Hey Shortie Dat Ass Sho’ Look Phat: The Continual Maligning and Disrespect of Black Women by Their Own

During a recent lecture, I was attempting to drive home a point regarding President Herbert Hoover’s reaction to the Great Depression; I remarked to the auditorium of young Black and Brown students, the vast majority of them women, that ‘it is not always what you say, rather how you say it’, that carries the power of persuasion. Doing my best to drive home the point regarding the use of language, I asked my female students for examples of an appropriate compliment. A few young ladies raised their hands and offered the following responses:

  • You sure look beautiful today.
  • Have a nice day, pretty lady.
  • Love that color on you sister.

However, the conversation took a serious turn when I asked for examples of inappropriate comments. The young women eagerly related vulgar comments from males regarding not only their physical attributes, but also what they would like to do with them; with or without their permission. Many sisters related being downright frightened of many Black males that they encountered. I could only shake my head as I had seen this sordid tale so many times before.

Although many dismiss the alluded to behavior as ‘boys being boys’, the truth of the matter is that it relates a much more substantive issue that strikes at male privilege, race, power, sex, and denigration of Black and Brown women. As a society, women in general, Black Beyonceand Brown women in particular, are objectified as little more than sexual objects or beautiful accessories to be sported on male’s arms, in their beds, or their kitchens. Such a role is the only position that many males can conceive women occupying.

One must remember that such views are not only found throughout history, but also have crossed the lips of males regardless of their educational level or political consciousness. Stokely Carmichael of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee responded to the query of ‘what is the role of women in the movement’ by simply stokely 1retorting, “The role of women in the movement is prone.” Meaning on their backs with their legs spread open. Too often we overlook such ilk within our community as if it does not matter; more accurately, we overlook such attitudes, and actions, within our community for one reason, because it is black women that it is occurring to.

I am sure that you are wondering what is the catalyst for this posting, well I will tell you that it is due to my exasperation at the behavior of ignorant and cowardly Black males who continue to victimize Black women and damage the futures of those children that deal with the fallout from their actions.

This past weekend in Detroit Michigan, Mary Spears, a 27-year-old mother of three children (ages 8, 4, 1) was murdered by a man whom she refused to share her phone number with at the American Legion Joe Louis Post Number 375; five people were injured in the Mary Spearsshooting. The 38-year-old suspect apparently approached Ms. Spears, whose fiancée was present at the event, regarding her availability; she turned down his overtures. Refusing to take no for an answer, the suspect continued to harass this young lady at a level that forced security to escort him from the building. Police relate that a fight broke out and the suspect pulled out a gun and ultimately shot Mary Spears in the head.

So this post is dedicated to Mary Spears, as well as Deeta Rose, my cousin who was murdered by her husband who refused to allow her to end their marriage, and the innumerable Mary’s and Deeta’s that only those who heard their laughter, experienced their glee, and deeloved them unconditionally will ever acknowledge. Sisters I am so sorry that damaged men who possessed neither the ability to behave in a socially acceptable manner nor the ability to take no for an answer reached out and removed you from those that love you, need you, miss you, and desire to have one more conversation with you.

My question regarding this matter is a simple one. How many of our sisters are going to have to experience sexual assault, rape, violence, and be murdered before Black men realize that the suffocating social constructs of manhood do not work for us. It is time that we do something different, because I am sick and tired of meeting emotionally damaged, physically bruised, and economically exploited sisters. It is beyond time that Black men join together to address this proliferation of Black males who may be in the bodies of men, yet behave as something less than scared pouting temper-tantrum throwing little boys.

Who will answer the call for our mothers, sisters, aunt’s, nieces, and daughters?

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

#MRC

Out of the Mouth of Babes: The Identity Crisis of Young African-Americans

One of the most important things that any of us are forced to answer is the question of who am I? It is a question that reflects so much about each of us from our historical background, ancestry, heritage, upbringing, socialization, and where we project ourselves in the future. Unfortunately, there has been a recent rash of notable young African-Americans, or Blacks, who have publicly renounced their African-American status.

