Saturday, January 31, 2009

There should be No confusion about this!

An interracial portrait

Once again I have reason to touch on the issue of ‘black uplift’, as a result of the questions I keep getting (or should I say the preaching that I get). A recent occurrence (which I will not get into) seems to have agitated the ‘black people should unify’ preachers again.

Many black women respond to such clarion calls to unify and uplift and what have you, by once again girding their loins and getting all into ‘black unity’ mode. But before you jump into the ‘super woman’ suit as usual, I want you to take some time to consider this fundamental fact.

You cannot carry out singlehandedly a project which has been designed for two people. You cannot as a single individual or single gender carry out effectively the duties and responsibilities meant for two genders. Haven’t black women been trying to do this all the while and aren’t the results clear as day as to how we have fared. Its time to change strategy, remember that insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!

I will say here that I do not believe that black women set out to do things alone, however this is essentially what has happened and what they have ended up doing and this is clear from even cursory observation. The sentiment that best describes black woman's mind frame I believe is 'Lets do what we can in the meantime, as black men get warmed up/wake up to their responsibilities etc etc'. So black women did what they have been doing because of the hope and faith that black men would 'come online' soon. But no one put a time limit on this 'helping out the situation in the meantime' protocol. This means that what started out as a temporary measure has become an entrenched procedure. Now that it has however become clear what the end result of this approach is, black women have to decided once and for all if ‘black nation building’ is a partnership project that needs to be carried out with equal efforts of black men and black women and efforts applied at the same time.

They then have to decide, if black men are really in the partnership with them.

So in summary black women have to

1) Decide if this black nation building project is supposed to be a partnership between black men and black women. Then

2) Decide if black men are onboard and currently with them in black nation building/uplift/advancement or whatever you might call it.

The first question is a breeze I believe. The average black woman knows that the answer is yes, black nation building is a task for two; black men and black women.

The second question however seems to be kind of a tricky one for black women (yet it really isn’t tricky at all as I will explain).

So on one end black women are thinking, ‘If we just keep things running, black men will ‘come online’ soon’. but in addition, black women are encouraged to not make the idea of acertaining if black men are with them a simple issue of 'observe and conclude', but they are invited to do all sorts of complicated ‘logic routines’ on this one, routines that disallows straight forward conclussions.

For one, they are expected to 'multiply by 1000' the few men they see doing things in the community and believe (and cling in faith) that there has to be many more of such ‘good and useful’ black men somewhere… They are supposed to note a ‘good’, father, brother or uncle and see this as clear evidence that there are many more out there. As for whether these men form a critical number needed for the work of buidling (for instance the number needed to provide enough husbands for for black women to enable this building up of the black family), many black women refuse to grapple with that issue, but simply say 'believe' and 'have faith’ and insist that this is the appropriate attitude for the black woman!

As I have said, many black women are told that the straight forward way of determining if a person is with you or not (i.e are black men physically present in the home, in school, in community building forums and initiatives etc), isn’t the way to judge this situation. They are told things like, ‘they are just about to come into view or crest the hill’ (ie be patient and don’t give up on the mem prematurely). Some say, ‘Black men are with us, just temporarily diverted or held up in traffic' or 'they need a little, 'jump start', but we can get them back easily enough if we do A B or C’. Others say, 'Well black men dont come to these kinds of forums and discussions, but they are still doing their bit'. One woman said to me on a discussion panel that as soon as black women get their ‘stuff’ together, black men will follow suit. I must say I do get a lot of these messages of ‘Black men will be hey okay, as soon as black women shape up in their own role (ie black women's not shaping up is what is holding up black men's own participation)', and I get them particularly from older black women who stand in the role of advisers to younger black women sadly.

Yet I am saying this to those who are confused over this issue, don’t be!

How do you determine a person is going North?

Simply by noting if they are walking in the direction of North.

If someone is facing south and walking southwards and yet is telling you they are going north, you’d be a fool to believe them.

So in between the stories of how millions of black male 'community builders' are simply hidden from view, or are but a second away, and all the injunctions for black women to think in convoluted ways about the participation of black men to black nation building, comes the truth. The truth is simply, believe your experince, believe what you are seeing and what your eyes communicate to your brain about the situation.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Who are you trying to fool with that dishonest Logic?

