When You Stop Playing Games: Relationship Stalemates

It has taken me way too long to think up this title. It describes the running theme of my North American adult life. My guess is that the kinds of stagnation in human relations that I can list here is in your North American life as well. But, alas, because of relationship stalemates, too many of my fellow Americans that stumble upon this writing will not let me know about just how much we actually have in common. That being said, many of my stalemates have been with North American women—by inheritance, women of color.

a bench is for life The Economic Oppression Stalemate

Because times are hard, your friend may not want to see you—or you may not want to see your friend—at certain times …too many times. What we have here is a fair-weather friendship. And the fair-weather status is often imposed on the other. Maybe this one is peculiar to Los Angeles—but from a grass-roots organizing perspective, very, very sad.

You can often tell that two oppressed friends are meeting when they admit quite quickly how long it has been since they have seen each other—and that they should “really get together.”

The Preemptive Strike Stalemate

There are two leading scenarios that I’ve experienced that end with the preemptive strike—and I say end because I am lover not a fighter. What many of my homeboys and girls do in this situation is strike back—because there is “a thin line between love and hate.” Scenario one is subtle and the other is more dramatic.

The subtle preemptive strike is inspired by the incorrect assumption that my use of language (as you read it here) is based on hatred, sarcasm or ultimately sadism. This essentially means that I cannot say anything (of substance) to my would-be friend without being attacked—but what I am calling an ‘attack’ is their defense. As most of the people I interact with are not millionaires or other typical success stories, I have to ask myself, ‘What “good” has come from being openly bold and certain for most of my so-called “friends”?’ Remember what happened to Malcolm X? What about Muhammad Ali? What about that guy that dated someone’s mother back in the 1980s and made her cry? It makes sense to me (now) why my somewhat underclass buds would shun so much apparent bombast—and when I say ‘underclass’ I’m sort of including anyone of any skin color who is not financially independent.

I know that I am not alone in this observation because too many of my fellow Americans speak defensively—like every sentence sounds like it has a question mark? Certainty is not fashionable. In my “little world,” this is where anti-mantra words like “kind of” come from—as in, “I’m kind of OK with that.” Speaking in the active voice must surely must mean you are an egocentric (patriarchal) asshole—while speaking in the passive voice means you are kind-of, sort-of okay (metro-sexual). Many people who smoke a lot of weed tend to speak in the passive voice—so who needs to hang out with a sober asshole? Hit him first before he does damage!

Now for the drama: I do not have to read another Alice Walker or Gayl Jones novel. Women have every right to protect themselves from strangers. Too many women live in a world of insecurity—or straight-up fear masked with a fake coolness. And, yes, this kind of stalemate I find peculiar to women—I distinguish Black women here.

This relationship ends quickly. It’s based on the assumption that my sole goal in life is to bring sadistic, meaningless destruction in my sister’s life. And it is clear to me that this assumption is not based on any information about me whatsoever. So, in her ‘wisdom,’ she must preemptively protect herself from me. And the pungent air of this defensiveness makes me very, very angry—and I never intend (no matter how many levels of enlightenment my person might achieve) to not be deeply moved by this tragic misunderstanding. What is worse is to discover that when my non-friend knows there is a misunderstanding, it has no effect because they are very prepared for battle and are unwilling to drop their guard—like they have been obsessively planning this fight for years and is actually disappointed there is no violence.

It was more popular in my twenties but every now and then you might hear the white/Asian-villain story about the Black person being rudely monitored in the retail store. The assumption is that the Black guy came into the store to steal something. This is supposed to be one of the great Black insults for us Black people. For me, the big insulting surprise is how many Black women find intricate, refined, highly-intellectual ways to find Black men criminals: rapists, thieves, and murderers… oh, how deeply rooted the world view of this fallacy…

What most modern Black men have done to reduce this painful rejection is to put on ostentatious, cartoon-character displays of some kind of social status (and, in too many cases, nurture misogyny because of the humiliation of avoiding humiliation). This is one way Bling-Bling came into play.

The Celebrity-Fan Stalemate

This has been the most distant lack of progress in my Los Angelino life. Well, one great thing about online tools like FaceBook and Twitter is that it democratizes the celebrity-to-mass-audience experience. I have made a handful of mistakes online not seeing this deliberate distance and wondering why this person is not directly answering my questions—not really communicating with me but they still hint that they want me around.

Maybe I’m a little old fashioned but when I ask a question (especially when it is in writing) I expect an answer—anything of any size… It is clear to me that this is too much work for too many of my “friends” which just another thing to add the list of what we don’t have in common.

In some cases (even for me), it would be too much work to respond to every question from every one. Some micro-celebrities have literally thousands of “followers” or “friends”—so this is a bulk-item management issue. Nothing personal…

The Parallel Universe Stalemate

This deadlock is simple to describe but baffling to me. Let’s say you can count the number of times an event has occurred. Let’s say, three times. The person you were trying to relate to, however, comes up with—gasp—zero. It becomes clear to you that you also must insist that nothing has happened in order for this great relationship to continue. In one universe, three… in another universe, zero.

You could assume that this is a Shakespeare drama, The Taming of the Shrew—and you are the Shrew, but that gives way, way too much credit to your stagnation partner. What is deeper and more tragic (for you in the short term) is that your pal in the other universe is not lying—they authentically count zero. So now it becomes a lonely waiting game (assuming, of course, you are right) as this other person struggles with a self-realization issue. This waiting should be rewarding for healthy young people but for my over-forty ass (with my grown-ass friends)… no.

