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WHY THIS POST.

I’m a little defensive these days at taking issue with Rep. Danny K. Davis, or Ronald B. Quincy, or Wade Horn saying how much he loves families, and children, and THAT’s why inner-city (especially faith-based) initiatives are being targeted to move the HHS policy, namely, regulating our sex lives, childbirths, work lives, and legal system.

URBAN AREAS (who designed ghettoes, by the way?  Who designed where the functional grocery stores were?  Who put together their school systems?  Who determined in individual cities, where the rich folk live?  Poor folk?  (not exactly).  The US Prison system is full of young men of color, yet I don’t see that crime is particular to color.  Just PROSECUTED crime.

Now if the aftermath of (1) slavery and (2) institutions designed to support it, and we must admit that a war was fought over states’ rights to perpetuate slavery (which is an ECONOMIC theme, and color or race just the justification, or even (i hope formerly), scripture) obviously is going to affect a culture’s marital choices, what kind of sense does it make to then BLAME the women for being single and having children without marrying the fathers, to COMPLAIN that a welfare system exists, and then totally revise it to tip the balance the other way?

NONE.   It’s either justice, or profiling.  PICK ONE.  You can’t have both at the same time.  Accordingly, it’s either “manhood” or “personhood.”  Persons come in male and female, and need each other; what we do NOT need is one side dicttating to the other side just to keep order in the room.  “HEALTHY MARRIAGES” are not made in heaven, or conceived in the mind of a Wade Horn or of a Wade Horn whose programs have been conceived in private and promoted in public, once the federal gran stream was set in motion.  HEALTHY MARRIAGES don’t have invisible matchmakers.  Same with healthy SOCIETIES.  They stop making society-altering decisions behind closed doors.  The word “healthy” itself is a value judgment, and should go jump in the lake.

And I do not buy that it’s a left/right issue.

I am a female, non-minority 3rd generation domestic violence survivor with a college education.  I WATCHED my life dismantled up close and participating, and I OBSERVED while in the middle of it who did this in association with whom, and eventually their WHYs surfaced.  They always do.  I am not the same person going in as coming up, except for a few basics which I got, probably from my family (including a deceased father) OUTSIDE the school system.

I have seen school systems public and private, large and small, religious and nonreligious (and worked in a lot of them).  The primary lessons I observed growing up were nothing to do with subject matter and everything to do with values.

The primary values I observed, starting early, were about bullies, gangs, and how a small child must either join one, disappear into the woodwork (or, sometimes for girls, daydreaming) or fight back.  I fought back once for a girlfriend who was being harassed, sexually (about 5th/6th grade level) and was taken on by males & females both, by the entire (very small) school yard (several grade levels) at recess — for weeks, it seemed.  I did some time in a private school: same deal.  I didn’t tell my parents and my siblings didn’t help either.  These were not poor kids or minority kids, they were what KIDS do when in herds and without something better to engage in.   I did some time in a private school: same deal. Eventually, I gravitated to more urban areas to live in, possibly because there were interesting things to do there, and more types of people to associate with than I grew up with.

I went to TheLoop21.com, a blog I read, hoping it might explain from a different perspective how we understand that part of this race thing is economic.  I googled “domestic violence,” and found this article, by a man to a man, and the man blogging also has connections to Columbia.  He is saying, the concept of trying to put black women down LOWER because their men have already been put there isn’t exactly smart.

He has a second blog on the gun issue, which I think I’ll post next.

If I pick on African-American Healthy Marriage Institutes, and highly educated black males, Harvard, Columbia, MIT, etc. (our President just married into Harvard) it’s from the perspective  of an educator with some understanding of the influence Harvard has had on the current school systems, and how they are (under)performing.

And of how when it comes to Black vs. White, there is always a WOMAN somewhere that can symbolically be put in her place.  I hope, some day, that some of these highly-fronted black pastors will get tired of picking up the pieces of the homeless, presiding over funerals of young men AND WOMEN, and the ceaseless need to send chaplains into prisons, and re-prioritize between needing the ASSISTANCE of government, and their own need for tithes to pay mortgages, and do like Jesus did.  NOTICE the woman at the well, and take a NONstandard approach to her.

