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Messages - MachuPicchu

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Black Law Students / Re: BLACK LOVE
« on: August 06, 2007, 01:58:15 PM »
Where did O'Dara get to?

I'm not sure I understand your question.

However, I think a rule of thumb for using personal anecdotes in PS is to Change the Name, irrespective of the degree of fame an individual in your anecdote enjoys. A professional essay reader of any kind--AdComm, non-fiction journal editor, etc.--should, in my opinion, assume that all names have been changed. If the person you describe is so easily identifiable even without a name, either change a few details to protect his/her privacy, or accept the fact that in changing a name, you've done the best you can.

LOL< I know LSDers love to joke about what AdComms are capable of, but I find it hard to believe they would be so unprofessional as to try to guess who your famous client might be and then contact said client to discuss what you said about him/her/.

Black Law Students / Re: BLACK LOVE
« on: August 01, 2007, 11:08:33 AM »
I am a dark skinned brother and my girlfriend is light. I often get negative comments from sistas (usually dark) who claim that I am with her because I only like light girls. Or they complain that all successful black men either date white women or the next best thing, mixed women.

I am sorry you have been subjected to this. It is the height of arrogance for people to comment on something about which they have no information other than what is visible to the eye.

Your response is very even-toned, although some in your position might (quite rightly, IMO) resent the commentators. I think it helps to think of things from their perspective, too, and realize that their over-reaction is a reaction to the many negative images of dark-skinned women in the media, throughout society, etc.

It's a shame that society has set people against each other to this degree, that a person cannot even walk down a street with somebody who looks different from him or her without setting tongues a-wagging.

Black Law Students / Re: BLACK LOVE
« on: August 01, 2007, 10:53:21 AM »
welcome to the board...
for clarification's sake though.. that isn't the issue.. the issue is men and women who choose to ONLY date light or dark skinned women or men...

The key word here is "choose."

Sadly, IMO, there are many of these people, in many nationalities and ethnic groups, and they are usually the most vocal and demonstrative in spreading their particular "preference Gospel" to the unconverted. The unfortunate side effect of this is that regular people like harlemnight--going about their business and dating/falling in love with a variety of people with different traits--get caught in the crossfire.

Yeah, you're right, I thought about writing "lower portion." Still, I was under the (perhaps mistaken) impression that U of MN was the only game in town so to speak, or at least the most prestigious one in the state. That doesn't offer a lot of comfort.   

You wouldn't be the first to make this decision and be happy with it (as evidenced by the almost-full-rides I've spoken to at GW and W&M.

Black Law Students / Re: BLACK LOVE
« on: July 31, 2007, 01:35:41 PM »
Saying that a certain feature is all you require might imply what you say. However, saying that a certain feature is a prerequisite does not mean that other characteristics/requirements do not matter.

Certainly, a man's height or fitness level may, to you, be necessary but not sufficient. You would, as you state, turn down a "broke, fit, ugly" man (although now we've left the realm of helpless "attraction" which you earlier defended so hotly). But not everyone is the same.

My response is based on hearing other people (in real world, not LSD) declare their preferences loudly and proudly, emphasizing light skintone/"good hair" (for African-derivative people of all nationality, Brazilian/PR/Cuban included); fair complexion (Indian); and eyes with more pronounced folds (East Asian; Taiwanese and Korean). In each case I'm thinking of, the proclaimer made sure to stress that those particular features were of number one importance for him or her (no, ladies, you are not exempt). Further, when some of these people's partners strolled into a room, it became plain as day that partners with the said desired attributes were..erm...lacking, shall we say, in many other areas of aesthetics and/or personality.

I cannot help but come to the conclusion--based mostly on some people's public statements--that lighter skin, looser hair, and more "rounded" eyes were in fact both necessary and sufficient in a partner. This is what I suggest is problematic, not your discriminating (in the original sense) tastes.

If we are to avoid using criteria that will hurt others' self-esteems then doesn't that basically require us to be open to everyone? Because surely, any criterion will exclude someone and thus "negatively affect a person's self-esteem his or her whole life".

Can't speak for we, but *I* might do well to avoid:  making public one's views on potential partners' necessary and sufficient physical characteristics (I would stretch this to include ethnicities). This is primarily to avoid making oneself look like a clod with no social sense, not to spare others' feelings. 

I might do better to: examine critically and honestly my own preferences, determine what role--if any--social standards played in shaping my preferences, and see if they might be altered a bit, if only one time, and if only out of distaste over having my future preferences laid out for me at toddler-hood in my Disney videos and the comments of wrong-headed relations .

You ask "Why?" Because I act with circumspection, analysis, and a discerning mind in most other aspects of my existence, so why not in this, the most intimate factor in my life--my romantic partner?

Why is it that despite all criteria hurting someone's self-esteem, certain criteria are okay anyway while others are not okay? What makes historically charged criteria like skin color and hair type especially bad when their ultimate effect (hurting others self-esteems) is the same as any other criteria?

As my previous posts indicate, I never limited my objections to "historically-charged" criteria. I disagree with sweeping and otherwise undiscriminating (ironic) emphases on most in-born physical characteristics (yes, skin and hair, but also body type, male pattern baldness level, height, eye color, etc.) and on ancestry/nationality. These are facts people can't change about themselves. It's not damaging, on the other hand, to expect that a broke potential partner get a job, or to announce that you only date shy people, or flight attendants, or a-holes; those are things that apply equally to everybody and which a potential partner can change.

