Black Social Media: Help or Hindrance

I am Black and a bit of a social media junkie. Social media outlets have pretty much figured out that I’m Black and they suggest pages, channels, people, places and things that other Black people frequent. I follow them as do others in my demographic. It creates little virtual communities and there you have it, the Black social media sphere. It has been fun, entertaining, and educational in good ways and bad. Black social media can be a useful and entertaining tool. But it can be very toxic.

I’ll start off by saying that Black people are not given enough credit for being so witty and creative. When I was a big Facebook and Twitter user my brothers and sisters would absolutely have me cracking up with their unique takes on various hashtags. Some social media users reminded me of the glory days of hip hop when being a little street or ghetto or whatever you call was meshed with intelligence and insight. We don’t get to see that much in the media anymore. I miss it.

Black social media users have also brought attention to injustices in America such as police brutality and racism in common places. Cell phone video and social media has given justice to many Black people that never would have gotten it otherwise. I think that is wonderful and heroic.

But I’ve decided to not follow a lot of Black social media pages due to the nature of the speaker or his or her followers. I blocked The Shade Room on IG years ago and my quality of life immediately improved. I stopped following the 1990s rapper David Banner because I got tired of being a defender of the faith. I blocked The Amazing Lucas on You Tube because he is trying a little too hard to prove that he is a conservative Black man. It’s sad to watch a Black man pander to people that way.

It’s difficult to build a social media following unless you already have some sort of claim to fame, an amazing talent or you fit a particular beauty standard and decide to flaunt your body for the sake social media popularity. I’m guessing that it may even be more difficult for non celebrity Black people to build a large following because I rarely see Black people discussing things that wouldn’t be considered a Black interest on social media. I’ve figured that the best way for Black people to gain a social media following is by being controversial within the on line Black community.

I think Black men have it the hardest in the social media world. It’s a little harder for them to find their social media niche. Many Black women and feminine Black men have gained social media notoriety by creating celebrity gossip outlets, make up and hair tutorials.

But I don’t see many Black men creating channels that aren’t about dissecting matters in the Black community. It seems to me that the easiest way for a Black man to gain a large social media following is by talking about such matters and blaming Black women for them. Some of the most successful Black You Tubers that I’m aware of are men that think that Black women are solely responsible for every single problem in the Black community. Like, seriously every – single – one. The mental gymnastics these guys do is impressive. Actually buying into it is a personality disorder of some sort.

I’ve never followed members of the He Man’s Woman Haters Club but men that follow these ideologies show up in the comment sections of other vlogs such as gossip channels or a channel that is talking about current events to a Black audience. They drop nasty remarks about Black women’s appearances, marital status, “attitude” or whatever. They even put Black women down for going to college and pursuing careers. I would like to think that most of these remarks are coming from trolls in Moscow but I know my people and this can’t all be blamed on the Russians.

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It’s like some of these guys (to be fair, I’ve had Black women make rude remarks about my appearance, especially my hair as well) know that Black women are trying to avoid them so they come to where we are in order to insult us in some way. I’ve made what I thought was an innocuous comment and have had my personal appearance attacked by my fellow social media users. People like that are usually hiding behind an anonymous profile so I can’t be sure of who they are but I’m guessing a lot of the insults based on skin color and hair texture are coming from people with similar skin color and hair texture.

After degrading Black women these gentlemen go on to put fairer skinned women on a pedestal. I don’t understand why they didn’t do that in the first place and just left us out of it. No one needs to justify their dating and marriage choices to anyone. And you shouldn’t have to put someone else down in order to express your love for someone else. Black women return the vitriol. They too have set up channels and make comments tearing Black men apart. There is no way to have a community if men and women hate each other.

Another topic that’s caught a lot of traction on Black social media is “woke” Black people telling Black Christians to stop believing in Christ. I had to block the 90s rapper David Banner for this reason. People like him are arrogant and patronizing and always use the same two or three reasons to justify their opinions.

Their reasoning displays their ignorance about the Bible, geography, human history. This “woke”, afrocentric community are the ones that believe in a White, European Jesus. Not those of us with the understanding that Bethlehem isn’t in Europe. Once again, all they need to do is follow their heart. There is absolutely no need to degrade someone else in order to justify a personal choice. Leave us out of your personal choices and I’ll leave you out of mine.

