Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Truth or Fantasy

Paul Craig Roberts writes on a theme that has been on my mind for a few weeks now.

Today Americans are ruled by propaganda. Americans have little regard for truth, little access to it, and little ability to recognize it...

Truth is inconvenient for ideologues.

When Blair told the House Intelligence Committee that US citizens no longer needed to be arrested, charged, tried, and convicted of a capital crime, just murdered on suspicion alone of being a “threat,” he wasn’t impeached. No investigation pursued. Nothing happened. There was no Church Committee. In the mid-1970s the CIA got into trouble for plots to kill Castro. Today it is American citizens who are on the hit list. Whatever objections there might be don’t carry any weight. No one in government is in any trouble over the assassination of U.S. citizens by the U.S. government.


And this does not apply simply to those in government.

Counterpunch

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dominican follow up

A good follow up post on the subject. A documentary on "latin-America's" African roots. Two issues I have with the trailer:

1) While many of the Indigenous people were killed, they were not simply wiped out as we know it here in the States even though they are made to be invisible.

2) object to referring to Africans as "Latinos/as." as was done in the trailer. I know what they mean but my previous post underscores why I don't like calling African people anything other than.

English Trailer for AfroLatinos The Documentary from Renzo Devia / Creador Pictures on Vimeo.

Dominicans and Race

Just too much here to even begin discussion. Let quotes from the piece speak for itself:

"If you're working in a bank, you don't want some barrio-looking hair. Straight hair looks elegant," the bank teller said. "It's not that as a person of color I want to look white. I want to look pretty."


"With time passing, I see I'm not black. I'm Latina.


The practice continued under President Joaquín Balaguer, who often complained that Haitians were "darkening'' the country. In the 1990s, he was blamed for thwarting the presidential aspirations of leading black candidate José Francisco Peña Gómez by spreading rumors that he was actually Haitian.

When migrant-rights activist Sonia Pierre won the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in 2006, the government responded by trying to revoke her citizenship, saying she is actually Haitian.

"I cannot take the bus because people pull my hair and stick combs in it," said wavy haired performance artist Xiomara Fortuna. "They ask me if I just got out of prison. People just don't want that image to be seen."

"You should see how they come in here with their big asses!'' she said, shuffling across her office with her arms extended behind her back, simulating an enormous rear-end. "They come in here thinking they are all that, and I think, 'doesn't she know she's not really pretty?' "

"Look, we have bad hair, bad. Nobody says 'curly.' It's bad," she said. "You can't go out like that. People will say, 'Look at that nest! Someone light a match!' ''

"I had people on the streets . . . yell at me to get out of the sun because I was already black enough," she said. "It was hurtful. . . . I was raised in the South and thought I could handle any racial comment. I never before experienced anything like I did in the Dominican Republic.




Miami Herald

Monday, March 15, 2010

Charter School Debate

A Room for Debate piece in the NYT contained the following reader comment that I think sums up the issue with charter schools:

The paramount duty of public schools is to support a democratic and economically mobile society by educating all students who walk in the door, regardless of their race, income, gender, disability, OR parents' willingness to support education. As soon as a school is allowed to say: parents need to fill out an application, parents need to sign this homework and attendance contract, parents need to volunteer x hours a year in the school, then it fails to be a public school. Yes, children do better in school if their parents are more involved. No, it is not ethical to create a two-tiered education system in which some American children are doubly punished for their parents' uninvolvement: first, through a lack of support at home and second, through being served in a "separate but unequal" school.

Crooks

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wealth Follow up

Taking a break, I happened to have the "wealth study" paper up on my screen with the following paragraph:

Young women ages 18-35, whether white or non-white, are beginning their adult years with a median wealth of zero, meaning that at least half of women in this age group had no wealth or had debts greater than the value of their assets (see Table 3). However, while white women in the prime working years of ages 36-49 have a median wealth of $42,600 (still only 61% of their white male counterparts), the median wealth for women of color is only $5. Prior to age 50, women of color have virtually no wealth. Moreover, in comparison to their same-sex white counterparts, women of color in the two youngest age groups, have less than 1% of the wealth of white women whereas men of color in these same age groups under 50 have 18% and 16% of the wealth of white men.


See anything wrong? No? Let me point it out.

Notice that at the beginning of the paragraph the authors state that women 18-35 have a median wealth of $0. The explicitly state that "at least half of women in this age group had no wealth or had debts greater than the value of their assets (see Table 3)"

But later in the paragraph they change the language. They say:

"Prior to age 50, women of color have virtually no wealth."


If they had used the same language as they did in the beginning of the paragraph they would have written:

Prior to age 50, at least half of the women of color of this age group have virtually no wealth.


So clearly the authors wanted to make a point exaggerating the levels of wealth (or lack thereof) of black women. Why? the sentence as written implies that women of color age 50,have no wealth. But the actual data shows that half the women of color have $5 median wealth.

This is clearly a case of "massaging" the info to make a statement. That paragraph ought not to have made it past editorial review.

Spec-i-fic-i-ty

[Update: My math was wrong when I wrote:

Being married to or cohabitating with a black man raises the median net wealth of black women by 31X.


The actual multiple is 310x since single black woman's median wealth was posted as $100 and married/cohabitating black couples are at $31,000. So 310 x 100 == 31,000. The body text has been changed to reflect the correct numbers]



Last week during the epic black male privilege and porn argument I suggested that people read my old post Note To The So Called POC Revolutionaries
which contains this relevant piece of advice:

3) Spec-i-fic-i-ty: This is the exact opposite of the Generalization problem. I recall Professor Fluker of Tuskegee University saying that one needed to be specific. I didn't quite catch on until some years after. Some months ago I was in court on a speeding ticket and overheard a lawyer advising his client. He stated that the law said "xyz AND..abc" The "and" being the critical statement in the case. Specificity allows you to control a conversation by defining the terms. Your ability to make a clear and specific argument is going to be your "trump card" in most arguments. It is almost inevitable that those that oppose you will fall into pitfalls 5 and 7 above in an attempt to smear you. But because they are stupid enough to fall into pitfalls 5 and 7 you will be able to counter them with little energy on your part. At best you want terms defined in a manner that is clear to everyone AND that can be universally agreed upon. Avoid making up new terms or defining terms with contradictory words It would be best if your defined word can be broken up etymologically and still stand or you may find yourself playing the word game which is not only a distraction but will cause you to waste time defending to anyone but your "yes friends."


and

7) Mistaking what you want to be the case for being the case: I think this is a huge problem. So many people think that what they would like to be reality is in fact reality. For example, with the Duke issue. If rape is defined legally as involuntary vaginal intercourse don't have a discussion on the subject as if rape was legally defined as anything else. If you want to have a hypothetical discussion in which rape is legally defined as something else then have that conversation, but don't get mad at people who are having a conversation with things clearly defined. Another example, Islam allowed for slavery. So did Christianity, Judaism and just about every other religion. There are all kinds of people who get all bent out of shape because they choose to wish such things away. Don't be one of those people. The road to changing systems or even replacing them, is understanding what they are.


This is not a porn discussion though. This is about an article and the tweets it inspired.

