Sunday, December 30, 2007

BMD Examines: The Power (and politics) of Presentation


Phillipe Copeland challenges the spin of image and perception when it comes to the examination of white teenagers and pregnancy versus that of black teenagers.

Phillipe writes: "For many the unmarried, black teenage mother has become a virtual icon of the alleged depravity and decline of "black culture". How often do you hear pundits, politicians and intellectuals bemoaning the depravity and decline of "white culture" because sometimes a young white woman gets pregnant when she didn't plan to? Like so called "black on black" crime, it appears that the rules are different when a white teenager gets pregnant."


It seems that in the wake of the Jaime Spears revelation we have an opportunity to see with clear lenses how a set of circumstances for black teenagers can be used to focus the collective conscience on carelessness, moral depravity and a dearth of hope while that same situation in the life of a white teenager acts a perfect opportunity to focus on maturity, courage and the potential to overcome obstacles.

What do you think about the disparity in portrayal? How much of its negative effects do you think would be avoided by pulling our children away from the television where they are constantly being packaged in one stereotypical way or another?

Do you think that as parents of black children it is imperative that we provide our children with every opportunity to be encouraged and self affirming, even when the action is less than skillful? Generations of young people having babies has proven that as difficult as it might be, the ultimate outcome is not always so grin and detrimental.

Labels: , ,

17 Comments:

Blogger Denmark Vesey said...

I think the stereotype of the unwed teenage black mother has finally caught up with the reality that teen pregnancy is not a race issue at all, but a class issue.

Interpreting pathology as race phenomena is a national pastime and a collective exercise in intellectual laziness.

Is there really such a thing as “black teens” and “white teens” anymore? Or are they simply American teens? Black and white teens alike consume the same MTV, the same rap, the same "Knocked Up" movies and the same processed fast food.

They attend the same schools. They wear the same Nikes. Both groups attend church less than every before.

America is no longer divided between "Good Times" and "The Brady Bunch". Like Eminem said: "What do you do when your mother does more drugs than you do?"

The so-called suburbs are just as ghetto as the projects.

A society that promotes sex to teens and discourages marriage as much as we do, should be happy the teen pregnancy rates are as low as they are.

Is there really a stigma associated with teen pregnancy anymore? If it is, it is not because of any moral failure on the part of the teens in question - but more of a critique of his or her future earning potential.

Stigma? What stigma? It’s not because the kids are having sex. We give them condoms and birth control pills SO they can have sex. Is this presumed stigma because the teen is unmarried? Hardly. Marriage, like religion, is mocked in this country.

That's where Bill Cosby made his mistake. He approached an American problem as if it were a "black" problem.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I hit my sons over the head with the message that you don't have kids till you're married because I know that they aren't getting that message from society. And to say that it's preferable to have parents be married is perceived as being not open-minded.

I also think Denmark's comments are very true.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Phillipe Copeland said...

I'm probably misunderstanding what Denmark is saying. If so, I happy to be corrected. My understanding is that the idea that the issue is "class" rather than race does not take into account that class in our society is racialized. What I mean is that within various classes of Americans, race is still a significant factor. Poor blacks and poor whites share similar challenges but their experiences are not identical. Likewise with the middle class. To be black and middle class and white and middle class are not the same. Likewise, a black teen mother and white teen mother may be morally equivalent in the sense that neither is better than the other but they are not yet socially equivalent. I would agree that the cultural issues you described should be discussed, but in addition to not instead of talking about race.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Jasai said...

Phillipe, I think those are important clarifying points you make. We can not underestimate the effect that the differences in presentation have on the psyche and subconscious of our young people.

Even if we take into account that many young people may listen to the same music and find themselves interested in the same popular culture components, there is no denying that the images, accompanying narratives and resulting perceptions of our teenagers finds a home in the place where they form opinions about the value of people and social order.

