Tuesday, March 20, 2007

It's OK to Lie

I was talking to a good friend of mine today somehow the conversation turned to the dude she was talking to. We got on the subject of how he had lied to her several times and I was excited that he was doing all this blatant lying and she was still talking to him. She said that she was taught that men and women are just going to lie about certain things and to just accept that. I was thinking “shit, serious? Now I know I’mma start lying. Probably cheat too, so go ahead and be ready for it.

I mean, when I meet the girl I’m going to lie and tell her I aint talking to no one else. That way she’s going to think she’s the only one in my world and then she feels real secure. I’m gonna tell her I aint got no kids too. Shit, that baby look like me but I aint seen no test results yet, so I don’t feel I need to tell no one about lil Jerome. If my baby mommy start blocking I’ll just tell ol girl that she some crazy heifer that be stalking me.

And then when we dating and she ask where I was all I gotta do is tell her I was wit my boys. I know they’ll cover for me. They always got my back. The skank I’ll be wit don’t know her no way. So there aint no way my girl could find out I’ve been sleeping around. I keep my phone locked so she caint see my texts and calls. See, I’m slick wit my shit. UN-MOTHERFUCKING-STOPPABLE. I be telling all these girls I got tested too, they like that shit. Make ‘em feel all safe and protected, then slip that head in and it’s a WRAP. Real talk tho, I’m too damn scared to go up in that clinic. Shit, if I got some shit I don’t wanna know. I’mma just keep spreading that shit around. Someone gave it to me so I’mma fuck someone else day up too.

You know what though, I don’t even feel bad about lying to these hoes because they lying to me too. I don’t believe nothing these bitches be saying. They just want some dick and some bread anyway. As long as they get that shit they happy. And as long as they happy they need to stay out my shit.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in The Cafeteria: Part one, The Emissary

I've been spending too much time on this blog and I just got tired of it. It's not finished so if it's sounds a lil confusing and choppy you know why...was having a hard time gettin all my thoughts out cohesively without being too long winded.

I have been reading this book for about a week an a half and it is quite interesting and I can relate to most of what Dr. Tatum comments on. So far she has defined racism, discussed the complexity of defining your identity and gave her view on being black on a white canvas. It’s a great read but if I talked about every topic she touches on I would be writing my own book. The single topic so far that caught my attention is in the chapter on identity development in adolescence where she defines an emissary.

This chapter has the subtle of the title of the book and for good reason. She describes how as a child we learn to associate certain things with being White and other things with being Black. Unfortunately most of the Black images are negative: in a stereotypical working class urban sitting one may see the school drop out, teenage welfare mother, drug addict, etc while in an upper class sitting we may not see those things, but what is seen is that the majority of those who are “making it” are not like us.

Then there are the teachers and classmates who make the subtle comments that they may not realize are offensive yet subconsciously mis-define race roles (there shouldn’t be any definition). Like when I was little and the teacher asked how come I wanted to read instead of play basketball, or when non-Blacks refer to everything low class as ghetto, or when my boss this summer asked me if I had rims on my car.  Just today there was a group of us working on a cross word and one of the clues was “an equal opportunity agency” and one of the girls looked at me and said “come on, you should know this.” I remember when I was in middle school I thought I was darker than I am because this girl used to always compare my skin tone to the black strap on her lunch box (but now I proudly wear a black wrist band on either arm). All of these things mis-educate the black youth on their place and perception in society.

I also remember other things being associated with being Black: being late, broke, loud, and stupid, but of course we could dance, play sports, and steal. Unfortunately these stereotypes of Black Americans do not include academic achievement. In fact I know that as a child it was not “cool” to be smart. Coming from a majority black elementary school to a middle and high school were “magnet” students and “traditional” students often crossed paths, I soon came to think that intelligence was a curse, and others looked down upon it because “we thought we were better than them.” Most times the tension between the two groups was not caused by the students, but by the pure fact we were purposely divided. And even within my own class I learned to keep my grades low key for fear of social backlash. Everyone hated the kid that ruined the curve or did better than average on the test.

Dr. Tatum offers two general responses that the intelligent Black does to cope with his academic success in a white sitting: either he becomes “raceless” where he downplays being Black in order to be accepted by his White peers or he embraces his culture and becomes an emissary, “someone who sees his own achievements as advancing the cause of a racial group.”

Even though I learned to downplay my academic achievements, I felt, and still feel, like the latter. From elementary school where I was one of the few blacks on the mental math team, to Jr High where I was one of the few in the advanced math classes, to high school graduation where I was the salutatorian I felt that my success was the success of my race. I felt that I was not only representing myself, but all Blacks. In turn, my failure would mean letting a lot of people down and I’d just be another Black that didn’t measure up. Sitting side-by-side with my White peers I always thought it was important that they saw that Blacks were just as cable as anyone else to do the same work and succeed at the same tasks.  Sitting with my Black peers I felt it was important to see that someone like them could do the things I’d done…..