Sunday, July 29, 2007

process

my process for coming up with my blog posts:

i have a thought

i temporarily dismiss it and go on with life

i recall it and think about it/analyze it

blog about it.


i'm not walking around as this big ball of negativity unable to enjoy life and people. the race issues i bring up are purely thoughts. it doesn't affect my interaction with people. you'd never know what i was thinking if you'd seen me at the pool with the other black mom (besides the fact i didn't walk up and introduce myself).

the only difference between me and the readers who have scolded and berated me about what i blog about is that when i have a raw thought, i don't just dismiss it to never be analyzed ever again. i think know that everyone has those raw thoughts everyday, and if you stopped and actually listened to yourself, you'd know it. it just so happens i'm blogging about my (raw) thoughts on race- and race is a touchy subject.

i'm not some demented person. i'm just like EVERYBODY ELSE. i go here, i go there, i work, i socialize, i eat out with friends and family, i work in my garden, i chat with my neighbors, i go to costco, i go get coffee, etc, etc. the comments from my last post led me to believe people think i'm sitting in some dark corner -like Glenn Close in fatal attraction- writing this and waiting for the comments to pour in. like i'm some nut.

coupla things:

a) i don't claim to be brave by posting what i post, as one commenter suggested (although it takes some bravery to read some of the comments and emails).

b) i was very ashamed of the feelings that prompted my last post. but, why shouldn't i blog about it-for self analysis if nothing else?

c)there are plenty of sick and demented people thinking WAY worse thoughts out there than i. just turn on the news. at least i'm not trying to hurt my children or small animals or anyone else for that matter.

d) i honestly don't know how african americans can not be negatively affected or brainwashed by society and the commercial media. i believe that i think the way that i do because of our society. why should i bottle it up? i am acknowledging that my thinking about race is off.

but who do i have to blame for that??

it's not my parents, they are successful and educated and race was never a factor growing up.

i guess i'm finding it really hard to believe that my readers don't ever have an insecure thought, or ever think negative things (wrong or right) about others from time to time.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes TBG I hear you, but...it's ALWAYS about race with you. Now I'm not saying that race is not a big issue (that would be naive) but sometimes it is just NOT about race. It's about people first and their own problems/emotions whatever.
YOU on the other hand see the great spectre of race in virtually EVERY situation. From the computer shop to the corner store, through the library to the restaurant, at the library or pool. It's there like some vile monster colouring your life, your attitudes, your perception. Can you not see this?
Sure we all have raw thoughts - heck we're human right? But the origin of some of these raw thoughts are way off radar. Imagine the paedophile who's thinking.."hmm that pre-adolescent girl/boy looks kinda tasty". Now please note I'm NOT by any stretch of imagination likening you to a paedophile but my point is ...this imaginary paedophile is also having raw thoughts..but heck those are not thoughts that are justifiable in this lifetime or the next, they are just plain wrong and he should NOT be thinking them.
I guess what I'm trying to say is some of your thoughts are pretty far out and if you or anyone else thinks that way it's also plain wrong. You CAN change how you think and it's cool that you realised it and were ashamed. That is definitely a step in the right direction.
Sure the media has a lot to answer for with all their lily-white images and relentlessly negative depiction of black people but ultimately WE can choose what we let in, what we allow to affect our lives or we might as well just fold up and die.
And one more thing..the fact that you get up shop, work, etc does not mean that you do not need some kind of therapy. Lots of folk are going about their daily lives yet are so damaged within. Not saying you're demented but I feel you need to find a close, supportive friend/group of friends and actually TALK about these issues with them or even better - why not your hubby? Surely you can tell him this stuff right?

Leigh-Anne said...

Anon, just in case you haven 't noticed, Black Girl is a RACE blogger. Just as you get mommy bloggers and adoption bloggers, Black Girl blogs about RACE.

Just put on your big boy panties and deal with it.

D said...

TBG - some good thoughts.

I say that putting myself in your shoes. I might not agree with everything you say, but from where you are, the pieces fit together.

On the topic of raw thoughts, I'd agree with you in that each person must start where they are right now. And if those are the raw thoughts in your mind, that's what needs to get processed.

But I'd disagree that the "average" of the raw thoughts can't be shifted over time.

In other words, you've got some issues. (I do, we all do.) If you can process those in a way which increases your overall confidence... if you can learn to draw boundaries in a way which limits pain others can cause... if you learn how to make decisions that get as much of you can of what you want... if you learn how to tell the difference between what's in your control and what's not, and to focus on what's within your control (these are the issues we ALL deal with to make a better life for yourself)...

