All Articles Tagged "opinion"
Why Do We Act As Though You’re “Bringing Down” Other Black People If You Have An Opinion On Their Work?
Want to know what a real “hater” looks like? They’re the ones who go out of their way to go on every post about Beyoncé and say, “Who cares???” If you hadn’t realized it yet, you clearly care just a little bit when you take time to comment. They’re the ones who like to pretend like certain people can do nothing right, and every song or album or movie they drop is a complete fail. They can’t acknowledge the awesome moments without lacing their backhanded compliment with shade. Often, they work so hard to go against what the majority likes, that they relish in being “anti.”
But when did we get these “I-hate-24/7-as-a-job” folks confused with individuals who just happen to have an opinion about black folks that you don’t agree with?
“You weren’t feeling Red Tails? How can you not like a movie with a cast full of black men depicting black history??? Keep your negative opinion to yourself. Let’s stop trying to tear our people down and give folks some credit!”
Yeah, it can get that deep.
I’ve noticed this for a while, but it has really started to catch my attention in the past few weeks. An author for the site did a piece on why she was a big fan of Tyler Perry’s plays, but felt they didn’t translate well when put on-screen. As someone who has to keep her eye on our social media pages, I noticed that a lot of people had a lot to say about that story. Some commented and claimed to be more partial to his plays, others said they loved the movies more, and some said they just loved both–they were ridin’ for their man Tyler. That’s all fine and dandy, because a healthy discussion is what we strive for around these parts.
However, I also noticed a few people who felt that the author saying she liked his plays and wasn’t a fan of his movies was an attempt to bring “our people down.” One even wrote it in caps lock in case your vision was less than stellar (thanks for that…). And then I noticed this week that when we posted the new Rihanna song, “Diamonds,” some people liked it, some people didn’t, and for those who didn’t, a commenter questioned why people were so negative and that we needed to be trying to uplift her as she’s a global star. She’s made it folks! A black woman all the way from the Caribbean is doing big things, so I guess you can only say you like her work, her style and her conduct, or you could be confused as someone hoping for her downfall.
I’m all for uplifting our people, but does that mean we have to accept some things of poor quality with a smile and give the thumbs up just because the entertainer/author/artist that gave it to us is black? I can’t have a simple opinion about what didn’t work for me without it being deemed as an opportunity to hold my brothers and sistas down? C’mon now…
Once again, I’m all for uplifting the people, but when the people want me to spend my money to see their movies, buy their albums, or watch their shows, I have every right to speak my opinion if something isn’t working for me. There’s no need to get nasty with it of course, as that would be an example of trying to tear black folks down: “This dog lookin’ b***h looks stupid as hell!!!!” But when you’re stating an opinion you believe to be an honest one, and not a malicious one, and NOT to get kicks or be controversial, I just never understand when other people get their panties in a bunch. Especially when you’re not the person being critiqued. Take my statement with a grain of salt if it doesn’t float your boat, but there’s no need to question my support of black people as a black person because of a simple opinion.
I love my people (really, I do), but just because someone is black and I occasionally like their work doesn’t mean I have to keep my mouth shut or pretend something is a classic when it’s absolutely not. Don’t give me crap and tell me it’s gold and expect me to just go along with it. It’s great to know when an opinion isn’t one that needs to be voiced, but if somebody asks my opinion on a movie/song/book by a talented black person and I just so happen not to like it, I can’t promise you I’ll hold my tongue, but I can promise I’ll be tactful with it. Well, for the most part at least…
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A few friends and I were discussing all the hilarious/crazy pictures and posts and rants and trending topics that we see on a daily basis via social media. Among the almost annoyingly frequent glut of pics and posts, we found that there is a trend of exclusivity. Various races, genders, music fans, sports lovers etc. seem to love telling others how real (or not) they are by their own standards:
“You’re a REAL Lakers fan if..”
“Only REAL Sistas [insert any number of actions]…”
“If you don’t know this song you’re not a REAL R&B fan…”
It’s a hit or miss situation. Sometimes they hit us with truth and it’s nothing but net, other times I’m looking around with a hardcore WTF! face thinking that folks need to just be benched for their crazy assessments of what constitutes “realness.” Today I shall call out my top 5 of the ridiculous “real” peddlers who haven’t quite thought through the BS they’re trying to sell. Don’t get your feathers all ruffled, just take a look and have a laugh:
“You’re wearing that?”
