.

Update: Brand NEW Posts Coming Soon!!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Sanctuary of Silence

“If we’re adding to the noise, turn off this song.”—Switchfoot

Today I was awakened by a thunderous sound that shook the entire house. It was 7am on a beautiful Sabbath morning, when some insensitive prick decided it was a good idea to---well I have no idea what this callous creature was doing, but he was doing it awfully loud. In fact, the deafening, house-shaking sounds have sliced through my peaceful slumber several times the last few months. As luck would have it, this noise tends to happen on weekends—my only time to sleep in.

A little known fact about me: if you want me to remain loving, sweet, and kind, DON’T WAKE ME UP! I am NOT a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. A person would fair far better putting his head into a rabid lions mouth, than interrupting my much loved snooze time. That’s not hyperbole! I am truly the most venomous, livid, intolerable, cantankerous sistah that ever breathed, when someone wakes me up! Today was no exception. And so when this dude’s racket jolted me into the land of the conscious, I put on my jacket and a pair of flip flops, grabbed my glasses, and stormed out of the house. I was going to find this bastard!

The sunlight burned my eyes as they squinted to find this noisemaker. The noise persisted. I looked up and down my street, but no noisemakers. I decided to walk a little. After a few minutes of investigating, I discovered that the sound was not coming from my block, but the next block over! This jackass didn’t even live on my block, but his noise was assaulting my silence. Sometimes, though rarely, I wish homicide were legal. Too tired to walk around the block, I went back to my house enraged.

I use this story to illustrate the importance of quite time. I like to awaken to the melodic symphony of birds chirping, the breeze rustling through the trees, the soothing hum of crickets. Yet in our world full of meaningless distractions, I find I am one of the rare people who appreciates these small treasures. We have high definition television, home entertainment systems that can rival any movie theater, video game consoles attached to 52 inch speakers, stereos systems with the volume capacity to exceed a live rock concert. We have cell phone ring tones that blare out the latest tunes and rip the silence into. We have unnecessary inescapable noise. When was the last time you heard silence. I don’t even think we realize how much we miss it.

I’ve mentioned before that I grew up in the ghetto where gunshots, helicopters, car stereos, and sirens assassinated the silence. Peaceful restful sleep in those conditions was a luxury. When I moved to the “burbs” I just knew I would enjoy peace and quite, but then a new enemy reared its noisy head: the lawn mower and all of its accomplices. In my neighborhood it is not uncommon for people to be mowing their lawns at six oclock in the morning. In fact, it’s like a domino effect. It starts out as a single mower. Then, in what I suspect is an effort to keep up with the Joneses, another neighbor will bring out his noisemaker and shatter the silence, than other and another. And this will continue for hours. People around here are very touchy about their precious lawns. My neighbors spend hours making sure every last blade of grass is perfectly manicured. In the wintertime I am bombarded with the sound of snowplows and leaf blowers. The noise rarely stops. It makes me wonder, if our mornings are bustling the madness that is the rat race, and our evenings are spent watching our high definition televisions, and our weekends are spent mowing lawns and maintaining our property appearance, when do we have time for silence?

It has been said that empty barrels make the most noise. Perhaps that is why our world has become so boisterous. There is something missing. Despite our attempts to keep up appearances, we long for something and without it we are empty. We don’t like that longing feeling and so it drives us to make more noise in an attempt to alleviate it. When do we meditate? When do we spend time with friends without the distraction of our entertainment systems or high-speed Internet? And yet we wonder why more and more of our population takes psychotropic medication! Our psyche’s are in overload! We don’t allow them to rest. We don't allow ourselves the privilege to take sanctuary in the solitude of silence.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pseudo-Christianity

I am starting a new religion. It is called Pseudo-Christianity. It will be remarkably similar to the old outmoded Christianity only it will have a postmodernist twist. Pseudo-Christianity is an all-inclusive religion. We teach that all people are going to heaven, no matter what sins they have not confessed or what god/gods/or lack thereof they believe in. So as not to offend anyone with trivial things like truth, we teach that all paths lead to heaven, Buddhism, Rastafarianism, Paris Hiltonism, hey this is an equal opportunity religion! And don’t worry about learning scripture; just do whatever your FEEL. The Deity of Pseudo-Christianity is a loving God who will love you no matter what, infinitely, and never ever chastise or punish you for wrongdoing. Ha! That’s the old fashion way. This God understands.

