Thursday, December 15, 2011

yo yo yo

so, i have two girls and one boy. i think i'm more concerned about my son growing up the wrong way than i am my two daughters. anyway, my son asked if he could have a certain friend from school come over to play recently. he's a really nice kid, so i didn't mind. he's white. no problem with that.

but the boy who is about 12 or 13 started doing some rap number in the car on the drive home. he was like, "yo yo yo boyeee....yo yo....blah blah ..etc etc". i started laughing and so did one of my daughters and my son. we all thought it was funny, and then i stopped laughing.

why was that so funny? if my son had done that, i wouldn't think it was funny or cute. i definitely wouldn't want to encourage my son to think that being a rapper was something for him to aspire to. NOT AT ALL. black people don't like to admit it, but the rap world really puts black people in such a bad light, in my opinion. but it's interesting to me how a white person can sing all that nonsense and no one thinks anything of it, it's actually looked up on kind of cool for a white person to emulate a rapper. but when a black kid is doing it, it's looked upon as the expected (negative)outcome.

i don't want my son to have any desire for that life. without getting on my soapbox, the few guys who i've known who have pursued that career have turned out to be nothing but broke-down losers and hustlers. NO THANKS.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


so, it happened again. a white girl at work told me convincingly that i wasn't really "black". this is a fairly good friend/co-worker, so naturally i wasn't quick to be offended. that's the thing. white people who say things like this to their black friends never mean to be offensive. they just don't know any better. seriously. they usually mean it in the most naively, positive way.

before i break down the conversation we had, let me start out with some background: my hair is in need of a relaxer. i think it's been a good while since my last touch up. i have quite a bit of grow out. i literally have been so swamped with work and my kids' school activities that i've had no time to make an appointment. i'm getting it done soon, but i've felt kind of self-conscious about my hair in the last few weeks. when i have grow out, i can't really style it exactly the way i like, because it just doesn't lay down in places where i want it to lay down. but i've worked with it, putting it up in sophisticated up-dos and things like that. but it doesn't look like 100% to me.

so anyway, my co-worker asks me to walk with her down the street to get a coffee. and it's raining hard. i agree and get my umbrella. as we go out into the rain i started to open the umbrella. she then says:

her: (jokingly)oh yes girl, you better open that umbrella, you can't let your hair get wet! i know, because my best friend growing up was black and she couldn't get her hair wet....
(i hate this misconception, by the way...)

me: well uh actually....i CAN get my hair wet, and at this point i'm in need of a straightening so the rain can't do much to hurt it anyway....

her: but your hair is great! i mean, your hair isn't even like real black hair! you have awesome black hair. it's really not like black hair!
(i must admit it did make me feel less self conscious about my grow-out not looking as bad as i thought it did, but on the other hand....what does 'real black hair' look like? an afro?)

me: huh..?

her: i mean, you're like, not even really black! (what does that even mean?)

i could have corrected her and got all afro-centric on her but i just didn't feel like it. and who cares? i won't change the world. i know her, she meant no harm, she's just ignorant, the way a lot of white people are. it's true. i mean, sure there are always going to be the hateful white people who DO mean to be rude and ignorant but some white people just are truly ignorant about things like black hair, levels of blackness (like is a light skinned black person REALLY a black person????) and so on.

although now that i write this i'm thinking maybe i should have said more to break the ignorance-about-black-hair- chain.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


i think it's weird that i get so much traffic on this blog. when i started this blog 5 yrs ago, i just wanted a forum where i could think out loud and vent things that i couldn't just say to people, or was ashamed/scared/embarrassed to say.

when i began to get comments, i thought "how did people find my blog?" so, i put one of those trackers on the site. i checked every now and then, but i was never motivated by how many visitors i got. i'm still not. sure, i love hearing what you all have to say, but i still just blog what i'm thinking about.

anyway, every time i check my stats (which is like once in a blue moon), i'm always so surprised at how many people find me by googling "black girls" and "why do black people eat chicken and watermelon". i kid you not. the search about black people AND chicken and watermelon is absolutely the number one search topic that gets random strangers to my blog. followed by searching "black girls".


and, people seem to very curious about black women. more than you know.

