Member since: Mon Apr 21, 2008, 11:17 PM
Number of posts: 16,583
Number of posts: 16,583
I know I'm breaking the rules about posting, but:
1. This piece was too important not to post here in it's entirety, and
2. I felt like a had to start a new thread because it's a slightly different take on this issue than 1SBM's thread.
I'm sure it's likely to spark discussion/debate, but it's a worthwhile read and point of view.
Black parenting is often too authoritative. White parenting is often too permissive. Both need to change
In college, I once found myself on the D.C. metro with one of my favorite professors. As we were riding, a young white child began to climb on the seats and hang from the bars of the train. His mother never moved to restrain him. But I began to see the very familiar, strained looks of disdain and dismay on the countenances of the mostly black passengers. They exchanged eye contact with one another, dispositions tight with annoyance at the audacity of this white child, but mostly at the refusal of his mother to act as a disciplinarian. I, too, was appalled. I thought, if that were my child, I would snatch him down and tell him to sit his little behind in a seat immediately. My professor took the opportunity to teach: “Do you see how this child feels the prerogative to roam freely in this train, unhindered by rules or regulations or propriety?”
“Yes,” I nodded. “What kinds of messages do you think are being communicated to him right now about how he should move through the world?”
And I began to understand, quite starkly, in that moment, the freedom that white children have to see the world as a place that they can explore, a place in which they can sit, or stand, or climb at will. The world, they are learning, is theirs for the taking.
Then I thought about what it means to parent a black child, any black child, in similar circumstances. I think of the swiftness with which a black mother would have ushered her child into a seat, with firm looks and not a little a scolding, the implied if unspoken threat of either a grounding or a whupping, if her request were not immediately met with compliance. So much is wrapped up in that moment: a desire to demonstrate that one’s black child is well-behaved, non-threatening, well-trained. Disciplined. I think of the centuries of imminent fear that have shaped and contoured African-American working-class cultures of discipline, the sternness of our mothers’ and grandmothers’ looks, the firmness of the belts and switches applied to our hind parts, the rhythmic, loving, painful scoldings accompanying spankings as if the messages could be imprinted on our bodies with a sure and swift and repetitive show of force.
I think with fond memories of the big tree that grew in my grandmother’s yard, with branches that were the perfect size for switches. I hear her booming and shrill voice now, commanding, “Go and pick a switch.” I laugh when I remember that she cut that tree down once we were all past the age of switches.
And then I turn to Adrian Peterson. Not even a year ago, Peterson’s 2-year-old son, whom he did not know, was murdered by his son’s mother’s boyfriend. More recently, Adrian Peterson has been charged with negligent injury to a child, for hitting his 4-year-old son with a switch, in a disciplinary episode that left the child with bruises and open cuts on his hands, legs, buttocks and scrotum.
In the text messages that Peterson sent to the boy’s mother, he acknowledged having gone too far, letting her know that he accidentally “got him in the nuts,” and that because the child didn’t cry, he didn’t realize the switch was hurting him. It would be easy to demonize Peterson as an abuser, but the forthrightness with which he talked about using belts and switches but not extension cords, because he “remembers how it feels to get whooped with an extension cord,” as part of his modes of discipline suggests he is merely riffing on scripts handed down to him as an African-American man.
These cultures of violent punishment are ingrained within African-American communities. In fact, they are often considered marks of good parenting. In my childhood, parents who “thought their children were too good to be spanked” were looked upon with derision. I have heard everyone from preachers to comedians lament the passing of days when a child would do something wrong at a neighbor’s house, get spanked by that neighbor, and then come home and get spanked again for daring to misbehave at someone else’s house. For many that is a vision of a strong black community, in which children are so loved and cared for that everyone has a stake in making sure that those children turn out well, and “know how to act.” In other words, it is clear to me that Peterson views his willingness to engage in strong discipline as a mark of being a good father.
Perhaps it is time to acknowledge that the loving intent and sincerity behind these violent modes of discipline makes them no less violent, no more acceptable. Some of our ideas about discipline are unproductive, dangerous and wrong. It’s time we had courage to say that.
I am not interested in haggling any more with black people about the difference between spankings and abuse, because when emotions and stakes are both as high as they are, lines are far too easily crossed.
Stakes are high because parenting black children in a culture of white supremacy forces us to place too high a price on making sure our children are disciplined and well-behaved.
I know that I personally place an extremely high value on children being respectful, well-behaved and submissive to authority figures. I’m fairly sure this isn’t a good thing.