“She looks crazy in that outfit. Don’t she have mirrors?”
“Why does she walk like that?”
“Hmph… she’s soooo ugly, what does he see in her?”
Preface and/or follow these acidic remarks with extreme eye-rolling, sucking of the teeth and sometimes hours of people-bashing and you have a poisonous landfill of negativity brought to you by one of my former best friends. We’ve all had a toxic gal pal. Rude. Judgmental. Always talking down to others under the guise of wanting to “help,” yet totally oblivious to the mangled mess that is their own life. They have an opinion about EVERYTHING. They even have an opinion about opinions. Nothing good to say. And some days if we knew no charges could be filed we’ve all wanted to take a bat and Barry Bonds the ever-loving snot out of them and accompany it with a maniacal, “SHUT THE [your choice expletive] UP!”
At first, in my mind, that was just her personality. She was the big mouth of our circle. And didn’t every circle have one? I would be hypocritical if I fronted like I never joined in. Why did I take part in the gossip? I don’t have a solid answer; just a mashup of inexcusable but honest reasons: It made me feel better about myself; I truly didn’t like some of the people we discussed; there wasn’t much else to do sometimes. Lame? Yes. But 100 percent honest nonetheless.
I had my ‘Aha!’ moment one day when it dawned on me that we had been talking about (aka, tearing apart) the SAME girl for a little over THREE hours. Annoyed didn’t even scrape the surface of how I felt. I said, “Well dang, y’all! Can we talk about something else? That girl is going on about her business and we’re sitting, doing nothing but talking bad about her.”
The initial shock of my outburst rolled out waves of silencing guilt to everyone in the room. Everyone except who? My brazen bestie. She continued like I never said a word and pretty soon everyone else joined back in. I complained of fatigue and left to spend a few hours alone thinking about it all. I decided that enough was enough. I was absolutely finished with the bad-mouthing round tables. No one was helped and nothing was solved by them. All we were doing was trying to elevate ourselves at someone else’s expense, stupidly following the ringleader – my best friend and her big mouth.
From that day until the subsequent demise of our friendship some six months later, I made it my mission to shoot down every negative opinion/insult she hurled out, especially when the person on the receiving end did nothing to deserve such treatment. I started complimenting everyone and calling my bestie out on her behavior. She made excuses. Typical. And I made other friends. *Shrugs nonchalantly*
She didn’t like my newfound independence so we drifted further apart, but inwardly I cheered like a death row inmate getting a pardon call from the president. I was free, not constantly being dragged down by her storm of female-bashing. It was to the point that others hated ME because I was friends with HER. I was tired of enduring her big mouth to keep from hurting her feelings. I was tired of making excuses like, “Well, she really is a good-hearted person once you get to know her.” But I was more sick of her than anyone else, so it was a relief and an almost instantaneous drop in my blood pressure when our friendship disintegrated.
I haven’t looked back in regret. It was absolutely draining trying to keep a perpetually negative friend happy. It was an uphill battle I was undoubtedly going to lose. Why? Because there was something about herself that she hated, couldn’t forgive, was insecure about, etc. It was an internal struggle that wouldn’t end until she found the courage to self-evaluate and CHANGE. It’s easy to project negativity to others but it takes a huge measure of humility and strength to take a look in the mirror. Whatever is in you is what comes out. That’s the same for negativity and positivity alike; a lesson I learned the hard way.
Allowing that one big-mouthed friend to spew negativity is the worst thing you can do because not only will the negativity spread, but you’re also enabling her behavior and actually proving to be a horrible friend just like I was. True friends lift each other to meet and operate according to their higher nature and standards. They don’t go along with basic behavior for the sake of sparing feelings, and sit back and watch them hurt others for a quick chuckle.
Now, all these years later, I’ve been blessed with some true, positive, straight-shooting girlfriends. Are we perfect? Absolutely not, but we refuse to allow negativity to dwell among us and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am, we each are, a better friend and woman because of it.