The governmental plan is a planned society, and “creating jobs” and helping match boys with girls (but not til they’re married), and people with jobs.  It’s failed.  There is also the “theory” that right versus left is going to make a difference.  Not as far as mothers can tell, I assure you.

This reads better on the original link, but I have bolded some sections below.

Let me recommend, first, these two, no, three, books.  None too recent:


Career

He holds degrees in divinity and fine arts. He is well known as a feminist activist and author. He has written a series of books and articles criticizing traditional concepts of manhood or maleness, such as “Refusing to Be a Man: Essays on Sex and Justice” (Meridian, 1990), “Why I Stopped Trying to be a Real Man,” [1] and “The End of Manhood: A Book for Men of Conscience” (Dutton, 1993).

{{THIS basically talks about men’s responses to a situation when in a group, as opposed to alone.  When they cater to the group, justice loses.  He also (with humor) characterizes the ideal male, and engages in conversations with him, after reaching the top of the heap.  Masculinity is identified with Hierarchy, so one is NEVER secure on the ladder, no matter where on it one is.  Made sense to me…  In an appendix, or is it preface, he talks about betraying his sister, and relates that she’d commented “it didn’t go down like that” (approximate quote).  Cruelty was involved.}}

He created “the Pose Workshop,” which entailed men adopting the poses that women strike in pornographic shots (intended partly for men attending Christian retreats), a version of which was broadcast on BBC television. He was Andrea Dworkin‘s life partner for thirty-one years. They began living together in 1974; in 1998 they married. He is a founder of the group ‘Men Can Stop Rape’ [2] and developed the group’s ‘My Strength’ [3] campaign which aims to educate young men on sexual relationships, consent and rape. He also creative-directs the group’s ‘My Duty’ [4] sexual-assault-prevention media campaign, which is licensed to the Department of Defense, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. [5]

Stoltenberg is credited with the quote “Pornography tells lies about women. But pornography tells the truth about men.” The quote is from the essay The Forbidden Language of Sex in his book “Refusing to Be a Man: Essays on Sex and Justice” (Meridian, 1990).

Below is not a picture of Stoltenberg, but of Andrea Dworkin, his wife, who died at age 58, making Stoltenberg, who is gay, a widower.  I want us to think about the headline here, and whether we really want to continue along nationalizing the canonization of sex roles as MEN are ABC and WOMEN are XYZ (or else).  So far, from men, we have plenty of bad things (rape, pornography, war, theft and slavery and pyschology to rationalize some of the above) and plenty of good things (beautiful buildings, the internet — I THINK this is a potentially good thing still — the Bill of Rights, and some others).  Moreover, they make sex more interesting when they get it right and can be fully present as a PERSON.  Culture isn’t making it easy, but hear tell this happens (my marital experience was too violent outside the sex to allow either him — or for that matter me — to present what we had AS PEOPLE.  It couldn’t bear the weight (“wait’?) of all that junk or redeem it, nor is this what sex is for…)

MAYBE people are just tired of being used, and find different ways to express this and respond to it.  But here’s an article on Andrea Dworkin, and her photo.

The Prisoner of Sex

A victim of abuse as a child, briefly a prostitute as a young woman, Andrea Dworkin married a gay man and spent three decades fighting hypersexualized America. She lost.

//

Andrea Dworkin, April 20, 1990.

When John Stoltenberg, the widower of the feminist writer and anti-pornography activist Andrea Dworkin, the woman whom Gloria Steinem called the feminist movement’s “Old Testament prophet,” first met his spouse, he remembers feeling “like we had walked off a cliff.” As if the force of their connection had rendered the world weightless beneath his feet. He was 29 and she was 27, and they started talking out on the street in the West Village after they’d both walked out of a benefit for the War Resisters League because they thought the protest songs were sexist. They started spending most of their time together. Dworkin and Stoltenberg both considered themselves gay. “She said, ‘I met someone,’ ” remembers Dworkin’s lifelong agent, Elaine Markson, “ ‘and it’s a man

. . .

