All Articles Tagged "race"

The Innumerable Problems Behind “Why Every Black Woman Should Marry A Jewish Man”

December 10th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Honeybrownemarriesjewishman.blogspot.com

Somewhere along the way, MadameNoire got the reputation of being the Black Women’s website that promotes interracial dating and marriage and all that. Perhaps it was because of articles like this one. Whatever the case, I feel the need to say that while we believe you should keep your options open when it comes to finding love, you shouldn’t begin your quest with skin tone or racial and ethnic modifiers. And personally, I, Veronica, believe that while black men are flawed like all men, you’ll never catch me out here denouncing all of them. There are enough people outside of our race who do that already. I would think the universal truth that characteristics that make a good partner are not predicated by race and ethnicity is understood by all. But apparently, it’s really not because Dr. Nazaree Hines-Starr, a full time pharmacist and author, recently published a book called Why Every Black Woman Should Marry A Jewish Man. 

Yes ya’ll, every black woman. Before I even begin to dissect the problematic nature of such a premise, let me just share a bit of Hines-Starr’s background and the reasoning she shares for dating and marrying a Jewish man.

All throughout college, graduate school and all of her twenties Hines-Starr, a black woman, dated only black men who shared her religious background. And after that all she had to show for it were a group of men she placed in what she calls the “Scumbag Files.” But Hines-Starr did not give up on love. Instead, she went to the internet and joined an interracial dating site called AfroRomance.com. Let’s pause right here for a minute. I can understand, perhaps, why a black woman would be drawn to a site called Afro Romance but I’m a little perplexed as to why people of other ethnicities would go there unless they’re trying to fulfill some type of chocolate fantasy. But that’s just me. Admittedly, I’m a bit paranoid about such things.

Anyway, looking at the site, I’m guessing Hines-Starr selected “white” for her preferred race and it wasn’t long before she met “Michael, a professional, never-married Jewish man who was two years her junior.”

And apparently, Hines-Starr believes you can do the same. In fact, the way the world is set up right now, you might not even have a choice. She provides the following statistics: “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 1.8 million more black women than black men in 2000, and that number has not improved since then. That means that if every black man in America married a black woman today, many women hoping to marry a black man would not make it down the aisle.”

Shivers

And then, according to a press release Hines-Starr lists reasons why Jewish men are the new hotness for black women.

- They are the perfect Alpha Male.

– Many African American men and non-Jewish men fall short in the romance department

-Jewish men open wide instead of down low (Is that a sexual innuendo I failed to grasp?)

– Jewish men are not looking for someone to take care of them

– Jewish men attend and graduate college

– Jewish men at least attempt to marry before making babies

-Jewish men are great with financial planning and stability

– Jewish men don’t take everything as a challenge to their masculinity

-Jewish men are often raised with traditional gender roles where the men seek to take care of the women.

That’s enough. Do you see the problems here? Hines-Starr successfully manages to stereotype two groups simultaneously. On the one hand she dogs out black men, calling them unromantic, uneducated, uncommitted and unstable all while lauding not only her Jewish man but all Jewish men above the rest. I think somewhere along the way, people lost sight of the fact that just because a stereotype is positive, it’s still a stereotype. When you reduce people down to a few characteristics, it robs them of their humanity, which is complex.

I wonder if it ever occurred to Hines-Starr that while there are certain culture attitudes that are passed down from generation to generation, the emphasis on education, family and financial security are not just things the Jewish community cares about.

I wonder if in regard to her own dating history if she ever considered the fact that it wasn’t that the men she dated were scumbags because they were all black but because they were just scumbags. And furthermore, since this synopsis seems to present her as blameless in her own dating history, I wonder if she ever stopped to ask herself why she kept attracting and then tolerating scumbags?

I know that since there are far too many, black men berating and degrading black women, some of you will argue that she’s just looking out for numero uno, giving them a taste of their own medicine, trying not to be left behind as she pledges allegiance to black men and black men alone. And I get that. I’m not saying limit your options. If you can, of course you should be open to love regardless of the package it comes in. I just hope black people, men and women alike, haven’t reduced the phenomenon of finding love into some type of calculated trip to the market where you pass up the brand you’ve known and grown up with in favor of something new and exotic.

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Black Woman Berates White Girlfriend In A Harlem Barber Shop, What Would You Do?

December 9th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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What Would You Do

Source: YouTube

If you’re familiar with the show “What Would You Do?” You know they put people in tight, yet realistic situations that test people’s moral fiber. And even have you asking yourself what you would have done in the same situation. In one of the latest episodes, an actress “Rachel” is pretending to be a stylist in the popular Harlem barber shop Denny Moe’s. She’s giving eyes to one of the male customers, a black guy, when all of a sudden his white girlfriend walks in. And instead of playing cool or sucking her teeth and rolling her eyes on the low she begins to question the black man for his choice and out and out disrespect the white girl in the place. I mean, she goes in.