The Stalemate of the Unspoken

“This is what you look like” Since I’m not a player, I’m really not qualified to write with authority about this one. When I think of this kind stalemate, I think of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s ancient line, “…if you don’t have game then let her leave your world…” This, again, (for me) is a very gender-specific kind of stalemate—I would like to be secure in the conclusion that this is a gender-oppression-specific kind of stalemate. The game here is “successfully” navigating through the unspoken. Here are some ‘unspoken’ examples:

  • This person only calls, texts or tweets you when they need you to do something. Your pal does not return your call, text or tweet. Don’t talk about it. Deal with it.
  • This person invites you to an event. The most you can look forward to is being at the event. There is no talk about you and this person meeting in any way—that’s for you to figure out.
  • For “some” reason you are very concerned about the outcome of a previous encounter. Your buddy is unconcerned and has moved on to the next thing and you should shut up and follow—and then run to try to get ahead.

Me getting into this kind of jam should betray a few unflattering things about me. This is because many of you can visualize the kind of grown-ass person that would make me navigate through the unspoken. Are we seeing the same person here? Yes, sadly, I am talking about a woman again—but the unflattering part is that I am talking about an attractive woman here. And being attractive is ultimately a “state of mind” which simply means that I am talking about women who have been told from birth that they are attractive—my daughter, by the way, is now growing up with this problem!

My poetry has always been about explicit language. My background in the western sciences doesn’t help me here either: I prefer explicit, transaction-based relations with people. Okay, the use of ‘transaction’ might be misunderstood here: let’s say, ‘Call and response.’ Now some women have learned (through patriarchal oppression) that men do not want to hear what a woman has to say. They assume that men “love” to hear themselves speak. All of these “wise” assumptions lead to getting stuck in the unspoken. When so much goes unspoken then misunderstanding festers.

The typical patriarchal male solution to this problem is to take action based on almost no provocation/encouragement. This is how my eldest son was born. I love my son dearly but I don’t recommend this unilateral movement as my son suffered the most from this bullshit.

My current solution to this problem is to take advice from Sir Mix-A-Lot and track the stats of my homeboys that don’t. So far, according to my count—in my universe, my sad solution is the best way to go (for me).

The Mutual Admiration Stalemate

Ended in a Stalemate So now that we know we admire each other what’s next? This seems like an easy question to answer but, as I was told once on FaceBook, it’s complicated. You see:

  • We can both admire each other but one of us (preemptively) assumes that the other cannot possibly have any interest in “little ol’ me.” This assumption conceals the accusation that someone is on a sarcastic, sadistic safari.
  • We can both admire each other but one or both of us mixes this admiration with misplaced competition—sort of a sad, sibling rivalry thing.
  • We can both admire each other but one of us insists they are “not ready” to reveal their “incomplete” selves to the “greatness” of the other. So the “not ready” one seeks the company of other “incomplete” people who bask in a social life, leaving the “great one” alone…

The Meta-Discussion Stalemate

After all of this stalemate shit, you might ask, “Bryan do you ever get into any relationships.” Not lately… Well, once one actually gets started we can run into the meta-discussion stalemate. Don’t lie. You know this one very well: instead of being in the relationship you are always talking about the relationship. Wonderful topics include:

  • Constructing some kind of guarantee for the future
  • Staging the same scene and/or character from the past over and over
  • Threatening preemptive strikes against what appears to be disrespect or some kind of threat

Cutting through this stalemate requires courage. But ‘cutting’ might mean you are holding some kind of secret weapon—so, to stay in this relationship, one must be careful with one’s words… I find too careful…

The Jewel Woods “Black Male Privilege” Checklist

Jewel Woods is male. Let’s get that straight. And, without him, I would not have been able to write “Flippant Remarks about the ‘mass exodus of African American male tourists to Brazil’.” So I think it is my Blog-civic duty to respond to (almost) all 94 of the items on “The Black Male Privileges Checklist” (hat-tip to Liberator Magazine for letting me know about this). I do this heavily under the influence that my opinion does not truly matter to the people who should care the most: that would be Black women in particular and contemporary, urban women in general. Too many women are too busy being oppressed (and I just wrote those words in this sentence without any sarcasm) and making conscious/subconscious plans of revenge against male monsters to care about what this “monster” has to say.

The eye of my imagination sees so clearly a woman 100 years from now reading my poem, “void this misogyny,” being driven to tears with the desire to meet me and talk to me because suddenly I am so interesting. Well, guess what lady: 100 years from now I’ll be dead! And I have been using the most advanced communication technology in the history of the white world for over a decade and I have yet to discover any example of this tool being used to its fullest—especially in the world of literary arts. So in an effort to contribute to the future—because the future is always better (as it selects for African genes)—here are my responsible responses:

Leadership & Politics

1. I don’t have to choose my race over my sex in political matters.

“Political matters” is in the marketing department of the business. I’m in the technical department. The very concept of politics and the polloi are foreign to the real me. “Race” is not a real concept for me. Next.

2. When I read African American History textbooks, I will learn mainly about black men.

African American History textbooks are secondary to me. African History has always been my primary concern—even before Michael Jordan (and his dark complexion) became popular with ‘my’ women. African history is about African women. You can spot a pseudo-African snake-oil dealer real quick when he starts talking about Black power without a concern for the English language and no serious prioritization of the regeneration of wisdom-communities of women of color. There is no frickin’ way in the world a group of wise, strong African women would treat me like the shit that supposedly I am according to properly-assimilated “real world” women. So clearly I am biased toward all of us studying the world of wise women. For an example, see “Vandana Shiva: Planting Seeds for Change.”

3. When I learn about the Civil Rights Movement & the Black Power Movements, most of the leaders that I will learn about will be black men.

This item is just like item #2 only framed differently. In addition, here is an excerpt from “My Three Sexist Assumptions of the Apocalypse”:

For you other Negro asses out there who just happen to be reading this, you should have no motherfucking problem recognizing that the Civil Rights Movement is founded upon the social organizing principles of women of African descent. Yes, you want to credit some Negro preacher man in a suit and you want to credit some Quakerly Jewish lawyer but nothing would have happened without organized Black women.

