a thousand words

Saturday, June 13, 2015

TRUE STORY OF UNFRIENDING

TRUE STORY OF UNFRIENDING. This happened earlier this year and I just never thought to share but what the hell, not like they're gonna see it. I took the names off and corrected the typos for your reading pleasure.
EX FB FRIEND: Hey, did you unfriend me? I just noticed.
ME: Yes, I did.
EX FB FRIEND: Can I ask why?
ME: Well, of course you can because you just did. I delete friends from time to time who never comment on my page or write anything I feel is funny or interesting.
EX FB FRIEND: I post all the time. Everyday. So, you don't like my posts, okay fine. I think that's kinda silly. I enjoy your page sometimes.
ME: Mostly you post selfies in tight dresses. And before you say it, I don't have any kind of problem with that. However, there was one post that I confess just got on my nerves and made me consider that I didn't need it on my little news scroll each day.
EX FB FRIEND: And what was that? Not that I care.
ME: Well, you posted that your 12 year old daughter asked you not to wear those tight dresses when her friends came over, that it took away attention from her at that awkward age (my words not hers) but you wore the dress anyway and acted shocked that the little boys who came to the party flocked around you. The butt grazing dress was not what bothered me, it was the look on your daughter's face that broke my heart. The look on the little boys faces made me wish you lived on my street when I was a kid.
EX FB FRIEND: You know, all that is really none of your business.
ME: It is when you publicize it. I worry about the state of our world, the deterioration of society and the death of music and I am frustrated that I can't do anything about it. But what I can do is not bear witness to some innocent kid getting twerked into a psychological complex by her mother. So, I changed the thing I have power over.
EX FB FRIEND: Whatever. You are a real smartass. I'm glad you unfriended me. No loss.
ME: At least we agree on that.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Unbearable Lightness Of Blackness

Rachel Dolezal’s masquerade as a black woman is important but not for any of the reasons you are reading about. It’s important for the ones no one will say. That she can even pretend to be black is of course because “Black people” come in a variety of colors in this country. And that’s because of the widely held belief that we have “dominant” genes. This Dominant Gene Theory is really the Contaminant Gene Theory, in that Black genes contaminate another race's purity.

We all know that blackness in this nation is more than color. It’s culture, family, experience, knowledge and a host of other things which link any given black person with hundreds of years of history filled with triumph, pain, brilliance, oppression, and the unique situation as the descendants of American slaves.

You don’t get to be part of that with a wink and a hairstyle.

But we, the Black people, often devalue our culture and history for many reasons, none the least of which, is there is a tireless propaganda machine at work which exalts the majority race and denigrates and marginalizes all others.

Thus, we accept anyone who wants to be a part of our tribe, to bathe in the waters of negritude and enjoy our zest for life, our position as the soul and conscious of America, our food, music, style, swagger and language.

But should we? When you think of it, American Blackness is a pretty exclusive club, forty-two million out of eight billion people. And the price of admission is not money but the very essence of the human spirit. Why should we let these wannabes just walk in and be welcome?

We shouldn’t. In fact, we should be pissed about what Rachael Dolezal is doing. Just as pissed as we are when a Black person claims to be New Black, trying to run away from association with their race. But you see, dark skin don’t rub off and if the white gene were “dominant,” how many people who are now mixed race do you think would still claim blackness?

If it were up to me, people could be anything they wanted. I like to dream of a world where you could just say “I’m a woman” or “I’m Black” and society would respect that. But it’s not up to me and that dream is a long way off. So, for now, as funny as this woman is, her situation and the resulting internet phenomenon is yet another painful reminder of the heaviness of race in our damaged society, the privilege of the majority and the arrogance of those who continuously seek to appropriate the benefits of blackness but pay none of its toll.

©COPYRIGHT 2015

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

NIGGALECTUAL PROPERTY© OR HOW THE TITLE OF THIS BLOG IS ITSELF.

  1. Tamron Hall did a segment today on beauty and a woman's nails were referred to as being "on fleek." As soon as I heard the term, I knew it was a new slang word or phrase created by black folk that had crept into the mainstream.

    Why does this bother me? Because  I know that these terms are intellectual property

    Intellectual property (IP) is a legal term that refers to creations of the mind. Examples of intellectual property include music, literature, and other artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs.

    But because they arise from a general culture that does not seem to know how clever it is, we (the black people) never seem to profit as we enrich American culture with our endless creativity. This is what I call Niggallectual Property© intellectual property created by black culture but it only has value when appropriated by white people.

    Like, diss, playa, twerk, hater and ratchet, I knew this on fleek was yet another cultural term that has been appropriated and will soon be used by corny politicians, pandering to the youth vote. 

    The comedian Bill Bellamy coined the term Booty Call, then someone made a movie using the title and then everyone in the world started saying it and doing it and he doesn’t get a royalty.

    Black folks created jazz, blues, rock and roll, soul disco and rap and we watched as each of these genres were taken, mainstreamed, blanded out and killed. And now we have a generation of kids who think glorified backup singers are actually good.

    Black folk, my people, are the kings of intellectual property but while IP in the digital age has value, much of our cultural IP is worthless-- until it is appropriated by others who see its value.

    We can stop this. All we have to do is be smart. Before you tweet or vine something clever, copyright it first and then when they steal it, you get paid. Or better yet, if we can stop discounting ourselves just because we live in a country that seems to place a small value on our lives, we can all get paid. By the way, this whole blog is totally on fleek.

    Copyright 2015