Five things I learned watching CNN’s Black in America

Last night I got a chance to check out the second part of CNN’s series Black in America. Here’s a few things I learned.

1) Black men and black women are officially two different races of people.

If you notice, these specials on the state of black America are always split up by gender. For example, the Washington Post had its series of articles on being a black man, and the NBC Nightly News did that series on where black women stand (i.e. not by the stove). This CNN shit was split up into two separate nights. Wednesday night was black women, and last night was black men. I missed Wednesday night, because I was out working like a Hebrew slave at the BGM. But I can imagine what it was like. Probably a bunch of lonely old black chicks with checks wondering why they can’t keep a man around. Also, I’m gonna guess that any solutions put forth, if there were any at all, had to do with what the black man needs to do to be a better spouse to black women, and not vice versa.

2) Light skinted dudes are more successful than dark skinted dudes.

The episode on black men is bookended by stories featuring two guys, one dark skinted and one light skinted, where, in both cases, the light skinted guy becomes wildly successful, while the dark skinted fellow ends up plumming the depths of depravity. Hmm… The two black guys at the very end are the legendary professor and author Michael Eric “Cornholio” Dyson (the light skinted one, natch) and his brother, who’s serving life in prison for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. (Isn’t that what they always say?) At one point, Soledad O’Brien tries to get Cornholio to say that the reason he’s been as successful as he’s been, where his brother hasn’t, is because he has lighter skin. You could tell Cornholio objected to the idea of having everything that ever happened to him and his brother reduced to a silly, 1980s-style argument about skin tone, but the most he could do is add that it may have had something to do with him being such a gifted speaker.

3) A nigga can’t find a job for shit.

I always like it when the media trots out that statistic about how a cracka-ass cracka with a criminal record has a better chance of finding a job than a black man with no criminal record, because it makes me feel that much better about my own personal failings. No but really, if there’s a common thread to all of the guys they profiled last night who ended up tangled in the criminal justice system or broke living in the projects, it’s that they just couldn’t find a job that was worth a shit. Or so they claimed. I notice a lot of dudes had jobs, but they claim they just didn’t pay enough money to support the lifestyle they aspired to. Which makes me wonder what these dudes were expecting. I can certainly relate to not being able to live the way I’d like to live, but I’ve yet to reach the point where I’m looking at crime as an option.

4) You can’t keep it real and get paid.

Also, I noticed that the few black dudes they profiled who did manage to become successful all spoke as if they were white people. There were the three sons of the light skinted (and hence successful) fellow from the beginning of the show, two of which are married to white women, and one who’s a bit younger, but who’s clearly on his way to scoring with a white chick, if that’s what he wants. (And something tells me it is.) And then there was this guy who’s an executive with a marketing company in New York, and this dude was mad cracka-ish. Even more so than those other kids. His story hit especially close to home for me, because I have a degree in marketing, and I always felt like my cracka-ass cracka game was on point. I know more about white people than most white people, and what do I have to show for it? Nothing. It must be because I’m not light skinted enough.

5) Some niggas just ain’t worth a shit.

You just knew there was gonna have to be a segment about a dreaded n-word who doesn’t take care of his kids. That sort of thing’s just so prevalent in the black community, it wouldn’t have been a very accurate program if they didn’t. So they had this family that was throwing this birthday party for a baby girl. It was either her first or second birthday. I’m not an expert enough on babies to be able to tell. The baby’s daddy doesn’t live with the baby and its mother, but he was supposed to be there. But of course he wasn’t. The baby’s grandpa was all pissed and shit. The baby’s mother just sat there and looked stupid. In a voiceover, we learn that he’s since had another child, a son, by some other broad. Then the guy finally shows up. His explanation: “I was gonna show up, but I was told several conflicting times.” Roffle.

  • texasmade

    i learned you just have to find a white women with good credit and here comes success

  • 239allday

    Ay Bol, you forgot one other thing you learned from the show. Lupe Fiasco was a gangsta rapper.

