Wednesday, March 26, 2008

simple pagan ritual

The history of the world is replete with situations of conquest, adoption and out right thievery. Antiquated times saw Alexander name a library after himself, and Pythagoras take claim for a mathematical theorem that was obviously used thousands of years prior to his birth as evidenced via the construction of pyramids in Egypt. In modern times, the same can be said of jazz and Blues and even Rock music.

Now, it seems nothing is sacred, not even the collective experience of being a descendant of Africa in America - not even in south central LA. If you have not heard by now, "Margaret B. Jones” whom we have come to find out is really Margaret "Peggy" Seltzer recently published a book. Reviewers raved about the book called Love and Consequences, a memoir by Margaret P. Jones. NPR described it as being about “a half-white, half-Native-American foster child growing up in the gangland milieu of Los Angeles.” Unfortunately Seltzer was raised by her birth parents in the suburbs around Orange County, California. This where she grew up and attended the best private schools (Episcopal day school) that loot could purchase. In addition, she has never lived with a foster family as she claimed nor did she ever run drugs for any gang members let alone belong to the Bloodz. She even lied about where she went to college and her graduating at the University of Oregon, which she did not. She was exposed by her older sister days before being profiled in the New York Times.

And when she was busted, what did she say? “For whatever reason, I was really torn and I thought it was my opportunity to put a voice to people who people don’t listen to,” Ms. Seltzer said. “I was in a position where at one point people said you should speak for us because nobody else is going to let us in to talk. Maybe it’s an ego thing — I don’t know. I just felt that there was good that I could do and there was no other way that someone would listen to it.”

I only read what I could online before they took the book excerpt offline. I tried to find her myspace page but it is gone too. But one section talks about, her African-American foster brothers, Terrell and Taye. They supposedly joining the Bloodz when 11 and 13 years old as well as how she got her first gat as a gift when she was 13. The catch is she did all this dirt s she could save to get a cemetery plot – LOL. Oprah couldn't ever tell, which is scary on several accords to me.

Before she was exposed to be a faker, her publisher Penguin Group released an interview on their web site with the author. It was also included in press kits. I just selected this to hope that u laughed as hard as i did.

Q: How did this book originate?
A: During my senior year of college one of my professors told me a friend of hers was working on a book and wanted to interview me. I declined. I wasn’t interested in the whole “South-Central-as-petting-zoo” thing. Then my home girl said the teacher might mess around and fail me for rejecting her friend, so I ended up calling the author and doing the interview. She was real nice and asked me if I had ever written anything. I ended up giving her one of a number of short stories I had written for my brothers’ kids and for the kids of my homies serving life sentences. ...
Q: What makes the difference between someone who is able to move up and on and out of the inner city and someone else who follows the trajectory into crime, juvenile detention, prison, and so on?
A: I wish I knew. I’ve got my homeboy who’s doing life who wrote me, “You and OG homie are the only ones who made it out.” Well, OG homie is now locked up. And I can’t even judge.

LMAO now

Q: What was the scene that affected both of you so much
A: It was the scene in which my little sisters and I were walking home from the Korean grocery store and Nishia dropped a carton of milk. It burst open and the milk streamed into the gutter. She burst into tears, begging me not to be mad as she stooped down trying to scrape it all back into the broken carton. I told her I wasn’t mad. But I was. That was a half-gallon of milk wasted and two dollars gone. Even now, as an adult, just thinking about that—thinking about the choices you were given as a child that weren’t kid choices—makes me want to cry. ...


Q: You were 16 when you cooked your first batch of rock cocaine. What led you to do that?
A: Our water had been shut off because Big Mom couldn’t pay the bill. If your water is cut off social services is going to come and say it’s bad living conditions and take the kids out of there. Where I was was cool. I was with people who loved me. I didn’t want us to be split up so I was trying to be part of the solution. That meant bringing in money and getting the water turned back on. Once again that’s not a choice kids should have to make. I knew it was not right—cooking up rock. I knew I was contributing negatively to the community. But the water got put back on the same day. The reward was there. To go from wearing third generation hand-me-downs to wearing name brand everything—when you’re a kid that stuff matt

Guess I can’t blame her, well yes I can. Although for a white person to write a book on African American culture, all they need is a few hip hop cd’s, Menace to Society, maybe even the Wire (but I aint never seen that show) and maybe a week of listening to urban radio to have the language down pact. At least they pulled the book. But then again we all make mistakes, i mean who know black folks and how we live better than white folks.

What gets me is that it is easier for a white person, more accurately a Valley Girl that claims living the experiences of being black to get a book deal with a major imprint than an actual person like me – who lives and get “well your writing is unrealistic, no one wants to read about black men who think like philosophers.” True story. Sad thing was that she sold and sold. Guess this is just a simple pagan ritual, not for all but for some, who cant think or create in their own, sure she had creative writing classes, just like Pythagoras may have had a ruler, but neither of the two lived what they created.

