Waiting for Superman

November 9, 2010

Yeah, he's fine. But he ain't real.

“If I’m gonna date a white guy, I’m not getting Opie.  He has to be fine.”

“He has to really care about racial justice.  I’m talking a Tim Wise type.”

“He has to have some kind of swagger.”

I have heard variations on the above from black women when talking about the sort of white man they could be persuaded to date and/or marry.  Sometimes, they want all of that in one man (plus education, a fitness model body, etc.etc.)  I’m going to ignore #1 and #3, as Evia and others have more than adequately addressed those.

When I read that, I kind of laughed.  Think about it.  Who makes up 75-90% of the footsoldiers in  IBA (Indigenous Black Americans, yeah I just made that up, feel free to use it) civil rights/racial justice associations?

You’d be hard-pressed to find a black man who spends a great deal of time writing articles/organizing protests/giving lectures on racial justice to seriously date. (Statistically speaking)  Listing that as a requirement for a white man effectively eliminates them as an option.  See how neatly she did that?

I doubt such women who are so very concerned with this issue would even consider making that a “must-have” in a black man.

So why would she be so insistent on this behavior from a white man?  My theory is that this is another part of the “Keeping it Real” trickbag.  By insisting that any white man she dates be a “Tim Wise”, she can deflect any accusations that she has “sold out” by dating/marrying white, “forgot where she came from” and all the other nonsensical foolishness sometimes hurled at IR married black women.

Like I said above, it also shrinks her possible pool of white potential mates to teaspoon size.  By throwing up ridiculous obstacles, she can justify never taking the risk of trying “something new.”  She can use the excuse that she is “waiting for Superman,” who as we all know, doesn’t exist.  But, as a source which I can’t find yet once said,

“To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.”

Happy Loving Day

June 13, 2010

Thanks to these two and their lawyers, my husband and I have the ability to be legally married.

No one will be bursting into our bedroom to cart us off to jail for the crime of miscegenation, and no one will make us choose between prison or banishment from the state as our punishment.

We are free to jointly own property, dine on the patio at our favorite local restaurant, and attend the company holiday party.  We are free to raise a gaggle of adorable mischief makers who carry his family name. To have an ordinary life.  A good life.

Happy Loving Day, Mildred and Jeter.  Rest in peace.

If you think you have it bad with black men, step outside of the community and see if you have it any better. The fact of the matter is, youre only a woman in the black community. Once you step outside that community, you can proclaim you are a woman all you want but you are black first.  –Ranter who shall not be named

I read that little rant and had to laugh, because it is so pathetic.

Pathetic because that was the best the guy could do.

His argument that black women should stay with/support black men is that even though they are bad, other people are worse?

Really though?

If that’s his whole argument, what he’s really doing is pleading the case for why black women should bounce and not look back.

Why not list all the benefits that the “black community” provides?

Black men and women who want to scare black women into staying, physically and mentally, trapped in a black construct always use that same tired threat:  Those other people don’t really care about you.  Those other people will hurt you.  You’re only safe here.  Don’t come crying back to us for help when (fill in the blank horrible thing) happens to you!  Well here’s a newsflash for all those who think like this:  horrible things are happening to black women NOW, where people like YOU hold sway.  Don’t bother threatening that you won’t help me if I leave, because you are useless right now.

Honestly this argument is very reminiscent of the one domestic abusers use on their victims.  “I’m the only one that loves you, you’re so ugly no one else would put up with you, you will only ever have me.”

The black husbands of many of the black women I know personally would not need to say “Other men are worse than me”.  These women look happy and low-stress everytime I see them, largely because their husbands are doing their part.  A man of worth does not need to spew threats and foolishness to get you to stay.  He knows that he has been doing well in providing, protecting, listening, cherishing, and loving.

 Only the scared and insecure need make threats instead of making a case based on reality.  And only the scared, insecure, and uninformed will fall for such nonsense.