4. I can rely on the fact that in the near 100-year history of national civil rights organizations such as the NAACP and the Urban League, virtually all of the executive directors have been male.

Read these words carefully, written by an award-winning ACT-SO finalist (in poetry of course): f’ the NAACP! The Garveyite bottom line is this: the NAACP was not allowed to own land. It was in the original charter. So, from the beginning, the organization was not designed to grow any real influence or real power. So whatever manhood is in the organization it is no greater than my manhood because at this time I hold no real estate investments outside of a squalid REIT.

5. I will be taken more seriously as a political leader than black women.

I immediately assume that this is reference to mainstream (“white”) authority figures taking seriously. Secondarily, I assume this refers to Black church leaders’ realm of influence. These two populations are temporal to me—these are not of the everlasting so not a concern for me. Get Cynthia McKinney on the phone for this one. I’ll respect her need to talk about this issue.

6. Despite the substantial role that black women played in the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement, currently there is no black female that is considered a “race leader”.

Oprah Winfrey turned that one down in exchange for a larger viewing audience.

7. I can live my life without ever having read black feminist authors, or knowing about black women’s history, or black women’s issues.

This is more toward “American privilege” than Black male privilege. For more details, see “Photograph of Gayl Jones.”

8. I can be a part of a black liberation organization like the Black Panther Party where an “out” rapist Eldridge Cleaver can assume leadership position.

No. I—even I—cannot do that.

9. I will make more money than black women at equal levels of education and occupation.

My personal experience does not agree with this observation. Get Microsoft’s Tammara Combs Turner on the phone for this one. The women who choose my career and have my qualifications make more money than I do—sometimes dramatically more. I heard about one sister (through my Black female head hunter) who bought a house built by one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s assistants. I blame no one but myself for this—when one has to place blame. My number one problem is that I am Black man—many Black women (and more than one wily brother) know how to take a lot of Eurocentric workplace punishment (because, likely, they took a lot of Afro-centric childhood punishment)—and for those women with the technical chops—they will go far, very far. I have trouble fooling meat-and-potatoes guys that I can stomach their corn-beef-hash aesthetic. I explored this back in 2000 in “Bryan Wilhite: An IT Fundamentalist Speaks.”

Now there are Black women who think (through an ironic mixture of self-limiting egocentrism, racism and sexism) they are just as educated as I am and there are Black women who know that I am more educated and trained than they are—and not one of these Black women have ever expressed any serious lasting praise for my accomplishments. When I achieved I assumed I was achieving for my people and my family—and then myself. I found out the hard, hard way that my achievements are largely seen as self-centered, isolated and individualistic. I have heard similar stories of ambivalence from Black women who return home from college only to be dismissed and avoided.

10. Most of the national “opinion framers” in Black America including talk show hosts and politicians are men.

One Oprah Winfrey is worth 10,000 Tavis Smileys.

Beauty

11. I have the ability to define black women’s beauty by European standards in terms of skin tone, hair, and body size. In comparison, black women rarely define me by European standards of beauty in terms of skin tone, hair, or body size.

This is simply a lie. I have a childhood filled with Black girls identifying my dark skin color as “wrong” in various capacities. Since I actually grew up in a Black working class neighborhood in Los Angeles, my earliest, direct experiences with racism was through these Black girls. And these Black girls are still here to this day. Just because some male-dominated rap videos came out in the last 15 years suddenly it’s us Black men doing all the hating? Hah!

When we just have to get Freudian than know that my mother was flawlessly chocolate—and this is why my light-skinned father was attracted to her. I have my Dad’s taste in women but I also inherited my mother’s view of her dark self through the kind of women I easily attract in my life.

12. I do not have to worry about the daily hassles of having my hair conforming to any standard image of beauty the way black women do.

This is absolutely true. Do read “The Black Hair Thing.”

13. I do not have to worry about the daily hassles of being terrorized by the fear of gaining weight. In fact, in many instances bigger is better for my sex.

I am the child of a mother who was terrorized by her mother about her appearance—including her weight. So even though “I do not have to worry”—my mother was not my servant, she was my mother. And to this day, I can feel her pain. And I largely destroyed much of what “normal” people would call a “normal family life” because of my desire to “save” my mother through relationships with women who were almost supernaturally like my mother. This savior complex of mine was a necessary horror.

14. My looks will not be the central standard by which my worth is valued by members of the opposite sex.

I’m suspicious of this one. As women seek equality with male patriarchal stereotypes, I’m seeing more than a few selecting males for youth and beauty—just like a male would. It is an error to assume that most women—especially properly-assimilated American women—are looking for a companion for some kind of sophisticated psychological experience.

Sex & Sexuality

15. I can purchase pornography that typically shows men defile women by the common practice of the “money shot.”

It is an error to assume that all “healthy” males consume pornography. Serious studies of African history before Islam shows that “healthy” males were indoctrinated into what I call ‘fertility conspiracies’—males were exposed to real, live girls in ritualized, regulated sex games. I understand how totally alien this can be to so-called Afrocentric people—but just perhaps you might understand how this assumption that I consume pornography with “money shots” is insulting to me. I prefer Japanese gravure videos! No nudity and more sexy!

16. I can believe that causing pain during sex is connected with a woman’s pleasure without ever asking her.

I hate this “belief” because it is actually true for women in a love/hate relationship with patriarchy and gluttony. Women have asked me to smack that ass—hard. Now I did not hate to smack that ass but I hate the larger system of lowered sensitivity and confusion. Women are very tough. They largely have higher thresholds of pain than males do—especially me. More than a few women will look down on me for preferring to go slow and gentle with them because they prefer to ride hard most of the time. I’m just keeping it real and letting you know, homes.

