Tuesday, April 20, 2010

FEATURE: “Tightroping The Color Line”: Interracial Relationships Examined (Part 2 of 2)

[thenewblacklove concludes its series examining interracial relationships. In Part 2, we discuss the effects associated with backlash against interracial romances, and ways to effectively manage the same.]

So what about those already in interracial relationships....how do these folks deal with the backlash associated with their unions? Are those with mates of other races, other ethnicities, made to feel like there's a stigma unfairly attached to their relationships, as if their unions are somehow less credible than those of same-race lovers? And why are most opponents of interracial relationships always SO vehemently vocal in their opposition, as if someone has PERSONALLY offended them by (*gasp!*) DARING to date outside of the race?

“Don't Drink The Haterade...”

Those who hate on interracial relationships usually do so based on their own personal convictions, their upbringing, or just plain ol' jealousy. Either way, only haters are against interracial dating. Because let's be real....why should anybody have a problem with whom someone ELSE dates simply because they're not of the same race or ethnicity? Like, how is that YOUR damn business to begin with? I mean, if that's not the very definition of “hating”, then what is?

Backlash against interracial dating can manifest itself in various forms:

General public backlash. Contemptible stares or murmurs out in public. People looking down their noses at you. These are but a few ignorant responses that people in interracial relationships must endure. I'm sure such backlash is more than annoying, but I would wager that it occurs more often than not in those cities and areas that aren't too progressive, areas which may not be as integrated as a major metropolitan area (OR, occurs in many clustered areas of The South in general, where ingrained racist sensibilities will never allow for full-scale acceptance of “gettin' down with the swirl”...)

Look, let's keep it a whole hunnid.....the fact is, as recently as 1967 marrying a person of another race was considered to be illegal in at least sixteen states in this country. It was only through ground-breaking actions like the Loving Decision - a landmark civil rights ruling made by the U.S. Supreme Court which eliminated all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the country – that these laws have been overturned and people are free to date and marry whom they like without condemnation. However, when you consider that it's only been forty years since you could be arrested for dating interracially, it's easy to see why those who engage in cross-cultural romantic relations today might still find themselves suffering some backlash from individuals who are behind the times. As was recently proven in the story out of New Orleans last year – where a Justice of the Peace denied a marriage license to a Black man and a White woman “for their own good”, according to him – certain lines of thinking die hard.

Opposition from family members. One of the more difficult aspects of interracial dating is having to deal with an invalidation of not just your relationship, but your character and integrity as well, from members of your own family. When those with whom you share bloodlines frown upon the person with whom you share your heart, it creates an unfair tug-of-war contest that rarely, if ever, concludes with someone “winning”. Those in interracial relationships can be made to feel betrayed by their family's lack of understanding. Oftentimes, a family member's disdain for an interracial relationship is the result of a clash with that family member's own traditionalist leanings. In other words, these family members are the people whose opinions follow that “old school” mindset....one strongly based in a “stick with your own kind” sensibility. They may have been born and bred in an era of racial intolerance, leading to their rationale. So when, over generations, these people become parents in their own right, they pass these ingrained ideologies of intolerance down to their kids, creating a cycle of ignorance that can be hard to break.

Being confronted by opponents of interracial relationships. Aaaah, good ol' fashioned resentment...it always amazes me how the people MOST vehemently against interracial relationships are the ones who NOBODY of ANY race would want in the first place (yeah see, God don't like ugly). Whether it's due to the aforementioned traditionalist leanings, or because that person just flat out doesn't LIKE members of your mate's race, encounters with those who disapprove of your union are the most extreme and most volatile form of backlash. Here, the indignation and notions of “feeling slighted” are most apparent, and it rings especially true when it comes to Black women's disdain for Black men dating White women.

Sistas voicing their displeasure for brothas dating White women ain't nothin' new. In fact, Black women have long felt slighted by the tendency of Black men to pair up with White women or, in today's era, “exotic-looking” women (typically a biracial woman or a woman with variant ethnicities....e.g., “half-Black, half-Filipino”, or “half-Dominican, half French”, etc.)