Gay? Hey we don’t discriminate. In fact we encourage you to continue your homosexual lifestyle because our Pseudo-Deity commanded us not to judge others.

Committing adultery? No problem. We’ll turn a blind eye to it, even if we see you bringing someone to church/mosque/synagogue/Starbucks (hey church is wherever you want it to be) who is not your wife. After all, all have done not so nice things and fallen short of the glory of God.

Atheist? Hey God loves you too even if you don’t believe He does. In fact we have churches that won’t even mention God’s name so as not to offend you. After all we don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

Go to church/mosque/synagogue/Starbucks on Saturday or Sunday or heck even Wednesday whatever day is convenient for you despite the fact that the Bible says, “remember the SEVENTH day to keep it holy”. The Bible is a very old book that doesn’t fit in with these modern times. We teach that scripture is whatever you want it to be! Because this is a new hip religion we teach that you can pick the scripture of your chose and exclude or explain away the rest just so that it fits your needs!

Swear, curse, hate, lie, and blaspheme? Whatever! Just be sure to wear a nice suite for worship (which ever day you choose to go) or if you don’t care about dressing up to give God your best, at least iron your t-shirt and jeans before you go to the house of the Pseudo-Lord to showboat your holier-than-thou attitude. Hey Self-righteousness is worth two points in Pseudo-Christianity (just ignore that bit in Isaiah about our righteousness being filthy rags).

No more being burdened with guilt about your sins and the fact that God’s Son had to die a tortuous death so that you might have salvation. That’s the old way of thinking and it made a lot of people feel bad and a lot of unbelievers uncomfortable. Sins, smins! Pseudo-Christianity will not bother to call sin by its right name. In fact in our revised version of the Bible we have replaced the word “sin” with the euphemism “not so nice thing to do.” See how much friendlier and all-inclusive that sounds! Good? Bad? Right? Wrong? Hey it’s all relative!

You do what you do, I do what I do and as long as you go to church/mosque/synagogue/Starbucks/the Nickleback concert/ at least once and a while, know at least one scripture (or passage from Shakespeare), sing at least one gospel song (or one song that has God’s name somewhere in it) and can smugly rub that in someone’s face you are saved! After all as long as there are people worse than you that means you can’t be all that bad? Right?

Baptism? Water? Kool-Aid? Immersion? Running through Mrs. Jones’s sprinkler system on the way home from the strip joint or getting caught in the rain on the way to the rave? Don’t sweat it (actually sweat might also count as baptism. Why not?) Everything goes.

Communion? Hey didn’t you eat crackers to settle your stomach when you had that hangover? That’s acceptable.

Prayer? What a formality! Pseudo-Deity knows your heart and mind. You don’t have to pray.

Do what you want to do. Be who you want to be. Pseudo-All-Inclusive Deity loves you and wants you to be happy. Welcome to Pseudo-Christianity. We make fun of religion!

*Pseudo-Christianity is a proud sponsor of NAMbLA (North American Man/boy Love Association, VHMT (Voluntary Human Extinction Movement), Al Qaeda and everything in between!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

One Prayer To The Next



“In between this am I gonna find away to defeat this…am I ever gonna find it?”--Lifehouse

I am someone who lives from one prayer to the next. A fragile person always plagued by anxiety or some seemingly insurmountable circumstance. There’s never a shortage of things to worry about. There are always things in my past and present that can invoke a bitter depression. Such is the life of this neurotic. Sanity so easily becomes a slippery, transient thing. I grip as tightly to it as I can but I can feel it sliding out of my grasp. I frequently fear losing it. The ups and downs of a turbulent life crash down on me like furious waves, sweeping me away into their raging depths. Will I ever be ok? Will I ever reach a point of stability? Can impossible dreams transform themselves into viable realities? I think, pray, strive harder.