La Truly is a late-blooming Aries with Natural hair and lots to say. Her writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. Armed with the ability to purposefully poke fun at herself and a passion for young women’s empowerment, La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and positive change. Check out her thoughts/jokes/rants on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.
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Depending on what the case is, if you ask our Facebook followers if a person should get in trouble with their employers for things they say on their personal Facebook pages, a majority often say no. But I’m sure when folks read what former fire captain Brian Beckmann had to say on his account, a few people will rethink their stance for at least a moment.
In his social media post, Beckmann called out prosecutor Angela Corey (who charged George Zimmerman with second-degree murder for killing Trayvon Martin) for her choice to seek second-degree murder charges on Zimmerman, as well as the parents of “urban youth” for being welfare folks who can’t take care of their responsibilities. In his opinion of course.
“I and my co-workers could rewrite the book on whether our urban youths are victims of racist profiling or products of their failed, sh–bag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents, but like Mrs. Corey, we speak only the truth.”
If that wasn’t enough, Beckmann finished his rant by saying, “They’re just misunderstood little church-going angels and the ghetto hoodie look doesn’t have anything to do with why people wonder if they’re about to get jacked by a thug.”
Though he thought himself to be mighty slick, according to The Miami Herald, someone took a screenshot of the post and sent it to Beckmann’s bosses. The folks at human resources agreed that his comments were not only inappropriate, but very unacceptable. It was decided on Monday that he would be punished for his words and be demoted back to a firefighter. Why? Well, because even though his Facebook has nothing to do with his work, by spouting a whole lot of nonsense and involving his co-workers in his post (“I and my co-workers…”), he shook the confidence of the public as someone who is supposed to be in charge. His disciplinary action report said this:
“While the opinion posted may have been personal, as a captain with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, it greatly disrupted the public’s confidence in our entire organization as a result of the reference to ‘my co-workers.’”
Not sure why Beckmann felt the need to try and pull the “urban youths who are products of their failed environment and crappy parents” in reference to the Martin case. Trayvon’s parents aren’t on welfare, and he was killed while trying to navigate the gated community his father lived in. And for the umpteenth time, can people stop playing stupid and fess up to the fact that EVERYBODY owns at least one hoodie!? Can we please stop acting like a hooded sweater is all the excuse someone needs to feel intimidated and open fire on someone not posing a threat to them? It’s tired at this point, and we all know the real reason Trayvon was targeted by George Zimmerman.
No need for me to do my own rant, so I’ll just wrap it up by asking you this: Do you think his department made the right decision to demote him? I mean, the man still has his job, but they just didn’t see him fit for a leadership role. Was that a good decision, or in your mind, were they wrong and is this just another case of free speech being attacked?
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You know what time it is! Style to Steal or Girl, Stop time! We’re lucky this week to have so much to work with when it comes to the fashion choices of our favorite celeb women. And the trend seems to be that it’s time to pull those legs back out from hiding! Let’s take a look at the week’s best and worst ensembles to figure out who should stop it, and who we want to steal from ASAP.
Doing media rounds at fuse Studios this week, Ashanti showed up in this skintight, long-sleeved dress and got lots of attention. The color-block dress was a mix of black, orange, tan and baby blue, and she accessorized the look with bow-accented strappy black stilettos, sparkly bracelets, a few bold rings, and some HUGE statement earrings. I think homegirl should have stayed with one shade for her jewelry, but I have to give her credit: that dress looks great on her little figure. Plus, the makeup is looking fun and fresh. Steal!
You know what time it is. It’s about to be the weekend, so we have to do a rewind on some of the most fun, eclectic and busted outfits of the week. Shall we begin?
While at Madison Square Garden to cheer on her man Melo, La La Anthony showed up in boy-meets-girl ensemble that was a mix of prints and textures. She wore a sheer Alexander Wang top (sweater actually) that mixed orange, black and white. On her feet were some snakeskin Louboutins, peeking underneath leather pants. While I think she might have been going for a casual but cool ensemble, this mixture of looks is…the most. I’ll pass, but if they were worn separately I’m sure it would be hot. No thanks though.
