Black Men and White Women: The Divide from Black Women

Black Men and White Women: The Divide from Black Women

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While perusing the black-oriented website, “AfroPunk,” I came across an article that caught my eye. It was titled, Black Women are not Uncoachable, they are Unprotected. As a black woman myself, I took great interest in the topic. For it was one that needed to be addressed.

The article began with a question, “Why do Black athletes marry white women?” (The Race Card). This question was asked via Twitter by Redskins team member, Lyndon Antonio Trail. Upon first reading it, my heart instantly dropped into my stomach. Too many times I have seen this question and too many times I have seen the same answer. As I ran a sweaty finger down the mouse wheel, the response- “the answer”- was revealed. Before me were the words of Miami Dolphins team member, Masaratti Rick, who said, “’The answer is simple, brother,’ he begins. ‘Most of the sisters were raised in broken homes and they don’t have proper guidance to how they should treat a man, so they mess up a lot in relationships. The biggest difference is that a white woman knows her position and accepts her role as a woman and lets her man lead. You can never get better at anything unless you can admit your fears and your mistakes. How would I be a better football player, if I’m not coachable? Black women are not coachable. Let’s put it that way” (The Race Card). As I read these words, a mix of sadness and anger washed over me. I could feel the heat in my face and the pounding of my heart. But at the same time, I wasn’t surprised. Too often have I seen this mentality from not only black sportsmen but black men in general. There are many remarks from black men who too think black women “mess up a lot in relationships” and see white women as an ideal woman. The type of woman that accepts “her role as a woman and lets her man lead.” But is it truly about dominance?

It’s an ubiquitous knowledge that color has been an undealt-with American problem. From slavery to segregation to modern day institutionalized racism, it has been made apparent that whiteness is desired over blackness. From billboards to dolls to businesses to TV and so on and so on, white people are advertised all throughout the country. The straight blonde hair and the sparkling blue eyes have captivated American beauty. In a 2016 CNN article, it is said that The Fashion Spot dissected “racial diversity on the runways. Over New York, London, Paris and Milan 77.6% of the time models on the runway were white” (Pursley). It is no wonder that black people cleave to white “culture.” What else are they capable of seeing when 77.6% of the time they see white? Over the accumulated years of a homogenous media, blacks understand that they are not beautiful. They develop a self-hatred and see their blackness as a sickness. Thus, they try to remedy this “sickness” by washing themselves clean through whiteness. They dye their hair, they change the way they walk and talk, they associate themselves with white “culture,” they bleach their skin, and so forth. All of which are meant to try and “blend in,” to “survive.” And this fight for “survival,” requires black people to unify with whiteness but also a segregate from blackness. It’s a betrayal that creates wars within the black community. Wars such as light skin vs. dark skin as well as black men vs. black women.

Society has set up social constructs. And one of those constructs was creating the perfect woman: submissive, quiet, appeals to the man, gentle, white, etc. These characteristics are of an ideal woman and anything outside of that understanding is unattractive. An unattractiveness that has poisoned mankind against black women. Too many times, in both past and present, there have been many instances where my fellow black girls are portrayed as stubborn, sassy, dominant, and loud, with derogatory labels such as “ratchet,” “bougie,” and -in the words of Masaratti Rick- “uncoachable” are applied to them. The divide between black men and black women has become apparent over the years. From celebrities to average, every day black men, this fetishism of white women is common. Kanye West in his song, Gold Digger, threatens to leave a black woman’s “*ss for a white girl.” Another rapper, Kodak Black, makes it apparent that he doesn’t date black women. When asked whether he found black actress and singer Keke Palmer attractive, Black says he is not into black girls and would rather date Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez. Black further states that he doesn’t “want no Black b***h / I'm already Black / Don't need no Black b***h" (Meara). I also find this self-hatred in my own brother. He surrounds himself with white women and thinks all black people are on welfare. Black males are looking for an escape. And through the constant advertisement of white women as symbols of goodness, purity, wealth, and success, black men seek refuge. It is their one-way ticket out of “the hood” that is American, racial oppression An oppression that divides them from black women.

Men like Masaratti Rick try to pass this self-hatred off in terms of dominance and that a white woman apparently “knows her position and accepts her role as a woman and lets her man lead” (The Race Card). But the real root lies in self-hatred. Isn’t security and promotion from a woman found in all colors? Are black women not capable of evoking positivity just like white women? If all Rick wanted was positive encouragement and docile behavior, he would be searching for a specific personality rather than a specific race.

