Labels: Words and Their Meanings Matter

I’m a black and white person and a linear thinker.  I’ve been told that I’m direct and blunt.  My mother has been described as no nonsense and no frills so I supposed some of it may come from my upbringing.  I’m fairly well organized and I like things to be in order.  I like to have a clear understanding of things.  Labels help us to have an understanding.

I’ve noticed that labels are becoming taboo in 2019.  People don’t want to be labeled.  They say they want to be free.  But what do they want to be free from exactly.  Once something is labeled there are expectations that go along with it.  If you label a container as salt and you put sugar in it you’re pulling a prank.  But if you never label the container the onus is on the person using the container.  The person that filled the container has bypassed their responsibilty for what’s in it.  And they were able to fool you with their prank.

Modern society is removing labels from things such as relationships between men and women, religious beliefs, sexuality, gender and race.  I honestly think that people are disregarding labels because responsibility, expectations and history come with labels.  I think people that don’t like labels are trying to remove themselves from those responsibilities, expectations and history.  They often want to reap the benefits of the good and take no accountability for the bad.

Take the word whore for example.  I’m not one to judge people on their sexuality.  I just don’t see it as a big part of a person’s identity.  It’s just a descriptive word to describe how much a person gets around.  A whore might be a smart, nice person.  I have friends and beloved relatives that can be described  that way.  There have been times when I could be considered one.

However, relabeling whore to “sexually liberated” is a b.s. move.  It’s still the same thing and it still gets you the same penalties or rewards.  Don’t try to sell that behavior as something other than what it is.  A person that gets around is a person that gets around.  If a person doesn’t like the stigma then they need to change the behavior.

I watched a You Tube video recently where a person said that they are not affiliated with any organized religion but they believed in God.  That’s called Agnostic and she didn’t use that word because for some there are negative connotations that go along with that for some people

This woman probably wouldn’t get very far with the people she is trying to share her message with if she presented herself that way.  She then goes on to say that she reads the Bible and she used a lot of language that most would recognize as spiritual or even specifically Christian.  She never called her beliefs anything and she went on to talk about having a relationship with her creator.

All of that is fine but she said that she and her husband had a ministry channel on You Tube.  What are they ministering exactly?  What should we expect from their ministry?  If she and her husbands are leaders of this ministry what can and should we expect from them?  We don’t know because whatever she calls her beliefs is a secret yet she wants us to follow her.  She’s not asking us to follow a religious text that we can read for ourselves and accept or reject or a religion that we can research and choose to be a part of or not before deciding to get involved.

This woman’s ministry is working in shadows.  In fact she didn’t even show her face on her You Tube channel which wasn’t her ministry channel.  Never go to a second location.  The introduction is made in one location to make you feel comfortable.  Second locations are always where the damage takes place.

People are reluctant to label their romantic relationships in modern times. Sugar and salt look alike at first glance.  You probably have to get very close to it to know which is which.  This is the case for many modern relationships.  They look like traditional marriages from a distance.

There may be affection, a mortgage, children and other family ties but it’s still not a marriage.  Those types of relationships don’t have the same kind of responsibility that a marriage has.  There is always a backdoor and a lack of responsibility.  Indeed there is a backdoor in a marriage as well but marriage comes with expectations so if a boundary is crossed someone needs to take responsibility for their choices.  Not labeling a relationship takes away responsibilities and leaves doors open.

As far as sexuality is concerned I’ve seen high profile celebrities legally marry people of the opposite sex and refer to themselves as queer.  This is along the same lines as cultural appropriation.  A White performer wants to give themselves and edge and there is a time limit on how long a White performer can imitate urban fashion and dialect and get away with it if that is not genuinely who they are.

I like Miley a lot.  I think her lovely personality is enough to further her career.  But since her Disney days her career has been based on shock value and selling the public a rebellious image.  She’s a child of privilege, that became wealthy as a child star.  What’s wrong with that?  I think that’s more interesting than vulgarity or her sexuality.  I guess being a rich White girl isn’t street enough for Miley.

miley

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/02/224981/miley-cyrus-queer-relationship-liam-hemsworth

Femininity and Masculinity can be fluid.  Your sex is not.  Sex is a biological fact.  People can go through medical procedures to change their anatomy which would make them a different gender.  I’ve been hearing about sex change operations for decades so that is nothing new.  But I’m so perplexed at people that want to change the definition of what a man and woman is.  I really don’t see how you can.

