Another Look At Loyalty To Self

CHOOSING TO ACCEPT MISTREATMENT . . . IS A CHOICE

This is probably the last time I’m going to address the issue of the bigoted, Black-skinned foreigners that like to verbally abuse African-Americans. From my perspective, the problem isn’t these abusive, racist Black immigrants. The problem is that many African-Americans have no ethnic self-respect and are looking for validation from outsiders. That’s why they let these racist (Black and non-Black) immigrants abuse them. This came up because I recently received an email from a reader that I had originally planned to ignore. I’m getting tired of listening to African-Americans whine about the mistreatment they choose to accept from others. But it occurred to me that there might be other readers who have similar preoccupations as that one particular reader. Here’s part of the email that I received,

Hello. :) I feel so powerless sometimes because I don’t know how to deal with all this judgement form other non-black and the rest of the world….both as a an african american female and an african american period. People are always going out of their way to let us know about all of our failures. Even in your blogs….every now an then I will read a non-AA person refer to us as stupid or slow. Its funny alot of these same people want to be treated with respect and care. They make excuses for their own mess but judge ours without a speck of mercy. It makes me sad at times. I’ve heard one african woman say AA women are a disgrace to mother africa. I’ve had african men hit on me with sex as the intent. I’ve also seen some african rub post slavery truama in our face….you know…you don’t have a culture or an identity. You’re just a slave and I’m african blah blah blah. Sometimes it really hurts my feelings when they make fun of our truama. There are some sick african who make fun of us when we come to them for answers and acceptance.

I stopped reading at this point, because I’m annoyed by statements that register as whining (I’ll get to the reasons why later on). Let me take it from the top:

BEFORE THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, WHITE AMERICANS WERE ADAMANT ABOUT KEEPING NON-WHITE IMMIGRANTS OUT OF THIS COUNTRY

For me, the starting point of any squabble with non-White, non-European immigrants is the fact that my people’s Civil Rights Movement led to, and influenced, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Prior to African-Americans’ Civil Rights Movement, White Americans were quite clear about keeping non-Europeans out of this country. The bulk of these Black-skinned bigots the reader is whining about wouldn’t even have been allowed into our country if it wasn’t for our people’s civil rights movement. This is one of several things we need to remind these people about when they get out of pocket.

One of the few good things about the post-9/11 environment is that it made White Americans rethink their open door policy with these non-White immigrants. And considering how many of these non-White immigrants are either anti-Black racists, or Black anti-African-American racists, I say “Good riddance to bad trash” whenever they’re deported. This is why I’m less offended by the government’s anti-Muslim crackdown than I ordinarily would be—because I want the racist, anti-Black Somalis, Arabs and Pakistanis OUT of this country. I’ve seen these people and their attitudes at the mosque. I don’t shed any tears for most of them who are hassled or deported. Most of them can’t leave this country fast enough for me.

I also want some of these other anti-African-American, foreign Black bigots deported as well. (I didn’t mention the Somalis in the “Black” category because many Somalis like to believe that they’re not Black. Whatever.) Even though White America’s current anti-Muslim frenzy affects me too, it’s worth it to me if it gets these racist other people deported. I want them gone.

IMMIGRANTS ARE NOT A REPRESENTATIVE CROSS-SECTION OF THEIR SOCIETIES—IDIOTS TEND TO STAY AT HOME

Immigrants represent a skewed portion of their societies—the most energetic people. Most people don’t have the courage and energy to get up and leave their home country. Immigration often has the effect of skimming off large portions of the cream of a society. Low-level knuckleheads tend to stay at home, and therefore out of sight of Americans. This is how immigrants get to hide large chunks of their culture’s dirty laundry from outside eyes because, for examples—Delroy The West Indian Idiot never left the Caribbean, and Nnamdi The Nigerian Idiot never left Nigeria.

Meanwhile, DeShawn The African-American Idiot is on full display on “front street” in his home country, the United States. So, everybody who immigrates to the US can easily see and hear what DeShawn The African-American Idiot is doing on the local television news.

AFRICAN-AMERICANS ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO ARE NAIVE ENOUGH TO “LET IT ALL HANG OUT”

African-Americans are the only people who are naive and foolish enough to “let it all hang out.” Other people tend to hide their culture’s dysfunctions. In other words, most non-African-American Blacks will minimize, gloss over, or tell lies about the problems within their own societies. For one example, East Africans generally aren’t going to tell you that albino people are hunted down like animals in some of their countries. They’re not going to talk about the Red Cross report cited by CNN,

As many as 10,000 albinos are in hiding in east Africa over fears that they will be dismembered and their body parts sold to witchdoctors, the Red Cross said in a recent report.

The killings of albinos in Burundi and Tanzania, who are targeted because their body parts are believed to have special powers, have sparked fears among the population in the two countries, the report said.

Body parts of albinos are sought in some regions of Africa because they are believed to bring wealth and good luck. Attackers chop off limbs and pluck out organs to sell to dealers, who in turn sell them to witchdoctors.

And West Africans aren’t going to tell you about the numbers of children being tortured and murdered after being accused of witchcraft in countries such as Nigeria,

Sam runs Child’s Rights & Rehabilitation Network, or CRARN — an orphanage that supports nearly 200 children. All of them were accused of witchcraft and cast out by their families, often after being tortured. The orphanage provides security, healthcare, nutrition and counseling.

Godwin’s story is typical. As he sat next to the quiet 5-year-old, Sam said that after Godwin’s mother died, the church pastor told his family that “Godwin is responsible.”

From his own investigation, questioning Godwin and talking with neighbors, Sam said that when a relative asked Godwin if he was a witch, “he said no and was beaten and made the confession that he actually killed the mother.”

Sam said Godwin was locked up with his mother’s corpse every night for three weeks with little food or water before a neighbor contacted Sam, who was able to rescue him.

Other children at his orphanage bear the scars of being beaten, attacked with boiling water, and cuts from machetes. But these children are the ones lucky to be alive.

“A child witch is said to be a witch when that child possessed with certain spiritual spells capable of making that child transform into cat, snake, vipers, insects, any other animal and that child is capable of wreaking havoc like killing of people, bringing diseases, misfortune into the family,” Sam said.

“When a child is accused of being a witch — that child is hated absolutely by everybody surrounding him so such children are sent out of the home… But unfortunately such children do not always live long. A lot of them, they’re either killed, abandoned by the parents, tortured in the church or trafficked out of the city.”

Sam doesn’t believe in witchcraft and is trying to raise awareness in local communities now gripped by hysteria.

If they can’t deny and outright lie about the atrocities going on in their home countries, many of the Africans you’ll encounter will try to characterize their various cultures’ dysfunctions as the result of war. Umm . . . no. It’s not just racist brainwashing that makes many Western Blacks want to distance themselves from Africa. The harsh reality is that there are some utterly disgusting and repellent aspects to various indigenous African cultures. Things that have nothing to do with war. Things that nobody in their right mind would ever want to cosign.

I don’t know, and I don’t particularly care, how prevalent these depraved practices are in those particular countries. Any is too many. Anything more than a handful of people doing these sorts of things says something extremely ugly about a particular culture. The bottom line is that significant numbers of Africans are doing things that nobody else does in large numbers (like hunting down and dismembering albino people). It’s similar to how significant numbers of African-Americans are doing things that nobody else does in large, mass numbers. [Such as the widespread modern African-American cultural practice of males refusing to support, and abandoning, their children.] Healthy people don’t want to be associated with deranged and depraved cultural practices.

So, I don’t blame foreign Blacks for hiding their cultural dysfunction. It’s normal to want to present your own people in the best possible light. As African-Americans, we’re the ones who are doing something abnormal when we publicly put our dysfunctions on display. Part of the reason we do this is because we have the bad mental habit of looking for pity parties; looking for other people to feel sorry for us. Dear Reader Who Sent Me The Above Email, this is the primary reason why I was annoyed by your email.

PITY PARTY = DEATH

African-Americans need to get it through our heads once and for all that other people don’t and won’t feel sorry for us. They don’t and won’t have mercy or compassion for us. When we seek pity parties, all we do is increase their contempt for us. We invite contempt by looking for pity parties. As I said during a conversation at the previous blog,

I know it’s very hard for many of us to accept this, but let’s review the realities of pity parties:

Nobody “owes” us anything, including compassion.

Nobody cares about AA women.

Since they don’t care, they’re NOT going to feel compassion in response to these self-stigmatizing pity parties.

Instead, many people feel increased contempt for those caught up in the pity party.

Other people are annoyed by the pity parties because they have their own tragedies that they are NOT whining about. They figure “If I have to ‘suck it up’ and keep moving, why should I be bothered with this other individual’s whining?”

Even those (few) people who are kind enough to feel compassion have other, additional reactions: concern about how unbalanced the pity partier might be; and a desire to be FAR AWAY from the potentially extremely mentally ill pity partier.

The bottom line is that this “Weep for us overweight AA women. Weep for us because we’re mostly suffering from emotional-physical-sexual abuse” banner is extremely stigmatizing. Folks think they’re going to get sympathy in response to this. NO. All they’re doing is confirming the bigoted assumption that we are mostly defective people!

Folks need to keep that particular banner on the “down low.” It’s not going to do anybody any good. All it does for some people is confirm that we need to be put in a quarantine zone. FAR away from any positions of responsibility. FAR away from anything that anybody else cares about.

. . . I worry when we try to translate “therapy talk” into the real world. It does NOT translate. Not at all . . . “Therapy talk” needs to stay within therapy or only among the closest of friends. It is NOT appropriate for the outer world. It has negative consequences attached to it in the outer world.

I’ve seen folks mess themselves up by transferring “therapy talk” to the outer world. I’ve seen this a lot with substance-addicted clients. Let me repeat what I tell them:

“12 step meeting-therapy-recovery type of talk does NOT work well in the real world. It only ‘works’ among other recovering people.

Healthy people are TURNED OFF by 12 step meeting-therapy-recovery talk. They react badly to it. It makes them want to get far away from whoever is talking the recovery talk. Most healthy people feel that:

Recovery talk = dope fiend.

Recovery talk = alcoholic.

Recovery talk = extremely mentally ill person.

Recovery talk = DANGER.

Recovery talk = DANGEROUS PERSON who is a TICKING BOMB in the workplace, the business, the school, the position of responsibility, etc.

Safety = getting far away from the ‘recovery talk’ person.

Safety = getting rid of the ‘recovery talk’ person.

Bottom line—Save the ‘recovery talk’ for other recovering people.”

I’m not talking about what’s fair or correct. I’m talking about what’s real. The reality is that “recovery talk” of any kind (and for any reason) is a huge, extra, unnecessary stigma. One that we can’t afford to have publicly attached to us as AA women.

When I talk about the many soul-draining situations African-American women find themselves in, I’m not looking for sympathy or empathy for African-American women. Instead, I’m telling African-American women the reasons why they need to disconnect from certain vampiric people, places, things and ideas. I’m looking for more African-American women to live abundant, victorious lives. Period. The activist group ACT-UP had a slogan: Silence = Death. In our situation, I would say: Pity Party = Death. The sooner we get that through our heads, the better.

IT’S NOT FOREIGN BLACKS’ FAULT THAT MANY AFRICAN-AMERICANS HAVE ZERO ETHNIC SELF-RESPECT

Another part of what’s wrong with this email (from my perspective) is that the reader is looking for “answers and acceptance” from foreign Blacks. I’ll get to the “answers” portion of this in a moment. As far as the “acceptance” portion, I would strongly suggest that readers take the time to read the following previous posts:

FOREIGN BLACKS DON’T HAVE ANY ANSWERS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS—LOOK AT THE BLACK-RULED COUNTRIES THEY RAN AWAY FROM

Dear Reader, why in the world are you looking for “answers” from people from mostly failed countries (such as Black immigrants who ran away from their Black countries to live in the White West)? They don’t have answers for themselves. Or at least any answers beyond running to live in the White West. There are reasons why these hate-filled, immigrant Blacks you described ran away from their own Black countries to live in majority-White countries. Why do you care what these particular (Black-skinned) bigots think about African-Americans?

Do you understand that these hate-filled, foreign Black bigots you described had to beat down the doors, and in some cases risk their lives, to get into YOUR country? And to reap the benefits of YOUR birthright as an African-American?

With all due respect, your perspective is skewed. You feel powerless because you choose to feel powerless. There are literally millions of foreign Black women living in Black-ruled countries (that are hellholes) who would love to exchange places with you. And you’re sitting here talking about how you feel powerless . . . Guurl, you’re tripping. Let me repeat some things I said to an African wannabe slave master during a conversation at the previous blog,

Don’t remove continental Africans from this pathology. This pathology is a phenomenon that extends to Blacks all around the planet, including Africans.

It has always amazed me that Africans tolerate things that the Arabs never tolerate.

For example, how is it that White colonists still own all the good land in places like Zimbabwe, 30+ years after “liberation”? How is it that the same apartheid racists STILL own everything of value in South Africa? Why are these Whites still in these countries?

Why haven’t the people who should be the true owners of “South Africa” changed the city names back to African names? What’s up with all of that?

Contrast the Africans’ passive acceptance of their White oppressors’ continued presence on their land with what quickly happened in Algeria after liberation. The Algerian National Liberation Front gave the French colonists the choice of “the suitcase OR the coffin.” I would suggest that people Google this phrase. The history behind it is fascinating.