Princess Stephanie and Husband Jon and their Five Kids

Stephanie Benson

Have you noticed that black discussions seem to proceed in peculiar fashion when there is blame to be levelled. There appears to be an authorised and approved 'way'of discussing issues when some sort of blame will be apportioned, and lets lay it on the line here, when the blame is headed towards black men. Black women themselves appear very adept at applying the rules of acceptable 'discoursing', that it apears almost instinctive, and I sometimes wonder if they realise they are doing this. They seem so coached!

I often say that a commentary can highlight a lot more about what it is trying hard to avoid saying than what it actually is saying.

So what am I actually going on about here.

Well, I know I should keep off youtube but anyway I went on there a few days ago and I was watching a ‘tube’ message form a young black woman commenting on the relationship situation between black men and black women as usual. She gets to a point and says, ‘.. as the black men come in, I notice they all have white, and Latina girlfriends…’

Then she proceeded to say, ‘What is wrong with black people', 'Why don’t we love each other and why do we value whites more than ourselves, and love to be in the company of white etc etc’.

Notice anything about the above statement?

I do. I notice a sharp argument manouver. We go from being very specific; ‘Black men and other women’, to suddenly generalising when we reach the point of indicting the culprits i.e ‘What is wrong with black people' (that is everyone both male and female alike).

It is clear that this woman is talking about black men's choices (she specifically talks about no black man coming with a black woman), she never mentions black women coming with other men. Yet suddenly when it is time for some blame, the discussion shifts to 'black people', rather than black men who she has clearly been referring to. hmmmm...

Let me say here that I have noticed this repeating pattern, in similar debates and discussions about black male culpability, I have noticed what is clearly the strong aversion to pinpointing black males as to blame for some situation. I notice how people meander round blaming black men, like a river would meander round a big bolder it cant/feels it dare not confront. So suddenly we are pulling punches, 'glancing' blows, and 'spreading' any blame so that it is shared by everybody rather than focussed on the culprits. Sometimes I hear people give such detailed analysis of a situation which shows that they have no confusion as to what is going on, but suddenly in conclussion you hear the summation: 'black people need to love each other'. Its such a let down and you just know they are trying hard to avoid blaming who they know they should be blaming. I see people title their discussions/articles 'black men and black women should support each other', when you and they know very well that the issue is not about black women supporting black men (because they go out of their way to do just that), but black men upholding their end of the bargain. They would rather hold a dishonest conversation than admit the truth about the situation. What cowards!

Another example:

In a recent Guardian Newspaper article about disapperance of 'black britons' due to high rates of interracial marriages, the playwright and actor Kwame Kwei-Armah, commented thus:

"An example would be, when we look at most of the Premier League footballers who are black, the overwhelming majority of them have white partners. The signals that it sends to my daughter is, 'When you're successful, you date outside your community, yet when you're not successful you date in.' You're only good for the bad end of it. What psychological effect is that having?"

Notice the broad manouver. He goes from speaking about footballers dating white (as far as I am aware, footballers are 100% male), to 'skirting' into saying something very general/ambigious; 'When you're successful, you date outside your community'!

If this was a vinyl record in rotation, the 'bump' would have everyone stopping in mid dance. We started out talking about a choice clearly being made by black males and we are ending up discussing the issue as a general trend. In fact the last bit of that comment does not tie in with the rest of it (read it again and see)which just shows someone falling all over the place in their attempts to obscure an issue. Indeed in that comment you dont know if he is talking about 'you ' as the black man, or 'you' as in his daughter or black person in general and then by the time he throws in the third 'you' re', I am just scratching my head in confusion! I mean 'who' is only good for the bad end of it is it his daughter or the black man who chooses a white person or someone else also identified as 'you'? Utter confusion, and the type you create while attempting to meander round and avoid comfronting the issue for what it is clearly about; the activities of black men.

