Have you ever felt disappointment?
If you’re a living, breathing human being of course you have! The difference between how we react to it is what distinguishes success from failure in achieving life goals. Well…I may have assumed a bit here. The first thing we need to have ARE life goals.
So if you want something how do you go about getting it? Mind you I have much higher goals in mind than material acquisitions. This is such a consumerist society that even those part of the underclass get the latest gadget, shoes or electronic goods. The issue is whether that energy was spent doing something that builds wealth and sets you up for a higher quality of life or if you end up digging a hole to fall into.
1. The first step is changing one’s mindset.
Not only to be more positive but to think in the long term. That disappointment is an indicator that we want to reach for something. Now whether it’s beneficial for us is another issue entirely, but in general terms it’s an opportunity to aim higher. One popular interview question asked is, “Where do you see yourself in five years.” When I researched techniques there were a list of acceptable answers all related to telling a potential employer that time would be spent with them of course, but that was never my intention. I was always going to be on the lookout for a better position. How many of us get complacent, thinking long term employment at one job looks good on a resume? There’s something to be said for stability – if you’re looking for that type of job at that type of company and expect to live that type of life. That also worked until five years ago. Or less.
As we see in this volatile market all of the old rules are out the door. People who would have stayed in positions have been downsized. The ones who’ve stayed are doing the work of three now. Many positions are gone forever and will never return.
Education is very important. Typically that would mean a degree from a nationally accredited program. That’s an important caveat to mention as there’s been an explosion of degree mill schools that basically print up a diploma if someone’s willing to pay for it. Employers have apparently been flooded with unqualified graduates who don’t have basic skill sets. At the other end of this are the school snobs who place importance on those graduating from name schools. Everyone can’t attend a name school. Some may have to think prudently, attending a smaller school or gasp! Community College before transferring to a larger state or private university. Some institutions are simply coasting on their reputations and may not provide much value to an individual and their specific needs.
Others may be best served learning a trade or starting a business. We shouldn’t limit ourselves in anything that we do. There’s more to education than sitting in a class, however. Keeping up with changes in technology and trends in society is equally as important. For example there’s are early adapters of these changes and there’s everyone else. There’s people who may be highly skilled in their area of expertise who flourished under the old system but are not able to incorporate newer methods. Like social media.
It is now required for Public Relations specialists to know this medium. It’s also necessary for those who were relying on their government or private industry position that hadn’t originally required much more than a high school diploma (and the means to pass an exam). As more of those positions people assumed they’d have for life are eliminated (I mean who thought a Post Office would ever close?) those that cannot adapt will be left behind.
For example, the blogging platform has been available for a few years now. Many journalists have incorporated blogs into their work out of necessity. Citizen journalism is going to continue to grow as newspapers and magazines struggle to operate under the old model. Their overhead is killing them: the expensive rent of prime real estate to house employees, the expense accounts and other perks are destroying their bottom line.
There’s another aspect that hasn’t been discussed. These entities have been actively engaging in employment apartheid for years. When a company has intentionally hired a majority one gender, one race, one or two ethnicities within that race construct, with similar mentalities they’re not really interested in reaching a wide and diverse population. They expected the larger audience to be serviced by a small minority. So as that very narrow appeal has shrunk it can no longer support such segregation. Hence certain companies have gone under or have to consolidate. Thinking of it strictly in terms of survival it is how it should have been a long time ago. Eventually their “preferred” population would not hold the same clout or retain the necessary numbers to sustain the business model. So I have little sympathy.
Now this is where the adapters of technology and trends come into play. Once the basic skills required have been obtained adding the flourish is easy. In the case of news media stories that didn’t have “value” to some – more likely it was a case of intentionally ignoring things – we can now cover them. Whether it’s an individual who decides to start a blog and write about it or directly hiring a skilled professional who has been downsized we can now ensure the diverse population has a voice. That’s a powerful thing.
- What ways can we begin to think outside the box?
- Where do you see needs are not being met?
- Have you thought of an area that’s lacking but are waiting for someone else to address it?
