Your Right To Be Offended

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I was on a DVD bender watching movies and before I could blink it was Monday. You know sometimes, life happens and I am sometimes compelled to change the contents and times of scheduled posts. Which is interesting in itself as I can’t seem to take a blogging vacation.  I actually appreciate knowing there are things I am consistent with as discipline in one area can lend itself to many. Anyway, I truly enjoy writing and sharing the dynamics and intricacies of life with you.

I have gravitated towards a few online forums that offer laughs, eye rolls or open-mouthed wonder depending on the topic or responses from other readers who take the time to comment. I generally have a greater appreciation for those that offer constructive feedback. Certain observations have been invaluable in raising the esthetic. While I’ve tried to be very diligent in not allowing derailers and obfuscators unfettered access here, I have had to address many divergent and sometimes inconsistently ‘supportive’ interests when specifically discussing lifestyle strategies for black women.

In order to have a complete discussion, all of the influential facets (from indoctrination, treatment, expectations and complicity) must be included. The irony of those who’ve seemingly agreed or been amenable knows no bounds, because it has been often unreliable. As soon as standards are enforced or something gets discussed that’s undesired, many have turned away. The presumption in expecting agreement with no analysis or accountability usually trips people and then they reveal their true nature.

There’s a difference between not agreeing, but remaining respectful and the Judas-like attitudes of betrayal. If it was about a personal one-on-one interaction that would mean one thing. The conversation is about external oppression and internal repression that causes people to put ideologies above self-interest. People still have a difficult time understanding it’s the message that takes precedence. That doesn’t indicate a desire for conflict, but it does involve separating and segmenting interactions and the roles people choose.

You can’t simply go along with anything to get along with everyone or hold grudges when you disagree. You can’t force others to share the same values. Not if you have any integrity. This is why if you have fundamentally divergent interests you have to walk away from some and move on to surround yourself with like minds and spirits without animus. You do have to be able to identify behaviors that lead to abundance and hold fast to them, eliminating anything that blocks the light in your life.

When we’re online, we may feel one layer removed from reality which can lend to some volatile behavior. Or we may react strongly when we are impacted by certain discussions in unexpected ways. The opposition has been far more useful in being able to set firmer boundaries and know where people stand.

While I post a variety of topics in this forum, the discussions about relationships, the negative impact of politicized feminism and respect of and free agency for African-American women have lent to some heated conversations. Nothing worth evaluating is ever free from conflict when people want to stay in one place due to fear, envy and self-imposed limitations.

Amongst my own required online reading, I’m a regular forum visitor of both  Bob Lefsetz – The Lefetz Report and Joe Konrath – A Newbie’s Guide To Publishing. If you think you’ve witnessed ‘outrageous’ commentary, you should go over to their forums [also try The Honest Courtesan or the Black Agenda Report]. They have taken to exposing the less savory aspects of the music and publishing industries respectively [in the case of Ms. McNeil’s forum, it’s the sex trade]. Many of their conversations center on exposing abuse, greed, apathy and dismantling sacred cows. Many of their posts could be interchangeable. They’re not the only forums discussing these topics, but some people reading react as if the mere mention of a subject is so polarizing their heads will explode.

People are often mad at something – based on their interpretation of what these forum hosts mean. I was scanning comments from Lefsetz where one reader admonished him for “making generalities”. Well, he’s discussing the state of the music industry as a whole, while using specific examples..so duh. There are always exceptions!!

When people touch the third rail folks freak out, so much that they focus their energy on trying to discredit, belittle or silence the other person. Somehow the idea of people offering critical analysis is threatening and some refuse to allow for disagreement because it might enlighten others.

Konrath has had many publishing vets lie and intentionally misconstrue his conversations about why authors need to take charge of their careers and how the old models don’t benefit them. We’ve had similar talks here, albeit a different paradigm is at play.

Of course this is a “milder” form of oppression. Governments tend to react strongly to critics and dissenters – right here in the good ol’ USA. If we cull our history and review Suffragettes, Civil Rights, Occupy Together we will find numerous resistance to attempts at social reform. For the keyboard trolls and non-contientious objectors alike here’s one solution: stop engaging if you don’t agree. Do nothing and life will go on. The thing you may want to check is how many people are passing you by. Or more telling is how many of you are standing in an ever-decreasing space together and how long before one or more of you realize it. Don’t kick the person on the ladder under you, lest you find yourself knocked off by someone bigger or stronger than you.

I realize with the proliferation of technology via our devices and data plans we are always “on” if we choose to be. Tune in or out but make it count. Conversations touching on the long tail of political, social, commercial and personal oriented discourse often requires us to examine, imagine, construct or rebuild ideas and ideals we’ve held firmly in place.

I’ve said this before and it bears repeating: agreement is not required. These conversations are had to nudge folks awake, not to encourage an echo chamber where they nod their heads but do nothing. If all you’ve got is an old strip of tape holding your values together the onus is on you to set them on rock versus sand and build a better foundation. You have the right to your opinion (and can choose to be outraged), but you don’t have the right to change facts.

In discussing the core tenets of Black Women’s Empowerment (BWE) we’ve asked AA women in particular to conduct an audit of the current landscape of the black community and their place in this world. It is in every woman’s benefit in a patriarchal society dominated by certain groups to make a Pro & Con list to determine what choices and whose alliances will benefit them generationally, not just today.

We are likely to never meet and even if we did, I don’t know you. While I certainly take great pride in receiving lovely messages from women – and men – who tell me they appreciate the messaging at the blog, I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know.

These conversations have often served as a reminder of who you are, that is all. If it resonates in a powerful way it is because you were attuned to it and sought the reconnection of heightened consciousness. If I have served any purpose it is in allowing myself to be used as a conduit, bridging the gap between your subconscious, your spirit to truths you were aware of.

If you’ve had an equally strong negative reaction, it is simply your distaste upon seeing the reflection of your soul staring back at you, unadorned. Or you don’t want others to live well. It’s an attempt at imposing human limitations when we are in fact spirits who have none. The rabble-rouser crew is trying to get people to see they’re blocking infinite possibilities.

If you don’t like something change it. Either way it has nothing to do with me personally. It’s the message of freedom that matters. I certainly welcome your support of this forum and the efforts I put into maintaining the integrity of the vision.

I’m not peeking behind closed doors, sitting in judgment of your life choices. They’re yours to make. If I discuss topics that inevitably touch a nerve, you may want to ask yourself why it bothers you. I might be talking about relationships advising women to not make choices you’ve decided to engage in. What works for one may not benefit most. We may identify abusive behavior. Or another long-held ideal may be on the chopping block in favor of something more practical. Cie la vie.

We all have freedom of choice, but not every choice brings freedom. I don’t go out of my way to be in conflict with others, nor may you like my methods but the purpose is to free people from enslaved thinking. That has real-life ramifications. There’s bound to be controversy.

Exceptions are not the norm. Say it and repeat it. If you want a B&W existence be content enough to not try to block those of us who want Technicolor.

Philippians 4:8 New International Version

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.