TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION, 11-26-2007

“The lost 40 acres”

I was in the process of working on a post on a news article on the black middle class (“Forty Acres and a Gap”, Henry Louis Gates), but a hat-tip to Bryan Wilhite, who beat me to it, for this post on his blogsite rasx() http://www.kintespace.com/rasxlog/?p=793

“In “The lost 40 acres” at popandpolitics.com the numbers tell no little white lies: “One report demonstrates that black kids born to middle-class parents in the late 1960s have had a difficult time as adults maintaining their middle-class status. Forty five percent of them, according to the report, have fallen into relative poverty. It’s been the opposite for middle-class white kids, among whom only sixteen percent have dropped into lower income categories.” Here is a more objective reason why prominent Negroes are quite offensive when they make seductive attempts to describe “race” issues within the frame of a solved problem. My assertion based on personal observation is that once we reach the so-called middle class, we tend to assume that things can run on autopilot—so we can just drop “the kids” off at the upper-class school and pay taxes and just assume these children will magically be educated simply because they are surrounded by the trappings of wealth and European concepts of privilege.

Mwalimu Baruti of Atlanta, Georgia has something to say about this issue in the LIB Radio sampler, “Three Sons of Africa.”

 “New report confirms that the American Dream is a nightmare for most black families”

Deborah Gabriel: “Black Britain examined the report written by Julia Isaacs from the Brooking Institution, who examined Census data and made a comparison between family income of parents in the 1960s and their children’s income in the late 1990s to the early 2000s. The findings make grim reading. While the offspring of white middle income families are able to earn more than their parents did, for black families in most cases the opposite is true. The findings reveal that the majority of children from black middle income families actually earn less than their parents.”

This is issue was touched upon in “The Color of Wealth” in this journal.”

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From Vanessa Mizell, of pop + politics, comes this outstanding essay on black women and their hair, and how black people have been the only group in America who have had to legitimize our existence in this country:

“How do African-Americans appear through that prism? It ain’t pretty. In the sixties, the black power movement articulated the need for African-Americans to fight to redefine black as beautiful. No other ethnic group in American history has had to legitimize their beautifulness the way we have had to do. In 1966 Ossie Davis gave an influential speech entitled “The English Language Is Not My Friend” in which he noted that the word whiteness has 134 synonyms an the 44 of those synonyms are favorable and pleasing to contemplate, words like purity, cleanliness, etc. The word blackness has nearly as many synonyms, 120, but 60 of those are distinctly unfavorable and none of them mildly positive. Black synonyms include, for example, the words sinister, evil, dirty—not to mention twenty words tied directly to race, such as negro, negress, etc. ”

Read the rest of the post here:  http://www.popandpolitics.com/2007/11/13/my-hair-my-self/

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From Rachel of Rachel’s Tavern comes this post:

“Race based sex tourism”

“Apparently, older white women are going to Kenya for “sex tourism” at least that’s what this article on Yahoo! says.

They are on their first holiday to Kenya, a country they say is “just full of big young boys who like us older girls.”

Hard figures are difficult to come by, but local people on the coast estimate that as many as one in five single women visiting from rich countries are in search of sex.

Allie and Bethan — who both declined to give their full names — said they planned to spend a whole month touring Kenya’s palm-fringed beaches. They would do well to avoid the country’s tourism officials.

“It’s not evil,” said Jake Grieves-Cook, chairman of the Kenya Tourist Board, when asked about the practice of older rich women traveling for sex with young Kenyan men.

“But it’s certainly something we frown upon.”

Also, the health risks are stark in a country with an AIDS prevalence of 6.9 percent. Although condom use can only be guessed at, Julia Davidson, an academic at Nottingham University who writes on sex tourism, said that in the course of her research she had met women who shunned condoms — finding them too “businesslike” for their exotic fantasies.

I guess white women and white men are becoming more and more alike.”

No, Rachel, white men and white women have always been alike.

