Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Criteria for the Mistreatment of Black Individuals

The criteria for mistreating  black individuals seems to be lower compared to white  individuals. The logic seems to be that the mistreatment of black individuals is justified based on their behavior. While it is not surprising for white individuals to use this reasoning it is troubling when black people use this type of logic to justify the mistreatment of black individuals. A black individual can engage in behavior that is identical to a white person and the behavior qualifies the black individual for mistreatment according to other black individuals but it does not qualify the white individual for mistreatment. It appears that some black individuals have so little value to each other that any slight mistake results in black individuals being worthy of mistreatment or being considered an inferior being or "subhuman". Basically for a black individual not to be mistreated they have to be perfect, not do anything wrong at all and make no mistakes therefore disqualifying them for mistreatment. The problem with this type of thinking is that a black individual can be a saint and the mistreatment will come based on their blackness and some black individuals understand this and some do not. Those who understand this seem to adopt this sort of thinking as a type of defense mechanism because they do not want to feel vulnerable so if they can say that a certain behavior caused the mistreatment and not the practice of racism then they can prevent the same thing from happening to themselves by not participating in certain behaviors.

When the behavior and circumstances of two individuals is identical and the only difference is that one of the individuals is black and the other is not the only thing left to base the mistreatment on is the blackness of the individual. This is prevalent in many online discussion boards, websites, comment pages etc. and too often in real life. Where a black person is doing something like dancing, or not using proper grammar, getting drunk, talking loud it is supposed to be proof of black inferiority and some harm is supposed to come to the black individual because they are displaying qualities that make them unfit for being a part of the human species. While white individuals engaging in the same behavior are considered to be having fun and no mention of them deserving harm or being subhuman is mentioned. It's almost as if black people are programmed with the mindset that black people are guilty or have the potential of being guilty of something while white people are innocent and are always innocent and they have to do something extremely bad to prove that they are not innocent and even then they are still considered to be superior and somewhat innocent.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sexual Attraction Seems to Supersede Ability to Recognize Racism

The possibility of engaging in sexual intercourse seems to  supersede the ability of black individuals to recognize racism.  The way that males behave towards females and the way females behave towards males is different especially if sexual attraction is involved. I think that this difference in behavior that people display towards members of the opposite sex/those they are sexually attracted to has been and continues to be a major contributor to the inability of some black victims of racism to believe that both men and women can practice racism.

In my opinion this it why it seems possible for black females to recognize racism in white females that black males don't and  for black males to recognize racism in white males that black females don't especially when the element of sexual attraction/ the promise and/ or possibility of sexual intercourse is involved. Females and males have the ability to alter or hide their true thoughts, motivations, ideas etc. in order to make themselves appear to be more attractive and/ or increase their likelihood of engaging in sexual intercourse with their desired sexual target. Males will also say and do things in the presence of other males that they would never say or do in the presence of females and females will say and do things in the presence of other females that they would never say or do in the presence of males.

Although it is possible for racist man and racist woman to practice racism while engaging in sexual intercourse or being sexually attracted to black victims of racism, the ability of blacks to recognize racism seems to be completely eliminated in the same situation. Racist pornography is a good example of this.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Reflecting on Martin and Pam

The popular 90's sitcom Martin although no longer being made has enjoyed reruns on different channels since the show ended in 1997. Although the interaction between the show's main character Martin and the best friend of Martin's girlfriend Gina may seem harmless and funny it does reveal something important about black images in the media and the way these images effect interaction between black people in real life. Although I do not want to focus on the creator of the show or those involved with the show I feel that it is important to analyze a common recurrent theme throughout the show. 

First let's start off with Gina. Although the character Gina is a non-white female that would be classified as black. Her skin color is closer to that of an individual classified as white. Her hair was straight and it did not appear to me that she wore any extensions or hair weaves. The character Pam was Gina's best friend who had brown skin and also wore her hair straight but it appeared as if she wore extensions and hair weaves. This was one of the main focal points of the jokes directed towards her character on the show. It was considered to be funny when the character Martin would talk about Pam's "buckshots" and her hair being nappy, her kitchen needing to be fixed, her needing a hot comb or ridiculing her for wearing a weave. 

Other characters on the show occasionally would direct the same sort of jokes towards her character. In addition to her hair being seen as comical relief there was a contrast between her and the character Gina who other than her "big head" or "big forehead" being joked about it was set up in a way that although I could be wrong after watching this show several times over the years and still continuing to watch it when I can. It seemed as if Gina was supposed to be the attractive nice woman who is the prize with the light skin(closer to white) and Pam was supposed to be the unattractive, loud, aggressive brown skin woman that no one wanted and who could not get a man except for the character Tommy and even this relationship was constantly ridiculed. 

To me it was also important that although she was wearing weaves or extensions her hair was still "nappy" and it was to be a mockery of how hard she was trying to have straight attractive hair and was still failing while it took less effort for Gina to have straight hair with no trace of "nappyness" left. Although it may not be apparent it reinforces the idea especially in young black people watching that it is okay to make fun of black women and their hair and that their hair is not considered to be attractive in it's natural state. I have tried to see this as a harmless theme in a show but I do not think it is. 

The more I have begun to analyze this show and other media the more I have noticed these things. What also stands out to me is the absence of shows that feature non-black or white men making fun of non-black or white women for having straight hair. It is significant for a people who have spent centuries having their hair and features ridiculed to have a show where the texture of a black women's hair is the punchline throughout the show's five seasons on the air.
On The Topic of Bleaching, Chemically Mutilating , and Straightening Hair

For those who do not agree with the practice of altering one's natural hair texture I would like to share some insight into the reasoning behind the choice of some black women to alter their natural hair texture. I would like people to try and develop some sympathy or understanding of this viewpoint and not dismiss it or ignore it. I know it can be difficult especially for men or those who have always had natural hair to relate but I would hope that those of you who have not experienced the issue would try to understand it. 

Throughout childhood, adolescence and young adulthood it is communicated to you through friends, family, associates, strangers on the street, TV, music, movies and all forms of media that tightly coiled hair (commonly referred to as nappy, kinky, or coarse) is considered to be ugly, bad, disgusting and unattractive. What would be the incentive to wear you hair naturally especially if your hair looks like the texture of hair that is ridiculed, put down, shamed, hated etc. There are exceptions. Some people grow up in an environment that supports wearing hair in it's natural state. But it seems as if this situation is the exception and not the rule. Another exception are those who have natural hair that is considered to be "acceptable" or "good" i.e. not too "nappy" or semi-straight, loosely curled or wavy. There does not seem to be an issue with those that have "acceptable" or "good" hair wearing their hair in it's natural state. They are even praised or complemented for having nice hair, good hair or pretty hair.

Some black girls and women have had relaxers, weaves, extensions etc. applied to their hair since they were children and have never seen their natural hair. When they have tried wearing their hair naturally their parents, family, friends, boyfriends etc. have made derogatory and hurtful comments in response to them wearing their hair naturally. Some people have wonderful self esteem that is unaffected by what others think of them but this is not the case for everyone and it can be hurtful to be on the receiving end of negative  comments from family and other black people.

I would like to provide an analysis of books, movies, song lyrics, TV and all types of media as well as societal phenomena using elements of counter racism to discuss black self-hatred, anti-blackness, racism, brainwashing a.k.a braintrashing etc.