Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The 12% Rule

I have a true confession to make: When it comes to movies I implement the 12% rule. Oh please don't act like you don't know what the 12% rule is. I bet the white people reading this know exactly what it is.
OK, for those of you who really don't know, I will tell you. See, it's like this: the 12% rule says you don't go to any event or function where black folks make up more than 12% of the people in the crowd.

For instance, if you go to a restaurant, and say 50% of the people there are black, you roll. If you go to a club and over 12% of the people there are black, you roll. If you go to a mall and over 12% of the people there are black, you roll. Get the picture? You always want to go to events where the status quo of the nation's general population is maintained.
So back to my movie issue: I love my people, I really do, and I never ever practice the 12% rule. Except, of course, when it comes to movies. Black people can we talk? Why the f^%* do you all talk so loud during movies? Seriously! If I drop 30$ to see a movie (I am adding the concessions in the mix.) I want to watch that bad boy in peace. I really don't want to hear your kids crying; your cell pones ringing; and exactly what you will be cooking for dinner when you get home.
I mean let's keep it 100% with each other. I read a book by Ralph Wiley back in the day called "Why Black People Tend To Shout", and the premise of the book was that we black folks shout because we are so frustrated, confused, and have so much pent up shit that we just can't help ourselves. Trust me, there are times in the middle of my day when I just want to throw down my brief case, stand on top of the "LOVE statue" in Center City, Philadelphia, and scream my damn head off. But if I am dropping some dollars to watch a movie, I just want to watch it in peace. I really don't need to hear people talking over the actors in the movie. That shit is not cool.
But I swear there is some deeper stuff going on here with you Negroes. I think it has to do with other pathologies and insecurities that we deal with as a people. (Maybe one of the brilliant posters here can explain it to me.) Like why in the middle of rush hour must we (black folks) have our car windows down and blast our shit out of our rides for the person in the next county to hear it? Or, why must we yell "SHANIKA" across three city blocks to our girlfriend when we see her? Hey that's why you have a cell phone, so that you can call Shanika instead of yelling at her across five city blocks. And speaking of cell phones; while riding on the train after a hard days work, I really don't need to hear every word of your conversation about how your day went at work. I mean really, can the shit just wait five minutes until you get off the train? (This one is not only for black folks. You white folks are horrible with this one as well.)
But black folks, I swear you all kill me with this need to be seen and heard sometimes. Honestly, the shit is not healthy. We need to do a deeper study of this phenomenon.
That kind of pathology hurts us in other ways as well. When we drop serious dollars on tricking out our rides so that we can ride around and be seen instead of investing into our homes, it's a problem. When we spend more money on our own clothes than proper food for our children, it's a problem. When we teach our kids that it's alright to act up in class and be the class clown instead of hitting their books, it's a problem.  And when we are so busy yelling and trying to be seen that we miss shit that we could be learning from, it's a problem.
So see folks, it's not just about me, Field, being pissed off because I have to implement the 12% rule around my own people at the movies. It's about us doing better overall as a race as well. It's about getting our priorities together, not trying to impress others, and learning that's it's not about whether we are seen or heard by other people. Rather, we should try to focus on loving ourselves for who we are without trying so hard to let everyone know that one of the 12% is in the room.


Anonymous said...

Amen! Especially to the issue about investing in our homes. I can't tell you how many people I know who drive around in shiny new Escalades, Lincolns, and 300's, yet their houses are fit to be condemned by the city. These are the same people who tell me I spent too much money on new windows, or how I wasted money on
landscaping because the house is in "the hood." As if people in the hood don't deserve to have nice looking houses.

I practice the 12% rule often, but I also practice the 1% rule. There has to be at least 1 other black person in an area for me to be comfortable. I don't like being the only black person in social settings. But if I had to choose between being the only black in the room and being there with a bunch of fools, I'd rather be the only one.

Anonymous said...

Violette, I feel you on EVERYTHING you said. Except that it does not really bother me to integrate a situation. If I am the "only one" so be it.

Field, you hit the proverbial nail on the head with this post. We as a people need to do more "behind the scenes" work than always trying to be the headliner act.

Anonymous said...

I feel you on the cars and stereo systems. I want to know why half the Black population under 30 isn't DEAF. WHen I can hear your stereo three cars ahead, IT'S TOO LOUD!

LMAO about the movie thing. I won't go to an opening night for movies around 'us' if you paid me five times over.

I don't get the cellphone thing either.

All that you wrote, I understand, FN. All that you talked about is INTERNAL reparations. And, if we took care of the INTERNAL reparations, then we'd be in a better position towards the EXTERNAL reparations.

Paul said...

I actually play my stereo loud for the benefit of other people... hoping to turn some people on to some good music.

Yeah, I'm an idiot, but at least my intentions are good!

-=Topper=- said...

I work in retail, have been for about eight years now in different places and have seen the gamut of different folks living up to their certain stereotypes. Like a Jewish individual trying to get me to lower the price on a laptop when I worked at OfficeMax. It took some will power to keep from laughing at him. He was throwing everything at me, including taking it over seas. No that doesn't effect the price. See the list price there? That is, what it is.

Now onto my observations of black people. How many black women end up in ER because they j-walked just one time to many, without looking? Whites are paranoid, we look twice.

Is it a dare? Oh no you didn't just hit me?

And the guy yelling for his girlfriend? Ok, you are onto the phone use thing. Before cell phones, every other phone booth down the city street had a brother in it. Ok, I may be exaggerating a bit. But not by much.

Now onto a more current happening. Testosterone levels in black men. Two guys were in my lane at my current job, a grocery store. Carrying on, on how beautiful Rachel Ray is and so on and hitting on the women I had in the lane. Granted they had tipped a few, but what is up with that?

Being loud and obnoxious. It was in short order demonstrated that they were not alone on this Friday night in the hormone problem department.

Would I have been wrong asking the guys to tone it down, expressing the need that they are not being beneficial to blacks?

That so much is true I guess. But then again I have had whites do the same damn thing. And even as obnoxious. But there is a status quo and stereotype that needs to be risen above.

The brothers should know this, especially being of the minority in a group where the center of attention is having trouble with his register and credit card reader. They were two blacks out of six people that were not helping the situation at all.


Dangerfield said...

Field thank you very much these are the pathologies that I scream about.

Field I have believed for a while now that part of this problem is that black people as a race are not balanced. Meaning if your going to play video games all night long instead of listening to rap, through on an audio book while your playing nmadden 2006.

I have known brothers with over 5 kids, not doing anything for those kids and when they get thier hands on some loot they buy tennis shoes.

Proper balance will allow us to understand that we dont live in this world by ourselves and so we must respect ourselves and others by not intruding into the space of others on the train, movies, ect.

