Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Acting White: NPR News & Notes


The wonderful people at National Public Radio (NPR) saw fit to invite me onto one of their dailies, News & Notes, for a blogger round table discussion on black topics in the news. The host, Farai Chideya, a fellow Harvard alum, does a great job of ‘herding cats’ around issues of interest. Here is a link to the program, if edutainment is what you seek – and it was indeed quite ‘spicy’ as the producer Devin Robins describes it.

My goal was to not make a big fool of myself or my blog, and I am happy to say I almost achieved it. Really, I was OK except for a brief moment when my hearing-aid seemed to quit working, and I don’t even own one. We were having sound disruptions in the Cal Berkeley studio, but I cannot say this is the cause of my lapse. The question lobbed to me was about class conflict between black women and men, relative to marriage, and I think the danger of it threw a circuit-breaker in my head(phones). The answer that failed to come out was that professional black women who marry blue-collar black men should be prepared to live with the clinking of mimosa glasses and beer bottles. For some this trade-off is fine, for others it will be too much.

The other bloggers on the program included La Shawn Barber, a very sharp, no nonsense woman who does not mince words or conclusions when it comes to what ails black folks. Some of my detractors have lumped me in with her and I now consider this a compliment. The third blogger was LN Rock, of African-American Political Pundit, a re-poster of black blogs who has a penchant for pouring gasoline on himself and lighting a match, as he did today.

LN distinguished himself in two ways, first by declaring that post-Katrina New Orleans would eventually be 100% black-free, as the result of conspiring whites. Farai’s amazement could not be contained. He followed this with the accusation that black women who marry non-blacks are traitors and that I must be married to a white woman because I support black women marrying whoever they want, including white men. At the risk that he will no longer pilfer my blog, I will say he has a set of knuckles growing out of his forehead.

Nevertheless, I thought the show was a great chance for a live ‘dust-up’ of the issues of the day. The N&N team seem like a hustling bunch, with good instincts for what matters to people. I look forward to more opportunities like this, knowing that there is always the risk of the late hit out-of-bounds, by bloggers who shall not be named.

ADDENDUM: Regarding Interracial Marriage...

"A survey in the United States found that, in every age category, available black women outnumbered available black employed men by two to one; they outnumbered black employed men, with earnings above the poverty line, by at least three to one (Crowder and Tolnay 2000)."

James C. Collier

READ MORE ACTING WHITE...

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6 comments:

James C. Collier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bronze Trinity said...

Wow, blogger drama :)

Lola Gets said...

Congrats on your radio apprearance! Another blogger I read, listentoleon.net, is also appearing on the same show later this month. Looks like I need to start listening regularly again!
L

Antonio said...

"He followed this with the accusation that black women who marry non-whites are traitors "

Did you mean "black women who marry non-blacks"?

James C. Collier said...

Antonio: Yes, the fix is in, thanks.

Cobra said...

This is an interesting topic. I'd love to know more about your opinions on this subject.

James writes:

>>>"He followed this with the accusation that black women who marry non-blacks are traitors and that I must be married to a white woman because I support black women marrying whoever they want, including white men."

This belief would lead me to believe that you endorse miscegenation.

Main Entry: mis·ce·ge·na·tion
Pronunciation: \(ˌ)mi-ˌse-jə-ˈnā-shən, ˌmi-si-jə-ˈnā-\
Function: noun
Etymology: irregular from Latin miscēre to mix + genus race — more at mix, kin
Date: 1863
: a mixture of races; especially : marriage, cohabitation, or sexual intercourse between a white person and a member of another race
— mis·ce·ge·na·tion·al \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective

For the record, I too, believe that people should be allowed to marry whom they please. However, if one were to "act white", particularly "act like whites" in American History, miscegenation would not only be considered WRONG, but a FELONY. Research Loving v. Virginia 1969.

James writes:

>>>"The answer that failed to come out was that professional black women who marry blue-collar black men should be prepared to live with the clinking of mimosa glasses and beer bottles. For some this trade-off is fine, for others it will be too much."

Followed up by this quote:

>>>""A survey in the United States found that, in every age category, available black women outnumbered available black employed men by two to one; they outnumbered black employed men, with earnings above the poverty line, by at least three to one (Crowder and Tolnay 2000)."

For ONE who allegedly supports miscegenation, I believe you take the wrong characterization of this issue. One cannot bemoan the availibity statistics for potential All-Black marriages (a poorly veiled attack on Black men), while letting professional NON-BLACK men off the hook for not marrying African-American professional women. The natural demographic partner of these women would be the Asian-American male, as Asian-American females are marrying white men at an all time high.

Also, one would question this modern day "dowery" system of marriage, where advanced degrees and summer homes have replaces livestock as tribute for the honor of sharing last names.

And Lashawn Barber? Oh...I used to post lovely passages on her blog, before she banned all comments. Truth be told, she banned ME before even that. I guess I embarrassed one too many conservatives there.


--Cobra