Wow. Miley really crossed the line with some people. There she was on stage twerking like a black woman, slapping big black booties and doing “black” songs. Talk of white people riffing off black music goes as far back as Elvis at least. Eminem famously rapped about this (Without Me). When I was young the joke was that white people couldn’t dance and all the best music was black. Well, so I thought as I hadn’t seen Gene Kelly et al and I hadn’t heard the likes of The Eagles or Steely Dan. In any case Michael Jackson came along and black music went global.
So Black music has come a long way since the 70s/early 80s when they wouldn’t play us on MTV. Now it’s the dominant urban style. You can hardly hear what used to be “white pop” anywhere and the days of rock guitar gods seem as over as the mythical giants of Mount Olympus. Boy do I miss that finger snapping 80s pop from Billy Joel to Hall & Oats and Huey Lewis; from Tears for Fears to Wham etc etc.
There are those who cry that black music is being “taken over” what with white acts (Macklemore for example) winning best Hip Hop bla bla. But this is what happens when you go global. Witness the English language now the world’s lingua franca but no longer shaped in any decisive or meaningful way by the English. That’s the price of success.
That said it’s a bit disconcerting that some black women (see article) think twerking is something to celebrate and to hoist up as a flag. (I may be reading this the wrong way). Miley’s act apparently objectified black women. If black women don’t want to be objectified they shouldn’t have been on the goddamn stage in the first place. Even accounting for the premise/fact that the black women on that stage only did it for money the unfortunately reality is that the predominant dance style people associate with black people nowadays is twerking or something similar (my heart bleeds when I see old Soul Train clips) and whose fault is that? Certainly not white folks.
I think I may now be beyond exasperation at always observing white people clutch their handbags every time I’m near. It has become so ridiculous that if I’m near a white person I have to position myself in such a way that it’s certain to them and to Heaven that I could not possibly steal their belongings even if I was Kali, the Hindu goddess with ten arms. I am toying with the idea of openly protecting my personal effects every time a white person approaches. It’s farcical, I know, but let’s see how much they like to be suspected a thief on sight.
Skimming through web sites a couple of nights ago I came across the picture of a naked and muscled black man with the words “Fear of an educated black man” printed across his handsome torso. My initial reaction was a customary “Oh, here they go again?”. You know, like who’s afraid of what? White people afraid of educated black folk? Get real. White people would be delighted to stumble across a flock of educated black males. As it is, every time one of us turns up they clutch their handbags.
As one of that rare(?) breed myself I cannot say that white people are falling over themselves to give me a job just because I am black and educated. Shame. But then again they are not falling over to give other white people jobs either; one can just check the unemployment figures. Why do I deserve special treatment? Back in the day, white people were supposed to be afraid of a black planet. Remember that? That’s the least of anyone’s worry – we are more likely to get a Chinese planet.
I did have my own fears of a black something. A week ago I stopped by a sex health clinic. For several weeks I’d been experiencing intermittent pain in one of my diamond balls. At first I put it down to an inadvertent crushing of said gem as I sat or slept but when the pain persisted followed soon after by burning sensations at the tip of my lovelypop I decided it was time to get things checked out. So I submitted my precious jewels to a doctor who had “a good feel” (I bet he had fun) and to a nurse who took swabs from where it-gives-me-the-needles to think of. They found nothing. Hurrah! On one hand this was disappointing news because then “what the fuck?”. But then again it was unsurprising news since I have not hanky-pankied since Dorothy realised she wasn’t in Kansas anymore. My black balls are, for now at least, OK. Relief! No more fear of a black something.
Moral: if you have balls and they hurt, don’t sit on them, get them checked.
The video below in which Chris Rock excoriates niggas is painful to watch and what he says uncomfortable to hear (I really don’t know why his audience was laughing like it’s a joke) but, if we must call spades spades, there’s a lot of truth in what he said. The meta-problems of “black people” as I see them: poor education, short term thinking/planning, low expectations, bling over investment, over-religiosity, dicks that won’t stop fucking; however stretch well beyond the Americas and the Caribbean to here in Europe (Britain and France particularly) and, of course, Africa. We just can’t seem to get our shit together.
Blaming the white man for our ills is tiresome and passé. Yes, he screwed us over during slavery but there was a time when white people were slaves of each other (read any good literature on Ancient Greece or Rome) and they fought to the death over it. Our ancestors didn’t do that but that’s another story. Yes, he won’t employ us or pay us what we are worth but Jews had this problem way before us and look at what they have accomplished. Yes, we have achieved much in sports and entertainment but we desperately need: doctors and scientists celebrated for discovering things, engineers and innovators celebrated for inventing things, entrepreneurs celebrated for creating serious businesses (not just hair products and partnerships with Niké), educators and writers celebrated for serious research and classic literature, artists celebrated for pushing the boundaries (rap once did but has lost its way in filth).
Education, hard work plus the usual dose of good luck are prerequisites for success and the well-being of any society. We as black people are as capable and as good as any other colored folks; white, brown or asian. God forbid we can only be drug dealers and booty shakers and street cleaners (as the world sees us, speaking generally) with diets built around KFC and McDonalds. I am generalising here as there are many black people of high professional standing. We too are capable of sitting in smart coffee shops poring over Macs and collaborating on the next big thing. Education and hard work and the usual dose of good luck will ride our tailwind.
If I had been a white South African, phew, what a relief this would have been! Imagine the [greater] outcry and outrage if these jackasses had been white police. Not that skin colour should matter since abominable behaviour by “law enforcement” agents, whatever their hue, is to be abhorred and as far as I’m concerned should merit the same punishment as if they were not in uniform. There is really no reason for one human to treat another in the way this Mozambican was .. maybe if he’d been caught sacrificing and eating people, maybe … but for parking his vehicle illegally? If those officers had been white mistreating a black man like so there would have been riots on the streets. White on black, black on black or any other combination: not acceptable.