Monday, March 1, 2010

Do you walk around seeing racial and ethnic disparities?

QDo you walk around seeing racial and ethnic disparities all around you? If so, how do you deal? If not, what do you see?

A:  To the contrary, I don't look for racial and ethnic disparities.  It's more that I notice trends.  All of the questions that have been answered on my blog - others have asked me because I'm a black person.  Just today, I was interested in reading up  on Ghandi.  This man did so much for people in India so that they can gain their independence from Great Britain.  Great Britain was trying to force assimilation on their "colony" for years. Black people in South Africa were being forced to assimilate and do as their colonizers told them to do - good ol' apartheid.  Then there are the Americas that were colonized - Native Americans killed, shoved into their own territories "reserved" for them and told to be thankful. What about the Japanese Internment Camps? We said, "Yo' Japs (and I'm pretty sure that was a term tossed around by the government), we're lockin' y'all the fuck up.  We don't trust any one of you!" How about blacks brought here as slaves. Forced to assimilate. Look how well that's still going hundreds of years later.  All of these examples are of racial issues that have developed into issues of today. And all of these issues have a common denominator... hmmm.

So how do I deal with all of this? What can you do?  You just live your life the best way you know how.  I love raising questions about race with my friends and having discussions. I like to hear others opinions. But I also like to have fun and joke about it.  Sometimes I do wonder why other blacks take offense to certain things. Like on the episode on Oprah and they were talking about the Chris Rock documentary, "Good Hair".  This black woman was up in arms that Chris Rock outed black women for paying so much for hair weaves and styles.  I'm glad he outed them - not that I think it was ever a secret that women (black women in particular) wear weaves. There are some SERIOUSLY HORRIBLY DONE WEAVES out there ladies! That's a whole other story (that can be read here).  Just remember, stay away from synthetic!

I have read all of comments from my post on, "Why are Black People So Loud... ?" and in some comments, people have said things like, "Just get over it and move on".  That's much easier to say when you're the one who has many people agreeing with you.  While things between different races and ethnicities are taking more of a global culture - I recognize (as well as many others) that there is value in having differences.  Some blacks ARE loud - but not all.  I laugh loud as hell but does that solely belong to black people? No.  I had to stop the comments chain on this particular post because people were beginning to no longer read the actual post but being fueled by the comments that took on a life of their own.

Bottom line: There are lots of varieties of people. Lending a little humor to these topics is a fun way to just laugh at ourselves, witness the true nature of some folks = the good, the bad and the downright hateful, and also understanding that opinions are like assholes.  Everyone has one. Sometimes I do see the world through rose colored glasses and sometimes I don't. Sometimes my prescription changes and I see things differently while other times I see it as most others do.

This blog is done to raise a certain level of awareness, thought, humor, interest in things people may want to know an answer. It's also a platform to share my wit, humor and whatever insight I happen to have on the subject.

A lot of times I like to think of the world as Louie Armstrong sang it.

Now, just remember to take your multivitamin. Oh and get your Vitamin D in.  I've recently learned that most people are deficient. :0)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Do White People Make Me Angry?

Q. It sounds like white people make you angwy. Would you wike a huwg??

A. Naw, not really.  I only get annoyed from time to time. But hey, some of my best friends are white people so I'm not ever really angry. I do hug those white people - but I never hug a stranger (no offense). And I definitely never hug a stranger who talks in baby talk. Those folks are very suspicious. I don't want to be on the next Amber Alert.  Seriously, you just never know if they're trying to pick pocket you like the Artful Dodger in that movie, "Oliver!" or something.  But once I'm confident in having you as a friend,  I'll gladly sing the "Consider Yourself" song from the movie.   

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Have a Question?

I found this great way to take some questions from folks that won't clog my inbox. If you'd like to ask a question, follow this link to do so:

You can ask pretty much anything.

Let's try this out for a while...

Monday, February 8, 2010

You go to church, don't you?

Q: This is something that I have always wondered, "Why do so many black folks attend church and are the holiest of the holy for the Sunday - but hours after the sermon, you'd never know they were Christian?"

Of course, I didn't phrase this as eloquently as I wanted. This topic has always been on my mind. Hearing a neighbor when I was a kid exclaim, "Hallelujah! Thank ya Jesus!" was nothin' unusual.

A: Today I'll tackle this question on this glorious Sunday. It's quite fitting seeing how religiousness has been on my brain. Not because I went to church and heard the good word but because I am the one black dude out of a handful, that isn't up in the church or sittin' on the stoop sippin' on some "yak" (for the non-black folks this is cognac". "Lord knows" I ain't stepped foot in a church since George H.W. Bush left office.

Now, let me hop up to the pulpit and say a few words. Church, to black folks, is like golf. In golf, you play the course, try to do your best, and have the least amount of strokes (screw ups) as possible, and if you REALLY mess up one of your strokes, you'll get a mulligan and get to try it all over again. You see - the fuck ups in life are the holes. Church is the mulligan.

Black folks are taught at a young age that you go to church and you behave or your momma is gonna get that belt out cause, "she don't play!" She won't cuss you out until she steps off the holy premises - but you WILL get a few choice words if you act up. Sunday is the day of atonement. Black Church "Yom Kippur" if you will. Depending on your church, you'll know if you have a good service if you caught the holy ghost, did holy calisthenics and spoke gibberish.

Sweet Jesus, what about all those exclamations of holy gratitude? Well, I think that's just a matter of habit. Shoutin', "Thank ya Jesus", rebuking the devil, saying hallelujah, glory be to God, amen (pronounced A-MAN) seems to be part of the routine if you frequent certain churches. It's said without much thought. It's kinda like when people are havin' sex and someone screams, "Oh God!" Are they bein' reverent? Well For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, I hope not - especially if they're not married!

Black folks who go to church will let you know that they do too! It's like they're trying to convince (remind) themselves that they need to stay in the good graces. Quoting and posting scripture on Facebook, singing gospel, and getting into their car listening to the FM radio station that plays 4 hours of religious programming on Sundays (and hip hop and baby makin' music all other times). However, once they get home and their Sunday clothes come off, it's back to business as usual (after Sunday dinner of course).

If they're about to get into fisticuffs, you'll sometimes hear a preemptive prayer, such as "Lord, if you don't get this mutha fucka out of my face before I kill him!".  But really, they're not praying and hoping to not hurt someone. They're ready to beat the shit out of someone and ask for forgiveness later.

Forgiveness for beating someone down? Shouting, "Oh God" before, during and after sex? You're keeping God in your life because you posted about "the Glory of God" and the many gifts that have been bestowed onto you in your Facebook or Twitter status?

If your answer is a resounding, "Yes!"... then carry on...  I'll see you at Bible Study and Choir Practice and I BETTER see you at the club next Saturday, "yak" in hand. We  got some hoes to holla at!