I have to ask because I’ve just been reminded of “why we fight” for the minds of black women. I am absolutely livid that there are those who will continue to take on the mantle of guard dog and gatekeeper for the black male but almost never for other black women let alone themselves. After what was a seemingly innocuous conversation with another BW – online mind you – about what constitutes the actions and behavior of a DBR (damaged beyond repair) male it turned into a he-she said scenario with a 3rd party. I’d inadvertently mentioned a specific person and situation having no idea the woman I was conversing with and the person in question knew each other. Regardless though numerous BW go to bat for BM they don’t know with equal fervor.
I don’t allow such DBR foolishness in my personal life mind you. As someone who has traveled, lived amongst other cultures and has always fought to have my own identity I’ve been forced to take the less used path. Recognizing DBRs and how BW have been constantly devalued has brought it all full circle. Caring about social justice, equality and having high standards is a must but it doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate having fun. I make it my business to have quality experiences on a regular basis. I simply can’t ignore the deteriorating conditions for many black women and say nothing.
So as I gently tried to extricate myself from further discussion it became apparent to me that I was going to have “prove” something to this woman. I’ve learned that a closed mind cannot be opened no matter what and that regardless of whatever “evidence” I offered it would be rejected. She is far too invested in her relationship and maintaining its status quo to listen to me. I refused to do so anyway because my opinion is mine and mine alone yet she wanted to belabor the point in a slew of messages even after I said we’d just have to agree to disagree because I’d long moved on and hadn’t had any contact with that DBR since my exposure to their behavior. I am of sound mind and body and certainly have the faculties to evaluate whether my exchanges with someone add benefit or detract from my life and why.
I did blog about this situation in July but didn’t specify the person because they are not important. It was the LESSON that I learned that was the gold mine. I am in fact grateful to this DBR for..well being a DBR inasmuch as the months I’d spent reading the BWE/BWIR bloggers and weighing the seriousness of their discussions coalesced for me at that one important juncture. See, I had doubts about the incendiary nature of the indoctrination of BW to get them to accept mediocrity, believe the worst about themselves, not expect reciprocity and make all manner of excuses for the abhorrent behavior of many BM. I thought only “certain” people engaged in such foul behavior but I of course now know it stretches across the board amongst all classes.
So the conversation related to a few BM who were publicly castigating a premiere BW athlete publicly and my expectations that they would stop once it was pointed out to them how disrespectful they were being. The DBR in question would be considered a “good” BM because he’s married to a BW, educated, middle class etc. I suppose in the way Morgan Freeman is considered a “good” man except for that pesky marrying his step-granddaughter after having had sex with her for years while still married to his first wife when she was underaged. As if someone entertaining us or doing a few good things negates all the harm they allow. We’re still debating whether it’s beneficial for BW to take relationship advice from a comedian who’s been married three times (Steve Harvey), a comedian who made a mockumentary ridiculing BW hair angst (Chris Rock), an actor who writes advice books while telling BW to lower their standards (Hill Harper) and various other agents of destruction who have brown skin. Look at how many BW urged others to give Chris Brown a second chance after he nearly killed his ex-girlfriend Rihanna during a violent attack. His actions warranted a prison term but she also advocated leniency. Some seem to think youth is at work more than it being about a disease of the soul. Brown’s latest CD flopped and he has been complaining and whining about being treated unfairly even while he had not completed his community service. If you give an abuser an inch…
Besides in typical fashion this DBR (who is a writer that lives in NYC) decided to publicly castigate a white “Fat Actress” for what he considered a racist statement the week after he essentially did the same thing to the black female athlete. I found it interesting how he chose to fight another woman and got so riled up at the perceived racism of another while of course completely ignoring his own. Others cheered him on for being so “progressive” but they had no idea he was being selective in his outrage.
The actress accused him of trying to elevate his profile through her and wouldn’t back down either. She had made a comment about blacks and Italians being “happy” which was more silly to me than something as directly harmful as demeaning black women publicly but so many blacks are still stuck on “white racism” as being the mortal enemy to the collective. It is in fact black men who hate black women and the women that support their agendas.
So BW are fighting against the ravages of white supremacy for sure but more immediately are being taken out one by one by man-sharing, settling for males who eschew education and are marginally employed and being devalued in any number of ways, too many to count in fact. It’s a slow moving poison that has invaded the collective in its entirety. It’s also a CHOICE. It’s why I started using the analogy of The Matrix. Like the humans being used for cannon fodder for the machines, so BW are being used to prop up the dead “black community” in ideal and reality. It’s why a few of us have gotten out and have to remember those still “plugged-in” are a danger to us. They are so invested in maintaining the illusion they will do anything to retain it. This isn’t about deciding whether blue or red looks best. This is about a quality of life issue for the collective. This is not about individual choices such as whether you can be a larger woman or not, wear your hair relaxed or not, why you “prefer” (American) BM even after knowing the stats of there being 1 male for every 3 female before you evaluate for caliber or whether patriarchy and the historic nature of categorizing women as property negates marriage.
This is about why many BW (particularly AA black women) limit themselves, flock to projects that put them down, look askance at other BW as competition for a small pool of questionable males and don’t even recognize or acknowledge any of the above and then some. Of course this could all be argued for semantics sake but again, I am speaking of the collective not individuals. If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog the past few months then none of these discussions are new.
