Friday, February 19, 2010

"Can't we all just play some - GOLF!!!"

With this being the Year of the Tiger and all (some interesting and eerily similar characteristics in there), I thought I'd pull him from my next "Ruminations..." post and ruminate on him all by himself since I'd not written anything about any of this.  Well, that and the fact that since I've been ruminating about plenty these days, the post would have just been too damned long!

I was at the breakfast nook table on the laptop, next to the family room, while the local news was on last night.  When I heard the Sports anchor tease his next story:  "Could Tiger be roaming free?  Why some are unhappy they just can't cage him."  My head immediately snapped right toward the TV and I said aloud to myself - "What the hell???"

Now, living in the belly of the beast, I'm not often surprised about things I hear that pass for a professional newscast.  But skin-folk, "roaming free?"  And some (now who, could that some, be?), being "unhappy about not being able to cage" skin-folk?  Well!  I just thought that deserved my undivided attention.

Turns out, he was talking about the Golf Writers Association of America being pissed off that Tiger wouldn't let them all come to his official "Apology Conference" and, that he had decreed - Yeah, I said DECREED, because that's,  primarily, what  "This shit right here?" is about (Sorry, had a spell of Katt Williams remix all of a sudden).

He also decreed, that no one could ask him MORE sordid questions, about this whole sordid affair.  I could just hear them screeching (in private of course) - "Who in the he-e-e-l-l does he think he is, telling US what we can, and cannot do??!!" 

I couldn't find the video on the local news site, but here's a short, pre-Apology Conference piece from the Globe and Mail Golf Writers boycott Woods' conference.  Let me save you some time (it's very short):
“I cannot stress how strongly our board felt that this should be open to all media and also for the opportunity to question Woods,” said Vartan Kupelian, president of the 950-member group (emphasis mine).
What damn - GOLF things - do they want to question him about? 
“The position, simply put, is all or none. This is a major story of international scope. To limit the ability of journalists to attend, listen, see and question Woods goes against the grain of everything we believe.” (emphasis mine)
This is an international - GOLF story???  To limit the ability of journalists to attend, listen, see and question (no Mr. huh?) Woods goes against the grain of everything they believe about - GOLF?  Yeah, right.  More like "goes against everything they believe" about skin-folk/kinfolk knowing their damn place.
The GWAA said it believes strongly that its presence, without the ability to ask question, gives credibility to an event that isn’t worthy of it. (emphasis mine)
Okay, you're tellin' me that whether they're there or not  - MATTERS??!!  And, "W-O-R-T-H-Y?"  Really?? Jesus please take the wheel!!!  Who are these people???

I couldn't find a photo of the Board of Directors or the whole group, but here's one admitted member (he gets around to that admission at the end of that piece), Steve Elling - with yet another piece in less than 24 hours:  "Tiger must serve penance for repentance to be believed."   Man, the way, "I'm your Massa" just hovers over his headline, I'm not surprised he's not - "Cablanasian."  You? 

"Credibility??"  Golf didn't have "credibility" before they came on the scene??  White Americans, and those,"I've-arrived-cuz-I-think-like-them" others - REALLY need to get a grip.  Will somebody please tell the Golf Writers of America Association they ain't all that?!  If anybody had JACK to do with golf's now, highly touted presence as a sport here in the US of A, it was Tiger - not them "writing about Tiger!" 

Just sayin'

I tell you, they make me long for those,  I-can-say-what-I-wanna, in your face, privileged and out-in-the-open white supremacists with whom I grew up in South Carolina!  You know, like good, ole Fuzzy Zoeller.  You remember him don't you?  From back in 1997, when Tiger spanked that ass "...won the tournament, shooting a record 18 under par, becoming the first African American to win a major professional golf tournament. "  Yeah him.  At least it was clear to everybody and their Mama what his beliefs were. 

Instead, what we have, is just another group dripping of white, American, patriarchal privilege, cloaked in an extremely inflated sense of journalistic self-importance, making up a reason why they're picking up their marbles and going home.  (They need to stop that damn lying!)

No need to post the whole, handler-orchestrated-with-some-input-from-Tiger mea culpa here, I'm sure you've heard it a million times - today.  But just watch this little piece: 



Just this little snippet is worth noting for a couple of reasons:  1) staged or not, he pretty much took full responsibility with all the "I" did this and "I" did that.  Okay, so I'm not buying the whole "treatment" shit (sex addiction rehab? Who is he, David Duchovney?) - IMHO, that's surely handler-orchestrated. And,  2) Look at that boy's Mama ya'll!  Watching the entire 13+ minute video, I just couldn't help it - my heart just ached for this woman, trying to show her "unconditional love" for her son - by sitting through that shit!  She couldn't even look at him through it all.

Quick story:  While visiting the grandparents in 2005 with their father, my sons had this picture taken at the annual 15k/5k Boilermaker held in upstate New York just before the youngest ran the 5k race. The event draws sponsors of all stripes, to include Buick - for whom Tiger was the - then - front man.


When they got home and showed it to me, I said, "Great picture!  So what's he like?"  They both started to make up some story, but just couldn't carry the lie.  Rolling on the floor laughing, they said, "Mom, it ain't real!" 

Which brings me to another point I've been pondering: The photo is an ILLUSION.  It's merely a slick piece of promotional marketing that Buick created with the use of a "green screen," much like the man whose name is not only on the lips of many a disappointed fan and huffy journalist, but also upon the lips of those who used to -  and/or still do - pay big bucks to have him "endorse their "goods."  All any of us will ever know for sure, is that the man is a phenomenal - GOLFER.