17. I have the privilege of not wanting to be a virgin, but preferring that my wife or significant other be a virgin.

I prefer that my wife not have herpes. It is for purely strategic reasons: I do not want to risk an outbreak during pregnancy that might harm our children—and her. I leave all that virginity stuff to wealthy Catholics.

18. When it comes to sex if I say “No”, chances are that it will not be mistaken for “Yes”.

My personality is designed (often against my lustful will) to repulse women who actually do say no and they mean yes. There is no woman sexier than a woman who means yes and can look you straight in the eyes and say, “Yes.” The ideal behind this is that I desire a woman in my life that deliberately chooses to be with me—not one I caught like some soldier riding on horseback in an Indo-European battle field. There are army men and there are family men.

19. If I am raped, no one will assume that “I should have known better” or suggest that my being raped had something to do with how I was dressed.

See “How a Terrifying Moment in Toni Morrison’s Beloved Relates to 1990s Thug Music” and get back to me.

20. I can use sexist language like bonin’, laying the pipe, hittin-it, and banging that convey images of sexual acts based on dominance and performance.

There are army men and there are family men.

21. I can live in a world where polygamy is still an option for men in the United States as well as around the world.

Ousmane Sembène on polygamy:

You have to understand how these women are raised. There’s a real hierarchy—the senior wife, the second wife, and the junior wife. Then the man is the supreme master, so to speak. But, when I say that the man is the supreme master, it is because he believes this. In actuality, the first wife, not the husband, wields the power. People don’t say this, but it’s something that’s unspoken.

That’s why in the context of polygamy in my society, I just see the man as a progenitor—the only role he has is to make babies [laughs]. He has to satisfy his own sexual appetites, but he also has to satisfy the three women’s sexual needs. He’s just a sex machine, so to speak [laughs]. Of course, in this situation there’s inevitably some sort of rivalry between the three wives because they’re often denied sexual satisfaction. And when the man is around, no matter what he’s done during the previous night, he has to perform sexually. To help him perform, the woman feeds him food that functions as an aphrodisiac. Since women know more about these aphrodisiacs than men do, they share their secrets.

22. In general, I prefer being involved with younger women socially and sexually.

I prefer to be with holistically healthy, mature women who can hold a conversation with me. Just read what I have written here and guess what kind of woman you know that would be very eager to talk to me because this woman moves thoughts like gold diggers move mountains. Tell that woman to look me up on Facebook. I won’t hold my breath.

23. In general, the more sexual partners that I have the more stature I receive among my peers.

I do not socialize my sexuality among other males. One might call this behavior of mine “homophobic.” My priority is to get down with one woman several thousand times instead of trying to process several thousand women. It’s a form of yoga—a weird fantasy of co-ed monasticism.

24. I have easy access to pornography that involves virtually any category of sex where men degrade women, often young women.

This is like saying to me that I have “easy access” to bags of refined white sugar to pour directly into my mouth.

25. I have the privilege of being a part of a sex where “purity balls” apply to girls but not to boys.

What the f’ is a “purity ball”? This sounds like teenaged, unregulated American Imperial sex games. There is something known as Imperial Sexuality…

26. When I consume pornography, I can gain pleasure from images and sounds of men causing women pain.

Umm… no.

Popular Culture

27. I come from a tradition of humor that is based largely on insulting and disrespecting women; especially mothers.

The whole point of Black “yo’ momma” jokes is that it actually pisses a real Black man off to have someone talk about his mother. Just because Richard Pryor started a popular movement away from this Black fact has nothing to with me.

28. I have the privilege of not having black women, dress up and play funny characters—often overweight—that are supposed to look like me for the entire nation to laugh.

Tyler Perry had two choices: continue to sleep in his car—because his father would not pay for his education (like mine did)—or dress up like a woman to make white men and Black women laugh. Tyler Perry chose not to sleep in his car. I’m sure Flip Wilson and many others had similar choices. I choose to not call that shit a “privilege.”

29. When I go to the movies, I know that most of the leads in black films are men. I also know that all of the action heroes in black film are men.

Halle Berry will never be another Cleopatra Jones.

30. I can easily imagine that most of the artists in Hip Hop are members of my sex.

I try not to imagine what has become of Hip Hop. Remember that sister in Digable Planets? I wanted LadyBug so bad…

31. I can easily imagine that most of the women that appear in Hip Hop videos are there solely to please men.

I’m still imagining me with LadyBug… hol’ up…

32. Most of lyrics I listen to in hip-hop perpetuate the ideas of males dominating women, sexually and socially.

So what. It sucks. White kids buy it. Next!

33. I have the privilege of consuming and popularizing the word pimp, which is based on the exploitation of women with virtually no opposition from other men.

So what. It sucks. White kids buy it. Next!

34. I can hear and use language bitches and hoes that demean women, with virtually no opposition from men.

So what. It sucks. White kids buy it. Next!

35. I can wear a shirt that others and I commonly refer to as a “wife beater” and never have the language challenged.

So what. It sucks. White kids buy it. Next!

36. Many of my favorite movies include images of strength that do not include members of the opposite sex and often are based on violence.

One of my favorite movies is in “Flippant Remarks about the Double Life of Véronique.”

37. Many of my favorite genres of films, such as martial arts, are based on violence.

There are army men and there are family men.

38. I have the privilege of popularizing or consuming the idea of a thug, which is based on the violence and victimization of others with virtually no opposition from other men.

There are army men and there are family men.

Attitudes/Ideology

39. I have the privilege to define black women as having “an attitude” without referencing the range of attitudes that black women have.

I think I wade into this deep water very well in “My Three Sexist Assumptions of the Apocalypse.”

