Sunday, July 29, 2007

"CRISIS"? WHAT "CRISIS?

African Americans are in the midst of a social crisis that threatens the very viability of the black community. The core of this crisis is the deepening plight of black men . . .

Throughout America, but especially in the inner cities, African-American men are disproportionately surrounded by poverty, violence, mass incarceration and disease. A confluence of ills has long conspired to marginalize black men and track them into a trajectory of failure.
Quoted from Black Men: The Crisis Continues, by Salim Muwakkil, In These Times, http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/2621/

Black women, when not scapegoats--think: single parent homes, juvenile
crime, and welfare--are after-thoughts. Black men's problems, we are to believe, are black people's problems . . .

Yet, without much public notice, black women have been taking care of business, and not primarily via lawsuit and bullhorn. As Woody Allen noted, 99 percent of success is just showing up--for application deadlines, for class, for birth-control pill refills, for each day on the job--and that is simply what black women have done. No magic. No treachery against black men. The continuing existence of racism, they deduced, is simply no reason not to try.

In recent decades . . . the number of African-American women earning bachelor's degrees has increased by three-quarters; the numbers attending law or graduate school have more than doubled. Between 1988 and 1998, the number of black families earning $100,000 or more almost doubled, driven largely by black women's increased earning power.

Quote from Post-Ghetto Fabulous: Coming to Grips with Black Women's Success, a review of HAVING IT ALL? Black Women and Success, by Veronica Chambers http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1316/is_4_35/ai_99988631


New statistics from the Census Bureau confirm the powerful economic advantage that accrues to African Americans who hold a four-year college degree. The most current figures, for the year 2004, show that blacks with a college diploma now have a median income that is 90 percent of the median income of similarly educated non-Hispanic whites. Blacks with a master’s degree have incomes nearly equal to those of whites with a master’s degree. Blacks with a doctorate actually have higher incomes than similarly educated non-Hispanic whites.

These are extraordinary achievements that have been consistently overlooked by most commentators . . .

When we break down the income figures for black and white college graduates by gender we find that the superior performance of black women is responsible for the progress that has been made. In 2004 black males with a bachelor’s degree had a median income of $40,329, which was only 79 percent of the $51,184 median income of similarly educated white males. Thus, a very large
racial income gap persists for black men . . . On the other hand, black women with a bachelor’s degree had a median income of $33,877, which was 111 percent of the $30,413 median income figure for non-Hispanic white women who
held a college degree. It is clear then that the strong income performance of black college graduates is largely due to the earnings performance of black women . . .

There is more good news to report . . . In 2004 blacks with a master’s degree had a median income of $49,716. This was 98 percent of the median income of non-Hispanic whites with a master’s degree. Furthermore, in 2004, the racial income gap for master’s degree holders closed substantially. In 2003 blacks with a master’s degree had a median income that was 88 percent of the median income of whites who possessed a master’s degree.

Once again, in percentage terms, black women fared much better against their white counterparts than did black men. Black women with a master’s had a
median income that was nearly 109 percent of white women’s median income at that educational level
. Black men with a master’s degree had a median income
that was only 89.7 percent of the median income of white males with a master’s degree.

Quoted from Higher Education Is the Major Force in Closing the Black-White Income Gap, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Educationhttp://www.jbhe.com/news_views/55_closing_the_income_gap.html



As noted in one the the exceprts above, taken from a review of Veronica Chambers' book HAVING IT ALL? Black Women and Success, "Black men's problems, we are to believe, are black people's problems." Thus, the crisis that grips black men we are told is actually a crisis of the black community and of black people.



Yet, as the numbers make clear, black women have made extraordinary strides in recent decades. In education, careers, income, and even longevity, black women have gained parity with, and even surpassed many of their peers, despite facing obstacles that most women in our society have never had to cope with, let alone overcome. Indeed, many of the struggles that black women do continue to face are largely derivative: women of African descent who are most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS are those who are married and have only one sexual partner; most black women in poverty are single mothers of children who receive little or no support from their non-custodial fathers; increasing numbers of black women are being incarcerated for low-level drug offenses committed in support of their "man's" petty drug conspiracies.



In other words, those areas of black women's lives over which they exercise the greatest autonomy and control are the areas where they have achieved the greatest success. Nonetheless, black women continue to be burdened by the stigma of "crisis" and pathology that has less and less to do with many of our lives. This stigma follows us into schools, the workplace, and in our efforts to seek intimate relationships. Black women also struggle with the unique burden of being made to feel guilty for our achivements, as if the crisis that grips black men is a result of our incredible accomplishments, rather than the spur that has forced us to shoulder a disproportionate share of the responsibility for our families and communities. Asian women's superior academic and professional achievement has only made them more attractive mates, to Asian and other men. It has not defeminized them or made men feel "emasculated" by them; it has not encouraged Asian men to blame them for their own struggles or difficulties.

Conversely, instead of celebrating black women's achievements, and pointing with pride to this cause for optimism in the midst of despair, "the community" continues to alternately ignore, downplay or even disparage the value of black women's vibrant work ethic and unflagging commitment, despite the fact it is this very capacity that has kept "the community" going.

It is time for black women to reclaim our reputations and to start celebrating ourselves. We are truly incredible, and for men with drive, ambition, values and character, we offer a total package of womanliness and accomplishment that can simply be found no where else. No more hiding your light under a bushel ladies--Black Girls Rule! Never forget it, and never be ashamed to shout it from the rooftops.



55 comments:

Daphne said...

Yes! Yes! It is such a shame the achievements of black women are constantly overshadowed by the plight of the black man.

It's so strange, as it seems that we are constantly barraged with the POTBM message. I realize the troubled racial history of blacks and whites cannot be denied, nor do I believe that there should be no discourse about subversive discrimination. However, at some point, such a worldview can no longer be a crutch used to avoid personal responsibility for a frame of mind or behavior.

There is a reason that black women, who have the double hurdle of racism and sexism, who are perpetually either ignored or villified by the mainstream media, who are criticized by some black men for being "boogie," "high maintenance," or snobs, and still rise above that and become successful, accomplished women. I am pretty sure it's not because they were sitting on the corner outside the package store, philosophizing about how "The Man" is conspiring to keep brothers down.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Aimee!

It sure does get tired to hear over and over again, that we succeed because "we are not a threat," an updated version of the old trope that "successful black women take opportunities away from black men".

Such attitudes diminish black women's hard efforts as meaningless, as though we have had nothing to do with it, as though the white power structure merely throws us a bone, and voila, we're successful.

Nobody gave me my success...It came out of an exceptional work ethic instilled in me by my parents. As you said, show up, be disciplined enough to do what has to be done, and you are halfway there.

If anything, my husband likes and admires my success. He supports it fully. But he can easily do so and not see me as a threat because he has his own successful career and sense of accomplishment built upon his own strong work ethic.

