Self-Defense Class in the DMV Area July 22

WHOS BAD SELF DEFENSE WORKSHOP

 

I am all for women, especially Black women from all walks of life, knowing how to defend themselves in everyday life. There are enough stats of missing girls and women within the DMV area alone that is staggering and hits close to home. My sister pushed me to take a self-defense class and I thank her for it because it showed me how much strength I had that I didn’t know and how poor my boundaries were. I would silently suffer while people crossed boundaries that made me feel red hot angry. But boundaries are about self preservation. If someone crosses them it activates our fight or flight response. And I am still learning to enforce those boundaries I have learned. But for those who are confused and unsure there is a Self-Defense class taking place on Andrews AFB from 9:30am-12:30pm. You can purchase tickets and find more detail on the link above. The price of learning to protect yourself and your loved ones is priceless.

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A young man saves a woman, but is thrown in jail, Shannon Nyamodi

Shannon Zach Nyamodi had just graduated from high school April of 2012 and had a plan for his life. A plan that was changed one night on August 6, 2012. Nyamodi had just from a gig his band played and was asleep in his car outside of a friend’s house when he heard gunshots and saw a white woman was running down the street and screaming for help. The woman was screaming because her daughter had hired someone to come and kill her.

Her daughter 15 went on Facebook searching for someone to kill her mother.

Nyamodi, doing what any good person would do, went toward the woman to help her and find out what was going on. A white young male leapt from the house and ran. Nyamodi helped call 911 for the woman. The police come and take care of woman, hearing her side of the story and taking a statement from the young boy.

The next day, despite the woman telling them that her daughter set her up and that the person that shot her was a white male and clearly not Nyamodi, the police took this young man and placed him in jail! This young boy has been there since 2012. It has been over a year and I am just now hearing about this. I don’t know what this boy has gone through. Despite all the evidence stating that the boy is innocent, the police refuse to let him go. They are trying to pin this on him mostly likely it is one of the sheriffs or officers little murdering psychopath sons and they are trying to cover their ass instead of letting them rot.

The white boy responsible has been found on social media and the gun used to shoot the woman and the money taken from her has been given to the sheriff but Nyamodi has not been released! Please lets spread the word and get this out there. We have to be the ones to protect our children because no one else will do it for us. Justice for Shannon Zach Nyamodi, now!

What was this young boys crime? Helping a woman that could have been killed? Doing what any good person would do? Being compassionate, caring, and humane? His crime was not being the criminal, he is supposed to be due to his black skin. He should have never been placed in jail nor should he be charged with a crime he did not commit. He will not become another Troy Davis or Trayvon Martin, he will not be made to look like a criminal instead of a victim. Justice for Shannon Zach Nyamodi NOW!!!

You can read more about this case here: http://www.kulturekritic.com/2013/12/men/young-black-man-jail-attempted-murder-victim-states-didnt/

 

 

The Pressure of Giving In

In life there are pressures to conform to different standards regardless of race, orientation, gender, religious affiliation and so on. For some these pressures are seen as obstacles to overcome and for others the truth. Around the world there is a mentality that white is right and that anything close to white is best. When I began the topic about colorism I stated that it would revolve the black community because that is the community I grew up in, but this post will be kind of broad.

Many boys and girls are bombarded with images of what one should look like, speak like, be attracted to and so on and these same boys and girls get older and become men and women that have internalized those images. They are told these images are correct most likely by their families as well. For those that fit the image of being light-skinned or having certain features they are treated differently than others sometimes good and sometimes bad, but they is always the message that they still need improvement in certain areas. For those that do not fit the image it is a constant struggle to affirm their beauty and celebrate their features in an environment that ignores them or deems them inferior and peers that degrade them.

For those that struggle they either continue their struggle and reach a place where they celebrate themselves regardless of what society says or they become bitter and feel as though God has cursed them, then there are some who take to bleaching their skin to become physically what they have internalized as beauty.

Whenever I would hear of someone who bleached or see a person that bleached I would shake my head and pity them while at the same time condemning them because I could not understand why they would result to such drastic measures and although I understood why I never thought to provide empathy or see it from their eyes.