40. I have the privilege of defining black women’s attitudes without defining my attitudes as a black man.

This is not so much a Black male privilege as the blindness of egocentrism. Also, I can assure you that I have been expressing my imperfections quite well on this Blog for years and I can only remember one Black woman on this entire planet that responded to me with any form of comprehensive support. She writes “Beautiful, Also, are the Souls of My Black Sisters”—I also recognize attention from The Black Snob. Other than that most of my people are too busy being oppressed or too young to know to care—to care not just for me but for others online (and in the bricks and mortar) as well…

41. I can believe that the success of the black family is dependent on returning men to their historical place within the family, rather than in promoting policies that strengthen black women’s independence, or that provide social benefits to black children.

This item is too deeply invested in European death models to address effectively in the space that I provide myself here.

42. I have the privilege of believing that a woman cannot raise a son to be a man.

This is not a “privilege”—this is a tragedy. No child should spend their formative years influenced by the eyes of one person—especially when the child is male and the parent is a female that deeply “knows” that males are foundationally animalistic and inferior. I’m not here to “debate” this shit with you. It takes a village to raise a child. This shit we are living now is not civilization so it should not be talked about too much…

43. I have the privilege of believing that a woman must submit to her man.

Shut the f’ up. My experience is of the deeper confusion where the woman—especially the Black woman—wants to submit to her man in bizarre, slavish ways that reminds me of my very unpopular opinion of Kara Walker.

There is no greater privilege in my life than to be chosen again and again as a companion by a free, powerful, healthy, wise woman of color. The reason why I distinguish women of color is because of the monumental physical and metaphysical obstacles they have to overcome to be truly free in thought. In the same manner that the male penis goes deep into the physical body, yes, we can go deep into the non-physical body of the woman. Too many women are too, too quick to deny what I am implying here—because what I have seen in the souls of ‘my’ women are imbroglios that truly baffle.

44. I have the privilege of believing that before slavery gender relationships between black men and women were perfect.

Really. Shut the f’ up. The end of the world started when Upper and Lower Egypt was unified. Anything after, is all that indigenous woman-centric cultures built being unraveled and degraded. Yes, it took thousands of years—and here we are…

45. I have the privilege of believing that feminism is anti-black.

Get bell hooks on the phone and get back to me.

46. I have the privilege of believing that the failure of the black family is due to the black matriarchy.

This is literally perverse. This item is of a trend that implies that Black male “privilege” identifies with white male privilege. This is just wrong.

47. I have the privilege of believing that household responsibilities are women’s roles.

First of all, few people that I know actually have a household. Secondly, too many women I know can barely keep a structured domicile for themselves let alone for another person (including children).

Homemaking is a technical skill. Think of how much money fake-ass Martha Stewart has made and perhaps we can have a materialistic idea of how much homemaking is worth in both males and females. Find me an African male—from Africa—that cannot cook and you are probably showing me the son of a cleptocratic, Eurocentric family.

48. I have the privilege of believing that black women are different sexually than other women and judging them negatively based on this belief.

My guess is that this item mixes two debilitating influences on the sexuality of Black women: the traditional need to suppress open, honest sexuality to prevent rape and murder during the era of legal American slavery and the white missionary tradition of suppressing female sexuality that still runs the Black church to this day.

My other guess is that this item suggests that we Black males have the “privilege” to “escape” these debilitating influences on Black women by having more ‘open,’ ‘honest’ sex with women from different so-called “races.”

Many Black men who have spoken to me about this do not consider this a “privilege” but, at best, an “alternative” and at worst the last resort. Do remember that the Black men that speak to me (about these personal issues) are not famous Hollywood actors, investment bankers, sports stars or any celebrity of any kind.

What about me? I have yet to have a serious, adult, long-lasting relationship with a non-Black woman. That does not mean I have not tried! Hey! Look me up on Facebook, G!

Sports

I am just going to avoid covering the sports section point by point. I just have two comments: one is that women have the right to be dumb jocks too. And, two, I do remember playing soccer (football) in the park on a hot summer day with a beautiful Haitian-American woman named Fay Jasmine Walker. She became seriously angry when I took my shirt off because she knew she could not take hers off. She also knew that she was physically fit and very comfortable with her chocolate-body self-image. I felt so strongly for her that I put my shirt back on… I have told this story to many other women—many of whom not as physically fit as Jasmine—and these ladies aggressively don’t care to know just what the big deal was…

Diaspora/Global

61. I have the privilege of being a part of a sex where the mutilation and disfigurement of a girl’s genitalia is used to deny her sexual sensations or to protect her virginity for males.

Again this is not a “privilege”—this is just ostentatious sarcasm.

62. I have the privilege of not having rape be used as a primary tactic or tool to terrorize my sex during war and times of conflict.

More ostentatious sarcasm.

63. I have the privilege of not being able to name one female leader in Africa or Asia, past or present, that I pay homage to the way I do male leaders in Africa and/or Asia.

Ancient Japan was ruled by women. I tend to remember this quite frequently. In Africa, in the Old Kingdom, the women chose the male king. Sounds complicated but the bottom line is that women ruled in composition with men.

64. I have the ability to travel around the world and have access to women in developing countries both sexually and socially.

I mentioned “Flippant Remarks about the ‘mass exodus of African American male tourists to Brazil’” earlier.

65. I have the privilege of being a part of the sex that starts wars and that wields control of almost all the existing weapons of war and mass destruction.

Again, the author too easily confuses white patriarchy with traditional African manhood. I understand how easy it is to do this, but he should stop. Stopping this will make him a better person but he will get fewer dates with the population of properly-assimilated women and their confused, malformed love/hate of patriarchy.

66. In college, I will have the opportunity to date outside of the race at a much higher rate than black women will.

Black women actually shunned me at UCSB. There were so few of them there. Remember those girls with the skin color issues? They did not disappear—as much as they would like to deny it. At 21, I married a Latina. She was brown like my mother… but still, to this day, very white (self-alienated) on the inside…

67. I have the privilege of having the phrase “sewing my wild oats” apply to my sex as if it were natural.

Please. Go make me some ho’ cakes.