Strong men have no problem with strong women, because they know their mutual strength makes things even stronger.

Regards,

Pioneer Valley Woman

Phoenix Sun said...

Great insight, Aimee.

I have experienced this downplaying of my accomplishment and abilities for so long that I never stopped to give it much thought. Aside from my beloved brother, most BM and some BW have always minimized or trivialized BW's academic and career success. The message is the ONLY reason BW have been successful is at the expense of BM. Because we are seen as less threatening we have access to areas BM are purposely shut out of.

I am so tired of everything a BW does has to be linked to BM. It's like there is no escape from being responsible for BM's well being, whether it is financially, emotionally, or otherwise.

There is a romantic mythos that the black community embraces and that is if BM were allowed to take their rightful place as patriarchal kings then all of our problems would go away. Romantic thinking doesn't make things happen. BW got to where they are because they're proactive. There is no avoiding hard work and patience. There is no valid excuse for BM in general not being able to go to school or learn a trade.

Sofia said...

I agree, when i was at college, there was a black girl in my class who worked part time to support herself and she managed to achieve top grades! and i feel i've worked really hard to get where i am too- this hard work ethic i found mainly with the black girls in school.

But i think we need to not turn our backs on the black men, after all they are our fathers, brothers, sons etc.. so we should want, encourage and promote the idea of them achieving the same as black women. But understand your point about the "black community" and how that only seems to reflect black men and not us and our achievements.

Great blog!

Sofia

Anonymous said...

But i think we need to not turn our backs on the black men, after all they are our fathers, brothers, sons etc.. so we should want, encourage and promote the idea of them achieving the same as black women.

Black women need to turn their backs on WHOEVER turns their back on them. And support WHOEVER supports them.

Reciprocity or nothing.

After all, we are THEIR mothers, sisters, and daughters. Yet I've YET to hear black men express such sentiments.

When and if THAT takes place we can talk about "not turning our backs..."

As adults, black men should want, encourage, and promote the idea of achieving for THEMSELVES.

And if they can't (or aren't willing to) do that, tough for them.

Anonymous said...

Right! Most BM don't give it a second thought when they're bad mouthing BW. I don't think that they're thinking of or even care what their mom, sister or daughter might think or say about them.

As far as these "men" being our fathers,well I have never met/knew my father. I have no idea how he even looks like so I really don't care about him.

Kind of the same for brothers, cousins......my brother has never been with a BW (he's 33). I have black male cousins who date ir so are they turning their backs on BW?
I would probably say yes considering one of them has yet to express his interest in them (he loves latina women specifically Puerto Rican women).

Anonymous said...

Right! Most BM don't give it a second thought when they're bad mouthing BW. I don't think that they're thinking of or even care what their mom, sister or daughter might think or say about them.

TRUE. This knee jerk "remember they're family" bull sh!t reaction that most BW display needs to END.

It just looks stupid.

BM have increasingly been acting anything BUT "familial" with BW. Including their mothers, sisters, and daughters.

So, this "family" talk needs to end.

Most are totally self-centered to the core and that's ONE good lesson we can learn from them.

Phoenix Sun said...

When people tell BW not to forget BM a justifiable anger arises because BM have not taken the time to consider or include our feelings and well being. BM have a tunnel focus mindset. Anytime BW talk about themselves I am always amazed at how BM and their needs are sure to be brought up into the discourse. I have listened to so many black forums where BM have no guilt or shame in talking about their issues w/o being preoccupied by BW’s feelings, desires, and needs

Anonymous said...

I have listened to so many black forums where BM have no guilt or shame in talking about their issues w/o being preoccupied by BW’s feelings, desires, and needs

And sistas need to be the SAME way.

Aimee said...

daphne said...

There is a reason that black women, who have the double hurdle of racism and sexism, who are perpetually either ignored or villified by the mainstream media, who are criticized by some black men for being "boogie," "high maintenance," or snobs, and still rise above that and become successful, accomplished women.
___________________________________
Yes there is, and it's not because we are so "non-threatening" (who is more "non-threatening" then white women, who we are already outperforming professionally?) or somehow taking opportunities that rightly belong to black men. It because we are simply smarter, harder working, and more persistent. Isn't it sad that this very simple, straightforward, and obvious explanation is the one that no one seems to have proffered?

Aimee said...

Nobody gave me my success...It came out of an exceptional work ethic instilled in me by my parents. As you said, show up, be disciplined enough to do what has to be done, and you are halfway there.

If anything, my husband likes and admires my success. He supports it fully. But he can easily do so and not see me as a threat because he has his own successful career and sense of accomplishment built upon his own strong work ethic.

Strong men have no problem with strong women, because they know their mutual strength makes things even stronger.

___________________________________

Hello PVW!

Isn't it odd how there are so many rationalizations for BW's achievements--usually involving WM's purported "generosity"--but when it's time to discuss the problems that we disproportionately face, like single motherhood and HIV infection, we are somehow wholly responsible?

Thank goodness that there are indeed strong, accomplished men out there who appreciate and respect a beautiful and capable women! Despite the bill of goods we've been sold, that combination is irresistable to a secure man.

Aimee said...

Phoenix Sun said...

I am so tired of everything a BW does has to be linked to BM. It's like there is no escape from being responsible for BM's well being, whether it is financially, emotionally, or otherwise.
___________________________________
It is this constant equation of "black people" with "black men" that burdens BW with such an unfair stigma, and really serves to diminish and discount our achivements.

Over less than 50 years of legal equality, we have managed in many cases to meet and even surpass the educational and professional achivements of the most privileged women in this country. This is an extraordinary, possibly unprecedented accomplishment for any demographic group; but because BM have not matched our progress, even our success has been presented as a "problem": you see, it means that we have access to fewer compatible BM, and thus, must die spinsters. How absurd!

More BW who have freed their minds must openly reject this muleish mentality that requires us to beat our breasts and cover our heads with ash, even as young sisters are graduating from medical school and becoming research scientists as well as wonderful wives and mothers, because of the number of BM in prison. We need to point with pride to the things that are RIGHT with our community--foremost being US!

Aimee said...

Sofia said...

But i think we need to not turn our backs on the black men, after all they are our fathers, brothers, sons etc.. so we should want, encourage and promote the idea of them achieving the same as black women.
___________________________________

Welcome Sofia!

I certainly agree that we should not turn our backs on BM. But as many BM have asserted, BW cannot lead or guide young BM to healthy and whole manhood, if for no other reason than that they often reject and resent such efforts at modeling on our part. DBRBM do not respect BW or acknowledge or accomplishments; therefore they cannot learn from us.

Additionally, any group that wants to progress must make its own progress its first priority. There is nothing wrong with this. It is not disloyal--it is healthy. Our young BW and girls need us, and we need each other; the energy and resources we have to share must first be devoted to our own interests.