The onerous weight of the world on my back and the mounting pressures of life at my feet leave me disoriented and overwhelmed and yet they provoke a restless energy inside of me. I am frequently, longing yet fearing my own expectations. Exhausted, yet dying for more. Have I reached an impasse? My mantra: One prayer to the next, one miracle to the next. That is how I survive—why I have not yet succumbed to the madness.

But even as I examine my beliefs and worldview I remain perpetually conflicted. Torn between my morality and principles and the incompatible relativists attitudes of the majority. Continuously pressured to bend to a point of breaking: to sacrifice those delicate, world-forgotten principles or to face humiliation and contempt. These conflicts play out in my everyday life. I thrive only from one prayer to the next.

All of these things lead me to wonder at what point will the labyrinth become easier to navigate? When do I get to that definitive “ah ha” moment. That point where everything unfolds, comes together, and makes sense. The more knowledgeable I become, the more aware I am of what I do not know. The more questions I pose, the less answers are available.

But through the chaos, I hang on to the promises of God…from one prayer to the next.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Good Black Men!




A lot of my writing paints a bleak picture of the black man’s current condition. He is bombarded with the cruelties of a racist society, which translates into inferior access to education, higher likelihood of incarceration, inadequate health care, and inevitably poverty and shorter life expectancy (approximately 65 years compared to a white man's 75 year life expectancy). It seems he has been abused by all of the social institutions that are supposed to protect him. To top it all off, the media has a field day with him! He is portrayed as an oversexed, hyper-masculine misogynist who neglects all of his responsibilities in order to pursue a lecherous and hedonistic lifestyle. He is that “down low brother” (as if other races of men have not engaged in the same deplorable behavior), he is the drug dealer, the hustler, the baller, the exploiter, the white-woman luster. Unfortunately, many of these things are true, even if they are exaggerated greatly by our media for the purposes of destroying the black race.

Yet, amidst the ashes of the damaged and pathological brothers who masochistically oppress themselves even as they are being oppressed, there remains a remnant of brothers who defy all of the stereotypes and negative images. These men stay loyal to their woman and children and work tirelessly to maintain the black family. These men are the subjects of this post. Nothing negative that I’ve written or stated against the black man on this blog or any other public forum refers to these particular men.

One such man is my father, who could have, like his brethren, chosen to neglect my brother and I, especially after his relationship with my mother ended. Yet, he continued to work multiple jobs in order to provide us with the things that we wanted and needed. He loves black people, and he loves black women. He is conscientious about the things occurring in the black community, supports the black community and the black church, has never been locked up, votes, and has not succumbed to the many vices in the black community. My father is by no stretch of the imagination perfect. He and I have had many fights, arguments, and issue throughout the years, but even during those times I’ve never doubted whether he loved my brother and I. In fact, even though I am well pass the age where any one would expect him to take care of me, he continues to offer support. The most recent example of this occurred in the last few weeks when I was unable to afford the thousands of dollars necessary for an unexpected and extensive dental treatment. My dad is NOT rich, but he put himself in debt and assumed the financial risk so that I would not have to struggle to incur them. (On my meager salary every tooth in my mouth would have rotted before I was able save up enough money to have them treated!) Growing up my brother and I were the only children in the family who had a father active in our lives. In fact, the majority of the black people I knew (and know now) have had no such luxury. Their fathers abandoned them years ago and never returned. I realized that I am exceedingly and divinely blessed. Because of my Dad, despite the many sad excuses for men that I have encountered, I believe that there is still a vestige of good-ole-fashion strong black brothers!

The problem with the black community is that there are too many status quo black men and not enough of the good-ole-fashion strong brothers (see notes for details). Those in the first group are practically innumerable, while the latter group (what our community is in dire need of) wanes dramatically as time presses on. The result: we have a surplus of damaged and un-reparable-babydaddy-hustler types that mar our community and make being black a shameful thing! We (myself included) spend so much time marching for, speaking out against, researching, incarcerating, and enabling the pathological one’s that we forget to appreciate and nurture the good ones. And so to those men, wherever they are, whoever they are, and however little remain, I say thank you. You make me proud to be black!


