Saturday, November 15, 2008

Relax folks, it's just an "off color" remark.


Some folks talked about this next subject in the comments section of my previous post, and I feel compelled to say a few words about it myself. I am talking about Lindsay Lohan's colored moment.
Now let me get this out of the way right now: I am not one to get hung up on names, labels, or what other folks want to call black people. I know that we have gone from colored, to Negro, to Black, and now to African American. And that this is supposed to be some kind of measuring stick of our progress; the fact that folks don't call us colored anymore, but refer to us as African Americans. So if you are in the majority population, and you know all the rules of political correctness, you always refer to us Negro folks as African Americans. This, of course, is only necessary if you are in polite company or hanging with a bunch of people that you don't know. When you are with your friends and people you trust, there is no telling what you might want to call us. I am guessing "colored" would be tame in comparison to some of the other names.


Older white people struggle with this. Bless their hearts. And I can't say that I blame them. I had an older white person tell me a story once and sprinkled in the words "colored fellow" liberally throughout the entire anecdote. But it was cool, I wasn't even offended. I think that was during the time that we were supposed to be black, so the old guy was about two cycles behind the proper and politically correct name for that time period.


But this Lindsay Lohan thing is interesting, because she is younger, and you would expect that she would know better. Besides, let's keep it real here folks, Lindsay gets around. So the girl is no house mouse whose world ends at the Hollywood Hills. Hell she is a confessed Obamaholic for crying out loud. So how did she make that little verbal Faux pas? Was it a Freudian slip? Was she on some sexy new Hollywood drug that made her think that she was living in the fifties? Who knows. It's just kind of creepy hearing someone so young use the word "colored" in public, that's all. Hey, maybe that's the new word for black or African Americans out in Cali these days. Maybe us folks in the rest of the country are just not up on the latest Left Coast fads. We are, after all, talking about Cali here. Besides, FOX says it's a "derogatory" term, which right away makes me suspicious. If they are calling it "derogatory" maybe it's not so bad after all.




An what about the accuracy of her statement? Has anyone ever stopped to consider that? I mean the O man isn't black or white is he? Couldn't he then be considered "colored"? In this new "post racial" A-merry-ca maybe "colored" is the new black. I am just saying.




“It was really exciting,”... It’s an amazing feeling. It’s our first, you know, colored president. I am so thrilled to be a part of the country while that’s going on and that actually came into fruition.”

I am thrilled too Lindsay. Just think, we almost had John McCain, and he is white....wait, isn't white a color too? Hmmm, then I guess he would have been a "colored" president as well. Now that I think about it; all the previous presidents were white, so they were all "colored".


Damn it Lindsay, you did use a poor choice of words. You should have said: it's our first, you know, multi colored president. That would have been more accurate, and I don't think you would have offended quite as many people.


Some of us "colored" folks (the black ones) tend to be pretty sensitive at times. But can you blame us? You would be sensitive too if your name kept changing every few years.






128 comments:

grinder said...

When you are with your friends and people you trust, there is no telling what you might want to call us. I am guessing "colored" would be tame in comparison to some of the other names.

I'm 51 years old, and all of the people I know call you "black" in private conversation. What does amuse me is when I hear "people of color," which is the ne plus ultra of progressivism, compared with colored people, which is pretty damn close to the n-word, which is okay to say as long as you're, um, black.

Maybe Lindsay Lohan was getting "people of color" and "colored people" mixed up. Maybe just as mixed up as she is, in fact. Of course, I realize that "people of color" would encompass more than just blacks, but for that I prefer to use the term "non-white."

Anonymous said...

Calling someone colored is a HUGE insult in Arkansas. It was probably some weird freudian slip from her upbringing. Can't imagine what else it could be unless it was meant to harm and that seems unlikely.

szpork

Anonymous said...

there are those that are like really black i mean sooo black that if they close their eyes and mouth at night you really can't even see them and then you have those that kind of mocca and iv'e seen some that like gray color,it's really hard as a cracker to keep track of all the slang!!!

michelle ia like really, really black, while your talking about color whats the deal with the palm of your hands and bottom of your feet?

Mrs. Chili said...

I teach English, Field, and this is something that ALWAYS comes up in both my public speaking classes and my literature courses.

In the public speaking class, the questions is how DOES one refer to others, especially if one is not a member of the group in question? We know for sure that it's not always okay to refer to people as they refer to themselves; if it were, we'd not have the issues around the "n-word" that we do (not to mention whether it's okay to refer to the GLBTQ community as "queer." Honestly, I get that question a lot more in (very white) New England, where I live, then questions about how to refer to racial differences).

The issue is different in my literature class. It takes most students a long time to get comfortable using the terms that are used in literature to refer to people - especially black people. A lot of the pieces that I use in my courses contain words that we don't use as a matter of course in today's society - Negro, especially (in the works of MLK, Malcolm X, and Frederick Douglass), but also the word "nigger" in works like Huck Finn and Uncle Tom's Cabin and "Jappo" in The Last Samurai. I think it says something positive about the students that they choke on those words; the recognition that language affects people in meaningful ways is an important one for them to make.

At the same time I wonder, as you do, whether the words we use are supposed to be some sort of measuring stick for progress. Are we better or worse based on the words we choose? I fall somewhere between having a deep and abiding respect for the power of language, and being a "sticks and stones" kind of girl. Words are just collections of letters that we interpret into sounds that have meaning for us - but we also infuse them with meaning and power.

Tricky stuff, language.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Now that I think about it, yeah, McCain is colored too, since, folks like to label people by colors, because white is a color. What was that thing about color arousal that Frances used to blog about? I guess if you look at it another way, there is no such thing as a black person or white person, because white folks are not the color white either, but they do have a flesh tone, pinkish tone, red tone, and tan tone.

Yup, people are sensitive about color, but why can't the color codes be eliminated period, and just say their names or gender?Would that solve the racism issue? Or would they find something else to hate another person for? Aren't some people are offended by being called black, some African-American, negro, and yes colored.

Anonymous said...

Granny said: "Yup, people are sensitive about color, but why can't the color codes be eliminated period, and just say their names or gender?Would that solve the racism issue?"

Kind of make affirmative action tricky to enforce.

szpork

field negro said...

Yes, tricky stuff indeed. Take anon.8:02PM, for instance. This person,I believe is trying to inflame and say something derogatory when referring to the First Lady's complextion. Little do they know that her color is one of the reasons that most folks (at least the ones with a real sense of beauty and good taste) find her so attractive.

grinder, good point, I forgot about that one: "people of color". Yes, that is the new "progressive" way of describing us. LOL!

And anon. refers to him(her)self as a "cracker". I am guessing that this is to let the black folks reading this know that he(she) can call him(her)self names as well. So that when they call us one, we shouldn't be offended. Am I right about that anon.?

Anonymous said...

I agree she should have refered to him as the guy with the big ears :)

gwpriester (i before e) said...

Lindsay Lohan is not your average suburban white girl. Hence she cannot and does not speak for people of her age group and generation.

She is a young woman who has paid the price of celebrity at a great price to her own well being.

hennasplace said...

Was Lindsey high when she made the statement? Because you are right that's odd for a young person to use the word colored. Perhaps she meant to say person of color which would be politically correct. The word is outdated, and I typically only hear people over the age of 50 use the word colored. But a 24 year old, no. I think it's strange to hear a young person saying colored unless her grandparents were accustomed to using the word in front of her and she never thought anything was wrong using the word. I think it's strange.

Jennifer said...

Growing up... we said, "black." Then as I got older and a little more educated, I used the term, "African American."

Then I started working in the non-profit sector. And within these sectors are various "caucuses" which are meant to serve as representatives for different groups of people who may identify with that specific group.

The "African American" groups prefer the term, "People of Color," or more specifically in my field, "Women of Color." They collectively chose these terms amongst themselves. Nationwide.

