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.

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175 Responses to “Another Look At Loyalty To Self”

  1. Work-related homework forced me to end my gadget sabbatical a day early. 🙁 Hmmph! I figured that I would do something I enjoyed (publish a blog post) in between doing my trial-related homework.

    Anyhoo, let me repeat: I’m NOT going to publish comments that focus on complaining about foreign Black bigots during this conversation. As I see it, the problem isn’t them, it’s US—and our acceptance of mistreatment from these people.

    Expect Success!

  2. calpurnia says:

    Black americans were taken from their homeland by whites BUT other black tribes SOLD US TO THEM!! many black slaves LOST THEIR NAMES over in AFRICA FIRST because of tribalism..other blacks are into witchcraft and animism. Christianity tries to eradicate it but many africans get only half or the bible, and hurt their kids: lastly, black americans used to take care of their own kids until the SEXUAL REVOLUTION and DRUGS, in the early 70s. this modern attitude is something ‘new’

  3. I’ve been writing non-stop as I’m on deadline at the moment, so this might not be my most coherent post, but I’ll do my best. I think a good deal of this inferiority complex stems from the pseudo-black nationalism that so many spout. There is an innate part of us that wants to belong. We’ve been told that American culture is not our culture (despite the fact that much of what makes America, America was created by us). That to be a part of America is to be a sell-out. To me, that’s a white supremacist mindset on it’s very face. It is to say that this unique African American culture we’ve created is somehow subpar or less than. Because many of us believe that America is ONLY about white people, we literally make ourselves refugees in our own country. So yes, we’re seeking validation from those we see as superior. From those that supposedly haven’t assimilated into this white culture that makes us so inferior. Never mind that those same whites who enslaved us, also colonized them. Never mind that for the most part they’re still colonized today.

    That’s why I’m quick to say proudly that I’m African-American. I have roots and heritage and culture that go back hundreds of years. A history of creativity in language and arts that are surpassed by NONE. Unless and until we look at and own who we are and find pride in our unique and powerful history we will continue to debase ourselves to others.

    Last week I spent a morning at the county health department (long story). Most of the women there were Hispanic of various origins, with just a sprinkling of black women as well. It’s been a while since I’ve been around this population, and back in my hometown the Hispanic population wasn’t as large when I was still in the service. Anyway, to a woman, those women were dressed their very best. Even the ones who were a bit stout looked nice. Their clothes weren’t expensive, and some were a bit too snug for my taste, but they all had on at least a bit of makeup, and were dressed nicely. The black women made me want to drag them into the ladies room and ask them what the heck was wrong with them. Their hair was unkempt and all over their heads. They didn’t even look as though they’d washed their faces or put on lip balm. Their shirts were over-sized and wrinkled and looked like men’s shirts. I was absolutely appalled. Even the children looked different. The Hispanic children looked bright-eyed and bushy tailed (having been given way too much sugar IMO), the black kids had flat eyes and dull skin, and I saw the tell-tale signs of FAS in at least a couple of them.

    I guess on the one hand I should be grateful that most of the women using these services are no longer black, but I’m absolutely appalled at the contrast between the two groups. They’re representing and repopulating with their best and brightest. We’re representing and repopulating with our worst and dullest. I shudder to even contemplate the results.

    As for putting their best foot forward, you’d best believe that other groups most assuredly do so. And I remember a time when African Americans did so as well. There was a time when we realized that we were the face of our people and behaved accordingly. It was only when we decided to “let it all hang out” and celebrate our most deviant that our culture was ultimately destroyed.

  4. Icon says:

    “Why do so many African-Americans look to these people for validation? What’s that about?”

    Great post Khadija, I think (as with life) this could be a combination of opposing factors. I believe it has to do with AA’s combination of entitlement (America IS our primary culture, and with it the privilege of entitlement) and our need to feel a part of a bigger context of black identity because we are isolated from American identity due to blackness. But I also believe this may apply to more “pro-black”, and other seemingly self respecting blacks who allow this behavior. I feel that most blacks Americans would rather claim the “black latinos”, Egypt, Ethiopia and Somolia, biracial south Africans, and “mixed” Brazilians over Nigerians, Ghanians, the Sudanese and Malians. Heck, most AA’s I know would rather claim Dominicans as black than Haitians! On a side note, I strongly suggest that when an African harasses you as an African American woman outside their business especially, call the cops in hopes that they will ask them for their “papers”.

    Our illusion of commonality based on “blackness” over the MORE important and global definition of culture (language, location, nationality, and religion) is proof of this. We have FAR more in common with blacks in predominately white countries than we ever will with continental Africans. Period. We’re disillusioned into believing that “we all black, ain’t it a beautiful thang?”, based on a 500yr old European construct that is considered “self hating” to challenge. Meanwhile we refuse to accept that foreigners may be taught/choose to disassociate from the construct of blackness by targeting African Americans “see! see! I’m not like them! I don’t even like them! Disassociating from groups society considers bad makes it easier to move up (AA’s still haven’t learned this as it applies to disassociating and appropriately calling “foul” at black criminals in front of whites, for example).

    AA’s also refuse to understand in general that people are self-interested, and we’re the only group calling it “self hatred” to be so. We refuse to acknowledge that foreigners who feel a commonality base it on CULTURE in the genuine global sense (they share a language, religion, or home country). IE if you speak Mandarin Chinese, you feel “commonality” with other Mandarin speakers, but not with Hindi or Japanese immigrants, OBVIOUSLY. Even though all are considered Asian. Sometimes, I just wanna shake AA’s out of this crazy euphoric fantasy of similar culture based on the invisible construct of “blackness”.

    In short, AAs behave as the stereotypical “tragic mulatto”, refusing to identify or share responsibility in black struggle unless it suits our motive for occasional identity and acceptance out of our hurt feelings for never feeling accepted into American culture (instead of refusing to accept that reality does not exist in dichotomy and that we have nothing to gain accepting the construct of “blackness”).

    That time could better be invested in establishing and positioning ourselves as American individuals when we can and because it suits our interests at work, African American at barbeque’s and when applying for student loans, etc. THIS is precisely what other ethnicities do when they come to America, and there’s some very genuine acknowledgement of our own stupidity from them, because we had a head-start.

    But correct me if I’m wrong, what do you think?

  5. Lynn says:

    Welcome back! I know I speak for the majority of your audience when I say that we missed you. This post was so on point today! I feel blessed to see this on your website because today, I took steps in my business and personal life to do just as you say in this post. I took a stand and made it crystal clear that I will not accept mistreatment from people–though they were not Africans. I immediately felt a great weight lift off of my heart. I know it was the right thing to do for me.

    I want to point out, one does not have to be aggressive, or mean about it. One can assertively get their point accross, maintain a lady-like demeanor, and make it clear what you will not tolerate. One of the things I see with with AA women is the overly aggressive manner we (as a group) have over ‘trifling’ issues-such as a look from someone-and the meek attitudes we have with Africans and/or Black men. AA women tend to have a lot of built up anger within us. If you insist on being treated with respect from everyone, I know a lot of this anger will go away and your self-respect (from which this anger stems from) will rise.

    Also, if Africans are treating us so disrepectfully, why are we going to them to get our braids done? I stopped getting braids over three years ago because I could not find an AA woman to do them. AAs have allowed Africans to run other AA women out of the braid/natural hair care industry. I can’t find an AA to braid my hair in the city I live. I went to an African braid store ONE time, and vowed to myself that I would never do it again. The disrespect there is unbelievable. And we AAs willingly spend hundreds of dollars there. This is stupidity at its highest form.

    I agree with Khadija–the pity party look is not helpful to us at all. AA women who whine about the ‘hardships’ we face, do not help any of us. NO ONE CARES. The sooner you come to realize that, the better it will be for all of us. The hard truth is, as bad as we as AA women have it, we are waaaaay better off than at least 90% of the world’s female population. Get on with life. If you want to feel better, do better.

  6. Calpurnia,

    Lots of folks—including the Africans themselves, so-called African “biracials” like Tippu Tib, and Native American nations like the Cherokees had a hand in slavery . . . not just the Europeans that we tend to focus on. [In the case of the Native American Indian nations that held AAs in slavery, our hands aren’t clean either—AAs helped Whites steal the land from, and commit genocide against, the Native Americans. We never talk about that aspect of the “Buffalo Soldiers” that we love to celebrate.]
    ___________________________________________

    Roslyn,

    You blew me away when you said, “I think a good deal of this inferiority complex stems from the pseudo-black nationalism that so many spout. There is an innate part of us that wants to belong. We’ve been told that American culture is not our culture (despite the fact that much of what makes America, America was created by us). That to be a part of America is to be a sell-out. To me, that’s a white supremacist mindset on it’s very face. It is to say that this unique African American culture we’ve created is somehow subpar or less than. Because many of us believe that America is ONLY about white people, we literally make ourselves refugees in our own country. (emphasis added)

    This NEVER occurred to me. It never occurred to me that our (pitiful) efforts at Black Nationalism served to reinforce an inferiority complex. {sigh} It was always easy for me to see how self-abasing integration-ism was. But I didn’t see how Black Nationalism did the same damage—only from the opposite angle. Thank you for providing this insight. {still shaking my head in shock at the thought}

    You said, “So yes, we’re seeking validation from those we see as superior. From those that supposedly haven’t assimilated into this white culture that makes us so inferior.”

    Yes, I can see it now. If you consider any contact with White culture to automatically create a “taint,” then it would follow that you would believe that those who claimed to be “untouched” were superior. However, in the modern real world, there’s no such thing as “untouched.” Everybody is aware of this planet’s dominant culture—the West—whether they want to be aware of this or not. The question is what does a culture do with that awareness. Do they use it to surge forward, like the Japanese did during the 1800s? Or do they try to retreat backwards into the Middle Ages, like many Middle Eastern Muslims want?

    You said, “That’s why I’m quick to say proudly that I’m African-American. I have roots and heritage and culture that go back hundreds of years. A history of creativity in language and arts that are surpassed by NONE. Unless and until we look at and own who we are and find pride in our unique and powerful history we will continue to debase ourselves to others.”

    I’ve always felt the same way. I’ve never worshipped Africans. Not even when I was in my Black Nationalist trance. It’s similar to how I’ve never worshipped Arab or Pakistani Muslims. And that NON-worshipful attitude always went beyond the glaring, long-term problems in various African or middle eastern societies. One of the things that I’ve always treasured about our AA heritage is our cultural flexibility—we’re free to reinvent ourselves. And free to borrow whatever is of value from others. Similar to how the Japanese borrowed Western technology and other practices without becoming something other than Japanese. Meanwhile, a lot of non-Western people are literally trapped in their mummified cultural practices. For many of them—especially the women—making a change could get them killed.

    You said, “I guess on the one hand I should be grateful that most of the women using these services are no longer black, but I’m absolutely appalled at the contrast between the two groups. They’re representing and repopulating with their best and brightest. We’re representing and repopulating with our worst and dullest. I shudder to even contemplate the results.”

    Lord have mercy. {sigh}

    You said, “As for putting their best foot forward, you’d best believe that other groups most assuredly do so. And I remember a time when African Americans did so as well. There was a time when we realized that we were the face of our people and behaved accordingly. It was only when we decided to “let it all hang out” and celebrate our most deviant that our culture was ultimately destroyed.”

    Indeed. That’s why I have NO patience with our foolish “people should accept me as I am” mantras. I notice that the AAs who talk that stuff are always saying it in reference to something that’s stupid and dysfunctional (such as dressing like gangbangers, etc.). Time out on that.

    Expect Success!

    • Thank you for your kind words Khadija. I’m just glad the post made sense. I can’t think of anything more foolish than relinquishing your own culture in favor of someone else’s. Especially when those people don’t recognize you as a full and equal participant in that culture. Who in their right mind deliberately become cultural “nobodies?”

  7. Karen says:

    I cannot add too much to Roslyn’s assessment. I remember being in the 3rd grade and my teacher giving us all a book that showed the accomplishments of African Americans in the building of this nation.

    From that point on, I have always held my head high. There is no reason for me to behave any other way and I certainly do not need validation from others for my self-worth.

    Why would I even entertain the notion of listening to that kind of mess about bad-mouthing AAs from folks that LEFT their home countries and benefit from what MY PEOPLE accomplished…???

    The bottom line, if life was so darn good in these other countries, why did they immigrate to the U.S.?????

    AAs need to leave “Pity City” behind.

    AAs need to re-learn racial discipline and as stated by Roslyn, to remember “we are the face of our people and should behave accordingly”.

  8. Tee says:

    Khadija:

    Outstanding! Outstanding! Outstanding! (On my feet!)

    The problem with many AAs is that collectively, we don’t read, research, travel, or step out of our comfort zone to learn about the world beyond our block.

    If we did, there would be absolutely no way in Hades some refugee from a dust bowl country could open his/her mouth about how I’m living.

    I know that when the Framers were writing the Declaration of Independence, someone who looked like me was the furthest thing from their mind. But because I am living today and have U.S. citizenship, I am a benefactor of that document.

    Saul of Tarsus (who later became the Apostle Paul) was a Jew who had the privilege of Roman Citizenship bestowed upon him, and he used it to his advantage. He could speak his mind and persecute Christians, or anyone deemed a threat to the empire without worry of backlash. In my case, I don’t have to worry about deportation.

    Membership has its privileges.

    If AAs could travel to countries where a lot of these refugees come from, I think their spines would straighten.

    Years ago, on my first trip to Haiti (as a flight attendant), a Haitian passenger was looking out of the window and got excited when he saw his house on a hillside. All I saw were shacks made of discarded materials, and I thought to myself ‘How on Earth could anyone from here come to America, and turn their nose up at me?’

    All anyone has to do is pick up a book, newspaper, or browse the Internet to be informed. When you read, you arm yourself against any garbage spewing from some foreigner’s mouth.

    Khadija, one of my favorite sayings is-

    “A man with the facts is never at the mercy of a man with an opinion.”

    Well done Lady, and thank you!