56 comments:

chocolate_matters said...

First time reader,
Wow, that the best excuse they can give you? I didn't know black men as philosophers was so way off. I guess they should also lump in that pile people of color as mathematicians, scientist or any other image that whites have been born to feel they are entitled to.
I am not too surprised about this developments of the hoax of this author. We have seen this back in the day with music. It was better to plaster white faces on music sung by black bands. Brings to mind a quote: If you white you alright, if you black step back.

I consider myself a pseudo-philosopher/thinker and I definitely know there are more of us out there. Unfortunately the media doesn't see it that way and just doesn't care.

Speaking of pythagoras thanks for mentioning that little historical tidbit. Like all the other greek and roman figures of the time, they were able to take idea that existed well before their time. It is one thing I learned as I have read about history is it always told in the eyes of the victor.
I like this blog and I'll be sure to visit again

DeadMule said...

T., I think - from discussion of this incident on another blog - the real problem is that she tried to pass this off a memoir. That's saying it really happened to you. If she published it as fiction, there wouldn't be a problem. (Either it's believable or not. No law against writing bad fiction. Nor should there be.) But the competition is more fierce for fiction than memoir, so she tried to get away with something and got caught. This is more about lying than it is about race. It makes white people angry for a different reason: The next person who writes a memoir will have a harder time convincing a publisher That it's real, because this woman lied. The truth will set us all free. Helen

Lovebabz said...

Membership has it's priviledges!

And Hillary Clinton mis-speaks about sniper fire on a trip to the Middle East.

It is about the sense of entitlement and the belief that White Folks cannot and should not be called to the mat about lying...blantantly!

Kudos to you for raising this otherwise lost in the mainstream media newsworthy piece of information.

They pave paradise and put up a parking lot...(sigh)

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

chocolate_matters - thanks for the drive by and they also said. in essence no black man in the streets could be so smart LOL
im gone look u up and add u to my new roll, its open till end of april, then off for another 2 yrs. Not to mention I am a scientist by trade. well i consider myself a dialetical ruminator. so we the same folk. good look

Dead Mule - I agree. But it so sad it is funny. Wasnt it another book called MISHA or something that was a hoax, and another dude (also in Oprah book club) that were fake?

Babz - good look. what u know about Joni Mitchell folk? LOL classic

"With a pink hotel, a boutique
and a swinging hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone"

D'lee Trecia said...

Mr. Stephens, as you already know, I ain't know ish you talking about.... I'm tired of acting like I do.. will keep showing love on the SBox.... lmao... for real...

Let me know when you post something simple... and I don't have to act like it done made sense to me... :D cheers...

Aly Cat 121 said...

Man that's some typical azz sh*t. I can't even type what I wanna say cuz I can't type that fast and I curse too much.

I must say that I DO appreciate ALL the "great" non-colored folks out there speaking for me and being the voice on what it's like to be an African descendant in north america. *clap-clap*

Dee said...

Sad thing is, she won't get half the heat that Frey did for his "Million Little Pieces" or lies or whatever the hell it's called.

Curious said...

I don't mean to be awkward here or anything, but if her name is Seltzer and she went to an Episcopalian school, then she would be used to passing and with the book she just went the other way.

Plus just like Jason Blair and the NYT, if editors and publishers are not going to check what they are publishing, can you blame people for trying to get away with what they can?

If I had my way, Penguin would take full responsibility and all the white people who bought the book would get their money back. I say white people, b/c nobody black would need to read about living in the hood. Some of us live it or know people who do. So I'm sure none of us bought it.

buelahman said...

Reminds me of when I was growing up in Baghdad and learning how to build IED's and cook chick peas.

Fun stuff.

JayBee said...

Deja vu. It wasn't that long ago that that man on Oprah got busted for the same thing. Her intention was not to give voice to a segment of the population who no one would listen to. Instead, because of America's fascination with gang activity and anything unscrupulous or licentious, she knew the book would sell.

The Love Collective said...

Wow, this is girl is a total loser. And she probably thought she was gonna make heavy 6 figures from the book company and all. But what stood out to me most was when you said you aint seen "The Wire" not one time. I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLIEST ONE! RAW DAWG, YOU ROCK!

Kofi said...

This chick is just another symptom of the disease.

At first I didn't understand why she didn't pass it off as fiction. But if she did, a lot of people would have protested. "Here's someone else trying to denigrate the black community with negative stereotypes."

Oh wait. She did that anyway.

The truth probably would have been the less profitable route, but it would have been the better one.