 

The Tide is Turning

April 29, 2010

I’m seeing the BW’s empowerment message being embraced (at least in part) on a number of BW’s blogs that had previously been dead-set against the idea.

It’s been amusing to watch the online “conversation comfort zone” in which several rabid and known “Ikettes” operate get smaller and smaller.

What the “Ikettes” and their Internet Ike Turner-puppetmasters don’t realize is that AA men’s ongoing failures and DBR behavior is the greatest and the most successful “recruiting sergeant” ever for spreading the BWE message.

Damaged Beyond Repair AA males are inadvertently proving the truth of the BWE analysis of AA women’s situation by their behavior!

And by their ongoing refusal to protect and provide for BW and children, AA men in general are burning their bridges with ever-increasing numbers of AA women. [Including the BW who previously felt politically obligated to support them.]

From what you said earlier, your conversation last summer with some educated, professional, on-the-surface-only-“good BM” DBR AA males was the final straw that fully yanked the scales off your eyes.

I had a similar experience a few years ago. It was the series of deeply selfish, DBR-type comments from so-called “conscious brothers” at a “Black Love/Black Unity” blog that ultimately pushed me all the way OUT of Black Nationalist ideology. [And I had previously believed in that ideology since college.]

The things these so-called “conscious brothers” said on that and other “Black love” blogs shocked me into the realization that the masses of AA males will NEVER protect and provide for BW and children—BW are on their own, and need to act accordingly!

So, whether the partially-aware and still indoctrinated AA women like it or not, there’s NO going back to sleep after one’s eyelids come even partially open.

–Khadija Nassif, commenting at http://actsoffaithblog.com/

 I’ve been pleasantly surprised over this last year.  A number of black women I have “e-known” for a number of years have begun to catch on the fact that yes, we are women, yes, people too and that GASP! –perhaps we should consider what people are doing for us when deciding whether to run ourselves ragged, rushing around to do for them.

As Khadijah said, all one need do is simply pay attention to what is going on. The unfortunate truth is right there.

And when the most ardent believers in a near-future of a happy, stable, and functioning black community…

The most eloquent preachers of “black conscious thought”….

The most strident deriders of the idea of AA women doing whats best for them individually, even if that means marrying out…

When those women snap out of it and direct that same energy, passion, and eloquence to the cause of Black Women Empowerment, watch out.

I was witness to the conversation that, in Khadija’s words, “snapped her out of her black nationalist trance.”  I remember feeling her escalating agitation as it became clear that the “conscious brothers” on that blog were more than happy for a sister who had come there for advice to remain unmarried and childless. Against her heart’s desire.  Because to them, that was better than her being involved with a white man.  When she finally let them have it, it was a “Whoa!” moment. 

And then, then my friends!  She gave us http://www.muslimbushido.blogspot.com .  The blog was wildly popular, and a book soon followed.  http://www.amazon.com/Sojourners-Passport-Womans-Having-Deserve/dp/1432751891/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264427281&sr=1-1  As Evia has often said, more black women should start blogs and comment because their different ways of seeing and presenting ideas may be effective with some black women where she has not been. 

It seems another black woman blogger is having a similar awakening:  http://blackconsciousthought.blogspot.com/2010/04/black-menblack-women-you-are-black.html

It can be a rough an painful process, but dealing with life as it is, rather than as you wish it were, is always the better choice.

Mr. Foreverloyal’s hair is very different from mine.

Naturally straight, it is frequently cut, dye-and-perm free, and therefore is in no need of special shampoos or products with names like “Smooth Down Butter Treat” and  “Coconut and Almond Intensive Hair Mask”

Imagine my surprise, then, when I caught him red-handed with a bottle of my deep conditioner.