I ran across a You Tuber named The Amazing Lucas one day and I decided to follow him. After watching a few of his videos I blocked him. I don’t need anymore of his videos. He’s a young Black man that would probably describe himself as being conservative. But after a while I guess he had to work harder to prove himself.

He’s too emotional about things that aren’t that big of a deal such as the political opinions of NBA players that he’s never even heard of. Lucas is of the belief that racism is all a figment of Black America’s imagination which I find to be a very condescending and delusional view point. The Amazing Lucas doesn’t seem to understand that racism is an economic and sociological matter.

I don’t know who runs The Shade Room but they are a horrible human being and their followers are complete morons. It’s hard to find a dumber group of people on social media than what you would find on that IG page. I blocked them a long time ago because they were on there making fun of Simone Biles body. That’s right. They body shamed a world class athlete.

People that enjoy The Shade Room only like women that look like strippers. It’s all they care about or respect. They absolutely love people from the Love and Hip Hop Series and various young rappers that I’ve never heard of. But they trash an Olympic champion because she’s not so called slim thick. They trashed Gabrielle Douglas as well. I believe they came for her because she mentioned something about women should dress modestly and they went berserk. I don’t share the values of most people in The Shade Room so I had to block them.

The death and funeral of rapper Nipsey Hustle and the trials and tribulations of TV personality Wendy Williams have dominated Black social media the last few weeks. Meanwhile three Black churches in Louisiana burned mysteriously and the son of a police officer was arrested for the crimes.

I was on a You Tube channel yesterday that fashions itself after a news broadcast. The host discussed the church fires and people in the comments section were talking about their disdain for Christianity, especially Black Christians. They are clearly missing the point. But if they are that stupid why bother talking to them. I blocked the channel. I think we need to shift our values a bit. Our community suffered a terrorist attack and

I understand that the death of Nipsey Hustle is yet another urban violent tragedy but last weekend six were shot at a baby shower in Chicago. I haven’t heard Black social media say a word about that. I didn’t know who Nipsey Hustle was until he died so his death is no different than all the other murders that happen in the Black community.

I think that we should use the powerful medium of social media to discuss that to the point of beating a dead horse like we do stupid topics like fake hair, inter racial dating and twerking. And men that are obsessed with women that they don’t like need to be the ones doing the talking instead of blaming everything on single mothers.

I wish that Black social media communities would just stop trying to tell others in their community what to do. Stop thinking you know what’s best for someone else. If we all do our part, Christians, Israelites, Agnostics, LGBT, feminists, etc. we can all make improvements to build a better future for everyone. But this intra racial at least snarkiness and at most hatred should stop. We need to learn to respect each other more. I don’t feel like Black people appreciate our differences.

Some of these conversations that take place have been going on for years and we have come to no conclusion or made no progress. They are trivial matters anyway so we should just move forward. I think there are a few things we should be able to agree on such as if you’re mad at someone you shouldn’t shoot up their baby shower and let’s discuss those matters. The rest of if is all just drivel and a huge waste of time and I refuse to participate in it anymore.

RIP Luke Perry

Yesterday the world lost 90s teen idol Luke Perry.  He became famous in the early 90s because of his role on the legendary teen soap opera “Beverly Hills 90210”.  Legendary is not an exaggeration.  At least not for me.  There has never been anything like “90210” and there will never be anything like that again.

The main reason there will never be anything like “90210” is because I’ll never be sixteen again.  Once you live past your teen aged years I don’t think that it’s possible to focus that type of energy on a TV program and fictional characters.  There’s that and Luke Perry’s rise to fame occurred in a bygone era.

Picture this:

The year is 1991.  The place is suburban Detroit, Michigan.  It’s Tuesday night.  In about twenty four hours the favorite show of me and all of my peers is going to air.  The countdown is now a matter of hours and not days.  The next day in school I look up at classroom wall clocks during the day.  I’m counting down the hours to when “90210” came on.  It was on the tip of our tongues and the forefront of all of our little early 90s, teen minds.

School is out.  YES!  It won’t be much longer.  It’s just a few hours more.  I just needed to get through dinner and probably some homework and then it would be time to see what happened next in lives of privileged, attractive (even the homely one was kind of cute) White teenagers that live under perpetually sunny skies.