Note: I wrote this well over a month ago but haven’t been able to finish this the way I want. Then I realized it’s a blog post not a graduate dissertation (perhaps it’s the start of one) so I’m posting because it needs to be discussed. So have at it!
Civil Rights WAS supposed to be part of the CONTINUED journey of the collective advancement of African-Americans. Sadly it became the end of the road. As we who have eyes can see it has all gone downhill since then.
“A ballot is like a bullet. You don’t throw your ballots until you see a target, and if that target is not within your reach, keep your ballot in your pocket. “When you take your case to Washington, D.C., you’re taking it to the criminal who’s responsible; it’s like running from the wolf to the fox. They’re all in cahoots together”. “Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner, unless you eat some of what’s on that plate. Being born here in America doesn’t make you an American. Why, if birth made you American, you wouldn’t need any legislation, you wouldn’t need any amendments to the Constitution, you wouldn’t be faced with civil-rights filibustering in Washington, D.C., right now.” “You and I, 22 million African-Americans — that’s what we are — Africans who are in America. You’re nothing but Africans. Nothing but Africans. In fact, you’d get farther calling yourself African instead of Negro. Africans don’t catch hell. You’re the only one catching hell. They don’t have to pass civil-rights bills for Africans.” Ballot or the Bullet excerpt.
Malcolm X described his continued commitment to Black nationalism, which he defined as the philosophy that African-Americans should govern their own communities. He said that Black nationalists believe that African-Americans should control the politics and the economy in their communities and that they need to remove the vices, such as alcoholism and drug addiction, that afflict their communities.
If “we” as individuals and our (hold-overs from the 60’s & 70’s, self-appointed & future wannabe) MISleaders actually did GOVERN instead of defending all manner of mediocrity and depravity blacks in this country would be much better off. Govern is defined as:
- To bring into conformity with rules or principles or usage
- Impose regulations direct or strongly influence the behavior of
The African-American women who did all the grunt work behind the scenes were expecting to be rewarded for their loyalty later on. Many (most?) were cast aside and today with few exceptions are forgotten.
As Olson recounts it, the day after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus, the city’s black leaders held a mass meeting to promote a boycott. It was December 1955, and the meeting was packed with ministers and others who wanted to speak, among them Parks. The crowd never heard from her. “You’ve said enough,” one of the leaders told her. And with that, Olson says, Parks became a shining example of the role of women in the Civil Rights movement: they got things started and the men took the spotlight. Freedom’s Daughters excerpt
How many of us have considered the physical danger these women and children were put in?We have to remove the blinders or romanticism to properly assess the retaliation that went on behind the scenes. You’d have to imagine if law enforcement would let an attack dog loose on a person in plain sight something even worse occurred in absence of photographers and television crews. Think of Abu Ghraib.
The women who participated in the Freedom Rides and other resistance were likely exposed to untold abuse including sexual assault. I’m sure that was a message the male “leaders” didn’t want to get out. Neither would the women want to expose themselves to the public scrutiny. Being raped is traumatic enough but if it was coupled with efforts for equality…..I just can’t imagine going through something like that.
If anyone is reading this who personally knows some women in their late ’50’s – 80’s who’d be willing to step forward without shame and tell the TRUTH…try to get it recorded somehow. It’s a vital part of our history. Not just from a race perspective, but a feminist/womanist one. Could this also explain why so many women initially held tightly to the idea of “black love” and pairing only with other African-American males?
- Pauli Murray
- Maria Stewart
- Fannie Lou Hamer
- Ella Baker
- Septima Poisette Clark
- Diane Nash
Here are some names you may or may not be familiar with. Without them we wouldn’t have had a Movement. There are also many unknown contributors we owe a debt of gratitude to. We know Hamer was beat up and considered less than so it wouldn’t fall out of the realm of possibility that some women may have been assaulted as well. Those entrenched in supporting white supremacy murdered white people so nothing was off the table.
We also need to reexamine what we believe the Movement was about. If you start to dig deeper and look at things more critically you’ll see a pattern emerging where the African-American men who took prominent roles (or small) were interested in advancing their own interests above the collective. That included seeking out mates who were not black. It was a driving impetus for this “equality” fight. They wanted equal access without retaliation by white men to white women.