Another example is the "LGBT" or "GLBT" or "LGBTQ" groups who work within these fields. I was a little confused by the "LGBTQ" and had to ask a girlfriend (who I had always assumed would identify as bisexual) where the "Q" came in. She schooled me... she didn't really identify with L, G, B, or T and she prefers the term "Queer" because for her, it better identifies her sexuality; and she feels it "empowers her" to "take the word back."

In my discussions with my friends and colleagues (People of Color), they have made it clear that they prefer the terms, "black" or "person of color" interchangeably. I felt like it was their prerogative, that was how they identified themselves and I felt it incumbent upon me to respect that.

But as a result, for the last eight years, I've used the terms "black" and "person of color" interchangeably... depending on whether I'm talking to my friends "black or white" or those within my profession with whom I have a responsibility to maintain my professional integrity, in which case I use the terms "person of color, woman of color, etc."

If I had been Lindsay Lohan in that interview, I'd have said, "a President of Color" and not thought twice about it. Although Lindsay did say, "Colored President" and not "President of Color.") But within my personal social groups... my friends, black and white, and I have consistently called Obama, "The First Black President."

I don't criticize anybody for their sensitivity... But, I'm about to call up some black kids I know and ask if they've just been f**king with me.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Anonymous 8:02:

Let me enlighten you, Michelle Obama is not real black or black, she is brown-skin.

jjbrock said...

Field,the word ‘colored’ isn’t derogatory just think what would have happen if she had use the other that other word.

field negro said...

"I don't criticize anybody for their sensitivity... But, I'm about to call up some black kids I know and ask if they've just been f**king with me."

Jennifer, let us know what they say.:)

R.J. said...

Colored is not a Cali term. It's Black, African American, or in the inland parts of the state, ******. Sad, but true.

LiLo grew up in Long Island, so I'd blame her parents for the remarks.

Leigh said...

She's a moron. And she wears fur, too. It's tempting...but I'm not going to feed the trolls here tonite.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

I guess the word colored doesn't bother me as much as the "N" did and does. I wish white folks would quit saying black people call each other the "N" word, as if white folks don't when they're not in our company, and some are bold enough to say it in our company if they live in areas of the USA.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

JJBrock:

Granny thinking outloud, it's good to see JJBrock's post again, she had been on Granny's mind.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Anonymous 8:02:

"there are those that are like really black i mean sooo black that if they close their eyes and mouth at night you really can't even see them"

Maybe, you need glasses!

jjbrock said...

@GrannyStandingforTruth I check-in every night but don't have the time to comment.
Granny your comments are for the most part the reason I hang around the Field. Don't leave "OK".

Anonymous said...

Jennifer said "I have consistently called Obama, The First Black President."

Well of course he is, but that's for the history books. I voted against him on ideological grounds but I'm routing for him now. No President has started with a worse economy that I know of. We'll see what he's made of I guess.

szpork

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

I meant to say "certain" areas in the USA.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

szpork:

Granny is glad to hear you support Obama now, trust me, you won't be disappointed. No one will for that fact.

tammy said...

A similar conversation to this came up on another message board I frequent where the (mostly white) crowd was all up in arms when I stated that I tended to use the term African American if that is what people prefer to be called. Because, honestly, I'm not out to offend anyone and what the hell do I care what people want to be called?

That said, in private everyone I know personally, myself included, uses the term black if it comes up on conversation. Why? Because we're in our 40's and that's what we grew up with. It comes more natural to me.

As for Lindsay. Don't get me started. Don't look to her to be setting any kind of higher standards for just about anything. She can't decide whether she's coming or going. I've heard three types of people use the term colored in my life: Very old, uneducated, or racist. Thankfully, those times are few and far between however. My bet for her is that she's just out of it or, if I had to guess, uneducated. Didn't she get into acting early and quit school at, like, two? ;)

Hathor said...

I never thought colored was close to the N-word. Growing up colored in an informal environment and Negro formally. What was close to the N-word is when white folks couldn't say Negro, somehow it came out Negra or Negri. It was an insult and they new it.
Personally I don't have a problem with colored, black or Negro. I do have a problem with African-American, because when it came into use, hyphenated linage denoted one's immigrant heritage. Black people did not come here as immigrants. It also perpetuates the myth of Africa as a continent. A person of the African Diaspora or of African decent would be better, it puts our place in a historical context.

Anonymous said...

hathor, You would be horrified if I referred to your child as "that colored boy". Just trying to put it into perspective for you. It is indeed derogatory and insulting.

szpork

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Hathor:

"I do have a problem with African-American, because when it came into use, hyphenated linage denoted one's immigrant heritage. Black people did not come here as immigrants."

I'm glad you brought that up, because I was thinking along the same lines. How are we African Americans if we were born in America, shouldn't we be called American? Benjamin Franklin referred to us as the "Sons and daughters of Africa", and that was a term used back then. It was used by black folks as well back then. However, it was a different period of time and most of the blacks back then were truly from Africa.

zack said...

if lindsey says "other" people are "colored," does that make her "colorless"?

Anonymous said...

This is my last post, promise. Does anyone remember John Kerry's wife claim to being African/American. She was absolutely right of course because of dual citizenship.

The tolerance of uncivil behavior by black youths is just crushing them. Names don't mean too much to me.

szpork

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

tammy:

"That said, in private everyone I know personally, myself included, uses the term black if it comes up on conversation. Why? Because we're in our 40's and that's what we grew up with. It comes more natural to me."

I believe what you're saying is true with SOME in their 40's. However, Palin and Hannity are in in their 40's too, and the whole world has heard their views on race and watched Palin's hate rallies. BTW, your in my kids age group.

I really believe it more in the generation that is younger than you, especially, those in my grandchildren's age group, because they have a whole different outlook as far as race is concerned. You see it in their choice of friends that are of all different races. Nevertheless, I was, mostly, referring to certain areas in the USA, not all, and I should have specified and used SOME in my comments, not all.

Jmee said...

Sup Field,

I've been working like a slave for the man these last few weeks, glad to see the gang is still here.

As for Lindsey Crackho, she is definitely on her way to being that girl in the background along with Britney starring in those old school commercials "This Is Your Brain on Drugs"

I'm not going to hold it against her this is a tough time for(some)Whitey's, and I'm going to let them have there moment.

Red Devil said...

Ha, that is nothing, you should read about Mr. Steele, the black guy hoping to be the leader of the RNC. Talking about Obama playing the race card. There are house negroes, and then, there are truly repulsive house shit slime negroes

Respectully,

Hathor said...

szpork,
Since my son is over 21 the use of "boy" would be an insult. If my son was younger it would take me back somewhat. Why are you trying to change my history. I use colored for over a third of my life. I am not offended by it or ashamed either. I prefer "black" because it only states the place I have been in society in a black and white world. It is not my name or does it define who I am to myself. When I wake up in the morning, I am not a black person waking up. I do not become black until something or a person reminds me.

Christopher said...

Well, Lindsey Lohan is from Merrick, LI.

Merrick, with a population that's 96% White and only 0.6% African American, and a median household income of $99,589, only ever saw Black folks if they worked as domestics.

She's not terribly worldly.

Red devil said...

Well, Field, here is a COLORED poem for you(hahahaha. ENJOY!!):

When I was born, I was black.
When I grew up, I was black.
When I get hot, I am black.
When I get cold, I am black.
When I am sick, I am black.
When I die, I am black.

When you were born, You were pink.
When you grew up, You were white.
When you get hot, You go red.
When you get cold, You go blue.
When you are sick, You go purple.
When you die, You go green.

AND YET YOU HAVE THE CHEEK TO CALL ME COLOURED!!!

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Hathor:

Well said, my sistah! I love your style. You and I are on the same page.

Anonymous said...