True story...according to a female who is very close to me who was there during the 2007 NBA All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas, some White women who showed up on the arms Black players at events around town were often targeted, jumped and assaulted by groups of Black women. Now before you jump on your defensive high horse, understand that NO, not ALL Black women participated and, no, not all White women got jumped. But, in validation of my “source's” version, sporadic incidents of such violence were widely reported by the media. Now....it could have been that these Black women were jealous of the White women's position, it could have been that these Black women felt one of the White women “got smart” when initially confronted, hell it could have been that these Black women were simply thugged out and looking for victims. Whatever the reason, the message behind the physical confrontation was clear: Blackwomen weren't happy with the seemingly inordinate number of famous Black male athletes and celebrities showing up with women who WEREN'T Black on their arms.

The thinking goes that Black women hold such resentment for Black men dating White women because, according to Black women, there's “already a shortage of good Black men” such that women of other races and ethnicities shouldn't be given first priority (a topic which we have covered before in thenewblacklove.com editorials). So what about the brothas, then? Why do these men seemingly favor non-Black women over their Black sistas? Clearly, it would seem, there is equally a degree of resentment held BY brothers towards sistas, no matter the specific reasoning behind the resentment. For instance, a brotha once told me that the reason he favors meeting new White women over Black women is that, according to him, “in the first ten minutes of the conversation, a White woman lets you know she's looking for a man and is interested in you. In the first ten minutes of a conversation with a Black woman, though, she lets you know that she's looking for a CERTAIN KIND of man....and that's the difference.” Long-standing among Black men is the notion that Black women have too many “rules” and “qualifications” that one must meet in order to be “good enough” for a Black woman, while such constraints are not as prevalent with White woman. To be fair, you can't blame a woman for wanting more than a mate she has to “settle with”...you can't get mad at a woman wanting better for herself, or setting (reasonable) criteria that she feels her mate should meet. At the same time, Black women should remember not to harbor TOO lofty expectations from the pool of men to which she is exposed.

Bottom line? You can't be mad at someone's personal preferences. If a brotha wants to get his swirl on, or get his Asian persuasion fix on, that's his right, who are you to suggest otherwise? At the same time, however, no one should form their preferences around stereotypical notions or misguided principles, like thinking you're actually dating a higher QUALITY of person simply because they're of a certain ethnicity or biracial makeup. Men are especially guilty of that. Just cause a woman is “half-Black, half-Chinese” doesn't automatically mean she's better wifey material than a Black woman, or ANY woman for that matter.

“Back That Lash Up!”

So how do you cope with the unfair backlash associated with your....association? Various coping methods exist for dealing with the different forms of backlash you may face.

When dealing with backlash from your family or friends or, in a sense, from society at large, the key is to surround yourself with pals who tolerate diversity to desensitize yourself to ignorance you're sure to face. I mean let's face it, as individuals we all have an innate desire to be understood. For those who are apart of an interracial couple, this desire remains the same. So you and your mate should find those who aren't so unfamiliar with the idea of diversity, to whom intermingling with people of other races or ethnicities ISN'T a foreign concept. Gaining acceptance from a circle of friends can work to neutralize the snide comments from those who oppose your dating preferences. At the same time, understand that there may always be a family member or friend – or again, some random jerkweed out in public - who has trouble thinking before they open their fat mouth to spew some insensitive opinions or bluntly racist remarks. Learn to prepare yourself for these confrontations. Then, rationally let that person know if you think his/her comments are offensive, and choose honest yet calm and intelligent ways to respond. Maybe even practice what you would say in such a situation, so that when it happens, you'll be better prepared not to let your emotions get in the way of your logic.

When dealing with backlash stemming from those of your own or the opposite race, the best bet is always to ignore these people to the degree you can. Not giving them the attention they desparately crave is the greatest form of get-back. These people are often looking for a confrontation, whether verbal or physical. If you don't give them the fuel for their fodder, they're just left standing there, looking stupid. It takes a bigger person to walk away from such a confrontation...now GRANTED, if somebody gets to swingin' on you, by all means open up a can of whoop ass if you must, or in order to defend yourself. But for the most part, it's best you not feed into the drama.

Whatever you do, don't let outside forces dictate the happiness YOU share with someone. It's your life, not your parents' or anyone else's....last time I checked, grown folks weren't required to get permission to live their lives...