Once she found a home for her rage in the anti-pornography sect of the women’s movement, Dworkin became America’s least likely superstar—a kind of inverted sex symbol. There were other feminists who were as zealous in their conviction that pornography was the “undiluted essence of anti-female propaganda,” as Susan Brownmiller once put it, but nobody else could elicit the same disgust and fascination from the public as Andrea Dworkin—they didn’t have her overalls or her anger; they weren’t as big.

. . .

he really would yell at her audiences: “The First Amendment was written by slave traders!”

Dworkin wasn’t big on compromise, and she wasn’t one for looking on the bright side. Much of society is set up specifically to assist people in their process of ignoring the horrors of the world. Dworkin’s agenda was the opposite. She had little sympathy for anyone with too weak a stomach to dwell with her in the darkness. “The worst immorality,” she wrote, “is in living a trivial life because one is afraid to face any other kind of life—a despairing life or an anguished life or a twisted and difficult life.”

Dworkin was molested or raped at around age 9—the details, in her writing, and according to her closest friends, are murky, but something bad happened then. In 1965, when Dworkin was 18 and a freshman at Bennington, she was arrested after participating in a march against the Vietnam War and was taken to the Women’s House of Detention in Greenwich Village, where she was subjected to a nightmarish internal exam by prison doctors. She bled for days afterward; her family doctor looked at her injuries and started to cry. Dworkin’s response to this incident was her first act of purposeful bravery: She wrote scores of letters to newspapers detailing what had happened, and the story was reported in the New York Times, among other papers, which led to a government investigation of the prison. It was eventually torn down, and in its place today is the idyllic flower garden at the foot of the Jefferson Market clock tower on Sixth Avenue.

Like many members of the women’s movement, Dworkin started out as an antiwar activist and found her way to feminism when she became disillusioned with the men of the New Left. . . .

Because she wanted adventure and experience, and because she wanted to escape all the media attention following her battle against the prison, and because her family—her mother in particular—was deeply ashamed that she had been jailed, Dworkin decided to leave Amerika for Europe when she was 19.

More bad things happened there. She ran out of money and turned some tricks. For a time, she had a passionate romance with a man in Crete—“We’re so much joined in the flesh that strangers feel the pain if we stop touching,” she wrote—but somehow she left her beloved perch above the “gem-like surface” of the Aegean and married a Dutchman, an anarchist, who beat the living shit out of her.

Years later, Dworkin’s comrade Susan Brownmiller, the author of the radical feminist classic Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, spoke out against Hedda Nussbaum’s complicity in the murder of her daughter, Lisa Steinberg. In response, Dworkin published a piece in the Los Angeles Times called “What Battery Really Is,” in which she tried to explain her experience—Nussbaum’s too, she asserted. “When I would come to after being beaten unconscious, the first feeling I would have was an overwhelming sorrow that I was alive. I would ask God please to let me die now. My breasts were burned with lit cigarettes. He beat my legs with a heavy wood beam so that I couldn’t walk. I was present when he did immoral things to other people. I didn’t help them. Judge me, Susan.”

IN THIS ONE ARTICLE, ABOVE, I RELATED THINGS THAT ARE THE FREQUENT FABRIC OF THE FAMILY LAW SYSTEM, AND WHILE ALL PROFIT OFF THEM, FEW CALL THEM WHAT THEY ARE.  Andrea Dworkin pretty perfectly represents the profile of an Adverse Childhood Experience adult; she went from molestation at NINE, to what sounds like sexual assault, to the point of injury, by a prison doctor,  spoke out about it bravely, to leaving the country (family support gone) to prostitution for survival, to being battered, and had enough of heterosexuality.  She was obese, had health issues and died early.  She never had a child.

She was a young white woman who had been attending Bennington, not exactly the urban minority status deprivation profile that Healthy Marriage things are aimed at.  Of course, her experiences predated a lot of this.

HOW MUCH OF THIS WAS ENABLED BY HER (INTACT?) FAMILY OF ORIGIN.  WHO COVERED UP THAT INITIAL MOLESTATION.  THEY COULDN’T STAND BY AND SUPPORT HER AFTER THE VALIANT PUBLICITY TO SHUT DOWN THE PRISON?