It went something like this:

Me, *eyebrow raised:  “Um…. What are you doing with my stuff? Your bottle of Suave Ocean Breeze is right over there.  You know my conditioner isn’t good for your hair.”
Him *casual, winning smile, shaking up the conditioner and flipping it open:  “I like this stuff, it’s great for my beard.”  Patting it onto his cheeks and chin “It’s been kind of dry lately.”

 guy in mba

Me: *Leaving the room mumbling about how I better have some left next time I need it.*

So, now I have to make sure to have enough fancy schmancy conditoners for my hair AND his beard.  I can do that.  But if I catch him with a showercap on his beard under my bonnet dryer, we might have a problem.

Gotta Love the Nerds

July 20, 2009

Nerd.  There a few images that are conjured by this word, none of them generally associated with masculinity.

A skinny (or chubby) guy with unflattering glasses.

A guy who has not taken the time to learn how to dress in a trendy manner.

Someone incredibly book smart, who shows it all the time.  Whether it’s a new scientific discovery or a little-known historical fact, he loves to learn knew things and share them with others.

Mentally sifting thru the popular culture images, a few other things come to mind.  From Arvid on “Head of the Class”, to Steve Urkel on “Family Matters”, and all the way to my favorite nerd and the star of the above video, Simon from “Firefly”, the nerd always seems to possess other, important attributes.  Let’s take a look:

Kindness– you rarely, or never see The Nerd belittling people for kicks.  He’s the one who always has something nice to say.  He’s always the one offering help.  (It’s actually disturbing that those portrayed as “cool” are often the masters of clever put-downs and experts in thoughtless selfishness).

Courtesy– The Nerd can always be counted on to open the door for a lady, or whip out a hankerchief if one is needed.

Hygiene– The Nerd always has clean fingernails, flossed teeth, and perfectly combed hair.  His shirts are starched, and you can bet he pretreats his laundry for stains.

The Nerd’s main weakness is a lack of self-confidence.  Which is, obviously, a major problem.  Not to mention, a major turnoff.

A nerd with self esteem is a huge catch.  A kind, courteous guy who’s intelligent and comfortable in his own skin?  Jackpot!

The fictional Simon Tam, for example, used his considerable brainpower and all his resources to rescue his sister from the clutches of an evil government bent on tampering with her brain and using her as a weapon.  He put it all on the line to save her, when he could have turned a blind eye and kept his cushy life and prestigious job.  He is not tall or built like Jayne (another Firefly character), nor is he good at fighting.  But what saved his sister, and what helps his new friends, is his intellectual capacity coupled with his strong values like loyalty, love and friendship.

That’s what I call a real man.

A Day in the Life

May 3, 2009

Woke up, prayed Fajr.

Enjoyed the quiet for a little while, read posts at Khadija’s and Lisa Vasquez’s blogs.

Gathered the children’s clothing, crept into the room. The plan was to get them dressed and get them out of the house so that the Mr FL could sleep in.  I needed to hit the Home Depot for plants, and the flooring showroom as we need to replace our carpet.  Just as I have them all dressed, I hear my dh moving around upstairs. I decide to let the kids see him before we go.  Of course, what was supposed to be no more than 5 minutes of talking to their Daddy and then kissing him goodbye turned into the usual Saturday m0rning, kiddie-and-daddy WWF.

My sons jump on him, and he pretends to body slam them on the bed. Tiny Toddler tries to get in on the action and laughs hysterically when she is lifted high in the air and then dumped on the bed for tummy kisses.  I alternate between looking on in amusement and watching “Renovation Realities” on HGTV.  We end up all leaving at the same time.  My sons keep shouting, “Don’t let Daddy get away” as we follow his car down the road for a bit.  He turns off to get gas, we keep on to the flooring store.

They sit quietly on the couches in the showroom for a bit. I am relieved.  However, that doesn’t last long. I find the carpet I want, then dither about shade selection, holding the paint chip next to this sample and then that. We finally leave the store with the samples so I can see them at home.

At the Home Depot,  Tiny Toddler fusses at her oldest brother when he tries to sit with the youngest two in the cart. “No!” she barks. “You can’t!”  I roll my eyes and tell him he’s too old to sit there anyway. He is not pleased. I pick up two plants and then struggle with a bag of mulch.  A flag holding employee sees, stops the guy driving the heavy equipment, and comes to my aid.  Chivalry isn’t dead.