In every struggle there are those that fight and there are those that give in and the ones that give in do so because it easier than the constant tiring battle. This could easily be considered weak-minded and so on but its reality and a lot of people do it. During slavery when Nat Turner rightfully went about killing slave owners there were those that probably took up with Nat Turner then changed their minds because it was too much for them. During the feminist movement, I’m sure there were white housewives that agreed with the likes of Susan B. Anthony but continued to play the role of housewife because it was easier to continue to be what they already were.

It’s always easier to give in because it’s the road most traveled and without much stress. The same applies to colorism and for those that alter or change their physical appearance in order to stack up with societies standards of what is beautiful.

Whenever a Black person bleaches their skin, especially a celebrity, they are harshly attacked despite the fact that many understand their reason for doing so, but African and black people are not the poster children for bleaching. In India bleaching creams, soaps, lotions, and so on are very much profitable and common. In fact bleaching is seen as a good thing because there are caste systems based on ones physical appearance. The lighter one is the more they are viewed in a favored light, the darker one is the less on the totem pole they are. There is even a product for women to bleach their vagina if it’s too dark.

In the Philippines they have a serious color complex and actually put out a magazine like this. Despite the fact that the original settlers of the Philippines, Aeta, are probably of African descent and dark-skinned are not treated kindly there whether they assimilate into the modern culture there or not. Now that is a female dog, you are treated like crap on your own land.

In Latin America it is the same thing as well. Light-skinned Hispanics are viewed as “real” Hispanics although they do not have a supposed set look because they are an ethnicity and can look like any other ethnicity, but I digress. Dominicans are said to be extremely color struck despite them living on an island with Haiti and are known not to like Haiti or Haitians and stuff. Of course not all Hispanics are like that.

With the practice of colorism being worldwide and the propaganda bombarding everyone and so on is it not hard to see why the pleasure of giving in is so tempting? I’m not making excuses but I can see it for what it is; colorism is strong and is evident in a lot of peoples lives around the world but fighting against it is necessary for the millions of children of color that feel inferior and to stop the cycle for continuing for many more generations.

The Other Side of Colorism

Colorism doesn’t just affect one end of the spectrum it affects the other end as well. I never knew that there were light-skinned people that suffered due to colorism since I mostly experienced it for not being light-skinned. However, for some light-skinned people they have been picked on, talked bad about, discriminated against, and some even had to fight a lot as an adult and in their youth all because they were light-skinned.

During one of my classes, we were discussing how media in the Western part of the world affects the rest of the world in these areas: culture, values, market, thinking process and more; the topic about colorism came up because western media is based on the ignorance of white is right.

Mostly women talked about their own run in with colorism or how much they know about it. One girl that was light-brown skin but would easily be considered light-skinned talked about how she always had to be careful about what she did, said, and acted because she didn’t want people to label her as this or that. It has to suck to have to watch what you do because you don’t want people to label you as some stuck up light-skinned person is crazy.

Then again I can see why she had that mentality because light people are labeled as being stuck up, thinking they all that, all the guys want tehm and all the girls want them, they are arrogant, cocky, thinking they are just the hottest thing since slice bread and so on.

This thought is far from true, yes there are some that act and think that way, but it is not the majority. There are light-skinned girls that when they get with a guy all he talks about is how redbone she is, a term I hate, or how he wants to have a baby with her so the kid will have “good” features and so on. These women are talked about and looked at for their skintone not how they feel inside, not as human beings, not as women, but as trophy wives and that is not fair.

The same can be said for light-skinned guys, when women flock to them for the sole purpose of their child looking a certain way, or always bring up their skintone, or praising them for it and so on. These guys are not treated as human beings or men they are like toys that are cool to be seen with any nothing more.

The reason why this doesn’t get much attention or gets shut down easily because people feel as thought since light-skinned girls and guys receive so much media representation and are put on a pedestal it isn’t as serious as some make it seem. At the end of the day its wrong for anyone to be treated good or bad based on their skintone.

For those that act arrogant or so on are taught to be that way and you can tell at times. I had a class with a guy that was light everything, light-skin, light eyes and “fine” hair. According to him he had pretty eyes and pretty hair, but whatever. He was definitely cocky and it was because of his “pretty” features. I could tell that he most likely was raised with that mindset cause it doesn’t come from nowhere.