Take a look at the video to see how the women and men in the shop respond in this scenario. And then ask yourself–though you could never know until you’re in it–what would you have done in this situation?

15 Celebrities Most People Don’t Know Are Black

September 18th, 2013 - By Meg Butler
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Celebrities Most People Don't Know Are Black

Image Source: WENN.com

Race politics can be complicated and bi-racial stars often find themselves on one side of the Hollywood divide. Unsurprisingly, for the stars in this list that side tends to be the white one, with most people not even realizing these actors, actresses, and public personas are in fact mixed — and for all intents and purposes, black.

The Food-Race Connection: Does Race Play A Factor In Access To Healthy Food?

August 26th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Since race is an issue in most all aspects of life it seems, does it also play a factor in getting access to healthy food?

“The connection is not explicitly based on race; socioeconomic factors play a major role in access to healthy food,” reports the Huffington Post.  Take free lunches for children in public schools. The decision on who qualifies is based on socioeconomic information. Still, larger percentages of African-Americans and Hispanics in the U.S. were living below the poverty line in 2011 than whites or those identified as “other.” Because of these stats, more children who are of Hispanic or African-American backgrounds need free or reduced-priced school lunches.

And being able to get healthy food is vital for long-term health benefits.

At a recent town hall meeting in West Oakland, Nikki Henderson, executive director of People’s Grocery discussed race in the Bay Area and pointed out the connection between food and race. She said this connection “lives very presently because Trayvon Martin was going to the liquor store to get Skittles and iced tea. That’s what he was doing when he was out late at night. That’s what many of our kids do.”

People’s Grocery is more than a place where people come to get food, but also a place that is well-lit, so that children coming to get food are not putting themselves in danger, simply by being outside at night, reports HuffPo. It is a community food store that offers fresh foods, affordable groceries, health services.

This discussion isn’t really new. The debate has been going on for decades but now it has hit the national forum.

“For decades, low-income communities of color have suffered as grocery stores and fresh, affordable food disappeared from their neighborhoods. Advocates have long drawn attention to this critical issue and crafted policy solutions, but access to healthy food is just now entering the national policy debate,” according to a report by The Food Trust organization.  The report, “The Grocery Gap,” found that many low-income communities, communities of color, and sparsely populated rural areas do not have sufficient opportunities to buy healthy, affordable food.

The result is those communities suffer more from diet-related diseases such as obesity and diabetes than those in higher-income neighborhoods with easy access to healthy food.

On one point we’d like to ask: What do you think of the connection between access to healthy food at safe locations and the Trayvon Martin case? Is that too much of a stretch?

It’s A Black Thing: 50 Cent Lawsuit Ruling Went Against Him Because Of His Race

August 18th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"50 Cent pf"

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50 Cent is not happy about a recent ruling against him and it may not have anything to do with money.

According to TMZ, 50 recently lost a lawsuit he filed against Sleek Audio. He said the company owed him $261,00 but they disagreed with that. In the end, an arbitrator sided with Sleek and it is assumed they had to pay considerably less money.

But 50 is not taking this ruling lying down and is in the process of appealing it.  In a new claim that he’s taken to federal court, 50 says the arbitrator (whose name has not be identified) sided against him because he’s black, associates with controversial black figures and because he’s a rapper.

In addition, 50 claims the arbitrator never looked at any of his evidence and didn’t cross-examine any of the witnesses. He wants the ruling thrown out and is asking for a brand new hearing.

Sleek Audio says 50 is reaching with this claim and is trying to get his way, which would be a trial in front of a judge.

No word on when the federal court will hear this case and make a ruling.  If what 50 says is true, he may have found a way to get a new hearing, whether it be in front of a judge or a new arbitrator.

Is He Still Hating? Tavis Smiley Takes Issue With President Obama’s Speech On Race

July 22nd, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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PNP/WENN.com

PNP/WENN.com

I find it terribly sad that even in the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, blacks can’t seem to come together in our outrage over the George Zimmerman verdict. And then when we all agree that there is an issue, there are those who want to argue and divide ourselves in the ways we seek to alleviate the problem. Many of us have noticed this trend all up and down our Facebook and Twitter timelines and now, it’s showing up with our political pundits and talking heads too.