Hathor....The concept of colored represents a bad era in American history, free but not equal. How ironic is this situation? I wake up every day same as you hoping for a rainbow.

szpork

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

szpork:

You don't understand that colored was better than being called "nigger".

Abraham Lincoln signed the Proclamation of Emancipation January 1, 1863, and the Civil Rights Bill was signed April 11, 1968. In 1896, the separate but equal law was made.

We were free but not equal with each of these events, and in reality nothing has changed that much, except we just elected a black president.

Hathor said...

grannystandingfortruth,

Thanks. I never thought that there would be such a disconnect, between my generation and the next. I have encountered these memes on the net; a total rewrite of the civil rights movement, the reason of the civil war and the belief that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, mollified racism.

On that note szpork, we were black when Dr. King was assassinated.I didn't see those days as all that bright.

Anonymous said...

sticks and stones . . . and yadda yadda yadda

now that he's president everything is fair game.

the last president was referred to more often as a simian (Chimpler, Monkey Bush, etc) than a human. Obama gets the same treatment - he is the president and this is how we have decided to treat president - irrespective of their skin color or lack thereof.

RiPPa said...

I never saw it as a big deal. Hell, her drug dealer is probably colored.

Bob said...

Grinder way up top made a point; that "people-of-color" is acceptable since that is considered a term inclusive of nearly everyone who doesn't have my skin. In the British press it's spelled "coloured."

Lindsay's last four movies were all flops. She hasn't had a hit song in four years, a century in pop music time. Now she's fallen into the all-purpose category of "celebrity." Her career's not working out very well.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Anonymous 11:59:

Bush was labeled monkey and chimp by white folks, not black folks. Whites have always had a habit of labeling things they don't understand or fear. Nothing new under the sun.

Anonymous said...

Granny, you are frustrating me tonight. There were no water fuasets labeled nigger that I know of. They were labeled Colored, as if those people were lesser quality. Hathor, I have no idea what you are talking about. whatevev

szpork

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Bob:

Yes, people of color is acceptable, and not taken as an insult.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

szpork:

"They were labeled Colored, as if ."

Okay, szpork, and now we are called black, African-Americans, and negroes, and "those people were lesser quality" has this way of thinking changed that much yet? This past election process and the little implied remarks concerning Obama's abilities are good examples of showing you that belief still exist.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

szpork:


sorry I left off part of your quote on the first line, but I did put it in between what I had to say.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

BTW, szpork:

I am not trying to frustrate you. I am trying to help you understand what we're saying from our perspective.

Faith said...

I never thought I'd see a post about HoHan on this blog. Is Jesus coming back or something?

Grata said...

"there are those that are like really black i mean sooo black that if they close their eyes and mouth at night you really can't even see them"

Anon,

And your point is? me thinks you are too hang up on black skin.

bubbables said...

This is the same Lindsey Lohan who blamed "the black kid" when she got caught driving while erratic and high, right?

http://www.blackvoices.com/blogs/2007/07/27/lindsay-lohan-the-black-kid-was-driving/

Minnie said...

I'm not too sure what that was about. Maybe she meant person of color? The first and last time I heard a young person use the word colored was in middle school during the 90's. The girl that used the word also pronounced reggae as rag-gay (even the other white kids laughed at that). I just assumed that she was not exposed to different cultures. This was in Staten Island, the only borough in NYC that went for McCain.

Even though she is from Long Island I don't see how she didn't know not to use the word colored with all the people she is exposed to.

Minnie said...

Ohhhh, so she does know that the PC term is black.

Whatever...I never supported the wench anyway.

Black Diaspora said...

Most of the racial terms for those of us of black African ancestry are fine with me, but I prefer the term, black.

Let me explain: African American can refer to anyone living on the continent of Africa, from Egypt to South Africa, embracing many racial and ethnic groups.

I have the same problem with the term Afro-American, a term which seems to have fallen within a linguistic hole.

Colored, person of color, or people of color--are catchall terms that describe people who are not white, including those of black African descent.

Consider: NAACP, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Using the current definition of "colored people," the organization was not, then, established for those of black African ancestry alone.

The term black on the other hand is used strictly to identify those of black African ancestry.

It sets those of black African descent aside as a separate racial group, giving them distinctiveness.

How do I know?

How many other racial groups, regardless of color, would refer to themselves as black, but someone of the so-called Negroid race?

Therefore I take a measure of pride in my distinctiveness, just as I'm sure those who are white, or of any other racial group, take pride in their distinctiveness.

By referring to myself as black, I don't dilute pride in my origin of choice although, like many blacks in this country, we all come from a mixed racial heritage.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

My son strongly suspects Lindsey Lohan is a drug user, and that her girlfriend is a hardcore meth head. We looked at photos and indeed, Lohan's partner does have that "look" like Amy Winehouse, and Lohan didn't look very well put together either in the photos with her.

The people we associate with influence us, and drug use affects our speech. I'll give Lohan a pass that she meant Obama was a person of color, not a colored man, because if she was under the influence when she said what she said, she may have been racing in in her thoughts and stumbling in her speech and resorted to talking in ways she heard as a child.

Black Diaspora said...

Michael Steele to Run For RNC Chair

"After two devastating election cycles, the party has reached a crossroads," said Steele comparing the Republican party to someone who has "hunkered down" in a corner with no idea what to do next. "I think I may have some keys to open the door, some juice to turn on the lights...."


He just might have a crack at the top job: after all, republicans need a black to attack Obama (to become "...keys to open the door, some juice to turn on the lights..."). That way, Steele can deflect some of that "republicans are racist" claims, if they go negative against this nation's first black president.

Oh, I could say many more things about poor, Mr. Steele, but then you already know them for yourselves.

grinder said...

Actually, I think black people have it easy compared to gay people when it comes to figuring out which label to use. When I was a kid, the polite word was homosexual, which to me sounded like a disease. Which of course, was the prevailing wisdom.

Then they went to "gay," which prompted some straight people to say things like, "Why did they have to go ruin a perfectly good word?" How, by squirting all over it? By shoving it down your throat? Wait, that construction -- shoving it down your throat -- is of more recent vintage. The right wingers have been using that for about 15 years. Ever since Ted Haggard started preaching, I think.

When I was a kid, I barely knew that lesbians even existed. So, it was an adjustment to hear it labeled the "Gay-Lesbian community." Sometimes they'd even put "lesbian" first, which really threw me.

Sometime in the 1980s, they included bisexuals, so it was GLB for a while. I have only met one bisexual, or should I say only person who actually said, "I'm bisexual." But that's probably because I was never much on cruising for married men, to put it mildly.

Then, sometime in the '90s, all hell broke loose. Someone somewhere decided that the transsexuals, all 0.00001% of the population, were now part of the tribe. Okay fine. I've got less in common with a transsexual than I do with an astronaut, but what the hell, as long as they keep the knife away from me I'm fine with it.

At the same time, someone decided that they would "take back" the word queer. That one I am not used to, and don't approve of. Maybe when you've been called a queer and have had the shit kicked out of you for it, you don't get the joke.

One welcome change was in designating partners. When I was young, you'd call your partner your "lover," which I always hated like hell. It sounded too flighty. You have a lover for maybe a year, tops, and you don't let anyone know about it. Then it became "significant other," which was too many syllables. Now it's "partner," which suits me fine even if it's on the dry side.

Vocabulary is a bitch. By the way, I understand that there's a fair amount of discrimination among black people based on shades of skin. Hopefully, Obama's wife will help put an end to that. The woman is very black, and very beautiful. And the kids are awesome.

Black Diaspora said...

I understand that there's a fair amount of discrimination among black people based on shades of skin.

Not as much you'd think.

Hathor said...

szpor,
You said,
"The concept of colored represents a bad era in American history, free but not equal."

I said,
"we were [black] when Dr. King was assassinated.I didn't see those days as all that bright."