*Just a footnote, that when I talk about the black man I am mainly talking about African American men! Black men in other countries/cultures would be ostracized for behaving the way the typically African American male behaves!
*There used to be a time (about 30 or 40 years ago) when the good black men outnumbered the garbage ones and because of that our families were stronger than white families. Black marriages were even less likely to end in divorce than that of whites. So even when the white family was struggling, we remained resilient. Our strong families produced a thriving black community, compared with today’s declining one. Remember a community is only as strong as its members and its members are only as strong as their families, thus the family is the backbone of any society. The black man's absence has severely devastated the black family and subsequently the entire African American population.

On the Soapbox again.

It's 2:15 in th morning and I'm tired, but don't want to go to sleep so I'm doing the next best thing: blogging. Check out this awesome clip first. I love the lady, I want to give her a high five. I heard her speak and almost jumped up and down on my bed. I like that the cold hard stats have not turned her into the cynic that I have morphed into over the past few years. I also agree that we need to get back to discipline, even if I don't agree in her method of discipline. This woman is on point!



Okay and here's my tired little rant responding to a few of the points she so eloquently brought up.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A Single Question

I attended a local swimming class for beginners about twice a week. I have a love-hate relationship with the water, in that soaring through the pool is truly a liberating experience. It frees my mind and diminishes my stress. Yet, having been cursed with no coordination, I frequently sink, inhale water (which burns my sinuses and leaves me congested the next day), trip, flounder and did I mention sink? I often wonder if one day I’ll ever have peace with the water--if it will ever seem less intimidating. I wonder if swimming well will ever seem less impossible.

There is an adorable kid who waits outside of the pool for her mom to finish swimming. We have forged some kind of relationship in that she feels comfortable walking up to me and giving me a hug, talking my ear off, and asking me the most embarrassing questions about my life. Given her precocious nature, very little gets pass her. And so one day having known me for only a few short weeks she asked me a single question—THE single question. “So do you have boyfriend?”

“No.” I answer shyly, taken aback by her directness.

Inevitably she wanted to know why.

“Because I like being single. I enjoy it.”

She scrunched up her nose and probed some more, “How old are you?”

“I’m 22.”

“And you don’t want a boyfriend.”

“Nope”

“Why not. If I were 22 I’d have a boyfriend. Don’t you think boys are cute?”

“I sure do, but I have a busy life. I don’t have time for all the relationship drama. Sides I like being single.”

These answers made no sense to her 10year old mind. She insists that I should have a partner. One day I walked into the recreation center talking on my cell phone. When I hung up her curious eyes met mine. “Who was that? Was that you’re boyfriend?” On another occasion she happened to notice a key chain I carry with me. “Oh where’d you get that.” “A friend of mine gave it to me when he came back from his trip to Boston.”
“Oh a boyfriend.” I laugh as I tend to do after each of her interrogations.

She’s a sweet kid, even if she’s nosey. On another occasion she even had the audacity to ask if I were a lesbian. (I tell you kids nowadays). But she’s not the only one I have a difficult time explaining my singleness too. I also must defend my choice to be un-partnered to the rest of the world. As if the celestials will be in disarray and all of nature will reduce itself to utter chaos if I don’t choose to find a mate.

Among the Crystal-needs-a-man-to-be-complete contenders is my mother. I can’t go anywhere with this woman without her trying to hook me up with some guy—to my utter humiliation. I swear my mother would have loved to be alive in the time of arranged marriages. The other day we went to a carry out place and I happened to notice a tall attractive Middle Eastern guy. When we had received our food, she said, “that guy was checking you out.”

I rolled by eyes. “Ma, nobody was checking me out, I’m old enough to realize when someone’s paying attention to me.”

“Well I was standing their watching him check you out the whole time”

I gave in; there’s no reasoning with this woman. “Which one?”

