Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Girl, Go Sit Yo Ass Down Somewhere and Call a Therapist!

I went to school with this chick who had some very tragic ideas about healthy relationships and how to attain one. She had a boyfriend in high school who, aside from running around on her every chance he got, would whoop her behind for the slightest little thing.

I remember one day, she, her boyfriend and several friends were sitting on a ledge in the back of the school that overlooked a concrete basketball court about 15 feet below. She and her boyfriend started a playful argument that went horribly wrong. Within an instant, the boyfriend picked this chick up and dangled her over the ledge just like Michael Jackson did his own child during that infamous time. But, unlike Michael, this dude dropped Ole’ Girl right onto the concrete—shattering her jaw and knocking out most of her teeth.

She recovered after some time in the hospital. They were able to put back the teeth her friends found on the basketball court. The missing ones were replaced with fakes. Her jaw was wired shut for a while, but today, she looks pretty normal.

She just doesn’t act that way. While she may have grown up physically, she still suffers from the same delusions about what constitutes a healthy relationship. We all do from time to time, but this chick takes the cake.

She finished high school, went off to college, graduated and became a teacher. Here recently, she was principal of one of our elementary schools. She may not be getting her butt kicked on a regular basis, but she still hasn’t figured out right from wrong when it comes to choosing a man.

Her latest choice is the father of two of the students at her school. The fact that this father is still married to these kids’ mother seems unimportant to her. She managed to break up the family, and is planning to marry the father. In fact, she’s even sent out invitations to their island nuptials scheduled for the latter part of the summer.

Funny thing is…the man she’s marrying has yet to divorce his wife.

Who, in their right mind, would send out a wedding invitation when one of the potential spouses isn’t quite finished with a prior marriage? Of all the shit I’ve done in my life, I’ve never done anything that fucked up or stupid!

I just keep thinking about the two kids at the school. How long is it going to take before the rest of the children find out that their daddy left their mommy for the principal?

And why would any principal conduct themselves in such a way with one of their student’s parents?

Word has it that the school board has asked Ole Girl not to return to the elementary school next year. In fact, I hear she’s been blackballed throughout the entire region.

All that for some dingaling? I don’t think so.

I wonder if this chick will ever get her life together. I’m real curious to see whether or not this wedding actually happens later this summer. I don’t know where Dude is in his divorce process, but if his Wifey has anything to say about it, I don’t think they’ll be getting married anytime soon.

We shall see…

And, Ole Girl just bought a house for she and her still-married-husband-to-be. Let’s hope she had the presence of mind not to put the house in both of their names (is that legal?). ‘Cause if it is in both names, Wifey might just get the new crib. And it would serve Ole Girl’s dumb ass right! She’d be homeless, jobless and stuck with a man with too many child support payments to underwrite her lavish lifestyle.

Oh well, that’s what ya get when you act like you ain’t got no damn sense.

The Black College Experience: I’m So Glad I Got Mine!

I remember the days of my junior and senior years of high school when every adult known to man seemed to be curious about the college I would choose. They would try to steer me with their own memories of collegiate days at their respective campuses. I heard stories of Penn State, Georgetown, Oberlin and Ohio University to name a few. I just took their advice and stored it in my brain’s File 13, because one thing I’ve always known is that I would spend my college years on a Black campus. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) constituted my entire pool of options. Nothing in this world could have convinced me that a predominately White college would be the way for me to go.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against ANY school that can provide a quality education. It’s just that I spent my high school years surrounded by Whites and racially-charged situations. What I needed was four years of my own kind. I knew the basic, core classes would be much the same at any school. But I wanted teachers who could take those lessons and help me understand them through my own world view. That’s what I found at Clark Atlanta University. And I would encourage any young African American high school junior or senior to consider my alma mater and other schools like it.

When I finally got the balls to tell all those Ivy League and White school enthusiasts that I was on my way to the Atlanta University Center—the world’s largest conglomeration of African American institutions of higher learning—I got several responses I wasn’t expecting.

“Why would you choose a Black college,” said one aunt who was raised in the school of If-It-Ain’t-White-It-Ain’t-Right. “Employers will never take you seriously with a degree from such a school.”

“The real world isn’t all Black,” said another one who shared the latter’s world view. “You need to be in an environment that resembles what you’ll face in corporate America.”

And there were other comments with similar messaging. I just disregarded them all.

College may prepare you for the real world. But it isn’t the real world. Instead, it’s a place for you to learn about the real world in an environment that suits you. Considering the cost of my pending education, I felt it would be best for me to choose a university whose bill I didn’t mind paying.

I wanted journalism classes that would teach me more than just the concepts of responsible journalism. I wanted teachers who could show me how to be a good journalist within a system that typically paints my brothers and sisters in a negative light.

I didn’t want to hear more about American history without hearing about my place in that history. My economics classes used examples bred from OUR experiences. To put it plainly, I learned how I could succeed in this world by my own standards rather than those dictated by the status quo.