If today's raw thoughts are kinda negative, but you have a process to work through what needs to be worked through... then tomorrows raw thoughts, and tomorrows situation will probably be more cheery. There will still be ups and downs... but the whole scale shifts upwards.

I say this because... been there, done that. It has worked for me, and I'm going keep on working it.

My two cents.

D

D said...

In other words, I hear that this is YOUR thing... your therapy. The fact that we are here has some pluses and minuses, but to you, this is your process, your way to get your thoughts dealt with. That's the topic of this thread, and I can see where you're coming from.

So just talking about the process itself... cool.

I'll leave discussion of the actual ideas to other threads, where sometimes I'll agree, and sometimes not, sometimes flip it around, and sometimes go on a tangent, and sometimes steal half of what you say and half of what someone else says.

D said...

you never mention your parents having the angst issues you blog about here... and you mention they're educated and successful... which reminds me of a topic that may come up later somewhere else... along the lines of something Barack mentioned the other day... that his candidacy does NOT mean we are in a 'post-racial' society... we've still got things to work through. But I think there's a big assumption by a lot of people we are past that stuff just because it's a lot better hidden than it used to be. Which might explain the difference between your approach, and what it seems your parents' approach is. Sorry for the tangent : )

D

a said...

I can support TBG without supporting the negative thoughts. She has the right to be who she is without judgement. She's human!
We all have issues, and I do think it's commendable that she admits them. It's not the same as condoning her negativity.
TBG, I do agree that you could benefit from some kind of support group to talk this stuff through. Not because there's anything wrong with you, just to work through it so it doesn't continue to occupy your mind.

BeautyinBaltimore said...

"i honestly don't know how african americans can not be negatively affected or brainwashed by society and the commercial media"

100% true.

I don't think people should come to your blog to abuse you. If things written on your blog upset them that much they should not comment and forget about your blog.I certainly don't agree with everything that you write, but I like that you post about your raw thoughts.

The Letter K said...

I know this is your blog--but I'm not berating you for having these thoughts--oh no.

I'm disgusted at the fact that most negative things said in this blog are about black women who aren't in relationships with black men, and black men (in general), while your comments about white people (and/or their racism) seem to be oriented toward understanding them, and finding a positive outcome.

I'm also not ashamed to say that I think you're being a detriment to your children--your (oldest?) child doesn't even want to play with "brown" kids--and that's probably because of the unconcious, unspoken signals you send him every single day.

You say you've been brainwashed by society--that's fine. I agree with you. It doesn't mean I'm going to accept what you say--especially when you make disgusting assumptions about black women and black men, among others.

The problem I have with you is that you seem to want to put everything on everyone else. It's not that black woman who thinks having a white man is "the dream", it's YOU, and maybe she's reacting to the subtle vibes you send out.

Again, I think one of your options would be to talk with other black women, or black women in IR relationships--it will help, because you're obviously not "getting any better" by making these blog posts, and I don't think you even think you need to change. Your're comfortable with what you say and think because you keep saying it--and no amount of writing "I'm ashamed of XYZ" is going to put a guilt trip on you big enough to actually think about what you think, and strive to change it.

By the way: I'm a black woman who thinks living the dream is being a sucessful woman, regardless of whether or not a man is involved.

the black sentinel said...

TBG, I believe that there are ways to resist the programming done to our people everyday. I for one don't buy into the programming and I will NOT let my kids. We have talk times and every member of my home has a blog or two or three and we talk about the blatant programming etc.

Unfortunately, you have a white mindset, that is OK, for you right now. As a black woman I have been there, bought into all that stuff. I had to wake up and get my proverbial "crap" together. I could no longer accept what I was doing, what the black community as a whole was doing and definitely not what the white community was doing.

D said...

I haven't been tallying votes to know the exact balance, but it's my impression a majority of black voices agree the media is part of the problem, i.e. "relentlessly negative depiction of black people", "negatively affected or brainwashed by... the commercial media", "brainwashed", etc.

As the theory of white privilege lays out, I, as a white person, may be blissfully ignorant of some of the less obvious details... could those with an opinion on the role of the media elaborate and give examples?

Since a decent percentage of American media and entertainment IS black... do those examples reinforce or contrast with the overall statement, or both?

Anonymous said...

First of all I really love your blog.
When I read your post, “trophy”, I thought that I understood your purpose. And reading your next post it seems I was right. Now I am wondering why I got it when so many others just rushed to judge. (I wonder this because I am not the most sensitive or perceptive person.)

