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:
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.
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.

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SoulUK said...

I also came across the article written by said journalist after catching a few of your Tweets. For somebody who calls himself a 'sports journalist' he has no clue what he is talking about.

The Williams sisters are the best female tennis players in the world - you do not get that title from being lazy and unmotivated as this 'journalist' suggests is the case with Serena.

Unrelated to whether or not she is a great tennis player/athlete ... why this 'man' decided it would be acceptable to tear into Serena (or any other woman) on the grounds of her looks is beyond me. It's inappropriate, shameful not to mention misogynistic.

Anonymous said...

Hi Faith! Love your blog.

Regarding this paragraph... I’d caught the tail end of some BM discussing a recent article about Serena Williams. It was a hit job by a white male writer who said some derogatory things about her.

I don't know exactly the article you're referring to, but if it's the one that I'm thinking about, it was done by a BLACK male writer named Jason Whitlock.

If we're thinking of the same article, then I think the fact that the author was a BM only strengthens your point!

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

SoulUK: Since I'm discussing this with a rational person right now I suppose I should be better prepared to deal with those men who are damaged beyond recognition but I actually don't have a lot of practical experience being around such folly. It's frustrating but their behavior is pretty much identical across the board.

foreverloyal said...

You are SO going on my blogroll.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Anonymous: Thank you for catching that. I've updated my post. Of course now I'm even angrier that I responded with such patience. It was a pile on of disrespect from the get go and I was trying to give some fools the benefit of the doubt.

Foreverloyal: Thanks!

Unknown said...

1. Folks Like Jason Whitlock is the reason why i stay away from sports "journalism." And yes, his picture says it all.

2. It bothers me that we have desk jockey's who should really be hitting the gym attempt to critique someone's athletic abilities. Although I don't play tennis, I know how hard it is to keep in shape. The Williams sisters have worked extremely hard and they should credit just for that.

3. Man, the williams sisters are as fine as all outdoors. And yes, they were raised VERY well.

4. Although my father rarely provided even a physical presence in my life, I made sure that there were male elders (female as well) around to counsel me. Moving to Ohio, I miss them dearly. Although, I still consult with them over the phone, I miss hugging them and holding their hands. I miss their pats on my back and the playful punches. I miss one of my grandmasters admonishing me for a sloppy kick or telling me how wonderful i am.

Anonymiss said...

I can't understand why Whitlock felt the need to make references to Serena's well-toned body. A Black man suggesting that a Black women have a "little less butt?" Say what?! *Scratches head*

What strikes me as odd is that he sounds no different from the a-hole rappers that he loves to criticize.

If he wanted to say that Serena has the potential to be way up there with tennis greats such as Navratilova, then he should just say that.

I can't believe that he's suggesting that Serena's overweight. She's just as muscular as Navratilova was in her day.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Brother OMi: Thanks for relaying the story about your family. I remember sitting in my paternal grandpa's lap and how he'd hug me, kiss me and tell me loved me and give me pennies, lol. I just remember feeling on top of the world during those moments because I knew I was loved by his actions. We all need that.

Anonymiss: Who care why Whitlock did what he did. If the majority of BM were doing their jobs he would've been shut down immediately. Instead I found a group cheering him on and supporting the depravity. It is a sorry state for many blacks when so many of these men don't act like men but complete idiots. Whitlock was suggesting it: he said flat out she is - and lazy. he's not even worthy to lick the bottom of her shoe!

Khadija said...


I admire your stamina. I can't be bothered communicating with DBRs. But there was one detail about the Whitlock creature's masthead that struck me: Do you notice how so many of these colored "journalists"/assassins (and the White racist ones) market their hit jobs as "edgy"?

Is "edgy" the new code word for racist, sexist, inappropriate, and oppressive?

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Khadija: Well I've been rather fed up after this exchange. Again, I've fumbled a bit in immediately recognizing the dysfunction and not wasting my time. I just hope someone else will learn as I did that disengaging is best, but as I said I really had no idea how many DBRs are running around unchecked.

Khadija said...


Oh no, don't feel as if you're stumbling. It takes time for a paradigm-shift to "gel." Especially a frightening, disappointing one such as the TRUE state of the African-American collective. I would compare seeing this reality with open eyes with the shock of living in a real-life zombie movie.

At least that's how I remember feeling when I snapped out of my previous trance. I distinctly recall "joking" to friends about: "Why didn't anybody tell me that most of us were going to turn into zombies at the stroke of midnight? Then I could have planned my wardrobe in advance! I would have worn 'sensible shoes.' The better to run away in!"-

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymous said...

Hi Faith!

This is the anonymous from earlier... actually, I usually post as Lisa99, but for some reason, I get error messages when I try to post under OpenID.

Anyway... I think you did a good job with your post and like you, I'm with you in quickly recognizing dysfunction (especially DBR dysfunction) and trying to move away from it. There are certain media that I just can't take in, despite my interest in the subject matter, because I know that ignorant DBRs will take over and derail legitimate discussion.

Oh, and I have been around Whitlock in passing multiple times... he doesn't speak to me, and I leave him alone as well! I better not say much more, lest I reveal too much about myself!

Keep up the good work on your blog!


Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Anonymiss: I'm sure you noticed my reply had some
errors I'm correcting here:

"Who cares why Whitlock did what he did" and "Whitlock wasn't just suggesting" was what I meant to write.... thx

Anonymous/Lisa 99: Thanks for contributing. Your info was very helpful in clarifying some things for me and made for a better post. Another woman blogger actually posted a series of photos of Whitlock on Twitter last night so we could better understand what a "character" he is. I probably would've posted those photos with a caption saying "This Is Who's Calling Us Ugly" with no copy. That would've been enough! SMH. Don't go revealing who you are unless you want!

Khadija: It's ok because that process needs to be done quickly. This is a time-sensitive endeavor. Funny you mentioned zombies as I was writing today's post referencing them when you'd added your comment.