Was that a good era? For some white folks it wasn't either, the Viet Nam War and Robert Kennedy's assassination.

field negro said...

Michael Steele has held the lantern on our lawn a few times, I see he might need to go back.

I have no problem with him wanting to lead his party, but attacking black (yes I said black not colored)to please your masssa is so "houseroish".(That's a word I made up)

Hathor, I understand your point; growing up the people who used the word were not trying to offend you, so you never took it as such.

"Granny, you are frustrating me tonight. There were no water fuasets labeled nigger that I know of. They were labeled Colored,.."

szpork, the Jim Crow people weren't stupid. They couldn't have labeled those fountains "nigger" fountains, that would have been a bridge too far. The fact that they were seperate was good enough for them. If, for instance, that was today, they would have been labeled "African American Drinking Fountains".

wazzzup jmee? Nice to see that you are okay. Now don't let massa work you too hard,we dont need him shipping you off to another plantation because you are no more good to him. :)

"I never thought I'd see a post about HoHan on this blog. Is Jesus coming back or something?"

faith, did you ever think you would see a black president? Or a vampire being the biggest heart throb in the country? Or a prominent church being the new Bull Connor?

Sorry faith, I don't think "Jesus" is ever coming back.

"HoHan"; I like that.

Miranda said...

Michael Steele is campaigning to get on the lawn, Field...please grant his wish.

And I think Ms. Lohan really meant "person of colored".....but given that she's not that bright, she screwed it up.

Tammy said...

Grinder:

Then, sometime in the '90s, all hell broke loose. Someone somewhere decided that the transsexuals, all 0.00001% of the population, were now part of the tribe. Okay fine. I've got less in common with a transsexual than I do with an astronaut, but what the hell, as long as they keep the knife away from me I'm fine with it.


Ha, Grinder. I recently had a woman tell me she identified as a Genderqueer shortly after we met. I thought to myself, 'Now what in the hell is that we've added to the list?' I just said, 'Oh, okay. Nice to meet you.' at the time. Because I had no clue what she was talking about. I just don't keep up with things like I used to I guess. But I had to race to wikipedia the next day to find out what it was! And after I found out, well, that's how I knew for sure I'd turned the corner on getting older.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I wasn't offended by Lohan's wording. It just struck me as odd given how young she is. Seriously, I haven't heard any white American under the age of 70 use that word.

Regarding Black and African-American. I say black unless I need to write an official paper of something. I feel black is more inclusive.

Mrs. Kerry might be African and American but she is not African-American. She misspoke.

sharon in ct said...

Reading all the comments has been very interesting, but I'm not sure I'm any more enlightened than I was before. ;-) My only contribution would be to state the obvious, which is that most of these terms assume that the "standard" is a blue-eyed male of Northern European descent who has sex exclusively with women. That kind of "racial" purity--"race" being an artificial human construct--probably exists--if it does exist--only in certain portions of Norway and Sweden. It surely doesn't exist here in the New World, and especially not in Omerica. Our President-Elect embodies this fact, and the sooner all Omerican's come to grips with it and move on, the better off we'll all be.

AgentX said...

I see Lindsay Lohan couldn't go 5 minutes without embarrassing herself again.

I'd say this were normal if she were South African, but nope. She sound know better.

BTW, Field, have u made that naked run yet? Enquiring minds want to know.

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Mahoganydymond said...

Well I think Lohan just don't have all her marbles. I don't feel offended by it. I am one of those who prefer to be called "BLACK". By her being the person she is, I am not mad at the woman..

Anonymous said...

I always thought the term "People of Color," to encompass all non-whites, was idiotic, but a few years ago it was de rigeur to use among a certain set of folks.

Maybe that's the sense in which Lindsay was using the word "colored." If Obama was Mexican American it would also be true. He is our first President "of color," get it?

grinder said...

That kind of "racial" purity--"race" being an artificial human construct--probably exists--if it does exist--only in certain portions of Norway and Sweden.

I saw a documentary on the History Channel about a supervolcano hundreds or thousands (not sure which) times as powerful as Krakatoa. It exploded 75,000 years ago in what is now Indonesia. They've found the crater, and it's still smoking.

The explosion caused a worldwide volcanic winter that killed almost all life on earth. The crocodiles and cockroaches survived (naturally) and about 3,000 human beings in East Africa.

We are all descended from those people. The scientists have gone back to the place in East Africa where the survivors were. Apparently, the farther you get from that point, the less genetic diversity there is.

To this day, there is more human genetic diversity on one street in this spot in East Africa than anywhere else, and more in Africa than anywhere else. I have to think that there is somewhat more human genetic diversity in America than in some other places, owing to immigration, but they didn't cover it in this program.

As for racial "purity," I don't think the Norwegians, etc., are any purer than the main Japanese (apart from their aboriginals, who come from a couple of different tribes and who are heavily discriminated against to this day).

What I wonder about are some of the tribes of Africa that have been isolated from one another for a long time, and in the Amazon, and in New Guinea. And then there are the Palin People of Alaska. They are pure.

grinder said...

I recently had a woman tell me she identified as a Genderqueer shortly after we met.

Like, what does one say? There is a point at which all of this becomes too much information. I think if someone informs me that they'er a genderqueer, I should be able to ask if they reproduce via cell division. Sheesh, listen to me ...

Sharon said...

Anonymous: michelle ia like really, really black, while your talking about color whats the deal with the palm of your hands and bottom of your feet?

You apparently don't know too many black people if you think Michelle Obama is "really, really black."

Btw, are the pinks of your hands and feet the same color as the skin on your face and the rest of your body? Check it out. You will find that is not the case.

Anonymous said...

Field, please !

Why waste time on a drunken lout like her ? Agree with Rippa about her drug dealer...who cares what she thinks, says, does ?

She's already irrelevant, and won't live long enough to make any difference.

Sharon said...

Hathor: It also perpetuates the myth of Africa as a continent.

What?? Are you hanging out with Sarah Palin? Africa is a continent.

Hathor said...

Sharon,

I'm sorry I misspoke, I meant Africa as a country.

I do think the context should have cleared up my intention.

Freebeema said...

Lindsay Lohan. You are all talking about what LINDSAY LOHAN said. Think about that.

Anonymous said...

I always get these people confused. Is Lidsay Lohan the singer who is on meth, or is that the actress who is on meth, or is it the professional celebrity who is on meth? So many people, so many drugs, so little time.

Red Devil said...

Noticeable increase in racial violence since Obama was elected. Here is one that bothers me "In Standish, Maine, a sign in the Oak Hill General Store said, "Osama Obama Shotgun Pool." Customers could sign up to bet $1 on a date when Obama would be killed. "Stabbing, shooting, roadside bombs, they all count," the sign said."

Houston said...

I use all three terms: African-American, Black, and People of Color. If I were to say Colored People, it would be deliberate and intended to include all non-White groups, as in "colored peoples of the world." I sometimes think African-Americans get just a touch myopic when it comes to color, mostly seeing the world in Black and White. Coming from a mixed-racial background myself, race in my life is more of a technicolor event with each color being bold and having flavor.

Anonymous said...

Red Devil…..that was cool and so true, I serious about the question of the lighter colored hands and feet
Sharon…unfortunately I’m “pale” all over, yes I said unfortunately! Pale sucks….lol
It would be easy to dismiss me as a racist, it is up to you freedom of choose and all that, I can honestly say that I’ve NEVER called anyone a nigger not even my friends or in private. My ex wife and I taught our daughters to never call anyone that. I treat everyone the way they allow me to treat them, so call it what you want I’m simply saying from MY prospective all this whining about call me this sounds like a bunch of kindergarteners.
As far as the Obama’s every president that we’ve had get picked on and called names …..suck it and get ready to take it…..four years is a long time. The violent threats and acts are unacceptable no matter who you are!
And as far as Michelle goes I’m NOT the one who sit’s the standard….i was watching BET (I know, I know) last night and every commercial and typically the % of white women to black was 10-1……explain that to me. The way I see it whoever is paying for these aren’t going to put their products where they’re not going to do any good?
Confession time I am yes sad to say it superficial…….and no it doesn’t matter to me white shade you are, my criteria is simple beautiful , I’ve asked several of my black friends and everyone have said Michelle is not do-able, oh, I guess if you’re a female you could say “but she’s beautiful inside” or I like this one and most guy’s know exactly what I talking about “she’s go t a great personality”……lol
Sorry I’ll STFU now ;=}

Seda said...

