Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Internet Ike Turners & Obfuscation Tactics To Stop Black Women Empowerment
This is not a popularity contest.
This is not for kicks and giggles.
This is not what I do to pass the time.
There are lives at stake.
This blog discusses issues surrounding social justice - and the hypocrisy of those who are only interested in the ones that pertain to them.
I cover politics, pop culture and other subjects as they pertain to all of the above. Or whatever else I want to write.
My specific focus lately is on improving the lives of black women and girls but I also cover transphobia.
I invite you to walk this journey with me as it's a challenging one for all of us.
Now that you've have been duly reminded (or informed) of what I do here I hope that you will take my efforts with the seriousness it deserves. You're not going to find many blogs hosted by black women that is equally affirming of the issues I support. In certain cases my position will be opposite of what some may expect - which is why one should not assume. If you follow me online across various forums you will find that I'm fairly consistent in my interactions, tone and purpose. Why anyone would express surprise at this baffles me. Don't you know who I am?
I have never noticed how great the distance is in our ideology and the level of indoctrination and dysfunction on the state of black women, particularly African American women in this country until this week. (As well as the black community). I’m not Mother Theresa and I’m not here to ride the rescue wave. Nor do I see myself as some sort of guru, savior or dragon-slayer. I am a woman (not to be confused with your typical all-knowing black Superwoman) who realized that things were not exactly how they should be and I couldn’t put my finger on what was off. Now that I’ve gotten out of the Matrix I see plenty, but every time I think I’ve got it figured out a new level of dysfunction awaits. This has occurred across the board for many people in the US as the moral stock has plummeted but since I’m part of less empowered group within an even less empowered group my interests lay in elevating my station in life and freeing myself of certain mindsets that do not benefit me.
I had three very distinct and abnormal encounters with black men (all strangers) this weekend. One wanted to be overly familiar and when I told him he was violating my boundaries he wanted to deny my right to set them. He felt like his standards of what was appropriate for me was just a-ok. My little opinion be damned. And he has a Rev. title! The other two are writers who took issue with my posts from the past few days - not a big surprise. I see the toxic behavior up close and personal and I not only have to filter out my interactions with these DBR (damaged beyond repair) Negroes online (because I engage in social media and discuss social justice/racism/sexism/black woman hatred but I have to withstand the scrutiny and difference of opinion of other black women still in "defend the black man/save alla our people" mode as well.
No where do I see consistent examples of anyone sticking up for black women – except on the black women empowerment blogs.
Not only have I grown as a person from reading the works of unindoctrinated women but I realize there are few truly safe places where we can go online without being bombarded, harassed, questioned or condemned for some "fault". I feel the need to mention that sticking up for us as a collective doesn’t mean condoning everything we do as individuals either. There is a high standard of accountability as well as expectation of respect and living an amazing life. That door swings both ways.
One theme has emerged from our conversations is the never-ending accusation of being angry or expecting too much and a request to cut black men some slack. No why on earth would I cut a GROWN man slack? If he hasn't figured out how to behave in public, be a person of substance or engage other people online in a public forum why should I be the one to make concessions? That is insane to me. So is the accusation that we must harbor hate or vitriol for black men because we have high standards. Some of us are married to black men and were raised by wonderful men who provided and protected us. Now with the current 70% never married rate for black women and the 80% out of wedlock birth rate and a host of other issues I am not seeing this as the standard anymore. Fatherless men do not know how to provide and protect naturally. If someone isn’t looking out for your best interests why expend time and energy looking out for theirs at your expense?
I am not tied to the "black community". I’ve already discussed why I believe there is no black community left. Though I would really like President Obama to be able to wave a magic wand and elevate the underclass, working class and middle class I know that’s not going to happen. For many reasons. We have no engaging culture to speak of. That’s why Perry getting his hooks into For Colored Girls is so infuriating. No one is going to convince me the average hip-hop song, music video, the emergence of street “literature” that glorifies criminality, the constant promotion of reality shows where blacks are the lowest of the low (don’t make me list them) is a worthy expression of culture and fairly represents blacks. We have diminishing political clout and will be usurped by the next "minority" ethnic group to emerge after the next Census comes out.
The only thing holding back the latest backlash of white racism from expanding to an all-out race war is the few old guard Civil Rights-era politicians and some of the more liberal-leaning whites. Guilt will be gone with the death of the Boomer generation. We’re post-racial. Also other non-whites groups didn’t collectively oppress blacks so it’s every group for themselves from now on. One of the reasons why I’m so frustrated with the inaction of the President has to do with the unreliability of the black constituency. Too many of us accept mediocrity, excuses and limitations as just another day. If I’m sounding preachy I’ll remind you I am very opinionated and you are free of course to prove me wrong about this!
It’s funny (not) because the only consistent problem I have on these public forums is when I encounter some black men exercising their right to be misogynistic. They just don’t like being challenged on any front. Their egos are too fragile. I am not an angry person but I will respond in kind to being denigrated. I’ve already stated I think this Negro Derangement Syndrome affects the majority of black men. If you disagree with that and your father, husband, brother, cousin or neighbor has been fully inoculated bully for you. Certainly you don’t think because you have relationships with people that they are without faults? That because your man loves you that he can’t display sexist behavior to another woman? That those who fight for racism are without prejudices of their own? I don’t claim to be perfect by any means. My blog is my space and I guard it fiercely. You don’t call someone crazy after arguing semantics when the core issue is your anger over being criticized. That’s an obfuscation. It’s typical troll behavior to deflect an argument on some other non-related issue to try to obscure the attack. Then when confronted to claim ignorance of the behavior and accuse the person you were attacking of being angry/mean/uncooperative.
I do not require agreement on all issues but a likemindedness on the important ones like the status of black women is vital I see. It’s not the only topic I wish to discuss however. I have one blogger I follow who does address the inequalities amongst LGBTs related to all areas of transphobia. There was a time I said to her: Hey can you lighten up? I completely understand why she does not. She’s one of the few voices to consistentlyspeak on it. Her words may be difficult to read at times but her truth shines through. She’s usually 99.99% correct to boot. She’s not full of rage or anger though she’s just very focused. So am I. Perhaps other people have numerous buffer zones, support systems and financial resources available to them. What about those who do not? What about those who cannot speak for themselves? This isn’t about me personally. I’m not being abused (except for my writing), I’m not living a life of quiet desperation. I have plenty of freedom. I could in fact not discuss any of this but I think having knowledge of things leads to further responsibilities. Not past the point of putting oneself in harm’s way or doing too much, but in telling our stories. I am reminded this is NOTHING compared to what Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange and other black women empowerment writers went through. So I must be striking a nerve! Good.
I have times when I feel stressed to the max. It's a sign I need to disengage. Last week outside events were more upsetting than my offline life. The Dunbar Village trial. The Maia Campbell tape surfacing and all that entailed. The Chris Brown denial and continued acceptance of criminality amongst some of us. Tyler Perry hijacking a very important story part of the canon of the AA female life experience. The ongoing opposition to the President (my criticism is not opposition to his leadership). These things do have an effect. But supposedly life for the black female collective is just hunky dory. Except when you do a side by side comparison to other groups of women then you see how far down the totem pole our standards are. But pretending is better than admitting that for many.
As to my interactions, I had one writer go through my followers list on Twitter to contact certain women to get background information on me after I wrote my post criticizing his attack on black women. I had another writer who coincidently also writes for the Root tried to argue with me that Majora Carter wasn’t a pioneer of environmental efforts because women from another generation came before her. I never said she was the FIRST and ONLY. I don’t know her and have not placed her on a pedestal – but I can easily spot the tactics of a DBR male who was wildly declaring she didn’t deserve one. I was critiquing Van Jones and in the end I believe this is what this male was criticizing me for.
Why on earth should I listen to anyone who approaches me in a disrespectful manner? I was very clear in how I worded my post. In case you’re still wondering where the insult originated from it surfaced in 1) presuming to tell me something as if I don’t know how to Google (research) people and subjects 2) chastising me in another forum. Had he really been interested in having a legit conversation he could have signed in like everybody does and written a comment. But he sought to lecture me instead.
I’m not going to allow anyone to dictate the content of my blog while dissing me. Are we really going to lob an argument about journalistic standards when those at the top of their field are repeatedly busted for plagiarizing the work of the mere “blogger”? Having a byline means you managed to get someone to hire you. I’m doing this for free. I write new content every day. Who’s showing more dedication? I have had people give me information that may have necessitated an update which I have been happy to do. But I think it takes a particular type of asinine person to nitpick over semantics and ignore the entire blog post. Internet Ike Turners are men and women who troll blogs and online forums to obfuscate, castigate and derail conversations. They also like to spread confusion.
Everyone is welcome in this forum but it's not a free for all. Read at your leisure. Comment at will – following my posting rules of course. If my opinion is that different from your own you're not likely to change my mind. If you find such little value in what I say why get upset? Just move on. Life is short ya know. I won’t take it personally. We all have different paths to walk in life. I am very opinionated and confident in my point of view. I’m certainly willing to learn something BUT if you haven’t spent time at my blog forum, I haven’t verified who you are and we haven’t built mutual trust do NOT expect me to give you the benefit of the doubt or a wide berth.
If you attempt to define what I’ve written and tell me something completely opposite of what it says I urge you to re-read and take a breath before contacting me. Often when we react strongly to concepts we may place added meaning where there is none. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re going to remake me in your image of what you think I should be. So. Not. Happening.
**P.S. If you're accessing this post through Twitter and wish to engage a longer conversation please sign in HERE at this forum and leave a comment.