Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Black to the Issue

Does anybody care about black people?

Again, I generally prefer to leave the social commentary stuff to the experts, but not today. And before I even get started, let me qualify my statements. This editorial is posed not for folks that have particular preferences (Hell, my preference is Michael Jordan) - but for the deliberate shunning of one particular group based on preconceived notions. Excuse me in advance for going all over the place on this post, it just came out that way, so I decided to give it to you straight with no chaser.

I was talking to a friend of mines on the phone. Let me give you a little backdrop about him. Prior to having a relationship with me, he didn’t date black women for seven years. He was hurt by one (terribly – she swindled him for 15K for child support only to find out on national TV that the child was NOT his). After that, he engulfed himself into the Spanish culture. He listens to Salsa Y Merengue, Cumbia, all that stuff. He loves the Spanish language and its culture. No problem. Hey, I like to consider myself fluent myself, considering I can sing De Colores, Vaya Con dios & Como La Flor without any assistance. (HAHA). Yeah, I crack myself up. And if you look up the historical information from Cumbia, Reggaeton, and Salsa, you will note that they take their musical influences from black culture, and they will readily say that it comes from the blaxican, Central American, Egyptian, African rhythmic beats of the drum. So, they are who we are. Ellos son quiĆ©n nosotros somos - They are who we ARE.

The challenge that I have is when the comparisons start to be made. Not directly, but indirectly. None of this stuff has been directly said; it’s been based on my interpretations why he avoided black women for So.Long. Now, he does readily admit, that, his PREFERENCE is for black women. He thinks black women are beautiful. He adores them in the highest, and even, has made excuses for their sometimes (overly aggressive) behaviors to others, because he believes they have been dealt with a very harsh hand. Listen, I’m not telling you anything that you don’t know. Often times we do have aggressive behaviors. I didn’t say ambitious, I said overly aggressive, and if you think about some of the people you know, I would think that you would concur with this statement. Frankly, if I were a fella, I wouldn’t want to muddle through a lot of that, either. It doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t. Y’all already know what I would do if I was a brother. But what I brought to his attention was that: (And when I say latin, I also mean Asian, I just got lazy and didn't want to type both of them).

If a white woman gets mad, she doesn't take any mess. If a latin woman gets mad, she’s saucy. If a black woman gets mad, she has an attitude.

If a white woman cleans and cooks, she is traditional. If a latin woman cleans up, cooks, and breaks you off she knows her "role"; if a black woman does it, she has an ulterior motive.

If a white woman is sexy, she is "HOT". If a latin woman is sexy, she’s just sexy, if a black woman does it, she’s hot and a whore.

If a white woman gets a man with money, she plays by the rules of money/status/comfort. If a latin woman gets a man with money, she just gets a man with money; if a black woman does it, she is a gold digger.

If a white woman does what she needs to do, she follows the legacy of her mother getting what she wants. If a latin woman does what she needs to do to snare a man or get what she wants out of him, she has jenesequa* (Spelling is horrible, but y'all get it). If a black woman does is, she’s playing games and is manipulative.

If a white woman demands something, she is seen as someone who can handle herself. If a latin woman demands something, she holds her ground. If a black woman does it, she’s stubborn.

Did it take JLo to recognize that it’s okay to have ass? Does it take Salma Hayak to say it’s okay to have tiggo-bitties? Does it take Jessica Alba to say that’s it’s okay to have big lips? Not to us, it didn’t.

This is not the first time I have heard this. Granted, I do believe (ahem) that some black women are abrasive, obnoxious, rude, and are downright unsubmissive. I SAID SOME, NOT ALL, AND NOT MOST. I don’t mean submissive in the weaker vessel since, please spare me the lecture; I only mean submissive in terms of capturing the essence of what it means to be a women, or what it means to preserve your sexiness (see excellence post on Nisa Ahmad). I do believe that. It doesn’t matter for WHAT REASONS they turn out to be abrasive; only that they are. That will be addressed later.

One of the things that we did agree on is that the Hispanic and Asian culture has worked to preserve their culture, their heritage, their familial strength, their music, and all other means, whereas (and there are always exceptions to the rule) we were thrown to the wolves, particularly the western black folks, considering they pulled an Amistad on us several hundred years ago, and as a result, robbed of being bi-lingual, in fact, and thrown into a society where we have NEVER been what’s hot on the streets. At least from a cinematic perspective. Sure, there are your resident Denzel’s Halle’s and Will's that will grace the screen. But for the most part, we have been relegated to a minority, literally and figuratively, on the news, in entertainment, and yes, even in the mating process at times.