    Tee

  9. Icon says:

    Rosylyn,

    Your comment above that I didn’t see is so spot on and sums up my opinions, but it goes further in inspiring me to see the reality of African Americans for what it is.

    The only thing worse than now is the black children in two generations who learn in history class the white person who created the computer, internet and cellphone, the oil spill, the Iraq war, how other ethnic groups such as white latinos and some E Asians and Arabs assimilated into whiteness, and the only invention listed for blacks is “hip hop”…

    People have no interest in taking a moral stance for delinquents and juveniles who think of their inability to fit in as “culture”. There’s a total lack of respect of this from normal people, and we have the propensity to fit in MORE than immigrants with English not as a native language. Yet because many blacks today care not of learning about true African American history, they do not realize that most of what is considered “African American culture” was corporation/media/politically manufactured in the past 40 years. Or that frequent child abandoning was due to an increase amount of male sexual privilege can suffice as malehood after the “sexual revolution”.

    Most AAs don’t even think that when they go through old family scrapbooks or ask around MOST AA women were respectfully and beautifully dressed on a low budget in feminine dresses, most of our grandparents were married and stayed together–our grandfathers even worked if necessary into an early grave to own a little home, that AAs were intellectual enough to understand the importance of speaking in different vernacular depending on the environment… Or that this was one building block that allowed us to move around more fluidity in business, and to have the intellectual capacity to strategically plan (through strikes and organized boycotts) the global phenomenon of Civil Rights without whites knowing about it. The list goes on and on. And all if this without advanced schooling at that!

    Any rights we accomplished for ourselves and immigrants were due to the self-respecting nature of who we were, that we wanted to be accepted as “normal”, that we were genuinely good people who wanted what America had to offer, etc., all inspired a moral call for justice, and we inspired blacks and other minorities globally (even the 60s and 70s pictures from later of “yellow power” are extremely inspiring to look at).

  10. Anilia says:

    Khadija, I loved this post.

    This issue, letting non-American black bigots hurt our cultural feelings, is part of a larger issue to me. Why are we listening to any put-downs in the first place?? Like you said, you allow people to treat you a certain way. When anyone steps to me with that nonsense I just ignore them. What am I gaining by listening to them???

    Not only does it affect my self-esteem to internalize criticisms, but like you said – they’re at the bottom of the food chain in their own countries, and have no answers for me. So why are we engaging in this type of discussion anyway??

    Same goes for any criticism of African-American women lately. If there aren’t any solutions or healthy dialogues going on, why am I listening?

  11. kaikou says:

    In America to be African or Caribbean (I.e. Knowing your history) is luxury to some “blacks”. They will idolize you and call you exotic. Look, I am as about as American as they come but I have never engaged in this pity party that is loved here. I don’t even like talking to some AAs because that’s all they are about. The anger that is able to foster here is astounding. And you know what I just don’t care anymore, at all. I never really did but this is a sick brainwashed cycle. There isn’t much you can do for those who can’t swim, but save them. But guess what I don’t have a floating device and have been doing just fine. LEARN!

  12. Icon,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it. You said, “On a side note, I strongly suggest that when an African harasses you as an African American woman outside their business especially, call the cops in hopes that they will ask them for their “papers”.

    Oh no, not just the local police. Folks should CALL ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on these “immigrants with a stank attitude.” Please call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE to report immigration or customs violations.

    You said, “Our illusion of commonality based on “blackness” over the MORE important and global definition of culture (language, location, nationality, and religion) is proof of this. We have FAR more in common with blacks in predominately white countries than we ever will with continental Africans. Period. We’re disillusioned into believing that “we all black, ain’t it a beautiful thang?”, based on a 500yr old European construct that is considered “self hating” to challenge.”

    The key word in that phrase is “illusion.”

    You said, “Meanwhile we refuse to accept that foreigners may be taught/choose to disassociate from the construct of blackness by targeting African Americans “see! see! I’m not like them! I don’t even like them! Disassociating from groups society considers bad makes it easier to move up (AA’s still haven’t learned this as it applies to disassociating and appropriately calling “foul” at black criminals in front of whites, for example).”

    Yes, Malcolm X talked about this process in terms of White immigrants (how part of how they ingratiate themselves with White Americans is by stepping on AAs). Well, the same dynamic often applies to non-White and Black immigrants. And I don’t blame them, because these other people are SELF-interested (as you point out later in your comment). My issue is why are so many AAs still so naive about these people?

    You said, “AA’s also refuse to understand in general that people are self-interested, and we’re the only group calling it “self hatred” to be so. We refuse to acknowledge that foreigners who feel a commonality base it on CULTURE in the genuine global sense (they share a language, religion, or home country).”

    Indeed. Another part of this problem is that our AA misleadership class has consistently exhorted AAs to buy into the illusions of global Black “brotherhood” and “sisterhood” with these people. Even when it’s not reciprocated. There is NO such thing. The same way there’s never been any “Black and Brown Together.” That’s another Fantasy Island concept that our misleadership has peddled for several decades. Well, we can all see the results of AAs’ foolish decision to support (legal and illegal) Latino immigration. Just look at how the Cubans in Florida and other Latinos elsewhere treat AAs whenever they get into power. It’s not a pretty picture. But it’s our own fault for being dumb enough to support these people.

    You said, “The only thing worse than now is the black children in two generations who learn in history class the white person who created the computer, internet and cellphone, the oil spill, the Iraq war, how other ethnic groups such as white latinos and some E Asians and Arabs assimilated into whiteness, and the only invention listed for blacks is “hip hop”…

    People have no interest in taking a moral stance for delinquents and juveniles who think of their inability to fit in as “culture”.

    Again, this is our own fault. And it’s all the more reason for more of us to loudly condemn that hip-hop trash (instead of making excuses for it or lifting it up).
    ______________________________________________________

    Lynn,

    Thank you so much for your kind words; it’s nice to be missed! LOL!

    You said, “I feel blessed to see this on your website because today, I took steps in my business and personal life to do just as you say in this post. I took a stand and made it crystal clear that I will not accept mistreatment from people–though they were not Africans. I immediately felt a great weight lift off of my heart. I know it was the right thing to do for me.”

    Good for you!

    You said, “I want to point out, one does not have to be aggressive, or mean about it. One can assertively get their point across, maintain a lady-like demeanor, and make it clear what you will not tolerate.”

    I agree. There’s no need to get nasty or unfeminine about it, because it’s not that deep. It’s a very simple move to cut things short with folks with an attitude. It’s also very simple to CALL ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on these “immigrants with an attitude.” Please call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE to report immigration or customs violations.

    You said, “One of the things I see with with AA women is the overly aggressive manner we (as a group) have over ‘trifling’ issues-such as a look from someone-and the meek attitudes we have with Africans and/or Black men. AA women tend to have a lot of built up anger within us. If you insist on being treated with respect from everyone, I know a lot of this anger will go away and your self-respect (from which this anger stems from) will rise.”

    I totally agree. A lot of AA women’s free-floating mental anguish and anger is the result of their continued choice to allow various sets of people (AA men, foreign Blacks, hair-flipping, “don’t you dare call me Black” so-called biracial and Cablanasian women, other non-Blacks such as the “Becky, Lupes, J Los, Fatimas and Mei Lings” who are hooked up to BM, and others) to insult and mistreat them.

    Just consider the barrage of pure HATE that AA women subject themselves to on a daily basis when they consume BW-hating, modern AA mass culture products such as Tyler Perry movies, hip-hop, Chris Rock’s mockumentary, DBR gossip blogs, DBRBM’s blogs, and so on. Once more AA women stop making themselves available for these constant assaults on their dignity, they’ll feel much better.

    This is why I called on AA women to do a “Great Tune-Out” approximately 3 months ago. We’ll get back to discussing that soon.

    You said, “…the pity party look is not helpful to us at all. AA women who whine about the ‘hardships’ we face, do not help any of us. NO ONE CARES. The sooner you come to realize that, the better it will be for all of us. The hard truth is, as bad as we as AA women have it, we are waaaaay better off than at least 90% of the world’s female population. Get on with life. If you want to feel better, do better.”

    Indeed!
    __________________________________________________

    Karen,

    I 100% cosign your comment. I can’t add much to what you said.
    _________________________________________________

    Tee,

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

    You said, “The problem with many AAs is that collectively, we don’t read, research, travel, or step out of our comfort zone to learn about the world beyond our block. . . I know that when the Framers were writing the Declaration of Independence, someone who looked like me was the furthest thing from their mind. But because I am living today and have U.S. citizenship, I am a benefactor of that document. . . Membership has its privileges.”

    Indeed. And nobody is more deserving of reaping these privileges created by our ancestors’ forced labor than AAs.

    You said, “Khadija, one of my favorite sayings is-

    “A man with the facts is never at the mercy of a man with an opinion.”

    That’s a VERY good saying; thanks for sharing it!

    Expect Success!

  13. Faith Dow says:

    I’m just going to respond briefly before reading through the comments but I briefly read Roslyn’s which inspired this. When I went to the UK and Ireland and mingled amongst the blacks that live there I fully understood what is was to be an African-American. We have a distinct culture and heritage and our contributions do make up much of what’s appealing about the United States. Not to mention the fact that our ancestors built this country with their blood, sweat and tears. I’m not sure how much we can fully realize how special we are until we’ve removed ourselves from our immediate surroundings. We have a lot to proud of. It’s interesting how one of the subjects being interviewed for the follow-up post-Katrina documentary that Spike Lee filmed specifically mentioned lack of self-pride as a cause for the problems amongst AAs. I know our conversations amongst the BWE bloggers is having an impact even if some don’t want to acknowledge it. That doesn’t mean we should wait for others to step in though. We need to keep moving forward, protecting our interests. Those that want to be respectful and work with us are cool – everyone else can step out of the way.

  14. Anilia,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it. You said, “This issue, letting non-American black bigots hurt our cultural feelings, is part of a larger issue to me. Why are we listening to any put-downs in the first place?? Like you said, you allow people to treat you a certain way. When anyone steps to me with that nonsense I just ignore them. What am I gaining by listening to them???”

    Exactly. I don’t understand how or why the reader who sent me the email is even having those sorts of conversations with these people. Like you said, why is that reader and other AAs listening to put-downs in the first place?!

    You said, “Same goes for any criticism of African-American women lately. If there aren’t any solutions or healthy dialogues going on, why am I listening?”

    Indeed. This gets back to the “tune-out” issue that we previously discussed. I don’t make room for people, places, things, ideas, OR conversations that are fundamentally anti-ME.
    ______________________________________________________

    Kaikou,

    You said, “And you know what I just don’t care anymore, at all.”

    I’m getting close to that point. I’m tired of hearing AAs whine about the mistreatment that they choose to accept. I’m tired of hearing AAs whine about what other people are saying. I don’t whine about people who are trying to do something inappropriate to me—I quietly walk away from them and get even.

    Let me repeat the message from the ICE website: Please call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE to report immigration or customs violations.
    ____________________________________________________

    Faith,

    You said, “When I went to the UK and Ireland and mingled amongst the blacks that live there I fully understood what is was to be an African-American. We have a distinct culture and heritage and our contributions do make up much of what’s appealing about the United States. Not to mention the fact that our ancestors built this country with their blood, sweat and tears. I’m not sure how much we can fully realize how special we are until we’ve removed ourselves from our immediate surroundings. We have a lot to proud of.”

    I agree with your observations.

    You said, “It’s interesting how one of the subjects being interviewed for the follow-up post-Katrina documentary that Spike Lee filmed specifically mentioned lack of self-pride as a cause for the problems amongst AAs.”

    This combined lack of ethnic and racial self-pride is at the very core of all of our modern-day collective problems. This lack of self-pride is what makes other people’s attacks on us successful—these other people are just not that bold—they’re looking for safe targets.

    [For one example, the foreign Black wannabe slave masters who mistakenly think they’re entitled to quibble with AAs’ self-definition as African-AMERICANS never fix their mouths to say that mess to White Americans. They’re never bold enough to lecture White Americans about how they believe the descriptive term “American” so-called isn’t limited to US citizens, yadda, yadda, yadda. Like I said, these (cowardly) people only look for safe targets to vent on.]

    Which brings me to an observation friends and I have made during multiple, separate visits to Western Europe:

    The Blacks in Europe must be extremely docile in their day-to-day interactions with White Europeans. I mean docile in a sense that’s relative to AAs’ interactions with White Americans. We noticed that individual White Europeans were behaving in an aggressive way with local Blacks in a way that individual White Americans usually aren’t so quick to do with AAs when they’re by themselves. White Americans usually have to be in a group/”pack” to show out with AAs. I don’t mean overt aggression. I mean things like rudely stepping over and brushing up against local Blacks while walking through the streets. In other words, casually physically “Bogarting” Black folks while walking through the streets and cutting in front of lines.

    You said, “Those that want to be respectful and work with us are cool – everyone else can step out of the way.”

    I totally agree. I will add that, as far as I’m concerned, those who are not respectful of AAs can and should take their chances with some ICE agents. Let me repeat the message from the ICE website: Please call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE to report immigration or customs violations.

    Expect Success!

    • Karen says:

      Dear Khadija,

      What I have observed in my travels is that it greatly depends on how local Blacks carry themselves. Those that I have observed behave is if they have no right to be there and therefore give their power away.

      What I mean is there is no direct eye contact; especially the men. They will try to make a side eye with a woman but will avert their eyes to White males. Now when you think about the fact that Europe became what it is due to the lucrative slave trade and the extortion of the natural resources of the continent, then the African Diaspora by default has every right to be there. That is at least, how I see and I act accordingly *smile*

      I have seen White European females do the same thing. One made the mistake of trying that mess with me upon which she promptly found out “I am not the one for such mess” and started stuttering and saying “excuse me, I did not see you”. My response was last time I checked, I did not blend in with white walls. You saw me and chose to try to ignore me… WRONG (chuckling at the memory of it).

      Anyway, I have noted that ICE number too!

