Friday, August 07, 2009

Stereotypes, jigging, and coons.


I stumbled on the following post quite by accident. I am somewhat of a coon connoisseur, so I think it might have been the word coon in the title that caught my eye. Anywhooo, while we are still trying to bridge our racial gap in these divided states of A-merry-ca, I thought it would be interesting to share this blogger's views on racial stereotypes.

I apologize for not knowing the blogger's name, but I will give a link and the name of their site which is "O Hell Nawl".

"Black (specifically for this post - I’m referring to Americans) folk are very diverse - like any other race.

While many of us can dance our azzes off - there are many who can’t catch a beat.
Some of us have never picked up a basketball - and believe it or not there are a LOT of us who have never been to jail or met a pimp. Additionally many of us can’t stand rap, especially in it’s current form.

However, we seem to still be struggling with stereotypical images and ideals and we probably will always be. This began wayyyy back - when some of us would perform for “massa” in the most stereotypical way, entertaining and delighting him and his family.
We found out that it worked for us and many of us kept doing it for financial gain. Some of us, having grown up in a culture of poverty, knew no other way.
Yet, we’re still a diverse people.


If you caught CNN’s Black in American Part II, you’d have seen Tyler Perry’s story.

Tyler is unbelievably successful and drew on a culture of poverty he grew up in and showed the world black folks experiences from that perspective. Of course, many black folks who lived experiences that do NOT necessarily relate to that perspective comprehensively took issue, including myself. I could relate to some parts of Tyler’s works, but some of it - eh, not really. I couldn’t knock the man’s hustle, while I despised the fact that there are white people across the country who may think that Tyler’s works ARE the totality of the black experience. It’s not.


But then again, Tyler has the only black owned studio in the country which was welcomed into existance [sic] by black actors who fought to have roles that weren’t stereotypical.

Irony. Means to an end? Possibly. Sometimes black folks had to shuck and jive to get up OUT and raise their kids to be better than what they had to do. But is it shuckin and jiving when you lived portions of it?

Well, here we go again. The text messaging service (currently being heavily advertised in my area) that provides answers for obscure questions has come under fire:



Is this stereotypical? The black woman neck poppin’ and being loud and indignant about the yaki? [*you must go to the **link to understand the context of this sentence*]

DO white people and other races get loud and indignant too?
Yes.


But in general do we view white women as loud and indignant? No. Do we in general view black women as loud and indignant? Yes.



This is why it’s hurtful when people continue to perpetuate a stereotype that some people view as gospel.


However, it is the TRUTH for some and SOMETIMES.
In my humble opinion, this won’t die down (and admittedly, it has died down in most recent years and different dimensions of the black experience have been shown in pop culture - who remembers when commercials never had a black face. NEVER!) until black people and white people intermingle more.


And that is happening - with or without our consent.

I look forward to it."

Interesting post. Although I am not sure if I am looking forward to more "intermingling" if age old stereotypes are going to persist, and the coons among us continue to jig. Thing is, there are some folks in the majority population who enjoy the jigging, and they go as far as to actually encourage it. You see jigging reinforces certain stereotypes that they enjoy and are comfortable with, and people like to be comfortable. Some black folks like to jig, because it's to their economic benefit. Some white folks, [present company excluded] on the other hand, like to see jigging, because it gives them peace of mind.




**Link to the post and blog here.

198 comments:

Lola Gets said...

I think there should be more protest against Perry and his brand of entertainment. But there wont be. Or, that protest will be seen as "bourgie" and thus illigitimate, and ignored.

Yeah, Im in a bad mood again.

L

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

The original blog can be found at
http://globalgrind.com/content/861026/The-Everlasting-Cooning/

I have to admit that I have never seen any of Tyler Perry's work.

But, the elderly woman has been an object of humour in many races (e.g., Monty Python's pepper pots). SO, this (Medea) isn't just a black phenomenon. But, he has been making a bit much of it,

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

BTW, are Monty Python "Britting"? "Limeying"?

jwb said...

I blame TBS.

Say It Loud said...

"This is why it’s hurtful when people continue to perpetuate a stereotype that some people view as gospel."

Give me a break! This position is so threadbare that our collective butts are showing.

White folks are going to maintain whatever stereotypical view of blacks that they wish too, and it not going to matter one gigantic hill of beans what we do.

Stop this nonsense!

Stop believing that we got to present ourselves as "acceptable blacks," and "good blacks" to win white folks over, so that they'll start seeing us as something other than apes, gorillas, or what have you.

Whites see us the way that they do (and a lot of it is born in racial considerations, and racism), and bending ourselves into socially approved pretzels, as black social contortionists, thinking that our behavior will win whites over is ludicrous, divisive, and casts us as the culprits in the racial divide, who must somehow win whites over if we wish to make social progress.

I'm not buying it, and don't you buy it.

It's like saying if blacks stop using the N-word, whites will stop using it. If blacks get off welfare, then whites will love us more.

If blacks could only act the way whites do, the way whites want us to, then they will love and accept us.

All crap!

Madea, and Tyler Perry is not stopping whites from loving us, or seeing us in a more positive light, or causing whites to perpetuate black stereotypes.

It's just not so!

There's Jigging, and there's jigging, and we need to know the difference.

There are those that Jig for whites because they wish to gain monetarily, and status-wise, at black folks expense--in ways that injure and hurt us.

And there're those that might use stereotypical black images as an entertainment medium, and not necessarily to offend whites or blacks.

And I don't give a damn if it purports to perpetuate so-called unacceptable black images.

Whites maintain black stereotypes because they choose too, not because Tyler Perry chooses to use them, if that is, indeed, what he's doing.

It's that simple.

Stop the foolishness! Leave Tyler Perry alone: Blacks will let him know when they've had enough, if ever.

And so far, his business is thriving, and he's making a mint.

Good for him!

Dolly Llama said...

http://tinyurl.com/n4xzma

vid of columbus, oh police officer body slamming elderly bw.

brohammas said...

Ya gotta know this swings both ways... the stereotype thing.
I admit, my upbringing was quite "Cleverish", but Leave it to Beaver is not how all, or most of us pasty people grew up. Then again niether is Deliverance.

We do not intermingle and untill we do, I will always be viewed as that uptight, wearing a bland suit, saying "golly", guy David Chapelle does when he immitates a white dude...
till people see my wife, then they look confused and wonder how I "pulled that."

Dolly Llama said...

another black man released from a TX prison (after 23 years) after dna findings.


after he's fully exonerated, he will get $80k for every year he was imprisoned.
http://tinyurl.com/l5nfef

jjbrock said...

Field, I co-sign with Say It Loud I couldn't have said it better. I find no fault in or with Tyler Perry the man.

Dolly Llama said...

He's innocent but has to wear a monitoring device until he's fully exonerated.

Lola Gets said...

Yep, the anti-bougie backlash, just as I expected. Thanks Say It Loud!

L

field negro said...

Lola and Say It Loud, I am going to lock you both in a room and we will get to the bottom of this.

brohammas, I feel you, stereotypes do cut both ways.

LOL@jwb.

field negro said...

Sorry folks, I was having some problems with the link to the other blog I posted from. I fixed it now.

Monie said...

"...I couldn’t knock the man’s hustle,..."

I am so sick of people saying they respect 'the hustle'. There are some hustles that deserve no respect.

Tyler Perry and his misogynist minstrel show deserves no respect. Racist/ misogynist rappers deserve no respect. Jessie Lee Patterson at Fox deserves no respect. Drug dealer deserve no respect.

I think we, African Americans, have reached a point when we no longer have to respect the hustle of another Black person just because they are making money.

Stepin Fetchit was the first Black millionaire in Hollywood, are we supposed to respect his hustle too?

Respecting 'the hustle' is a cop-out and we need to stop it and call a minstrel a minstrel and stop making excuses for people who are doing us all harm.

grinder said...

As a gay man, I am a member of a group that has been as viciously stereotyped as any of them, and more so than most. There is so much to say on this subject that I could overwhelm Field's computer server doing it.

The reality is that stereotypes almost always have some basis in reality. Gay people are much more likely to vary from the majority's patterns of gender-appropriate behavior, which is the basis for most of the worst stereotyping out there. You know, the kind of stuff that made me think, when I was a kid, that I'd rather be dead than be one of that kind.

(Interjection: No, I am not a suicide survivor. I feared being one of the stereotypes, i.e., an effeminate male. As it turned out, it was a needless fear, but that's a different subject.)

Stereotypes, and the self-hatred that goes with them, are ultimately up to each member of a minority group to deal with. How far to go in avoiding "telltale signs?" It is an issue that every member of a despised and ridiculed minority group has faced.

Eventually, I came to realize that we are going to be what we're going to be. A simple cliche, I realize. But, like stereotypes, cliches are cliches for a reason, the reason being that they usually reflect a broad truth. We will be what we'll be, and it's up to us to live with what we are and to love ourselves. It's harder for some people than for others.

There are some benefits to the despised. Members of my tribe typically have insights into the nature of socially constructed gender roles that the majority can never have.

I look at straight men and often shake my head and smile wistfully at their struggles, which from a certain angle look like such utter cluelessness. They don't realize how trapped they are by their internalized expectations imposed by conventional American masculinity, which essentially demands that males curtail their emotional growth after about fourth grade for fear of being branded homosexual, weak, or both.

Gay men have been through all of that. After all, we ARE homosexual. We are males who spend an awful lot of time observing other males, including their emotions and ours. We can't be scared away from it; we already took that leap, so here we are.

What we can do, though, is swim in both ponds, because while being gay we are also part of the greater society. We're bilingual, so to speak. Well, isn't the same true for black people and for anyone else who's been ridiculed for characteristics deemed unacceptable in polite society?

Black people have insights into white people that would blow white people's minds. Those insights are hard won, just as my insights into heterosexuality are hard won. But they are insights nonetheless. They are knowledge, and I'm one of these people who thinks there is rarely, if ever, any knowledge that is anything but good. The more you know about others, the more you can know about yourself, and the better a person you can be.

Meantime, you'll be who you'll be. You will swim in both ponds. That's not the worst thing in the world.

Say It Loud said...

Monie said...

"Respecting 'the hustle' is a cop-out and we need to stop it and call a minstrel a minstrel and stop making excuses for people who are doing us all harm."

Monie I hear your anger and your frustraion, but tell me how is Tyler Perry hurting blacks.

And surely you're not going to lump Perry in with the these unsavory characters--Jessie Lee Patterson at Fox deserves no respect. Drug dealer--to make your point.

"Stepin Fetchit was the first Black millionaire in Hollywood, are we supposed to respect his hustle too?"

Why not? I do!

Does he embarrass you? He acted a fool, but his acting a fool shouldn't have caused you to sweat bullets, unless you, too, have fallen into the trap that somehow we've got to lift up the race for whites to accept us as equals.

I don't care what whites think. Do you? Do you believe that you're carrying the weight of all blacks on your shoulders, and that if you and other blacks don't behave in socially acceptable ways, that whites will never accept us?

Carrying that weight will crush you! I say ease your burden, sista.

I don't want white acceptance. And blacks that seek it, or want it, are the ones that surprise me.

Let's talk!

RainaHavock said...

I cosign Say It Loud! All of his posts are on the MF point!

hennasplace said...

While, I was reading this post, the movie Bamboozled (which was fascinating and good film) came to mind. I do not Liongate or TBS because they are in the business of making money and believe me a Tyler Perry production would not be seen on the big or small screen if did not bring in a profit. We prepetuate stereotypes by going to see those kind of films. Ask yourself this question how is that American Gangster did well at the box office and the Great Debaters did not when both films starred Denzel Washington? There was a good film this year called American Violet, but black audiences did not flock to the theaters to see it. I went to see Akeela and the Bee, and ther were 15 people in the theater to see it. Hustle and Flow was good movie, but it was a drama and did not well at the box office because not many black people flock to see that film either. Hotel Rwanda was another excellent to which I still say Don Cheadle should have won that Oscar over Jamie Foxx.

I just mentioned four diverse films about the lives of black people, but a lot of black people graviate towards the Tyler Perry comedies or action films. I think we should be more well-rounded with films, black people are not a monolithic group and there should be more diverse films other than the movie Obessed. The movie, The Secret Lives of Bees was not marketed towards black movie goers because the studio knows we are not going to see the film despite the Queen Laf, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys starred in the film.

My advice, stop going to see Tyler Perry films and start going to the other films then studios will pay attention and they will give consumers what they want.

Adam said...

Field & Company,

Would you say the "Cosby Show" which began in the 80's is a more subtle form of "jigging".... or was it an attempt to breakdown the negative stereotypes about black families in the US....or....a blend of both of these?

-Adam

grinder said...

Ah, Stepin Fetchit. He reminds me of the highest-paid entertainer in 1950s Las Vegas. Wanna know who that was? Liberace. He made $2 million a week in 1952. Even after taxes, which were higher then, that was a nice chunk of change.

Liberace also had a TV series. He played popularized, often over-the-top versions of the classics. His trademarks were a candelabra on the piano, and a wink. For the ladies. Um-hmm.

In 1957, a Hollywood scandal magazine accused him of coming onto his press agent in a hotel in Dallas. The phrase, "Don't Ask Don't Tell" hadn't been invented, but Liberace knew all about it. He sued for libel, and he won. Soon after, he won a libel judgment against a British newspaper for merely implying that he was homosexual.

Thus insulated from any future accusations, Liberace injected industrial strength helium into his heels and went into overdrive, embarking on a 30-year career as "Mr. Showman."

If you're ever in Vegas, make sure to stop in at the Liberace Museum on Tropicana Blvd., about two miles from the Strip. Check out the photo of Liberace in red, white, and blue hotpants, holding a baton in the style of a drum majorette. No one dared ask, and Liberace never told.

Stepin Fetchit, indeed. Wouldn't you have loved to be a fly on the wall for the private conversations of either of them?

uptownsteve said...

Notice how black conservatives like Constructive Feedback rail about hiphop but LUV Tyler Perry.

Monie said...

@Say It Loud

Maybe it's you who is worried about what White people think did I once mention White people?

Tyler Perry makes his money portraying Black women as prostitutes and drug addicts. That affects me. It's what we think of ourselves that concerns me. It's the images that young Black people see that concerns me. So if the best you've got is that I'm concerned about what "the Man" thinks then you've missed my point and you probably won't ever get it.

And yes I put Tyler Perry in the same category as Patterson and drug dealers. They all are doing harm to us, just in different ways.

If you admire Stepin Fetchit then you are one of those people who respects the hustle no matter what. So all I can say is that there will always be people who make excuses for the Tyler Perrys of the world. And whenever a Black person is critical of those types of people the only thing persons such as yourself have to say is that those who are being critical are concerned about what White people think. It's unfortunate that is all you can see.