But none of this never-ending hullabaloo is really about - GOLF!!  Or is it just me?  Same thing when Miss Kelly made her back-handed, clearly privileged, supremacist-state-of-mind compliment about how the only way young GOLFERS could challenge Tiger and beat him, was to take his ass out and "lynch him in a back alley."  Only difference is, that two-week suspension she earned was a little bit about - GOLF!

Let's be clear - with or without their cutting off their noses to spite their damn faces - I still care more about the continued negative framing of Black men  by the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy (WSCP), than I do about why he did what he's done.  Far as I'm concerned, it doesn't really "come befo' me," (as my Grandmama used to say).  That's between him and the wife on how they work out lying to each other - and themselves. 

But,  "This shit right here??" (go away Katt!) is different:

Just seems it will never end! I don't care what silliness photographer-to-the-stars, Annie Leibovitz had to say about this little gem she took, held and later published when the shit was heatin' up (Yes, some women do enjoy a larger-than-they'll-admit role in the WSCP):
“Tiger is an intensely competitive athlete—and quite serious about his sport. I wanted to reveal that in these photos. And to show his incredible focus and dedication.”
What in the-e hell does that have do with him being naked from the waist up, flexin' with two weights, wearin' a skully, lookin' like he's takin' advantage of his 1-hour of "yard time??"

Not a damn thing, that's what.  But Leibovitz, Vanity Fair and less recently - Vogue all have a problem with owning their shit - just like the GWAA, Harry Reid and a whole lot of white folk.

Remember this lovely re-creation of an old, Army recruitment poster by Miss Ann Annie in 2008?:


This not-subtley titled piece from guardianuk.com back then - Spot the difference: what is this US Vogue cover trying to say? - said it better than I ever could:

A look at how Vogue treated the pictures of Richard Gere in 1992 and George Clooney in 2000, the only other men to have graced the cover in the fashion magazine's 116-year history, may prove instructive.

Gere and Clooney appeared with supermodels, too. In Gere's case, Cindy Crawford; in Clooney's, Bündchen. There the similarities end: unlike James, Gere and Clooney look stylish and classy as they cosy up to their partners. As a blogger at Guanabee.com puts it: "The last time Gisele was on the cover she got to hug the [white guy] back."

And that, coupled with the remarkable similarity of the images, is why so many people believe Vogue has quite deliberately made a monkey out of King James.  (emphasis mine)
King James ain't the only one. 

Seems like unless and until Tiger grovels at their feet rather than being "obviously defiant" as Elling noted in that second article above - we'll be hearing way more shit about who is, or has been, sharing his bed, or car, or couch or whatever from these clowns.  My advice to him is, "Get back on the links and go to work!"  PLAY GOLF!  Sooner or later, they'll all be back - who they are, won't let them stay away.

And the beat goes on...

UPDATE:  As my blog sister Cinie so aptly pointed out in her comment - it's not just white folk. I alluded to that point above when I said, "White Americans, and those,"I've-arrived-cuz-I-think-like-them" others - REALLY need to get a grip," and also when I mentioned that women too play a part in the WSCP. But let me just be clear. To my mind, it all flows from the traumatic, inhumane and systematic domination of white folk in the lives of people of color.  And when  and if, we talk about race (for real), I think that's an important point to understand.  So I thought I'd call on my Sister, bell hooks, to help me clarify. In this 8:41 second video, she begins by explaining "motivated representations" (such as the Vanity Fair and Vogue covers here). Then, around the 4:29 click, she explains the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy in a way that I think will put my use of the term hence, in a much clearer perspective. Enjoy!)

22 comments:

Cinie said...

Dadadaa da dum dada...as Eminem says.

But, Deb, it's not just white folk, sorry to say. I was thinking about writing something up on this, but like you, I'm tired of Tiger and his sex life. I really don't care where he puts his weenie, but obviously, a whole lot of people really do.

I was watching Larry King last night (don't ask me why, near as I can tell, I went temporarily insane) and everybody was basically saying he didn't grovel enough to suit them. But, it was Steven A Smith and Doug Christie's wife who went freakin' ballistic. What the hell did Tiger do to them? "He shouldn't have tried to cover the shit up," was basically Smith's position, and Mrs. Christie was talking about how Tiger should have apologized on his knees, both in public and to his wife, though if she was Mrs. Woods, she would leave him anyway.

All I could think of was, who are these sanctimonious asses? Tiger did what every other man on that panel is either doing, or wishes he could. His "sin" was getting caught and, subsequently, allowing himself to be percieved as a wuss. The fact that there's more than a touch of consternation from some quarters because all of the women involved are white, only adds fuel to the drama. Yeah, he stepped out of his rarefied "place"
where he was allowed to enjoy the forbidden blonde fruit without sanction, (which I'm sure the golf association and everybody in the press has known was going on all along) and "overstepped his bounds," but, more than that, he got caught, and the "white woman" kicked his manly macho ass, which threatens every "model husband's" own cheating ass and self-image who's now criticizing him the loudest.

Black or white.

Buncha hypocrites.

