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don't like you


Posted on 2009.08.03 at 19:30
Condition: spent. fucking spent.
Electric Relaxation: my air conditioner
Tags: , ,
Now that International Blog Against Racism Week has come to a close, I can stop banging my head against the wall. Yay!

The problem with having the attention span of a two year-old is that your moments of brilliance are easily forgotten. There is always something more important to do, like work. Or laundry. Or grand larceny. Wait, pretend you didn't read that.


I've been doing a lot of reading lately. Some of it has been good. Most of it has been awful. I force myself to read the bad stuff because I have an almost pathological need to torture myself with the ill-informed bleating of mediocre bloggers/pundits/academics. My masochistic tendencies can't stop, won't stop, nah uh, yeah. So, after sharing my frustrations with friends across several time zones, here we are. I'm only going to say this once, so pay attention.

You cannot have a conversation about race without CONTEXT.

You know what context is, right? Ok, maybe you don't. Usually I'm not big on the whole "my dictionary definition, lemme show you it" but I'll make an exception in this case:

1: the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning
2: the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs

So when I'm watching a program that supposedly highlights "solutions" in The Black Community™ it would help if said program explored the what/where/when/how/whys of the problem. You know, like journalists used to do, before news became more about profit and less about well, news. Because if you dug a little deeper you'd discover that Tinequa's fried chicken addiction and the appalling lack of supermarkets in her neighborhood are symptoms of a much larger problem, a problem that starts with an "R" and ends in "acism." And Racism, being the "hands on" kinda dude he is, likes to have a hand in EVERYTHING, including economic development and health care, something else CNN's Favorite All-Purpose Minority™ failed to address in the "breast cancer" segment.

Or, when a world-renown professor's arrest becomes a country's "teachable moment" it helps that, in that teachable moment, we talk about the long, storied and painful history POC has had with law enforcement. And when the inevitable name-check begins, we include those felled by the hands of cops black and white, because it's important to point out that the "thin blue line" can sometimes supersede race. But while we're talking about this, it's also important to not get carried away with comparisons of Amadou Diallo or Sean Bell, because not only are the analogies inaccurate, they are pretty fucking insulting. This isn't to say that there was no police misconduct involved; of course there was. But the difference is that Skip's power and connections saved him from becoming the next Amadou Diallo or Sean Bell.

Context is important in discussions of intraracial issues as well. Because when you start attacking single mothers under the guise of "black female empowerment", maybe--just maybe--you're undermining your own cause. Getting hung up on the nomenclature of an organization that actually works to improve the lives of women and children, trotting out unwed childbirth stats, lamenting the death of "black marriage," and categorizing those who dare question or disagree with you as "Damaged Beyond Repair" (all the while screaming "OMG BLACK PEOPLE ARE IN CRISIS!") doesn't...really...advance the conversation. Because if someone took it upon herself to delve deeper, not only would she find that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) actually attributed the uptick to an increase in people in committed relationships, but she'd also discover that the number of black teen pregnancies has gone down in the last 20 years. Then she'd realize that the "marriage as panacea" argument was just as empty, because for some self-styled internet activists it's more about page hits and less about speaking truth to power.

So, this is it. That's all I have. All I ask is--before you decide to engage in race-related discussions--that you

1)actually know what you're fucking talking about
2)not ignore or dismiss the context involved
3)be willing to listen to opposing views without coming off as a condescending twatwaffle. (Unless the opposing view is really, really stupid. Like, Michelle Malkin stupid.)

Because without those three things, the conversation will be about as productive as a beer summit.


(Deleted comment)
you can pay for school, but you can't buy class
Fresh shit. cjs1981 at 2009-08-04 00:50 (UTC) (Link)
On the money as usual. That's all I came to say.
Fresh shit. urban_scribe at 2009-08-04 02:49 (UTC) (Link)
this, this is why i lurve ya
Fresh shit. espnchick1920 at 2009-08-04 03:07 (UTC) (Link)

My name is espnchick

And I TOTALLY approve of this super intellectually hot post!
Fresh shit. emilytheslayer at 2009-08-04 04:19 (UTC) (Link)
I love you. :)

A monstrous rambling
Fresh shit. bibliofile at 2009-08-04 04:28 (UTC) (Link)
Yes! Context matters.
Fresh shit. maevele at 2009-08-04 05:20 (UTC) (Link)
hands you the chocolate.
Vince, Dude, Vman, Kid, Pimp, Vern, Toshiro
Fresh shit. dust_wind_dude at 2009-08-04 11:16 (UTC) (Link)
not to undermine the rest of what you're saying, but twatwaffle just busted my shit up so hard I peed a little.
JJ Odelle
Fresh shit. jjodelle at 2009-08-04 18:02 (UTC) (Link)
"Because if you dug a little deeper you'd discover that Tinequa's fried chicken addiction and the appalling lack of supermarkets in her neighborhood are symptoms of a much larger problem, a problem that starts with an "R" and ends in "acism.""

Yes! Thank you!

I love this post.
Purveyor of Hot Combs and Hand Grenades
Fresh shit. ladyjax at 2009-08-05 18:53 (UTC) (Link)
Yes. Yes and Yes again.
Fresh shit. delux_vivens at 2009-08-08 16:51 (UTC) (Link)
Rock on, bb. Rock. On.
Fresh shit. zurcherart at 2009-08-11 23:16 (UTC) (Link)
I've seen you around, and wanted to add you. I hope that's ok. I wanted the hookers and the blow--as you promise in your profile :)
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