Today, I’ve done something a little…different. I brought Tammy McDonald to life, one of the main characters of SELLOUT. We do our first up-close-and-personal Q&A session. As a professional black woman, she shares a few thoughts on black men in today’s world. No need for trivial bios—the book expounds on that—we jump right into the meat of it.
James: So, Tammy, do you have a problem with black men today?
Tammy: Well, I can’t deny I have some issues with them. So many black men have become lost, caught up in some kind of hype that they have to be a thug, balla, nut-sack holdin’, pants saggin’, bitch callin’, N-word spittin’ P-I-M-P. I see it all the time in the media, and I’m tired of it.
James: I understand where you’re going, but I hope you’re not using the media as an instrument of how things really are. The media distorts the truth, especially with black women.
Tammy: True, but I don’t hear white men rapping about “bitch this, “n*gga that.” Treating women like hoes. Calling them out their name. That’s YOU guys, all–
James: Hold on, Tammy. Not all brothas do that. Personally, I never use the N-word or call women bitches. And not every young brotha is striving to be the next Lil Wayne. A lot are walking the path of Myron Rolle.
Tammy: But not enough. The lure of women, “paper,” and “twenty-fo’s” got too many brothas, what I call, “pimpnotized.” They feel like their status should be based on the number of women they have and Benjamins in their pockets. Materialistic bull. A good education just isn’t cool enough.
James: I agree with you…to an extent. There needs to be a balance in how we as blacks are portrayed.
Tammy: You’re missing my point. Black men need to step up!
James: Oh, really? In your opinion, how should we step up?
Tammy: For one, raise your kids! If more brothas took care of their responsibilities, we wouldn’t have half the problems in the community. A child who has both parents will become better adjusted to face the many obstacles of life. Too may sperm donors and not enough fathers out there. I don’t need to get into the statistics. You already know, James.
James: Yes, I do. My father wasn’t in my life growing up. But my grandfather was and he taught me life skills.
Tammy: Shouldn’t be that way, especially if you had a father.
James: I know. But, time out! We’re getting caught up in this “black men ain’t sh*t” drama—which is too damn routine, if you ask me. EVERY brotha I know—all the brothas in my circle of family and friends—are excellent fathers, despite the relationship with the child’s mother. It’s too easy to see us as degenerate knuckleheads than as proud dads.
Tammy: I’m just saying the stats don’t lie, but I admit, you have a point. I had the best daddy in the world.
James: Maybe it’s a generational thing. Black men back in the day seemed to have a stronger sense of community.
James: But! We need to turn this table around. Sistas…excuse me…SOME sistas give all black women a bad name, too. Nobody put a gun to the heads of those booty-poppin’ females on the rap videos. And how come a lot of sistas have all these hardcore requirements for the kind of men they want? Like a brotha has to be over six feet or drive a certain kind of car? There are a ton of good brothas who get overlooked because they didn’t have enough swag, money, or bad boy in ‘em. Nonsense!
Tammy: (laughs) Like my girl Sheryl, huh?
James: Yeah! That’s probably why she’s alone now! Plus, so many brothas want to be good fathers to their kids, but some sistas get too knee-deep in the baby mama drama.
Tammy: I agree. Some of us give you guys a hard time.
James: Right. I’m glad you’re admitting to that. You know…how come when there are bad apples in the black bunch, the whole bushel is bad? Other races don’t get the same depth of negative stereotypical bullsh*t as we do, except maybe Middle Easterners and Latinos. There are trashy, bitchy white women on reality shows all the time, but it never translates into ALL white women being trashy and bitchy.
Tammy: I know. That’s the thing about being a minority. Same thing with countless white men shooting up a place. Or a white man who smiles in your face during the day, but buries someone under the backyard shed at night.
James: Right, right. Oh, speaking of a white man, what’s up with you and Dale? And what about Terrell? Looks like you have a shot at vanilla in Dale or chocolate in Terrell, huh? Which one?
Tammy: (smiles) You’ll just have to find out for yourself.
James: Oh, really? So, you’ve obviously opened yourself up to jumping the fence, huh? And I see you haven’t given up on black men just yet.
Tammy: Maybe. Maybe not. I still believe black men are the finest men of ANY race. Terrell is no exception. But Dale…hmmm…that white boy…let’s just say he has skills, all right? Who knows what I’ll do? And hey, if Sheryl’s brother Dedrick can date Penelope, why can’t I date Dale?
James: Got a point. But Penelope has booty big time, like a typical sista.
Tammy: So? She’s still white. Long blond hair and everything. The Apple Pie of Beauty.
James: Well, what about you and your supposed newfound Jungle Fever? Are you saying white men or any other race are better than black men?
Tammy: (pauses) I’m just saying the brothas need to step it up. Too many sistas are fed up with the crap we get from our men.
James: White men can dish out the “crap”, too, now. Every race of man has their assholes. And by the way, who do you think runs those TV channels that make us look ignorant? It’s not just BET.
Tammy: (pauses) You’re right.
James. But anyway…hey, why are we changing the subject? Which one will it be–Terrell or Dale?
Tammy: (smiles again) You’ll just have to find out.