Musing on Identity: Are we African-Americans, Negros, or Black People


There are two responsibilities I work hard to fulfill. If you include doing my utmost to be your mom’s best friend, then three.

In the order of most to least important here they are. To start with, it’s my job to tell my friends no one gives a fuck about either their latest cleanse or diet. Next, I help people match the proper word when referring to “my people”, to the right context . As a matter of fact, there are some cases where the term “Black” will not do and a more colorful word is needed, like ‘expendable’. I am not a black person, I am an expendable person.

This a probably why Black History month is the shortest month of the year. This is also why whitewashed versions of popular leaders are so prevalent during February. I just so happen to be in love with the latest version of Martin Luther King. You know the one that has nothing to say about wealth redistribution and poverty.

A Heavy Burden

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According to the NYPD, I am on borrowed time. So let’s get to it.

This responsibility is wearing me down. It comes though, with being many people’s token black friend. I should have seen it coming.

Generally speaking society, like your mom and I, we do our best to hide things you shouldn’t see. Socially we use vapid phraseology to hide the truth. There is no such thing as a black community. Instead, there are distinct groups comprised of people from different linguistic, ethnic, economic and social climes. Their skin color happens to fall within the range that allows aggregation. It follows that such a diverse assembly of people would have diverse thoughts on this issue. Martin Luther King favored the word Negro to refer to ‘Black People”. Malcolm X did not. He preferred “Black to Negro,” but also started using the term Afro-American after leaving the Nation of Islam.

Where does that leave us ?

Not everyone black person in the US is an African-American. I, for example, am Haitian-American. It turns out that where the boat stopped after it left Africa determines what adjective you put in front of ‘American’. Not every black person is a ‘negro’. For example rich, successful black people are “great neighbors” (to have). Unless they’re retired football players, who acted in comedies. Oh, and also have a penchant for marrying white women (OJ Simpson anyone?).

Let me offer you a tentative solution. I know that referring to “Black people” as “The Expendables” might be difficult. Especially since Sylvester Stallone’s created a movie series of the same moniker. Though if you think about it, one refers to a group of tired, jobless, people considered painful to watch, usually portrayed as hyper-violent. The other refers to the cast of the movie series.

Black Lite, just like Bud Light is toned down,  accessible to drink out in public with non-minorities, but just as 'filling'

Black Lite, just like Bud Light is toned down, accessible to drink out in public with non-minorities, but just as ‘filling’

We could avoid all problems if we officially became the “Other”. It sounds hip. Also biracial/mixed people use the other designation on forms. You may not see the genius of this plan. Statistics from online dating research have found something interesting. When people are allowed to select more than one race, combining “white” with another racial description always helps your rating! “In fact it goes a long way towards undoing any bias against you.” This might finally give us a chance to use all those episodes of plantation rape and sexual abuse for something more than what we are doing with them now:nothing.


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You Requested it (II): My Dating Philosophy & Interracial Dating


My philosophy on dating is a lot like a common practice of watch manufacturers. No matter how expensive, or different in style, watches still always come in a hairy box and I aspire to do the same (i.e. not be picky). Suffice it to say, I’m quite open-minded. I do not put much weight into if the girl’s taller or shorter; I don’t care if she’s black, white red, blue, green, yellow. I will even go on record and say that I don’t care if she has had a child. When most men hear a woman has had 10 fingers inside her at once they tend to shy away. But I’m sure by now you know I’m made of sterner stuff*.

The Reality Though

Dating is a specific kind of social interaction. We should expect age, race and other biases to be as prevalent in dating as they are in all other social interactions.

Dating/marrying outside your race, isn’t that big a deal nowadays. Fifty years ago miscegenation could cost you your life. Now if you buy into the deal of interracial marriage or dating, the price isn’t as steep. Instead of paying with your life, you can get a lifetime of aggravation. If you get the extended deal, your biracial progeny will come with an anchorless, but bifurcated sense of identity. Aside from Old Navy commercials they will have nothing in life to look forward to doing.

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It is comforting to know that in 2012, 15% of new marriages were interracial. That means that I am not alone in being open-minded about relationships. Open-mindedness has reaped huge benefits for me. Let me give you an example.