As for those photos, the saddest part about the re-"Birth of a Nation"-alizing of black male imagery is that the young people are so conditioned to accept the slave mentality that they've inherited, and have been so successfully indoctrinated by the messages constantly reinforced through the specifically targeted media of all kinds, that most of them, including LeBron, saw nothing whatsoever wrong with the shots.

It's enough to break your heart.

Cinie said...

Deb, re: your update, I'm having trouble watching the whole You Tube video because it just refuses to play through, but I think I caught enough to get this much:

Internalized indoctrination plus deliberate re-indoctrination constantly re-internalized eventually equals perpetual victimhood with the complicity of the victim, squared.

Deb said...

Hey Cin! Thought I'd get though a post or two finally!

"But, Deb, it's not just white folk, sorry to say."

I know Cin, I updated the post at the end because I wasn't as clear as I needed to be before. When I say "white folk," I'm not necessarily talking about individual white folk (though sometimes I am!). Who we've become, all flows, IMHO, from the shit white folk first perpetrated on people of color, not only in this country, but all over the damn world - if we're honest. And it continues.

I don't give a shit about his sex life, nor do I have any particular sympathy for the women he bedded down with - or married. Every-damn-body involved is GROWN!! That they all prefer to tell lies about the whys and wherefores of being in each other lives is their damn business.

But since I'm on it: Why did he marry this woman in the first damn place? And did his Johnson just get up (pun intended)one day and say, "Hey Tiger! Let's try some new freaky shit?" And how could he sleep with all these women and the wife had no damn clue? And why did these other women sleep with him in the first damn place? And why are they all coming out of the woodwork now - because they give a shit about his wife and kids?

I could go on and on, but you see what I mean? E'rybody's lyin' to some-damn-body!

I didn't see it (maybe I'll go watch it for laughs), but Ma-a-n, white folk absolutely themself some Stephen A. Smith! That's why he's been knighted a "pundit" all over the TV, radio and Internet. He "completes" them doncha know? ::smdh::

I heard him talkin' about this shit awhile back on Morning Joe (I was searching for some talk radio besides NPR in my car) - same bullshit. As for Christie's wife, didn't they have a straight-to-DVD Reality Show about themselves? I don't know much about the sister, but I just get the feelin' she's lyin' like a damn rug.

" His "sin" was getting caught and, subsequently, allowing himself to be perceived as a wuss."

There you go. You're dead-on with Cin. He couldn't do much about the getting caught part, but he seemed to be trying to rehabilitate the "wuss" part during his Apology Conference -"Elin never hit me - ever!" You know she was tryin' to take his damn head off! Too funny!

But I also believe that he tried to flex a little, telling his handlers who and how many could be up close and person and that there'd be no questions - earning him the old, coded, "obviously defiant" label from Elling. Might have been mostly the handlers' ideas, but I think homeboy had a hand in it.

"As for those photos, the saddest part about the re-"Birth of a Nation"-alizing of black male imagery is that the young people are so conditioned to accept the slave mentality that they've inherited, and have been so successfully indoctrinated by the messages constantly reinforced through the specifically targeted media of all kinds, that most of them, including LeBron, saw nothing whatsoever wrong with the shots.

"...the re-"Birth of a Nation"-alizing of black male imagery" - that's a perfect way to put it! :-) And it is that indoctrination that keeps the wheels of the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy so copiously greased.

It's enough to break your heart."

And it does - every, damned day.

Cinie said...

Oh, what the hell, I'll hog the thread! Anyway, I forgot to add that the kind of thinking I described above inevitably leads to the enthusiastic embrace of the symbolism of a selected "leader" like Obama at the expense of more substantive representation, politically and every otherwise.

And, only slightly off topic, what do you think of this article and its comments?

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/02/19/naacp.leadership/

Deb said...

"Internalized indoctrination plus deliberate re-indoctrination constantly re-internalized eventually equals perpetual victimhood with the complicity of the victim, squared."

See? That's that whole "separated-at-birth" thing workin'! I couldn't have said it better myself! :-)

It's a vicious, and very precisely orchestrated cycle, IMO, Cin. And I think the only way to stop it, is to FIRST acknowledge that it exists. And then - and only then - can we work on changing the paradigm so we all can dig out from under (something the damn Changeling WILL NOT do - at least not until it becomes politically expedient).

One day, I was talking to my oldest (who floats in and out of that indoctrination for several reasons) and he said, "If we could just change what "success" means to people, all people would have a better chance of attaining it." In a round-about way, I think he's definitely onto something!

Deb said...

Cin!! I know you not talkin' to ME 'bout "hogging a thread!" :-) She-e-et, we're TALKIN' HERE!

Okay, the article. Lawd, lawd!! It's just more of what we were talking about! I suspect, this new "appointment" (got to read up on her), much like that of Ben Jealous, will nail the coffin shut on the nearly-dead-anyway-NAACP as we know it. I suspect, we'll be seeing a lot more "Awards" and "Dinners" and little, if any, substantive work toward ending any-damn-thing.

And you know exactly what Berry meant by this statement:

"Julian has been very effective," said Mary Frances Berry, former chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. "He came out of a tradition of conflict and advocacy, and has taken on people rather vocally at times.

"Probably, the next person will need to take into account the change in terms of people they're dealing with."


Frankly, methinks the NAACP is definitely headed - backwards into slave behavior while they masquerade as "free Blacks." (And I could be wrong, but I'll venture a guess that there's some "male vs female" shit going on in that statement too!)