As far as Oprah not catching it -- I deeply doubt at this stage of her career she reads anything anymore, and if she doesn't have interview questions prepared by producers, she just skims it the night before looking for the one puff passage to pimp out on TV. She was supposed to retire a few years back, but with all her HARPO interests and spin-off talk shows, she has to keep her show in place as the keystone. That isn't to say her heart isn't in the right place -- I think it is -- it just doesn't speak to mine.

And I appreciated the Pythagorean comment. Those "in the know" know that Greek legends and knowledge were predated by earlier sources, long ignored and/or obfuscated for political purposes.

msladydeborah said...

I read this story in the NY Times.

It only confirms that there is nothing new going on up under the sun, in terms of human behavior.

What should we think about a publishing house that goes forth with this type of story~without doing some form of background check?

The assumption that fradulant works are not produced and forwarded to publishers is not realistic It has happened and will continue to do so.

But it would seem in order not to be outted in this manner~the basic facts of her life should of been checked out. It didn't happen.

Theives helping theives~it is not an unusual concept in that arena. In the line up of the usual suspects we know that this is just one more case in the on going crime file of cultural identity theft.

The real deal story is going to be what does this do the relationship between her and her sister. Maybe she will write a story about their interactions after this. It might not be interesting but it will at least be grounded in reality.

Tales from the Crackhead Chronicles are not that great if you have seen them in real life. So she would not get my time nor attention with this type of book. I did not see the booklist that I read tooting it as a must read item.

She had a market in mind. It damn sure was not the for real deal folks. It was for the folks who really have no true clue about urban life. In terms of the market~there are better stories and they are written by folks who really do the turn around in their lives. But there is enough to feed and fuel a work of fiction by anyone with skills. So in that aspect of my opinon she is in there.

But overall I had a good time laughing at the social embarrassment of the whole situation.

I would love to know what motivated her sister to tell the truth? Was it her do right factor? Or was she mad because she was not offered $$$ to keep her lips closed?

Tamra said...

Yeah, I read about that over on Nat Turner's Revenge.

It amazes me that, like you said, (a lot of) white people seem so willing to learn about the black experience everywhere else except directly from the source.

--And are a result, they then almost continuously experience this "shock" and "awe" when the real deal and the real cultural divide as depicted by the people who actually live it presents itself.

And what the hell is The Wire??? (I guess I could go look it up now, huh? lol)

no_slappz said...

torrance, your excerpt from the Q&A with the author included the following:

"Q: What was the scene that affected both of you so much
A: It was the scene in which my little sisters and I were walking home from the Korean grocery store and Nishia dropped a carton of milk. It burst open and the milk streamed into the gutter."

When was the last time someone dropped an unopened milk container and it "burst open"? Especially when the container was dropped from a low altitude by a kid?

Here's the answer. It hasn't happened since milk was sold in glass containers.

Some bullshit is obvious the moment it's released. Just like Hillary and her claim of landing under sniper fire, and her subsequent claim that she "mis-spoke".

No one forgets getting shot at.

However, no mentioned the fact that Alex Haley wrote a lot of fiction when he wrote Roots.

And it's also worth mentioning that one of the most deathless pieces of fiction circulating as fact is the famous anti-Semitic tract -- Protocols of the Elders of Zion, first circulated as fact in early 20th century Russia and still circulating as fact in muslim regions today.

On the other hand, there are a few books about life in tough urban settings that were written by reputable people.

Random Family, the author's name escapes me at the moment. It's an account of life among some people in a loosely linked family in the Bronx.

There are No Children Here, by Alex Kotlowitz, about two brothers and their life in the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago.

The Promised Land, again, another blank on the author. Nicholas ???

Down These Mean Streets, by Piri Thomas.

Manchild in the Promised Land, Claude Brown.

Talley's Corner.

Clifford Irving wrote a biography of Howard Hughes that was discovered to be a hoax. And the Hitler Diaries are always a favorite for literary hoaxers.

T.C. said...

what bothers me is that this woman was so easily able to get a book deal, yet people who are really from the inner city, the doors are not readily as open, and their stroies are researched, etc. before they are accepted, NO ONE researched this...the way she was found out was because her sister, say one of her interviews and decided to bust up her "story"

as one of the other commenters stated, had she just published it as a fictional piece it wouldn't have been such an issue, but to try to rip a story of struggle and claim it as your own is sad...

but i knew that something in the milk wasn't clean when she referred to her foster mother as "big mother" not "big momma" BIG difference...

Aunt Jackie said...

As a writer I'm sure that you are probably aware that it is much easier for a first time author to get a deal for a non fiction piece than it is fiction, which is why and how many fiction writers, who are probably good writers in their own right..

sidenote: I loved Jame's Frey's book A Million Little Pieces, fiction on non, his imagery was amazing.

