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Op Ed

Fuck VSB

mrmarlonrice@gmail.com'

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I read the absolute most horrible blog article of the year this week, a piece written by a male named Damon Young, titled Straight Black Men Are the White People of Black People. It took me a couple of days to actually read the article, because the title is so disrespectful. In fact, it’s more than disrespectful. It is irresponsible.

To attempt to make a snarky comparison between the acute and despicable damage that the white race has inflicted, not just on Blacks in America, but on all peoples of color across the world, to even try and somehow equate this with the complex relationship between Black Men and Black Women is completely irresponsible. Completely Irresponsible. Either this Damon Young doesn’t know the history of White people, or he doesn’t know the history of Black people, or maybe he doesn’t care either way.

These new generation bloggers value cuteness over substance, and because the weaponization of tolerance in this country has decimated the ability to check anyone on their ways and actions, clowns like Damon Young get to write unmitigated bullshit without having to answer for it.

These new generation bloggers value cuteness over substance.

So, it took me a couple of days to read the article. I wanted to ignore it, just like I ignore most of the corrupt verbiage you find on social media. But, what I began to witness in my newsfeeds and timelines was what always happens when some irresponsible full-of-himself prick writes something that low-key reinforces the white supremacist strategy of tearing apart the Black family. Black men and women were beginning to have public heated debates and arguments about the article. You see Damon Young, our Brothers and our Sisters are damaged by a litany of issues, some self-inflicted, and others systemic. Emotionally hurt and damaged people will always start their personal healing process with finding someone or something to blame. It’s called the blame game, basic Psych 101. It is always easier for a person confronted with the truth, that things aren’t the way they should be, to blame someone else for what is wrong, rather than to look at themselves. Humans do it all of the time. This is why it is so important that those of us who have created a voice in our communities and in our common spaces use that voice responsibly. As soon as I began reading the arguments on Facebook, I knew for true that Damon Young had done no such thing.

Our Brothers and our Sisters are damaged by a litany of issues, some self-inflicted, and others systemic.

I will use plain and direct words to describe my thoughts on the article. The first thing that I want to say is that I do not disagree with the assertion that misogyny exists in our culture. Yes, misogyny exists. Our sisters are constantly under attack in our communities, whether from perverts and aggressive attention seekers that push for our sister’s acknowledgement when she just wants to get on the train and go to work, or from the popular music of our culture which continues to glorify the objectification of our women as nothing more than strippers and promiscuous women of advantage and deceit. This is the absolute truth of us. Our culture is misogynistic. I have a mother, two sisters, two daughters and two nieces that all live and experience the misogynistic side of our culture every time they step foot out of the house. Denying its existence is also irresponsible, and no man should ever try to downplay or minimize these issues as women see them. I learned from a woman that if a person feels wronged in any way, even if you don’t fully understand how they were wronged, it is still in bad taste to deny to them that they have been wronged. This action is called compassion. I have a great deal of compassion for my sisters, and would never look to write anything that takes away from their plight as women, living in a patriarchal society bereft of justice and equality.

Black men are the White men of absolutely nothing.

My problem with the article is Damon Young’s weak attempt to draw parallels between the way he feels about Black Man/Woman relationships and the privilege that White men specifically are able to exercise in this society, and it is that attempt that sours this article. I feel weird having to even address why this parallel makes no sense. Even more, Damon admits that he didn’t even make the term up. He says he read it somewhere. So, he read this silly phrase somewhere and accepted it? Says a whole lot about him. Black men are the White men of absolutely nothing. There is no Black man privilege, no place where our Black masculinity is enough to part waters or change policy. Your own article proves the fallacy Damon. When have you ever wrote anything as stirring and vehement regarding White men? This diatribe you posted, masked as some form of progressive journalism, speaks in way too many plural pronouns. We aren’t all included in your assessment of what Black men aren’t doing, and if you were a Black man you’d know that. We aren’t all turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the literal and figurative issues that our sisters face on a daily basis. We aren’t ignoring misogynistic language or going blind to domestic abuse. And, we are certainly not resistant to discussing these issues with Black Women, and offering our unwavering support and security. No, I and others like me are not included in your we. Your generalizations are amazingly narrow-minded, and better suited for whatever males you hang with, but with all due respect, don’t ever in your life speak as if you’re speaking to or for the whole.

Instead of serving as a basic buffoon, ready and eager to use a broad stroke to point out issues in such a polarizing manner, issues that in truth can only be repaired as a whole, together, and not by taking sides, you should be using your vehicle to build bridges, and not to throw a certain group under the bus. That connection you guys have made with The Root recently has you acting like them now, politely backslapping Black men whenever you see an angle to do so. Maybe that’s what your check writers want from you, I wouldn’t know. However, your article serves as a perfect example of why dudes like GFK and KRS-One used to look for Hip Hop journalists in these streets to offer corrective advice to when they felt it was needed. You have a responsibility as someone who has a voice to use that voice in a responsible manner. Calling out Black Men as being the White people of Black people is irresponsible, not to mention dangerous to whatever gains we’ve made with regards to our complex and layered relationship with Black Women.