Friday, September 09, 2011


i went with some friends tonight to see "The Help". it felt awkward (for ME) when the lights came on after the movie seeing all the white people. i wonder if it felt awkward for them? eh...probably not, since most white people never feel any shame or guilt when they're confronted with how their ancestors treated black people.

it's not that i wanted any of the white people to feel shame, but it just felt awkward, that's all i can really say.

anyhow, the main point i wanted to make was that i, though i have a love/hate relationship with Portland, am a total product of portland. whether i like it or not. there i said it. in a way, it's difficult living here. it's like no matter how much i want to be proud of being black, and make fun of the granola, tree hugging, liberal white people, i realize that i am part of it. well, not the tree hugging, granola, liberal part. but i like white and black music, i eat healthy and couldn't fix soul food if i tried. i have mostly white friends, and i say white words, like "dude" at the beginning of a sentence. i don't have to try to be this way, i just am. i'm a true product of my environment.

my mom, who was born and raised in the deep south sticks of georgia moved here with my father when my brothers and i were babies. she has REALLY differering opinions about white people and black people and all that political type stuff. she gets really worked up about racial issues, and is slightly more sensitive to the light skin/dark skin issue among black people and other issues about white and black people.

don't get me wrong, i do know how some white people can be.

since my mom is not from here, i don't know if she really gets it-probably the way she thinks i don't "get it" either. when we have conversations about race, i'm a little more open minded than she is, and she takes that to be naive. it's not naive, it's just that i'm not from the deep south like she is. i didn't grow up in the deep south in the 50s like she did. so on some level i cannot relate to the issues in movies like The Help. my mom saw the movie before i did, so tonight i called her on the phone to talk about it because she wanted to wait until i had seen it open the floodgates of why she didn't like the negative stereotypes and blah blah blah.

i know she gets irritated when she talks to me, because i can't truly relate. i'm not dark skinned, i didn't grow up during the sixties when blacks were openly and legally treated like animals, i didn't grow up with blue-collar uneducated parents, i didn't grow up with parents who cooked soul food, and i didn't grow up in the sticks of the south. so when she talks to me about certain racial issues that she's seen over time (such as ones brought up in the movie The Help), i can't relate. i can relate in the same way that any other generation X-er.....'oh... how terrible, how sucky....ugh....white people....." . but other than that, it's not that emotional for me, because i haven't been through it.

and, i guess i don't see white people exactly the same as someone who has been through it. you can't get apples from an orange tree. you can't raise a black kid in white portland, and then expect them to "get" the whole black experience. not entirely. and what little black history in schools that we get, what does she expect? she's the one who brought me to the black-forsaken, city in the first place.

she's right about the stereotypes in the movie, but purely from the standpoint of hollywood entertainment, i thought it was a good story. period. without getting into the politics of it all. plus i don't see everything her way, and she gets annoyed when i don't get where she's coming from and vice versa.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

fitting room clerk

Dear fitting room clerk at Marshalls:

i know you thought i was being rude today. and maybe i was. but when you had to check and recheck and then check again that i had the same number of items coming out as going in, that was annoying. i felt like 1)you secretly thought i stole something and 2)you did it only because i am black.

i didn't like that. i showed you that i had the five items to match the "number 5" tag that you gave me going in, and you insisted on examining the items inside and out, wasting my time. it wasn't necessary.

so when i abruptly snatched the items i chose to buy from your grip, i may have been rude. but you were ruder.


Monday, July 04, 2011


did anyone see beyonce's interview about a week ago with pierce morgan? or does anyone ever listen to (idiot) sherri shepherd on the view(because she talks the same way)? why can't these black women speak proper english? did they just give up and say 'who cares?' after they made a million bucks?

beyonce was talking to pierce morgan about some award she had won recently...yadda yadda. i wasn't paying too close attention because i can't stand her anyway. but, i happened to be on vacation and unable to sleep and this interview was the only interesting thing on tv.


for example, beyonce said something like "i was nervous because IT was so many people!!!" and on and on. and she kept saying "it's so many this, it's so many that...."

sherri shepherd does the exact same thing.

i'll admit, i make grammatical errors from time to time, but i do know the basics. and you can bet that if i were on a national talk show, and even had millions of dollars, i would speak correct english.