Say It Loud said...

@Grinder: "They don't realize how trapped they are by their internalized expectations imposed by conventional American masculinity, which essentially demands that males curtail their emotional growth after about fourth grade for fear of being branded homosexual, weak, or both."

Well said, including your entire comment. Although straight, my "emotional growth" continued to maturate, despite the pressures you mentioned.

But then, I was Lucky: there were other forces at play that anchored me to my emotions.

Because my emotional growth wasn't stymied by social expectations, I've developed into one helluva representation of manhood--the ability to be whole, to connect with every aspect of my being.

I wouldn't trade that for all the tea in China.

grinder said...
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grinder said...
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grinder said...
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Say It Loud said...

@Monie: "Tyler Perry makes his money portraying Black women as prostitutes and drug addicts. That affects me. It's what we think of ourselves that concerns me. It's the images that young Black people see that concerns me."

Let me ask you this: Does Perry portray all black women as prostitutes and drug addicts?

Wouldn't you agree that there are black prostitutes and drug addicts?

Our youth don't need to go to a movie to see these images: they're bombarded with them daily.

I've watched a couple of Perry's films, and I didn't see that he glorified black prostitution or drug addicts.

As a matter of fact, I don't recall those two groups having central roles in the movies I've seen.

You'd agree: Our youth are bombarded with images daily, not all of them originate with blacks in the movie industry. We're just not that well represented!

I dare say, very few blacks have the means to put out these negative images that you seem so concerned about, and are so opposed to.

If those images disturb you, don't harangue Perry for them: do something to end prostitution and drug abuse in your own communities.

And please, don't respond by saying: how do you know what I'm doing in the community?

I don't.

"That affects me. It's what we think of ourselves that concerns me. It's the images that young Black people see that concerns me. So if the best you've got is that I'm concerned about what "the Man" thinks then you've missed my point and you probably won't ever get it."

Frankly, I don't care what anyone thinks, be they white or black.

And that my point!

How does the images that you say Perry hawks in his trade effect you, or for that matter anyone else?

I've seen those images all my life, and I like my self just fine. Those images didn't make me dislike myself one whit.

I love myself in spite of it all. Let's live that. Our kids will see that and love themselves, too.

You're right: I may never get your point. But will you get mine?

grinder said...

@Say It Loud, please don't take what I wrote personally. I don't know you. Listen to the music, not the notes. When you stand outside of the main culture, and especially if you do so within a group that is widely despised, you can't help but gain penetrating insights into the main culture.

A straight man can't know what a gay man does about masculinity. I'm not making a claim for gays being superior, and certainly not a claim of being more masculine. My claim is different: that by the nature of our position in this society, we are bound to know a whole lot more about the subject than straight men do.

The hatred we face requires us to know everything that straight men do on the subject, because being insufficiently "masculine" can get us killed. Right here, right now. On top of that, our homosexual orientation impels us to think about masculinity in ways that you don't (nd in a bunch of ways that women don't, incidentally) because it interests us at a very basic level.

In short, homosexual men and masculinity are a little bit like Eskimos and snow. We've got observations for things you never knew even existed. You've got no reason to know. It's not that interesting to you.

It's similar, in a way, with black people and white people. Several black people have made that point in discussions with me, essentially telling me that black people know more about white people than white people themselves do. Black people have to know about white people to physically survive. And the whole culture pretty much worships whiteness, so it's going to seep in whether you want it to or not. Black people have to think about things about white people that white people themselves can ignore because they don't have to pay attention.

I buy into that one. If there's one thing I'd love to be able to do, even though it's impossible, is to know what black people know about white people. The typical phrase is "white privilege," but I strongly suspect it goes one hell of a lot deeper than that mere catch phrase.

My real point here is that, for all the difficulty and pain, there are very real benefits to being in the "out" group, so long as you can keep your head from either exploding or being bashed in with a crowbar.

Let me give you a small, specific example. I don't know if you saw the movie, Brokeback Mountain, about the white cowboys in '60s-era Wyoming who were doing each other along with their jobs out on the wide-open range. Tragedy of the closet, blah blah blah.

I saw it very differently. Yeah, tragedy of the closet. But mainly, the tragedy at the heart of masculine American iconography. To me, the message of that movie was the emotional desert in the Marlboro Man's heart. The gay characters were merely a vehicle by which the scary truth came to be seen for a moment.

There wasn't a single straight review of the movie that caught it. But most of the gay people who saw the movie got it. That movie was about men of all orientations being scared shitless of what's inside. I think it's a rare straight man who could see that on his own.

p.s.: I'm going to bow out for a while now, because it occurs to me that if I keep on posting it will be a hijacking of this thread, and I genuinely don't want to do that. My "universal point" is about how being on the outside can give you insights into the inside that the people there can never have because they're too close.

Say It Loud said...

@Grinder: "If you're ever in Vegas, make sure to stop in at the Liberace Museum on Tropicana Blvd., about two miles from the Strip."

I visited the museum years ago. Liberace was quite the showman, and a consummate entertainer.

And I like Amos & Andy (the television, black version), but black folks protested and the show was canceled, and those blacks lost their jobs.

But then we can't have all those negative black images out there.

The cast was funny. I didn't expect it to be socially relevant, and it rarely was, and Good Times slipped in the ratings when funny gave way to social relevance.

Just being funny was good enough, it also had to speak to the black struggle as well.

Say It Loud said...

"I'm not making a claim for gays being superior, and certainly not a claim of being more masculine. My claim is different: that by the nature of our position in this society, we are bound to know a whole lot more about the subject than straight men do."

Grinder, I liked all your points, and appreciated your willingness to share, and to give us a glimpse of your insights into our world.

I didn't take what you said personally, as I'm not easily offended.

pnc said...

"Stepin Fetchit was the first Black millionaire in Hollywood, are we supposed to respect his hustle too?"

Why not? I do!

Does he embarrass you? He acted a fool, but his acting a fool shouldn't have caused you to sweat bullets, unless you, too, have fallen into the trap that somehow we've got to lift up the race for whites to accept us as equals.

___________________________

Surely, Say it Loud, you cannot be this dense and shortsighted?

You seem to believe Monie's criticism was about projecting some favorable image to white folks.

My biggest pet peeve in LIFE are black folks who fail to make the connection between the actions of the Tyler Perrys of the world and the ruinous, catastrophic fallout on the black community.

You seem to think Perry's decisions affect his pocketbook favorably...so in your shallowly-focused eyes it's a win-win. But do you not see it's BIGGER than that??

It's so frustrating speaking to Perry's knuckle-headed supporters. You've set black films back 100 years. Most of you are too stupid to support brilliant films like Bamboozled, yet you run out to see the latest, hottest load shat from Tyler Perry every time. Amazing.

hennasplace said...

I have a program with the quality of Perry's films, and the characters are one dimensional and not complexed. The films are too simplistic, and perhaps I am little cerebral, if you are going to give me a morality lesson at least give me something to think about upon leaving the theater. I would to see stories such as black men and depression, mental illness, and relationships. I do want to see films with blacks in our full humanity, and I do not get it in a Perry film.

Say It Loud said...

@Grinder: "That movie was about men of all orientations being scared shitless of what's inside. I think it's a rare straight man who could see that on his own."

And that was my point: I'm not "scared shitless of what's inside."

At an early age I was forced to look where most men are afraid to look.

That reminds me of the movie, Dune, where one of the female adepts says in essence: "There's a place women are afraid to look. It holds great terror for us."

Interestingly, it became a place where the male protagonist not only could go, but found his source of strength and dominance.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

I agree with SayItLoud. I am who I am, and that's the bottom line. I'm not trying to be made into or conform to another human beings image. I love myself for who I am and who I was created to be. I could less what or how others think I should be. One thing, I refuse to do is let other human beings define me or make me feel bad or ashamed of my people, myself, or black culture.

I refuse to let it stop me from doing or being what all I can be. Never will I let any human being kill my self-esteem or make me feel less than them. I don't feel that I'm better than anyone nor do I feel like I am less than anyone else on this planet earth. I am not a man-pleaser. I am a God pleaser.

I have the same respect and love for the bum on the street as I do someone wearing an Armani Suit, or different genders, or ages, or skin colors, or religious beliefs. It's the azzholes full of hatred in their heart that I view differently and will treat accordingly to their view.

As for Tyler Perry, I have nothing against him, and I am glad to see any black man being successful in this day and age. If they are not hurting, injuring, or inflicting harm on others.

Like SayItLoud said, regardless, of what blacks do, there are always going to be some whites with their stereotypical views of blacks that has already been embedded in their minds from day one. They were taught it and some were born into that attitude. Nothing you do or say is going to change that. So they can kiss my grits. However, one thing I will and choose to be is free from people dictating to me to conform to their image. What other people eat don't make me have a bowel movement, nor do they breathe life into me.

pnc said...

As for Tyler Perry, I have nothing against him, and I am glad to see any black man being successful in this day and age. If they are not hurting, injuring, or inflicting harm on others.
_____________________________

Really?

Would you say the same for Flavor Flav or R. Kelly?

I can't believe the big picture has collectively swept past your heads.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

pnc:

Can you read?

boukman70 said...

Here, you might find this interesting:

http://bootynovelbill.blogspot.com/2009/07/inside-that-little-black-box.html

Anonymous said...

People are people. That is, humans are humans. Doesn't matter what color our skin is. Some of us are kinds nice, some of us are kinda fucked. Some, vicious and cruel, some, compassionate and caring. Maybe one of these fine days we'll get past color - and gender - and sexual orientation. I sure hope so. Would be a much more pleasant world.
Sarah Deere

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Maybe, I should add that there are always going to be some blacks who let what whites think of them dictate to them how they should feel about themselves.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Amen, amen, and amen again, Sarah Deere, Say that!

Say It Loud said...

@pnc: "Surely, Say it Loud, you cannot be this dense and shortsighted?

"You seem to believe Monie's criticism was about projecting some favorable image to white folks.

"My biggest pet peeve in LIFE are black folks who fail to make the connection between the actions of the Tyler Perrys of the world and the ruinous, catastrophic fallout on the black community."

Now, who's being "dense and shortsighted."

I'm going to overlook your efforts to hurl barbs, rather than hold a pleasant conversation, where we might disagree politely one with the other.

Now, Tyler Perry has grown: he's now "Tyler Perrys of the world," as though we've got that many successful film producers out there sending all these horrific and injurious images to the black community.

I would argue that, if indeed those images existed in the abundance you're suggesting, it's not blacks producing them, but whites.

I can't do anything about your "pet peeve in LIFE," because I ain't changing.

I just don't see what you see:
"the ruinous, catastrophic fallout on the black community."

You're just not giving blacks that much credit. You're saying that images on a screen will cause them to overlook their own personal history and experience and imitate what they're seeing.

You're suggesting that if our black youth see drug addicts and prostitutes on the silverscreen that this will somehow cause them to aspire to be prostitutes and drug addicts.

I'd call that a pretty big stretch, wouldn't you?

And if this is not what you're saying: then where is the "ruinous" and "catastrophic" harm you're seeing being done to the black community?

Some years ago, we went through a period of blaxploitation films. That's what they were called.

Every conceivable negative black image made its way into those films, but I don't think we raised a generation of kids that were induced to take drugs, prostitute themselves, become gangbangers, or otherwise do unlawful things.

In every generation the allurement of these things have existed, and they have existed with or without films to tell us what we should become, because our youth are nothing more than rebels seeking a cause.

"It's so frustrating speaking to Perry's knuckle-headed supporters. You've set black films back 100 years. Most of you are too stupid to support brilliant films like Bamboozled, yet you run out to see the latest, hottest load shat from Tyler Perry every time. Amazing."

I don't support Perry. I don't support any film maker, be they white or black.

And you give me more credit than is due, I've set nothing back. A hundred years ago, you probably wouldn't have liked those films that featured blacks--they were mostly servile roles.

But later, there were films with all-black casts. Westerns, too. But, I'm straying.

Now that you've castigated those blacks that prefer Tyler Perry (Now, that wasn't nice.), perhaps you should advance the cultural appreciation of good black films by writing, producing, and directing your own.

My Goodness, your estimation of the black moviegoer isn't too flattering.

I don't ask, nor insist, that my taste in films or anything else, become the paragon by which all films or things are measured, and that all others (black or white) should aspire, to be considered worthy film critics, or worthy humans.

Simply put: Tyler Perry makes films that many blacks pay to see. Whether they meet my standard of excellence is immaterial.

Besides, there's always a good book at hand with which I may productively while the time.

Say It Loud said...

GrannyStandingforTruth said...
"I agree with SayItLoud. I am who I am, and that's the bottom line."

Granny, amen, amen, and amen.

Granny, I was believing that a lot of what I'm seeing here today was on its way out.

I'm not here to make people angry. I'm here to give them another perspective.

I'm sure with this subject I might have caused a little disturbance in the force among the fam.

But that's a good thing. At times, we all need to have our preconceptions shakenup a bit.

I invite other views, as long as they're honestly-held views.

I may not always agree, but I can appreciate.

Dmd said...

Grinder: Amazing posts.

Sayitloud: Same to you.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

SayItLoud, I understand what you're saying and it's the truth.

Seattle Slim said...

I have to come back to the rest of the comments, but I wanted to jump in briefly.

@SayItLoud,

We do have to care about some of these stereotypes because, to hell with what others think, those stereotypes and the people that perpetuate them are hurting US. I just wrote a blog about this tonight after seeing a video REPLETE with stereotypes about black women on YouTube.

I understand what you're saying, but saying that it doesn't really matter that some of us participate in what I call "random acts of niggatry" is counterproductive. African-Americans (for the sake of this argument) are damaged, mentally and emotionally.

Soulja Boy just excused his fuckery because in his own words he only saw cooning. This is the same guy that has thanked slave masters and touted an iced out toy lamborghini chain that is remote controlled.

No sir. Some shit just ain't right.

As for Tyler Perry, I don't find his films offensive. I've enjoyed a few. Some of them have gone overboard, yes. I think the issue with Perry is based on class and gender.

If a white person goes to a Tyler Perry film and decides to stereoytpe black folks because of it, that's that person's fault, not black peoples'. Who in the HELL goes to a TP film to be educated on anything? LOL

Hugh O'Donnell said...

Off topic: I voted for you for best of 2009 in your categories.

Keep on keeping on, field. I may not buy everything, but I really like the way you say it. ;)

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

SayItLoud, you can cut the tension in the room with a knife since you and I expressed our perspectives. I can feel it. My discernment is keen and I can sense things like that. I've actually been in the presents of people and picked up on illnesses in their body or if they had hatred in their heart. The last one is one that is one of the worst feelings. It is a smothering feeling.

