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 quién 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.