“That short guy behind the counter.”

“He may have been.” ( I didn’t think so, but I pick my battles with my mother.)

“He wasn’t your type any way (of course she know just what my type is because mother knows best right?) “But that other guy was fine as he wants to be”

“O really, which one.”

“That tall fellow with the dark hair.”

“Yeah he was fine alright.”

“Oh really.” And at the point my mother beeps the horn of her huge SUV, rolls down the window and signals for the guy to come over. I protested. I begged. I pleaded, but it was all in vain.

“My daughter thinks you’re cute.” I shrunk in the seat. I buried my face in my hands in hopes that I would disappear.

“Thanks.” The guy said slighltly embarrassed.

“How old are you baby?”

“19.” I took a peak from my awkward hiding position.

“Aw you’re too young for her, she’s 23. You missed out, but you just as cute as you wanna be.”

On the way home I scolded my mother for her incessant meddling in my life. I was pissed off. She said I was overreacting. I just wanted her to understand that I didn’t want a relationship and that I like my time by myself. It was useless. For the remaining miserable ride home I kept silent, seething inside. Why don’t people understand???

I could write a book on how many guys my mom tried to auction me off to. Some were unattractive, some reminiscent of Steve Urkel, some obese, some utterly not my type. I rarely go out with her any more. I may as well give the woman a copy of my curriculum vitae and a recent photo and have her pair me off with some mendicant.

My mother isn’t the only one. At work the topic of relationships comes up. “Crystal do you have boyfriend.”

“No”

“Are you seeing anybody”

“Nope.”

“Do you date?”

“Nope.”

“ARE YOU GAY!!!!” my coworker practically spat the words,

“No!”

Oh boy I knew where this was heading.

“Why should I date?” I asked, interrupting my coworker’s lecture. The room got silent. “I don’t know.” My spunky coworker reluctantly replied. “Exactly!!!” I answered. I have had dozens of similar conversation with my coworkers. They have tired to hook me up on blind dates, push me to date customers that enter the store and interrogate me about my love life. It seems no body respects or empathizes with my decision to remain single.

I have also been the brunt of many jokes. The slightest disagreement I’d have with my male associates or family member provokes the brutal words “That’s why you don’t have a man now.” The implication being that there is something so repulsive about my personality (my unabashed directness and assertiveness) that it repels all men. That statement is sexist on so many levels that it makes my arm hair bristle. Obviously holding strong opinions and refusing to compromise on my principals is a trait better possessed by a man. I’d better just sit in a corner and look pretty in hopes that some guy will take pity on me and cure me of my “single affliction”.

And then there are the would-be suitors. When men approach me respectfully and I turn them down they ask me “Do you have a man?” “Nope” They look hopeful as if the fact that I’m single means that I’m going to date any guy who shows the slightest interest. Then I add, “I’m not looking for anyone right now, I enjoy my singleness.” They stare at me with puzzled expressions as if I have just grown a third head. I politely exit the conversation and return to whatever I was doing before they accosted me.

Why is there so much pressure on women to find a man? Why should that be the impetus for my existence? Why does it matter? Most men don’t have to endure such pressure, but a single woman—well God forbid she becomes an old maid! No matter how accomplished, articulate, pleasant, or well groomed she is, she will always be viewed as a spinster if she does not have a man. (Never mind how exceedingly difficult it is for her to find a decent man, the woman is the one to blame for her single state.) A woman could put an American flag on the moon, rescue a busload of people from a tsunami single handedly, and attain 6 Ph.D’s in the hard sciences, but without her Mrs. Degree she is worth less. I think about this a lot. I think about the fact that many in my very own family would rather I find a successful PhD to marry than to become that PhD myself. Many would rather I forfeit my dreams, my goals, my ambitions, if it meant that I would have a man. My mother pushes for me to find a mate, but is almost disinterested in my desire to go on to graduate school and produce life-changing research. I can do nothing but sigh at the way our culture has been so poorly socialized. I don’t like being perceived as defective, angry, bitter, or repressed. I just want so much more than what any man could ever offer me.