In all honesty, Rick’s statements about black women don’t surprise me. I’ve seen it time and time again, and I am tired of it. As a proud, black woman, I am angered and saddened by the fact that a “brother” does not appreciate his own community, seeing white women as the only woman capable of properly taking care of a man. Any woman, whether they be black, white, Asian, etc. are all capable of having a relationship (if they so will it). The point of a relationship is the coming together of two people as one through love. And through that love they grow. Of course, people have their preferences. Preferences that have some part in how one dates. Some people are attracted to black women, some are attracted to white men. All my life I have been attracted to white men. I thought my first love would be a white man, my first boyfriend would be a white man, even my husband to be a white man. But it turns out my first relationship and heart were found in a black man. What men like Rick must understand is that what he seeks is not found any specific race but in all. Black women are capable of relationships and are not broken products of the hood. They are more than the loud, sassy women advertised next to the porcelain angels beside them. Black women are beautiful and capable of being in a relationship in the same way that white women are. It really is a shame, Mr. Masaratti Rick, that you can’t see that.

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20 Things That Happen When A Jersey Person Leaves Jersey

Hoagies, pizza, and bagels will never be the same.
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Ah, the "armpit of America." Whether you traveled far for college, moved away, or even just went on vacation--you know these things to be true about leaving New Jersey. It turns out to be quite a unique state, and leaving will definitely take some lifestyle adjustment.

1. You discover an accent you swore you never had.

Suddenly, people start calling you out on your pronunciation of "cawfee," "wooter," "begel," and a lot more words you totally thought you were saying normal.

2. Pork Roll will never exist again.

Say goodbye to the beautiful luxury that is pork roll, egg, and cheese on a bagel. In fact, say goodbye to high-quality breakfast sandwiches completely.

3. Dealing with people who use Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, or Dominos as their go-to pizza.

It's weird learning that a lot of the country considers chain pizza to be good pizza. You're forever wishing you could expose them to a real, local, family-style, Italian-owned pizza shop. It's also a super hard adjustment to not have a pizza place on every single block anymore.

4. You probably encounter people that are genuinely friendly.

Sure Jersey contains its fair share of friendly people, but as a whole, it's a huge difference from somewhere like the South. People will honestly, genuinely smile and converse with strangers, and it takes some time to not find it sketchy.

5. People drive way slower and calmer.

You start to become embarrassed by the road rage that has been implanted in your soul. You'll get cut off, flipped off, and honked at way less. In fact, no one even honks, almost ever.

6. You realize that not everyone lives an hour from the shore.

Being able to wake up and text your friends for a quick beach trip on your day off is a thing of the past. No one should have to live this way.

7. You almost speak a different language.

The lingo and slang used in the Jersey area is... unique. It's totally normal until you leave, but then you find yourself receiving funny looks for your jargon and way fewer people relating to your humor. People don't say "jawn" in place of every noun.

8. Hoagies are never the same.

Or as others would say, "subs." There is nothing even close in comparison.

9. Needing Wawa more than life, and there's no one to relate.

When you complain to your friends about missing Wawa, they have no reaction. Their only response is to ask what it is, but there's no rightful explanation that can capture why it is so much better than just some convenient store.

10. You have to learn to pump gas. Eventually.

After a long period of avoidance and reluctance, I can now pump gas. The days of pulling up, rolling down your window, handing over your card and yelling "Fill it up regular please!" are over. When it's raining or cold, you miss this the most.

11. Your average pace of walking is suddenly very above-average.

Your friends will complain that you're walking too fast - when in reality - that was probably your slow-paced walk. Getting stuck behind painfully slow people is your utmost inconvenience.

12. You're asked about "Jersey Shore" way too often.

No, I don't know Snooki. No, our whole state and shore is not actually like that. We have 130 miles of some of the best beach towns in the country.

13. You can't casually mention NYC without people idealizing some magical, beautiful city.

Someone who has never been there has way too perfect an image of it. The place is quite average and dirty. Don't get me wrong, I love a good NYC day trip as much as the next person, but that's all it is to you... a day trip.

14. The lack of swearing is almost uncomfortable.

Jerseyans are known for their foul mouths, and going somewhere that isn't as aggressive as us is quite a culture adjustment.

15. No more jughandles.

No longer do you have to get in the far right lane to make a left turn.

16. You realize that other states are not nearly as extreme about their North/South division.

We literally consider them two different states. There are constant arguments and debates about it. The only thing that North and South Jersey can agree on is that a "Central Jersey" does not exist.