But there is another thing, the confusion that he is sowing in his daughter as a result of this 'reluctance', to focus the issue on who is clearly the culprit in this situation. By pretending that black men and women pick up the same message from footballers dating choices and infering that they act on these messages in the same way, Mr Armah is silencing the whole black female narrative around interracial dating. He is silencing the discussion on how black women are made to feel unworthy of 'succesful' men, he is silencing the discussion on it quite often being a situation of black men discriminating against black women, and he is also silencing the acknowlegement that at a time and point when over fifty percent of partnered black british men are with non-black women, interracial dating for black women is not an issue of elevating white or 'rejecting black' but is clearly one of 'rejecting singleness'. This guy is being disengenious at best and manipulative at worst because the aim could very well be to 'guide' his daughter away from the interracial choice, regardless of what this might mean for her chances for a relationship.

It is indeed very disengenious of the actor to pretend that the motivations and actions around interracial dating are the same for both genders, almost every one in the black community is aware that when these issues are disccussed, black women and black men are positioned differently. This seems to me like Mr Kwei-Armah was hoping to suggest that 'black women do it to', to the newspaper. Now I am willing to consider the argument that his reasons might have had something to do with not wanting to potray black women as being left without prospects in the situation, I however think that if Mr Kwei-Armah is having such discussions with his daughter and framing them in this way, he will end up making her feel guilty and putting pressure on her to remain 'true' to race despite as I said, what it could mean for her dating prospects.

It is very clear, the subtext of this manouvering and circumventing that black people engage in in this regard is 'spare black men!'.

And black women obey this 'acceptable discourse' like if it is 'Microsoft programmed' into them.

Yes, thats the shape of acceptable black discourse, it obeys the key precept;‘Don’t you dare blame black men for anything, no matter how clearly the blame rests and even if your detailed and well reasoned analysis leaves you with no other conclussion'.

Get clued up about interracial dating in the IR Dating E-Book

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Black Evil Geniuses Jailed for raping and pouring Caustic Soda on their Black Female Victim!

Yes thats where some show their innovation and sharpness of mind; in doing evil.

After gang raping and filming their attack of a 16 year old black girl the monsters tried to get rid of forensic evidence CSI-style by pouring Caustic Soda on her.

She is now disfigured for for life.

And even as she writhed in agony, they poured water on her, intensifying the burning.

But there is more, and as is the usual practice the world over, the morally bankrupt black community did what they are well known for....

Prosecutor Tom Little told the court the community had "closed ranks" in the wake of the attack, hampering the police.

Am I suprised that for this evil they got away with as little as six years imprisonment. I mean what do you expect, when a community doesnt value its girls, do you expect the legal system (read: white legal system) to value them!

Read about the gory details and the shamelessness of the so called black community in britain here Further info on BBC website.

Can anyone remind me again what black men and women were supposed to be building !

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Interracial Blogger's Key Assumptions (Part 1)

We shall be exploring in the coming days and weeks, the key assumptions around which a core group of us 'relationship activists' (often called IR bloggers) base our work. This is to enable a greater understanding and better clarity of why we choose to frame our discussions, articles and even our on-the-ground work, the way we do. This is also that we all know what our position is regarding a range of issues as opposed to what others project onto us or say is our position. Hopefully those who do not share some of these core views can also begin to have a clear idea how they deviate and streghten their own perspective.

Key assumptions include:

• We do not lump all interracial dating together. We regard black male interracial dating as distinctly different in character from black female interracial dating and recognise that black male interracial dating has historically born the hallmarks of being founded upon a rejection of and discrimination against black women.

We recognise the different motivations of black male interracial dating and that of black female interracial dating. We recognise that black female interracial dating is often driven by the unavailability of black male partners(traditional dating pool) , a situation which interracial dating among black men contributes to. This means that black women’s interracial choices are not a direct rejection of black males as can be argued in the case of black men, whose motivations cannot be linked to unavailability of black female partners, yet whose interracial dating rates are higher than black females.

One of the key reasons why we do not promote all interracial relationships or create a space for all interracial dating, is that we recognise that some interracial relationship combinations are based upon notions that denigrate black women. We recognise the social context and climate within which interracial choices are made and are not ignorant of the fact that in a society that builds up white feminity and demotes black feminity, choices to date interracially are often made to exclude black women.

While we recognise that there are many general interracial dating sites promoting an idea of interracial relationships as progressive and rising above societal racism and prejudice, we see this as a very idealistic view of interracial dating and their underlying motivations. The reality is that we preserve and promote black women's choices within a climate that seeks to denigrate and deny them, and this shapes the tone, vigour and bias of our work.