    • nellz

      I think he new that…i think he had a blog about lupe bein a drug dealer or some shit.

  • brad

    bol,

    how does wearing a tie-die led zepplin t-shirt relate to one’s chances of being successful?

    • http://xxlmag.com Bol

      It makes you look more white.

      • Pierzy

        Seems pretty clear to me…

  • gutta

    so pretty much theres no hope for black people you’re saying ??

    • http://xxlmag.com Bol

      What I’m saying is, there’s no hope for people in general. But if you’re black, you might as well give up right now.

  • giantstepp

    “…I always felt like my cracka-ass cracka game was on point. I know more about white people than most white people, and what do I have to show for it? Nothing. It must be because I’m not light skinted enough” lmao

    seriously tho, we have always had a color complex within our community. i am not so sure that the light vs dark thing is totally off base, but what do i know.

  • AZ40

    “Probably a bunch of lonely old black chicks with checks wondering why they can’t keep a man around. Also, I’m gonna guess that any solutions put forth, if there were any at all, had to do with what the black man needs to do to be a better spouse to black women, and not vice versa”

    You didn’t have to watch to know!!! It was more of black men need to become more “cultured” to keep up with those old bitties moreso than being a better spouse…OH yeah they also suggested dating outside the race

  • Rudeboy

    bol, this was an on point blog, but over all, da shit was fuck hilarious!!! u be on some comedian shit when u talk about white people.. its great.. do it more often!!

    hahahah

  • laShawn

    you wana be a success? stop looking for a ‘group’ to take you in as their own cos guess what, everyones on their own. if you black, dont look for some other black folks to have your your back (ie brotherly love) cos it aint gona happen. same with a white boy, the thing is white folk found this out a long time ago, white folk only care for themselves and there family all the other white people dont matter to them. dont look to be part of something – jus look out for you and yours. period.

  • Justice4all

    Bol, that was a hilarious statement, however a bit Pessimistic. I think we all have opportunities, for some it was when we chose to sleep through highschool, for others it’s when we were offered a good job, or had one and couldn’t get out of bed to get to work on time. Black men (some, of course) always have some built in excuse for crap, when they don’t tell the full story. Sure you can’t get a good job, but did you tell the fact that you can’t pass the piss test? I do concede that we do have an uphill battle in this country, but we could make our odds better if we gave maximum effort and make wise choices.

  • fredMS

    “you cant keep it real and get paid”

    that might be one of the truest shits ever spoke. unless of course, doing what needs to be done to get paid = keepin it realest. that should be some type of loophole.

  • geico lizard

    soledad is married to a white guy so of course she wanted to make it look like black women need a white man to make it big and she didnt admit being any part black until cnn did the story on the mlk papers then she suddenly was the nubian queen at the network and deserved to do that story and lead this documentary

  • geico lizard

    the black women on cnn’s documentary saying there are no good black men are in the same place mentally as ron mexico was talking about foxy brown when she tried to say jay z was a bad ex or bad friend for not visiting her. These women pick nothing but bums and then say the entire race of men are nothing when the real issue is inside of them. foxy has had alot of chances to stay on top and she just kept fucking it up by herself not jay z fault. plus he is married now so why would he visit his ex in jail. Black women have hated on black men for so many years for dating white women so now they are trying to justify them acting like hypocrites and dating white men by saying all black men are no good and they are being forced to cross over. Get the fuck outta here with that. katt williams was right if your raggedy pussy is attracting that kind of man over and over then maybe its your fault not all men.

  • Liam

    “I know more about white people than most white people, and what do I have to show for it? Nothing.”

    You do have an appreciation for average alternative rock acts from the 90′s.

  • Oneofthemyo’s

    This bitch doing the interview is supposed to be black? WTF…this chick remind me of GOOFY the disney character cause I couldnt figure out WTF she was.

  • The Spaniard

    “I notice a lot of dudes had jobs, but they claim they just didn’t pay enough money to support the lifestyle they aspired to”

    However, I’m sure the pay was right in line to their importance to the bottom line of the company.