Amun-Ra : Intimidated Black Men?

Queenie

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I have found this discourse to be interesting and not very uplifting as a Panafricanist and advocate of afrocentristic views.

Suggesting that Black women follow suit behind some Black men by dating and marrying outside their race may seem to be a plausible remedy to some but in my view, it only addresses a very narrow problem and creates a bigger problem, i.e., racial extinction.

Throughout this Forum the subject of so many threads here is an obvious appeal for us to come together for the purpose of BUILDING a stronger more loving and more positive African American community. I would like someone to explain to me how this would be possible if Black men and Black women desert each other (for whatever social reasons) and choose men/women of different races as their life partner? Where in that solution does our future as a people lie?

The topic is about Black women intimidating Black men and it seems to be the consensus among most replies that this is not true. I wholeheartedly agree. Ra, the perception (statistically based or not) that Black women are viewed as less feminine than women of other races reeks of racist poison and instead of reporting this as a statement of truth because some research data may support it, we should be quick to retort with our truth--that is if you disagree with that BS. Frankly I could care less about any data that supports only one premise--racism--and this clearly, clearly does. Think about it my brother, by whose standards is femininity and masculinity being defined?

It's my humble opinion, that if we agree that there is a disproportionate number of Black men in prison as compared to white men; if Black women lose a certain percentage due to homosexuality and substance abuse; if another percentage are lost to the Black woman due to his choosing to be with "other" women (bump the demand for him because no one is twisting his arm to choose), it seems to me that the solution is not to desert the Brothers that are left by choosing men of other races, but to work harder to recuperate our losses, give credence to those brothers remaining in the available pool and stick with the plan which is to build a stronger and better Black community.

If the choice was as easy as looking at other men, as it seems to be for Black men to make, then why is it a tougher more reluctant decision for most Black women to make? Why is the solution for Black women to change her thinking instead of encouraging Black men to change their views?

This sounds so much like when you hear people say, "White people do it, why not Blacks?" When are we going to learn that in some things, the answer is NOT to duplicate what we see others do, especially when it only serves the individual, but to do the opposite by holding true to your communal beliefs, especially when they serve the greater good of entire Black race.

P.S. Ra, what percentage of Brothers in prison do you think are really guilty of committing a crime and were tried in an objective and unbiased judicial system versus those that are there simply because they are guilty of being Black?
 

Amun-Ra

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Destee

I said I agree with the perception because in the United States perception is reality--you will also notice that I said, I am highly biased in my opinion on what I think is feminine, but I didn't venture my opinion on what I think is feminine--I simply reported what the studies show and left my opinion on black women, white women, Asian woman, Latino women and any other women to myself.

In essence I took no stance. On the contrary, I went out of my way to point out the stereotypical basis for much of this negativity which is not all generated by the white community. Indeed, a great deal of the negative image in the general public domain is generated within the black community itself, but that is also old news. Whether we like it or not, black women are seen as less feminine by majority society and even by some within the black community.

Probably, the major issue with these opinion studies is that most of the respondents don't really know anyone from the black community on an intimate basis and the only point of reference they have is what they see in the popular media. For blacks who hold those opinions, I believe the same is true. They are probably far removed from the community and have little to draw on if they don't keep close family ties.

Shooting the messenger is not going to change those opinions, but changing the message might and changing the message means that we, as a people, must make what is real known. How? That is the most difficult part. Unfortunately, as I pointed out, these studies poll people whose only real contact with the black community is in the workplace or what they see or hear in the media.

The media is powerful in establishing images. It is those images that we must change. As an example, Spike Lee castigated Morgan Freeman for his role in "Driving Miss Daisy," in essence saying that Freeman was an Uncle Tom for doing the role. Actors act, and unfortunately, the number of black actors who work on a regualr basis is still limited. The role Freeman played was indeed a negative image, but at that time in history, it was reality. Should he have not done the role? Would someone else have done it if he didn't? Who knows?

The point I am making is that for much of white America, what they know of blacks is generated by what they see in and hear in the media. That is why I believe their perception, as skewed as it may be, it is honest. However, although it may be honest, it is based upon limited contact which is a distorted version of reality. Still, femininity like beauty is highly subjective--it is in the eye of the beholder.

