Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Do You Sometimes Wonder How Dysfunctional Relationships Become the Norm?

Per celeb gossip news rapper Nelly and singer Ashanti broke up last week. When I read it I wondered why it was a surprise. The guy made a music video where he slid a credit card down the butt cheeks of a woman. That speaks volumes about his character, values and how he views black women as disposable objects. Plus they'd "dated" for five years. You know where I'm going with this. If you've spent x amount of time trying to get someone to commit to you and they don't, they're just not that into you. Not to mention the fact that's not smart dating!

In the other singer/rapper break up news pairing Kelis and Nas' divorce was very acrimonious. She had to hire a forensic accountant to track money he'd claimed he didn't have to get the settlement she felt she was entitled to. She's since asked for a lump sum payment instead of monthly allocation. Many of her former "friends" in the industry have dragged her through the mud and other male rappers have predictably called her every name but her own. I'm sure they'd still have sex with her though.

I'm not surprised by the actions of these "men" because spotting the disdain they reserve for black women is like playing Pin the Tail On the Donkey without the blinders. Yet I'm still seeing comments from black women joining in the fake outrage. How dare she ask for any spousal or child support! Perhaps she wants to nurse her child and bond with him yet to hear some women talk she should "get a job". It's part of that Superwoman/Mammy/Mule myth.

Well, her job for the past decade has been "entertainer" which is already a type of fantasy career most will never achieve. I get the impression those who live with less expect other women to do so and resent any elevation in status. Remember the number of defenders of Chris Brown who claimed Rihanna had asked to be beat within an inch of her life? These are the relationships that are being held up as "normal" relations between blacks? This makes me want to tell black women and men to stay away from each other period - but that I know there are exceptions. Yet the sad thing is they are exceptions because I do think the majority are toxic. The "celeb" status of the couples featured only exacerbates the inherent pathologies underlying their conflicts.

Then you have the "educated" idiots like Michael Eric Dyson who may be degreed but have no common sense. His attempt at uplifting the word ni**er as an art form earns him a permanent FAIL. Skippy Gates' defense of 2 Live Crew which I highlighted in an earlier post helped usher in the gangsta rap/bling/ho culture. Directors like Tyler Perry reinforce a narrow definition of black womanhood based on religiosity and stigmas. Let's stop allowing these black men to uplift the gutter at our expense.

Denigration for breakfast, lunch and dinner for more than a decade and why do people wonder why 14 year olds (and younger) are committing crimes like rape and murder? Think about all the adults who buy Grand Theft Auto for children. They're being taught to objectify women and to become criminals. It's not a game. It's indoctrination. It should be considered a form of child abuse as its unsupervised use creates a mini Hitler-like person.

What's the solution? Well this may not be a one-size-fits-all response. The wound is so deep it's time to cut off the limb to save a life. A tourniquet may have worked at one time but too much time has passed denying the wound was there to begin with. Our choices will likely reflect our mentality to begin with. It also comes down to how shrewd we are or are willing to be. We don't want to keep playing catch-up while life is passing us by.

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Unknown said...

Faith -

Thanks for this!

I stumbled upon celeb gossip blog, whose link I refuse to submit because the entire site is full of DBR-speak and general tripe, where the author and a good majority of the commenters stated how Kelis is asking to be a "chalk outline".

One white male commenter even went about describing exactly HOW he would kill Kelis if he were in Nas' shoes! This is a black-written/black-frequented blog and no one saw anything wrong with these comments! Only two women defended Kelis by saying she was entitled to what she's going after.

When I pointed it out that this white male was vocalizing the destruction of a black woman, and that NONE of the black male commenters had anything to say to him about it in defense of Kelis or, really, ALL black women, straws were pulled about my coming to the blog and commenting when I supposedly don't like the content.

I was too enraged to respond.

Anyway, I do love your blog and this is my first comment. I think it was about time that I stopped being a lurker. :-)


Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Aina: Welcome and thanks for delurking. The hate is rather obvious to you and me but so many are still lost in the wilderness. I'm wondering if I'm beating a dead horse with these posts and if this is helpful so I appreciate your comment.

tertiaryanna said...

Our choices will likely reflect our mentality to begin with. It also comes down to how shrewd we are or are willing to be. We don't want to keep playing catch-up while life is passing us by.

This is straight truth. I also think that decisions self-perpetuate. Bad decisions are easy to keep making when you start, and good ones are easy to make when you start doing them. But it's hard to switch from bad to good. It's doable, but it takes effort, time and dedication.

So when we see people who are quick to embrace damaging actions, we must be careful not to slide down the hill with them. And we must also be careful within ourselves when we find our own bad decisions, so we can concentrate our efforts on building what we want to achieve instead of being caught in what we want to abandon.

Khadija said...


I wonder if these same people were outraged about Michael Strahan's White ex-wife getting MORE than half in their divorce. Or if they were angry about Eric Benet seeking payment***after having cheated on her***from Halle Berry during their divorce. Hmmph.

You said, "The hate is rather obvious to you and me but so many are still lost in the wilderness. I'm wondering if I'm beating a dead horse with these posts and if this is helpful..."

I think back to how reading various pioneers' essays helped me organize my thoughts about certain issues LONG before I ever started commenting on any blogs. At that point, they had no way of knowing that their work was having a profound impact on my life.

I'm sure that a similar things is happening with your work. There are a lot of people quietly reading who never comment. I'm sure that even though they don't comment, many of them ARE changing course in their lives for the better. Keep up the great work!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

tertiaryanna: I think receiving encouragement from others who see our best assets can be very helpful in changing our mindsets. It's difficult to function being surrounded by the indoctrinated and miserable who want to pick you apart because they themselves are miserable.

khadija: No I don't recall much griping about Strahan's ridiculous settlement or the defense of Halle Berry who'd almost gotten sucked in completely had she adopted Benet's daughter. I'm going to remind the few foolish people who make comments regarding the settlements of other women like Kelis. Thanks for reminder that there are people still processing this information.

Anonymous said...

That is why i refuse to read black gossip blog and read the comments. why read more toxic crap about black women. Remember reading Afrobella 's outrage at the stuff they said to Rihanna. I remember not being surprised at all. It also crazy that rappers have come to represent black masculinity. I live in a patriarchy and rap videos here are not censored , so young Haitian men are referring to themselves using the N word and reinforcing their sexist behavior, because they saw it on the videos.

I hope Kelis gets her share after all she will be raising children.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Zindzhi: There was a post that CW wrote at her blog that stated, "let the dead bury the dead". That's what we need to do.