I could only get through the first page of comments (too many defensive white folk and not enough "free" Black folk for my taste).

But I think this comment, pretty much confirms your point that - "... the kind of thinking I described above inevitably leads to the enthusiastic embrace of the symbolism of a selected "leader" like Obama at the expense of more substantive representation, politically and every otherwise."

Guest: The only racism left in this country is purported by people like you who think we need to radically fight white people. That's incredibly backwards of you and discredits those who actually work for unity, not spread hatred.(emphasis mine)

Not only is it "enough to break your heart," it just makes me wanna holla (a lot late lately!) Mike's, "You Can't Win!!!" (I tried to embed the video but blogger doesn't "allow" it in the comments.)

But then, just when I think I've had it with my people not wanting to "refuel their minds" as Mike sings - I think of Audre Lorde's words...

"Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society's definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference -- those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older -- know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine
change."


...and I soldier on, bruised but not broken (but pretty damn close!) :-)

Cinie said...

From what I've seen so far about Brock, her appointment doesn't concern me as much as Bernice King's to head SCLC.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/20/AR2010022002226.html

Deb said...

Cin, I have to be honest - I've not followed the "King children" much - their fightin' over "things" turned me right the hell off! And after King III's close reltionship with Color of Change, well - let's just say - I, at least, question his motivation.

I found this snippet on her with which I actually agree - http://www.newsnet5.com/video/19059077/index.html - and I DO have to say up front, my lazy ass is in love with both, Wii bowling - AND Tiger Woods 2010 GOLF!)

I DO believe our damn generation bears a huge responsibility for the generation that we've spawned!

Aside from the "religion thing"(with which I've been in a seemingly endless conflict for some time!), I can't say as I know shit from shinola about her beliefs. What about her appointment concerns you?

You know I'm always open to "learnin' shit!" And who better to school me, than my separated-at-birth other half! :-)

Cinie said...

Hey D., Bernice King is an anti-gay Christian Conservative cohort of Bishop Eddie Long. Her views on gay marriage are at odds with even people in her family, Correta Scott King was a proponent. Julian Bond and a lot of MLK's contemporaries also were not on the Bernice King train, as I recall. I did a post a few months back that has some info on her; if you follow the links in the relevant section you should still find active links to good stuff. Her Wikipedia entry has some insight, too. I would list the links individually, but I don't want to end up in spam.

http://cinie.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/black-gay-civil-rights-and-church-fauxrage/

Deb said...

Cin, I'm gonna read the post in just a few minutes. I'm "spankin' that ass" in golf right now! We're on the last hole!! ;-)

Deb said...

Okay - Can I say "Da-a-a-yum! Where was I when you wrote that shit Cin???"

I had no clue about Bernice. But wait! I'm really confused now!! Did she not KNOW about "Brother Outsider," Bayard Rustin??" - http://www.pbs.org/pov/brotheroutsider/film_description.php

Or did she?

From the above-referenced piece:

"Similarly, while leading the push for a strong civil rights plank at the 1960 Democratic Party convention, Rustin was attacked by Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. as an "immoral element" in the civil rights movement. King withdrew his support for the protest and removed Rustin from his staff."

Now Cin, we both from some Southern Black folk. Do you really believe that - through her young life with her Dad, and after - she didn't hear (or hear of) the certainly homophobic and yes, likely misogynistic "men talk" that led to MLK removing Rustin? Even though her mother was of a different spirit?

"Internalized indoctrination plus deliberate re-indoctrination constantly re-internalized eventually equals perpetual victimhood with the complicity of the victim, squared." Remember?

Look, I get that MLK was but a human being - not to be held up particularly. He had faults and foibles just like everyone else. But more than that - he GOT IT - All. I believe he felt that cultural connection - for real, unlike the "Pretendident-in-Chief," because he lived it. I think that's probably the greatest thing he and Jesse had in common (hence his "Obama's not Black enough" comment). The Changeling never had, nor never will have, what he and MLK shared. (Damn!!! Tell me why I'm hearing them 8 old ladies on the Usher Board in my Grandmama's church right now singing - "Will the Circle, be unbroken?? By and by Lord, by and by??!!"))

As you said in the post, " However despicable you might find Jackson’s behavior, at least he did fight for the people while he was dipping in the till.

I think I have to watch the Right Reb'n Bernice through that kind of lens - if I'm being real (Hell, Jesse wasn't/isn't championing gay rights, but he gets props, albeit grudgingly, for what he did "for the people").

Her hooking up with Eddie Long is troubling because we know for sure, HE'S not fighting for anything - other than his own damn prosperity. Birds of a feather? Maybe.

I guess what I'm trying to say is (not very well I'm sure), I can see why her appointment to head the SCLC gives you pause - it does me too, 1) cuz I care about how you are treated and 2) because it's not learning "how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish." Instead, it just further perpetuates non-acceptance on a large scale, given SCLC membership.

But she is but one, of the many homophobes in our culture, Cin (and there are many in that 12% of the population!). And all we can do is tell the truth about her to anyone who'll listen. Given she's a "direct descendant" of the Civil Rights movement's leader, I'm not sure how many will - but just like with the Changleling, we have to keep putting it out there, accepting no excuses for continuing to use "the master's tools" - especially on our own.

Cinie said...

Awww, shit, now Deb, you done gone and woke me up this mornin'.