Thus, BM must focus their energy and resources on encouraging and promoting achievement among young BM. Clearly, if BW could love DBRBM into greater well-being, they would already be there. Our role as BW in this process can only be to express our support for the efforts that forward-thinking brothers choose to undertake.

Anonymous said...

But i think we need to not turn our backs on the black men, after all they are our fathers, brothers, sons etc.. so we should want, encourage and promote the idea of them achieving the same as black women.

Why do we automatically assume that any discussion around bw betterment is turning backs on BM. How did we get from A to P!

why do we automatically link the two. Its almost as if bw have decided that they dont have an identity seperate from bm that they can look after and look into, and any attempt to have one is treason.

honestly we need to start looking again at these automatic assumptions we make. something is desperately wrong when women feel extreme discomfort at considering themselves as autonomous beings!

Fortitude said...

Bravo Aimee! I love your new blog.

I too, am guilty of minimizing my accomplishments in front of black men because I wanted to appear more "down" and understanding of their "plight".

Not anymore.

Black men make up more than 40% of the prison population, yet only 6% of the general population in the US.

Instead of constantly criticizing black women, black men should worry about their own "brothas" and why they are not achieving success as sistas are but that will never happen as most black men are content with blaming black women and white folks for EVERYTHING.

JJ said...

There are problem with those income numbers that if you read the study (I have) you will catch.

Of the women surveyed 98% of black women were working fulltime and only 50% of the white women were working full time.

When you control for that White women make more. I think that needs to be clarified because it sends a false message that Black women are somehow doing better than their white counterparts and that is not true.

JJ said...

Actually that 40% number about Black males being locked has a lot to do drug crimes.

And the only reasons why Blacks get locked up more for drugs (Not because they use or sell them more according to the FBI's own statistics) but because Black cars and neighborhoods are 4-6xs more likely to be searched then their white counterparts.

In other words cops are checking for negroes (driving while black etc) then they are for white folk are who are doing the same thing.

It's not that blacks are anymore likely to misbehave just that they are more likely to get caught BECAUSE of racism...interesting little conundrum there.

Aimee said...

JJ said...

There are problem with those income numbers that if you read the study (I have) you will catch.

Of the women surveyed 98% of black women were working fulltime and only 50% of the white women were working full time.

When you control for that White women make more. I think that needs to be clarified because it sends a false message that Black women are somehow doing better than their white counterparts and that is not true.

___________________________________

Welcome JJ!

The numbers quoted in the article I linked from the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education originated with a study by the U.S. Census Bureau, and they do not reflect a rate of full time employment for black women of 98% vs. 50% for white women, though of course you would have to define "full-time" vs. "part-time."

I assume that this is the study that you have read and are referring to; if there is another study that you have read and are referring to, then please share it--we welcome information here.

In terms of "doing better," I absolutely think that black professional women are doing better than white professional women, especially when the opportunities available to us and the barriers that we face are taken into account--but doing "better" or "worse" than white women is not a particularly meaningful measure to me--I don't judge my success by where I stand vis-a-vis white women, nor do most of the black women I know.

My point is simply that we are doing well, and that focusing on the strides that black women have made and continue to make is far more constructive than swallowing whole the "crisis" mentality that tells us that we are engaged in a losing struggle despite our incredible progress.

Evia said...

Aimee, I think that as bw with the black and female strikes against us in this society, we are doing extremely well. We ought to congratulate ourselves at EVERY opportunity!!

Also, we must all continue to educate younger and older black females and URGE them towards more education, more travel, more exposure to more ideas, support and defend them, lessen personal antagonism against them and each other, seek ways to empower each other, search out ways to improve bw's self-esteem, health & fitness improvement, etc. We should also share what works with each other so that it can be spread.

Formal education is so important for bw because often, this is the absolute best way that most sistas have to empower and broaden themselves. So if nothing else, we must URGE black females to continue their schooling and try to point them towards money and/or other assistance to make more education easier for them to get. If we can't do much else, we can all at least encourage each other. Sometimes, this works wonders because it shows sistas that at least someone believes that they are capable and worthy. I've heard many times from black females that no one in their family encourages them to go to school and sometimes they are discouraged by family members and/or friends to continue going to school.

So, please sistas, encourage your daughters and other black girls to get as much education as possible. Black girls still, by and large, embrace education, so let's not drop this ball.

My husband and I certainly preach education to my sons and they definitely hear us.

I'm appalled to hear that an increasing number of young bm outright reject education these days. I wish that more older bm who do value education could find a way to convey the importance of education to typical younger bm. We know that upon reaching adolescence, many young bm no longer want to listen to their mothers. If my sons did not have a father who's involved in every aspect of their lives, they would not be as well adjusted and would not have achieved what they have. I do my part and he does his. This is why it's so important for a bw to choose the best father possible for her children. This is not a matter of skin shade; it's a matter of quality.

For best results, children need both parents to be fully involved in their lives. Yeah, the community SHOULD be involved, but the community did not conceive that child and cannot be forced to help out.

Sistas must remember that. Along with all of the other strides bw are making, sistas need caring and involved fathers for their children. From my experience working in the system, I see the lack of a 2-parent family as the #1 reason why so many black children trail behind many other children (from other groups) in the ways they do. Given the current societal paradigms, if AAs don't re-embrace marriage and family, we will never be on a par with other groups who do embrace marriage and family in this society.

So along with the success on other fronts, bw must also keep improving on the marriage and family fronts.

Aimee said...

Evia said...

Along with all of the other strides bw are making, sistas need caring and involved fathers for their children . . . along with the success on other fronts, bw must also keep improving on the marriage and family fronts.
___________________________________

EXACTLY! BW have stepped up and done what we had to do in order to insure the material survival of our families and community, but too many of us continue to wait passively for our black knight in shining armor to "rescue" us when its clear that he ain't coming, and that we don't need "rescuing"--we need worthy partners!

The same sistas who would never sit around and wait for a degree or a job, who would never settle for less when it comes to educational or professional achievement, do not seem to recognize that we need to apply the same high standards to men and relationships that we demand of ourselves. As you point out, this is not only for our own sake, but for the sake of our children and families, who deserve so much better.

JJ said...

Yes the US Census didn't control fro how long the women worked.

Here's a link to a blog entry on the report:

http://www.rachelstavern.com/?p=35

She also has a link to the raw numbers and not the actual written study and in the written study what you will find is what I mentioned above:

College educated white women are only working about half the time as college educated black women and when you correct for that white women earn more.

As far as "better" that's relative term. If by better u mean we've had more success in the professional world that's cool.

But if you look at marriage an out of wedlock births then "better" sarts not to look so good and some might consider those numbers at crisis level.

Aimee said...

JJ said...

Yes the US Census didn't control fro how long the women worked.

Here's a link to a blog entry on the report:

http://www.rachelstavern.com/?p=35

She also has a link to the raw numbers and not the actual written study and in the written study what you will find is what I mentioned above:

College educated white women are only working about half the time as college educated black women and when you correct for that white women earn more.