Publishers don't fact check, which is much like turning a blind eye for a profit. I am sure that even more and more of these sham books will be exposed.

I toyed with creating a non-fiction piece for my first manuscript but I'm too young to be telling a tell all:-)

dejanae said...

thats just sad
why didnt the dumb heifer just do it as fiction?
and how did she not expect the shit to come out
The foster care system keeps records
Colleges keep records

im mad she ws on that ''tryna give the disenfranchised a voice' shit

chile sit the hell down

PrettyBlack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PrettyBlack said...

It's funny how they still call it the Pythagoras Theorem...hmm.

I read about this some weeks ago and after reading the interview your right...the bitch sounds like she lifted everything (including the vernacular) from some down and out ni&&a script that some rappers tried to make a movie out of.

So how the hell was she cooking rock when there was no water?

I've dropped milk before and it never burst, unless I was to throw it...hmmm.

Gat for a gift huh? I didn't know negros in the hood are giving gats for gifts now...wow.

Why couldn't she have just written it as fiction?

By the way miss you over at my blog damn a brotha could just stop in to say whaaaaas up! haha!

bernice said...

So, would a publisher believe in a story about southern woman of African/Native American/Caucasian(slave owner) descent (several generations back) who was raised in two-parent household with all 3 siblings conceived by both parents, hence no outside children, where the mother was a homemaker and the father a grocery-store clerk (retired at 22K/year), neither with post-high school education, and this woman having achieved two Computer Science degrees, certifications in Programming and Database Administation, married once for 10 years where the husband is the father of her child, and this woman is the only female and minority certified database admin at her government worksite?

If not, I might as well stop writing now, since we are to 'write what we know', instead of 'write what we can look up'.

Well, I won't stop. Like my dad (Bless his soul) use to say, 'You are a daredevil!'

Ms Smack said...

What a stupid idiot. I have one of those scarves by the way. My tarot cards (which I never use) are wrapped in it.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

Mrs. smack - do tarrot me and report back to yo folk pls

Aunt Jackie _ I was writing beofe 10, all i do is tell all, cant u tell LOL

Pretty - my fault hon, been trying to get the dog store opened and i closed on the spot today, plus i had the second oral surgery, 4.5 hrs in the chair, mouth bleeding not, extreme pain. but gotta cook din for my lil ones

dejanae - down its a song like that called "ho sit down"

No Slapz - well said and almost sequential. like the drop of the protocols of the learned elders of zion. so u know about the blood games, somebody wrote it. but u a fool for this "Here's the answer. It hasn't happened since milk was sold in glass containers." lol

t.c - i am one of them authors

Tamra - my folks like Sincere & mrs grapevine write about it. chk they sites. i aint seen flava of love, but they should put them on cspan and espn if they want foks to watch them


msladydeborah - i got it from NPR. And you right, it was premediatated. great commentary.

Kofi - true we are still being exploited and about media mogul sim, guess she dont read as much as she preach. But her woman got a 7 mil dollar crib

Love collective - with 11 acres tv's are secondary

Bernice - thats why u got to publish the book of yours i have been reading since my granny's death

JayBee - thanks for the drive by and do return, yep she done had a few on hr list i susspect she aint read, oprah is either real feel good or real sad, never really real

buelahman - lol u lol . i know u ordered one of my books home boy

Curious - thank good ness the had folks like u, with hmetraing, thats what they have done

Dee - so true
aly cats - dont make me laugh again, just got out of 4.5 hrs of oral surgery

D'lee Trecia- im sorry, guess a mind is a terrible thing to have

no_slappz said...

bernice, you want to know if a publisher would see opportunity in a story that appears to be your story?

Yes. It if were well written. There's a market for black success stories. I've read a few.

Why would you think otherwise?

You'd probably get praising blurbs from Bill Cosby and Larry Elders.

chocolate_matters said...

I just realized you and a couple of other people's comments on not seeing "the wire". I haven't seen any of the more recent episodes (lets face it Hbo is expensive) but was able to watch the first season when it debuted. I liked it, because it dealt with the streets of baltimore, A place where I lived if only for a short time.

So you are shutting down this site after April then reopen 2 years later?

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

chocolate matter - no, was talking about my new blog roll, the site will be up until im dead i hope

No slappz - it is, she is an exceptional talent

bernice said...

Thanks, T, you know how to inspire a sista.
The story you are reading is fiction, but if I ever write about my life, it would have to include my parents and siblings also. In all, we have accomplished a lot and there are no signs of stopping soon. Maybe in 20 years...

Big Man said...

What exactly does talking like a philosopher mean?

