Sunday, August 06, 2006

Race Relations




Race is something I try desperately to stay away from. Recently however, it's come up in a few discussions where people have made some absurd assumptions or statements and I must vent.

Friday a Black woman asked me out for a drink. I declined politely and she said, "You probably don't want me because you date white girls". Considering the source of the comment I laughed and shrugged it off. In reality, I declined her invitation because I don't date, 2 kid havin', 2 baby father juggling, bad weave havin, Sheneneh lookin, ghetto ass BIAACHES!


Sheneneh Jenkins
Age: 26

Occupation: Weave Technician

Status: Single and loves to mingle

Sheneneh says: "I'm very much a lady, and likes a Brother that's down. If he disrespects me though, I'll beat him like he stole something. I like to stay cute in the face, thin in the waist. Oh My Goooodness"




RACE & SUCCESS

To achieve a higher level of success you must eliminate race consideration in professional and personal relationships. Without doing this you will only be limiting yourself from having possible life enriching experiences. As a business person and future millionaire you should be trained to rely on personality, ethics, and intelligence. If you limit yourself to one race in your daily interactions you are greatly limiting the amount of resources you have in society.

Let's take Sean Puffy Combs. Look at Puffy's Making the Band 3 which airs on MTV. You might say that he selected the racial mixture of women to increase sales, as a marketing ploy, but if you watched from the beginning, he actually chose the most talented girls out of the applying field of women. He knows in order to produce the most talented band, he needs the best of the best regardless of race. Diddy even goes as far as to encourage each girl to stay true to herself, by not acting in ways that betrays their true identities, knowing that each girl will learn from the other's experiences and backgrounds.


MYTH: "BLACK CHICKS ARE FAT, AND DON'T WORK OUT"
I have heard this more then once or twice. This is not a black thing or white thing. It's an income an upbringing thing. It is harder for lower income families to lead healthy lifestyles. They are often single parent households resulting in a shortage of money and time.

You have just worked 12 hours at "Fashion Barn" rode the bus home, cooked dinner and helped junior with his math. Do you think you're going out for a jog after that? Heeeell no, you are going to kick back and watch some Judge Mathis, and dose off, so you can do it all again in 7 hours.

On a limited budget the family is forced to eat what is on sale and fattier cuts of meat. With limited time, the appeal of fast food is greater, for it's cost and convienence. Growing up broke health isn't stressed, the focal point is survival.


MYTH: SUCCESSFUL BLACK MEN AND WHITE WOMEN

"Girrrlll, that's what they all do: Cling to a sista while they're broke and in school. Then get a good job or a contract and put a ring on the white girls hand".

This might appear to be the case, but in my opinion it has less to do with race, and more to do with available options, and development of one's opinion of outer beauty.

Typically as a lower income black man attends grade schools and middle schools, he is surrounded by girls from the neighborhood, his family, and his mothers friends. His idea of beauty is nurtured from these examples of strong black woman. As he becomes increasingly successful, there are less black women or women of color that he interacts with on a daily basis. He is surrounded by more financially secure, physically fit, often slimmer type woman. When in Rome you are attracted to Romans. Does the successful black man go back to the hood and look for a date? That's how you get hood rats. Instead of going back to the hood you develop newer social circles and date within.
My current circle of friends all have the same things in common: a sense of humor, aggressive, intelligent, caring & thoughtful. Those are traits that can be found in people any age, race or gender. This new circle is often mixed races and backgrounds, and the successful black man's future partner is chosen from this diverse selection of equally successful people. If she happens to be white, it draws attention in society. If she is black it seems to blend in and doesn't get mentioned because it doesn't support the stereo-type.

Let's take a quick look at the most widely criticized group for this behavior The NBA:

Allen Iverson ................Married to African-American woman
Tracy McGrady ............Married to African-American woman
Alonzo Mourning .........Married to African-American woman
Vince Carter .................Married to African-American woman
Grant Hill ....................Married to African-American woman
Allan Houston ..............Married to African-American woman
Stephon Marbury ......... Married to African-American woman
Anthony Mason .............Not married
Dikembe Mutombo .......Married to African-American woman
Theo Ratliff .................Married to African-American woman
Glenn Robinson ...........Married to African-American woman
Latrell Spreweel ............Engaged to African-American woman
Jerry Stackhouse ...........Married to African-American woman
Jason Kidd ..................Married to Arabic-Indian woman
Kobe Byrant .................Married to Hispanic-Caucasian
Shaquille O'Neal ...........Married to African-American woman
Tim Duncan ................Married to Caucasian
Chris Webber ...............Not married
Kevin Garnett ..............Not married
Karl Malone ................Married to Philippino woman
Gary Payton ................Married to African-American woman
David Robinson ...........Married to Hispanic woman
Rasheed Wallace.......... Married to African-American woman

Aha, the list, although true, is a trick.

If you found yourself actually reading the names above to see who was married to who, then you care way too much.


There is no noticeable trend, you have successfull people married to those who they have chosen to spend the rest of their life with. PERIOD!



Kobe's Wife could be a martian from
the planet -babygotbackalon for all I care.
She is still smokin HOT!