Would y'all mind if I just keep calling you "black?" And if y'all would prefer "African-American," would y'all do me the favor of calling me "European-American?" Either way, I want y'all to hear respect in my voice when I say it, and that's all I ask of you. :-)

And as for your field negroes of the day - Yes! May there be peace.
Be well,

grinder said...

In 33 years of adulthood, I have heard exactly one white person use the word "nigger," and later in the same conversation he apologized for using the word.

I have heard white people complain about blacks in private conversations. The complaint is pretty much the same however it's phrased: that blacks are forever bitching about everyone's faults but their own.

Whether the complaint is smug, defensive, accurate, racist, or some combination of those, depends entirely on the context. I think that black people who imagine whites in their living rooms freely using the n-word would mostly be disappointed if, say, they were given x-ray hearing.

The exceptions, I think, would be in the deep South, where the word "nigger" is still casually used among whites, or so I was told by a white woman (a Yankee transplant, and none too happy about it) who was mightily freaked out by it, and among the lowest elements elsewhere.

But even among your classic crackers, at least outside of the South, you just don't hear the n-word too often. It's not like I hang out with these people, but I tend to cast a pretty wide net and if there was a lot of that going on I think I'd know.

This isn't to say that the word "nigger," and the hatred behind it, has vanished. I just think it's far reduced. I think if the black hip-hoppers quit using the word, the number of times anyone hears "nigger" would drop by 99%+

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! now michelle is going to drag her mamma to the WH!!!

what next they'll be cars up on blocks and couches on the porch...hell their not even in yet....LOL

this is hilarious!!!!

Anonymous said...

just viewed a Victoria's Secret slidshow on Huffington....hummm

1 of 14 models black??? WTF

oh, let me guess they don't know what their doing and will be going tits up any day now....

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

anonymous 4:08:

Smh! I don't see it any difference from when Eleanor Roosevelt's mother lived in the White House, and so did another first lady's mother. That is nothing new.

Nevertheless, I hope the Obamas throw a barbeque on the front lawn with tubs of Thunderbird wine, invite their cousins Shaneka and Pookie, blast rap music on the boom boxes, and whatever other little stereotype you have of black folks just to irritate you and give you something else petty to talk about.

Jody said...

I agree with Grinder..... I do not hear white folks using the term "nigger" period. And, if that word was to be used... even in a white only crowd, the user would be chastised by most folks in the room. Of the white folks I know, have known, have worked and especially my friends, it is considered a sign of stupid, vile, vulgar ignorance.
On your side bar... hafta say made me happy to see we are coming close to the end of the Bush Regime!

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

I have a couple of cousins that are gay and lesbian. Their mates live with them and have for years. One of my gay cousin's mate is white. I've never asked them about the different labels in their community or what they preferred to be called.

They're always invited and come to all of our family functions and no one in my family treats them, not even the younger ones,any different than they do other family members. They're treated like another family member. In a sense, they are, because they are who my cousins choose to be with.

Therefore, a lot of the information you guys are sharing has enlightened me. Maybe, it's because I see them as human beings and not as label preferences, so I've never questioned them about their lifestyle.

grinder said...

Nevertheless, I hope the Obamas throw a barbeque on the front lawn with tubs of Thunderbird wine, invite their cousins Shaneka and Pookie, blast rap music on the boom boxes, and whatever other little stereotype you have of black folks just to irritate you and give you something else petty to talk about.

I'd rather see the Obamas have Wynton Marsalis organize an annual White House jazz festival to be held on the Capital Mall, along with a festival of black artists of all kinds, to highlight the best and the brightest, and to show this country that the black community ain't all hip-hip, gangstas and low-riding pants.

Personally, I think way, way, way too many black achievers get no attention because they don't fit into the following pigeonholes: entertainer, athlete, thug. It's a stinkin' steaming crock of bullshit that hurts everyone, but especially black people. That's the way I look at it, anyway.

It's been more than 40 years since this country had a president who made the performing arts a centerpiece of his White House. Jimmy Carter tried, but somehow it didn't connect. Not since JFK have we had a president who stuck the arts in the middle of the show. This country is hungry for it, and if Obama did that I think it would be a grand slam home run.

If Shaneka can play the cello and Pookie is a sculptor, they can drink Everclear for all I care.

grinder said...

See, without black people there basically isn't any American music in America. Shania Twain? Gimme a break. And if you look at the last 10-15 years, ever since hip-hop became king, how much really great new music have we seen? Not a whole lot.

I also think there's a whole world of blacks in the arts that is virtually invisible right now. Obama, that is something YOU can change.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Grinder:

Was anonymous 4:08 you? Because in my comment that is specifically who I was talking to.

Nevertheless, I believe that Obama likes jazz, old school R&B with Stevie Wonder being his favorite. He mentioned something about reviving the arts during the primaries, which I think is great.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Grinder:

"that blacks are forever bitching about everyone's faults but their own."

Yeah, and vice versa! In fact, blacks have been flooded with complaints daily in MSM, newspapers, commenters, bloggers, etc. throughout their whole lives. It would be nice if everyone minded their own business don't you think.

rikyrah said...

I love that Grandma Robinson is going with them. Michelle is determined to keep those children on ' this side of normal'. More power to her.

As for Lohan, who cares? She's too dumb and ignorant for words.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

I see Hannity is still bringing up the Ayers and Obama association thing, but it's funny how he never brings up his association with Hal Turner, their lover's relationship, his other anti-semite and anti-black associations. Whelp, I guess he is trying to come up with a reason to keep his huge pay raise and contract. Some folks never change, or should I say once a snake in the grass always a snake in the grass in Hannity's case.

Sonia said...

not sure how Lindsay's sexual choices relate to anything else.

I like your blog. My family is from the deep south, and we're white. I have some racist relatives, and some that believe in equality from the bottom of their hearts. myself included.

I just wanted to say, the word colored is found offensive mainly because it relates to the civil rights struggle in the deep south in the 60s. the signs that kept African-American people from participating in everyday life the way they ought to have been free to.

I think the word itself remains on in white people's (and maybe others) minds though we've evolved as a culture. I think the word itself is oudated, but not inherently racist. different than the n-word, which is a true slur. For example, "colored" was the word my grandfather used when he taught my father never, ever to use the n-word. that we don't talk about people that way.

it was a poor choice of speech. it also may simply indicate that Ms. Lohan used something in her subconsious. she's not necessarily a racist...you know, slut.

grinder said...

Was anonymous 4:08 you?

Absolutely not. field has the I.P. addresses and can verify if it need be. I have a high opinion of the Obamas. I think they're a class act.

I believe that Obama likes jazz, old school R&B with Stevie Wonder being his favorite.

Then that it something else I share with him. Stevie Wonder isn't my favorite, but he's definitely grown on me over the years.

Yeah, and vice versa! In fact, blacks have been flooded with complaints daily in MSM, newspapers, commenters, bloggers, etc. throughout their whole lives. It would be nice if everyone minded their own business don't you think.

Actually, I disagree about everyone minding their own business, at least in this context. I'm an integrationist, at least to some extent.