Seattle Slim said...

@GSFT,

I pray to GOD this doesn't turn into the B.S. self-righteousness that went down at another blog I was at some time ago. All over Tyler Perry. *le sigh*

Oooh on topic about the commercial. Yes it was offensive because she gave her hairdresser "attitude" or fever. I can think of several ways to redo that scene that would've been just as funny and not offensive. The problem with a commercial like that on the more "impressionable" is it validates what they were thought from the beginning; what they were exposed to from their earliest age.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Seattle Slim:

I feel ya!

Anonymous said...

"If blacks could only act the way whites do, the way whites want us to, then they will love and accept us."

I would like it if WE acted as though we loved ourselves then we would not care what others think. But we don't. Tyler's movies show Blacks as one dimensional classless dumb asses with zero dignity. It is coonsville and it sucks. But hey. He's making a lot of money with that degrading funny black shit.

We've come a long way, haven't we? Or maybe I should say that we have gone backwards a long way, haven't we?

pnc said...

Can you read?
___________________

Apparently, your boneheaded support for Tyler Perry has dulled your ability to produce wittier comebacks.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Well, maybe, some of you folks that dislike Tyler's movies need to get together and pool your resources together and produce a movie that would be up your standard. Not trying to be funny or sarcastic here either, just suggesting. That way you could produce a movie that you feel would be representative of black Americans.

Because frankly, no movie is a representation of a group of people. It's just a movie. Movies are made and created through the eye and imagination of the beholder. What's funny is I've heard some people who view Tyler's as buffoonish think that Chris Rock's comedy is da bomb.

I'm just not into letting movies effect me to the point that because it has a black cast that this is representation of me and who I am. I liked James Bond and Mission Impossible movies too, but that did not mean that because it had an all white cast in it that I felt like this is how white people are and a representation of them. It was just a movie.

Don't think that I don't know how to critique a movie for literary purposes either, because I do. However, I don't watch movies to critique them, I watch them to relax.

I guess none of you have paid attention to cartoons and commercials and how they represent. I don't hear no one complaining about them and they are done on a daily basis.

pnc said...

I don't support Perry. I don't support any film maker, be they white or black.
_________________

Then while pray-tell, Say it Loud, do you feel qualified to have a conversation about black film or any film when you don't watch them or know the contents???

I shall now ignore the likes of you.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

pnc:

LOL! Now that just puts me two steps ahead of you because you underestimate me. I love it when people underestimate me, because the element of surprise is something else. Thank you. BTW, how many identities on here to you have.

pnc said...

I wasn't talking to you Granny, and quite frankly, you're paranoid, because this is my first time posting here. I don't know you from shmoe. I'm just reacting to the comments I've read here tonight. jeez.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

pnc:

Did you or did you not post this comment to me?

"Can you read?
___________________

Apparently, your boneheaded support for Tyler Perry has dulled your ability to produce wittier comebacks."

Because I was the one that asked you that question.

Say It Loud said...

Seattle Slim: "African-Americans (for the sake of this argument) are damaged, mentally and emotionally."

Why? Why are we choosing to be damaged mentally and emotionally?

Who gives a high-flying off a cliff damn what images are paraded around the Internet, or in movies about blacks?

Those images don't represent me or the people I know.

Those images don't make me readjust my attitude about blacks or the black community.

I love black people. All black people. The good. The bad. And the ugly. All of them.

Further, I don't care what whites think about those images. They're not responsible for my image.

Tyler Perry is not responsible for my image, my views, or my perspective.

"I understand what you're saying, but saying that it doesn't really matter that some of us participate in what I call 'random acts of niggatry'is counterproductive."

Not to me. To whom is it "counterproductive"?

I don't care what black folks participate in. It's their choice. Their choices impact them, and them alone.

Say It Loud said...

"I shall now ignore the likes of you."

Your choice.

Do I have to see a film to respond to it? I haven't seen Paris, but I have an opinion about it?

And my opinions: I don't care what films Tyler Perry produces, and I don't care to visit Paris.

kid said...

Have any of you wondered why there are no movies of Stokley Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, or George Jackson?The reason is the same as why President Obama can't shut down FOX , blacks have no power.Eddie Murphy's company bought August Wilson's play "Fences" to be made into a movie.It was never made. Hollywood don't make movies about strong black people.Tyler Perry can make his minstrel shows cheap so they give him money.I remember a long time ago Laurence Fishburn and a lot of top black actors were suppose to do "Fences" in Cleveland. They canceled it due to poor ticket sales.But the theater is full when a Tyler Perry "Gospel " play comes out.

Shelly Garrett was the same. All he did was have a minstrel show and have a male stripper perform in the middle of the show.Basically Garrett and Perry think black people are dumb.If you go to other countries and look at how blacks are portrayed you will be shocked. Do you think that in South Africa they have "Gospel Plays"?Look up Athol Fugard (he's a white South African)If you see his play "Master Harold and the Boys" when you walk out you will feel proud, especially when the black guy tells the white people to kiss his butt.

Someone mentioned "Good Times" that show was written by Jay Leno.What black person you know that say "Jive Turkey"?We don't say that.Now if you look at "Sandford and Son" you will notice that the show was extremely funny and more accurate to black people, Richard Pryor wrote some of the shows.

So the next time you see a black show on television you now know why you will see more toms and less militants.Militants aren't funny to white America.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

What about "Higher Learning" and "Rosewood" by John Singleton?

Say It Loud said...

GrannyStandingforTruth said...
"SayItLoud, you can cut the tension in the room with a knife since you and I expressed our perspectives. I can feel it. My discernment is keen and I can sense things like that."

I can feel it, too, Granny. But it's a conversation worth having, and perhaps long overdue. And this pnc character is getting a bit rude is he not?

Now I wonder where all that rudeness comes from? I was reared better than that.

Perhaps it's all those negative black images seeping into the brain that we were warned about.

I know: that was a little facetious. But it wasn't rude.

Seattle Slim said...

SayItLoud,


SIL: Why? Why are we choosing to be damaged mentally and emotionally?

SS: Because of a tremendous lack of ethnic pride and a culture of blame and low expectations. There is a problem.

SIL: Who gives a high-flying off a cliff damn what images are paraded around the Internet, or in movies about blacks?

SS: Do you have children? I ask because this strikes me as something someone who doesn't have kids would say. I care, because black kids, in too many cases, are being guarded by the t.v. and are forming their opinions on what they see. There have been scientific studies showing increased sexual activity in young black girls after they were exposed to copious amounts of time to BET's hypersexual programming.

SIL: Those images don't represent me or the people I know.

SS: THey don't represent me either, but some kid with little hope and no adult supervision, wil believe those images do represent he or she, and we simply cannot let certain things attack our sanity. There are certain things that are damaging to the human psyche. Why aim low?

SIL: Those images don't make me readjust my attitude about blacks or the black community.

SS: Me neither, because the stats prove just how bad things are. The deaths of young black men and women tell us our attiude towards the black community should be grounded in the need to have an intervention. Those images validate those who don't know any better. They appeal to people who are being taught, and choose to believe, that "niggatry" or "coonery" is the way to be.

SIL: I love black people. All black people. The good. The bad. And the ugly. All of them.

SS: I don't hate anyone. But I refuse to appreciate or hold in any kind of esteem anyone who is damaging to my ancestry, culture, heritage, et al.

SIL: Further, I don't care what whites think about those images. They're not responsible for my image.

SS: Agreed! Tyler Perry is a non-issue compared to the dozens of people who are really bending the ears of black youth...


SIL: Not to me. To whom is it "counterproductive"?

I don't care what black folks participate in. It's their choice. Their choices impact them, and them alone.

SS: It is very counterproductive to us as a collective when we let those who are most in need of our help down because we turn a blind eye, or simply choose to extrapolate all day on the internet about how awesome we are for not being "coons". This is not directed at anyone. It is just my personal opinion, as someone who believes in service to others/volunteering, that someone like yourself or the other esteemed and educated contributors here, is so valuable and needed in our communities.

We know the statistics for black folks. We are "winning" at losing. HIV, OOW births, domestic violence, drop out rates, etc. I am tired of it. Why aren't we winning point blank?

We are not leaving anything to the younger generation if we simply accept cooning as okay. We need to progress. We are currently stagnating. That's not okay.

When the murder rates go down, when black folks stop putting $9 Billion into Korean's pockets yearly on hair alone, when our kids start kicking ass scholastically all across the board, etc. Then I'll chill.

Simply put, knowing history. Black folks are too good for this shit.

(sorry for the formatting, I need to hit the bed lol.)

kid said...

Granny:

They both didn't do well at the theaters.I was shocked too.There's a lot of independent black movies made ,but you need more black executives at movie studios to green light them.I seen a film about Malcolm X the stars were Morgan Freeman and Yolanda King as Betty Shabazz.You have a lot of quality black produce coming out but you don't see it. Don Cheadle is being considered to play Franz Fanon, I hope it get's made.

Say It Loud said...

@Kid: "Tyler Perry can make his minstrel shows cheap so they give him money."

Kid, you're forgetting that blacks find his movies funny, entertaining, and having a message.

Would you deprive them of that, just because you see them as "mistreal shows"?

If there wasn't a market for those kind of films, neither Perry nor Fox News would be in business.

I'm just not going to tell black folks what to spend their money on.

Seattle Slim said...

@Kid,

Do you think that those movies aren't made because of a lack of support by whites or do you think that black folks are behind the lack of interest in these movies?

This reminds me of the Urban/"Ghetto" Lit that is booming. Apparently black folks are reading! They're just reading "Hood Lit" (it's literally a cash cow). Unfortunately, they are still not picking up authors like Zora Neale Hurston.

I would love folks' opinions on this. Why are black folks running to Tyler Perry films (and the Hood Lit section) in droves, but foregoing all else?

Is it American anti-intellectualism? Some thoughts would be great!

Black Rose said...

Offensive picture.

Seattle Slim said...

Off to bed! Good night folks! Pick this up tomorrow!

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

I was thinking about the series "The Wire" everyone liked that series. Even lawyers, politicians, teachers, etc liked and watched it. What about the image it projected? No one complained about the stereotypes in it. It might not have been buffoonery and coonery but it showed negative stereotyped (thugs, drug dealers, etc.) characters of a criminal element. Why?

kid said...

Seattle Slim: In the words of liberal Sean Penn when he heard about "Do the Right Thing" he said it would cause riots.America don't want to see a movie about a black man giving a white person a beat down.It might give them ideas.

Say it Loud: Remember the Eddie Murphy story about Sex and his analogy to crackers. If you never had a Ritz cracker you don't know what you're missing.Blacks are happy to see us in anything , even a minstrel show.We are the most loyal audience .

kid said...

Granny: The only people in Baltimore that liked "The Wire" are the local actors that are in it. My family in Baltimore hate it.They swear Baltimore is not that bad.What weird is that the writers for the show are respected there.They like the writers but hate the show.

http://geoffreyphilp.blogspot.com/ said...

Interesting post on stereotypes, Field. Remember too that it was only near the end of his career that Bob Marley posed with Chris Blackwell--when he knew hew was passing from this world. Bob did not want to (and Blackwell understood) that Bob did not want to reinforce the stereotype of the White baas/massa.

Say It Loud said...

Thanks for responding, and I will give you my best shot at a reply.

SIL: Why? Why are we choosing to be damaged mentally and emotionally?

SS: Because of a tremendous lack of ethnic pride and a culture of blame and low expectations. There is a problem.

Then I say change the culture, not the images. Develop in children pride, self-esteem, and a can-do attitude born of high expectations, then the "negative images" won't have a place to thrive.

SIL: Who gives a high-flying off a cliff damn what images are paraded around the Internet, or in movies about blacks?

SS: Do you have children? I ask because this strikes me as something someone who doesn't have kids would say. I care, because black kids, in too many cases, are being guarded by the t.v. and are forming their opinions on what they see. There have been scientific studies showing increased sexual activity in young black girls after they were exposed to copious amounts of time to BET's hypersexual programming.

I have children, and have reared many that were not my own. And again, the fault is not with the images, whether in the home or on the street, but with the parental neglect that you have outlined.

You cannot child-proof our world. What's needed are parent-proof moms and dads, to provide kids with strength of mind, and spiritual prowess, so that whatever images come along, they'll be equipped to cope.

SIL: I love black people. All black people. The good. The bad. And the ugly. All of them.

SS: I don't hate anyone. But I refuse to appreciate or hold in any kind of esteem anyone who is damaging to my ancestry, culture, heritage, et al.

Are you saying that I have done damage to your ancestry, your culture, and your heritage?

My God, you give me power I don't deserve. Surely you don't mean that. Think it through again. Don't give anyone that kind of power.

I wouldn't! No one can damage me, my ancestry, or my heritage.

SIL: Those images don't make me readjust my attitude about blacks or the black community.

SS: Me neither, because the stats prove just how bad things are. The deaths of young black men and women tell us our attitude towards the black community should be grounded in the need to have an intervention. Those images validate those who don't know any better. They appeal to people who are being taught, and choose to believe, that "niggatry" or "coonery" is the way to be.

You really believe this? That there are substantial number of blacks who "choose to believe, that 'niggatry' or 'coonery' is the way to be."

Perhaps you need to define the term for me. Now I do see blacks who have chosen to be self-destructive, have chosen to hurt themselves, and those in their communities, but those are choices that would have been made without the promulgation of certain "negative images."

Negative images are replete within our community. Don't attack the images, attack what's at the heart of those images: negative thoughts, a spiritual paucity, a self-centered mindset.

Say It Loud said...

SIL: Further, I don't care what whites think about those images. They're not responsible for my image.

SS: Agreed! Tyler Perry is a non-issue compared to the dozens of people who are really bending the ears of black youth...

Then the answer is this: establish what is needed in the black community to replace those voices that would mislead.

This should be a call to action, not talk, to moving others who can make a difference, not a gnashing of teeth.

SIL: Not to me. To whom is it "counterproductive"?

I don't care what black folks participate in. It's their choice. Their choices impact them, and them alone.

SS: It is very counterproductive to us as a collective when we let those who are most in need of our help down because we turn a blind eye, or simply choose to extrapolate all day on the internet about how awesome we are for not being "coons". This is not directed at anyone. It is just my personal opinion, as someone who believes in service to others/volunteering, that someone like yourself or the other esteemed and educated contributors here, is so valuable and needed in our communities.

I have never turned a blind eye, and I am awesome, and I'm not a coon, and I do help my community.

But I don't feel that I must do these things, nor do I see a Tyler Perry movie as counter-productive.