Black women often feel that they cannot legitimately support interracial dating for black women without supporting interracial dating for black men however, we are of a different view. We believe that black men have a right to date who they wish but we do not feel any urge to embrace or be generous towards any interracial choices that are founded upon a rejection, and denigration of black women.

• We believe in propagating the message of black women availing themselves of all their dating options, and in particular the interracial dating options, and in particular their opportunities with white men who constitute the largest group of available men in the West. We do not believe that black women automatically slide into interracial dating and thus there is no need for setting up blogs or having discussions on the interracial option. We do not believe that simplistic notions about dating like ‘love has no color’, or ‘you love who you love’ etc, capture or speak to the realities and context within which black women make their dating and relationship choice.

We believe that black women are both socialised against, socially restrained from and directed away from taking up their ‘full dating options’, in various ways and throughout their lives. We believe that black women must be communicated the truth about broadening their options of men particularly at a time and point when it has becomes expedient to do so. We also realise that black women are on the receiving end of deliberate misguidance around relationships and misdirection about critical issues that impact their in-group dating opportuntities. This is done sometimes deliberately but also is a traditional pattern of ushering black women towards community approved mate choices. So we communicate the advantages of ‘full options dating’ and we also expose the deliberate deceptions about the sufficiency of in-group dating alone, we also challenge the blind behaviour patterns and unquestioned acceptance and belief of rules, regulations and social mores that are issued to black women from their group, and which results in their deepening disadvantage on the dating and marriage market.

To be Continued…..

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Do Black Women actually know what it takes to build the 'Strong black community' they keep talking about

Or is it all just 'dreamscape' fantasy?.

I remember coming across a book that said that immigrants often have fantasies of returning home. It keeps them sane and helps them face life in new lands, and many eventually never return and not suprisingly, because these dreams are never really actioned in any way. Indeed concrete steps and plans are never made to make these fantasies reality. I believe that the 'strong community /black unity', idea may occupy this position in many black women's minds, something to think about fondly and escape to, but never really actioned. Which makes it a dangerous notion for black women pinning real life hopes to it.

When you want to build anything; say garden a shed even, you first find out what it will take in terms of materials, labour, even time. Next, you take stock of what you have for the project. This is how you know how serious an idea is. Now have you ever heard any of the 'black community/black unity' activists/aggitators lay things out in these terms ie, what do we need, what do we have, what steps do we take to get the rest of the needed things. There isnt even a 'movement' towards black nation building (yet we could mobilise for Jena six), only people doing their pockets of activities 'here and there', crossing their fingers that it will feed into some general effort of black unity, and nothing to measure wether it is indeed effective and not cancelling out somewhere down the line. Nothing showing it as a practical idea.

Apparently this strong black nation is supposed to just spring forth at some point! Incredible.

Indeed, we have all sorts of tools and frameworks for achieveing goals these days, for instance the 'SMART' frame work which stands for 'Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time based. You will never hear these folks showing any kind of organising of the idea of 'strong black community' in meaningful terms that can be 'grabbed hold of' piece by piece and worked towards.

Now in terms of black nation building, this is what transpires with black women:

Black woman sees black man in the street, black woman says to herself 'thats a black man, there are men to build a strong black community with'.

Nothing considered about the type of black man he is, if he is even willing to build this black community (in deeds of course not lip service and 'i love my sistas' speeches), secondly if he has the right ideological perspective for this black nation building work. Nothing asked about 'what is his mentality?'.

Do black women realise that, There is a critical absorption of white supremacy in a significant portion of black men that renders a very large portion of them ineffective in the efforts towards black advancement.

In addition, the self-serving persepctive and politics of black men is so plain to see (me me me, serve me, cater to me) its also 'through the roof' at this point. This is directly opposed, to the level of self-sacrifice that will clearly and undeniably be required from them for any such black nation building. As I mentioned in the last post, you only need to look at the fact that black men are displaying all the wrong priorities in terms of black nation building; they have a well known and documented problem with black female achievers as a clear example. Yet these are the women black men should have been queueing round the block for, if black advancement was strongly on their mind. Consider this: If black nationhood was a priority for black men, do you think 70% of black children would be born outside wedlock with the attendant poverty, and lack of safety these children are more likely to experince? I can assure you that men who know the central position black children have in the races future would do everything in their power to be with their kids and complaints will mount to heaven if black women try to deny black men access.