Now you're venturing into something different.

I think my posts and the supporting article I provided reveal that social and cultural dynamics that play out in the family room, board room, or movie theatre figure heavily in the bedroom, and one's choice of bed or life partner.

The toddler from blck_reign's scenario watches with wide eyes while Daddy extols his wife's skintone to the exlusion of all others...and maybe she will grow up to herself seek a light partner (because she is "just more attracted" to a light man/woman), or maybe she will peroxide her skin, or maybe she'll go all Black Pride and marry a dark Congolese person--dismissing all light potential partners with the same fell swoop as her father dismissed the dark ones--and maybe she'll feel an unhappiness inside her and ridicule any light-dark couple she sees in the street.

It is possible and, realistically, even common to be sexually indifferent to a feature while still seeing the beauty in that feature and in those who possess it.

LOL. There's nothing "indifferent" about "I don't care if he's not rich, how he treats his momma, or how he dresses--my future babies' father will have good hair."


"It's just prettier, that's all. It's what I like."

(real exchange with a Cape Verdean)

Personally, I'm glad for all the trolls/scary blogs... they really made me reevaluate where I stand on the rank v. $$$ debate.

What's the new verdict?

Law School Admissions / Re: A unique question..
« on: July 31, 2007, 02:12:44 AM »
"Graduate Work: Addendum.

In 200_ I had the opportunity to pursue an M.A. in Economics at __________University in 'Japan.' I count it among the most educational experiences of my life, although perhaps not in the traditional sense. At the beginning of my second year, the program of study in which I was enrolled suffered from a large-scale leadership and personnel change.  The ensuing institution-wide decline in standards of scholarship, educational guidance, and appropriate grading practices led some students, including myself, to channel our academic and creative energies into independent research. I was fortunate enough to join _________ , at which I was able to, through employment as a journalist, continue my study of international economic systems and politics.

I believe my final graduate GPA does not adequately reflect the research, communication and analytic skills that, like those of my fellow students, were given short shrift during an unfortunate time of upheaval at _______University. My resume, however, offers insight into what I feel was the most intellectually challenging--and gratifying--period of my life.  I request that the members of the Committee consider my final graduate GPA in light of these unusual circumstances and in conjunction with my complementary employment experience.

Thank you very much."

Black Law Students / Re: BLACK LOVE
« on: July 31, 2007, 12:47:07 AM »
But see, why should I try to feel an attraction to someone I don't want? There's no shortage of men I want and I just don't understand what seems to be an attempt to make even romance PC.

By no means should you be required to date men (and thereby open the possibility for attraction) to whom you are not initially attracted. I don't think that's what some of the other posters were saying. I interpreted their comments to mean that there is something a little bit messed-up about anyone--of whatever background--categorically proclaiming (with more than a little misplaced pride) that he or she "will only date X or Z-looking/type of person." It's messed up because it implies that you don't care about personality, intelligence, sense of humor, or other important factors(hello, money?  ;) ) As if a physical attribute subsumes all else. It's like a guy saying he will only date women with large breasts.

I totally understand the historical context (believe me, it isn't that complicated to get) but I still don't get the 'so what' here. If an African-American really does prefer one skin tone over another, even if the preference is due to social conditioning, so what? I am just not seeing why it is such a big deal. What harm, other than hurt egos and irritation, is caused? Is anyone losing a job, being denied an education, going hungry, being wrongly imprisoned, dying etc because someone out there does not want to date them?

Everyone will have a different answer for this, but "the harm" IMO is that visited upon some of one's relatives, ancestors, and friends. It is psychological in nature and can negatively affect a person's self-esteem his or her whole life. I'll assume you can imagine what it would feel like to be dark/"kinky"/thick and constantly bypassed in favor of  a lighter/wavier/slimmer sibling or relative (extend this to any other group's unique morphology--some East Asians'or Khoisan southern Africans' almond-shaped eyes, for example). But even if you do happen to posess those attributes coveted by the Euro-American majority society (think Beyonce, Ananda Lewis, Mya; Terrence Howard, Shemar Moore, etc.), it doesn't mean you relish potential suitors crowing about them, thereby unintentionally insulting your darker or more curly sibling, cousin, parent, etc. Also, there's nothing flattering about realizing your SO finds your skin tone, or eye shape, or country of ancestry (ahem, "Asian fetish"), or weight the most salient aspect of you. I mean, you couldn't even help how you were born and there are millions of thin or tall people in the world.

So take all this and multiply it by the complicated historical baggage of colonialism and racism and communal self-prejudice (light-skinned Cubans are criollo plantation-owners! Eurasian models are American GI-sired Vietnamese bastards!) and you can see how vocally limiting oneself to those physical attributes favored by an an exploitative society is a recipe for distress.

You mentioned a refusal to succumb to "PC romance." When I hear "PC" I think of some  bureaucrat, official, or politician. Truth is, most people are decidely un-PC around their family and friends. PC isn't always a bad thing, though. If being more PC can encourage Auntie Brenda to stop exclaiming over "How light and pretty little Amelia turned out, not like her sister!" (in front of the dark sister) or if it can cause the word "good" to pass out of the hair lexicon (as if hair has a moral calculus), then so much the better.

Lecture over. Now for homework. I came across this article that runs through some of the social elements of light-skinned favoritism in some Diasporic communities. It's not the deepest or the best, but it'll do.

By the way, thanks, MachuPicchu, for a civil, non-bitchy answer.

There's a first time for everything.  8)

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