I’m reading a review by Paige Turner of the book: Freedom’s Daughters The Unsung Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement from 1830 to 1970 by Lynne Olsen. Now with my analysis Ms. Turner has a few problematic beliefs that fall into the typical indoctrination of marginalized black women who diminish themselves: the “save all our people” complex as she titles her review, “Women Hold Up the Sky” and her willingness to dismiss Stokely Carmichael’s clear contempt of women with his quote about women’s best role as “prone”. Um…no dear. Anyone who makes “jokes” and does bad “satire” displaying racist images as we saw last year means it. Anyone who makes light of rape and tells women their purpose is solely for the sexual gratification of a man is SERIOUS.
Freedom’s Daughters draws strong connections between the plights of black and white women, both being in the same powerless boat. There is a good exploration of the complex and conflicted relations between white mistresses and their black female slaves. This conflict was never eradicated but reared its ugly head during the 1964 Mississippi “Freedom Summer” when the inequality of sexual attention given to the female SNCC workers created a permanent schism. “The clash between black and white women in Mississippi seemed to stem in some cases from the fact that each appeared to have what the other wanted. Unlike many white women, black women were not restricted to office work or the Freedom Schools. They were out on the front lines with men, canvassing, organizing, going to the courthouse and in general asserting themselves in no uncertain terms…[but]…when the day was over and there was time to relax, the men took out [their white female co workers]. “Our skills and abilities were recognized and respected,” Cynthia Washington noted, “but that seemed to place us in some category other than female”. (Sexism, patriarchy, jealousy, focusing on non-caliber men, the unresolved issues of sexual assault of black women by white men.)
Had Ella Baker had her way people would have been charged with taking more responsibility for themselves instead of looking to one decidedly male leader as Messiah. I don’t know that the masses would’ve complied but a few more key individuals would’ve been great! We can see that legacy being played out TODAY with how many African-Americans are resistant to the idea of true accountability for our “first black President” with their excuses at the ready. Ranging from “give him time to do x,y,z” “I trust him” “he’s the President of the US not of black people” those that are afraid to simply ASK for their due because they VOTED for the man at the highest rates of any other group have fallen into the pit of apathy, inaction and learned helplessness. I’ve discussed how I volunteered, that I was excited about the election and he was my preferred candidate but I have a list of things I expect be done. Like health care being passed with the public option. A lot of my support has always been about ensuring the prominent role of the African-American First Lady & First Daughters being used as an impetus for the rest of us to be elevated not just in the United States but the world. This is our best opportunity to do so and help secure more prominent futures for the next generations.
An important revelation in Freedom’s Daughters is the way male and female leaders perceived and wielded power. The legendary and greatly respected Ella Baker of the SCLC, NAACP and SNCC had a completely different view of people management than did Martin Luther King (as I mentioned above). “King ran the SCLC in the same authoritarian manner that he and most of the other ministers ran their churches. To them power meant control over others. Baker had a completely different view of power. She believed that King’s job and the SCLC’s should be to nurture people, to help them find the power within themselves to change their own lives and the society in which they lived.”
Of course someone reading this might protest and ask, “Why are you mentioning the black man and his “failings” or being critical” My reply: Look at the state of black people in America and ask yourself how did we get here? The men declared themselves the LEADERS! They abandoned their roles as fathers and husbands AFTER Civil Rights were won. The 30% marriage rate for blacks [married to each other], the 80% OOW birth rate and the 70% unmarried rate for black women did not happen by osmosis. So the buck stops with them.
There was a point where so many black women stopped looking out for their BEST interests and decided saving the race was more important. There’s a handful of black female bloggers discussing this error but NOBODY else is from. I’m certainly not finding groups of black men talking about how we are doing too much and they need to step up and hold themselves accountable. If there are feel free to leave their (names & numbers, lol) blogs in the comment section! SOMEBODY has to speak out. Really, I’m not trying to rehash but we need to fit some more of the missing pieces. I believe many black women are STILL thinking it’s certain “undesirables” who are acting up the way I used to before my revelation that it’s the majority of men (with an increasing number of women) who are [DBR] damaged beyond repair/recognition (of normative behavior).
