Wednesday, November 28, 2007

“The Allan Handelman Show” (FM Talk 101.1 – WZTK) “North Carolina's Superstation”

November 28, 2007 3:00 PM (Central) - “The Allan Handelman Show” (FM Talk 101.1 – WZTK) “North Carolina's Superstation”

All I can say is "WOW!" I was a guest on this show for 3 hours. The show was so good that the phone lines were swamped and some of the callers actually were "on hold" for over an hour waiting to ask questions. I can truly say that all involved (i.e. Listeners, Callers, Allan (Host), and Me) were trying to make a difference in America and our relations with other. Many stereotypes, myths, and perceptions of Black people were addressed. Unfortunately at this time a Podcast is not available; however, below are some questions and comments that occurred during the show.

Question: Are colleges preparing Black athletes for the challenges they may be faced with once in Professional Sports? (This questions was a result of the recent tragic shooting death of Professional Football Player Sean Taylor)

Comment/Question: A Black male caller, who is a Manager, believes that things are not right in the manner he is treated by his White Co-Manger and White Supervisor. He stated that he is the first Black person to serve in this Management position and cannot understand what the problem may be other than having something to do with his race. He asked for my opinion. Unfortunately, there wasn't a great deal of information; therefore, I gave the only answer I could (which had nothing to do with the issue of White vs. Black.) Sit down with your Co-Manger and Supervisor and discuss your concerns.

Question: Why don't Black people wash their hair?

Question: Why are some Blacks told by other Blacks that they are acting White for speaking proper English?

Question: Why are Blacks bad tippers?

Question via e-mail: Why do some Black people purposely walk too close to you?

Comment/Question: Some time ago, a White man and two of his Black friends went to a predominately Black Bar to observe a Pay Per View Fight between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson. He stated that he and his friends were cheering for Evander and the majority of people in the Bar were cheering for Mike. Everything was fine until Evander starting beating Tyson. Once that happened, he said that the atmosphere in the bar changed reflected by his two Black friends being called Uncle Toms. He wanted to know why this happened.

Question: Why doesn't Black people's hair get messed up?

Question: Why do some Blacks sag their pants?

Question: Why is it that Blacks speak with an accent?

Question: Does your book address the fact that not all Blacks will act or react the way you do to questions? Answer: Yes.

Comment/Question: A Black man was concerned that my book might being doing a disservice to Blacks and may not address the realities of what challenges Black people were facing and are still facing. So his question was, "Is your booking doing more harm than good?" He admitted up front that he had not read my book as of yet. Answer: Read the book. In other words, "Try it, You'll like it."

Question: Why do some Black men urinate standing up in a public bathroom with the seat down? (This question surprised both the Host and me.)

Question: Why do Blacks support another Black person if the evidence shows that the person is clearly guilty?

Question: Does your book address complexion issues among Blacks? Answer: Nope. I'm saving that for another book.

Question: Why are Black people so loud?

Question: Why don't Black people view/value Dogs the way White people do?

Question: Why do Black people call themselves African Americans when many are 4th and 5th generation Americans?

Question: Why do Blacks say "Axe" instead of "Ask"?

Needless to say, it was an interesting radio show. I believe that the show has caused many people to look at Black people and themselves in a different and positive manner.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Should White People Be Scared To Give Black People Compliments?

Should White People Be Scared To Give Black People Compliments?
By Kevin D. Moore

The answer is “no.” White people should not be scared to give Black people compliments. However, one probably wants to “think before speaking.”

The reality is that there are many White people that are scared or apprehensive to give a Black person a compliment for fear that they may say the wrong thing. In today’s politically correct environment, society as a whole doesn’t want to offend others. This is especially true for Whites given the recent backlash felt by some well known Whites who have made comments about Blacks that resulted in a great deal of negative press and counter comments.

Two such examples were the comments made by Bill O’Reilly (host of “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News) reference Sylvia’s Restaurant (Black patroned and owned) in Harlem and Senator Joe Biden’s comments about Senator Barack Obama when asked what he thought of him. Neither Bill O’Reilly nor Senator Joe Biden was quite prepared for the negative responses they would receive from the Black Community. To make matters worse, both men have stated that they absolutely meant no offense by their comments.