She went through hell in the realm of sex, and took hell for protesting it, she left the country being barely an adult, surely without a work life to support her yet.

One thing survivors of some of this kind of abuse have is a sense of justice and valuing it, they fight back for their “personhood” and often make a difference.  They also have a LOT of anger, and justifiably so.  If society (particularly religions society) won’t let it out, it will maybe go in.

Another factor I see in the above account is how, being battered, she stood by while others were hurt, probably for her own survivla.  The anti-feminists who like to say, women are just as violent, might do well to take some of this into account.

A last thing I see is, she had to eat.  It was a MONEY issue.

As to hypersexualized, and mis-use of women, which none of the authors (today) are appreciating, here’s a telling phrase:

Dworkin’s dissection of gender in that book, her assertion that “ ‘man’ and ‘woman’ are fictions, caricatures, cultural constructs . . . reductive, totalitarian, inappropriate to human becoming,” was to Stoltenberg a revelation, and he quoted that passage in a book he published in 1989 called Refusing to Be a Man, which he dedicated to her

The overdefinition of the world (I think I have a blog of this title) tends to violence.  We all need some definitions to navigate life.  But we cannot LIVE outside our own definitions if we don’t sometimes break the boundaries.  I bet there’d be a lot more healthy faith, marriages, and businesses if so many “powers that be” (they are not immutable) would just give it up and allow the rest of humanity a little privacy.  That’s not a friendship, labeling someone else!  That’s not help, and that’s not reality.  The reality is, all of us are capable of change, until perhaps the last breath.  But the capacity for change is not always allowed by the communities we live in.  So, we find other ones.

The need to continue having other kinds of communities is one of THE biggest arguments I can make against the “Healthy Marriage Responsible Fatherhood” funding.  Trying to dominate the discussion beyond legitimate reach, whether pro, or con, has GOT to be a fundamental original sin, if such exists in the world.

I don’t really think that life without sex is healthy.  There’s plenty of indication it’s good for you — but not like Andrea experienced it!  On the other hand, sex minus one’s soul isn’t much better, particularly if nothing from the relationship contributes to the moments.  Such a choice . . . .

(Obesity can become a form of protection from rape, or even “dealing” with men, one can protect onesself, theoretically, with extra flesh.  Also, stress hormones don’t help maintain lean body weight in women.  I was not molested OR battered as a kid, so I can certainly understand Andrea’s size, possibly, from that angle.)

After separation, and once my life became more balanced and healthy, the health followed, and I lost a lot of weight, kept it off a good while, began really enjoying life in my own body again, a major turnaround to regain control of this primary area.  I also experienced loving another human being (adult), which I couldn’t do to a husband that didn’t want my humanity in the marriage, and even the services were always DEMANDED, so it was hard to give anything voluntarily, though ways were found in smaller spheres.

BUT because we had a typical family court order (frequent contact with the father), this was seen, and became an issue, I saw increased escalations, possibly from jealousy (things were said, not just done, indicating this), and after a few years of that, the stress helped put the weight back on.  Clearly I was not “allowed” to have my feminine gender back along with him out of the house.  Large madonna, if separated from him (and bearing the bulk of the responsibility financially and as to parenting) was acceptable — individual functioning in the larger world of work and friends, was NOT.  I paid heavily, and so did my kids and others associated.  That is craziness, to me, to be punished for functioning OK in this world!

And years later, I see who was partially responsible.

OK, BOOK #2:

AND — another side of the same coin, from an orthodox Rabbi who received an award  from the National Fatherhood Initiative.  So, am I balanced, OK?  But his writing has some sense, and sensitivity.  As with other google searches, I initially forgot to include the author’s name, and the title of the book brought up more shocking Schlock, violent and ugly in intent.  Such qualities are spiritual qualities, and they “suck,” to put it bluntly.