Again--I've seen the actual statistical tables upon which the Cenus based it's research, they are available at http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/educ-attn.html.

The Census study didn't control for any group's relative labor force participation, and it did it not reflect that white women work half the hours that black women work; nor do the statistics at rachelstavern.com reflect that contention. Where are you getting that figure?

As far as "better" that's relative term. If by better u mean we've had more success in the professional world that's cool.

But if you look at marriage an out of wedlock births then "better" sarts not to look so good and some might consider those numbers at crisis level.


It is certainly up to you how you want to look at it. Considering that birthrates among unwed black mothers reached a 40-year low back in 1998, I think it is clear that BW have taken action to improve our status and well-being on every front over which our efforts can have any effect: educational attainment, professional achievement, income, single-parenthood. It is now time for us to apply that some vigor in finding worthy mates, and we will see similar improvements on that front as soon as we recognize that we ALSO have choices here.

JJ said...

I've seen the stats table as well. But there is a written report that puts all the numbers in perspective and yes they did look at labor force participation in ALL groups...when the news originally broke saying that Black women earned more I was skeptical, and one of the articles linked to the report...which I read...and the discrepency was obvious, only 50% of women were working full time wheras nearly all Black women were working full time.

I don't go around making up numbers or reports and if I find it I'll link it. If not, so be it.

JJ said...

Here's a press release from the Institue for Women's policy Research that discuss the same thing I was saying:

When you make amends for work force participation Black women earn less then their white counterparts.

http://www.iwpr.org/pdf/IWPRRelease3_29_05.pdf

And while they don't talk the numbers I point out (50% full-time employment/98% full time employment) They point out that white women work fewer hours then black women and eran more then we do.

This is ALL based on the same 2004 US Census Bureau report.

You can look at the stats table but you also have to look at the actual write up on those numbers.

And not only are Black women working more and earning less but over a quarter of us live in poverty and a very small percentage of us actually have Bachelors degrees.

Some might call that a crisis.

I'm all for championing the accomplishments of black women. I'm all for drawing attention to our accomplishments but by EVERY measure we're lagging behind and I don't think it's remiss or irresponsible to point that out.

Aimee said...

JJ said...

When you make amends for work force participation Black women earn less then their white counterparts.

http://www.iwpr.org/pdf/IWPRRelease3_29_05.pdf

And while they don't talk the numbers I point out (50% full-time employment/98% full time employment) They point out that white women work fewer hours then black women and eran more then we do.

This is ALL based on the same 2004 US Census Bureau report.

You can look at the stats table but you also have to look at the actual write up on those numbers.

___________________________________

But the "write-ups" on those numbers that you're referring to are being made by entities other than the Census itself, which is the entity that collected and tabulated the numbers, and which specifically refrained from speculating as to why college-educated Asian and black women earned more than similarly educated white women.

Initially, you stated that I needed to look at the "study" itself in order to uncover a "problem" in its tabulations; now you're saying I need to look at other organization's opinions about what the numbers mean in order to uncover that "problem"--which is it?

For example, if you control for hours worked when comparing black and white women, you would need to also control for that measure when comparing black and white men--which reveals that BM also work fewer hours than WM. Is that somehow proof that BM actually earn higher incomes than WM?

And not only are Black women working more and earning less but over a quarter of us live in poverty and a very small percentage of us actually have Bachelors degrees.

Some might call that a crisis.

___________________________________

Yes--I guess some might say that the fact that over two-thirds of BW DON'T live in poverty and that BW are completing college degrees in record numbers is a "crisis." I don't.

I'm all for championing the accomplishments of black women. I'm all for drawing attention to our accomplishments but by EVERY measure we're lagging behind and I don't think it's remiss or irresponsible to point that out.
___________________________________

We are not lagging behind by "EVERY measure," and it IS remiss and irresponsible to claim that we are. You are NOT for championing our accomplishments if you are making such a claim, because that claim is factually untrue, and is particularly odd in light of your contrasting, "excuse-making" analysis of why so many BM end up in prison.

Above all, as I have already stated, I don't find "lagging behind"-type analyses particularly meaningful. White women are not my benchmark in life--improvement is, and black women are steadily improving.

Why would I measure myself against white women, whose earning performance is actually deteriorating? The reality is that upper-middle class white women exploited the "women's movement" to gain entree to professional education, employment, and affirmative action, but they still retained their sense of entitlement to be parasitical dependents who neither earn incomes nor take responsibility for the care of their homes and children, which they farm out to servents.

I would argue that it is this contradictory and dishonest mentality that more than anything else has alienated so many white men from white women, and encouraged more of them to seek out Asian and other non-white women.

But ultimately that's neither here nor there--I'm concerned with BW, and WE continue to progress.

Clearly, you are invested in the "crisis" mentality, which is your right. I am not and never will be. We can agree to disagree.

Anonymous said...

I like the tone of this blog, it is very intellectual, well researched and stimulating. Keep it up!

JJ said...

Initially, you stated that I needed to look at the "study" itself in order to uncover a "problem" in its tabulations; now you're saying I need to look at other organization's opinions about what the numbers mean in order to uncover that "problem"--which is it?

That's not what I said. Once again, the write-up I initially was referring to was census based. I didn't make it up or create it I read it.

Consider that the IWPR, The Economic Policy Institute and the US' own Labor Department ALL point to the same thing I think that can hardly count as "opinions" but one can choose to believe what they will.

My original point was that Census study u sited wasn't as rosy as the picture that was painted. But "believing" and "seeing" are choices.

As far as comparing white women and black women that is what the original post did. You highlighted the fact that black women were earning more then their white counterparts. That was your comparison. I was just pointing out the fallacy in the numbers.

LOL. And no one was making excuses about why BM end up in jail. I didn't realize understanding the reason behind problems counted as "excuse making."

I'm of the opinion if you want to fix (or at least understand) a problem then u need to understand the "WHY" regardless of where it leads u.

And while that is not the only "WHY" it is a huge contributor. And understanding that better helps one deal with a problem.

My point about the Census report is that Black women AREN'T earning more then their white counterparts even with the same education (choose to believe it or not).

That black women ARE working harder to earn less (choose to believe it or not).

And that less then 17% of us have bachelors degrees (choose to believe it or not).

Like I said, I champion Black women’s achievements but don't base it on faulty data...obviously we disagree on that point.

But poverty, unemployment, education, marriage, single births...by what measures are u suggesting that we aren't falling behind?

I don't have a "crisis" mentality. I have a "reality" mentality. I believe in taking a HARD look at where we are and trying to figure out how to get to where we need to be.

And that's hard to do if you choose to only look at the good and not at the "whole" picture.

JJ said...