The French people could either leave on their own with their suitcases packed, OR they could leave in coffins. The French fled Algeria with a quickness after liberation.

As far as the Korean merchants taking over the beauty supply stores in African-American areas: Continental Africans are allowing Chinese merchants to do a similar thing and dominate the small shops (and commerce in general) throughout Africa. From Senegal to Angola. To all over the officially “Black” regions of the continent.

Apparently, a Senegalese journalist named Adama Gaye has written a book about this phenomenon titled “China-Africa: The Dragon and the Ostrich.”

What’s wrong with African-Americans boils down to the fact that during slavery we had our names, our ancestral languages, our cultures, the purity of our bloodlines, and finally our God ripped away from us. We’ve been totally destroyed, and then remade (via rapes by White men) into a new people.

This is NOT an excuse. This is an observation. There are other conquered people who’ve been remade by White men’s sexual conquests (“the used-to-be-Indians-they’ve-been-remade-into-mestizos” in Latin America) who have gone on to forge their own future.

Continental Africans still have their names, their ancestral languages, their lineage, and their cultures (more or less) intact. What’s their reason for continuing to submit to Europeans, Arabs, and now submitting to the Chinese?

ALL Black people across this planet have a LOT of work to do in order to free our own minds!

. . . These are very good questions. I will add that BM submit to the will of, and are servants of, ALL other men, not just WM. Whenever there is a meeting of BM and any other type of man, the BM is ALWAYS the servant of the other man.

BM in Africa are the “houseboys” of their “former” colonial masters. BM are the literal slaves of Arab men in Africa. BM in Africa are now the “houseboys” of Chinese merchants. BM are the servants of mestizo men in Latin America.

To put it bluntly, Black men across this planet are slaves. Period. By definition, a slave CANNOT, and will not try to, protect anything or anyone.

In response to your point about how Whites self-define their collective destructive behavior as “normal.” This is the winner’s privilege! The conquerors write the history, psychology, sociology books. The conquerors write ALL of the books! When Muslim societies were more technologically advanced than Europe (during Europe’s “Dark Ages”), African Muslims were among the people writing “the books.”

When we start winning as a people, then we’ll get to write the books; and make OUR definition of events “stick”! LET’S ALL GET BUSY!

. . . I DO see the crazy, self-hating things that AAs do in reference to Africa & Africans. Continental Africans have legitimate grievances about being insulted and disrespected by AAs.

However, let me bring to your attention something that I raised with another continental African: I find it quite peculiar that I’ve NEVER seen continental Africans raise the “you hate Africa and Africans due to self-hatred” observation to people who REALLY hate their African heritage with a passion: BLACK LATINOS & BLACK ARABS. These people generally won’t even identify themselves as Black!

I’m not saying that all Black Latinos & Black Arabs have this attitude. But, let’s be real. We’ve seen “how they do.” The same way other people “see how we [AAs] do.”

With the exception of some Black Brazilians (who seem extremely “into” their African heritage), the vast majority of Black Latinos & Black Arabs are examples of people who want NOTHING to do with Africa, Africans, or African heritage.

Since I’ve never seen or heard of Africans trying to “check” Black Latinos & Arabs on their self-hatred of all things African, it makes me question the motives of those Africans who come to AAs with this (accurate & true) complaint.

. . . Back to reciprocity: It was all good & all cool when AA pathologies were under discussion. But let me bring up some facts that indicate that there are similar pathologies with Africans, and suddenly it’s not so much fun anymore.

This is really telling. It says that you’re not participating in this conversation with us in good faith. It says that you’re not reciprocating the openness and honesty that the other participants have shown during this, and other discussions, at this blog. This blog is my home.

Ultimately, it says that you have no legitimate reason to be here. I’m inviting you to leave in peace.

This blog is about us providing each other with mutual support, and moving forward to a better future. “US” includes ANY BLACK WOMAN who chooses to define herself as part of “us,” including so-called “foreign”-origin Black women who stand in solidarity AND RECIPROCITY with the rest of us.

Peace and good fortune be upon you in your journeys.

Dear Reader, there’s a very old saying: “It’s not what you call me, it’s what I answer to.” Why do you let anybody, including Black immigrants, talk down to you? People generally do whatever you let them do; and take whatever liberties you let them take. To me, this isn’t about these foreign Black bigots that you’re complaining about. It’s about you. And your choice to let these people insult you. And your choice to take their insults to heart. I’m sure it gives these hateful individuals a lot of pleasure to know that you actually care what they think or say. It probably makes them feel all warm inside to know that they can hurt your feelings.

After all, confused African-Americans are the only people on this planet who allow foreign-origin Blacks to step on them. These same foreign Black bigots you described are as meek and silent as mice with everybody else on this planet. They don’t say a mumbling word to anybody except the confused African-Americans who entertain that nonsense. The continental Africans among the foreign Black bigots you described are dominated by Chinese merchants, Arab merchants, South Asian merchants and whoever else that’s not Black in their own countries. Consider this part of an NPR interview with an African writer named Adama Gaye,

BRAND: Donald Straszheim is a long-time China expert. He is currently the vice chairman for the investment banking company Roth Capital Partners here in California.

Adama Gaye feels quite differently about China’s interest in Africa. He is African and he’s written a book called “China-Africa: The Dragon and the Ostrich.” The cover of the book depicts in cartoon style a dragon blowing fire on an ostrich that represents Africa.

I asked Adama Gaye why he portrays Africa with its head in the sand?

Mr. ADAMA GAYE (Author, “China-Africa: The Dragon and the Ostrich”): That’s the posture Africa has taken over the past years. It has not faced its challenges, whereas the dragon, representing China, presents a country that has been able over the past 35 years to live up to its challenges and become one of the most powerful nations in the world.

BRAND: Do you see the dragon, China, as a malevolent force or a benevolent force?

Mr. GAYE: It can be both, but at this moment I see it as a malevolent force, because China is driving all the China-Africa relations. It is deciding everything and not allowing much room for Africa to contribute to what China presents as a win-win situation.

Ultimately, China needs Africa’s natural resources, and it is putting all its efforts and its financial might in order to secure them. I think in this situation it’s Africa that is ruling in the business.

BRAND: Do you see China as a neocolonialist force, basically doing what the European powers did in the 19th century, going into Africa, taking its resources and leaving little behind?

Mr. GAYE: I think China is doing it in a most clever way, because China is presenting its approach to Africa in a diplomatic way, saying that it has been always a friend of Africa, using the nice words, stating that it doesn’t want to harm Africa.

But I think at the end of the day, what China is doing is almost the same as what Europe did. They are buying the natural resources. They are investing in strategic sectors, and controlling things from afar.

I think if we are not careful in Africa, we will wake up one day and see that China has purchased most of the strategic things in Africa and we have nothing to do about it because that would be accepted under even the international norms, the World Trade Organization agreements, for instance. That is really bad, what is happening.

BRAND: Yet China is also giving billions of dollars in aid to African countries.

Mr. GAYE: Listen. Those billions of dollars are done, given to Africa in order to secure markets for China. Before I (unintelligible) somebody will believe that China could be a real good partner with Africa. More and more I’m suspicious about their approach.

BRAND: Adama Gaye is the author of the book, “China-Africa: The Dragon and the Ostrich.” Mr. Gaye, thank you very much for joining us.

Mr. GAYE: It’s my pleasure.

BRAND: NPR’s DAY TO DAY continues

If African (and Caribbean) cultures are oh-so-healthy, then why do they continue to allow non-Blacks to control the resources in their own countries? Just think: Fifty years after the end of colonialism, these people aren’t even the masters of their own houses . . . and you’re listening to them?

The Latino Blacks who are living in the mestizo man’s house are powerless. The same is true for the Arabized Blacks living in the Arab man’s house. The Latino and Arabized foreign Black bigots are at the very bottom of every multiracial country they inhabit in Latin America and the Arab world.

And you choose to take garbage off of these people? That’s YOUR free and voluntary choice, and you’re welcome to it. Count me out of that.

MY QUESTIONS FOR THIS CONVERSATION

Please note that I’m not going to publish comments that focus on complaining about non-African-American, Black-skinned bigots during this post. They verbally abuse African-Americans because we tolerate that abuse. My questions for this conversation are: Why do so many African-Americans look to these people for validation? What’s that about?

**Audience Note**It should be obvious that I’m only focusing on the foreign-origin, Black-skinned, anti-African-American bigots that the reader described in her email. I’m not talking about all non-African-American Blacks. Just the racist, “wannabe a slave master,” non-African-American Black bigots. The Black-skinned bigots who try to deny African-Americans the right to self-determination: the right to speak, think, and define ourselves for ourselves.

Tagged as: 

175 Responses to “Another Look At Loyalty To Self”

  1. Andi K., MA says:

    Hi Ms. Khadija:

    I’ve been a silent reader here for the past few months and love much of the content you have posted here. Before I begin, let me introduce myself, I am a FT Ph.D. student with an MA and BA in Psychological Counseling & Psychology from Columbia University and Spelman College. I would describe myself as being openminded and very well-traveled, culturally savvy, and multi-lingual. With this in mind, I must say that I am a bit perturbed by your blatant dismissal of women with psychological upsets and/or traumatic pasts.

    Your question: 2-Here’s a hypothetical question—Everything else being roughly equal, would you prefer to marry a man who was sexually abused as a child or would you prefer to marry a man who didn’t have those sorts of issues in his personal background?–was disturbing to me to say the least. In no way do I mean to attack you personally, but I would go as far as to say that this is an ignorant statement/question. 4 in 10 women are survivors of sexual/physical/emotional abuse. And this is BEFORE we talk about their racial/ethnic background. So, who are they to marry? Do women with tumultuous pasts not deserve partners? I understand that you are admonishing a certain demographic to stop the pity party and move on, but how do you recommend that they do so when so few of them know how?

    On a lighter note, I am a very vocal advocate for IR relationships, and constantly encourage my female friends of color (especially the Black and/or AA ones) to be more open minded with regards to their choice of mate, lest they end up old maids (we are in our mid-20’s). I absolutely love your blog and have you posted on my blogroll for one of my personal blogs. Keep up the great work, and I look forward to your reply! :-)

    All the best,

    AKO, M.A.

    • Aisha says:

      Hello Andi,

      May I ask you how many Black women you personally know of who have sought counseling (whether from you or another professional) regarding sexual abuse issues?

      I ask this question because I have a strong suspicion that the numbers are relatively low. Perhaps seeking therapy from a licensed professional would be the best step for these individuals, instead of exposing vulnerabilities to the world at large.

      • Andi K., MA says:

        Hello Aisha:

        I agree with you that women of African descent disproportionately underuse counseling and therapy. While I know many, I attribute it to the level of education that myself, my colleagues, and those who I associate with and interact with have obtained. Low SES people are less likely to seek therapy and therefore are more likely to “expose vulnerabilities” to the world at large as you put it. As a counselor and an advocate for DV Survivors, I am personally concerned with this popultations stigmatization of therapy, counseling, and any other form of self-help.

        Personally, I applaud blogs like this one for admonishing women of all backgrounds (esp. women of color) to take back their power and to DO SOMETHING, NOW. :-)

        Sincerely,

        Andi K., MA

    • mochachoc says:

      Andi K., MA

      Respectfully, I think you’ve misunderstood Khadija’s point. Where has she said victims of sexual abuse and rape should not seek help or that they do not deserve to be married?

      And I object to your phrase ‘old maids’. It is derogatory.

      • Andi K., MA says:

        Mochachoc,

        I never said any of what you are questioning. Contrarily, I believe that Khadija was saying that a woman who has been abused is less desirable as a marriage prospect than someone who has not. I think she IS suggesting that they seek help, my question is how do you encourage people from underrepresented communities to do so? As for the ‘old maid’ phrase, YOU took it to be derogatory. It is not an insult, it means literally, “old maiden” which is a woman who is a ‘spinster’ or ‘soltera’ which in either language is a woman who never married for whatever reason. That is all.

        • mochachoc says:

          I see. In my neck of the woods ‘old maids’ usually refers to elder, washed up, undesirable women a man did not choose to marry. As if women should only be defined by whether they married or not. And if I may say the way you used the term did imply this. You were advising young women to include IR relationships to avoid becoming ‘old maids’.

          • Andi K., MA says:

            Yes, to avoid becoming old maidens.

            These are YOUR words, not mine: In my neck of the woods ‘old maids’ usually refers to elder, washed up, undesirable women a man did not choose to marry.

            I have no opinion of women who choose not to marry for one reason or another. I DO however have an opinion of my gf’s who blatantly put up with BS relations with certain men just because they refuse to give a man of another racial background a chance. This type of behavior tends to lead to being an old maiden, or soltera.

  2. KAW says:

    ***To my knowledge, there were NO joint business ventures between the newly-free Black South African government and the AAs who had actively supported their struggle. ***

    Are you kidding me? There are quite a few African Americans that went to SA post-apartheid and are doing VERY well there. I believe Showtime had a documentary about it last year ( Blacks without Borders, I think). As with ANY business venture, ones has to find opportunity even when there appears to be none. One has to be aggressive, enterprising and patient-meaning willing to live in discomfort for a few years, possibly in a foreign country, for your efforts to pay off. Americans generally don’t think to do that because we are in a land of (relative) plenty. DId you expect someone to hand over a check? Those African Americans who did well saw opportunity and ran towards it. As with the citizenship offered by Ghana for African Americans. You can go there and Watusi and come back feeling spiritually fulfilled (if that’s your intention), or you can go there and scout for business opportunities. Either way, it’s YOUR choice. Nobody will hand it to you.