Field you are correct at this point we are so imbalanced and insecure that we think its important to be seen wearing spiffy clothing as opposed to saving that money for a house or our childrens education.

On a practical level when we behave in such manners all we do is feed the stereotype that blacks are loud and obnoxious.

Great post fied I cant want until the apologist start commenting and blaming white supremacy for these retarded behavioral issues.

This issue by the way is also related to the truancy issue going on in philly.

Unknown said...

This post reminded me of some fools who basically hijacked the bus late Sunday afternoon.

Everyone rides this bus line (S2 to Silver Spring Station). Immigrants from from all over South and Central America, Ethiopia, Eastern Europe, as well as the young, seniors, men, women, black, and white.

These "bruthas" - all grown men over the age of 30 - engaged in a barbershop shouting match about "NIGGAS" in general; about "MUHTHAFUCKAS who try to block a NIGGA from getting some P*SSY"; "dis Jamaican muhthafucka who whipped a nigga's ass while he was on the toliet..."

You get the picture, right?

Needless to say, you could hear a pin drop on the bus. Everyone was locked in to this bufoonery. I actually glanced over once at a guy immediately after he yelled "dat MUHTHFUCKIN' nigga..." over my head, gave him "the look" but dude didn't get it. In fact, he seemed more egged on by the attention. ::: eye roll :::

These were grown men who in all liklihood are fathers (not sure about heads of household part; I seriously doubt it). Each was old enough to know better.

Later over dinner, I talked to a friend - a righteous brother - about what happened. He said that black folks have to simply write-off these folks and focus instead on helping their children the best way we can. I think he's right.

Next time I see this, I think I'll just politely get off the bus and take the next one.

(Let me say for the record that my point is not to bash black men. These "brothas"could have easily been a group of ignornant "sistahs" hooping and hollering with their children in tow also).

Forgiven said...

This post ties directly into the last post. It is about identification and allowing others to define who you are. If I accept the definition of others then my behavior will reflect that definition, positively or negatively. If I accept that I am a n***a, then my behavior will reflect that and all the negative connotations that go along with that. I am going to be the best n***a I can be. It's all about focus; example: If I get a bunch of bills in the mail and I say to myself, "Man all I get is bills", guess what all I am going to get is more bills, because that is where my focus is, even if I say I hate getting bills it doesn't matter.There is a spiritual truth that was spoken over 2,000 years ago, it says that as a man sows, so shall he reap. It was true then and it is still true today.

There was a time when the ghetto was a destination now it has become a lifestyle. It is cool to show just how ghetto you can be. I didn't get the memo, but when did being ghetto become passe. It wasn't always this way. There was a time when Black folks use to strive to get out of that mindset and that destination, but no more. For more on this subject pleasecheck out this link. It is to an author that wrote a book entitled "Ghetto Nation".

I hate the summer, because I know that whenever I leave the house I am going to be bombarded with all this loud ass gangsta rap crap. I mean if you want to pollute your mind with this garbage, I don't have a problem that's on you, but why do I have to be held hostage to it. It is the height of arrogance to believe that it is my duty to enlighten the world to "good music",, just because it is what I listen to. This applies not only to "gangsta rap", but any form of music. I have heard people blasting gospel music thinking that because it is gospel they are allowed. No, it is still the same principle. New Rule: Let all hostages go!

Until we stop identifying with the roles or definitions of others, we will always be enslaved. Slavery is not a physical bond only, it is more of a mental one. You can hold down my body, but no one can enslave my mind but me.

dc_speaks said...

go head on, Field. Talk about it. I constantly have to check the younger people around me for doing the same stuff.

It's not just riding with the windows down anymore, the fools actually ride down the street with the doors open so the speakers in the doors can be heard too.

Excellent post.

Oh and if Shanika is across the street, go cross the street and talk to her ass if you feel it's that important.

Cluizel said...

Oh thank you for this post. I was waiting for the train into Manhattan Saturday...just standing quietly on the train station reading a book. See some black people..and I love my people...but I could tell they were "different" Train approaches...the ring leader screams at the TOP of her lung..."SHAQUITA...THE TRAIN IS COMIN! HURRY UP! HURRY UP!"

And yes...I walked away and got on a different section of the train. lol. I felt really bad at first...but thanks for the post and the comments...I'm over it now. :)

Unknown said...


I'd like to add a couple points to my original response.

First, the fact that the bus was full of "mixed company" when that conversation took place is beside the point. It would have been just as wrong if the bus were full of black passengers.

That type of conversation had no business in ANY public space, period!

Second,the role model responsibility that many of us - myself included - often feel pressured to assume in the face of such bufoonery should be for the benefit of our young people.

It is NOT about making people outside the race comfortable with who we are as blacks. Don't feed that nonsense at all. The racists (from all over the world) know more about our economic and social diversity than we realize. efinitely a lot more than they care to acknowlege. It simply works in their favor to ignore it.

It's about us walking with pride for no one but ourselves and the proud brothers and sisters who paved the way for us.

Dangerfield said...

" It's about us walking with pride for no one but ourselves and the proud brothers and sisters who paved the way for us."

mark bey: I holds with this statement completely.

west coast story said...

FN: Thank you for this topic. And I love everyone who responded. Could we have a group hug? Special thanks to forgiven for mentioning "Ghettonation" by Cora Daniels. I'm reading it now and it strikes a chord on nearly every riff. It's funny and it's really quite sad.

I too hate summer. Auto boom boxes, kids shrieking all night long, adults hollering all night long, I just hate it.

Last night the boom boxes were screaming by until 11PM. Thanks for the reminder to call the police for an enfrocement on my street. Along with the boomers, we have people speeding up the wrong side of the street with the screaming loud music.

I don't go to movies anymore. It's not just black people who ruin it but I have to say that black people in a movie theater is not a pretty sight. I think every comedian dead or alive has done a bit about us at the movies.

When you were young, didn't your parents ever tell you you were being too loud? My grandmother would call me in the house and literally hiss at me that she could hear my mouth "above all the others." Is it genetic? Have black people never heard of "indoor voices." Heck, we could use "outdoor voices." You can hear Keisha shrieking for Shaniqua two blocks away. We seem to only communicate in "stadium voices."

My favorite place to go is a "serious" jazz club where you get dirty looks and shushed for clinking your glass too loud. I don't pays my monaaaay to hear someone's big mouth.

Black people have a special form of ADD. We don't get enough attention so we do everything possible to get more. This morning on the train, this young fool had his Ipod on so loud everyone was looking at him like he was insane. He LOVED the attention. Karma will have that kid with no hearing when he hits 40.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Field, you are preaching to the choir. With the movie issue, I tend to go to movies that feature political themes in the plot (i. e. "Syriana") and movies like that tend not to attract some of our people, and I go with other like-minded Black people who are political junkies as well. After the movie, we go to the neighborhood Starbucks or BusBoys and Poets and discuss the movie, as well as confound white people that we can discuss politics in coherent fashion.

