Leave and don’t look back!
After my “lovely” exchange yesterday with a group of poison pen bullies and their supporters it dawned on me I fell for the okey doke. I saw the abnormal, caustic, dysfunctional behavior of several black men up close and did not immediately turn away. I thought I could have a reasonable conversation with the equivalent of psychopaths. Although we were discussing one writer’s column insulting a tennis champion it was really about how some black men just want to bash black women (some they don’t even know) for pleasure. What normal man does that? The answer is: that’s not the normal behavior of a man. I will not make that same mistake again. At least I hope not. It’s funny how trying to be social, reasoned and an otherwise normal woman who connects with other human beings can lead you astray.
Just like I made this “one time exception” and watched the network that wants to “destroy black people”. I almost didn’t make it out of the Vortex of Coonery. We all know that BET Awards show was an absolute disgrace. Yet people are still talking about it. Thus they are still engaged in supporting it on some level. Or tied to it somehow. It’s a “black” network and we’re black people. The idea of cutting off things and people where we think parts of our identity may be tied to is difficult. We’re looking in the wrong place if we’re trying to connect based on race. That’s the Civil Rights/We Be Struggling/Women Lift Everybody Up BS some of us have been indoctrinated with. Yet it’s a trick. We may long for a cultural tie because it helps complete us socially. Perhaps we will have to accept the fact that discussing how some of our ancestors were enslaved and the shared affinity for music/art is all we really have in common and stop trying to force a deeper meaning into our interactions. It’s the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood who disguised his voice as the grandmother so he could devour her. It’s the Siren’s call that led entire ships of human cargo to be destroyed.
I don’t like to make blanket statements about a group of men who may share a similar skin shade or phenotype being toxic so I almost got sucked into the insanity of fools. I like to think I can separate individuals from behaviors and properly distance myself from the dysfunctional. I dealt with some internet Ike Turners very patiently, but my patience has been expended. It’s bordering me flipping the bird and calling it a day. Meaning writing off the majority and calling it a day. I’m not going to expend my energy “looking harder for the decent ones”. Why aren’t all of these “decent ones” looking for me (and other black women of substance) to reassure us they’re not like those fools over in the corner? How many are they – and most importantly – do they outnumber the zombies so we won’t become the undead? Am I to travel highways and byways, look under rocks, develop some “non-damaged, non-colorist, confident black man who doesn’t despise other black women” call? I’m not a bird! There’s no secret handshake I should have to give to be let into some exclusive club.
Of course I already know there are plenty of decent men out there. Thank goodness. Otherwise I’d be writing a post about ALL black men are _____ and I’d be done. The end. That’s not a solution either, but I can understand why it seems like a viable response. It immediately solves the problem, but we can’t torch the building and walk away. Some of those embers might travel and destroy other areas. I also know there are some damaged women as well. They’re usually supporting those men. By the way no one ever ADMITS they’re damaged beyond recognition either. They tell you it’s your fault or that you’re just being sexist or your standards or too high or they don’t understand where you’re coming from or you have no credibility. Some who know better are actual fence-sitters watching the mayhem but not doing anything to stop it. They get awfully worked up at the mere MENTION of dysfunctional behavior that they attribute to others but never themselves. So if it isn’t about you, then why are you upset?
It’s made for some interesting blog posts though. In order to be a fully functioning and thriving woman though you (and I) should only be spending time with other normal people who are life-affirming and at the very least know how to behave in public.
As another astute blogger noted when God told Lot and his family to leave Sodom & Gomorrah He warned them not to look back. Lot’s wife didn’t listen. As a kid I used to laugh at the concept of a woman literally turning into a pillar of salt not recognizing the symbolism. It was very telling that it was a woman who looked back. Meaning she probably had some relatives left who were still in debauchery mode drinking, laughing and having a good time. Or perhaps some were just hanging out thinking they had another day or two to leave. Maybe she thought she’d convince others that they needed to reconsider what they were doing and “behave” like people with morals. Well after viewing that horrid BET Awards on the premise of a MJ tribute I realized how indecent some people can be. Just like those left at S&G.
I think I can reasonably assume we’ve been issued a warning, those of us who still consider ourselves to be “decent” and “normal”. We’ve been warned to not engage with those we may consider friends, family members or anyone else who can’t or won’t conform to a minimum standard of decency. Black women have been getting an Orange Alert for quite some time about limiting themselves to males who share similar features but are shells of what men are supposed to be. Many of us have not listened. So there’s a reason why the out of wedlock birth rate is inching closer 80% (yes!), our HIV rate is the highest, the majority have not married (for those that wanted to) and many of us are not living but struggling. If we’re not living that statistic we might still be diminishing our quality of life by being less than so as to appease a weak man or not expanding our options like traveling outside the country, going for that next degree or even considering all of our orientation options.
So some of us have to do a better job at discerning who’s wearing the mask of illusion and is not our ally. Especially if we’re trying to be more cognizant of these things. Some women are already lost because they’d insist on staying back in Gomorrah. Lot’s wife may have been weeping for them and thought she was safely out. We know what happened. Those looking out for our best interests may not even know us but their good advice could be the difference between our survival (with a high quality life) or our death (a life of desperation or having it cut short).
**I also want to specify with a certain but lessening sadness that I am mostly referring to African-American males. See if we’re going to keep it real that needs to be clarified. If we as the US descendants of those enslaved paved the way for other blacks around the world to benefit from the struggles of our ancestors want that properly acknowledged I can’t gloss over what has become glaringly obvious either. Besides they already know it so we’re not fooling anyone but ourselves here. Again, I didn’t say ALL so pay attention. We have to speak the whole truth and nothing but the truth if things are to ever improve. Of course that ship has sailed and it’s best to save yourself.**
Leave and don’t look back!