated – this male elephants went rogue…becoming vicious marauding gangs – killing animals they use to avoid and fear…

    I understand that my experience is largely anecdotal – it is not empirical – and as you correctly stated everyone’s experience informs their beliefs to some degree….

    Thanks for the exchange!

  • Pingback: House or Field? Why Blacks Can’t Have a Civil Debate | TheJusticeTeam

  • Wong Chia Chi

    @Kirsten West Savali

    I thought that he meant her experiences and temprement made her unfit for field work.She spoke another language and lived as a servant so her “talents” were more useful in the home than outside of it. I didn’t take it as a comment on how she looked necessarily. But I could see how it would be viewed as such.

  • http://twitter.com/NormSchriever Norm Schriever (@NormSchriever)

    Very interesting article that gets me thinking. Thank you for your depth and courage with a difficult topic.

  • Shelly

    “Why are all these black people fighting over a white man’s rendition of slavery, or a black woman sleeping with a white man?”

    Because Clutch constantly posts articles about it.

  • Shenard

    It’s an interesting article on being keeper’s of the light, no. Having discussions on blackness and the representational elements within media is warranted only when those images have a direct impact on daily black lives. For instance, people may disagree about Scandal or Deception, and the roles black women play in larger society and not appreciate the “role” given to such a voice in prime time especially when there was a dearth of such voices. Truth is not all voices of black America are positive and enlightening voices which counters the notion that only negative and stereotypical voices of black America need be heard or are expected to be heard. How to transition the conversation from images replicating life to those of images detailing experience is the necessary ingredient in keeping local minds focused on elevating “blackhood.” (The term denoting “forms” of blackness that are not traditionally seen as black but encompasses black thought and progress).

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “Anger is to entangled in what has been definitively and defensibly Black for too long”

    anger is a fine tool. just make sure it is deployed against the correct target.

  • Kat

    I think its being mentioned because a lot of the time people will resort to slave master like tactics when they disagree with somebody and call them names (niggers, coons etc) i’ve see it happen very often and find it very disturbing. The way some people say it you would think they are a old white man from Alabama or something. I think it’s an important conversation because i personally don’t get why it’s ok to speak to one another like that…especially in regards to topics that aren’t THAT important in the grand scheme of things (which is usually the case)

    I think the point of the article is that there is a way to disagree with people without being disrespectful

  • http://gravatar.com/yemi509 Folayemi (POConscious)

    Ola, SL:
    Thank you for reading my (admittedly) lengthy response.
    I am both Nigerian and African American by culture and parentage. So, I live with multiple-consciousness around who we are and why.

    So on that “we”, the article Kirsten wrote speaks to African Americans as an angrily dichotomous group as a result of slavery. Many people have aptly pointed that out. Being Black as a categorial heuristic in the Americas is wholly reliant on the presence of slavery. I assumed we were all on that page and it would be redundant for me to bear it out again. I was speaking from that vantage point to further address what African Americans demonstrate as an ethnic group whose conception is based in slavery and unfreedom as well as how that touches all people racialized as Black in the dominant racial order of the global northwest and its satellites.

    If that satisfies you, please stop reading here. For further clarification, see below:

    The field/house negro dichotomy constantly reiterates itself to point at who has been duped into believing in climbing over everyone and thing for proximity to the trusteeship of white folks and, one the other hand, who isn’t even ostensibly worthy of that trusteeship in the eyes of white folk (or other institutions) that are judging and punishing us collectively. These are the associative problems that Kirsten was writing about that spark intra-racial ire amongst many kinds of Black people whose very being Black is predicated on the mechanisms that created and empower White-ness.

    So, I don’t think that associative problems come from a racial origin that is endemic to Africans but its actually an effect of the transaltantic racialization process. 17th Century Mende, Changana or Yoruba people weren’t codifying intra-group tensions racially. They didn’t think of themselves as collective Black let alone Africans but rather saw their issues as economic and geopolitical inter-group conflicts. Although the outcomes of what they thought was a process of bartering ethnically different POWs to a “tolerant” indentured servitude effect the 21st Century diaspora but we can’t frame that as if it was a war on self. Yoruba was like an inter-national other to Igbo then.