Why would I measure myself against white women, whose earning performance is actually deteriorating? The reality is that upper-middle class white women exploited the "women's movement" to gain entree to professional education, employment, and affirmative action, but they still retained their sense of entitlement to be parasitical dependents who neither earn incomes nor take responsibility for the care of their homes and children, which they farm out to servents.

That's a bit harsh. And choosing to stay home to raise ones kids hardly counts as being, "parasitical dependents."

Now the women's movement had its problems. Mainly that, upper middle class white women were running the show, and outside of the fact that many of them were just as racist as their male counterparts, couldn't understand that sex does not trump race.

Where black women made their mistake (and under the circumstances it was definitely understandable and unavoidable) was that we allowed the idea of "race problems" to trump those of "gender problems" and because of that had a hard time creating a feminist ideal that focused on Black Women's needs and not those of the "race" as a whole.

And yes it is high time that Black women find a feminist voice (movement) that deals with sexism and inter and intra-racial issues as they pertain to gender and not Black people as a whole.

But to do that I believe you have to look at the good and the bad because that is the only way you can move forward.

Aimee said...

Initially, you stated that I needed to look at the "study" itself in order to uncover a "problem" in its tabulations; now you're saying I need to look at other organization's opinions about what the numbers mean in order to uncover that "problem"--which is it?

JJ said...

That's not what I said.


JJ said...

There are problem with those income numbers that if you read the study (I have) you will catch.

Of the women surveyed 98% of black women were working fulltime and only 50% of the white women were working full time.


If the census tabulations in the relevant study reflected a full-time employment rate for BW of 98% vs. a full-time employment rate for WW of 50%, you would be able to point out where in the tables these facts are presented--period, end of story. You cannot point this out because it is not reflected in the data cited.

If you haven't taken any statistics classes in the course of your education, you should consider it; because you are either misreading the census statistics, or confusing an independent analysis of the statistics with the statistics themselves.

Once again, the write-up I initially was referring to was census based. I didn't make it up or create it I read it.

Did you comprehend it?

Consider that the IWPR, The Economic Policy Institute and the US' own Labor Department ALL point to the same thing I think that can hardly count as "opinions" but one can choose to believe what they will.

The IWPR and EPI are private entities; their interpretive analyses of raw data provided by the census are indeed "opinions," and you have yet to provide statistics from the Department of Labor or any other objective, verifiable source showing that 98% of BW work full-time while only 50% of white women work full-time. Nor have you addressed why Asian female college graduates also earn higher incomes than white women--do you wonder why no one even questions that statistic?

I don't have a "crisis" mentality. I have a "reality" mentality. I believe in taking a HARD look at where we are and trying to figure out how to get to where we need to be.

Then you should start by taking a HARD look at your own ability to read, comprehend, and interpret the facts. I am not trying to be unkind, but the reality is the census did what it always does: collected and disseminated raw data; other people, with other agendas have interpreted what that data may or may not mean. They may or may not be correct-- but you have to be able to understand the varying analyses that you are reviewing before you can determine whether they have reached correct conclusions. Because statistics don't lie, but statisticians do. :-)

JJ said...

Wow. I have not once personally attacked you in any of this conversation. So now you're questioning my ability to read and comprehend as if ending it with the smiley face makes it better?

Also I've been very clear about the fact that where I originally read the data was not from a "private entity" it was from the Census attached to an article that was quoting the same information you sited.

You're right "private entities" have their own agenda as do you. And I conceded that you can choose to believe whatever suits u.

And even if I found the document, I would suspect you would dispute that as well. Obviously by this comment:

Why would I measure myself against white women, whose earning performance is actually deteriorating? The reality is that upper-middle class white women exploited the "women's movement" to gain entree to professional education, employment, and affirmative action, but they still retained their sense of entitlement to be parasitical dependents who neither earn incomes nor take responsibility for the care of their homes and children, which they farm out to servents.


you have a vested interest in believing that Black women are out earning their white counterparts. Regardless of any evidence (or opinions as you state) to the contrary.

Also, I didn't comment on the Asian numbers because they did not pertain to this conversation. The conversation was on Black Women's earning potential.

Also the 2005 numbers are out and have been out for awhile? Do they reflect this trend of Black women's earning potential?

Why are you so willing to believe the numbers (assuming you're interpreting them correctly)... because the Census put the numbers out and the media reported on them?

The government doesn't fudge numbers?

And I'm sure you're heard the saying: There are lies, damn lies and statistics.

Anonymous said...

a great post Aimee! I love your intellectualism and thoughtfulness.

The statistical debate is nauseatingly tiresome. I've taken my stats in college and I know that interpretation of stats is usually heavily infused with the political partisanship of the reader. It's unavoidable that each side uses the numbers to their advantage while those who who disagree will question the methodology.

As a conservative black woman, I'm happy to read positive news about black women. I don't see a crisis, but we are far from perfection. I see 3/4 black women working and doing well. I see us more educated and earning more than our mothers and grandmothers (that's doing the ancestors proud!).

As for EPI and the others, they have an agenda that comes from the "blacks and people of color are victims, so the government has to do something" perspective. That mantra keeps progressive foundation funds coming. I am tired of creating work for those who specialize in victimology just by my being black and female.

As for bm incarceration, the excuse that they are get caught more often (for whatever reason) than everyone else does nothing for me. Knowing we are black in America we should do everything we can to avoid EVER running afowl of the law since we'll be caught more often and charged more harshly. Just don't do the crime. I am not sympathetic.

Aimee said...

JJ said...

Wow. I have not once personally attacked you in any of this conversation. So now you're questioning my ability to read and comprehend as if ending it with the smiley face makes it better?

I haven't attacked you personally or in other way. You have repeatedly asserted that a specific dataset shows facts that it does not show. I think the most generous interpretation of a persistent claim of something that is untrue is a lack of comprehension by the person making the claim.

Also I've been very clear about the fact that where I originally read the data was not from a "private entity" it was from the Census attached to an article that was quoting the same information you sited.

Again--this is the problem with not reading carefully, because even the articles that you attached do not claim that the census study at issue provides any explanation at all for the relative distinctions between the earnings of black, white, Asian and Hispanic female college graduates--because the census made no such claims. It is the private organizations that drafted the anaylses of the numbers that provided those conclusions--not the census.

And even if I found the document, I would suspect you would dispute that as well.

I guess if the the document doesn't exist, we'll never know.

you have a vested interest in believing that Black women are out earning their white counterparts. Regardless of any evidence (or opinions as you state) to the contrary.

But I don't believe that "black women are outearning their white counterparts," because the data does not support such a broad claim. It addressed a specific subset of the population: black, white, Asian and Hispanic college-educated women, and it simply measured the reported incomes of each: that is all.

Also the 2005 numbers are out and have been out for awhile? Do they reflect this trend of Black women's earning potential?

I wasn't aware that the the census had compiled and released the 2005 numbers addressing this particular issue. Have they?

Why are you so willing to believe the numbers (assuming you're interpreting them correctly)... because the Census put the numbers out and the media reported on them?