I remember that “Entertainment Tonight” came on at 7:30PM.  My girlfriends, two other Midwestern, suburban, Black girls, would be on the phone talking to each other by that time on a three way call.  That’s how we had conferences about TV broadcasts before the social media aged.  We would get so excited when the closing credits to “Entertainment Tonight” started to roll.  It was now just a matter of minutes before the main event.

And then it began:

 

When the first few notes of the “90210” theme song came through my floor model TV set my heart skipped a beat.  My friends and I created a short cacophony of squeals and heavily breathing the word YESSSSS into land line phones! We excitedly chatted during the commercials.  Once the show began we held the phone in silence until the next commercial break.

“Beverly Hills 90210” was good stuff.  We followed the love story between Brenda and bad boy Dylan.  I can’t remember if Dylan went to school or not.  I think I remember him going to the prom but I don’t remember him being in class.  The love triangle between Brenda, Dylan and Kelly was absolutely riveting.  And the sweet story of David protecting Donna’s honor melted our hearts.

The show was also educational.  I learned where Baja was because of Dylan McKay.  My friends and I looked that up because we wanted to know where on the Earth Dylan went on his solitary surf vacations.  To this day I think of Dylan whenever I hear the name Baja.  We didn’t use the internet then so I don’t know how we looked it up.  I’m assuming we found Baja on a globe at school or we used an encyclopedia.

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“90210” was absolutely epic.  I don’t even think kids today can relate to anything like 9021 mania because they are growing up with on demand entertainment like Netflix and YouTube.  Back in my day we just had to eagerly await new episodes and new seasons of our favorite shows.  It caused mild hysteria.

Anyhow, RIP Luke Perry.  I’m getting a little emotional writing this post.  Thank you for the memories.  There will never be anyone else like him because times change and people change.  Looking back at it the show was very corny and I don’t think that today’s teenagers would accept “90210” as entertainment.  There would surely be complaints that the show was elitist and lacked diversity.  But I loved it and I’m grateful to have grown up in what pretty much amounts to the Victorian era.  Thanks for the memories.

 

Happy Birthday Naomi Campbell

Happy belated birthday to Naomi Campbell.  The hardest working woman in fashion turned forty eight on May 22.  Naomi is from the era of the super models and hasn’t slowed down since the 1990s.  Naomi has challenged beauty standards in the fashion industry for decades and continues to do so as she nears fifty.  Naomi Campbell has been a hero of mine for many years.

I remember the first time I ever saw Naomi Campbell.  She was doing a seductive dance in Michael Jackson’s “Keep it in the Closet” video.  She was an absolute sensation in my middle school suburban Detroit social circle at the time.  Me and my young girlfriends were fascinated by this dark skinned exotic beauty and her waist length hair.  There was some debate among us whether the hair was real or not.  I was on team weave but it didn’t even matter.  I loved that woman.

She was a stunning Black woman with African features. Her contemporaries were Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and another favorite of mine Tyra Banks.  There had been successful Black models before but none as dark and lovely as Naomi at that time.

Some of you may be unaware that lighter skinned, European featured beauty is highly favored in the world.  Even in Black communities light skinned, straight haired looks are praised over dark skin and kinky hair.  I had childhood experiences that involved me being teased for being dark.  As an adult it’s been clear to me that most men prefer lighter, European women over African looking ones.  So it meant a lot to me as a young girl coming of age to see someone with dark features in the limelight.

Other models from the super model era have either retired or play different roles in the fashion industry now.  At forty eight years old Naomi is still working the runway better than anyone and I mean anyone.  Young models of the day can’t match her stage presence.  In April 2018 she was on the cover of “GQ” magazine.  Ms. Campbell shows no signs of slowing down.

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Naomi has a bad reputation.  She’s been accused of abusive behavior and has served time for her crime.  She paid her debt and hasn’t had any legal problems in years that I know of but I believe that Naomi is misunderstood.  It’s hard for Black women to stand up for themselves without being seen as being combative or aggressive.  Unfortunately, Black women, even tall and glamorous models are forced to defend and demand their worth themselves often in this world.  The world doesn’t just give people of African descent respect we quite often have to demand it.  I think Naomi may have just been demanding to get the respect she deserves.