I believe in service to others, but I don't feel obligated to do so. I don't feel that it's my sworn duty to mankind. I do it because it brings me satisfaction.

Why would you want anyone to do anything by force, or because they feel compelled by shame or guilt. That's slavery?!

And I'll have no part in that.

I do it out of love. Any other reason is suspect.

"We are not leaving anything to the younger generation if we simply accept cooning as okay. We need to progress. We are currently stagnating. That's not okay."

I don't know what you mean by "cooning." Another's behavior is their problem. I have no control over that, only my behavior, my attitude, my actions.

And believe you me, that's enough.

"When the murder rates go down, when black folks stop putting $9 Billion into Korean's pockets yearly on hair alone, when our kids start kicking ass scholastically all across the board, etc. Then I'll chill."

All laudable goals, but I'm not going to condemn blacks for this, because their goals are not my goals.

I'm not going to love them less, because they don't come up to my estimation of what they can be.

I do what I do because I choose to do it. I'm not bound by any loyalty to anyone, black or white.

I'm not ashamed of who I am, and I'm not ashame of you.

Shady_Grady said...

@Granny

Hi Granny. As far as "The Wire", the writer/professor/intellectual/playwright Ishmael Reed has spent a LOT of time and energy raising holy hell about The Wire and denouncing it and its creators in the most vitriolic of terms.

http://goatmilk.wordpress.com/category/ishmael-reed/

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=ishmael+reed+the+wire&aq=f&oq=&aqi=&fp=-Pw1cEIpNGU

NSangoma said...

~
It is Barracoon, you 'coon Negroes!!
http://amistad.mysticseaport.org/library/images/africa/ms.1849.barracoon.html

http://amistad.mysticseaport.org/library/images/africa/ms.1849.barracoon.gif
`

NSangoma said...

~
Oopz, deh coon, er, field negro is too lazy to have posted links automatically launch-able.

http://amistad.mysticseaport.org/library/images/africa/ms.1849.barracoon.html

http://amistad.mysticseaport.org/library/images/africa/ms.1849.barracoon.gif
`

DuchessDee said...

Is this stereotypical? The black woman neck poppin’ and being loud and indignant about the yaki?

All black females are not born with their neck poppin and being loud. Our experiences are who we are today. When a woman has been hurt battered and bruised - emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually-no matter what race, she will have an attitude and a VOICE.

hennasplace said...

The Wired was a great series and probably one of the best on TV. The show depicted a decline of a urban city Baltimore. The series gave you the point that the war on drugs is not working, and posed some ethical and moral issues. The characters were complexed and multi-dimensional. The Wired was not just about drug dealers, but the police, politicians, and even reporters covering drug stories.

I mean you have characters who are drug dealers, pimps, and prostitutes, but you need to have an interesting story. Terrence Howard played a pimp in the movie Hustle and Flow and I liked the film. It was a good story and well acted. I even left the theater thinking it is hard out there for a pimp, but the point of film is being a pimp is not a good career choice, and not a feel good movie.

And another thing about Tyler Perry films, the movies are too formulatic. The same story line about a woman who does not trust a man because of a bad relationship, and here comes a knight in shining armor who saves her and teaches how to love again. How many times can you put that in one movie?

DuchessDee said...

BTW, thanks FN for that blog. I thought it was hilarious. Always open to read other have to say.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Hollywood cares about green. TP movies make money. Therefore they will continue to distribute them.

If you want more diversity in film choices we must support a diverse group of films.

Those of us who work in Hollywood as writers, producers, and directors can fight for our projects with the studios until we lose our voice. If they don't think the movie will make money or maybe get some awards (which will help it make it money) the movie is not going to happen.

Seattle Slim said...

SayItLoud,

Believe me. I don't want someone engaged in service because they are forced. I know that's my calling. I just wish more folks would do it. Glad that you do.

However, we need some serious grassroots movement in the black community and even the smallest acts help. It may mean confronting someone, or calling the police, or neighborhood watches.

Because I love black people, I expect better because I know we can do better. We are not a race born to be where we are at. I am not content with that. Hell, to me even in the 70s we had so much pride and identity. If we could even get back to some of the fundamentals from then, we'd be making progress.

We have to do better. I know these cats are growing up saying, "I grew up around all this violence, mysogyny, abuse, etc. and this is all I know, and therefore this is all I deserve."

We are a family. Some of my cousins I like to keep further away from me, yes. Some have been disowned but are quickly accepted once they have made a positive change. Not everyone can do this, but we will be talking about the same old ish when Field is like 80 years old and I'm 60 years old if we don't do something. That's a grim prospect for me.

field negro said...

This is a great thread with some great comments. Believe me, I am learning a lot from all of you. Even the folks that don't agree with each other. Thank you!

Hugh, thanks for the vote and the kind words.

"However, we need some serious grassroots movement in the black community and even the smallest acts help. It may mean confronting someone, or calling the police, or neighborhood watches.

Because I love black people, I expect better because I know we can do better. We are not a race born to be where we are at. I am not content with that..."

SS, those are words to live by. I think we ALL would agree with those comments.

Constructive Feedback said...

Filled Negro - I realize that you are never going to give me the Administrative password to your blog site. They'd kick you out of "AfroSpear" if you did.

I realize that you get far more posters on your blog than I do on mine.

I realize that some of your friends ask me "WHY am I on Filled Negro's blog than on my own"......


I must ask you a question though Filled Negro:

[quote]while we are still trying to bridge our racial gap in these divided states of A-merry-ca, I thought it would be interesting to share this blogger's views on racial stereotypes.[/quote]

WHY DID YOU FEEL THE NEED TO SHOW THIS?

What is the proportion of THREAT that this registers upon our people as compared to the OTHER, more damaging threats that I can show you?

How does the power that the White man has to craft an image of you as a Black man trump the power that the THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS of Black people have at our disposal to prove TO OURSELVES otherwise?

These are the type of messages produced on your blog that KIDS feeds off of.

It does nothing more than stoke the RACISM CHASING spirit that is within you, he, others.

I cant' MAKE you stop what you focus on.

I can only show the COSTS of that which you choose to not focus on and how this cancer is consuming the vital organs of your community.

I hope that one day your loyal posters will see that you are merely throwing chum in the water in order to rile them up.

Frank Drackman said...

So How Come I gotta go to Friggin Europe to find original "Amos and Andy" DVDs in BlueRay???
And ya gotta have a "MultiRegion" player to watch em' cause of all the Bootleggers... Y'all know how those Asians and A-rabs love vintage TV...
And No Clarence Thomas insults to accompany your photo??? Whats it been, 50 years since a REAL black man was on the Court??? And are you sure Thurgood Marshall was really Black?? Heck, I'm darker than he was.

Frank

Seattle Slim said...

I agree Field. Thanks for having a constructive place for constructive conversation! When I saw the Tyler Perry stuff, I was worried, so thank you.

CG said...

@granny, @shady_grady

The Wire does not deal with "racial stereotypes" because it is at heart a sociological drama (concerned with the structure of society) rather than a psychological drama (concerned with personalities, character flaws, or human nature).

This is perhaps clearest in season four, which follows four young boys who are shown to be good, sweet kids, just like your average pre-adolescents. But societal structure intervenes - the effects of familial poverty, a poor school system, an inadequate foster care system, incompetent/hostile police, and the easier gains through drug dealing - and the boys are sorted and shunted to what will be their societal roles for the rest of their life.

In short, my point is that The Wire never says, "Blacks are naturally this way." (There is way too much diversity within the black characters for such a conclusion.) Rather, The Wire says "People who find themselves in such-and-such a role in society will tend to act this way, and American history has determined that the people in the most disadvantaged situations will be black."

Another way to look at it is to consider the "policy implications" of the show. A conservative/psychological show would attribute all the problems to individual failings, and so would recommend harsher disincentives to deviance - i.e., jail time. A liberal/sociological approach would recommend more jobs, better schooling, socially-just policing, etc.

Anonymous said...

There are times when the divide between Black Americans and bi-racial folks and others whose skin is dark is made clear- Tyler Perry.

I did not grow up in proverty and as a 50 year old with college educated mother and grandmother and a couple of advance degrees myself, I very much like Tyler's work. In fact I like it much better than Spike Lee's colored work. Maybe that is a North/South black divide but the simple moral message that is Madea's character is those I recognized and agree with. His sense of self, loyalty to his audiances ( who look like his characters) is appreciated by all of us who will keep supporting Tyler Perry until he too decides his characters need be light, bright or damn near white.

Back-up off Tyler because he built what he has built with plain ole black folks money who are not trying to be trans-racial but just want equal consideration.

R.J. said...

I've never seen Tyler Perry's show but after this I'm going to have to watch it and see what this is all about.

Thrasher said...

The Wire is a racist show written by white writers from my vantage point so I do not watch it...Once a Black actor from the show was interviewed locally I called into the show and told her I thought the sript was racist and a tired theme of urban decadence etc..

She got offended of course and vented for the white hosts and other guests about urban shit..

I then finally said you are just an actor you did not write the scrips BTW I would never act in such shit..

That really pissed her off..I told her acts of omission are often as significant as acts of commission..

Thrasher said...

Black actors do not have to take on certain roles is my point....

We are not compelled to engage in activities which dehumanize us..

We define our personhood...We control the ingredients which we want to become our cultural dna..

Yes there is external forces which are in play the question is how much acknowledgment we want to give these forces...

CG said...

How does The Wire dehumanize blacks? The majority of the characters on that show are black, and they run the range from good to bad, noble to corrupt, brilliant to incompetent. They are shown as teachers, police, dealers, politicians, addicts, citizens, mothers, etc. - in short, as the whole range of humanity.

That is the opposite of racist stereotypes (all blacks are stupid) and the opposite of tokenism (the one black character is brilliant and upstanding). It's portraying blacks with as much diversity and complexity as we expect to see when characters are white. That sounds humanizing to me.

hennasplace said...

Anon 11:39a

I have seen better films such as Claudine with Diannah Carroll and James Earl Jones, A Raisin in the Sun with Sidney Pointer and Ruby Dee, and hell even Normal is That You with Red Fox and Delta Burke was a comedy about a couple who discovers that son is gay and having a relationship with a white man.

As I stated before the problem with Tyler Perry films is that the storylines are too simplistic and the characters are one-dimensional. His characters do range from the poor worker class to upper class black folk, but there are not that interesting. In fact, I have seen better stories about redemption and having a moral compass. It is true that Spike Lee does tell stories from his experiences, but the reality he weaves a better story. I am all about good storytelling. Now I do not get me wrong, I also like Something About Mary and the scene where Matt Dillon tells the dog don't go to the light is one of the funniest scenes, but I like good serious films. I like Barbershop with I-Cube because it was a good storyline and dialogue.

As I mentioned before, Tyler Perry films should not be the only game in town and we need more diverse films, but we have to go to the theater and see them.

kid said...

Constructive Feedback said...

I hope that one day your loyal posters will see that you are merely throwing chum in the water in order to rile them up.

11:01 AM

__________________________________
You mean like Satan Pagan that said that the President will put Grandparents and his son Trig in front of "Death Panels". determined to battle healthcare reform:

"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."


Then they have fake astroturfed protesters that work for the health industry. They're telling people to bring their guns to the townhall meeting.

CF you're a fucking tom ass bitch that is a paid hack that kisses Rush Limbaugh fat nasty drug addicted ass . You sell your mother for a piece of fucking ham. Hannity and the rest of the bastards are saying open season on N---ers and you just want a hunting license too.

don't divide us. move us along said...

...played into their hands again: the old divide and conquer...you fell for it field...you haven't figured out the game...Without hating folks you'd be out of business..

kid said...

don't divide us. move us along said...

...played into their hands again: the old divide and conquer...you fell for it field...you haven't figured out the game...Without hating folks you'd be out of business..

1:18 PM
______________________________
Hey bitch , black people are not shooting three policemen to death in Pittsburgh like the right is doing.DAMMIT IT'S WHITES THAT ARE DOING THE GENOCIDE!They're killing black, white , straight, gay , republican, democrat, they don't care they just want to kill.Neo cons are really sick.

grinder said...

@Seattle Slim, your comments in this thread are nothing short of awesome. Hey, by the way, did you happen to see this story in today's Seattle Times about the drug dealers in the C.D. who were offered a choice between prison and a series of job training, educational and housing assistance, and chemical dependency treatment if they quit dealing?

This is one of those moments for everyone in Seattle to watch, eh? For others, the C.D. is the Central Disrict, the majority-black area of town. The story doesn't say it, but it's safe to assume that most of the drug dealers referred to in that story are black.

And before La Incognita or someone else steps forward to accuse me of stereotyping blacks as drug dealers, let me say that the white son of a white friend of mine is currently in jail on a one-year drug dealing sentence. There are plenty of white drug dealers, and Mexicans, and Asian.

alicia banks said...

i like tyler and his films

though he is no spike lee

but both men/genres have their niches

only blacks are denied artistic diversity

shame

grinder said...

p.s.: But here's the deal on drug dealers, and I don't care what hue their skin: What they do constitutes a goddamned cancer on the community. They spread pain, death, disorder, crime, and chaos in our communities. I care about them as people, but I have no tolerance for drug dealing. The ones in Seattle being offered a better life if they'll stop it have a hell of an opportunity. This is an I.Q. test, and if they flunk it then they can file their subsequent complaints in front of a fuckin' mirror.

MR.R said...

If ya'll stop living the "racial stereotypes" than ya'll wouldn't be stereotyped.

kid said...
Hey bitch , black people are not shooting three policemen to death in Pittsburgh like the right is doing.DAMMIT IT'S WHITES THAT ARE DOING THE GENOCIDE!They're killing black, white , straight, gay , republican, democrat, they don't care they just want to kill.Neo cons are really sick.

Hey bitch,ya'll kill cops everyday in this country.

BluTopaz said...

@ Granny: Because frankly, no movie is a representation of a group of people. It's just a movie.

Yes, just like Birth of a Nation was just a movie that did not uphold any malicious intent towards an entire group of people.

....and as for your comment earlier about how Perry's critics should get together and pool resources to make our own films, when people make comments like this it shows that you know ZERO about the film industry. You need to sit down with Black independent filmmakers who have made films that don't involve coonery, drugs, comedy nor violence and later being told that their films won't do well overseas, won't play well in middle america, or my favorite that was told to a friend of mine who has entered short films in festivals "I don't know any Black people like that". So their films are not distributed. Or when a Black filmmaker is told he knows to re-cast his Black film to make it more marketable (as the filmmaker for the last Renee Zellwegger movie-he wanted Angela Bassett to play the lead). Hollywood is run by formulas for all the lousy White movies, you can imagine how Black filmmakers who are doing EXACTLY what you propose have been challenged in their efforts.