Now there is a thing called 'entry level requirement'; for instance in order to study Engineering you must at least know basic maths, that is an entry level requirement. Now how possible is it to have a strong black community without strong black families. The basic or entry level requirment for black men who are really linked into the black nation building agenda would be a keen interest in marryimg and setting up home with black women. Yet black men are not even coming in at that 'entry level' to any note!

In terms of other indications, the incaceration rates of black men would be halved and the college rates would be doubled.

But yes I know black women are not supposed to go deep and ask these critical and crucial questions. We are supposed to gloss over the details that are necessary to get to the destination, and just flow along 'in the spirit' to the wonderful kumbaya idea of a black nation that is going to happen. ie I will get there, I will get there somehow....

Since any black man qualifies for this 'nation building' in our calculations and is just right for the job regardless of his mindset and perspectives on core black issues, many of us black women will have to build a black nation with colorist bm who dont care to give the archetype black woman a chance. This is what it will boil down to. Yet isnt this totally contravening the basic premise of building a black nation? Or maybe we should adjust the idea, since we always have to tailor things to fit around whatever way black men choose to go.

If it wasnt so sad how essentially black women are clamouring to build with men half who really have no interest in such grand schemes for the race (because they cant think beyond self-indulgence), and another 1/4 who might just be tempted to commit, provided the bw is light enough, it would be a good commedy. The very simplistic way in which black women look at the whole black nation building project, just shows that it would be better confined to the realm of daydream or 'fantasy', that bw might flee to in their imagination every now and then, while simply getting on with the reality of life.

About building with colorist black men. Marcus Garvey. He wanted to build a strong black nation, 'Africa for Africans' and all that, but he wanted to do it with the lightest black woman available, at his side as the symbolic black queen lol! And he had black women with the same ancestral looks he had, throwing money at him nay taking him very seriously. I repeat Marcus Garvey was in favour of building with the lightest of us black women.

Do you know that the trend spread because black men took their cue from him, as he was a man of influence. He reinforced and endorsed their views of seeking the most euro looking black woman. If you think I am joking pick up a copy of Autobiography of Malcolm X and see how his father, a staunch garvyite was married to a woman that could pass for white. I mean it could well be a coincidence of course but I wouldnt put it pass the fact that he copied his mentor right down to the woman he choose as bride. The white men at that time must have been laughing their asses off with the antics of these 'freedom fighters', and the joke was defintiely on the black women who choose to reject the clear, 'in your face' statements being made against them in the choices of men like Macus Garvey so much so they handed over money and financed his enterprise.

Have any of you ever seen pictures of Marcus Garvey? I mean he is the archtype of black, non apologetic looking black.

One of my favourite activities is to come up with analysis and frameworks which speak to and perfectly delineate the situation for us black women(as I believe that all the analysis of isms and oppression out there do not and were not 'made' for black women and black women need to come up with their own analysis), and one of the most 'ground breaking' analysis I have come across in blogosphere was written by an internet personality called 'Sangraneth' who wrote that, what we often rush to refer to as self-hate in black men is actually more accurately an ideology of black=male and white=female A black man that expresses hatred for black women is NOT expressing SELF-hatred

Read this analysis and see that what we rush to label 'self hate' is actually black female hate. And when black women 'mis-define' issues (as they are often encouraged to do), they end up with the wrong solutions. I have said this before and say it again, that unless black women accurately identify and pin down what ails them and their issues they will never be able to marshall an effective defense againt the attacks that are raining down from every angle.

So in summary 'Are we are building a black community?' If we are we would know first to take stock to find out if the necessary materials are assembled. We would get a road map to the goal. There would be an understanding that there is a calibre of black men in particular required to take forward the vision. Sadly we would realise that there is a standard required beyond what todays black man is offering unless something drastic happens to change mindsets (and dont hold your breath because I know many want to make this an issue of 'faith', but it isnt, it is a practical issue)!

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Happy 2009: Reflections for a New Year

I feel guilty saying all this because I have kinda let myself go this holiday however here goes.

My personal reflections on the learning from 2008 are:

I love walking.

