Who is more valued?

If I were a newcomer to the United States and I started watching the nightly news shows and reading the newspapers, here are a few things I would conclude about the inhabitants of this land. They are a very violent people; they seem to kill each other on a regular basis. The brown folks particularly the brown men seem to be really violent since they are always mentioned on the news. The non brown men seem angry and they like their guns but they don’t kill like those brown men and the pink women seem to always be missing…at least that’s what that Nancy Grace woman says. On the other hand nothing seems to happen to those brown women. None of the news programming mentions much about them.

Clearly this newcomer to the US would be wrong; though the one thing is right we are a violent people. Just in the past few weeks hell you had a college girl with a great future, lacrosse player who it appears was killed by a man she dated. The death of Yeardley Love is tragic and if its proven that the boyfriend did kill her, hope he rots to death in jail. Hell, whoever killed her should rot in jail.

On the other hand I am getting just a tad tired of wondering why when bad shit happens to Black women or children, we never hear about it. Mitrice Richardson, Chioma Gray, Angela Reeder, and Rodnell Burton. What do they all have in common? Why they are all Black and they all went missing but there is a good chance you have never heard of them. Only one I was aware of before I went to Google, that was Mitrice Richardson who’s story has been featured by many Black bloggers. Yet when I turn on the news I am always seeing pictures of cute perky white women who are missing. I don’t begrudge the news coverage paid to missing white women and kids but what I want to know is why Black women and children don’t get equal coverage. Probably because at the end of the day, our lives are simply not valued as much.

Since this nation’s turbulent founding, the fact is white women have been put on pedestals and valued where Black woman and now other women of color are simply tolerated. I am convinced that one of the reasons Black women and White women can’t even come together on issues that impact us as women is because most white women refuse to recognize the inherent privilege that they have simply by being white women.

Perhaps its this unspoken privilege that is so deeply embedded in our culture; is why this morning I read about Yeardley Love’s old lacrosse team playing its first game since her death in the NY Times. But had to hear about 7 yo Aiyana Jones who was killed by the Detroit Police Dept on a Black blog.

Aiyana Jones’s was sleeping with her favorite Disney blanket on when the Detroit Police Dept came in (no busted in) her house searching for someone, as best as I understand the cops threw a grenade in, came in and somehow a mistake was made and the cop fired on little Aiyana killing her. Look, I am not going to down the cops for doing their job but I wonder would they have been randomly firing on someone sleeping with a Disney blanket had they been looking for a white suspect? Call me crazy, but I suspect that had this been Gross Pointe (affluent suburb of Detroit) that the cops would have been a whole lot more cautious before randomly firing the guns. 

Yes, violence is at epidemic levels in some Black communities and that is an issue that needs to be addressed, without a doubt. But we have to also address the fact that deep down it seems no one values Black life particularly that of the women and kids. I wish I had some answers but I don’t.

ETA: After reading a commenter, I wanted to add that I am aware that there are plenty of white women who go missing that we never hear about. After all the common demoninator in the cases we do here about is usually the missing gal is solidly middle class, and attractive. It still bothers me that regardless of class or cuteness, missing Black women just don’t seem to exist as far as the media is concerned.

Happy Black Girl Day

I was on Twitter this morning and stumbled across the blog of a younger sista, proudly proclaiming that today is Happy Black Girl Day. Now at first I wanted to laugh, after all do we really need a Happy Black Girl Day? However as I thought about the media portrayals of Black women, we are hoes, jezebels, mammy’s, bad Mamas, walking vectors of sexually transmitted diseases, and the list of negatives go on.

Yes! We need a Happy Black Girl Day, a time when our lives are nor dissected for the masses. We need a day that can celebrate the joy in being a Black Girl. (no matter what your age for the purposes of this well-meaning day, its girl, but not as a pejorative). A day where we celebrate all that is good and positive with us and we share that joy with the world. Hell if you have a Black Girl in your life, you can celebrate too by being positive.

Happy Black Girl Day is to be celebrated the second Wed of every month, I think the traditional hump day is a great time to celebrate. After all if Wednesdays feel sucky to the average Joe/Jane, how the hell do you think it feels when you are a Black woman? So enough with negativity and let us enjoy a beautiful day.

Happy Black Girl Day! Tell me what you are doing and thinking that will make this a happy day for you.

My pet peeves- the race edition

Sorry readers that I have been slacking in getting back to a regular writing schedule, between a slow recovery and returning to work, blogging has fallen to the bottom of the to do list. Hell, I am still not cooking, so you know if I am not cooking blogging is just not a priority.