I feel for those like him cause reality usually hit those types hard.  It’s like women and men who pride themselves on their youth and how good they look that when they get older and don’t look as good they go crazy and become plastic Barbies and Kens with all the work that they get done.

Point blank colorism affects anyone and people need to stop trying to dodge the subject because its tied very well into sexism. Oh and can ppl pleaase stop giving light-skinned black people nicknames that are dumb they are black, they are no less black than a dark-skinned person.

African-Americans time for us to have a SERIOUS chat

I created my posts on colorism and although its far from over it has been renewed. There was this discussion about the exoticizing of Women of color and its history. The topic turned to Alex Wek, when she first came on the scene and how the magazines and photographers would place her in animal print and other attire. There was a picture of Wek, who is very gorgeous by the way, and some of the guys in the discussion couldn’t or should I say refused to see her beauty. They came with the comments of “she’s pretty in her own way” and “Shes not my type,” however, these same dudes were salivating over Amber Rose.

Now don’t get me wrong both women are gorgeous and I take nothing away from them; however the mindset of the guys with the most negative things to say about Wek have an issue and its colorism. I look at different Black medias today, although most are not owned by blacks *cough* BET *cough* and sure enough there is a common pattern; dark-skinned women are not represented at all. Heck even look at black movies and sure enough dark-skinned women are not represented and if they are, they are loud, obnoxious, rude, sassy, and every black stereotype under the sun. No one seems to question it or bat an eye to it, but we all see it for what it is.

I no longer care to focus on the slavery mentality aspect of it because Africans in America no matter what you want to call yourself, you have resources at your disposal to educate yourself about your history, your self-esteem, your self-worth, and who you are, However, it seems that for many they enjoy the ignorance taught to them and when confronted with the truth they become even more ignorant.

Whether we want to admit it or not, African-Americans are trained in the art of hating dark-skin period. Now don’t get me wrong there are many men and women that fawn over dark-skinned men and blah blah blah, but there will always be something said about how that brotha is too dark or he so black… (finish the line if you will). It’s just more blatant when it comes to dark-skinned women or should I say it’s deemed more acceptable when it’s toward dark-skinned women. The whole black is beautiful movement has a condition to it, which is black is beautiful when it’s not TOO black. I call bullshit on all of this. I find black to be beautiful in all its hues, but that’s because I don’t drink kool-aid, I drink water. Lies are full of different nonsense, but the truth remains clear in all its forms.

I know some people will say that those guys have preferences and they are entitled to them, and that is true, but you can’t claim you have a preference for something that you have been told to have a preference for. Since I’m dark-skinned I should only like and date light-skinned guys because of “preference” something the media/black community has told me to like. For example, one day I was waiting for my bus and this lady sees me and begins telling me how pretty I am for a dark-skinned girl for a few minutes(insert wtf look), she seemed so shocked like a pretty dark-skinned girl is rare, and then she goes on to give me some fucked up advice. “You know what you do? You get you a light-skin man and fuck the shit out of him.” Mind you this lady is old enough to be my mother and at the time I looked about 12 or younger.  

Preference is another word for self-hate in my eyes because of the way it is used in America. These same guys would call foul if the girls that they prefer were to tell them that they weren’t their preference, especially if the girl is white or Latina then they might start marching and restart the civil rights movement.

I’m sure for a fact that if Wek was light-skinned these guys wouldn’t be making these excuses. Seriously African-American, not all of you, you need to educate yourselves and deprogram yourselves, all this self-hate that you have, you pass on to the next generation and continue  to be at a stand-still when it comes to community building. I mean there has to be a reason why the black man in America is getting lighter and lighter and the white man is staying the same, he may be tanning, but he still has his pale skin when it washes off.

“The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.” ~Marcus Garvey

 Side-Note: How come I can never see two dark-skinned people together in a movie? Yes, Daddy’s Little Girl’s count, but they lightened up Gabriel Union, I peep game.

Colorism…. Black Community Part 2

Self-hate-> is despising yourself and those who look like you. A lot of this is what causes the hatred of dark-skinned and African features. It’s like the big elephant in the room that people do not want to discuss and want to sweep under the rug, but it’s too important to be treated like this continuously.

