With a reduction in glut, a little less butt and a smidgen more guts, Serena Williams would easily be as big as Michael Jackson, dwarf Tiger Woods and take a run at Rosa Parks.
You can call me unfair. You can even scream that I'm sexist.
But there's an inescapable truth about Serena Williams: She's an underachiever.
And all the people making excuses for Serena and rationalizing her failure to totally dominate women's tennis are the very people uninterested in seeing women rise to a level of equality with men.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Certain Black Men Act Like BET In Denying Their Dysfunction But We See You!
Everywhere I turn I keep finding BW-hatred being expressed by some BM. I’m not sure if it has become more virulent or if I’ve learned to spot it more quickly but I am having to “school” some rather unfortunate Negros online. Ok, on Twitter. I wonder if people still forget it is a PUBLIC forum and other people can read your messages!?
I swear I’m not trying to pick fights but there’s something in the water or these are the “Last Days” for sure. Here is where the intra-Black ethnic/cultural distinctions may be more favorable to some. I don’t think I realized how damaged the “black collective” of African-Americans really is. I know we’ve had conversations here and at other blogs about a range of topics such as divesting (emotionally, financially), removing oneself from unsafe predominantly black residential neighborhoods, the need for a renewed Arts Movement, how African Americans have abdicated their cultural & musical heritage and tying white supremacist racism to black skin shade racism to LBGT prejudices.
Seriously, everything is a circle and it does matter what we say and how we behave. I will tell you that with the absence of my dad and grandfathers who have all passed away I’ve never noticed how much I miss a positive male father figure in my life even as I am well into my adulthood. I see people with the physical attributes of a gender but none of the actions of real men.
I realize the absence of those who understand and want to fulfill their purpose as men and be that rock for the people in their lives still has quite an impact. Frankly it hurts to not have it. I was having what I thought would be a brief conversation last night. I’d caught the tail end of some BM discussing a recent article about Serena Williams. It was a hit job by another black male writer (Jason Whitlock) who said some derogatory things about her. **Update I thought it was a white male for some reason. Of course I should've known better. This is the continuing derogatory tactics by damaged beyond recognition black men spreading their message of hate.** They were essentially agreeing with him by disparaging her and saying she was overweight and less than.
** I'm also enclosing an excerpt so you know what I'm talking about:
So look at Whitlock's profile photo. Who's the real underachiever?!
Now Serena just won Wimbledon and as I mentioned in my post yesterday neither she nor Venus has ever publicly engaged in any foolishness. Not a hint of a scandal either. Just a LOT of disparaging comments, envy and jealousy from others. So I was a bit taken aback but I thought I’d gently admonish them and be done with it. Oh no. I challenged this (other) black male writer who fancies himself to be "special" but to him I have no “credibility”. No this isn’t the writer I compared to wanting to be Perez Hilton, but apparently they're all in support of each other bashing African-American women. I tried to be gracious I really did. I just don’t think a man who doesn’t have a direct vested interest in the Williams Sisters should be commenting on their bodies and even then it should be done in private. I would’ve added no woman as well but I never got the chance. The entire conversation was one of obfuscation while he wanted to discuss this from his perspective on his terms. There are real life ramifications resulting from the devaluing of BW.
I was recalling the behavior of DL Hughley when he went on the Tonight Show after Don Imus had insulted the Rutgers basketball team. How he said that not only did he agreed with Imus but he added to the insult! These men were doing the same exact thing, but somehow couldn’t connect the dots.
I told him and a few of his buddies/defenders who tried to chime in and take me out with weak arguments that a) they are not medical professionals b) not part of her team c) they shouldn’t be engaging in any behavior that devalues the status of black women in public. All were ignored and someone actually told me I was “overreaching” and making things into a Richter Scale of 10, haha! Yes if that means I have standards and expectations of what’s appropriate then I am guilty.
I also threw in a reference to Sarah Baartman, aka Hotentot Venus as I was asked whether it was okay for them to "observe" her. Which prompted my question of in what way, like the woman kidnapped, raped and put on display? I didn’t have a problem having the debate at first but I could tell it bothered this man to have his privilege challenged. In the end the conversation was going to repeat and loop with me being asked to argue the same points over and over.
So I sent a message to the women who were following our messages to avoid at all costs a man who was not willing to be respectful, who actually would question why it was NOT okay to pick apart the appearance and body of an elite athlete for their pleasure and folly. I sensed that it gave this writer a boost to do so which was why he was so invested. He thought if he could obscure his points I’d tire or concede. Never!
Yes I had to bring up skin shade racism and their clear disdain for women for looked like Serena. The writer had the nerve to ask me if he could find a light-skinned woman who looked exactly like Serena but was overweight if I’d acknowledge it. I replied that he could try but that I was dealing in reality not “unicorns”. For again this isn’t just about Serena Williams, it’s for every little brown(er),(est) black girl with a dream.
It’s BM like these (and any supporters) that are killing the spirits of young black girls everywhere and that is not cool. I was having simultaneous conversations about the McNair murder as well, but this other BM I was speaking with was respectful. We don’t always agree but we can always talk. Not so with the writer and that’s a shame. I should probably not engage him after this but I find I am compelled to either respond to or generate the beginning of a conversation.
I don’t live in a predominantly black neighborhood, I’m not dating anyone “less than”, I don’t have any children and all in all I can’t really complain. I have a few struggles: some are external/circumstantial others are spiritual/internal. I am taking steps to improve my station in life but some are in truly precarious circumstances. My thoughts on the BM/BW dynamic is almost completely different than what I’d felt a few months ago.
I had no idea it was this bad. I was getting there but I was skeptical. I still thought of crazy behavior as the antics of a few…lowlifes. Now between the last scandal involving the football player, Whitlock and this other writer (Harry Allen), I see it has (long) attached itself to those men who’d be considered intelligent and accomplished as well. I also am grateful that I have had some great online conversations about vetting men. It has changed how I engage inasmuch as I'm looking for particular patterns.
My asking these questions and challenging the position of this writer (and some of his enablers) really got my attention. He’s married and I was thankful with relief I'm not married to someone who liked making fun of “certain” BW in public. Or at least indulging in the possibility. Deny it all you want but there’s something rather alarming about it and having to remind these men that if you don’t honor the women in your group the entire collective is in the toilet is appalling. None of them seemed able to understand.
Our entire POV was Mars & Venus. I wondered if it was a case of willful ignorance but I actually think they didn’t know. It angered them to realize that I wasn't impressed by their little display of childishness. I also received a few messages from others who followed both our streams that it was entertaining for them to see us so intensely engaged, but it certainly wasn’t a joke to me.
I finally made a segue where I told any BW who was reading the exchange that they should take this as their cue to get out and get away. They needed to find men who already understood why that type of behavior was foul and who didn’t make excuses for it. I believe that I was speaking to a varying group of BM over the age of 25 so these weren’t the “crack babies” or survivors of that chaos - but men who were old enough to know better. They don't and refuse to adapt.
I wasn’t arguing for the sake of argument. This was bigger than whether it’s misogynistic for a man to discuss the body of a famous female athlete. For the record – it is racialized sexism and yes misogynistic. This was about the public behavior of an ever-increasing majority who are almost wholly dysfunctional and engaging in abnormal behavior.
I don’t know when this started or how we got here, but we’ve arrived.
By the way here's Serena on David Letterman last night. Since the implied message is that she's an unattractive Mammy-type BW I'd thought this very public display of polish and humor would put to rest any doubts in some who would be confused. Let the lies and liars be exposed one by one.