2010 ushers in a new decade. Isn’t it time for a new attitude? I am only being reminded again and again and again how “deep the rabbit hole goes”. There is difference in perspective, difference in execution, difference in life experience, difference in the paths we take and the pace we go but there is no disputing the current stats that should be alarming and cause for serious reflection. I’ve also discussed the out of wedlock births, never-married status and HIV rates killing BW – not so that we may add to it as a tale of woe but use it as a means of reevaluating how far off the life-giving path many black women have gone and the non-beneficial thoughts and deeds that have led to this misdirection. It requires much consideration and a serious reality check.
Another typical scenario has emerged whereby a popular R&B singer slapped her husband at her record-release party a few days ago. It was a DBR black male who asked why she wasn’t arrested. Going back to patterns of behavior this person also publicly complained about a now-pregnant former reality show contestant was requesting child support equal in percentage to the income of the millionaire athlete who was the father. Simply because he couldn’t accept the idea of a woman receiving $70K a month he exclaimed she should “get a job” and not be allowed to “sit on her butt watching Oprah all day”. As if! It really speaks to this DBR’s (or at minimum a lower caliber male) inadequacies and what I suspect is extreme jealousy. He wishes he could access that type of income for himself and doesn’t understand the first thing about providing for a child.
Now of course there’s no excusing the singer for hitting her husband but he is larger and stronger than she. The typical male has more body strength and can stop a woman a lot easier than the reverse. There has to be parity in evaluating these situations. Violence against women and girls is real and most have no one advocating for them. Too many BW are settling for the fixer-upper, the stuck-in-perpetual-boyhood males when they need MEN. The husband is also her manager, making a buck off her no matter what happens with their marriage. I’ve always thought he was suspect in character and quality. The singer in question has had a history of being troubled from growing up in an less than stellar environment but was supposed to have worked through the worst of it. I cannot estimate how she may or may not have contributed to the “drama” but I can say that women who choose a lower quality mate will have many hardships as that person pops a tiny hole in the balloon of their lives. More and more air will seep out as the woman’s life has been negatively impacted and slowly deflates. Good enough isn’t…good enough.
It was why reading the message of empowerment, making informed/unlimited choices and reading through comments of other women experiencing this transformation took time to sink in. Years of indoctrination can’t be undone with the wave of a hand. It’s been 5 months since my awakening outside the DBR Matrix and the distance has proved useful but it’s far from complete. It’s like an onion: many layers must be peeled. It’s why I recognize the old tapes being repeated by various women in any number of ways. It’s why so many may or may not understand this or may or may not desire to make any adjustments. It’s why a BW would think to admonish me and place qualifiers for my calling out DBR behavior. For the record anyone can display DBR behavior but the majority of those directly causing harm and reinforcing confusion are black males. If anyone is looking for “proof” why don’t they focus on DISPROVING THAT INSTEAD?
It is in their interest to devalue BW because they profit from it. If reading that is problematic for some of you too bad. Some are more interested in protecting falsehoods than in telling the truth. BW with divided loyalties who think they are supporting justice in one area are in fact fence-sitters who will likely side with those who are our enemies. Only those like-minded enough can be allies and support each other. We don’t have to agree on everything but there are core principles that must be. I draw lines in the sand for a reason. We must always remain focused on one objective: FREEDOM.
Freedom from BM that publicly ridicule other BW for sport and profit.
Freedom from self-imposed limitations of what we can and cannot do.
Freedom from doubts, confusion and never-ending questions.
Freedom from being tied down as a savior of community and to inadequate men.
Freedom from having to justify anything that we do that elevates us.
Child molesters don’t admit they harm children. Anyone who’s watched an episode of NBC’s “To Catch A Predator” starts to see a pattern emerge when the men realize they’ve been exposed. Their denials read like a script. It’s the same excuses repeated over and over. I have no idea why the BW who questioned me expected her DBR friend to actually admit it. Predators always DENY they are being predatory. Or at minimum a low-caliber male who benefits from an endless supply of support from BW will deny he denigrates OTHER BW. Especially when it’s someone they think they can get away with it.
As an active participant of social media platforms I come across people from all walks of life. I appreciate the various exchanges and feedback from engaging people. Being challenged is par for the course as useless concepts are dismantled one by one. I will continue to evaluate behavior and call men (and women with cause) out on it when they display hatred for BW openly in public forums and for personal profit. I don’t need the approval or understanding of other BW (let alone BM) to do so. Those who see the big picture get it. People who engage in harmful behavior should not be given the benefit of the doubt. That’s the indoctrination talking. Perhaps these DBRs should learn to hide their dysfunction better.
The last thing I’m going to worry about is protecting a DBR or their excusers/deniers. My concern is always for the welfare of black women and girls. Even from themselves at times. In a war you focus on victory. You don’t lay down your arms until you’ve won. You don’t take a day off. If you don’t deflect a weapon being used against you, you will perish.
Patriarchy may be here to stay but if I’m going to negotiate a professional interaction it’s going to be with a male with real clout not a bottom-feeding leech who sics his women friends on me to “set me straight”. We also must stop bashing the idea of marriage when 70% + BW (African American) have never been. The result of any relationship is what we bring to the table and those we break bread with. Not when a cis gender hetero woman has the legal right to do so without a second thought while others are fighting for such privilege. Until we remedy what ails us as a collective things will continue to deteriorate. This isn’t about being right but doing the right thing.