MSNBC’s African-American Women: Where They Stand

h/t to Kudzu, Mon Amour. If I hadn’t read her blog, I honestly wouldn’t have known this series was going to air. I don’t watch TV, and you couldn’t pay me to watch a “investigative series”. After reading her blog and What About Our Daughters, I had to at least watch the clips available online.

Sigh…This morning, I woke up at 2:30am, unable to get back to sleep. I went through most of the videos online and they were, as several bloggers noted, very disappointing. I was shocked at how horrible it was and kept thinking, “Well, this is only a 3 min. clip of what may have been an one hour show.” But then I thought that if this was the best they could pull out of an hour, I didn’t miss much in the first place.

More black women taking care of business
More black women taking care of business

Monday was dedicated to Black women in business. MSNBC told us stats that we already knew about Black women and entreprenuership. I guess this is a surprise to them, but even a quick look at Black female bloggers would show a very high level of self-employed people. But we already knew that most small-businesses, are run by women and that women are starting their own businesses at a higher rate than men. Then, for whatever reason, MSNBC decided to show a stat that Black women outnumber Black men at colleges 7 to 1. What they neglected to mention was that women outnumber men at colleges, regardless of race.

Trading briefcases for diaper bags
Trading briefcases for diaper bags

This clip was one of the few I watched that spoke to me. I am a Black mom and I have not worked outside the house since I found out I was pregnant with my first kid. While I particpate(d) on online birth club boards, despite the inherent accepted racism at places like BabyZone or BabyCenter, the biggest divide was with what was accepted and expected of me as a Black woman. Other white women who stayed at home with their children, did so because their husbands made enough to allow that to happen. In most cases I was The Black Woman on the board and as a self-employed, college-educated Black woman, that stunned quite a few of them.

Obviously, finding camaraderie there wasn’t going to happen. So, I turned to playdates. Now, I get guff from my Black female friends telling me that only white people do playdates. I joined a playgroup for women of color. What fun and what a relief finding a group of women who understood not only what I was going through, since they lived in the same (or similar) community that I did at the time, but they were also college educated Black women who were also professionals and/or self-employed. Nothing was more frustrating posting at places like BabyZone or BabyCenter, where people seemed barely literate and they were definitely insulated and close-minded. It was a breath of fresh air to be able to have intelligent conversations with adult women. It also just so happens that many of them were also married to men who weren’t black.

Which leads me to another web-exclusive:
Love, in black and white
Love, in black and white

Black women marrying and dating interracially. Yawn. I’m sorry, but who cares? I know, my husband is Romanian/Hungarian and I may be a little too close to all this. I fail to see how this is news or a topic. Will there be a news story about the large amount of Asian women who dated/marry white men? Doubt it. People marry interacially. That’s what happens. What makes this clip so outdated is that they state “interacially”, yet only focuses on Black women/white men. I know Black women married to Latinos, Asians and Indians, so why the tight focus?

I must admit that clip killed me. The lady in the clip said that she only dated white men. That was it for her. I think that’s a little closeminded, but whatever. Then at the end of the clip, she said it was sad to think there were people who would only go out with someone because of the color of their skin. Say what?

Over a Kudzu, Mon Amour, Queen Esther writes:

i decided a long time ago that when it came to dating, i wanted someone that was basically a good guy, and i really didn’t care what race he happened to be. finding a smart, decent, cool, God-fearing person would prove to be difficult enough. why cut my chances of meeting that special someone by setting up racial barriers? to my way of thinking, it just didn’t make any sense.

I think that many people think that way. I certainly thought that I way. My first engagement was to a Black guy (okay, that was kinda forced on me by our mothers), then I thought I was going to marry this fine assed half-Jordanian/half-Mexican guy who was raised in Australia. That didn’t work when I figured out he was gay, then after months of denial he agreed. The point was that I, too, wasn’t going let skin color dictate who I marry and I kinda feel bad for people who do. For example, I know this Syrian guy who dated everyone, but when he got married he was going to marry a nice Syrian girl. From Syria. Muslim guys in America…that’s another blog post…anyway, when he decided he was ready for a wife, he went all the back to a country he had visited like 5 times since birth (yeah, he was born in The Valley) to find this “ideal Syrian girl”. That was in ’94. He finally got married in ’03. To a Chinese girl he went to college with. Why? Because it turned out that “nice Syrian girl” he built up in his head didn’t exactly exist, but the person he loved happened not be Syrian. My point, is that NBC, chose to focus on biracial dating from a Black woman’s standpoint, but once again neglected to mention that this is yet another rising trend across the board.

I admit to not watching the health clips. These clips always make it seem like Black women either just sit around, not exercising, eating greasy fatty foods OR that no matter what due to the fact that were Black women, we’re just going to get whatever disease. What I do know that rates of HIV is rising in America, especially among Black women and very few shows are willing to dedicate the time to focus on why that is. So you can read Stereohyped for a synopsis.