Does that mean you don't sound black?

White folks are funny.


Holla at me on my email when you get a chance.

mp1 v.8.0 said...

Guess her life's in a million little pieces now, huh? lol

That q & a was simply priceless

Qucifer said...

BWAHAhahAh stupid ass woman, Is ridiculous that she would have gone through the lengths she went, her fam must so so damned embarrased of her damned fantasy making ass

focusedpurpose said...

T-

white skin privilege is an invisible little knapsack. those that have it can reach in it at any time and pull out all kinds of perks and privileges:-) because it is invisible---they can lie/be in denial about its existence as well!:-)

this "memoir" is only interesting because it is happening to a white woman. it is like eminem or joss stone. there are a lot of black folks like them...

a philosophizing (is that a word? i make them up:-) black man is not something that white folks want to encourage. thinking black men. no! i would invite you to think about it, but i know you get it:-)

i like the way your brain works. great post. interesting. as usual.

blessings,
focusedpurpose

Don said...

Good stuff.

And yeah that is something when some straight up nonsense gets to see the major publisher's Light of Day, rather than someone who has actually lived and survived the experience that Maragaret lied about.

Just from reading what you posted, I could easily see through her words. They just don't speak of street life. Then when I saw the picture I knew that it was some same ol, as you stated, "hip hop lyrics, menace 2 society, scene stealing" material that has been adopted over and over and over again.

Damn, Oprah gave her a shout on the book? Unreal.

no_slappz said...

focusedpurpose, why do you claim the "memoir" is interesting only because it concerns a white woman?

From my point of view, that means you think it's interesting because it will appeal to white readers who feel they can relate to the writer.

However, if that's what you mean, you are also saying that if the writer were black, no black readers would buy the book.

Thus, your claim is actually a criticism of blacks.

Further, you claim whites are opposed to a "philosophizing black man." Nothing could be further from the truth. What gave you that idea? I'd really like to know.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

no_slappz - i agree, i think being a thinker is colorless, not to mention you, if u are white - i dont know - show the opposite. i think thinkers respectb thinkers and thought period

Don - yeas, i was cracking up reading the whole interview, be safe folk, have a great weekend

Focused - i disagree, i think a thinker regardless of gender or color respects and values other thinkers because we are a rare breed

Qucifer - sound like u bout to take off your earrings lol

MP1 - aint that the truth

Big man - yep they are. biut we are too LOL

Bernice - thank u hon

Tigress said...

Sitting here SMH. Sometimes I get so tired of the same old B.S. as usual. America only believes one thing about Blacks because that's all they ever show.

Sheletha said...

she knew what the hell she was doing...trying to cash in on the experience before she got caught.

Afrobabe said...

I haven’t read the book or heard anything about her or the story but I still feel she should have written it as herself...Herself the way she day dreamed it if she grew up on the other side....poor girl...

JustMeWriting said...

I've been out of the loop for a sec and wasn't aware of this chic, but thanks...I'm pick'n up what you putt'n down... LOL.

jalishouse said...

I read about this briefly, but the story was buried pretty quickly. Thanks for reminding us.

I'm quoting tamra: "...It amazes me that, like you said, (a lot of) white people seem so willing to learn about the black experience everywhere else except directly from the source.

--And are a result, they then almost continuously experience this "shock" and "awe" when the real deal and the real cultural divide as depicted by the people who actually live it presents itself
..."

I agree.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

jalishouse - i wrote it last week but it was upsurped by my book comin off press - lol

Afrobabe - me ither, he problem is that her book would be about growing up in the suburbs and going to day school - can u say dull

JustMeWriting - folk u know hoe we do and 1/2 page article is out in this weeks rollingout re dirt behind my ear

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

Sheletha - u know she did, and glad u lke the bok cover, i hope u support me and get it

Tigress - thanks for the drive by, and u can shake your head just dont be soundling likemy girl Q (she taking off the earrings so u know whats next-lol)

Kyle E. Moore said...

...

serious...

I mean, serious...

Did she literally take a cliche and try and turn it into a hardened life on the skreets story? Like, literally? Did I actually read a crying over spilt milk story?

And her language... It's forced. It's way fucking forced.

Sigh...

Anyway, congratulations on your book man.

focusedpurpose said...

hi-

T- i am not opposed to disagreement. i don't think we are in that much disagreement however. i respect, accept and appreciate truth, knowledge and wisdom from where ever it comes. all colors of people carry these spirits.