My roomie and I went to see "Last Holiday" with Queen Latifah and I wished you'd told me about that 12% rule - ghetto-fabulous was all in the movie theater (in Union Station here in DC, mind you) and even though they show the trailer announcement telling you to turn off your friggin' cell phone, shut up Bebe's kids and be quiet through the movie, why won't our people obey the rules?

A bourgeosie couple from Upper Marlboro made the mistake of actually calling in security to throw out girlfriend who wouldn't get off her damned cell because she was giving her girl a running commentary on the movie (guess homegirl too cheap to pay the matinee fee). Cell phone got loud and yelled, "I want a piece of the snitch-bitch; I'll show ya ass about dropping dime!" as she exited the theater(while screaming for a refund because she didn't get to finish watching the movie.

Lord if girlfriend wasn't outside the theater harassing people about who dropped dime to get her ass kicked out. My roomie and I glared at her with warning lights going off - girlfriend stepped to the people behind us, LOL.

And don't get me started on those who use cell phone while riding public transporation, and it's not just us; it's any fool that's hooked up with a Cingular account. Many of the conversations are personal (I don't need to know how many times your man made you orgasm, while others might be trying to get info to hook up with dude himself, LOL). Can't those conversations wait until you get home?

I saw a chick get kicked off Metro for that - she was trying out her ringtones, and when asked to stop, everyone on the car got cussed out until the Metro police was at the next station waiting to escort her ass off the train.

Sorry for the rant, and I will bear your 12% rule in mind.

Anonymous said...

I swear I am reading some of these real life experiences, and maybe I am wrong to even go the movies when the REAL movie is going on every day right before my very eyes.

Like WTF? Some of these stories.....these folks in you-all's cities are even worse than my "cousins" here in Philly.

It's time for some gut checking among our peeps!

We need to start calling out these fools before they bring us all down:)

Seriously, I wrote this post in half jest, but this sh** is not funny.

Let the choir say Amen!

The Fabulous Kitty Glendower said...

Cell phone got loud and yelled, "I want a piece of the snitch-bitch; I'll show ya ass about dropping dime!" as she exited the theater(while screaming for a refund because she didn't get to finish watching the movie.


Where I live now I hardly ever see anyone black cutting up. However, my husband claims there are a few men in the barbershop who have conversations on their cell phone all loud pretending to hang out with movie stars and football players.

My latest incident was a white man. His smug look, his countenance, everything about him pissed me off. Even the woman he was with left a chair between the two. I took my daughter to see Shrek III Monday afternoon. There were no more than twenty people in the theatre. There were a total of four, FOUR announcements telling people to turn off their cell phones. Not asking, telling. This bastard’s phone rang twice throughout the movie, twice he answered, and twice he talked. I could not take it anymore. I threw five red hots at him at five-minute intervals. He kept looking back and I just watched the screen as he looked around. I wanted him to accuse somebody, I really did.

The Fabulous Kitty Glendower said...

OT but I cannot stop laughing at the above. Wiki has some of the funniest stuff:

It is used as a verb in a similar manner in phrases such as "Someone dimed me out and I got arrested."

The term comes from the era when informants used public payphones that cost a dime to make a call to the authorities. In order to make a call they had to drop a dime in the coin slot.

This is closely related to the idiomatic use of the action words "drop a dime" that substitutes for the verb inform. In the Run-D.M.C. song "Rock Box" on the 1984 album Run-D.M.C. the following lyrics demonstrate its use as a noun.

[Run] We don't drop dimes
[DMC] and we don't do crimes[4]
The line translates to we aren't informants and we aren't criminals. At one time enforcement officials would tell their tipsters "If you have any information please drop us a dime."

More recently, A Global Threat's "Not A Dime To Drop" from the 2006 album, Where The Sun Never Sets the lyrics lament the fact that they have no defense and no one else to turn in.

No defense and not a dime to drop
Can't pick up a phone and call off the cops[5]

Anonymous said...


seriously man...as i read this post i swear it sounds like the words are coming out of my own mouth(not necessarily about the 12% rule, but about the movies and cell phones and all the other bullshit)..the only reason I haven't posted about this myself is because its too frustrating and the post probably would never end - that and the fact that the folks next door won't turn their music down long enough for me to concentrate(gospel music at that)..On my train ride home it is amazing to watch all the black folks in unison whipping out their cell phones as soon as the train start making outdoor stops, to talk loud about absolutely nothing..its hard sometimes not to feel like there are very few of us that have any sense at all..(did I say that last part out loud??)

west coast story said...

The last time I went to a movie where I live, sister, with her boyfriend, took a phone call in the movie. She didnt' go outside, she went to the little hallway that leads out of the theater and started to shriek away on the phone. I complained and got two tickets from management. That was almost three years ago. I still have the tickets in my wallet. I joke that you can't pay me to go to the movies. Except in LA. There's a theater in Culver City that is very nice and people are really quiet. Not many black folks. Sad.

By the way, some study revealed that 25% all of public cell phone conversations are fake. Meaining, there is no one on the other end of the line.

Francis Holland said...

Field Negro, I am SO glad you brought this up! To me, you are talking about how you actually respond (behave) when you see (perceive) that there are more than 12% Black people, and then you have ideation and emotion that is aroused by the perception of other people's skin color which, in this case, just happens to be the same color (more or less) as your own skin color. This is called Skin-color Aroused Emotion, Ideation and Behavior. In your case - assessing the severity of your emotions, ideation and behavior in response to perceiving skin color - I would NEVER call this a disorder, because it doesn't meet the standard definition of a disorder. Your emotional, ideational and behavioral responses are NOT sufficient to severely impair you in one or more areas of life. (That's the definition that the American Psychiatric Association (APA)uses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the APA (DSM-IV) and that's the definition that would be applied if you applied for Social Security Disability Insurance and told them that you were suffering from Extreme Color Aroused Disorder and you were afraid that if you continued working that you would end up shooting your co-workers.

Unfortunately, even if you clearly stated that you were afraid of shooting your coworkers, aroused by their color, that might not be evaluated as a psychiatric disorder because "racism is a sociological problem, not a mental problem." So, go ahead and shoot your co-workers because they're Black or because they're white or because you're white! Psychiatry will be glad to look the other way and consider you to be "normal" because it is "normal" to hate people because of their skin-color.