Courting black women voters
Courting black women voters

Then Friday rolls into my forte: Politics. This was interesting, as now the media has determined that I am a Special Interest Group. Funny how we, as Black women, have been ignored in politics, by politicians for the longest time. Republicans love the “welfare queens” image drawn by their Patron Demon Reagan , which shows the inherent racism in Republicans in that they all just knew he meant “Black women”, and it does kill me that 99.9% of the people I know on welfare today are white, married people. Digressed again. Basically, what I learned from this clip is the reason Democrats are talking to Black women is that they finally caught on that Black women vote. Once again, nothing new. No matter where I lived, there was always a group of Black women who volunteered their time or house for elections. I have not gone into a voting booth without at least 3 Black women volunteering and I’ve never lived in a predominantly Black neighborhood. Politicians have always spent so much time avoiding the issues that Black women focus on, that I was stunned earlier this summer when the Democratic candidates did start talking to Black women. (Note, that I specify Democrats, because we all know that even though they’re for torture, the GOP candidates are too scared to actually talk to Black people.)

What made that clip just ugh, was the last line that went something like: “Which is why these women are getting all dolled up…they know they can determine this election by a hair.” Who writes this crap?

At any rate, I’ve watched all those clips, save the health ones, two – four times and each time, I’m a little more disgusted and disappointed that this is what they chose to run. There was nothing new here, nothing of interest. I saw bloggers mention that they didn’t see themselves at all in the series. I’d have to agree.

As noted:

No. 4 daria says:

“Monday’s segment on education left me feeling like the network wanted a pat on the back for finding out what we already know.”

Note that the title is “Where They Stand,” not “Where We Stand.” The report wasn’t intended for you.

Posted: Nov 29, 2007 at 9:59 am


9 thoughts on “MSNBC’s African-American Women: Where They Stand

  1. You’ve got a group of links to the Republican candidates, but in your view all are “psychotic.” (Where’s McCain, by the way?) And then you wonder why Republicans don’t court the black vote.

    Some of these people are unpalatable, but Romney was governor of Massachusetts, Huckabee received 48% of the black vote as governor of Arkansas. Yet these men too are psychotic to you.

    I likely won’t vote for the Democratic candidate, but I would not refer to any of them in the terms you casually throw around. If you want to be respected, then show some respect.


  2. McCain is on there duh. And guess what? It’s my blog.

    If you look at the positions these people take, they are psychotic, so I can call them psychotic if I want to. I don’t care if they court the black vote. I know that these people court the racist vote.

    What does Romney being mayor of Mass. have to do with anything? Huckabee did nothing for the people of Arkansas, yet I’m supposed to be impressed by unsupported figures from some random person?

    And please tell me where I asked for respect from anyone, let alone from psychotic Republicans?


  3. where “they” stand, not where “we” stand. hm. i didn’t think of that. that’s almost just as bad as that h. ross perot “you people” slip at the naacp convention in the 90s. much more subtle, though.


  4. lmao @ Note that the title is “Where They Stand,” not “Where We Stand.” The report wasn’t intended for you.

    hmmmm… that sums it up for me! i didn’t watch any of it after the reviews (i’m always asleep at 8 or out to dinner w/my dad. that doesn’t apply only one possible day a week. that means i almost NEVER remember to watch tv at that time that one day.) if it ain’t online, primetime bores me. i don’t like to base my opinions on other people’s reviews and i have a habit of yelling at the tv. this topic is sooo convoluted i’m just gonna leave it alone.


  5. Thanks for a powerful post, Faboo.

    I especially like the way you weave interesting and pertinent personal details into your enlightened commentary. I aspire to do the same.

    Wishing that I had 7 more hours in each day so I could go back & read your whole blog history.


  6. “Black women marrying and dating interracially. Yawn. I’m sorry, but who cares? I know, my husband is Romanian/Hungarian and I may be a little too close to all this. I fail to see how this is news or a topic.”

    I know this is so stupid and the black women that they get to interview always hate black men. My fiance is white, but I don’t want chicks who think that’s my thing. That’s just who happen to be with right now…Anyways interesting and you’ll have elaborate on that post on blogging LA as to what you think the reason the greenie bitches were nice to your husband but not you.



  7. @browne…I explained a bit more over at the green post. But you should be aware that that sort of stuff happens a lot. I mean a lot. I refuse to eat in Silver Lake or Los Feliz because of that. We can walk into an empty restaurant and they’ll sit us in the back and that’s if they don’t ask us if we have a reservation first. At first I used to send my husband in to secure the table, but then I thought, “Why the hell am I giving these racist assholes my hard earned money?” I’d rather eat a IHOP in Redlands than any place in Silver Lake.


  8. I had an interesting experience at the Red Lion in Silver Lake. Odd, because when I was me and my man, never a problem, but about a week ago I invited two of my African-American friends, the table that had started out with five white people and three sisters, soon became three sisters and a white guy. The service changed drastically, they actually asked, “So when are you leaving.”

    They totally f***king did.

    She got no tip, never again will I go to the bastards at the Red Lion.

    I have some art gallery stories too, another time…


  9. LOL…Yeah, I heard from some friends that had a similar experience there, when it was all black people in a group. I’ve never had a problem there, but I’ve always gone with U.N. or at least my husband.

    There were also places like that around my old place off Melrose. Table 8. Totally racist. I thought after Bouchon was gone, it would be different, but nope, the new owners were actually worse. Cobras and Matadors is really bad, bld on Beverly is horrid with that too. Most of the restaurants on 3rd St. and Beverly Blvd. are like that. There’s tons of places in the city to eat and life’s too short for racism with your dinner.


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