Why does this not surprise me? White men (and women) have been using black women and black men (and children, too) as sexual latrines for over 400 years. Nothing new there.

White men were more brutal and sadistic with their sexualized gendered atrocities against black women during slavery, Reconstruction and Jim/Jane Crow segregation; white women were more hidden with theirs, until white male relatives walked in on them and the black man, and the white woman screamed “Rape!”, something that even in this day and age, a white woman can still do.

Read the rest of the post here:

http://www.rachelstavern.com/?p=828

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And from Kai of zuky.net comes this elegant tribute to U.S. veterans of color who are shamefully forgotten when the “big wars” anniversaries roll around. I missed putting up my post on Veteran’s Day, but, Kai gave an excellent tribute to them.

Read the post here:

http://www.kaichang.net/2007/11/veterans-day.html

3 Comments

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3 responses to “TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION, 11-26-2007

  1. Stephanie B.

    Thanks Ann for saying what I always had on my mind, that is, white women and men are alike. I’m am sick and tired of this bull saying that ww are innocent little women with no agency. The fact is they have agency and have used it against people of Color and others not of the upper/ upper middle class heterosexual persasion.

    That’s my 2 cents.

    Stephanie B.

  2. Ro

    I agree. What really gets my goat is when you hear some confused self hating black man disparage black women and call us everything but a child of God, but praises the white woman as everything good, whole, and right. How can they forget that this white woman is the mother of the same white man who implemented and practices white supremecy. This white woman gave birth to, nurtured, and was the first teacher of this white man whom so many self haters vilify; yet they don’t blame her at all for white supremecy. Go figure.

  3. Stephanie B.

    Here’s a good article on the exploitation of Black men by wealthy White women by Angryblackgaycanadian

    Sex Tourism and Male Prostitution: European Women Travel to Africa In Search Of Young African Men For Sex by Angryblackgaycanadian

    Reuters has a very interesting article that caught my attention today about a new trend in the sex tourism industry. The piece is about old rich European women most likely from the United Kingdom travelling to Africa in search of pretty young black men for sex. Sex tourism is not “specific” to just “one gender” yet the western media has always framed this as a male only domain. We all have watched the documentaries about European or North American men travelling to Asia, Africa, or South America in search of young women for sex. Female sex tourism has gone on for decades yet now the mainstream media is finally focusing on the other side of sex tourism from the rich western woman’s perspective.

    The Reuters article discusses British women vacationing in Kenya in search of the big black penis. Have you heard about this trend? I bet you haven’t? I also believe some “feminists” are probably involved in sex tourism as well because they view it as “female empowerment”. So here you have some hypocritical feminists that will bash the male gender that engage in heterosexual sex tourism yet they also are involved in it too. Its like talk about throwing stones in glass houses.

    The rich western women have egos as well they want to feel attractive and sexy. Society has consistently bashed European or North American men that engage in sex tourism yet the media let women off the hook? I think its a total double standard. The European women also want to feel ”hot” since they cannot “attract” young white men in the UK or Europe they travel to a foreign destination to feel powerful and in control. Its also well known in Africa “whiteness” is viewed as a social signifier of power, money, and dominance. The European women feel compelled to travel to Africa in search of young black men because the power dynamics are in their favour.

    Its interesting, because in feminist circles the trend is always about women being the victims of sex tourism and that women are exploited. The feminists act as though women cannot be misandrist, racist, and sexist. The European women that travel to Africa for sex are indeed sexist and racist because they view the black men as sex objects for white heterosexual female desire. The black men are not depicted as “equals” this isn’t about love this is about old ladies that want quick and easy sexual gratification while taking advantage of poor young African men in the process. Let’s not dress this up as some kind of romantic tale this is clear and obvious misandry. However, the Reuters article makes it clear that Kenya’s tourism industry is not happy about this new “image of the country” as a sex tourism magnet.