The little slack I'll cut MLK on this one issue is that he was of another era. That's it. Doesn't diminish what he accomplished, but it is definitely disappointing. However, and maybe I'm thinking wishfully, but I believe he would have come around by now had he lived. As for Jesse, he seems to be mush-mouthed about the issue, saying in the same breath, "marry who you want to, just don't call it Civil Rights."

But, speaking of internalized indoctrination, the media representation of the relationship between African Americans and the "black church" deserves a lot of the blame. If religion is so doggone important to us, why is attendance so far down in all of them? Who is pushing the "black minister/black leader" meme? Why? How many people in your family are staunchly religious, zealously attending church, living piously through the Word? Not many in mine, and the ones who are, are often avoided, because nobody wants to hear their particular "truth" 24/7.

But, let the media tell it, nobody black does anything without the blessing and consent of some minister, somewhere. It doesn't gibe with reality, Deb. It doesn't even take into account how many different faiths black people subscribe to, splintering the monolithic nature they want to pretend we have right there. Jesus doesn't tell anybody how to vote, yet we are being conned through the media that we actually believe He does. And, we're buying it.

Who's taking and selling these pictures?

Have you ever been to church and not seen gay people? How many churches have you attended with a gay choir master, or piano/organ player? Or, tell the truth and shame the devil, minister? Why are we buying the media narrative that we're born and Baptized homophobic? What is really driving black gay men to be on the downlow, and in turn, potentially exposing themselves and their wives and female lovers, who believe they are in monogamous relationships, to sky high HIV infection rates? Is that media narrative even true? If it isn't, what is to be gained by whom from misdirecting people? What if a woman is infected by a straight man? Is he ever branded undercover gay? What if a man is infected by a straight woman? Will the fact that she "must have" gotten it from a gay/bisexual man heighten his anxiety and desire for revenge/retribution? Do these factors increase or decrease the likelihood that people will seek treatment, or get tested in the first place?

http://www.blackaids.org/ShowArticle.aspx?pagename=ShowArticle&articletype=NEWS&articleid=766&pagenumber=1

Cinie said...

Part II

Rappers talking about smacking bitches for a living thank God for giving them awards for it. Athletes who beat the hell out of each other, or hit little balls, or dribble and/or run with bigger ones for money pray to Jesus to help them beat up on and prevail over the guys on the other side who are presumably praying for the same thing, all so the victors' salaries will go up so they can hang out with rappers and smack some bitches, too. How many of these people actually attend church services, or ever read the Bible? How many of them are on the downlow? Sleeping with multiple partners of any sexual orientation? Sharing needles for drugs or steroids?

Bernice King gets no slack from me for being a leader in the fight against equality for gays. She's not just against it, she's fighting against it. That would be like her marching to keep women barefoot and pregnant and demanding from the pulpit that women should keep their Biblically assigned place in this day and age. I wouldn't co-sign that, or cut her a bit of slack for doing it, either, even if every other black person in the world agreed with her. Sooner or later, people need to progress, or what the hell do they need leaders for?

Anyway, another interesting take on it here:

http://www.villagevoice.com/2004-05-18/news/whose-dream/1

Deb said...

Mornin’ Sunshine! :-)

Part I:

I cut him the slack because I believe and appreciate the fact that he felt called, to face down the construct - out loud - no matter the very, real danger of what ultimately happened to him. He was young, he could have kept on preaching and become the precursor to the Longs and Jakes and Sharptons and Jacksons of today. I cut him the slack because he didn't and also because he gave back some of what had been taken on the auction blocks and slave marts and segregated spaces and places (Charleston's slave mart is still a huge tourist draw: http://charlestonlowcountry.com/about/slaveMart.html - though they've become more "inclusive" of "African-Americans." When I was growing up just blocks away, it wasn't quite like that). I always felt he was fighting for us - not himself. In my mind, that "us" was just - the Black "us" - not the LGBT Black us - just "us." I'd be lying if I said any different.

No, I've never been to church and NOT seen gay people. But I've also never NOT heard Black folk rip gay people a new one whenever they could either (“He’s a good choir director, but you know he’s - “funny” right? – and worse) - not until I left home.

”But, speaking of internalized indoctrination, the media representation of the relationship between African Americans and the "black church" deserves a lot of the blame.”

Now they do, Cin. But “now” hasn’t always been the case, not where I’m from. Our lives did revolve around church (despite the “religion” we brought from West Africa – that was done undercover). We did the “fit in” church thing religiously, because that’s what we were taught – from slavery to now. It was Bible study, Sunday school at 9 am and regular service at 11 am EVERY Sunday. And you had to either be in the choir (my choice) or on the usher board or something! Plus, two-week BTU (Baptist Training Union) summer camps – every summer, soon as school let out. And when we got sent ” in the country” to stay with my Grandmama for the rest of the summer– we all had to go to church - EVERY Sunday. Either to hers (Methodist) or my Granddaddy’s (Baptist) – but you were going to one of ‘em!

Yes, religion was “doggone important” – then. When I realized what it was all really about (status, money and all that shit for which people like Long lust), I became Catholic (6th grade). I thought they were different (and I can’t lie, I also wanted to “fit in” with the Light-Brights at my private, Catholic school). As long as I was going to church, my Mama allowed it. But they weren’t and I didn’t. My return to my “home” church (Baptist) coincided with our having to go to public school in the 9th grade.