As for blacks complaining, before I have a whole comment board using me for target practice please have a look at the context. I said that, in 33 years of adulthood, even in private conversation I've only heard the word "nigger" out of another white person once.

I'm not denying that it's ever said, but I'm saying that it's said a whole lot less than you might imagine. For the vast majority of white people, the word "nigger" is simply not acceptable, even in private and even in anger. You might not believe that, but it's true.

But are there racial issues? Absolutely, and I think there is a widespread sense among whites at all levels, that black people need to mend some of their own fences. I think the comments that Bill Cosby made, and that Obama has made on occasion, reflect some of that thinking.

I hesitate to say it, for fear that like say, studying hard in school, expressions of self-responsibility be tarred as "acting white," or being an Uncle Tom, or being a house negro. I don't perceive field as having that set of attitudes. He's willing to point the finger in every appropriate direction, which I think is the only way to make progress.

The more of that the better, in my opinion. White people cannot "reform" black people. No white man can, for example, force the sort of family life that kids need if they're going to hope to achieve anything. But unless it happens -- from within -- people will be bitching about the same things in 75 years.

Sonia said...

"the word itself is oudated, but not inherently racist"

I'm sorry, that came off racist. the word "colored," of course, is racist. what I meant was, I think the intention behind it is not always necessarily white-devilish. she may have simply taken outdated speech to make her point. :)

grinder said...

Was anonymous 4:08 you? Because in my comment that is specifically who I was talking to.

Aha, now I see. You were being tongue-in-cheek and I didn't pick up on it. Mea culpa. A couple times here that's happened in the other direction. Damned Internet can't see facial expressions.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

They have dragged Ayers name through the mud. You'd have had to live through that period in time to understand that Ayers wasn't considered a terrorist back then, he was an anti-war protestor. It was so much stuff going on back in that time and so many different organizations protesting.

Everybody was throwing peace signs and greeting folks saying peace, but there was no peace, the USA was in a turmoil, and "WE the people" were upset about a lot of things going on back then.

In some instances, we were headed back in that direction when Bush came into office. Yes, we definitely in need of change. Those younger than I'd say around 50 or subtract a few more years, might not begin to understand what it was like back then and how some folks were falsely accused, and the government was deaf.

grinder said...

Bush was labeled monkey and chimp by white folks, not black folks. Whites have always had a habit of labeling things they don't understand or fear.

White people called Bush a chimp because he resembled one and had a similar I.Q. to a chimp.

I don't think there'll be a whole lot of Obama-as-a-monkey humor. Cuts too close to the edge. You might see stuff like this, which if I may say so myself, I think is pretty funny.

Dave said...

Here in the Appalachian part of Pennsylvania, "colored" is still the polite term of choice, I'm afraid, and it's used by people of all ages, though I do hear "black" and "African-American" with growing frequency. I wouldn't be surprised if the situation has reversed by the end of the Obama presidency - we'll see.

I'm not convinced that language influences thinking as much as we'd like to think, though. I once heard a young guy refer to something that was slapped together as an example of "African-American engineering." I was like, dude, I'm glad you didn't say "n*****-rigging," but that's still racist as hell! But I'm not sure he took my point.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Grinder:

I was being sarcastic with anonymous 4:08 for a reason. Now about the "nigger" remark being said by whites, maybe, some of you missed my post where I said I should have been more specific. That is where the misunderstanding came in, which was my fault. So forgive me for not making myself clear enough. Granny is not a professional writer and sometimes I think faster than I type. Therefore, I've never said, or claimed to be perfect, I make mistakes too, and I stand to be corrected. I truly understand about how stuff sounds on the Internet.

Granny comes from a multiracial family, some are my blood relatives, and some are through marriage, and they come in all genders, sexual orientations, wealthy, middleclass, and poor; good and bad. Granny is a very family orientated person and a people person who has learned alot about human nature over the years of my lifetime. People are put in others paths for a reason and a season. And I do have one question for you since you brought up Bill Crosby and that is are white people perfect and without flaws and shortcomings?

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Grinder:

I was being sarcastic with anonymous 4:08 for a reason. Now about the "nigger" remark being said by whites, maybe, some of you missed my post where I said I should have been more specific. That is where the misunderstanding came in, which was my fault. So forgive me for not making myself clear enough. Granny is not a professional writer and sometimes I think faster than I type. Therefore, I've never said, or claimed to be perfect, I make mistakes too, and I stand to be corrected. I truly understand about how stuff sounds on the Internet.

Granny comes from a multiracial family, some are my blood relatives, and some are through marriage, and they come in all genders, sexual orientations, wealthy, middleclass, and poor; good and bad. Granny is a very family orientated person and a people person who has learned alot about human nature over the years of my lifetime. People are put in others paths for a reason and a season. And I do have one question for you since you brought up Bill Crosby and that is are white people perfect and without flaws and shortcomings?

Dark Moon said...

Therefore I take a measure of pride in my distinctiveness, just as I'm sure those who are white, or of any other racial group, take pride in their distinctiveness.

By referring to myself as black, I don't dilute pride in my origin of choice although, like many blacks in this country, we all come from a mixed racial heritage.


I agree with this summation. I also identify as simply Black (American) and very rarely use African American--if at all.

Lindsay Lohan using the term colored is no different when Paris Hilton used the term N*gger. Although both were born after the Civil Rights Era, they are both from privelege which has always held a low opinion of Black people, if they thought of them at all. Of course, I don't think being younger somehow automatically allows you to transcend race. There has been increased racial incidences on College campuses and universities, especially now that Obama is President elect--and these are being perpetrated by young people who are supposedly free of racial memes.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

I believe that we didn't start using the word black, until James Brown came out with that song, "Say It Loud, I'm black and I'm proud." It was a political statement against negative references to the black race as being inferior. It was to uplift the black race and let them know that "black is beautiful, just as intelligent, and let it be known blacks should be proud of who they are as a race of people.

grinder said...

I do have one question for you since you brought up Bill Crosby and that is are white people perfect and without flaws and shortcomings?

Only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and ever third Sunday. Seriously, no. I think relationships between black people and white people are getting better. I really do. I think that the political divide between left and right has gotten much worse in my lifetime, apart from any racial considerations. I worry about that more than I worry about the black-white divide.

On a related subject, I took an interesting test that measured "automatic preferences," and it showed that I have a moderate automatic preference for white people over black people, and a moderate automatic preference of Obama over McCain. I took a different one that said I am neutral on straight people vs. gay people, and that I have a strong automatic preference for the Democratic Party.

None of it really surprised me, although I thought my preference for white people would be "slight" rather than "moderate."

grinder said...

Whoops, it was a moderate automatic preference for the Democratic Party, and a moderate automatic preference for Coke over Pepsi. That was one test. The neutrality on gay vs. straight was a third test.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Grinder:

"Only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and ever third Sunday." You tickled granny with that one. LOL!

"I think relationships between black people and white people are getting better. I really do. I think that the political divide between left and right has gotten much worse in my lifetime"

Yup, me too, I think there are still some problems that need to be worked out, and that there are some folks that will never change in their attitudes, but that's their problem the way I see it. As long as they don't mess with me, and my family, I could care less how they feel, no one is gonna steal my joy.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Racism is like a deadly disease it destroys people within and out and spreads. One of my daughter's best friends, mother was white and her father was black. Anyway, her father and mother divorced when she was younger and still in school, but maintained a friendship, and parted on friendly terms. He was too into the church for her. The mother retained custody of both her and her brother, finished raising them, and made sure they finished school. The girl and her brother were very close to their mother. Their mother was good people.

One day, the girl's mother was in a freak accident, hit by a train, and died. Her mother's parents claimed the body. The girl's white side of the family didn't allow her and her brother to come to their own mother's funeral. They wouldn't have nothing to do with them period and even went so far as to deny that they were even her children even though the woman birthed them into the world.