      • Dear Karen,

        You said, “What I have observed in my travels is that it greatly depends on how local Blacks carry themselves. Those that I have observed behave is if they have no right to be there and therefore give their power away.

        What I mean is there is no direct eye contact; especially the men. They will try to make a side eye with a woman but will avert their eyes to White males.”

        Hmmm…that’s very interesting. It reminds me of how so many AA males automatically assume “the prisoner stance” when they’re in any sort of courtroom (eyes down, hands clasped behind their backs). They do this even when they’ve never been incarcerated and are standing in CIVIL litigation courtrooms. They’re afraid to look into the faces of the Whites in the courtroom. [This annoys me to no end.]

        You said, “I have seen White European females do the same thing. One made the mistake of trying that mess with me upon which she promptly found out “I am not the one for such mess” and started stuttering and saying “excuse me, I did not see you”.

        One of my friends had a similar experience—the European woman backed up and away from her with a quickness! LOL!

        Expect Success!

    • ak says:

      I have been back in Britain for the past five years and you are telling the pure truth Ruth about the black locals living in Europe among the white Europeans. I am too through with their ‘Bogarting’ and and I can’t wait to move back to the States. When they’re brushing past me like a bowling ball to a bowling pin I just knock em right back and act like I don’t see em! Please! My God, especially with the WW especially from the Continent but sometimes the Brit ones too.

      I’ve been away recently for two weeks showing a friend and former roommate from back in the States around southeastern and southwestern England, namely Leamington Spa, Brighton, Stonehenge, Bath, and four days in Cornwall, but I don’t want to derail you guys, I’m just saying that’s where I’ve been very recently!

      But now I’m reading along with this post and the two previous ones. Before I moved back to London I spent well over 18 years in America in two different states, and I am in full agreement that AAs should take back their country and their rights to opportunities from ‘face-ty’ (feisty) foreigners of any color if they have to! LOL Why not?

      If I go to Nigeria right now and bad mout all of the people, all of their ways, and this and that I’m sure that more than enough of them would tell me to ‘go back home’! And Khadija you are right on the money about their cowardice, whether it’s because of self-interest or not, about picking AAs for soft targets that they can’t do with white Americans. It is plain to see, and I’m not even AA but in America yes AAs should have the say-so, no it does NOT just belong to the whites only!

      I feel that any of the AAs whether they participate at BWE blogs or not should pick up the phone and call the ICE number on ‘face-ty’, rude, and racist Asian/Middle Eastern/African/European etc. whatever coming into the US to pick on AAs who if it weren’t for their Civil Rights movement wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. If you don’t like it, then you can go back home to to your wars and strifes! LOL

      • AK,

        You said, “When they’re brushing past me like a bowling ball to a bowling pin I just knock em right back and act like I don’t see em! Please! My God, especially with the WW especially from the Continent but sometimes the Brit ones too.”

        {chuckling} THANK YOU for perfectly describing what I mean when I’m talking about the “Bogarting.” There’s the normal Western range of jostling on crowded streets, such as in Manhattan during rush hour or the Las Vegas Strip at most hours. And then there’s this Bogart mess, which is something totally ELSE. [Or as it’s pronounced in the Chicago area, “Bogard”—yes, I’m tickled about the “face-ty” you mentioned, as well as most regional verbal quirks.]

        The “Bogart” consists of stepping over, trampling on, and crashing up into, people. The “bowling ball-to pins” image that you mentioned is a good example. The Bogart is also reminiscent of a cue ball knocking into other billiards balls. From what I saw, all of this crashing was often coupled with cutting in front of (local Black) people in a line (I believe the British expression for this is “queue jumping.”).

        I’ve never visited the UK (I’ve only caught connecting flights at Heathrow—I would like to visit London one day 🙂 ). But the casual Bogarting of local Blacks that I saw while visiting France, Italy and Spain was intense. And these were NOT crowded streets (such as rush hour in Manhattan) where I saw this repeatedly happen. Those (White) Europeans were sho-nuff “face-ty” in how so many of them stepped all over those folks—that’s what drew my attention.

        You said, “… and I am in full agreement that AAs should take back their country and their rights to opportunities…”

        AK, now THAT’S what I’m talking about! LOL! Like I said, in my view this isn’t about these other people. It’s about AAs failure to claim our own rightful inheritance as Americans. As with so many of AAs’ current problems, this one would be solved very quickly if we would just do some SELF-correction.

        Expect Success!

        • ak says:

          SORRY I DON’T MEAN TO DERAIL YOU KHADIJA. Please do come and see Britain if you want to BUT let me just warn you now after I left London for the States as a kid in the late 80s the whole of the UK became this super-haven for every face-ty foreigner that you can imagine European and non-European because the UK just HAD to join the EU didn’t they? *rolling my eyes* So let me prepare you from some ‘Bogarting’ from the same Frogs, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Middle Easterners, Nigerian, Somalian etc.

          The Europeans feel they have more right to be here than the blacks who were invited to work and live the UK to help rebuilding it after WWII, and the Middle Easterners and South Asians done hijacked this place for everything. I am more than ready to leave this country although I will miss some family members and London’s FABULOUS shopping! Just telling you get ready for Bogart-Palooza because London is crowded but it’s not like NYC though still.

          But you should also visit much calmer and prettier places like Bath, Edinburgh, Oxford, Stonehenge, and definitely Cornwall which has great seafood and dairy and St. Michael’s Mount in the Marazion part of Cornwall is beautiful.

          • AK,

            You said, “Please do come and see Britain if you want to BUT let me just warn you now after I left London for the States as a kid in the late 80s the whole of the UK became this super-haven for every face-ty foreigner that you can imagine European and non-European because the UK just HAD to join the EU didn’t they? *rolling my eyes* So let me prepare you from some ‘Bogarting’ from the same Frogs, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Middle Easterners, Nigerian, Somalian etc.”

            Oh, that’s very interesting. I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that large numbers of continental Europeans had run away from their own countries to crowd the streets of the UK. All I knew was that South Asians had definitely overrun the UK. As I mentioned in a reply to Mochachoc during an earlier conversation,

            Back to Heathrow—it was shocking to me to see so many South Asians. That sight let me know that the Brits have allowed the Indians/Pakistanis to overrun their country. I’ve never seen so many South Asians walking around before. I’ve also NEVER seen so many veiled women in public before. AND there were specially set-aside prayer rooms to accomodate all these native-garb-wearing South Asians and Arabs. I’ve never seen anything like that in US public places. Never.

            The few times I’ve passed through Heathrow reminded me of my first impression of Vancouver—it seemed that every fourth person was Chinese there.

            White folks in these various countries have made HUGE mistakes by letting so many of these NON-assimilating, non-White folks in.

            (1) White Americans screwed up big time by letting so many Mexicans in. There are problems with other Latino categories—the Cuban population in Florida and their “NATIVE (SPANISH) SPEAKERS ONLY” job discrimination was discussed at length in the comment section to this post at the previous blog.

            But the REAL threat to the US cultural equilibrium (ideas such as maintaining English as the national language) is coming from the Mexicans. The Cubans are a problem, but they’re concentrated in Florida. There are simply too many Mexicans spread across too many different US states.

            Including in places that folks wouldn’t think of—such as what used to be AA population strongholds in the deep South. The Mexicans come to these small, rural Southern towns to take over all the jobs in the poultry factories, etc. [If I can find it, I’ll post the link to a news story from over a year ago about how some of the native, working poor White and AA employees (the ones with common sense and a sense of self-preservation) were cheering when Immigration finally got around to raiding some of those factories.]

            I’m also irritated that the AA (mis)leadership class was/is stupid enough to help the Mexicans take over here in the US. And help them do so while they’re riding AA civil rights martyrs’ coat tails. But that particular demographic battle has already been lost. Latinos now outnumber AAs. Soon, Asians will outnumber AAs in the US. As Dr. Claud Anderson warned AAs years ago, if we didn’t get anywhere are the largest minority population, what do we think happens when we slide down to #3, #4, and beyond? Answer: Nothing nice.

            (2) The Canadians messed up by letting so many Chinese in (the Chinese only play at being cooperative citizens when they are numerically weak . . . on their way to taking over everywhere they go).

            (3) And the Brits messed up by letting so many Pakistanis/Indians in. There will be trouble later on down the road in all 3 of these places because of these shifting demographics. There’s already trouble bubbling right now in these various places with these folks (I’m thinking of the 7/7 bombings in London a few years back). Oh well.

            I didn’t know that White Brits put themselves in a spot to ALSO be overrun in their own country by continental Europeans such as Spaniards, Frenchmen, Poles, Italians, and so on. It’s none of my business, but that was…well, umm…dumb.

            You said, “Just telling you get ready for Bogart-Palooza because London is crowded but it’s not like NYC though still.”

            {chuckling at “Bogart-Palooza”}

            You said, “But you should also visit much calmer and prettier places like Bath, Edinburgh, Oxford, Stonehenge, and definitely Cornwall which has great seafood and dairy and St. Michael’s Mount in the Marazion part of Cornwall is beautiful.”

            Thanks for the tips! I’ll definitely make that part of my itinerary if I ever make it over to the UK.

            Expect Success!

  15. I think part of the reason Africans are looked to for validation is the whole ‘African Kings and Queens’ meme many AAs bought into during the last 40 years or so. The ‘know your history’ and ‘be proud of where you come from’ exhortations pro-black activists and educators and black nationalists subscribed to were used as a means of increasing AA’s pride in themselves as a people with a history and heritage beyond slavery. Africa served as the touchstone; especially in light of the ouster of colonial powers (though in most countries just symbolically); of the growing power and importance of Africa. Only, as it turns out, China got next.

    I was on a website taking the Implicit Association test (composed by Canadian researchers) and it asked for ethnicity. The list included Canadian, European, Chinese, African, a few others I am not remembering but it did not include American (as in United States). I did not answer the question because I could not check anything from the list. I may be African-descended, but my ethnicity is not African.

    I realized I was annoyed the researchers hadn’t included African American as a distinct ethnicity.

    I think I’m a little surprised I didn’t knee-jerk to African ethnic designation.

    **pauses to ponder**

    Peace

    • Truth P. says:

      @SouthlandDiva I agree and it is so sad that some of those same people with the black king and queen rhetoric know more about Africans history and contributions than they know about African American history and contributions to America and the world.

  16. Icon says:

    I made an error above (Roslyn, sorry about the typo I made in your name).

    “Oh no, not just the local police. Folks should CALL ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on these “immigrants with a stank attitude.” Please call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE to report immigration or customs violations”

    Thank you Khadija (I’ll definitely save this number)! And I’ve definitely felt MUCH better and empowered reporting these assaults. Those who feel it acceptable to harass/degrade BW while they themselves have been on the job have DEFINITELY had their supervisors called, and as far as I’m concerned harassing immigrants deserve to be deported. Two weeks ago, some trifling African immigrant in a taxi threatened me and told me “you look as an not clean wh*re” or something for not responding to his lip licking. Funny how men who barely even speak english know what to say in order to sexually humiliate black women. I STILL wish I jotted down his license plate number. This treatment is not acceptable, and black women DO NOT have to put up with it.

    Thank you!

    • ak says:

      Please please call those ICE people! And I’m not even AA, I just lived out in the USA for years and years until recently! Don’t stand for it, get his licence plate number now!!

  17. SouthlandDiva,

    You said, “I think part of the reason Africans are looked to for validation is the whole ‘African Kings and Queens’ meme many AAs bought into during the last 40 years or so. The ‘know your history’ and ‘be proud of where you come from’ exhortations pro-black activists and educators and black nationalists subscribed to were used as a means of increasing AA’s pride in themselves as a people with a history and heritage beyond slavery. Africa served as the touchstone; especially in light of the ouster of colonial powers (though in most countries just symbolically);”

    I agree. Unfortunately, this is yet another example of how our solutions can easily turn into new catastrophes when we’re not careful to safeguard our ethnic self-respect as AAs. And this hits home with me because I had always (naively) believed that recognizing our African pre-slavery origins would serve as an antidote for AAs’ mass lack of self-respect. It never occurred to me that this could—and did—backfire on AAs (as Roslyn explained).

    …Yet another one of my long-term, cherished illusions bites the dust…

    …D*mn… {very long sigh}
    ___________________________________________

    Icon,

    You’re welcome!

    Expect Success!

    • And this hits home with me because I had always (naively) believed that recognizing our African pre-slavery origins would serve as an antidote for AAs’ mass lack of self-respect.

      I’m too much a fan of learning to ever believe that it’s a bad thing, I just suspect that we were not given a historical framework in which to understand it. (Again, I’m tired, but I’ll try to make sense.) We told our people that in Africa we were kings and queens. And yet, Europeans managed to not only enslave us and bring us to their continent, but they also managed to colonize and enslave us. To many who don’t know enough history to see this in context and understand that empires are cyclical, this seems to reinforce the notion of white supremacy. Many black people (heck Americans in general) have no knowledge of history, so they have no context in which to place slavery. They don’t know that for centuries the Europeans who enslaved us were themselves enslaved. So yes, when you hear about the “black queens and kings,” who still wound up slaves it tends to reinforce an inferiority complex.

      To my mind everything we can find everything we need to develop a healthy self-esteem and consciousness right here in our culture. Our people developed a resistance movement that lasted for nearly a century and ultimately resulted in liberation. Yet when I tell people I’m setting a book during the time of the Underground Railroad people say they’re not interested. AAs are ashamed that we were enslaved, mainly because they don’t realize that pretty much everybody on the planet has been enslaved at one point or another in history. And some of them were enslaved for significantly longer than we were. They don’t read about our history, so they don’t understand how fiercely we resisted, to the point of murdering our captors. (Some day I’m going to do a book about the AA women who poisoned their slaveholders. Often times they did it because their children had been sold away. Of course, I’m fascinated by the stupidity of anyone who would sell a woman’s child, then eat anything she cooked.)

