I Don’t Get It

Yesterday, I had an “awakening” of sorts. I watched a rather provacative video post of a young black woman initially asking why are we (black women) so argumentative? She said that we define ourselves by conflict. She goes on to compare black women to some “ultra violent gangster that is so mean he could find the insult in a bouquet of roses” That is how she views black women. Wow. I’ve NEVER had anyone perceive me in this manner and I was offended.

My friend, Muhjahid Woodson-Quahhar, posted the video and basically dared folks to comment. I’d seen the video clip earlier during the weekend, and so I started reading the comments posted. I was shocked. I actually went back and watched the video again – just to make sure I’d viewed the same clip. The majority of folks that posted a response, said that she’d basically “hit the nail on the head”.

After I’d watched the clip a second time, I had to comment. Basically, my comment went sort of like this: “While even a broken clock is correct twice a day, the generalization (to me) is insulting. It’s no more true than saying that all white women are docile or all white folks hate black people. Sure, I’ve met black women that would be considered angry (and probably justified for whatever reason in their pissitivity) – but that isn’t my experience with most. Generalizations are basically a means to perpetuate by (my guess is) well meaning folks like this and they are dangerous. They tend to feed into the characterizations that fuel animosity and divisive behavior – and for what? What is the purpose? SMDH.

While there were a few women that agreed, I was upset that the majority of men that commented, in agreement with this woman. After giving what she said some thought, I BECAME an angry black woman. I was angry for a couple of reasons. One of the things she did was show a clip of a basketball game, where LeBron James goes off on another player and then later, is caught by the cameras apologizing to that player. A big deal is made of that clip, not just by the commentator, but also by our girl making the post. The analogy (in my opinion) was a poor one. Basically, she tells us that we need to learn to sit down and apologize and then shut up. That if we just STHU (Shut The Hell Up) and listen to black men, and defer to them, our lives will be worth living, because these men will want to be with us. WTH?!!!! She goes on to say that we don’t do that with white men? Oh, and my personal favorites, Fifty percent of all black women have herpes (who the hell gave it to them???), we (black women) wander through life aimlessly and we have no point, no direction and no decent maternal guidance to give us direction. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Here’s my problem in a nutshell with her post. It’s divisive, it’s wrong and it does NOTHING to foster a possible peaceable and meaningful conversation. It seems (to me) the purpose of her post, is not to really start a supportive dialogue; but to embarrass and tear down. And do it in a way that will actually produce the very result that she supposedly takes issue with. While it does propagate certain conversations, it doesn’t do it without belittling the thread that has kept many families intact, in the face of adversity throughout history: The Black Woman.

More importantly? It’s wrong – most of the black women that I’ve come in contact with are not side-eyeing me, and waiting to pounce on my facebook, twitter or physically get in my face so that we can argue. Am I saying that she’s 100 % wrong? Absolutely not. Nope, what I’m saying is that it’s unfortunate if that is what she’s come across in her daily dealings with black women. It’s also unfortunate for those that agreed with her, if that is what their daily conversations with black women are like. My experience has been different. She may not agree with the decisions that all black women make when considering starting a family, but it’s their choice to make. Does that mean that they aren’t good mothers, that they don’t have the capacity to nurture? Not at all. But last I checked, it takes 2 to produce a child. The responsibility therefore, lies equally with the parties in play.

I guess if I had a face to face with this young woman, I’d ask her, “besides shutting up and basically becoming mute in a relationship, just so that you can have one, where’s your “equal” time for the black men? Where exactly lies their culpability in the grand scheme of things? Where is your outrage concerning things that would make black women mad and argumentative, like what law enforcement is doing to our sons? How are they affected by the judicial system in this country? Did they lose their homes when they lost their jobs in this horrific economy? There are so many things that could be responsible for someone being in a bad mood. Where is your concern and compassion for your fellow sistahs and brothers? How can we help these women, cause if they’re angry, no doubt there’s a reason. If the future of our race lies within these women’s abilities to produce our future, HOW CAN WE MAKE THIS BETTER?

9 thoughts on “I Don’t Get It

  1. So many t.v. shows, especially the Jerry Springer type, portray black women as angry, defensive divas. It’s becoming an ugly and false sterotype. Of course, we all know women like this, men too, if you want the truth. But I can quickly think of two of my white women friends who are exactly like this and no one is condemning the whole white race for their behavior. And I’ve known a few guys like this too. Maybe the woman in the video is buying into what a lot of men try to put off on black women and is trying to “fix” herself so that she will be acceptable to them. That’s a feminine behavior that we can live without.

    • Hi Patty! You are SO right. This behavior isn’t exclusive to black women – or just women. It is an ugly stereotype and uglier behavior to emulate. I’m praying that someone will at some point, “check” this woman in a face to face. Although, that would probably be a waste of time and space. As always, thank you for stopping by!

  2. My friend , you know you should be a lawyer right? I love your response to that stupid video, We ( black Women)mare happy to have a woman like you speak up for us.

    • Awww, Thanks Deloris! Nope, pretty sure if I was a lawyer, I’d spend lots and lots of time in contempt of court and either paying fines or doing time šŸ™‚ We have to speak up, can’t let folks like her pigeon-hole us, and try to create a reality based on BS. Thanks for you for always supporting me!

  3. Maybe part of the answer is for people to stop pidgeon-holing themselves by race. Who but black women say, “I am a strong black woman”, for example? Most women are strong but who else inserts their race into the sentence? I think women (and men too) need to start thinking of themselves as citizens of the world, God’s creations, whatever sets your mindset free of these self-limiting definitions and puts you on equal footing with the rest of the world.

    • Hi Patty,

      While I certainly understand what you’re saying, the fact of the matter is that black women acknowledge themselves as such because they were probably for so long denigrated for being exactly that. I think that throughout history, they were “just women” and probably “only” or “just” a black woman, so while I understand what your saying when you think they should take off the “black” and merely acknowledge themselves citizens of the world, the fact of the matter is that many folks will use color to describe and then define them. Acknowledgement of their strength and their race together isn’t an intentional way of ostracizing themselves, but rather than an affirmation of pride and strength.

  4. I love your perspective on this post. The saddest part about that video, to me, is that the woman speaking was Black herself. Self-hatred is much worse than being argumentative, in my opinion. smdh

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