Mert’s Safe Space 9-24-22

Mert’s Safe Space

A weekly column diving into questions about race, gender and social issues from a black, honest, fair and masculine perspective

Email: mertavius@gmail to sugget topics and ask questions

Today’s Questions come from Sonjay in Elmont, NY and Jennifer in Long Island.

Question from Sonjay:

Why does the NBA have to be so black/hip hop influenced, I think white people support it most so it should be geared towards white values?

Great question Sonjay, that name doesn’t seem white so maybe you’re a white person with an ethnic name or you’re a white sympathizer. But here’s the answer:

If it’s in American English, then it has white people’s fingerprints all over it that’s why…. So you don’t feel cheated here’s a more thorough explanation

White people love black stuff. It’s the only reason you see it all over TV, radio and the internet. Without white dollars pushing black culture, it wouldn’t be as prominent as it is.

Sonjay I would say if you were in the shoes of NBA owners, media partners and players, would you try to make as much money as possible, or would you try and please conservative white people?

Let me ask you another question, do you think white people who for the most part own these teams. Like black people more than their own people? The answer is no so what you’re noticing is the focus on corporate and bottom line success ahead of personal feelings and preferences.

Do you think white values aren’t found in black culture? For goodness sake we speak English, I won’t throw slavery in white peoples face but it’s a fact that Africans first language isn’t English. Hip hop and other staples of black American culture are founded on the foundation that white America built. It’s a reality that no one wants to accept, but it’s obvious it’s there.

Question from Jennifer:

Do black men like white women more than black women, as a white woman I’ve dated a lot of black men and they’ve treated me better than any other race?

Another excellent question, depending on the black man your answer will vary. But the real answer is no.

Black men like all men fetishize white women, latina women, black women, women with well-developed features (breast, butts and lips) and other physical traits. This in turn reduces these women into status symbols who are no more significant to them than an expensive car, fancy piece of jewelry or big house.

I fear what you may be experiencing Jennifer is a situation where you have surrounded yourself with what comes easiest instead of working for what you feel you deserve.

The truth is, black men may be using you for status or a unique experience and not treating you like someone they want to spend their lives with. The only reason I feel this way is because you’ve stated you date a lot of black men, indicating you can’t keep a black man.

So the real question becomes do you like black men or are you settling for black men because you’re not appealing to the type of men you want?


Mert’s Safe Space 9-23-22

Mert’s Safe Space

A weekly column diving into questions about race, gender and social issues from a black, honest, fair and masculine perspective

Email: mertavius@gmail to sugget topics and ask questions

Today’s Questions come from Orlando in Queens, NY and Timothy in Long Island:

Question 1 from Orlando:

Mert did you see Obama’s portraits go up in the White House, how could America be viewed as racist? Isnt President Obama one of America’s greatest achievement, as a white man I think we should get credit for this but I’d never say that out loud?

Great question Orlando and questions like these give me nightmares, because the white people who are interested in progress can’t be taken for granted and often times are.

 If we tell white people who campaigned and donated money to Obama’s campaign that they should shut up and not take credit for it, then we risk turning off those allies in the future.

So to answer your question,

No it’s not one of America’s greatest achievements; it’s one the world’s greatest achievements!

And to all the white people who made that possible, I want to give you a big thank you! Without white partnership and support, we could not have given the world hope and enthusiasm as to what was; and what is possible.

Around the world after Barack Obama became president, billions of people thought to themselves, if a black man could be in charge of America, then anything is possible.

Why I write about this now is because I want blacks, whites and every other minorities to understand the importance of white partnership.

Personally, everytime I get asked for work/career related advice by a minority I ask them do you know any white people in the field your trying to get into.

Victoria Schneps, a white woman who I met through another white woman Dottie Herman, has helped me see and experience some things in life professionally that other communities dream of. She’s made me more money in one month than any job has and it was all based upon a relationship that was built.

I like to brag about my successful white friends and colleagues because minorities often times make other minorities feel bad for having such connections.

They should not; and in turn, white people like Orlando shouldn’t feel bad for wanting credit for Obama or any other success of minority communities they helped participate in.

Some may say this is a demeaning statement to blacks and other races, but I’m not interested in placating anyone’s feelings, I seek to remind and in some cases teach the importance of dealing with reality instead of dealing  off emotion and gestures of kindness.

Question 2 from Timothy:

Mert based of what I’ve read in the past you seem arrogant but at least you believe in what you say, here’s a topic for you. Is Disney making the Little Mermaid black wrong?

Yes, it’s something that shouldn’t be done because we all know the reason their doing it, to stir up controversy and paint themselves as progressive.

 I love Disney and their long catalogue of movies and T.V shows but this right here”just aint it”; if Disney wanted to introduce another black character, they should invest the money, effort and time into creating another black character, instead of replacing an iconic white character with a person of color.

This strategy which i consider lazy is honestly very effective, so I can’t really blame Disney for doing it because over the last couple of days, I’ve been on social media researching the responses and black people are overwhelmingly supporting the black version of “The Little Mermaid”.

It shows me how hungry black people are for an image that represents them, but if you dive deeper, you will see that we are not putting in the work of creating those images ourselves.

To illustrate my point ask yourself this question?

Whens the last time the black community has created a black cartoon character and both marketed and supported it?

Bottom line, stop changing the race of iconic characters to placate and harvest quick admiration from black people or other minorities,

If you want to garner the support of minority communities give us new characters and put the money and resources into making those characters iconic.

The world doesn’t need a black James Bond or a gay Super Man. Do the hard work and make new characters that fit those descriptions but have their own stories.

Letitia James goes One on One with Good ole Mert!

New York Attorney General Letitia James

This week was a big week for Mertavius Roberts, a week that tested his ability to speak and hold his own against one of the biggest forces in New York City, New York Attorney General Letitia James!

Attending a Police Athletic League event put together by John Catsimatidis that was to honor her honor, the AG in a move that shows her grace and confidence under pressure, cut short what could have been a day long love affair to take question from a rambunctious, wealthy and influential audience.

There was a myriad of tough questions asked which Miss James handled with brilliance, the last one however gave a glimpse into why this Woman is in the position she’s in. In an intense back in forth with Mertavius she gave her insight into an aspect of crime that we in the black community have failed to deal with.

From Mert’s vocal cord’s to Miss James ears the question went like this.

“Miss James when I’m mentoring the youngsters in my community, what do I tell them when they ask me what they should do when they see wrong being done? Everyone is familiar with the concept of “Snitches get Stiches” how do I confidently tell these young men and women that going to the cops is a good idea when there’s a real possibility that they will be retaliated against for doing so?”

Her answer was honest and grounded in reality.

To sum up her main point, she made it clear that she was dedicated and committed to changing the mentality in the black community that telling is bad. She spoke about never wanting to go to another funeral again, were the perp who committed the murder was free on the street because people felt unsafe going to law enforcement.

I’m severely underreporting the back and forth, but it was an intense exchange that was insightful and enlightening to the people in attendance. The question left people wanting more but at that point the AG had to go, but overall people left pleased with how she handled herself.