Friday, June 10, 2011


i think that most white people are scared/intimidated by black people. if they're not the type of white person who has spent any time around black folks or has black friends, i have found that these white people are either scared of, or treat black people like they're invisible.

i started to thinking about this when i was thinking about my neighbor. i don't try to be the center of attention, but i have known white women who BARELY gave me the time of day when they've never even had the chance to know me( to dislike me). but yet, they'll mingle with another unknown white person( let's assume we're all at a party and no one knows each other) and will be super chummy. i believe that most white people think that interacting with a black person is a low priority-we're not potential friends, we're just sort of invisible to them. and if we happen to be too bold to be invisible, they're scared and intimidated.

this theory of mine is nothing new, although i'm not sure if i've ever put it into words in this blog. but what i started to realize, as i was driving down the street today, after being snubbed by my neighbor was this:

whenever i interact with a white person for the first time, i instantly categorize them afterwards this way (based on their behavior when we interacted):

1)they are a white person who has never been around black people, who has never had any real/meaningful interaction with black people, and is basically afraid or intimidated (warranted or not). this person views the black person as a sort of "foreigner" in their world and doesn't believe they can relate to them on any level. this person prefers to only deal with them on a need-to basis, and never "sees" the black people around them in daily life. thinks of all black people as the stereotype, and doesn't know that it's a stereotype.

2)a white person who is familiar with black people, may have gone to school with black people, might even have one or two as friends. they're not scared of black people, they're friendly only because it's not their nature to be rude, but that's the extent of it. they don't necessary dislike black people, but they don't want or care to have more than the token black friend. most black people seem "exotic" to them.

3)a white person who was probably raised in an area around black people( or spent any lenth of time ) in a diverse area (workplace or neighborhood) with black people. has several black friends. is not scared or intimidated by black people unless there's a valid reason to be, and open to talking and hanging out with black people.

i realized today that i instantly categorize white people this way after meeting them. i didn't even consciously know i was doing it, until i analyzed my thoughts in sort of a daze while driving today. i was thinking about my white neighbor and how she snubs me for no good reason. and i listened to the voice in my head automatically put her into category 1, and decided that that was why she treats me that way.

Monday, May 30, 2011

how you doin'?

i was in whole foods today. usually the only types of people i see there are the rich/granola/got-tons-of-money-to-burn-on-granola type people. well, except for me, the i-don't-have-a-ton-of-money-but-there-are-just-some-good-things-you-can't-get-anywhere-else-so-i-will-go-buy-that-and-then-leave type shopper. anyway, today, there was this black guy, mid-twenties or so, looking ghetto fabulous with his do-rag and saggy jeans and all, and with a white girl to boot. she was busy picking out stuff, and he seemed like a boytoy tag-a-long.

i'm almost certain she was his girlfriend. yet when i walked by, he says, "hi. how you doin'?" while he stood there waiting for my response. how am i doing? why do you want to know? how is your girlfriend doing? i mean, how disrespectful to his girlfriend is that? and maybe she wasn't his girlfriend. maybe she was just his friend who happened to be a girl. or parole officer. but still. it was just awkward. i mean, i don't ask ANY strangers 'how they're doing'. even if they are black.

and what is the point of asking me how i'm doing? if he wanted to be friendly because we're both black, well then fine. just give me a nod and a smile. but when you ask me how i'm doing, do you really expect me to say something like, "i'm good. and how are you?" and then proceed to converse?

i'm a "stanger" snob. if i don't know you, i don't really want to talk to you. unless of course it appears that we have something in common- kids, lifestyle, etc. or if the weather's nice and i just feel like being overly friendly. otherwise, even though i consider myself to be a nice person, i don't really want to talk to people i don't know.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


so, i was on my way through the 'hood to my tutoring job at portland community college. driving down killingsworth, at about 16th avenue when traffic stopped for some reason and i found myself sitting in front of some "entrepreneurs". there was a little setup on the sidewalk next to a building with about 4 black guys selling pre-made easter gift baskets. from my view, they didn't look that great.