We hit the grocery store, and come home.  The kids go play and boy did I need a break! I love them but running errands with lil kids is no one’s idea of fun.

Mr. FL comes home, and as we are discussing carpet choices, the little ones get into a box of EmergenC packets and make themselves drinks. And spill powdered vitamin C on the floor. Mr. FL suggests that I not wait to put items away so that they won’t make unnecessary messes.   He then scolds the oldest, who knows better. 

I help him put up a new chandelier in the dining room.  My younger son has fun climbing the ladder and “helping” his daddy.  My older son wants to go in the backyard to play with a new bubble blower he got from his grandma, Mr. FL’s mom.  I tell him he has to wait until I can go out too.  After a few missteps and alot of time spent holding my hands over my head, we get the chandelier up.  My son takes a pic of me with his dad’s phone. Man I’ve gained weight since I messed up my knee.  Mr. FL and I then spend time looking at the chandelier

These things can take awhile to put up

These things can take awhile to put up

from every angle trying to decide if it looks right and if it is correctly positioned.  This home improvement stuff always takes longer than you think it will.

Mr. FL takes down the light fixture in the foyer, but the new one we got is defective.  He takes a break before starting dinner. I clear the counter and get out the cutting board, vegetables, and canned tomatoes. He comes down and begins chopping. I head for the backyard to pick basil and oregano. Tiny toddler fusses to come with me, so I carry her out.  She has a great time picking herbs but nearly yanks the oregano out of the pot entirely.  Back in the kitchen, she insists on rinsing them for daddy.

He makes spaghetti. It’s delicious as usual.  Halfway through dinner I realize I forgot to make lemonade.

I put away the food, we sit on the couch and talk for awhile. 

I leave to pick up Mini-FL, she’s spent the day with friends. On the way, I listen to Heather Headley.  When I arrive, she’s bursting to tell me all about her day, then tears up a bit because one of her friends is moving.  On the way back, we pick up an oreo cookie shake from the ice cream shop per Mr. FL’s request.

At home, everyone has to be bathed and brush their teeth.  I put Tiny Toddler to bed first, then braid Mini-FL’s hair so it won’t tangle too much.  Younger son shrieks and struggles when I announce bedtime. Yeah. He’s overtired. I carry his fussy self upstairs, but once in the bed, he stops resisting and goes to sleep pretty quickly.

And after that, I was tired and ready for SLEEP!

Why a Black Woman?

March 21, 2009

flirtymarthajones

DonDadda
November 21, 2007 at 9:29 pm

This reminds me of when a friend and I were in Jubail a few years back.

We were invited to a village, and upon entering went to the masjid as it was maghreb. After the prayer, the guy that had invited us to the village introduced us to one of his uncles. Now this uncle was very friendly, spoke reasonably good English, and seemed to be pretty pious. We got talking and he asked if we were both married. Upon affirming this, he asked where our wives were from, and this is how the rest of the dialogue went:

Us: Yeah, they’re from England.

Him: Are they British?

Us: Yeah.

Him: White, ya’nee?

Us: erm.. no, they’re both Somali.

Him: Somali?! You mean….. black woman ya’nee?!

Us (looking at each other, quite bemused): Yeah…

Him: Lot’s of people in the west marry black woman…. but WHY?!

Shit man… astaghfirullah. I thought ‘My dad’s friggin black you racist bastard… why the hell wouldn’t I wanna marry a black woman?’

It has affected me, as whenever I’m asked where my wife’s from I always keep it to, ‘England’ and she’s ‘British’. Not because I’m ashamed of her, but because I don’t want to have to smack the crap out of another Muslim if they respond in a worse way than that guy did.