We all have tendencies and beliefs that we are not happy about. Some seek to understand themselves and grow, and some folks keep their fingers pointed at others, always away from themselves.

For those posters in the second group, there are a lot of truly vile and evil blogs out there. Why don’t you go out and spew your bile on them?

D said...

in response to "beauty in baltimore", that people who disagree should not post : )

a lot of people DO search out friend situations along just those lines... they look for friends who never question them, and never call them on their s***.

i've heard this referred to as having a "box buddy", or "yes man" friend.

but the thing is... sometimes the biggest steps forward we take in our whole lives are when a friend (or stranger) takes a stand and tells us something we don't want to hear.

i've said elsewhere, and i'll say again, that TBG is a very smart woman, and she frames the issues in a way that gets right to the heart of the matter, and in a well-written and thought provoking manner.

but as for me... if i'm off base on something, i want somebody to tell me. if my logic smells like roses on the surface, but it's a pile of doo-doo right just underneath, i want to know --- because it will only hurt me in the end to stay that way, and only help me in the end to broaden my understanding.

Anonymous said...

there are a lot of truly vile and evil blogs out there. Why don’t you go out and spew your bile on them?

And leave TBG alone. She obviously does not deserve this treatment.

Anonymous said...

OK, D
I am telling you now.

You are just using this as a way to showcase your own sanctimony.
It’s tried

Signed,
A Real Friend

The Letter K said...

Oh, and to TBG:

i guess i'm finding it really hard to believe that my readers don't ever have an insecure thought, or ever think negative things (wrong or right) about others from time to time.

I have insecure thoughts all the time--some of them echoed in your posts. The difference, is that I go outside of my comfort zone and try to not only understand the way I feel, but change the things I don't like about myself.

Again, it's not that you have these feelings or thoughts--it's that you don't even seem to care that you do. Almost a year since you began this blog, and the same obsessive thoughts keep emerging...

Have you ever tried to change the way you think, or have you just gone on with your life after each blog post?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BeautyinBaltimore said...

@ d - I think its fine to disagree but cussing somone out on their blog crosses the line.

Anonymous said...

TBG, when i leave comments on your blog, I always try to do it with respect because you are a fellow human and I'm just offering my response to what you said. I don't always agree with you, but i think that's part of the beauty of blogging. Sometimes its nice (or eye opening) to read what other people think about your thoughts. :-) Plus, I think you knew that "trophy" would provoke some interesting responses. If I'm not mistaken, that's probably part of the reason you decided to blog it.

Liz said...

I think we all have insecure thoughts, but it's what we decide to do about it in our actions that is the true test of our character.

You have every right to blog about your feelings and explore what you're thinking. Sometimes though, and I'm speaking from experience, we can become so wrapped up in that process that we don't see the big picture of how what we perceive to be individual thoughts actually feed our actions.

You also make me think about how my black mom has been married to my white dad for almost forty years and she's always considered him a prize...because he's an amazing, talented, kind-hearted person. She's well aware though that other folks will think he's a prize merely because of the color of his skin. Her responsibility has always been to check herself and ensure that she does not fall into those same destructive ways of thinking. I think her rejection of how immoral and wrong that way of thinking is, is one of the reasons they're still married.

Phoenixgrace@gmail.com said...

I was searching for information on "white aura" to find the meaning of the color in a human energy field, I took a quiz:) and came across your blog.
I can understand you so well and wish that my little interracial family lived in Portland, too.
We live in Boston, just south actually in Quincy and I could substitute for Portland nearly every experience and perception.
I am a 34 year old dark skinned black woman from St. Louis and my husband is white and from a farm in upstate NY. We have one child who is 6.
I detest typing, but here goes.

So "white aura" in your context is something I have never heard, but I try to limit my interaction with people in general, mostly for the kinds of scenarios you describe. They're just annoying and distracting from my real life.

For example, have you found that when you express the lack of racial issues between you and your husband, generally people cannot come to terms with an "issue" that looms so large for them, is excluded from your life ?
It has never been an issue for us, but other people usually try to make one anyway, as if we are too naive to consider perception.

We know what everyone thinks of us and we don't care. That's why they attack when we open up and are honest(like you)about our unique perspective.