(Now, I'm exaggerating here, because, with the leadership of Dr. Carl C. Bell, the APA has just come out with a revolutionary position paper that acknowledges that being aroused to dysfunction by others' skin color IS consider by SOME psychiatrists to be worthy of study to determine WHETHER it might very well be a psychiatric problem.

"Is "Racism" A Psychiatric Condition?"

As I said, since you interact are able to interact with people of various skin colors without experiencing SEVERE impairment of your functioning skills due to arousal of your emotions and ideation in reaction to the perception of yours or others' skin color, therefor I would say that you do not have EXTREME color-aroused emotion, ideation and behavior disorder (which some refer to inexactly as "racism"). But you may still have "mild" or "moderate" symptoms that you are talking to us about in the hopes of finding the best way to live in the United States of America, among people of various different skin colors.

Society is changing rapidly, for better and worse, and it is natural that we have emotions associated with skin color. The question is the severity and quality of these thoughts and emotions and whether they lead to behavior that impairs us in one or more areas of our lives.

Even if the emotions don't impair you, they can make you stop and think sometimes. What effect does it have on the Black communities economic life when our most affluent professionals don't want to congregate with other Black people in commercial settings. In that case, aren't our feelings and ideation about color becoming manifest in behavior that could dissuade us from spending our dollars in the Black community? This is BOTH a sociological problem at the level of our community that can NEVER be successfully addressed without also looking at is as a psychiatric issue at the level of individuals. That's why I've developed the Color-Aroused Emotion, Ideation and Behavior (CEIBD) analysis, to help us out with this.

The following discussion took place at my blog between me and a white reader in response to an article at my blog entitled "Is "Racism" A Psychiatric Condition?". I paste this in here because it helps to focus on the doctrinal differences between the "Racism" theory, as I understand it, and Extreme Color Arousal theory, each of which I think are important, but each of which offer different advantages sociologically , scientifically and psychiatrically.

I think I am learning that doctrinally "racism" is both a theory of the psychiatry of whites' color-aroused emotion, ideation and behavior and also a sociological construct. (Hat Tip to Exodus Mentality for helping to clarify this.) I agree with the "racism" doctrine that says that, because of our distinct positions in society and because of our distinct demographics relative to skin color and future demographic trends, it is impossible for Blacks to have "the same" genesis of ideation and emotion and behavior that whites have.

However, I think the Extreme Color Arousal analysis is am important adjunct because it is evident that Blacks CAN have "mild," "moderate" and "extreme" emotion, ideation and behavior aroused by skin color of ourselves and others. This is where it is very important to distinguish between theories of societal racism and theories of individual color arousal and its effects on ourselves and others.

More and more, Blacks are finding that resolving our own problem requires looking inward as well as outward, identifying the inappropriate color-aroused behavior of Imus and also the inappropriate color-aroused behavior of some relatively few, but hardly all, Black rappers.

That's where I think we need an adjunct analysis to the traditional doctrine of "racism" theory, as well as a new name for "racism" theory, without abandoning the theory itself. In so I paste in the following.

Anne said...

Well said. I would like to suggest that black people lead the way and seek help if appropriate (for their own ECA symptoms, or to cope with being a victim of someone else's ECA) not -if- white people do so, but -whether or not- white people do.

I wonder what would happen if people who are already in counseling began insisting that their therapists/doctors consider Dr. Bell's work, right now.

One more thing. I have heard a very few black people saying or implying that black people can not have feelings of prejudice because blacks are always the victims. That's patently untrue. Barack Obama for example is considered by some to be not black enough, although he has done much to help the black community. Isn't that color-related prejudice? And how about Hispanics? I myself have heard a black man threaten one of my Hispanic relatives. It happens.
May 23, 2007 11:53 AM

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

@Anne:According to the traditional doctrine of "racism" studies, Blacks cannot be racism because (1) Racism is a manifestation of one's position in society, e.g. that one is part of a group that has recessive melanin genes and is rapidly becoming a minority and therefore one is full of fear and dread, and (2) people who are not white lack the power to exert themselves "racistly" in a meaningful way.

That's an ideological definition, based on a sociological definition. I see a lot of logic to that definition as a sociological and anthropological definition.

The problem is that the above definition is merely a sociological definition that may encourage us to ignore other important facts that assert themselves daily in the field of psychiatry and even sociology.

On the level of individual feeling and thoughts, Black people obviously have a lot of thoughts and feelings about color. It would be ridiculous to assert that we have lived in the United States for 400 years, first as slaves, and yet we have no thoughts and feelings about color. The question is whether in Blacks as well as whites, it is possible for our thoughts and feelings to become extreme and become manifested in behaviors that hurt our own interests?

Field Negro observes that Black people are killing each other at an enormous rate in Philadelphia and behaving in ways that make us seem "crazy." If we put aside for a moment the sociological definition of "racism" and analyze this under MY psychiatric defition, Extreme Color-Aroused Emotion, Ideation and Behavior Disorder, it becomes entirely possible doctrinally that the emotions and ideation that Black people in Philadelphia about skin-color - their own and that of whites and even Latinos - are leading to extreme behaviors that hurt Blacks' interests.

The price of ignoring this psychiatric perspective is that conditions such as this spiral out of control and we lack the conceptual, diagnostic and treatment tools and mechanisms to help the people who are most affected.

We (Black people) have made a perhaps wise political choice to insist that "Blacks can't be "racist," which may be true sociologically, but that doesn't mean that Blacks cannot suffer from extreme arousal of emotions and ideation associated with our own and/or others' skin color.

You suggested that if whites will not acknowledge their extreme color arousal then Blacks should do so independently. Again, this brings up issues of power relationships in society. Although we have the power to acknowledge when we have feeling, thoughts and behaviors aroused by color, we lack the power to authorize insurance reimbursement for professional diagnosis and treatment. We lack the power to institute specialized courses in psychiatry that would teach psychiatrists to recognize and treat extreme color aroused emotions, thoughts and feelings in whites, Blacks and others.

And so, while it is necessary for us to scientifically study the problem and develop our own analysis, as I am doing, it is we lack access to many of the the societal mechanisms to address the problem educationally and clinically, and that comes back to "racism." Unfortunately, Blacks lack access to appropriate psychiatric and medical treatment in the United States to a much higher degree than whites. That's why our infant mortality rate is almost 18% in the US south white whites infant mortality rate is 6.9%.

Whites, too, have to be a part of the solution.

Forgiven said...

Thank you Francis for that long winded explanation, but what if the thing feared is real? What we are discussing here is factual, anecdotal evidence of how certain people behave in a given environment. I would hardly say that that qualifies for your new age psycho babble. People react to their stimulus based on their perception of themselves and any past experiences that correspond. What you are discussing is if there is no past experience and a person is just reacting based entirely on the color of an individual.