This is

Boteach envisions a way to correct this downward spiral — which he sees as far more than just a feminist issue. Now is the time, he says, for men to start respecting women and for women to start respecting themselves. Women must band together and fight back for their rightful place of honor. For anyone who has ever wondered where our popular culture is taking us, HATING WOMEN is at once an electrifying social commentary and a clarion call for change.

He doesn’t deal with economics [of slavery, of women as a class] at all, and is focused more on the popular culture.  Nevertheless, he describes archetypes (all of them negative, male & female), and correctly observes that a woman CAN run her life without a man, if possibly without the drama attached, and at the end of the day, everyone will still be alive, which cannot always be said from the other side.  He talks about the Circle(s) (Feminine) vs. the Lines.  Reminds me of the (broader in scope) The Chalice and the Blade.  Given the warlike and hard character of today’s society, I have to grant there is some truth in the analogies.  Possibly the Fatherhood Initiative appreciated him telling WOMEN they need to MAKE them be better men, if necessary by boycotting sex til they are, nationally etc.

Obviously, he hasn’ been dealing with the family law system, where a man will go get another woman, then go extract the children from the Mom.  Or, vice versa.  In worst case scenarios, the father gets back by having sex with the kids instead.  So how practical is that theory, really, that it’s our responsibility to make men grow up?


Shmuley Boteach makes the wise point that misogyny is the ultimate weapon against the family, the culture, and the spirit. He breathes new life into this feminist point by stating it as a father of girls. Who knew it was to be an orthodox rabbi that would so cleverly critique the dumbing down of the American culture through the attack on female intelligence? I am proud to be his friend.”
– Roseanne Barr

“The next evolutionary leap for humanity will happen with the feminine archetype of our spiritual domain becomes the dominant force that shapes culture and history. This book is an important contribution toward increasing our awareness of this very basic principle.”
– Deepak Chopra

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Over the past decade Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has made a name for himself not only as an author (penning the likes of Kosher Sex and Why Can’t I Fall In Love?) and counsellor, but also as a friend of the stars, hanging out with Michael Jackson and grabbing headlines in the process.

But not any more. Because Rabbi Boteach has turned his back on the celebrity world – and is so concerned about the public’s obsession with stars and their lives that it forms the basis of his latest book The Private Adam. Initially inspired by a sermon he gave at the 1998 Preacher of The Year competition (he came second), the book focuses on how celebrities have been elevated to hero status over more ‘worthy’ role models, and how the balance can be redressed. Rabbi Boteach clearly feels strongly about the issue, and the time he has spent with public figures both on a social and professional level leaves him well qualified to write on the subject.

AND, well, this one, too while I’m at it:

(1991 / 1999)

BACKLASH, being before VAWA or NFI were formed, or President Clinton issued his famous 1995 Executive order, telling ALL federal agencies to revamp themselves to accommodate Fatherhood, has a chapter on WARREN FARRELL and his change from feminist to fatherhood promoter, anecdotal.  This ties into some of the groups NOW BEING PROMOTED (the Mankind Project, New Warriors Training, Robert Bly, etc.) among men, and should be read.

It also has another chapter talking about HOW the DSM board, basically all male  handled feminist and domestic violence issues, narrowly preventing a term about “masochism” from being mainstreamed.   This is far before “Parental Alienation” theory, and after reading that, I realized why Psychology is simply Reframing Reality Conveniently, and should not be practiced as a national policy.  NB:  The newly reformed Warren Farrell (who I’ve blogged already, plenty, and so have others) works through A.P.A. (psychological) organizations.  It’s an eyeopener, for sure.

  • In her 1999 book Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man Faludi analyzes the state of the American man. Faludi argues that while many of those in power are men, most individual men have little power. American men have been brought up to be strong, support their families and work hard. But many men who followed this now find themselves underpaid or unemployed, disillusioned and abandoned by their wives.
  • {{True, but an inferior character of man responds to this by wife-beating, which is also a cause of men not having women around.  We have not in this answered the question of where responsibility for behavior lies.  I say, the only proper place for it is in the individual.  Those setting policy and in the topmost echelon (this includes foundations, remember, not just legislators) think otherwise and have a designed a society that communicates its distrust of the individual from the TOP throughout the system.  It couldn’t have done this without the IRS and the progressive income tax, collecting I presume billions from people who already have employers interest in profit margins staying high.  But that’s another topic.  I should get this book, and will.}}
  • Changes in American society have affected both men and women, Faludi concludes, and it is wrong to blame individual men for class differences, or for plain differences in individual luck and ability, that they did not cause and from which men and women suffer alike.[2]