MYTH: "Black people are good in football and basketball, not golf and hockey"

This too becomes a study of income levels. A young kid in the hood can play basketball all day long. He doesn't even need a ball. The local park just needs a rim, no net necessary. Most have chains instead of nets. You show up at the park and chill with your friends until the one kid in the neighborhood with the ball shows up. Then you play until either he has to go home or he takes his ball because he's losing. Playing football, you don't even need a rim or a park. A ball and open space is all you need for two hand touch.

Golf is out of the question. The only time a kid in the hood sees a golf club is the four iron his dad keeps in the back seat for protection. I didn't swing a golf club until age 30. A kid would need an adult to take them to the course, a set of clubs, a glove, shoes etc.
I would be stuck at the adult part. Nobody had the time or the money to take me to a golf course, let alone buy me a set of clubs.

Hockey, where the hell is the ice? You need like $400 in pads, and how much is that big ass jersey. If you get that hockey Jersey you not playing in it, you're wearing that to school. That thing is too fresh to get sweaty.


definitely lower income families are challenged in society. This world is survival of the fittest and I think it's great. The lower income kid does not get a chance to see Mr. Jones leave for work every morning, in his BMW. Doesn't see him kiss his loving wife, and raise his kids properly. Instead he sees Tyrone on the corner dealing drugs, smoking weed, with the newest sneakers on. He sees Milo going to college on a basketball scholarship, or sees rap stars that look like him on TV. These are hood heroes; people who the young women and men are attracted to and aspire to be like. Children hear how unfair life is by his Mom, and Dad if his parents are still together. "The Man will Never Let Us Get Ahead". Kids hears how impossible it is to get out of the hole that has been dug. When heard over and over again, this starts to become reality.

My sisters and I were able to overcome these pit falls. As a printer by trade my Dad would bring home books every day that me and my older sister would read by the dozens. They always depicted a life similar to that on TV. These ideal images of American life became our reality, forcing us to believe that there are other avenues to success. My older sister paved the way by breaking ground and going to college. A good college. Then law school. I soon followed in her footsteps.

Would I be where I am without her influence? I can say probably not, but life is unfair, and I was lucky to have my older sister. We did the same for my younger sister as we will do for my future nephew. This little guy will be starting from a better playing field then we have. If he wants to play golf or hockey, he has an Uncle who can get him started in anything he wants, an intelligent (streetwise & business wise) father with connections throughout New York and New Jersey and a mother who is an Attorney. THIS KID WILL BE SOMETHING ELSE - THE TRUE MEANING OF LIFE.

-MJL

5 comments:

Gale said...

I am a white woman and my husband is an African American man. You would think in these modern times that people would be accepting but we have more trouble with our own families then we do with other people. To your point, both of our sons play hockey, because my brother was a high school star. There will be nothing that my childeren can't accomplish. Good Post.

-Gale

Anonymous said...

I've think when black men find success they like to date white woman becuase they can't handle a strong black woman. They are so beaten down by the man that they feel they have to have control over something in their life, so they go out and get themselves a white girl.

-Strong Black Sista

Anonymous said...

Interesting post, I saw it from myspace. Um, I also am a reality tv junkie and a singer. To say Diddy picked DK based on talent alone is RIDICULOUS. Otherwise half of the episodes wouldn't be of the girls crying when they found out they couldn't really sing. In terms of dating, I couldn't care less who Kobe Bryant married, but as a middle class educated sister there is always 5 of us for every brother so I can't relate to your paragraph on having to go back to the hood to find a Black woman. -www.myspace.com/kammyk

The Michael Jordan Lifestyle said...

Kammy K,

Thanks for the post. That is the positive feed back that I enjoy on this blog.

Both of your points are highly debatable. Don't forget that the girls that Diddy picked for DK had to be great dancers as well as singers, although you are the expert at the singing part and I admit they are a little crusty at times.

Second, I would agree with you in regards to the black women out numbering the men in college, but I don't see the same numbers translate into corporate America; but that could just be in my industry.


Strong Black Sista,

Your post shows a very narrow minded thought process. What is your definition of a strong black woman? You are assuming they don't make strong white woman. Don't confuse strong with neck snapping and finger waving. Don't assume becuase a white woman didn't grow up impoverished, or in single parent households that she hasn't seen adversity. If a black man has found success then he has shown that he can handle many things including a strong black woman.

Anonymous said...

I know this is blog is an oldie but hey, I'm new to this scene...

I must say that I am so, SO sick of the "Strong Black Sista" style comments. If I were to sign my comment as "Strong White Sister" I would be on the Today show getting an earful via satellite from The Reverend, Al or Jesse, take your pick.

You know me MJL. You know my family. I am married to a wonderful Colombian man. I have no race issues. I can not stand the fact that sometimes in an effort to distinguish themselves and the "better person" there are people who turn out sounding like racist idiots themselves.

I happened to type that all up top without scrolling down to see your response to said "Sista"...she should realize that most men, black, white or Colombian, don't want a woman they have to "handle".

~Michelle (yeah, THAT Michelle)