Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Conquer & Divide

Last week, my wife invited me to see the movie 'Precious'. I reminded her that I don't do well with emotional movies, & the subject matter that the previews alluded to made it clear that it was one of those kinds of movies that make me uncomfortable. So, I've been reading a lot of reviews on the 'Net, & boy, I'm sure glad I stayed at home & chilled with my son instead. Oprah & Tyler Perry don't need my money anyhow. Now, had they been giving out $10 with every ticket purchase, I'd have seen it at least 5 times by now.

The complaint I've heard the most referenced the contrast of the dark/light skin characters. You know the timeless "dark is bad, light is good" propaganda. I'm not one to play poker with race cards, so I'm sure that's not what I would've gotten from the movie. But, the child producing incest? That would've stuck with me, or at least tied with HIV being passed from father to daughter sexually. As I said, an uncomfortable movie.

Without getting overly critical, I've heard this light vs. dark argument within an argument my entire life, from both sides of the fence. See, I'm a light skinned dude. Your "typical" light skinned dude. I've been called Puerto Rican, Mexican, White Boy (I'm not that light...), the whole gamut of "insults". Not really insults, per se, but they were intended as such. The majority of my friends have always been of a darker persuasion. I'm not sure if that's some psychological kickback from being surrounded by a bunch of crazy-ass, gumbo cooking, 1/3 Black relatives growing up or what, but I've been like that since I was a kid. Basically, I've never once equated negative behavior with dark skinned Black people. If anything, I could say that light skinned Blacks are genuinely crazy, as a result of what I concluded started back in the slave days, when the slave master's slave children, who were light skinned, were separated from the slaves & forced to only mingle with each other. By that theory, however far-fetched, at some point, cousins would have had sex with one another in order to pro create. We've all heard about two-headed babies & other ridiculous birth defects as a result of relatives conceiving children together, which are mostly fabled stories that could be plots of science fiction movies. However, there is some truth, in that mental problems have been discovered in children that resulted from incest.

Regardless, at the risk of sounding like a bigot, some of my best friends are dark skinned. Some good, some bad, but there's no over tipped scale as to where the amount of melanin in their skin has anything to do with the amount of exhibited stupidity, or lack of for that matter. For every light skinned person that's perceived as "good" purely off of their appearance, I can show you a gorilla's handful of conceited yellow bones who think the sun rises & sets on their douchebaggery. For every dark skinned person viewed as evil primarily from the color of the skin, I can show you twice that amount of good people who just so happen to be a darker hue of brown. Good vs. Evil, Smart vs. Dumb, but definitely not Light Skinned vs. Dark Skinned, at least from my vantage point.

That's a definitive trait of the slave mentality at work. Conquer & divide, if you will. Especially if we base it off of a movie, which is only as forthcoming as it visionaries (director & producer). In that case, do Oprah & Tyler Perry truly feel this way about Black people? Isn't Oprah dark? I do think she's evil, but it has nothing to do with Africa, & everything to do with America, but that's a blog for another day.

& I can't partially mention Ms. Winfrey without pointing out that Tyra Banks & Wendy Williams have both appeared on their nationally syndicated shows in make-up that gives them a much lighter tone than God intended. Factored in with outrageous wigs & (for Wendy) admission of numerous plastic surgeries, what messages are tomorrow's women of color receiving? I'd be hard pressed to make an argument against Wendy not being the embodiment of Black female self-hatred. No shots, though. To add to that pot, baseball legend Sammie Sosa has undergone a process that has him looking like Ricky Ricardo's present-day corpse, hair & all. Just saying...

As I type this, racism is being edged out by socialism. Look around us. Between schools, jobs, & helthcare, the rich will definitely be getting richer, while the poor are left to either starve to death in the street, or die of 'Swine Flu'. If you think this has no direct, hands-on effect in the Black community, you should think less & read more. Even if the revolution is televised, half of us won't be able to afford the television sets needed to see it, much less be a part of it. We need to observe the conquer & divide strategy for what it really is. Beat "us" down, then keep us away from each other, that way, there's no chance of uprise & retaliation.

America is the hotbed for racism. We all know that. It's part of our history as Americans, & it's embraced as much as it is reviled. But, to acknowledge it, as Black people, & then turn around & allow it to fester within our own confines is self defeating, to say the least. Personal preference is completely different than blatant bigotry & ostracism. Once we can separate the two, perhaps there really will be some form of Black Power. Not money, or wealth or fame, but solidarity, knowing that we all have the same struggle, regardless of our respective pigment. Obama is just the tip of the proverbial iceburg...

[tony's note: i didn't say "nigga" one time...]


ThaKemizt2012 said...

"I add a muthafucka so you ignorant niggas here me!!!"

Federal Ranga said...

The rich vs poor thing is definitely in effect, my brother.

The perception of light also being wealthy and dark being poor doesn't really help the situation either.

You didnt see that movie? Shiiiit, I thought it was one of those straight to DVD joints.

shante carlan ; said...

"Even if the revolution is televised, half of us won't be able to afford the television sets needed to see it, much less be a part of it."

I don't even think it'll be televised, for all we know it'll probably be webcasted.

Tony Grands said...



Remember that Grands said that...

Capital G said...

I'm aware this was mostly a serious post,but... "looking like Ricky Ricardo's present-day corpse, hair & all. Just saying..."

On top of that,"ribs with icing"
was hands down the funniest thing I've read all year. That was truly a masterpiece. You're on fuckin fire lately. Keep it comin'.

kiana said...

I think the whole light skin/dark skin convo regarding Precious is so prevalent because Precious HATED her skin color in the book and Lee Daniels didn't do the best job portraying that on film. I ended up seeing the film again, although dark the acting is superb. Everyone put it down. And I can't believe I'm going to type this: but give T Perry a break here. Him and Oprah put money in AFTER the film was made because major studios were afraid to touch it since its so heavy. They did a good thing! Lol

Nadeem said...

On that Oprah point have you ever seen her interview with dave chappelle and he is talking about the game she looks made guilty and suspect I never been a fan of conspiracy theories but that got me thinking that
oh and has anyone here read any Iceberg Slim

Tony Grands said...


Thanks, mayne. That "ribs with icing" shit took on a life of it's


I read 'Airtight Willie & Me' & 'Trick Baby' a couple of years back.

As far as Oprah, she always looks suspect to me. She's like an evil android from the future. Her & Russell Simmons.

somebody said...


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