On Tuesday a twit arrived in my twitter client proclaiming: "Study finds Median Wealth for Single Black Women at $5". I was immediately skeptical. I read the long article where this statement was made and looked for a link to the original academic paper. It wasn't there. Just a chart taken from it. After a quick search I found the piece and you can find it here:

http://www.insightcced.org/uploads/CRWG/LiftingAsWeClimb-InsightCenter-Spring2010.pdf


Reading the paper I discovered something important. The headline claim was never stated in the paper. The paper said:

Single, Non-white and/or hispanic women between the ages of 36 and 49 have a median net worth of $5 (their male counterparts have $1,100). Now that's a bad statistic and doesn't need spin in order to make an impact. But a few things need to be discussed:

1) Non-white and/or hispanic includes Black women, Hispanic women of any racial group, Native-American, etc. Nothing in the paper breaks out black women for this particular statistic.

2) Median vs. Mean: a lot of people mistake median and

-10,-9,-7,-6,0,5,10,11,12,13,14

The mean is 3.
The median is 5.

In this case the average is lower than the median. In reference to the report the median wealth of single Black women in particular could be less than $5.

we could look at this differently. lets look at this example:

Three people. One is $40k in the hole 'cause they have an expensive car note. The second has $0 net wealth cause they have a small income and equivalent debts (hand to mouth). And the third has a net worth of $100k due to their owning a home and having paid for their vehicle.

-40,000, 0, 100,000

The median net worth of this group is $0.

Alarming.

The mean for this same group is: $20,000.

Not so alarming....maybe.

Clearly no one in the group has an actual net wealth of $20k but arithmetically that is the average and it is way higher than the median.

Now in these kinds of papers there is weighting and other things that I'm not at all proficient in, but it still stands that looking at the report you have to be careful about what overall conclusions one extrapolates from the data.

Another way of looking at this is this: Say there is a report that crime in NYC is down 50%. Great! But what if you live in a part of NYC that has high crime? That drop in crime may not mean much to you when there is still have random gunfire going on in your neighborhood. Hence we have to realize that statistics are only valid for the group it studies.

So that's my first issue with how this report has been presented. My next issue has to do with the conclusions drawn and is more opinion than anything else.

Page 4 of the report has a chart that shows the net median wealth of people by household type and race. That chart shows that single Black women have a median net wealth of $100 ($5,000 if vehicle is included. I wouldn't). Single Black men have a median net wealth of $7,900 ($12,600 if vehicles are included). A stark difference indeed. The next group is highly instructive though.

Black men and women who are cohabitating or married have a median net wealth of $31,500 ($46,900 if vehicles are included). This is something that I believe ought to be front and center of this discussion. Being married to or cohabitating with a black man raises the median net wealth of black women by 310X.

That. is. HUGE.

By not being married to, or cohabitating with a black man, black women are being deprived of $31,400 in wealth. I cannot fathom how anyone who advocates for black women to "do them" and how they "don't need no man" is even tolerated since it is statistically clear that getting with a black man "medianly" has an extreme economic benefit to black women. So rather than headline the report that "single black women have five bucks" which wasn't even written in the report, the headline ought to have been:

marriage increases black women's wealth 310X!


But that is a headline that would promote black families and would *gasp* link financial wealth of black women with that of black men; something taboo in certain quarters.


Which brings me to my third issue with the report and it's journey around the internet. While the statistics look pretty bad, it also shows a number of things:

1) Half of single Black women in the study have a median net worth over $5.

2) Promoting marriage (or at least cohabitation) between black men and women should be promoted as a means of increasing the overall median wealth of black people in general.

3) Since childcare is possibly the second or third largest expense for single parents efforts ought to be made to

a) Keep black parents together.
b) Increase the income of the male partner so that childcare expenses can be eliminated for the family unit. This is not going to be popular among a set of black women because they believe that they should be a career woman and mother, even though they leave the majority of "mothering" to other people. Of course we have stay at home fathers as well. However; according to the statistics here, a stay at home father is a waste of wealth.

Now looking at those who are at or below $5 we have to ask how this can be the case. Go back to my example of the person with the $40k car. They are in the hole because of their debts. There are a lot of people rolling around with debt that they really don't need to have. We covered child care. That is a huge burden on any family and negatively affects net wealth.

Since Black women are entering and graduating from institutions of higher education at a rate higher than Black men, we have to take into consideration the cost of that education. If you've taken out loans to cover 4-5 years of undergrad, it is likely you have 20, 30,40 thousand or more in debt at age 23. That debt isn't going to up and disappear in 2 years either. A lot of people enter their 30's with university debt and add to that automobile debt, credit card debt, Rent, etc. So for even educated black women, the debts start early. Should they decide to "go it alone" with a child early on as well, then that only adds to the wealth problem.

If a smaller proportion of black men are not going to expensive university, but instead less expensive trade school then it stands to reason they enter their adult years with less education debt to service. On the other hand if black men are able to get paid more in the workplace because they are men or that the jobs available to them are higher paying, then that also affects the wealth gap.

So what are some take away lessons here:

1) Black people need to be aware of their finances. Black girls and boys ought to be taught early on how to deal with their money. How to project income and expenses and how to do long term financial planning.

2) College graduates ought to have 2 things at the top of their minds. 1) paying off student loans as soon as possible, 2) Securing a life partner.

By doing these two things black people would see exponential wealth growth.

Of course there is always the route of blaming black men and complaining about white people.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sanitation in Haiti

From Counterpunch

In Petionville the two main squares are now home to over 13,000 people and only 15 portable toilets. Imagine if there are 866 people per toilet and 720 minutes in the day, that would mean that for everyone to use the toilet once a day there would be less than 1 minute per person. Also at the rate the toilets are being used, they need to be emptied every day and there are currently not enough desludging trucks in Port au Prince to service all of the toilets being installed. When the toilets are emptied they are taken to a new site set up by the government which is in the middle of the city dump. To get to the site you pass through piles of burning garbage the size of football fields. Hundreds of people come to the dump every day to scavenge for pieces of metal, and firewood. At the end of the steaming garbage there are 4 pits, dug shortly after the earthquake. The sludge from the toilets is dumped into or near the pits where it is mixed with all kinds of garbage and medical wastes. Now only 1 month after the holes were dug they are full and every day the amount of human wastes coming out of the camps is increasing.


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Dan Rather's "Watermelon" Pass

I think some people are going to try to go in on Dan Rather over the following:

RATHER: When you talk about a triumph though. One, part of the undertow in the coming election is going to be President Obama's leadership. And the Republicans will make a case and a lot of independents will buy this argument. "Listen he just hasn't been, look at the health care bill. It was his number one priority. It took him forever to get it through and he had to compromise it to death." And a version of, "Listen he's a nice person, he's very articulate" this is what's been used against him, "but he couldn't sell watermelons if it, you gave him the state troopers to flag down the traffic."


I'll admit my first reaction to that was along the lines of what I said on an episode of Garvey's Ghost TV But then re-reading the piece it is clear that Dan Rather is suggesting what Republicans may be saying given their previous rhetoric regarding Obama. The key statement being:

And a version of,


Sometimes that yellow thing walking isn't a duck.

Sure They Can Have E-Mail

Ars Technica

The US Treasury Department today relaxed export regulations against Iran, Sudan, and Cuba, allowing US companies to provide instant messaging, e-mail, and social networking services to those countries. The goal is to ensure that citizens can "exercise their most basic rights," said Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin.