      • Roslyn,

        I believe you’re correct in your analysis of how this got twisted around—due to AAs’ general ignorance about the cyclical patterns of overall human history. Most of us (like other Americans) only learn specific facts in isolation. We rarely take the time to learn how any particular event fits into the overall flow of human history. And so our view of our history becomes even more distorted and filled with shame and self-loathing.

        You said, “Of course, I’m fascinated by the stupidity of anyone who would sell a woman’s child, then eat anything she cooked.)”

        {chuckling} Yes, I’ve also always been amazed by things like that.

        Expect Success!

      • ak says:

        Thank you for putting this into some perspective Roslyn. I’m not AA but I don’t see anything shameful about the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman. This shows the people who were not beaten yet and who weren’t ready to give up. What’s wrong with that?

        AAs and everybody else in general do need to read more history and understand that the British who have been blamed for slavery, and their extensive empire in the past were themselves slaves under the Romans when they were just unkempt looking pagans and Druids and whatever else and even the these British slaves to the Roman empire had their uprisings such as with Boudicca(Boadicea).

        Slavic people from eastern Europe are called ‘Slavic’ because they were slaves at one time.

        The Bible talks about slavery of the Jews and you don’t have to look far to hear about the Holocaust and now look at how they’re coming along today. So anything’s possible. There is nothing about just being black that will keep you and underneath everybody else. It is not my or your blackness.

  18. Rhonda says:

    This is a very good and spot-on piece that you’ve written.

    I only disagree with your South Africa assessment: Black-rule is taking one of the very few (Is there another?) “first world” nations on the African continent down to third world status real fast. Black rule (under the cloak of the ANC party, which the blacks there blindly vote for, and which allows the ANC to stay in power because blacks are the majority) in South Africa is corrupt and money-greedy, just as it is/has been with so many other black-ruled African nations that got their freedom from their white colonizers/imperialists. The way things are going there, soon it will be referred to as South Zimbabwe. (If you want to know more how things look there, let me know, and I shall write more, for I have a close and dear friend who lives there, and I can share with you and your readers how things look “on the ground” in South Africa–Johannesburg, specifically.)

    As I said, your piece is thought-provoking; I have a few hundred comments I would like to write in response. I wish that my fingers could move about this keyboard as fast as my brain is thinking.

    60 Minutes did a segment years and years ago (I don’t even know how I came to see it)–I think it was about Ghana or the royal family of Ghana. I do remember that one of the hosts was interviewing the King or a Grand Chief (something like that). One of the questions asked of the interviewee had something to do with Ghana’s involvement with the slave trade–how blacks there, over many centuries, led and participated in the entrapment of other blacks of their same land to be sold as slaves to the white Europeans, in many cases, for cowrie shells–not even gold, but cowrie shells! He was asked, as a leader in present-day Ghana, did he wish to apologize to, express sorrow for, what was done to the ancestors of blacks in the Americas and the Carribbean. He said, “No.” He said that he, his country, has no regrets about the role they played in the slave trade. Something else I remember about the interview: They were talking about how bad off Ghana is, because most of their “best” were taken to be slaves in the New World, and they wanted the descendants of the best (especially, the ones from the United States) to come to Ghana to live there, to help them. What arrogance, huh!

    • On a message board I used to frequent there was a woman of fanatical black Nationalist mindset. She was in absolute awe of the way she was welcomed on a trip to Ghana. That everyone seemed so happy to see her and kept saying “welcome home.” I had to giggle about this. Of course, I was excoriated when I pointed out that she was problem “welcomed” in Ghana for the same reason I was “welcomed” in Mexico: For being a “rich American” bringing money to their country. She argued me down that they recognized her as “African,” and begged her to stay. I just shook my head at the simple-minded naivete. I’m not particularly well-traveled. I’ve never left the Western hemisphere, but I’ve read enough about various African countries to realize that many of them don’t even see themselves as brethren to people in their own country. Why on earth would they see any kinship with us? Unless of course we’re bringing money or technology into their country. What a mess of foolishness.

  19. Rhonda says:

    I don’t think I was thorough with my South Africa comment. It wasn’t meant to be a criticism of what you wrote about how they’ve behaved after the end of apartheid. But I’ll have to wait for that comment to appear, so that I can be more on point. Thanks.

    • Rhonda,

      As long as discussion participants share my overall goal of abundant life for AA women, criticism and dissent are welcome here! 🙂

      As I’ve said before, there’s plenty of room here for criticism and dissent about the means of AA women attaining abundant life. I’m just not going to spend time talking to people who disagree with the goal of abundant life for AA women.

      There’s also plenty of room for disagreement about things that I consider to be side issues—such as whatever’s going on in other places, like South Africa.

      Expect Success!

  20. Rhonda,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it. You said, “I only disagree with your South Africa assessment: Black-rule is taking one of the very few (Is there another?) “first world” nations on the African continent down to third world status real fast. Black rule (under the cloak of the ANC party, which the blacks there blindly vote for, and which allows the ANC to stay in power because blacks are the majority) in South Africa is corrupt and money-greedy, just as it is/has been with so many other black-ruled African nations that got their freedom from their white colonizers/imperialists. The way things are going there, soon it will be referred to as South Zimbabwe.”

    Sounds like what typically happens after AAs “inherit” political control of major cities like Detroit—they become former major cities. {shaking my head in disgust}

    You said, “(If you want to know more how things look there, let me know, and I shall write more, for I have a close and dear friend who lives there, and I can share with you and your readers how things look “on the ground” in South Africa–Johannesburg, specifically.)”

    Oh, please DO tell us more. Also, you’ve reminded me of something I unsuccessfully tried to explain to a friend years ago when we were in college: It’s nearly impossible to have a real sense of “what’s up” with various other people unless you have a close, HONEST friend who’s part of that culture.

    This is one reason why it can be dangerous for Western women to date foreign men, particularly foreign men from the global South (aka third world). As a Western woman, one is unlikely to know enough about the culture to be able to thoroughly screen these men. Their cultures are too unfamiliar/alien and you don’t have an inside informant who is in a position to find out the REAL “scoop” about these men. Most of us can recognize subtle warning signals that indicate “flashing red lights” within the context of our own culture. It’s harder to do this with cultures that are totally unfamiliar.

    For example, from talking to a close Palestinian woman friend I had in college, I learned that many of the Arab/Middle Eastern men on campus that were dating and sexing American women already had wives back home! OR their families had already arranged marriages for them. I heard about more than a few American women students who got snookered like this. One thing I learned from watching these 3rd world men from afar is that if the man isn’t taking you around to meet the women in his family, you’re probably nothing to him. It’s not enough to be introduced to his male friends or (purported) male relatives.

    Furthermore, Western women need to be careful. Particularly, AA women. Foreign Black men know that AA women are less likely than other types of women to have protective, REVENGE-SEEKING male relatives. The face that 3rd world men show to Western women while they’re living in the West is sometimes NOT the same face these men have when they’re back home. These men know that they won’t be allowed to do the exact same mess to the same degree they can do back home without any consequences. I’ve heard more than a few ugly tales of Middle Eastern/African husbands hiding their American wives’ passports once these women moved to their husbands’ home countries. It’s not good to end up in a Not Without My Daughter situation.

    You said, “He was asked, as a leader in present-day Ghana, did he wish to apologize to, express sorrow for, what was done to the ancestors of blacks in the Americas and the Carribbean. He said, “No.” He said that he, his country, has no regrets about the role they played in the slave trade. Something else I remember about the interview: They were talking about how bad off Ghana is, because most of their “best” were taken to be slaves in the New World, and they wanted the descendants of the best (especially, the ones from the United States) to come to Ghana to live there, to help them. What arrogance, huh!”

    {chuckling} Actually, I prefer his candor. An open enemy is preferable to a hidden one.

    Expect Success!

    • Aisha says:

      This has been a really eye-opening conversation! Thanks for the great post Khadija. I really want to address something you said:

      “This is one reason why it can be dangerous for Western women to date foreign men, particularly foreign men from the global South (aka third world). As a Western woman, one is unlikely to know enough about the culture to be able to thoroughly screen these men.”

      I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, and it is from firsthand experience. It’s funny to me how people make a huge fuss over interracial dating-try dating someone from the other side of the world!

      I have had the experience of dating a non-Western Black and it was like Clash of the Titans. We truly had nothing in common except for our race, and we butted heads left and right. There were just too many things from his culture that I didn’t agree with, and I know he felt the same way about mine. The thing is, EVERY SINGLE (Western) Black woman I know who has dated men from this individual’s region had the exact same complaints.

      I would be especially wary about anyone who is from a region where women are treated like second-class citizens (or worse).

      It’s our culture that shapes us, not just our race. In most cases, the cultural differences between Western and non-Western are insurmountable. Therefore, I feel that most Black women in the Western world would be better off with men who are also from the Western world, regardless of race. Vetted thoroughly, of course.

      • Aisha,

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

        You said, “It’s our culture that shapes us, not just our race. In most cases, the cultural differences between Western and non-Western are insurmountable. Therefore, I feel that most Black women in the Western world would be better off with men who are also from the Western world, regardless of race. Vetted thoroughly, of course.”

        I wholeheartedly agree. Let me stress that I’m NOT saying that it’s impossible for a Western Black woman to have a good marriage to a non-Western man. But the odds of this working are considerably less than the odds of a Western-Western marriage (for a variety of reasons). The other thing to factor in are the differences that sometimes occur between how some non-Western men (African and Middle Eastern men in particular) treat White Western women/wives, and how these men treat Black Western women/wives.

        Expect Success!

  21. Rhonda says:

    The Blacks in Europe must be extremely docile in their day-to-day interactions with White Europeans.

    The native/white Europeans want the blacks and Muslims out! Especially, now with this global depression.

    Spain is working to rid themselves of the “Latinos” from the Americas who immigrated to their country. (I think only the Cubans, of whatever colour, remain welcome.) (I put Latino in quotes, because I think it is ill-used. Just because one comes from a country where Spanish is the official language, and that country was colonized by Spaniards a few centuries ago, I don’t think that qualifies you and your kind to refer to yourselves as such. Also, there are five Latin languages: Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, and Roumanian. With the aforementioned logic, then those from Haiti should be called Latino, too. Also, it could be that I can call myself “Anglo”…heck, I speak English and the United States was once a British colony.)

    About two years ago, I read that Spain was paying immigrants from some African countries to go back home.

    Belgium has a campaign (or is it had?) wherein they show the horrors of being an illegal immigrant in that country. They are trying to discourage immigration to their country.

    France is coming down on Muslim women and girls wearing full head and face covering in public institutions and the workplace. Unfortunately, the only ones who will be hurt by this are the girls and women, for many of their men will pull them out of society completely.

    If you are a non-American black woman, unless you are married to a white European native, you have little protection in many European countries. It is true, at least for now (but Obama ain’t helping us any, not with his foreign policy and war mongering), that black American women do very well in many European countries, even without being married to a European. One of the reasons is that we are seen as bringers and/or independent, as opposed to takers (of social services; money) as many black African women are seen to be.

    I saw a documentary about five years ago. It was about a black Cuban woman (well, she would be black here–really, she would be considered black here, she is the same colour as Oprah–but she referred to herself as mixed) who met and married, in Cuba, a white German man. (This woman treated that man like fecal-matter, but he was soooooo very good to her.) (If I remember the name of the documentary, I’ll post it in another comment.) She moves to Germany with him, along with her son from a previous marriage(?). First, she would never have gotten into Germany, to live, to become a citizen, if it hadn’t been for her marriage to him. (Many Cubans want to get out of Cuba, and Cuban women can do this, more easily than the men, by marrying a foreigner. So, for many of them, they try to latch onto a foreign man, hope he falls in love with her enough to marry her; so then she can move with him to his country.) And even there, she and her child were exposed to racial taunts.

    • LaJane Galt says:

      (1) Roslyn has spoken the truth here.

      (2) I forwarded this post to people who must, must see it. I have found myself defending Mahalia Jackson’s singing (Caribbean black called it noise)as a cultural product in front of an AfAm who goes to church. FTR, I don’t believe in god. That is irony.

      (3)

      About two years ago, I read that Spain was paying immigrants from some African countries to go back home.

      This had me rolling. I just came back from a week in Barcelona. Although I speak Castillian/Espan~ol (want to learn Catala), I “reverted” to my very American English when…convenient. 2 Spanish ladies gave some LAm immigrants the stink eye on the metro. They looked at me…but didn’t quite know where to place me as (1) looked dead at them and (2) carried a messenger bag/listened to an iPod. People can “tell” Americans apart. Never hesitate to let (subtly) someone know. Europeans will talk a lot of s-t (esp, the French), but they bow down to Americans and are enthralled by us. Same with the Japanese. You wouldn’t believe how the Nigerians et al. fake it as “us” over there. What has been stated about the pecking order being the road to White Am acceptance is very, very true.
      ***

      Too many of us limit ourselves to some bs island cruise, when we could be running around the planet (hostels…some AfAm at work asked me if it would take $10g to go to Spain…seriously). Folks certainly get “courage” in the US that they do NOT have elsewhere, and you will never know how American you are until you go abroad (real abroad, not the islands).

      • LaJaneGalt,

        Welcome back! 🙂

        You said, “I just came back from a week in Barcelona. Although I speak Castillian/Espan~ol (want to learn Catala), I “reverted” to my very American English when…convenient. 2 Spanish ladies gave some LAm immigrants the stink eye on the metro. They looked at me…but didn’t quite know where to place me as (1) looked dead at them and (2) carried a messenger bag/listened to an iPod. People can “tell” Americans apart. Never hesitate to let (subtly) someone know.”

        Yes, indeed—we should not hesitate to claim any and all benefits that are available to us as Americans.

        You said, “You wouldn’t believe how the Nigerians et al. fake it as “us” over there.”

        OH…that’s VERY interesting.

        You said, “Too many of us limit ourselves to some bs island cruise, when we could be running around the planet (hostels…some AfAm at work asked me if it would take $10g to go to Spain…seriously). Folks certainly get “courage” in the US that they do NOT have elsewhere, and you will never know how American you are until you go abroad (real abroad, not the islands).”

