Category: So me and mine gotta lay down and die…so you can live in your better world?


Behold! The Alleged "Black Card"!

So sometimes I forget that there are people out there that see things like skin color first. When I come across people like that, it often throws me off, way off. It throws me off to the point that I am completely, well, baffled and a little miffed, to be honest.

See, I grew up with the idea that we were all a part of the same species, the same race, and the same human family. This was an idea that I had mostly come into on my own but was supported, in part, by the friends I acquired over time and the often confusing lessons from my parents. All in all, I like to think that I grew into a well adjusted and very open minded man.

Some time ago I joined an online discussion group about gender roles in society, what it wound up being was a group about gender roles in Black American culture through the eyes of Black Americans. A question was posed a while back about the idea of a “Black Card” and about what kinds of things they are into that would get said card “revoked”. When I saw people list the things in their lives that they liked, I noticed that a great deal of those things were things that I happened to be into as well; so, being emboldened by what I saw, I decided to play along and post my own interests and quirks.

What happened next is the basis of this post: I was (and this was later, and only after I made a pretty fierce comment in my own defense of my interests, redefined as simply a joking comment) told that my own black card had been revoked or that I had never been given one to begin with.

Maybe a little more context is required here, so I’ll give you a bit of what I posted

– I love Soccer and Hockey and NOT American football

– I have been told that I have a bit of a British Accent at times (likely because I speak the Queen’s English)

– (as you all well know) I’m a huge Geek.

– I HATE BET

– I may have posted about my dislike for current R&B music

– I KNOW I posted that my entire Music library was one of the most Varied and Eclectic collections that that group would likely ever see. (Thanx Dad)

I’m sure that There was more there, but I can’t remember what else I said and that post is buried somewhere beneath a flood of other postings – the POINT here is that the response that I received created this strange feeling of invalidity. As if now my blackness was being called into question because I did not happen to share some supposedly important cultural interests. Needless to say, I defended myself.

If I ever had a supposed black card, I handed it over and replied that the group was more than welcome to it. My status as a human being or as a black man would not and will never be dictated by the things in my life that interest and are important to me. I pigeon-hole myself enough as it is, I don’t need other people to do that for me.

I think I very nearly started a forum fire, at which point many people asked me to calm down and stated that the whole thing (meaning the response to my post) was all in “good natured fun”. I wasn’t actually trying to start a fight with anyone, I simply felt that my identity as a black man should not be defined by the things I like or do. My ethnicity exists whether I want it to or not, and, frankly, I’m very happy being black.

I just don’t like it when people try to tell me HOW to be black. Just because 99% of my interests can be found on the website stuffwhitepeoplelike.com doesn’t mean I’m trying to be White. I’m honestly not trying to be anything except myself. Why is that such a strange concept to a lot of my culture? Why aren’t more of us more open minded?

In any case, it begs the question: What the hell is this Black Card? Why is it so important? Who came up with this idea in the first place? And what gives people the right to distribute and take it away at will? Are there white cards, or Asian cards? What about Cherokee or Sioux cards?

What do you all think? Sound off and give me your thoughts: Should having a Ethnic Identity truly matter in this particular age, or is it time to start identifying ourselves as simply…human?

Well…get on with it then!

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For anyone who doesn’t know this, I am in an interracial Marriage with a beautiful and wonderful woman. Together we have a beautiful bi-racial daughter. We love each other very much and often forget that we are both of different skin colors (I don’t like using the word “race” in reference to our skin colors and cultural differences – to do so would imply that we are both from different planets or are, at least, not of the same species.)

So, over the weekend I became involved in a Facebook discussion that a friend of mine started about why it is that Black Women get so upset when a Black Man dates or marries outside their ethnicity (see my above statement about the word “race”). Being married to a White woman, myself, I figured I should chime in on the issue:

As a Black Man Married to a White Woman, we often got and still get stares and comments from both races. I’ve had discussions/arguments with other Black Women about it – and the negative ones all seem to think I’ve committed some deep betrayal of our culture; like I somehow thought that a Black Woman was no longer good enough for me, or that I wasn’t strong enough to be with a Black Woman, they suggested that being with a White Woman is easier because SHE is weaker in some way. (Clearly, they NEVER met my wife)

Maybe Some of us do have preferences, maybe some of us face a lacking of other options…OR maybe, just MAYBE, some of us take the idea of color, throw it out of the window, and fall in love with who we bloody fall in love with!

We live in a world full of beautiful cultures and beautiful people, if God wanted us all to date the same Ethnicity or Cultural group then She would have made us all the same and we’d all be bored as SHIT with each other!!!

I got lots of agreements and felt pretty good about what I said there. I’d dealt with this issue a lot in the course my relationship with Christine, so, as a first-hand statement, I figured it was decent.