    Being a second generation American of African decent, I am conflicted by this conversation. On one hand I know I’ve witnessed and heard anti-AA sentiment among foreign Blacks. On the other hand, “looking African American” and being american born has made me privy to similar conversations among African Americans as well. And being in an urban environment African Americans generally don’t hide their sentiments about ANYBODY. The ignorance is certainly not one-sided. So basically, I can’t jump on this bandwagon.

    I’ve traveled throughout Europe as well, and comparably I will say African Americans are more aggressive, but I would not refer to Blacks in Europe as docile. It is human nature to resist and to assume that people don’t resist injustice because they aren’t rolling their necks in public is short-sided. African Americans also have an extensive history in the US, most Blacks in Europe are removed from their origin countries by 2 generations at most. Most of them, less than that.

    Also, if seeing of shanty-towns, shacks, human rights violations etc. in the developing world are proof ( in your own mind) of your superiority and the cure to one’s feeble self esteem-I sort of don’t , in the global sense that still doesn’t put you much higher on the totem pole.

    Having parents from a former colony, and being a black person, I KNEW I had to understand REAL White history as well as my own. I knew the pattern of colonization throughout Europe by Europeans as I learned of the scramble for Africa and ultimately I know that ethnicity/race/culture are so arbitrary it is unwise to invest to much of yourself in any one label.

    Basically, to combat any assault on your racial/ethnic/gender/cultural identity you have to learn to see your history as a part of a larger human experience rather than something that was done to your people and only your people.

    @Icon, I have also heard African immigrants distance themselves from African Americans implicitly or explicitly. It has also been done to me by non-Blacks. One interviewer actually told me he could tell from my demeanor that I wasn’t “really” American (actually an insult on more than one level). He has never been to Harlem…

    Anyway, ALL people have attempted to carve a space for themselves on the ladder and have used whatever traits they believe they have to distance themselves from the perceived underclass. Including African Americans. This “I hate those kind of Blacks too” attitude was articulated and annoyingly repeated by others, in Chris Rock’s “Black people vs. Niggas” routine.

    • KAW,

      You said, “Are you kidding me? There are quite a few African Americans that went to SA post-apartheid and are doing VERY well there. I believe Showtime had a documentary about it last year ( Blacks without Borders, I think).”

      Do I sound like I’m kidding anybody? Snark is NOT appreciated. It’s a bad opening move for your comment. The rest of us are having a serious, good-faith conversation here. Let me move right along in responding to you…for now…

      I’ll put it to you like this: If I have to hunt and peck, or watch a documentary to hear of something like that, then it’s not happening in any meaningful or significant numbers. To my ears, you sound just like racist White employers who falsely assure AAs that their companies have “plenty” of AA employees—and then we discover that there are only a handful of AA tokens in their workforce of thousands of employees.

      You said, “As with ANY business venture, ones has to find opportunity even when there appears to be none. One has to be aggressive, enterprising and patient-meaning willing to live in discomfort for a few years, possibly in a foreign country, for your efforts to pay off. Americans generally don’t think to do that because we are in a land of (relative) plenty. DId you expect someone to hand over a check? Those African Americans who did well saw opportunity and ran towards it. As with the citizenship offered by Ghana for African Americans. You can go there and Watusi and come back feeling spiritually fulfilled (if that’s your intention), or you can go there and scout for business opportunities. Either way, it’s YOUR choice. Nobody will hand it to you.”

      My goodness, you’ve really got that patronizing, White racist, “massa”-talk down pat! It’s uncanny how you sound. just. like. them. Who are you talking to when you presume to lecture anybody reading this blog about being “aggressive, enterprising and patient”? I know you simply can’t be talking to the audience here. Considering all the brainstorming conversations we’ve been having about entrepreneurship (including those of us, like myself, who ARE entrepreneurs), you must not be a regular reader here.

      You said, “Being a second generation American of African decent, I am conflicted by this conversation…So basically, I can’t jump on this bandwagon.”

      Everything is NOT for everybody. Nobody asked you to “jump on this bandwagon.” Speaking for myself, whether or not you “jump on this bandwagon” is of no interest to me.

      You said, “I’ve traveled throughout Europe as well, and comparably I will say African Americans are more aggressive, but I would not refer to Blacks in Europe as docile. It is human nature to resist and to assume that people don’t resist injustice because they aren’t rolling their necks in public is short-sided.”

      Who said anything about folks “rolling their necks in public”? That’s YOU putting that false spin on what was said. Several AA readers have simply said that they don’t allow Europeans to physically “Bogart” and step over them. We never said that we “rolled our necks” while visiting (or living in) Europe. Why are you making that particular assumption? {yes, this is a rhetorical question—I can guess at the reason}

      You said, “African Americans also have an extensive history in the US, most Blacks in Europe are removed from their origin countries by 2 generations at most. Most of them, less than that.”

      Ahh, excuses… AAs have an extensive history—centuries long—of being LYNCHED in the US. It’s interesting that despite this history of us being lynched, White Americans generally know better than to try to Bogart or physically step over AAs while walking around in public. They know not to do that unless they’re in a group facing a lone AA person.

      You said, “Also, if seeing of shanty-towns, shacks, human rights violations etc. in the developing world are proof ( in your own mind) of your superiority and the cure to one’s feeble self esteem-I sort of don’t , in the global sense that still doesn’t put you much higher on the totem pole.”

      Again, that’s YOU falsely interjecting something that was never said. Nobody here talked about claiming “superiority.” The same way we didn’t talk about (or recommend) neck rolling.

      KAM, I’m willing to publish ONE reply from you to this comment. I’m not going to let you derail the productive conversation that the rest of us are having. We’re brainstorming some issues that are important to us. If our conversation is making you feel uptight, conflicted, or any other such type of sensation, there’s no reason for you to participate. Also, this gets back to the “legitimate dissent vs. heckling” issue discussed in a recent post. If you disagree with the basic premise of this conversation, then you have no productive or legitimate reason for interjecting yourself into this conversation.

      Expect Success!

      • KAW says:

        You said:
        I’ll put it to you like this: If I have to hunt and peck, or watch a documentary to hear of something like that, then it’s not happening in any meaningful or significant numbers.

        **I believe you (or an earlier poster) pointed out how uncommon it is for people of any group to migrate. Why then, would you expect something of that nature to happen in larger numbers? How many Americans in general have passports even if they can afford to travel, let alone want to move to another country or live there part time, let alone IN AFRICA? It should be even less common that any person would be able to go to said country and accumulate real wealth-as many African Americans have done there despite your initial statement that no such thing happened. I didn’t have to hunt and peck for that documentary-I actually didn’t do any searching at all. Just saw it randomly on TV.

        I don’t believe anything I said was any more patronizing that what anyone else has said. It wasn’t my intent to lecture, but I am just describing the characteristics of someone who is likely to make the sort of moves entrepreneurs make. Across the board, very few people are like that (or even want to be) and therefore very few people are entrepreneurs. So why be perplexed/surprised/etc. that half the African American population aren’t amassing post-apartheid wealth? Precisely what expectation did you have? Relatively few thought to go. But some did and a large number of those who did were successful. As to be expected. Like with Ghana, how many people are seeing whatever opportunities duel citizenship can bring as a business opportunity regardless of the motives of the government? Relatively few. But I have heard of AAs buying property there. However, most people simply don’t think like that. Any international expectation beyond that which would be attempted by a small number (in any group) is unrealistic IMO.

        You said:Who said anything about folks “rolling their necks in public”? That’s YOU putting that false spin on what was said. Several AA readers have simply said that they don’t allow Europeans to physically “Bogart” and step over them. We never said that we “rolled our necks” while visiting (or living in) Europe. Why are you making that particular assumption? {yes, this is a rhetorical question—I can guess at the reason}

        Oh it’s not an assumption, it’s also a rhetorical device. If you claim to witness some sort of patterned characteristic docility (also a racist rhetorical device previously applied to certain groups-which is why I’m fascinated it’s so freely employed here) in a group of people because they MIGHT not respond as you do in situations of **perceived** hostility, you are giving yourself more credit than you deserve. It’s easy to say what you will and will not allow when you’re on vacation and someone accidentally steps on your foot or bumps into you. As I said before, accumulating self-esteem points based on that type of assessment is strange to me.

        You said: Ahh, excuses… AAs have an extensive history—centuries long—of being LYNCHED in the US. It’s interesting that despite this history of us being lynched, White Americans generally know better than to try to Bogart or physically step over AAs while walking around in public. They know not to do that unless they’re in a group facing a lone AA person.

        Yep, this is exactly what I’m talking about.
        When I say long history, it was implied that I meant a long history of struggle. I was born and raised here, I am very aware there was no centuries-long tea party. The point is that the interaction/struggle in this space is far longer in standing. That’s not an excuse. It’s the truth.

        This “physical step over” example is such a false argument. Differences is concepts of personal space and the likelihood of such situation even occurring as a pattern of race-based behavior aside, If we are speaking in generalities, how would ANYONE know if this “bogarting” behavior is common anywhere? Other than a riot or a concert/event, what large number of whites will you ever see trampling a large number of Blacks OR vice versa? Where can you go to sit and observe what Whites will and will not do around Blacks to draw any sort of real conclusion? Even if you’ve seen it once abroad, how can you conclude it’s the norm anywhere or that a lone White person won’t do the same ting here? Being in NY I see White people step over Black people all the time-I generally assume nothing of it because everyone does it. We live on top of each other. Even you qualify your insistence that “whites know better” by saying “unless they’re in a group facing a lone AA person.” So do they really know better? Who isn’t braver in groups than when alone? This myth that white people have some sort of reverent fear of Black people based on Blackness alone is simply untrue, especially in my generation and region. The only type of Black person that receives that type of “reverent” avoidance in public are the ones who literally scare people (which can cause them a host of social problems), or avoidance by Whites who want to avoid Blacks altogether. The presumption that you know what another person would dare or dare not do to you in public based on race is just not consistent with reality. A Black woman was recently assaulted in a Cracker Barrel by a lone White man in front of her child, and no one did a damn thing. There are mass physical boggartings going on as we speak in major cities everywhere. They are literally demanding and taking urban/predominantly Black spaces-not just homes, but spaces for socializing-but what conclusions about general docility should be drawn from that? None. Like I said, I find coming to any conclusions based on that scenario/experience to be strange.

        You said:
        Again, that’s YOU falsely interjecting something that was never said. Nobody here talked about claiming “superiority.” The same way we didn’t talk about (or recommend) neck rolling.

        **I believe it’s been veiled thinly and implied in several posts. Not so much the first few, but the example we’ve just discussed regarding docility in Europe is the one that comes to mind immediately. If you don’t see why that generalization is problematic then we simply disagree. Needless to say, I believe that approach to self actualization from anyone is short-sided. That was my main point, and I will say many of the post I’ve read reflect that point as well and I’ve enjoyed reading them.

        The only reason why you say I have “massa” talk down pat is because you disagree with what I’ve said (or at least the perceived tone). But I don’t take this personally because I know I’m not coming from that place and I have no reason to. My tone is no more or less patronizing than anyone else’s, and I believe I have offered constructive advice, so that’s all I have to say on that matter.

        • KAW,

          {chuckling} Thank you for providing a teachable moment. I could waste the time it would take to respond point by point to your final comment, but I won’t. You’re irrelevant. What you think is irrelevant. You also won’t be allowed to participate in any further conversations here. Goodbye, KAW. You won’t be back. {waving farewell}
          ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

          Dear Reader Who Wrote the Email That Prompted This Post:

          This is how to walk away from and ignore these foreign-Black-skinned wanna be slave masters. These people don’t matter. What they think or say also doesn’t matter. And there’s no reason to get uptight about anything these people say—they have no power over us (or anybody else). Really, there’s NO rational reason for us to care anything about their views.
          ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

          Everybody:

          I want to clear up the business-related misinformation that KAW tried to peddle.

          KAW’s how business overseas works prattle rests on the inaccurate assumption that people must relocate to another country in order to have businesses there. This is the excuse that this individual put forth for the lack of joint businesses between AAs and the free South Africans (that AAs supported in their anti-apartheid struggle).

          Maybe KAW simply doesn’t know any better, or maybe they’re lying. Either way, that’s an inaccurate description of how such things work.

          When people in a particular country are OPEN to making the interpersonal connections needed to embark on joint business ventures, then the American business partner does NOT have to relocate to that country.

          Also, the American business partner does NOT have to originally meet the foreign business partner while in that foreign country. People often make the original interpersonal connection with prospective partners here in the US and then travel to the prospective foreign partner’s country to further explore (and move forward on) the proposed venture.

          This works like this when the people from a particular foreign country/culture are OPEN to it working like this.

          For one example, I know an AA limo/driver service owner who has the same kind of business in Brazil with his Brazilian business partner. This AA gentleman does NOT live in Brazil. Let me mention some other examples of this that folks can read up on for themselves.

          JB Glossinger (the Morning Coach writer/blogger) discussed his efforts to open a gym in Colombia. He said,

          Ok I will be the first to admit this is TOUGH….

          I am currently at 9% and starting to hammer away to get to 8%. My travel to Colombia hurt some but that is no excuse. I am working hard. Today for example I have FIGHT at 10:30 then I have BB3 Arms at 12 then Combat Fitness tonight at 7:30. My diet is pretty clean. I just need to maintain more consistency.