SIDEBAR: “The People vs. Tiger Woods – The Backlash In The Black Community”

By Dr. Blackluv

Tiger Woods has, deservedly, been through a lot of drama lately. The wreck, the ass whoopin' by wifey, that ridiculous press conference and every seemingly scripted one thereafter, and having to endure non-stop headlines and late night talk show jokes at his expense regarding his scandalous infidelity with a bevy women all over the world...none of whom were Black women.

None of this, of course, has worked to help endear Tiger Woods to the Black community. In fact, there are scores of Black women who take great offense at the fact that the world's greatest golfer – and richest athlete – seemingly has a penchant for all women EXCEPT Black women. So by the time the number of mistresses got in the double-digit range - with each successive mistress being either White or otherwise non-Black - Tiger's already shaky status with the Black community was administered a critical dose of ether.

As a whole, the Black community is very possessive. We love to embrace celebrities and athletes and other people of fame close to our hearts and proclaim them as OUR own, as being of us and from us, even if those famous people are of mixed race births (because, as most Black folks tend to believe, if you got ANY significant Black in ya, then you're Black). As such, the Black community tends to get pretty rankled when the love isn't reciprocated. If Black folks feel “slighted” by one they initially embraced, they'll turn against that person viciously.

Therein lies the problem for Tiger. He has steadfastly refused to identify himself as Black, and in fact famously created the term "Cablinasian" (Caucasian, black, Indian and Asian) to describe the racial heritage derived from his Black daddy and Thai momma. Justifiably or not, this is what has caused so many Blacks to develop a resentment towards him. Factor in his scandal with a gaggle of White women and suddenly Tiger Woods is the new O.J. Simpson (in fact, there's this ideology that, had Tiger Woods cheated with a gang of Black women instead, the whole thing wouldn't even have made headlines). For the record, a lot of folks in the Asian community don't fully embrace Tiger, either, reportedly harboring similar suspicions towards the apparent pattern in the race of his partners, and in the way he views himself.

Still, and true to that possessive quality of some Black folks, there are a lot of Black folks who accept Tiger as “one of our own.” As such, it also opens Tiger up to the cultural scrutiny associated with that acceptance. While certain Black women recognize that Tiger isn't 100% Black, it still offends them that he would favor dating so many White women. In fact, Black women have long felt slighted by the propensity of famous Black men to get with White women, or other non-Black women. They get offended at the notion that they are not the first choice amongst their own men...and in this regard, Tiger Woods is no exception.

However, in Tiger's case overcoming the “Blackness” issue is clearly his biggest obstacle. The Black community forever measures its famous figures by their level of “Blackness”...especially regarding the color or race of their spouse or partner. Tiger is married to a Swedish blonde and cheated with over a dozen women of either White or other non-Black ethnic origins. To a wide majority of Black folks, particularly Black women, that's not exactly “proving your Blackness”....and it's not that Black women frown on Black men engaging interracial dating. It's that they frown on Black men dating non-Black women because they (Black men) somehow think those types of women are BETTER than Black women. Many Black women, honestly, harbor this ideology about Tiger Woods.

This isn't to say, however, that Tiger couldn't win over the Black community at some point. We're very forgiving. I mean, if Marion Barry can get the gang of second chances, for crying out loud....

"The Peeves"

Rantings from the maddest brotha on the planet

By The Angry Blackman

I dunno about y'all, but I actually enjoy going to the supermarket. For me, it's always been a fairly pleasurable and relaxing experience (although I will say, don't ever go grocery shopping when you're hungry. You'll end up buying the gang of crap you had no intention of getting when you first walked in the place).

However, as with any enjoyable experience, there are always those who know how to screw things up and poop the party. Once again, it comes down to a lack of home training. There are certain common-sense etiquette practices that ALL folks should employ in any given instance, and those involving supermarket shopping are no exception:

● Parking Lot Wars. Yeah see, they invented those shopping cart return stalls for a REASON. Put your damn cart up, you moron. Nobody wants to back into one and scratch their paint or, worse yet, have to get out of their car in order to MOVE one because your dumbass left it sitting in the middle of the empty parking stall. And for crying out loud, if you see me with my blinker on, waiting for a parking stall that someone else is pulling out of, don't steal my parking spot, dude. Seriously. You know that's wrong...now, if I was to retaliate by repeatedly bashing your vehicle with a sledgehammer, then I'D be the one in the wrong, right? Yeah, so don't make me go there, champ....