I’m guessing attendance is down in a lot of them today (not the mega-churches however/status and money will always win the day) because of a combined disillusionment and a feeling of backwardness I often hear our young folks express (like in the election). But low attendance certainly hasn’t changed the mindsets about gay people for the most part, and I think the reason for that is - People do what they know, until they know something else.

All of my family still living in SC still zealously attend church (now I didn’t say they were “living piously through the Word”- but they’re up in there every Sunday no matter what they were doing the night before!). Church guilt is something else let me tell you! Before I decided to just “not do guilt” anymore, I was wracked with that shit because I didn’t raise my kids “in church.” Even though I’d figured out it was less about God and more about “going to church!”

”…and the ones who are, are often avoided, because nobody wants to hear their particular "truth" 24/7.”

Deb said...

Part II:

Maybe because so many of my family still do go, there’s no real “avoidance” going on. They’re not Bible-thumpers so it’s not a 24/7 hear that “truth” thing. But they can quote you some chapter and verse Scripture!

”But, let the media tell it, nobody black does anything without the blessing and consent of some minister, somewhere. It doesn't gibe with reality, Deb.”

Again, not a 2010 reality - but that was a reality at one time. Most white folk don’t care to KNOW about us really (Hell, neither do most of us these days!) - so it’s easy for them to put out the way it used to be, rather than the way it is. After all, they created it with all their missionaries bringin’ the word to us heathens!). And let’s not forget the “prosperity pimps, et al” who personally benefit from keeping that reality out there – guilting people of my generation (who DID live like that) into complicity.

Nobody’s “born and Baptized homophobic.” Just like racism, it’s a learned behavior. But I just have to disagree with you - Black folk learned it early, often and very well. When your ass is the whipping boy, you find another whipping boy to make you feel less of a whipping boy. And just as it did back then, it still all flows from the same source.

I don’t think down-low brothers, or sky-high HIV rates in our community are “media narratives.” I believe they are true. I don’t know, but I’ve been told what drives brothers under, first and foremost, is non-acceptance in their own community.

”What if a woman is infected by a straight man? Is he ever branded undercover gay?”… Do these factors increase or decrease the likelihood that people will seek treatment, or get tested in the first place?”

Now these I do know about (this is how my Aunt Ruthie contracted the virus that killed her). Yes – until they found out he was an IV-drug user (shot up between his toes to hide it), it was largely rumored that he was undercover gay. And yes again – sadly, it decreases the likelihood that people will seek treatment/get tested. When we started CUSH (Community United to Stop HIV/AIDS (in Key West no less!), it was a struggle to even get our people in to be tested because of the stigma associated with the disease.

And as we talk about church - there were pastors who refused to bury Black men because they were gay and died of the virus! And that was 2000-2003!

” How many of these people actually attend church services, or ever read the Bible?”

You’d be surprised.

” Bernice King gets no slack from me for being a leader in the fight against equality for gays.”

Like you told me once before, “I feel for you, but I can’t feel like you” on this one. I have to look at her through the “from whence she came” lens - because I come from the same place in Blackness that she does. She’s fighting against it because that’s what she’s always known – despite her mom’s stand. And do we know if Coretta always supported? Couldn’t she have come to it later in life, much like I did?

Was I homophobic before then? I don’t think so. I never sought out gay people to attack, defame, humiliate or shun. I just always thought about the “Black us” struggle. And now that I’m old and pensive, I think that’s what Rustin did as well – because that’s what the times demanded.

I can only imagine what Rustin must have felt when (I'm certain) the "collective” brother ministers decided to exclude him. In that era of such heinous shit happening, I think his willingness to put the "many," before the "few" (for lack of a better analogy) was a humongous sacrifice for him as a person. But if there’d been no Rustin, there wouldn’t have been THAT “March on Washington.” There’d be nobody spouting MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech like they know what he meant better than he did. And I didn’t even know that – not until I moved away from home.

Deb said...

Part III:

” That would be like her marching to keep women barefoot and pregnant and demanding from the pulpit that women should keep their Biblically assigned place in this day and age.”

It’s been a long time since you’ve been to a Black church right? Trust me, they might not be preaching barefoot and pregnant as much, but I assure you, right now in 2010 – “Women must submit” is a quite popular sermon.

” Sooner or later, people need to progress, or what the hell do they need leaders for?“

I don’t see the need for “leaders” particularly (why I’m not a “joiner”). But C’mon Cin, we both know the “progressing” you’re talking about is NOT the kind of “progressing” Black folk are talking about. They’re talking about that manufactured, white supremacist capitalist patriarchal, media-fueled idea of “progressing” (them dollar bills ya’ll!) – and having been at that game for a way shorter time than white folk - they DO need leaders for that.

The Boykin piece was dead-on. And I also agree with Rev. Gomes 100% when he answered the question, "Has the black church succumbed to the machinations of the white religious right?”:

"I'm sure they're being co-opted, but they don't need a great deal of co-optation," says Reverend Peter Gomes, a black Baptist minister. "I think they come to the prejudice on their own."

Gomes attributes the black social conservatism to racial assimilation. "The African American religious community has spent so much time trying to prove to the white community that it is the same, that for all intents and purposes it shares many of the worst prejudices of the white community."


It all flows from the same source, Cin. Reb'n Bernice may never get it given how immersed she's always been in the Black church and, depending on her motivation (that's why her dealings with Long are troubling). But just like me and plenty others, she might come to it later in life if she can "leave home" (literally or figuratively) - and "know something else."