You might not be surprised to know PBS talk show host, Tavis Smiley took issue with President Obama’s remarks on Friday about Trayvon Martin, the Zimmerman verdict and race in America. Shortly after the president spoke, Tavis tweeted this:

Naturally, black twitter was outraged. People called him pathetic and one MSNBC contributor even said she was sending the transcript because he’d clearly missed something. Another person said it was shameful for Tavis “to politicize and further his own ends at the expense of Obama and now Trayvon…”

Two days later, on Sunday, Smiley appeared on NBC’s “Meet The Press” and took a more subtle approach but still made it very clear that he expected more from the president.

“He had still not answered the most important question, where do we go from here. What’s lacking in this moment is moral leadership. The country is begging for it, they’re craving it… I don’t want the President to look back and realize, David, he didn’t do as much as he could have in this critical moment.”

There were several other members on the panel. President and CEO of the Urban League, Marc Morial and Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree disagreed with Tavis saying that the president pushed the conversation in a meaningful way.

Congressional Black Caucus chair and Ohio Rep., Marcia Fudge believes the president needs to have several conversations because the recent actions and politicians and judges are attacking poor and minority communities.

RNC chairman, Michael Steele said he tended to agree with Tavis that the president not only needs to have the initial conversation but needs to continue to inspire change by not letting the issue fall by the wayside in the way he did with gun control after the Sandy Hook tragedy. He did say though that this is a conversation we need to have in the community instead of letting it rest solely on the shoulders of the president.

Watch Tavis’ “Meet The Press” appearance on the next page. 

Is This Fair? Mostly White, All Female Jury Chosen In Zimmerman Murder Trial

June 20th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Getty

Getty

Six women have been chosen for George Zimmerman’s murder trial. Zimmerman is being charged with second degree murder in the killing of unarmed, 17 year old Trayvon Martin.

The trial, which is set to begin Monday, has been highly anticipated since Zimmerman, 28, killed Martin in February of last year.

The issue of race has been at the forefront of this case, so naturally the ethnic makeup of the jury is important to many.

Five members of the six person jury are white and one is Hispanic. Some sources claim the Hispanic woman is half black and half Hispanic.

Zimmerman is white and Hispanic.

The jurors who are also all women, were chosen from hundreds of potential jurors over nine days. These six women will remain sequestered throughout the duration of the trial.

Four alternate jurors, a Hispanic man, a white man and two white women, have also been selected.

We don’t know the identities of the jurors but information about their experiences with guns, crime and violence was discussed during the interview process.

One woman, known as juror B37, said she used to have a concealed weapons permit but let it expire. She said it was too easy to obtain this type of permit.

Two other jurors say their husband or son own guns.

One woman said she was a victim of domestic violence and at least one juror is a mother.

When juror B29 was asked about self defense she had this to say: “It’s not a decision you weigh. It’s a split second reaction. I think everyone is entitled to protect your life.”

Zimmerman told Judge Debra Nelson that he approved of the jury selection.

What do you make of the jury selection? Based on what we now know about these jurors, do you believe they’ll be able to come to just verdict?

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Can You Change Your Race? New Study Looks At Societal Factors and Racial Assumptions

June 15th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Racial associations are made almost unconsciously. And a new study from Gender & Society found that observers take into account a wide range of factors in determining the race of people they see, including what they know about someone’s income, home address or marital status.

For example: Picture a single mother on food stamps. Now picture a married mother shopping for her family in the suburbs. What is the race of each woman? Many Americans would imagine the first mother as black, even though the majority of women on food stamps are white.

Sad assumptions, but a real insight to how people associate race.  The study, “Engendering Racial Perceptions: An Intersectional Analysis of How Social Status Shapes Race,” revealed that people tend to pile on a set of descriptions—like single, mother, and welfare-dependent—to build their most persistent stereotypes.

And in another study that looked back at how survey interviewers racially classify people over the course of their adult lives, sociologists Andrew Penner (University of California-Irvine) and Aliya Saperstein (Stanford University) found that from one year to the next, some people’s race appeared to change. Penner and Saperstein call these changes in classification “racial fluidity,” and the researchers wanted to know what affected how a person’s race was perceived.

So they drew on nearly 20 years of longitudinal data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and found changes in racial classification occurred for six percent of people each year. Over the course of the study, 20 percent of those interviewed switched racial classifications at least once. These changes were not random and were related to both social status and gender.

“We often talk about racial stereotypes as affecting people’s attitudes in the sense that knowing a woman’s race can change what you think about whether she is on welfare. Our study shows the opposite also happens–knowing whether a woman has ever received welfare benefits affects what you think about her race,” explained Penner.

The study also found that men and women had similar levels of racial fluidity overall. Other things that factored into this were where the people lived. People were more likely to be classified as white if they lived in the suburbs, while the opposite was true for people living in the inner city.