The government doesn't fudge numbers?

And I'm sure you're heard the saying: There are lies, damn lies and statistics.


Sure the government fudges numbers--but it wasn't the government that provided any interpretation at all of these numbers, other than the claim that people with college degrees generally make higher incomes than people without college degrees, which no one disputes.

The studies that you are quoting with approval rely on the exact same numbers, so clearly, it is not the data itself that you disagree with.

Evia said...

Aimee, please don't let your blog get bogged down in minutiae. Statistics can be twisted every which way and we all know that. By any measure, bw are doing astoundingly well considering the daily bombardment we endure. Everyone KNOWS that and we're highly regarded by all reasonable people for being the only large group of women in this country who pretty much stand alone with our children and still manage to somehow bounce back and re-invent ourselves--no matter what. We are a double-minority and 'Still we Rise' and do so amazingly.

Your voice of plainspoken common sense is too important to allow yourself to be pulled off-track and down a winding alley. The trolls are watching and waiting. I would suggest that if any reader wants to argue a point ad infinitum, they might want to set up their own blog.

arthur said...

Hi Aimee ... what Evia said, about not getting dragged off topic.

Your agenda here is to spread a message of hope for bw. The trolls are here to undermine that message. In my world, a series of long, tedious posts filled with statistics are called 'thread-killers'. That's because people browsing their way down the thread to read the messages of hope bump into them and get bored and leave, and don't add their 2 cents at the bottom as they otherwise would.

JJ's intention is not to win an argument or provide useful information, the intention is to hijack the thread. JJ's message is one of 'no hope', that bw are behind the 8-ball and can never get out. And that's pure bs.

I think it was Bobby Kennedy that talked about not looking at the world the way it is and saying 'why?', but looking at the world the way it could be and saying 'why not?'.

There was a time when the Golden Gate Bridge in SF was just an idea in some peoples head. I'm sure there were people like JJ back then, saying it could never be built, etc ... well guess what JJ, it did get built. And the bridge between bw and wm is getting built too.

arthur said...

Now, getting back to the message of hope for bw that the rest of us are here for:

The first thing I want to say is, Don't let anyone tell you ladies here that there are not wm interested in bw for marriage/LTR. My oldest boy married a black girl when they were both in the Army, and I now have a beautiful granddaughter. That marriage didn't work out, for reasons having nothing to do with skin color and they are divorced; but I also know a guy I used to work with who married a black lady and they're at 11 years and going strong. He can't say enough good things about her, and what good wives bw can make. All in all, I'll take my chances.

Something else for you all to keep in mind, is that someone like me who is on the other side of the coin is kind of in the dark about how to find and meet a bw. One of the regular discussion topics on these threads is 'how do I meet wm?', but the interested wm are thinking the same question :)

A woman doesn't have to embarass herself to let a man know she might be interested; a look will do it. If there's mutual interest, the man will (usually) take it from there. If not, the two ships sail on with no harm done.

A rule to remember is that if you sense a man looking at you, it's decision time: if you glance back at him, with a halfway friendly face, you open the door for him to make a move; if you don't return a man's look, he will read that as a clear sign of non-interest. If you glance at him out of reflex, but see it's someone you don't want to talk to, look away immediately and use body language, turn away from him, to signal non-interest. Just instinct, right?

Aimee said...

Evia said...

Aimee, please don't let your blog get bogged down in minutiae . . .The trolls are watching and waiting . . .
___________________________________

Good Morning Evia!

Of course, you are correct, and I myself have seen the same thing happen at other blogs, so I will be more aware of that danger going forward. The facts are what they are, and are luckily publically available to anyone who is interested in reviewing them for themselves--so there is really nothing to argue about other than how people choose to characterize them. Thanks again!

Aimee said...

Welcome Arthur!

You are right, and it is important to recognize when a discussion has evolved from being fruitful and informative to being tiresome and useless--that point has been reached and passed!

In terms of meeting people, I know a lot of people have a knee-jerk prejudice against doing the online thing, but I did it when I was still dating, and I had a ball. I met lots of guys--some of them great, some of them not so great--and it really reintroduced me into the "social whirl" after a long relationship. I have single friends (one Korean-American and one Mexican-American) now who are doing it at Match.com and eHarmony, and they have met a real broad diversity of interesting men--one is seeing some real sparks!

I think its a good place to start, because its a way to start socializing again without being dependant on your "established" social networks, and everyone you encounter will be interested in the same thing--meeting people.

Good luck, and keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

Stop dogging the black man (we have our issues no doubt). I love sisters but Damn.
Do a better job of making yourself available to quality black men and stop chasing jerseys and suits.
A quality black man can drive a bus or sweep floors, whatever. As long as he's on some positive goal orientend ish, get his back. Bw need to look for potential and not what do you have now now now. Be available when that brother is in the process of becoming a so called "good man"(corporate job, doctor, lawyer etc.)

Although you wouldn’t guess it by the colloquialisms I use on this board I am a former and future suit working on an MBA at a top 25 school. I just want to stand up for the bm that have “potential” and would genuinely like to have a descent looking sister by his side. I was once a brother with potential (as an undergraduate college student) when I had no money and worked for minimum wage during the summer. Now, for some reason its all good with the sisters. Go figure
Real Talk

Aimee said...

Anonymous said...

The statistical debate is nauseatingly tiresome. I've taken my stats in college and I know that interpretation of stats is usually heavily infused with the political partisanship of the reader . . .

As a conservative black woman, I'm happy to read positive news about black women. I don't see a crisis, but we are far from perfection. I see 3/4 black women working and doing well. I see us more educated and earning more than our mothers and grandmothers (that's doing the ancestors proud!).

As for EPI and the others, they have an agenda that comes from the "blacks and people of color are victims, so the government has to do something" perspective. That mantra keeps progressive foundation funds coming . . .

___________________________________

Welcome Anon @7:47!

I'm far from conservative, but I have definitely witnessed the mentality that you point out time and time again, depending on where on the political spectrum the speaker is coming from--black people are a monolith, with a single, uniformly NEGATIVE role to play in our society: victims or boogeymen. That we are a diverse people with diverse experiences and places in the world is an idea that seems to truly boggle most minds. I'm glad to see that more and more people are rejecting this mindset--in fact, I think I will discuss this very issue more directly in the future.

Aimee said...

Anonymous said...

Although you wouldn’t guess it by the colloquialisms I use on this board I am a former and future suit working on an MBA at a top 25 school. I just want to stand up for the bm that have “potential” and would genuinely like to have a descent looking sister by his side. I was once a brother with potential (as an undergraduate college student) when I had no money and worked for minimum wage during the summer. Now, for some reason its all good with the sisters. Go figure
Real Talk

___________________________________

Congratulations and good luck in your future!

GoldenAh said...