Her bio (wikipedia):

Faludi was born to a Jewish family in Queens, New York in 1959 and grew up in Yorktown Heights, New York. Her mother was a homemaker and journalist and is a long-time New York University student. Her father is a photographer who had emigrated from Hungary, a survivor of the Holocaust. She graduated from Harvard University in 1981, where she wrote for The Harvard Crimson, and became a journalist, writing for The New York Times, Miami Herald, Atlanta Journal Constitution, San Jose Mercury News, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. Throughout the eighties she wrote several articles on feminism and the apparent resistance to the movement. Seeing a pattern emerge, Faludi began to write Backlash, which was released in late 1991. She lives with fellow author Russ Rymer.

Susan Faludi.JPG

Unlike orthodox Rabbi Boteach, who now has nine children and was raised in Los Angeles and Florida, and is known more as a public commentator (and author), Susan Faludi is first generation post-Holocaust, a Pulitzer prize-winner and journalist.  Any children are not mentioned here.

By contrast, His wikipedia bio is short, and doesn’t even mention a mother (hmm….):

Born in Los Angeles, California, Boteach grew up in Florida. Boteach’s father was an Iranian Jew from Isfahan.

While Faludi was in the U.S. in the 1980s, writing about feminism and observing it, the Rabbi was sent to to Oxford to start student groups.  He is younger, and from a different part of the world (Iran vs. Hungary), and has attached more to celebrities and radio than books and journalism.

Finally (and this is where the blog started — I get long intros, for sure…), Marc Lamont, younger yet, and blogging, but still associated with Columbia University.  A wordpress blog describes him:

I must admit that I am a big Marc Lamont Hill fan, a professor of African-American Studies and Education at Columbia University; he is an intellectual; he has a certain “sense” of vitality and cockiness that I like. Moreover, he is smart and realizes it, especially when dealing with pundits that make various contentions predicated on pure emotions — as was the case the other day by Bill O’Reilly on The factor. Their debate centered around race and politics. And more, it dealt specifically with matters regarding the Tea Party and the New Black Panthers…. Both of these groups deal with complex issues of race, but the Tea Party tends to be more covert than that of the panthers.

And the Columbia Bio

Professional Background

Associate Professor of English Education

Educational Background

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania; B.S. Temple University

Scholarly Interests
Anthropology of Education. African American Literacies. Masculinity. Public and Counter-Public Pedagogy. Youth Cultural Studies. Neo-Liberalism. Globalization. Ethnographic Theory.

Marc Hill

Faludi:  Born 1959; Boteach — born 1966; Hill — born 1978.  OK

This letter, below, although addressing a different topic, makes more sense to me than any hyperbolized attenuated social science theory propagated by Wade Horn, and friends (black or white) in various places (Washington, at universities, or at church-sponsored conferences).  Don’t they realize, this population is being FRONTED to pass socialization policies that are going to hurt ALL CULTURES AND ECONOMIC CLASSES except the MOST elites, of any country, and those serving their agenda?

An open letter to Slim Thug How much more “down” do you want Black women to be?”

By: Marc Lamont Hill (Add to your loop)

Wed, 06/09/2010 – 00:11 0

Slim Thug made some very untrue and hurtful comments about Black women. In a recent interview, rapper Slim Thug unleashed a very disturbing attack on Black women, here’s an excerpt: …Most single Black women feel like they don’t want to settle for less. Their standards are too high right now. They have to understand that successful Black men are kind of extinct. We’re important. It’s hard to find us so Black women have to bow down and let it be known that they gotta start working hard; they gotta start cooking and being down for they man more. They can’t just be running around with their head up in the air and passing all of us.