Then this was posted sometime later (not displaying any names, especially since I don’t know the person at all):

Ok, here goes!! Yes, I do have issues with black men being with and marrying white women.
Can remember what was done to the black man wayyy back if he just looked at a white woman…shootings, burnings, hangings..need I go on? While he was looking at the white woman, the massa was having his way with HIS woman. He couldn’t fight for us then, because he would be tortured or killed, so we just had to go with the program. Now that he can fight for and support us (some of them), what does he do? He goes to the forbidden fruit…as Adam did..lol..
One of my issues with black men in relationships with white women is that the “well off” ones will most of the time choose the white woman. If he wasn’t well off…..she wouldn’t be with him!!..period!! What white woman you know is hanging on the arm of a BROKE BLACK MAN??
Another issue is the kids. Don’t think that the white side of “some” of the families aren’t calling those children a Ninja…or a Wigga. (This I have been told by friends who have either been in interracial relationships..or from friends whose family members have had to deal with this issue)
Now….heaven forbid that he is no longer well off, or she just gets tired of his ass and moves on….What does his ass do??? Ohhh, now he wants to come back to his “people”!! “I need to get back into my people and my culture again. My kids need to know their heritage.” N***A!! get a life!!! It’s too late now, go back from once you came. We weren’t good enough for you then….you are not worthy of ME now!! Yaheard?!?!
Am I a bitter black woman? No! Am I prejudice? No!…… I went to predominately white schools all my life and have lasting friendships from them. My family is from Louisiana, so my ancestors are a mixture of many different races.
I do feel that black men have issues with strong black women who are not subservient to them, so they will go find someone who they can control. A black woman usually only seeks a man outside of her race if there are NO good black men around.
And NO!!! I will not be seen with George from Seinfield…lol…but I sure will be seen with Brad or George (Cloony, that is..lol..), Aston..etc..lol.. But…the black man will be with a white woman just cause she’s white…doesn’t have to be attractive. A black woman will not be seen with an unattractive male from another race.
BUT….to each his own! I don’t have to like it…you do. I’ll just have my opinion.

WOW. Seriously…wow!!!

I’ve had all weekend to seethe with anger about this statement. To go back and forth on whether or not to go completely off on this person for this statement. It brought back the anger I felt during the conversations with people who felt just as this person does, it stands as an insult to me, to my wife, to our marriage, and to our 11 month-old daughter, Ayame. The questions of “aren’t we good enough for you?”, “what do you have against black women?”, “you think you’re white now?”, and my personal favorite “the next time you date someone, could she please be black?” have been asked with enough frequency that, once the above statement was posted, I had decided that I’d had enough.

So here’s what I have to say on the matter, once and for all!

I was raised to love everyone. EVERYONE! There were times during my youth when I fell into (or was led into) a more exclusive and militant way of thinking, but each time I rebelled, because I knew deep down that in order to make the world we live in work, We have to see past things like color or even cultural barriers and get to know each other on a deeper, more human level.

That being said, I am a Black Man. I am proud of who I am and of my heritage. I know what those who came before me went through and I have come to terms with that. I will not allow their past to dictate how I live my life today, in the 21st century. I will not give myself to backward thinking, I will not withhold love (a beautiful human emotion) from another individual simply because they don’t share the same skin pigmentation or cultural habits as I do.

I realize that there are Black Men that intentionally seek out women of another race, some for preferential reasons, others for reasons that aren’t mine to contemplate. The point there is that they found someone to be with and love. If people could just open themselves up and not pigeon-hole themselves by shutting people out, I’m certain they’d be surprised by how much more beautiful life and the world as a whole can be for them. But they don’t, and here we have the people who are stuck in 1960 and are in desperate need of a space-time event that will propel them into the 21st century.

When my wife and I met for the first time, it was just a couple of months after I had relocated to Washington (the state) due to Hurricane Katrina. I was broke, beyond broke, I came up here with the clothes on my back, a few books, my guitar, and my xbox (ask me to tell this story to you sometime, if you’re interested), I was lucky enough to be working for Starbucks at the time and that they were able to help me get back on my feet.

Christine didn’t care that I had no money, didn’t care that I was living in a small studio apartment in Tacoma, she liked and, later, fell in love with me anyway, she saw past all of those superficial things and past my skin color and saw ME, just as I saw her. Anyone who knows us knows that we love, respect, and cherish each other. Neither of us is subservient to the other, and neither of us are – by any stretch of the imagination – weak. She and I are equals (accept, apparently in dominoes – but that’s only because I haven’t played much since I was about 13 – You shut up!! LOL). Period!