17. Most places also are not in a war over meat.

"Pork roll" or "taylor ham"... The most famous debate amongst North and South Jersey. It's quite a stupid argument, however, considering it is definitely pork roll.

18. You realize you were spoiled with fresh produce.

After all, it's called the "Garden State" for a reason. Your mouth may water just by thinking about some fresh Jersey corn.

19. You'll regret taking advantage of your proximity to everything.

Super short ride to the beach and a super short ride to Philly or NYC. Why was I ever bored?

20. Lastly, you realize how much pride you actually have in the "armpit of America," even if you claimed to dislike it before.

After all, there aren't many places with quite as much pride. You find yourself defending your state at all necessary moments, even if you never thought that would be the case.

Cover Image Credit: Travel Channel

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A Feminist Critique Of The #MeToo Movement's Blindspot

I'm a feminist, but here is my problem with #MeToo.

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The recent discussion of sexual violence in American society has sparked a fiery debate over how to create change for women everywhere. A topic which was once a whisper in the back of the room has become a national discussion of women's rights. But what about the rampant sexual violence towards Native American women? There is no #MeToo conversation inclusive of the atrocities which Native American women are facing.

Society has been so focused on a relatable narrative when creating #MeToo, that America has completely sidelined and consequently exacerbated the issues of the Native American community. Just because the poverty which Natives face is not relatable in the way the middle and upper-middle class stories of #MeToo are, does not mean that the stories of the more powerful are the only ones worth listening to.

According to Amnesty International, Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual violence, yet there seems to be no hashtag or mass movement inclusive of them. These high rates of sexual violence, mixed with low rates of prosecution, have created a vicious and shocking cycle of violence on reservations. The severe sexual violence being experienced by Native American women is a widespread and pressing issue that is lacking proper attention and legislative action and it's truly appalling.

In a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, 94% of the nearly 300 Native American women surveyed reported being raped in their lives. This figure is absolutely terrifying. To put this into a more local context, the Navajo Nation reservation in Arizona has had "more rapes [between 2008-2014] reported than in San Diego, Detroit or Denver," according to FBI's reports. This issue has plagued Natives for generations but remains overlooked and undiscussed by the majority of Americans. The #MeToo discussion revolves the idea of a relatable platform, but just because poverty isn't relatable does not entail that those in poverty should not receive justice. It's baffling how an issue can be this salient to one group of people yet go completely unnoticed by another.

To break the issue down, tribal courts have several large obstacles preventing them from acting as an effective means of justice. The main difficulty is the inability to prosecute non-Natives. Even though in "86% of the reported cases of rape against American Indian women, survivors report non-Native perpetrators,” justice cannot be served because tribes don't have the jurisdiction to prosecute. One can only imagine the frustration of a minority group which cannot receive justice in the face of a more socioeconomically powerful perpetrator.

Most recently, the Violence Against Women's Act of 1994 created an amendment in 2013 to give tribal courts the right to prosecute non-Natives who committ domestic and dating violence. This amendment fails to take into consideration however, that most rape cases against Native women are not domestic or dating violence. It seems inconceivable how such injustice is occurring but the media and movements like #MeToo simply aren't aware of it. In order to affect change for women everywhere, everyone's issues must be accounted for, even if issue of those in poverty aren't "relatable."

In the search for justice, tribes often send cases they do have jurisdiction over to U.S. Justice Department. In his New York Times Article, Timothy Williams cites that the Justice Department however did not pursue 65% of rape charges on reservations and 61% of cases involving the sexual abuse of Native children in 2012. So, while Native American women are two and a half times more likely to be raped, only one-third of them have a chance at receiving the justice they deserve. It almost feels as though it comes from a place of elitism that there are very few cases in which Natives can receive justice because they don't have jurisdiction over a seemingly untouchable group of richer people.

Sexual violence and the lack of prosecution to address it in the Native American community is a crisis which will never improve if continued to be left alone. Nothing will change until tribal courts have the power to fully enact law and order in their communities. It's been shown that the U.S. Justice Department ignores the issue and the U.S. public is unaware that this is even happening. With the current efforts which are being made to empower and protect women, American society has gotten lost in framing the issue to be relatable to the point where they have forgotten an entire group of people.

Until the public has been made aware of the severity of this issue, no legislation will be passed to help these women and the elitist injustice will continue. #MeToo is meant to give a voice to victims of sexual violence, but this mission will never be successful until the plight of Native American women has been heard.

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