I still haven't ventured my opinion because this wasn't about my opinion, it was about others' opinions about black women and why they might hold those views--nothing more. However, there is plenty here to chew on because we should be bothered that we are seen that way. Or, we should at least wonder why.

Ra

:confused:
 

Amun-Ra

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Part of that

I would buy part of that simply because there have always been those who wanted the other woman simply because she was white. It is well documented fact and it still happens today. You are right in that the results of the study should come as no surprise.

However, the sad part upon which you commented is that there are those in our own community who would agree to those studies and it is precisely because of the things I mentioned. Basically, they are blacks who have in some way become isolated from the black community. Unfortunately, with all the other "isms" we deal with from day to day, the black community is not immune from classism. Classes tend to separate into their own subgroups and it is not unlikely that some blacks have little day to day contact with the black community in general aside from their family and this might be one cause.

Racial hatred still exists within the community and is displayed in a variety of ways. We also cannot discount ignorance. Basically, the studies are based on majority male opinion that is largely ignorant of the black community. Still, I blame the media for perpetuating these negative stereotypes and I blame us for not taking them to task more often.

Letters to the editors may not seem to make much of an impact, but enough of them can. Withholding our buying power is another way. When we say enough is enough and back it up, then it will change. We have to change the perception and we have to do it by making the media accountable. We can't do it by complaining to each other, we have to be willing to take time to force issues.

Years ago, I can remember my father's frustration at the requests he got from friends and family to bring them a case of Coors beer. Coors was not available nationwide, but many blacks liked its taste. What many ignored was a black boycott of the Coors brewery because they didn't hire blacks. Not only did they not hire blacks, they said they absolutley wouldn't. Still, my father was constantly saying no to relatives and friends who wanted Coors beer.

We have to be a team to beat this or the stereotype stands as reality.


Ra



:court:
 