And now, with my degree in hand, I’ve been able to circle back to those aunts and other nay-sayers with evidence of a fruitful career…one that has touched the corporate, nonprofit and agency worlds…one where I had my own three-year period of self-employment filled with clients spanning a variety of industries.

Clark Atlanta University has not held me back at all. Many of my former employers, particularly in Atlanta, were very familiar with the merits of the school and its other HBCU neighbors. Some of the most respected names in the Black community are associated with those schools…

-Oprah Winfrey, graduated Tennessee State University
-Rev. Jesse Jackson, graduated North Carolina A&T
-Former UN Ambassador and Civil Rights Leader Andrew Young, graduated Howard University
-Thurgood Marshall, graduated Lincoln University-Pennsylvania
-Spike Lee, graduated Morehouse College (but got the majority of his media arts training at Clark Atlanta University)
-Earl Graves, publisher of Black Enterprise, graduated Morgan State University
-Nearly half of the Congressional Black Caucus are graduates of HBCU's

...the list goes on. Hell, even Webster was in some of my classes!

Anyway, I said all of this to encourage more support for HBCUs. It’s alarming just how many of our schools have transformed into mostly-White campuses. My mother’s alma mater, West Virginia State University, is more than half White and actually has a White president. Morris Brown is about to be a memory, and there are many others that raise similar concerns.

As Black people, we really need to do more to support our schools. At one point in our history, those schools were the only places that would offer us a college education. We have to support these schools to ensure that younger generations of African Americans can make the same choices we could when their time comes. We cannot let our schools simply fall by the wayside because we don’t care enough to send a couple of dollars their way on a regular basis.

The Ivy Leagues of the world thrive because their alumni make sure they do. We, as Blacks, need to assume the same responsibility for our schools…regardless of whether we attended an HBCU or Harvard University.

The point is…these schools are OURS, and we need to protect them.

Send some of that expendable cash to an HBCU sometime soon. It’s an investment you can be proud you made.

Removing self from soap box now…

Monday, March 21, 2005

Don’t Get It Twisted…

One thing that pisses me off more than anything is white people who think they have somehow been so thoroughly accepted by African American culture that they can get away with using the “N” word just because 50 Cent does.

Word to the wise for That-Kind-of-White-Folk…don’t get it twisted! You are never authorized to use the word, and doing so in front of the wrong one of us will get your ass kicked even if we just fed you lunch on a Saturday afternoon.

My recent post about Lil Kim fueled such bravery from one white person on Blogcritics.org. Here’s what this dude had to say…

Lil Kim is a stank ass ho, she represents the very worst of African American culture.

Here are some of the whore's accomplishments: Arrested for marijuana possession; stomach pumped because she swallowed so much cum, flashed her minge at a concert, flashes her silicon-enhanced breasts every chance she gets, bragging about what a ho she is.

All those fine African Americans who defend Lil Kim are idiots. I hope their daughters imitate Lil Kim and smoke week, whore around and suck di** like it be going out of style in the ghetto.

In prison, Lil Kim won't be the Queen Bee, she will be just another ignorant nigga.

Don't even compare the negro Lil Kim with Martha Stewart. Martha is an intelligent, hardworking self-made billionare. Lil Kim is just another stupid, vulgar, whorish African American slut.

Here's one white guy who will be smoking a big ole cigar in celebration when that black whore is carted off to prison.


I can totally feel him when it comes to his dislike for Lil Kim’s over-the-top-slutty image. She has often made me about as sick as an episode of Fear Factor where the contestants dine on moose testicles and coagulated blood balls. But, he truly made that “nigga” line up, didn’t he? And then to follow that up with the "negro" word and a line like, "Lil Kim is just another stupid, vulgar, whorish African American slut" is like purposely throwing straws to break the camel's back! I mean, where is he going with the whole "another African American slut" thing?

Somebody please explain the rationale behind a white person who thinks they can get away with such fuckery! Do they think they can get away with it because J-Lo did in one of her songs with Ja Rule? If you ask me, J-Lo needed her ass whooped for saying it, and I’m mad at every single black person who bobbed their heads to her beat.

The point of the matter is pretty simple. Black folks don’t need to be throwing around the “N” word any more than anybody else. And I say that with guilty fingers pointed in my direction.

But when it comes to white folks, the word takes on a whole new meaning regardless of whether the offending white person has an entire arsenal of black friends and every single NWA album that ever existed.

Let me break it down like this. It is not entirely uncommon for a woman to call one of her girls “bitch” in a friendly way. It may not be nice or politically correct, but it certainly doesn’t mean the women are about to fight.

But let a man call the same woman a “bitch” and see what happens. He’ll probably end up with claw marks down the side of his face.

To put it plainly…if you’re white…don’t ever let a black person catch you throwing around the “N” word unless you’re in the mood to swallow your teeth. ‘Cause that’s exactly what can, and SHOULD, happen if you do.

History has given the “N” word a negative connotation whenever it escapes the lips of white mouths. It doesn't matter if the white mouth is racist or owned by someone who marched right alongside of Dr. King. Whites can NEVER safely use the word in our presence. Just erase it from your vocabulary or prepare to lose your tongue.

Peace…

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