● Don't be in the damn “10 Items Or Less” register aisle with more than 10 items. Look, ten bottles of Vitamin Water DO NOT count as ONE item, okay? Why do basic math skills seemingly fail the average store customer, especially when the store is packed and all the lines are long? Don't try to get over on MY time, buddy, get your ass to the back of the line in a REGULAR register aisle....

● “Lazy shopping”. Don't put stuff back in the wrong spot because you changed your mind and are simply too lazy to take it back to its section. Yeah, it annoys me to see a block of peas unthawing on top of the Oreos, sorry. I mean, how much effort does it take for you to waddle your fat ass back to the frozen veggies section for that?

● Too “touchy-feely”. Don't grope, finger, smell or otherwise overly inspect the food, then put it back on the shelf, especially produce. How utterly trifling. You ever known somebody to squeeze the tomatoes, or squeeze the loaf of bread, then put it back? What about those people who eat a few grapes outta the display case? Yes, we're talking to you....stop it already.

● “Checkout unreadiness. Look, don't get in the checkout line if you ain't 100% ready to check out, aiight? Make SURE you've got ere'thing already, don't make a whole line of frustrated folks wait because you had to go back at the last minute – or worse yet, sent one of your slow ass lil' kids – to go get another jug of milk....

● Aisle Traffic. Nothing I hate more than the jerkweeds who've got their cart stopped all in the middle of the damn aisle, blocking traffic...especially if they're nowhere near the damn cart. You're not the only one in the store, pal. That goes double for you idiots leisurely strolling through every aisle at a quarter mile per hour, like you're the only person in the damn store, and it goes TRIPLE for you retards riding those stupid motorized carts around the store all slow, like you're in a damn presidential motorcade or something....don't MAKE me violently ram you in protest....

● “Self-Checkout 101.” There's a time and a place for everything. THEREFORE, if you don't know how to work the self-checkout machine, then don't attempt to teach yourself at the precise time that there are SEVEN people behind you in the self-checkout line, capiche? Regardless, it shouldn't be that hard, ringing up that can of corn or looking up the produce code for that apple isn't exactly the equivalent of breaking the DaVinci code....

● Control your damn children. Arguably the G.O.A.T. supermarket gripe. Ain't nothing worse than a bunch of screaming, out-of-control little crumb snatchers running free and undisciplined around every aisle, destroying the ambiance of any store they're in. And who wouldn't love to confront that couple who's letting their infant child screech at the top of its lungs while they instead walk around, seemingly oblivious to it, debating whether to get Cheerios over Raisin Bran. You people are a disgrace to parenthood and need a foot shoved tightly up your collective asses. How about you CONTROL your damn kids in the store, eh? Wait, here's an even better idea:  leave those snot-nosed brats at home next time.

Look, it's not that hard to act like you got some damn sense when you're out grocery shopping...so if that sounds like too difficult of a task to you, then mebbe you should get your online retailing on....

Trust me, we won't miss you back at the store.

(**DISCLAIMER: the views and opinions expressed herein by Angry Blackman are exclusively his own and do not represent the views of thenewblacklove.com or its members….even though, most of the time, this fool be on point with his…**)

Monday, November 30, 2009

FEATURE: “Tightroping The Color Line”: Interracial Relationships Examined (Part 1)

[thenewblacklove presents a new series examining interracial relationships. In Part 1, we discuss various effects interracial romances have had on relations between Black men and women.]

Recently I had a very interesting conversation with some young brothers I know, and the topic related to their views on marriage and relationships in general. As they described their various preferences and what they desired in a mate, somehow the subject turned to what they DIDN'T desire...which led to statements regarding their views on Black women.

“The Excuses”

Essentially, these young brothers think that, in comparison to White or Latina or Asian women, most Black women have worse attitudes, do more popping off at the mouth, show less desired affection and are more demanding of their mates. Because of these factors, they claimed, most of them would be agreeable to dating outside of their race.

However, this isn't a one-sided deal here. In speaking with many sisters, you hear similar types of criticism. These sisters believe that “there ain't no good Black men left” and that, essentially, most Black men are “full of it”.