The whole single thing wouldn’t bother me so much if everybody else weren’t so fixated on it. I don’t think as much about my being single as everybody else does. Personally, I have too many things on my plate to make “finding a man” a priority. After all finding one wouldn’t make me feel any more worthy, it wouldn’t make me any more intelligent, and it certainly wouldn’t make God love me any more or less.

I have a Caribbean girlfriend who insists that I am going to end up educated and alone with a bunch of cats. It scares me when she puts it that way, but then I evaluate her conclusion logically. I would be educated, I would own my own house, have my own businesses, have taught and met people all over the country, have moved about freely and made my own decisions without being distracted by what some man thinks. I’d have a detailed social schedule, a million and one allocates, and a strong spiritual relationship untainted by a man’s Godlessness, and I’d have my cats who I would positively adore! Last, but not least I’d have friends and family who would be with me in my last hours. Somehow singleness doesn’t seem as petrifying as sacrificing myself at the altar of some man the way many of my loved ones have done. It frightens me that I could, as they have chosen, lose my precious identity-- become a mere shadow of myself in order to live in subjugation to a man. And don’t get me started on a woman’s pathology, shrinking intellect, disturbing decision making, and reckless behavior when she starts being regularly ejaculated into. I’ve seen the decline of many superwomen as a result of sex!

In a way, I feel about relationships the way I feel about swimming. When relationships are good they are comforting and enjoyable, but when they inevitably go south they are like sinking and feeling the burn of the water you inhale inside of your sinuses and forcing it’s way down your trachea. Perhaps one day I’ll have peace with them, as I hope to have peace with the water. Yet unlike swimming, I don’t find relationships liberating, but restrictive and congesting. I find them as impossible as the hundred thousand single questions I receive. I’d rather keep on soaring through the water and leave them along the edge of the pool or drown them in its depths. I have more important things to conquer.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Is Monogamy Naive?

Sister Rose and Brother Leroy are pillars of the church. They regularly attend services, hosts numerous church functions, frequently have dinners at their townhouse to welcome new members and visitors, and often volunteer for church ministries together. They have been together for over 15 years and have two handsome sons and an adopted daughter that they took in a few years ago. To the outsider, this couple seems to have the perfect family, the perfect ministry, and the perfect marriage. But not all is perfect in their picturesque town home. Leroy, like most men, chose to adopt a grass is greener philosophy. He threw his perfect family and ministry away to begin a life of philandering. The church was shocked, I was shocked, but most of all his wife and family were shocked! His wife has since moved to another church, Leroy has moved out of state and yet another family has been ripped apart. Yet another family has become a statistic.

Charles and Lindsay have been married for 12 years. Together they have two children a baby girl and a son that Lindsay has from a previous relationship. Lindsay was a good wife, she cooked and cleaned and worked tirelessly to keep their relationship together. One day, a few years after they were wed, Lindsay had a suspicion that Charles was being unfaithful. She confronted him and her worse nightmares were confirmed. Charles begged, cried, and pleaded for her to forgive him and insisted that he would never cheat again. Years later, having had a tumultuous relationship, Lindsay decided that she had had enough. “I’m getting a divorce,” she announced one day when I came over for a visit. Of all the things that they had been through Charles’s dishonesty combined with the agonizing memory of his adultery catapulted them into divorce court. Now, even before the papers have been finalized both Lindsay and Charles are seeing other people. And so another family bites the dust.

These are true stories; I just changed the names to protect the innocent, and the guilty. Unfortunately scenarios like the aforementioned ones are all too common. When it comes to our frail attempts at monogamy I remain a cynic. Infidelity is one of the most commonly cited causes of divorce. All of us are familiar with the most referenced statistic in the US: that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. That’s millions and millions of marriages! One can speculate that millions of these marriages came to termination because of extramarital affairs. The great wiki has this to say:

“Studies report that about 12-26% of married women and 15-43% of married men engage in extramarital sex. Although surveying large numbers of people helps to counteract the biases of convenience samples, the only way to get scientifically reliable estimates of extramarital sex is to use nationally representative samples. Three studies have used nationally representative samples. These studies have found that about 10-15% of women and 20-25% of men engage in extramarital sex.”