The alluded to individuals include a roster of notable African-Americans: Zoe Saldana, Keyshia “I’m biracial” Coles, Tiger “Cablinasian” Woods, Devyn Adbullah, and Raven Symone, to name a few.

It appears that these Negroes are obsessed with distancing themselves from the Race that they were born into at all costs, including sounding like a complete idiot before the entire world. The Face model Devyn Adbullah went on national television and related to Wendy Williams, “I don’t really consider myself as a black girl devynmodel. I know what my ethnicity is, but I’m fair-skinned and I feel like I have an international look”. A shocked Naomi Campbell, who also serves as a mentor to this young lady responded with the following litany, “What the f*ck does she mean? That’s a disgrace! She’s a Black girl.” Considering the daily attacks that African-Americans are under around the globe, Devyn should recognize that not even her so-called ‘international look’ will be sufficient in preventing unprovoked racial attacks in America, Europe, the Caribbean, or South America.

Ms. Adbullah is not alone in her pontificating about Race matters, particularly her non-desire to be included with the masses of African-Americans. Former Cosby Show star Raven-Symone has emerged as the latest to miserably fail at ingratiating hraven symoneerself to whites by distancing herself from a disbelieving African-American community. In a cutesy attempt at being profound during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Symone relates, “I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American…I’m a colorless person”.

As if such statements were not daunting enough, rapper Childish Gambino took to the airwaves and related during a recent interview on the Breakfast Club that he wanted to transcend Race. childish gambinoApparently, Childish Gambino believes that his commercial success as a rapper will somehow make him, to use the concept of Raven-Symone, ‘a colorless person’ no longer hindered by the stigma of Race. Songstress Keyshia Coles also joined in on this most unfortunate discussion of Race by hesitating to accept an invitation to perform at the Black Girls Rock event because she was not certain that she was Black. Coles relates that she is bi-racial, not Black.keyshia coles

Although it would be easy to simply disagree with such statements, I actually feel that such statements are particularly revealing on several levels. The most revealing aspects are what it reveals regarding (a) the lack of historical context that these young people exist within and (b) their gross lack of understanding of the genesis of Race in America. Each of these young people appear to be screaming, hollering, begging, and pleading with the Black or African-American community to let them go, not to claim them, they are throwing a childish temper tantrum and screaming, in our face nonetheless, I am not, nor do I desire, to be one of you. Unbeknownst to them, it is not our community that either created or over-emphasized the issue of Race in America. We have had to collectively react and scramble for our own survival when faced with the social construct of Race.

Unbeknownst to these feeble-minded babies — Raven-Symone, Childish Gambino, Devyn Adbullah, Zoe Saldana, and Keyshia Coles — W.E.B. Du Bois’ construct that the problem of the twentieth-century is the color line holds weight even in the new millennium. Considering the repeated murder of African-Americans in this nation’s streets, it is darn near suicidal for someone to think that they can navigate this pesky Race issue alone. However, I am certain from your public statements that you will not take a Black man’s word for it, so please go and ask the nearest random white person what you are, and I am quite sure that they will not hesitate to point you blackwards.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

#MRC

Scottsboro: Racial Conflict, Sectionalism, Sex, Poverty, and Religious Discord of Epic Proportions

There are very few things that are more volatile in American than the intersection of race, class, religion, and sex. Such are the ingredients of the most unstable explosive device that could ever scottsboro1be concocted in this nation. Honestly, the combination of any of the aforementioned variables is sufficient to bring about a major explosion. This major explosion occurred during Depression Era America in the Scottsboro case. (Part 1 & Part 2)

As depression era America reeled from the abrupt ending of economic prosperity during the roaring twenties, citizens searched for any opportunity to end their personal economic woes, troubles scottsboro4that led many of them to this nation’s railroads. It was this context of seemingly intractable poverty that led nine African-American youths to the rails in search of work. This trip would change their, and the nation’s, lives forever. The alluded to nine individuals would be accused of raping two white women, Victoria Price and Ruby Bates, and find themselves in the middle of a political Tsunami, the likes of which the nation had rarely witnessed.