    Divide and conquer was and is racially exploited on the end of people who projected the construction of race and bartered in racial currencies. Kirsten and others have aptly pointed out that as we live in a world framed by that construction, we intra-racially divide and conquer by acting out the violence they taught us. However all forms of division do not run parallel here.

    Therefore, the operation of dividing-and-conquering are not uniquely African-sourced or solely African American. It is their mechanisms that differentiate them. Sun Tzu has been telling us all the same for centuries via “The Art of War’.

    Sun Tzu also teaches that the way we respond to sabotage is a central component to our collective success. Since we are in the contemporary a racial collective, I stand by my articulation that Black people have been victimized writ large and should be angry. But the key is how we host our anger personally and socially. Kirsten points out that right now we are looking like a circular firing squad and it is not hard to see how that undermines our success as a group; especially when we have problems in public.

    On “tribe”, I think race and grouping have many functions and “tribalism” gets thrown around in a reductive, orientalist way that tries to covertly affirm that group-think is endemic to small-minded groups of people. It doesn’t honor that grouped people rely on that grouping against aggressors with their own very threatening group-influence. As a counter-attack, anger is easy to recognize in systems that tell us to keep calm and carry on when everything is clearly not alright. We do need anger at times and it can be effective when we need people to recognize our feelings us as badly as people of color do. I just caution that when anger dominates the expressed range of our feelings, we end up being seen, but not resolving much but the opportunity to exercise our anger.

  • http://gravatar.com/yemi509 Folayemi (POConscious)

    Peace James: My post was lengthy so you might have scrolled over this paragraph. As you say anger is a fine tool, I say anger has its place. Like Nina, I don’t want to be misunderstood!

    “I don’t confuse Black disgust and righteous indignation with an egocentric agenda masquerading as a racialist discourse, because both are expressions of anger, but only one is actually constructive for (our) freedom. In this moment, we have to decide what kind of anger we are living for. As social individuals with a real need for basket-cobra-type-anger, we have to be vigilant about expressing it when striking is appropriate. I am also advocating that we broaden our Black emotional vernacular and get into affirming the range of responses outside of anger that inequality can elicit. Conjuring anger chronically is clearly dis-serving us in this era of high-tech lynching (all ironies intended). Masturbatory anger is making our righteous, collective angers effete and, for many people, a laughable meme.”

  • Mademoiselle

    I really like points #2 and #3. I don’t think I’ve mastered the “honey/vinegar” approach.

  • Billy Paul

    Thought provoking article; however, allow Billy to humbly add the following:

    - an honest answer to the article’s question need not begin with black-on-black emotional terrorism, but rather with a contextual analysis (see Skinnnerian conditioning);

    - if is there a beneficiary of our dis-unification, then said benefactor would arguably gain from promoting/encouraging certain behaviors/structures that yield the distrust referenced by the author;

    - our emotional/financial/spiritual/ideological unification would arguably prove itself to be somewhat dis-positive to those domestic and global social structures that are based on that distrust;

    - value systems, such as “blackness”, require a valid reward system for successful implementation; and

    - if one is not rewarded for ascribing to a certain value system, then that person will not only reject that value system, but they will also reject the people that brought them that value system.

    Carry on, Family.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    um, i don’t think clutch’s reach is quite that great yet…

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “The gang and drug culture is the end result of Black Matriarchy. Do you really believe it could exist in communities full of men?”

    it does pretty well in prison…no women there

  • Billy Paul

    “That conflict was key in European’s ability to penetrate and conquer Africans.”

    Billy humbly disagrees. The facts show that European slavery came right on the heels of Arab “slavery” (see Muhammad Ali), which arguably had a greater impact on resistance to the Europeans.

    “Africans were already fighting amongst each other, and enslaving each other.”

    Billy humbly disagrees. Africans never “enslaved” their people like the Europeans, whose form of “slavery” may generally be thought of as an act of de-humanization. It is arguably erroneous logic to conclude that there is only one form of “slavery” and that the type practiced in the “New World” was similar in form to that which was practiced prior to its “discovery.”

