Redman was another cat whose rhymes and styles I was slow to warm to and even today, think he is overrated. But this particular song was gold for me trompin' around the Greater Greensboro area in the mid 90's! When Redman goes, " I don't have a car but I have a pair of Reebok's... they get me where I'm goin' until my damn feet stops!", I had to be with the brother for this song!
In fact the flavor of his entire flow would have me juiced! And just like Reggie Noble, I am still feelin' kind of so-so...
... but that is not this entry. Almost, but not quite.
IN THE JULY/AUGUST ISSUE OF THE ATLANTIC
A little background first. I have not made a big deal about my lack of connection to other people of color in the blogosphere, but I am aware of it. One of the few readers of color called me to task about saying some harsh things about African-Americans recently, particularly since 'my audience' as it were, tends to be more White.
Eh, I have no real response to that. Some of it is 'dirty laundry' and the only thing I would worry about is that someone took away the impression that I was in some sort of denial about my self-loathing or whatever. If they do, then I have done all I can, but now, I can't do nothin' for you, man!!
One of the things that does really make me angry with myself, is that I have 'fallen off the table' so to speak, of being economically viable as a partner. There were plenty of 'left turns I should have taken', but oh well. One of the things that has been a constant refrain cried out in the African American community has been for our young men to take initiative and to see themselves as more than the next LeBron/Jay-Z and to be more interested in academics. For whatever reason, there is no appeal in walking that path and after reading the article, I no longer think that it is one simply of culture, but sex.
See, I have always thought that now that white folks can rap, dance and play basketball (Eminem, Justin Timberlake, Dirk Nowitski), our days were numbered. Judging by the incarceration and recidivsim rates, it is difficult to argue that point. But there is another elephant in the room that never really gets talked about but is happening whether or not we are conscioulsy aware of it.
It is not an 'ethinic' problem that is keeping a brother down but a GENDER problem that is making all men fall into an 'at risk' category.
As society has changed, the things that were traditionally male and part of the benefit of hierarchy, has shifted. The article makes a point of talking about how once it became possible to choose the sex of the child that gets fertilized, it was feared that it would come at the expense of girls for boys. The reality is that more parents want little girls, because it is easier to envision Princess moving into society and benefitting more than it is Prince. In fact, the book 'The Bachelors' Ball' explains how the once powerful position of the man has come to actually work against the men in a French village, and is in many ways connected to the fail of men everywhere. The traits of being a man no longer benefits men and those once unique qualities women are eager and able to posess and add to the array of talents and skills.
Women are dual threats, whether it is due to a misconception of biological imparetative or maybe a misunderstanding of roles (maybe it IS meant for 'Amazonia' to come to pass?), it is not simply about an ethnic group being held down as much as it is a gender making itself obsolete.
I am sure that I mentioned that I have never considered myself 'a player' as much as I saw myself as a beneficiary of a number's game. My 20's were mostly spent not being in jail, unemployed, without vision, and without potential. Not only that, most of my goals were very realistic and I was going about fulfilling them. As to what happened, that is my personal gordian know of issues and some of them have already been spilled out, so sorry about it, no review is forthcoming. But what this meant was that I was moving into a different atmosphere when it came to dating. There were just fewer brothers around than there were sisters and for an African-American woman who wanted a partner that they could dream with, the field was as watered down as the college football bowl participants, with mediocre 6-6 and 7-5 teams going to bowl games, getting the chance to say that they have had a 'great season'. Bowl games at one time meant that you really DID have a great season and it was a reward. With the discrepancy between men and women getting BA's and PHD's, with women recieving their degrees at rates higher than men, a quote from the article about 'men being the new ball and chain', is a trend that is going to continue.
Computer engieer and janitor? I think that those were the only two fields of employment in the top 15 that were surveyed that more men work in than women? Not only that but the jobs that have opening and room for advancement, child care, nursing, and education, men not only traditionally shy away from, even in this job climate, continue to shun these fields. And I think that this is part of the reason that women now outnumber men in the American workforce.
Growing up, I thought that 'girl power' was only a matter of time. I think that the reason men have wars and go to such lengths to aquire power and money is to impress Cleopatra. Otherwise, we are too easily distract to focus on much else and that is a truism that has given us the ADD, because society is quick to find a compensation for males to occupy a place in society. Things that affect females are of secondary interest. I think that is going to change, eventually. As soon as things anti-women role models like Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin fade away.
There are more talking points from this article but I am not of a mind to think much more about them right now. Either I am PMS'ing or I am winding through the Rocky Mountains blindfolded. Or something. This is feeling is not good.