I have a brother that dates a White woman and he always be fucking with me about it saying, ‘Y’all gotta go through all that shit [but] my White woman is fine. She don’t give me no problems, she do whatever I say and y’all gotta do all that arguing and fighting and worry about all this other shit.’… While many people dismissed it as a publicity stunt or the rant of an ignorant rapper, I felt compelled to respond to him in the form of an open letter.

Slim, A few days ago, you made comments in Vibe magazine that have caused a great deal of controversy. While I appreciate your willingness to offer your opinion in public, you made several statements that were not only unfair and untrue, but deeply damaging to our community. Normally, I would reach out to you privately, but since your comments were made in a very public place, I feel compelled to respond in the same manner.

A Black woman’s say on the Slim Thug debate As an artist who is respected by millions of fans, particularly young ones, I found your comments to be hurtful and irresponsible. For good or for bad, our children follow the lead of you and other artists for everything from fashion and slang to self-esteem, body image and relationships. Imagine how a young black girl feels to hear from you, her role model, that her “standards are too high” and that she should “bow down” and “settle for less.” Consider the pain that our beautiful brown skinned babies feel when Yung Berg says he doesn’t date “dark butts.” Think about the self-esteem of our community when Nelly refers to our mothers, sisters, and daughters as “Tip Drills.”

As celebrities, your public comments are not just your own. Instead they influence the choices, beliefs, and lives of an entire generation of young people who look to you for direction. Of course, you have every right to say things that you think are true. The problem, however, is that there was very little truth in your comments. In your interview, you talk about how much better white women treat their partners than black women. If what you’re saying is true, why do Whites have the highest divorce rate of any group? Do white men get tired of being treated like kings?

In reality, it seems that you are buying into (and selling) a stale but dangerous ideal that constructs White women as ultra-feminine, loving, queens, and Black women as angry, selfish, and untrustworthy hoes. Even more disturbing was your comment that “Black women gotta start being down for their man more.”

Since slavery, Black women have had to withstand rape, torture, and humiliation (from both white and black men) in order to sustain their families. Now, in 2010, 1 in 3 Black men between 20 and 29 years old are incarcerated or otherwise under criminal supervision. Every day, Black women are raising children without men in the house, working multiple jobs (for less pay!), and supporting brothers as they finish their prison bids.

With Black male unemployment as high as 50 percent in some cities, sisters are often holding down households without child support or other financial assistance. Black female incarceration rates are skyrocketing, partly because Black women are “riding” for their men, hiding guns and drugs, operating as mules, and refusing to snitch to authorities.

In addition, Black women are the group most likely to be victims of domestic violence and the least likely to be married. Still, in spite of all this bad news, Black women are less likely to date outside their race than Black men. How much more “down” do you want Black women to be?

Let’s focus on what’s right in the lives of Black women I agree with you that both brothers and sisters have work to do. Over the last year, we’ve seen countless TV shows, movies, and bestselling books telling Black women how broken they are, how ugly they are, why they don’t have a man, and how they need to behave. Instead of adding to this pile of pain and ignorance, I would encourage you to turn the mirror on yourself. How does the image of the pimp/player/baller/dopeboy promoted in your music help to create the “gold diggers” that you badmouth in your interviews?

How might your own admitted failures at monogamy undermine the type of loyalty that you find missing in Black women? Criticizing the vulnerable is easy. Working on yourself is the difficult part.

I hope you don’t take this letter as an attack, but as an act of concern and love from one brother to another. Through your fame and wealth, you have tremendous power. You can use it to hurt or to heal, to injure or to inspire. The world is watching. What will you do?

Your Brother, Marc Lamont Hill Marc Lamont Hill is

Associate Professor of Education at Columbia University. He blogs regularly at MarcLamontHill.com. He can be reached at marc@theloop21.com.

ABOUT:

About

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill is one of the leading hip-hop generation intellectuals in the country. His work, which covers topics such as hip-hop culture, politics, sexuality, education and religion, has appeared in numerous journals, magazines, books, and anthologies. Dr. Hill has lectured widely and provides regular commentary for media outlets like NPR, Washington Post, Essence Magazine, and New York Times. He is currently a political contributor for Fox News Channel, where he appears regularly on programs such as The O’Reilly Factor, Huckabee, and Hannity. Prior to joining Fox News, Dr. Hill was a regular guest on CNN, MSNBC, and CourtTV. A nationally syndicated columnist, his writing appears weekly in Metro Newspapers. His award-winning daily blog is updated on his website, www.MarcLamontHill.com.

