Monday, February 2, 2009
Happy Monday and Happy Black History Month! Great Super Bowl! I know "Pretty Ricky" was doing the "Runnin' Man" after his Steelers beat the Cardinals :-) I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.
As you can see, I changed my page a lil bit. It's my birthday month, so why not? Actually, my sister said my page was dry and she didn't like it...so we'll see how she feels about this one :-)
I plan to write my blog only two days this week - TMI Tuesday and Random Thoughts Thursday. And let's face it, those two days don't really require me to dig too deep. But that's okay, because you will definitely have some food for thought today and get your fill.
My Guest Blogger today is another S.U. alum. You know him as "Ox" from our "Comments Family," and he's a deep dude that will get you thinking, and his blog will spark some interesting discussion. So with that said, show him some love! Introducing "The Ox" - Maalik Abdul Rasheed.
Hello world, what's poppin? I first want to thank Brooke for getting me up on this illustrious blog. If you've visited my blog, Why I Hate The Joneses, you know that my topics tend to lean on a more somber/philosophical, almost mechanical angle. What can I say, I'm a friggin' programmer. Shoot me.
What this blog post isn't:
- A post asking woolly haired women and men to stop putting a temporary in their hair (although I would give my entire net worth away and start working from scratch if we could stop doing this)
- A post making excuses for our behavior while discounting the long lasting effects of how our actions reinforce our own self hatred.
What this is:
- A post including a couple of stories that have to do with self hate and skin color envy.
- A post that wants to get behind the cognitive dissonance that exists with our often repressed self hatred.
In November of 2008 Brooke wrote a great blog on good hair and bad hair.
I would like to delve a little bit deeper on the following topic of self and the identity of people of African descent, conveniently titled, "Can people hate themselves, but not know it?"
Awww issh..I dun dunnit now..Let me start with a bit of background about my wife and I. Before you proceed, please read this blog post from my wife:
I Am My Hair
I know what you are sayin.."Damn, all these prerequisite blog in a blog reading - just get to it!" Well people, unfortunately this issue is complex and you need a bit of background info before you proceed.
So as you can see, my wife's features and skin color locks her into a lot of races, depending on the situation. It's the gift and the curse. As you can see from her post, the reality of how we are treated from time to time is quite sobering. Keep in mind that we are in NYC. The queen of the so-called "melting pots."
Here is another short story. A good friend of mine decided to get rid of her "temporary" (what it really should be called because it's far from a perm [short for permanent) and something dramatic happened. The quality and level of respect from black and non-black men went through the roof. Obviously you are always going to have the "Yo Ma" and "Wassup baby" ignorant fools out there, but the response changed. Not to say that we should hedge this one lil ole story on what I'm saying, but I'm sure you get the point. For now I don't necessarily want to get into the superficiality of the response, but I want to get into the psychology of the response. What was it about this woman rocking a cropped natural that changed their tone so dramatically? In my mind, the behavior exuded a natural level of confidence and a lot of men picked up on that. I've heard this same story from many women after they, as we like to say, "go natural." It plays out like a broken record. As a matter of fact, I heard terms like “liberating” and “free” from many women. How on earth could something so insignificant create emotions like this?
Simply, if I told you I bought an original Picasso or the Mona Lisa, most people would be impressed. "Oh word, you got the original?” Then I told you 1 minute after, "Yo, guess what, it's not real." I actually bought it for about $5 dollars from this company called "Accurate Knock Offs, Inc." that are exceptional at duplicating originals. (If you are not into European inspired art just plug in your favorite African art of choice in this fictional scenario.) Would you still have the same reverence and awe as you did after I told you the truth? Would you have the same respect for me? Would you have the same awe towards the painting? Probably not, because it's quite clear that the painting is a fraud. You can just about plug in anything in this scenario and the response is the same. Whether it's a Coach bag, Louie Vuitton bag or some fake Tims.
If something like an inanimate object could create such an emotional response, why not human beings that spend billions of dollars trying to smother their cognitive dissonance by wrapping up their doubt about their beauty with standards that have been indoctrinated on them by another culture? Are we so naive not to see the obvious damage and danger in this behavior?
If you check this article about Chris Rock's documentary that tackles race and perceptions of beauty, we can see the psychological impact of his child asking him "Daddy, why don't I have good hair?” Even the privileged child of a multi-million dollar comedic genius with the wit of Einstein could not escape the trappings of self hate. Unfortunately we discount the damage we do to ourselves and our community.
Some interesting facts:
The majority of all images of African descent are Europeanized in entertainment, news, music, mass media, magazines, etc. Doesn't that bother you? It friggin' bothers me.
After 60 years, the doll test where a white and black doll are given to young black kids, the perceptions of seeing their black skin as a ugly and dirty is the same. They love the white doll and hate the black doll. Now keep in mind that all these kids grew up in predominately black neighborhoods and their mind got screwed just as if they were taught to hate themselves. Doesn't that bother you? It friggin' bothers me.
Watch this when you have time - Modern Racist Paradigm
Doesn't this video bother you? It friggin' bothers me.
I'm tired of people discounting the psychological damage of how we and many other cultures Europeanize themselves. My wife is pregnant and we have a boy on the way. If we had a girl, there is no way in hell that any chemical would be touching the scalp of my child. Why on earth are we shocked that our children feel disgraced when they see us scorching, manipulating, and augmenting our facial features, skin color, and hair texture for our whole entire life? I just want to be clear. I'm just concerned about acts and behavior that reinforce self-hate among young children. These young children grow up to be adults and then have to wrestle with something that should be apparent. Many of us spend our whole life figuring out and pondering how we succumbed to that which put us in a self hatred disposition.
I can't front though, I had the early '90s Baby Face Duke/S-curl in high school and the way I rocked it, people though it was natural. However, I was given the good hair stamp of approval. I think Puffy still rocks an S-curl. LOL