        ITA!

        Expect Success!

      • mochachoc says:

        Haha! I’ve been hearing those fake American accents from Nigerians for years. What I read on this blog is an eye opener because African-American’s are thought of very highly here. Why do you think so many young people pretend to be American? I am genuinely puzzled by what I have read on this blog. Next to African Americans Blacks elsewhere have a LONG way to go. The music, opera, sport, in roads in politics, jazz, ballet, literature and so on is admired and envied. You guys have so much to be proud of. Please don’t let any foreigner come with their BS. Puhleez!

        • Mochachoc,

          You said, “Haha! I’ve been hearing those fake American accents from Nigerians for years.”

          Hmmm…like I said earlier, that’s all VERY interesting…and special of them folks…

          You’ve said, “I am genuinely puzzled by what I have read on this blog. Next to African Americans Blacks elsewhere have a LONG way to go. The music, opera, sport, in roads in politics, jazz, ballet, literature and so on is admired and envied.”

          In general, AAs lack the internal self-confidence to truly define various phenomena for ourselves. Most of the definitions we feel comfortable using have to fit into parameters determined by other people. Parameters that position AAs as resources to be exploited by others. So, we’re constantly told—and even worse, tell ourselves—and normalize the idea that we’re less than anybody and everybody else. That’s why we’re so desperate to feel like we’re accepted by anybody and everybody else.

          We don’t see things as they are (good or bad). We see whatever illusions are being peddled to us by the various people who benefit from the status quo. From our misleadership class that would have nothing to do if we solved our problems to outsiders who want to use us and ride our civil rights coattails.

          Expect Success!

  22. Zoopath says:

    Khadija said: “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.”

    Thank you for expressing your opinion on this issue. I’ve been feeling a little guilt for not running out and supporting muslims during all this anti-mosque sentiment. However, I just don’t think it’s in my interest as an AA BW to help. Yes, there are AA muslimahs such as yourself who are totally awesome but way too many of them fall into the category of self-hating slaves to Arabs and south asians. I think that I’d be helping way more enemies than allies if I decided to lend my support.

  23. ZooPath,

    You’re welcome! You said, “I’ve been feeling a little guilt for not running out and supporting muslims during all this anti-mosque sentiment. However, I just don’t think it’s in my interest as an AA BW to help. Yes, there are AA muslimahs such as yourself who are totally awesome but way too many of them fall into the category of self-hating slaves to Arabs and south asians. I think that I’d be helping way more enemies than allies if I decided to lend my support.”

    Unfortunately, this is true. Far too many AA Muslims are self-hating slaves who place more (unreciprocated) value on foreign Muslims’ lives and interests than they do on their own. For an example of this mindset in action, see this crazy conversation over at Abdur-Rahman Muhammad’s blog, A Singular Voice. He and I were about the only ones who could see what’s wrong with the notion of cheerleading the Somali pirates OVER our fellow American citizens:
    http://singularvoice.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/great-day-in-america/

    Pay particular attention to the back-and-forth argument I had with a commenter named Kwame during that conversation. Thankfully, by the time of the subsequent prosecutions of some AA Muslims on the east coast for terrorism-related charges (some trumped-up sounding, agent-provocateur-inspired “plot” to blow up a synagogue), many of the AA Muslim fools who had previously been cheerleading the Somali pirates found a clue. And decided to think carefully about their OWN interests as AAs, and STFU.

    Expect Success!

    • ZooPath says:

      I took a look at that link. SMHD…. There are simply some people that are far beyond reason. It was sad but it did make me feel better about not running sournd like a faithful civil rights hound dog of some sort. People like the ones on that thread would never appreciate or respect me for helping them. Heck, it would probably just make them have even more contempt for AA’s.

  24. Felicia says:

    Khadija,

    Much of what you speak of in this post was described in gory detail by Washington Post reporter Keith Richburg in his controversially truthful (and excellent) book OUT OF AMERICA: A BLACK MAN CONFRONTS AFRICA.

    It’s a book I own and highly recommend.

    Richburg briefly discusses his observations (in two parts) at the below link.

    It’s a MUST read.

    American in Africa
    By Keith B. Richburg
    Sunday, March 26, 1995

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/longterm/richburg/richbrg1.htm

    Excerpts…

    “Now, after three years, I’m beaten down and tired. And I’m no longer even going to pretend to block that feeling from my mind. I empathize with Africa’s pain. I recoil in horror at the mindless waste of human life, and human potential. I salute the gallantry and dignity and sheer perseverance of the Africans. But most of all, I feel secretly glad that my ancestor made it out — because, now, I am not one of them.”

    Do I sound cynical? Maybe I am. Maybe that’s because, unlike some of the African American tourists who have come out here on a two-week visit to the land of their roots, I’ve lived here.

    Do you think I’m alone in my view? Then meet Linda Thomas-Greenfield,

    ( http://monrovia.usembassy.gov/ambassador.html )

    and hear her story.

    * * * * *

    Thomas-Greenfield is a black American diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, her third African posting; she spent three years in Gambia and 2 1/2 in Nigeria. After completing her studies at the University of Wisconsin, she had spent time in Liberia, and she remembers how elated she felt then making her first voyage to her ancestral homeland. “I remember the plane coming down,” she said. “I couldn’t wait to touch down.”

    But when I talked to Thomas-Greenfield last summer, she had just finished nine months in Kenya. And she was burned out, fed up and ready to go home.

    Her house in Nairobi had been burglarized five times. She had had an electric fence installed. “When they put up the electric fence, I told them to put in enough volts to barbecue anybody who came over.” When she continued to complain that even the fence didn’t stop the intruders, the local Kenyan police station posted two officers on her grounds. But then the police began extorting payment for their services. “I’ve gotten to the point where I’m more afraid not to give them money,” she said. “They’re sitting outside with automatic weapons.”

    Now she was having a higher, 10-foot-tall fence built around her grounds. And she had become so exasperated, she told me, that “I’m ready to sit outside myself with an AK-47.”

    In April, Thomas-Greenfield traveled to Rwanda for an embassy assignment. She had been in the country only a day when the presidential plane was shot down and an orgy of tribal bloodletting began. Most of the victims were Tutsi, and Thomas-Greenfield, a towering 6-foot-plus black woman, was immediately mistaken for a Tutsi. She recalls cowering in fear with machine guns pointed in her face, pleading repeatedly: “I don’t have anything to do with this. I’m not a Rwandan. I’m an American.”

    In the end, it was not just the crime and her close call in Rwanda but the attitude of the Africans that wore down even this onetime Africa-lover. Thomas-Greenfield had never been invited into a Kenyan home. And doing the daily chores of life, she had been met constantly with the Kenyans’ own perverse form of racism, under which whites are granted preferential treatment over blacks.

    “There’s nothing that annoys me more than sitting in a restaurant and seeing two white people getting waited on, and I can’t get any service,” she said. Once, at a beach hotel on the Kenyan coast, she complained to the manager about the abysmal service from the waiters and staff. The manager explained to her, apologetically, “It’s because they think you’re a Kenyan.”

    “I think it’s an absolute disadvantage” being black in Africa, said Thomas-Greenfield, who, at the time we talked, said she was considering cutting short her assignment. “Here, as anywhere else in Africa, the cleavages are not racial, they are ethnic. People think they can tell what ethnic group you are by looking at you. And if there’s any conflict going on between the ethnic groups, you need to let them know you’re an American.”

    She added, “I’d rather be black in South Africa under apartheid than to go through what I’m going through here in Kenya.”

    SMH This is all just sad….

  25. YMB says:

    Brilliant post! The ease with which Hispanic illegal immigrants traipse over (and under) our border has a great deal to due with the current backlash they are facing. Millions of Latin America’s uneducated, illiterate, and unskilled citizens have been able to bypass the immigration laws which would have sifted them out in favor of those with better education and desired skill sets. So instead of positioning themselves as model minorities who are leading research in medicine and technology, their claim to fame is that they are here to do the undesirable jobs “that lazy black Americans won’t do”.

    I have thankfully never had an anti-AA black bigot dare express any of their anti-AA sentiment in real live but I have seen such conversations play out numerous times online. The arrogance of these bigots is unreal and they seem completely shocked and taken aback that any AA would have the wherewithal to rebuke them. I remember the desperate attempts by one to deny that the United States was the best country in the world for a black person to be, and that most Africans would happily go back to their own countries after availing themselves of the educational and professional opportunities that were available to them nowhere in Africa.

    My ancestors were born slaves so that I could be born free in the land of opportunity while many of these whose ancestors stayed behind in Africa live slaves to this day.

  26. mochachoc says:

    “The Blacks in Europe must be extremely docile in their day-to-day interactions with White Europeans.”

    In the UK if you are a British born Caribbean and say 40 plus you are probably not docile when interacting with white’s. Absolutely not. However, I have observed a change in that ALL (the new immigrant Eastern Europeans, immigrant Africans, South-East Asians, low-class native White’s) groups want to treat British born Caribbean’s with no respect. There was a time there would have been hell to pay if you disrespected us. Now, not so much. Everyone gets to think that we are inferior to them. I like to remind these people that our parents did not escape Jamaica or wherever under a lorry claiming asylum or pretending to be students. We were invited and encouraged to come here to help re-build the country. And many of the anti-racist laws that they enjoy were hard won by Caribbeans. But we brought it on ourselves. Our parents came with a vibrant, distinct culture and a lot of pride (right now the Notting Hill Carnival is taking place which started as a protest against the racism of the 50’s and 60’s). But as we have discussed many times; the rot set in, coupled with our failure to build a strong economic base. So other groups feel they can legitimately look down on us.

    I remember my mother was always very clear that she was not an African. I was appalled by her views because I was caught up with the whole ‘back to Africa’ thing. My teen years was in the 80’s and I can tell you there was no love between blacks and whites back then so I saw my mother’s views as internalized racism. How arrogant I was. When I started to think and note that every African I came into contact with wanted to let me know that they were royalty (in an attempt to remind me that we black Caribbeans were inferior) I realized how juvenile my thinking was. My mother was right she was not African. She was very much Jamaican brought up under the British flag (her education was far superior to those born and bred in England).

    As you mentioned Khadija I am in the enviable position of claiming the identity I choose. I used to be confused and a little ashamed of the historical legacy we had inherited. Then one day it hit me that I was a product of the brave and strong. I did not need to claim Africa as my home. I’ve said this before that there are Britons who would want to deny me the right to call myself British but this is who I am whether they like it or not. I most certainly do not feel inferior to any group and I don’t need their acceptance either. You only need that when you don’t know who you are and don’t believe you belong. This is why I urge young Caribbean British born people not to reject Britain as their own. (I think many of them are even more confused than we were because they think they are African-American. LOL).

    Our involvement here is complex and painful but our history is deeply woven in the fabric of this country. My ancestor’s sweat, blood, tears and lost dreams were spent in service to this country. These immigrants cannot say the same (for good or ill) so I’m not about to capitulate to their notion of who I am. We are very good at putting ourselves down in comparison to others. These days when the conversation takes this turn I remind people of the despicable practise’s of some of these communities they hold up high.

    As an aside, it was only yesterday I was thinking about the will, effort and money that South Africa spent on hosting the world cup yet they drag their feet when tackling HIV/AIDS.

    • Rhonda says:

      Have you read “Small Island” by Andrea Levy? She is a Brit (I think she is bi-racial black Caribbean and white British — I don’t know which parent is which). The book was a very good read, a page-turner. In its fiction, it informs the reader of the history of blacks from British colonies of the Caribbean immigrating to England after WW2, because of the role that the men played in fighting for England during that war.

    • Rhonda says:

      Oh, one of the four lead characters is a black woman. Also, a movie for British teevee was made of the book, starring Naomie Harris.

      • mochachoc says:

        Rhonda, yes I’ve read it. It was very funny and illuminating. It depicted even back then how Black men were enthralled by white women and how black women were taking on more than they should. The film was ok. The accents were not up to par and I found it off putting. Nevertheless it was a fairly good rendition of the book.

        • Rhonda says:

          Mochachoc,

          Thanks for that review of the movie, for I haven’t seen it; I’ve only read the book.

  27. Hodan says:

    I LOVE this post and I agree with you wholeheartedly. I see so many blacks and other minorities (Asians, Arabs and Persians) so crude and rude to one another, yet when a white man or woman speak….its like their God has spoken. Its a great discussion and serious one you are touching on. I also see the reverse, where some African Americans, but mostly people of Caribbean backgrounds insult and demeans Africans from Africa. This superiority complex issue is pathetic and misplaced, since if we look @ our parents or grandparents home country, its a sad state. One of my good friends was telling me how anything worth having, from the tourism industry, the only national Airline in Jamaica is owned by a white man who also is apparently the king pin of Marijuana in and out the country to North America (can’t remember his name).

    Khadija: “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?”

    lol, so true. There are so many African countries, with few exception like Tanzania and North Africa, where the majority of its wealth, natural resource, rich agricultural lands are owned by whites and south Asians. Heck, only African who own lands in Kenya and Tanzania are Somalis and mixed race communities of Yemeni background. Now, we have so many Chinese immigrating to Africa and buying up lands….I can see the civil war coming in 10 yrs.

    There is a joke that some Africans are better left alone…..Ghanaian and Senegalese have bad reputation in term of their slave mentality towards white people. The only Africans with strong pride and self respect in general or by stereotype are people of East & central Africa.

    Lastly, why would anyone listen to someone if such a person does NOT have any real solution for their life and that of their community? Respect beyond basic courtesy we aught extend towards one another is earned.

    ps. I wish you had a facebook group Khadija, I would add you and pass it on to my friends and family. Besides, you must have large followers, ot will be kewl to expand on your network as well.

