Archive for Relationships

Taking the bait

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 14, 2008 by tomwars

“There are no good black men in the world!” cry countless women from Anchorage to Miami as many of them throw on their Freak ’em girl dresses and stilettos to go to the club. The phrase has become so popularized in the black community that many people use it’s appeal as a marketing strategy. There seems to be dozens of black fiction books dedicated to this topic. When you drive by the bus stop, there’s always a young sista on the corner reading the latest “Niggas Aint Shit” novel. Tyler Perry loves talking about it as well in his “movies” and “plays” (I seriously try to support the brotha but damn, his psuedo-movies and psuedo-plays suck). It’s become so embedded in people’s heads, that they no longer know what a good black man looks like when they see one. Thus, the topic of this blog.

I sat in a restaurant Friday evening having a rather delicious piece of salmon. This particular restaurant becomes almost like a club setting on Friday night as young sistas and brothas flood the scene for reasonable drinks, good food, and the opportunity to impress each other among other things. The brothas come in wearing fresh polo style shirts, and jeans. Sistas wear dresses and stiletto heeled shoes. Some laugh, some shout, some genuinely have a good time. Others, not so much. There are always the sistas who watch the door desperately hoping an NBA player or celebrity will walk in and make all their trophy wife dreams come true. They are constantly disappointed (sorry ladies, Iverson is in Denver now). They wear their disgust on their face as countless brothas walk by them, none of course good enough for a conversation or smile. “Where are all the good men?” they grunt.

Meanwhile, back in reality, a brother in a suit sits next to these disgruntled sistas at the bar. He is indeed a celebrity. He’s battled Bill O’Reilly and Michelle Malkin on Fox News over countless issues, always defending the honor of black men and women. His opinion is revered on MSNBC & CNN. He was also a recent guest speaker on the BET Forum “Hip Hop vs. America” which focused on the misogyny in hip hop. In 2005, Ebony Magazine named this brotha one of America’s top 30 Black leaders under 30 years old. Yet, the young brotha sat at the bar on chill mode conversing with two bartenders while the sistas around him complained there were no good black men left in the world. How ironically pathetic.

Perhaps this young brotha didn’t want to be disturbed. It’s likely that he wasn’t there to meet women. Perhaps he just wanted a drink. That’s not the point. If Young Jeezy, Rick Ross or Freeway sat in that very same chair, most of the women in the restaurant would’ve been swooning, asking for autographs, & giving up their phone numbers in an attempt to get next to people who basically admit they hate black women in their music. As I listened to the complaints of the young sistas, I laughed out loud. “There are no good men left” was constantly repeated as young brothas wearing sunglasses (inside – when the hell did that become cool?) walked past them to order drinks at the bar.

My laugh quickly turned into feeling of disappointment as a young white woman said to her friend, “That’s the guy that was on BET.” Oh the irony of a young white woman noticing this brotha. She watched the BET special, “Hip Hop vs America,” which focused on the disturbing images of young black women in the media. This show was in honor of and dedicated to the sistas at the bar, in the restaurant, and outside in the streets. I was not disappointed that this young white woman watched the show. I was disappointed that the young sistas did not. Surely they would’ve noticed the young brotha who sat a mere two feet from them if they did.

I sat in utter disbelief. I wondered to myself if this young brotha was in Lil Wayne’s latest video pouring Ace of Spade on women, would he have been recognized by the sistas? I wondered how many autograph requests there would’ve been in the restaurant that night if he had made a fool of himself on the latest VH1 reality show. As it stands, he just happens to be a young Cornell West. A young Michael Eric Dyson. He just happens to be a soldier on the front line of change. Yet, he sat alone at the bar while sistas looked toward the door waiting for Elton Brand to walk in. Of course Elton never showed up, and the white woman who noticed this young brotha was too afraid to walk up to him. “It may be awkward for him to talk to me” she said to the woman sitting next to her. “I know how he feels about black women” she continued. Sadly, the sistas he sat next to did not know how much this young brotha loved his sistas. But the white woman was probably correct. If she would’ve walked up to the brotha, the sistas around the bar would’ve probably called him a sell out, even though they had no intention of sparking a conversation with him. Perhaps if his suit was made by Roc-a-wear or Ed Hardy, he would’ve appeared cooler. As it stands, it was probably Brooks Brothers or Armani.

It’s funny how a restaurant can turn into a Sociology experiment. The check sat in front of me for a good 15 minutes before I noticed it. As I got up to leave, the young brotha was still there. The sista that sat directly next to him answered her phone. The ringtone was Soulja Boy’s “She Got A Donk” which is yet another ode to the posterior of black women. I shook my head and left.

And oh, the young brotha? Dr. Marc Lamont Hill.

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