    Now European women have joined in seeking young black men in Africa for sex. There is no age limit to how far these western women will go to fulfill their sexual desires. You have to wonder? Aren’t there young white or black European men available for these women? So why the need to travel thousands of miles to Africa for a sexual encounter? Its obvious that sex tourism is “easier” for the European women to not only to have the sexual encounters with young African men but also to fulfill their “fantasy”. After the sex the European women can travel back to Europe and talk to their girlfriends about their “amazing” sexual encounters on the “dark continent”.

    I think more research needs to take place in this arena. Why don’t the feminists discuss this perspective? Or do feminists not wish not to discuss sex tourism from a female perspective because they fear it will “place” white western women in a negative light? Aren’t these poor young black men here being exploited as well?

    The American author Terry McMillan is perhaps the most famous western woman that was involved in sex tourism. McMillan’s so called “love affair” with her ex husband Jonathan Plummer started out as sex tourism. The western media attempted to make McMillan appear “empowered” that she travelled to Jamaica to “liberate” herself. The truth is Terry McMillan “travelled” to Jamaica in search of the Big Black Foreign Cock. Terry didn’t want to have sex with an African American man she wanted to have sex with a foreign black man “outside” of the United States.

    Let’s be real and honest here. McMillan went on vacation in Jamaica specifically to seek out a young black man for sex. McMillan basically “purchased” a young Jamaican man Jonathan Plummer brought her ”product” back to the good old United States and he soon became her “husband”. I think McMillan and her marketing team were aware of how to “spin” the fairy tale about how she fell in love with her much younger husband.

    One of the reasons McMillan married Plummer because she was cognizant of the negative image of the sex tourism factor. The residue of the social stigma of an older woman searching for sex in the Caribbean was probably on her mind and she had books to sell. Jonathan was only in his early twenties when he met McMillan he was young and naive. Of course he jumped at the opportunity to leave poverty behind in Jamaica for a new life in America. Although McMillan attempted to dress up her sex tourism experience as a “love affair” I’m not buying it.

    My perspective is that McMillan and Plummer had an “agreement” about their so called relationship. McMillan wanted a young black man she could “control” and have sex with. Jonathan was basically a sex slave for Terry he had no say. Terry didn’t want Jonathan to have new friends or new experiences. Terry also used Jonathan as her ”product” to help sell her “books” and her “brand”. McMillan’s relationship was framed as a new form of “feminism”. I don’t view someone exploiting someone else as “feminism” yet the feminist community sure did. Oprah had Terry and Jonathan on her show and Terry paraded her husband as though he wasn’t even a person he was just a human vibrator toy she bought in the Caribbean. Terry was much older more experienced she had the financial resources and Jonathan all he had was his youth. Terry also made sure they had separate bank accounts. After being married for a while Jonathan he grew up he wanted new life experiences and now Terry McMillan is “angry” that her much younger husband has left her. Terry was the one that got screwed in the end because she thought she could exploit Jonathan forever. Terry’s just bitter that her younger husband got sick of her. Is it liberating in feminist circles to exploit young black men just for sex?

    Plummer wanted an opportunity for “freedom” in America. Plummer and McMillan used each other their relationship was a transaction. How could McMillan and Plummer just “fall in love” so quickly and she brings Jonathan back to the United States? I do not believe a word Terry says because she got a best selling novel and movie ”Stella Got Her Groove Back” out of her sex tourism experience. Terry used her husband to get rich and now she doesn’t want to provide her ex husband with compensation even though he was the fuel to her so called “best selling” romance novel.

    I also find it interesting the North American media had to present the “May/December love angle” about McMillan and Plummer’s relationship. McMillan and her marketing team knew they had to “frame” the relationship in a positive light to “hook” and “sell” it to her female reading audience. Why couldn’t Terry just be honest with the public? I remember watching SEX TV in Toronto there was an episode on this phenomenon of rich western black and white women that travel to the Caribbean in search of the big black penis.