    Carry on, Family.

  • http://soulfulindustry.wordpress.com/ Soulfulindustry

    Yes, on a black site.. we defend white people for slavery and spend more time analyzing D’jango than actually discussing how we can love and respect ourselves and each other more…
    Heaven forbid we focus on getting it together….

  • Billy Paul

    Billy concurs.

  • Sharon

    Thanks for the article, this conversation is long overdue with so many truths. The constant debate over: naturals, hair weaves, relaxers and the constant hate amongst ourselves is insane.

  • Mademoiselle

    Your last 2 points are interesting in the sense that black people have been force fed the idea that they’re inferior, so convincing them that there’s newfound esteem in blackness when whiteness so obviously comes with mounds more privilege is a tough sell for some. After being the underdog for so long, if just being black doesn’t afford you an upper hand (reward), it’s not far fetched to believe some black people would reject the idea of black unity because it doesn’t seem to get you any farther.

  • http://www.brookestephens.com Brooke Stephens

    It’s about education—or the lack of it, people who choose to be arrogant in their ignorance and jealousy towards what is becoming a recognizable educated black middle class. It doesn’t help that most of us also have no idea of what true wealth, prosperity and success really are — clothes, hair, cosmetics — those are the superficial ways that we make everyone else rich. Not ourselves.

  • Shelly

    @Perspective… You are not “out.” You’re not “done” because you never leave. you’re addicted to telling black women about themselves…just admit it.

  • BoutDatLove

    Off topic:
    We are always told to ”Just get over it,” yet there are always reminders there (ex: movies made about our history in this country etc… by Caucasians) when others are able to profit, except for us…. it is another form of slavery. We can’t talk about our pain, but you are able to remind us over and over again??? Yeah, that makes sense, and that to me is abusive and manipulation that keeps us in mental slavery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_manipulation)

  • http://Clutch SL

    @jamesfromphilly

    With all due respect, those men where neither born nor raised in prison and for a large number of them, their incarceration was most probably a result of their thug-like, gang mentality.
    Your reasoning is flawed.

    It would be beneficial to survey the prison population to find out how many of those men were raised in homes with absentee fathers. If I were a betting person, I’d bet the stats would swing in the odds that a larger percentage of male inmates were raised by single mothers than those raised in 2 parent homes. I also think this is true of HS dropouts and teens who go on to become teen parents themselves.

    If you prove me wrong, I’ll gladly eat crow.

  • http://gravatar.com/congocapanilo congocapanilo

    Acknowledging black on black misdeed does not equate to defending whites in slavery.

    It doesn’t justify their part in it at all. I don’t get why someone would ASSUME THAT. I’m only suggesting that the blame for our plight is due to a more collaborative effort. We can’t hold those Blacks who’ve participated, or current participate, in their agendas totally blameless, even if they are ignorant of what they do. Blacks have stood in the place of Europeans to carry out their expansion. In other instances they stood for themselves, for the sake of their own ethnically/tribally ancestral identities, perpetuating the superiority of one black group over another.

    NOTE: I’m not suggesting that this has never been the case among other ‘races’, or on other continents.

    It’s just that the whole idea of unconditional ‘black’ unity, as the concept involves the classification of amalgamated peoples and identities, is a myth. Blackness was meant to create of facade of homogeneity, disregarding differences. And this leads us to the ‘disappointment’ and amazement, as illustrated in this article and these comments, that we all don’t get along or see each other as ‘equal’ or ‘the same’ – globally. We never were a unified peoples because ‘black’ identity and the social racial construct is not from where our ancestral identities originate. We’ve been fooled into thinking so, through imperialism, and continue to buy into the concept of ‘blackness’ and ‘black unity’ = the social race construct.

  • http://gravatar.com/congocapanilo congocapanilo

    If you can’t acknowledge that we’re not all ‘the same’, and have never been a ‘unified peoples’, perpetuating that we, indeed, are under the concept of ‘blackness’, then, you’re the one caping for whites, not me.