Open-mindedness helped me master awkward conversations with a lady’s father. The key is to explain how repeated, invasive sexual acts do not damage a woman’s credit score. At most they just make her area red and warm to the touch. After explaining that, I find fathers tend to come around (to not talking to you anymore.)

The Serious Bit Now

It’s not only dating that has changed much since I was twenty-two. Our culture has undergone some serious social changes. We still haven’t had a black president yet. A mulatto one is a step in the right direction though. (See what I did there ?) The main issue at the core of interracial dating isn’t race; it is a class issue. (I actually believe racism in the USA is a mask worn by class warfare) Yes ‘class’ that five letter word you can’t mention. Upward mobility in America is at an all time low**. As a result it’s harder to cut across socioeconomic lines. This holds true for social interaction as well as politics and legislation.

201411_1413_iabge_smHowever not all is lost. I do feel open-mindedness will gain some ground like cholera in nations the UN is helping. Word on the street is that there is a new KKK that accepts black membership. While I’m very selective  about my membership, the future is looking banging***.

 


  • ‘Sterner stuff’ –  That is a Shakespeare reference Julius Caesar
    ** Tough Luck, Americans: The American Dream of Upward Mobility Is Dead
    *** Banging – an informal but popular slang expression meaning sexy or hot when describing a person (mainly used to describe women), but can also mean that something is awesome (non-sexual). It comes from the verb bang, which means to hit hard, and can also be a synonym for “to have sex.”

You Requested it: Intro to The Crazy World of Dating


For the first time in over a decade, I am single and it is not as fun as you’d imagine.

Yes there is an ebullient charisma that seeps out my pores (not to mention my good looks and iconoclastic style). You have every reason to believe that I spend a considerable part of my week attacking the pink fortress like a Union Soldier during the battle of Antietam. Sadly, I do not.

A Bold Truth About Dating in Your 30’s

When last I dated in 2002 there was no smart phones, there was no FaceBook or online dating. There was just the threat of getting AIDS without having had a lucrative basketball contract first. Currently, I’m neither as naive nor as easily seduced by optimism. I’ve had to learn the hard way. By the way, dating strippers with first names that can double as nuance-laden nouns is more of a headache than anything else . (Cherry if you’re reading, sorry I never called you back and Chastity I hope your augmentation surgery went well, I really do).

On a more serious note, unlike my 20’s I work 50 -60 hours a week. I have little time for much else going in my life. Also I know much more what I want from life and from the woman I want to invest spending time in and money on.

Investment and Smaller Pools

That right I said ‘investment’.

I got the best piece of advice about dating from a comedian. The comedian advised men to equate how women feel about their vaginas to how we should feel about our time. For example I just scored my first big break career-wise. I got my many projects on the side which are finally taking off. If I gave it (my time) away to everyone I’d be fucked. (chuckle). I could invest my precious time into someone. Or I could use that time to edit my writings, sleep, clean my apartment, read something, go to the gym, see my nephew and family,etc. Unfortunately investiture nowadays is a little more complex. We are fishing in a much dating-pool of individuals than during our 20’s.

But It’s Not all Bad in Theory

Other things not bad in theory: bringing democracy to Iraq with bullets and bombs, a lifetime of debt for 4 years of college, and oral sex if you’re Michael Douglass. (Given how aggressive his throat cancer was, you’d think  he went down on a box of biohazard waste but sadly, the box in question was of a different kind.

But it is easy to give into cynicism. There are actually some great things about dating in your 30’s and when I find out what they are I will return to tell you. In the mean time

Quid quid latinae dictum set, altrum sonar
(Whatever is said in latin sounds profound)

Dave


 

  • Antietam was the single bloodiest war in the American Civil War.

** I wrote this blog post at the request of a reader, and it turned out a lot more fun than I imagined. I think I am going to keep this going

 

 

 

Thank You For Welcoming Me Back


The King Returns

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The Second Reign

It is without much fanfare that I’ve emerged from my self-imposed exile from blogging. While a lot has changed, what hasn’t is the frequency and intensity that you, my audience, have cried out for someone to guide you again through the labyrinthine simulacrum of reality referred to as daily living. I understand your concern as well, as I take upon my shoulders the responsibility to speak honestly and cast my light on the nefarious shadows that engulf your every thought.