Cinie said...

We, as a people, are being deliberately re-indoctrinated to re-internalize the "fact" that all black Americans are against equality for gays and lesbians because of our overarching "faith," as well as our common belief that discrimination against homosexuals does not rival and/or even compare to our shared racial plight. The Republican outreach, embrace and exploitation of and to black Christian Conservatives, now co-opted by the Obama administration, has created the illusion cum reality that we are all homophobes because we are overwhelmingly Christian. Since 2004, it seems that the number of articles, books, news stories, etc., pushing this narrative has increased dramatically, until it is now not only "truth," it is the only "truth."

I disagree with some of the author's reasoning in this article, for one thing, she's an unabashed Obot, but agree wholeheartedly with her that the information we receive regarding black religious tolerance of homosexuality is being deliberately manipulated. Her position seems to be that white gay rights groups have so commandeered the message that the mainstream media does their bidding to the exclusion and/or detriment of all other points of view. But, the obvious question in my mind is, why is the media pushing the white point of view through the filter of a black lens, and vice-versa, in the first place? Why is the black community's position on this issue, whatever it is, being assigned the blame? As per our previous discussions of indoctrination internalized, I strongly suspect that there is something much deeper going on, just as it always has been.

http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=2029b38d120f69376228e39543cefa21

"What bothers me is that almost never is the voice of reason on gay issues an African-American's. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think there wasn’t a Black church in the country that supported equal rights for lesbians and gays."
[edit]
With the mainstream media, there seems to be no real interest in thinking outside the box that has been drawn for them by said gay groups. That is why we see the same faces and hear the same voices on all things gay. The same organizations are looked to as the authoritative representation of the gay community, similar to the way that Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson are looked to when Blacks are upset.

And even though Los Angeles is home to a plethora of respected Black clergy who affirm the rights of lesbians and gays, including Agape’s Rev. Michael Beckwith, Rev. Eric Lee of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles, and civil rights icon Rev. James Lawson, those voices are almost never chosen to represent the voice of reason and African-Americans on gay issues. No, we’ve got to be portrayed as being negative, helping to fuel the notion that Blacks are homophobic.
[edit]
Nationally, the list of prominent Black clergy supporting the right of lesbians and gays to marry has grown exponentially over past several years to include: Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. William Sinkford, President, Unitarian Universalist Church, Rev. Peter Gomes, Harvard University Chaplain, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, his wife Rev. Marcia Dyson, and Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ."

(cont.)

Cinie said...

Deb, I have friends, (at least I did before the election) who are committed Christians who believe in equality for everybody. I don't know what their churches preach. I'm sure that even in the most rabidly homophobic-from-the-pulpit ones that not everybody in the congregation agrees. After all, those choir directors, soloists, and yes, sometimes deacons, preachers and pastors, have family in the church community too, which tends to soften even the hardest hearts.

Somebody wants to inflame the black church community as they simultaneously promote it as the singular authority of black social and political thought and action. To what end? Possibly for the same reasons that people whose ancestors didn't arrive in this land with Bibles in their hands inherited their adopted religion in the first place. It's a nifty tool for behavioral manipulation and control. You can blame every ill so-called adherents to it suffer on their insufficient piety, and, on top of that, create an atmosphere where "sin" and "despair" are the only possible outcome under its cover.

Even the Civil Rights Movement needed major political and legal input, often from people who were dismissive of the religious community's methods and motivations. However, it's hard for me not to see the hand of the same white capitalist patriarchy you mentioned in your post in the sanction of the "black homophobia by religious decree" indoctrination narrative currently being reimposed and reinforced.

By people like Bernice King.

Deb said...

"We, as a people, are being deliberately re-indoctrinated to re-internalize the "fact" that all black Americans are against equality for gays and lesbians because of our overarching "faith," as well as our common belief that discrimination against homosexuals does not rival and/or even compare to our shared racial plight."

I just don't see it as "re- anything on either point, Cin. What's going on, is what has been going on since our initial indoctrination/internalization into Christianity. Nothing new - just more "new media" outlets to exploit those beliefs today than ever before.

I'm familiar with Jasmyne Cannick's writing (her campaign to ban Shirley Q. Liquor was unrelenting, though not successful apparently since ole Shirley's selling CDs and such). I agree with lots of what she says, but again - 2004 to now - nothing new except more access, IMO.

White gay groups - based on my experience with them - have always controlled the gay narrative in this country AND collected the most government funds for HIV/AIDS awareness/treatment, etc. Not new.

"What bothers me is that almost never is the voice of reason on gay issues an African-American's. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think there wasn’t a Black church in the country that supported equal rights for lesbians and gays."

I think the Boykin piece best discusses this:

" The answer may lie in the invisibility of the black gay and lesbian community. While the black church embraces single mothers, drug addicts, and ex-cons, it does not embrace black homosexuals largely because they haven’t organized to make their presence felt."

" I can't imagine how this church would survive without black gay men, and I can’t imagine that the homophobia would continue from the pulpit if they spoke up against it.

But they don't speak up. Far too many black gays and lesbians maintain a truce with the church that allows them to serve quietly, and this conspiracy of silence enables the church to remain simultaneously the most homophobic institution in the black community and the most homo-tolerant.

Beneath the surface of racial tolerance, we're still a country divided by skin color—and certainly the gay community is divided by race.

Deb said...

