Screw politically correct, lets get real

I remember when the whole political correctness thing came into vogue, at the time it seemed cool almost revolutionary. We would all be considerate of our fellow man/woman/human, however truth be told I am just a tad tired of being politically correct. I no longer know how to refer to someones love unit, some folks I know are hard core into using the term partner. I don’t know…truth be told partner sounds like someone I work with but in trying to be more inclusive I do use it though sometimes I slip up. Its one of the reasons I call my ole man the spousal unit, its my version of being PC.

Recently on a discussion board for some local Mamas in my area, many of whom know each other in real life, a discussion got out of hand as the conversation veered towards the recent election. Long story short someone threw out a N-bomb also known as nigger, now before anyone gets upset the gal who used it, was not referring to anyone specifically but rather responding to someone who was rather irate and my friend basically was telling off the irate woman.

Well folks got upset because my girl used the n-word, problem was as a Black woman, I wholeheartedly backed her use of the word at that time, she was making a point to someone who needed a dose of reality and while my girl’s words were crass, it made a statement.

Problem is everyone is so damn politically correct that folks were just offended that the word was used in the first place, now as the only Black person in this group, I feel like if I wasn’t mad why the hell are others mad?

See, we are so busy creating a groovy inclusive society that we shy away from being impolite or hurtful, when at times you need to just be real and tell a bitch to shut the fuck up, you sound like a ignoramus. No, I am reminded of why at times I find redneck leaning white folks more real than educated liberal ones. See, rednecks will tell you how they feel, don’t like Black folks, no problem, I can respect that, long as you don’t disrespect me or mine, you can say whatever you like. Funny thing is these same types often get to know folks on their individual merit and are alright. Now I didn’t say they would be my bosom buddy but we can get along.

On the other hand the more educated, liberal types who are so considerate and kind are often the white folks that make me feel the most uncomfortable. Its almost like they are trying to damn hard, trying to let me know they aren’t racist when in reality I start thinking maybe they are and they don’t know it yet.

No, I believe we should be an inclusive society and mindful but at the same time, lets get real. Its only when we have real discussions and get raggedy and say the shit that lurks in the back of our minds that we can truly create a real respectful space. Yeah, feelings may get hurt at least initially but if that process brings about greater understanding then I am all for a little pain.

So like Bill Maher, guess its safe to say I am politically incorrect.

Screw Mister Charlie..his thoughts don’t matter

Once again, I am reminded of the diversity that exists within the Black community. In one of the online communities that I go to, where I can engage with holistically minded sistern, the issue was brought up of some of the new Black comedy shows. I should mention that I rarely see any tv shows in their entirety instead generally watching snippets of shows on You Tube or some other online venue. Anyhoo, both D.L. Hughley and David Allan Grier have new shows, I haven’t caught Grier’s show but I have caught some snippets of Hughley’s  show on CNN.

My initial impression was it was funny, but nothing too deep, after all Hughley ain’t a Dave Chappelle or Paul Mooney, but it was ok shit in my two cent opinion. Well it seems there are a lot of Black folks who were appalled at the stereotypes they saw, example being the pimp Freddie Mac…personally Freddie Mac was a pimp in my opinion but that’s another whole story.

So the Black folks didn’t like the stereotyping, but in my online group, it was revealed that while some did find the skits funny in both Hughley and Grier’s shows, they didn’t feel it was appropriate for these shows to air in mixed race company. Wait, come again? So white folks shouldn’t watch this shit?  Seems that when we have Black shows that air and show how some Black folks (not all Black folks) talk/act its not ok to show that…well I call bullshit on that.  Yes, there are white folks who might see a Black show and then try to walk up to a Black person and connect based on that show, but I am sorry, having a resident white guy, I call a spouse, most white folks of reasonable intelligence know they can’t do and say everything we do.

Look, when my family comes to visit, the n-word gets used a lot, I said it before my Pops grew up with it and he ain’t stopping now. He has not had his Paul Mooney moment and decision to stop using it, so when he’s here, we roll with it. Never in 13 years has my husband ever thought it good to say “Hey, Rev Nigger” to my Dad or “Hey junior Nigger” to my brother.  When I reach that angry point when the southside of Chicago starts coming out in my speech, the spousal unit knows to accept it but not to talk like me.