Slapz trips to left field, i am opposed to:-)

it is by design that black and brown men are depicted regularly and routinely in this society as anything other than great thinkers. are you challenging that truth? so that is what gave me the idea. i would even venture to say that if T was peddling self destructive poison---he would be provided the biggest platform money could buy.

no, my comment was not a criticism of blacks. my comment was a brief overview/criticism of the white collective's refusal to hold themselves to the same standard of scrutiny and study which they do with people of color. pretty much everything we do is closely scrutinized. especially, if one of us managed to get over in the past. such is not the case with white authors. obviously.

i am not pretending to not understand it. i do. your whatever gave you that idea question leads me to believe you might have one of those invisible knapsacks i mentioned first and foremost in my initial comment:-)

white folks imitating black folks or circumstances that most would consider to be black experiences has long fascinated white folks. corn rows on a black female---no hoopla; put them on bo derek and boy you've got big news. full lips on a sister---not a peep (unless it is negative), on a white girl, omg stop the presses. black person in a gang rises above it---not a peep, white girl/boy...etc. etc. etc. (i say this having more in common with the actual background of the author. i just moved from sherman oaks, ca---again most folks ideas of blacks are formed by the white owned images and media.)

hope that helps you with a clue as to my perspective Slapz. if not, we can agree to disagree:-)

blessings,
focusedpurpose

VertigoVirgo said...

I saw this story on GMA, this is such a disgrace. Wouldn't it have been just as easy to hae written the book as fiction under a fake name, than as an autobiography?...idiot.

As for Oprah...I can't stand her...I don't care what "good" everyone thinks she does...her audience is focused towards middle age white women, and she do what she needs to for ratings. I think too many people follow the church of Oprah, and like you said...she can't even tell...and this is the 2nd time.

chocolate_matters said...

I am piggybacking on Focus' comment: "...again most folks ideas of blacks are formed by the white owned images and media"
Did anyone see that image of Lebron "king" james on the cover of Vogue. Most (I do emphasise MOST) black are in an uproar over how Lebron is depicted. He literally looks like some angry gorilla resembling King Kong holding some white model by her waist. White folk see nothing wrong with it but I, as a black man, knowing the historical racial stereotype that has plagued black men in this country, find the photograph irresponsible . This was the first time in the magazine 114 year history to show a black man and this is how they do it? Think of all the images that it feeds their intended audience (i.e. white female) and how they will play in race relations in this country.
Hope I didn't' get off topic but I thought this was a good tie in to focus' statement.

no_slappz said...

focusedpurpose, you said...

"it is by design that black and brown men are depicted regularly and routinely in this society as anything other than great thinkers."

Great thinkers in the US have a demonstrated history of great thinking. There are well understood ways of proving one's ability to think and communicate those thoughts.

However, a trip to the library or Barnes & Noble turns up Frederick Douglass, WEB Dubois, Marcus Garvey, William Julius Wilson, or Cornell West and a few others. The list of black thinkers is considerably shorter than the list of white thinkers. Locally or globally.

Then there are those like Louis Farrakhan, who sell books of no value, filled with mostly bizarre ideas.

And then there is Alex Haley, who wrote Roots, which was later exposed as mostly fiction. Like the woman who wrote the phony memoir cited here.

You asked:

"...are you challenging that truth?"

Yes.

You said:

"no, my comment was not a criticism of blacks. my comment was a brief overview/criticism of the white collective's refusal to hold themselves to the same standard of scrutiny and study which they do with people of color."

Your response here is fiction. As I mentioned in the previous post, your claim, perhaps unintentional, presented blacks as people who do not want to read about issues that affect blacks. That can only be seen as a criticism of blacks.

Moreover, it simply isn't true.

As for whites and the outcome of plagiarism and fabrication of stories presented as non-fiction, well, white writers get fired every year from magazines and newspapers for fabricating or mis-representing situations. On the other hand, black writers are generally given a free pass.

Read the Amsterdam News sometime. There's a reason only a handful of people read it. Read some Nation of Islam publications. They give fiction a bad name.

You said:

"...pretty much everything we do is closely scrutinized."

What does the preceding mean? Are you claiming there's some white board of approval that "allows" blacks to write song lyrics or shoot movies or write books?

That statement is full of paranoia.

You wrote:

"...especially, if one of us managed to get over in the past. such is not the case with white authors. obviously."

Nonsense. If there's been one huge leap made toward truth, it's come by way of the Internet. Suddenly it is easy to check the accuracy of a lot of written work. In many cases it's a breeze to check for plagiarism.

When Bush ran for re-election in 2004, documents purporting to show unflattering details of his military service were circulated. But interested citizens examined them and, through computer power, discovered they were forgeries. White guys were on both sides of that situation. I could give you a very long list of whites who have indulged in some plagiarism.

James Frey was one of the bigger fish caught in that net. So what? We're talking about books, that, in most cases, are entertaining. Not books aimed at destroying another person, although they do pop up.