(I found the above on Umar Lee’s blog)

I have written in the past (https://foreverloyal.wordpress.com/2007/09/04/say-it-loud-im-jahil-and-proud/) that whenever you see a white muslim man, odds are good, very good that his wife is a black woman.  Some people are confused by this phenomenon.  I’ve read some negative theories as to why this may be the case.  Allow me to offer my own thoughts. 

1.  Black is beautiful

2.  White guys have eyes

Muslim or not, terribly religious or not, men have eyes.  And black women,  like the other women that Allah has created, are beautiful.  Say what you want, all these white converts marrying black women aren’t doing it as an act of charity.  They aren’t doing it because they’re a bunch of wishy washy, nambypamby emotional weaklings who wish to suffer under the oppressive domination of a nagging, shrewish, “strong black woman.”  (No wise person is going to mistake Mr. Foreverloyal for a wimp.  Laughable.  Nor do I get that “wimpy” vibe from the white husbands of any of the muslim sistas I know.)  They marry these women because they’re attracted to them and want to spend their lives together. DUH!

Those who’s lives are restricted by colorism are blind.  They will forever be shaking their heads, “why did that white convert marry a black woman?”

Can’t be that the sound of her laughter reminds him of a woodland stream.

Can’t be her smooth, unblemished skin.

Can’t be because when he told her his dreams, she looked him in the eye and said, “You can do it.”

Can’t be that they agree, Benjamin Sisko was the best Star Trek captain.

Can’t be because she wants 7 children and a backyard garden just like him.

Can’t be because she can make schnitzel for dinner on Tuesday and fried chicken with mashed potatoes and buttermilk biscuits on Wednesday.

Can’t be because she knows the difference between Kant and Kiekegaard.

Can’t be because she makes her 5 daily prayers diligently.

Can’t be because she’s got hair like cotton candy–and he loves cotton candy.

Can’t be the way she hums Billie Holiday when she’s washing the dishes.

The exchange with which I opened this post would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad.  The poor man really could not see the appeal in black women.  That’s fine really, because there are  plenty of other women for men of his type.  What’s sad about it is that he could be rude enough, and forgetful of his Islam enough, to imply that black women are inferior to others.  That he could insult his brother in Islam like that is a real cause for finger-wagging.

Why a black woman?  Well if you can’t see why I won’t waste my time trying to explain it to you.

*Goes off singing…  “Me I’m super fly, supadupa fly…ahem–masha’allah”

Hero

March 18, 2009

 

My hubby is my hero.

Shout out (and Salaams of course) to Mr. Foreverloyal!

*puts down mic*

Places change. I know, obvious statement, right? Every sane person would readily acknowledge that the country, state, and town in which they live has changed from what it was 150 years ago or even 5 years ago. So imagine, if you will, a person who insisted on traveling about the state using a map and visitors guide from, say, 1952. They are frustrated when Sycamore Street dead ends in an overgrown field.  When the gas station is boarded up, they are confused.  They are utterly confused when the restaurant where they had planned on stopping for lunch turns out to be a small library.

When they ask you for some insight, you take a look at their materials and say, “Here’s your problem!  Somebody gave you an old map and visitor’s guide.”  You point to a cute brick building across the street.  “The Visitor’s Center is right over there.  They have updated maps, and there’s a sandwich shop in there as well so you can get something to eat.”

“No thanks,” they respond.  “This map has been in my family for years.  It’s perfectly good.”

“But, you’re having a hard time finding anything.  That map is old and alot has changed.” 

“No it hasn’t.  I must just be holding it wrong.  Thanks anyway.”

And you watch them walk away slowly, rotating the map and scratching their heads.

You would call such a person crazy.  After all, only an insane person would insist on using badly outdated maps to get around.

I feel much the same when I see black women holding on to outdated ideas.  (Well, anyone really, but I’m talking about black women today)

The world has changed, sistas.  It is not 1860 or 1920 or 1966.  Rub the sleep from your eyes, clean your glasses, push aside your bangs. 

See the world as it is today, not as it was yesterday.

If not, you will be the one wandering around, dazed and confused.