    White people disregarded the differences, unique identities, ethnicity, languages, of our ancestors and labeled them all sub-human because of their features, labeled them/us all as negro=black=the exact same. And that labeling, legacy, continues on today. But guess who’s, now, on board in carrying out that expectation? It’s not just white people anymore?

    Many people of sub-Saharan African descent, now, theoretically, cape for white by what they’ve bought into and grown to accept (instead of contest) across the generations.

  • MommieDearest

    James, thank you for speaking truth to power.

  • Pseudonym

    yES! and even within the same countries! There was this Indian commedian who did a bit about how everyone assumes Indians are so united when, in fact, they’re very much divided and he gave the joke that since they’re no speaking English (or people don’t understand their accents), from the outside, people see Indians talk and it looks like, “Hey, my Indian brother! Let’s be united!” when really the conversation was, “Where in India are you from?…then FU!” hahaha

  • Daphne

    Your story is very well written. It’s proven by us repeatedly the “Willie Lynch” formula is alive, well, & creates division. We must first stop responding to the names which promote modern slavery. Then we must learn to love instead of hate. “All nations suffer slavery when they do not worship under their own vine and fig tree. Peace

  • http://urbanexpressive.com/ J.Nicole

    “I thought that he meant her experiences and temprement made her unfit for field work.She spoke another language and lived as a servant so her “talents” were more useful in the home than outside of it.”

    Right, I feel the same way. I think “colorism” isn’t the term to be used here, since it’s a preference based on skin tone, and not whether someone is aesthetically appealing. Being a “field” or “house” slave was not based solely on color and her character for all intents and purposes doesn’t have a fair complexion one would associate with benefiting from colorism.

  • Anansa

    You also hear it from Black men who just don’t like Black women yet, no non-Black woman wants to be bothered with them.

  • Kam

    I agree with the comments about Spike Lee. He annoys me, and I don’t particularly like his attitude, however I felt that there was no reason for all the other people to come out and bash him. Leave it between him and Tarantino.

  • useless black middle class

    @Billy Paul

    Well there is no legal or even moral requirement that blacks love like or trust each other. But since we’re all in the same boat, cast adrift in stormy weather, survival dictates that we all row in the same direction – away from the storm and towards dry land.

    Isn’t that where the phrase ‘stuck in the same boat’ comes from – the Slave ship experience? (it certainly fits more in that context than any other)

    I’m almost certain that there were no – “blacks are not a monolith” (really dumb term) discussions held in those floating dungeons.

    No sir, they came from different tribes, spoke different tongues and were of all ranks in African society, but I’m sure they were all agreed that their condition as blacks was monolithic, appalling and oppressive.

    Fast forward to now and we’re still stuck in that same boat, but asserting our differences (“blacks are not a monolith”) has superseded escaping to safety as our priority.

    value systems, such as “blackness”, require a valid reward system for successful implementation;

    What does this sh*t mean? Who gives a salty f*ck about a “value system”. I’ll take freedom and clean and permanent break from the stranglehold the white supremacist system of global capitalism has in those places where everybody looks like me.

    You can get all the “reward” you can eat if ya row in that direction and when we reach dry land, I still might not like love or trust ya – coz that’s when I’ll be FREE to get my “blacks are not a monolith” on.

    Until then BLACKS ARE A MONOLITH due to our COLLECTIVE and UNIFORM oppression.

    Anyone who thinks they’re an unmonolith-ed negro is delusional.

    pfft!

  • http://gravatar.com/missllah missllah

    You are correct! I’ve found that some whites don’t clearly understand why blacks still need to have this dialogue. They wonder why we can’t simply “get over it.” We are still trying to get our footing and erase a lot of the deep seated behaviors ingrained during slavery. That is why we can’t simply get over it. I wonder particularly if whites wouldn’t be so upset about it, if it happened in a different country. Because I don’t see anyone telling Jews to get over the Holocaust!

  • http://Clutch SL

    Since my post never appeared, thought I’d try again.

    I did my own research – these are neither my words or my stats:

    Nationally, unwed mothers birth 29 percent of white babies. Among Latinos the number rises to 53 percent and to a startling 73 percent among blacks.

