Under Which Circumstances Can Nonwhites Talk About Race?

Question: How many of the people who are upset with Black people’s responses to the Martin-Zimmerman case were raised by parents [or grandparents] who were upset with Black people’s responses to the murder of Emmett Till?

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Despite some obvious contextual differences, the public sentiment, anguish, and disappointment is the same.

The question then becomes, were Black people “race-baiting” or “playing the race card” when they protested Till’s murderers being found not guilty?

What about after JFK, Malcolm X, and Dr. King were assassinated?

How about when factories, plants, and businesses began to close down en masse in innercity neighborhoods (e.g., Detroit, South Los Angeles, D.C., Chicago) during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, thus changing the economic prospects of the people who’d depended on those jobs for generations, and pushing them toward despair, crime, and dysfunction? When this is mentioned by Black talking heads, whether they be President Obama or Al Sharpton for that matter, is this playing the race card?

Is it race-baiting when Blacks mention longstanding inequalities in wealth, income, employment opportunities, educational opportunities, housing opportunities, and health outcomes, to name a few?

When Blacks lament the numerous killings of Blacks by Whites, from the times of slavery, to the Jim Crow lynchings, to police brutality, to unequal death penalty sentencing, to rogue Americans like George Zimmerman, is this playing the race card?

And, if none of this is racism, or at least deserving of a serious discussion of race, then, please tell me, what is?

It seems to me that the people who are upset with the fact that Black people are upset, feel as if they are in some sort of “war” against Blacks. To them, there is only one correct way to feel and think about this case, and that is to believe that George Zimmerman was at best a hero and at worst an unfortunate fellow that had to use deadly force to protect himself from “one of those” raging Black criminals. To them, no other perspective is legitimate, and any mention of race, or history is just “playing the race card.”  (Unless, of course, it is the history that presents Blacks as criminals who are “always” robbing, stealing, and killing–that’s legitimate, not just a stereotype, and certainly not something to be placed within the context of slavery, Jim Crow, lack of opportunity, inequality, etc.)

Again, when is it OK for nonwhites to talk about race?

The Scarcity of Marriageable Black Men: An Honest Analysis

In a recent ABC News story five successful, attractive, and well-educated Black women lamented the fact that they were not yet married and had no upcoming prospects for marriage (see video below).  The reporter went on to review a few well-documented Black marriage statistics, in what always seems like an attempt to paint a bleak, desolate picture for Black families as hopeless, archaic relics that can only be seen in a metropolitan museum somewhere. The numbers break down something like this:

  • 42% of Black women have never been married (more than twice the rate of White women)
  • There are almost 2 million more Black women in the U.S. than there are Black men
  • Only 54% of Black men are “marriageable,” meaning they are neither imprisoned, gay, uneducated, unemployed, or dead (being alive is probably first on most people’s “ideal mate” lists) Continue reading

WTF Wednesday: Seat Choice

WTF Wednesdays

WTF Wednesdays

Overpriced popcorn sprinkled with too much salt and just the right amount of imitation butter to give me a proper heart attack: check!

Tub of soda guaranteed to result in adult onset diabetes: check!

The White family who brought their newborn, dangly-necked baby because they just had to see The Hangover: check!

Mexican American family replete with the grandmother who is too old to follow the movie, the father, the mother, and three filthy-faced children who have never been told to just sit down and shut up: check!

Unsupervised Black children with no mental kill switch to shut them up while they continue kicking my seat: check!

Creepy White man who most assuredly drives a White windowless van: check!

Ahh…I love the movie theater experience….Wait!  “Um, do you have to sit right next to me in this big ass empty theater?!” Continue reading

A Universe of Sexuality

One of my favorite shows to watch is Law & Order: SVU.  This spin-off of the original series, Law & Order, deals with sexually-based crimes and just about any contemporary issue surrounding sex, sexuality, and gender.  The show is frequently controversial, and it is not always that the investigations follow today’s updated morality on the issues of sex and gender.  I enjoy that about the show, in fact.

Frequently the show deals with child pornography, molestation, rape, and pedophilia.  A recent show got me to think about sexuality.  I admit that I have not researched these issues with any seriousness, but it appears that it is generally accepted within the world of clinical psychology that there is no “cure” for pedophilia.  This got me to thinking about the way we understand the LGBT community. Continue reading

Failed Psychology and the Legacy of Slavery

The strangest psychology is applied to the condition of Black Americans today.

The spirit of Nat Turner

The spirit of Nat Turner

If this psychology were mathematics, one plus one would equal two, three, or fifty-seven depending upon the context in which one performs the addition.  To be honest, I do not fully understand this psychology.  In this post we will explore this strange psychology.

Assume, I had a child that I was abusing.  Assume the abuse included regular beatings, severe mental abuse, extreme isolation, and rape.  Assume this treatment (socialization) went on until this child reached eighteen years of age.  What would such an individual look like?  What type of behavior would such a tragedy of parenting imbue in that innocent child?  Can there be any doubt that such socialization would create an individual with psychological issues that would be studied and pondered over?  Would we not expect that young adult to be violent to him/herself and others?  Would we not expect that individual to be incapable of understanding the full range of his/her behavior?  If that individual were to have children with a similarly abused individual, would we be shocked if their offspring were just as physically and psychological distressed as the parents who made them?   Continue reading

The End of Racism: Things Are “Naturally” Better Now

“We have come so far.  We’ve made so much progress.”  How many times have you heard this–or said this?  Straight to the point: I take major issue with such statements.

Friends to the End!

Friends to the End!

First of all, we tend to say or hear these statements whenever there are cries of racism or injustice based upon race.  This means that such statements are reactionary–intellectually back peddling in order to invalidate claims of injustice.  Secondly, there is the assumption that, of course we’ve made progress.  Let’s be honest about this for a moment.   Continue reading