Lastly, i don't get Black people (esp Black women but they are not always the brightest bulbs in the bunch-we love to throw money at stuff that mocks or degrades us) don't see anything wrong with the current most famous Black female movie character is a 6"9 Black man in drag. And yeah I'm a Black woman, tired of nearly every media image I see of one us is an ugly stereotype. And no, i'm not worried about what white people are thinking-smdh.

BluTopaz said...

@ mr r.r

If ya'll stop living the "racial stereotypes" than ya'll wouldn't be stereotyped

Yeah, if Professor Gates wasn't wearing those baggy jeans and smoking weed, breaking in some nice white person's house, he would not have been arrested by that upstanding white police officer who was forced to lie later on the police report. You know, due to Gates being a street thug and all.

alicia banks said...

blu topaz:

i see tons of degrading white films that are never seen as reflective of the white race

ie

the hedonist, masochist, mindless, homoerotic buffoons in all of the "jackaass" films are never seen as representing/degrading all white men

so why can't madea just be entertaining too?

look at all of the OTHER characters in tyler's films: educated/classy/professionals/sexy black corp elites too????

BluTopaz said...

alicia, are you kidding me?

We live in a society where a halfway literate White woman who took 6 years to get a BFA. knows less about geography than a grade schooler, and was praised for not throwing up during her debate was considered for the vice presidency by millions of people in this country.

And you actually think that images of White males are down here in the trenches with the rest of us? And all the mindless white male movies are countered by the rest of the films where they are saving not only this world, but other planets as well. Whites have the luxury of never having to think about race, just like I have the luxury of not having to think about being heterosexual.

As far as Perry's other characters, I don't know them. The central figure of his flicks is Medea, and that's who people pay to go see.

BluTopaz said...

correction "Madea", i ain't trying to turn TP flicks into shakespeare-lol

alicia banks said...

all imagery is allowed to be diverse except that created by blacks

that is racist censorship!
and it is grossly unfairt all black artistry

i am a proud feminist who understands the power of all racist/sexist imagery

that is why i see ALL of the images inside tyler's films

his movies also show educated homeowners in stable working class/elite families to the masses...

he is doing to films what cosby did to tv...even with madea in the mix

i love many of his films

and i love being able to see something more than the black thugs and guns and ghetto pathologies that exclusively consume films made by tyler's racist white peers...

alicia banks said...

i diligently try daily to see the world through all eyes

limiting one's vision is never "a luxury"

expanding one's vision beyond all boundaries of race/class/gender/sexualities is morally mandatory for conscious survival and social revolution...

the drag queen in hollywood is old hat...from flip wilson to tom hanks
to jack lemon to tony curtis etc...

but the POSITIVE imagery that is INCLUDED in madea's madness is maverick and valid revolution of black imagery in film...

alicia banks said...

i have seen many uniquely powerful, cerebral, beautiful, strong, warrior, ideal black female characters in tyler's films

their power and beauty always outshine the buffonery of madea for me

BluTopaz said...

all imagery is allowed to be diverse except that created by blacks


Very true, which is why you only see stereotypical Black movies. This is not an accident, if you read my post to Granny. How is Perry diverse if this kind of crap is all we see...

And if you consider wanting to see other types of Black imagery as "racist censorship" then just call me a bigot, cause I am tired of seeing negroes clowning around for a buck.

you said: i have seen many uniquely powerful, cerebral, beautiful, strong, warrior, ideal black female characters in tyler's films

their power and beauty always outshine the buffonery of madea for me

Then why can't these types of characters lead the film? Why can't a fictional character of one of these warrior women be the draw in these movies, instead of a black man wearing a dress?

alicia banks said...

if tyler was white he would be seen as a comic genius
rather than a race traitor...


here is a great rap song that describes simlarly racist censorship in artistry

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rsa1CGtM9T4

if i was white
by
willie d

he is deep

and he was tupac's fav rapper and stylistic mentor

alicia banks said...

bt:

ditto

i wish they would always lead

and madea is not in all of tyler's films

ie

see
the family that preys
daddy's little girl

my fav tyler films omit madea

BluTopaz said...

@ alicia,


Perhaps you do not understand, but will SOMEBODY explain to me how wanting to see non-buffoon images of my people is considered "limiting"?!

Yes drag is old hat...and? If you see nothing wrong with Black people being more comfortable with this type of image than say, all those "cerebral" Black women you see in tp movies, then that is just some fukked up mindset I can't understand.

alicia banks said...

bt:

u posted
"Whites have the luxury of never having to think about race, just like I have the luxury of not having to think about being heterosexual."

i was refering to that ONLY as limited

i never see limiting any perspective as a luxury for anyone

it is always a liability...individually and universally

please do not twist my pts

i never said madea was not "wrong"
i said it is imagery that should not be seen as reflective of an entire race/cast/tyler legacy etc

grinder said...

Yeah, if Professor Gates wasn't wearing those baggy jeans and smoking weed, breaking in some nice white person's house, he would not have been arrested by that upstanding white police officer who was forced to lie later on the police report. You know, due to Gates being a street thug and all.

I'm not so high on how Gates (or the arresting officer) behaved that day, but this was a funny comment! Touche!

field negro said...

Blue Topaz, you are en fuego today!!

"Hey bitch,ya'll kill cops everyday in this country."

Links please!

MR.R said...

BluTopaz said...
Yeah, if Professor Gates wasn't wearing those baggy jeans and smoking weed, breaking in some nice white person's house, he would not have been arrested by that upstanding white police officer who was forced to lie later on the police report. You know, due to Gates being a street thug and all.


Gates falls into the "uppity" stereotype.i.e. "ya'll know who i is?"

Anonymous said...

SS @4:17am,
You nailed it! I agree with you 100%. We ARE a damaged race emotionally, psychologically and 'spiritually' as well.

It's impossible to be descendants of slaves, Jim Crow, and the continued target of racism to NOT be damaged. Racism alone has attacked our emotionnal well-being and human dignity. However, The BIGGEST endangerment to our race is to be 'unaware' of low self-worth because you can't heal or change what you can't identify.

To claim to be unaffected by movies, the internet, and other media, when all around you are clearly showing otherwise--including Tyler's movies--is to be profoundly deluded.

As stated before @2:54AM WE-the Black people-need to learn to love ourselves first. But we can't do that without first acknowledging that we DON'T. Until we do, we will fail to see Tyler's low grade cooning BS as harmful and detrimental to the psychological and emotional well-being of our children and our community.

Tyler's movies are to our community as the degrading black lyrics of rap and hip hop have been to our children, women, families and community. Crap like that not only poisons the minds of Blacks but tells the world what we think of ourselves as well.

And if we are against ourselves, then WHO is for us?

Of course, if you are denying that none of it affects you, then you have no idea how life and karma work: "Unwholesome actions and behaviors bring unwholesome results; wholesome actions and behaviors bring wholesome result." That means that "garbage into our community results in garbage out of our community via our children." You see, our children ARE our answer to ourselves and the world. Considering how our children are killing themselves to the extent it is questionable whether our race will survive, the black community's answer to the world appears to convey that it really doesn't give a shit.

IMO, Tyler is a cooning jackass very much like Michael Steele who offers fried chicken to his folks to come to his show to continue black degradation. They both lack dignity and respect; they both fail to lift up Blacks.

Anyway, thanks for your insight, experience, strength and wisdom. You help to validate what I have felt for a long time. Your are beautiful.

alicia banks said...

who herein claimed to be unaffected by films?

when 30 seconds tv ads garner billions?

???

allheavens said...

My best friend and I attend films every weekend and she is a fan of Perry's films. We each pick a film to attend on alternate weekends, so if one of Perry's films is in the theatre and it happens to be her weekend then...you get the picture.

However, I am not a fan; I'd rather stick needles in my eyes. I find his films to be misogynistic, derivative, clichéd, drivel.

Anyone notice how all the women in his films are abrasive, evil, conniving, weak, emotionally crippled, adulterous, sexually repressed or sexually promiscuous? While offering positive representation of Black masculinity (unfortunately achieved through an assimilationist fantasy), stereotypes about Black women are reified and reinscribed.

The cure for all that "ails" her (the Black woman) is finding a good, solid, God-fearing, hard working man and all her problems will be solved. *rolls eyes*

Remember the ad for Why Did I Get Married?

"Diane is overworked; Sheila is overweight; Angela is over the top; Patricia is overly perfect."

Each female character had some distinguishing attribute which was the source of martial divisiveness that had to be exercised like a demon in order to restore marital bliss.

These films are just reaffirmations of traditional gender roles through the figurative and literal beating (see Sanaa Lathan) of the Black woman back into her "place".

And PLEASE don't get me started on Madea.

If Perry were white he'd be considered a hack and his career would resemble the swirl of a turgid piece of crap being flushed down the nearest available toilet.

grinder said...

I finally went and watched the commercial that spawned all of your ranting, Field. I thought it was a lot of fun, and I didn't generalize it to black people as a whole. To me, it's clowning, and there are all kinds of clowns.

But I can understand why you'd cringe at the "cooning" stuff. I'd cringe if there was a stereotypically gay scene in an ad. It's the sort of thing I'd laugh my ass off at in a certain place at a certain time, but not in other places at other times.

There's a TV network called "Logo," which is gay oriented. There's not a hell of a lot of programming on it, and even less that's original. But they do have an animated series called "Rick & Steve," a comedy featuring a gay couple and their friends in the fictional town of West Lahunga Beach, clearly a play on Laguna Beach, CA, a gay-friendly town in Orange County.

The show is full of stereotypes. They make a conscious effort in that direction, starting with the theme song: Rick and Steve, Rick and Steve/Happy and gay like you wouldn't believe/Loving life, hating girls/They're the happiest gay couple/In all the world

I laugh my ass off at that show, but if I saw the same stuff in a mainstream TV commercial I'd be suspicious as all hell. Stereotyping is definitely hot-button stuff, that's for sure. As for the other guy, Tyler Perry, he's not someone I know by name. Maybe I know his stuff by osmosis, but the name doesn't ring a bell.

Sharon from WI said...

Anonymous Say It Loud said..."Stepin Fetchit was the first Black millionaire in Hollywood, are we supposed to respect his hustle too?"

Why not? I do!<<<

Stepin Fetchit and movies featuring him sickened me to my stomach--and I was a child at the time.

I would not gain anymore enjoyment out of his shuffling, head-scratching antics than I
would reading Der Stürmer

(Just an aside, I don't think Tyler Perry is in this category, I've seen the House of Payne and some of his films. Better acting and continuity are another matter.)

Shady_Grady said...

CG, I didn't say that I necessarily agreed with Professor Reed's take on "The Wire", just that he has been quite vocal in his denunciations.

For the most part I liked "The Wire" but I can also see where Reed was coming from. He's written a lot on it. He and David Simon have traded some nasty barbs.

I do like that fact that on "The Wire" you have a majority black cast and one in which most of the leaders on both sides of the law are black. They also run the gamut of humanity-from good to bad. I like that. I like the depiction of the powerful bureaucracies and apathy or corruption that they engender. However The Wire still puts a picture out there that the majority of drug sellers and users are Black and that's not the case.

It's like being able on one level to enjoy the movie "300" and on another recognize that it stretches the truth in some instances, lies in others and resorts to the Black or dark "other" when all else fails. Yet as a movie it was still entertaining.

This is what Reed had to say and it's not something I completely dismiss. I respect Reed's opinion.

I’m not against White writers writing about Blacks as long as they are as objective as say James McPherson writing about an Irish American janitor in his brilliant short story “Gold Coast.” I use non-fiction work written by Whites in my research. It’s indispensable. That wasn’t the problem. I said that “The Wire” was a cliché!

It’s like my writing a series about Jewish life and casting all of the characters as inside traders.

They never printed this discussion in the NYT, so I wrote a response to The Jewish Weekly where Simon said that he couldn’t enjoy the loot he’s made for showing Black as depraved individuals because of criticism by people like Ishmael Reed. To their credit, The Jewish Weekly published it. So I said he ought to do something new like write a new series about the family of a suburban, illegal arms dealer who’s bringing guns into my neighborhood.

http://goatmilk.wordpress.com/2008/03/13/ishmael-reed-interview-3-of-3-jabs-low-blows-and-knockout-punches/

Say It Loud said...

@Anon, 6:29 PM: "You nailed it! I agree with you 100%. We ARE a damaged race emotionally, psychologically and 'spiritually' as well.

"It's impossible to be descendants of slaves, Jim Crow, and the continued target of racism to NOT be damaged. Racism alone has attacked our emotional well-being and human dignity.

I can feel your passion. I can feel your honest assessment of what you believe to be true, but let me offer you yet another view to ruminate on.

I can't speak for the race, but only for myself.

I was never a slave (but I did know one), and I have lived through "Jim Crow, and [have been] the continued target of racism..." and I'll assure you my emotional "well-being" and my "human dignity" has never been better.

I'm neither scarred nor damaged "emotionally, psychologically and 'spiritually'," but I do recognize that some of us are.

And that is why I'm still posting on this subject--to tell you that you don't have to be.

Years ago I refused to accept another's plan for my life, and their decision of who and what I am.

I decided to accept my own assessment, and to chose not to be damaged by the assessment of others.

I refused to allow racism to hold me back, or to dictate my goals for me. I achieved in spite of it!

Oh, I can hear it coming already from some quarters here: "You found the strength of mind and spirit to overcome, but there're millions of others not so well equipped."

No doubt.

But this is where we come in: Tell them there's another way. Tell them not to accept anyone's image of who they are, whether those images show up on a screen, large or small, or on the streets in which they live.

Tell them to create their own image of who they are and follow the dictates of their own heart.

More than this: Live the life of one who knows his or her own mind, and will not surrender it to others.

You decide what you wish to be, and be willing to die to achieve it.

You decide who and what you are, and be willing to shout that image to the world.

You decide that nothing anyone can do, say, or be, will have an impact on what you do, say, or being.

You have that power. Don't surrender it to anybody. I will die telling blacks on this blog and others: No one can stop you, but you, and I refuse to be stopped. No one can can shape your image, but you, and I choose to be self-defined. No one can limit you, but you, and I accept no limits.

Tell that to your children, and to all those that you associate with, not as one who gloats, but one who possesses an unconquerable spirit.

And the problems that you see within the black community (all those negative images) won't matter: They will take care of themselves.

"To claim to be unaffected by movies, the Internet, and other media, when all around you are clearly showing otherwise--including Tyler's movies--is to be profoundly deluded."

Then, I'm "profoundly deluded." I decide what will or will not affect me. Who else has this power.

Say It Loud said...