If black folks are honest, many of us will admit to both internally and vocally balking at the very “free” ways that we have heard white children address their parents in public. Many a black person has seen a white child yelling at his or her parents, while the parents calmly respond, gently scold, ignore, attempt to soothe, or failing all else, look embarrassed.
I can never recount one time, ever seeing a black child yell at his or her mother in public. Never. It is almost unfathomable.
As a kid in the 1980s and 1990s I loved family sitcoms. “Full House,” “Who’s the Boss?,” “Growing Pains.” You name it. But even before my own racial consciousness was fully formed, I remember knowing that I was watching white families very different from my own, in part, because of how children interacted with their families. Invariably on an episode, a child would get mad, yell at a parent, and then run up the stairs (white people’s sitcom houses always had stairs) and slam the door.
What I know for sure is that yelling, running away or slamming anything in the house that my single mama worked hard to pay for would be grounds for some serious disciplinary reprisal. Even now, when I think about what kind of behavior I would permit as a parent, I am clear that slamming doors in my home is unacceptable.
Still, I also know that my anger was not an emotion that found a free and healthy range of expression in my household. My mother is my own personal hero, but just as she did many things differently than her own mother did when it came to raising daughters, I know I will think very intentionally about making space for my children to experience a full range of emotions – anger included — in the safety of home. They can’t slam the door, but they can close it.
As for Adrian Peterson, he will have to deal with the legal consequences of his actions. It has long been time for us to forgo violence as a disciplinary strategy. But as Charles Barkley notes, if we lock up Adrian Peterson, we could lock up every other black parent in the South for the same behavior. Instead, I hope Peterson is a cautionary tale, not about the state intruding on our “right” to discipline our children but rather a wakeup call about how much (fear of) state violence informs the way we discipline our children.
If the murder of Michael Brown has taught us nothing else, we should know by now that the U.S. nation-state often uses deadly violence both here and abroad as a primary mode of disciplining people with black and brown bodies. Darren Wilson used deadly force against Michael Brown as a mode of discipline (and a terroristic act) for Brown’s failure to comply with the request to walk on the sidewalk.
The loving intent and sincerity of our disciplinary strategies does not preclude them from being imbricated in these larger state-based ideas about how to compel black bodies to act in ways that are seen as non-menacing, unobtrusive and basically invisible. Many hope that by enacting these micro-level violence on black bodies, we can protect our children from macro and deadly forms of violence later.
Posted by Liberal_Stalwart71 | Thu Sep 18, 2014, 12:03 PM (9 replies)
Robin Givens speaks out about "why she stayed" and the (mis)treatment of black women in the media...
I will never forget how Robin was (mis)treated back then. Her career was basically destroyed. She could never shake down the "gold digger" moniker.
Sadly, it was mostly black women to came to Mike Tyson's defense. And now they we for ourselves just how disturbed the man really is.
Too bad. The Time article is brilliant!
Robin Givens Corey Reese The actress and activist on how video and social media are changing the way we treat women struggling with abusive relationships
When I first heard of the two-game suspension for former Ravens running back Ray Rice because of the assault on his then fiancée, I thought, Great, here we go again. No one cares, he can do anything. And then when I saw the second video of him actually punching Janay Rice unconscious, I thought, this is what happened to me. The only difference was that when I came to, a doorman was carrying me over his shoulder, out of my fiancé’s apartment, and into a car. I remember what my ex-husband told me later, which was that I bounced off two walls and I then was out. At the time, I was engaged to him and living with my mother, but I didn’t go home because I would have had to explain to her what happened. Instead I called a friend and went to her hotel room, but even then, I didn’t say, “He hit me.” I said, “He pushed me.” It’s even hard to admit it yourself. I was embarrassed.
People ask why I didn’t leave after the first time he hit me. But you feel such inner turmoil and confusion. You want it to be only one time. And for three days after that incident I did the right thing. I said: “Don’t call me. I never want to see you again.” But then you start taking his phone calls. Then he asks to see you in person, and you say yes to that. Then you have a big giant man crying like a baby on your lap and next thing you know, you’re consoling him. You’re the protector. One minute you’re running from him, the next you’re protecting him. And being a black woman you feel you want to protect your man. You think, the black man in America has it so difficult anyway, so now you’re turning them in. It feels like the ultimate betrayal. And maybe Janay Rice is feeling a little of that, though I don’t want to speak for her.