She gets me. She gets me in a way that only a couple of my closet friends and my sister get me. I love her because she is my Soulmate, because I couldn’t imagine this life or any other without her, because with her we made the most beautiful little girl on the planet. Her being White or my being Black had NOTHING to do with it.

That people still have the backward attitudes illustrated above are part of the reasons that our world is in the sorry state it’s in. It’s sad that many of them have such a loud voice in our communities and our lives. It makes me hope that, in my lifetime, we see an end to this way of thinking, that we can reach a state of global community and fellowship, and that we can love one another without regard for skin color or ethnicity.

We have to bring about this change. To imbue the world with sanity, compassion, hope, and love. We can do it, It’s our destiny!!

Sound off, people!! Tell me what you think. Share your stories or your sentiments. If you disagree, share your reasons. Most importantly, just spread Love to each other!!

My love to you all

yes, even you…

I Come from a longstanding belief that we are all born under the same sun, raised under the same sky, and die under the same stars as anyone else here on this planet. Our lives here, are so fleeting and so delicate that it would make sense that we spend what lives we have ensuring that we are the best people we can be –  to ourselves and to each other. I see things on the evening news that flies in the face of that belief, that spits on it and drags it into a place so devoid of life and light and love that it hurts me. My wife and I spend most news hours with our mouths gaping at some of the atrocities our species is capable of committing without a second thought about it, often times springing from the belief that it was the right thing to do or that it had to be done to protect society from itself or some other ideal that gives them some misguided justification and allows then to sleep with themselves. It’s for that reason that I hate watching the news.

I’m writing this entry because I haven’t yet, because I’ve wanted to for a while and not really known what to say, because those of u who haven’t heard this yet need to hear it, and because (and this applies to everyone, I don’t care if you follow this blog or not, if you’re a regular reader or just happened across it today), honestly, some things just need to be said, not just for my own benefit, but, I hope, for the benefit of all who’s eyes come across these next words…

You are all beautiful, wonderful, amazing souls. You all deserve to be happy. You all deserve to be loved. You all deserve whatever happiness you can and will reach for. All of you. ALL. OF. YOU!!

I’ve spent the last few weeks reading about the terrible tragedies within the our high schools and the Gay and Lesbian Community, and my heart has screamed itself deaf trying to understand it all. What could possibly drive someone to bully another to the point of causing that young soul to take their own life? Why didn’t that person have people they could reach out to in their own lives that could have taken them and pulled them into a warm, caring, understanding embrace and assured them that “this too shall pass” and that “it’s okay to be Gay, Bi, Lesbian, or whatever/whoever you are”? Why didn’t someone take that bully aside and try, in a caring and thoughtful way, to get to the root of their own issues so that they, in turn, wouldn’t take their frustrations and hurt out on someone already going through such an ordeal of their own? Why haven’t we yet learned that the bullying and persecution of people who are “different” or supposedly “abnormal” is never, never EVER okay, never EVER justified, and never EVER in the interests of creating a beautiful society, free of all of the prejudices and hatred and bigotry that we all learned about (a good deal of us, the hard way)?

I have so many questions screaming through my head and so many fears for my little girl. I don’t know what she’ll be in her teen to adult life (other than amazing, I mean), but I will do my absolute best to assure her that she is loved, care for, and accepted for who she is and who she chooses to be happy with, and that she can always come to us with whatever she happens to be dealing with – NO MATTER WHAT! Too many beautiful souls have been cut down or have cut themselves down because they never heard those words. Not my baby, and , I hope, not anyone else’s.

To everyone here: there’s no reason that we can’t share this beautiful world with each other, regardless of our religions, ethnicities, or sexual identities. There is no reason we can’t all be compassionate, and honorable, and good to each other, no reason that we should be cutting people down for simply being who they are. None.

NONE.

I’m struggling here, trying desperately to find words that will strike a chord in everyone, trying to incite some kind of change in the collective consciousness, but all I seem to be doing is saying the same things that other people (who are as sickened and saddened by these events as I am) seem to say.

I can only hope that the collection of us out there in the world can reach enough people and be there for enough young people to make some kind of difference. I know that this has been a long standing problem and that it won’t just go away, but I hope that we can finally begin to chip away and break it down so that someday we get to the point where this kind of thing never EVER happens again.

I’ve run out of things to say here (at least things that make make me go about the beating of dead horses), so, hoping that I’ve (in some way or another) made my point, will end this post here.

I love you all.

Here’s to changing the world and making it better for ALL of us,

– Sphinx

Lately I’ve been pondering the concept of social invisibility in terms of how people deal with each other both online and in in-person situations (mostly through my own experience) – and while I’ve come to a few conclusions, I’ve also come up with more questions than I expected to.

So being that things like blogging are perfect forums for this kind of thing, I figured “Why Not?”.