I remember reading a book called “Breaking the Psychological Chains” and as it discussed colorism and self-hate and how these were key elements in the conditioning of blacks in America and everywhere since colonialism, it stated something important in the book that I had never heard before until after the book. I consider it a perverse nursery rhyme and it goes like this:

If you’re light, than you’re right

If you’re brown, than stick around

If you’re black, than get back…. WAY Back!!!

The words are pretty self-explanatory as to what type of skin tone is right and what type is wrong. Sadly, from what I’ve seen too many black kids know this rhyme, word from word. So even at a young age, their innocence and self-worth has been tainted. I have heard of incidents where one kid (light) will tell another kid(light) not to play with one kid because they are dark. That is not a mindset they are born with, it is a mindset that they are taught.

Colorism affects both male and females, but the ones getting the most slack from it are dark-skinned females. I mean what is wrong with being dark-skinned? what is wrong with having skin that is deep in hue? What is wrong with having that skin tone and being a woman? the main question is what is wrong with it?

Some say dark-skin equates with being masculine and light skin equate with being feminine, some say its easier to see the beauty in a light skin person rather than a dark-skinned person, and some make other ignorant excuses. Neither of these are true.

Nothing is wrong with dark-skin, in fact I see more beauty in it; there is beauty in it, there is a strength about it that I can’t put into words. In my eyes dark-skin symbolizes a sort of timeless beauty, one that screams that I am the original Adam or Eve, and no matter what and through all these years, I cannot be tainted.

Colorism hurts and its intricate bond with self-hate seems to expand to every generation. Yet, it is something that should no longer be ignored. We need to stop all the excuses we make for not trying to deal with attacking colorism and the way it hurts dark-skinned women in our community.

I’m tired of hearing “We’ve moved on from that,” “Why are we still talking about this in 2011,” “This is just a ploy by the white man….”  and such, we need to realize that we never dealt with it and that is why it keeps popping up. The main excuse I’m tired of hearing is “Everyone has preferences” Yes that is true; however, ask each of those people to reevaluate those “preferences” most of it is tied back to slavery. There is no such thing as “the past is the past” because the past affects the present and the future; consider the past a foundation upon which we build from.

To every dark girl across the world, whether you are in Africa, the Caribbean, America, Europe, Asia, Canada, Latin America, and anywhere else know that you are beautiful, know that you are special, know that your skin tone is not a mistake, know that God doesn’t make mistakes, and know that it’s a struggle to realize your beauty in this corrupted world, but when you do it you will gain an abundance of self-love rather than self hate.

To every parent out there, stop the dark-skin jokes, stop treating one kid than the others because of skin tone, stop bleaching yourself, stop bleaching your kids, monitor what your kids watch, always speak positivity to your kids and their self-esteem, do not place your past hurts on them and do not take out your anger and frustration out on them.

To every black man who has shunned a woman for being too dark, or simply thinks its their preference to want anything close to white, truly evaluate your preferences and your thought patterns, and see that self-hate is more in your subconscious than you’re conscious of.

To every Black person around the globe every morning you wake up make a conscious effort to deprogram yourselves, to shake off your prior teachings of inferiority and to love yourself and your people, do not follow societies standard of beauty because it does not exists.

Another thing black people as a whole need to stop supporting artist that degrade women period, stop rocking to it, stop listening to it, stop calling the radio requesting it, and stop downloading it, stop aiding in your own enslavement and degradement.

P.S. have you seen how good black love looks and sounds.

Colorism is the Cancer of the Black Community Part 1

This topic had been on my mind for a little bit; I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do a post on it or whether I could do a post on such a topic and be right on the money with it; however, my decision came in the form of various signs. The first sign is with the Documentary that is coming out, detailing the issues of colorism in the Black Community (being a dark-skinned Black woman) with personal accounts from dark-skinned women. Here is a preview of the documentary that was posted on a girl’s tumblr page: hatethemorlovethem. The second sign was with whole Beyoncé being lightened up for her new album cover, along with the bleaching of Sammy Sosa. But the most convincing sign was this lady right here. Her video resonated so deeply with me because we had similar experiences and we did similar things to hide ourselves or to not have to deal with the negativity thrown at us, simply for being dark-skinned.

