B.o.B.'s "The Adventures of Bobby Ray"

Just seven years after Andre 3000 shattered every boundary and limitation Hip Hop ever really had with The Love Below, B.o.B. stands as the ideal culmination of that album’s incredible influence. Compelling, audacious, and genuinely upbeat and life-affirming (rather than “conscious,” pessimistic or whiny), B.o.B.’s The Adventures of Bobby Ray is definitely “Hip Hop,” but it may be the best Pop album you hear all year too.

Single Black woman says, "I ain’t the Problem, Nightline, Black Men Are!"

So, that we are crystal clear I do not run behind black men. I do not beg them to spend time with me. I am not desperate for their attention, money, or third arm. I am so tired of Nightline, CNN, ABC, and yes the great matriarch himself, Tyler Perry, telling me that I am the problem. There is a political project afoot to make black women feel they are woefully inadequate. And to this, I say bah hum bug.

– April 24, 2010 Facebook’s Status, Fallon

Just in case you’re wondering, yes, I started my blog with a status update I wrote last week when Nightline aired its show, Face-Off: Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man? The Facebook status update conveys my sentiments about this latest cycle of blaming black women for the woes of the black man, the woes of the black community, and the woes of the economy. Yes, if only I would become barefoot and pregnant unemployed and desperate for Big Daddy’s benevolent protection then I would be married [cue the Disney’s music] and the mice with their little mice hands would make my white wedding dress . . . living happily ever after . . . yes, if only I could be that type of woman again. Yes, I use to be a version of her (i.e. wanting to marry the senator instead of being the senator syndrome) when I was searching for my voice.

But, I ain’t her now and I don’t know too many black women who are. If you want a more scholarly understanding of this issue I suggest you read Melissa Harris Lacewell’s Nightline asks why black women can’t get a man or Farai Chideya How Does It Feel to Be a Black, Female, Single Problem because my blog is going to be a rant about how I think black men are the problems. Yes, I said they are the PROBLEMS. Okay, not the pen-ultimate problem, but definitely the problem when it comes to how they use their hetero-male privilege in romantic relationships with black women in particular black women like me who are not willing to put up with their shit cow dung.

The Hispanic Codes

Well, well, well. I hate to say it but just because you picked the apples doesn’t mean you can have a piece of the pie. And if this month’s Census form was any indication, Senate Bill 1070 (aka SB 1070) from Arizona was no surprise. Long before the introduction and subsequent signing of SB 1070, the uncontrollable Hispanic population of America has been a growing concern. Pun intended. Despite anti-immigrant sentiment in Arizona, which was recently exacerbated by the death of a prominent white ranger at the hands of a human smuggler (alleged), the recession has long intensified the fight for limited resources. Inevitably, the debate centers around the foreign worker, the telemarketer in India, the affirmative action student, and any other group believed to be benefiting unfairly. Oddly enough, it is much of the anti-black sentiment across the world which allows other racial minorities to benefit, until finally, the racism pendulum swings back. And oh, it will swing back. Trail of Tears. Japanese internment camps. Terrorist profiling. See the Racial Contract.

It is perhaps the same anti-black sentiment that disallows proper acknowledgment of the racial history of America until yet another group falls victim to the ways of this nation. And even then there is an aura of surprise–“we don’t cause trouble, we don’t bother nobody” (thanks Slick), as if blacks met some prerequisites for prejudice. Unlike the rest of us, illegal immigrants are actually here to work. Of course, I think SB 1070 is racist, but I’m not outraged and shocked by its passage. If anything, I’m disappointed that the language used in support of illegal immigration often disparages other racial minorities by indirectly calling into question their contribution as citizens. With that said, SB 1070 looks eerily similar to the Black Codes of the 1860s which mandated blacks (bka Negroes) to produce papers upon request to support their presence in certain states. “Whenever required of [Negroes] they must present licenses…citing their place of residence…” As detailed in the video, Indiana and Illinois actually went as far as to outlaw black immigration. Likewise, SB 1070 states that “where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person.”

The Odd Couple: Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens

A couple weeks ago, the Philadelphia Eagles shocked us all when they traded their star QB Donovan McNabb to a division rival, the Washington Redskins, for little more than table scraps. Soon thereafter ESPN reported Donovan McNabb started lobbying the Redskins organization to sign Terrell Owens as well.

Shortly after the report was released, Donovan McNabb claimed that it was untrue, that he never told any reporter that he wanted to play with Terrell Owens again. The two superstars have had a less than amicable relationship after briefly playing together in Philadelphia. Terrell Owens, known for his…bravado released a statement claiming that he wouldn’t mind being paired with Donovan McNabb once again.

Blind Leading the Blind

Tonight I ate dinner with “privilege.” I watched his grandchildren in their plaid collared shirts and blue blazers drink the purified water of wealth. Tonight, I watched people consume 350-dollar plates of food. Each seat was a representation of money going to a good cause, while each word that pierced my ears still a symbol of ignorance.

So I spoke at a benefit in Boston tonight. It was nice, the setting was nice, and the jazz music and candles on the tables were nice as you walked into a room that seated about 1000.  The 15 different types of desserts were nice. The speeches were nice (are we seeing a pattern here).  Everything was just…nice. Which is good, because it was a benefit dinner for an organization that has helped me in a lot of ways. So yeah, nice.

Except for some of the comments and/or actions that took place behind the scenes of all this apparent “niceness.” I really try hard not to look at race but when in a room full of rich white people it’s almost impossible.

Greenwashed Out.

The other day I was waiting in line at Border’s and noticed the various items being sold at the checkout counter. There was an “eco-friendly” lipstick  for sale that was advertised as being made from 100% organic oils. Well, if customers were to turn the package over, they’d notice a slew of synthetic chemicals listed before anything organic in the ingredients list. They’d also notice the packaging was not recyclable. And maybe even have time to realize that no one is helping the environment by buying an organic cosmetic product that will most likely get lost among the rest of the junk people tend to accumulate.

This is just one example of what is becoming a huge trend. Greenwashing. Advertisers who make products that they advocate as good for the environment, but aren’t quite showing consumers the big picture.