Destee

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Re: Destee

Originally posted by Amun-Ra
I said I agree with the perception because in the United States perception is reality--you will also notice that I said, I am highly biased in my opinion on what I think is feminine, but I didn't venture my opinion on what I think is feminine--I simply reported what the studies show and left my opinion on black women, white women, Asian woman, Latino women and any other women to myself.
You say you agree with the perception, and that perception is reality, but you've not shared your opinion?! By citing studies that lift white women up over black women, you have in essence voiced your opinion. It may not be your entire opinion, but you have given us a glimpse of where you stand on this issue. It would have been all too easy to post information lifting black women up, but you chose not to do that.
Originally posted by Amun-Ra
In essence I took no stance. On the contrary, I went out of my way to point out the stereotypical basis for much of this negativity which is not all generated by the white community. Indeed, a great deal of the negative image in the general public domain is generated within the black community itself, but that is also old news. Whether we like it or not, black women are seen as less feminine by majority society and even by some within the black community.
You went out of your way to avoid responding directly, to my direct question. As i said above, your stance was determined when you posted that information vs. information that would uplift black women. I agree that it is not all generated by the white community. We have a perfect example right here. You are black man, in a black community, posting negative information about black women. I don't care that the majority society think black women are less feminine. I don't even care if some in the black community believe this. My only concern is that a columnist on destee is posting this lie here.
Originally posted by Amun-Ra
Probably, the major issue with these opinion studies is that most of the respondents don't really know anyone from the black community on an intimate basis and the only point of reference they have is what they see in the popular media. For blacks who hold those opinions, I believe the same is true. They are probably far removed from the community and have little to draw on if they don't keep close family ties.
Black women were nursing their white babies, which required close and intimate contact, and they believed we were less feminine then too. White men were leaving their feminine white women, to rape black women, which required close and intimate contact, and we were still less feminine. White folk will think the worst of black folk regardless of how intimate we are with them, history has proven this. For blacks who hold this opinion, they hate themselves and anyone that looks like them.
Originally posted by Amun-Ra
Shooting the messenger is not going to change those opinions, but changing the message might and changing the message means that we, as a people, must make what is real known. How? That is the most difficult part. Unfortunately, as I pointed out, these studies poll people whose only real contact with the black community is in the workplace or what they see or hear in the media.
If the messenger is perpetuating lies and negative images of black people, in a community dedicated to uplifting black people, he needs to be shot. How do we change the message and make what is real known? We get conscious writers, columnists, poets, Sisters and Brothers, and we build a community where the real information can be made available. We build together, focusing on our positives, since we have so many that are rarely written about. We work night and day to make sure it's up and running properly. We require every Member to respect each other. We spend our money, time, and energy to support and keep it running. We make sure all the words found within, at least those posted by people in administrative positions (moderators, columnists, etc.), be moving us upward, toward that place that allows us to shake off the centuries of hate that has been rained down upon us. This is what many of us are doing in an effort to change the message and make what is real known.
Originally posted by Amun-Ra
The media is powerful in establishing images. It is those images that we must change. As an example, Spike Lee castigated Morgan Freeman for his role in "Driving Miss Daisy," in essence saying that Freeman was an Uncle Tom for doing the role. Actors act, and unfortunately, the number of black actors who work on a regualr basis is still limited. The role Freeman played was indeed a negative image, but at that time in history, it was reality. Should he have not done the role? Would someone else have done it if he didn't? Who knows?
I have absolutely no control over mainstream media, or what jobs they offer blacks, or if black folk accept the jobs. I think black folk should do whatever they must to live and survive. Our accepting jobs that we may not feel in our heart is what we want to do, to feed our families, is nothing new.
Originally posted by Amun-Ra
The point I am making is that for much of white America, what they know of blacks is generated by what they see in and hear in the media. That is why I believe their perception, as skewed as it may be, it is honest. However, although it may be honest, it is based upon limited contact which is a distorted version of reality. Still, femininity like beauty is highly subjective--it is in the eye of the beholder.
You speak for white america as though they briefed you on what to say, making excuses for why they portray us so negatively in the media. They created their skewed perception. It is exactly how they want it to be. They don't want to be any closer to you black man, than they have to be. They move as soon as you can afford a house in their neighorbood. They create private clubs and private schools so their women and children will never know you. They banish and disown that feminine white woman that has the loss of mind to lay with you. They love their distorted reality, and unfortunately, many black folk do too.
Originally posted by Amun-Ra
I still haven't ventured my opinion because this wasn't about my opinion, it was about others' opinions about black women and why they might hold those views--nothing more. However, there is plenty here to chew on because we should be bothered that we are seen that way. Or, we should at least wonder why.
You're writing about white people's opinions of us, and the black folk that agree with them, and why they hold these views? Why are you doing this? Hasn't history, and every mainstream media outlet provided this information, and continue to assault us with it non-stop? Why do you choose to share their opinions? Please share your opinion my Brother, it is much more important to us.

Destee
 

Amun-Ra

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Shooting the Messenger

As I said, I haven't ventured an opinion and you insist on hanging one around my neck. As a writer my business is to provoke a reaction and to see what people think.

Not long ago a commentary appeared in the now defunct Emerge Magazine that talked about the Negro Thought Police who were described as the self-appointed gatekeepers of “correct” Black thinking and action. It was an interesting commentary claiming that one does not easily go against the grain in the Black community without risking serious consequences and penalties and this sounds like one of those cases. It is a curious form of Orwellian thought policing that only comes to the surface after the fact.

The fact that I have been marrried to same the same black women for 20 years is my opinion. When I say I am HIGHLY BIASED, must I spell it out so everyone knows where my sympathies lie? I thought that was a sublte enough hint. I took "me" out of this story. It was not about me and it still isn't.

Since we have we become afraid of opinions? Everyone has one and everyone who doesn't agree with those opinions think their opinion is right even though its just an opinion. The only fact reported here is that people have certain opinions. Whether we agree with them or not is another matter and hopefully that provokes a response.

I feel absolutely no need to display my black credentials, although I could, but then folks would be reading about me and that is certainly something that I don't want. I am interested in other people's ideas and opinions.

By the way, I enjoy the debate and find it refreshing that someone cares enough to be upset at me, even though that was not my intent. It seems no one else wants to take a stab here. I am surprised that only you came out with a strong opinion pro or con on a subject designed to provoke.



Ra

:confused:
 

Destee

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Screaming "Fire!" in a crowded theatre will get a reaction. Posting the results of a study that claims white women are more feminine than black women, in an african american community, will get a reaction too. I'm not a writer and i don't know how writers rank eliciting a reaction vs. sharing truth, knowledge, wisdom, and guidance geared to lifting and encouraging our people. I would imagine it varies from writer to writer.