I cannot say that every dark-skinned female has been treated with malice, or called names, nor can I say that every dark-skinned female has felt ashamed of their skin and wanted to be light-skinned, yet for those that have been through these feelings and experiences and having experienced it for myself, I can speak on it.

Another point I want to make is that colorism is not limited to the Black community, it is expressed in many people of color’s culture, yet as a Black person I can mostly focus on the Black Community.

Colorism, a word that I can’t really find in a print dictionary, maybe due to the dictionaries being old, but I would rather define the word myself based on my experiences. Colorism in the cancer of the Black Community, it is the seed of self-hate and years of conditioning, it is rejecting your origin to become something else, it is the virus of viewing and treating one person as inferior because they do not fit what is deemed acceptable. And in this case, it is treating darker-skinned women as less than inferior because of psychological enslavement that helps the oppressed accept what their masters deem as desirable.

In the black community you are to be everything, but black especially if you are a woman. The average attractive Black woman must be light-skinned, with “good hair” and/or long hair and little to none African features. This is the type of Black woman who is put on the pedestal, this is the type of black woman who is as close to white as possible, and this is the type of black woman who white America can tolerate. The saddest thing of all, this is the type of Black woman who other blacks should wish to become, or have on their arms.

Yet, when it comes to dark-skinned black woman, those are the ones that are ugly, those are the ones that have “nappy” hair, those are the ones that white America cannot accept, those are the ones who should have kids outside their race in hopes to not continue their kind, and those are the types that are too black. This is the mindset that plagues a lot of youths in the Black community, this is the sickening, garbage projected to their young minds through the media, in their households, and in their communities.

I can go through the whole backstory of slavery, but I don’t have the patience so I will get to the point. Black in America is looked at as something to evolve from, something to be bred out and subconsciously we teach our young this foolishness. We teach them this mindset when we make dark-skinned jokes, when we treat one kid better than the others because they are light-skinned, when we use bleaching cream products, when we put bleaching cream on them, when we make hurtful remarks toward them about their skin tone, or let them watch TV programs that crowd their head with illusions. All this and so much more is what creates the world of white or light is right and brown or black is wrong.

Colorism at one point was targeted at both dark-skinned males and females, but then all of a sudden, light-skinned guys went out of style and dark-skinned guys came in; wow if some of the dark-skinned guys weren’t jumping for joy then. But how quickly did they turn the very taunts that haunted them on to their dark-skinned women, refusing to date them simple because of how dark they were.

Now and for a while, colorism targets the dark-skinned woman. For many years growing up through all the comments, the taunts, and the fighting I always wondered why and soon I got it. One woman during a video a long time ago made a very powerful statement she stated that you would see the Idris Elba’s, the Tyrese’s, the Taye Digg’s and all those other gorgeous dark-skinned men in Hollywood, but you would never see the women that gave birth to them. Why is that? Why are there not a lot of Kelly Rowland’s, Julie Pace Mitchell’s, and the Lauryn Hill’s and so on?

The answer becomes simple, in order to control something or contain it, you have to attack the source. What better what to keep blacks from continuing their kind than to attack the very person that gives birth to their kind? And that has and will always been the black woman, especially the dark-skinned black woman. Even in slavery they attacked her so why not continue? And by doing so many Blacks, male and female, both dark and light have turned against their mother. They have disrespected the dark-skinned woman when she is their mother, grandmother, sister, cousin, child, aunt, and so on.

The girls in the two videos above made me feel like I was looking at me. I use to blare my headphones loud so I couldn’t hear what people said about me, I was teased for always being the dark-skinned girl, heck other dark-skinned girls avoided me, people who didn’t know me would make negative comments about me or I always got that “pretty for a dark-skinned girl” foolishness. I have seen people bleach and the results of it, (Heck I know at least 3 different colors of bleaching cream boxes, and if I can tap well into my memory bank I can remember how to mix it) I have at times hated being dark-skinned. There were times when I would look down at the floor when I walked, I would do everything in my power not to be picked on, not to be noticed, only to have to go through the whole process of being called out on because I’m dark-skinned.

Many women, many girls, dark-skinned are going through this and many have grown up caring these scars. It hurts and stings more when it’s from your own kind, your own people treating you a certain way because they have been so conditioned. I’m too emotional right now to be coherent enough, so I will try to get it together by part 2.