"The BIGGEST endangerment to our race is to be 'unaware' of low self-worth because you can't heal or change what you can't identify."

I can't speak for the race, but I have no "low self-worth," and I'm not in need of a healing, and I identify with all that is wonderful and glorious about me. Call me narcissistic, or conceited--and that's fine. I've been called that before.

"And if we are against ourselves, then WHO is for us?"

I'm not against anyone--least of all, not against Tyler Perry. I can't speak "for us," but I can speak for me: I'm for me.

I'm for what re-presents me to my world, I'm for that which defines who and what I am.

There is no other reason to act, or to react, but to declare and to affirm to myself and to the world that which I am.

"Considering how our children are killing themselves to the extent it is questionable whether our race will survive, the black community's answer to the world appears to convey that it really doesn't give a shit."

We shall survive. It's not a question as to whether, but how. Again, speaking for myself, I don't give a damn what the world thinks, but only what I think.

The world will think whatever it thinks, and that is just find by me. (And I'm aware that that statement alone will upset some. It already has. I control the only thing that I can, and that is me. I don't care what's conveyed to the world, only what I receive. And I'm in charge of that.)

"IMO, Tyler is a cooning jackass very much like Michael Steele who offers fried chicken to his folks to come to his show to continue black degradation. They both lack dignity and respect; they both fail to lift up Blacks."

I'm about to do it again, I'm afraid: give you another perspective that differs from yours. But be assured: It's find with me whatever perspective you hold.

No one can degrade a people but a people, and they do it by their own internal assessment of who they are.

No one can degrade a person, but a person, and he or she does it by his or her own internal assessment of who they are.

I have failed to "lift up Blacks." That's a burden I cannot carry. That's a burden no one should bear. It's a hard, thankless, task. Just ask Atlas?

All need to bear their own burden, and that will in turn give others the inspiration to bear their own.

Can I help? Sure. But helping doesn't call into play shouldering what you can't shoulder. You can't shape another's image, but you can help. You can't forge another's self-worth, but you can offer the tools by which they can.

Here it is a nutshell: I refuse to be embarrassed because my people do embarrassing things. I refuse to shoulder guilt, because my people do blameworthy things. I refuse to feel shame, because my people do shameful things.

I refuse to condemn because my people do horrible things. And I refuse to be angry with my people, when they don't always rise to the vision I hold for them.

west coast story said...

My grandmother had an exprression--"Your taste is all in your mouth.". That's what I think about when anyone would put Tyler Perry and R kelly in the same sentence.

I've watched some of Perry's movies and they are over the top slapstick with a dash of corny moral lessons. They are mildly entertaining.

Accusations that Perry doesn't pay his writers union wages is of more concern to me than a siily debate over the social value of his movies.

I totally get why someone wouldn't like Perry's movies, based on the ones I've seen. But there is no way in hell I would put him in the same category as MTV/BET mysoginist rap videos with nearly naked black females flapping their butt cheeks at the camera.
It was a pleasure to see the elegant and gracious Cicely Tyson pop up in a perfectly tasteful (albeit a tad corny) role in a Perry film.
I find martin lawrence and that other fool to be jiggin' coons. I'm surprised their names have not come up. Plus, they can't act. At least the people in Perry's movies can act.

Perry's films are like Chevy Chase's vacation movies or most of the films made by Saturday Night alumni or Monty Python.

As for socially uplifting films, there really is room for "Daughters of the Dust" and a Medea movie.

Off topic, is anyone else in love with that little Asian girl in the AT&T ad? "Girl, I wasn't sick, I was poisoned!". She's got the neck roll down.

Say It Loud said...

@Sharon from WI: "Stepin Fetchit and movies featuring him sickened me to my stomach--and I was a child at the time.

"I would not gain anymore enjoyment out of his shuffling, head-scratching antics than I
would reading Der Stürmer."

Hi, Sharon. Thanks for weighing in.

Sharon, I neither respected, nor disrespected Stepin Fetchit. I didn't recognize him. He did represent the blacks that I knew and loved.

He was what he was, a stereotype that was as foreign to me as the "Watermelon Boy" who was used to sell watermelons in the South.

What I'm advocating for (see my earlier posts) is the creation a black people that are self-defined, who can look at any images and not cringe, because their spiritual and emotional equilibrium is adjusted to their own calibrations, and not to that of others.

CG said...

Shady Grady,

Thanks for the thoughtful response - I am still somewhat shocked when I see one of those on a message board.

There is a lot of truth in what Professor Reed says, although I don't buy the argument completely. But considering that we do live in a society in which these stereotypes exist, I understand that reinforcing them is problematic.

But I also think that the "availability heuristic" comes into play here. When talking to people about The Wire, I think that a lot of viewers forget all of the non-black characters in the drug trade. Most obviously, The Greek and his international drug cartel, but also White Mike and Nicky from the docks. Admittedly, they only get major attention in one season - but I think that because "Polish" and "Greek" aren't associated with drugs in most people's minds, they tend to forget these characters. But the fact that only the black-drug link will be reinforced is one that anyone wanting to make a socially responsible series about the drug trade should keep in mind.

Anonymous said...

People if you think the movie's that Tyler has made is a disgrace to our race, then just wait and see the movie Tyler and Oprah produced together!

I saw a promo of the movie on Oprah's show, and trust me it is an insult to Dark skinned heavy women! it look's as if they went out and found the most Heavy set dark skinned teenager in America! and of course she is portrayed in a negative way!!

But, we have to keep in mind that Oprah has a problem with Weight! if she gain's weight she will do a show on over weight people! if she lose weight! she will do a show on losing WEIGHT! it is a never ending Cycle with her! God only know's how many personal trainer's she has had!

Oprah is not innocent in the JIGGING! she jigged her way into being a BILLIONAIRE! it is impossible to be a successful Black entertainer on TV without selling a piece of your Black Identity!

We tend to use Tyler as an example of a sellout, but, we have too many Black's to count, that will do whatever it take's to make it to the Top! Hallie did the Jig big time! and she won an Oscar for it!!!

The President had to pretend to Coon, Jig and everything in the book to get in that White House!! some call it doing the Dance!

It's time for TYLER to come out of those Dress's! he has made enough money, put that money to good use, make Movie's that will portray our people in a different light, if Spike Lee can make Movie's with substance, so can Tyler Perry!

The biggest Jigger I have seen is Michael Steele!!

trickster206 said...

Well there's still cooning and ministraling going on with blacks who obtain jobs in the media.

I get angry when every year, BET advertises for a black college student for an intern position at their NYC studios. Of course this student must be in journalism or communication, and yet after paying $30,000 and up per semester in tuition, to get a job there you must speak more ebonic than Prissy in Gone With the Wind. That bothers me a lot.

Tom Joyner also had a sister who supposedly had graduated college and was a member of some black sorority. I can laugh at those stereotypes at times but not everytime.

I saw Oprah on American Lives and she did her Fred Sanford imitation (you know the Elizabeth heart clutching movement, stop the camera) when told her ancestors were slaves. But she went to college and lived down South. How could she NOT KNOW????? Right after Oprah's bullshit-- it was Whoopi's turn. When told about her relatives being property and slaves, Prof. Gates must have thought she would fall out like Oprah. Whoppi, with no college education --looked Prof. Gates in the eye and simply said, "oh yeah we knew that."

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Everyone makes up excuses for "The Wire", and yet I saw no positive black role models in it. I saw black drug dealers, a welfare mom, black policemen weak and cast as negative characters, one who chose to have a relationship with a woman young enough to be his daughter, another was an alcoholic just to name a few. Thieving and crooked black politicians, black dope addicts,black stickup men, and black murderers.

But yeah other than that, it had no black negative images. It was a serious drama that just helped reinforce all the stereotypes that all black politicians are crooks, blacks policemen are weak in character, all young black men are drug dealers, blacks are drug addicts, criminals, welfare moms, etc. Which black on that program was a positive role image? Oh, don't get me wrong, I liked "The Wire". Nonetheless, I fail to see, since we're talking about negative stereotype images portrayed of blacks in films, the difference myself.

Say It Loud said...

"I fail to see, since we're talking about negative stereotype images portrayed of blacks in films, the difference myself."

Right on, Granny!

Say It Loud said...

@Anonymous 9:30 PM

Oprah doesn't owe blacks anything. And neither does Tyler, nor the president.

If, as you say, they jigged their way to success, then they owe their success to jigging, and not to us.

*sigh*

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

BTW, none in the picture rose above their circumstances and made a change. In Madea, the characters do rise above their circumstances and make a positive change. In Hustle and Flow, I watched that movie too, it wasn't all that positive. I collect movies and have been collecting them since VCR and DVD came out. I used to have a few movies when they were produced on rolls of film in a can.

BluTopaz:

Please don't assume that granny knows zero about the film industry because you would be wrong. I could tell you what goes into making a movie, the history of it, what is involved in making a scene, the different three point lightings used, seamless editing, the different genres of movies and what their storyline represents, etc.

I was speaking from my position that movies images don't make me and are not what I am about, nor do other define me and who I am. Stereotype images were here before you and I were born and they will be here more than likely when the next generation comes because we do not control the movie industry.

As for my suggestion that some of you pool your resources together and make a movie, that was not meant as no insult or sarcasm or anything negative. If Tyler Perry can produce his first own movie on his own, others can do likewise if they put their minds to it. Where there is a will there is a way. Some of these young rappers did it. It's not impossible.

Nevertheless, everyone has their own quirks and taste in movies. As for myself, like I said before I watch them to relax or have them for when I have a house full of company for entertainment purposes other than that I would prefer reading a book.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

SayItLoud:

"Oprah doesn't owe blacks anything. And neither does Tyler, nor the president."

I cosign!

Seattle Slim said...

Anon 6:29pm,

Thank you! Great post by the way :) I have nothing else to add because you pretty much echo my sentiments.

@Grinder,

Yes! And you know what? You're right. CD tends to be mostly minorities, more blacks. I applaud the fact that these drug dealers are given a chance to get better. I hope they all succeed! I'll be watching closely! Go Seattle lol.

Anon 9:30 pm,

That movie that Tyler and Oprah are working on or funded actually is based on a book. It's pretty graphic, and it's specific and it's been praised by critics. It's finally seeing release thanks to Tyler and Oprah.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Don't get me wrong on one more thing, I don't like the stereotype images either. The way they've been popping up left and right lately, just let me know that they might not never die, because racism is embedded deep in America. One thing, I have learned though is that I don't have to accept their definition of who I am a person.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

As for Stepin Fetcher, I didn't like the roles he had to play back then, neither did he. But I do respect him for being a pioneer in opening the door for other blacks to come through.

Anonymous said...

I don't have an opinion on Perry so my comment is a general one rather than a specific one.

Why does there have to be a divide between self-respect, having cultural love without the need of approval from outsiders and fighting stereotypes? I think everyone should be able to be at peace with who they are and the culture they came from without the need to gain approval from anyone outside (or inside) a given culture. We all should be proud of who we are and where we came from regardless of what anyone else thinks. Too many people buy into the myth of cultural superiority or that one culture must be superior to another when that's not the case.

I don't think that rejecting stereotypes and admonishing people inside your own group/culture who promote them means you're seeking the approval of the outside idiots who hold those stereotypes. Stereotypes are harmful and promoting them is harmful. People internalize stereotypes and think they can't do something because they're X, think they're ugly because of X, starve themselves or modify their bodies in extreme ways because of X, and much more. Challenging and changing stereotypes isn't necessarily about those outside. In a perfect world we would all be empowered to love ourselves just the way we are but we don't live in that world. People both inside and outside any given culture are harmed by these negative images. It's not seeking approval to ask for that to end --for us all to be a little be better to ourselves and everyone else-- but rather it's asking and challenging us all to put away things that harm.

--j

west coast story said...

Granny, I respectfully disagree about The Wire. I thought The Wire was a brutal indictment of how crime is manipulated by politicians for self promotion and how crime reduction is really not high on anyone's agenda.

When they skewered the Baltimore Sun in the last season, it was a thing of beauty.

The people who wrote/developed this show were a former Sun reporter and Baltimore cop/ teacher. The stories were based on reality. It certainly felt real to me given the chaos in Oakland city politics and the PD.

Finally, I can't name another show except Homicide Life on the Street that featured so many exceptionally talented black actors.

So I became a fan after catching up on On Demand.

There were some positive role models. The cop turned mentor and teacher and the ex offender whose heart just wasn't in crime and opened a gym so he could work with kids.

The show did not glorify drugs and thugs and portrayed them as the monsters they are. I appreciated how they showed how poor black youth are used by adults and spit out like they are nothing. I especially appreciated the story line about the mom who forced her kid into the drug world. That was 100% real. I've seen that. It was painful to watch and sugar coated nothing.

Anonymous said...

I have a challenge a thought experiment for people here to play with. Linguists will tell you that there's no such thing as a superior dialect or accent and yet we make value judgments based on speech all the time.

Tell me why does:
Southern = Dumb
Black = Dumb
Bronx = Dumb

What do you honestly think when you hear someone speak with a thick black/southern or Bronx accent? Stephen Colbert spoke the truth about this in an interview when he was asked why he didn't sound southern even though he was born and raised in South Carolina. He said, and you could see the shame and pain in his face as he discussed it, that it was made clear early on in his childhood by television and media that the southern accent meant you were stupid and that as a child he decided to learn to talk another way. Think about it for a moment.

That is the power of media. Something so powerful a child will reject sounding like those who he loves and admires and internalize an image of his culture and at some level himself and loved ones as being dumb and then work night and day to try and change the way he talks. It's not easy to change your speech so completely as he has although most of us 'tone' down our accents or turn them up in certain company. No, this was the erasure of a precious part of him because of media stereotypes.

--j

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

West Coast Story:

"The Wire was a brutal indictment of how crime is manipulated by politicians for self promotion and how crime reduction is really not high on anyone's agenda"

Yeah I saw all of that too on the Wire and like I said I liked the Wire. I even own a set of the DVDs of the Wire. I've been meaning to ask you this, which do you think is worst Oakland or Richmond? In Richmond, they have shot out the police car windows in front of the police station. I could name worst than that but I pass. (smile0

Say It Loud said...

@-J: "We all should be proud of who we are and where we came from regardless of what anyone else thinks."

So far so good, but then you added:

"I don't think that rejecting stereotypes and admonishing people inside your own group/culture who promote them means you're seeking the approval of the outside idiots who hold those stereotypes. Stereotypes are harmful and promoting them is harmful."

I contend that they're as harmful as we allow them to be. Unto themselves they have no power. The only power they have is what we give them.

And that is my point: I refuse to give them power.

Where do you think many of those stereotypes originate, if not from the "outside"?