Face it...like it or not, and unfairly levied or not, the reality is that there are A LOT of Black men who feel this type of way about Black women, and there are just as many Black women who feel this way about Black men. So what's going on? Why would so many brothers think that Black women all subscribe to a certain ideology? Have brothers and sisters alienated each other to the point of driving each other away?

Look, there’s a lot of friction between Black men and Black women in relationships, and the longer people lie to themselves and act like it's just “part of the game”, the further away we'll get from truly rectifying the issues causing the problems. In the meantime, and as a result, Black men and women are dating other races in droves

Now let me be clear....there is ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY nothing wrong with interracial dating. Whether it's Blacks with Whites, Asians or Latinos, as long as you're happy, go for it. Skin color is irrelevant when you truly love someone.

However, this discussion isn't about whether it's right or wrong to date outside your race. Rather, the question revolves around the underlying reasons WHY so many brothers and sisters are seemingly shunning each other in favor of the comforts of others. Too many Black men and women are so busy pointing the fingers of blame at each other that they're failing to dig into and ultimately address the heart of the problems within their relationship. Because it's much easier to play the blame game and shirk personal responsibility than it is to be an adult and deal with differences maturely.

“The Stereotypes”

Back to my conversation with the young brothers....the prevailing sentiment amongst these dudes was that “it takes a very strong, patient, self-aware man to take up with a black woman.” Again, they cited what they considered to be “flaws” in the character of the “average Black woman” as the basis for their rationale.

To be clear, I'm not one to subscribe to blanket generalizations of people, especially about my sisters....and this particular sensibility tends to piss me off. Essentially, what these young men were suggesting with this ideology is that, as a Black man, you have to PUT UP with a Black woman. Rather, there is this notion that a Black man must ENDURE the love of a Black woman, instead of simply basking in it. I find that to be an extremely unfair assessment in that it relegates Black women to some stature that you wouldn't assign to OTHER women. Granted, there are certain aspects of such criticisms which ring true and can be applied to Black women. However, they could also be applied to many other races of women...not JUST Black women.

The ideology of the “mouthy, nagging Black woman as a turn-off” is blatantly unfair because those are character traits which are not exclusive to Black women. Such traits apply to ANY woman, regardless of her race/color. Specifically, such practices have nothing to do with a woman's color and everything to do with how THAT particular woman was brought up. A perfect example would be Kate Goesselin, of the TV show “Jon & Kate Plus 8” fame. Here you have a White woman, exhibiting extremely bossy and unnecessarily aggressive behavior towards her husband, while also demonstrating a propensity for demeaning and demasculinizing him.....the very same traits those young brothers were accusing Black women of embracing.

Conversely, Black women often cite the belief that “the reason why Black men choose not to deal with Black women is because they are too mentally and emotionally weak to do so”....basically relegating such Black men to the roles of underachievers afraid to “get with a real woman.” These women may also feel that there is a shortage of quality Black men. They opine that, with so many Black men falling by the wayside with drugs, gangs, prison and the like, sisters are being forced to take different routes with their romantic lives. Basically, they believe, they seek out other types of men out of a growing sense of necessity.

While that may hold true for some men, it certainly doesn't play out in every instance. I believe that many brothers likely DO shirk the culpability of their own shortcomings and instead “wimp out”, but again, such character traits aren't exclusive to color, they are based solely on how that person was raised. It is simply too easy to dismissively conclude that a certain aspect of either masculinity or femininity only applies to the men or women of ONE race/color....and then, that it somehow applies to ALL of them!

“That's My Momma!”

Some women think men want women like their mothers. You'll often hear them complain that “he expects me to act like his mother”, whether it's picking up after him or catering to his every whim. Again, this is not true for all men. For instance, men raised in strong patriarchal-headed households (or, households where they had a father/father figure) typically exhibit a greater sense of responsibility in relationships than men raised by their mothers or grandmothers by virtue of the values and ethics taught to them by that father figure. As a result, a large number of men don't want a woman ANYTHING LIKE their mommas, even if they hold their mommas in the highest regard.

“The Backlash”

A Latina friend of mine, who almost exclusively dates Black men, recently relayed to me her frustrations with the attitudes she encounters with some of the Black women with whom she has come in contact. She indicated that most Black women she encounters give her a hard time when they see her with a Black man, and that their attitudes – thick with petty jealousy or envy and contempt for her very being – make it difficult for her to feel for their plights in “losing” so many of their good men. Let's face it, it's tough to feel sorry for someone you find completely off-putting. If she dates a Black man, she says, Black women hate on her. If she dates a White guy, Black and Latino men have a problem with her, and often confront her and her date out in public.