          I am heading to Chicago for the 4th of July, then back to Colombia on the 10th of July for 7 days. I have decided to look for space in Colombia to open a small gym. That way I have no excuses.

          http://blackbeltgoal.com/2010/06/the-push-to-5-5/

          Mr. Glossinger does NOT live in Colombia.

          Another writer, Michael Masterson has blogged about his business activities in Nicaragua. He said,

          While I was in Nicaragua recently, I had the chance to move forward with the technical school I am planning to establish for the new community my partner and I are developing. A group of people from the village came by my house to talk. Their idea is to begin by focusing on English and computer classes for pre-kindergarten kids and English classes for seniors. They have already gotten eight volunteers, qualified teachers, who have started teaching some of the courses.

          …When I first came to the Tola area 10 years ago, you could buy farmland for $1,000 an acre. Today, it costs 10 times that much. The first beachfront lots we sold at Rancho Santana were priced at $39,000. Today, those lots are selling for more than $150,000. The people who were brave enough to buy back then were richly rewarded. HL, one of our first buyers, bought 10 lots (beachfront and beach view) for about $250,000. They are now worth about $2.5 million.

          This is good news for the early buyers, and it has been good for our plans to convert this place into a world-class residential resort community. But it will make it difficult for me to buy the land I need for the technical school.

          http://www.michaelmasterson.net/blog/2007/07/buying-property-for-school.html

          Mr. Masterson does NOT live in Nicaragua.

          I will say this: Of course, it’s prudent for the American business partner to spend a lot of time visiting the foreign country in which s/he has a joint venture. It’s always good to check out what’s going on on-site. All 3 of these gentlemen spend a lot of time in the countries where they have businesses. However, they didn’t relocate to these countries in order to make these businesses happen.

          Expect Success!

          • KAW says:

            But your dumb ass does realize that BOTH of those gentlemen at least ventured to GO TO THOSE COUNTRIES, right? DId you notice I said, they have to go, even temporarily, to another country and most Americans don’t EVEN have passports-not to mention the position of most Black Americans-by CHOICE. You can ban me but this message is for YOU-anybody with a brain can see the fallacy I exposed. Good riddance you self pitying, hateful (and probably very lonely) bitch. =). PS, I am a tri-national citizen and proud. I am entitled to EVERYTHING you have and more. I know that BURNS you.

          • IRockIRoll says:

            @KAW
            You know, I’ve been a lurker at this blog (even though I’ve bought the materials to support Khadijah and have encouraged and successfully ben able to get other black women to buy and support as well, but your posts have brought me out of lurker mode). AS A BLACK AMERICAN WHO HAS ACTUALLY WORKED IN AFRICA, TRAVELED INTERNATIONALLY TO SOME “DANGEROUS COUNTRIES” (of other races and nationalities) BOO, PUH-LEAZZZZZZZZE. GO SIT DOWN, somewhere.

            I will repeat this FAR AND WIDE, some of us, low-passport-having percentages of black AMERICAN women have actually traveled, worked, and have GROWN UP IN these countries and practices that you defend.

            I’m going to talk some real talk here, WHY ARE YOU HERE?

            I could talk for DAYZ on end about a whole lot of countries (in two in their NATIVE languages), but I’m not on their message boards or blogs for a reason… I DON’T CARE THAT MUCH about what they’re up to. The very fact that you’re all up in an AA women’s blog is so telling it is not even funny. I’mma be straight up to all of the women of AA descent out there… all of these other black nationalities try to CLAIM US in difficult situations. Yeah, I’mma tell it. THERE IS NOTHING THAT WILL GET YOU OUT OF A SITUATION like being a nice, well mannered black AMERICAN. The.end. Ask yourselves, why is this woman all up in this ONE blog on the internet unless you realizing your power was a threat? Where are the black AFRICAN opera superstars (like AA’s are in classical music circles?). Where are the black AFRICAN playwrights that have works reproduced like August Wilson? Where are the black AFRICAN TV shows that everyone knows? Shoot, even the black BRITISH come to America for a shot at Super-International fame! (Idris Elba, Thandi Newton, etc…) For the love of everything, quit listening to others! I don’t know a single black person who WENT to the Caribbean and didn’t comment on the fact that for majority black countries, the main ones RUNNING and OWNING businesses were the British, Spanish, Indian, and Chinese! (and in this statement, I mean no disrespect to the other nationalities that read this board) it is just the fact that I am SHOCKED that so many black AA women give these folks this much weight. Leave America. Leave a decent tip at a restaurant. You WILL hear the REAL deal in regards to other populations.

        • IRockIRoll says:

          And to Khadija, I apologize in misspelling your name in the first line, I was just SO SO blown that KAW seemed to think that SOME of us didn’t have international experiences, friends, childhood stories, or graduate degrees that allowed us wider exposure.

          I’ll leave it at this, my family is not wealthy. We had ENOUGH money to leave the African immigrants BE when I was growing up, and if it weren’t for the mis-representation of AA’s, they would STILL be trying to show up to church stuff, community meetings, Chamber of Commerce, and the local unions claiming ties to AA’s. It is ONLY when they can benefit of AA’s being tragic, that the demoralization comes in. Otherwise, we’re all, “Brothers & Sisters”. I passed on that mess in MIDDLE SCHOOL.

          I AM close friends with a few native Africans, close enough to realize that they realize that most of them wouldn’t be here without the fights of AA’s. Which is why when I DISMISS certain folks, they come a-wondering why I knew enough to peace out. And I’m good (GOOD) friends with black folks from other countries. You don’t ACT like you are less, and they don’t either.

          • I Rock I Roll,

            No problem about the name spelling! :-)

            You said, “I AM close friends with a few native Africans, close enough to realize that they realize that most of them wouldn’t be here without the fights of AA’s. Which is why when I DISMISS certain folks, they come a-wondering why I knew enough to peace out. And I’m good (GOOD) friends with black folks from other countries. You don’t ACT like you are less, and they don’t either.”

            Indeed. As with the vast majority of our modern problems, this is mostly about us and our own internal issues (and our refusal to engage in self-corrective introspection).

            Expect Success!

  3. Hello there, AndiK.!

    Thank you for your kind words about the blog; I truly appreciate it.

    Andi, I enjoy a gracious dissenter! :-) I’m happy you wrote in with your points of disagreement because I’m sure there are other readers who feel the same way. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to address these points.

    You said, “With this in mind, I must say that I am a bit perturbed by your blatant dismissal of women with psychological upsets and/or traumatic pasts.”

    Where did I “blatantly dismiss” women with psychological upsets and/or traumatic pasts? I don’t recall doing that. Here’s what I’ve been saying:

    1-People DON’T gravitate toward strangers with heavy-duty issues. Being a “stranger with heavy issues like sexual abuse, etc.” is not an appealing look.

    2-People don’t even like to hang around already-known casual acquaintances once they discover that person has heavy-duty issues. Hanging around diseased persons (including mental diseases) is anti-survival; it’s contrary to human nature. That’s why a promise is extracted during marriage vows to hang around in sickness and in health. If it was normal human nature to stick around with sick people, then there would be no perceived need to make that promise part of the vows.

    3-It’s one thing to carefully share one’s heavy-duty issues and past history of trauma with a man who has ALREADY decided to make a big emotional investment into you. It’s something totally else to indiscriminately broadcast one’s heavy-duty issues and past history of trauma to the entire planet. Indiscriminate public broadcasting puts one into the category of “stranger with heavy-duty issues.” This is not an appealing look.

    For the reasons raised in points #1-2, indiscriminate, public broadcasting of one’s wounds drives people away from the wounded person. This is the reality of how this plays out. If a woman wants quality men to approach her, and then hang around long enough to decide to make a big emotional investment in her, then it’s best to not engage in this behavior of indiscriminate, public broadcasting of stigmatizing personal information. And that stuff IS stigmatizing. No matter how much we may not like the fact that this stuff is stigmatizing. It’s still a stigma.

    You said, “Your question: 2-Here’s a hypothetical question—Everything else being roughly equal, would you prefer to marry a man who was sexually abused as a child or would you prefer to marry a man who didn’t have those sorts of issues in his personal background?–was disturbing to me to say the least. In no way do I mean to attack you personally, but I would go as far as to say that this is an ignorant statement/question. 4 in 10 women are survivors of sexual/physical/emotional abuse.”

    Okay, let’s assume that you’re correct and that 4 in 10 women are survivors of sexual/physical/emotional abuse. This still does NOT make being a survivor of sexual/physical/emotional abuse an appealing or attractive personal “brand.” I get the feeling (I could be mistaken) that you want these negative personal histories re-defined as something that’s neutral. NO—that’s not how reality works. Sickness and woundedness will always be perceived as negative, and therefore stigmatizing. It’s human nature to prefer health over sickness/woundedness.

    Again, disease is NOT attractive to humans. No matter how much we try to promote therapy talk, most people are NOT going to choose a sick/wounded person over a healthy one as a potential spouse (all other things being more or less equal). Let’s face reality about that.

    This is the same way a sensible person will choose a NON/NEVER BEEN-alcoholic or NON/NEVER BEEN-drug addict over a recovering alcoholic or recovering drug addict as a potential spouse.

    You said, “So, who are they to marry? Do women with tumultuous pasts not deserve partners?”

    I’m not talking about what people “deserve.” I’m talking about reality. If these women want partners, then they need to let the potential partner get to know other, appealing and attractive things about them before disclosing that sort of negative personal information. Disclosing that sort of stuff too early (which is inherent in the indiscriminate public broadcasting behavior) drives people away. That’s the bottom line.

    You said, “I understand that you are admonishing a certain demographic to stop the pity party and move on, but how do you recommend that they do so when so few of them know how?”

    That’s the point of professional therapy—to assist the patient in working out ways of moving beyond the pity party into healthier functioning. Not to cheerlead the “woe is me.” Not to encourage the wounded person to remain frozen in “woe is me.”

    Expect Success!

    • Andi K., MA says:

      Hello Ms. Khadija:

      Thank you for your reply! I am glad that you enjoy my style of debate. Personal attack is so declasse (lol)! I appreciate you response, because it provided greater depth and clarity to what you were saying initially (which I misinterpreted). I feel I have a better understanding of what you meant. Rather than prolong a debate, I will simply state that my greatest strength appears to lend to my weakness: I believe in the power of healing and telling of narratives. I believe that all people are/have been/will be wounded in some form or fashion, and therefore that no one is truly right to shun another because they are wounded.

      The therapist in me encourages people and especially women to address these issues in an appropriate setting (i.e. therapy, in the privacy of their own friendships/relationships) with people who they know and trust. I somehow missed the point that the problem lies in these women producing “emotional vomit” for all the world to see as a means of garnering pity and sympathy. As Mochachoco said, these things are no trophy, rather scars that ought to be shared when the time is right with a deserving person. ;-)

      Thanks for the clarification, and keep up the great work!

      Andi K., MA

      • You’re welcome; and thank you for your kind words!

        You said, “The therapist in me encourages people and especially women to address these issues in an appropriate setting (i.e. therapy, in the privacy of their own friendships/relationships) with people who they know and trust.”

        That’s what I want also! I want more AA women to get professional therapy instead of engaging in this public, emotional “vomiting.”

        Expect Success!

  4. CW says:

    Short & Sweet…Slightly OT…Maybe

    “….1-People DON’T gravitate toward strangers with heavy-duty issues. Being a “stranger with heavy issues like sexual abuse, etc.” is not an appealing look. “

    And those who look for wounded birds SEE vulnerabilities as a way to “get” something…

    …”You said, “So, who are they to marry? Do women with tumultuous pasts not deserve partners?””

    Normal functioning adults do not expect PERFECTION…They are looking to see how we play the cards which have been dealt to us…However if one is walking around bleeding, that’s a clear signal to run…Walking around like “The Walking Wounded” tells others that there is immediate & present danger nearby…

    …It’s one thing to carefully share one’s heavy-duty issues and past history of trauma with a man who has ALREADY decided to make a big emotional investment into you. It’s something totally else to indiscriminately broadcast one’s heavy-duty issues and past history of trauma to the entire planet. Indiscriminate public broadcasting puts one into the category of “stranger with heavy-duty issues.” This is not an appealing look.

    Discretion also tells that man we can be trusted to keep certain business on our side of the threshold…Notice how the same leaky faucets tend to “tell all” with friends, neighbors, co-workers & such??? Those who handle adversity with grace will find support…The “Woe Is Me” crowd attracts users, abusers and other folk with an agenda…This is what has occurred with foreigners who are condescending…They see the Black American’s weak spot from 6,000 miles away…Like shooting fish in a barrel!

  5. mochachoc says:

    I think survivors make the erroneous assumption that telling their story will elicit respect, admiration and acceptance for having survived. In the short-term you may get sympathy, in the long-term people naturally want to turn away from you because no one wants to be reminded of pain. If you share your experience of abuse with a potential partner what is he to do with it? He can’t go back and rescue you or enact revenge on the perpetrator. Men don’t like to feel helpless. This may explain why many men leave their partners after a rape or the partner becoming ill. I’m not advocating you keep such an important experience hidden. I’m saying don’t put it out there as some sort of trophy. And certainly not in the early stages of a relationship.

    If your survival story is the only one you have to hold up to the world you need to create something new. Your survival story needs to be part of a larger whole story whereby you can demonstrate that you have not been diminished by it.