The release of this new video is a watershed moment. It’s very difficult for people to wrap their minds around the concept of a man actually balling up his fist and hitting a woman. They don’t mean to dismiss it, it’s just too hard to take in. But the video forces you to take it in. There’s no escaping. You can’t dance around it, you have to deal with it. That’s why video really becomes crucial for this cause, the fight against domestic violence. No matter what people are told, it’s hard for anyone to believe that a man could do this kind of thing unless they actually see it. People say: “That guy is so nice when he’s with me. What did you do? What did you say to him? He’s cool. I play golf with him. I can’t imagine him doing this.” Women are simply not believed.
But if there’s video, you can’t unsee it. It is so deep to actually see what happens to women. And we will see it now because there are cameras everywhere. I remember being dragged down a hallway in a hotel in the Bahamas on a night I thought I was really going to die. Today there would have been cameras in that hall. Someone would know. I would be believed. Now the story gets to tell itself.
Today we are in world where we are far more connected and involved in each other’s lives thanks to social media. Women who are abused can see they’re not alone. I only left my marriage when I felt like I was going to die physically or die emotionally. It’s just amazing what becomes your normal. One day you wake up with a knife at your throat. Another day, your shoes are all torn up. But I did leave and I didn’t take one dime from my husband. I left my house, and I even left my underwear. I just wanted my life. I was very confident that I could make my way on my own. And I did.
Twenty years later, it is different. We have made progress in this journey of empowerment for women. But we need men to be part of it. We need them to say there can never be hitting. Ever. I’ve always believed that when men stand up things will change, and now a football team is saying this behavior, this violence is wrong. We’re still in the middle of this fight, but this moment, this video, will change things. We just have to keep at it.
Givens is an actor, director, activist and author. She divorced boxer Mike Tyson in 1988. She has worked on behalf of women, children and families facing the challenges of domestic violence for more than 20 years. You can read more about her here. Follow her on Twitter @Therocknrobn.
Posted by Liberal_Stalwart71 | Fri Sep 12, 2014, 09:56 AM (1 replies)
I can't wait to see this...
There is a dismal lack of great coming of age stories about black girls. There’s Spike Lee’s “Crooklyn” or Leslie Harris’s “Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.” or Dee Rees’s “Pariah” - but try listing at least six off the top of your head; you’ll likely come up short. Why? Perhaps because black girlhood is a kind of myth. Black girls don’t get to experience the awkwardness of adolescence, the discovery of budding sexuality, the gradual blossoming into womanhood.
( Collapse )Black girls are women before they hit puberty, thrust into a kind of pseudo-adulthood by a world often unable to view them outside the context of hard-fixed stereotypes. When they grow breasts and *** in adolescence they’re warned not to be “fast”, while they’re simultaneously sexualized and exoticized and encouraged to view their sexuality as their only source of value. They’re dismissed as too aggressive and angry, while taught that to be anything other than “strong and independent” - vulnerable, playful, carefree - is to be the opposite of who they are. It’s a distinct kind of in-between, so rarely explored in any kind of substantial way.
This year, we got a movie called “Boyhood.” It was beautiful. It was also heralded by many a critic as the film of a generation, a “universal” story chronicling twelve years in the life of a young white boy growing up before our eyes over the course of three hours.</b> But, like so many stories that focus on young white males, it’s been heavily read as gender neutral, an everyman tale that everyone should be able to relate to.
But while in many ways a soaring cinematic experience, “Boyhood” didn’t resonate with me, a lifelong Richard Linklater enthusiast, the way I thought it would. It wasn’t wholly alienating, but there were few points of entry, few moments where I could detach myself from the experience of watching the film and actually experience the film. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s one of the main reasons why Céline Sciamma’s “Girlhood” is so vital.
Sciamma is known for her past forays into the female coming of age story with “Water Lillies” and “Tomboy,” but here she shifts her focus exclusively to a 16 year-old black girl, Marieme (Karidja Toure), as she grapples with her own state of in-between, dealing with bad grades at school, a crush on a boy from the block, and the menacing violence of her controlling older brother.
While the film’s French title “Bande de filles” can be translated to “Girl Gang,” naming it “Girlhood” for the English market is its first playful and defiant gesture. Here, Marieme, a dark-skinned black girl living in the ‘hood just outside of Paris, gets to be the universal everywoman, the singular point in the narrative with which we must constantly be engaged.