By using your article to reinforce stereotypes in such a blanketed fashion, you’ve done more harm than good. So, hold that Damon. And, be prepared to stand firm on your ideals when confronted.

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Op Ed

WILL THE NEXT BE THE LAST?

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Mass shootings in America was the first line I began to write on Sunday November 18th. Before I was able to complete additional research on the subject, Monday November 19th arrived and two more mass shootings occurred. That time a hospital in Chicago and the streets of downtown Denver got their turns in the game of American roulette.

Thoughts and prayers aren’t saving lives

Now on Monday August 5th 2019, we’re in the midst of recovering from three more mass shootings in the span of one week. One in Gilroy, CA that is suspected to be racially motivated. Another in Dayton, Ohio whose motives are still under investigation, and lastly in El Paso, Texas which was definitively motivated by white supremacist views. In total, over 30 innocent people were killed in these terrorist attacks on American soil by young White male American citizens within a matter of days.

Like it or not, we’re all playing this deadly game of chance whenever we decide to go shopping, catch a movie, show up for work, attend a concert, worship at church… I think you get the point. The bottom line is the leaders of this country have made it abundantly clear that they aren’t willing or capable of protecting us. The public safety of all of our citizens is not the primary concern of too many of our public officials. Their priority is re-election and the spoils (money) attached to it.

Thoughts and prayers aren’t saving lives. The time has come to expand our thought process to increase our odds of survival. Below are two possible solutions that we can enact to force changes expeditiously.

  1. Boycotts of areas of mass gatherings could significantly effect the economy which in turn would motivate the Government to act.
  2. Minorities under attack need to significantly increase their own arsenals which would motivate the Government to act.

Either of the two aforementioned solutions tend to be more alarming than the reality of white supremacist terrorism and the possibility of an economic downturn. The sooner we collectively stop waiting for change and force it through bold action, the more innocent lives will be saved.

Mypens Real is immersed in the digital world with the keen eye of sifting through the fat and pulling out the meat. Always keeping tabs on the latest pros & cons technology has to offer. Whether it's sports, politics or pure stupidity...he'll find what's what.

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Op Ed

Why You’re Racist and Don’t Even Know It

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All of the people reading this currently were at some point, mindless, dribbling idiots who didn’t know their asses from their elbows. Some of you may disagree. Now if I said everyone reading this was at some point, a baby, no one would argue that point (except for those who believe their children were self-sufficient Einsteins right out of the womb). Behold! The power of labels! It’s easy to accept or disavow labels simply because of the generally perceived connotations they evoke, especially when that perception is negative. But if you study the parameters that define those labels and compare them to your own behaviors, can you rationally dispute that you are what they said you were? With that said and before you continue to espouse that you are all rainbow hugging flower children who loves everyone equally, have you ever truly defined what being racist is before you professed you weren’t?

rac·ism
[ˈrāˌsizəm]

NOUN

  1. prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

Based on the contextual definition of racism, I don’t even understand why there’s a contextual definition of racism. The definition may as well just say “Human” because quite frankly, I haven’t met one person who hasn’t discriminated or been prejudiced based on race. Just look at your spouse, friends, living environments, etc.. We have all knowingly (sadly) and unknowingly (best case scenario), made these types of decisions. Now does making decisions based on race make you a bad person? YES!!! It absolutely does!! And the only way you can be a good person is if you first accept that you are racist, then remain aware of that so it doesn’t affect your future decision making. Once you acknowledge that you have a preference, it becomes easier to entertain the ideal of equality and not succumb to personal preference.

Some people would agree that racism has benefited far too few in America and disenfranchised far too many. I am one of those people. The oddity of that is some unknowingly suggest racism as a solution to… racism. Can you truly level the playing field without being temporarily racist however? Can you justly deny anyone opportunities in 2019 to atone for denying a different race of people opportunities 200 years ago? As an example (and I’m sure an unpopular one), is it really fair to deny any Caucasian any opportunity in the name of correction when A) that specific Caucasian did not cause the issue and B) What the hell does “equal” mean in the first place? Physics clearly state that 2 objects can’t occupy the same space at the same time. So if there is only space for one thing at one TIME (extreme emphasis on TIME), can the concept of equality even exists if we have to remove one for the other to catch up? If you practice deliberate discrimination in the name of aggregate equality, contextually speaking, how are you not a racist?

We were all raised by someone with less refined social ideas of and experiences with other races. This means our baselines for interactions with other races were predefined by those who were also unknowingly racist. It’s OK. It’s not your fault or theirs. You didn’t choose the world you were born into and neither did they. You do have a say in the world you leave behind however. If you don’t acknowledge that you do have a say, you probably won’t say anything and leave the next generation to repeating the same hate speech.