And not because we'd like to be able to intercept internet communication that goes through US based servers of these US based companies. No. Not that.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Follow up on Nigerian Riots

In January, Rev. Kwashi argued in an essay for Christianity Today magazine — headlined, “In Jos We Are Coming Face to Face in Confrontation with Satan” — that violence in the region was not motivated by religious differences, writing: “those who have in the past used violence to settle political issues, economic issues, social matters, intertribal disagreements, or any issue for that matter, now continue to use that same path of violence and cover it up with religion.”



Islamic values have much in common with traditional African life: its emphasis on communal living, its clear roles for men and women, its tolerance of polygamy. Christianity, Muslims argue, was alien to most Africans. [...]

“The Muslims are winning — they have won,” said the Rev. Benjamin Kwashi, 46, the Anglican bishop of Jos, a city in central Nigeria where at least 500 people were killed in clashes between Muslims and Christians in September. “Islam is growing very fast. For many Africans, it makes more sense to reject America and Europe’s secular values, a culture of selfishness and half-naked women, by embracing Islam.”


Question: If Islam is supposedly more amenable to "African life" and Africans want to keep their "African lives" why not reject both Christianity AND Islam and just practice their own shit?

500 dead in Nigeria Riot

DAKAR, Senegal — Officials and human rights groups in Nigeria said Monday that about 500 people had died in weekend ethnic violence near the central city of Jos, considerably more than what had initially been reported.

A government spokesman said Sunday that the dead numbered more than 300. The victims were Christians killed by rampaging Muslim herdsmen, officials and human rights workers said, apparently in reprisal for similar attacks on Muslims in January...

Many appeared to have been cut down with machetes after being driven from homes set ablaze by attackers in the predawn darkness, said Shamaki Gad Peter of the League for Human Rights, a Nigerian group.


NY Times

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Yet Another Follow Up

Wow. Shannon has written some more. Personally I think the subject has gotten far more attention than it should have but hey it's a slow news day.

Like my cat, I'm bored. Yawning even. I suppose I can entertain myself with this some more. Again, unlike Shannon, I will respond directly to what she said, not what I tawt I taw.

So...like her previous piece Shannon starts off again with the name calling. You would think that Shannon would cease and desist with that immature behavior.

You'd think.

Let's mock this dumbass!


Oh yeah. Lets name call. Lets encourage other people to name call. Never mind that he took on my piece paragraph by paragraph. Never mind that he never named called me. Never mind that he didn't misquote me. Lets name call.

I told ya'll it's usually a bad sign when the piece starts with name calling. It's almost as if she wants to publicly verify what I said. Anyway let's proceed...again.

He blows a lot of hot air about porn, completely ignoring that porn is ACTING. A PERFORMANCE. A HUGE ASS INDUSTRY. THAT WHEN THE REST OF US GET BUSY, WE GOTTA GO AND GET FOLKS TO UNLEARN THIS BS.


Where did I say that porn is definitively not acting? Did Shanon even bother to go through my public twitter timeline and see what I actually wrote? No. Let me do this bit of elemental research for her:


Mr Tunji
12 hours ago
@drgoddess back to intimacy: A) Porn (with the exception of the homemade variety) is staged. The clueless don't get that.


So where did Shannon get the idea that I don't know that a lot of porn is in fact staged? She made it up. Why would she do that? More importantly why are her peers allowing her to do that?

Secondly you'll note that I made an exception for the "homemade" variety. Ordinary people who decided to set up a camera in their homes, hotels, cars, whatever and did whatever it is they want to do and posted it on the internet. Scary thought that people actually have the freedom to do that kind of stuff isn't it? I'd post the proof but I don't want my blog being an entry point for that material. Let's get back to Shannon.

Nobody made anyone perform in blackface, either, but I'm not going to accept that it's all cool and non problematic.


Oh! An attempted race-gender intersection. She knows kung-fu!

Here's the problem with that move. The express purpose of blackface (performed by whites or blacks) was to make a characature of black people by presenting them in a way that the do not look and by showing them behaving in a manner which they did not actually behave. In the blackface era, these were the only representations of black people and deemed the definitive representation of black folk. To summarize it was a product of a completely false constructed social universe.

Now lets look at porn. Do men and women have sex? Yes they do. Porn reflects that. Does porn reduce women to a single stereotype. No. Oh you need that explained? Sure: You have fat porn and skinny porn. Old lady porn, Young lady porn? Short people porn, tall people porn. Fake bodies porn, real bodies porn. Male as dominant porn, Male as submissive porn. There is no one single type of porn like there was archetypical black face. Black face was only black face, huge red lips, white bug eyes and broken english.

But even with that. As much as I oppose blackface and do not participate in it, I defend the right of people to make blackface movies and for people to consume it. I simply will not be one of them. I'll go even further. I think the antics of Flavor Flav in flavor of love (there's a porn take off on it) is modern day coonin' blackface without the ink. None other than Chuck D has defended Flav for having the right to go and coon. He doesn't agree with it but clearly sees that Flav has the right to "do flav". We have the right to not consume.

Back to Shannon:

I understand that some people think anything with sex in it is saved from comment. Me? No fucking way.


Some people may. But I'm not one of those "some people". It appears that Shannon can read so I'll redirect her attention back to the original piece where I objected to the proposition that black men's access to porn was a privilege. I object to that statement because it is demonstrably not true and because it passes judgment on the tastes of persons involved. We can comment all we want on people's proclivities but at the end of the day what consenting adults decide to do and consume is their business. If Shannon has a problem with that then Shannon has a problem with personal freedom.

More from the trove of "stuff I didn't say":

Just because porn depicts people performing sex acts doesn't mean that we can't be like "dude, she's faking it.


Didn't say it. SO she can't be referring to me.

And I bet she doesn't actually do that in the bedroom.


I would assume that which someone is willing to do on camera, sexually, one is willing to do away from a camera. I bet that Shannon is projecting her own objections onto other people too. She seems to be good at it.

And now onto the trove of supposition and "can't bother to spell his name correctly":

And when guys that Sonjata or whatever say that they really think this is about two people in the bedroom, that they just woke up one day and decided to make a sex tape, that creeps me out.


Did I misspell Shannon's name? Did I? Copy-Paste? Heard of it. Anyway, let me clue in Shannon. I am "on tape". And yes me and the woman I was with decided out of the blue, in the middle of the day to tape ourselves. We watched it after. Really. Stop assuming you know what and why people do things. Seriously. Shannon has absolutely no clue as to what she is saying. No clue. Not only that but who cares if she's creeped out by that? Why is Shannon so self-centered. Who cares what she thinks. Is she on the tape? No. Then back off.

You can't say don't judge people's bedrooms when the windows are wide open. If porn actors, directors and producers wanted us not to talk about their work, they'd not post it on the net, nor would they try to induce people to spend money on it.


Well actually having sex in view of the public is an arrestable offense country-wide. So that analogy is really poor. Secondly, until the internet blew up, one had to either subscribe to cable or take a trip to your local red-light district. The internet gives pretty easy access, which is definitely something that needs to be looked at and dealt with. That said, you still need to voluntarily go there. No one is enticed to view that stuff unless you cannot resist spam e-mail adverts. Take some responsibility. Bang Bros is not going to randomly show up on your TV or your computer.