However I enjoyed some of nature’s best medicine today on this gorgeous May Day and decided to share some of my thoughts…things that just irk me. I like to call it my pet peeves, the race edition. As a Black woman living in Maine, race is one of those issues never far from the surface. I was born and raised in Chicago so even though I have more or less settled into life in Maine and accepted my fate as the only fly in the buttermilk, hey I am sista and I do still have race on the brain.

I admit some of what I am about to say is not for those who are easily offended and while its hard to read tone online please be aware that I am trying to be light. Imagine if we were face to face kicking back with some drinks.

First up, now I don’t see a lot of Black women here in Maine but I do see Black men. Nine out of ten times they are partnered with white women. Often I will be in a shop and see a brotha and the brotha and I will hit each other with the nod. You know that acknowledgment that says I see you playa. In most cases the white partner is completely oblivious to what is going on, but there are times when the white partner of brotha man sees the exchange and rather than understanding that as we used to say in the early 90’s, it’s a Black thang. The white partner gets a nasty look….yo girl, I do not want ya man. Yep, I am going there. In almost all cases the brotha with the white chick wouldn’t be my cup of tea if we were on a deserted island and he was the last man standing. So please stop giving me stank ass looks. You see I am with my man and kid so back that shit the fuck up.

Next up how come when one black woman sees another black woman instead of coming with a spirit of sisterhood and solidarity, we have to give each other that stank eye. Now this shit used to happen all the time in Chicago, but when it happens in Maine, it really pisses me off. Sistas we need to get it together, next time I see you don’t act like its going to kill you to say hi. There is a biracial sista I see in my area all the time, she rocks some fierce head wraps, I have never seen her with anyone other than a man I presume is her husband and her kids. Instead of giving me the side eye maybe you could just say hello.

By the way in big cities, do brothas still try to holla at chicks and get salty when they don’t speak back? That was another one that used to irritate me back home, of course that rarely happens here since there ain’t no brothas to holla at a sista. (though I saw a man so fine the other day, maybe I was delusional, if Taye Diggs mated with Idris Elba, that’s what this man looked like..he was a fine piece of chocolate, still wondering why he was here but that’s another story) Though it sill happens when I am in the city…brotha, yo when out of style a long time ago playa.

White folks, I really don’t care if you adopt Black kids but dammit for the love of Ray J, please learn how to groom ya child. I am so damn tired of seeing Black kids with white parents running around with jacked up hair and ashy legs and arms. Just today I saw this at the festival I was at and goodness gracious this chile was ashy, hell you can go in the kitchen and rub some damn olive oil over the kid. For most black folks, the average lotion is not enough for ours skin, learn the facts. And please don’t put a relaxer in a little kid’s hair…seeing a young girl with limp processed hair and edges that are starting to recede sends me into rage.

Speaking of hair, if you are a Black woman with a Black child and you relax your child’s hair, you need your ass kicked. I am not even kidding, you are a lazy heifer and I mean that shit. I recently watched Chris Rock’s Good Hair and the clip of a 4 yo girl getting relaxed nearly sent me over the edge. Comb your damn child’s hair…this was a skill the Mamas of yesterday had, learn it and learn it quickly.

Sistas, stop saying you won’t ever date a white man but bitching that you are man-less. Most of the reasons I have heard for why sistas don’t date white men are pretty damn stupid. I admit it can be hard to overcome the racial and cultural differences but look if you link up with a man who hails from the same class as you and shares other similarities you probably will connect. Besides no one says you must marry the first white man that asks you out but shit why be dateless on Saturday night besides love can overcome a lot. Sistas saying shit like you won’t date a white man because they are less endowed and have no soul…well you just sound ignant as hell. Sure you must know not every brotha is hung like a horse and lets be honest many things can be taught. So if you really don’t want to date a white man at least pick up a valid reason for doing so, not some bullshit you heard from someone else. Just saying.

Lastly how come some of us get mad when we are in places where we are the only folks of color and white folks are looking at us? Seriously? Look, you can stare at me all you want, long as you don’t put ya hands on me or say some crazy shit, I really don’t care. In most cases clueless white folks who like to stare can be disarmed with a big smile and a hello, nine out of ten times, it moves the situation along and everyone is happy.

As you can see I think about some crazy shit, its been one of those weeks for me and I figured I’d share with you, my dear reader. Have a great weekend!