I am reading and researching so many stories of WOMEN who risked LIFE and LIMB for the benefits we enjoy and squander so readily and it makes me angry to see their efforts be spit upon by those of us 1-2 generations beyond them and our endless litany of excuses about how we have it so “hard” now. People are struggling but some people are ALWAYS struggling. When is it ENOUGH? There is not enough money in the world to throw at people who’d take it and burn it while offering even more excuses about why they can’t function and how it’s someone else’s fault.
How did things fall apart so quickly AFTER Civil Rights was passed? The foundation must not have been strong to begin with. Why is ANY critique met with a rush to silence or attack the messenger? Why were the women marginalized and shut out? I’m not so sure I’m willing to say it was all or mostly their “fault” either. There would’ve been an internal war had women stood up. Yes, I think from my lofty perch I can say they should have revolted but perhaps they were thinking a compromise was better than complete failure for the Movement. It’s too bad that we won a battle (Civil Rights) that was miscalculated as a war, only to lose the real war (the entire population going to hell in a handbasket). Diane Nash put herself in physical danger because the “men” thought it wasn’t safe to march. Other women followed suit. Perhaps she thought being a female would protect her. It didn’t. Now I have to ask the obvious, what kind of coward lets a woman risk physical harm?
HAD THESE WOMEN NOT PUT THEMSELVES ON THE LINE WE WOULD NOT HAVE HAD A CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.
Let’s repeat that shall we?
No African-American women = No Civil Rights that we all got to “enjoy”.
No movement can be sustained strictly by the sheer force of will by a handful of women. Eventually they had to pass away. The men who were made “Gods” were killed. Since no one else has stepped into a leadership role BY EXAMPLE of course things have fallen apart. There’s a lot of talking and a lot of lying. There’s a lot of personal gain and a big giant collective failure.
It’s just a shame that we’ve regressed. African-American women have been doing EVERYTHING for soooo long most don’t even know how NOT to.
So put down your axe, pick, club, etc. Stop the hard labor and LEAVE the plantation. Your Emancipation came years ago only you were too busy SLAVING AWAY to notice. YOU ARE FREE!
This week’s meme is “I Bet You Didn’t Know I Liked”. I missed a few weeks there but didn’t want to let too much time elapse. I liked all of the Duran Duran side projects even if some of them seem a bit questionable now.
Arcadia -they were very esoteric and worked with Grace Jones!
If I have to read another tired article about how black women have such a hard time with:
a) Our hair
b) Our dating prospects
c) Our bodies
I WILL SCREAM!
“If your hair is relaxed, white people are relaxed,” the comedian Paul Mooney, sporting an Afro, says in the documentary “Good Hair,” which won a jury prize at the Sundance film festival and comes out in October. “If your hair is nappy, they’re not happy.”
Le sigh. There is no political related ideology in wearing our hair with or without chemical processing. It’s a personal choice! This is why I am wary of having black men try to deconstruct issues that pertain specifically to black women. Or give dating advice when they themselves haven’t had successful relationships. I mean I don’t see any movies helmed by us about how their anatomy has been erroneously touted as a means of boosting their insecurities. It would be considered insulting, yet here we are having other people tell us what our “issues” are.
Ladies you shouldn’t fall for it. Despite some of the serious issues we discuss here and across the blogosphere these discussions initiated in outlets like the New York Times don’t necessarily have our best interests at heart. Considering how the majority of the staff – especially upper management is 99.99999% white and male – I have a hard time believing the our stories are of such interest. What has happened is a heightened combination of curiosity and contempt from numerous quarters since Michelle Obama became First Lady that serves as a catalyst for this.
Now one agenda is to do coverage that serves as the back-handed compliment and the white editors make certain to hire a writer with some black heritage to pen it. In other words to deflect any charges of bias they’ll say the (condescending or derogatory) tone and content was at the discretion of that writer. They were of course pulling the puppet strings. At any time they could find a writer who could produce a quality piece of substance that is equally compelling and informative.