Despite Naomi’s notorious temperament she seems very polite and gracious to me.  She doesn’t seem to take her lot in life for granted and she has worked very hard for all she has.  I also respect a person that is able to maintain long term friendships.  Friendship is under appreciated in this world and Naomi is still friends with some of her modeling colleagues from the 90s like Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista.  I respect and admire people that maintain long lasting friendships.  She also has a long term relationship with P. Diddy that I find to be, well, intriguing.

Happy belated 48th birthday to Naomi Campbell.  The diva, queen of the catwalk, hardest working woman in fashion, muse and one of my personal heroes and an inspiration to millions.

 

 

 

Curtis Granderson: the Great Unifier

Absolutely anything can turn into an argument on social media.  The most innocuous comment can draw a sharp tongued response from a fellow social media user with a chip on their shoulder.  We can’t agree on anything these days.  America is sharply divided by ideology: Democrat, Republican, faithful, Atheist, does pineapple belong on pizza or not, who do you hate more the Patriots or the Cowboys?  In this day and age we have a hard time respectfully allowing others to have an opinion without passing judgement on their character.  I do it too.

But I’ve noticed that there is one subject everyone agrees on: Curtis Granderson. No one ever says anything bad about him.  Like never, ever.  All of the social media comments that I’ve seen about Curtis have been admirable.  That’s an incredible accomplishment in an environment where a picture of a cupcake or puppy can start an argument.

Curtis is the outfielder Curtis Granderson for the LA Dodgers.  I’ve followed his career since he played for my Detroit Tigers around ten years ago.  I’ve had a crush on the man since then.  He’s tall, athletic, Black, wealthy and absolutely charming with old fashioned manners.  You can tell he was raised by adult parents with common sense and morals that instilled good values in their son.  That’s rare.  The only person that compares is J.J. Watt who is the blonde, blue eyed NFL equivalent.

I think the secret to Curtis’ popularity is that we don’t know much about the man.  I’ve looked for information about the man’s personal life because I’ve been in love with him for like a decade but there isn’t much out there.  Other than a Wikipedia page, articles about his charity and stats Curtis Granderson is a mystery.  He has not given us anything to talk about or judge.  Instead of seeking attention he uses discretion.  Discretion is not appreciated much in this social media world of ours.

Anyway, God bless Curtis Granderson.  I’m still hoping the Royals will win the Wild Card and make it into the Pennant Race and make a good run for another World Series ring.  Honesly, it’s not looking great for the Royals so I will jump on the LA Dodgers bandwagon and cheer them on for a World Series ring.  Curtis deserves it.  He’s had an impressive career and is a more impressive human being.  Thank you Curtis Granderson for standing for class, tact and professionalism.  The world appreciates you.

Joel Osteen is a Victim of His Own Success

Earlier this week Hurricane Harvey his the Gulf Shore of Texas.  This storm has caused major damage and flooding to the city of Houston.  Harvey is being called a once in five hundred year storm.  After the hurricane weakened Houston received record rainfall.  Roads are impassable, homes are damaged and people have been displaced.

Houston is the home of televangelist Joel Osteen’s church.  The church was closed for the storm and upcoming services were cancelled.  Shortly after Harvey hit a young man went to Lakewood church and made a video which posed the question as to why the church was not open to the public.  It is unclear to me why the young man made the video.  I can’t tell if he was there seeking shelter or just there to complain.

The video circulated the internet and Twitter user spent the evening casting stones on Joel Osteen and his ministry.  The internet was mad that a church as prosperous as Lakewood was not open to serve the public during such a time.  They felt like it was hypocritical that the church would not be anxious to serve during a natural disaster and they were not buying that the church was flooded.

I think the criticism of Osteen and his church is unfair.  I am not a Joel Osteen fan and I don’t know much about his ministry.  But I think people need to give the man a break.  For goodness sakes he was in the same hurricane.  Do people think that the wealthy or pastors don’t get rained on?  Besides that churches are volunteer organizations.  All of those people were hit with a hurricane and flood.  So there may not have been adequate staff to serve anyone seeking refuge.

I also think it may have been unsafe to have a facility as large as Lakewood Church open during a big storm because it would draw a lot of traffic to it’s location.  It wouldn’t be wise to put a bunch of people on the roads when some roads are flooded.  There are logistics to be considered when trying to organize a relief effort.