The people posting here are basing their reactions on the behavior of those they are encountering, not because of their color, but because their behavior is rude.

Unfortunately, what has happened is that after decades of accepting and reinforcing the definition of n****as, we are displaying those characteristics. Because of the legacy we have been pursuing of racially based reactions, many of the current generation have decided that since I am perceived a certain way then I will respond in that way. It is almost like who can be the most n*****ish of all. The blame though lies in our not pursuing another tact in our civil rights struggle. We should have pursued a more self enrichment program, instead of an "entitlement" mentality. Looking for the enslaver to come to his senses and repent...

Anonymous said...

I'm new to your blog but have been quietly reading it for a few weeks. When I saw this post I had to speak up. I went to see Spider-man 3 on 42nd street AMC Theaters in Times Square the other day. I like to see movies when they open just to support the bottom line. My mistake. I sat next to a brotha in a NY Yankees fitted who plugged his phone in to the electrical outlet by the steps to charge it. Everytime it rang he was getting up to answer it. I just moved, I was so threw with him. Why? Why? Why MUST we act so NEGRODIAN?

Francis Holland said...

Mark said, "Field you are correct at this point we are so imbalanced and insecure that we think its important to be seen wearing spiffy clothing as opposed to saving that money for a house or our children's education."

I agree that some of us are really struggling emotionally in a way that is directly related to our experience of being Black in America. The ideological and doctrinal belief that Blacks "can't be racist" has led us to the absurd belief that Blacks can't have emotions, ideation and behavior associated with skin color.

Of course we can! That's what this whole discussion is about. Due to our position in society and our historical role in America, we obviously have different reasons for having these feelings and emotions and we manifest them in different ways. But how could we live in America for four hundred years and NOT have feelings about skin color, including about our skin color group and others'?

I was about 19 years old when I realized that I had Extreme Color-Aroused Emotion, Ideation and Behavior Disorder. I was standing in a Dunkin Doughnuts when a Black man whom I did not know at all suddenly walked in. (Note the word suddenly, as if that would be strange is a Dunkin Donuts.) And all of a sudden I felt uncomfortable, as if I were about to be attacked.

I wasn't afraid that I would be attacked physically. I was afraid that I would be attacked emotionally, verbally, for being the kind of Black man I am. I read, I write, I'm sensitive, I have no rap, I wear funny clothes that I buy as inexpensively as possible. I was sitting at McDonald's studying for a college course with my books on the counter . And just seeing another Black man aroused me to be afraid that I would have to defend my kind of Black personhood. Could that insecurity make me avoid Black people in general? It did. Did I get over it? Yes, I did. Would I like to help others get over it before they have to decide whether to be "down" or, on the other hand, whether to be financially and academically successful? Yes, I would like to help Black people get over this.

But the price of even beginning to work on this is that Blacks are going to have to acknowledge that we CAN be and ARE color-aroused, often by seeing people with our own skin-color. The doctrinal "racism studies" position that holds Blacks harmless in this (says we're never guilty of discrimination) keeps of from acknowledging the ways in which our own reactions to skin-color arousal - what we think and what we see when we perceive the skin color of another - including when we see whites and when we see other Blacks - is a very legitimate and necessary area for our own attention.

We have to get over the fear that whites will use against us what they learn from our introspection. We're killing each other and going to jail at tremendous rates, as Field often points out, and introspection is the least of our worries.

Some are worried that whites will exaggerate our symptoms and discredit us if we acknowledge that we are aroused to ideation and behaviors by our perception of skin-color. Is that fear really our most pressing issue. Isn't the fact that we are killing each other because we don't value people with Black skin more important than what whites will say and do (ridicule us) when we acknowledge that this is true?

If I went to a psychiatrist today and admitted that I felt fear when I saw another Black person walk into Dunkin Doughnuts, the psychiatrist would either say, I was paranoid (misdiagnosis) or he would quietly think to himself that ALL Black people are dangerous. Neither of these alternatives would help me to deal with the problem.

What I would need is a psychiatrist who recognizes that, as a result of 400 years of history in the United States, people do have realistic and unrealistic ideation and fears about other people, aroused by skin-color, and we need help to sort out these feelings and thoughts and to avoid acting out on them in dysfunctional and self-destructive ways. This is the field of Color-Arousal.

Now let me say why the word "race" is not useful here. Race assumes that all people of one "race" are the same color. Therefore, you would naturally expect that all reactions to people of that race, regardless of whether they were vanilla-colired or jet black colored, would be the same reactions, regardless of skin-tone. Because regardless of color, they're all of the same "race", right?

Is this science or ideology? Do Black people really relate to other Black people in the same way regardless of skin color (beige vs. jet black), because we are all of the same "race"? Of course not! And so, as soon as you admit the word "race" into a scientific discussion of how people behave in reaction to skin color, you have forfeited any and all possibility of studying and understanding, based on actual observation, the ways that people actually behave in real life.

When you study a phobia to bumble bees, the color of the bumble bee might be relevant, mightn't it. Isn't it just POSSIBLE that a person could have a greater phobia to large yellow bees than to little Black ones? But, as you as you say, "It doesn't matter because they're all of the same bee 'race' ," then you have forfeited any claim to being a scientist and you have become an unscientific hack.

It's time to acknowledge that the word "race" INTENTIONALLY frustrates scientific understanding. The word was invented to make a clear distinction between those whose skin is white and those whose skin is any other color. To prevent the Black slave class from integrating and becoming part of white society - even the light-skinned children of the relationships between slave masters and Black women - they created the FICTION that the child of a white person and a Black person was ALL BLACK!

Don't people hybridize apples and oranges to create a new kind of fruit? So how can it be true that the mixture of whites and Blacks creates a Black person who is identical genetically to his Black parent? It's absurd as a matter of science!

Any investigation or discussion based on fallacies will become a fallacy. Garbage in, garbage out. It's fine to talk about "race" as a doctrinal and ideological concept. But as soon as we bring that word into descriptive discussions of how people behave, we will miss the subtleties that are the foundation of science just as surely as someone who cannot tell the difference between a big dog and a little dog ought not be a veterinarian.

So, we really have to choose. Are we "race theorists" who will ignore the rudiments of scientific precision even as we try to study human emotions, ideation and behavior. Or are we scientist who will observe and theories based on what we actually see with our own eyes? Do we take the theory and doctrine of "race" -both those developed by white supremacists and those developed as a reaction to white supremacists - and try to make the facts fit the race doctrine?

Or do we need, as Black thinkers, to be free to observe what actually exists in science and then develop strategies to deal with the universe as we actually find it?