so these guys-sorry to say, looked trifling. one of them was standing in the vicinity with what i call "gangsta gear"- ultra sagging pants, and an oversized plaid, short sleeved button up shirt. AND he's smoking a teeny tiny cigarette. i don't know if it was a cigarette or a joint. but he looked foul. and his friends sitting closer to the display looked pitiful. i mean, they looked tired and worn out-as if they had been out there ALL day and to top it off, they looked dirty, raggedy and desperate.

and then had the nerve to have some handwritten sign that read "fundraising". fundraising for what? WEED? who did they think was going to get out and buy their stuff? i looked at the products and suddenly i just had this vision in my head of some hoodrats in a dirty apartment piecing it all together, trying to make it look nice, hoping someone would buy it.

i'm all for people trying to make a creative living. but these guys just looked no one wants to buy crap from people who look like trash. clean yourself up, put on some decent clothing. how about nice pants that fit with a decent shirt to start? how about tossing that nasty ciggaweed?

some black men really need to try harder. stop aiming for the minimum.

and don't even get me started on the "hand car wash" not far away. where a group of black men sit around all day waiting to hand-wash your car. really? how can they pay the rent with five dollars a car wash? everytime i drive by, there they are, sitting around shooting the shit with each other. the only cars i ever see are the owner's and employees of the business. pimped out cadillacs, mercedes, and other cars with $10k rims and tires polished to a tee. that is SO 1992.

get a real job! cut off your braids! find clothing that fits! speak proper english!

Friday, February 18, 2011


This Ebony issue makes me cringe:

don't get me wrong. i don't have any beef with the obamas. what i have a beef with is the the cover of ebony that says, "celebrate black love".

what exactly does that mean? just what exactly is 'black love'? is it different than white love? if my husband is white, or asian, or hispanic, can i NOT celebrate that love? i don't get it. and ebony needs to get with the times.

i have always acknowledged the social and cultural differences between white and black people. but i know for a fact, that if cosmo, or redbook or any other magazine said, "celebrate white love" that there would be some really unhappy black people making a huge stink about it. so why should ebony magazine be any different?

we are no longer living in a world where blacks are only with blacks(DUH, REALLY??!!), so why would ebony magazine suggest that celebrating black love is something that only black-on-black couples can participate in?

and is their love better than love between a white man and black woman? a black woman and an asian man, etc., etc.,...?

i don't understand why ebony can't just make the article about celebrating LOVE. regardless of what color it is.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


i got this little job a the local community college, PCC. specifically the one over in the 'hood, at cascade campus. i've been there for a solid week and a half now, working with different students. it's fun.

but one of the days last week as i was walking to my car through the crowded lot, i heard footsteps behind me. it was some really big black guy. i'll admit, i got kind of scared. and before you rush to judgement and call me whatever it is you want to call me, let me say this:

i don't go to the hood much. i see black people all the time, but not in such concentration as when you go over to the partially-gentrified 'hood. and i'm sorry- but just because i'm black doesn't mean i automatically feel some kinship to every black man i see.

if you look scary, you look scary. regardless of what race you are. it just so happened that this black guy walking closely behind me looked a little bit intimidating. and then it dawned on me that every. single. black. man/boy at that campus that i've seen looks either thuggish/scary/intimidating or basically kinda trashy and ghetto.

when i say ghetto, i mean wearing either the stereotypical p-diddy-style warm-up suits , with both ears pierced and gaudy gold and faddish shoes or sagging jeans with the latest hip-hop style (rapper) faddish clothing. every last one of them. it's disgusting. and if they're not wearing one of those two options, they're really tore-down looking. i mean, it just is SO OLD and SO PLAYED OUT.

still? they still aspire to look like the stereotype?

i don't spend a lot of time in the hood but today i thought, "really? black men STILL look like this? i mean, come on. didn't obama (at least) getting into office inspire you to pull your pants up? look professional? stop dressing like the stereotype? a little bit?

i guess we should just be glad they're in school.