  28. Truth P. says:

    *Big Applause* for you Khadija.I find it laughable that the woman actually allowed an African to make her feel less than.I am not trying to be mean but NOONE ELSE ON THE PLANET ALLOWS PEOPLE FROM CONTINENTAL AFRICA to BERATE AND PUT THEM DOWN.I don’t care how smart an African is or how wealthy they are noone else would allow an African to verbally harass them and make them feel less than.Just doesn’t happen *shoulder shrug and smdh*

    *Deep heavy sigh* Khadija i’ve told you all that I identify as African american though my fathers side are Jamaicans who also identify as African American after having been in this country for many years through civil rights movement and having intermarried with African Americans.I’m only saying this to bring some of my background to remembrance before I tell about an incident.Well I was on a youtube site listening to some Reggae music and was casually reading the comments and wouldn’t you know that some Jamaicans had the NERVE to talk about African Americans being lost with self hate because of colorism lol’s.Of course the song was one of those “Ebony Queen” songs that black men of all nationalities use to convince some delusional black women that they actually are’nt the evil colorist bastards that they really are.Khadija these people were actually trying to make colorism just OUR problem.I think everyone knows about the rampant skin bleeching that goes on there.I think everyone knows about all those carib men that are going to Europe and hooking up with white women at numbers greater than carib men/carib women couples.I defitnetly think some of these people got it twisted because of our black leadership trying to use the strength in numbers approach by teaching us African Americans that we actually NEED these folks to be over here so that our situation would be better.I think this is what has caused the low esteem in African Americans PLUS I can’t tell you how many times i’ve heard other AA’s talk about how hard working non AA blacks are compared to us lowly AA’s *rolling my eyes* I’ve seen AA teachers do this in front of AA children.I think it maybe ingrained in some people since they are young to view those Africans as better.I’m in my 20’s and I can remember when I was little we had programs that focused on only telling us the good about Africa since America had only told us the bad.Heck my mom’s sister was apart of these program so much that she actually named my little sister Imani Kujichagulia, seriously Khadija.I was little and to be honest with you I was completely uninterested in learning what they were teaching so I left the program on my own but several of my cousins stayed.From what I saw the group basically just sang the praises of Africa and told us how advanced they were, never anything bad.Anywho,I do think possibly because of I left that program early and because of my “diverse” family background that this has never been an issue to me.I would never allow a Jamaican to talk ish about African American people in front of me without being checked let alone an African.

  29. Hodan says:

    sorry for the double post!

    Khadija: “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.”

    yep and bloody yep. Luckily, most Somalis, Ethiopians and Eritreans are very proud of their African heritage and blackness. I always laugh @ people like northern Sudanese or Ethiopians pretending like they are not black.

    About the criminal elements within these communities, whether they are Somalis or South Asians, could not agree more. If they want to join a militant group and die, then they can do so out of my freaking country. These idiots and their crude definition of Jihad are endangering every Muslim Canadian and American….esp. sisters who choice to display their faith via hijab (while these cowardly men act and dress western, except when pretending to serve Allah via their destructive crimes). To me defending these horrible Muslims is like black women defending no good black men who only bring harms to them. I would defend and stand up for my faith, way of life and the community….but never @ the expense of our safety and survivor as a society.

  30. Liza207 says:

    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.

    Khadija,

    I am of Caribbean descent but regard myself as an American (through citizenship). I have always acknowledged the great contributions and strides African American (i.e. Civil Rights Movement) have made here in American. Non-African Americans have definitely reaped the rewards and benefits, viva the sacrifices made by African Americans, myself included.

    What I have always found troubling is that, so many non-African Americans knowing the history of slavery in the country refuse to acknowledge how hard African Americans have fought to attain basic rights and freedoms.

    I believe the disrespect and condescension expressed towards African Americans is done by black immigrants in an attempt to make themselves feel superior and it’s also an attempt to connect with racist white people, that’s my theory. I have never been about putting down African Americans to feel that I am better. I also agree that America only sees the black immigrants that are the best and most ambitious of their group.

    I will admit that there are certain behaviors and norms in the African American culture that I find somewhat disturbing. You have had many discussions about these dysfunctions in the African American culture on your blog.

    The Caribbean and African cultures definitely have its own dysfunctions but they are not often discussed. I think sometimes that if we paid more attention to our own backyards, we would all be better off, as a result.

    • Robynne says:

      Cosign. I’m in the same situation as you – foreign born. I’ve never stupidly lumped all AA’s into the stereotypical categories. For some, like white racists, they are looking for a group to look down upon, and AA’s are an easy target because of the rampant negative stereotypes, and the tendency of not-normal groups of AA’s to display stereotypical behaviour in public. It’s easy for immigrants to do this, because, as Khadija pointed out, the best of the foreigners migrate here. The losers stay home. So of course, the immigrants tend to outperform home grown people across the board – because the best are coming here, and the losers aren’t coming to pull down the numbers. Furthermore, the immigrants are not about to loudly publicize the dysfunction of their respective societies in John Public. That would be silly – and stigmatizing.

      A lot of this disrespect – and some AA’s tolerance of it – stems from ignorance about the contributions of AA’s into making this country – and the world – what it is today. Black people who have contributed to the world in modern times (not the time of our ancient ancestral kingdoms) happen to be mostly African American. Most people do not know that Lewis Latimer, an AA man basically invented the light bulb. He is rarely, if ever credited for his contributions. I could go on about Granville T. Sharpe, etc. I highly recommend the book Africa’s Gift to America by JA Rogers. I first read this book in my early teens and this is what exposed me to the unsung contributions of AA’s to this country, outside of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. Going by mainstream texts you would think that AA’s contributed nothing at all to this country.

  31. Felicia says:

    In the Prelude pages of his book, Keith Richburg says the following….

    “I was in Africa watching the bloated bodies of black Africans cascading over a waterfall. And that’s when …I thank God my ancestor survived that voyage.
    Does that sound shocking ? Does it sound almost like a justification for the terrible crime of slavery ? Does it sound like this black man has forgotten his African roots ? Of course it does, all that and more. And that is precisely why I have tried to keep this emotion buried so deep for so long, and why it PAINS me so now to put these words in print, for all the world to see.
    BUT I’M TIRED OF LYING. And I’m tired of all the ignorance and hypocrisy and the double standards I hear and read about Africa,MUCH OF IT FROM PEOPLE WHO’VE NEVER BEEN THERE, let alone spent three years walking around amid the corpses.
    But first,let me put one thing plainly so that I’m not misunderstood :I AM NOT MAKING A DEFENSE OF SLAVERY.
    And Africa-Mother Africa- is often held up as some kind of black Valhalla, where the descendants of slaves would be welcomed back and where black men and women can walk in true dignity.
    Sorry, but I’ve been there. I’ve had an AK-47 rammed up my nose, I’ve talked to machete-wielding Hutu militiamen with the blood of their latest victims splattered across their T-shirts.I’ve seen a cholera epidemic in Zaire, a famine in Somalia, a civil war in Liberia.I’ve seen cities bombed to near rubble, and other cities reduced to rubble, because their leaders let them rot and decay while they spirited away billions of dollars-yes,billions-into overseas bank accounts.
    I’ve ALSO seen heroism,honor,and dignity in Africa…But even with all the good I’ve found here, MY PERCEPTIONS have been hopelessly skewed by the bad.
    SO EXCUSE ME IF I SOUND CYNICAL,JADED.I’m beaten down, and I’ll admit it.And it’s Africa that has made me this way.I FEEL FOR HER SUFFERING …Thank God my ancestor got out, because,now,I am not one(refugee)of them.”

    It seems that when black folks who are truly concerned about the dismal state of affairs concerning large segments of people of African descent (regardless of residence) speak the truth, there are accusations of “self-hatred”, being used as tools for white supremacists, being “Toms”/”Bougie”, etc… that are bandied about.

    None of this childish name calling changes the verifiable observations that have been made. And none of the name calling helps those who are hurting.

    My feeling is, it’s good to shine a light on the truth. That way, Kumbaya singing African-American BW who are all about “saving alla our people” and believe in this “one third world/people of color” MESS can know the REAL deal and thus possibly change course and start focusing on SELF.

  32. lafemmenoir says:

    Welcome back Khadija. I hope that you were able to take some time for yourself during your time off.

    Funny that you chose this topic to write about. Sometimes I think that you are in my head or something very much akin to “Being John Malkovich.” The reason why I say this is because yesterday I had a run-in with my brother, mr. back-to-africa. This brother of mine is very much into africa and plans to move to africa in 7 years, so he says. Although we are only one year apart in age, he is just now coming into his black nationalist phase when I had mine many years ago, while at college (he didn’t go to college).
    Psychologically, I think that he has entered this phase because it is a way for him to vent and deal with the realities of southern-style racism that he is being subjected to at work and also the fact that he CHOSE to live with and amoungst complacent and ignorant colored-folk. As a result of poor choices and breeding with someone whom he deems substandard, he feels trapped mentally/physically and I think that this “africa-quest” helps him to cope with day-to-day stresses, to a certain extent. But it goes deeper than that because he has convinced himself that once he moves to “the motherland” africa he will be accepted by africans with open arms, he will start a black-owned multinational conglomerate that will employ millions of africans and this will lift the “dark continent” out of the sorrowful position that it is in, and redeem blacks worldwide; all while sticking it to the “man” and/or non-blacks. Like I said delusional, and irresponsible too. He thinks that Africans will welcome him with open arms when most Africans openly hate us (black Americans). I have tried to explain to him how Africans really are and what they really think of us, but he will not hear it. He is deadest in his child-like beliefs. Needless to say, he has never been to Africa or outside of the US.

    This kind of thinking is delusional and unsophisticated, yet you see that there are entire black message boards and youtube pages dedicated to this type of fantastical thinking. Most of the people who buy into it are black men, but you will see that there are black women like Aiesha Sekhmet, the so-called rapper, who have bought into it as well(This woman is harder than a street thug-lol). See where 40 years of black nationalism and pan-africanism has REALLY gotten black people? It has kept black people in a child-like fantasy about Africa, when the reality is that even Africans don’t want to be in Africa!

    I once read that people don’t typically read anything that challenges their current viewpoints or perspectives, and I think that this holds true for the AA collective. They refuse to let go of dead or dying ideologies, favoring to hold on to them for the sake of nostalgia. Those who want to see the world through ebony-colored lenses, will probably always do so, and there is nothing that we can do to help them, even if they are family.

    Khadija is right when she says that we need to sever ties with those who will not move forward and a person who is still stuck in a child-like state is not in any position to move forward. They will only hold you back. We must stop giving these people our attention and time because they have nothing of value to offer. Let them whine and complain on their youtube channels…

  33. Magenta says:

    This post was so timely, for a variety or reasons. I should warn you that this is going to be a LONG comment lol:

    The immigration debate and the related drama in Arizona shown me just how screwed up our priorities are as a people. Our black neighborhoods are becoming cesspools of crime and violence and we are concerned about some (mostly illegal) immigrants being rounded up in Arizona?

    The Rainbow coalition/people of color fantasy has always bothered me, even as a teenager. But I could not articulate why. It wasn’t until I started reading the BWE blogs and thinking about my own (mostly negative) interactions with these so called “people of color” that I realized why it bothered me. As African Americans, we are so desperate to belong, that we want to delude ourselves in thing we are all in this together. We have also been so focused on white racism that we continue to delude ourselves in thinking we are forming some People of Color coalition against whites. This is truly absurd. Any AA who has had the displeasure of being followed around in a filthy Korean store, or has been on the receiving end of a demeaning “you have no culture” lecture from an African should know there is no coalition with these people.

    Yet I go on black blogs and see AAs CONTINUE to whine about the plight that immigrants are facing. When some are bold enough to state that we need to focus on our own problems, they will get yet another “we’re all in this together” lecture. And of course many so called progressives like to roll out the “they came for the communists” speech to guilt trip you into serving as a guard dog for groups that have shown no reciprocity towards us. Whey they do not understand that the Communists and other groups referenced in that parable were not going out of their way and ACTIVELY harming the people that helped them! What about all the blacks who were harassed and KILLED by foreign store owners who thought they were shoplifting? What about the blacks who will never work again as a result of having their jobs taken away? What about the AA’s whose spirits have been broken because of the disrespect and abuse from these Wannabe Slave Masters as you call them? How did AAs benefit from supporting these individuals and allowing them to come into this country? I think we all know the answer to that question.

    This is yet another reason why I am increasingly frustrated with blacks who want to whine and complain about white hegemony. I think this is driving a lot of the “lets support all people of color” mindset among blacks. There are a couple black female blogs I had to stop reading because they are obsessed with whining about white privilege. I want to shake them and I don’t even know them, lol. Like you said, whites have privileges because they are the ones who are WINNING! Winners get to determine the rules, the norms, the standards, etc. The loser does not get to determine anything to the the winner. This is Life 101. Once we become winners, then we can make the rules and have all the privileges we want. Notice other “people of color” are not saying a word about this, they are too busy trying to benefit from white privilege themselves and using our slave labor to do it.

    I do realize that a great deal of the anti-immigrant mindset is rooted in racism, and many of the whites who support a crackdown on immigration are racist. But so are these “people of color” that AAs are so desperate to support! What we have done is just traded in one racist for another.

    As far as the Pity Party that many BW seem to want, that is exactly why I was disgusted with Precious and refused to see it. It is also why I am increasingly frustrated with Fantasia’s latest histrionics and her constant “all my life I had to fight” posturing. BW gravitate to this stuff because we do desperately want someone to care, feel sorry for us, cut us some slack, etc. No one cares! No one cares about your abuse, your rape, your poverty, psychological problems, dating problems, dysfunctional family, etc. So for God’s sake…stop talking about it, blogging about it, singing about it, making movies about it, etc. These issues are best handled by spiritual leaders and therapists…privately. There is only so much longer we can engage in this before society writes BW off as damaged goods and stops listing to our complaints permanently.

