Hang Up #2: Homogeneity

     Talking to a friend of mine, also a fellow blogger, we began to discuss the preferences and perspectives of our work.  Being writers, we often have to take our audience into consideration.  On the issue of race, it came up how I never hook up with black men.  While feeling that I am making myself equally available, my friend had a different take. 
     Wording his next statement carefully, "I think most black people perceive you to be...too white acting.  You might be black on the outside with a dick to match, but, even to me, you can come off...umm...'white boyish'."
     In a rare moment, I was shocked, "Are you serious?"
     He elaborates, "Well, you're up there in San Francisco, with those white men...It's understandable."

     If an African-American man doesn't act in the typically black fashion; does that make him white or something else?  I believe there are far more than two influences to draw from.  Between black and white, there is a great deal of gray matter.  I long to be what never was.  I'm beyond being Anglophobic or a (sub)urbanite...I'm xenocentric.

It's a shame there are still conversations like this in 2010.

     For the record: I am the first of my kind.  I come from a culture so freshly spawned there hasn't been a name created yet.  When a label's created, I will have it tattooed to my ass.  Musical assignments and dress codes are TBD.  I may sound a bit haughty, but shouldn't this be true for every individual?  Shouldn't each person design their own identity?

It's sickening that everyone wants to be so homogenized.

Black freedom isn't as oxymoronic as it sounds...

The above art is from the collection of artist Francoise Nielly
The eyes are a beautiful reflection of life
Her broad strokes of neon over black features
It speaks to me for obvious reasons :


Cogent Ascending said...

It's not sickening or odd for people to want to belong to a group or for them to desire not only to create labels but to own as many of them as they can so long as those labels will grant them social influence.
If everyone were truly unique in the way you describe the world would be a very lonely place because, and this si the sad part, it takes a sepcial kind of tolerance and intelligence to understand that while you may repreent a one of a kind it is okay to still interact with other who are not like yourself.
Most people cannot grasp this concept and the idea of being around otherness or those different from them is not a question of societal growth or evolution but rather an inherent innate indelible aspect of the human condition.
If I can as a human surround myself with as many similar people as possible I can fool myself into believing that the danger represented by people I cannot control is minimal since we share so many similar attributes.
If all of these people look like me and act like me I can believe they think like me and since I will never truly know if this is true I must rely on the sensory data presented to me since this is. in the end, the only real data I can trust.
When it comes to the question of how to surround yourself with like minded people you begin to see the necessity and concept of cliques, religion, teams, neighborhoods, and families come into play.
Despite all of this and despite many peoples awareness that they are and never will be identical to the person next to them it doesn't stop us all from trying in a million different ways every day all day long.
Even you.

Forbidden Light said...

@Cogent: That was kind of beautiful...There are so many similarities that automatically tie us together: We laugh, we suffer hardships and share a rich heritage, of which we draw inspiration and knowledge.

There is no reason to stifle our natural individuality to assimilate further...It is my belief that we're not only impeding our personal growth, but also our evolution as a whole by repressing the aspects that make us unique.

I may be a bit too humanistic, but I have faith that if people could TRULY be themselves, we would prove that we're even MORE similar. This weird otherness crosses barriers, gelling opposing groups...

There's a crazy idea that have been lodged in your mind since forever, Cogent. How much do you wanna bet you're not the only one that feels that way?

Cogent Ascending said...

I don't think I said this correctly but the the move towards a group of unique individuals still forming social cohesion is not anticipated if one looks at the history of people.
The most likely outcome is one unifying aspect emerging at some point that will unite all of man in a way that destroys the individual trait.
That is what we are moving towards.
Every day we get closer and closer to complete homogeny and at some point in the future there will be a single race, religion, creed etcera and one could even argue it is the lack of that outcome presently which keeps us pointlessly divided and unable to advance as humans.

Toy Couture said...

I can't believe somebody would attempt to marginalize you like that.

Every person is either advanced or limited by their experiences. Apparently this person has a limited experience with black men because we are all not the same. You can't generalize a group of people. More specifically butchering the English language and wearing your pants sagging around your ass doesn't make you a black male.

Everyone will not be able to appreciate you for the uniqueness that is you simply because everyone does not have the ability too. Most would not be able to tell a diamond from a cubic zirconium if both were in front of them.

I say all this to say again- Everybody is limited or advanced by their experiences and only an advanced male will be able to recognize and appreciate you for exactly the Forbidden jewel you are.

ToddyEnglish said...

Okay, ya'll replies were too long. I'll read those later (hahaha).
Hmmm, I think it's apart of human evolution to want to belong somewhere. You are more prone to survive if you do so in large groups (i.e. A herd of gazelles is more likely to survive than a loner...More eyes, ears, and noses). So I think it is instinctual and human to want to belong somewhere.