    Therapy is the safest place to share your painful stories.

    • Andi K., MA says:

      Hello Mocachoc:

      I wholly agree that Survivors sometimes erroneously assume that their story needs to be told all of the time. I also agree that men do not like to feel helpless. I am not sure if you are male or female, but I wish other women could understand this!

      Again, agreed that therapy is the time and place for this disclosure, as a therapist can also assist with how to frame and present this to a romantic partner.

  6. CW,

    You said, “And those who look for wounded birds SEE vulnerabilities as a way to “get” something…

    Normal functioning adults do not expect PERFECTION…They are looking to see how we play the cards which have been dealt to us…However if one is walking around bleeding, that’s a clear signal to run…Walking around like “The Walking Wounded” tells others that there is immediate & present danger nearby…

    Discretion also tells that man we can be trusted to keep certain business on our side of the threshold…Notice how the same leaky faucets tend to “tell all” with friends, neighbors, co-workers & such??? Those who handle adversity with grace will find support…The “Woe Is Me” crowd attracts users, abusers and other folk with an agenda…”

    Exactly! That’s precisely how these dynamics play out.
    _________________________________________________________

    Mochachoc,

    You said, “I think survivors make the erroneous assumption that telling their story will elicit respect, admiration and acceptance for having survived. In the short-term you may get sympathy, in the long-term people naturally want to turn away from you because no one wants to be reminded of pain.

    …I’m not advocating you keep such an important experience hidden. I’m saying don’t put it out there as some sort of trophy. And certainly not in the early stages of a relationship.

    ITA. And thank you for bringing up a point that bothers me about this indiscriminate pity partying that I couldn’t previously articulate. You cleared this up for me when you said, “If your survival story is the only one you have to hold up to the world you need to create something new.”

    “Trophy” perfectly describes another angle of what’s wrong with the public, indiscriminate showcasing of wounds. I got this vibe, put I couldn’t quite put my finger on it to describe it until you said that. Too many BW are acting as if their wounds are trophies to be shown off.

    Expect Success!

    • T says:

      Survival stories are a means to forge new, more productive responses to adversity, not continue in old patterns of living and being. That’s what some BW do not get; thus, they continue to act out their drama in the public eye and wonder why others refuse to engage them in their nonsense.

  7. T says:

    Does one come to a point where it’s no longer wise nor convenient to play the role of victim? I don’t think the AA community has gotten there yet; it’s too busy nursing wounds and holding pity parties. I say time out for all that and get a new reality. Like I said to some friends of mine, AA’s (as individuals and as a group) have to practice self-determination: speak, think, and act in a way that represents them properly instead of perpetuating untruths and stereotypes. Could it be that those things give us “comfort” and a familiar place to fall when things don’t work out? I guess, if that is what makes some folk sleep at night, but I think that self-determination will prevent harmful stereotypes from being our “normal.”

    • Andi K., MA says:

      Hello T:

      To answer your question, I think the short answer is ‘yes’. I think that many AA’s are not sure HOW to let go of the victim role. And its personally detrimental to all of their SKINfolk who don’t ascribe to this brand of self-pity and loathing. For example, I recently had a white academic advisor come at me TOTALLY sideways because of her own bigotry and the color of my skin. However, given that this horse has been beaten to death, I’ve had to redirect my anger at the situation in private with close friends, colleagues, and family.

      I refuse to come across as anyone’s ABW, but at the same time, I refuse to let that um…rude woman talk and act a fool in my direction. Self-determination is what keeps me in check in these types of scenarios; I wish that more of us knew and understood the REAL impact that that would create in America and abroad.

      Sincerely,

      Andi K., MA

  8. Anonymiss says:

    Years ago, I could not be convinced that Black foreigners were on the giving end of vitriol. I was the typical, dark-skinned, Nigerian-looking, “White-acting” high school student who was worthy of disdain and/or ostracism from the self-hating ABC.

    For a while, I was struggling with my negative feelings towards Af-Ams until I was able to bond with the other Af-Am kids in the honors program who were also dealing with the disdain and ostracism from the ABC. Also, over the years, I’ve had conversations with some Af-Am friends and some foolish relatives of mine from Nigeria that made me realize that many Af-Ams have been on the receiving end of vitriol from Black foreigners.

    Years ago, I remember overhearing a Nigerian woman say the most disgusting and classist things to a young Af-Am girl working the drive-thru window. When I was next at the window, I felt obliged to ask if she were OK and apologize for the other woman’s behavior. Normally, I try not to allow stranger’s assumptions to affect me but I didn’t want this girl to have the impression that all Nigerians are uppity bigots.

    Now, I think the reason why many Af-Ams allow Black foreigners to disrespect them is because many Af-Ams don’t know who they are and lack pride. Many of them don’t know that they have a beautiful history to be proud of. I honestly believe that more Af-Am parents need to become proactive in instilling healthy, traditional Af-Am values in their children. It also wouldn’t hurt if adults would make an investment in knowing Af-Am history too. But initially people have to be willing to reprogram themselves and/or let positive people into their lives that will support their new, healthy habits.

    There’s an expression popular with Af-Ams that says “It’s not where you been but where you’re going.” But knowing where you’ve been can do so much in helping you in where you want to go. Knowing your strengths, being confident, being well-informed, and having a great sense of self can do wonders for the self-esteem.

    No one can or will touch you if you’re well-armed :-)

    • Anonymiss,

      You said, “Years ago, I could not be convinced that Black foreigners were on the giving end of vitriol. I was the typical, dark-skinned, Nigerian-looking, “White-acting” high school student who was worthy of disdain and/or ostracism from the self-hating ABC.”

      It’s difficult for everybody to see outside their own experiences. That’s human nature; it takes active mental effort to get beyond that natural form of myopia.

      You said, “Now, I think the reason why many Af-Ams allow Black foreigners to disrespect them is because many Af-Ams don’t know who they are and lack pride. Many of them don’t know that they have a beautiful history to be proud of. I honestly believe that more Af-Am parents need to become proactive in instilling healthy, traditional Af-Am values in their children. It also wouldn’t hurt if adults would make an investment in knowing Af-Am history too. But initially people have to be willing to reprogram themselves and/or let positive people into their lives that will support their new, healthy habits.”

      ITA. Unfortunately, the masses of AAs are culturally resistant to the idea of doing any self-reprogramming. That would require introspection and SELF-correction. Most of us just aren’t willing to do that. As another reader pointed out, most of us also haven’t developed the emotional tools to do that. This is why AAs are floundering and sinking into a permanent underclass in the context of enjoying more opportunities than have EVER been available to us before. The bulk of AAs’ modern problems and vulnerabilities are SELF-inflicted and SELF-perpetuated. At this point, very little of what ails AAs is truly about other people.

      Expect Success!

  9. Sharifa says:

    Great post and comments (except for the trolls). Can’t add much to what was said about why AA’s seek these folks approval (lack of racial pride, self-hatred, expectations of solidarity and support, ignorance about our culture/history and theirs), but I did want to add something about this ‘therapy talk,’ and oversharing.

    As a therapist, I know the value of therapy, and processing trauma in a contained safe space. However, I do agree that many AA’s overshare, and seem to have boundary issues. I think one thing we have to understand is that the rest of the world is not going to pause while we heal. We have a lot to heal from, but we’re supposed to get bandaged up, and be prepared to go out into the world on its terms, and save our deep healing for the private sphere. This is not the same as sweeping things under the rug. Real healing is supposed to take place in the context and safety of real community. Some people have that within their faith community etc, but at this point, there is so much in the collective that harms us, that it’s almost impossible to heal from anything. So instead, people join in with this public therapy culture (which is an American/reality tv phenonenon, as well I think).

    AA women would do well to look at what hurts/damage they have, and go about actively creating the appropriate spaces to process and heal from trauma.

    I hope you had a good break, but I’m glad your back. This was a great post to return with.

    • Andi K., MA says:

      Hello Sharifa:

      As a fellow therapist/healer, I will propose the aforementioned question to you: HOW do we get women of color to stop the “emotional vomitting” in public (one of my colleague’s terms)? If I had a dollar for each time a woman of color (usually AA) tells me what her “pastor said” and that she “doesn’t need therapy, because she has Jesus”…I’d be on Oprah’s level NOW. I always respond with the simple question, “how has that helped you so far?”. Which is met with a bemused look.

      I am concerned about the roles that so-called faith communities play in the vicious cycle of abuse and lack of action toward true healing. IMO, few of these communities have adequate means of assessing and treating these women; which in turn leads to the habitual oversharing that I too have experienced.

      Curious,

      Andi K., MA

      • Truth P. says:

        Hi Andi K,*waves and smiles*

        you said:HOW do we get women of color to stop the “emotional vomitting” in public (one of my colleague’s terms)?

        you also said: If I had a dollar for each time a woman of color (usually AA) tells me what her “pastor said” and that she “doesn’t need therapy, because she has Jesus”…I’d be on Oprah’s level NOW. I always respond with the simple question, “how has that helped you so far?”. Which is met with a bemused look.
        I am concerned about the roles that so-called faith communities play in the vicious cycle of abuse and lack of action toward true healing.

        My answer:well these blogs as youv’e mentioned are very helpful but I do think that meet and greets with more church leaders from psychiatrists and people in your profession may help.My pastor actually does encourage people to seek help from other counsellors but my pastor actually cares about the people.I think there are some pastors out there that are afraid of their flock being fed by someone else.They’re afraid that if black women get what they need outside of church they won’t come back.

        Unlike those pastors my pastor actually has a JOB.WE DO NOT PAY MY PASTOR FOR PREACHING.HE DOES IT BECAUSE IT WAS HIS CALLING ALL THE WHILE PAYING HIS OWN MORTGAGE OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET.
        Unlike those other pastors since my pastor aint being paid at all to preach I feel that he does care more.Also my pastor will take all the help he can get.He recommends people go to other folks that can help them better than he could, AA and other groups etc.My pastor gives freely of his time so people can learn to come out of and overcome sin but some stuff he’ll tell you he doesn’t have experience in.I think once black women learn that their pastors or ministers,even if they are a true men or women of God,don’t have ALL the answers the more they’ll go and get the help they need and won’t just depend on (ONE) human being for everything.We pray for sick people at my church and we send them to HOSPITALS.Everything at church is about helping the whole person it’s always God using the pastor,ministers,and/with doctors teachers etc to help his people completely.Not just that 1 man.

        • Andi K., MA says:

          Hello Truth P:

          **waving back** :-D

          I am so glad to learn about this, because I do not practice Christianity, and am often confused when I interact with AA women from this group. I am all for pastors/ministers like yours, I’ve just never had the honor of meeting one. My concern is with the pastors who have taken a few psych courses and thus believe that they are able to play the role of therapist to their “flock” of sheep (<– telling moniker, isn't it?).

          This same rule applies to these pastors who refuse to discuss HIV/AIDS and sex with their congregations, despite the reality that its STILL happening. Yes, more psychologists must approach these clerywo/men, but what happens when they don't want to talk to you because you're not Christian, not going to attend/join their church, and not going to be converted from your "heathen" faith?

          Curious,

          Andi K., MA

          • Sharifa says:

            This is a reply to Andi K. and Truth P. *Waves to both*
            Andi K, it’s taking me so long to write this, because your question has complicated answers, even though it’s a simple question! I hope my response is coherent, lol.
            I think it may be easier for AA therapists who are also “in the church” to approach church leadership. You may want to join with another professional who comes from that world in your efforts to provide information. Practically, psychologists could attend social/community events and table, providing information about mental health and services. I think maybe somehow going to the women more directly may be better. It’s even better if there is a therapist in the congregation who can provide information (even though that can be difficult Just.Ask.Me).

            I would agree that some churches are better than others regarding concern/knowledge about mental health/wellness issues, and the priority they place on talking about these issues, assessing people’s needs and making sure they’re met (by the appropriate, qualified people). For example, some churches have mental health ministries, but I think there are ministers who don’t even know that they are mandated to report suspected child and elder abuse.
            I think you’re right (Truth P) that AA psychologists and psychiatrists should approach churches and try to collaborate with them to educate and offer services. However, there are some churches or ministers (who control the churches) who are ignorant or antagonistic to psychology. I think it is a territorial issue, as you mentioned: some don’t believe psychology is the appropriate means to alleviate human suffering (they feel religion is to do this) and others don’t want to compete for the attention of their congregants. Others take issue with the fact that many “fathers” and “mothers” of psychological thought were atheist, and seen as antagonistic to religion. I think this view, though somewhat historically accurate, is still based in ignorance; ignorance of the variation in psychological theory and practice, especially in the 21st century, which can include spirituality and concern about culture (which includes religion).
            I think that if more AA women sought therapy, and hopefully, a good therapist would be guiding clients to establish and maintain appropriate boundaries, more AA women would begin to keep some of this information to themselves and their inner circles. Therapy and healthy relationships can be containers for all this information and pain, rather than spilling it indiscriminately. Also, in therapy, there is often encouragement to “do” (including thinking) rather than just “talk.”
            I also think if it were communicated to them how bad a look it is, that would help SOME rethink the behavior. I think if they were getting their emotional needs met and were engaged in enough relationships and spaces where healing was taking place, the way they present themselves in the world would be different. But this would require more spaces where AA women exist to be healthy, OR for AA women to continue to MOVE to spaces that are healthy.
            How I would help an AA woman to stop the verbal vomiting is to tell her directly how doing that is not likely to be helpful to her (if she is receptive). I think if it is explained as a strategy like, “this is hurting you , and this is how you can be more successful” rather than, “don’t share that because nobody gives a damn,” people MIGHT be more receptive (even if the latter is true). I would be encouraging introspection, and examining the consequences of this behavior.
            We have to actively create our own spaces for healing. We should do this on a mass scale. I think there are enough BW therapists across the country to do it. And I don’t mean on daytime television, either, lol.

