I love the emails I receive from the What Tami Said blogger. I usually get daily updates and they are snippets of sanity. Today she posted about the Satoshi Kanazawa's Psychology Today article and speaks directly to feminism as it related to black women. You should go check it out here. It is short but gets to the heart of the matter.
She also links to this blog posting that really got my attention oveDirty Pretty Thangs. I’m sure that would many here falling out in fits.
The post about the matriarchal legacy of black women’s righteous anger is just righteous! Go read it but I ‘ll leave a few teases here with my thoughts (yes, I know, black women do have some that we make up in our own heads, honest folks, the job is taken).
Stop acting like we don’t have a right to this collective anger. Anybody with a brain that thinks and eyes that see and nose that knows KNOWS that we have a right to this anger. The “Angry Black Woman” is angry for a multitude of reasons. We’ve been America’s favorite Whipping Girl since the first African woman set her foot in Virginia in the 1600′s.
I don’t know if it is a woman thing or a black thing or both, but I’m telling you, nothing will make anyone more angry than to be told not to be angry. You see, if black women were not angry, they would be dead because the day to day abuse of systemic oppression is past tiring. It is anger-inducing. But in other words, the "don’t be so angry" statement is nothing more than a blanket denial of the fundamental condition of how black women are treated in this society. It is nothing more than a belief that we are less than and therefore do not have the right to our righteous indignation and anger, I guess, because this is how things are just supposed to be and you're (black women) harshing my light-brite with your black woman aggression!
Listen when we say what we say and don’t dismiss our realities. Don’t dismiss our histories. Don’t dismiss our present by telling us to “calm down”, “brush it off” or even worse “just get over it”. Don’t derail us with snide comments or claims of divisiveness when we decide to show ourselves some love. That’s just another way of telling us that we don’t count and we don’t matter.
What would be nice and appreciated is if you, whoever you are, just simply said “I believe you because I see it too. I love you and I support you.” That would help to make dealing with this righteous anger that seems to be our matriarchal legacy, a lot easier.
Yes, I know, it is difficult to believe the words out of black women’s mouths when you have been taught to believe we are not to be trusted, malinger and lie just get ahead. Let’s add petty, bitter, angry, jealous and irrational into the bunch. Sum total, white people here and else where do not have to believe a damn word that black women say because they’ve been taught and it has been re-inforced in every medium that black women are less than, no it is up to the objective white person to be the arbiter.
As I said, go check out both posts at What Tami Said and Pretty Dirty Things.
Now let me make this real and tangible. Since so many of you can’t understand this from a racial perspective and swear there isn’t any racialized abuse you wouldn’t take a stand against, yet the racialized abuse continues with cries of I didn’t see it, we didn’t know, moralizing. I’m going to use the analogy of domestic violence. At least more of you should be able to understand this analogy as it is not weighed heavily in racial baggage, well at least to some.
So let’s look at the classic abuser. What does he do?
The abuser abuses both physically and mentally. The mental abuse is often worse than the physical abuse. The abuser learns to commit physical violence in ways that will not leave a mark. The mental abuse is done when no one else is around. The enablers pretend not to see and not to know.
But that is one side of it. The abuser would never, ever admit that they have abused the victim. They will deny it is abuse, “things got a little heated” or they will project it onto the victim, “she made me do it.” He will tarnish and demean and discredit the victim in everyone’s eyes so they will never believe when her when she calls out in pain. Oh, she is over-reacting, she is just doing it for the attention. Yada, yada, yada.
All of it in the some total is abuse, classic abuse pure and simple. Now why do I write about abuse, abusers and abusive patterns. I do so because that is the meat space analogy. Maybe some of you will get it now. Well, in e-space, abuse is just as real and just as prevalent if not more because of the anonymity of users. I can be damn certain half of the things said to black posters here would never be said in meat-space. It is like alcohol and the inhibitions are dropped and the truth is spoken. Some of you need to metaphorically step away from the bar because your inhibition-less spews are nothing but foul and racist and your behavior of hounding AA posters here is nothing but abusive.
And just like domestic violence in meat space, it takes the silence of neighbors and family members to continue the abuse. Here the physical is replaced solely with mental abuse. There are the people the woman confides in who want proof, yet there isn’t a lick of proof that can be provided that will ever convince that person that the abuser is abusive. There are those who won’t get involved at all because it isn’t their problem and besides, she choose to be with the guy, i.e. choose to post here. There are those that do not see the physical evidence, i.e. slurs, therefore they are unconvinced. There are those who believe that black people use racism and are quick to call racism. There are people who will say oh this is so wrong and feel guilty and say nice things. And recently, our metaphorical abusers have decided to take on a group to alleviate said abuse. And everyone pretends not to see, just as the case of domestic violence.
Those who ignore and deny the racists and racism. Those who enable the racists and racism. Those who feel guilty. I’ve no words for the first two groups. But for the last group, here are my thoughts.
Spare me your guilt. It does nothing to alleviate the abuse around here. Make it your business to see and know and act. Believe what is said out of this and other black folks' mouths. Choose to echew the path of least resistance. Choose to forego your comfort for what is right and just. Walk the walk. Take a pledge that racial bigotry will not be tolerated at DKOS. We can’t get the admins to do anything about it, and this is a community moderated blog, so it is up to us to be as intolerant of racists and their enablers as they are intolerant of the black community here.
10:08 AM PT: I just want to send a shout-out and thank you for all who have reposted this diary to their respective groups. It is much appreciated. Thank you, sincerely!