    Mainly this comes back to our lack of any racial or cultural pride and a need for validation. Its why the person emailed you distressed over what some irrelevant foreign black had to say. It why blacks are desperate to form rainbow coalitions w/o any reciprocity. Its why BW like Fantasia air their dysfunction for the whole world to see in a desperate attempt for sympathy. It is also why for the most part AAs are not respected as a group.

    When did the validation of other groups become so important among us? When did we become so thin-skinned?

    • LaJane Galt says:

      THIS right here ^^^

      My gut tells me that time and circumstances notwithstanding, people generally see “us” as slaves. As beings who exist to be exploited for others’ purposes. These days it is not just physical (old folks’ homes workers, Oprah’s bosom) labor.

      They want our efforts, political capital, cultural capital.

      -Look at gay marriage (a worthy issue that stands on its own) and immigration (a debate that also stands on its own) being cloaked in “civil rights” terms. A couple of weeks ago, I was heartened to see unemphatic rejection of such a tactic in Charlotte’s black newspaper comment section.

      -Look at hip hop…as regards blacks, it is now a useless conduit of racialized misogyny/minstrel show. To others, non-black and black foreigners, it has become a part of “their” culture. I have noticed how much non-black American artists focus on the “global” phenomenon, which has-in all honesty, blossomed- whereas “ours” atrophied into the object of contempt of “real”-usually non-AfAm-heads. We were so beaten down by outside (white) critique (history should have told us they’d come knockin’ – Rick Rubin), we jumped eagerly into the arms of any outsider who looked our way.

      People see us as slaves, because we act as slaves…always begging for acceptance. We’re like that unpopular kid who has a cool house. The kid throws a party (when the ‘rents aren’t home) and allows all his new-found “friends” in. They trash the place, make off with the goods and disappear. Not only is the kid grounded for life, not only has he lost friends (some come when they need something), he’s earned their contempt.

  34. Tracy says:

    Excellent post as usual! And thank you for answering an unasked question that I had about myself – Is it wrong for me to say “to hell with everything else that doesn’t directly affect me?” Thank you!! The care switch is off to Katrina (5 years and still a mess), the Congo, Haiti, and Rev. Hot Comb/Glen Beck mess… Oh freedom feels great!! lol!

    The only thing I can add to all the thought provoking comments is this: I think the answer to your questions lies with the Black communities refusal to travel to anywhere but all Black resorts/enclaves, and a new , PC, dangerously watered down version of World History.

    As you’ve mentioned before, if one does not see the world – the old, broken vast world devoid of shopping malls and clubs – reality can’t set in. I would love for some of these American “everybody is Black” blacks to see just where their international “heroes” come from. Goto Rio De Janero, Brazil and witness the slums; visit Mumbai, where you cant walk two feet without stepping into somethings (or someONEs) excrement; go tromp thru Ghana, or Ethiopa, or any non-white owned part of Africa, and see how the “Kings and Queens” really live..Take a walk thru some of the villages in China, after you’ve seen the Great Wall. The poorest Black American lives one hundred times better than any of these folk, and yet they still want to bow down to street-sweepers….smh…

    As for the “new” World History…..Does anyone here in the over 40 crowd remember how Black history was handled? When I was growing up, in December and the months leading up to MLK day, you learned about not only MLK, but all the Black “firsts”, names, dates, including current events (yep, we learned about Huey, Louie, and Dewey). We could not pass over into junior high without being passing a test on current world history. We knew the horrors of Idi Amin, Pol Pot, and the what and whys of the Middle East. We knew where the boat people came from, and what the East Africans and Indians were escaping from.

    Remember the Caste system in India – the top being the Brahmans and the bottom being the Untouchables? My own mother, a sharecropper from the south, recognized what was going to happen with the influx of East Asians. These are her own words: They are here to make a new Caste system, where they can finally be the Brahmans, and AA’s will be the new Untouchables…

    And because they refuse to learn Black and AA history, much less anyone elses, besides the fairy tale of Kings and Queens – that is taking place right now. AA’s have collectively fallen for the Multiculti rouse, and will be slaves to former slaves…

  35. **Please Note: I used the “reply” function to respond to some of the earlier comments**

    Rhonda,

    You said, “If you are a non-American black woman, unless you are married to a white European native, you have little protection in many European countries. It is true, at least for now (but Obama ain’t helping us any, not with his foreign policy and war mongering), that black American women do very well in many European countries, even without being married to a European. One of the reasons is that we are seen as bringers and/or independent, as opposed to takers (of social services; money) as many black African women are seen to be.”

    Hmmm…that’s very interesting.
    __________________________________________________________

    ZooPath,

    You said, “I took a look at that link. SMHD…. There are simply some people that are far beyond reason. It was sad but it did make me feel better about not running sournd like a faithful civil rights hound dog of some sort. People like the ones on that thread would never appreciate or respect me for helping them. Heck, it would probably just make them have even more contempt for AA’s.”

    The shocking thing was that the bulk of the fools talking craziness in support of the Somali pirates were AA Sunni (“orthodox”) Muslims…

    Now, of course, these folks would be extremely angry that I’m “telling” on them like this. {chuckling} However, my concern is that we stop being knee-jerk “civil rights hound dogs” (as you put it) in support of people who would end up causing us more harm than good. Post 9/11, it’s a new day. AAs (including AA Muslims) have to be shrewd about what we choose to support; and always keep our own long-term interests in mind. The rights and opportunities that our ancestors struggled to create for us here in this country are PRECIOUS. It’s an insult to their memory for us to be so quick to throw all of this away to support other people who hate us and hold us in contempt.
    ____________________________________________________

    Felicia,

    You said, “Much of what you speak of in this post was described in gory detail by Washington Post reporter Keith Richburg in his controversially truthful (and excellent) book OUT OF AMERICA: A BLACK MAN CONFRONTS AFRICA.”

    Yes, I remember reading reviews of that book when it came out. And yes, it IS a sad situation. But I feel that it’s always better to look reality in the face (for good or bad) than try to live on Fantasy Island. I’ll have to get around to reading the book itself. Thanks for the info!

    You said, “It seems that when black folks who are truly concerned about the dismal state of affairs concerning large segments of people of African descent (regardless of residence) speak the truth, there are accusations of “self-hatred”, being used as tools for white supremacists, being “Toms”/”Bougie”, etc… that are bandied about.”

    Yes, that’s a tiresome and played-out thought-stopping technique. What I find interesting is how reluctant we are to toss those slurs onto Black folks who really ARE actively damaging our interests, and in some cases, taking our lives. On the low end, we mostly refrain from calling violent Black criminals Black-hating “toms.” On the high end, we refrain from calling individuals like Ward Connerly (a Univ. of California regent who agitated to block AAs’ access to college in California by agitating to stop affirmative action in California state universities) Black-hating “toms.”

    You said, “None of this childish name calling changes the verifiable observations that have been made. And none of the name calling helps those who are hurting.”

    Indeed.

    You said, “My feeling is, it’s good to shine a light on the truth. That way, Kumbaya singing African-American BW who are all about “saving alla our people” and believe in this “one third world/people of color” MESS can know the REAL deal and thus possibly change course and start focusing on SELF.”

    ITA.
    ____________________________________________________

    YMB,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it. You said, “The ease with which Hispanic illegal immigrants traipse over (and under) our border has a great deal to due with the current backlash they are facing. Millions of Latin America’s uneducated, illiterate, and unskilled citizens have been able to bypass the immigration laws which would have sifted them out in favor of those with better education and desired skill sets.”

    Yes, and then the more skilled, educated Latinos create employment monopolies for themselves to cater to the illiterate Latinos’ refusal to learn English—through this “bilingual” cr*p. [Which I’ve never understood. If previous generations of European immigrants were expected to learn English if they wanted to function in this country, why don’t Latinos have to learn English? Why are we bending over backwards to cater to them? It makes no sense to me.]

    What I find most galling about all of this is that our idiotic misleadership class helped enable this mess (with their UN-reciprocated political support of Latinos’ power-grab schemes and their delusional calls for “Black and Brown Together”).
    _________________________________________________

    Mochachoc,

    You said, “In the UK if you are a British born Caribbean and say 40 plus you are probably not docile when interacting with white’s. Absolutely not. However, I have observed a change in that ALL (the new immigrant Eastern Europeans, immigrant Africans, South-East Asians, low-class native White’s) groups want to treat British born Caribbean’s with no respect. There was a time there would have been hell to pay if you disrespected us. Now, not so much. Everyone gets to think that we are inferior to them.”

    Mochachoc, it’s scary to see the parallels between what you’ve previously described of the deteriorating Caribbean-British position in the UK, and the also-deteriorating AA position in the US. And the timeline is roughly the same: both groups passed the point of no return in their bad collective moves approximately 40 years ago. The end result wasn’t visible 40 years ago. But these destructive, end-stage trends began about 40 years ago. In both cases, we allowed ourselves to be supplanted by other, more dynamic minority ethnic groups. The South Asians in the UK; and the Latinos in the US. In both cases, we had a window of opportunity in which our respective ethnic groups could have thrived if we had made better collective choices.

    Finally, in both cases, we are much LESS the people that our parents and grandparents were. Which is the root cause of all of the above failures. {long sigh}

    You said, “I like to remind these people that our parents did not escape Jamaica or wherever under a lorry claiming asylum or pretending to be students. We were invited and encouraged to come here to help re-build the country.”

    D*mn right! This is similar to how I’m always amused by folks wanting to put on airs when they know they snuck across the Rio Grande—like thieves in the night—which they ARE because they’re STEALING spaces and opportunities that should go to the LEGAL immigrants who respect the law—to get up into this country.

    You said, “And many of the anti-racist laws that they enjoy were hard won by Caribbeans.”

    Here’s another striking parallel: AAs and Caribbean Brits as the civil/human rights workhorses who made all these other people’s opportunities possible. Meanwhile, what have Pakistani-British children of immigrants done in gratitude to the country that let their parents in? Bomb the trains and buses on 7/7! {shaking my head in disgust}

    [I will note that I don’t count the lone British Negro involved as a full co-conspirator in that mess, the same way I don’t count the Nigerian wannabe plane bomber in the US. Negro Sunni Muslims are mostly PUPPETS who take their marching orders from deranged Arabians and Pakistanis. These puppets don’t have any thoughts of their own.]

    You said, “My mother was right she was not African. She was very much Jamaican brought up under the British flag (her education was far superior to those born and bred in England).”

    That’s right! In terms of the (British) Commonwealth of Nations (which includes practically all of the Caribbean nations—please correct me if I’m mistaken), I find it quite amusing to note that according to Wikipedia:

    As membership is purely voluntary, member governments can choose at any time to leave the Commonwealth. Pakistan left on 30 January 1972 in protest at the Commonwealth’s recognition of breakaway Bangladesh, but rejoined on 2 August 1989.

    Historical AND current membership in the (British) Commonwealth of Nations has its benefits, including educational benefits. That’s why independent Pakistan came crawling back. {chuckling}

    You said, “As you mentioned Khadija I am in the enviable position of claiming the identity I choose. I used to be confused and a little ashamed of the historical legacy we had inherited. Then one day it hit me that I was a product of the brave and strong. I did not need to claim Africa as my home. I’ve said this before that there are Britons who would want to deny me the right to call myself British but this is who I am whether they like it or not.”

    My 2 cents as an outsider: As far as I’m concerned, you and the other Caribbean-British folks are TOTALLY entitled to have your identities as BRITISH people properly recognized. Please correct me if I get some of the details wrong, but let me stress some historical details to the mostly American audience who are generally not aware of the following:

    You said, “We were invited and encouraged to come here to help re-build the country.” Well, more people need to know that y’all weren’t just invited and encouraged to move to the UK. British White folks sent ships to bring y’all over to help rebuild the UK after WWII! Here’s part of the Wikipedia entry about the ship named MV Empire Windrush,

    The MV Empire Windrush was a ship that is an important part of multiracialism in the United Kingdom. The Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury on 22 June 1948, carrying 492 passengers from Jamaica wishing to start a new life in the United Kingdom. The passengers were the first large group of West Indian immigrants to the UK after the Second World War.

    The arrival of the passengers, and the image of the Caribbean passengers filing off the vessel’s gang plank, has become an important landmark in the history of modern Britain, symbolising the beginning of modern multicultural relations which were to change British society significantly over the following years. In 1998, an area of public open space in Brixton was renamed Windrush Square to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the arrival of the West Indians.

    There’s NO comparison between this history and those folks who snuck across borders or (falsely) cried the blues while applying for political asylum—when they were actually economic (and not political) immigrants.

    Mini-Rant: This is yet another historical pattern that p*sses me off—people not holding up their end of the bargain after they reap the benefits of the bargain. The UK needed help after WWII. [I won’t dwell on the fact that AAs like my grandfather fought in Europe while serving in the US Army; and helped save the rear ends of entire countries of White Europeans during WWI and WWII. There were other BM and men of color who helped save colonial England’s and colonial France’s rear ends during WWI and WWII. To be fair, at least I did see a monument arc in recognition of these soldiers from the colonies—Monuments aux Héros de l’Armée d’Orient et des Terres Lointaines in Marseilles.]

    Anyhoo, a devastated, bombed out UK needed help to rebuild after WWII. Large numbers of West Indians agreed to help by coming over there to work. The West Indians who went to the UK to help rebuild held up THEIR end of that bargain. Therefore, they and their descendants are entitled to be recognized as BRITISH people. Period.

    You said, “This is why I urge young Caribbean British born people not to reject Britain as their own. (I think many of them are even more confused than we were because they think they are African-American. LOL).”

    Mochachoc, I truly hope they listen to you. Only a fool would casually discard what their parents and grandparents worked for.

    Expect Success!

    • mochachoc says:

      Oh Lawdy you are on fire.

      There are a lot of Brits (black, white and indifferent) who are completely ignorant of the contributions we have made to the economic and social success of this country. You, an American, way over yonder know more than the dyam fools who were born here SMH. What galls me is that these new immigrants want to pretend that we are the same as them. I don’t think so. Jamaicans have a reputation for being haughty and hard (as soon as a Nigerian guy gets that I am of Jamaican heritage he stops with his BS. LOL) for good reason. You cannot pull the wool over our eyes easily. Sadly, the new generation have allowed crap food, drugs, alcohol and a slum mentality to rob them. What a shame.