Myself, I try and find commonality in all groups I'm with. I loooove black folks, forreal. So naturally I do gravitate towards black people. HOWEVER, when I'm with my white best friend I love being around him too...Because we both love geeky stuff like: computers, sci-fi, and etc.

I always find it funny when someone says they are so "different" and "unique" but end up in a clique with folks that are just like them...LOL. Like those hipsters. Jesus i loathe hipsters.

Anyway, I feel you. There is no specific way to be black. I think it all comes down to being comfortable with yourself and your decisions. Chile, I make no apologies for being kinda geeky. Geek is chic!

Forbidden Light said...

@Toy Toddy: You guys are evidence that it isn't about being a loner, at all. By being myself, weird stuff and all, I was about to meet like minded people like yourselves. That's one reason why I loathe homogeneity, it's unneccesary...we're not as odd as we think.

@Cogent: You paint a cold picture of the future...I do see where you're coming from, but I disagree that uniformity's the key.

The more truthful a person is about himself the more freedom he gives the people around him to be the same...now that's unifying!

Cogent Ascending said...

While thats all touchy feely and warm it's not true in a literal sense.
Some of the most successful creatures on the planet are considered superorganisms and can achieve mind boggling feats when one considers asking humans to do the same.
Their secret is unifying uniformity.
Having a hive mind where every other organism is in agreement and strives toward one mammoth goal.
As humans we pay the price for our individuality with blood, warfare, and endless violence.

ToddyEnglish said...

I see Cogent's view as both good and bad. True, a "borg" mentality in a society could be a good thing as far as societal unity and etc al goes (Like a hive of bees. Bees have one singular goal...preserve the welfare of the queen so that the species survives. If one deviates from the norm then there is a disruption in the hive)...
However, the cons are that there could wind up being too MUCH similarity, particularly in terms of genetics which would ultimately be the undoing of the human race...
diversity, in some instances, is a NEED.

Cogent Ascending said...

Genetic diversity would not disappear or suffer from social uniformity.
Its one of many things the human species needs to endure which could be safe guarded through total uniformity.
The only diversity that would suffer is social diversity but that's overrated anyhow.
All these "individuals" thinking they have something important to say, do, or express. All you wind up with is a world full of Taylor Hicks's and Lady Gaga's.
Frankly I think we could manage without either.

ToddyEnglish said...

Genetic diversity as well as social is needed for every species, human beings included. That is why the cheetah is on the verge of extinction. Due to each one of them being so genetically similiar all it would take is one fatal illness to erradicate the entire population. That is one of the problems scientists are having as they attempt to increase their numbers...

In theory it may seem like a good idea (e.g. the alleviation of war and death based on superficial differences)but eventually it will comeback to bite everyone in the ass. In order to have such a "unified" mind there would have to be some mingling of genetic traits that cause uniformity.
Furthermore, without social diversity there would be no advancement in science, medicine, the arts and etc. If everyone thinks alike then that is just ONE point of view. You can't grow and evolve from one point of view.

My belief is that population control, not a borg mentality, will help humanity improve. If all of these Catholics, Mormons, and Hoodrats would stop breeding like cockroaches them perhaps human life won't seem like an expendable commodity. Moreover, this might help the planet get some semblance of balance again (e.g. humans not taxing all of the resources).
If we became a beehive then we would be just that...A beehive. Beehives haven't helped to advance bees to the top echelon of the food chain. They just stay in a hive and propagate the species.
Human beings are too complicated to be satisfied by such an inane existence.
Myself, I love diversity. What would be the point of traveling around the world if everyone is just like you?

Shit, if I were a vampire and lived to see a world like that (the borg) I'd just greet the morning sun and call it a life!


The negative things taught or told to us are SO strong...WOW! I could believe that we have persons that say things like this...


i'm a bit late, i know...
while i agree and disagree in turn with others, i'm always stood aprt, looked upon as weird by those i should relate most....
i feel most comfortable with str8s.
what does it say about me? self-loathing? i doubt that very much. just that the str8s i hang out with have known me for a very long time, like back to '80... and have learned to accept me the way i am. that is more kindness thhan i've found from gays...

this said,
what is the black attitude?
angry, chip on his shoulder kind of guy? thank goodness i've never really met those, except from some baptist folks that tried to convert me....
(they didn't, obviously!!!0
i personally seek differences in people. it keeps me interested. if i were to get a mirrored image of myself, i wouldn't be interested, not because it's boring but simply because i've already been there. i savor diversity and do not embrace homogeneity in mankind, except perhaps in philosophy...
and even so.
mankind will forever remain complex, and i'm fine with that, for better and for worse.



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