You must be asking,  ‘Does he still have it ?’  Can he lead out of the perilous dark of moral somnolence into a new beginning wrought with hope, possibility and free condoms? I still honor my commitment to sweeten reality with my acerbic wit, overly didactic diatribe, perspicacious social commentary and irreverent joking, because laughter as well as discrete masturbation habits is all that separates us from the beast of the field, unless it’s Spring Break Panama City.

I decree that:

Even though large tracts of blogs on WordPress, many old and famous have fallen or may soon fall into the grip of an almost eternal slumber I shall go on to the end fight against becoming boring, typical and predictable whatever the cost may be until, in God’s good time, something new (preferably a lady in her mid to late twenties) steps forth to the rescue me from my old habits putting my absurd pontifications online.

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ByteSized: Freedom & Technology


(byte-sized - random short thoughts that run through my head)

Freedom is a very abstract thing. We can all agree that despite both being incredible pains in the ass, freedom from hemorrhoids is not the same as freedom from foreign rule.

But moving beyond the common place and vulgar for a minute (we shall return shortly), have you every looked at how  the word freedom is policed? Save for on which side of maintaining the socio-political status-quo a group falls, there is so little difference between a freedom-fighter or insurgent.

That may sound a little to narrow-minded but look at it this way. The world is, or to be more specific, has become a vast marketplace and not just for the buying and selling of material goods. Goods are not separate from the ideology from which they are produced. What’s really being sold ?Specific implementation of ideologies as complex as the human beings from which they came.

Let me give you an example:

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iPhones are the very symbol of a technocracy -a regime that regards humans as mere instruments of science or ideological goals. We all love the iPhone, the iPad, and who can forget the latest iBullshit coming out in a few week, yet we consistently chooses to ignore human rights abuse behind procuring of the newest technology because we can crush candy or play mafia wars on a longer than needed commute to a soulless job.

Where is the freedom in all this? Where is individual thought and expression, were is the exchange of ideas for the sake of edification and social betterment?

How would one combat these abuses? What does it mean to fight for freedom? Is it possible to fight for individual freedoms without having an agenda that pleases the plutocratic cabal that goads huge masses of people into profitable directions?

What’s Been Happening: A Retrospective Look at the Last 7 Months Part 1


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2014 in Review: “They’re beating negroes like hotcakes!

Did you think 2015 could enter in the world scene with the fanfare and pomp of a prized erection, and while 2014 escape my commentary ? I wouldn’t stand for such tom-foolery. Camus has said that: “At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.” If only he knew that, that feeling of absurdity is another name for the police. Of course the incidence of police brutality and its ramifications on the ever widening socio economic interpretations of race relations elicited the greatest response from me this year.

I thought Orwell’s asking us to imagine a boot stomping on a human face forever was an invitation for reflection not so much a bankable prediction. But anyways here it is:


 

Air Malaysia

Living through 9/11 did a lot to influence how I view world events. Normally when I hear that Muslims crashed in a plane I assume they were trying to steer it into a building. The first plane crashed into a sea which leads to me believe that if terrorist were on board they were the ones on academic probation at Jihad Uni. Everyone knows there are no tall buildings under water. The second flight was downed by reprobate pro-Russian separatist in the Ukraine. Of course this will be the inspiration of an opening sequence to a plot-less Michael Bay film.

Ebola

Everyone with AIDS and Cancer felt complete irrelevant this past year with the emergence of Ebola. If you were a non-minority american you with Ebola you got to be on TV. Ebola was so popular I believe the UN might replace cholera with it as the gift its brings to countries it tries to ‘help’

George Clooney gets married

George Clooney and his wife remind of the John McCain and Sarah Palin presidential run. The formula is the same: swollen prostate, past-prime non-contributing once celebrated public figure with a younger more accessible woman by his side, moonlighting as something other than a nurse or health care assistant. Why is this news?