In any case no one is saying we can't talk about it. Heck the whole twitter conversation on that kinda makes that whole commentary sound, well, stupid. I shall repeat for those who may be confused. I object to passing judgement on people and making assumptions on persons who perform or consume the material. Not a few "starletts" have twitter accounts. Why not pose the questions directly to them?

Anyway, Back to the trove of "stuff I didn't say":

You see, when folks say they can't tell the difference between a fantasy, even a misogynistic white centric fantasy, and reality, that scares me.


I shall repost the twitter post:

Mr Tunji
12 hours ago
@drgoddess back to intimacy: A) Porn (with the exception of the homemade variety) is staged. The clueless don't get that.


Next:
Real sex doesn't come in neat boxes of anal asians,


I assure Shannon that somewhere in these United States there is an asian woman having anal sex. Maybe even in her state of residence.

black man on white girl


What's that sound? Oh I recognize that sound? It's the sounds of not a few black men with white wives and girlfriends having a hearty laugh as they retire to the bedroom.

or 'mature'


That would be the older sistas in the clubs laughing now.

Real sex isn't a performance


Given the advertisement for Viagra and that ever smiling Enzyte man I would have to agree that there are a lot of men not "performing".

And now for the big denial:


And his experience of feminists claming that looking at a woman is sexual harrassment is as phoney balony as the white folks who swear up and down, up and down, that black people stole their spot in college, or MRAs who swear up and down that women are poking holes in condoms and using turkey basters in their exhaustive drive to have screaming babies wake them up every single day for months on end. I just don't believe it.


Remeber dear reader that I said that there are feminists who feel seh that black men's experiences and positions are to be denied, ignored and ridiculed. I give you exhibit A. So in addition to calling me a "dick" and "dumbass" Shannon is calling me a liar. Never mind she has absolutely no proof that I am lying. I'm a man. I'm straight. I'm black therefore I'm a dumbass, lying dick. What more do you need?

Oh here's the justification:

I think it's because I hear so much minimization of male violence or at least male jerkassery.


I don't believe the "dumbass, lying dick" because all I pay attention to are "dumbass, lying dicks" I suggest Shannon upgrade the quality of men she interacts with.

Returning to the trove of "stuff I didn't say":

I bet once we get to the end of that story of 'just looking', we'll have guys leering on the street, folks looking at folks undressing, and video tapes of people's panties all in 'just looking'. I mean, if actual rape can be called 'having sex' by news outlets, what can we expect from dude?


ahh here we go. men leering. Personally I think men who stare at women walking along the street in an obvious manner lack class. In fact I stated that. Secondly I also stated that I object to men who do Upskirt and toilet/bathroom cameras. However; I will re-iterate for the ill-informed. Public photography of people in public is legal. Period. And it should be. And yes, as classless as it is, it includes the notorious "booty cams" that make appearances after freak week and other black street festivals.

And now Shannon doesn't like science:
If a black person with a penis identifies as a woman, I go with it.


I don't. Deal with it.

Back with the "stuff I didn't say":

The idea that if only fathers would come back and head the family, all would be fine does trivialize women's work, and makes it invisible.


I do wonder if Shannon is in fact dyslexic cause I wrote:

I said in regards to that idea that the presupposition that strong black men (whatever those are) as head of household being an absolute negative has not been proven. For the not too bright that means I'm open to the discussions of the pros and cons of Black men as head of household. Lets supply evidence for and against. Secondly though I'm sure that many in the African-American community have idealized fantasies about a great deal of things, I never made such a claim. I repeat that my claim is that Strong black men (whatever they are) as head of household has not been proven to be definitively negative.


Read it dear reader. Did I make the statement she claimed I made?

I don't think being a man or being a woman is essential to the family.


It is a truly sad state of affairs when such a thing can be said in seriousness. Massa done taught this one well.

Lastly *yawn* we have this:

Also, yes, I did call out the general male privilege of "I deserve this sort of woman". Because it annoys me. Men seem to believe they deserve the proverbial ten, when they are batting more at a one, or maybe a two. I'm not attacking all black men, just the sort of black man who says I'm not dating black women for X reason, and you look at him, and say "and you're so great, why?"


Let me assume then that Shannon cannot run a mile in under 7 minutes. Anyway. Shannon has a problem with men who have high expectations of the women they want to deal with. I say bully for them. I think black women ought to have high standards for what they want as well. Of course people who have outrageous requirements ought to be checked but seriously what does that have to do with porn? I'll ask the reader to watch my first episode of Garvey's Ghost TV where I discuss the bell curve. Perhaps ol' girl lookin' for mr. 6'5 was watching too much porn.

The Privileged Follow Up

So my post on black male privilege sparked an interesting and civil discussion last night which picked up again this morning with various people weighing in. Of course as with all things there are those who exist to prove a point. One Shannon from Tenn. was so disturbed by a portion of my writing that she needed to vent on her blog

It's never a good sign when a piece starts with:

Man, who is this dude, and why is he such a dick?


Name calling in the opening paragraph is usually a bad sign. Name calling to start the opening paragraph is usually a very bad sign. Not bothering to contact the "dick" in question is, well, poor reporting. In any case Shannon was apparently perturbed by the discussion of porn that went on last night and this morning. She opens with:

I sat quietly through the whole 'it might be circumstance' and of course, the ridic porn apology shit[I think an issue is that people equate porn with sex, and the issue is that good sex involves two people interacting in a way that both people enjoy, and porn is all about one sided performance- no personality- a black woman isn't a human being with her own preferences, likes and dislikes! she's a ghetto ho! , a race to the bottom in terms of sexual acts[I can't even imagine what could be worse than the modern state of porn and what bodily features on women will be considered gross and wrong next


Not for nothing but yeah. porn is generally speaking sex. In some cases it's putting on leather, determining "safe words", getting strapped to some wooden device and being whipped until orgasm. In some cases it's women crushing roaches. In some cases it's women stepping on testicles, slipping items into urethras. It is sometimes really huge women and really skinny men. Sometimes it's really old men and really old women. Sometimes it's really old men and really young women. It's sometimes diapers and taking a poo or piss.
porn is a LOT of things that make a LOT of people sexually aroused. None of it appeals to every consumer but it's all out there.

That I was able to even write all that shows how weak the sentance:
that people equate porn with sex


Because clearly porn is a lot of things to a lot of people. Secondly that long list also shows that the persons involved are the only people who are qualified to judge whether "both people enjoy." Not outsiders. Not me. Not Shannon. Sorry. I don't understand why people are turned on sexually by getting whipped but it's not my business. It's not Shannon's either.

The statement:
and porn is all about one sided performance- no personality


Can't be proven. How does she know this? All those people, the men and the women are not agents in their own behavior. Really? There are pages and pages of online video that will utterly disprove this statement. But most people, including a large percentage of so called "feminists" simply do not want to admit this. Why? Well that's a whole other conversation and there's a lot to cover here.

Such statements like:

a black woman isn't a human being with her own preferences, likes and dislikes!


Is absolutely without foundation. Firstly those women decide IF they will "perform". They decide whether they will accept the compensation. They decide WHO they will and will not perform with. They decide WHAT kinds of intercourse they will engage in. Feminists have a term for this: agency. I wont even discuss those women who direct and produce porn cause clearly to Shannon these people do not exist and have no agency.