There are some women that are masculine and there are men that are feminine.  There are men that are attracted to men and women that have romantic love for women.  That doesn’t change any biological fact about their gender.  If society grows to accept the vague definition of gender women are going to suffer.

Race and ethnicity is a vague category.  I’m sure that if we all took a DNA test none of us would be %100 anything.  But I’m seeing a real push in the USA to try and get what is commonly known as Black people to call themselves something other than Black or African American.  Meanwhile other people that are mixed race and or from other countries want to be considered Black, when it’s convenient of course.

I am a descendant of African slaves and my family has been in the United States for at least four generations.  In 2019 those people are commonly called Black or African American.  That works for me because I have no problem being Black.  I think that people that want us to call ourselves something different are ashamed to be Black.  I also think that at some point the government may start to take the demand for reparations seriously for the descendants of slaves.  What’s going to happen to all of these folks that have dropped the label of Black or African American then?  If I’m still alive to cash that check my Black self is going to have a hearty laugh at them.

People that want Black Americans to call themselves Egyptians or Israelites often speak to us as if we are downtrodden, ignorant people.  Yes, Black people have a lot of problems but we have been given a lot of problems for centuries so what exactly is to be expected.  The only thing that will change if American Blacks decide to stop calling themselves Black or African American is that we will lose our rich and fascinating history.  We will lose our influence on American and global culture.  There is nothing to gain by giving ourselves a new label.

The times we live in remind me of an episode of “Twilight Zone” that I saw long ago called “Wordplay”.  A man finds himself within a world where all of the words have a different meaning to his understanding and it causes confusion and frustration.

 

There is nothing wrong with labels.  The problem comes from people and their judgements and attitude towards what is being labeled.  Judgemental behavior won’t change by calling something by a different name.  I can go to City Hall in my town and have my name changed from Shannon to Susie.  I’m still the same person and any opinion that you had of me before is the same.  You’re just calling it by a different name.  Ron Artest and Metta World Peace are the same man.  The only thing that changed were the letters (and number) on the back of his jersey.

 

 

 

I question people that are sensitive about labels without making and meaningful changes.  People are trying to say that things that are the same are different and things that are different are the same.  The relabeling always seems to be for the benefit of one group and the deficit of another.  I think these modern word games are just a smokescreen for manipulation and deception.

I AM A MAN

Here it comes.  Yet another blog posting that has been inspired by my hero and celebrity crush Cam Newton.  Those of you that follow Cam’s career know that he is a controversial figure for reasons that are beyond me.  Much of America dislikes Cameron.  He’s too cocky and loud and confident and flashy I suppose.  I love all of that about him.

At the end of last year’s football season some fans were up in arms that Cam had the nerve to leave a press conference after his team was defeated in the Super Bowl.  He was labeled disrespectful, rude, unprofessional and childish.  The PR team for the Carolina Panthers is surely using the off season to make Cam Newton more likeable to more NFL fans.  To be blunt they want him to be more likeable to White people.

The other day I ran across an article titled “Cam Newton is 27 but a 5-year-old in His Heart”.  I was instantly offended by this headline.  Cam Newton had a great season last year, went to the Super Bowl, was a Heisman Trophy winner, a number one draft pick and he’s a college graduate.  Cam is philanthropist, a TV personality and a fashion trend setter.  All of those are great accomplishments but a sports writer decided to compare him to a young child because he has an outgoing, playful personality.  I don’t understand why he can’t just be an adult with a youthful, loving spirit.  The article either intentionally or inadvertently presents Cameron as child like in order to make him unthreatening.

The headline was actually a quote from one of Cam’s team mates.  He probably didn’t mean anything demeaning by it and the reporter probably didn’t either.  But it’s a shame to me that in America Black men need to be made into some sort of clown in order to be liked by White people.  I don’t think that Black men should even seek to be liked or accepted by America.  They should seek respect and I believe that Cam deserves that.  He doesn’t deserve to be looked at as an overgrown child.

America has a very difficult time respecting it’s Black citizens.  Pro White racism is not built on the accomplishments of Whites but the degradation of non Whites, particularly Blacks.  Even when Blacks are accomplished there is a tendency for racists to try and tarnish their character or at least ignore their contributions and talents.  This is how White racism is kept alive.  ESPN should be ashamed of themselves for posting that article.  You would think a sports media company would have more respect for an athlete like Cam Newton.

NFL: Carolina Panthers-Training Camp
Jul 28, 2016; Spartanburg, SC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) passes the ball during the training camp at Wofford College. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports