Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Does A Black Woman Have to Get Shot By Cops For Some Attention?


Oh wait that already happens! They get beat up and raped by cops as well - but somehow the press and "community" outrage is somehow always focused on MEN. Especially when they're Black. Admittedly there is a certain militaristic zeal by which law enforcement coupled with the legal system seeks to harm, maim and incarcerate a certain population. These men are always the victims and never the perpetrators though and that's just as problematic as the attacks launched against them without merit. I'd suggest that though it may be more obvious to us today it has always been that way since the ancestors were "freed". It was just an exchange of one prison for another and proves the fight for justice never ends. Speaking of, yesterday was National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

I bet you didn't know because well it's AIDS and nobody wants to talk about that really. It's supposed to be something that happens to "other" people. Kinda like poverty, getting older, fatter and being abused we tend to want to step over the speed bumps of life and avoid those whose lives reflect the messier aspects of our free will either by their choices or because of what's been done to them by others. I find it increasingly frustrating to go to places on the internets that claim to be spaces of progressive thought and Black (political) enlightenment only to find the same focus on racism as practiced by white men, the embattled Black male victim, some ongoing drama with the President and First Lady or further examples of how white women remain on their pedestals. Yes I discuss all of these things as well, but I need balance and people need to hear about all topics that have impact. 

Too much sugar can lead to diabetes. Too little movement leads to muscle atropy. Too much ranting leads to a major headache. Can we please get some focus and spotlight on the rising level of disease that's killing Black women from the inside out!! Of course we shouldn't discount the sharp increase in STIs in young girls 12-19 either. This is aside from the diabetes, the stress and the lies that people tell each other to keep all of this going. Lest we focus too heavily on race exclusively we should recognize the class structures of the population of women hit so hard tend to be poorer though it does affect many others as well. 

Being poor just sucks regardless. We can have many life circumstances that build character and test our mettle without having to grow up in violent neighborhoods or be told we're not pretty enough or have our womanhood questioned because we want to have basic standards established. Coupled with those lack of resources, people who encourage Black women to put others first are our own worst enemies. Especially when that person is us! 

AIDS is the Leading Cause of Death for Black Women 25-34. 

Chew on that for a few seconds. Well that's aside from dying of disappointment as you've given all of yourself and then some for an acceptance that will never come. That also doesn't include not dying, but living a life of diminished capacity and regrets. Let's get back to the figures though. If that isn't political I don't know what is. It's a feminist issue. It's a racism issue. It's a health care issue. It's a religious issue. 

Do we want to have the conversations necessary to address WHY this has happened? Why has prostitution become not just an issue of legalizing sex work but about child exploitation of girls age 12 and up? Why some Black women are so focused on coupling with a Black man, any Black man that she'd allow herself to "share" him with other women? How do you share someone who isn't contributing anything but an appendage? Those are dreams deferred until the twelfth of never. That's called settling because you couldn't see beyond your immediate surroundings and the dis-ease is all around you until it manifests itself as some type of parasite either through another person or some tumor that grows inside your body making you ill until you address what's been literally eating away at you. 

Sometimes we don't want to change, but often we simply don't know what's wrong when it's just a hunch and we can't quite put our finger on it. We're masking our pain in a myriad of ways that doesn't do us any good. We suffer needlessly because of it. Just as the issue is ignored by the majority so are we until we take a stand for ourselves. Check out the website from the Department of Health and Human Services (who got a female appointee after everybody else fizzled out). Now here's to hoping the Surgeon General (where Howard Dean finally stops being ignored by Obama) deploys some not-so-secret 50-state strategy for whooping illness but it has to come from us first. 

h/t to Los Angelista for bringing attention to this.

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1 comment:

postpostracial said...

Thank you for this.

I have become increasingly frustrated by these very issues you highlight here regarding the lack of attention to *some* issues. What is the solution? What organization has this as part of its mission?

If "mainstream" Black civil rights organizations and (White) feminist organizations have different agenda, then what about the Black sororities and other organizations? Or maybe there are other organizations or just groups of folks doing something.

These are not rhetorical questions for me. I am really interested in hearing who is doing something. I hope that the blogging community can come together and find then highlight people/groups that are doing good things.