Given the media attention of the backlash, is it any wonder that White people are scared or apprehensive to give Black people a compliment? This fear was recently demonstrated to me by a White man who recently sat next to me on an airplane. Ironically, sitting next to him on the other side was a Black female. All three of us were very friendly and felt very comfortable with each other. We were a Human Oreo Cookie. Given the comfort level experienced by the three of us, the man in the middle decided to relate to the lady and me a story and then ask a question that had been bothering him.

He began by telling us that he recently saw a Black lady in a store whose jewelry and skin color, in combination, were very striking and beautiful to look at. He wanted to give her a compliment about how beautiful the combination was but he was afraid that somehow he would offend her in some way, shape, or form. He wanted to know from us if it would have been ok to give the lady a compliment.

Although, I immediately wanted to answer his question, I felt it would be more appropriate and enlightening if our fellow travelling Black female were to respond first. Actually, I didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. This lady didn’t need any prodding and was very quick to respond. She said that it was good that he didn’t make the compliment because he probably would have offended her. The primary problem with his potential compliment was that he included the lady’s skin color.

She asked him if he would have made the same statement to a White lady in regards to her jewelry and how great it looked with her skin color. He said no… he wouldn’t say that to someone White. Next she said, then why would you say it to someone Black. She explained that the Black person would probably feel that she was being slighted in someway given that she probably realized that he more than likely would not have made the same comment to a White lady. In other words, “Beauty is beauty.” If he were simply to say, “Wow, your jewelry looks great” that would be fine and would not be offensive.

Let’s look at the earlier example I used reference Senator Joe Biden and Senator Barack Obama. When questioned about what he thought of Senator Obama, Senator Biden basically said that he thought Barack was clean cut, nice looking, and articulate. Now, here is how a great number of Blacks viewed the comment. “What?” “All Presidential Candidates should be clean cut and articulate!” Why would Barack be any different? As a result, a comment that was probably meant to be a compliment was viewed as insulting and offensive.

Needless to say, our White traveling buddy was glad that he didn’t give what he thought was a compliment which could have caused an unintended negative reaction. Another way to say it may be, if it’s not good for the goose (White people), than it’s probably not good for the gander (Black people.) Simpler stated… if you wouldn’t say it to a White person, than you probably shouldn’t say it to a Black person.

We all just have to “think before speaking...”

Copyright © 2007 Knowledge Driven & Moore LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Noose – What’s The Big Deal?

Noose – What’s The Big Deal?
By Kevin D. Moore

Hey, come on. It’s a practical joke! What’s the big deal? No one really means any harm by it. Hmmm.

Unfortunately, there are some people in America that actually believe that displaying a Noose in a tree or on a doorknob or anywhere, for that matter, is ok and is not harmful. To be honest, depending on who is saying it, I understand their position. That doesn’t mean I agree with it but I do understand it.

To further clarify, the major concern I have is that some of these people are thinking and saying this for one of two reasons. The first is out of ignorance but I truly understand. The second is sinister and just plain wrong!

Starting with the second reason, there are people who are purposely displaying the Noose to make a statement that things should be back the way they were when Black people were slaves in America. They long for the days of the oppression and lynching of Black people without any concern for negative outcomes for themselves (e.g. jail time.) They long for the days when the displaying of the Noose would strike fear into the heart and soul of Black people. These people truly understand what the Noose represents to most Black people and they want to exploit that to further their beliefs and desires.

Now the first reason is definitely much different. And, please don’t get me wrong when I say that I understand it. I say this because although I understand it, I don’t like it. In actuality, I’m really angered by it. However, every time I start to get angry, I recall these sayings “He who is without sin...cast the first stone...” and “Pot calling the Kettle black.” In other words, don’t be a hypocrite. I recall these sayings because I have done the same thing that the first group of people have done. That is, I said things out of ignorance that others were extremely offended by. Needless to say, my ignorance didn’t make me a bad person and it doesn’t make others bad people. But once we become aware of our ignorance and the damage it can cause, we now have a choice.

Slide over to the dark side and its sinister ways or lift the vale of ignorance and concern ourselves with the feelings of others. Like many Americans of all colors and creeds, I choose “concern.” And when it comes to the Noose and it being a practical joke and not being harmful, well...the bottom line is that it is extremely offense to many Blacks given our history and what it represents. “To be, or not to be” concerned: “that is the question.”

Copyright © 2007 Knowledge Driven & Moore LLC. All Rights Reserved.