Even Greg, the resident Dumb MOFO of the year, indicated in a conversation with me, that maybe he should try and date a Latina. I corrected him and said Um, No, maybe you should date someone who is not going to f uck you with no Vaseline is what you should be worried about, not her ethnicity.

Even at my job, I see it happening. We have a market specifically target (and this may be for geographic reasons) that literally and figuratively caters to the Hispanic market. It caters to them. We have a diversity staffing manager, and a diversity coordinator whose design is to recruit and attract bilingual talent (read: Hispanic). Sure, there are people who speak Spanish who are not LATIN, but I’m sure one of the very readers of this will actually confirm with me that the majority of people that she calls have latin like surnames.

It is difficult to explain how I understand what he feels but it doesn’t mean that I don’t feel awkward about the entire situation. I think that in our independence, we have, indeed lost some of our femininity, some of our softness, some of what attracts a male to a female. Yes, I know there are things that have not made males attractive to females, but I am not talking about them right now. But that has been by force. Often times we had to based on the circumstances that faced us. Poverty (or fear of it) single parent dwellings, the inability to be vulnerable because your life was ALREADY in a vulnerable state. The ineffectiveness to distinguish between being open and loving, versus being a sucker, which are not one and the same. Once again, If I were a good guy, I wouldn’t want to get through some of the barriers and walls that black women have.


I do know that we are ride or die chicks. You may have to penetrate through the Great Wall of China to get to us, but when you do, babee! If you are good to us, we are going to be three times as good to you. We will cut a mutha fucka over you, male or female, and we’re going to make you promise to US, that we will make it back in one piece. He was telling me “Well, that’s really not your problem because you understand the dance and the game” And I said “perhaps it may not be MY problem, but if I see that there are differences being made between who I am then I do take note and heart to it." I love being who I am, and wouldn’t change that for the world. I understand that all cultures have issues. Because I believe they do. White, Black, Asian, All of them. But that’s just what they are.

And what is MY issue? Preference is one thing. Stereotyping is another. And I'm not having it. With my own culture, or with another's. And what the hell, don't all of us have a little "In-Di-En" or " Cre-O"in us, anyway. We all family!

In fact, I know that it runs across the board. In talking to a co-worker, one of our latino counterparts, (and his brothers), do not date LATINO women, and WILL NOT. He told her, in fact, that he would NEVER date one, because they are too 'ghetto' and they gossip too much. Now, we know that is not the case for all of their culture, so that is an unfair statement he knows better. He sits around a Staffing Specialist, Staffing Manager, Legal Secretary, and Paralegal, and all of them are MEXICAN women, in particular. This fool grew up in Bell and any LA person knows that Bell gets DOWN with the brown pop.

Sidebar: I've got a problem with white boys/girls that won't date white women/men, either. AT ALL. That's creepy. But that's not what I'm talking about right now, but I just wanted to throw that out there. What the fuck is wrong with folks liking who they are.

Now, Black to the Issue:

How have you dealt with the stereotyping of your culture? White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, or Other?

Live, and Black in LA, this is P, reporting to you from K-PAT FM, the Pattyopolis Network.

Friday, June 23, 2006

How To Keep Your Job

If you're interested in keeping your verifiable source of income, from an HR Perspective, do NOT:

Buy personal concert tickets on your corporate credit card.

Purchase a brand new CLK when there is a grand total of 78K missing from the deposit slips when you were on shift each and every time closing.

Over the course of several years, get mad, say "I'm done, I quit", and then stalk off and leave and come back and say "I'm just playing, I'm not mad no more". (Sidebar: And GET mad when we (er THEY) term you out the system.

Break up with the guy in sales after he buys you a new pair of twins, and then wonder why he's so frustrated.

Steal money from the safe, indicating you have cancer, and then we check the records and find out you have full medical insurance, then admit you need the money for rent.

Play pocket pool in the lobby foyer of the corporate offices, pointing the "pool stick" at women who pass by.

Close the shop up for a few hours to go across the street to watch the playoff games, leaving a sign on the door indicating “If you need us, call ((insert bar name here))".

