Archive for April, 2009

Happy Earth Day! (What do you get when you mix Black and Green?)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 22, 2009 by klysha

In honor of Earth Day I wanted to promote the Go Green message and explore why going green hasn’t really caught on in the Black community.

I learned from Stuff White People Like* that white people like the following:

T-shirts

Bumper Stickers

Recycling

And since the go green message has been  spread primarily by way of white people wearing T-shirts, and sporting bumper stickers on their cars it would appear to the average non-white person that the whole  green movement is a decidedly white phenomenon that they need not participate in. Sort of like extreme sports.

127110564v16_350x350_fronttl-go_green_grunge_shirtsmallimg_0814 This is such an unfortunate misconception! I am a black person and I have been trying to make efforts to greenify my life for several years now, but I have noticed that not many of my peers have jumped on the green bandwagon. I  have a few theories, that I will discuss shortly,  about why this is the case.

Now to the casual observer I probably don’t look very environmentally concious for the following reasons:

1)  I’m black.

2) I generally don’t wear T-shirts with Go Green themed slogans (refer to #1)

3) I don’t have a Go Green bumper sticker on my car (refer to #1) 

I’m hoping that I can send the message that being greener doesn’t require that you be white, wear green message t-shirts, or even that you defile your whip with tacky adhesives. It is indeed possible for black and green to mix and be beautiful.

As I said before I have devised a few theories as to why the green movement hasn’t quite taken the black community by storm yet.

1) The Black community has a number of well known social ills to contend with so when a socially concious black person is trying to choose a cause to get behind, saving the planet generally doesn’t make the cut.

2) Most green initiatives appear to be a lot of trouble. Let’s take recycling for example. It’s easier to chuck all your trash into one container than it is to sort out the recyclables. Also a lot of communities still don’t have recycling programs that make it much easier to do this. Black people generally don’t go out of their way to do things that they can’t see an immediate benefit from.

3) A lot of green initiative appear to be expensive.

Example:

w6472-lrg

2 pack of Energy efficient light bulbs $ 8.98

incandescent-light-bulb

2 pack of regular incandescent  light bulb $ 2.64

Which one do you think a budget concious black person is more likely to pick?

Of course in the long run the energy efficient light bulb will save money by using less electricity and potentially lasting up to 10 times longer than the regular light bulb.

4) A key reason I think going green hasn’t caught on in the black community  is the messengers for the cause  generally don’t look like or speak to us.  When black people think of environmentalists, images of hippies, hipsters, and other inexplicable white behavior come to mind.

treehug

 So given all of these barriers what should be done to make taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint more attractive to people of color?

To start I propose the following:

1) Steps need to be taken to make going green seem a little less like a white hipster trend….perhaps the term “Going Green” is a part of the problem. It’s catchy and short and can easily fit onto a T-shirt which automatically makes it attractive to white people. But it also makes it seem too much like a fad and not enough like a real lifestyle change.

2) Get more urban celebrities on the green bandwagon. This will help to make it cool among young black youth. Which in turn will make it even more cool among non-black youth. If we’re really lucky the hip hop hop image will make a shift from conspicious consumerism to conservation.

 I heart Luda

I heart Luda

I have to commend Ludacris because he is the first urban personality that I know of who has taken a stand to try to promote environmentalism. (On a personal note I luvs me some Luda).  Now how committed he actually is to living a greener life may be questionable since I’m pretty sure his raps still include a healthy dose of conspicious consumerism….but hey it’s a start and at least he was out there getting the message out.

3) Get more regular people who aren’t hipsters or hippies on board. Teachers, politicians, local business owners etc. It has to be made clear that being greener is not a white thing but an everybody thing.

4) And finally perhaps someone should create a dance craze that incorporates green initiative education in the lyrics. Maybe it will catch on like the electric slide, the Soulja Boy, and the Stanky Leg.

Until my proposals are put into effect here are some links that might help to spread Green education. 

Earth Day Network

15 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Reduce Your Trash to Almost Zero

Feel free to suggest other ways to make green the new black.

The dating minefield part I…Who should pay

Posted in Relationships with tags on April 20, 2009 by klysha

I have been tragically remiss at updating my blog lately and to all who have been waiting with baited breath for my next entry I say breathe please! I really meant to post something but every time I sit down at the computer to type I wind up playing word games on the net. And to be perfectly honest it actually happened this time too. But I managed to type something between rounds.

At any rate today I want to touch on one of the many minefields in today’s world of dating.* In  a world where in a rapidly increasing number of cases women make more than the man they are dating who should pay for dates?

The old school had a simple solution to this conundrum**. The guy pays duh! But today it may not be so simple. It seemsempty a little unfair for the guy to always bear the burden of financing activities when both people make money and both people have bills, especially in these tough economic times. But some guys still take pride in being able to treat their woman on an outing. But what happens when there’s a big financial imbalance leaning in the females direction. Should all dates be things the guy can afford? Is it emasculating for the woman to have to pay for the guy to do things that are outside of the guys budget? Do guys get offended when the girl offers to pay on dates? Should everything just be split fifty fifty? Should girls just avoid all of this and date up? (This of course is unrealistic for a lot of black women who want to date black men since we’d all be fighting for the same 11 available successful guys…but that’s another post entirely)

I suppose the answers to these questions vary from person to person. But it seems like it would be easier if there was some standard etiquette that everyone could follow just to make the whole process simpler. 

 I personally don’t think that getting to know someone should have to be a bank breaking process for either party. So I’m all for splitting the costs, either by going dutch or taking turns treating each other.  But a lot of guys don’t like to let the girl pay, at least not at first. Which I think is fine of course since letting the guy pay gives me an early gauge of  some of their personality traits. Are they generous, a cheapskate, the type that tries to impress you with their spending, financially responsible etc. Of course early dates aren’t necessarily always good gauges of future behavior since we all know we meet the representative.***

I’d love to get some feedback on this since I am one of the most clueless people around when it comes to dating and relationships.****

If only they were this easy to spot

If only they were this easy to spot

 In the event that I don’t get any feedback I will make up my own list of rules. Maybe I’ll share them with the world in a future post.

 

 

 

 

*I think I might do a series on the dating minefield…but I might not…but in case I do this will be called part I

** Incidentally, somewhat against my will, I’m reading Steve Harvey’s book “Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man.” I wanted to find out what the fuss was about. I’m only on chapter 2 and in this chapter is the following sentence:

Know this: It is your right to expect that a man will pay for your dinner, your movie ticket, your club entry fee, or whatever else he has to pay for in exchange for your time.

Is the old school on to something here??? Perhaps my liberal approach to dating does more harm than good in that it doesn’t allow the man to fulfil his primal need to be the provider. Feedback on this would be helpful.  

***This is all pretty irrelevant for me at the moment since it’s rare that things get much further than the text messaging stage with the guys I meet these days.  But I figure I’ll get back into the swing of dating eventually and I need to know the rules of engagement when I do.

****This of course doesn’t always stop me from giving my opinions. (I do have a policy against giving actual advice though to avoid bearing the burden of guilt when things go wrong. Giving opinions is a much less guilt ridden alternative when you want to impose your will into the affairs of other peoples lives)