Anyway that's not even the worst of it. No. Shannon's top is apparently blown by the following statement I made:

I'm leery of this one because I have come across a number of proclaimed feminist who feel that if a man so much as looks at her, it is sexual harassment. Seriously. I have actually had this discussion. Simple attempts to engage in conversation in public was deemed sexual harassment. I'm serious about that one too. What bothers me is the usual loud silence by other feminists when these things are said and posted on certain feminist websites. They call it "creating a safe place for women". I call it tolerating and allowing the promotion of BS. Fact is that among normal human males and females, the fact that we as a species are poly-estrous means that "mating season" is every day of the week. Human males and females try to get each others attention every day of the week. It is normal. There are a lot of men who go way overboard on their attention seeking. This is where culture and proper parental upbringing (particularly fathers and father figures) come into play.


This was in reference to a point of black male privilege made in the article I referenced that said:

94. I am able to be out in public without fear of being sexually harassed by individuals or groups of the opposite sex.



What does Shannon have to say about that?
first:

I enjoy the idea that men will magically come in and save everyone. This is a common fantasy in the black community, that if only a STRONG BLACK MAN would HEAD THE FAMILY, everything would be alright. Of course, there's not really anything we can do to make individual men do this, and if they do, there's still the real issues of poverty and racism to tackle. It also makes it seem that black women doing tons of work don't count just because we don't have penises[yes, a few black women have penises, but they aren't accepted by this crowd]. And the whole I WAS JUST GETTING HER ATTENTION mess. Really, dude, don't apologize for those assholes.


Notice that Shannon does not address my experience of self proclaimed "feminists" who have made the claim that merely looking at a woman is harassment. I would think that Shannon would want to make sure that the reader knows in no uncertain terms that she does not co-sign such a position. But no. I suppose that Shannon has no problem with that.

Does Shannon also disclaim the outrageous claims by some feminists that speaking to a woman one does not know in public is harassment? No. That's not important to her either. So half of the paragraph that she quoted goes uncommented on. Not so much as an "I've never heard that before". But I suppose that I am a straight black male "oppressor" (and a dick at that) my experiences and observations don't count. Anyway enough about me right?

So Shannon's sore point is the "Strong black man as head of household". Which was actually a critique of an earlier point of contention. I said in regards to that idea that the presupposition that strong black men (whatever those are) as head of household being an absolute negative has not been proven. For the not too bright that means I'm open to the discussions of the pros and cons of Black men as head of household. Lets supply evidence for and against. Secondly though I'm sure that many in the African-American community have idealized fantasies about a great deal of things, I never made such a claim. I repeat that my claim is that Strong black men (whatever they are) as head of household has not been proven to be definitively negative.

Shannon wanders on with:

Of course, there's not really anything we can do to make individual men do this, and if they do, there's still the real issues of poverty and racism to tackle.


In my experience and readings the idea of strong black men as head of household is a (not the) proposed plan to address poverty and racism since employed black men making wages that are enough to support a family addresses the issue of poverty (however imperfectly) and the resulting stable family units are safe spaces for black people to protect themselves from WS as practiced in the areas of people activity.

It is our job as academics, leaders, writers, etc to create and implement plans that create win-win situations for black men and women. That requires give and take and neither black men or black women get to dictate the terms unilaterally.

Finally with Shannons next to last sentence in that paragraph:
It also makes it seem that black women doing tons of work don't count just because we don't have penises[yes, a few black women have penises, but they aren't accepted by this crowd].


My, I do believe that is the second penis reference in this piece. Hmmmmmmm.....
Anyway, I don't know who's writing she is conjuring up, but it's not mine. Nowhere in my piece, or twitter conversation did I say or imply that black women's contributions don't count. I said that there are things that men, being males, contribute that cannot be replaced by a woman. And to correct Shannon's last point: Females with penises and men with breasts and other female apparati are called hermaphrodites/intersex. They are neither male or female and are therefore not men or women. And I'm not referring to those who underwent surgical changes. That's an entirely different conversation; and by the way, there's porn for that.


Shannon then decides to go further down the rabbit hole:

Assholes ruin it for everybody. You can't have it both ways. Either men can go and 'get a woman's attention' by following her down the street, making crude remarks, and touching a woman in an unwanted manner[really, would you want some dude who smelled like he took a bath in shit water doing that to you? then why is it OK for women to be attacked?] or you can nut up and say, hey, that's not cool.


I invite the reader to back up to the paragraph she quoted and look for where I excuse or accept crude public behavior by men towards women or said that attacking women in public was acceptable. I'll wait here.

Done.

Can't find it can you?

Exactly. So what is Shannon's problem? This is typical of many so called feminists. They will chuck other peoples arguments and attitudes on other people. They think that's acceptable because God forbid a straight male has the gall to:

a) Be right.
b) State something that makes absolute sense.
c) Defends everyone's right to speak to (not harass) anyone in public.

Shocking I know.

So far we have a total of three paragraphs that generally critique me for writing stuff I never wrote. Three paragraphs. Look I'm not he best writer in the world. My stuff has all kinds of grammar and structural errors but at least I have the decency to not ascribe arguments and statements to people that they have not made.

Now here comes the rant:

And talking smack about black women seems to be a special black male privilege. It's a shit sandwich! You work hard, get educated, and dude who ain't graduated from high school complain about how you're too fat!


I WOUlD have co-signed that first sentence. Cause in general I think black men get away with saying a lot of things about black women. But in this particular case Shannon is talking massive shit and I'm calling her on it. Secondly it's not clear from the language but is Shannon trying to imply something about my education or is she making gross negative generalizations about black men? And if so, why does she think doing so is acceptable?

While you're looking at his ass, and it's not exactly super fit!


I will have Shannon know that my ass is super fit. If she wants I'll send her a photo of it. I will say though that if she runs a mile in more that 7 minutes she can talk to the hand.

Anyway, Shannon's concluding statements are her own thoughts about stuff I didn't say or even remotely related to the topic at hand so I'll leave it alone. My suggestion for Shannon: If you're going to start a piece with name calling you better bring the pain in the form of verifiable facts and accurate arguments.

Ting and ting and ting.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Black Male Priviledge

[Updated 10:30 PM EST for grammatical errors and clarified points]

So I got this link via Twitter about Black male privilege. I'm usually skeptical when I see such writings particularly when they come from males. So called "Feminist" men can be very annoying. They, like much of their female counterparts, often assume that any male that challenges what they have to say are misogynist and have no clue about sexism. On more than a few occasions I've had give a verbal beat down to these "men" for making such assumptions. So it was with great skepticism that I read this piece entitled "Black Male Privilege". This piece gives a rather lengthy list of things that the author believes Black men benefit from at the detriment of black women (his definition of privilege). So how is this definition constructed?


Privileges that have nothing to do with what a person has earned, but rather are based entirely on who a person is, or what color they are.

Male privilege...is based on attitudes or actions that come at the expense of women.


So taking the above we would conclude that the author believes that Black Male Privilege are attitudes and actions that benefit them and come at the expense of women that are not eared but based entirely on who they are.