You wrote:

"white folks imitating black folks or circumstances that most would consider to be black experiences has long fascinated white folks."

Almost everything about the world fascinates some portion of the white population. Some whites like music that has black origins. Some don't. Some whites love basketball. Some don't care.

Your example:

"corn rows on a black female---no hoopla; put them on bo derek and boy you've got big news. full lips on a sister---not a peep (unless it is negative), on a white girl, omg stop the presses."

These are matters of fashion. Not fantastic scientific discoveries. Why is it significant if white women adopt a style that originated among blacks?

With respect to media coverage of fashion, again, why does it matter what Vogue chooses to show? Vogue editors want women to buy the magazine because they love the content. The editors are not making political statements, but they might enjoy producing some controversy. Isn't that an essential part of fashion?

You said:

"...black person in a gang rises above it---not a peep, white girl/boy...etc. etc. etc."

There have been many books about blacks escaping urban perils. Others about blacks leaving the South. And others featuring Africa. Maybe you have not read them. Have you read Manchild in the Promised Land?

There are black fiction writers.

Then there are loads of sociological studies. I think you've chosen to overlook the literature.

But the question needs asking in a different way.

You say whites are interested in stories about whites who've lived a "black" life, and you offer the statement as a criticism. There is some interest those stories. But not a lot.

On the flip side, do you believe black readers are interested in stories about blacks who have moved into the white world?

no_slappz said...

chocolate matters,

Lebron is a huge star. Do you think he was tricked into posing for a photo he would disapprove of?

He's got people advising him about maintaining his image.

Do you think he should share your concerns about this photo?

I know the Vogue cover got some media attention. But, after all, Vogue is part of the media, and it's the business of the Vogue people to create a stir when possible. But the ripples will disappear long before the next issue of Vogue hits the news-stands.

focusedpurpose said...

happy slapz-

you have addressed everything but the invisible knapsack. you very much sound as one in possession. or one that hallucinates/imagines about possessing one and has fervently assimilated away all self respecting good sense. at any rate...

your entitled right point of view pretty much says it all. we agree to disagree:-) i am not even remotely interested in debating with you. if you in fact own a knapsack---teaching you anything is not on my list of things to do. we (the black collective) can thank teaching our enemies (in part) science, politics, etc. for the sad state of affairs in which we find ourselves. your comments are a great indicator that you may be better suited for...thinking...speaking is too advanced just now. with me in any event.

please know, you can read every book you can get your hands on. (for the record the Claude Brown classic you mentioned, i have not only read, i own a copy from 1965 that was required reading for my black manchild at ten---this does not change the fact that the average white person has no idea who Claude Brown and many other black authors are. learning about white sociopaths is all that is required in order to call oneself "educated" buddy. wish it were different. it just isn't.)

keep reading, you will not ever be in a position to tell me what life is like in a white supremacist world as a black person. my lens is not wrong it is just different than yours.

i am paranoid. there are people out to kill me and mine. well documented history supports these assertions. read a few government documents when you get a chance on aids, solidarity between africans and americans, cointelpro, the patriot act, weather /climate control, super six cities for police experiments, etc. etc. etc. paranoid and conscious are interchangeable terms as far as i am concerned. thanks.

because these facts escape you---you have permission to have the last word:-) my tolerance extends but so far:-)...

T- i won't make trouble in your house. effective immediately i am on good behavior:-) sortta...


blessings to you,
focusedpurpose

no_slappz said...

focusedpurpose, you wrote:

"i am paranoid. there are people out to kill me and mine. well documented history supports these assertions. read a few government documents when you get a chance on aids, solidarity between africans and americans, cointelpro, the patriot act, weather /climate control, super six cities for police experiments, etc. etc. etc. paranoid and conscious are interchangeable terms as far as i am concerned."

From this list I see you are not only paranoid, but also someone caught up in all the leading conspiracy theories, especially those most common to the black community.

guerreiranigeriana said...

i almost want to laugh at the absurdity of it all...i can't even think of the proper response to this fuckery...outrage-no...laughter-seems inappropriate...i guess it shouldn't surprise me as white actors are again picking up black face in hollywood...i guess we should be happy these people want to give us voice by making up stories...thank God for them caring so damn much!!...*eye roll*...

...wow about the response to publishing your book...i wonder where they did their public opinion research...

chocolate_matters said...

I am well aware that Vogue is part of the media. I wish I could share your sentiments that the ripples will disappear when the next issue comes out. However for those that have bought the magazine on seen it posted on the internet the effects will still continue. The image will still be in subconscious of many who have viewed the image and who is to say where that will lead. Not me, not you, or anybody.

