Evaluating Men For Alliances & Marriage Series #4: Common Values Trumps Race

Now the regular readers know how Skippy Gates gets the side eye from me over his obvious and deep-abiding hatred of his blackness. How ironic then for such an insightful interview to emerge for his Faces Of America series (PBS) with Malcolm Gladwell. Of course, that has to do with Gladwell being a thoughtful and innovative person.

I want to highlight this segment for a few reasons. Gladwell is the author of Outliers, The Tipping Point, Blink, etc and it was his discussion of how we apply ourselves to be excellent that grabbed me at the beginning of my blogging venture. I would concur that anyone who spends 10,000 working towards a goal will become proficient, successful and be a changed person.

This is how more black women can eventually learn to disengage from the dead black community (but seriously…hurry up already). One minute at a time until days, weeks, months and years go by. That’s time that can be spent improving the quality of your life and immersion into a new way of thinking – which will generate untold opportunities. Some may refer to it as “luck” when our preparation and seizing a moment converges.

Back to the video series. Gladwell is the product of an interracial couple. His mother is Jamaican and his father is English. He grew up in Canada (in a Mennonite community) but lives in the United States now. He discusses the skin shade privilege of his lighter-complexioned mother and how even her experiences are so vastly different from his own. Let’s face it Gladwell and Charlie Kaufman could more or less be siblings.

He also mentions how the determination of race and ethnicity of West Indians is so vastly different than the experience of African-Americans. Yet, they flock to live here for a better life and may often be considered the “model blacks” even as many apparently don’t refer to themselves as black. Interesting. This only reiterates the need for AAs to get it together.

I appreciate his acknowledgement and his own awareness of his privilege as a white-skinned person who is rarely impacted by the negative aspects of race. He has noted that the issue of race was far more focused on  here (for those that would label him “black” as seen through the lens of the US).

How does this pertain to black women (esp AAs) vetting men? To remind everyone AGAIN that shared melanin is not enough of a tie to bind yourself to someone. Shared history of fighting against white hegemony won’t make a man who hates his blackness and feels disempowered love and honor you. Being the Sista Soldier/Slayer of Evil White Men will just eliminate the largest pool of available men from contention. Besides, Gladwell specifically mentions how his Jamaican grandparents had no issue with their daughter being with a white man [who was devoted to her, offered legal marriage and all the privilege that affords].

Gladwell goes into detail how similar his parents are in temperament and values. That is a core capability. In fact, they’re still married. So at the end of the day you need to be feminine, use your Charm Offensive, behave differently from the vast majority of women (more on that the next Vetting Men post) and keep your special brand of black girl cool without all of the self-limiting, indoctrination nonsense and go get yours!

Here is the link to the PBS series Faces Of America/Gladwell – where you can view at your leisure.

It’s also on YouTube Malcolm Gladwell Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4, Part 5.

12 Replies to “Evaluating Men For Alliances & Marriage Series #4: Common Values Trumps Race”

  1. Ya'll know I don't watch this mess anymore but I was looking at a stylist's web site and she had a photo of Cynthia Bailey's wedding gown. It's gorgeous. This blog breaks down the major FAIL of this relationship though -- which I appreciate. Again, VET VET VET!! http://starcasm.net/archives/83053

  2. I completely agree that common values are so much more important than race. Some people think that common values largely overlap with race, but once you explore outside of your race more, you see that this is a misconception.

    I like Malcolm Gladwell too. I'm going to watch the videos in their entirety; I'm sure he has something insightful to say.

    I look forward to the rest of your series.

    1. Thanks Alee. I enjoyed the Gladwell interview. I enjoy his books as well. I just enjoy intelligent men period!

  3. Why am I only just now hearing about West Indian black people who don't actually call themselves black? I mean my whole family is Jamaican. This is a new one to me because my Mom, grandparents, aunts, great aunts, great uncles, godparents, and other close friends of my Mom are for the most part all dark skinned black people and Jamaican expats and ALL of them refer to themselves as black and they'd think it strange if their children didn't do so as well. My Mom has two close friends one in the UK and one in the US who are Jamaicans as well and they're light skinned, and one of them looks as though she could be biracial but she isn't, and they have only ever called themselves black.

    Where the heck is this coming from? Not saying I support it or anything, but the Rastafarian culture did bring a sense of black pride to Jamaica although there are some definite drawbacks, but even my grandparents and their friends and neighbors who are Jamaicans don't go around saying that they're not black either! *shrugs shoulders*

    1. Yeah, I was scratching my head at that one too. This very confused black woman with a blog linked to the Gladwell interview talking some nonsense about how (despite her very dark complexion & African features) she's not black. Confused…or self-hating…but stupid regardless. Anyhoo, because she named Gladwell specifically I had to watch this interview and ya'll know I cannot stand Skippy Gates (for his history of ethnic & BW denigration) and certainly don't want to promote ANY of his projects. I had to make sure Gladwell hadn't missed my black-hating radar. Relief! The only reason I highlighted this was because of the things he said about his parents. Some of that other mess is typical black people hating each other. And people still wonder why we're at the bottom of the social order totem pole?

    2. I think she is commenting on the fact that in many other countries what is considered white and black is different. A very fair skinned person with black blood can be considered white or Moreno or some other denotation and not be "black" in many Caribbean, South American, and African countries. We are about the only place that the one-drop rule was the standard. So, in America, someone with blue eyes and white skin is black because their grandmother was black, and if they allowed people to believe their race is "white" they would be "passing". There are MANY countries in which Mr. Gladwell would not be labeled as black

      1. AzieDee: Welcome. I'm not concerned about what that person thinks, nor am I interested in other country's polluted and convoluted thinking either. No one said anything about the "one drop" rule either, but that was a RACIST construct started by whites to protect property rights and keep order. The fact that it is now BLACK people who vigorously enforce this -- and mostly black males who hate their blackness trying to escape it is a wholly separate situation. There are white skinned blue eyed folks with a black or part-black grandparent who are not necessarily "passing" either. See: Carly Simon. People can label whoever they want, it's that person's loyalty and cultural ties that's my focus.

      2. Yeah but the black Jamaican expats who I have met and some of them are like my grandparents, or at least my mother's age who happen to be very light skinned who don't go around saying that they are not black or coming up with other names 'to explain their slight darkness', or go into any denials *shrugs shoulders*. Nor do they look down at people like my mother and a lot of my family members and godparents who are mostly darker skinned. I'm not saying that there is NO possibility, but I really don't come across that although Colin Powell's colorstruck family is Jamaic, very light and they sound like that type, yes.

        But I'm not sure that I personally can say that I find that attitude common among light skinned Jamaicans with black ancestry.

  4. They look similar BECAUSE of the JEWISH ANCESTRY--it looks strong in Mr. Gladwell--almost like they're cousins

    1. I wasn't going to state the obvious….just pointing out how we are a mere blink (hehe) from each other and race is a social construct.

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