Certainly presenting this type of information can be the stimulus for a very lengthy, heated, and passionate discussion. Sisters and Brothers expending energy to debate whether the white folk's study is true, "Are black women really less feminine than white women?" All of this while our people are suffering, while our people are dying, while our people need love, support, and encouragement from each other, while our young ladies are allowing themselves to be mistreated by men, while our young men are full of rage for many reasons, while crack cocaine is devastating our lives, while black men are dying at the hands of black men, while prisons are overflowing with black folk that have done no more than white folk, while legal slavery in america exists (young, strong, black men locked up to be worked however the government sees fit), while our teenagers have sex and make babies long before they're ready, while AIDS ravishes our communities, while poverty and homelessness abound, while a small black child wishes someone would hug them, while our tired and weak elderly raise our youth, while our Sisters sell their bodies, while many of our people remain consciously asleep, blaming the victims, all of us just a few generations removed from slavery. Yes, we can debate the white folk's study, but there are so many more important issues we need to address.

You are a writer and an elder. You could be sharing ways for our young Brothers to overcome the traps and snares that are laid for them. You could share how you overcame, how you avoided prison and maintained a marriage to a beautiful black woman for 20 years, raised a family, and made it through. You can give them to know that in spite of all they may see or hear, success is possible. Do you know how many young black men (and women) never had a black man in their life, and would appreciate reading the encouraging words of a black elder male? It is not about black credentials. If a Black man in america has anything, he worked hard for it. Nothing was handed to him. No, it's not about black credentials, it's about leading, guiding, teaching, and showing our Sisters and Brothers the way.

You've been contributing articles here for years and i have never said anything regarding the content of them. I am not trying to police your opinions, nor am i afraid of them, but they can't degrade us. I am responsible for, and very serious about, the goals of this community. I believe we have an opportunity to make a real and positive difference in the lives of many of our Sisters and Brothers. I believe we can be about loving, encouraging, embracing, teaching, and building with our people. If a Member (especially a columnist or moderator) does or says something that appears contrary to this vision, i must speak on it and if necessary, act on it.

:heart:

Destee
 

Amun-Ra

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I know that!

Never thought would--but for this piece I wanted to see the reaction--unfortunately, the most responses came from women and although I do not discount there input, I really wanted to hear from men to see what they had to say about it--I have always been curious about our support of the black female and to tell the truth, at times I find it lacking. I am not afraid to broach the subject, but on thispartcular piece I hoped some men would step to the plate and say they thought black women were more feminine and her's why. I even thought we might have a brother with enough courage to say that he believed that others were more feminine. Okay, maybe I didn't expect that cause the brother would have to stupid because of the negative reaction the it no doubt produce, but I did want hear what men thought about it. We are the ones who decide a woman's beauty in all cultures, even though woman have their own standards. We me3n tend to set the standards of what we like in a woman including her femininity, beauty and even style of clothes. Fortunately, aot all women adhere to the standards men arbitrarily set, but a great many do and they influence other black men in how they see beauty.
Still, the greatest purveyor of what is beautiful is the media, including the black media. Look in our own media and see what we portay as beautiful for a woman. It's there in Ebony, Essence, Jet and a host of popular magazines. Check it all out and then let someone report what they find. I would be interested. I'd like to see if someone do it a report back to all of us. I mean go through the various magazines and check for body sizes, facial features and skin color. Check for the models for eye colors, hair textures, length of hair, how many possess certain attributes and which women receive the most press and if there is any commonality there. I'd love to see it.

But this is not controversial, my knew book will be released in August and I have tackled atheism in the black community. They are out there and we walk past them everyday without even knowing. My book introduces the world to what no one thought existed--the black atheist.


Ra

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Queenie

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Re: I know that!

Originally posted by Amun-Ra
We are the ones who decide a woman's beauty in all cultures, even though woman have their own standards. We me3n tend to set the standards of what we like in a woman including her femininity, beauty and even style of clothes. Fortunately, aot all women adhere to the standards men arbitrarily set, but a great many do and they influence other black men in how they see beauty.

Ra

:heart:
Are you deliberately trying to start a riot in here?