A few years later her brother died of an illness, and they didn't bother to come to his funeral either, nor visit him while he was hospitalized, or even send so much as a card. To this day, her white side of the family will have nothing to do with her and denies her as their flesh and blood.

She is married now, with two children, lives in TX, and is doing real good. The young lady always was a nice respectable young lady and a very pretty girl. However, the sting from the hurt still lingers in her mind, because my daughter mentioned it to me, and was telling me that she had talked to her recently.

grinder said...

I view it differently than you do, but not so differently that we're on different planets. To me, the idea of racism as a disease tends to obliterate the subtleties that often make all the difference. We could write books about this, and of course people have, so for now, just one example.

Someone can have what you or I might call a racist, or bigoted, viewpoint toward a group. They've looked from afar at (fill in the name of the group) and have concluded bad things.

Is that person a bigot or a lost cause? Maybe yes, but probably not, at least not at every moment. The same person who will say "#$%&%$ (group name $#%@#$%@)" will think twice and reach out.

I know this from direct personal experience as the victim of a hate crime. I don't do the Victim-for-a-Day thing, so that's as far as I will go, but suffice to say that people can be a lot more complicated than the labels will suggest.

It's a much more mixed bag than everyone thinks it is. People change, and even some very "bad" people have the seeds of good within them. This is all a matter of balance, of course, and there are plenty of people who just need to be kept away. But there is a lot more gray than the black-and-white thinkers will admit.

It's much easier to imagine that X is on one side and Y is on the other side. That can certainly be the case, and maybe it usually is the case, but it's often enough not the case to make conversion and persuasion worth trying.

Black Diaspora said...

@granny: To this day, her white side of the family will have nothing to do with her and denies her as their flesh and blood.

Granny, a very, very, very, wise man once said, and I paraphrase:

"Life doesn't happen to us; it happens through us."

The reaction of the white family to their black kin makes you wonder what beliefs, experiences, fears, perspectives, and perceptions are lurking in their hearts to caused them to process their [non-]relationship with their grandson, and granddaughter in the manner that they did.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

black diaspora:

Their behavior was cruel and cold-heartless, simply put. Notice that I said heartless instead of hearted, that was no error on my behalf. Those people don't possess a heart at all. It is similar to how whites who had black children in slavery days did some of their children.

There are two emotions that are the strongest in the world and are brothers, and that is love and hate. Cain killed Abel didn't he? But Jesus defeated the Devil. All were brothers.

In the bible when it says "Thou Shalt Not Kill" people don't realize that most of them do it on a daily basis in little subtle ways, because you can kill with your mouth. You can kill a person's influence, You can kill a person's spirit, you can kill speaking ill will towards someone.
Nevertheless, Jesus can resurrect.

Black Diaspora said...

Granny, being black has made me more compassionate, more tolerant, more forgiving than perhaps I would have been otherwise.

It's risky being white.

What may surprise some whites is that, if I had my life to live over, I would live it again as a black man.

Being black has its advantages: it humanizes.

And I can savor the sweet smell of freedom, since it was denied me for so long.

And I can bask under the sun of expanded opportunity, since much of my life was lived under the shadow of limitations and restrictions.

But through it all, only that which defined me as physical was limited: my soul soared to new heights, took in an expansive view that extended beyond limitations and restrictions into the eternal.

I agree that we kill each day, and yet there's one death, loss of life, that is prized above all others:

23 ¶ And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

sharon in ct said...

black diaspora, your words take us all to new heights.

"And if y'all would prefer "African-American," would y'all do me the favor of calling me "European-American?""

Too many syllables for me. You can just call me an Omerican.

Dark Moon said...

Granny, being black has made me more compassionate, more tolerant, more forgiving than perhaps I would have been otherwise.

It's risky being white.

What may surprise some whites is that, if I had my life to live over, I would live it again as a black man.

Being black has its advantages: it humanizes.



Wow. That is quite interesting. How has it humanized you? For me, being black has probably given me a greater perspective of non-blacks--a greater hypervigilance and deep artisitc insight, but I see that being Black has dehumanized me in that I am rendered invisible and my ideas and existence are dismissed. I must add that I don't think that is victim language, but the experience of being negated that makes me angry and frsutrated--not at peace.

grinder said...

What may surprise some whites is that, if I had my life to live over, I would live it again as a black man.

This doesn't surprise me at all. When I was a little kid I remember hearing that "Negroes would rather be white," and thinking to myself that this was the most bizarre thing I'd ever heard.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

black diaspora:

"being black has made me more compassionate, more tolerant, more forgiving than perhaps I would have been otherwise."

I can relate to that, and I truly understand what you saying.

"Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;"

Sharon CT:

Me, myself, and I would prefer for people to just call me by my name, and I'll do the same. I'm like you that's too many syllables for me. (smile)

Black Moon:

Your frustrations are shared by a lot of black men, but here and now, Granny is telling you to look up and know that you're somebody too. Don't ever let no one make you feel different or invisible or kill your spirit, because YOUR SOMEBODY! Your existence doesn't depend on the negativity that others may try to project on you. It depends on what you choose to believe.

field negro said...

I love granny! :)

Granny, I hope you don't ever stop reading and posting on this site.

Your knowledge and perspective is always appreciated. Even if we don't always agree.

Black Diaspora said...

@dark moon: "I see that being Black has dehumanized me in that I am rendered invisible and my ideas and existence are dismissed."

dark moon, I really wish to give you an answer that will resonate, that will compel a reevaluation of your perspective.

So in that spirit I respectfully offer you the following:

It's not for others for whom you and I live. Ultimately, we live life for the self.

In an earlier post I quoted a modern-day master who said:

Life doesn't happen to us; it happens through us.

Granny said that life is about choice, and indeed it is: Given the things that have happened to me, I could have expressed bitterness, anger, rage and hatred, but I didn't--or let me say more accurately--I didn't for long: those things passed.

I realized that if I acted the way that others did, and, by responding in kind, I became them. And that was not something I wanted to do or be.

Either I used my experiences to enhance who I wished to be--someone compassionate, tolerant and forgiving--or I would waste this golden, and blessed opportunity.

Because I saw the ugliness of hatred, hatred became something I didn't wish to be.

Because I saw the bitterness of intolerance, intolerance became something that I would shun.

Because I saw how the soul is destroyed by revenge, forgiveness became the wellspring from which I drew to keep my soul intact and to uplift it.

Therefore, I used my experiences to elevate the best of me, rather than the worst of me.

My urging is this: Don't ally yourself with the forces that would dehumanize you, render you invisible, and dismiss you.

Use those forces to rise above them, and transform yourself into the image of your own creating, your own choosing--not that of those who would fashion you in their own image.

I learn years ago not to take another's assessment of me as my own assessment.

If I did, I unwittingly became a conspirator in my own demise: the demise of my self-definition, my self-worth, my self-perception, and my self-evolution.

I hope that this answers your question: "How has it humanized you?"

In a nutshell: My experiences under racism have shown me more clearly--than perhaps it would have otherwise--those attributes that I didn't wish to have for myself, my life, and my soul--but those attributes that I wished to embrace, and imitate.

Because of those experiences, my soul development, my soul experiences have been phenomenal.

Isn't that what life is all about? I would change nothing! It's all been perfect: the good as well as the bad.

Both have benefited me, and have given me the poor-man's edge over the wealthy.

I repeat: It's risky being white.

Dark Moon said...

Black Moon:

Your frustrations are shared by a lot of black men, but here and now, Granny is telling you to look up and know that you're somebody too. Don't ever let no one make you feel different or invisible or kill your spirit, because YOUR SOMEBODY! Your existence doesn't depend on the negativity that others may try to project on you. It depends on what you choose to believe.


Thank you granny standing for truth. I do appreciate your point.