Buy the entire call center section that services your department (30 plus people) lunch and pass out “Jesus Loves You” buttons.

Go out on workers compensation, saying that your manager is racist against black folks without looking at the picture of her BLACK husband and BI-RACIAL children plastered on the walls.

Get Mad at your schedule, tell your store manager “Meet me outside in five minutes”.

Bring your wife and child in while you work on the weekends to hang out in the managers office, eat, and talking on the phone.

Borrow 1200.00 from an Executive, telling him you did-ent get your check, (when you did), and are nowhere to be found when it's time to re-coup the money.

Get free lunches from the cafeteria for yourself and your friends because you are the facilities manager.

Look up celebrities cell phone numbers and call them to see if it is, in fact, "Them".

Smoke the Sticky-Icky right before you come back from lunch.

Use the company-issued gas card to buy candy and treats at the local gas stations.

Pay your phone bill with a customer's credit card.

This is how you keep your job. Cocoa Girl on the job also gives you tips on how to know when you are going to get the boot.

What do you think about this list? Any interesting fiascos happen on your job that were the kiss of death for others - Maybe even you?

Live (and back, bitches) in LA, this is P, reporting to you from K-PAT FM, the Pattyopolis Network.

Friday, June 16, 2006

After These Messages, We'll Be Right Back

The Offices of K-PAT FM are temporarily closed. P is going on site to our national operations center. She was "volunteered" to go via the C.S.S. (Corporate Slave Ship) she toils (er, works) for. Thanks for the CSS Moniker, Sup!

In short. I'm going on a "bid-ness" trip. I'm trying to be like Supastar Nic always going on bidness trips and all. K-PAT will be out of circulation for a while. My flight LEAVES at 6:32 AM how whack is that - AND I have a middle seat, super booty. You may find me trolling and commenting on posts, but I will not be posting all through next week.

(PS: Isn't this chick's hair WHACK!?! I got ty-red of looking for a picture so I chose her).

P's Out.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Sister Vs. Sister - Favoritism In the Family

My sister has a very passive (yet aggressive) personality. She is very easily influenced, and she can tell a story better than a sinner on judgment day. She has told a many tall tale, that included everything from she was robbed on a subway (lie), that when she was 21 the reason whey she was so broke was she had to pay my mother 800.00 for rent (another lie), as well as her favorite: "I don't know why (fill in the blank) said I took (fill in the blank). I didn't steal anything!"

In all fairness to everyone involved that I'm about to speak on, my sister tells these incredible stories that will pull you in faster than the Titanic sank to the bottom of the Ocean. They are truly believable. The only possible way to not believe a word that she says is to be around her for several years. I'm starting to think, that even she believes them herself, maybe that's why they sound so good! :P

Because of this, my sister has gotten more free passes than a 13 year old girl gets with R. Kelly. Everyone has always made accommodations for her as a child, and excuses, saying "Well, she didn't really mean it", or "She isn't like YOU, she needs more help.

Well, who said that I didn't need any help?

My paternal great aunt was the WORST! She would take my sister shopping and she would come back with a trunkload of items. Wouldn't get me a thing. And.We.Were.CHILDREN! If in fact she HAPPENED to take me, she would always say "Make sure you pick something up for your sister, we don't want to forget her". Granted, I wasn't her warm close personal niece, I didn't like her and she knew it. Hell, what nine year old would like a woman with a million cats in her house, hid my fathers mistress, and told my mother that I was too light to be my dad's daughter, hello. Prolly didn't help I told everyone her house was a mess. :P ! But see, my aunt was manipulative. And so is my sister. So they got along VERY well.

But my father was even a culprit. He would send my sister (a full time WORKER who had enough money and then some to take care of herself), hundreds and hundreds of dollars at any given time, often monthly, and didn't send me a thing. At that time, my sister was 25, and I was 19, going to school full time, and working part time. Again, in all fairness, my sister was calling him telling him tall tales of paying exorbitant rent to whoever she was staying with at the time, so he would send it. He never sent money to me, and would often reference the parable of the prodigal son. Are you kidding me? Who wanted to hear that as a 19 year old broke as a joke child? Not me.

Now, my mom? She didn't really make apparent differences, but she did go out of her way to do things for her, as of course, a parent would do. But as I became an adult, it would get on my nerves. Only now, considering my sister has been M.I.A. for over four years, and only calls to get her birth certificate (Sidebar to new readers- Go into archives and read the birth certificate saga), I think my mother would be firm with her. (I guess).