    Some single-parent households produce law-abiding, productive, taxpaying individuals. Most do not. I-News found that kids brought up in fatherless homes are four times more likely to live in poverty than their peers who live in two-parent homes. A variety of studies tell us single-parent children are less likely to graduate high school or attend college.

    Statistical correlation indicates that children raised in single-parent homes land themselves in prison at a much higher rate than their peers in double-parent homes. About one in 20 black Colorado men lived in incarceration in 2010. The number was one in 50 for Latino men and one in 150 among white men. Nationally, one of 33 black men, one of 83 Latino men and one of 150 white men live behind bars.

  • Pseudonym

    I feel like these comments are a total derailment from the article b/c I can’t follow them at all. What is going on here?
    (Honestly, I read Clutch more for the comments than the articles themselves.)

  • Pseudonym

    It’s probably likely that the ones making these movies aren’t the people telling you to “Just get over it,” b/c to those who think slavery, Jim Crow, etc are non-issues wouldn’t find them worth making movies about b/c they’re irrelevant topics. Especially, when you consider movies like “A Time to Kill” (Joel Schumacher), the “Roots” television series (Marvin J. Chomsky and other white producers), etc. that do not show whites in a positive light or make light of blacks’ suffering AT ALL. So those are separate camps of people doing two separate things: those who acknowledge and those who deny.

    I haven’t seen “Django” yet, but watched “Inglorious Basterds” last week b/c a lot of comparisons were made b/w the two films as they are both historical fictions by Quenton Tarrantino (sp?). It is an EXXXXXXXXCELLENT MOVIE! I would recommend it to anyone whose ever seen it. It takes place in Nazi-occupied France and…well, I don’t want to risk ruining it for anyone, so I’ll stop at that, but I highly recommend seeing that film.

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    “(Honestly, I read Clutch more for the comments than the articles themselves.)”

    Your not alone.

  • Pseudonym

    Ummm…there is a HUGE Holocaust Denial movement consisting of people who tell Jews that the Holocaust never existed and insist that they exaggerated and made the entire thing up. They say it’s a conspiracy for Jews to pretend to be victims and make the world pity them and allow them to advance ahead of everyone else. And this is a worldwide movement: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_denial

    So, not true that no one’s telling Jews to get over the Holocaust.

  • http://gravatar.com/constructivefeedbak Constructive Feedback

    Ms Savali:

    The problem that you speak of is due to the fact that the “Prevailing Black Consciousness” is one of consumerism rather than “community governance”.
    “Popularism” and “building the largest congregation” of our people trumps “disciplined strategic planning” with the goal of building up ORGANIC STRENGTH through STRONG INSTITUTIONS.

    I can’t agree with your 3 bullet points because of one thing that you have not considered.
    What if this “Offended Black Person” that you speak of has his own consciousness attached to something that presents itself as a “Friend” but has no intention what so ever in allowing the Black Community to grow strong – by building up the said institutions?

    1) ENEMIES – What is an “enemy”? Someone who the majority hates? Why not someone who has taken the “Valuables” from Black people – but have failed to deliver a “Return On Investment” – and worse – has strong influence over the “messages” that flow into the Black community – that they motivate our people to not look at the new “line in the sand” that they have drawn for us to fall in line with – but instead to focus on some outside “enemy” who has no pull upon the Black community – but to “Offend Us”?

    2) OFFENDEDNESS – Again the twin brother of someone who “makes you feel bad” (while telling you the truth) is someone who tells you “Sweet Nothings” while harvesting your “valuables”. I assume that I a larger group of Black females are reading this than males. What if this person talking to you has a greater interest in your “goods” than in developing you as a person? Shouldn’t there be some greater “structure” that you align your feelings to? Likewise – some people will keep showing to you “offensive words” said by others – for the purposes of filibuster of your ability to see what they are doing

    3) VALUE OF OPINION – True but not. Not all “opinions” should be allowed to have global influence upon our people – IF they are not bound to a larger development agenda for our people. In addition – if “opinions” that were followed “the last time” did not pan out in the way that was expected – there needs to be a means by which some “organizational knowledge” regarding where “this road leads us” that must be maintained.