Marieme becomes friends with a tough group, led by the savvy and charismatic Lady (Assa Sylla), who introduce her to a world of shoplifting, drinking and drugs, and YouTubed street fights. Gratefully, Sciamma does not turn this into a kind of cautionary tale, an ethnographic foray into the lives of wild packs of “ratchets”. The girls are not condemned or dismissed for their bad behavior, or held to a higher standard that in their white counterparts is so often romanticized (think “Palo Alto”, for instance.) Instead, their actions are presented without bias and without judgement.
There’s a scene halfway through the movie where Marieme and her three friends rent out a hotel room to party - they put on shoplifted club dresses, drink whiskey and soda, smoke blunts. The scene isn’t about the dark path Marieme is headed down. It’s a scene about friendship, about autonomy, about the brief exuberance of being young.
Rihanna’s “Diamonds” begins, and we watch the four friends sing along for its entire duration, the camera never pulling away. It’s a simple, universal moment. But it’s one that for every black woman will resonate with a kind of burning nostalgia. In a movie landscape where there are so few depictions of black girls getting to be black girls, it’s a moment of pure cinematic joy.
There is so much to praise in this film, from its elegant cinematography, to its naturalistic and captivating performers. But the highest praise that I can give this film is in its deft ability in capturing the unique process of growing up that so many black girls, especially those of low socioeconomic status must navigate. That struggle between embracing both our hardness and fragility, our strength and weakness. And so, again, “Girlhood” is vital, a reminder that there is so much more to be said, so much more beauty and complexity to be explored, in the coming-of-age story.
Read more at ONTD: http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/#ixzz3D3yaZHrT
Posted by Liberal_Stalwart71 | Fri Sep 12, 2014, 09:49 AM (1 replies)
He made a fantastic movie called Fahrenheit 911 which I own about how the previous administration lied this country into a war but didn't capture or kill the mastermind behind the horrific events of that fateful day: OSAMA BIN LADEN.
Here we have the current administration led by the same black man that Moore insulted whose administration captured and killed said perpetrator.
And yet, Mr. Moore insults and offends, and I've heard no one here or on any liberal forum--nor Mr. Moore himself--utter the name OSAMA BIN LADEN.
SO FUCK YOU, MICHAEL MOORE. FUCK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!
Posted by Liberal_Stalwart71 | Thu Sep 11, 2014, 09:32 PM (255 replies)
This is not coming from me or any of the black, brown, Asian or white sympathetic DUers.
This is Rachel Maddow's show tonight. It was a brilliant show tonight because she demonstrated a very important contrast.
For months now, many of us have been trying--in vain--to explain what we have witnessed. Our life experiences. To try to get people to understand, not to make white people feel guilty. Not to accuse white folk of racism--real or unconscious. But simply to get people to see how white skin privilege has led to disparities in the ways people of color and whites have been treated in this country.
Rachel drew a contrast between the Bundy stand-off in Nevada and what happened in Ferguson, where the protestors came strapped, armed to the 9's, antagonizing federal troops, aiming their weapons squarely at feds. We saw how favorable to the Bundy's the coverage was in that the feds were lambasted for "overstepping their bounds," even as they enforced federal laws. (Remember, Bundy had been breaking federal land regulations for many decades!)
In stark contrast, the protestors in Ferguson--all unarmed--are treated like animals, told to go home. The protests began peacefully, but with only a few of them causing trouble, the press generalized about ALL the protestors. The cops are militarized, the crowds are sprayed with tear gas. Remember these people are all unarmed.
Don't attack me. Rachel clearly drew the contrast. She clearly stated that race IS the central factor.
And guess what? I agree.
Posted by Liberal_Stalwart71 | Thu Aug 14, 2014, 12:26 AM (85 replies)
So we live in a post-racial society? I think not.
Study: White people support harsher criminal laws if they think more black people arrested
A recent study suggests that, if you are white, and you are presented with evidence that our criminal justice system disproportionately targets black people, then you are more likely to support harsh criminal justice policies than if you were unaware of this evidence. According to a study by Rebecca Hetey, a post-doctoral fellow in Stanford’s Psychology department and Jennifer Eberhardt, her faculty advisor, informing white people that African Americans are significantly over-represented in the prison population “may actually bolster support for the very policies that perpetuate the inequality.”
Forty percent of the nation’s prison population is black, as compared to only 12 percent of the population as a whole.
To reach their conclusions, Hetey and Eberhardt conducted two experiments involving white subjects. In the first, white people were asked to watch one of two videos containing mug shots. In one video, 25 percent of the mug shots were pictures of black men, while in the other video, 45 percent of the mug shots depicted African American males. After watching the video, the subjects were then asked whether they would sign a petition calling for one of California’s strict sentencing laws to be eased.