My sister seems to think I'm the favored child. In fairness, perhaps that is why she acted out, perhaps not, just playing devils advocate. I seem to think that she is. Maybe that's why I tend to get frustrated when things like THIS happen. In fact, if I have gotten into into it with my parents, I have even said in the past "I'm sure if You.Know.Who had this issue, it would be a BIG DEAL!"

Now, I am astute enough to know that parents feel differently about each and every one of their kids, and that's subject to the relationship they have with them. I know there are different feeling for each child, even though the love is there for all of them. I know this. However, things that I witnessed were deliberate, intentional, and obviously (at least according to my interpretation) slanted in her behalf. But that's my eyewitness testimony, and anyone worth their salt knows that eyewitness testimony means nary a THING!

Disclaimer: I was not a traumatized neglected child; not in the slightest. But I DID feel that differences were made with my sister. I DID.

K-PAT FM is going to open up this topic to the readers: I'm going to open it up to the readers:

Do You Notice YOUR behavior with your children? Is it there, but you suppress it? Did you experience this as a child yourself? With any of your friends/family? Teachers - I would be especially interested in your take on this, particularly in a classroom setting and how that affects you on a daily basis.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Eye of the Beholder?

The classic Twilight Zone Episode, "Eye of the Beholder", profiles a young woman, desperate to belong. Desperate to be included as just normal, in a society that views her face as non aesthetically pleasing. She has endured, at that point, several operations to remove what she sees as her facial deformities. She has been isolated accordingly in the society and yearns just to belong. Her most recent (and according to the doctor, her LAST) surgery, is the last ditch attempt to finally belong. Anyone who is a twilight zone fan, knows the outcome of this story. In short, the woman is drop dead gorgeous, and in fact, the people who are treating her, as well as everyone else in this futuristic society, look absolutely horrendous (according to us).

That leads me to the question. Does size matter? Oh, um, we're not talking about that, wrong subject and wrong blogger - I must be near my cycle. Now normally, I don't segway into these philosophicizing culturally sensitive topics - I generally leave that to the two experts designed to handle those types of requests. But sometimes, in the pipeline, the owners of K-PAT FM have to interrupt regularly scheduled programming and discuss the elephant in the room topics that others speak on so well.

Does.Beauty.Matter? To THEM? To US?

We take great pride in taking care of our bodies, our faces, and our minds. Yes, that is to be expected. Most people in this world try to do two things: Look good, and avoid looking bad - both personally and professionally. They are NOT one and the same. So, we take the appropriate measures to ensure that we, often times, look head and shoulders above the rest. This can include

- Waxing (Or Threading) Hair, Nails, Facials, Gym Memberships, Exfoliating, Toning, Keeping up with Trends, Carb Crunching, Fat Counting, Gloss Buying, Tanning (well, for our melanin - challenged readers), and a partridge in a pear tree. And any other cosmo-lucky mag, vibe vixen, inspired technique to get purty.

Brother's I have not left you out. In this metro-sexual driven culture where men's grooming styles are no shorter than any cast member of Queer Eye, you, too, are expected to aesthetically please on both the physical, and the financial front.

Before I go into my spiel, I want to say that there are always exceptions to the rule; however, exceptions prove the rule. With that said, aren't receptionists generally attractive? Are the people that work in marketing, or business to business sales physically appealing, if not in face, in dress, body style? Are the retail employees that work at Bloomingdales, Charlotte Russe, and a You-Name-It store on Rodeo Drive attractive? All the girls at hot dog on a stick have a great ass to waist ratio? Do all the men that work at Fed-X, UPS, have nice legs, abs, and bodies (Lawd, thank you, YES).

Are the employees that work in customer care, finance, quality assurance, and other non customer facing jobs more likely to be, (as society deems it) less physically pleasing those in the other categories mentioned above? That doesn't mean that you don't come across your residential foxes, but likka said - always exceptions to the rule.

Us included. Men and women are attracted initially by the physical possibilities. But are the physicalities subject to the interpretation of the interpreter, or not? Yes, I know we all have types, and I know that there are universal pretties and fineness, like MY MAN Isaiah Washington, Aishwarya Rai and the like. But, are we too, not only subject to beauty being in the eye of the beholder, but also perpetrators of such behavior?

