Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Age Old Argument

According to some disgruntled darker skinned African American/Black women and one lighter skinned AA/Black woman named Joy Daily, the "Pretty Girls" video didn't have enough darker skinned AA/Black women. On various blogs, vlogs, tweets, Facebook statuses and such, many women stated that Wale should have had more Black women in his video. They expressed their disgust that many rappers choose to showcase non-Black and lighter skinned Black women instead of Black women.

I keep hearing "there are no Black women" in the videos. Here is the problem with that statement...it is obvious that their gripe is that there aren't enough representations of darker skinned Black women, NOT BLACK WOMEN. Isn't a lighter skinned BLACK woman still be a BLACK woman? Right...so ladies, let's be a little more specific with our rants and state clearly what your problem is ALL THE TIME.

Because I'm lumped in the "lighter skinned Black women" group some might feel I do not have the right to speak on this subject...to hell with that. If Joy Daily, a lighter skinned Black woman, can be the voice that lashes out at specific artists about a social issue, I can be the voice of clarity and reason. I am not seeking to be the Devil's Advocate of the situation because I do agree that Black women should be represented in the media/entertainment world. However, I believe ALL Black women should be represented...I'm not pushing harder for one side than the other. Some might say because I am of the lighter group, I can't talk and I don't understand...I say to hell with that too. I'm STILL a Black woman so I'll say what I want about the issue.

I hear and see such anger...I can understand how people shy away from the subject because addressing the reality of the situation and the REAL problem sometimes causes the anger to be misdirected. I understand how it does make sense that this "problem" reaches back to slavery. Lighter skinned slaves were "favored" over the darker ones. ALL UNDERSTANDABLE.

What I have a problem with is the dissension between people who are the same nationality. Just mentioning it sometimes will cause an obvious divide between a group of people who are ALREADY mistreated by other nationalities. So now, you not only have a problem with prejudice outside your nationality, you have it within as well. The truth is and will always be that you cannot expect a problem to be fixed outside of your "home" before you fix it inside.

When I wake up in the morning, I do not have a sense of self-entitlement because I'm of the lighter persuasion of Black people. Will someone dark skin accuse me of that at some point in life? Yes, and it has already happened. Why can't we just get along? I say that in all seriousness, all joking aside.

Look at other nationalities...do you think they are bickering and complaining amongst themselves about their skin tone? I'm not saying to sweep the issue under the rug; I'm saying we need to fix our "race relations" within our own "camp" before we start demanding outsiders need to fix it for us. When addressing matters of importance, we need to do so in a civil manner versus acting like we're going to whoop anyones ass who might have a difference in opinion on the issue.

There isn't too much more to say on the subject except...EVERYONE who had something negative to say about Wale, go watch "My Sweetie" and either shut the damn hell up or write another blog showering him with accolades for representing his darker sisters to the fullest.

End of rant.

P.S. - "Pretty Girls" and "My Sweetie" were released back to back so all the whining that occurred makes the whiner in question look absolutely ridiculous.

10 points of view:

vmoney02 said...

very good "rant". i would have to agree with you wholeheartedly on the relations from within comment. it has to start with us...

Brittni said...

Off topic: I think I may have watched too much Family Guy, but your new banner is hilarious to me. It looks like Babybottoms is sitting and looking out over a cliff in some kind of seated weapon thinking of how to take over the world. Lol, sorry.

Back to your regularly scheduled comments...

Mz.Jonezy said...

Good post. I agree, I think there are plenty of black women in music videos. They may not be as dark as me but they are still black. And I am so happy that you pointed out My Sweetie. I think that what happens with black people is that we get too used to complaining. We miss out on what we could praise because all we see are the problems in our community...i'm guilty of it as well sometimes...

phallatio said...

Of all the dumb arguments, this has to be one of the dumbest! Shades of blackness? Give me a break! Making a judgement on Wale based on the skin tone of his dancers is absolutely pathetic! As they say, opinions are like assholes: everybody's got one!

Jay_fever said...

People in general like to complain. American black people have the light skinned dark-skinned thing my guess is because we don't have distinct nationalities to argue over. When you look at other ethnicities. They beef over tribes, and different countries and shit...but if we look at them (and I mean this in the most non-racist way possible) we'll think they are just white folks, or Asians, Indians,etc...

Assertive Wit said...

Brittni: I often get the feeling she has planned a very detailed revolt and her father and I are going to wake up tied to the bed as she pours gasoline all over us. Bless my evil child's heart LOL

Jay_fever: you are correct that people, in general, like to complain; however, I focused on a specific group with this blog because they were the only ones I saw making a big deal out of this.

If I took this and applied my usual "black/white" type of thinking, I could reduce it to "well, other nationalities fight over something else so on to the next one". I just get tired of OUR people ALWAYS READY to complain about something but NEVER REALLY ready to fix it.