The result: “Over half of the participants who’d seen the mug shots with fewer black men signed the petition, whereas only 27 percent of people who viewed the mug shots containing a higher percentage of black inmates agreed to sign.”
In the second experiment, two groups of white New Yorkers were shown different statistical data about the racial makeup of the prison population. One group was shown data indicating that 40 percent of prisoners are black while the other group was shown that 60 percent are black. Once again, the group that was led to believe that fewer people in the criminal justice system are African Americans were more likely to support liberalizing criminal justice policies. In this case, the New Yorkers were asked if they would sign a petition calling for the end of New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy. Thirty-three percent of the subjects who were led to believe that fewer African Americans are incarcerated were willing to sign the petition. Only 12 percent of the other group were willing to do so.
As Hetey notes, this research could have profound implications for advocates seeking to convince voters — or, at least, white voters — to support less harsh criminal justice policy. “Many legal advocates and social activists seem to assume that bombarding the public with images, statistics and other evidence of racial disparities will motivate people to join the cause and fight inequality,” according to Hetey. “But we found that, ironically, exposure to extreme racial disparities may make the public less, and not more, responsive to attempts to lessen the severity of policies that help maintain those disparities.”
Posted by Liberal_Stalwart71 | Mon Aug 11, 2014, 05:41 PM (5 replies)
Has anyone heard about this story?
“I need some white privilege!”
Black Woman Launches Online Fundraiser To Raise Money To Gain ‘White Privilege’
Via The Grio reports:
The unique idea is the brainchild of GoFundMe.com user Yaya M., who launched this impressive campaign on Wednesday and has already garnered the support of thousands from people who have called the campaign “brilliant.”
“Although I have layered oppressions that have affected my ability to access my slice of the American Pie™, no issue has affected me more readily than my lack of white privilege,” Yaya writes on her campaign page. “From being assumed to have ‘cheated’ my way into programs for gifted children AND college (via affirmative action), to having my natural hair viewed as unprofessional amongst professional peers, to having people make negative assumptions about my competency level, interests, and job knowledge, to being viewed as naturally dangerous or threatening, my lack of white privilege has created numerous obstacles as I’ve struggled to successfully compete in a white-dominated workforce.”
Yaya’s ultimate goal is to raise $135,000 — which she says she has calculated based on her work history and the financial disadvantage she has had over the years when compared to whites in the work force.
“I’ve been earning anywhere from 63-69 percent of what a white man makes for the same work since I entered the workforce in 1999. Even if I control for part-time work as a teenager and consider increases in pay as I grew older/more experienced and changed my field, that still averages out to about a $9000 deficit for each year I’ve been employed. Multiply that by 15 years of hustle and you have my total,” she wrote.
So far, she has raised close to $5,000 in seven days — and for each dollar amount users are willing to give, Yaya has even listed a separate reward of her own black privilege.
If given a $5 contribution, Yaya snarkily says she will “agree to be the black friend you are referencing when you tell people ‘I’m not racist, I have a black friend!’”
If given a $65 contribution, Yaya writes she will “allow you to touch my hair without asking, enabling you to potentially absorb some of my magical afro powers.”
Donations and responses from users have been pouring in — many of them celebrating Yaya’s stance and her interesting way of using the platform to address the discussion.
“I’m donating because this is the single best crowd funding site I have ever seen,” one woman wrote. “Also, white privilege has helped me out a ton, and I’ve got more than enough to share.”
In response to all the feedback, Yaya posted an update to the page campaign page on Thursday thanking everyone for their support:
“It was one of my intentions to find a way to foster dialogue about a serious issue in a light-hearted way, and you all have given me faith that this is more possible than I could have imagined.”
In the same text, she also sent a message to folks who she says spewed words of hatred and impolite disagreements. To these critics, she wrote:
“Just because I like you, and because I’d hate to see you die alone in your apartments surrounded by only your indignant loathing and a dozen or so equally morose cats, I offer you the free gift of the following article, no donation required: http://thefeministbreeder.com/explaining-white-privilege-broke-white-person/“
To read more about this witty young woman and even donate check out her GoFundMe page HERE
- See more at: http://bossip.com/1001288/pure-racia....puGN06n5.dpuf
Posted by Liberal_Stalwart71 | Tue Jul 22, 2014, 11:46 PM (9 replies)
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