Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Look at Madame Noir's List of Black Privileges

Okay, I know that I have to stop reading Madame Noir.  Every time they post some shit, I swear that I am done with the rag, but then I get drawn back in. Perhaps its because it fails on a level that is so spectacularly high, that it is almost amusing. LaShaun Williams decided to pen a list of eight so-called Black Privileges, which I thought for sure had to be satire, until I reached the end of the piece and realized that ze was serious. Heaven help me.

Shall we take  a few of them apart?

  • More athletic scholarships.
"Let’s be honest, black people have the upper-hand when it comes to being recruited for athletics. The world almost always assumes we are better than our non-black counterparts; and, for good reason. Call it stereotyping but when was the last time you saw an Asian guy who stood six foot five inches, 265 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds? Oh wait, never".

Really?  It's a bonus that we get more athletic scholarships? Let's consider the small percentage of those scholarships that are available.  Of those few who manage to achieve scholarships, even fewer make it to professional sports teams.  The path to higher education, is not athletic scholarships but academic ones and those are much harder to come by for people of color.  Let's talk about the fact that even when we do finally get to college, if we can compete at the university level in the sports arena many are absolutely unprepared to work at a college level.  Yeah, college is about more than b-ball yo; it's about handing in papers, doing labs, etc.  If you come from a substandard school to begin with, no matter how many times you can shoot a three pointer, you are not prepared to  work at a college level.  There are vast numbers of people who leave after the first year for that very reason.

  • Permission to “Keep it real.”
"Because every close-minded individual thinks black women are either uneducated, welfare queens or ill-mannered basketball “wives,” we are expected to be loud, uncouth and totally inappropriate. So, when we slip up and go there from time to time, no one is really that surprised."

Right, the angry Black women trope is actually a positive because it allows us to go off.  How about the fact that this trope stops us from being taken seriously because everything we say is reduced to anger? How about the fact that trope works to defiminize when juxtaposed to White women, thus marking as unwomen. Oh no no, it's a privilege to be thought of as continually angry.
  • We wish a [insert expletive here] would, but they don’t.
Decades of Cops and other shows that perpetuate violent stereotypes associated with blackness have instilled a level of fear into a good amount of people in society. And despite the fact that over 90 percent of crime is intra-racial, that fear makes others hesitant to jump into conflict with a sista (or a brotha).

If they were so hesitant to jump into conflict with us, why do most of us have some sort of racial incident on a continuous basis? This supposed avoidance of conflict means things like purse clutching in our presence, as well as crossing the street when they see us coming. Yeah, that's a positive.
  • I could really do a take down on each point but I am only going to share one more with you. 
"We get to claim being grown a** men and women and, at the same time, can play victim."

"Black people are quick to brag on their maturity and declare themselves grown men and women. Yet, we are also quick to project our shortcomings onto others. Some of us spend rent money on designer handbags and then complain about how we don’t have the same economic opportunities as everyone else".

Black people do not play the part of victim, the truth of the matter is that we continue to be effected by a legacy of slavery, and White supremacy is no less damaging than the moment the first African set foot in the western world.  We specifically have to declare ourselves adults because Whiteness has infantalized us for generations.  The fact is we don't have the same economic opportunities as White people because Blacks are purposefully undereducated despite the athletic scholarships that LaShaun was talking about earlier.  Even when we are highly educated, if our names our ethnic we have a much less chance of being called in for an interview.  Regardless of what we do with out income when we get it the point of fact is that when the economy is in recession Black folk are in an outright depression. The recent employment figures bear this fact out.

This entire article left me rolling my eyes and saying negro please.  This sell out shit should have no place on a Black magazine. Don't we have enough to put up with White supremacy without some house slave further selling us down the river?  I think that Williams is the perfect example of how internalized racism hurts us, because hir claims are so far from believable as to be laughable.  As long as we live in a White supremacist world, there can be no such thing as Black privilege, furthermore it's harmful to even suggest that such a thing is possible.