The author hedges his position by aptly pointing out that his list may contain material that is applicable to all men rather than black men in particular. There's no problem with that except that in my mind if we're going to talk about black male privilege then one ought to focus entirely on those which is extended to black men in particular. But that's my bag others may disagree and ultimately it may not matter. Anyway, on to the list. I won't highlight all 94 items generally due to my agreement with them but I will discuss the ones I have particular issues with:

1. I don't have to choose my race over my sex in political matters.


Well that's not necessarily true. But my position is that black women have allowed themselves to be put in a position where they are being asked to assert gender over race. I believe that to be a setup by the larger white feminist movement that sought to align themselves with "women of color" as a political means of expanding their base. We could also easily ask "which" political matters? This question can only arise IF one defines issues of race as being EXCLUSIVE of issues of gender. If one does not buy into such an exclusion then such a position then such choices as presented above do not exist. Thus it is my position that instead of being a privilege of men it is a self-imposed burden black women have taken on at the behest of white feminists.

2. When I read African American History textbooks, I will learn mainly about black men.


That may be true but I don't see how this is a privilege and not an accident of circumstance. Circumstantially Black Men have been afforded the privilege of public leadership within Anti-Slavery movements and Black women were not by the circumstances of slavery. Secondly as with any "Celebrity" culture of history people not at the center of attention are often left out of the picture. For example Harriet Tubman is THE icon of the underground railroad. How many of us know of the men and women who helped maintain that system? That's the point. I'm not prepared to accept accident of circumstance as privilege. Furthermore this privilege depends entirely upon who's history book is being used. Many such books are not created by black people. Thus this supposed privilege is perhaps really something that does not benefit black men or women and is arguably a tool of oppression of both.

3. When I learn about the Civil Rights Movement & the Black Power Movements, most of the leaders that I will learn about will be black men.


I believe this position falls in the same trap as item 2. In fact IMHO there are more visible women of the Civil Rights era than there are from any previous era in African-American hostory. Is it equitable (not equal there is a difference)? Probably not but I see scholars posting a lot of material on a lot of "in the shadows" people of either gender.

5. I will be taken more seriously as a political leader than black women.


I'm 50/50 on this one. Might be my own bias but I take the value of political leadership based on the soundness of the arguments a person puts forth and the strength of their program. I see a lot of female political leaders who IMHO are more serious than many if not most of the men. That may be my own bias though. What I do think is important here is that males are by nature far more aggressive than females. Most people don't like hearing that but it's the truth. So a lot of that "seriousness" is a result of acknowledging powerful presences. That's a sociological argument that could be had. I'm willing to have it hence my 50/50 position.

6. Despite the substantial role that black women played in the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement, currently there is no black female that is considered a "race leader".


There are a number of reasons for this. First is purely circumstantial. Since the author pointed out the lack of women in positions of visible leadership in the past it would make sense that as race became neutered as a leadership roll that the last remaining "race leaders" would be male. Secondly though, African-Americans have themselves to blame. We have collectively decided to neuter race arguments and race advocacy in general in favor of "diversity" and other wishy-washy, kumby-ya ideologies. Is it any shock then that race leadership of any kind is a dying breed? That said, in the more "radical" commmunities there are many females who are considered leaders. It's all in where you look.

7. I can live my life without ever having read black feminist authors, or knowing about black women's history, or black women's issues.


I agree you can go without reading black feminist authors, but the last two points are completely false today. Will the average Jamaal know black women's history in and out? Will they know every black women's issues in and out. No. But they also will not know black history in and out. The advent of mass media and the internet all but guarantees that black men well have some women's issues brought to their attention be it HIV, breast cancer, family leave, etc.

8. I can be a part of a black liberation organization like the Black Panther Party where an "out" rapist Eldridge Cleaver can assume leadership position.


What year is this?

11. I have the ability to define black women's beauty by European standards in terms of skin tone, hair, and body size. In comparison, black women rarely define me by European standards of beauty in terms of skin tone, hair, or body size.


Oh special pet peeve of mine. I hate, hate, hate the fact that black "Feminists" are on this "It's cool to be obese" trip. It is so out of line. This fellow needs to get off this wagon. It is totally unacceptable to buy into the fashion mag argument. The fashion industry with it's plethora of gay males appear to love underdeveloped women. If the author was not so fixated on white folks he would notice that the average straight black man loves him some thick. And let me be clear: thick not obese. We can argue the cultural implications of that but for the purposes of this piece anybody male or female who sets up the fit= European argument ought to be taken out back and caned.

Onto the other points. I'm not clear that judging a black woman (or any woman for that matter) based on the traits of another race of people is a privilege. I'd say it's a sign of self-hate if anything. Secondly since my experience shows the opposite to the author in regards to how black men are measured, I think he's wrong.I mean I've heard enough about black men who are "too black". I've heard enough about light skinned "pretty boys" and how some men are not suitable for reproduction cause the child may come out too dark and with "bad hair". Seriously. This point is so out of order.

12. I do not have to worry about the daily hassles of having my hair conforming to any standard image of beauty the way black women do.


No sir. I just cut most of it off. Try climbing that corporate ladder with natty dreds or a huge 'fro. Anyone see that CEO of Xerox? Black woman with *gasp* natural hair. So I think this point fails the priv. test simply due to the fact that black men do in fact have to live up to hair standards. The fact is though is that men and women are different. Different is good. Different is OK. Black women don't have to shave their faces. I could moan about that but I don't. How about we accept that men and women have different grooming requirements and it is what it is.

13. I do not have to worry about the daily hassles of being terrorized by the fear of gaining weight. In fact, in many instances bigger is better for my sex.

14. My looks will not be the central standard by which my worth is valued by members of the opposite sex.


I covered this before. I brook no excuses for men and women who are lazy and lack the will power to not eat junk and not exercise. I will repeat this for the hard of understanding: Men are visual creatures. It is hard wired that men respond to the physical first. Since we live in a monogamous society (yes I'm laughing too), that means it is the woman's job to keep that physical right. Deal with it. This is nature. Not privilege. Nature. Stop fighting nature.

Now we get to my absolute favorite part, sex. It is par for the course in most feminist commentary to discuss porn and to cast aspersion on other peoples sexual practices (except oddly those of gay men and women). The author goes in here as well:

15. I can purchase pornography that typically shows men defile women by the common practice of the "money shot.”
16. I can believe that causing pain during sex is connected with a woman's pleasure without ever asking her.


And this author knows the above how? Did he ask the specific women with semen on their faces? I know women who do not like "money shots" and other women who enjoy it. Secondly do the women have no agency here? Really was the woman involved have a gun held to her head to perform? What about all the amateur home made porn out there with wives, girlfriends and One Night Stands with semen on their faces? Were they coerced?

In the same light in regards to "pain". I know women that like pain. To give and take. There are women that enjoy being strapped up and beat. There are men that like being strapped up, beat and have their testicles stepped on. Seriously why is author even allowing himself to pass judgment on the sex lives of people he neither knows OR is involved in a consensual sexual relationship with? But this is common among feminists. You cannot judge what they do or say, but they are free to dictate how heterosexual men should enjoy themselves.

18. When it comes to sex if I say "No", chances are that it will not be mistaken for “Yes".


I think experience would show the author to be incorrect. I think it is unspoken but if a man says no to a woman who has decided that she wants him, that "no" is not taken seriously.

19. If I am raped, no one will assume that "I should have known better" or suggest that my being raped had something to do with how I was dressed.