    • Sharifa,

      You said, “I think one thing we have to understand is that the rest of the world is not going to pause while we heal. We have a lot to heal from, but we’re supposed to get bandaged up, and be prepared to go out into the world on its terms, and save our deep healing for the private sphere. This is not the same as sweeping things under the rug. Real healing is supposed to take place in the context and safety of real community. Some people have that within their faith community etc, but at this point, there is so much in the collective that harms us, that it’s almost impossible to heal from anything. So instead, people join in with this public therapy culture (which is an American/reality tv phenonenon, as well I think).”

      PREACH!

      You said, “I hope you had a good break, but I’m glad your back. This was a great post to return with.”

      Thank you so much! :-)

      Expect Success!

  10. **I’m always tickled at how PREDICTABLE, and EASILY MANIPULATED certain types of trolls are {chuckling}**

    Everybody,

    I normally don’t publish profanity. But in this case I’m deeply amused to let everyone see just how quickly the very thin veneer of civilization dropped from my now-former guest, KAW. Here’s KAW’s final, un-edited comment (you can also read it above):

    “But your dumb ass does realize that BOTH of those gentlemen at least ventured to GO TO THOSE COUNTRIES, right? DId you notice I said, they have to go, even temporarily, to another country and most Americans don’t EVEN have passports-not to mention the position of most Black Americans-by CHOICE. You can ban me but this message is for YOU-anybody with a brain can see the fallacy I exposed. Good riddance you self pitying, hateful (and probably very lonely) bitch. =). PS, I am a tri-national citizen and proud. I am entitled to EVERYTHING you have and more. I know that BURNS you.”

    {gales of laughter}

    {clutching my pearls in faux horror at the lack of civility :-) }

    My goodness, what an uncivilized, SAVAGE individual this KAW showed itself to be. And it didn’t take long at all for this barbarian to lose its mask of composure. [Which I KNEW would happen.] {more gales of laughter}

    Oh, that was priceless. :-) {more chuckling}

    **Addendum** In my giggling at KAW’s display of savagery, I forgot to mention the 2nd Teachable Moment Principle that I expected KAW to ultimately display:

    If you’re getting a bad vibe from one of these potential Black-skinned bigots, DON’T give them any benefit of any doubts. You don’t have any obligation to give such persons “a chance.” Trust your gut reaction to the person’s original posture.

    You don’t have to wait for individuals like KAW to let their masks drop to the ground. The same hatred that KAW let itself be manipulated into openly displaying was already present underneath its first comment. I could see that, and I knew that it would only take a few rotations before its mask dropped. The same thing applies to the rest of these Black-skinned, foreign bigots—no matter how “reasonable” they try to pretend to be in the beginning. Don’t fall for the cultural hype that says we’re supposed to “give them a chance” before identifying them as bigots. Foreign, Black-skinned bigots are the same as White bigots—treat them as such! Treat them exactly the way you treat likely White bigots who set off your alarms.

    Expect Success!

    • Rcoleman says:

      “I am a tri-national citizen and proud. I am entitled to EVERYTHING you have and more. I know that BURNS you.”

      I had to wipe the monitor off when I read this…I lost a good mouthful of tea trying not to choke from laughter.

      I know this is slightly off topic but I had to put this out there…for those who may still think that these people are better when they spew their virtol about being tri citizens or how many other multiple citizens they may be…little does she know she is entitled but not in the frame she may think.

      Considering that she is US citizen by birth and her parents are naturalized US citizens consider this.

      Cited from; http://www.ecitizenship.us/Dual_Nationality.htm

      As with Americans who possess only U.S. citizenship, dual national U.S. citizens owe allegiance to the United States and are obliged to obey its laws and regulations. Such persons usually have certain obligations to the other country as well. Although failure to fulfill such obligations may have no adverse effect on dual nationals while in the United States because the other country would have few means to force compliance under those circumstances, dual nationals might be forced to comply with those obligations or pay a penalty if they go to the country of their other citizenship. In cases where dual nationals encounter difficulty in a foreign country of which they are citizens, the ability of U.S. Foreign Service posts to provide assistance may be quite limited since many foreign countries may not recognize a dual national’s claim to U.S. citizenship.

      Now considering that she disclosed that her parents are not from this country and came here for what we can assume the opportunity for a better life…If she went back to visit her other countries of origin she could become a casualty of whatever political, religious, tribal strife that may be present. And being a tri national will not save her hide.

      • LaJane Galt says:

        That’s exactly what I saw (and that neck-rollin’ mess she stereotypically slid in there).

        I am against US citizens having dual citizenship past 18. Time to choose and take an oath at that age. Especially for the armed forces (Israelis and Mexicans in particular).

    • mochachoc says:

      I have to say I was genuinely surprised at KAW’s outburst. How quickly this changeling revealed him/herself. Khadija, I don’t know how you have the stomach for it all. I know I don’t. I’m sending good vibes to you from across the pond.

      • Mochachoc,

        Thanks—good vibes are always appreciated!

        I’m cool in terms of the trolls. When I say that I don’t care—at all—about these people, I sincerely mean it. I genuinely DON’T care. So, what they think or say has zero impact on me. I tune them and their poison out.

        From the previous blog, the trolls learned not to try to cross certain red lines with me. They learned this from personally experiencing the effects of some online security measures that I took behind the scenes at the first blog. Security measures that don’t affect normal people but are a source of great worry to some of these trolls. A few of them were whining about these measures on some Internet Ike Turner sites—I was pleased to see this public whining because it had the unintended effect of warning other wannabe trolls away from trying to “go there” with me.

        Among other things, the Internet Ike Turners know that I WON’T hesitate to contact the local FBI field office in their area (in addition to their local municipal law enforcement) if they EVER say or do anything that I find to constitute a threat.

        So, most of the trolls have learned not to bother trying to interject themselves into these conversations—I won’t publish their comments. They’ve also learned to be VERY cautious about anything they say to me, because I’m not the one.

        And the nice thing is that the WordPress blogging platform I’m using for this blog automatically creates even more ways of keeping track of unwelcome visitors. :-)

        Expect Success!

  11. rainebeaux says:

    Andi, you said in response to Aisha: Low SES people are less likely to seek therapy and therefore are more likely to “expose vulnerabilities” to the world at large as you put it.

    Sorry, not buying it. At the risk of sounding callous–because as someone who’s finally stopped with the therapy talk online and offline, I’ve had it up to *here* with the “war wounded stories” at this point–there’s NO EXCUSE for this reluctance/unwillingness/blatant refusal to seek and utilize mental health services. A lot of these folks can cross several state lines for Section 8 (as one example of “buying what you want and begging for what you need” as Khadija touched on a while back), but won’t get the help using the proper channels at low or no cost?! There’s a reason many such women are all but written off by the larger populace, as well as the AA collective in general. Speaking of which…

    As a counselor and an advocate for DV Survivors, I am personally concerned with this popultations [sic]stigmatization of therapy, counseling, and any other form of self-help.

    By “this population”, are you referring to the AA collective (or what’s left of it)as a whole or the aforementioned lower SES demographic within? Either way, they most likely brought these stigmas on themselves–the end result of embracing/rewarding/championing dysfunction (again, I was once part of this)…hence, the impending underclass/untouchable status for these individuals and our dire need to keep a healthy distance. Nobody’s being dismissed per se, but rather strongly advised to get on the next thing smoking to the therapist’s couch…and strive mightily to close their mouths in the meantime.

    ____

    I don’t have much to add as far as maintaining racial/ethnic self-respect*–I strive to learn more about our history as I go, which in turn will be passed on to my daughter–but this post (not to mention the comments**) has given me plenty to chew on.

    *no foreign-born Black folks have given me any problems up to now, but forewarned is forearmed, no?

    **KAW’s, too, oddly enough. SMH. Yeah, I’d better look out for that as well.

    • Andi K., MA says:

      Hello Rainbeaux:

      (cute name, BTW). You made me LOL, though I’m sure you were just speaking as you always do. :-)

      No need to tread lightly, I wholly agree with everything that you said. Low SES people (esp. AA’s) have NO excuse in my eyes. I’m just stating the “facts” that I leaned in grad school. Contrarily, I understand that statistics can be manipulated in whatever way the researcher desires, so, I’ve taken that all with a grain of salt.

      Low SES people are the ones who will quote their pastor’s advice to me instead of taking me up on my offer for a complimentary or sliding-scale session. The proof is in the pudding, lower SES and levels of education make people more likely to be taken advantage of and bamboozled. I hate to turn things into a racial issue, but I just don’t hear low SES whites, Asians, and Latinos saying these types of “catch phrases”. Only AA’s will rely on Jesus to heal their schizophrenia…SMH. I may be crucified for saying that, but I’m just speaking from my own personal frame of reference.

      To answer your question: By “this population”, are you referring to the AA collective (or what’s left of it)as a whole or the aforementioned lower SES demographic within?

      No, I am solely speaking of AA people who are comfortable with their underclass/untouchable status. Upper Middle Class and Upper Class Blacks DO go to therapy; they also know when to think for themselves despite whatever their pastor says. I am speaking from a position of extreme economic privilege, so I cannot speak to what people brought onto themselves. However, I do sometimes get the impression that low SES AA’s are inclined to reward dysfunction and drama rather than to devise a plan and carry it out.

      Thanks for you insight! :-)

      Andi K., MA

  12. Truth P. says:

    @Khadija We must be really valuable for that troll to be arguing about us going to Africa.I’m just saying it seems like troll was fighting to keep us in the fold.Just goes to show you we are something special.

    • TruthP.,

      Guurl, that was the best belly laugh I’ve had so far this week.

      You said, “I’m just saying it seems like troll was fighting to keep us in the fold.”

      Yes—the only people who feel threatened by consciousness-raising are wannabe slave masters. Raised consciousness = fewer available victims to prey on. Predators DON’T like this equation.

      Expect Success!

  13. Rcoleman says:

    We really need to realize and believe without a doubt that we are in a privileged and enviable position ladies….worldwide.

    As I resumed my family genealogy research this summer in which I also plunked down several hundred dollars getting every DNA test ran on me for my haplogroup and breakdown, I started reading the many scientific papers on the breakdown and correlation between African American mtDNA and African ethnic groups. I also started reading academic papers regarding not only the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Arab slave trade but also the various empiric/tribal wars between the various African regions. All intertwined which had resulted in our ancestors presence in this country.

    To put it simply; The people that were responsible for our ancestors being here did not want our ancestors there. Their descendants do not want us there- (but they WILL TAKE our money and resources) however, they want and demand what our previous generations have fought for and won from their struggles when they come here (because things certainly have not changed all that much there since our ancestors landed here!). All with a smirk and a smile because they think they have an advantage due to knowing exactly where they descended from.

    We too can find out where we are from in Africa, as close as today’s technology will allow. The investment must be made both in time in researching and reading, a few cheek cells on a bucal swab and money. The technology is there!

    Information is knowledge and power! The rose-colored glasses and reverence will surely diminish when you figure out that the tide of fortune has shifted to our favor as a result of the resiliency of who we have descended from. We made our culture here, we have endured conditions that truly transcends logic and the imagination.

    If you need a quicker way of seeing for yourself, go to the CIA world fact book or the US Department of State websites and click on any African country to see what the current economic, political and financial conditions (GDP) are.

    Then ask yourself…Why did I ever think they were better than us?

    • Faith says:

      I think the lesson to be learned here is that it doesn’t matter where we came from (regarding Africa). It’s about what our ancestors achieved HERE (or other Countries if you’re not US-born) to build the current infrastructure.

      I also was thinking some sense of pride might be regained by knowing which African nation our ancestors hailed from (thinking about I. Washington’s charity efforts specifically since he did a DNA test that identified the one he’s helping) as if that ALONE would finally be the cure all to AA’s lack of pride in self – but it’s not!

      I think as with a lot of dysfunction some things will have to be discarded and new healthy behaviors will have to adapted for each individual person. We’ll have to separate ourselves from those that do not do any examining of their disruptive motivations or change their behavior.

      Like Evia has discussed at her blog those of us who need more people in our offline lives who are affirming will need to seek out or start intentional communities of more like-minded people as well.

      The movie Waiting To Exhale was on last night and I forced myself to watch it since it was about half-way through. What was so great about it was being able to see the indoctrination so clearly. In fact I’m surprised there wasn’t the usual complaining about the negative protrayal of black males because every single guy in that movie with the exception of one was an a**hole. Every angle you want covered from the black church to the promotion of OOW single motherhood as a badge of honor was there as a warning of what NOT to do – if more women could see it that way.

      I want to contrast that with reruns of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. They’re not really related but I’ve been very moved by the series because the creator and show runner did not shy away from the racism and sexism of the characters on the show. It was sooo anti-PC but such a great reminder of why we need to look out for our interests at all times!! In fact there was an episode about the Buffalo Soliders on last night. The motivation of the soliders as discussed on the show was so they could feel like they had power and dignity (by killing and hating on Indians) even while the Army was discriminating against them and the townspeople didn’t want to provide lodging for them. The complexity of the characters and that quality of writing that the Beth Sullivan Company provided was invaluable.

