Thursday, May 7, 2009

Are Blacks Frenemies or Mortal Enemies Of Each Other?

I really want to know. When the majority image you see of us beamed around the world shows: 

1. Criminals
2. Anti-Intellectuals
3. Overbearing, loud people of both genders
4. Children that can't make it until they're inspired by a great white father (or mother)
5. Overweight people
6. Schemers
7. Lack of morals
8. Represented Black women as the most racially ambiguous or
9. A total exaggeration of a sexual image
10. Men who are "hard" and thuggish 

Have I missed anything up there? Shucking and jiving? I have also noticed a trend of an increase in violence against children...and women (see 99.999% of the entries at WOAD). Now I'm going to point out that these acts of violence are being committed by SOME Black men - just so that we're clear I'm not saying ALL behave this way. Some people get so riled up over the mere mention of the misdeeds of others that they don't actual DO anything to stop this madness. They're just trying to provide COVER. 

Shouldn't a group of people, particularly the MEN be outraged that a group of other men are spreading mayhem and destruction even though THEY THEMSELVES aren't? Or are they expecting WOMEN to put themselves in harm's way and try to wrangle a lion's share of trouble ALONE? Talk is cheap baby.

Speaking of women, have you ever entered a room and seen another Black woman and either a) gotten excited on some internal level and reacted positively or b) sucked in your teeth and mumbled "she's not all that" under your breath. Would the appearance of that woman determine your response, i.e if you thought she was "cuter" than you would that be a permanent mark on her record or c) just looked at each, offered cursory smiles and quickly parted ways. You know how some people act as if they can't get away from others fast enough.  

I was having a conversation with a male someone on Twitter and about my posts from this week. He tried to claim that I was being "negative" against Black men by pointing out examples of unacceptable behavior. I do re-read my posts once they've been published and tweak them if necessary. He was directly implying that I was (mis)labeling a majority which I clearly was not. He was very quick to comment about what he'd read "other Black women do on their blogs" - not clarifying that he meant (some) which I brought to his attention. Since we don't know each other I replied that if he knew himself to be the exception why was he more concerned about the criticism of the guilty rather than the real-life negative impact to innocents? 

Why do so many get upset about Bill Cosby or even Barack Obama as was the response after his Father's Day speech last year? Remember that? Is there a legit grievance or do people just NOT want to stop behaving badly? Are we that ashamed of ourselves that we'd rather continue to allow that wound fester? We must know who are in order to move forward powerfully.

We also have to recognize how accurate the phrase, "skin folk aren't always kin folk" is. If there is a particular segment of people that are behaving like the lowest common denominator being allowed to flourish aren't we all a little bit responsible? This makes it easier for those who are posing as our friends to use these situations against the majority and align with the descendants of the oppressors.

Isn't it true that specific Black women have been fed a false bill of goods whereby they were told to put race loyalty above everything - even their well-being? Those women would always be thinking about other people - who can never seem to get out of peril by the way - letting themselves fall apart mentally and physically. They're being told they're not worthy, they have an attitude, feminism is for white women, having a child out of wedlock is okay because they're "strong" and hey can you cough up another lung for me and my interests while you're at it!

Isn't it true that a group of fatherless children would have a near insurmountable task before them to become productive citizens? If a woman is shrill or a "gold digger" might that be because she had no one protecting her growing up? Young boys can't be taught how to be men by women. Anyone with working organs can produce offspring but it takes a specific effort to be a (good) parent. 

Ethnicity is one more thing that can divide us. Class privileges are not always generated from the simplicity of choice. Just as every criminal is not prosecuted. The contempt that some of our people have for each other needs to be addressed. Everyone is NOT looking out for each other or wants to come together for a common purpose of empowerment or uplift.

This is why we have been able to find allies from different races many times more often than those of our own. There’s no pride for those who aren’t part of our “club”. It’s like an overweight woman trying to overcompensate. She may think she’s still attractive, she may find clothes she likes, she may have friends/family/love but until she admits the extra pounds REALLY bother her AND does something to address it she is not going to be able to really BE ALL SHE CAN BE. Likewise some women in her situation DON'T care and can live a full life, but another woman will not and may spend a lot of time trying to justify why she doesn’t. Other people can pick up on it and may not be as receptive to her. Some will be outright hostile. Some may insist they ALL feel x,y and z because that's the agenda they're pushing to make the women feel bad about themselves. 

It could be about needing to create an "image" by leasing a flashy car, speaking a certain way, having an entourage, bragging about something you did five years ago like it just happened yesterday - or it’s like when an insecure person latches on emotionally to a romantic interest. The attention may be flattering at first but then it becomes stifling. You don’t want to have to be responsible for that person’s entire happiness, but they’ve made it so that what was given freely becomes an obligation. Suddenly you don’t want to be near or have anything to do with that person. You may like or even love them but they need to “get it together”.

If we’re all Black with separate identities (ethnic, class, birthplace, religion, gender, orientation) coming together against the evils of forced enslavement and discrimination, why do so many fragment so quickly when white supremacy offers them an escape hatch from the “collective”? It’s the light skin/field negro scenario all over again. And we need to make sure for all of our empowerment/get over it discussions that we don’t forget that.

If there was still a certain amount of affinity for each other Blacks wouldn’t be out killing other Blacks in a race to outdo the 400 year head-start whites had.  What is that other than intense hatred? So the question is, are people becoming more depraved or was a bad situation allowed to get worse until it became too big of a problem to ignore? Are we going to heal rifts or continue to dance to the beat of destruction? I haven't even touched on the rampant homophobia!

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Unknown said...

1. I dig Cosby. As a young father, his books on fatherhood kept me moving. And i defend him viciously. Unfortunately, his wife, Dr. Camille Cosby puts in MAD work and NO ONE talks about that.

2. About Obama, it was about timing. He came to a black church to check us on fatherhood and had that joint on C SPan. While I agree with him on several points, there is such a thing as timing especially for a politician. I never saw him go into a white church and do that (teenage pregnancy has been INCREASING only in the white community while for everyone else, the numbers are going down). I never saw him go anywhere else and check that community on their behavior. Heck, he has said almost NIL about police brutality. b.u.t. that is another post.

3. I don't think you sisters are hard on us. I appreciate that you all stay on us. To be honest, I don't think sisters are HARD enough on us on a daily level.

4. The only way things will change is when WE BROTHERS get hard on those brothers who are not doing right by their children. We will see LESS violence against our women when MEN stand up and check those heads that want to harm our community.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Brother OMi: Teen pregnancy may be increasing amongst white girls but the overall rate for out of wedlock birth is still around HALF compared to those born to Black women. When you factor in the much larger population of whites, then it is truly scary about what's going in amongst the "Black community". As for Obama even if his timing was bad (like when would it ever be "good"), he may have been pandering, but what he said was spot-on and more people need to be doing it. More MEN. It's funny that you'd be willing to take more criticism. It seems you are more of the exception (and may not be subject to needing it because you self-police yourself). The knee jerk reaction from a lot NOT ALL Black men is to start complaining about being held accountable.