I've already made my decision. There is - as a scientific matter - no such thing as a Black "race" that includes even all of the children of white and Black unions. It may be "true" doctrinally within the fields of sociology and anthropology, but I refuse to make such scientifically illogical propositions my starting point in trying to understand and describe the universe scientifically.

As soon as ALL Black men ignore the difference between beige and jet Black in choosing a sexual partner or a mate, then I will admit the possibility of studying human behavior while using as a starting point the proposition that "we are all just 'the Black race.' " It may be true for the purposes of of the doctrine of "racism theory", but it certainly is patently false in the study genetics and in the study of human behavior.

So, if you want to study and describe what happens with Black people, with an eye to developing new diagnostic tools and therapies, then you have to first abandon illogical, undescriptive and unscientific concepts of race. Otherwise, you might just as well see a doctor whose thermometer is based on the rotation of the moon instead of the temperature within your body.

Francis Holland said...

ForgivenI agree with everything you said, including your assertion that my description is long-winded, but I do NOT agree that is it "psychobabble."

I think I said that it would be impossible for Blacks and whites, after living for 400 years together in a situation that started with them enslaving us, and not have feeling and ideation about that. That is what everyone is discussing here. The feelings and thoughts that arise in the oppressed in the context of 400 year of oppression. I'm not the first to write a long treatise about this.

"Frantz Fanon

The Algerian political theorist Frantz Fanon (1925-1961) analyzed the nature of racism and colonialism and developed a theory of violent anticolonialist struggle.

Frantz Fanon was born in the French colony of Martinique. He volunteered for the French army during World War II, and then, after being released from military service, he went to France, where he studied medicine and psychiatry from 1945 to 1950. In 1953 he was appointed head of the psychiatric department of a government hospital in Algeria, then a French territory. As a black man searching for his own identity in a white colonial culture, he experienced racism; as a psychiatrist, he studied the dynamics of racism and its effects on the individual.

In his first book, Black Skin, White Masks (1952), Fanon examined the social and psychological processes by which the white colonizers alienated the black natives from any indigenous black culture; he showed that blacks were made to feel inferior because of their color and thus strove to emulate white culture and society. Fanon hoped that the old myths of superiority would be abandoned so that a real equality and integration could be achieved." Answers.Com

I didn't know that Franz Fanon was a psychiatrist, but I find it very interesting that both he and Francis Cress were psychiatrists. If these two foundational thinkers in Black revolution were psychiatrists, then why have we become so afraid to develop tools of psychiatry to work ourselves out of our current predicament? Certainly our problems are also societal in nature but, like Franz Fanon, everyone here at Field Negro Blog is discussing the behavior, ideation and emotion on individuals Blacks, their own and that of others.

So, I refuse to apologize for following in the footsteps of Franz Fanon by thinking about this problem psychiatrically. In fact, I think that is what we have refused to do and what we need to do. Franz Fanon studied and wrote about oppressed Black people in the colonies of France, and about the psychology of their oppressors. I study and write about the emotions, ideation and behavior of oppressed Black people within the "colonies" inside the United States, as well as about the emotions, ideation and behavior of whites that constitutes this oppression. Like Franz Fanon, I have also really that we oppressed Blacks are oppressing each other in some important ways that are being discussed here, today.

Francis Holland said...

Ooops, Forgiven: I said that I agreed with most everything you said, but there is a big exception. I hate the word, "entitlement mentality." Blacks built America in Colonial times and contributed mightily ever since. NOTHING could demonstrate more of an "entitlement mentality" than enslaving millions of Black people and insisting on receiving the fruits of their labor for free. Didn't whites show an "entitlement mentality" by doing that?

Every country of Europe has national health care. Is it an "entitlement mentality" to say that the United States should have the same thing that Europeans have?

The phrase "entitlement mentality" is an example of how Republicans have created new linguistic tools to push their advantage at every turn, demonizing us and our legitimate desires. If the Republicans invent a new phrase each week to define and demean us, like "entitlement mentality (?)," then why, after fifty years of using the term "racism" have we not invented any more searing and damning analysis of what the problem is and what should be done about it?

"Racism" is literally insane. Francis Cress said it and Franz Fanon said it. Unfortunately, we have refused to discuss this insanity in terms of its particular ideation, emotion and behavior while relating these to the overall disorder from which the individual suffers. The logical next step if we agree that people have a psychiatric illness is to insist that they seek psychiatric treatment. Did anyone seriously suggest to Imus' employer that Imus should be compelled to seek psychiatric treatment for his illness? No. We were content to use the word "racism" without taking the opportunity to compel America to face the psychiatric implications of the word. And so the word as become a vessel that is devoid of the contents passed on to us by Franz Fanon and Francis Cress.

We have dropped the ball that was passed to us by Cress and Fanon, and it really reflects a kind of anti-intellectual laziness.

No one promised us that the linguistic battle against "racism" would be easy, or that a one-word description of the problem would fit all circumstances for the foreseeable future.

The way to insist that whites are "racist" is to demand that they seek psychiatric care when they show clinical signs of "racism." That will require that we actually know what the clinical signs are and that we are able to describe them with specificity.

It is not by coincidence that both Franz Fanon and Francis Cress were psychiatrists. We too often use the term "racism" that is the fruits of their analysis white rejecting the PROCESS of analysis that gave birth to the word "racism."

Forgiven said...

A rose is a rose by any other name. I am not advocating race or racism, my view is that we must not be defined by others by race, class, or anything else. We must get to the place where we define ourselves, where we define how are success is measured. It is that lack of self definition that caused you so much discomfort growing up, you let the blacks around you define who you were suppose to be...

While it is important to have knowledge of scholars, it is more important to have knowledge of self.

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic - John F. Kennedy
The Disputed Truth

Francis Holland said...

Forgiven, Sometimes, it is precisely the knowledge of scholars that helps us to have the knowledge of self. Otherwise, why do we read the writings of Malcolm X, if not to better understand ourselves and our position in America? It is anti-intellectual to deny the usefulness of scholarly thought in the process of self-definition.

You say that a "rose by any other name is still a rose" and so names don't matter. If so, then why did we insist on not being called the "N" word? That was the name by which white people knew us, just like "race" is the name by which they know our group. So, if names don't matter than why not accept being referred to as the "N" word?

"The white "race" and the Black "race"!" That's the terminology of white supremacists AND it's unscientific, AND it doesn't describe what actually exists biologically! So, why should I accept that definition as my own?

I KNOW that we are a political force defined by our color. That's why I'm constantly recruiting other Blacks to join and build the Afrosphere! You don't have to tell me that or argue with me about that, because we are already in agreement!

But, names matter A LOT!

As someone very intelligent (either Field or Exodus Mentality) said today, "slave" is the word by which whites referred to many of us for hundreds of years. When we no longer held that status, wasn't it also necessary to lose the name? Even though we were still the same people inside?