One reason why I do is because it gives me needed space to think things through, figure out angles, follow a thought for lengths and also it keeps me healthy. I used to be down with bouts of flu and cold for weeks, these days I tend to bounce back after a couple of days. It hasnt always been easy to walk. Those who know me know that I have had lots of physiotherapy on my knees, but I had to persevere and am now doing 4-5 hours walking a week. I am virtually knee pain free. See all my knee was crying out for all this while was to be used lol! I had to push through the pain at first for sure but it is doable.

One of the key lessons I have learnt this year is to put in to practice, winning habits. I used to have a punctuality problem but on the off chance a friend mentioned how he uses a kitchen timer to focus his mind on a particular task until the alarm goes off. I decided to use that to get me out of the bath on time to catch my trains ( I love my bath and my rubber ducky). I can honestly say that I have cut the punctuality problem by 50%. A little change in a critical area can make all the difference.

Back to walking. One other key lesson I picked up this year came while out walking on a cold winters evening. It's funny how things that are everyday suddenly take on new and deeper meaning at one particular moment. Anyway this day it was a lone runner. Now runners are a dime a dozen over here, nothing new to see, however on this particular day I was mulling over a few things and this 'running man' passes me on his possibly regular running route, and a voice in my head said, 'He is doing what it takes'. The message was clear to me, it was clear the next day when I saw a female runner doing her thing. The message was that this was what these people had to do to be fit, in shape, de-stressed etc and they were doing what they knew it took. These runners snuck out when others were watching CSI with a warm drink in hand, to do their thing because they knew that this is what it took to be where they want to be. Maybe that person watching CSI had his or her thing as well, and so on saturday they would be up when others were sleeping to do what they had to do to be fit, in shape de-stressed etc.

When people come together you only see a part of them; a very small part of their activities. You might see them eating a double burger at that point but maybe that persons has calculated what it takes and when they go home they will sneak out for that run, in the dark.

You have to know what it takes to get your goals and targets and yes it might involve waking up half an hour earlier but just do it. Others are also sneaking out here and there to do their thing. Dont forget we are in a competition whether you want to be or not (and yes I think sometimes black women mentally resist or pull out of competing because they are afraid that the cards are stacked against them, so they say 'I am not competing' and you can see it reflected in their presentation attitude, habits etc).

The thing I love about getting older is you understand the working of your body much better. You know from experince and trails and errors what works and what doesnt. Dont defeat yourself by rejecting the little 'knowledges' you have gleaned about yourself over the years, this will be what gives you an edge especially in an ageist society that favours youth and makes it hard if you are not a spring chicken!

Another lesson: for many people weight loss and fitness is a psychological 'balance' thing. You try all sorts of formulars and combination and then one day you discover that by eating breakfast at exactly 7.38am suddenly everything falls into place. This is your unique balance point. This understanding if so important, do not discount it or disregard it for the view or methods specified by 'experts'. The entity called you is extremely unique. Who knows why 7.38 is your balance point, maybe as an individual your blood pressure or sugar levels are just right at that time, maybe mummy used to come in and give you a kiss when you were little, who knows, its something very specific to your psychological makeup.

Next lesson, I wake up and do my 'thinking' 1st thing. Mornings and early morning when you wake up are one of the best thinking times. The clarity available to you before thoughts begin to fill and cloud your mind is without equal, so it is the best time to strategise, think through notty problems or just plan your way forward for the week. If you have your own business on the side besides your 9-5, you can use this time for yourself in many ways. Sort out a strategy, think through a busines idea, get your priorities straightened out etc etc! I have found this 'first thing' time of the morning very very useful as opposed to after work or late at night which I use for tasks that ae more routein and dont require as much brain power.

Other tips for a new year

Any army that doesnt know who its enemy is, is about to get wiped out. It is high time black women recognise who their enemies are by examining from where the 'offensive' against them is coming. By their fruits (not their color), you shall know them.

Black women need to create an identity for themselves outside just being 'race women'.

Self-care, Self-advocacy, Self-in-front is the order for 2009. If you feel squeemish and uncomfortable about this philosophy, then have a look round you, to see where selflessness and being all giving and all sacrificing has left black women in your circles and make your own conclussions.

Always have in mind, 'How does this proposal benefit me personally'.

Get clued up about interracial dating in the IR Dating E-Book

Send your questions to (I will try my best to give a reply/answer)