I'm not so sure about this one. Clearly the man is not going to be questioned about how he was dressed, but I have heard on multiple occasions men who were accused of rape being told what they ought not to have done (or who they ought not to have done). In fact men, if raped (yes it happens) are usually not believed or ridiculed for being gay. Men who are accused of rape can be and often are arrested and jailed simply on a woman's say so. So in this case I think the "privilege" here is largely moot. A woman may be questioned about her "judgment" but the legal system is particularly good at protecting her and her identity.

20. I can use sexist language like bonin’, laying the pipe, hittin-it, and banging that convey images of sexual acts based on dominance and performance.


Sexist by who's judgement? Here we go again with the dictation of other people's (usually straight men's) speech. Sorry I don't buy that. Cause clearly then if a woman tells me to F**K HER GOOD. she's being sexist right?

21. I can live in a world where polygamy is still an option for men in the United States as well as around the world.


First: What year is this? Polygamy is not legal in the United States.
Second: Why is Polygamy sexist? Who made that determination? Oh right. If certain women don't like something, there it is.

22. In general, I prefer being involved with younger women socially and sexually

Lets see.. By nature women are in their prime breeding years in their late teens and early 20's. So the problem with this is what? Oh that's right we don't like nature. Nature's privilege. I'm going to agree with the author it is a male priv. And I don't see a problem with it. It would behoove women to understand nature and snag their desired male early the way nature intended. Failing that, they know the consequences. The choice is theirs. Don't you love a society with free choice? Hey look. I'm 'Old". I deal with the fact that certain women are now "off limits". I don't whine about it.

24. I have easy access to pornography that involves virtually any category of sex where men degrade women, often young women...26. When I consume pornography, I can gain pleasure from images and sounds of men causing women pain.


More with the porn BS. Again the author clearly is not aware of the length a breadth of the available material out there in which men and women are on the giving and receiving end of what most of us would consider degrading experiences. It's not the position of any of us to pass judgment on what consenting adults decide to do, record and make available to other consenting adults.

27. I come from a tradition of humor that is based largely on insulting and disrespecting women; especially mothers.
28. I have the privilege of not having black women, dress up and play funny characters- often overweight- that are supposed to look like me for the entire nation to laugh.
29. When I go to the movies, I know that most of the leads in black films are men. I also know that all of the action heroes in black film are men.


I don't quite get how 27 and 28 are privileges. Someone will need to explain those to me. I see how they are degrading to black women I just don't see how they are privileges to the sons of said women. On 29 all I can say is that not all leads are created equal. I have major issues with the characters that many black men play on TV.

36. Many of my favorite movies include images of strength that do not include members of the opposite sex and often are based on violence.

37. Many of my favorite genres of films, such as martial arts, are based on violence.


I'm split here. I don't see the problem with men seeking out and "fetishising" movies and other images that re-enforce their self images (real, perceived or desired) as alpha males. That is natural. Just as I would not have a problem with women seeking out and fetishising movies that affirm themselves in whatever means they see fit. I'll agree with the author in regards to violence, but again it should be understood that by nature the male of the species is aggressive and seeks out aggressive displays in order to promote himself to women and establish himself among other males. I don't think there is a problem with that because I don't believe in fighting nature. Should women be shown being violent and aggressive? That's a discussion I'm willing to have but I believe that by and large you'll find a widespread distaste for that. So I'm split on this one.

38. I have the privilege of popularizing or consuming the idea of a thug, which is based on the violence and victimization of others with virtually no opposition from other men.


I don't see this as a privilege. I see this as a cold calculated hit against the black male to lead to jail and a means to trick black women into devaluing true black manhood.

39. I have the privilege to define black women as having "an attitude" without referencing the range of attitudes that black women have.
40. I have the privilege of defining black women's attitudes without defining my attitudes as a black man.


Maybe it's a summary statement but I think the author knows exactly what is meant by "attitude." Yes it's a generalization, but I believe it is a generalization within' cultural context.

41. I can believe that the success of the black family is dependent on returning men to their historical place within the family, rather than in promoting policies that strengthen black women's independence, or that provide social benefits to black children.


Not sure how this is a privilege but I'll go with it. The problem here is twofold:

1) A feminist journal recently showed that African-American men (who they interviewed) were most likely to hold egalitarian attitudes towards gender. Shocking I know.

2) The author's position presupposes that the argument for men to have this "historical position" is bad. It pre-supposes that "black women's independence" is "good" and presupposes that such a "historical position" does not provide social benefits to black children. Those are a lot of unproven suppositions.

42. I have the privilege of believing that a woman cannot raise a son to be a man.


As a man raised by a single mother I hold the above statement to be true. I love my mother and she did a lot for me, but I missed a LOT of things by not having a man in the house. I had to learn a lot from imitating other non-familiar men, reading, trial and error and the good fortune to have been exposed to stand up black men. That does not mean that having a father in the house guarantees success or some miracle child. I hold that the acceptance of father as "weekend playmate" and "wallet" is a serious blow to black manhood.

44. I have the privilege of believing that before slavery gender relationships between black men and women were perfect.


That would be the general privilege that all African-Americans have to fantasize about Africa and Africans in general. I see no gender privilege here just all around confusion.

45. I have the privilege of believing that feminism is anti-black.


Maybe not, but there are many feminists who are in fact anti-male, anti-Black, Anti-Black male and anti-straight male.

48. I have the privilege of believing that black women are different sexually than other women and judging them negatively based on this belief.


Different how? Seriously I'm confused by this one.

49. I will make significantly more money as a professional athlete than members of the opposite sex will.


Business really. In business professional athletics the salaries are directly related to the money an organization pulls in. Female athletics do not currently pull in the same money as their male counterparts (unless we want to discuss NASCAR where there are no "female races"). So salaries are going to be different. If female athletes in say basketball were to compete on the same teams as men, they would be crushed. I don't say this to be smug. It's just known that males, particularly when we are dealing with those in tip top shape, are taller and stronger than females, Females would be warming the benches. So again this is about nature. I'm not one for fighting or arguing about nature. In situations such as NASCAR we can ask whether Danica Patrick is paid equitably. That is does she make the kind of money someone with her experience, wins, etc would get paid?

54. I can touch, hug, or be emotionally expressive with other men while watching sports without observers perceiving this behavior as sexual.


I'm confused here. Really. E-mail me the explanation of this.

58. I can rest assured that most of the coaches -even in predominately-female sports within my race are male.


Is this true? The few times I have watched WNBA games I have not seen male coaches. For the record I do not follow baseball, basketball or football so my position is based on limited observation.

59. I am able to play sports outside without my shirt on and it not be considered a problem.
60. I am essentially able to do anything inside or outside without my shirt on, whereas women are always required to cover up.


I am TOTALLY for a no shirt rule for women. Totally. Pass the petition and the pen.

61. I have the privilege of being a part of a sex where the mutilation and disfigurement of a girl’s genitalia is used to deny her sexual sensations or to protect her virginity for males.


This would not be a privilege of men. Burden on those women, yes but not a privilege of men. Why? Men in those societies are generally circumsised as well. Not defending the practice at all but the point it out here.

63. I have the privilege of not being able to name one female leader in Africa or Asia, past or present, that I pay homage to the way I do male leaders in Africa and/or Asia.


Really? Really? I'm not even going to comment on that. No I will. Ellen Sirleaf, Yaa Assantewa, the unnamed black woman who teamed up with a black king in a slave ship to overthrow the slaver. We're done. And I'm not including the Caribbean or South America.