68. I know that the further I go in education the more success I will have with women.

Wrong! Very wrong. It’s the money that you get from an education that attracts many women—not the education itself. Only one Black woman talked to me at length about how aroused she got when she began to feel my thoughts. Those were the good ol’ days…

69. In college, black male professors will be involved in interracial marriages at much higher rates than members of the opposite sex will.

Okay… you are losing your liberal, Negro audience with this one…

70. By the time I enter college, and even through college, I have the privilege of not having to worry whether I will be able to marry a black woman.

This is just a fucking joke. I’m living proof. Check this: “Flippant Remarks about ‘Getting the Love You Want’.”

71. In college, I will experience a level of status and prestige that is not offered to black women even though black women may outnumber me and out perform me academically.

Yes, I wish I went to Howard instead of UCSB.

72. If I go to an HBCU, I will have incredible opportunities to exploit black women.

Yes, I wish I went to Howard instead of UCSB. I would have had my savior complex turned up to 11. Supposedly, to this day, I would have a fiercely devoted young, educated, healthy Black woman at my side because she would have known that I was actually serious about the power of woman—instead of the old, bitter, cynical bats flying around me today thinking they are “smart” for not taking me seriously. Instead, I went to school in Ronald Reagan’s backyard.

Communication/Language

73. What is defined as “News” in Black America is defined by men.

This item is of a trend that implies that Black male “privilege” identifies with white male privilege.

74. I can choose to be emotionally withdrawn and not communicate in a relationships and it be considered unfortunate but normal.

My experience is that “normal” women prefer this. I have memories of women wanting to talk—but it’s actually them doing most of the talking. I am very serious about being a poet so what I say makes too many women want to make me shut f’ up. When I speak, I speak to penetrate. I know that sounds like more male violence but it depends on how the penetration is done and the quality of the surface being breached.

75. I can dismissively refer to another persons grievances as ^*ing.

This is more white shit in Negro form. Very annoying and not me… When you find me dismissing you, this is after I tried to talk to you—several times. Remember those women who literally asked to have their asses slapped I mentioned earlier? These tough ladies can’t feel it when someone is actually trying to speak with them. Often, through past sexist experiences, that don’t have damn thang to do with me, these ladies are over-prepared not to be heard and are underprepared and ill-equipped to actually have the conversation. Again, I refer you to “My Three Sexist Assumptions of the Apocalypse.”

76. I have the privilege of not knowing what words and concepts like patriarchy, phallocentric, complicity, colluding, and obfuscation mean.

Yeah, that’s me—or you can’t read. In the past, too many women would rather think of themselves as literate and educated, while I permanently remain, to this day, a complete idiot. Do I sound bitter, sweetie? This honestly does not anger me because I have seen what kind intimate relationships some of these “smart” women have (or never have) and then I learn something new about poverty in the world.

Relationships

77. I have the privilege of marrying outside of the race at a much higher rate than black women marry.

To be blunt, many Black women (especially the younger ones) are not truly, deeply upset about Black men marrying women of European origin. What pisses some sisters off is Black men with Asian women—one bad theory for this is that many Asian women do not meet the European beauty standard that rules so many of our lives—so why would a Black man be attracted?

78. My “strength” as a man is never connected with the failure of the black family, whereas the strength of black women is routinely associated with the failure of the black family.

This statement of “privilege” is just gay.

79. If I am considering a divorce, I know that I have substantially more marriage, and cohabitation options than my spouse.

Yes, but by the way she act—she does not know this… that’s just the horror that is patriarchy—and it is too easy to find women that will consciously and non-consciously defend it.

80. Chances are I will be defined as a “good man” by things I do not do as much as what I do. If I don’t beat, cheat, or lie, then I am a considered a “good man”. In comparison, women are rarely defined as “good women” based on what they do not do.

In my experience, these are “privileges” women (who will consciously and non-consciously defend patriarchy) impose upon males.

81. I have the privilege of not having to assume most of the household or child-care responsibilities.

Again, in my experience, these are “privileges” women (who will consciously and non-consciously defend patriarchy) impose upon males. My mother was not playing that shit. I can run a house better than most sets of three women combined. Women, largely, do not praise me for this. They got too many f’ed up problems to go around praising people all the time.

82. I have the privilege of having not been raised with domestic responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, and washing that takes up disproportionately more time as adults.

Wrong. It is because of these domestic skills that makes me proud even arrogant. This power is part of an aesthetic that I value—like ancient priests cleaning the temple.

Church & Religious Traditions

83. In the Black Church, the majority of the pastoral leadership is male.

Check.

84. In the Black Church Tradition, most of the theology has a male point of view. For example, most will assume that the man is the head of household.

Check.

Physical Safety

85. I do not have to worry about being considered a traitor to my race if I call the police on a member of the opposite sex.

The framing of this item is just flawed. Most Black men don’t even want to see the police—on a television.

86. I have the privilege of knowing men who are physically or sexually abusive to women and yet I still call them friends.

Naw… not really… you can have a friend from childhood that you are real close to but as this child grows older into a male adult they sometimes admit things in passing that weakens the bond… as time passes the bond gets weaker…

87. I can video tape women in public—often without their consent—with male complicity.

Again, I do not share my sexuality with males as some kind ritual of “bonding”—I was not into team sports that much while growing up.

88. I can be courteous to a person of the opposite sex that I do not know and say “Hello” or “Hi” and not fear that it will be taken as a come-on or fear being stalked because of it.