In Fall 2009, he join(ed) the faculty of Columbia University as Associate Professor of Education at Teachers College. He will also hold an affiliated faculty appointment in African American Studies at the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University.

OK, Here’s Jesus (by the way, I bet Jesus was black, at least by European standards.  Egypt is, after all, part of Africa, and he went down there with his parents (sic) to hide, earlier Moses (coming out) was mistaken for an Egyptian also.  There are certain places in United States where I wouldn’t blend in too well, but apparently they did.  Most of us tend to reflect a good portion of ourselves onto others, but sometimes this really gets out of hand.

ANYHOW, as recorded, HE was NOT a good role model.  He had a profession, but was not employed in it.  He didn’t have the right credentials (academic initiation) and MOST of all, he was not a landowner, a business owner, a husband, or a father.  In our day  he might have been considered a  burden to society, on this basis alone.  To be in the Sanhedrin, you had to have a wife & kids, so he didn’t qualify there.  Maybe, had He lived longer, He might’ve had kids.  Or seen the destruction of Jerusalem in his lifetime, after having become a landlowner, father, and respected member of the community.

If so, maybe then we wouldn’t have to deal with all this Fatherhood Crap and pay for it, too, as if it was His idea, when one of his later comments, protesting the divisive legalism of RIGHT (codified and interpreted from above) vs. THEM, which had this man hauling (without gender discrimination) “men and women” out of their homes and put into jail, later writing:


But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ (NOTE the voluntary character, there?)

There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free, neither male nor female (he just there hit the prime distinctions of his time, AND OURS:  “bond” refers to indentured servants, i.e., slavery)

for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

(Galatians 3)

One has to kinda respect comments like that one.

There is always plenty of bloodshed going around, usually in the name of God, or some justice, or some theory.  But these are the words of an “elite” zealot who TURNED, and did some cultural migrations, before which he had been responsible for murders in the name of his religion, from what we can tell.

Nowadays we take things much too literally, in this culture, the figurative and parables were understood.  “Christ” represents the word “anointed” and something spiritual, good, and transformative received from God, something eternal, something that has closer to a pure quality of concern for others than any program ever will.  It also required of those who received it, change of attitude as exemplified by change of behavior (and NOT vice versa!)

Such kinds of beliefs ALWAYS shake up the economic situation, which is generally based on USE of people, and extracting things from them to keep the machinery going.

And like I pointed out before, Jesus was crucified and (now, though it’s commonly understood, I think) Paul was eventually beheaded in a Roman prison, or certainly died there.


We are currently living in a highly managed, and intentionally so, society.  WHERE PEOPLE ARE is becoming more and more stratified, and where they can work, also.  This is most definitely turning parasitic, and until we begin to understand it in some new light which is NOT based on force, and NOT based on institutionalizing others, but personally CHANGING and SERVING (in person) by living with the people one teaches (versus delegating others to do this, and extracting finances from the larger group to carry out delegated programs) . . .

it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  People are fired up about causes, but they have lost something vital as to HEART in dividing up the world so neatly. Others, experiencing the downside of this, are struggling not to lose HEART to simply survive and find a meaning in it.

It is indeed a STIFF, HARD, STRANGE and BEAUTIFUL WORLD, and with some luck, chaos, chance, fortune or the simple weight of the superstructure collapsing the thing, will lead to some change for those who survive the collapse.  I hope this includes my offspring, and I’d like to be there also.

(well, another 6,000 word post, what can you say?  I write because I am?  Writing helps speak me into existence?  Will blogs outlive people?  Though this isn’t a “fatherhood initiative,” will it bear some fruit and propagate after someone tastes it?

(That’s not my responsibility; I just write!)





Written by Let's Get Honest

July 20, 2010 at 1:50 pm

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