    I had a few problems with the Reuters article. I thought it was racist of Reuters to make the assumption that “only” the young black men can have sexually transmitted diseases. The article made it crystal clear some of the European women did not want to use “condoms” they wanted to “feel” the experience of having sex with a black man. Just because the rich European women are “white” and “senior citizens” doesn’t mean they cannot also have sexually transmitted diseases. Couldn’t it be possible the European women could also pass on infections to the young black men? I thought this section of the article was very offensive because it frames young African men once again as disease carriers and it places all the blame on them.

    Why did Reuters frame the article as if STDs was just one way traffic? I think its obvious once again that the media ”lens” to this story is the older European women are “unfortunate victims”. The section about “condoms use” makes it appear as though the European women are “lonely spinsters” that aren’t thinking clearly. The truth is the white females are adults they have agency over their own mind and bodies. When are women ever be accountable for their own actions? Nobody forced the European women to travel to Africa they made that choice. The British females made the decision to travel thousands of miles to Africa for sex. The European women know exactly what they are doing. Its so racist for Reuters to make it appear as though the white women have no say. The fact is the white women have all the power. The white women have the “money” and the young African men “don’t” so they obviously have the “control.” Sex tourism doesn’t just take place in Kenya other hot spots are Gambia, Nigeria, and South Africa as well.

    The piece also ignored the “obvious” reasons Western women travel to Kenya, Nigeria, Gambia, or South Africa for sex. Sure, Reuters did explore the “exotic” factor a little bit. The truth is the ”dark skin factor” wasn’t explored. Some people are attracted to ”darker skinned” African men its a sexual turn on for some Westerners. In Western societies its well known that darker skinned black men are viewed as more “masculine.” The Western world has a love/hate relationship with black men. Interracial sex between white women and black men is still seen as ”taboo”. Despite the hypocrisy the western media frame young black men as being sexually attractive but of course as ”tainted.”

    The anonymity factor is a major reason rich Western women travel to Africa for sex. No one will “know” the Western women went to Africa in search for sex with young black men. Just to make things clear I am not against sex between consenting adults people have a right to make their own decisions. I am also not against interracial sex. Its clear the older European women have manifested these sexual desires for young black men but an interracial relationship is considered “wrong” in the UK. The sex with the young black men is framed as “licentious”, “elicit” and “dirty” because if there was nothing “wrong” with the interracial sex why the need for the women to have their names “changed” for the Reuters article? After all, the European women are adults and adults can have sex with other adults if the sex is consensual.

    The western women can have their sexual conquest and eat their cake too. Second, sex tourism is “fuelled” by racism. The racist stereotypes about black male sexuality is obvious. The “erotic” factor the Reuters didn’t explore is that some Western people think young African men are naive and easier to exploit since they are poor. Why didn’t the Reuters article explore this angle a bit further?

    Why don’t the old British women chase young white males in the UK for sex? I am sure there are plenty of young white men in Scotland, or Wales, or England, or Northern Ireland that are poor too. Why not travel to Spain, Italy, Germany, France, or some where in Europe for these sexual encounters? So why aren’t these white women interested in “younger” white men? Why travel to Africa?

    I think the answer is clear some people still believe in the racist, misandrist stereotypes that African men have enormous ”large penises”, “more stamina”, ”sexual prowess” and are ”better lovers.” Why is there a double standard? The Reuters article didn’t explore the sexual stereotypes angle enough. I was very disappointed about that because that’s the “fire” it is the “impetus” for the reasons Western people travel to Africa for sex. The white women travelled to Africa in search of the mythical Black Black Dick.

    These western women are not wallflowers they know “exactly” what they are doing. The reason white females travel down “south” for sex tourism is the same reason white and black western men do it they think obtaining sex is easier with no strings attached. So why is the public’s knowledge about sex tourism so one sided?

    The westerners are cognizant of the fact some of the young African, Caribbean, and South American men are poor, perhaps desperate, they need money. The western women have the “money” and the black men have their “youth” and “beauty”. A transaction takes place this form of sex tourism is basically male prostitution. Yet you won’t read about this going on in many feminist journals that’s for sure.

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