I actually hate—deeply hate—the fact that a lone woman cannot stop me on the street and introduce herself to me because most are afraid of being physically violated. When we simply must be racist about this matter, I notice that “white” women are the most comfortable with this rare behavior—and this also makes me angry (because this is one way some Black men think life is better apart from Black women—and “white” women often do this in ‘exclusive situations’ where the socioeconomics often bar Black women from the scene).

89. I can use physical violence or the threat of physical violence to get what I want when other tactics fail in a relationship.

I have never done this—but I know that (especially in my younger days) some women actually wanted me to be like this. This is because some women under patriarchy only have materialistic/physical concepts of strength and dominance. And they want to have the wartime experience of being with a “real” man.

90. If I get into a physical altercation with a person of the opposite sex, I will most likely be able to impose my will physically on that person.

In my little world of unpopularity, the greatest “punishment” I have for a woman is to “banish” her. I’m one of those strange people that actually thinks a woman is pleased simply by being in my presence—and to take that away from her is violence enough… This punishment is not very effective but, by habit, it’s all I have… maybe I should teach myself to body slam people…

91. I can go to parades or other public events and not worry about being physically and sexually molested by persons of the opposite sex.

Have you been to West Hollywood on the wrong day?

92. I can touch and physically grope women’s bodies in public—often without their consent—with male complicity.

There are army men and there are family men.

93. In general, I have the freedom to travel in the night without fear.

Yes. And I cannot stand people who live in fear. But many men who travel the streets of Iraq at night are very afraid.

94. I am able to be out in public without fear of being sexually harassed by individuals or groups of the opposite sex.

Have you been to West Hollywood on the wrong day? I may be forty but I’m still pretty, baby! Snap! Snap! Snap!

The Missing Persons in the Conversation

The article from the 37signals.com base camp, “Osmo Wiio: Communication usually fails, except by accident,” is an excellent meta-conversation starter. Since my teen years, I have always felt what Osmo Wiio articulates within the confines of western science:

And I particularly like his observation that anytime there are two people conversing, there are actually six people in the conversation:

Who you think you are

Who you think the other person is

Who you think the other person thinks you are

Who the other person thinks he/she is

Who the other person thinks you are

Who the other person thinks you think he/she is

Buy this Book at Amazon.com! The boldface I have added make heavy what can destroy the lives of Black men and even drive us to insanity. When a Black man takes egocentrism for granted and devotes massive amounts of resources to controlling or dominating items three and five, this is going Hollywood without Hollywood billions. This is an endeavor to be super-clean—a mission of dominance doomed to fail. One dramatic example of what can happen to a brother with this shit is in “‘The Terrible Mystery’ of Gayl Jones.”

Black men, boldface item three and boldface item five are so “special”—not because I am hopelessly self-centered (not that I can stop you from thinking that)—but because the psychological onslaught against Black men never ends. Most properly assimilated persons of all American skin colors who can tell a tale of teenaged woe—an adolescent story about finding identity and having it unrecognized, feeling the pain of being misunderstood foundationally as a person—usually finds some kind of an reconciliation/capitulation ending. Imperial society finds a stereotype that is almost comfortable for many, many people. But for Black men this discomfiture never ends. This is why narcotics are so important for too many Black men. This is why keeping up appearances (fronting) is excessively excessive for Black people in general and Black men in particular. In order to face these millions sober and without lies, you have to have an incredible amount of information and a practice of meditation. I’m not telling you that I have successfully obtained this ‘incredible’ status but I feel much better in 21st century than from the assumptions I lived under in the 20th

Buy this Book at Amazon.com! So, when I am in the one-on-one conversation, my journeys have brought me to a place where my eye sees the six metaphysical people of our material two. For me, getting to know a person means I, even I, can form a functional, continually revisable theory about who is actually speaking to me. So when a person speaks to me—even a stranger—from the first millisecond my meta-senses attempt to surround them and examine how they are constructed. Thugs might call this a form of “street knowledge”—but I know enough about street to know that I do not run no streets (double negative added for emphasis). It is not enough for me to just respond to what a person is saying but to examine why the person said what they said—and when the person said what they said.

Some examples of this procedure date back to my times in college. One or two times there was the self-described “white kid” who listened to Bob Marley. This is the kid who suddenly starts using an unusual amount of profanity when he speaks to a guy like me. He asks me where I can find the ganja because by the way I looked and dressed, I “seriously” must know where the drugs are. This person does not have to be formally and exhaustively identified as a racist. I just examine what he said and why he said it and when he said it. He may think I do not enjoy his presence or his company (within seconds) because I wrongly assume he is racist and once we clear that little problem up we can be “buds”—after all we both like Bob Marley—but no: whatever the engine that drove those cussin words about dope out of his mouth is of a whack-ass design. I am very, very certain that I have this same effect on millions of other people. Sometimes I do not need to even speak—the look in my eye, the way I am walking at that moment, my aura, my vibe is striking. My decision to be myself is too frequently unacceptable to others.

Buy this Book at Amazon.com! These interactions take seconds—often split seconds. I have had years to figure out how weak or how strong my judgment of character can be. My adult commitment to me is to make a mufukkin decision—and face death or life by that decision. Now, this is truly a life-or-death issue when it comes to the six people between me and my theoretical Black woman. More than one sister has literally said to me, “Who do you think you are?” Osmo Wiio should be there to teach her that her one question is actually of six questions. Not knowing this is literally a missed opportunity to learn about one’s self.