They also called us "boy" and "son." When we insisted that those names demeaned us, we were not arguing about the content of the person, which would in any case stay the same. But, we were arguing that the names that we accept for ourselves both denote AND define our situation in society. They also reflect and constitute our self-definition. That's why we argued over whether we should be called "Negroes" or "Blacks" or "African-Americans" and why I insist on debating the meaning of the word "race."

It is traditional for Blacks to change the words by which we are described in the process of redefining and substantively changing our position in society relative to whites. If you get a promotion to manager, but your co-workers still call you "boy," then you have a problem that has to do with your name and what it says about your status.

Using the historically determined word "race" to describe people who have as much in common genetically with whites as they have with each other makes us an undifferentiated mass and thereby frustrates the specificity which scientific observation and study requires. Politically we are "Black people" and nothing can or will change that in the short term. But, Black "race" is a slave name given to us by white supremacists to dehumanize us, and I reject and refuse to use that terminology anymore. And that rejection in favor of the term "Black people" is part of my process of discovering and defining myself.

rikyrah said...

FN, I know you pointed it out on the sidebar, but I wanted to elaborate.

The CBC is up to it's old tricks, folks. They don't want to admit that they were wrong in getting into bed with the White Citizens Council Network. Twenty-six members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) have signed letters to Sen. Barack Obama

Yes, they have sent letters to Obama, Clinton and Edwards.

Afro-Netizen has a copy of the letter.

I think that those of us who think that Obama, Clinton and Edwards did the right thing, need to drop our own emails and phone calls to them.

Hillary Clinton
(202) 224-4451

Clinton Contact Form

John Edwards
Phone: (919) 636-3131
Fax: (919) 967-3644

Edwards Contact Form

Barack Obama
(202) 224-2854

Obama Contact Form

Please let them know that you appreciate them not going to the Faux News Debate, and that you appreciate them going to the Tavis Smiley/PBS Debate in June. Remember, the Tavis Smiley event is a DNC SANCTIONED event; the CBC one is not.

The CBC wanted to crawl into bed with Faux News. Let them choke on it.

Francis Holland said...

For those who are afraid of the color-aroused medical terminology because white might use it against us (as compared to "racism" which we have conceived of as a offense that only whites commit), that logic would compel us to oppose all hate-crime legislation. After all hate crime legislation makes it possible to INCREASE the penalties that Blacks face for targeting whites with color-aroused abuse. Since hate crime legislation increases Blacks criminal jeopardy, which is much more important than psychiatric jeopardy, then we should all oppose hate crime legislation, right?

In fact, because there are seven times more whites than Blacks in America, any law that applies equally applies to seven times more whites than Blacks, even forgetting that whites are more likely to commit color-aroused crimes and behaviors, in part because they feel more sure in their impunity - that they will get away with those behaviors.

So, objecting to color-aroused definitions on the grounds that it will come back to haunt Blacks is like objecting to laws against theft for fear that Blacks will be prosecuted under the theft statutes.

Liz Dwyer said...

Ok, now that I've finished picking myself up off the floor after laughing at the Rosie/Elizabeth caption in the sidebar, based on this post, I think you would like a book called Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Dr. Joy Degruy-Leary. You can check it out at http://www.posttraumaticslavesyndrome.com/h_index.html

field negro said...

Thankks rikyrah, I am all over this sh**witht he CBC.

liz, I will check out that book :)

Francis, you are getting more and more like Lou Dobbs my man. Byt I respect your passion. And I enjoyed the exchange with you and forgiven.

Truth be told, all you commentators to this site drop some serious knowledge. The sh**
makes you wonder why we have not progressed more as a people with the kind of critical thinking that I see manifested here.

rikyrah said...

UPDATE: They're now clowning, calling folks who are against this debate 'liberal activists'.

Um, when did 'liberal' become a derisive word from the BLACK POINT OF VIEW?


These CBC folks have lost their natural minds.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

This bastard’s phone rang twice throughout the movie, twice he answered, and twice he talked. I could not take it anymore. I threw five red hots at him at five-minute intervals. He kept looking back and I just watched the screen as he looked around. I wanted him to accuse somebody, I really did.

ROFL...you're a better person than me, because sometimes I don't feel "Christian" and I probably would have tossed those Red Hots at him in a way dude would have had no doubt who was throwing them at him. I would have gotten up and called security to throw him out of the theater if he'd said anything.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...


Color of Change will be making a statement soon on the CBC's idiocy, and really, they're trying to pressure Obama into returning to the debates, hoping the pressure will rub off on Edwards and Clinton.

I just hope Obama stands his ground and refuse to show up.

We at CBC Monitor now know who's going to be getting failing grades on supporting crap like this debate. Some of those 26 members will be losing their Honor Roll status when the Report Card is published.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

When I said "they're trying to pressure Obama" I meant the CBC is trying to make Obama come back to the fold, by playing their "You're a Negro, too" card with him.

He will lose his credibility if he goes to this debate....it's time more brothers and sisters in the CBC called out their leadership on their dereliction.

P. S. Bennie Thompson's letter was leaked to the press by a CBC member who wants this crap stopped. When I find out who it is (I suspect sista Maxine, but it could be anyone who's suffered through inept leadership out of the CBC long enough), I will post the word.

Professor Zero said...

But Field, the behavior you describe is behavior I associate with white people - especially white people in the middle of overspending at a chain store / restaurant, or on vacation / out on Saturday night. The worst instance I have in memory was among tourists in Seattle. ... I also notice it a lot when I pass by places like Cancun in Mexico, and in Europe, especially among Germanic types when they are on vacation on the Mediterranean (interestingly, they are far calmer at home). Not that Black people don't do it - I live in a Blacker Than Average state, and I see it regularly - but the worst instances of it around here are in crowds with more than 12% blondes dyed blonder!!!

west coast story said...

How are CBC members going to vote on the Iraq bill? That's more significant to me than the debate on Fox News. The latter is symbolic. The former is a vote on arguably the single most important issue for this country. It is after all the goose stepping Dems that supported this whole sorry misadventure into Iraq that has cost the lives of 3,5000 of mostly young people, and tens of thousands (being conservative) of Iraqi citizens.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...


Count on Wynn, Artur Davis, David Scott, Sanford Bishop and maybe Bennie Thompson among those in the CBC most likely to vote in favor of the Supplemental Bill.

I don't care if Al Wynn is in the Out-of-Iraq caucus; he's only joined because Donna Edwards is going to challenge him in 2008, and he needs his props after she damned near unseated his ass in 2006.

The Fabulous Kitty Glendower said...