I Do not have any inherent insecurity in myself (except what is expected) but I am angry that I must continually answer for everything Black people when we do something wrong and that I must continually prove my worth, because most non-blacks feel they are justified in casting me in the role as defective. It is infuriating that when Whites commit heinous crimes, it is an aberration and there is great pains to use science, morality and such to explain this abomination, but when good occurs, it is naturally assumed and applauded as something White people are supposed to do. Interesting still with Prop 8 and other voting assumptions of Blacks that we are voting monolith who are homophobic and who vote like slaves to a Democratic ticket, but the voting patterns of whites are always divided along social--economic, gender, and other markers that perpetuate the point of complexity.

I do understand granny that it is expected that we have to be completely perfect to even get grudging acceptance, but for the lip service that is paid to Western/American individualism, blacks are the only group in which we are foisted on as a monolith of something that is palpable decay. You have to be extraordinary. You have to transcend something, the race, gender, even mortality to even be considered remotely acceptable.

Of course, I will say again, I sincerely appreciate your point and maybe as you say, keeping your spirit alive so it won’t be deformed, is the key to freedom, but my anger and frustration is at something that is not inevitable, it can dismantled if anyone really cared. Finding a way to save one’s freedom is difficult to come by when so much energy has been regretably being placed into being seen as bloodless, safe, and sanitized. That is something I won't make the mistake to replicate again.

dark moon, I really wish to give you an answer that will resonate, that will compel a reevaluation of your perspective.

So in that spirit I respectfully offer you the following:

It's not for others for whom you and I live. Ultimately, we live life for the self.

In an earlier post I quoted a modern-day master who said:

Life doesn't happen to us; it happens through us.

Granny said that life is about choice, and indeed it is: Given the things that have happened to me, I could have expressed bitterness, anger, rage and hatred, but I didn't--or let me say more accurately--I didn't for long: those things passed.

I realized that if I acted the way that others did, and, by responding in kind, I became them. And that was not something I wanted to do or be.

Either I used my experiences to enhance who I wished to be--someone compassionate, tolerant and forgiving--or I would waste this golden, and blessed opportunity.

Because I saw the ugliness of hatred, hatred became something I didn't wish to be.

Because I saw the bitterness of intolerance, intolerance became something that I would shun.

Because I saw how the soul is destroyed by revenge, forgiveness became the wellspring from which I drew to keep my soul intact and to uplift it.

Therefore, I used my experiences to elevate the best of me, rather than the worst of me.

My urging is this: Don't ally yourself with the forces that would dehumanize you, render you invisible, and dismiss you.

Use those forces to rise above them, and transform yourself into the image of your own creating, your own choosing--not that of those who would fashion you in their own image.

I learn years ago not to take another's assessment of me as my own assessment.

If I did, I unwittingly became a conspirator in my own demise: the demise of my self-definition, my self-worth, my self-perception, and my self-evolution.

I hope that this answers your question: "How has it humanized you?"

In a nutshell: My experiences under racism have shown me more clearly--than perhaps it would have otherwise--those attributes that I didn't wish to have for myself, my life, and my soul--but those attributes that I wished to embrace, and imitate.

Because of those experiences, my soul development, my soul experiences have been phenomenal.

Isn't that what life is all about? I would change nothing! It's all been perfect: the good as well as the bad.

Both have benefited me, and have given me the poor-man's edge over the wealthy.

I repeat: It's risky being white.


You know your words are deceptively simply, but I know that I am not nearly as evolved as you black diaspora and I admit that I do find it hard to relate in that you were able to get past the rage and simply exist. I work very hard and struggle and although my story is certainly not unique, I am finishing a master’s program and I plan to purse a PhD. I hope to one day create a community center for Black children, etc and I wish to be a social advocate for change—there are so many things I want to do that is creative and artistic. Most people see a walking pathology. Nevertheless, even with my goals, I am very angry. I find it difficult to assuage, placate, and to soothe white people and non-black people. I have to explain my existence in one form or another. I can’t cut myself off from the majority—I have to deal with Whites and others because that is what blacks usually do.

. I always thought the biggest freedom was being wrapped in whiteness. It is a balm and gives you a sense of identity and purpose. It allows you the freedom to exist without being troubled by a difficult identity and you have the knowledge that most want to model their success and to be White.

As I said I have not evolved to where you can exist with such serenity above the fray. Maybe one day, but anger although tiring, seems to propel me forward and demand.

Pardon the staccato stream of conscious response, it is less structured when you are discussing Soul Force. Soul Freedom.

Thanks again black diaspora and grannystandinfortruth. I do appreciate the effort and response.

Black Diaspora said...

@dark moon: Most people see a walking pathology. Nevertheless, even with my goals, I am very angry.

Life is your greatest gift. It was a gift that you gave yourself.

Nothing about your life is happenstance: you created it the way it is for a reason. But if you attempt to discover that reason, you will live your life searching rather than "being."

You will live it looking backward rather than forward.

You will live it planning to do, rather than just doing.

If life is the greatest gift that you have given yourself, then this moment is the greatest gift of all the moments of your life.

For in this moment everything can change: change is only a thought away, a choice away, the choosing of which can change everything.

I like you black moon. I like the plans that you have set for yourself:

I am finishing a master’s program and I plan to purse a PhD. I hope to one day create a community center for Black children, etc and I wish to be a social advocate for change....

Those are laudable goals, and say a great deal about the person you're being and wish to be.

Value, then, those goals, more than the anger and the rage that would consume you.

What you're "being," black moon, is more important than what you're "doing." Make sure, then, that you're being the highest concept of yourself that you have ever imagined.

Let me give you one of life's little known secrets. If you think this through, it has the power to change you, but you must have a willingness to change.

Here it is:

Nothing in your world is real.
The meaning of everything is the meaning you give it.
You are who you say you are, and your experience is what you say it is.


This is life simply told, and simply expressed. There's is nothing more to say.

I wish you well.

catnapping said...

I would have assumed she was being ironic...but I don't know her.

When my dad was stationed in Nebraska (early 60s), I couldn't go swimming in the pool in town. There was a sign there. No Coloreds or Indians. (My family is a mix of french canuck, mohawk, onondaga, and cree.)

'Colored' was the word nice women with pocketbooks used in public. But I've always assumed it wasn't the word they were thinking. Because I was called 'red nigger' by Nebraskans not carrying pocketbooks. And up here in Montana, I've been called prairie nigger (as recently as 2006)...so it's to those sorts of people I am my snottiest.

I use words that are meant to annoy...e.g. when I read posters grouse about Obama, I write something like, "oh nooooo, a colored man - leader of the free world!"

colored.

They know I'm laughing at them, but they never seem to know what to say back. Sometimes it even shuts them up.

No matter the result, it just makes me feel better.

Dark Moon said...

Thanks again Black Diaspora. I sincerely appreciate your advice. Take Care.

Anonymous said...

"When you are with your friends and people you trust, there is no telling what you might want to call us. I am guessing "colored" would be tame in comparison to some of the other names."

If this is your attitude after decades of efforts and billions of dollars to "fight" "racism" then in all seriousness we need to be looking at racial separation. It reminds me of Rampage Jackson's arrest; he evaded the police because in his mind LA cops are so racist that his life was in danger.

If it's really that bad, then let's be honest with ourselves and declare our attempts at bolshevik-style multiculturalism to have have failed, and that they were misguided to begin with. It is impossible for us white folks to accept black people when you think we are all hugely racist in the year 2008. Look at catnip's comments above, he sees society as "us" versus "them".

Why do negroes insist on living in white countries? Has any American negro ever moved to Jamaica, or Ivory Coast, or Somalia? Why not? If whitey were really as bad as you make him out to be you would have done what all of our ancestors have done at one point: find a better place.

We have done quite enough to accommodate the negro and if it isn't enough we must insist that you leave America. Try your whiney victim act in Mexico and see how long it lasts.

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