Girl, where have you been!? Singer Chrisette Michelle finally brought herself out of the house for a Petals-N-Belles Limitless event in NYC. She wore this body-hugging dress with snowflake-like designs and some intricately placed sequins. On her feet were some taupe peep-toe pumps with floral detailing at the front. She came to the event with her quilted purse, a few funky rings, and a fresh, close cut. Don’t forget the pink lip! The dress actually doesn’t bother me because it fits nicely, but the shoes don’t work with it. And with the pink lip…I don’t know, there’s a lot going on. I’ll take the dress, but pass on everything else. Unless that’s a Chanel bag of course!
It’s Friday, and while most of us will be using this weekend (and very appealing weather may I add) to show out in our fly-est apparel, a great deal of famous names were doing it big all week long. Then again, being seen is what they get paid for, so they have to look their best. Time to go through each of our favorite or most eye-popping looks from the week and decide who was funky fresh dressed, and who just looked funky.
Look who is trying to change up their style on these streets! Ciara was spotted on the streets of Manhattan on Monday looking more blonde than we’ve seen in the past and in a loose but fancy ensemble. She wore this low cut and long-sleeved top with some cropped black pants (hopefully not harem). On her feet were some black Louboutins, and accessory wise, she went all out with a snazzy gold cuff, a big ring, and multiple chain necklaces. I like the makeup, and the outfit definitely looks comfortable. I will say though that she looks a lot different and that I’m not feeling how she styled her two-toned hair… I’d wear the outfit, but I’d ditch the hair. Reluctant steal.
But the next day, Ci-Ci attended a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden in these light blue pants with a sweater rolled up at the sleeves that matched her bottoms. Love the high-top wedges and accessories, but the outfit as a whole is not moving me, you know? It could possibly be because of the way the pants fit (not too baggy, but not tight), or maybe it’s the combo of the sweater and pants, but it comes off as…blah. Girl, stop. Oh yeah, but the hair does look better here.
You may have caught Rashana A. Hooks brutally honest article, Things You Should Never Apologize For. Still, I suspect that many of you still have your bags packed and ready to go for your daily guilt trip and are undeservingly beating yourselves up for all the things that make you fierce and fabulous. Apologies are used for the recognition and remorse of a wrongdoing, but more often than not, you’re only living your life the best way you know how, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Here are 10 more things that you can save your apologies for:
1. Being educated/Conscious of grammar.
I’ve noticed how easily offended people become when I correct them on a fact that they’ve quoted incorrectly or point out that they’ve used the wrong “you’re” in a Facebook status update. Instantly, I’m attacked with loaded gratitude like, “Thank you, grammar police.” In my opinion, friends don’t let friends stay confident in ignorance. You can be helpful without being insulting. While there’s certainly a time and place to be more laid back and relaxed with your language, you’ll be thanking me and my thesaurus before you print out a thousand business cards labeled, “Thank you for you’re business.” (Microsoft Word weeps.)
I’m a firm believer in discretion, especially on social networking sites and of all things in relationships. You may have been misled by the belief that partners in relationships have no secrets, but trust me when I say: loose lips sink relationships. This can be a challenging thought for most women since naturally (yes, something else you can blame those damn XX chromosomes for) women think that the best solution to a problem is to talk it through and get it all out there. We think there are magical combinations within language that will solve every problem. But frankly, there are some things in relationships that once revealed end up hurting the relationship more than it helping it. By dissecting and analyzing every conflict with a conversation, you may be in fact creating a bigger problem than you began with. The next time your guy tells you that you talk too much, he might actually have a point.
I’m not talking about deceit, and I’m not talking about lying by omission. For example, if you slept over your ex-boyfriend’s house last night and not your bestie’s, the information is probably going to hurt the relationship once revealed, but it will also allow your partner to make a clear and informed decision regarding the relationship because he/she has all of the facts. On the other hand, I personally believe that things that took place before the relationship sometimes lay unnecessary groundwork for mistrust and jealousy, and those are two things that can surreptitiously sink a relationship over time. The truth is, some things are frankly not any of your partner’s business and once he/she has knowledge of certain aspects of your past, they may subconsciously be distracted from who you truly are in the present.
What’s your take on the following situations? Do you feel like your partner should know EVERYTHING about your past?
We asked New Yorkers whether or not it was important that their family approve of their significant others. They had some interesting things to say. Check them out.
Is your family’s opinion of your mate important to you?