The problems began on March 25, 1931, when a number of white and black youths were riding on a freight train, traveling to see if they could find work. A fight broke out between a group of black and white hobos, and the whites were thrown off the train. They reported the incident to a stationmaster, who wired ahead for officials to stop the train at a town called Paint Rock. Dozens of armed men rounded up nine black youths and took them to jail. scottsboro2They were about to be charged with assault when two white women, dressed in boys clothing, were discovered hiding on the train. Although there was no evidence connecting the youth to the women, the nine youths were charged with raping the women.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

#MRC

 

Talkin’ Loud and Saying Nothin’: The Weirdification of Contemporary Black Activism

Like a dull knife
Just ain’t cutting
Just talking loud
Then saying nothing

James Brown

If nothing else, the study of History can be very illuminating in regards to our contemporary situation and issues. It is the gift of historical study that provides the solution to contemporary problems.

The realization of such makes the appearance of Cultural Nationalism within our midst downright puzzling; not to mention its appearance amongst an activist community that one would expect to have staved off historical and cultural illiteracy. Aside from fanciful cultural celebrations, bizarre linguistic alterations, and dress, Cultural Nationalism has proven incapable of impacting the politico economic issues chaining our people today.

Not even Ron Karenga’s US organization was able to make a dent in our people’s suffering; an organizational failure that when compared to the Revolutionary Nationalist Black Panther Party karenga ushighlights the myriad fallacies, flaws, and inadequacies found within Cultural Nationalism. Taken in its totality, it became apparent during the sixties that the pseudo-African language, dress, and piece-meal historical constructs that Cultural Nationalist groups undertook throughout the sixties amounted to little of nothing as their was neither a political institution developed to engage a hostile white establishment, nor a move toward economic collectivism to develop institutions capable of employing community members. Put simply, the donning of a dashiki is a fashion choice, not a revolutionary act.

Unfortunately, it appears as if we are now within a Cultural Nationalist renaissance that makes me call upon one of my favorite quotes of Malcolm X regarding the 1964 March on Washington, “It was a circus, with clowns and all.” The proliferation of Cultural Nationalist ideologies and belief systems has made the movement look like a three-ring circus.

Cultural Nationalists have historically been fringe groups with a miniscule following of naïve, uneducated, gullible people whose failures in life made them unbelievably receptive to charlatans presenting themselves as race leaders possessing a plan to daddy graceameliorate all that ails them. Two of the earliest manifestations of such leadership are Daddy Grace and Father Divine. A mere perusal of the activist landscape today points to innumerable individuals and groups that have assumed their position.

Contemporary Cultural Nationalists are little different from those that came before them in that they advance a significantly flawed analysis of contemporary issues affecting an economically exploited and politically disorganized community with often persuasive arguments that inform their gullible followers that if they would alter intangible aspects of their life, meaning the way that they view themselves, their value system, and beliefs, they would be able to conquer tangible issues. It is only within the sci-fi world that many Cultural Nationalists exist that changes to intangible variables will affect the tangible world. History dictates that those who engage Cultural Nationalism will divorce themselves from reality; meaning they will characterize themselves differently, attempt to adopt a value system that counteracts pre-existing values, and ridicule others for not coming into knowledge of self.

Unbeknownst to Cultural Nationalist converts the vast majority of the ideology and specialized metaphysical areas of study that they religiously spend weeks, years, and sometimes decades learning is little more than historical innuendos and half-truths not grounded in much truth. It is quite simply, busy work that ultimately leads to nothing more than ‘wasted water’.

I have recently come across Cultural Nationalists of various groups who have harped upon issues such as space aliens, a vibrating universe, sharia law, nuclear reactors being housed in pyramids, the fact that the Euro-Arab Slave Trade never occurred, gamma rays being shot into the minds of citizens, and even one person who slave ship 3admonished that we should not hold those who have murdered African-American males down in American streets as they were under mind control by the Rothschild’s and therefore not responsible for their small role in the larger plot to kill us. However, reasonableness is lost on Cultural Nationalists as they have become as steeped in the teachings of whatever group they have joined as the Christians they criticize on a daily basis. They are little more than sheep being led around. Put simply, these people are hooked upon Cultural Nationalist ideas and arguments that continually busy their minds and distract them from the tangible suffering that their people experience.

