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What Tyler Perry says about Dark-skinned brothas

Posted: October 10, 2012 by In These Eyes in Racial Issues, Uncategorized

Though I’ve been ranting and raging for years about this guy, I’m going to try to keep this under 1,00o words. I swear.

One thing I can never despise — no matter the circumstance — is a Black man who came from nothing to make something of himself. Tyler Perry, a man whose childhood was  Survived unbearable tragedy and became one of the most successful Black men in Hollywood. It’s no surprise that his net worth is around $350 million, considering his vast body of work includes the award-winning “Precious,” TBS’s “House of Pain” and, most notably, a series of plays and movies starring himself as everyone’s favorite wise-yet-dangerous Black grandmother: “Madea.”

But there’s something very wrong with Tyler Perry’s work. Something very damaging — something, that’s just as dangerous and perpetuating to image culture as Sambo and Aunt Jemima were in the 20th century. Behind a glowing mask of Christian values and woman-empowerment, Tyler Perry’s work attacks with subtle, damning perspectives on Black men — but more specifically — dark-skinned Black men.

‘Dark-skinned Black men are abusive — just like my daddy’

Tyler Perry’s experience with an abusive father are well-documented. According to CNN, Perry’s father locked him in a room and whipped him with a vacuum cord until “the skin was coming off his back,” and constantly told him he was nothing. Perry’s father was the bane of his existence: destroying his household, terrorizing his mother, ruining everything. Though I was unable to find images of Emmit Perry sr., I wonder if his dad is dark-skinned, and if all of Perry’s bad male characters are based on him?  If you look at any of his movies, it would make a hell-of-a-lot of sense.

But in the words of “Reading Rainbow’s: “You don’t have to take my word for it.”

***

Film: ““

Synopsis: A woman is married a wealthy lawyer who suddenly decides to leave her for his white mistress (the greatest sin in a Black marriage). She is eventually remarried to the U-Haul driver who helped her move out of her place.

Bad Black man’s color (her husband): .

Man who saves her from the abusive relationship (her U-Haul-driver-turned-lover): .

Ok, ok. Maybe that’s just a coincidence. Let’s go to the next one.

Film:  ““

Synopsis: A tale about a woman who announces her engagement to a man, but tells her family that he is physically abusive to her. She’s rescued by a humble bus driver.

Bad Black man’s color (her abusive fiancee):

Man who saves her from the abusive relationship (her bus-driver-turned-lover):

 … Perhaps it’s just a small casting error? Next one:

Film: ““

Synopsis: A lawyer who is assigned to defend a prostitute in a case, falls in love with her after his wife sabotages her records to get her put in prison

Bad Black man (the lawyer): 

Sidenote: he’s technically the protagonist, but leaving your wife for a prostitute makes you bad, in my books

Cheated on wife:

It doesn’t stop

Film: “I Can Do Bad All By Myself”

Synopsis: An alcoholic woman who is involved with an abusive relationship with a married man, is given the responsibility of taking care of her niece and nephew. A Columbian immigrant from her church moves in and saves her from her abusive relationship

Bad Black man (her boyfriend):

Man who saves her from her abusive relationship:

***

The case is clear: Almost every relationship-killing, abusive male in his movies is a dark-skinned Black man. Every person who comes to save the damsel in distress is a light-skinned Black man (except for the one case where the antagonist wasn’t quite as dark, then they brought in a Columbian to save the day). If you think this is a coincidence, you’re being naive.

The dark men are slapping their wives, leaving them for white women and prostitutes, and even attempting to rape their nieces. They’re primitive — bestial, even — and don’t see how wonderful the women are that they’re with. Just like Tyler Perry’s father.

We’re supposed to hate them. Be disgusted with them. Cheer on as they get hit in the face with hot grits. Grin as they are shot and paralyzed. Feel relieved when their lighter-skinned counterparts sneak in and save the day. And we’re never given a great view of what a dark-skinned Black man is like. Only that we should run from them and seek a lighter man.

Because the lighter, The righter.

I can’t even begin to explain the damage this does to Black men. Don’t we have enough issues? According to “Young Black Americans and the Criminal Justice System: Five Years Later” “One in three Black men between the ages of 20 and 29 years old is under correctional supervision or control.” According to the  Schott Foundation for Public Education, ”Only 41% of Black men graduate from high school in the United States.” We are poorly educated, are targeted and oppressed by the justice system, and have no positive male figures in our lives (According to Reuters, 56 percent of Black children lived in single-parent households).

Do we really need Tyler Perry to portray dark-skinned Blacks as uncivilized beasts? Do we really need Tyler Perry to attack Black men as Black women’s problems, as opposed to people who, just like him, experienced a lot and needed help? When Black people choose to display black people like dirt, it validates the very stereotypes and prejudices we overcame to get to where we are. Which isn’t even that far.

Perry is a traumatized man, no question. But his trauma is negatively contributing to the racial trauma of the nation and giving respectable Black men, like myself, more barriers to breakdown and more reasons to not be trusted.

So for the sake of everything Black in the world, somebody get this man a counselor — or get him the hell away from screenwriting.

Issa Rae’s web show has over 12.1 million views on YouTube, and over 91,000 subscribers. “J” navigates through life as an awkward Black woman facing issues of body image, race, love, work, sex and culture. She’s real, flawed, eccentric, introverted, damn hilarious, and demands sympathy and empathy with her internalized narration.

In a world free of Western society’s image culture (a world I daydream about 30 times a day), that alone would warrant a series, a pilot or at least a one-time TV special. But, despite its online success and established fan base, “Awkward Black Girl” will never grace the silver screen. Not because it wouldn’t be successful, or because it’s not written in an appropriate format for television, but because it offers an image of young Black people that white CEOs don’t understand, and have no interest in portraying.