Don't take any of this stuff, positive or negative to your heart.
Let it fluff you up or give you another viewpoint to incorporate with your current worldview, but brush it all off before it penetrates because you know at your core that you see more than most and they just can't handle the view.
Being able to shift and bring whatever is needed at the moment to the surface is a talent and useful tool for survival,
says one black girl living in a white world while representing so much to both and trying to be beholden to none but who I choose.

Ohh, and I am true rock singer, so is my husband, and we have guitars, tabla, a sax, a clarinet, but those are for him and our son, I just sing.

He's never been a wanna be, but he does like some rap and tons of jazz, but I still have all my punk records.
I thinking this blog is for you like singing is for me, where you get to be you unapologetically and full on. Rock on!

Anonymous said...

in response to phoneix grace:a wanna be what? wanna be black? that kind of phrase makes me think that you believe that black can be singularly defined when black people are diverse with many different ideas, religious, likes, and dislikes.
and i just don't understand what your problem is tbg. you say what you want in your blog and people respond with their thoughts. they are being just as "real" as you are. and yes, i think bad things about people and i'm wrong for that. you think some pretty messed up things about black people and you're wrong for that. and you'll probably always be stuck in your little bubble because you like being in it and you're comfortable there. and your kids will probably never have real black friends because of your attitude. i bet you would freak out if they brought home a "real black woman" but they probably won't because you'd disapprove. but who say's a white parent would want your half-black sons dating their pretty white daughters? hmm....

Phoenixgrace@gmail.com said...

hi anonymous,

I was addressing the author's words, in a specific blog entry. Maybe you should read them ALL, it may give you a better and/or broader, more complete idea of her perspective.
Which I respect and understand, whether I share it or not.
Try it.

D said...

To anonymous 'A Real Friend' ~

I posted several ideas ~ which one (or ones?) do you consider sanctimonious? Or is it tone more than ideas? I s'pose the 'dish it out/take it' scenario would apply, so if I'm a little backwards on something, I shouldn't run away from that.

-----
To 'beautyinbaltimore' ~

I agree there needs to be respect. What I get from this is that the bottom line is "constructiveness", whether we agree or disagree.

-----
To TBG ~

Your open-ness and raw-ness gives me a chance to explore some areas that I (and I think a lot of people) have never poked into the corners of. It gives me a chance to know myself, and know the world better. The simplest way I can think to break it down is that your blog is about race, and we need blogs about race. So thank you : )

Also, along the lines of those defending you, and for all people anywhere dealing with disagreement... hopefully the end result is constructive... if we see patterns and read between the lines of why people agree with us, and why people disagree with us, then that can reinforce the good, and give food for thought on where we might want to work on. Disagreement can be a good thing if we learn from it : ) or learn how to reframe ourselves, or to reinforce our convictions if we're on the right track. I learn more from when people disagree with me than when they agree with me. Even if I don't change my mind, it helps me clarify "why" I believe what I believe.

I read something the other day about what John Adams said about the book "Common Sense" 200+ years ago... that it was pretty good in that it tore down something that needed to be torn down... but it wasn't so good at suggesting a way to build something more constructive back up. Critics here can be the same way, I suppose.

Re: "I am acknowledging that my thinking about race is off" - first of all, whatever the outcome of your exploration there, I hope it is 200% positive. Second, we are what we are, and EVERYONE should have the luxury of being at peace with who they are genetically and culturally. Third, this may be harder to do than to say, but maybe your parents would be a good resource to connect with race. Their love, and understanding of you, and where they are coming from might be the a great way to process how you got to where you are, and where you want to go from here. I only read your blog back four months or so, but I saw only positive things about your parents' perspective on race... and they've got motivation to be constructive. : )

And you've got a good point that it's easy for us to be a critic of your raw thoughts when you put yourself out front and center. Yes, I've got my moments where I get caught up in drama that I don't mention when I suggest you're creating some of your own drama. That's true of me, also, but in different areas.

And I like the e.e. cummings all lowercase thing... there's something freeing about breaking those rules... I do it myself sometimes : )

Anonymous said...

TBG you might find this article in particular and the blog in general helpful. It is about a bw married to an Asian male and living in Japan. Similar circumstances perhaps to yourself - interracial marriage, being the "different one" in the country/city they live in. BUT...completely different way of thinking and seeing things. Check it out.

http://musingsofadiva.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

BTW I posted the link to musingsofdiva blog last night. The point I was trying to make was that you can CHOOSE to change the way you think or view life. This bw married to an asian man exudes so much peace and postivity and REFUSES to let negative people get her down. She exudes maturity, class and well being. I get the feeling she is someone anyone would want to hang out with.

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