All Articles Tagged "Tell Me More"
Bus, meet black women. Black women meet the bus D.L. Hughley has thrown us under in his new book and then used to back up and run over us yet again in an interview with NPR.
It’s clear D.L. Hughley is on a mission to be seen as a serious voice in the political realm but every time he does so, his efforts go awry and the end result is him being seen for the joke that he is. Remember the white kid crack he made about Obama? Well now the comedian has written a book titled, “I Want You to Shut the F#ck Up: How the Audacity of Dopes is Ruining America,” and according to “Tell Me More” host Michel Martin, inside he has some pretty harsh things to say about black women. In a recent interview, the NPR host took him to task on his allegations, reading an exert from Chapter 17 which reads:
Being a dad to daughters is very different from being a dad to sons. The dangers are different and the way they listen to you is different. I’m sure every father feels the same way that I do about his daughters. I love them, but I don’t like them. Who likes women?
Here are the highlights from the Q&A that follows:
MARTIN: You don’t like women?
HUGHLEY: I don’t like the way they process – no, I don’t. I enjoy their company. I do not like the way that they reason. You can’t understand them.
MARTIN: Well, for a man who has been married for 26 years and has two daughters – you have three children overall, two daughters and a son – you don’t think you’ve figured it out?
HUGHLEY: Do you think any man has figured it out? Anyone? Anyone? Name me a man who says I’ve figured women out, I got it.
My daughters, who I love immensely, are so certain, like if a man can have a face only a mother can love, then women can have personalities only fathers can love.
MARTIN: OK. That’s fine. But I have to ask you, though, and throughout the book, though, you do make some impassioned discussions about just how cheap you feel black life is viewed in this country.
HUGHLEY: It is viewed.
MARTIN: OK. But then to go on and in many parts of the book have some very harsh things to say about black women – African-American women.
HUGHLEY: Like what do you think is harsh?
MARTIN: I have to ask, you don’t think that’s a contradiction? Well, this argument that you’re saying that….
HUGHLEY: I don’t – I think my life has been a contradiction.
MARTIN: …black women is – the only black woman you could be married to is your wife.
MARTIN: Beacause…black women are so messed up? I mean what – or because she’s so great?
HUGHLEY: Well, in her ability to kind of tolerate my – it’s her ability to tolerate me, A) and B) I’ve never met an angrier group of people. Like black women are angry just in general. Angry all the time. My assessment, out of, just in my judgment, you either are in charge or they’re in charge, so there’s no kind of day that you get to rest(ph).
MARTIN: I have to ask whether is it because black women are an easy target?
MARTIN: And so you can say these things because nobody is going to…
HUGHLEY: Do you think black women are an easy target?
MARTIN: Well, I mean I’m thinking you or – one of the ways you came to public attention is your defense of Don Imus for calling the Rutgers women’s basketball team nappy headed ho’s…
MARTIN: …and I understand that your defense was free speech, which I think many people understand. But if you think he’d said that about another group of women, that that would’ve been considered funny?
HUGHLEY: I can’t, really, that’s like, I can’t disprove or prove a negative, but I can say this: that I have defended any number, I have defended Michael Richards for the N-word. I’ve defended Tracy Morgan for his comments. I defended Rush Limbaugh. You know, to me, you know, what people are talking about has never really kind of worked its way into my mindset. It is the idea that they have the right to say it. So I think that’s really kind of an unfair – optically, that looks different than the way I see things. But…
HUGHLEY: …I don’t think black women are easy targets at all. I respect them great – a great deal. I think that to pretend like I don’t see things the way that I do is to do a disservice to them.
I really hate to throw out a blanket statement on top of his gross overgeneralizations but seriously, some black men have the nerve to question us about our loyalty when this guy is out here talking like this? I refuse.
So often we talk about the effect not having a father has on young black boys, but black girls aren’t immune to the consequences of having an absentee father. Documentary filmmaker Janks Morton is exploring that effect in a new doculogue titled, “Dear Daddy.”
Last summer, Morton had eight girls from a Boys & Girls club in DC that he works with write one-page letters to their fathers and then read them on camera for his project. In the trailer for the film, we see 18-year-old Jasmine Bowden reads of a list of things she hates about her father not being there—the fact that she can’t turn to him for help when she has a problem, the fact that her dad has never offered to help her mother raise her, and the fact that he only comes around when he needs something.
Nearly a year later, Jasmine appeared on NPR yesterday with Morton and Jonetta Rose Barras, author of Whatever Happened to Daddy’s Little Girl? to talk about what happens when black mothers are the only ones around and it was still difficult for the teen to talk about how her father’s absence has affected her. She told Michelle Martin of Tell Me More that her father still isn’t around and that:
“If I had my dad around I really think I probably would’ve made some good choices in boys.”
From the young women he worked with, Morton said the pain girls experienced was the same no matter what circumstances led to their fathers not being around.
“What I saw, it doesn’t matter. The deserter, deceased, the disenfranchised, the whatever the circumstance, it doesn’t matter. The trauma that these girls – these 1.8 million, 18 to 24-year-old black girls, 1.8 million – are carrying on their heart, it’s not been given a voice. And what I found is that this arc, it goes through a woman’s life. It just manifests itself in all these different ways that I think, that if we can get this generation, you know, an opportunity to purge themselves of this trauma, I think there are some greatness that can begin to happen in the relationship dynamic in blacks.”
Though that pain may be the same, it can manifest itself in different ways, though mostly it’s seen with women believing they can’t depend on men, and sometimes depending on other things to cope.
“What I’ve seen with these young women specifically is that this kind of cultural construct we, or this mantra we have of, you know, all the women, independent, stand on your own two feet – which leads to all those great workshops that Jonetta talks about. They’ll give you all of these great things, self-worth, identity, financial literacy, all of these things to deal with all of the secondary manifestations. But to get to the pathology of where the pain hurts, where it starts, I don’t know what it is but that thing is off the table in our community. And this film is, what I’m trying to do, I think that really, if we start here a lot of this other things, you know, abusing your body with drugs, abusing your body with food, all those other workshops get put out of business if we deal with father absence and void vacancy at this juncture.”
Check out more of Morton and Jasmine’s interview on NPR here along with the trailer to his film below. What do you think about this doculogue?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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