Given how casually we treat or marriages, should monogamy even be a reasonable expectation, particularly when we consider “girlfriend and boyfriend” relationships? In short, is monogamy dissipating so rapidly that to even believe in it and pursue it is practically naïve? In light of the social and political implications of monogamy, this is definitely a question worth exploring.

Undoubtedly monogamy is dying especially since cheating has become trendy. When we turn on the TV we see people boasting about there manipulations and how they “got over” on their unsuspecting partners. We watch relationships dissolve for entertainment on shows like “Cheaters” where cameras confirm acts of betrayal. In magazines and books we read about the devastating affects of affairs and the tawdry tales of celebrity infidelity. Cheating is the topic of reality television series and talk shows; it has spawned movies like “Unfaithful”, “Premonition” and “I think I Love My Wife.” Cheating has been romanticized in our music to the point that it is hard to turn on the radio without hearing a song that either praises or disparages cheating. Even t-shirts and bumper stickers bare slogans that support unfaithfulness. In short, cheating is popular! It is not only popular in the media we consume, but in our day-to-day relations. I dare any of us pretend that we don’t know someone who has either been caught cheating or someone who has perpetuated such a blow against his or her relationship. I personally know several cheaters and victims of cheating. To make matters worse, cheating isn’t looked down upon like it was in old days. In our postmodern society there is little if any social ostracism for cheating and in some enclaves it is considered acceptable.

Generally speaking women are more likely to be cheated on than to be cheaters. In an Essence article I recently read writer Taigi Smith, writes

“Many of us enter relationships instinctively looking for evidence of another woman. And if it seems that the likelihood of there being one is higher when dating Black men, it's because research shows it's true. A recent study conducted by University of Chicago sociologist and professor Edward Laumann suggests that Black men are more likely than White men to start sexual relationships with a new woman while maintaining physical relationships with old girlfriends, a practice Laumann calls concurrence or overlapping. [I call it cheating.] In fact, the relationship-overlapping period for White men lasted about ten days on average, while the overlap period for brothers spanned an average of 250 days, says Laumann, who published his findings in the book The Sexual Organization of the City. Almost 40 percent of the African American men Laumann surveyed admitted to maintaining long-term sexual relationships with at least two women, a practice he calls serial polygamy.”

In other words both black men and white men are guilty of maintaining sexual liaisons with multiple women! Even if one race has a longer duration of “overlapping” the bottom line is that men are cheating! I’d dare say that it is dangerous for any woman, particularly black women to have illusions of fidelity in a world that is so bent on immorality.

Yes, I just used the infamous “I”-word that can bring a postmodernist to his soapbox, but when you look at cheating in light of all the other deplorable things happening in our world, it all boils down to an absence of morality. The fact that we even have to pose questions like “is monogamy naive?” reveals evidence of our moral deterioration. In our postmodern society the line between right and wrong has become so blurred that there is little distinction between the two. Right and wrong have become a matter of personal preference and convenience. The pursuit of immorality has become our legal right. Dare you infringe on someone’s right to do wrong and that makes you a prude or a killjoy.

So what are the consequences of such a society? Cheating has become an epidemic, STD’s take the lives our thousands of people and hospitalize countless others, abortion are necessary, pornography is a multi billion dollar industry, marriage is view as outmoded and unnecessary and monogamy is practically naïve—mere wishful thinking of the unsophisticated idealist. That’s not just sad, it’s sick.

Is monogamy naïve? Well God didn’t think so. God believes in monogamy, otherwise he wouldn’t have made “thy shalt not commit adultery,” one of his sacred laws. He wouldn’t have gone through the trouble performing the first marriage between Adam and Eve. Instead he would have just given them multiple partners to choose from. Is monogamy naive? Perhaps not yet, but when we get to a point where monogamy fails to be a reasonable expectation all of our relationships and marriages are inevitably doomed--and consequently so is society at large.