TOY said...

i would like to start by saying i am only half black but i am brown skinned, i don't know if that puts me in the darker end of the African American color spectrum but if it does, i am proud to be dark-skinned; between my two sisters and i, i am the darkest, with very light eyes, so i was ALWAYS teased, thats neither hear nor there.
i do see irony in the fact that most black men, in the industry, choose to portray the image that fair skin means beauty. to be honest, i watched the pretty girl video and very few of those women caught my eye as being "attractive"
black is black, regardless of the complexion, beauty is beauty, regardless of the shade of its skin. i believe the point ppl are trying to make is it is time to portray images of beauty in more shades than "light"
We recently had a discussion in my sociology class about this very issue. in Asian countries, such as India, dark skinned is frowned upon. the Asian class system shows dark skin as poor and light skin as rich, shades in between follow accordingly; there are exceptions to this, the current Thailand prime minister is dark skinned, but for the most part that is how it is.
in countries all over the world, dark is wrong, poor, and ugly. i think that is what the issue is, i turn on BET, very infrequently, and seldom do i see a black woman without EUROPEAN weave and light skin. its sad because beauty doesn't have one face, or shade.
look up black in the dictionary, it seems to be associated with all things EVIL, then look up white? i dont think the issue is dark and light, i think its black and white...i see light skin girls everyday that are CLEARLY black, no one CHOOSES their complexion before birth. but when you pick out light skin woman, with EUROPEAN WEAVES, the image being portrayed isnt that of a beautiful african american woman.
and im not knocking weaves, but i often look at these women in music videos and question, do they want to be black? are they trying to be something that they arent? what is it that made them feel like the only way they would be a "pretty girl" is to be mixed...or white. whats wrong with just being black, just being light skinned... why isnt that pretty?

Assertive Wit said...

TOY: I had to take my time and read this to make sure I didn't miss anything LOL

I understand that this is an important issue to a LOT of African American/Black women. However, the OBVIOUS "complaining just to be complaining" is what irritates me about this situation. Remember how I mentioned Wale in the beginning and how he got jumped all over because of his Pretty Girls video? I just don't think anyone who jumped all over was playing with a full deck OR being fair when My Sweetie was released within the same week. I think some women used him as an example and it wasn't fair to him as an AFRICAN man who LOVES his African and African American/Black "sisters".

As far as what I was writing about, it was about a light skin/dark skin issue, not black and white because the gripe with Wale's Pretty Girls video was that "there were not enough darker skinned sistas in the video". As for whether or not the women were "attractive", that's left up to anyone's opinion. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

In regards to the class system you mentioned in Asia, I agree. One of my friends brought that up after reading my blog. I think that I see the dark skin/light skin issue more so with my own nationality because I AM Black, you know? That isn't to downplay other ethnic groups that are dealing with similar issues but I just don't see Youtube videos, entire talk shows, blogs, and other opinionated outlets on that subject with them. It seems like because it has been "our" problem amongst ourselves for so long, some people have grown content with it being OUR PROBLEM. That is what irritates me because if it bothered women SO much, they should try to change it, right?

The questions you asked at the end are always funny to me but it won't be the first time I've heard someone who has attended an HBCU rhetorically ask them. I always wonder why it is assumed that a African American/Black woman doesn't like herself, her skin color, or anything that has to do with her nationality because she chooses to enhance her appearance.

bottom line: if women are going to complain, have a valid complaint

P.S. - I know what the definitions of black and white are, Baines LOL

TOY said...

i dont know, when i see black women buying skin BLEACH products, texture changing hair chemicals, such as relaxers & texture softners, and European hair i ASSUME they don't like being black, then again i have a head full of soft curly healthy jet black hair and couldnt imagine having anything BUT that...so maybe i cant speak on whether or not they are trying to enhance their beauty or they just dont like themselves...lol

and i recently read some of the critic wale took for his video, i dont know, before attending the hbcu i probably would not have agreed with ANY of these arguements, or cared enough to listen; however, attending a HBCU has changed my way of thinking. and i do agree with you about the "complaining to complain" after reading his harsh critic. it wasnt THAT serious, its a music video in pop culture.

Assertive Wit said...

TOY: why would you ASSUME that? what is your suspicion based on? I really do want to know because you aren't the first person to ASSUME that. Assuming someone is doing something for any other reason then they really are doing it is a little presumptuous, in my opinion. Just because YOU feel/think someone is doing something for a particular reason, that doesn't make it is a fact for EVERY ONE.

I currently have a relaxer but I've worn my hair without one several times in the past. It was nothing more than me deciding whether or not I wanted to deal with humidity and/or just wanting a different "look". It had NOTHING to do with me wanting to look "european". I was born Black and wouldn't want to be anything else; to dislike being Black would mean I'd hate myself...never that LOL What I do dislike is not being able to detangle my hair...ANOTHER reason I get a relaxer. I have a head full of relaxed naturally multi-colored hair and guess what...IT'S JUST HAIR. I don't let it define me as a Black woman nor do I let others define me by it.

If we're going off assumptions, do you think it's fair for me to assume that any woman who wears makeup has low self esteem? Sounds a bit ridiculous, doesn't it? Especially since you wear make-up, huh?

Don't let attending an HBCU cloud your mind to how the real world operates...just because you're being taught your history it doesn't mean it is the reason for everyone's alleged "shortcomings". In the world outside of all HBCU's, it's too big to cast broad generalizations hoping to hit a target. People do different things for different reasons; the only way you'll know why someone does something is to just ask them.

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