This same backlash can be applied to Black men and Black women who date outside their race. Whether it's Black men confronting a sister for being with a non-Black man, or a group of sisters ganging up on a Black man and his non-White woman, it's clear that folks feel some type of way about “losing their kind” to those of other race.

Instead of wallowing in such drama associated with interracial romance, it's time for Black men and women to start taking responsibility for their OWN lives and preferences and stop worrying about what other people are doing, thinking or saying. Because worrying about the continuity of your race will never be as important as the continuity of your own FAMILY or well-being....


SIDEBAR: “Ten Characteristics of Successful Relationships”

By Dr. Blakluv

Look, it doesn't matter if you're Black and your mate is PURPLE....certain practices and applied traits/habits are going to ensure that your relationship is a successful one.

In no particular order, thenewblacklove presents our top ten characteristics of a successful relationship,

1. Good communication. Likely THE #1 key to any successful relationship. Problem is, not many couples know HOW to maintain great lines of communication. A couple's ability to openly express their feelings to each other, without fear of emotional backlash, can foster the precise type of trusting and respectable environment in which any relationship would surely flourish. In other words, keep it real with each other, but also keep it RESPECTABLE with each other.

2. Friendship. Look, ANY couple who shares a strong friendship is going to have some staying power. In such instances, they've not only got love for each other, but they genuinely LIKE each other as people. They enjoy each others' company, and might even say they're “best friends”. Hell, that's half the battle right there!

3. Shared Sense of Humor. It's true....laughter IS the best medicine. Couples who can make each other laugh tend to share an overall good-natured vibe. Plus, it's kinda hard to argue with someone if they have a propensity to make you crack up in the middle of the conflict.

4. “Sharing The Load”. Couples who divvy up the financial, household or parenting responsibilities in a mutually agreed upon way are less likely to hold resentments about carrying a larger burden , or what they perceive as “unfair” in the relationship.  Since each partner contributes, there's a greater sense of balance to the relationship.

5. Sexual Intimacy. Okay, let's keep it all the way real...while it's not the MOST important thing, sex is paramount to any successful relationship. Since people's sexual drives vary greatly, it's important for partners to stress to each other what keeps them satisfied. Some people are highly active and need to do it several times a week; others are satisfied with far less. Just make sure there is proper “negotiation” so that neither partner feels neglected by the other.

6. Showing Affection. Staying in physical contact with your mate throughout the day in some form or fashion often produces genuine feelings of being loved. It doesn't have to be a situation where sex is imminent; rather, small gestures that show that you love them can say a lot without ever having to utter those three words. Whether it’s a hug, a ginger kiss, or even a tenderly-placed touch, such acts of affection tend to keep couples satisfactorily connected.

7. Accepting Personal Culpability. Nothing guarantees a relationship's failure with greater expediency than putting two people together who don't know how to apportion the blame for causing the relationship's problems. No relationship is one-sided...it takes two to tango. So one partner consistently accusing the other of shady behavior, or one partner showing defensiveness, may be indications of a partner not accepting their fair share of the blame.

8. Having Mutual and Separate Friends. Partners who maintain their own separate circles of friends, but who also integrate their partner into that social circle from time to time, achieve a greater balance in honoring themselves as individuals within the relationship, giving birth to a truer appreciation for that partner and the relationship.

9. Dependability. How trustworthy is your partner? Could they come through for you in the clutch...or will they wither away? As mates, we all want our partners to get on some tip: “do what they say, say when they MEAN...one thing leads to another...”. In order words, don't talk about it, BE about it. Successfully doing this establishes a comfort level for leveraging the weight of your words with your partner.

10. Foresight. A key component to longevity. Where do you each SEE the relationship in the next year? Two years? Five to ten years? Partners must first be willing to understand what they're trying to get out of the relationship, then must accept the expectations upon them from their significant other if they're thinking about long-term commitment. If your significant other isn't ready to discuss those types of questions, however, you probably should think harder about the future of your relationship.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"The Peeves"

Rantings from the maddest brotha on the planet

By The Angry Blackman

Yunno...sometimes it's just so, SO hard to understand the rationale behind these companies hiring COMPLETE blithering idiots to work their customer service systems. Like, where in the hell did you get some of these Wendy's fry bin rejects, people who OBVIOUSLY have no business doing a job that requires an ability for concise communication? People who are from, like, THE most shallow end of the job pool?