      I remember liking the series when it was on but that was 17 years ago. Watching it now has been an eye-opening experience. A show like that would never be greenlit today so I’m glad I can watch it now.

      • I love Dr. Quinn, and watch it frequently now. Chris Abbott, who was a consultant on the show was also a writer for Little House on the Prairie. She created one of my all time favorite shows Legacy, which was only on for 18 episodes back in 1998. It was about a family shortly after the Civil War, and featured an interracial relationship. And you’re right, none of those shows would be greenlighted today. In a roundabout way the demise of that show led to my own writing career. I was kvetching about the lack of good stories and a friend challenged me to write my own.

  14. Everybody:

    Please DON’T address any comments to KAW. I published I Rock I Roll’s comment (even though it’s addressed to KAW) because it contains some extremely important food for thought that more AA women need to meditate on.

    I don’t want the conversation to be derailed by folks wasting time responding to KAW. I want us to continue brainstorming together—and “us” includes the non-AA readers who have come to this table in a spirit of reciprocity and are participating in this conversation in good faith.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I Rock I Roll,

    Thank you for your support; I truly appreciate it. I think I might have accidentally deleted another comment you submitted. If so, please accept my apology. Sometimes, I can be too quick on the draw with the delete button. (Oops! :-( )

    You said, “The very fact that you’re all up in an AA women’s blog is so telling it is not even funny….Ask yourselves, why is this woman all up in this ONE blog on the internet unless you realizing your power was a threat? “ (emphasis added)

    Whoomp, there it is!! This is the same point that TruthP. made. And you’re both absolutely correct. We need to understand that there are a LOT of folks who are deeply invested in maintaining the status quo. A status quo of AAs being clueless and easily exploited. And many of us would be shocked to realize that large numbers of foreign Blacks (NOT ALL) are on that list of oppressive people who have a vested interest in AAs remaining gullible.

    You said, “I’mma be straight up to all of the women of AA descent out there… all of these other black nationalities try to CLAIM US in difficult situations. Yeah, I’mma tell it. THERE IS NOTHING THAT WILL GET YOU OUT OF A SITUATION like being a nice, well mannered black AMERICAN. The.end.”

    Oooh! I wanna THANK YOU for tellin’ it! AAs have been hoodwinked into throwing away our birthright of American power and benefits! Benefits that we are more than entitled to reap based on our ancestors’ forced labor in creating the amazing national wealth and magnificent infrastructure that created these benefits.

    Ladies, take back your birthright as Americans descended from the people whose forced labor built this bad fella!

    Expect Success!

  15. mochachoc says:

    Ladies, take back your birthright as Americans descended from the people whose forced labor built this bad fella!

    Oooh yes! And if I may, I’d like to borrow this for all the descendants of Caribbeans whose toil and heartache contributed to the wealth of Great Britain.

    • Mochachoc,

      Please do! I also had y’all in mind when I said this, but it’s not my place to make calls for other people.

      I had known about the ships sent to bring West Indians to work in the UK after WWII. But I didn’t know about the reception they got as they walked off the gangplanks, until you mentioned that. What you described of the West Indians dressing up like movie stars, and carrying high hopes—only to be greeted by some ignorant Archie Bunker types upon arrival touched a nerve with me. That really resonated with me—I felt a DEEP twinge of recognition of that type of historical experience.

      Expect Success!

      • Faith says:

        The Archie Bunker reference is spot on as well since All In The Family was a remake of the British show, “‘Till Death Do Us Part” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Till_Death_Us_Do_Part_(British_TV_series)

        This has been one of the posts that needs to go in your second book Khadija!

        By the way here’s a bit of Gaddafi news I thought you’d be interested in regarding Libyan immigrants trying to get into Italy illegally.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11139345

        I also have to admit I hadn’t expected KAW to be so obvious so quickly. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

        I’m also reminded constantly of that other female blogger who speaks about black women divesting yet refused to acknowledge our AA heritage and was publicly disparaging of you (and me as well for not agreeing with her either to a lesser extent). Since we’re using some of the same social networks sites I’ve taken notice how she converses with many of the same women I do (some of whom also read this blog) but she intentionally avoids me!

        I always find it very telling how some people can’t simply agree to disagree but want to annihilate the ones who have fundamental ideological differences in retaliation – like the DBR males (who some claim as the “good” BM) I identified in my online conversations last summer who are STILL complaining about me behind the scenes. Yet they don’t dare confront me directly on any public forum.

        • Faith,

          Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it! This has been a paradigm-shifting conversation for me. Several readers have brought up points that never occurred to me before. As always, I learn from all of the conversation participants. Thank you to everyone!

          Be happy that the individual you described avoids you. ‘Nuff said about that. {smile}

          You said, “I always find it very telling how some people can’t simply agree to disagree but want to annihilate the ones who have fundamental ideological differences in retaliation – like the DBR males (who some claim as the “good” BM) I identified in my online conversations last summer who are STILL complaining about me behind the scenes. Yet they don’t dare confront me directly on any public forum.”

          Yeah, the mentality behind that sort of behavior is…curious…to say the least. I’m focused on advancing MY agenda; and not focused on people who are ideological opponents or their agendas. They are irrelevant to me.

          Expect Success!

      • mochachoc says:

        Thank you Khadija. You know, it wasn’t until I wrote it that it gave me a shudder. The dashed hopes and dreams must have been heartbreaking: trained teachers who could only get jobs as cleaner’s, skilled carpenter’s who were only employed as guardsmen on the railways, lack of colour, the soot, gray and cold, the bad food, insults, having to mingle with the Archie Bunker types and keep your mouth shut lest you lose your job, oh you get the picture.

        You have to remember, British Caribbeans were taught to believe England was the mother country paved with gold. Perhaps there was gold to be found among the upper classes (although I doubt it, they can be the most ill mannered people) but believe you me when I say the working classes were low. I remember the stories of the men who never changed their shirts only the removable collars, the babies that were washed in the kitchen sink, the women’s skirts that were stiff with dirt. You couldn’t find beautiful fabric to make your wedding gowns. Most ordinary white’s did not own their homes or aspire to and they couldn’t understand why or how those ‘darkies’ were doing so. It wasn’t with the help of banks. My mother’s generation banded together and used the informal partner system to generate cash as deposits. Then these people had the cheek to look down on us. Lawdy!

        Obviously there were benefits to coming here but I’m thinking about how intensley duped they must have felt. Then how do you explain to your relatives back home all is not going according to plan.

        I have a lot of admiration for that generation of Cribbeans.

        • Mochachoc,

          You said, “I have a lot of admiration for that generation of Caribbeans.”

          I do too.

          Expect Success!

          • pioneervalleywoman says:

            For the curious, there is an interesting book about that experience, which I found out was turned into a BBC movie special available on US public tv–I saw ads for its broadcast recently: Andrea Levy, Small Island.

  16. pioneervalleywoman says:

    Greetings, Khadija!

    I have been reading with interest the interchanges with KAW, and I am just struck and how so many “over there,” wherever “there” is, Africa or the Caribbean, demand that Af-Ams bow down and beg to them for whatever.

    Af-Ams helping out with the end of apartheid, as the S.Afs came over here for help then bailed and went back but without coming through with anything else afterwards: “you helped us, here is how we can work with you in this new arena…”

    Learn about us and share the commonalities we have with you–more Pan-Af what-not. Af-Ams are in such a different place that they don’t need connections to Pan-Af what-not today.

    Yes, back in the day, it was all well and good, and gave a lot of Af-Ams synergy, the Af-Ams civil rights movements, ie., Garvey and then the liberation movements of the 1950s “over there,” but what will doing anything to help them today do for Af-Ams in today’s world? Are they offering anything of real substance for Af-Ams in today’s world?

    S. Af–one of the highest HIV rates in the world, rape pandemics, men who believe sleeping with a virgin will cure AIDs? Mugabe in Zimbabwe, starving his people to death, etc., etc.

    So interesting, as others have spoken, about where black nationalism has gotten so many–rejecting any identification with their American identity, when it is part and parcel of who they are, and when Africa is so remote. Interesting as well, not seeing the value in the integrationist civil rights movement (said movement which had its own faults and limitations).

    Speaking as well about “them” v. “us”, as you know, I’m an Af-Am identified “cousin” (family from the Caribbean) and I was just on vacation this summer back on the island, and I knew for sure that I am not one of “them” in their eyes…

    As I walked around, talked, went about my days, I was a tourist, as far as they were concerned, a Yankee…

    It is in the stares upon hearing a North American accent, the resentment at whatever it is that Americans are believed to stand for–Northern wealth and power?

    Am I ashamed? Hell no, because I know that I am no oppressor, merely someone visiting, and it is my right to do so–my American passport enables me to!

    Note as well, that I also have dual citizenship, but when I travel overseas, I’m American, first, second and third!

    • Greetings, PioneerValleyWoman!

      Wow! Along with Roslyn, you’ve pointed out something that really blew me away when you said,

      Af-Ams are in such a different place that they don’t need connections to Pan-Af what-not today.

      Yes, back in the day, it was all well and good, and gave a lot of Af-Ams synergy, the Af-Ams civil rights movements, ie., Garvey and then the liberation movements of the 1950s “over there,” but what will doing anything to help them today do for Af-Ams in today’s world? Are they offering anything of real substance for Af-Ams in today’s world?

      S. Af–one of the highest HIV rates in the world, rape pandemics, men who believe sleeping with a virgin will cure AIDs? Mugabe in Zimbabwe, starving his people to death, etc., etc.

      I thought about these questions all day today at work. I also thought about the additional questions that flow from the above points. Here are my thoughts about all of that:

      (1) In this day and age, Pan-Africanism has less than nothing to contribute to AAs. When you sum up the pluses and minuses, it’s clear that Pan-Af has backfired on AAs. It’s currently a LIABILITY for AAs at this point in time.

      (2) Even if Pan-Af wasn’t a liability and currently had something of value to contribute to AAs, AAs don’t need it today. Like you said, AAs don’t need connections to Pan-Af whatever at this point in time. The reality is that AAs have our own resources. Resources that so many vampires are feeding off of currently. Resources that a long series of other ethnic groups have gotten fat off of (from the ever-shifting ethnic groups that are the slum merchants in Black residential areas to the other groups that ride our civil rights coatails).

      You said, “So interesting, as others have spoken, about where black nationalism has gotten so many–rejecting any identification with their American identity, when it is part and parcel of who they are, and when Africa is so remote.”

      Well, this was another one of your paradigm-blowing points that I thought about all day. After some reflection, I realized that not only is Africa “remote” in terms of AAs (and I suspect other groups of Western Blacks)—but it’s also totally ALIEN to us at this point!

      I then asked myself, “Do AAs even have any MEANINGFUL things in common with Africans at this point?” [We’ve already established that there is NO connection between Africans and AAs.] Well, I believe the answer to this question is NO—AAs don’t have any meaningful things in common with continental Africans at this point.

      AAs share some cultural inclinations with Africans (the inclination toward hospitality—especially to outsiders; the inclination toward emotionally “warm” styles of interacting with people and religious worship; etc.). But these shared cultural inclinations play out in contexts and overall worldviews that are galaxies apart in my opinion.

      This ties into a conversation I had with a friend awhile back about relative cultural distances. Each culture has its own rules. And there are different perceived and felt “distances” between various cultures’ sets of rules.

      I’ve always wondered why the rise of India’s economy and the preponderence of East Indians in the technical fields doesn’t seem to set off White Americans’ mental alarms. They’re upset about the jobs being offshored to India, but the emotional tenor of their reaction to India’s economic rise isn’t hysterical. It’s not like the reaction during the 90s to Japan’s booming economy. There was a whole mini-industry of scare-books talking about how “Japan, Inc.” was buying up America, and how US executives needed to study the Japanese “art of business,” or else.

      My friend pointed out that White Americans don’t get as nervous about Indians because they often have a veneer of British mannerisms and British accents. This makes them seem less alien than they actually are (and therefore less scary than the rise of East Asian individuals and countries). Meanwhile, in my view, (East) Indians seem MUCH further away from Western culture than the (East) Asians I’ve observed up close.

      The cultural rules in terms of the Koreans and Korean-Americans that I’ve seen up close have been MUCH easier for me to understand than the rules some other non-Western types of people are operating under. My subjective impression has been that once you understand:

      (1) their preferences for clearly defined social hierarchies (contrast with the overall American and extreme AA rejection of hierarchy in favor of presumed “equality”—modern AAs are fanatical about the idea that there is no meaningful difference between the educated and the illiterate, the older and the younger, or the successful and the non-functional);

      (2) how “rank” within these hierarchies is determined—in other words, where you fit in based on various criteria; and

      (3) their giving priority to outward displays of conformity as opposed to concerning themselves with people’s inner thoughts—

      —then you can better predict how certain things and behaviors will be received by these folks. My subjective impression of the Koreans I’ve known is that their cultural rule set seems to be STABLE, internally logical, and therefore predictable in their application.

      Meanwhile, the rule sets of some other types of non-Western people that I’ve watched appear to be ever-shifting, lacking in any internal logic that I can comprehend, totally arbitrary in application, and therefore unpredictable. All of which makes it harder to understand their rules, much less comply with them. All of this adds up to these various other types of non-Westerners seeming more “alien” to me than the Koreans I’ve watched.