See, I give all these examples as proof that white folks do have common sense, just like I know after watching some Jeff Foxworthy, not to assume all white folks is rednecks….

No, what this line of thinking says to me is many of us are still trapped in that place where we are too concerned with what Mister Charlie thinks of us, still trying to get white approval. Truth is, I used to live at that address too, but something about getting older, I am not in the least bit concerned about white folks and what they think. Truth is if some of them think we are niggers, they are gonna think that whether some cat is on the tube shuckin and jiving.

Really, we need look no further than this election season and the bigoted white folks we have seen who refuse to see Barack Obama’s humanity, instead he is simply a nigger because his skin is brown. Obama is the embodiment of America and her dreams, proof that with hard work you too can get ahead. Yet for some regardless of his credentials, he is considered a nigger.

Sorry, but that lets me know I need not worry myself over what Mister Charlie thinks, instead focus on myself and what I think, Shit, Mister Charlie needs to be more worried about what I think about him.

White folks and racial naivete

For the past few days I have been thinking about the rather interesting observation that this presidential season seems to be bringing out, the fact that by and large when you are person of the paler hue, one does not have to think about race on a regular basis.

Seriously, both in my online as well as real life dealings, I have been in contact with white folks who are positively stunned at the blatant racism that is coming out the closet as America seems to be edging closer to possibly having its first Black president. It seems that on an almost daily basis, we are seeing effigies of Obama, folks making asses of themselves on TV about how America is a White Christian nation and only white folks get to be in charge. Shit, I am sure Sears is running out of white sheets in some parts of the country.

The thing is as a Black woman, none of this is surprising to me, shit I would be more surprised if we didn’t have folks doing this shit. See, I was born in the early 70’s yet I have been on the planet long enough as a Black woman to know that despite the strides we have made racially in this country, shit regular readers know my Pops grew up drinking from the colored water fountain and never thought he would have a white son in law. Despite the fact that we have made strides, we still have a long way to go. America has never had a truthful racial dialogue, too many white folks would rather see my ass serving them when I am in a restaurant than see my Black ass getting served.

Don’t get me wrong, thoughts of race don’t consume every moment of my waking day, but honestly there are not too many days that I don’t face that reminder that I am Black. Its just good for me that I love my Black self and accept that being Black is a part of my identity. I can never just be a person because in this world, I am Black first and foremost and that’s cool with me.

My kids are biracial, yet they are being raised and have been raised to understand that most likely folks will view them as Black, so while they can call themselves what they want to, just understand folks may view you differently.  Speaking of the kids, my son was 3 when race was brought to his attention and now at 3 my daughter is starting to notice racial differences. It most certainly isn’t anything I have called attention to, but I suspect that children of color notice racial differences sooner than white kids. That’s neither a positive or a negative but just one of those things. I was about 4 or so when I realized race and when I entered kindergarten and was the only kid of color, it was my grand debut into the land of racial differences.

On a parenting board that I hang out at, a white mother encountered a racial minority being mistreated by a white man and her kids were with her and she was at a loss with how to deal with the situation. Other posters (white) suggested that kids are too young to be burdened with dealing with racism.  That stunned me because as a Black child, I was raised to understand that sadly racism is something you may encounter yet I have grown white friends who still grapple with dealing with racism. Honestly, I expect it and rather than being surprised I look for ways to move on less I blow a gasket.

Part of why we as a nation have still not moved on is because in my humble opinion, we refuse to talk honestly about race, what the legacy of slavery has meant to millions of African-Americans. How systematic oppression over hundreds of years cannot be wiped out in 40-50 years. Until we get to that point as well as the point of looking at our own internal biases that may cause prejudice deep within us, I truly don’t feel we are making nearly as much progress as we think. No, what we are doing is that type of cleaning when you sweep all the shit into the closet and under the bed but at a certain point,  the closet door starts bulging, demanding that you move shit out of the closet. That is where we are at as a nation. The closet doors are becoming unstable.

There are those who feel an Obama presidency will usher in a new era, well it will be a new era, but I suspect Black folks will still get stopped for driving while black. Police brutality will be an issue and all the other injustices will happen. So while I might start looking for my dancing shoes soon for November 5, we still have a lot of work ahead of us to truly achieve racial parity.

As for white folks raising kids, don’t fear talking about injustice with your kids, to do so IMO will create a generation that is truly prepared to tackle injustices head on.