Discounting this reality is a great disservice to our young people who are left to decide that the way they feel about themselves (even if they don't know why) is irrelevant and a figment of their imagination – because of course all kids listen to the same Snoop, wear the white T and spit the same slang. The larger problem being that this lowered self esteem as a result of images taken in, fuels subsequent behavior, creating what we are now experiencing as this unfortunate self-deprecating cycle.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

There is a perception problem here. I think it may come down to means. Too many poor black girls get pregnant. So they then are forced to live of the system. Whereas a pregnant white girl like Jamie has the means to raise her child without the intervention of the system. Jamie and girls like her are almost immune to the statistics and stereotypes because it's so unusual for cases like hers to be seen by the masses. We can only make judgments based on what we see and we see are black faces in the welfare offices and white faces on tabloid magazine covers.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Aly Cat 121 said...

It's always going to be one sided because he who controls the media also controls the mind.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Kundalini Yogini said...

Sitting here just now, listening to the dharma it struck me that this is the way it is.

And i would have to say that gratefully, he who controls the media only controls the mind of the man who chooses to consume it.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Trula said...

I am a former teenage mother. Based on my experience and from talking with other teen moms from varying class/race backgrounds, I think the primary cause of teen parenthood among underage teens is uninvolved parents.

7:19 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

prada outlet, kate spade outlet online, coach outlet, burberry outlet online, longchamp outlet, longchamp outlet online, nike outlet, jordan shoes, ray ban outlet, oakley vault, tiffany jewelry, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany and co jewelry, ray ban sunglasses, gucci handbags, christian louboutin, michael kors outlet store, longchamp handbags, christian louboutin shoes, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike air max, coach outlet store online, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet online, prada handbags, louis vuitton handbags, coach outlet, tory burch outlet online, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton, chanel handbags, true religion, cheap oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online, red bottom shoes, michael kors handbags, nike free, christian louboutin outlet, michael kors outlet, polo ralph lauren, kate spade outlet, coach purses, nike air max, burberry outlet online, true religion outlet, oakley sunglasses

12:13 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

ralph lauren pas cher, air max pas cher, hermes pas cher, longchamp, ralph lauren, longchamp pas cher, louis vuitton uk, ray ban pas cher, nike air max, nike roshe, vans pas cher, nike free pas cher, sac michael kors, scarpe hogan, hollister, abercrombie and fitch, converse pas cher, lacoste pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, nike roshe run, burberry pas cher, chaussure louboutin, north face pas cher, true religion outlet, air jordan, north face, louis vuitton, louis vuitton pas cher, mulberry, timberland, nike air max, oakley pas cher, hollister, tn pas cher, ray ban uk, nike blazer pas cher, guess pas cher, nike air force, lululemon, air max, true religion jeans, michael kors uk, barbour, new balance pas cher, michael kors canada, sac louis vuitton, nike free

12:14 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

north face jackets, reebok shoes, ugg, nike huarache, uggs on sale, ugg soldes, celine handbags, north face jackets, giuseppe zanotti, marc jacobs outlet, ugg outlet, uggs outlet, replica watches, birkin bag, bottega veneta, ghd, vans outlet, soccer jerseys, babyliss, canada goose outlet, mont blanc pens, asics shoes, insanity workout, canada goose outlet, canada goose outlet, nike trainers, nike roshe, ugg boots, lululemon outlet, canada goose, longchamp, soccer shoes, ferragamo shoes, chi flat iron, mac cosmetics, wedding dresses, ugg boots clearance, valentino shoes, instyler ionic styler, jimmy choo shoes, herve leger, nfl jerseys, beats headphones, abercrombie and fitch, mcm handbags, hollister, new balance outlet, uggs outlet, p90x workout

12:16 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

nike air max, montre femme, vans, hollister clothing, toms outlet, canada goose, swarovski jewelry, moncler, iphone 6 case, pandora charms, canada goose, gucci, uggs canada, ray ban, moncler, timberland shoes, karen millen, thomas sabo uk, converse, pandora uk, converse shoes, parajumpers outlet, lancel, moncler, coach outlet, moncler outlet, louboutin, moncler, supra shoes, ugg, links of london uk, baseball bats, moncler, oakley, louis vuitton canada, air max, pandora jewelry, hollister canada, swarovski uk, hollister, juicy couture outlet, juicy couture outlet, moncler outlet, replica watches, ralph lauren, wedding dress, canada goose pas cher, canada goose