“But Field, the behavior you describe is behavior I associate with white people - especially white people in the middle of overspending at a chain store / restaurant, or on vacation / out on Saturday night. The worst instance I have in memory was among tourists in Seattle. ... I also notice it a lot when I pass by places like Cancun in Mexico, and in Europe, especially among Germanic types when they are on vacation on the Mediterranean (interestingly, they are far calmer at home). Not that Black people don't do it - I live in a Blacker Than Average state, and I see it regularly - but the worst instances of it around here are in crowds with more than 12% blondes dyed blonder!!!”

As in, they want to be seen. Cadillacing, The mobile effect (drive a flashy car but return to a shack), showboating (max out the credit to look like someone on vacation), etc.

I see in with white people where I live all the time. The average home is $700,000 and then rooms have to be rented out so their SUVs and fake tans can get paid for.

Don’t get me started on a ring on each finger, yet put all the rings together and it barely amounts to one decent one.

Tsedek said...

I rather hear loads of loud people near and next to me than people that curse like you do in this post.

CongoBrava said...

Ill try to keep this short…

1. we as a people don’t build. We’ve traded in the benefit of thinking and planning for tomorrow for living for today. So we do dumb ish…yes, we do. At this point we’re beating a dead horse, aight I get it. Let’s work on helping each other to build and plan.
2. the 12% rule was a new one to me – I must say I find it to be a bit saddening, but you do what you will. I personally think it’s hilarious to go to a movie for ‘us’ on opening night – shoot Soul Plane sucked, but it was funny as hell up in that movie theater that night. But whatever, somehow applying the 12% rule just seems so….wrong to me
3. Black folks aren’t the only ones who yell across the street or talk loud telling all their biz (I find that white people in my area do this a lot…a WHOLE lot)
4. I agree with the theory as to why we shout and are so loud…I think that characteristically speaking we are a boisterous and emotional people. I also believe that sometimes we go over the top with it because we have this urge to be heard or to be the center of attention.

That’s it from me. Love reading your blogs, keep the dialogue goin.


g-e-m2001 said...

You have hit on a serious, serious issue here. I remember back in the day I used to go to the $0.99 movies and it was nothing but Black folks in the movies and it was like call and response.

I think it is a badge of honor to some people to prove that they can't be messed with so they talk, text, and answer the cellphone in the movies. Back in the day, they just used to talk back to the screen. I actually find that entertaining.

But I will take talking ANY DAY over the crying baby in the R-rated movie at 9:00PM.


Anonymous said...

tsedek, I never swear during the movie. Now after the show, it's another f*%&*#g story ;)

Anonymous said...

And if Shanika is across the street Park the Car, get out and go give her the child support

Anonymous said...

I love that last comment about 'Shanika'. ar, ar, ar ...

Question: howcome white kids all dress, talk, and act like black kids nowadays? My son wears his pants low, has lots of 'bling', says 'aight' and 'yo', and listens to hip hop all day ... not that there's anything wrong with that!

I have a theory, though. White kids 'have' no culture -- black kids do! In fact, this 'style' has been going on for so long now that it's barely even black culture anymore. Geez, there's even French hip-hop groups (I'm Canadian) and Irish (Top o' the mornin' to ya!) hip-hop groups now!

Reason I came here was I was looking for a 'black' skin tone for a party poster I'm making, so don't worry, I won't be hanging out snooping. :)

(Warning - compliment from Whitey)Anyway, I must say, one of the more thoughtful blog sites I've seen.

Take care,

P.S. I've probably stepped on toes here, since I wasn't invited to the party. Sorry 'bout that.

ABlock said...

You hit a nerve here...

This saga:

On the bus with about 50 people the other day:

"You go out with that white girl the other day?"
"What hole you put it in?"
"What hole?"
"You mean the two?"
"Nah man, there's three holes"
"Shut up."
"Come on man, what hole?"
"Shut the fuck up, man."

Now, I was laughing pretty good in the seat behind them but OH MY GOD this poor kid's friend just would not let up. On a full bus! Oh well, kids will be kids.

I figure you go to a public place be ready for the public.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain this to me?: I've been a videogame lover since my teens, which kept me out of trouble while my friends in the projects were stealing cars and toys from stores downtown. I have a playstation portable (PSP) I carry EVERYwhere with me loaded up with e-books, scanned comic books (I love reading, as well) and videogame roms. Every SINGLE time I'm near another black male, minding my own business and using my psp (with either headphones on or the sound turned off), said other brother just HAS to whip out his cell phone and start playing with his ringtones. EVERY time. What's going on here?

Anonymous said...

Good Lord, what you say about the yelling, it's true! I'm a white boy living in the DC ghetto, so maybe I'm not allowed to say this, but DAMN the people in my neighborhood shout their lungs out even when they're standing right next to each other:
The only time people in my hood don't yell is when they're doing something on the down-low, like selling drugs or hitting on girls.

I think it's just want you said, to mainstream African-Americans achievement by itself doesn't mean anything, what matters is that everybody knows about it and observes it. That's why they buy cars with shiny rims and hydraulics instead of investing in their homes, why they eat cheap unhealthy food instead of maintaining a balanced diet, and why they rarely travel overseas on vacation (going to Paris or Tahiti is a waste of money if no one you know is going to see you there).

If you average black person cared more about making himself or herself happy instead of trying to impress friends and neighbors, many of endemic social problems facing blacks today would vanish over night.

Maryscott OConnor said...

Topper, let someone else make the arguments.

Maryscott OConnor said...

So... I've experienced all this behaviour from your people, Field. But I've also gotten it from the white and latino folk, as well. And frankly, it happens with proportionate frequency here in Los Angeles. I've been the "snitch" in movie theatres on countless occasions, and it's 70/20/10 white/latino/black.

And while the black people DO have a jarring tendency to do that talking at the screen thing, it seems to me that whites and latinos do FAR more cell phone and conversing during the actual movie thing. So it seems to even out.

And the blaring of stereos in cars? Totally even, across the board. And THE reason I'm glad I don't carry a gun. Because, man, I don't think I could stop myself from blowing people away. Those goddamned pounding bass whatevers? Thumping so hard MY car vibrates?


Yeah. You know, I swear like a motherfucker here on the blogs and in conversation. But one thing I DON'T do? I don't invite the world into my conversations at top volume. Total strangers are not privy to my profanity out in public. I believe in a modicum of CIVILITY.

What the fuck happened to civility, goddamnit?

Unknown said...

New essay "The Gates Affair:Why We Care" yours to publish
Dear readers and webmasters,

Author Daniel Bruno Sanz has written an essay about Gatesgate.  We encourage its publication and distribution.
                                                          Navas S.
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
- 4th Amendment to the The Constitution of the United States of America