But then I remembered something: That I am an unwilling master of the “Art of Invisibility”

“But Sphinx, what do you mean by that?”

Well, I’m glad you asked that question, made-up-blog-reader-voice! Allow me to explain.

For as long as I can remember, I knew I was different. I didn’t always know how or why, but I just knew that there was something about me that just wasn’t like my peers or like most people I knew. As I got older and a little more unique, I began to notice some things – usually that the other kids would either shun or make fun of me for being different, or just ignore me altogether. I wasn’t sure why. I wasn’t the kid who belonged in special-ed, I wasn’t the trouble-maker, I wasn’t the class clown or anything. So I didn’t understand what the issue was – I was a smart kid, I got pretty damned good grades, had a couple of friends, and generally tried to stay out of trouble.

So what was wrong with me?

I was a bit on the socially awkward side of the spectrum – or had become so due to the negative interactions I had at the hands of my peers.

Here’s how it stood back then:
– I grew up around a huge circle of older people, I loved them and they loved me and it affected me in ways that I still carry with me.
– I was also (and still am) a massive bookworm and gamer. Sure my parents encouraged me to go outside and meet and play with other kids, but when it came down to it I was happier sitting on my porch or in my room by a window with my head in a book – ANY book!
– I was also (and still am, though I do my best – not really – not to display it)extremely sensitive. I wore my feelings on my sleeve and on my head and wherever else I could.
– I was (and, again, still am) a dreamer – I could often be found lost in my own world in my head. I liked it there. No one shunned or made fun of me, and everyone just accepted and loved me for who I was and didn’t expect me to be something I didn’t want to/ couldn’t be.

Okay, so I was really awkward because of that – mostly because none of the interactions I had in life ever went the way it did (or does) in my head and I had no knowledge base of how to respond to what actually happened in reality.

So what did I do to avoid all of the negative reactions and ostracism?
– I tried to keep my head down as often as possible, which became harder to do when I got myself involved in the performing arts. I gave it a damned good try though.

– for the most part, I was pretty unsuccessful.

Flash to adulthood – people had begun to accept my particular brand of weirdness (or at least I assumed they had – I don’t actually know at this point) that they started to (most of them) look past that and see me. Did they really see me and all that I was/am? Who knows. It was enough, however, to make me some friends and make me not as awkward as I had been.

It also introduced me to people who have Charisma stored up in mountain valleys somewhere.
Folks that could charm the pants off of the Queen of England.
People that could look at you, or say hello to you – and you’d be naked in a matter of seconds.
LVL 80 +400 to Charisma kind of power!

This kind of Charisma I did not possess – maybe I have a small fraction of it now, but it is nowhere near the level of these guys!

I now enter a phase of my life where I am seeking simply to bee seen/heard (Artistically and Personally). I want to share things in my life and on these online avenues, and I do and No one reads.
Or I’m among a group of people and I start talking and I get talked over or people just loose interest.

Now, switch over to the friends I have who have the +1200 to Charisma.
They post a status message and something like 100 responses post in a matter of a few minutes (I’m exaggerating a bit, but you get the point – and no, I’m not hating on these people, they are my friends and I love them dearly).

Another Example: When I lived in New Orleans, I would perform or throw parties and I would always invite a mass amount of people – out of the almost 100 people I invited, maybe 30 would show up . I Move here, and the friends I make are actually interested (for the most part) in what I’m doing and make a conscious effort to come out and support and show love.

So it comes to one of two conclusions – Either I’m just not bloody interesting at all – Or my friends are all so much more interesting than I am, that it turns me into the “Quiet Friend” by comparison.

Maybe I’m reading into this too much. Maybe I’m crazy for wanting attention for the interesting (well…I think their interesting) things that I accomplish or the things I post, etc.

Or maybe the universe decided to throw the old invisibility spell over me again?

Maybe I’m just tired of feeling like I don’t bloody matter, that maybe I’m so different or weird or boring that I’ve become irrelevant to certain people.

And if that’s the case, why are they not telling me this?

I’m not fond of the feeling of wanting acknowledgement from other people – but I do appreciate it when it’s given. It makes me, as a person, feel good, feel validated, feel cared about.

Especially from my friends and family.

Maybe I should just shut the bloody hell up, go back to being quiet and not caring if anyone else cared either.

But then, if I did that, you wouldn’t be reading (or not reading) this right now.

I apologize if I expect too much from the people I like.

I guess it’s how I’m built.

I’m also sorry if this comes across as random or fragmented. For those of you who know me, you also know that my thought process is about the same as Robin Williams or Eddie Izzard.

Also, if this doesn’t apply to you – please disregard.

In Any case, I love you all

see you next post.

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