12:18 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

oakley sunglasses wholesale, chanel handbags, burberry pas cher, tory burch outlet, nike free, nike air max, nike outlet, michael kors pas cher, longchamp outlet, ugg boots, jordan shoes, replica watches, louboutin pas cher, christian louboutin shoes, polo outlet, jordan pas cher, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet online, longchamp pas cher, replica watches, louis vuitton, kate spade outlet, ray ban sunglasses, air max, gucci handbags, louis vuitton outlet, christian louboutin uk, uggs on sale, prada handbags, cheap oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, sac longchamp pas cher, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, ugg boots, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany jewelry, nike free run, nike roshe, tiffany and co, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, prada outlet, polo ralph lauren, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses

6:05 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

ralph lauren uk, nike air max, uggs outlet, michael kors, true religion jeans, coach purses, true religion outlet, north face uk, hogan outlet, ray ban pas cher, coach outlet store online, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, abercrombie and fitch uk, nike air force, timberland pas cher, true religion outlet, lululemon canada, nike roshe run uk, polo lacoste, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, sac vanessa bruno, nike blazer pas cher, coach outlet, hollister uk, nike free uk, north face, sac hermes, new balance, michael kors outlet online, hollister pas cher, michael kors, oakley pas cher, nike air max uk, burberry outlet, kate spade, nike tn, converse pas cher, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet, replica handbags, guess pas cher, burberry handbags

6:07 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

iphone 6s plus cases, nike trainers uk, mont blanc pens, herve leger, new balance shoes, chi flat iron, nike huaraches, bottega veneta, soccer jerseys, iphone 6 plus cases, p90x workout, oakley, wedding dresses, lululemon, timberland boots, mcm handbags, louboutin, vans outlet, instyler, ralph lauren, north face outlet, hollister clothing, abercrombie and fitch, asics running shoes, iphone 6s cases, iphone cases, mac cosmetics, babyliss, iphone 5s cases, valentino shoes, nfl jerseys, jimmy choo outlet, soccer shoes, north face outlet, longchamp uk, giuseppe zanotti outlet, hermes belt, iphone 6 cases, baseball bats, insanity workout, reebok outlet, s6 case, ipad cases, celine handbags, hollister, beats by dre, ghd hair, nike roshe run, ferragamo shoes, nike air max

6:09 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, moncler outlet, replica watches, thomas sabo, lancel, louis vuitton, juicy couture outlet, wedding dresses, moncler, ugg pas cher, louis vuitton, canada goose uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, swarovski crystal, vans, supra shoes, louis vuitton, pandora charms, pandora uk, toms shoes, moncler, canada goose jackets, pandora jewelry, ugg, converse, canada goose, barbour, juicy couture outlet, canada goose outlet, pandora jewelry, moncler, hollister, canada goose outlet, canada goose, canada goose, canada goose outlet, ugg uk, barbour uk, swarovski, marc jacobs, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, ray ban, moncler uk, converse outlet, nike air max, moncler outlet, doudoune moncler, karen millen uk, links of london, montre pas cher, coach outlet

6:12 PM  
Blogger Zheng junxai5 said...

zhengjx20160510
michael kors bags
louis vuitton outlet online
nike store uk
retro 11
rolex watches
nike air max
true religion jeans
air jordan femme
coach factory outlet
louis vuitton bags
cheap rolex watches
louis vuitton purses
coach outlet store online
oakley outlet
ray ban sunglasses uk
oakley outlet
adidas superstar trainers
michael kors outlet
louis vuitton outlet stores
ray ban
ray bans
michael kors bags
nike uk
nike free uk
adidas originals store
beats by dre outlet
nike air max uk
cheap jordan shoes
coach factory outlet
ray ban sunglasses outlet
ray ban sunglasses outlet
adidas wings
coach factory outlet online
nfl jerseys
replica rolex watches
tory burch flats
kate spade handbags
oakley sunglasses
cheap jordans
louboutin shoes

2:11 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home