The Black Commentator: An independent weekly internet magazine dedicated to the movement for economic justice, social justice and peace - Providing commentary, analysis and investigations on issues affecting African Americans and the African world.
Mar 1, 2012 - Issue 461

Black is Beautiful, Despite What White Folks Say
Sharp n' Blunt
By Desi Cortez Columnist



Yesterday, my late grandmother and mother had to live with it, today my wife and sisters - all Afro-American women - still must endure the disrespectful, scornfully abusive, and need I say, so very contemptible as to be offensive comments which endlessly seem to “percolate” out of many White people’s mouths.

Over a century of insults.

Billy Crystal, who is - dig this - Whoppie Goldberg’s boy,” who did great work with the late, great Gregory Hines” offered this one a couple of nights ago at the Oscars: “I loved that movie (“The Help”)…when I saw it, I wanted to hug the first black woman that I saw. Which from Beverly Hills is about a 45 minute drive.”

And now in 2012, low n’ behold, my baby-girl will be saddled, burdened with having to contend with such branding. Why? Because this racist and sexist mentality has not faded away within White America.

As I, but a starving wordsmith, pound this piece out, the Black World Wide Web is abuzz with thoughts about Crystal’s “debatable at best” comment, but there’s little argument over the little tidbit from the Los Angeles radio duo John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of KFI-JAM (640) and their derogatory comments about deceased singer, Whitney Houston, including referring to her as a “crack ho.”

It is these types of off-the-cuff, calculated “observations” which White men seem addicted to verbalizing, that do absolutely nothing but solidify the widely-held notion that the USA is a nation of, if not blind...surely racist White folks. Usually the comments are depicting the Black women as, pick one: overly-accommodating Aunt Jeremiah mammies, penis-crazed rump-shakin’ ho’s, animated cartoon-type razor-tongued smart-ass “Sap-hires” or moral-less “baby-making machines” who spend their entire lives on food stamps, living in government housing...

Least I forget “Nappy-Headed Hoes” and “angry Black bitches.”

I cite as proof-positive the insults we’ll hear pouring out of the world of angry White people’s politics; the Jodi Kantor book, “The Obamas,” is, for the ga-millionth time yet another attempt to paint, and obviously taint the first lady as being the First Bitch, a Black women who’s walking around with a big stick and an even bigger chip on her so-called overweight shoulders.

Regardless of the scripted denials, America is undeniably a racially divided nation where White folks have strategically positioned themselves as the only true “Real Americans,” the only true legitimate arbitrators of what is “American culture,” and what is “All-American.”

And even “What is beautiful?” and “what is unattractive,” if not outright ugly.

Precisely “what” is beautiful and “who” is beautiful is something which, like history itself, has been defined by the victors, the oppressors; i.e., the White Establishment. One need look no further then the recent poll which depicts Jennifer Anston as, dig this - the world’s most beautiful woman...of all time.

USAToday had a slide presentation a few moons ago: Athletes and their ladies - all White guys, but for Jeter, and all White women. There was not one example of Black beauty and the topic is American sports, despite Black women being the most warm-hearted, curvaceous, rhythmic of all women, with the ability to improvise, adapt n’ overcome horrific obstacles, demonstrate more backbone and instestinal fortitude, against overwhelming odds.

Did you ever stop for a moment and ask yourself how the NFL can be 70% Afro-American Mandingo Gladiators, performing on the gridiron,and yet 90% of the cheerleaders are look-alike Barbie snow bunny dolls?

Clearly, not too-many women of color participate in the selection process.

Are such “slightings” merely happenstance? Perhaps just an coincidence? An subconsciousness error? Or a calculated decision to exclude Black women?

Obviously, any collection of beautiful women in America is not going to resemble the country itself - which is roughly half of color, but instead it’s going to reflect the taste of the ruling portion of America...White men.

You can guess ruling is significant...

Who can dispute the obvious; it’s not just insulting to Americans of color, it additionally sends a willful, and I’d submit intentional, message to women of color - and specifically Black women – “you don’t measure up.” You’re not physically attractive women.

I’ve always found it interesting how Black Mamie's n’ Nannies mothered as many White babies as White women did over the history of the American story - kept their homes clean and cooked their meals - and now today Black women are presented as the least representative of mother’s and ladies.

Not to mention the “put-downs” are meant to say to Black men “we can still today can disrespect Black women...and their ain’t nothing you can do about it... boy!”

Does it seem a stretch to believe 75% of White folks, who vote Republican TEA Party, are people who enjoy sending that message? They believe it to be so. The 44% of, and let’s be real right here, Ron Paul supporters who could care less that he wants to return to an America where some form of Apartheid rules the land...these are the people who yearn to insult, to belittle, to spit in the face of Blacks, to put us back in “our place.”

I’m sorry, but I believe physical beauty comes in a vast array of shapes, sizes and colors. I simply refuse to accept or further the thought that beauty is limited to some blond haired, blue eyed bean-pole dame..., a man-mad, silicone injected 34-22-30 Nordic princess with the rhythm of an arthritis-plagued elephant.

See, the insults and demeaning slights, that’s a two-way street...

Don't all the butt injections, lip thickeningtreatments and sun tanning machines demonstrate the wacko hypocrisy undermining this whole White is beautiful, Black is ugly argument? White women, trying to appear Black and Brown, to appeal to and satisfy White men who are sexually and emotionally intimidated by the “real thing”... Black and Latino women.

What we’ve got here is another battleground in the cultural cold war which has griped the land for centuries. There’s no denying this nation’s court of public opinion has differed, argued over the issue of “attractiveness” and “beauty” since our inception, with the WASP majority imposing, force-feeding, if not brain washing some of us into believing “beauty only comes in White skin.”

And tragically, for some folks of color to believe they’re inherently inferior, it didn’t take a washing, perhaps only a cold rinse. The Willie Lynch Letter, the destructive mindset in which it instructed society to drown Black folks – horrifically - to a degree, it worked.

My thought is 60% to 75% of White America is a collection of folks who are, by and large, either oblivious, blind, indifferent or hostile towards Black people, with the remaining quarter or so - perhaps a third - actually fitting the bill of “Flower child,” “Hippie,” Liberal, Progressive “tree hugger” or - Nigger lover - and you can smell, taste, feel and see that breakdown in US society. Columnist, Desi Cortez, was hatched in the heart of Dixie, circa 1961, at the dawning of the age of Aquarius, the by-product of four dynamic individuals, Raised in South-Central LA, the 213, at age 14 transplanted to the base of the Rockies, Denver. Still a Mile-Hi. Sat at the feet of scholars for many, many moons, emerging with a desire and direction… if not a sheep-skin. Meandered thru life; gone a-lot places, done a-lot of things, raised a man-cub into a good, strong man, produced a beautiful baby-girl with my lover/woman/soul-mate… aired my mind on the airwaves and wrote some stuff along the way. Click here to contact Desi.