29188, RE: Fantasia's 'Baby Mama' Song Sends Bad Message?|
Posted by NETER, Sun Apr-10-05 03:18 PM
The characterization of motherhood being trivialized into a simplistic trivial label such as "baby mama" is a pure example of our inability to grapple with the deliberate manifestations of white supremacy as a power-control mechanism. The wheel of white supremacy is still rolling and yes we are still suffering from century fold degradation in our forms of cultural expression.
Cultural expression speaks to the core identity, self-awareness, and spirit of any people. White supremacy uses these channels of expression to control our desires and our fears because it understands that the control of culture precedes all other methods for obtaining power. If you are to subjugate anyone begin in their midst with their very own forms of song, dance, literature, dress and all artistic expression associated with it
>As I listened to Fantasia caterwauling about how great it is
>to be a “baby mama,” I was reminded once again why I hate the
>show “American Idol.” It’s not just that it has those with no
>talent judging the minimally talented (I exclude the gorgeous
>AND talented Paula Abdul from that assertion). It’s that any
>of us can go to any storefront church in black America and
>find better singers than the ones that appear on the show.
Paula isn't excused for her talent.. she partakes and profits off the bafoonery
>Let’s face it: that’s what many “baby mamas” have done. They
>got knocked up by some loser who couldn’t or wouldn’t marry
>them. That’s a mistake. You don’t go around singing songs
>praising your mistakes. You correct them.
This is a grave miscalculation on your part. Many women become pregnant not because they slept with a loser but b/c the loser did a hell of a job in pretending not to be a loser. Of course that doesn't negate the fact that there was an err in decision-making, but my eye tells me that many women open themselves up to men merely because they believe that they aren't going to leave them. I think if many women knew what the "response" would be then it may not reach that point. Secondly we must acknowledge the role that the courts and government has in this area. Child Support is one of the most destructive control mechanisms that the government can employ within the context of domestic life. The system pits mother against father while also serving catalyst for confrontation and conflict in the black community (just as mandatory arrest policies for domestic violence).
>But let’s assume -— and believe me, this is only for
>argument’s sake -— that Fantasia is right, and that “baby
>mamas” do deserve praise. Why do they deserve more praise than
>the sisters who decide to get married and then have children?
>Why do “baby mamas” deserve more praise than those sisters who
>decided to wait before either having children or getting
>married and decided to attend college and get a career and
Waiting to get married or obtaining a degree isn't the surest way to harmony in child-rearing. Consider infant mortality rates...The infant mortality rate (number of infant deaths per 1,000) was about 15 per 1000 for whites in 1900 and 30 per 1000 for blacks. With all of the medical advancements and so called access gains we've achieved the number has dropped dramatically. As of 2003 the rate was 4.2 for whites and 8.0 per 1,000 for Blacks. Although this is a substantial decrease it is significant to note that the "double" standard still exists. The disparity and disproportionate rate is apparent (4.2/8.0). This suggests that institutional racism is still a factor. This exists regardless of age, economic background, marital status etc. College educated black women are still more likely to have babies of low-birth weight than college educated white women...!
>And isn’t Fantasia ignoring the wealth of problems single
>motherhood has brought black America? If I’ve heard one person
>involved in juvenile justice matters tell me once, they’ve
>told me a score of times: most of the young black men in “the
>system” come from homes with a single mother. No father
>around. In a town like Baltimore, where 75 percent of black
>boys don’t graduate from high school, you can bet most of
>those dropouts are the sons of “baby mamas.”
You fail to acknowledge the structural forms of racism and classism that leads to these conditions.. e.g. school vouchers.. funding based on property taxes ... discriminatory practices within the public school system (teacher referral of black boys to special education programs)
>Speaking at Morgan State University two years ago, author
>Jawanza Kunjufu told a room full of black folks that “the
>greatest demon in black America is fatherlessness. The common
>variable for the black dropout rate, the incarceration rate
>and drug use is the daddy didn’t stay.”
>Kunjufu noted that 90 percent of black families had a father
>in the home in 1920 and 80 percent as recently as 1960. Today
>the figure is 32 percent.
>“Slavery did not destroy the black family,” Kunjufu correctly
(Slavery had a role in this instability.. I dont recall any studies revealing that slaves were allowed to marry or defend their women from whatever the master desired)
>It took a value shift of seismic proportion among black
>Americans of the latter part of the 20th century to do what
>slavery, white racists and white racism couldn’t do in the
>hundreds of years before. And now we have dimwitted people
>like Fantasia celebrating that value shift in songs extolling
>the virtues of being a “baby mama.”
"A seismic shift among black Americans" You must mean the sellout Negroes who stepped into political office in the 1970s and America's Black cities ... the Morial's in New Orleans for example. These executives were not adequately prepared (nor was it their intention) to run the urban core with necessary building techniques and plans of economic empowerment for black people. Furthermore, they were unable to adjust for white flight which was also coupled with "capital flight." Deindustrialization was one of the root causes of black family erosion ... along the chemical warfare that was unleashed on the black and poor. Along with drug use was the shift of the criminal injustice system's approach to drug addiction from a medicinal-judicial mode (where one could receive medical treatment for his or her addictions) to a criminal-judicial model (lock up the fiends).
The time has come for institutions (independent of gov. funding) that can foster a forum for the cultivation of advanced counter-hegemonic, post-colonialist, post modern Afrikan centered arts and education. Education for liberation first and foremost.
Unlike educational systems that are supported by the status quo (white supremacy) in western culture that provides "education" for "employment e.g. gettin those degrees. That is, education to foster workers for capitalist gain. Even in the context of "institutes of higher learning" such as colleges and universities (HBCUs too) there is an emphasis on upholding the status of western culture most often at the expense of other cultural perspectives and primarily to uphold the cultural contributions of Europe as a prerequisite to learning. These institutions produce neo-conservative and pseudo-liberal black public intellectuals such as Henry Louis Gates, Jr., William Julius Wilson, Stanley Crouch, and Anthony Appiah .These and others have produced so-called scholarship, its African and African American subject matter notwithstanding, for an elitist group of primarily white intellectuals and educators as its audience
We must strive to circumvent the ability of these universities and other entities to prevent access to detailed primary research materials in addition to making this information available to the local black community-this will not be achieved through Saturday tutoring sessions and painting projects in elementary schools. The goal is to produce covert black intellectuals that produce scholarship from primary sources gathered from other grass-roots intellectuals throughout the Afrikan Diaspora. Networks of localized institutions that share historical, cultural, spiritual and political information on a large scale through the work of organized travel study and cultural exchange trips...
In The Spirit of Sankofa