I haven’t followed Osteen’s ministry over the years but from what I hear about him he is Christianity lite.  He’s all of the feel good, come as you are stuff and none of the discipline or fire and brimstone stuff which is pretty typical of modern American Christianity.  Modern Christianity treats Jesus Christ as if He were a genie in a bottle that is here to serve us.  When we are asked to served Him many of us think that the church is being too pushy and demanding.  If we are asked to discipline ourselves and be obedient many of us think that we are being controlled and that  our freedom is being restricted.

This is why I think Osteen is a victim of his own success.  It sounds to me like he preaches a self centered gospel that does not ask worshipper for a sacrifice.  That creates self centered Christians that feel that they need to be served by the church but the church shouldn’t ask service of the community.

And that’s what we’ve seen this week from people that have bashed Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church.  They instantly became angry when the community’s needs weren’t being met by this church but very few people asked what they could do to help the church.  No one asked it the pastor and his staff was OK.  The criticism was very self centered.

But I have to wonder if Osteen caused his own problem by preaching a gospel that is acceptable to the masses.  If churches are going to preach a me, me, me gospel be prepared to serve a demanding self focused congregation.

 

#TeamRob

I think we all knew this day would come.  I’m talking about the crash and burn break up of Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna.  I watched the show “Rob and Chyna” and I strongly suspected that Chyna was using Rob for attention and financial gain.  The relationship did not seem genuine and Rob seemed kind of vapid.  Chyna was not very nice to Rob at all and she was very controlling.  I don’t think Chyna is a nice person at all and she’s a complete idiot to top it all off.

Before Rob and Chyna started dating Rob was struggling with his weight and he was not getting along with his family.  He seemed to have self esteem problems and then Chyna came along and acted as an earthly savior for Rob.  Chyna took full advantage Rob and his fragile mental and emotional state.  But I could tell on their reality show that she never really loved or liked the man.  At best I thought she was lonely and desperate and was just trying to make the relationship work out.

It has been revealed through social media that Rob showered Chyna with expensive gifts and even plastic surgery.  I don’t believe that anyone should use someone for money but my goodness if you’re going to do it maximize the potential of the situation.  Blac Chyna short changed herself if you asked me.

Chyna probably could have married Rob.  And then she would have been Mrs. Kardashian, the only Mrs. Kardashian.  That would have been a proud moment in Black history.  I also think she missed a huge opportunity by having one baby and dumping Rob.  She needed to have a boy in order to keep the Kardashian name going.  Being Mrs. Kardashian, ex Mrs. Kardashian or the mother of Baby Boy Kardashian would have supported her and Dream for the rest of their lives.  But Chyna’s dumb ass blew it.

Chyna was thinking short term which is child support while Dream is a minor.  But then what?  Chyna will be an ex D.C. stripper in her mid forties.  She’s probably not going to go to school and become a nurse or something respectable.  She and dream are going to be back to hustling.

The problem there is that they are Black women and Black women could never get away with the nonsense that the Kardashians have gotten away with.  If Ray J had made a sex tape with a Black women she never would have had the opportunity to turn that into a multi million dollar family business.  The American public would have never taken interest in that.

Besides that we don’t know what Dream is going to look like and looks are everything in the world she was born into.  There’s a good chance that she will be attractive because both grandmothers are beautiful and her mother is gorgeous when she’s working with her stripper body.  But we just don’t know.

I don’t think I could date Rob Kardashian but he also doesn’t seem that bad to me.  Chyna should have just stuck it out for the long haul.  I really don’t understand these people that get attached to people with tons of money and then show their ass.  The best opportunity folks like Blac Chyna, Amber Rose (Wiz Khalifa’s ex) and Kindu Issacs (Mary J. Blige’s ex) was their marriage.  How did they mess this up?  None of them are going to make as much money as their former partners so why not make nice and stay in the relationship.  They need to take a lesson from Vanessa Bryant who is a smart woman.

Chyna sent Rob a picture of herself kissing some guy and another picture of a different guy in Rob’s bath robe.  Are either of those men going to buy her a diamond watch or a Lamborghini?  Neither one of them probably can which is what makes Chyna is an idiot.  I really don’t know why Rob is even pressed over this.

I’m a believer in everlasting love, loyalty and friendship.  But if you’re going to hustle for a come up do it right and make the most of a situation.  Chyna had the whole world in her hand and blew it and she probably won’t get it back.  I really hope this is all just a Kardashian publicity stunt that the entire family will cash in on.  Because I hate to see a Black woman making such poor business decision.