Not to kill the thread, but Black Enterprise wrote the same thing you have about Black Women and Asian Women doing better than White Women in the job market, etc. B.E. is a very positive forward looking magazine and shows a lot of successful blacks.

Anonymous said...

"Although you wouldn’t guess it by the colloquialisms I use on this board I am a former and future suit working on an MBA at a top 25 school. I just want to stand up for the bm that have “potential” and would genuinely like to have a descent looking sister by his side. I was once a brother with potential (as an undergraduate college student) when I had no money and worked for minimum wage during the summer. Now, for some reason its all good with the sisters. Go figure
Real Talk "

Perhaps you werent looking for the right sistahs. Many sistahs werent looking for the right brothas. But that is not the point of this board so i'll move on. Best of luck to you and much success.

Anonymous said...

"I just want to stand up for the bm that have “potential” and would genuinely like to have a descent looking sister by his side."

Again, looks trumps quality for a black man. On a college campus where there are more bw than bm, you couldn't find one black woman that was "decent looking"? If black men with potential could stomach dating a sista with "potential" in the looks department, then maybe we could bring bw and bm back together. How sad that you want women to judge you on more than superficial and material critera, but you do it to the black women around you. I'm disappointed that on a post about a sista's success and ability to contribute to a strong family, you reduced the discussion to appearance. Why is it bm discount our successes with assessments of our looks?

JJ said...

JJ's intention is not to win an argument or provide useful information, the intention is to hijack the thread. JJ's message is one of 'no hope', that bw are behind the 8-ball and can never get out. And that's pure bs.

What part of

Now the women's movement had its problems. Mainly that, upper middle class white women were running the show, and outside of the fact that many of them were just as racist as their male counterparts, couldn't understand that sex does not trump race.

Where black women made their mistake (and under the circumstances it was definitely understandable and unavoidable) was that we allowed the idea of "race problems" to trump those of "gender problems" and because of that had a hard time creating a feminist ideal that focused on Black Women's needs and not those of the "race" as a whole.

And yes it is high time that Black women find a feminist voice (movement) that deals with sexism and inter and intra-racial issues as they pertain to gender and not Black people as a whole.


Did u miss? I disagreed with her characterization of Black Women's sucesses because it was based on a false premise NOT because I have a problem with BW doing better.

And as far as:

There was a time when the Golden Gate Bridge in SF was just an idea in some peoples head. I'm sure there were people like JJ back then, saying it could never be built, etc ... well guess what JJ, it did get built. And the bridge between bw and wm is getting built too.

Well I'm glad BW are finally waking up and realizing that there are other options out there romantically. It's about damn time and sad that it took a 70% singles rate and some enterprising bloggers to do it. I don't think I ever suggested otherwise.

And I don't know about you but my Momma always told me to bring a GOOD man home. Not a black one, but a good one. So me and IR have no issues.

Disagreeing with someone hardly makes one a troll. If you want homogenous thought then find. But dissent is waht it is--dissent.

Anonymous said...

knockoutchick says:

To Anon BM..

Good Luck to you...thankfully the numbers are in your favor...if you seek a kind hearted, educated, hard working BW...you have thousands to choose from!

Evia said...

Again, looks trumps quality for a black man. On a college campus where there are more bw than bm, you couldn't find one black woman that was "decent looking"? If black men with potential could stomach dating a sista with "potential" in the looks department, then maybe we could bring bw and bm back together. How sad that you want women to judge you on more than superficial and material critera, but you do it to the black women around you. I'm disappointed that on a post about a sista's success and ability to contribute to a strong family, you reduced the discussion to appearance. Why is it bm discount our successes with assessments of our looks?

Another critical aspect of this "looks" thing is why is it that so many AA men continue to harp about AA women's looks as if we're not attractive, desirable women. What's up with this bm Anon saying that a bm wants a "decent" looking woman by his side AS IF a typical bw is not "decent" looking? (SMH) Y'all that's deep!!

THAT has to be really analyzed because that mindset is a major determinant in our current downward spiral and the poor communication between bw and bm. I honestly don't know ANY bw who can or would even want to try to communicate with a bm who thinks like that.

And why is it that when when non-bm show an interest in these non-"decent"-looking women, bm want to and do "act out?" The fact is that just because some bm can't see the beauty and desirability of bw, it doesn't cause blindness in non-black men. So why do some bm get upset about bw dating and marrying out? I've yet to hear a rational reason for this.

It seems to me that the average upwardly mobile bw is looking for an upwardly mobile bm, but many bm of this type seems to be looking for what he considers a "dime." And there you have it.

Anonymous said...

And why is it that when when non-bm show an interest in these non-"decent"-looking women, bm want to and do "act out?" The fact is that just because some bm can't see the beauty and desirability of bw, it doesn't cause blindness in non-black men. So why do some bm get upset about bw dating and marrying out? I've yet to hear a rational reason for this.

i think the problem is that we are looking for rationality in bm when we should realise by now that they have become simply reactive to the 'going rates', norms and trends in society.

those who want to build a black utopia havent yet realised that you cannot build an ideal black society when the bm have largely become hallowed out, self-serving entities.

the sooner we bw come to the realisation that this is the way it is and it is over for those lofty black dreams the better!

Stardusky said...

"Although you wouldn’t guess it by the colloquialisms I use on this board I am a former and future suit working on an MBA at a top 25 school. I just want to stand up for the bm that have “potential” and would genuinely like to have a descent looking sister by his side. I was once a brother with potential (as an undergraduate college student) when I had no money and worked for minimum wage during the summer. Now, for some reason its all good with the sisters. Go figure
Real Talk"

[Sigh] The not-so-veiled attempt to call Black women gold diggers.

Many Black men have such a sense of entitlement when it comes to BW!! No other races of men expect their women to fawn all over them when they have no money and work for minimum wage. They're just happy to get whatever women they can get and call it a day.

Other races of men know that they are supposed to bring more to the table and they don't consider their women gold diggers if they look at their men's earning potential.

foreverloyal said...

I find it hard to believe that he couldn't find anyone to date as a broke college student. When I was in college almost everyone I knew was an undergrad dating an undergrad.

pioneervalleywoman said...

Stardusky makes an interesting observation here...

[Sigh] The not-so-veiled attempt to call Black women gold diggers.

Many Black men have such a sense of entitlement when it comes to BW!! No other races of men expect their women to fawn all over them when they have no money and work for minimum wage. They're just happy to get whatever women they can get and call it a day.

Other races of men know that they are supposed to bring more to the table and they don't consider their women gold diggers if they look at their men's earning potential.

My comment:

Of course, not all black men believe that their potential alone should make them desirable, and that they need not have much up front when they "step" to a woman. Many black men know too that if they really want to make an impression and get the type of lady who meets their ideal, they have to have their act together.

On the other hand, many black women are told that it is wrong to demand much of black men, they need not be so hung up on whether a man is already where he wants to be, as compared to working towards his goals, because racism historically limited black men's opportunities.