(cont. from Boykin)

"Given their unique role straddling two worlds, black gays and lesbians may hold the key to unlocking the door of homo-tolerance in the black community. "I think the black community is going to become more accepting, more tolerant," Julian Bond predicts. "I can't place a timetable on it, but I'll tell you one thing: It depends on the degree to which black gays and lesbians begin to stand up in their churches, in their organizations, and say, 'This is me you're talking about.' That's a powerful, powerful message."

THAT is what will be new, Cin. And it is happening, but not nearly enough. With Black gay folk leaving traditional Black churches in droves for UCC churches, it's happening. Not as much in traditional Black churches, but it's happening there too - because some Black gay folk are raising hell, and those who agree with them, are standing with them.

From a draft I started when all those Black ministers descended on DC to influence DC's 12-1 vote for recognizing gay marriage:

http://www.metroweekly.com/news/?ak=4282

Hell, some of them preachers in opposition didn't even, live or preach - in DC!

Yes, we can blame the MSM for continuing to frame the issue today - but there are Black folk in the MSM too! Competing loyalties among the Black gay community ("Do I come out and lose ___? - you fill in the blank") will continue to make for slow progress IMHO. And then of course we have the first black president playing both sides against the middle to LOOK good to all camps - all while he insults the intelligence of us all (this was no damn "error"): http://www.deadline.com/hollywood/why-did-hbo-leave-out-gay-bishop-from-obama-inaugural-concert-coverage/

"However, it's hard for me not to see the hand of the same white capitalist patriarchy you mentioned in your post in the sanction of the "black homophobia by religious decree" indoctrination narrative currently being reimposed and reinforced."

Again, not new. The WSCP has ALWAYS been from where it flows since "people whose ancestors didn't arrive in this land with Bibles in their hands inherited their adopted religion." (Oh, and let me just add - along with a good dose of misogyny, we brought some of that shit here from Africa as well. Those damn missionaries have and continue to be busy! Jomo Kenyatta was dead-on. And look at Uganda's "Kill Gays" legislation. I've heard anti-gay shit from plenty all over the diaspora Cin - some who've been living here for a long time as well as the recently arrived.)

To my mind, that Blacks seem more participatory in it, is more a result of the availability of new ways to spread it.

Cinie said...

What are we arguing about here, Deb? Why is this sort of re-internalized re-indoctrination any different from the other racial examples we've discussed? Why do blacks on the attack on homosexual frontlines deserve to have some slack cut, and those who participate with the other forces of their own oppression don't? You could say black women will stop being disrespected when they stand up to the patriarchy, or black people will attain parity when they stop helping white people oppress them by making movies, songs, books, etc., that portray them negatively. I'm sorry, but I just don't see the difference.

Deb said...

We're arguing? Thought it was a ususal discussion between two sisters with differences of opinion.

"Why do blacks on the attack on homosexual frontlines deserve to have some slack cut, and those who participate with the other forces of their own oppression don't?"

I thought we started out talking about Reb'n Bernice in particular, So I said:

===================================
As you said in the post, " However despicable you might find Jackson’s behavior, at least he did fight for the people while he was dipping in the till.

I think I have to watch the Right Reb'n Bernice through that kind of lens - if I'm being real (Hell, Jesse wasn't/isn't championing gay rights, but he gets props, albeit grudgingly, for what he did "for the people").

Her hooking up with Eddie Long is troubling because we know for sure, HE'S not fighting for anything - other than his own damn prosperity. Birds of a feather? Maybe.

I guess what I'm trying to say is (not very well I'm sure), I can see why her appointment to head the SCLC gives you pause - it does me too, 1) cuz I care about how you are treated and 2) because it's not learning "how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish." Instead, it just further perpetuates non-acceptance on a large scale, given SCLC membership.

But she is but one, of the many homophobes in our culture, Cin (and there are many in that 12% of the population!). And all we can do is tell the truth about her to anyone who'll listen. Given she's a "direct descendant" of the Civil Rights movement's leader, I'm not sure how many will - but just like with the Changleling, we have to keep putting it out there, accepting no excuses for continuing to use "the master's tools" - especially on our own.
==============================
Slack? Okay. Not holding her responsible? Not what I said, Cin.

Seeing as she's still alive, I also "wishfully think," Cin - not about those who might have come around had they lived but - (based on my own experience with the "from whence she came" lens before leaving home - a lens that many Black folk won't admit ever existed or exists) - about the living, who still can "come around" if enough people keep making it plain.

I wishfully think - despite all I've learned about her in the last 24 hours, that this woman - MLKs youngest child, who I remember as a little 5-6 year old (?) at her Daddy's funeral - "WILL come around" - because of how I feel about her father and how his life and death changed my life.

Corny? Okay. But that's my shit and I'm owning it.

I came to the Gay Rights movement circuitously - through the Civil Rights movement (I owned that as well in one of those comments up there when I said "Black us, not LGBT us"). Yes, I am one of those Black folk who does not see the Gay Rights movement as "THE SAME" as Black chattel, considered 3/5 of a man, fighting to be recognized as FREE human beings with dignity and respect. I just don't.

But I DO see it as a civil rights/human rights issue, maybe because, I'm not looking for a whipping boy to make me feel less of a whipping boy. We're ALL whipping boys for the WSCP. And unless and until we ALL get that and say fuck 'em - they will continue to win. Divide and conquer has always been one of the "master's tools." And it still works - famously.

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