I have seen many blacks over the years, thousands of them, and I have never seen a black even remotely reminding me of the Stepin Fetchit character.

"In a perfect world we would all be empowered to love ourselves just the way we are but we don't live in that world."

I beg to differ: We are so empowered. The world is perfect. We're perfectly creating it in ways we say we don't like, but we keep doing it.

If you're not loving yourself just as you are then you'll never love yourself.

Here's what I wrote earlier:

What I'm advocating for is the creation of a black people that are self-defined, who can look at any image and not cringe, because their spiritual and emotional equilibrium is adjusted to their own calibrations, and not to that of others.

Say It Loud said...

"No, this was the erasure of a precious part of him because of media stereotypes."

--j

We need to stop trying to fix the world from the outside in, but from the inside out.

You'll be chasing and fighting windmills all your life with that approach.

Anonymous said...

WCS @11:05p I co-sign with you.

The Wire was one of the best, if not 'the' best series on television. There was a cast of talented characters unparallelled in recent television. Those characters had real depth to them and all across our country, Americans related to them. The characters were discussed at the water cooler at work, on radio talk shows, tv talk shows, etc. Each character in the series had a very human side that everyone, regardless of color or race, could relate to. The Wire also brought to light how one gets trapped and entangled in that kind of life in the hood, what it takes to survive, death, and how difficult it is to get out.

The characters were awesome....I hated to see the series end.

Anonymous said...

@Say It Loud -- I don't see our ideas as being exclusive. What you speak of is the empowerment of the individual and in that regard every person on Earth should be encouraged to accept who they are and ignore any nonsense that stereotypes them or their culture(s). I wholeheartedly agree that we must build ourselves up and not allow negativity to damage us as people and individuals. However, that doesn't mean we should let negative stereotypes slide let alone promote them. We attack these stereotypes at the social level because they're wrong -- they're factually wrong and morally wrong and they do harm. We teach both self-empowerment AND truths. We rise above AND challenge stereotypes when we meet them. Why can't I be both empowered and secure in myself with a love and respect of my culture(s) and also work to break stereotypes? I cannot and will not accept mean-spirited or damaging lies about any group and will not let them go unchallenged.

I disagree that all stereotypes come from the outside. That may be true most of the time but not all of the time. One example that immediately comes to mind is that one comedian (I can't think of her name but she's a looney conservative now and used to be on SNL) who pretty much started blonde jokes and the stereotype of blonde women as dumb in our culture. She sold out both her hair color and her gender to 'jig' for an audience of mostly white men. She created a stereotype that's still popular and acceptable to joke about. Sure, it's not as damaging as other kinds of stereotypes but it's a clear example of an insider coming up or at least popularizing a stereotype. Regardless, I'm not sure it matters where a stereotype came from or who's promoting them. Although it's usually worse when it's insiders because that can give outsiders the feeling that it's legitimate. IOW, if Chris Rock tells white people something negative about black people both whites and blacks are more likely to give it weight than they would if a white person or other outsider said something negative. The same for other groups. The media does this with black people and women all the time especially on news/political commentary -- get a black person, woman, or other minority to say what a white male can't get away with saying and conservatives with their "oh this one black guy or woman or latin@ said this about X group so it's true and ok to say."

Now I know you say that it shouldn't matter what they do that we should all feel fine regardless. Ok, so let's say we go with that for a moment and each and every person loves themselves and ignores those negative stereotypes out there. We get rid of the internalized stereotypes so kids don't try to change their bodies, the way they talk, and people feel good about themselves etc. which I think is an admirable goal we should strive for. If a school admissions officer thinks black students are subpar and won't admit them doesn't that harm? If an employer thinks you're, rowdy and ill behaved because you're black, dumb because you're southern, a sexual object and airhead because you're a blonde, a mean ball-buster because you're a Latina/Puerto Rican, doesn't that harm? I can be as self-empowered as I want but those stereotypes are still hurting me.

--j

Say It Loud said...

"I can be as self-empowered as I want but those stereotypes are still hurting me."

--j

I appreciate your willingness to dialog about this. Several, but not all, were dismissive and rude.

But I ain't mad. I don't choose to be.

You can't control the actions of others. Stereotypes exist. No denying that. And yes, they get reinforced by what we see, and what we think, and what we believe.

But that would happen anyway, because we see what we believe as surely as we believe what we see.

And surely, we will face resistance by others. You will have doors slammed in your face, and denied what you believe is rightfully yours.

But I say this: don't accept another's estimation of you, only your own. You should consciously and affirmatively make that decision and behave accordingly.

I have probably known more racism than you'll ever experience, and I'll tell you categorically: I will allow no one, and nothing to stop me from achieving whatever goals I set for myself in this life.

And I have achieved them all.

Sure there will be obstacles, but see them as temporary. Sure there will be hindrances, but fight through them. Sure there will be those who will try to beat you back. Just see them as another obstacle to best, another hurdle to jump.

Develop an unconquerable spirit. One that does not accept impossible, or No, as your reality.

You can only lose, if you choose to. You can only fail, if you quit.

Your self-image is your most valuable possession. Protect it from internal and external assault as you would against a thief or a murderer.

And let no one tell you who and what you are, but you.

"However, that doesn't mean we should let negative stereotypes slide let alone promote them. We attack these stereotypes at the social level because they're wrong -- they're factually wrong and morally wrong and they do harm."

You already know my position on this. Nothing can do me harm but me. And I'm not masochistic.

Yet, if you feel strongly that stereotypes are "morally wrong and ... do harm," by all mean re-present yourself as someone who will seek to undo them.

Take your stand and fight.

In so doing you define yourself, and declare and affirm who you are to your self and the world.

alicia banks said...

anon:

re shame about southern accents

i live in the south and travel the bible belt often

today there is a great pride in being anti-intellectual and all drawls are embraced...regionally etc

ie
rappers like chingy and nelly and durty spouth posses etc make kids proud...

it was once true that enunciation and northern accents were embraced...now most children think of all literacy and fluency as uncool...both verbally and literally

alicia banks said...

ditto

the wire was a superb look at political collusion in the drug trade...

it was a weekly glimpse into the creation and policing of a permanent urban underclass

the corner
was equally excellent

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0224853/

Anonymous said...

ab- "it was once true that enunciation and northern accents were embraced...now most children think of all literacy and fluency as uncool...both verbally and literally"

Yes it is sad. I assume that you are talking primarily about Blacks?

alicia banks said...

ss:

ditto!!!

the book is called "PUSH"
by a gifted lesbian poet and novelist named sapphire

the film title had to be changed to "PRECIOUS" due to a duplicate film title that previously existed...

http://www.amazon.com/Push-Novel-Sapphire/dp/0679766758/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1249801888&sr=1-1

http://www.eurweb.com/story/eur53176.cfm

i love ALL of the director lee daniel's films

he is also gay and gifted!

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0200005/

Anonymous said...

ab "the wire was a superb look at political collusion in the drug trade..."

The Wire was a great series on so many levels. No wonder it received so much applause.

I can't believe that Kid found it to be a lousy show.

alicia banks said...

"parenting" is becomong more toxic daily

the movie "precious" is a brave raw look at sizeism/colorism/and incest in america

oprah can relate to both

and tyler is also gay and sensitive to such hatreds

i know the film will be excellent and healing

and i applaud them both for their courage in making it

these are taboos that are INCREASING in america

they wound us all directly or indirectly

wounds heal best in open air

alicia banks said...

anon:

i am talking about all kids

increasingly white kids become caricatures of toxic black kids

wiggas/eminem etc

ie
so many wm become bm to date wf

shame!

see

http://www.amazon.com/Why-White-Kids-Love-Hip/dp/B002J7P2C8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1249802902&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Everything-But-Burden-People-Culture/dp/076791497X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1249802929&sr=1-1

alicia banks said...

ps:

i have never been a fan of oprah

she is far too tame and euro for me

but i am admiring her more for her courage re her own abuses as s child including incest etc...

both tyler and oprah are very brave about telling truths about their own personal trials as children etc


their brave new film precious will be a "color purple" for a new generation

i admire courage always

http://www.geocities.com/ambwww/BELOVED.htm

Anonymous said...

@Say It Loud -- I think we agree more than we disagree. There are finer points where we are odds but I try to be respectful to everybody as long as they're not being disrespectful to me. I try to learn regardless and disagreements are good ways to learn as long as things stay cool. I think you've got a good message for individuals. I just think we need to add to it. :)

@AB -- You're right about Dirty South and Crunk changing attitudes within youth culture to some degree. However, there's still a problem of being stereotyped by inside and outside too. I don't think a drawl should be equated with anti-intellectualism or being stupid though it is. There's a difference between accent and using slang all the time or speaking in hip-hop/rap constructions and references all the time. Unfortunately, people have conflated the two and as soon as they hear the one they associate everything else.

People do need to know how to express themselves in a way that's both articulate and thoughtful so as to be able to communicate effectively with whoever they meet but honestly, I think A-merry-ca puts too much emphasis on everybody learning to speak Newscaster Standard™ or else declaring it substandard and 'improper' English. Writing should be standard but not speaking and linguists will tell you there's no such thing as a superior dialect. It's sad too because language carries so much culture in it that might be otherwise lost. There are expressions that reach back in time and remnants of the past in spoken language. Old timers both black and white will use an archaic expression or one that comes from a region that you're unfamiliar with and it takes you back to a region's past, reminds us of slavery, sharecropping, farming, or in general something of another place in time. You can hear a time or a place in their voice. It's amazing what spoken language carries in it. It's culture and I don't think it needs to be sanitized to Newscaster Standard™ nor should we assume someone dumb or what have you just because they talk with a particular accent.

--j

grinder said...

I applaud the fact that these drug dealers are given a chance to get better. I hope they all succeed! I'll be watching closely!

Well, the early returns are in, 0-1 so far. I hasten to add that we don't know whether the one arrested is black, and we don't know how many of those given the offer are black. I am going entirely on the CD location, which as you know, is a pretty good marker in Seattle.

grinder said...

If you're not loving yourself just as you are then you'll never love yourself.

Here's what I wrote earlier:

What I'm advocating for is the creation of a black people that are self-defined, who can look at any image and not cringe, because their spiritual and emotional equilibrium is adjusted to their own calibrations, and not to that of others.


BINGO. Truer words never spoken. They apply to not just all minorities but really to everyone.

field negro said...

Say it Loud, I don't agree with everything you said, but I respect the way you articulate your position and your philosophy for self improvement. That in of itself is FN behavior.

And sorry, I thought "The Wire" was all that. Now I don't live in B-More, so I might be missing something. But I live in Philly, and the parallels were spooky.

j., I have blogged about the dialect issue before, that is another discussion board in of itself. Whew!

west coast story said...

Granny: folks in Richmond have gone buck wild. I don't know if my post made it or was lost in cyberspace where I posted that I was on Amtrak one night and the train was shot up as it passed through Richmond. Now they are shooting up people driving down I-80 or on city streets. I feel bad for residents in N Richmond because this has to be terrifying for them. Richmond is a small city to experience this level of violence. The last time I saw their police chief on TV he almost looked shell shocked.

Oakland has been taking it down a notch over the past year. But Richmond has really lost it. Because of the intense police pressure in Oakland, I have to wonder if the thugs are taking it up the freeway to Richmond. There has been a real grassroots groundswell against crime. People are just fed up with it.

west coast story said...

I meant to say there has been a grassroots groundswell against crime IN OAKLAND. Oakland residents all over the city have just had it with crime and anti social behavior.

I was in a neighborhood meeting where a community group got its ass kicked for not being resposive to the neighbors. The group does good work but residents are sick of sacrificing quality of life.

More people are working with the cops. Even the hard core anti community policing beat cops are seeing that the community is one of their best resources.

We still have a long way to go but seeing so many so fed up and engaged is heartening.

alicia banks said...

anon

re accents

ditto!

drawls have nothing to do with intelligence

ie

i adore george curry as a supreme intellectual and i miss emerge magazine daily as it was the very best black mag ever in america...and his southern accent makes him sexy

i am a linguist who speaks both french and ebonics fluently and i admire their lush and vivid artistic similarities...

but, this new garbled durty south gangsta thug bastardization of the english language is EXTREME and universal in all regions...and rap
music makes it culturally viral...
most kids and toxic parents today BUTCHER language and respect no literacy or fluency in general

as an educator of young children,
i am challenged by all of the pop stars whose cds and videos have replaced sesame street
ie
fiddy
fabolous
cash money boyz
etc...
it all actually DETERS from children learning to spell etc..

french scholars maintain a national official board that guards the integrity of formal french...we should do the same for english/ebonics etc

alicia banks said...

i adore languages
and
i am also a speech comm scholar

i live in the north and the south
and i am equally dejected by the death of formal speech in BOITH regions...


http://www.geocities.com/ambwww/EBONICS-1.htm

http://www.geocities.com/ambwww/EBONICS-2.htm

http://www.geocities.com/ambwww/EBONICS-3.htm

alicia banks said...

i adore languages
and
i am also a speech comm scholar

i live in the north and the south
and i am equally dejected by the death of formal speech in BOITH regions...


http://www.geocities.com/ambwww/EBONICS-1.htm

http://www.geocities.com/ambwww/EBONICS-2.htm

http://www.geocities.com/ambwww/EBONICS-3.htm

grinder said...

More people are working with the cops. Even the hard core anti community policing beat cops are seeing that the community is one of their best resources.

We still have a long way to go but seeing so many so fed up and engaged is heartening.


Let's hope that spirit will endure, because the ONLY WAY any of this will change is if the law-abiding majority can find a way to come together and say, in effect, "We have had enough. This ends right now, right here."

The police are going to screw it up from time to time. Some of those times will be heartbreaking. But when -- not if, but when -- those times come, that is when you meet the test.

Do you throw in the towel and revert to every old suspicion and complaint, no matter how well justified and understandable, or do you remember what got the community into this mess? Do you abandon your efforts, or do you pick yourselves up, dust yourselves off, and get the hell back in the game?

I have zero doubt that black people can take control of their communities and make things better. No doubt at all. But it won't be easy, and it won't be quick, and there will be stumbled, disappointments, and cruel setbacks along the way.

But I frankly don't see a whole lot of alternatives. It's your life, and at some level you have to decide how you will live it.

Anonymous said...

@Field, "And sorry, I thought "The Wire" was all that. Now I don't live in B-More, so I might be missing something. But I live in Philly, and the parallels were spooky."

Field, did you leave out a phrase or a couple of words in your first sentence?

Cliff said...

Michelle Obama real talk
http://www.examiner.com/x-19673-Michelle-Obama-Examiner~y2009m8d8-Is-Michelle-Obama-ugly

bugst said...