Another agenda is to do these types of black people 101 stories where they do a superficial exploration of something that has been a bone of contention for many. Like our hair apparently. It’s either feast or famine apparently. They have gone from ignoring us completely or only reporting the worst offenders to having an axe to grind. When do these shrinking sources of legit media offer an exhaustive, inspiring or accurate portrayal? It’s a fluke but it does occur from time to time.
Not that I don’t welcome media coverage for things like the population of missing and exploited women and children. Or having our beauty touted in a favorable light. There’s just no balance. It can’t all be about our First Lady or some variation of ” Black Woman It Sucks To Be You”. There’s a fine line to be had in discussing obstacles and in evaluating stereotypes or exposing pathologies. How we respond is equally as important for we can do things that help elevate our image or chip away at recent progress.
We need to be wary and evaluate who wants to engage in these conversations and why. It is often not designed to be helpful in removing barriers but to reinforce them. Why are we letting other people dictate what should be our own agenda with a message we take responsibility for and protect?
Per celeb gossip news rapper Nelly and singer Ashanti broke up last week. When I read it I wondered why it was a surprise. The guy made a music video where he slid a credit card down the butt cheeks of a woman. That speaks volumes about his character, values and how he views black women as disposable objects. Plus they’d “dated” for five years. You know where I’m going with this. If you’ve spent x amount of time trying to get someone to commit to you and they don’t, they’re just not that into you. Not to mention the fact that’s not smart dating!
In the other singer/rapper break up news pairing Kelis and Nas’ divorce was very acrimonious. She had to hire a forensic accountant to track money he’d claimed he didn’t have to get the settlement she felt she was entitled to. She’s since asked for a lump sum payment instead of monthly allocation. Many of her former “friends” in the industry have dragged her through the mud and other male rappers have predictably called her every name but her own. I’m sure they’d still have sex with her though.
I’m not surprised by the actions of these “men” because spotting the disdain they reserve for black women is like playing Pin the Tail On the Donkey without the blinders. Yet I’m still seeing comments from black women joining in the fake outrage. How dare she ask for any spousal or child support! Perhaps she wants to nurse her child and bond with him yet to hear some women talk she should “get a job”. It’s part of that Superwoman/Mammy/Mule myth.
Well, her job for the past decade has been “entertainer” which is already a type of fantasy career most will never achieve. I get the impression those who live with less expect other women to do so and resent any elevation in status. Remember the number of defenders of Chris Brown who claimed Rihanna had asked to be beat within an inch of her life? These are the relationships that are being held up as “normal” relations between blacks? This makes me want to tell black women and men to stay away from each other period – but that I know there are exceptions. Yet the sad thing is they are exceptions because I do think the majority are toxic. The “celeb” status of the couples featured only exacerbates the inherent pathologies underlying their conflicts.
Then you have the “educated” idiots like Michael Eric Dyson who may be degreed but have no common sense. His attempt at uplifting the word ni**er as an art form earns him a permanent FAIL. Skippy Gates’ defense of 2 Live Crew which I highlighted in an earlier post helped usher in the gangsta rap/bling/ho culture. Directors like Tyler Perry reinforce a narrow definition of black womanhood based on religiosity and stigmas. Let’s stop allowing these black men to uplift the gutter at our expense.
Denigration for breakfast, lunch and dinner for more than a decade and why do people wonder why 14 year olds (and younger) are committing crimes like rape and murder? Think about all the adults who buy Grand Theft Auto for children. They’re being taught to objectify women and to become criminals. It’s not a game. It’s indoctrination. It should be considered a form of child abuse as its unsupervised use creates a mini Hitler-like person.
What’s the solution? Well this may not be a one-size-fits-all response. The wound is so deep it’s time to cut off the limb to save a life. A tourniquet may have worked at one time but too much time has passed denying the wound was there to begin with. Our choices will likely reflect our mentality to begin with. It also comes down to how shrewd we are or are willing to be. We don’t want to keep playing catch-up while life is passing us by.