The danger in this, however, is that it can lead to a tendency of women having to compensate for men, when the men are not really working towards getting where they want to be. He doesn't have his act together, so do you help him get there, do you accept and shift, and compensate, accepting substandard behavior, out of racial loyalty?

Yet, many women are so caught up in whether a man meets the superficial qualities, ie., money, and so forth, that it can tend to ignore whether the men are really men of quality, in terms of other aspects of their personalities. The real gold diggers fit into this category.

On the other hand, there is nothing wrong in expecting a man to be responsible financially, and interested in working hard at supporting himself; these qualities are important, of course, for a woman looking for a long-term partner and a husband. Women are not gold diggers for wanting that.

But the issue of superficiality applies too in the case of women who might not meet the superficial standards of beauty, but are ignored by men, when they are perfectly decent women who would be ideal partners and wives. Their lack of the traditional accoutrements of beauty, complexion, hair, weight, etc., limits their possibilities, because some men focus on the superficial.

Regards,

Pioneer Valley Woman

D said...

On the main topic... that black women are doing well... I have seen it in the real world. I've seen the positive attitude, perserverence, seriousness about serious things, and the resulting success. To me, these are very attractive qualities... This is success for all the right reasons, and is something to keep right on doing, and something to be proud of. : )

I can understand the statistical dilemma of a shortage of black men, and the historical angst and accusations that have been thrown around within the black community that leads to disillusionment... but it seems like the resulting negativity toward black men is a little bit of a hit and run...

Saying what we DON'T like almost never gains something positive, it is only in STRIVING TOWARD something that we make progress... So larger than you and I... where is our society going on these issues of black men? What are we striving toward?

We can talk about all kinds of things, but the important stuff is always at the foundation... the underlying issues... parental involvement, education, influence of hip-hop, gangsterism, drugs, feelings of victimization... and this is not contained just to black men... the MTV generation of white kids has many of the same influences and leaning toward the same results, although not yet to the same degree.

One thing I can do... I'm working on fixing my shortage of black male friends. I find the culture gap a lot bigger than I do with black women, but I'm working on it.

And obviously, racism should be squashed wherever encountered.

But I think there's a good point in "The Pursuit of Happyness"... that the only thing guaranteed about happiness is the pursuit... and that the main burden lies on the pursuer. More black men need college degrees, stable relationships, etc... BUT FIRST, more black men need to want and value those things. And that is mostly within the agency of the black male.

But another thing I've noticed is that people often live up (or down) to the expectations of them. And to give up entirely on black men would put a negative expectation out there that is somewhat self-fulfilling.

I am NOT saying to accept poor treatment from a black man as a black woman. I am NOT saying to stroke a black man's ego to boost his self-esteem.

Let's pretend that black or white has nothing to do with it. And if a man trying to get your attention doesn't have what you're looking for, you just say "no thanks", and keep walking. But it's a good thing to have an idea of what you ARE looking for, and to remain hopeful that there are men out there who have these qualities, one of whom is perfect for you...

So without drama, you calmly say "next, please", until you find the one... where all the pieces fall together.

If color has nothing to do with it, that wonderful man might be black, or he might be white...

Those men you passed up... if you are able to "reject" them without ever letting it get personal... just calmly stating what you really want is a partner to share a marriage, kids, and a successful career with... and saying it appears this is not his path WITHOUT letting contempt slip into your voice...

I heard a therapist one time on a radio talk show (maybe Wendy Williams?) who said that a healthy marriage can survive almost anything but contempt. But that once contempt creeps into a relationship, that breeds resentment, dysfunction, and reciprocal contempt... and those things pretty quickly rob any relationship of it's spark. Completely. And permanently.

Think back in your past, and remember times when you've been rejected with contempt... and when you've been rejected graciously... isn't there a HUGE difference in your reaction to the two situations?

Someone rejecting you with disdain leads to you throwing negativity right back at them.

But if someone calmly (lovingly, in a way) tells you with total conviction in their heart that they're looking for XYZ, and you don't have it... being rejected in this way may lead you to figure out how to get XYZ.

Even when contempt is deserved... it's just not constructive.

I'm not saying I'm perfect...

But I hear a lot of contempt towards black men here.

Right... there's some contempt of black women by black men...

Sistas are holding it down, but the brothers are having a tougher time... that might say that the contempt of black women is more "valid" than the contempt of black men... but nevertheless, contempt is never constructive, whether based on fact or not.

-------------------------------

Okay, that's way too long... I need to figure out how to shorten my posts, especially when they're off topic.

-------------------------------

I'm guessing the negativity about black men comes somewhat from a sense of unfairness about the way the conversation has gone so far within the black community... but I think that BW/WM relationships will benefit from as little as possible disrespect of both black men and white women. : ) Just trying to be pragmatic. : )

-------------------------------

So back directly on the topic... I think the paragraph of the original article excerpt that really hits home is "Yet, without much public notice, black women have been taking care of business, and not primarily via lawsuit and bullhorn. As Woody Allen noted, 99 percent of success is just showing up--for application deadlines, for class, for birth-control pill refills, for each day on the job--and that is simply what black women have done. No magic. No treachery against black men. The continuing existence of racism, they deduced, is simply no reason not to try."

Namaste! : )

D

Anonymous said...

Brilliant.
Hi, white male here. (dating a black girl <2yrs) I've been surfing similar blogs the last couple days, and wanted to say "Black Girls Rule" is the cream of the crop. This "Crisis" post put statistics to what has been my overall personal experience. My girl, especially, is going to love it, being a Phd psychologist who grew up in urban Detroit. (and at the risk of being a cad, I'm going to score some serious points with this link)
Ok, back to reading.

Anonymous said...

Look, if you're a sister that has all of her stuff together (i.e. own home, car, advanced degrees, financially stable) then by all means you should be able to look for a man that has all of these things as well, since you're bringing something to the table. What I do not like are these women who do not bring anything to the table and who needlessly look down on the men who are in the same situations they are. Try building something together with a man in your situation or know what kind of man you are able to attract in your situation. News flash, you do not have to be a professional athlete or a CEO to be a good man. Plenty of good men are in college, drive buses are teachers etc.

Anonymous said...

Sofia, the problem is NOT BW turning your backs on BM, it is BM turning their backs on YOU. Look at the stats (70% of WHO is single in the Black community? Hint: It AIN'T BMs.) How many BW are single mothers with NO help whatsoever from the kid's father?


Somebody needs to tell BM to STOP turning their backs on BW. I doubt they will listen though, which is why I am ALL for BW dating interracially, especially with White guys!

Anonymous said...

Anons at 11:46, 12:35, & 1:23, BRAVO! WELL SAID! I agree 100% with all of you. And in regards to the stats, I want to say BRAVO again, and CONGRATULATIONS to BW! You are all an inspiration!