But other factors that triggered changes in racial classification. Poverty made men and women less likely to be classified as white, but the effect was stronger for men. And women, but not men, who have received welfare benefits are less likely to be seen as white and more likely to be seen as black. This despite the fact that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated that in 2010 70 percent of welfare recipients are not black.

What are your thoughts on this study?

Duh! Study Finds White Girls Are More Likely To Abuse Alcohol Than Black Girls

June 14th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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istock

istock

A new study from Yale University found that African American college aged “girls” (read: women) are less likely to develop drinking problems than white girls because of cultural and environmental factors.

The study cited parental disapproval, a more conservative attitude toward drinking and higher church attendance as reasons why there is such a stark difference between the two racial groups. The New Haven Register summarized the findings like this:

The study, published Thursday in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, focused on 3,500 female twins, both identical and fraternal, “to look at the relative contributions of genetics vs. environment on (the) age of first drink and problem drinking,” Sartor said. 

What we found is that there’s no shared environmental effects” in African-American teens who abuse alcohol, Sartor said. “Family environment is not playing a role in problem drinking.” For black girls who drink heavily, genetics and individual experiences, such as different friends or traumatic events, are more relevant, she said 

At a community and cultural level, European-Americans are not doing as good a job at protecting their girls from problem drinking as African-Americans are.” 

Interestingly enough, this is not something we needed a study to tell us. As someone who attended a predominately white university, when girls were being carried home, throwing up in elevators or falling out in the street they were white. Not that black girls didn’t get wasted but the numbers didn’t lie.

While the study cited church and less importance placed on drinking etc, after some discussion about the issue in our office we also concluded that black people are less carefree when we go out partying. Many of us are keenly aware of the fact that if we get too intoxicated to take care of ourselves and end up causing some type of disturbance, we’re less likely to get the benefit of the doubt. We just might be interacting with the police. And if have to interact with the police that just might mean we’ll endure abuse, mistreatment or in some cases even death. If we get too drunk and end up lost or missing we know there won’t be national searches looking to ensure that we’re returned to our families safely.

It’s a sad tale; but for many of us, we don’t even leave the house on the same level of abandon or “carefreeness” that white women do. In addition to the safety issues, we know that if we’re in a mixed crowd many of us are also worried about how we’ll be perceived if people who aren’t black see us out here acting a fool.

But that’s just our theory. What are some of the reasons you think African American college-aged women drink less than white women?

Hiring Based On Race Is Not Only Right, But Necessary

May 29th, 2013 - By CAP
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

As a hiring manager, being completely impartial and non-biased may be unrealistic, if not downright impossible. When searching for the best candidate many times we already have in our minds what that person looks like, whether it’s a female nanny, a male contractor, or a business associate of the same racial background.

It has been shown that many whites hire other whites. The research conducted by Nancy DiTomaso indicates that whites with hiring power hired within their networks, and most times their networks happened to be primarily comprised of other whites. The research did not necessarily make the claim that whites intentionally hired other whites and excluded other races, but rather,  whites have not yet expanded the diversity of their networks to include other races, which leads to the exclusion of other races from the conversation. But is it wrong to hire specifically based upon the racial group you are a part of? My answer to this may seem biased and certainly like a double standard, but it is worth understanding.

Currently the overall unemployment rate is at the lowest it has been in years at 7.5 percent, but the unemployment rate for blacks is slow to move from the low teens (13.2 percent). This number shows that blacks need a bit more assistance. Even the government agrees; there have been initiatives like affirmative action in place since the 1970s, which were meant to help underrepresented groups with finding jobs, among other things. (Though affirmative action is constantly under fire.)

Although the gap is closing regarding racial equality in the work place, African Americans are still in need of preferential treatment when it comes to hiring. Whites and Asians are generally more educated, have higher incomes, and lower unemployment rates. These groups seeing a recovery from The Great Recession, with unemployment levels dropping, contrary to the conditions of other races.

If companies are not going to focus on hiring blacks, then it is up to other African Americans to do so. The US Census reported that there were 1.9 million black owned small businesses in 2007 and that they employed over 921,000 workers. A survey that same year by Gazelle Index determined that 64 percent of employees in black-owned businesses were black. So as these black businesses grow and their workforce capacity expands there should certainly be a focus on hiring African Americans to support the continuous need of employment in the black workforce. Not just purely based on showing favoritism within your own race, but also in order to help the overall economy.

In many areas like education, skill building, and employment African Americans are not on par with other races and continue to add to the overall lag in the economic recovery. We should use whatever influence we have to make a positive contribution to the growth of our nation, and if African Americans and others want to make it their duty to focus on hiring blacks, I don’t see one thing wrong with that.