In light of the obvious suffering that persons of African descent on the North American continent continually experience, the time for what could be best termed “mental masturbation” sessions has expired. Although I obviously have strong feelings regarding the proliferation of Cultural Nationalism within our community, and consider Revolutionary Nationalism as the only path to liberation, I think that we may need to put our distinctive cultural beliefs in the same closet that Malcolm X advised us to put our religious beliefs. Malcolm advised such because if we don’t, we will simply come malcolm-x-23together an argue about inconsequential minutiae the entire time we are together; precious time that could be used to strategically plan improving the tangible existence of our people. The failure to lay down the innumerable rivalries and petty beefs that occur between Cultural Nationalist groups guarantees an extension of the tangible misery that our people are experiencing and a continuation of our status as a people who the world looks upon as those who are continually “Talkin Loud and Saying Nothin”.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

#MRC

An Open Letter to White America

Dear White America,

As you well know, the concept of race and the issue of racism have been staples of Western Civilization from the moment that Christopher Columbus “discovered” the Caribbean. From this “discovery” we eventually saw the settling of the North American continent and the rise of a nation that was supposed to rest upon the principles of freedom, justice, equality, and liberty. Many consider these four concepts the cornerstones of this nation.

Please understand that this communication is not constructed from a position of animosity toward you and yours. However, it is an appeal to your humanity; that inner place that intuitively reveals to you what is correct and incorrect, Christians call it the Holy Spirit, Ferguson 2atheists call it a moral compass, I call it the ability to speak truth to power even when you will be punished for your position. Edmund Burke articulated it a different way when he stated, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Hence, this call from an African-American male with a son, nephews, cousins, and friends who resemble many of the men who have been murdered by officers in American streets asks for you to weigh in, in a significant manner regarding the repeated killing of my brothers in American streets.

Now I am certain that you have already tired of and been completely turned off by the droves of blanket criticism that my people extend in your direction, criticism that the vast majority of you do not deserve, however, you must excuse our tendency to group all whites together as a monolithic group; from our perspective on issues of Charliracial conflict you rarely, if ever, differentiate yourselves. There are few things that can remove the in-fighting and bi-partisanship of the white community like racial matters; you appear very white bread and monolithic at those moments.

I hope that you can understand that the African-American community has been down this road of white officers murdering African-American males repeatedly, and nary a time have we heard many, if any, members of your community speak truth to power and denounce the murder of American citizens in America’s streets, regardless of the victim or victimizers race.

So in an effort to help you avoid being mistakenly identified as a supporter of the vicious killing of Black men in the streets of America by law enforcement officers, consider this a welcoming invitation for you to weigh in regarding this matter in a significant way; behave as if this string of deceased American citizens were not lync1only white, but also a close family friend. Behave now on the side of freedom, justice, equality, and liberty, as if it were your son, nephew, brother, husband, father, grandfather, that you felt compelled to pray for each time they left your presence; a prayer that asked a higher power to put a hedge of protection around them from the evils to be found in the outside world.

Make no mistake about it, your failure to speak up at this moment of crisis will cause African-Americans to group you with those who publicly support, if not encourage white officers murder of Black men, as if they are cheering for their favorite sports team. Your lynch2individual and collective silence ensures that evil will triumph; as none of the good whites did anything to either prevent evils ascension or denounced it once it ruled this nation.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

#MRC

Committed to investigating, examining, and representing the African-American male, men, and manhood by offering commentary regarding the status of Black Men and Black Manhood as it relates to African-American Manhood, Race, Class, Politics, and Culture from an educated and authentic African-American perspective aimed at improving the plight of African-American men and African-American Manhood in regards to Politics, Culture, Education, and Social Matters.

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