    Again – the Black community suffers a greater threat from “Congregationalism” which up-ends the establishment of a “Governing Culture” – than we do with what you have suggested.

  • ruggie

    What’s crazy is that people who have never done a hard day’s labor in their lives have the nerve to tap into the field slave experience to claim cultural authenticity.

  • ruggie

    @leelah – you make a lot of interesting points.

  • http://twitter.com/Author_JGail J. Gail (@Author_JGail)

    I had some time to think about this article and digest the author’s point. She is right. We have one faction of black people who is ultra revolutionary yet the anger and vitriol overwhelms their message. We have another vocal faction of black people who would like nothing more than to assimilate and become dark skinned white people. Both sides are wrong and right in certain ways.

    For one, we are not in Africa — we live in the USA where 70% of the population is white. So yes, some level of assimilation is necessary if we want to have jobs make a living and live inside of the laws of this country. On the other hand, we are (at least some of us are) clearly black. There is something very twisted and perverse about denying who and what you are by nature — a dark-skinned person descended from Africa. You can try all you want, but in the eyes of America you will always be a black African descended person.

    We have to find some middle ground where we comfortably mix into this country without losing our identity. We must talk to each other with respect and regard within our own community and stop seeking the approval of whites when doing that. A true black unity organization could help us achieve that. A little bit of understanding can go a long way.

  • http://gravatar.com/mdehaney MoMo

    Amazing article! So necessary! I wish all black people could read this!

    Other note: It hurt to see how people went at Spike Lee for his comments- BLACK PEOPLE! I feel like he has contributed so much that if you didn’t agree with him just shut up! Don’t defend Tarantino. He didn’t ask for it. He is doing well defending himself. No need to tear Spike Lee down.

  • Billy Paul

    Belligerence rarely is a good substitute for analysis.

    Carry on, Family.

  • MusiKCityK

    It’s not just about disagreements, because we all have a right to opinions it’s how we speak to each other. it’s hard to have a intelligent debate on most websites because of the disrespect that happens when opinions differ.

  • useless black middle class

    @constructive criticism

    What is an “enemy”? Someone who the majority hates?

    “Why not someone who has taken the “Valuables” from Black people – but have failed to deliver a “Return On Investment” – and worse – has strong influence over the “messages” that flow into the Black community – that they motivate our people to not look at the new “line in the sand” that they have drawn for us to fall in line with – but instead to focus on some outside “enemy” who has no pull upon the Black community – but to “Offend Us””

    I’d argue that many of those influential insidersmisdirect us to focus away from enemies outside while demanding that we exercise personal responsibility to overcome structural barriers to our collective advancement that are implemented in the BC from outside it.

    I submit in evidence the bootstraps doctrines of the useless black middle class who have eagerly and enthusiastically accepted their role to pacify the black masses and legitimize the operations of white supremacy.

  • Marisa

    A house divided more like a country divided, black folk were divided the minute we were stolen from a real homeland and brought here. This country as we know it has no true togetherness unless its some national tragedy, were we hold hands, burn candles and sing songs for about two weeks, then its back to business as usual. Look at our politicians there are some who just refuse to do any actual work that benefits the people, because they just don’t want to work with the opposing view point. Cant pin it all on black people division is just the product of the country we are in.

    These back and forth by the likes of Spike, Dick Gregory, Tyler Perry,Tarantino are no different than youtube battles, twitter wars. Go to any article or blog and read the comments 5 comments in somebody says something sexist, racist or homophobic and its WWIII. I would like for more productive dialog for black people but, this issue isn’t exclusive to us.

  • LaLa

    Soooooooooooo agree Val. This reply was lame, what is the reason for the article

  • http://www.blackisonline.com KC Lehman

    I love this.

    On our podcast we are try our very best to discuss very touchy subject matter in a diplomatic way and have been told that so far, we’ve been quite successful at it. The goal of our conversations are typically to show the diversity in thought amongst Black people from different walks of life. Our panel consists of conservatives, liberals, Christians, atheists, biracial and other “types” of Black people and no conversation has ever ended in battle.