Buy this Book at Amazon.com! My experience (which actually does have limits) informs me that that answering all six questions leads my Black woman to confront new questions like: Why do you seek a confrontation with an adult that you think is arrogant and unconcerned about you? Is it not very unlikely that a man who reached adulthood steeped in arrogance and ignorance will change? Can you site any examples from among your identifiable community where an adult Black man, confronted with evidence of his arrogance and ignorance, sincerely and almost permanently changed for the better? When yes, are you certain that you are using the same techniques to bring about this change? When no, then are you sure that what you are doing, this angry confrontation, is productive—or is it merely indulgent? When you agree that it is indulgent, then what are you indulging in? What is it within you that provokes you to anger—to bring this confrontation? Often and bitterly ironically, my woman, who previously felt that she was being ignored and overlooked by some arrogant character, suddenly does not want to answer the last question. That last question leads to the place that she does not want to see or be seen. She is willing to preoccupy herself with anything other than going there. An easy way out is to get back to me and my supposed “perfect little world” of knowing things “nobody” cares about… Her “good” man knows when to stop asking questions… I’m not her “good” man.

In case my communication fails so far—especially in the previous paragraph—, then just know that I think communication fails because of the divisions among the six people in the two-person conversation. These predispositions cannot be underestimated. Before we speak first words to each other, we should know about “the baggage” in our past dominating what we say. Every person (that includes me) speaks within a context. This is why the title of this journal is called “the rasx() context.”

Buy this Book at Amazon.com! It is important for me to understand that I come from a context of poverty. This means I have trouble seeing plenty and overflowing with generosity. This is because generosity in my little world is not met with generosity. My experience with people—other poor people (regardless of income in American dollars)—is that generosity is met with non-recognition or just plain exploitation. Again, egocentrism can be dangerous here. It is egocentrically easy to assume that people (namely my Black women) do not reveal their generosity to me because they choose not be generous. When my ego steps aside and the lives of these people are examined, it renders clear to me that many of these people have no choice. These people are not very generous to themselves.

The fourth, fifth and sixth person in our two-person conversation will eventually cause my Black woman to ask the question, “Why is he talking to me?” In order for her to answer that question she has to depend on personal historical data to provide her with answers. Sadly, for me, the arithmetic clearly shows that the number of units of time she has spent with me is (sadly) less than the amount of time she has spent with the masculinity personality that came before me. I know “we” all “hate” math, but no matter what my lovely woman says about our need to “free” ourselves from “baggage” we end up depending on said baggage, this past, to nurture imagination. So here is a list of Black masculine memories that are literally unimaginable to most people in general and my Black women in particular:

  • The memory of the Black man that dedicated his life to continuing the multi-generational work of restoring traditional, wisdom-based African culture for the sake of all humanity. This dedication was not interrupted by internal egocentric feuds or the fear of not being “credited” for adding to the work. This dedication was not turned into a Babylonian business but was a simple, austere, quiet, retiring way of life. Few—so, so few Black women have that memory of that gentle father or that kind uncle alone in his rooms with his books and his papers.
  • The memory of the Black man who would wear the same blue-collar work clothes with an undershirt that was washed so many times that the cotton fabric is eroded translucent like silk. His under clothes would be literally falling off of him but he would point with pride at his children in their new clothes—and new, thick underwear—and proclaim, “I put those clothes on them children!” Too, too many Black women—especially the daughters of extremely physically attractive mothers—have memories of quite the opposite: children walking around in rags in a shack while pops rolls a brand new GTO.
  • The memory of the Black man with a serious look on his face because it was clear to all actually taking the time to investigate that he looked serious because the situation he faced was serious. The frowning, seemingly haughty expression on his face was for the highest universal ideals and not some selfish, special-interest-group, bitchy, petty emotional triviality. Sadly, my Black woman is made to remember Jesse-Jackson or Al-Sharpton styles instead of viscerally feeling the true history of Marcus Garvey. Too, too many Black women—especially the daughters of extremely physically attractive mothers—have memories of the corrupt Black man behind closed doors where all ideals fall into the reality of telling lies for the sake of sexual predation.
  • The memory of the satisfied Black man who deliberately invested in a life-long relationship with his best, live-in friend, a Black woman. In spite of his handsome looks and fine physique this strange Black dude was not at all interested in the promise of the next extra sex relationship with a “new” person, but rather valued the depth and variety of the same relationship again and again with an interesting, intelligent person—this Black woman. I can hear millions of Black women all over the world just sarcastically laughing at this one. The hatred in their laugh is most terrifying to me. A real-life Black man truly living like this must be untrue to these smart, savvy ladies. Harry Potter flying around with a wand up his ass is more acceptable to these people.

It took me way too much time here to explain what can happen between adults in just a few seconds. I can just walk in the general direction of the person that might be in my next conversation and tell by reading their body language what kind of Black men they have known in their life. With just a few words, it can quickly become clear what kind of assumptions the person in my conversation have about Black men.

Properly Assimilated Person: “Why are you so uptight?”

The Black man: “Loose get us killed by the cops.”

Properly Assimilated Person: “Why can’t you stop this ‘black’ stuff and be just a regular person?”

The Black man: “Blackness has its limits but being a regulated, normalized person has more limits. I’m extremely attracted to freedom. One can’t go back to listening to Kenny G after really hearing Miles Davis.”

Properly Assimilated Person: “What do you do for a living?”

Bamn! The reason why this person asked me this question is to determine whether my “black political bullshit” prevents me from functioning economically. When the person actually finds the answer to this question they often collapse into a state of cognitive dissonance. In order to recover, they have to make a choice: pretend that a person like me does not exist and continue with their lives or completely revise their worldview. My measurements inform me that this revision is often more painful and more impossible for properly assimilated people of color than so-called “white” people. (But this does not mean that I should ironically and insanely be a Black man that make preferences for “white” people—for more on this craziness, read “Amiri Baraka: Black Dada Nihilismus.”)

I have even noticed that some properly assimilated people of color, who think they know who I am, are just sitting back waiting for me fall apart. Their ultimate question for me is, “Have you been crushed by the great white society, yet?” My answer is, ‘Yes.’ I am crushed. My heart is broken. Here are some things you might want to read that came pouring out of my heart:

What you are reading now is actually a future classic. More to come…