He may not share the concerns I have. But you see that is the problem with many of these young black young'uns, whether they be rap stars in videos or athletes acting a fool on the field/court. Many don't know about their history and they are making decisions that make us takes 50 step behind instead of 50 steps forward.

Peace.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

And calculus, too, Torrance, but that isn't my point.

My point concerns what elese is in this post and your previous one featuring your little girl.

I don't read the US papers much anymore. I watch the CNN election coverage for betting purposes. I watch my sports on the ESPN and FOX ESPANOL channels. Every now and then for nostalgia's sake, I watch the NYC ABC-TV affliate's news.

So, this particular bit of trickery by Ms Seltzer, I glanced at to get the sense of it and as I felt my own rage and sadness reaching the boiling point, I turned away. This is my first real visit here since you posted that.

Rage? What could Kelso mean? Plain and simply this. For reasons beyond my control, I had to leave the US and I have no idea when I'll be back if ever. I had to leave a little boy behind. I see him on most of his school vacations and for the month of August down here. I'm lucky that my father is still vigorous enough to play ball with him and be a weekend presence in his life.

Treasure every moment with that little girl of yours, buddy. You just never know.

So, why do get enraged by this silly woman's little trick? Because it offends me that for whatever reason, money, fame, just to bust balls, she took on a role she was fortunate enough never to have had to experience.

On the other hand, while I forged my own path in life -- successfully -- I've never been dishonest. At one point in my life, I gave a speech before the World Bank challenging one of their carved in stone truisms: that a current account deficit presages a currency depreciation.

I was about as far away from the character that woman assumed for her "memoir" as could be. Partly, because members of my family were NOT. And I wanted to make everyone proud of me. Despite all my studies and careful planning, I became disposible. An elite White guy who didn't do anything wrong. Disposible. Why? Because of one of the "folk," Assistant U.S. Attorney General Larry Thompson (if he's a hero around here, sorry, but tough tit). Because the Republicans couldn't deliver on abortion to the base for 2006? Because Bill Frist had to pay back a favor or two? Who knows why?

Look. I'm not lamenting living in Panama. I really like it. I've gotten used to it and to a greater or lesser extent I like it more than the States. But sometimes I walk over to the mall and pass the video game store he loves, and I feel like crying I miss him so much.

Exile? Fuck it, man. That's not how the story's supposed to go. So, when I read about some poseur when the last thing in the world I ever wanted to have to do was something like this, I can't help but feel furious. If there's one pole star I've always had is that there's nothing glamourous about being an outlaw. It's just boredom punctuated by intense fear.

At least some measure of shame has been visited upon this woman, whereas I can hold my head up and know that I did the right thing for the right reasons. A fucked up system failed me, but I didn't fail myself. As ridiculous as the US law became, I obeyed it until I no longer could stateside, so I did the honorable thing and left.

I may come back for a little visit to see family and friends when I have little or no work but it will be a really long time before I'm able to work in the US again. Anti-legalized gambling is a signature issue of McCain's. Obama is on the record as being in favor of UIGEA and would not sign the Frank-Porter-Berkely repeal bill into law. Clinton said she would and maybe she owes Barney Frank enough to go through with it, but who can believe a word she says?

Besides other than Volstead and McCarran-Walter, has a criminal law ever come OFF the federal books by the legislative process?

So, I'll keep working and enjoying the experience of living elsewhere and the power one grants onesself by exercising one's opportunity to NOT live in the US. That is sort of an emotional Berlin Wall, but it's a story for another day.

Bookfraud said...

found my way via kofi's blog.

really, really interesting post from a much different viewpoint (i.e. white like me) than i've read to date.

i hadn't seen the interview, so thanks for posting excerpts. quite pathetic, in retrospect. of all the things one would lie about, this does seem the most bizarre -- write what you know, they tell you in class.

being wrapped up in the fraudulent aspects of seltzer's work, i hadn't stopped to think about the sociological implications of some suburban white person trying such a ruse. which are weirder and weirder (not to mention more and more racist) the more one thinks about it.

(oh, not to be a total dick, but while pythagoras didn't "discover" a2+b2=c2, he did offer a mathematical proof of the equation. i don't know about whether he claimed credit for discovering it or not. the chinese may have predated pythagoras with a geometric proof, which is why they call it something else in china. but never mind.)

Kala Nation said...

Thanks for this post.This has been going on for some time.And it is the sellout hip hop culture,that is allowing this.Many think nothing of White girls joining them in gangs crime ect.The whole notion of being Black is rooted in negativity.Why you you think she was able to pull this off for so long?In my latest post Culture of the damned I explain what is going on.

I am not Star Jones said...

maybe you should submit something to sarah mcgrath just to see what her response would be?

i love when love & consequences books happen because it expose the
media elite for what they truly are...
cloistered, myopic monkeys.

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