    By all means check us out to hear many decent conversations amongst Black people.
    http://www.blackisonline.com

  • Kay J

    Great historical correction – Also, people are a lot more socially sensitive to Jews than African-Americans.

  • Pseudonym

    We don’t have to turn this into the Oppression Olympics. It’s not a contest. No need to minimize other people’s suffering in order to get across how badly black Americans have suffered.

  • Nubian Princess

    In the movie he clearly said “she ain’t no field slave she pretty but with the brand on her face she ain’t fit for the house they gonna make her a comfort girl” Did y’all miss that???

  • Congocapanilo

    We’re not ‘black’ by nature, that concept of socialization and identity was imposed upon us, and we are holding firmly to at, just as people who go around calling each other niggas. We’re clearly ‘black’ as defined by the white supremacist system of racial classification – not by anything, any systematic measure, invented or implemented by first nation sub-Saharan peoples.

    It’s the same thing.

    We embrace this idea that this one drop makes us all the same, and disregard the big elephant in the room – blood quantum and aesthetic dilution/erasure…because that’s what white people wanted us to do. That’s how they wanted us to think – it’s not threatening to their agenda.

    And many can’t perceive reality any other way, because they have no other frame of reference to go on – by design.

  • Congocapanilo

    Yes, to point out shortcomings that are highly relevant in the lack of responsibility that has lead to what exists now.

    “Supposed shortcomings?” Are you serious?

  • http://www.congocapanilo.com Congocapanilo

    White supremacy and white hegemony created blackness, a facade of sameness, fake, fickle, unity.

  • http://www.congocapanilo.com Congocapanilo

    “Blackness is a porcelain veneer of whiteness.” There is nothing pure about blackness. Black people were never, and will never be, a homogeneity. We’re FORCED into being considered the same, and being ‘forced’, is what fuels intra-race hostility. The expectation was laid out for us, by those who were not ‘us’…

  • camille

    There are two kinds of people in this world: those who divide the world in two . . .
    I don’t see how describing two arbitrary categories of Black people is constructive. It reeks of “Talented 10th” nonsense

  • useless black middle class

    Seems to me the so called black middle class is mostly a figment of the “black middle class’ ” imagination.

    But if there were a real black middle class it would be under performing compared to its class ‘peers’ in non-black communities.

    Unless you can tell me what institutional power the (U)BMC wields on behalf of the black community.

    It’s just a bunch of negros running around puffin themselves up because they’re:

    1) not in jail
    2) not unemployed
    3) got all their OOW kids by the same baby daddy/mommy
    4) got GED.

    Not the most impressive stats for a middle class and not exactly what is meant by middle class. lmao!

    I think we need to coin a new class term for blacks who have not sold out to white supremacy –

    The Black Liberator Class.

  • Terry Keith

    What about the talented 10th is reeking? If not for them we would not be where we are now.

  • Terry Keith

    Although I agree with what you say about Black Power I take issue with people who think that we as Black people should not criticize some of Obama’s policies. If I had a choice I would not have voted for him. I am not broke. I am a veteran and retired from a government job.

  • ArabellaMichaela

    Apparently, even Ms. Belton, the author, can’t talk about this subject because the house-field divide quite obviously depictd in the caption photo, is not what she describes in the article, and the tenor of these comments is confusing and all over the place. I can’t follow this one. In other words, I guuess I don’t really want to talk about this either.

  • Fyte

    Africans are the lowest denominator. Who are they to look down on anyone?!

Latest Stories

Cheers! 30 Not-As-Obvious Occasions That Call For Champagne

by

Maker of Infamous ‘Sizzurp’ Takes it Off the Market

by

How To Rock: Black Women In Orange Lipstick

by

Newsflash: Most People Aren’t Down With the ‘Swirl’

by
More in open discourse, opinion
beyoncè
What Caring About Beyoncé’s Singing (or Not Singing) At the Inauguration Says About You

Do You Fear Being Single?
Do You Fear Being Single?

Close