Doesn't poor customer service just PISS you off? I'm talking about that “makes-me-want-to-throw-a-brick-through-the-company's-front-window” type of piss you off? Ain't nothing worse than a mouthy customer service rep over the phone or, worse yet, a mouthy one IN a place of business. Believe me, my gripes with customer service are numerous and varied:

Excessive Holding. Oh man, they just LOOOOOOVE to leave you on hold forever...only to come back and say “Sir? Yes, I'm still waiting, but I just wanted to see if you were still holding...”....makes you wanna hang up on their dumb asses, except you know that calling back will take even LONGER to hold....sheesh, it's like they earn an extra dollar per minute that I hold or something, knowin' they ain't doin' no REAL work towards addressing my concern, probably texting their stank friends instead....and enough with the cheesy music, for crying out loud....if I REALLY wanted to hear the extended version of Billy Ocean's “Suddenly” as interpreted by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, I'd find a better means to do that, thanks.

Accents. Look, I got NOTHING against immigrants who speak English but still maintain a thick dialect and/or drawl from their own language.....but to all you good folks who ARE like that? DON'T TAKE CUSTOMER SERVICE JOBS. Like, what is the point of me constantly saying, “Waitaminute, what did you say? Can you repeat that? Can you SPELL that?” if I can't UNDERSTAND you, my service as a customer is incomplete, right? So get your monkey ass up off the damn phone and let me speak to your damn supervisor, you moron....

Stank attitudes. I wish someone would invent one of those video phones they used to have on “The Jetsons”, where you could literally reach through the phone and smack the natural crap outta fool. Such an invention is necessary with some of these customer service reps. I'm talkin' about the ones who get smart with you, or act sarcastic towards you, or try to talk over you and disregard you, or try to talk DOWN to you, like you “don't understand”...all of these types of people should be eaten by cannibals, and their bones crushed into a fine powder that is then spread over a huge pile of horse crap, then the horse crap should be ejected out into deep space...bastards...

False Sense Of Accomplishment. When they don’t do nothin’ for you, then got the nerve to CHEERFULLY ask you, “is there anything ELSE I can do for you, sir?” Trick you didn't do squat the FIRST time! How you gon' “help me” do something ELSE when you ain't BEGAN helpin' me yet? Yeah, you can “help me” by taking another job, preferably somewhere that doesn't require any VERBAL participation on your part....

Inexperience. Let's not forget about the reps who just flat out don’t know what the hell they’re talking about, whether it's because they're new employees, or because they were just poorly trained. I mean, how am I the one telling YOU the damn policy, to where you suddenly go “....oh yeah, you right sir. My bad...” The HELL? Man if you don't get your “Dazed and Confused” lookin' ass up off the damn phone and transfer me to somebody with some damn SENSE....
(**DISCLAIMER:  the views and opinions expressed herein by Angry Blackman are exclusively his own and do not represent the views of afrocentral.com or its members….even though, most of the time, this fool be on point with his…**)

News From The Weird: Peruvian Gang Kills Overweight People, Sells Their Fat For Cosmetics...

What a strange and disturbing story...it seems that four people have been arrested in Peru on suspicion of killing dozens of people in order to sell their fat and tissue for cosmetic uses in Europe.

The gang allegedly targeted people on remote roads, luring them with fake job offers before killing them and extracting their fat. The liquidized product fetched as much as $15,000 a liter, and police suspect it was sold to cosmetic companies in Europe.

At least five other suspects, including two Italian nationals, remain at large. Police said the gang could be behind the disappearances of up to 60 people in Peru's Huanuco and Pasco regions. One of those arrested told police the ringleader had been killing people for their fat for more than three decades. The gang has been referred to as the Pishtacos, after an ancient Peruvian legend of killers who attack people on lonely roads and murder them for their fat.

I mean, damn....THIRTY YEARS? Not even Hollywood could make up this stuff, folks....your thoughts?