British versus American

Unlike most Britons (male and female) that I know, I am unreserved about enjoying a British series called Made In Chelsea (MiC). I debriefed the series in a previous post here, which you can read up on here. Liking the series (and Britons who also like it, but are embarrassed to admit it in British public) may say a great deal about me as a person, and the people I attract. Let’s face it, black-identified Americans have called me “bourgie” since I was a child. It’s pretty hilarious to think about the cultural connection, too, as Anglophones typically view Francophone people as “refined” ( Ou Lah Lah! ) but “arrogant.” We all bathe in parfum and are serial epicureans. “If the shoe fits?” Continue reading

Colonizing minds

I like going to the barber. Two weeks ago, when I went, I learned that Nigerians regularly request asylum in the UK, the main thrust of their applications being that they are homosexual. Of course, as I learned, they’re not really homosexual; they merely use this as a powerful enough excuse to obtain UK citizenship. And, the government is aware. The things we do to broaden our horizons. It’s really quite remarkable. Continue reading

Africa

One day, I was walking down London Road, probably headed to the Cooperative to purchase some goods for the kitchen. And I ran into a guy whose a friend of a friend that frequents the local shisha lounge. He asked if I was going to smoke shisha, and indicated that he was headed inside right then. I had to go make my grocery, so I told him that I’d be back after that. Continue reading

Guarding Representations of Culture

Good lord.

Why did 20 year old Miley, viewed and identified as white, had to use black-identified women with big butts in her Video Music Award (VMA) performance last night? You know that is a no-no in the U.S. and is sure to provoke a race war; which it has.

Black-identified American women are at the forefront of the outrage. I’ve read some pretty insightful articles and blog entries on the sexualization of black-identified women (historically), devalue of the black body, myopic views of black-identified people as entertainers, rather than people.

And you know, I’ve got to say that I mostly agree with them. I can definitely see many persons in the world seeing “black” people as sexual, musical or athletic entertainers. But the more I consider it, the more I believe that this is linked to TV and to how black-identified persons make their livelihood, which itself is celebrated on TV. Black Americans have hangups with playing soccer or cricket, which they view as a “white sport,” but Nigerians, Jamaicans and Indians play soccer in the streets and Jamaicans and Indians have the world’s best cricket teams. They’re not usually identified as white.

I was just mentioning how here in the UK folks are quite willing to have a sexual relationship with me, and to solicit me for sex copiously, but are less willing to court me.  I see this more in the UK than I did in the U.S., Norway or France, but I think it may be a global trend. It’s the whole idea that tall, tan, men, are monstrously hung and excessively masculine. It’s that fantasy of being in a violent sex session, even if in reality it isn’t violent, it’s the fantasy of being with someone who could be violent simply because of his virility and that idea of virility is based on how people racially place him. White men, for instance, are not usually associated with excessive masculinity. Orientals definitely aren’t; in fact, they’re usually expected to be quite effeminate. So, I entirely see the argument of the body of colored folks being divorced from their entire self. Gays often complain of the same. Hmmm Maybe it’s that men (no matter their culture or orientation), when we want sex, we want sex, not love. Maybe it’s an animalistic carryover. We are still beasts, anyways.

But what I disagree with in all of this “black” feminist fury, is that while it is true that many women have been raped throughout time, it is not universally true that slave women unwillingly opened their legs for white men. Some white men, indeed many, formed loving relationships with slave women, emancipating them, providing for the safety, education and security of their natural (and sometimes legitimate) children. And they weren’t always mulatto women, either. I can name about 50 of these “success” stories off the top of my hand; then again, as a genealogist, I may know more about the documented past than the average Janet on the street in Charlotte, North Carolina. In any case, as far as I can see, black Americans (women in particular) want to believe the contrary is universally true, so that investment in fallacy to fill the void of their unknown individual family histories, is what has become the norm.

The Miley fury isn’t really only about a white girl being racist; it’s about black Americans being upset when others, especially white-identified, learn cultural attributes viewed by both racial groups as “black culture.” This is what it’s all about. It’s about white people becoming black (and black people becoming white). And in the United States, apparently, this is not supposed to happen. It’s not supposed to be legal. It’s not meant to be tolerated. No! Stay in your white world, honky! Don’t forget where you came from, nigger! White people can’t dance and ain’t got junk in their trunk. It’s a sick, perverse, sort of guardianship of “things” that black-identified Americans hate being observed and remarked by whites (as stereotypes). But if whites observe it, then it must be more than a stereotype; something about it must be true. Right? If you watched P-Diddy videos, Miley’s video isn’t that far different. He can do it because he’s black. It’s expected of him and mostly tolerated by other black-identified Americans; right? But when the white girl or boy does, unless it’s sappy RnB by Justin Timberlake or Robin Thicke, it’s racist.

If you do not want people associating you with “racist” observations, or by learning things that only certain “races” do, then stop investing in racialization. This is what is (and has always been) about. These ideas that people from diverse cultural and geographic experiences all do the same things, think the same because they’re “members” of one “race.” If you do not like what others observe for your race, then what is your alternative? In America, for blacks, the only alternative is whiteness. For whites, the only alternative is blackness.

Pick one.
And then stay on your own side of the tracks!

Ahhhh … America and race.