I present to you the letters from William Lynch slave master giving instructions how to break a person enslaved to keep them in servitude. Read it and be outraged. Then read it again and think about when blacks were emancipated but how most of those emasculated men felt the need to exert a false sense of control to regain their manhood. They couldn’t compete or subdue white men so they turned their attention to black women. Some claim the letters are a fake. Even if they are the indoctrination tactics used as outlined in these letters were absolutely deployed with spectacular results. Look at the current state of the majority of blacks post Civil Rights (and even post Obama’s election) and you will find a state of chaos that didn’t exist as little as 100 years ago. Today so many of us are confused, bewildered, dumbstruck and resistant to change. So many are broken. We need a renewal of our minds.
For fear that our future generations may not understand the principles of breaking both of the beast together, the nigger and the horse. We understand that short range planning economics results in periodic economic chaos; so that to avoid turmoil in the economy, it requires us to have breadth and depth in long range comprehensive planning, articulating both skill sharp perceptions. We lay down the following principles for long range comprehensive economic planning. Both horse and niggers [are] no good to the economy in the wild or natural state. Both must be BROKEN and TIED together for orderly production. For orderly future, special and particular attention must be paid to the FEMALE and the YOUNGEST offspring. Both must be CROSSBRED to produce a variety and division of labor. Both must be taught to respond to a peculiar new LANGUAGE .
Psychological and physical instruction of CONTAINMENT must be created for both. We hold the six cardinal principles as truth to be self-evident, based upon following the discourse concerning the economics of breaking and tying the horse and the nigger together, all inclusive of the six principles laid down above. NOTE: Neither principle alone will suffice for good economics. All principles must be employed for orderly good of the nation. Accordingly, both a wild horse and a wild or natur[al] nigger is dangerous even if captured, for they will have the tendency to seek their customary freedom and, in doing so, might kill you in your sleep. You cannot rest. They sleep while you are awake, and are awake while you are asleep. They are DANGEROUS near the family house and it requires too much labor to watch them away from the house. Above all, you cannot get them to work in this natural state. Hence, both the horse and the nigger must be broken; that is breaking them from one form of mental life to another. KEEP THE BODY, TAKE THE MIND!
In other words, break the will to resist. Now the breaking process is the same for both the horse and the nigger, only slightly varying in degrees. But, as we said before, there is an art in long range economic planning. YOU MUST KEEP YOUR EYE AND THOUGHTS ON THE FEMALE and the OFFSPRING of the horse and the nigger. A brief discourse in offspring development will shed light on the key to sound economic principles. Pay little attention to the generation of original breaking, but CONCENTRATE ON FUTURE GENERATION . Therefore, if you break the FEMALE mother, she will BREAK the offspring in its early years of development; and when the offspring is old enough to work, she will deliver it up to you, for her normal female protective tendencies will have been lost in the original breaking process.
We see this in the out of wedlock birth rate which is currently hovering in the 80th percentile. Like then black women are being used as breeders to maintain numbers. Many have no protection for themselves or their children, but how often do you see them marching for, being angry about some injustice against, acting as a gatekeeper or bodyguard for black men? When is it ever reciprocated? In fact other black women love to attack each other when one “steps out of line” and expects to be treated like any other woman from other groups.
I was just reading messages on Twitter where one was complaining about a celebrity’s divorce/child support settlement saying that the woman needed to “get a job”. She just gave birth to her first child less than two months ago! The fact the woman filed during her pregnancy speaks volumes about the lack of quality in her former marriage. When this story was first reported there were a lot of black men (and joined be a few black women) who were griping that she was “getting over” and asking for too much because all she deserved was __. As if they were personally involved or even know them!
It seems that whatever racist tactics had been deployed by whites to keep a population compliant was transferred to blacks by CHOICE to use against each other. I feel the need to remind people it’s 2009 and high time to let all that crap go. Since trying to have normal conversations with indoctrinated people is futile I think it’s just best that those of us outside the Matrix separate ourselves instead. These dead concepts are killing people and I for one want to be part of the LIVING. I’m not interested in being part of a system of control to use my time, energy and breeding capabilities for others to exploit. I want my MIND intact, fully functioning and LEFT ALONE.