Where are the standards?
Here I thought when a blogger referred to the slave mentality of most blacks it was harsh — except the behavior that was on display from one of my blog posts last week was revealed to be exactly that and worse. Every time I wonder how low things can go they sink further. I’m glad the blogging audience could see this unfold. Agree or disagree – we benefit from clarification. This is what I’ve observed:
- Women who lie, lie, lie and deny, deny, deny. Unsuccessfully.
- Women who are single-issue advocates. Once they get “theirs” it’s time to check out.
- Women sitting on the sidelines. Coddling unsavory behavior.
- Women comforting perpetrators as victims, ignoring the actual victims.
- Women offering mealy-mouthed platitudes about how they “wish” it would all go away everyone would get along so they can put their masks on and go back to sleep.
- Women who may “care” as the day is long, but will walk all over you if you let them.
- Women using other people’s forums for further venting time, rehashing their one-sided conflicts with other people and generally stirring the pot. Whiners not doers.
- Women who claim to not be taking sides but choosing one by settling for less.
- Women allowing anyone onto their forums — like a certain white guy who isn’t dating or married to a black woman, identified himself as having had personal issues to resolve and has been using us for entertainment for well over two years now. He’s dropped little bits of poison into numerous conversations. He has not produced any tangible results that have uplifted black women, but because he claims interest in black women’s issues, some of you lap it up. WHY?
- Women who can get along with you…as long as you dance in the gutter with them.
- Women who feel entitled to benefits without paying sweat equity or reciprocating in kind.
- Women claiming they support a cause but have not done anything substantial to build it, grow it or sustain it. It’s like claiming to be on a diet but eating a gallon of ice cream daily.
If the core BWE forums shut down today would you be prepared to fill the vacuum?
Do you liken this to a “club” where we rub off decals and trade decoder rings? Accuse people of jealousy over the most petty and superficial indicators of “success”? Spend the bulk of your time at forums where you wail and moan about the latest DBR behavior…of DBRs. Are you still so black-male identified that you can’t fathom the concept of being your own woman and actively block other black women from getting out of the Matrix?
Do you still get angry at other black women for speaking the truth? Do you offer anything in return when you ask other people to help you? Are you even remotely grateful for the BWE forums? I don’t need external validation from uncommitted parties and fair-weather “friends”. My values sustain my worth. No emotional high fives are required. Most of you are not willing to risk short-term inconvenience for a lifetime of gain. I’m looking for adults who can use discernment. I’m seeking maturity. We’re not 12 years old and this isn’t a game!
You can say what you think are the catch-phrases du jour. You can shift responsibility and duck for cover until you think you’ve made it. You can throw rocks and run. Or you can respond earnestly that you don’t have it all figured out or you may have lost your way and we can brainstorm together on solutions after you’ve proven reliability and taken full responsibility for your inadequate or foul behavior. Only one of these options remotely suggests the fortitude and honesty necessary.
If the BWE message can be employed by any random black woman why is there a NEED FOR THE BWE MESSAGE TO BEGIN WITH? Shouldn’t black women already KNOW these things and act accordingly? I’ve got other things I can be doing. I’ll make this forum a cheese, wine and chocolate blog and enjoy a much more peaceful online life. This is a defining moment for certain because I’ve noted how time and time again black women have taken a common sense conversation (about alpha males for example) and twisted it into something completely unrecognizable.
Would you hand your baby off to complete strangers and “hope” they’d raise the kid well? All for the sake of giving them an opportunity to be a parent? Wouldn’t you want to make sure they weren’t child-molesters or neglectful?
Apparently we’re living in parallel worlds. I pay more attention to the FRUIT OF THY LABOR. I don’t estimate what’s in someone’s heart or what they claim their intentions are. If you wanted to support a charitable organization wouldn’t you first inquire what their needs were? Wouldn’t you seek some sort of constructive feedback? Wouldn’t the organization make sure the checks had all cleared? That volunteers were doing something or at the places they said they were going to be? Or is it a free for all? Aren’t there any boundaries?
I will be honest, there have been times where I’ve felt my eyes bleed at reading some of the content of the core BWE messengers. That is usually an indication I’ve been impacted in a way that makes me uncomfortable. Most of us don’t like being made to feel uncomfortable for any length of time – if at all.
This is where reaffirming focus on the big picture comes into play. I may personally want to employ certain nuances and subtleties (and can do so privately) but the larger collective of women cannot. It takes walking a razor thin line and not compromising. That won’t work on a mass scale without destroying the message. Since most of those reading the message at the BWE forums don’t have an end game devoid of their comfort, the issue of remaining focused on saving the lives of as many black women and girls gets tossed rather quickly. It becomes about them and why those who won’t compromise won’t let them “be”.
Most women are reading the content at these forums and not making any of the recommended changes. It’s why we continually circle the same points repeatedly. The focus instead becomes about supporting individuals not principles. So now the new motto excuse is “give a brotha sista” a chance? Anybody? People want to be in communion with others who talk about making informed choices. It’s a reflection of themselves after all. They want to be part of a growing crowd of black women who want better. They tell each other they deserve it. We do of course but how are you going to advance to “better” walking backwards towards the gutter?
The very same qualities women should be looking in mates are what those who wish to take leadership roles in the BWE social justice movement must possess. We can evaluate the effectiveness of the “relationship” by how well these are being executed. The other option is to assist in the work and be a supporter or would-be ally. Which is great of course – but you don’t get to jockey for inclusion of a leadership role. You don’t get to be a surgeon, astronaut or other skilled position-holder just by referring to yourself as one. Humility and the ego are like oil and water.
The other thing to consider is how many of the compromised are already out and safe and have a fall-back position. Which is why they are missing the inherent danger to those women who do not. They are obstructing the path to freedom with a lot of distractions. This is about life vs. death. Those are absolutes. Establishing and adhering to a message while keeping your eyes on the prize is not something most people are seriously willing to do. Most have not weighed the costs beforehand so dropping out or lowering the bar is simply a matter of time. The hubris that many of those assume their familiarity with BWE messaging brings will be fatal to other women.
There is no difference between you and those actively working against the BWE message when you have compromised it to the point that would render it ineffective. We can’t be “hugged up” on each other. We do not have time to take the scenic route, to give people time to pick lint out of their navels, to give them space to sort things through, to be “gentle” (it’s okay you can come out of the burning house at your own pace!), to meet for tea and coffee or to argue semantics.
It would be far more productive to just admit you only want to employ certain facets of the BWE message and leave the bulk of the serious work to those willing to see it through to completion. This is why so many of you take issue with the disciplined execution by the core BWE messengers. And constantly gripe about it. And argue that someone is trying to tell you what to do. We can predict your responses with 99.999% accuracy. Which should tell you something. You want others to compromise. You want Door # 3. You want BWE-lite. It’s better to have tangible results you’ve produced from doing some of work than focusing your ego to lay claim to advancing a movement when you have barely stepped to the plate to take second swing.
You can’t have it both ways.
You can however gauge your reaction (or level of outrage) as an indication of how serious you are.
P.S. It’s time for you fence-sitters to get off your butts! It’s time for all of you who declare support for the BWE message to actually support the work of the BWE messengers.