      [As an aside, I also thought of Andi K.’s comments about how resistant AAs are to professional counseling. Well, we’re not alone in that. From what I’ve heard from the few Korean-American counselors I’ve met at work, Koreans are not into the notion of going to therapy either. To sum up one Korean family counselor’s comments, they’re generally more interested in a relative’s outward behavior (conformity to expected norms)—and not so interested in probing how that person feels about much of anything.]

      You said, “Speaking as well about “them” v. “us”, as you know, I’m an Af-Am identified “cousin” (family from the Caribbean) and I was just on vacation this summer back on the island, and I knew for sure that I am not one of “them” in their eyes… As I walked around, talked, went about my days, I was a tourist, as far as they were concerned, a Yankee… It is in the stares upon hearing a North American accent, the resentment at whatever it is that Americans are believed to stand for–Northern wealth and power?”

      Emigration seems to stir up all sorts of bittersweet reactions from the people who never left the “old country.” I’ve heard similar tales from Korean-American, Greek-American, and other immigrant-heritage acquaintances. Frankly, it seems to me that a lot of folks that remained “back home” in the old countries are straight-up envious of the people who moved. There was a story a while back in the New York Times that talked about this in the context of the disaster in Haiti. It seems that now the Haitian government is somewhat more willing to accept help from the Haitian diaspora.

      From the story:

      “MIAMI —— Since leaving Haiti in 1974 and becoming a successful engineer here, Fritz Armand has often felt that his skills were unwelcome in his native country. His efforts to build a desalination facility and a portable power plant in Haiti failed in part, he says, because of antipathy toward expatriates. He has been called “diaspore,” an insulting term. Under Haitian law, when he became an American citizen, he automatically “renounced” his birthplace. For years, educated émigrés like Mr. Armand, from Miami to Montreal, have tried hard to play a more vital role in Haiti’s development, with little success.”

      There’s something wrong with the link I tried to copy to this story. Here’s the title of the news story that folks can Google: “Scattered Émigrés Haiti Once Shunned Are Now a Lifeline”.

      You said, “Am I ashamed? Hell no, because I know that I am no oppressor, merely someone visiting, and it is my right to do so–my American passport enables me to!”

      That’s right!

      **Addendum at 11:31 p.m.**
      While talking about all of this with some friends tonight, I realized that in the back of my mind I had previously always assumed there was some sort of at least minimal connection between AAs and continental Africans. And my irritation with the behaviors from some of them was always in the context of feeling honor-bound to feel at least a minimal connection to Africa(ns). I’ve never wanted to be anything at all like the Black Latinos, Black Arabs, “Cablinasians,” or the “don’t you dare call me Black” so-called biracials who deny the historical and genetic fact of their African descent. What they’re doing and their motives for disconnecting from Africa(ns) have always felt dirty, cowardly and dishonorable to me.

      After spending today mulling over the points raised by PioneerValleyWoman, I feel an honorable and clean lack of connection to Africa(ns). In fact, right now I’m feeling something that’s probably similar to how the early White American colonists felt about England: The feeling that comes with making a clean break from a construct that has become oppressive. All in all, this is starting to feel like another Independence/Emancipation Day.

      Expect Success!

      • pioneervalleywoman says:

        Hi, Khadija!

        I’m glad my comment proved helpful. I’ll put on my academic hat to give everyone a sense of how I came to this point, meaning I never was a “pan-Af whatever.”

        Some points you raised relate to my logical reasoning. The founders imagined the African slave trade to the US would end by the early 1800s–by 1808, according to the US constitution (article 1 section 9). After that, the slave trade was solely an internal trade of those people of African descent already here.

        By Emancipation in 1865, older former slaves would have been the only ones to have known anybody who might have come to the US in that latter part of the slave trade. If anything, the bulk of the slave trade took place much earlier.

        Think of it, the last time African Americans had any connection to African brought here as slaves, it was two centuries ago.

        I’m all for ethnic and racial self-respect, but come on, how are African Americans (and other diasporic people of African descent) “African” and not “American” or “Caribbean” or “South American”?

        Yes, I see Africa in my hair, my nose, my lips and my brown skin, but put me next to an average person from Africa, and there are serious differences in everything–looks, language, culture. How can I claim that? I can recognize it and some connection, but to say I’m not hyphenated is beyond ridiculous.

        Now, thinking about these genetic tests. People of African descent in the West who are not pure African don’t have pure African lineages, not only because of the non-Africans in our bloodlines, but also because Africans from the slave trade era didn’t come from one place. So with the blood tests, if you have several traces from different groups of Africans, which ones will you claim?

        Even today, amongst Africans in Africa, people of mixed ethnicity can experience problems because their cultures don’t mix well, so how are you going to determine where you fit, if you want to go that route? Do you have the cultural heritage/training to negotiate that?

        Moving on to discuss what I coined the “pan-Af whatever” movement, it was full of optimism from the synergy of 50-60 years ago, but have the leaders of those African countries who became liberated done anything on the whole to uplift their people once they got their liberation? You spoke of this already. Instead, they became corrupt and the source of much civil unrest. Idi Amin, someone mentioned–I learned about him as well in school. As you explained, in some of those countries, they have replaced the European colonists with Chinese ones.

        So I’m glad you are starting to ask, what does “pan-Af whatever” have for African Americans today?

  17. Felicia says:

    “Ladies, take back your birthright as Americans descended from the people whose forced labor built this bad fella!”

    EXACTLY. Personally speaking, I refer to myself as an American black woman/American woman of African-descent. I know that the term African-American is what’s politically correct now but my ancestors built and contributed to THIS country. The United States. And American blacks have a different (and in some cases non existent) “relationship” with Africa and Africans. A “relationship” that is totally different from Asian-Americans (and other hyphenated Americans who have DIRECT ties to their countries of origin) relationship with Asia.

    Anyway, I’m glad you’re having these types of discussions Khadija. They truly help one realize what a blessing it is to know ones history. Any black American who TRULY knew their history – and what their ancestors contributed to this country – wouldn’t be looking to Africa, Africans, or any other place or people for validation or “answers”.

    GREAT discussion!

  18. Felicia says:

    Pioneervalleywoman,

    You said…

    “As I walked around, talked, went about my days, I was a tourist, as far as they were concerned, a Yankee…

    It is in the stares upon hearing a North American accent, the resentment at whatever it is that Americans are believed to stand for–Northern wealth and power?

    Am I ashamed? Hell no, because I know that I am no oppressor, merely someone visiting, and it is my right to do so–my American passport enables me to!

    Note as well, that I also have dual citizenship, but when I travel overseas, I’m American, first, second and third!

    You just told it like it is! Thank you for this. Especially that last part.

  19. Liza207 says:

    Pioneervalleywoman,

    The same here, I don’t feel any real connection to the Caribbean except for my family members. I’m American or at times African-American or Black. I think actual African-Americans should let go of the whole “we must hang on to our African roots” mindset. It has caused nothing but pain and disappointment. It’s time to fully embrace the fact that you are
    Americans. Period.

    I’m not trying to put down all Africans but in my encounters with some of them. I have gotten the impression that they don’t think too highly of Caribbeans either. I have always found African men in particular to be very disrespectful. They have said and tried things with me that I know they wouldn’t DARE say or try with their own women. I have never felt any connection to Africa either. It would probably be a nice place to visit someday.

    I believe in treating people as individuals and I don’t assume just because someone shares my skin hue or phenotype that we are connected. Everyone should be vetted equally.

    Khadija,

    You and your blog are totally kick@$$!

  20. Joyousnerd says:

    Hear, hear! I’m an American as well, and I’m PROUD of it. I wish more AA people felt connected to their citizenship… and took concrete action to back it up. Examples include involvement in local and state politics, and participation in civic pride campaigns. I remember I literally cried with joy and pride when I voted for the first time at 18. I’ve never missed an election yet.

    I know all of the seedy flaws in our nation, but by god it’s mine and I’ll work to improve it. I did lose most of my pride in our country during the nightmarish Bush years… that was hard. But despite the dark days that fell on us, we still have a bright future.

    As to the foreign bigots… I refuse to allow them to dull my shine. If it’s all so dandy in Wherever-3rd-world-Toilet, WHY are you in MY country talking smack? I had to put it plainly to one of these clowns, in a University classroom no less. I told her she was a GUEST in MY country, and she needed to back up and comport herself accordingly. Never had an ounce of trouble from her after that.

  21. Joyousnerd says:

    More thoughts: I used to do that therapy talk during college. I look back and cringe at how I portrayed myself to those around me. Sigh. I thought that sharing how I had overcome such low treatment showed everyone that I’m a strong and powerful person with lots to offer the world. Not by a long shot, not by a mile.

    If I had it to over again… but I don’t, and none of us do. All we can do now is learn from our mistakes and try to help others avoid the pitfalls. I am so grateful for this blog, as I have learned tons from Khadija and you ladies who comment (even the trolls lol). Funny how fast those fangs came out.

  22. Ali says:

    Joyousnerd says:
    More thoughts: I used to do that therapy talk during college. I look back and cringe at how I portrayed myself to those around me. Sigh. I thought that sharing how I had overcome such low treatment showed everyone that I’m a strong and powerful person with lots to offer the world. Not by a long shot, not by a mile.

    I say –
    May I ask, joyousner, if it’s not too private – how did people react to your therapy talk, in general? Did people generally sympathsize, or did they pull away from you?

    I’ve been reading the comments and I hear what everyone is saying. I guess it will take me time to really ingest this – that therapy talk/abused woman = bad.

    When I hear someone’s tale of woe (esp. a woman), it makes me want to help them/ and or at least admire them for rising above those terrible circumstances – as long as they don’t harp on and on about it.

    Joyousnerd, I understand that it’s not a flattering look for AA women in general, but I’d be surprised if people we’rent more sympathtic to you. What was the reaction?

    • Joyousnerd says:

      It’s hard to really know what was fueling people’s reactions to me. Most of my classmates had never really met an intelligent, well-spoken and nerdy black woman before, sad to say. I had a lot of white boys especially who were so angry at me they couldn’t see straight… simply because they came in there believing every black student was semi-literate and on affirmative-action or sports scholarships. And then they met me… and I ran circles around them academically. Most of these people were too racist to be able to “see” me as I was anyway.

      When it comes to others, I’ll never know how they would have reacted to me had I not shared… there’s no way to know for sure because I did air my business.

      I will tell you nobody came rushing to aid and comfort me lol. I was seen with fear, suspicion and derision by most, with respect but distance from others. I was busy broadcasting loud and clear that I needed no one and could lift the planet with my pinky finger SMH so why would they come to my aid? Sigh.

      We live, we learn. I did get married during those years, so it wasn’t a total wash. And when I got engaged, a sweet and intelligent white guy in my major was the only one to sincerely congratulate me and even asked me what race my FH was (most folks assume I’m in IRR automatically, don’t know why. They are correct though lol). He was happy for me but kicked himself for not asking me out when he had the chance. So while it’s not 100% conclusive that you will NEVER have a man if you broadcast your issues, it certainly is not a good look in any case and I wish I had not done that.

      Upholding yourself as a feminine beauty worthy of protection is the best way to go, and that’s what I do now. I even dress in a feminine way, I’ve only worn a pair of pants 1-2 times in the past 5 years. Now I cannot convince my daughter that women do in fact wear them lol.

  23. pioneervalleywoman says:

    Lisa207:

    The same here, I don’t feel any real connection to the Caribbean except for my family members.

    My reply:

    That is my connection as well. More troubling, though, are those who were born there but spent years overseas but can’t see where they live as “home,” as they hold onto a fantasy of moving back upon retirement, as an example.

    Back “home” there can be lots of resentment against ex-pats, who are seen as whatever…when they are not seen as wealthy foreigners who have some minimal connection to the community.

    A case in point, it might have been the NYT or WSJ that published a story about the situations facing ex-pat Jamaicans who go back “home” after years of making their home in the UK, US or Canada.

    They go “back home” and they suddenly become the target for thieves and other such criminals who see them as marks–older people in the community who have more money and resources, ie., who build houses and who are known to have pensions coming in from overseas.

    I found myself thinking of the Booker T. Washington saying “cast your bucket where you are,” not fully apt, in that he was urging African Americans not to agitate for civil rights and not to move to the North because white Southerners were their friends. But I thought of the saying in light of issues of safety…safer overseas than “back home.”

  24. Ann says:

    As we used to say, “You told it like it is”.
    LOL, I do not believe I have anything else to add to this blog. The subject matter was well covered. Personally, I do not care if the other blk. person is supportive or not. At the end of the day I am the only one who is responsible for my bills. Non-African people places us all in the same category- AA/A or blk.

    BTW, that job I complained about I am about to give my two weeks notice and focus more on my studies. I am a little anxious about giving up the 40 hr. work week position for a temporary position; but, I believe cutting back on work hours and focusing more on my classes will prove beneficial in the long run.

  25. Professher says:

    Whew; you are on FIRE in this post; wow!!!! Loved reading it and your utter, unabashed clarity … AND facts-based analysis!

  26. Everybody,

    I think we’ve thoroughly covered all the angles to this multifaceted, nuanced topic. So, I’m going to close the comments to this post.

    THANK YOU for your participation—all of you have helped me rethink some lingering mistaken assumptions I had!

    Expect Success!