Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pathological Nigg*s Part I

TwitThis





Life has a way of revealing itself to you.

Saturday Birkhold was cautioning me about thinking about Black people
and violence in a pathological way. I was reading a book by Jawanza Kunjufu
and he remarked that Kunjufu is one of those people who is SURPRISED
when a young Black person is in a CAR and it ain't spinning rims.

He went on to say that Kunjufu is one of those people who thinks
that Black people are as jacked as mainstream, academic white
folks think they are.

I disagreed.

But this conversation was important for two reasons.

First. It helped me see the pathological tendencies in
Meredith Mays piece on Oakland.

She quoted saying that

"There are more and more families where there's less and less structure," he said. "Talking to these suspects day in and out, there's a higher percentage today with no sense of right and wrong. It's frightening, but we are creating super-criminals."
And that

"In these neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, all the doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, architects and postal workers have left," said Richard Miles, chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area.

"The kids have nobody but drug lords to look up to.

And finally that.

Many of the convicted killers were quasi-homeless in grade school, moving every 90 days on eviction cycles, or bouncing between friends' and relatives' homes, where they slept on recliners and couches and floors.

Inside the home is pure chaos. Typically, they live with a third-generation relative, an elderly grandmother or aunt, who also opens her home to several other wayward relatives. They all pile into one home, bringing their boyfriends and girlfriends and their children. There's no particular person in charge, no house rules, and people come and go.

I mean, reading that, you would think that babies in East Oakland
pop out with 9mm's, born ready to kill.

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Why to writers think that it is tolerable to write about
Black people this why?

*** Plays Illmatic.

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13 comments:

Nexgrl said...

I think that they don't expect us to respond. AND, you know that there are still doctors, lawyers, business owners, teachers, etc. that still live in East Oakland. Some may even still live in the flatlands, and we know there are plenty in the East Oakland Hills.

M.Z. said...

Why DO writers think that it is tolerable to write about
Black people this why?

Because they assume that black people won't/don't read. For the the most part their right too. Also, it's easier to keep playing out the same stereotypes than go out and actually see what is going on.

seen510 said...

Excuse me but I'm one of those people who was raised by a third generation relative (i.e. grandmother)and like many of the grandmothers I've encountered in the so-called hood my grandma didn't go for the okey doke.

As a southern woman she didn't raise 9 children of her own with the motto,"anything goes".

Model Minority said...

Excuse me but I'm one of those people who was raised by a third generation relative
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I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT.

the prisoner's wife said...

"i wasn't born, i shot my way out my mom dukes"

i agree with MZ. they assume we are not equipped to respond to these types of discourses, and those of us who are capable of decoding & understand what they REALLY tryna say about US...they feel as though we agree.

black middle-class flight is almost, if not more, damaging than white flight from our neighborhoods. we have, in some instances, given up on ourselves.

Aunt Jackie said...

unfortunately i have seen both sides of the Oakland coin. The middle class Jack and Jill, Debutante Ball, Private School in the Hills and the choatic, homeless drug dealing bandits.

The later or often reported on because the media is always looking for a reason to continue to criminalize black families...

I was a sheltered kid growing up in a neighborhood where every one had a job and a pretty nice house. I was out done when I found out what the REAL Ghetto was about it so although some of the journalists may look like they are stereo typing, like myself they too could be sheltered, middle class and out done at the other side of the tracks.

Model Minority said...

"i wasn't born, i shot my way out my mom dukes"
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I love u too, daggumit.

Model Minority said...

I was out done when I found out what the REAL Ghetto was about it so although some of the journalists may look like they are stereo typing, like myself they too could be sheltered, middle class and out done at the other side of the tracks.
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But AJ. Meredith knows better.

She wrote about King estates before.

SHE BEEN writing about Oakland for at least 7/8 years.

Model Minority said...

I was out done when I found out what the REAL Ghetto was about it so although some of the journalists may look like they are stereo typing, like myself they too could be sheltered, middle class and out done at the other side of the tracks.
=========

But AJ. Meredith knows better.

She wrote about King estates before.

SHE BEEN writing about Oakland for at least 7/8 years.

zackattack said...

Technology has changed the structure of the traditional American family.

Everybody wanna watch their favorite show, but not with their family. We have iPods, facebook, and so many fun alternatives to having dinner table discussions. Some black folks don't even sit with their relatives at church!

But I feel that some traditional minded people at HBCUs create a sub culture of bourgeois, black elitists who feed into bogus stereotypes more than whites do.

Model Minority said...

But I feel that some traditional minded people at HBCUs create a sub culture of bourgeois, black elitists who feed into bogus stereotypes more than whites do.
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What constitutes a bourgeois, black elitist?


What bogus stereotypes?

Anonymous said...

as someone who was a sociology major at a predominately white institution I am just going to go on ahead and break everyone's heart by saying that the majority of people don't know that they are speaking in terms of pathology. i swear it's true. Now, not to say that my college is indicative of every other college, but I have witnessed too many readings where professors ask "How did you like the reading?", and the white kids (yes, I will break it down that way) "*loved* it, and they never knew people lived that way", and I hated it, and ranted down the whole class about the author's need to categorize "decent" black folks and "street" black folks, and how he was "othering" these ppl that he never understood, etc and so on and so forth. The professor agreed with me and all of the other kids were ashamed that they didn't notice. We all generalize, i just think that people from urban areas are familiar with *many* different lifestyles, whereas ppl from 'sheltered' backgrounds know and understand only theirs.

I could go on for days, I have too many real life stories that would make you cry (a reason why I have ignored this type of analytical cultural critique for a while...but your blog brings it back, thanx). One of my favorite anecdotes is where a girl thought it was ok to say aloud to a class (and a Black professor) that she "always thought that hip hop was 'my guns, my hoes, my 40s'". She had no clue that the row of Black students physically cringed at such...obliviousness to her own ignorance and bias.

I always thought some folks had a particular gift for reading behind the line, for their own survival...and others are not even aware of anything being between the lines because they were NEVER held accountable for their thoughts and actions.

M.Dot. said...

Glad I could help.**smile.

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