Amun-Ra...the sheer arrogance of this statement makes my head spin and want to spit! Seconds after reading this I wanted to hold my stomach and laugh. Shaking my head, I thought of how sad it is that, just because you're a man, AND a BLACK man at that, you are caught up in your own sense of power and control to even THINK that you and other men set the standard for beauty--not only in America but all over the globe? *lmbo*

My, my...nothing could be farther from the truth! You think that a group of Gay men in the fashion industry dictate what makes a woman beautiful? You think that because men drool and grab their crotches whenever they see women dressed in a provocative way, it's him that determines her standard for beauty? And because some Black men sniff behind white women with their tongues hanging out their mouths--that makes Black women want to be like her or jealous of her because you think she's beautiful? What are you thinking?

Are you and other Black men who think like this really that shallow and egotistical to believe that the fraternity of men decide what makes a woman beautiful and what doesn't? Do you really THINK that men control everything in the world and all women do is skip merrily along waiting for him to drop her a crumb and a notion so that she can try to morph into your image?

A man's LUST for women does not determine beauty nor does it set the standard for what beautiful means. If that was the case, then why are there some men who don't subscribe to this notion that white women are more beautiful and feminine than Black women? Are these the lost brothers of some dying tribe?

This is disturbing! Wake up! :maddd:
 

Amun-Ra

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Leave the Messenger Out

Of course I'm trying to start a riot! If it isn't clear by now I wanted this topic to pizz people off and provoke some insightful and thoughtful answers as to why someone might even hold these opinions, what is reality and a whole host of other examinations of a distasteful topic. I see the men have conveniently stayed away from commenting or they don't know were discussing it. Still, there have been more objections to the topic than to examination of why someone might hold such views, is there any validity is such views, a defense of black femininity, how such views may come about, why would a black man hold some of these views, why do some black women agree with these views and a whole host of other views on an admittedly distatsteful subject, but the main response has been to the topic itself and that is not a discussion. There are issues inside of issues in this topic, but no one has tried to harvest them. Perhaps my mistake was not the topic, but in expecting the discussion. Yes, this is designed to provoke, but the provocation was for thought, careful examination and then mindful response. That is all, but I still learned a couple of things from this topic even though it wasn't about the opinions presented. I learned that contoversial subjects are dealt with by protesting the subject and that the messenger takes the chance of being blamed, and that's all right, I knew it was risk when I presented it.

Ra

:cool:
 

ZeroGravity

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If I didn't know bettah ...

Ra you said
I see the men have conveniently stayed away from commenting or they don't know were discussing it.
I for one didn't know you guys were discussing this. It took me about an hour to read the thread to gain an insight into the discussion. I originally responded to the original topic "Intimidated Black Men?" and was trying to figure out how it evolved to the preception of black women being less feminine to other. I originally thought that you injected that study to spawn discussion perhaps in provoking thoughts on the whys of such perceptions but the responses were everything but.

Let me be on record by saying the study is hog-wash!! To me, black women enhances any/and all standards of beauty applied to this society. We don't have to entertain studies to define us. We don't have to defend negative allegations thrown at us, but sometimes we can't ignore these allegations as well.

We KNOW bettah than to believe these studies, but what if we didn't know bettah? Sistahs I've heard your opinions on tattoes and they haven't been too complimentary; I've heard your opinions on long fake fingernails and they haven't been too flattering; I've heard your opinions on the dress of some of your sisters (baggy clothes, thong exposing, this "hard-look" and other uncomplimenting styles); I've heard your opinions and you seem to be concerned about these things because you know in the greater society at large, that these images will come to paint all black women with the same broad stroke. So if we didn't KNOW bettah, I can see how such a perception occur. But WE KNOW BETTAH!! ... They DON'T!!! Their view into our community is through unrealistic vision.

Should we be concerned about this study? NO! ... should we be concerned about those images mentioned? I don't know ... should we?

Destee, NNQueen...in your Sister-Chats, do you ladies discuss perceptions like these with the younger sisters? How do you approach perceptions that you might feel is negative but is very popular among the general populous in the black community?

Studies like these shouldn't bother us in the least because we KNOW bettah so Ra I don't think it will start a riot, but does it warrants even a minute of thought? I'm asking because I don't know.
 

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