66. In college, I will have the opportunity to date outside of the race at a much higher rate than black women will.


That's a privilege and not a choice available to both genders? Really?

68. I know that the further I go in education the more success I will have with women.


Privilege or burden? The male of the species usually has to prove that he is:

1) Verile 2) Able to protect 3) Provide shelter. In our society in which straight physicality as indicators of "fitness to breed" has been eclipsed by ability to make money by non-physical means a higher educated male USUALLY is indicative of the last two "requirements". Of course that means a male must spend an inordinate amount of time collecting money and the like to get that status. On the flip side females ONLY have to show that they are fertile and "look good" to snag a man. Seems that the privilege here is on the female as she generally has to "do less" to successfully snag a mate.

71. In college, I will experience a level of status and prestige that is not offered to black women even though black women may outnumber me and out perform me academically.


First I've heard this one. Of course if the latter part of the statement is true, that black women will outnumber me, then it stands to reason that my elevated status as college man is warranted. If it is in fact warranted due to the "great odds" against me, then it's not a privilege is it? Well at least not an unearned one.

73. What is defined as "News" in Black America is defined by men.

More specifically,White men. Ask yourself reader how many black blogs regularly and normally report news and opinion originating in black press other black bloggers or other black sources generally not deemed "acceptable" by white press?

75. I can dismissively refer to another persons grievances as ^*ing.

And when it is then what is it?

77. I have the privilege of marrying outside of the race at a much higher rate than black women marry


Again with the personal choices. Statistics don't necessarily confer privilege. There is nothing other than the willingness of adults to prevent anyone from breeding with and marrying whoever they please. I'm not encouraging this behavior but I won't join this particular camp of policing peoples personal sexual behavior.

78. My "strength" as a man is never connected with the failure of the black family, whereas the strength of black women is routinely associated with the failure of the black family.


Question: Is a strong black man (whatever that is) ever defined by his ability to be without the mother of his children? Is he defined by him declaring his non desire to "need/want some woman."? I ask this because the "strong black men" I know (not speaking of the so called "thugs") all have as a shared characteristic the desire to have a "strong" woman by his side and to provide for his children. On the flip side I see a common thread among self declared "Strong black woman" a theme of "don't need no man." The proverbial "attitude" alluded to in an earlier point.

80. Chances are I will be defined as a "good man" by things I do not do as much as what I do. If I don't beat, cheat, or lie, then I am a considered a "good man". In comparison, women are rarely defined as "good women" based on what they do not do.


Really? In what universe? Sarcasm aside I do think that the author has stumbled across an issue of language usage. I think the deeper issue that he has alluded to is our propensity to define other black people by the absence of negative traits rather than the presence of positive ones.

That said though I still fail to see how this is a privilege. After all who wants to be sized up by a set of negatives?

83. In the Black Church, the majority of the pastoral leadership is male.
84. In the Black Church Tradition, most of the theology has a male point of view. For example, most will assume that the man is the head of household.


Two points here:

1) You take on the slave master's religion so don't be mad when it marginalizes you.
2) Even in black original religions males are generally seen as head of household even if not seen as head of lineage. That goes back to the natural state of males as natures protectors. He is the gateway because he is first line of defense. This point goes back to my question in regards to the presupposition that man as head of household is definitively bad.

85. I do not have to worry about being considered a traitor to my race if I call the police on a member of the opposite sex.

86. I have the privilege of knowing men who are physically or sexually abusive to women and yet I still call them friends.


a dubious privilege if there was one. Black men rarely call the police on black women because it is generally shameful to admit one is being abused by a female even though it happens as frequently as male on female abuse (if not in severity). I'm not sure what research the author is using but I would wonder exactly how widespread the idea of police calling as race traitor is and how much of this is out of legitimate concern over the common railroading of black males through the "justice" system for relatively minor offenses.

In regards to point 86. I don't know how widespread that is either. The vast majority of men do not engage in sexually or physically abusive behavior towards women so we're talking about a small population and it is HIGHLY likely that those who befriend such people are abusers themselves. I would hesitate to extend blanket "Black male privilege" over the actions of a few.

87. I can video tape women in public- often without their consent - with male complicity.


Again with the policing behavior. Unless we're talking about up-skirt cameras, anyone in public is in the public domain. Most people do not realize this but when you are out in public ANYONE can take your picture and you have NO rights to stop them. That's how gossip magazines and websites work. That men, who are visual by nature, tend to take pictures of women who catch their notice more than women do is not a privilege. It is a right. Deal with it.

88. I can be courteous to a person of the opposite sex that I do not know and say "Hello" or "Hi" and not fear that it will be taken as a come-on or fear being stalked because of it.


50/50 here. Nothing against "hitting on people" in public spaces.People have the right to attempt to strike up a conversation with whomever they please. Everyone has the right to decline an invite to conversation. Deal with it. The latter part is definitely a concern and a privilege.

89. I can use physical violence or the threat of physical violence to get what I want when other tactics fail in a relationship.


It should read: "I can TRY to use physical violence or the threat of physical violence..." Cause if the woman involved has enough sense she'll leave any man that first tries that. Again though I'm not prepared to lay blanket "privilege" status to something a small minority of men engage in. I want to be clear here that I object to the extension of criminal behavior to black men in general. Criminal behavior is never a privilege and ought not be framed as such.

94. I am able to be out in public without fear of being sexually harassed by individuals or groups of the opposite sex.



I'm leery of this one because I have come across a number of proclaimed feminist who feel that if a man so much as looks at her, it is sexual harassment. Seriously. I have actually had this discussion. Simple attempts to engage in conversation in public was deemed sexual harassment. I'm serious about that one too. What bothers me is the usual loud silence by other feminists when these things are said and posted on certain feminist websites. They call it "creating a safe place for women". I call it tolerating and allowing the promotion of BS. Fact is that among normal human males and females, the fact that we as a species are poly-estrous means that "mating season" is every day of the week. Human males and females try to get each others attention every day of the week. It is normal. There are a lot of men who go way overboard on their attention seeking. This is where culture and proper parental upbringing (particularly fathers and father figures) come into play.

Let me give an example from another member of the animal kingdom, the elephant. A documentary on some African elephants showed that there was a bunch of male calves who were acting out. They would fight and in general engage in destructive behaviors. The keepers discovered that in this particular preserve there were not a lot of (if any) mature male elephants. They introduced a number of mature males from another preserve. Within a few months the once rampaging young male elephants stopped their bad behavior due to the interference of and training by the newly introduced mature males. The lesson is clear. Young men are best trained in proper behavior by [relatively] dominant older males. It is not surprising that we have a generation of males who are generally fatherless running around in such a way that makes females fear them. Males who into their early adulthood dress and act in immature manners.

To conclude I want to re-iterate that the linked piece definitely has it's points. Black males enjoy privileges that extend from simply being male. To deny that would be dishonest. However; we must not fall into the general feminist trap of wading into anti-male territory. A lot of feminists actually have issues with being a woman much like many so called "pro-black" people have issues with being black. Instead of dealing with their personal issues and failures as women (or as black persons) they project their issues onto their perceived oppressor. They idealize themselves by projecting all negatives on their opposite. Things are rarely that cut and dry. Lastly we need to consider that to everything there is a positive and a negative. Everything can't be all good or all bad. Sometimes things are exactly what they are because that is the way it should be.