So how could Issa Rae change her show so that CEOs could enjoy it and, in turn, want it to be on their TV? I’ve compiled a list of easy fixes to “Awkward Black Girl” that would make it more “marketable.”

More fights: One of the biggest issues with J is her passive nature. She’s so nice, so soft spoken, and  she stores her frustrations internally. She obviously didn’t get the memo; Black women are aggressive, violent and threatening. CEOs aren’t really comfortable running a calm, smart Black woman who’s daily life reflects those of many people of all races — They can just get a white woman to have that kind of show. A Black woman’s place on TV is to be so barbaric — so bestial — that she brings down the entire race, and fails to relate to anybody with a brain in their head. If Rae wants to get “Awkward Black Girl” on TV, she with her should be modeling her show after “,” or “.” Angry women of color clambering for men and behaving uncivilly.

Oh, and for good measure, she should change the title to “The Misadventures of Angry Black Girl.” They’ll love that shit.

Make the main character’s skin tone lighter; give her European-looking hair: What was Rae thinking when she chose to be the main character? Doesn’t she know that the protagonist of a show must always meet the European standards of beauty? Rae should go out and find a fair-skinned woman with a weave to play her character. Rae’s hair is too short and natural, skin is too dark and body too curvaceous for white people to relate to her image. She’s gotta be as close to white as possible, because it’s more comforting to viewers when they know a woman is (or looks) half-white.

Research from “” and “” shows that light-skinned Black people were more likely to earn employment than equally-qualified Black people, that light-skinned Black women get 12 percent less prison time than dark-skinned Black women, and there’s even research that indicates that Black men prefer light-skinned women over dark-skinned ones.

Ever since the slave days, the U.S. has always been more friendly and lenient toward Black people that don’t look “all the way Black.” That hasn’t changed one iota. And CEOs have no interest in doing anything about it.

I’d even go as far as to recommend Rae to hire a white woman to play the Black protagonist, but Hollywood doesn’t find it ethical to hire white people to play people of color, anymore. Just ask “” or “” (What? Both of them were white? Nevermind, then).

More dependence on men: That whole “Independent Black woman” stuff , but if you want to be on television, you’ve gotta be a character who depends on a man to do well. Viacom has this all figured out. “.” “.” “.” “.” All of these shows feature women of color who are gold-digging or remaining in relationships where their main claim to wealth depends on their relationship with their husband or baby’s father. .

TV has made it clear: Black women are to exist in the shadows of their men. Their well-being is to be judged by the state of their relationship with their men. Issa is independent and speaks of romance a lot, but she doesn’t need a man to make a living. And that’s the problem. She needs to go back into that script and make her character more desperate and weak.

More booty-shakin’ sexiness: Self-explanatory. Black girls have big butts. Black girls shake those big butts. The world needs to see yet another booty-shaking Black girl. They never get turned away. Maybe her main graphic can chance to a picture of a light-skinned vixen with her rear-end inexplicably in the air. Oh, and maybe she can also be holding a gun and wearing leopard-print (No joke, I actually found after I wrote that line). A Black woman has to be hypersexualized.

Kill the positive cultural significance: A show about a Black woman’s racial situation cannot exist on television, because it would shatter over 400-years of hard work to establish these racial constructs. The show is too controversial. ABG needs to be about her trying to be a singer, or trying to cope with life as a single mother who is waiting for her husband to get out of jail (as long as she doesn’t say anything controversial about the prison industrial complex, of course). That would make the story more safe. And it could even show white people just how messed up Black households are, and they can feel some empathy for Black plight, right before they tune into Tosh.0 to laugh at  (I did this awkward thing between laughing and punching my keyboard when I saw this).

If Rae wants a show starring a Black woman to be featured on TV today, the formula is simple: it has to maintain the offensive, Sambo-esque Black image culture of today, it has to be mentally numbing at best and it has to have no potential to inspire people of color to make a difference in their lives. Because this is Hollywood, not Harlem.


Sarcasm aside: Issa Rae should probably be honored that ABG was rejected by television CEOs. It means it doesn’t suck.

Another X

Posted: October 2, 2011 by In These Eyes in Music


Here’s a lil’ something my man T.I.M produced, and I decided to spit a lil’ on. His sample game is pretty ferocious, but unfortunately, his computer crashed. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE GET HOMIE A MAC??? This is a sneak preview of the “Saxophone” half of Spaceships and Saxophones. Enjoy.

Posted: September 5, 2011 by In These Eyes in Music


This one is something a lil different. I don’t think too many hip-hop songs break out something like this.

Hollywood

Posted: September 2, 2011 by In These Eyes in Music


This is one of my favorite beats. It uses a sample I’ve been fantasizing about since I first thought about producing. Enjoy.

Pistol Grip Pump

Posted: August 31, 2011 by In These Eyes in Music


Another one. This one samples an old gangsta joint.

Weirdbeauty

Posted: August 31, 2011 by In These Eyes in Music


Freestyled lyrics, so don’t judge. But I’ve been trying to work with this vocoder to get some nice vocals.

Diamondsinmylac

Posted: August 29, 2011 by In These Eyes in Music

You’ve heard this sample a thousand times, but you ain’t heard it like this …

If only I had some headphones right now …

Posted: July 29, 2011 by In These Eyes in Music

Started making this beat and it sounds really good from my speakers, but I can’t really mix it all the way without a decent pair of headphones. Y’all let me know what y’all think of the rough draft.

Oh, and see if you can figure out the melody. 

Posted: June 29, 2011 by In These Eyes in Music
Tags:

This is a little snippet I made for the Multimedia desk to use on a video in the future … Check it out. I’m really tempted to use it for a song.