We can never get to a point of resolution if we haven’t accepted and can’t publicly admit that we are ALL susceptible to stereotypes and prejudiced.  Seeing as how no one except for the KKK is admittedly racist, yet racism is still prevalent, I don’t believe anyone should be excluding their personal behaviors and choices from racial evaluation.

Sidebar; For those who say African Americans can’t be racist because we are the marginalized population, even the contextual definition states “typically” but not solely. So sorry to burst your reverse racist bubbles but although you may not be as savage, you may be just as prejudiced as those who weren’t marginalized. Sidebar Complete.

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Op Ed

Why Do You Hate All the Black Men?

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When I was in 5th grade at PS 398 in Brooklyn, NY, I had a teacher whom I have no love lost for; Mrs. Thompson. From what I can remember, she was a bit of an old, out of touch, ornery woman, built like an old school nun and seemed to have a special distaste for the boys in the classroom. Now I could be wrong because after all, we are talking about the critical thinking mind of a 10 year old who made these complex character assessments probably after profound discussions like “would King Kong beat Godzilla in a fair fight?” Be that as it may, I had gotten so upset at her constant acrimony towards us that one day after class, I snuck back into the classroom and wrote on the chalkboard in 260 pt font “WHY DO YOU FAVOR THE GIRLS?

Needless to say, the entire class saw my social graffiti the next morning and Mrs. Thompson was none too pleased. I somehow didn’t get in trouble but she knew it was me (I’m left handed and I write like a distressed deer that stumbled into a lion’s sweet sixteen party.) Penmanship aside, it seems the time has come again for me to ask the modern day version of Mrs. Thompson (The internets) … “Why Do You Hate All the Black Men?

I’m really not a fan of the current “The black woman is the least protected” movement. Of all the Af-Am women and men that I know personally, I can’t think of one man who wouldn’t or hasn’t come to a woman’s aid when necessary and I can’t think of one woman (again, that I know personally) who doesn’t have a man of Af-Am descent in their life who would come to their aid at a moment’s notice. Now I am not oblivious to the fact that there are many men, many many many many men, who have put women in harm’s way or have been the one’s who women have needed protection from. The truth is the truth and in order for your truth to be respected, acknowledged and equally believed, you must also be open to the truths of others. So I want make it 100% clear that ladies, I HEAR AND BELIEVE YOU. My
contention has never been if not feeling protected in your communities is a reality but rather, that BLACK MEN are some how less adept than any other race of men.

I do not ever discount how black women feel. What I take contention with is that the issue of feeling unprotected is somehow an issue specific to Af-Am women. When we make it race specific, we paint a public picture of yet another perceived deficiency in the black community when women on a whole, regardless of race and region are not protected. I’m sure Asian and Middle Eastern women would feel they are the least protected. My argument (sad as it is) is simply “If he ain’t shit, it’s probably not because he’s black.”

I KNOW the black man is the least protected and most exploited historically and because of that trend, statements like these tend to roll off everyone’s tongue with ease. Sexism and stereotypes are the root cause of a majority of these issues between the sexes but because that is too daunting to tackle, we cherry pick what is closest to us and place blame.

We all need to be taught and no one comes with preset instructions. I absolutely believe that there are men who know how to protect a woman (physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc.) and men who need to be taught. Call me crazy but I assume there aren’t a bunch of White, Indian, Spanish, Middle Eastern and Asian men with capes on, ready to swoop in at a moments notice and save their respective cultural counterparts and ethnic empresses. I also venture to guess, like “black on black“ crime, the ratios and sentiments are most likely comparable across all races.

Whomever you are, please, if you can stop making certain things a black issue when it may just be a common issue and the person who you hold responsible happens to be of Af-Am descent, it would be appreciated.

When Brooklyn Has Fallen and you have that one guy who will leave his job and run across town on foot to protect you, whether he’s a friend, family or otherwise, he’s not gonna appreciate when you publicly decree you have no one to protect you.

Sidebar: I remember being 13 years old and not knowing what to do when some dude had cursed my mom out. I remember my dad getting in my a$$ for that when he found out. I remember being an adult and someone tried to raise their voice at my mom while I was in the vicinity at an airport. I remember the police having to escort me away because I was about to hop over the counter at Alaskan Airlines and drag this clown up and down the airport. Lesson learned. Sidebar Complete!

Crazed Afrykan is a writer / hip hop producer (Nas / Damien Marely) and aficionado of hip hop culture. For over 30 years, he has gained personal introspective into the motivations, rhymes and reasons for one of the most revered genres in modern music. He is also a smug, smart ass with a perplexing penchant for alliterations. You’ve been warned.

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