Anonymous said...

"Field, did you leave out a phrase or a couple of words in your first sentence?"

That's funny, Anon, I understood him perfectly.

field negro said...

Sorry Anon, let me correct that for you: I thought "The Wire" was a very good television show.

How was that? :)

Anonymous said...

@bugst: "That's funny, Anon, I understood him perfectly."

Good for you bugst, but I didn't.


@Field, thank you. Now I understand you perfectly.

beale street is talkin said...

To Field-- Minor correction to this line -"Black (specifically for this post - I’m referring to Americans) folk are very diverse - like any other race." i think you should be careful and drill this down further since there are 3 bodies of land in the Americas and all have an African presence. In other words, black folks in the northern portion and specifically those within the confines of the states un-united are NOT the only folks who can refer to themselves as "Black Americans". Oscar Peterson could use the descriptive as much as Pele, Ms. Susanna Baca or Walter Rodney.

Second, nobody should really care about Tyler Perry "cooning" or Bill Cosby doing the same thang to achieve some minor form of economic stability. It just means these folks like tenured professors or [clears throats, doctors and lawyers] have brought into the status quo systems of eurocentric economic measurement and feel compelled to participate within them rather than without.

you have to laugh at the amount of energy expended in the healthcare for all debate [Krackers on one side and Coons on the other] to realise that neither group is interested in the people per say as much as political posturing. if cuba, canada, france and uk can do it, why is there a problem doing it here? how do you expect to have economic growth and development if you dont have human capital in excellent health? the average worker [no matter whether white or blue collar] has been duped by their unions, government and politicians all dude to health maintenance organisations and the like.

O-man if you are listening here be the simple solution - nationalise Aetna, Blue Cross, Kaiser, PacificCare, HealthNet, etc. and make it mandatory that all health care professional graduating and licensed to practice will be government salaried employees for a period of five years renewable upon review of their previous practice dossier. VIOLA!

bugst said...

Anonymous said...
@bugst: "That's funny, Anon, I understood him perfectly."

Good for you bugst, but I didn't.

@Field, thank you. Now I understand you perfectly.

I know anon: I was just poking a little fun at you. I mean: I was having a little fun at your expense.

That was crude.

grinder said...

O-man if you are listening here be the simple solution - nationalise Aetna, Blue Cross, Kaiser, PacificCare, HealthNet, etc. and make it mandatory that all health care professional graduating and licensed to practice will be government salaried employees for a period of five years renewable upon review of their previous practice dossier. VIOLA!

Viola? I prefer the cello, myself.

Vérité Parlant is Nordette Adams said...

Tyler is an untrained writer doing what writers do. He's writing what he knows. He grew up in the 7th Ward of New Orleans. I did too, but I didn't have some of his more colorful characters in my life. So, even two black people from the same part of the same city can be very different.

As Perry's experience diversify so will his work. If it doesn't, then he cease to attain a higher level of success as an artist, but he may maintain his base until they get tired of repeats. Right now he writes very broad comedy and very broad drama. Neither medium is known for subtlety and grace.

If I had to critique him as a creative writer, I'd give him a B- because he goes for the obvious and melodrama. But I'd have to say people flock to his work because most people, black or why, like the obvious and melodrama, and most people still want a message. He gives a clear moral message in most of his work. Remember, he did start by appealing to a black, church-going crowd and that is still his primary audience.

Black people moved him to where he is. I think issues with Tyler Perry's work reflect the class divide in the black community more than anything else. It's really the same argument that crops up with why Urban Lit does better than Literary Fiction, why Hip Hop does better than Classical and Jazz music. And it's not an argument exclusive to the black community we just feel it more because more eyes are on us, expecting us to be Super Negroes.

We will truly be free when we are allowed to be as colorful, bodacious, insane, brilliant, ignorant, reserved, angry, dignified, raunchy, sexy or dowdy as anyone else in America and any criticism is based on behavior not on our ability or inability to live up or down to one expectation. It would be nice if we each aspired to be our best noble self, but most of us just want to make a living.

N.

Thrasher said...

I prefer Tyler Perry's movies over that tired 'Wire" bullshit of urban decay..

Reed was right about Simon..

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Anonymous said...

VP, apparently you do not have a definition of what cooning is:

"...Modern day coons are blacks who play stereotypical roles and black entertainers that promote ignorance.Cooning is someone is acting like a 'coon'."

Tyler movies fits that bill. His characters might be colorful, but they are colorful coons promoting ignorance, no education, and stupidity. I don't think Perry will grow at all. That's like expecting Michael Steele or Alan Keyes to completely transform themselves by same behaviors.

Anonymous said...

"It's impossible to be descendants of slaves, Jim Crow, and the continued target of racism to NOT be damaged. Racism alone has attacked our emotionnal well-being and human dignity."

You reak of self-pity. There are a lot of people who have suffered as much as African Americans- yet I see African Americans as being the least compassionate when it comes to other minorities.
More importantly the behaviors that black folks try and blame as steming from slavery and racism (such as crime and absent fathers) can be found in places slavery never happened. It can also be found amoung Africans living in non-western/non-european countries.
If it was simply slavery and the white man to blame these things would be absent where the white man and slavery is absent- but it's not.
One good example is the Obama's father reproduced like a rabbit, but unlike a rabbit never took care of his young. When black males do this the excuse of slavery is used to explain this behavior, with lack of education and poverty as secondary excuses. He was no decendent of slavery, was an Ivy League graduate, and NOT poor. More importantly, if you look at the reaction from people in Kenya very few seemed to think there was anything weird or shameful about a man who had 7 children with 4 different woman and didn't act as a father to them. Sorry, but in most of the world people would think this was pathetic. Kenyans seemed to think this was normal.

grinder said...

One good example is the Obama's father reproduced like a rabbit, but unlike a rabbit never took care of his young. When black males do this the excuse of slavery is used to explain this behavior, with lack of education and poverty as secondary excuses. He was no decendent of slavery, was an Ivy League graduate, and NOT poor. More importantly, if you look at the reaction from people in Kenya very few seemed to think there was anything weird or shameful about a man who had 7 children with 4 different woman and didn't act as a father to them. Sorry, but in most of the world people would think this was pathetic. Kenyans seemed to think this was normal.

Funny that you should talk about Obama's father without noting the life his son has led. Unlike the Republican he beat, Barack Obama was married once, and has a beautiful and obviously happy family. I bet that really stings your racist ass, doesn't it?

alicia banks said...

grinder:

obama's white mother raised obama solo...

how is that a positive reflection of his absent internationally philandering polygamist black dad?

Vérité Parlant is Nordette Adams said...

Excellent response, Grinder, to commentary from "anonymous," which roils with racist rage and anecdotal references to the vice of black folk as though whites have no sins. His/her commentary reflects the faulty logic of myopic vision and an insulated life. Furthermore, the poster's comments reveal ignorance of Africa's colonial history or willful dismissiveness, and I might add, blindness to the gist of many of the comments on this post declaring black people are not monolithic.

In reference to another response to your comment, while I certainly give credit to Obama's mother and how she lived her life, instilling her son with concern for the poor and outcast, the person peddling racist commentary which castigates the entire black community seems to believe that committing crimes or being a bad father is somehow inherent in black people; therefore, the commenter proposes nature is at fault rather than nurture, making how any black person was raised irrelevant. Indeed, anonymous might argue, if pressed, that it is Obama's "white" blood that made him the man he is today.

But should anyone like to consider black fathers and persist with anecdotal musing, then let's not exclude Michelle Obama's ordinary black daddy, a hard worker who did not abandon his family.

As is often the way of the racist, abusers see only what they wish to see, whatever flaws they feel justify their own abuser instincts and the social status quo that sustains them.

Really, if I'd stick to anecdotes and personal observation using examples like George W. Bush, tales from trailer parks, and the followers of Rush Limbaugh, I could make a good case for ... well, anything but brilliance.

One Hand Clapping said...

Vérité Parlant is Nordette Adams: "'Tyler Perry's work reflect the class divide in the black community more than anything else.'"

You're an excellent writer and I agree with most of what you've said, and I hope and pray that what we're seeing is nothing more than "class divide," and not a willingness, and need, to capitulate to the norms of the larger white society.

I'm just not that convinced that we've moved beyond the pathology of race sufficiently to set our own standards of propriety without, in measures small and large, acquiescing to external pressures to conform.

That's why I really like your following statement:

"We will truly be free when we are allowed to be as colorful, bodacious, insane, brilliant, ignorant, reserved, angry, dignified, raunchy, sexy or dowdy as anyone else in America and any criticism is based on behavior not on our ability or inability to live up or down to one expectation."

I hope that you'll continue to post here. It's good to hear a thoughtful voice--and there are others--among all the useless chatter.

grinder said...

grinder:

obama's white mother raised obama solo...

how is that a positive reflection of his absent internationally philandering polygamist black dad?


You have missed my point. Go back and read what I wrote. Exactly where did I ever defend Obama's father? Nowhere that I can see.

What I did was take Anon 5:29 to task for commenting exclusively on Obama's father without drawing the contrast between the ne'er-do-well father and the do-very-well son, and to do so in such a way that makes clecar Anon 5:29's racism.

alicia banks said...

grinder:

ok

i missed your point

please excuse my error

this is why i will always regard obama as bi-racial, not black

his solo white mother has earned her eternal inclusion in his reverence

peace
ab

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grinder said...

this is why i will always regard obama as bi-racial, not black

Race is as much culturally defined as anything. After all, the entire human population of the earth is likely descended from 3,000 East Africans who survived the after effects of a huge volcano that exploded in present-day Indonesia 75,000 years ago.

We've only had 3,750 generations as a species. Not really all that much history, in the larger scheme of things. Race is, in my opinion, a very shaky biological idea. To me, it's far more a matter of culture.

Is Obama black, biracial, or white? I didn't read his first book, but I understand this was a big theme of it. He felt like an outsider no matter where he was.

From my standpoint he's black. From your standpoint he's not black. Maybe this says more about me and more about you than it does about him.

alicia banks said...

grinder:

ditto

i define race as both a mental state and social construct

clearly obama is socially black

but as he has only escalated the white racist gwb's political agendas, he is politically white to me

his blackest political actions to date have been righteously bashing deadbeat black dads and defending the euro bill gates while blatantly ignoring sean bell and oscar grant etc ...these sporadic black moments are grossly insufficient and racist betrayals to me

grinder said...

as he has only escalated the white racist gwb's political agendas, he is politically white to me

Hey, I'd like Obama to be more to the left too, but I think it's a real stretch to accuse him of escalating Bush's agenda.

grinder said...

his blackest political actions to date have been righteously bashing deadbeat black dads and defending the euro bill gates while blatantly ignoring sean bell and oscar grant etc ...these sporadic black moments are grossly insufficient and racist betrayals to me

You're talking in shorthand here. Could you do the long division for me? Which is to say that I don't have any idea what you're talking about. Please explain.

grinder said...

By the way, to those who might still be looking at this thread, I made a point of watching a Tyler Perry show ("House of Payne") last night. I can understand why some black people wouldn't like it, but it didn't excite any racist impulses in me.

There were clown characters in it, which is what comedy is about. But there was a serious plot too. All in all, I thought it was okay. Minstreling was about complete clowning. There was nothing at all human about minstrels. Tyler Perry's stuff did not strike me that way. But I'll watch more, and see what I continue to think.

grinder said...

p.s.: By comparison to a tidal wave of lame-ass sitcoms with stock white characters, I'd say "House of Payne" is a little bit better than most. At least the episode I saw had some real content underneath the clowning, which is more than you can say for "Seinfeld" or "Frazier."

alicia banks said...

grinder:

that was a clear and complete sentence regarding obama's sinister and selective silences on REAL racism and public executions by police...as opposed to his fiasco re his euro pal gates

what was missed???

alicia banks said...

grinder:

obama ran as anti-war
and he has escalated wars

he ran as anti-rich
yet he has ONLY
bilked the poor of trillions to give to ceos who have used it to give bonuses etc

he promised to save homes
he has saved none
he has ONLY given bankers trillions ...bankers that are not lending and stashing their own coffers with said trillions

he promised specific changes to gays in the military and gay wedded duos...he has bailed on all of it...then dared to pal around with more and worse rabid gaybashers than gwb did...

he promised to integrate the real power players by race and gender in dc...instead used very few as window dressing while he stuffed his inner circle with neocons from gwb's regime/wall st etc...

see much much much more at OUTLOOK
http://aliciabanks.blogspot.com

http://www.alternet.org/politics/137011/got_a_hopeover_a_dictionary_for_disheartened_obama_fans/

http://advocate.com/issue_story_ektid102115.asp

alicia banks said...

grinder:


Truth is stranger than fiction. Reality is crueler than any film script. Batman is a heroic fantasy. But, politicos far more hellish than The Joker are real indeed!!!


Here is a cruel joke that is a ruthless reality: EVERY antic by George W. Bush that was so vehemently opposed by political rebels is now being cowardly accepted when duplicated and escalated by the blackish President Barack Obama/GWB 2.0!!!


Kudos to conscious rebels nationwide who dare to protest Obama’s incessant and increasingly fatal lies, war games, and financial genocides!!! They are plastering posters of Obama as The Joker while Obama is morbidly regentrifying our entire country as never before.


The elitists and their war mongering capitalist peers are playing global jokes with toxic punch lines that are swiftly decimating the middle class and destroying the poor each day. The fallout of Obama’s political jokes will slay the masses for decades.


Hypocritical Obama Nazis dare to protest this free speech by rebels who bravely see the real monstrous face of Obama, beneath his mythically heroic blackish mask. When blind fools awake, they will see that Obama is indeed a legendary joker politico. They will see that Bush joked us when he cloned Obama as a shady puppet to secure his third stolen and illegal term as president. And, they will find that we are all the doomed butts of these two political monsters’ dual global jokes.


See more on Obama as The Joker:


http://www.infowars.com/obama-as-joker-explained/


http://www.infowars.com/the-obama-opiate-crisis-deepens-crowds-cheer/


http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-hemet-foreclosure-evictions,0,6173635.story


http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090805/bs_nm/us_usa_housing_deutschebank


http://www.eurweb.com/printable.cfm?id=55133


http://thewiddershins.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/obamabush.jpg


http://www.sfbayview.com/2009/i%e2%80%99m-staying/


http://www.poormagazine.org/index.cfm?L1=news&story=2291&pg=1


http://www.poormagazine.org/index.cfm?L1=news&story=2302&pg=1


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuWB9Nhoypw


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXCssX_CQbw



See Obama’s mentor as his joker clone here:


http://www.vanityfair.com/online/politics/2008/07/bush-as-joker.html

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