We used to teach a class at the company that I work for called behavioral interviewing. In, it we used to provide them with the measuring criteria on how to rate someone on whether or not they were a suitable candidate for employment. Time after time, we received pushback on how they looked (piercings, tattoos, height and weight, etc), as opposed to their general qualifications.

"Now the question comes to mind...where is this place and when is it, what kind of world where ugliness is the norm and beauty the deviation from that norm? The answer is: it doesn't make any difference. Because the old saying happens to be true. Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder, in this year or a hundred years hence, on this planet or wherever there is human life, perhaps out among the stars. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A lesson to be the Twilight Zone." - Rod Serling

So - IS beauty in the eye of the beholder? Subject to the interpretation of the interpreter? Of just a social construct designed to eradicate where true love lies - where life lies - at the soul.

I think everyone has done it, and everyone has been susceptible to it. So with that, K-PAT would like to open up the airwaves to the audience. Open Forum.

What other jobs do you think that "Attractive" people get, versus "Non Attractive". Have you perpetrated this on a regular basis? Have you used your manly/feminine wiles to get something you want because you knew it was admired? Do you think this is an active practice - from a hiring and personal perspective - Anything goes!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Burying the Hatchet - Open Letter to UOP

My personal friends and family all know I've got beef with the University of Phoenix. No particular reason, just one of those "It Was Written" moments of this is what I do and don't like about this or that.

Before I get started on my rants, I want to apologize for anything in advance I say to anyone who goes here. The opinions that are represented here are the views of K-PAT FM, the Pattyopolis Network and are not necessarily those of Blogger and it's subsidiaries.

This weekend, I attended the graduation ceremonies of the University of Phoenix. The events leading up to and including the graduation only fueled my Death Wish of this school.

The event was at the Anaheim Convention Center , a humongous monstrosity of a complex. I drove up and HAD.TO.PAY.FOR.PARKING. I'm like ain't this a bitch. I was sweating bullets (literally and figuratively) because, I already KNEW that I had to pay for my ticket and had less than twenty in my purse, but I found this chick slanging tickets while I was trying to park in the sweltering parking lot - and I got it for three dollars off.

At the Anaheim Convention Center, if you don't get a parking spot close to your venue, you have to walk a full country mile just to get to your location. Me being me, wore these four inch high heeled BCBG pumps. (Hey, it matched the halter shirt, pants, and lip gloss it all went together okay?)

It was standing room only. I had to almost get the Teamsters union involved in getting a seat, jockeying with this Mexican chick who tried to hoo-bang on a half of row of seats, waiting for her family from Tijuana to arrive. I was like "Listen, this is the here and NOW, when they come I will move", and promptly planted my black ass right on the corner seat and looked at her like What. This only added fuel to my personal drive of taking the UOP down. The element of folks that was there was unbelievable. People shoving, yelling, slanging teddy bears and balloons for a million dollars a pop. The graduation ran by with the force of a sister running through the rain with no umbrella, hell if I would have blinked I would have missed it.

But through it all, I saw a friend, who has NEVER been able to finish anything that she started; a friend who went through one junior college after another, only to quit mid semester, and, at best, one semester. Granted, I am still not interested in the power-point laden, study group driven, real life experiences that the school offers, but this graduation was a BIG deal to her, and if it was a big deal to her, then dammit, it's a big deal to me.

Yes, the heat walking a country mile to and fro from my car wreaked havoc on my wrapped coiffure. Yes, I ended up scooting over to accommodate the girls family who finally arrived from Mexico. The man that I was sitting next to couldn't decide whether he wanted to watch the rest of the ceremony or look for my bluetooth. And it's all because of you, UOP. But for now, I am extending the olive branch. I have a personal vendetta against you, yes, and I rank you with the likes of Bryman and Barbizon (these are local schools, y'all). BUT, for my friend's family, to take pictures with her, to see other families who were happy and co-signing with their families, was well worth it.

Cost of Parking at the Anaheim Convention Center: $9.00

Cost of the Ticket at the Anaheim Convention Center: $7.00

Cost of a fourth a tank of gas going back and forth with air conditioner blazing: $15.00

Going to a school graduation that is publicly traded on the NASDAQ: Priceless.

Live from LA, this is P, reporting to you from K-PAT FM, the Pattyopolis Network.