    • mochachoc says:

      Oh and by the way those Caribbeans who came here to help re-build my country had to have a good education and speak English (of course that was never an issue even if they came with their colloquial slant). They were the fittest, strongest, healthiest young men and women who dressed like film stars to make the trip only to be greeted by the savage, unsophisticated, low-class white population. My parents travelled here by BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) in pearls and Trilby. You can imagine how wonderful it must have felt. And then these people want to behave as if we are the same.

      It is ironic that for years white Brits saw Black Caribbeans as the enemy. None of us would have dreamt of bombing London. Total madness. No Black mother is cooped up in her home for 40 years unable to speak a word of English. We were and are more like them than any other immigrant group.

      • Mochachoc,

        You said, “They were the fittest, strongest, healthiest young men and women who dressed like film stars to make the trip only to be greeted by the savage, unsophisticated, low-class white population. My parents travelled here by BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) in pearls and Trilby. You can imagine how wonderful it must have felt. And then these people want to behave as if we are the same.”

        Black folks dressing up like movie stars, carrying high hopes for the future and pearls . . . only to be mistreated by ignorant and savage “Archie Bunker” types. {sigh} Again, the parallels. That historical scenario is an experience that has been quite familiar to many AAs over the generations.

        You said, “It is ironic that for years white Brits saw Black Caribbeans as the enemy. None of us would have dreamt of bombing London. Total madness. No Black mother is cooped up in her home for 40 years unable to speak a word of English. We were and are more like them than any other immigrant group.”

        I could make similar, parallel observations about the contrast between Latinos’ “cater to us when we’re weak, but yet we’ll screw you over whenever we get a political or economic foothold” mentality. Millions of Latinos come to the US with an attitude of refusing to ever adapt to the host country. As demonstrated by the Cubans in Florida, they are also quick to screw over Anglo Whites and others whenever they get in power. This is unlike AA politicians who are generally preoccupied with being “fairer than fair” to other people whenever they get into political office.

        Similar “bite and blow up the hand that’s been feeding you and providing you sanctuary from your tyrant back home” dynamics apply to the Arabs and Pakistani immigrants here in the US. Even when AAs rioted in the 1960s, we kept that violence in our own residential areas. We didn’t storm non-Black neighborhoods (like we could have if we wanted to).

        Expect Success!

  36. **Please Note: Again, I used the “reply” function to respond to some of the other comments**

    Hodan,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it. You said, “I see so many blacks and other minorities (Asians, Arabs and Persians) so crude and rude to one another, yet when a white man or woman speak….its like their God has spoken.”

    Yes, I’ve seen that too.

    You said, “I also see the reverse, where some African Americans, but mostly people of Caribbean backgrounds insult and demeans Africans from Africa.”

    Oh, I’ve seen FAR TOO MANY AAs say some amazingly ignorant and insulting comments about Africans and Africa. In terms of criticizing anybody or any group, it’s one thing to make fact-based comments. It’s something totally else to speak from a position of sheer ignorance of the facts.

    You said, “This superiority complex issue is pathetic and misplaced, since if we look @ our parents or grandparents home country, its a sad state.”

    As I’ve consistently said, I believe that the entire Black world is in a sad state. I don’t get into comparative craziness—it looks to me like ALL Black ethnic groups around the world are dysfunctional. The details of how various dysfunctions play out are different; but the overall pattern is the SAME—one of being subservient to non-Blacks.

    You said, “Now, we have so many Chinese immigrating to Africa and buying up lands….I can see the civil war coming in 10 yrs.”

    Oh yeah. Right now, the Chinese are still grinning and skinning and pretending to be diplomatic about their takeover. Just wait to see what happens after the Chinese bring some more of their soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army…err, I mean their “security consultants”… over to protect their African assets. That’s the point at which the “dragon” will fully extend his claws and the smiling will be OVER.

    You said, “Lastly, why would anyone listen to someone if such a person does NOT have any real solution for their life and that of their community? Respect beyond basic courtesy we aught extend towards one another is earned.”

    ITA.

    You said, “ps. I wish you had a facebook group Khadija, I would add you and pass it on to my friends and family. Besides, you must have large followers, ot will be kewl to expand on your network as well.”

    {chuckling} Thank you, but I know that I wouldn’t have time for that, or “tweeting” or anything more than what I’m already doing.

    You said, “About the criminal elements within these communities, whether they are Somalis or South Asians, could not agree more. If they want to join a militant group and die, then they can do so out of my freaking country. These idiots and their crude definition of Jihad are endangering every Muslim Canadian and American….esp. sisters who choice to display their faith via hijab (while these cowardly men act and dress western, except when pretending to serve Allah via their destructive crimes). To me defending these horrible Muslims is like black women defending no good black men who only bring harms to them. I would defend and stand up for my faith, way of life and the community….but never @ the expense of our safety and survivor as a society.”

    ITA! I rarely get red-hot-enraged by anything I read online. But that entrapment-talk mess that the Kwame individual was engaging in at the (AA Muslim) blog that I linked to (in an earlier comment) had me enraged. Like you said, idiots who want to join militant groups should get out and stay OUT of Western countries. If they feel that they’re in a state of war with the West, then they need to stop being hypocrites.

    And stop breastfeeding from the West. And the dummies who want to verbally cheerlead that madness also need to get out and stay out of the West. They’re biting the hand that’s been feeding them, and the hand that gave them sanctuary from their native tyrants back home.
    _______________________________________________

    Liza207,

    You said, “I believe the disrespect and condescension expressed towards African Americans is done by black immigrants in an attempt to make themselves feel superior and it’s also an attempt to connect with racist white people, that’s my theory.”

    The irony is that I’m not particularly angry with these people for doing that. I refuse to take garbage off of them, but I’m NOT surprised that people try to “go there.” Nobody wants to be at the bottom of a pecking order. That’s simply human nature. It doesn’t serve anybody’s interests to be at the bottom of the food chain.

    The other thing about human nature is that very few people are principled. Most people do whatever is expedient. To paraphrase something that Chris Rock (of all people) said, most people are only as honorable as their available options.

    You said, “I will admit that there are certain behaviors and norms in the African American culture that I find somewhat disturbing. You have had many discussions about these dysfunctions in the African American culture on your blog.”

    Guurl, I’m disturbed. In fact, I’m way beyond disturbed about this—I’m horrified. That’s why I’ve been talking about, and warning AA women to escape these dysfunctions.

    You said, “The Caribbean and African cultures definitely have its own dysfunctions but they are not often discussed. I think sometimes that if we paid more attention to our own backyards, we would all be better off, as a result.”

    I agree; and I believe this applies to everybody. For one example, I firmly believe that AAs need to stop worrying about Latino illegal aliens.
    ____________________________________________________

    TruthP.,

    You said, “Khadija i’ve told you all that I identify as African american though my fathers side are Jamaicans who also identify as African American after having been in this country for many years through civil rights movement and having intermarried with African Americans.I’m only saying this to bring some of my background to remembrance before I tell about an incident.”

    Well, there comes a point with a number of Black immigrants where some of “them” become fully part of “us.” Especially the ones who intermarry with AAs. For example, Min. Farrakhan is of Caribbean descent! 🙂

    You said, “I defitnetly think some of these people got it twisted because of our black leadership trying to use the strength in numbers approach by teaching us African Americans that we actually NEED these folks to be over here so that our situation would be better.”

    THIS is the core of how our misleadership has continuously got it twisted. Too many of us—misleadership included—have lacked the self-confidence to be willing to stand on our own. That’s why we’re always frantically searching for “coalitions” and “alliances.” This is crazy, self-defeating and unnecessary behavior.

    Expect Success!

  37. YMB says:

    Khadija wrote: Yes, and then the more skilled, educated Latinos create employment monopolies for themselves to cater to the illiterate Latinos’ refusal to learn English—through this “bilingual” cr*p. [Which I’ve never understood. If previous generations of European immigrants were expected to learn English if they wanted to function in this country, why don’t Latinos have to learn English? Why are we bending over backwards to cater to them? It makes no sense to me.]

    What’s more is that earlier this month I read an article about how Hispanic parents were having trouble helping their children with their homework due to not knowing English. There was a reader comment from a hispanic person giving some “facts” about how AA school performance improved when the students had teachers and administrators reflective of their own race and that Hispanic students needed to have Hispanic teachers and administrators in order to perform better. This person went on to recriminate AAs for “not being supportive in turn of latinos in getting school staff who look like them”. So not only do they want to create these exclusive bilingual career markets, they also expect AAs full support and assistance in creating them!

    I have officially dropped the term “people of color” from my lexicon. We are NOT all in this together.

  38. **Please Note: Again, I used the “reply” function to respond to some of the other comments**

    Lafemmenoir,

    You said, “Welcome back Khadija. I hope that you were able to take some time for yourself during your time off.”

    Yes, I did. 🙂 Thanks so much for thinking of me!

    You said, “…yesterday I had a run-in with my brother, mr. back-to-africa. This brother of mine is very much into africa and plans to move to africa in 7 years, so he says. Although we are only one year apart in age, he is just now coming into his black nationalist phase when I had mine many years ago, while at college (he didn’t go to college).
    Psychologically, I think that he has entered this phase because it is a way for him to vent and deal with the realities of southern-style racism that he is being subjected to at work and also the fact that he CHOSE to live with and amoungst complacent and ignorant colored-folk.”

    Yes, hearing some hardcore venting about racist White folks has always been a large part of the appeal regarding Nation of Islam sermons. This sort of talk stands out in an ocean of mealy-mouthed AA leaders. With said AA leaders having become even more mealy-mouthed in the current era of Crossover Negro Politicians (whose main claim to fame is that they work overtime to be perceived as “non-threatening” by White racists).

    You said, “we need to sever ties with those who will not move forward and a person who is still stuck in a child-like state is not in any position to move forward. They will only hold you back. We must stop giving these people our attention and time because they have nothing of value to offer. Let them whine and complain on their youtube channels…”

    ITA.
    ______________________________________________________

    Magenta,

    You said, “The immigration debate and the related drama in Arizona shown me just how screwed up our priorities are as a people. Our black neighborhoods are becoming cesspools of crime and violence and we are concerned about some (mostly illegal) immigrants being rounded up in Arizona?”

    Guurl, isn’t that utterly insane?!

    You said, “As African Americans, we are so desperate to belong, that we want to delude ourselves in thing we are all in this together. We have also been so focused on white racism that we continue to delude ourselves in thinking we are forming some People of Color coalition against whites. This is truly absurd. Any AA who has had the displeasure of being followed around in a filthy Korean store, or has been on the receiving end of a demeaning “you have no culture” lecture from an African should know there is no coalition with these people.”

    Indeed. If we had any sense, we would seek to coalesce with ourselves. Since that’s not possible on any mass level (due to our programmed mass insanity),the next best thing is to go for SELF as individual AA women. And coalesce with whoever is willing to offer reciprocity (on an individual basis).

    You said, “As far as the Pity Party that many BW seem to want, that is exactly why I was disgusted with Precious and refused to see it. It is also why I am increasingly frustrated with Fantasia’s latest histrionics and her constant “all my life I had to fight” posturing. BW gravitate to this stuff because we do desperately want someone to care, feel sorry for us, cut us some slack, etc. No one cares! No one cares about your abuse, your rape, your poverty, psychological problems, dating problems, dysfunctional family, etc. So for God’s sake…stop talking about it, blogging about it, singing about it, making movies about it, etc. These issues are best handled by spiritual leaders and therapists…privately.”

    100% co-sign.

    You said, “When did the validation of other groups become so important among us? When did we become so thin-skinned?”

    I think AAs have always been at risk for this sort of behavior. It’s just that in previous generations we had other virtues that helped mask some of this insecurity. Well, now “the funk is uncut.” {thinking of Parliament-Funkadelic—LOL}
    _____________________________________________________

    Tracy,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it. You said, “And thank you for answering an unasked question that I had about myself – Is it wrong for me to say “to hell with everything else that doesn’t directly affect me?” Thank you!! The care switch is off to Katrina (5 years and still a mess), the Congo, Haiti, and Rev. Hot Comb/Glen Beck mess… Oh freedom feels great!! lol!”

    You’re welcome! I feel the same way. It’s been good to focus on “Me-Phi-Me, Sorority Incorporated”!

    You said, “The only thing I can add to all the thought provoking comments is this: I think the answer to your questions lies with the Black communities refusal to travel to anywhere but all Black resorts/enclaves, and a new, PC, dangerously watered down version of World History.

    I believe you’re right.

    You said, “As you’ve mentioned before, if one does not see the world – the old, broken vast world devoid of shopping malls and clubs – reality can’t set in.”

    Yep, seeing other places definitely helps one to see the US in a different and more appreciative light.

    You said, “As for the “new” World History…..Does anyone here in the over 40 crowd remember how Black history was handled? When I was growing up, in December and the months leading up to MLK day, you learned about not only MLK, but all the Black “firsts”, names, dates, including current events (yep, we learned about Huey, Louie, and Dewey). We could not pass over into junior high without being passing a test on current world history. We knew the horrors of Idi Amin, Pol Pot, and the what and whys of the Middle East. We knew where the boat people came from, and what the East Africans and Indians were escaping from.”

    It’s hard for me to separate out what I learned from my parents from what I learned in school about these topics. The conversations at both home and school reinforced each other. What I do clearly remember is that most of my classmates had the same base of knowledge about AA history and current events.

    You said, “Remember the Caste system in India – the top being the Brahmans and the bottom being the Untouchables? My own mother, a sharecropper from the south, recognized what was going to happen with the influx of East Asians. These are her own words: They are here to make a new Caste system, where they can finally be the Brahmans, and AA’s will be the new Untouchables…”

    She called it! My parents made similar comments about what they referred to as “these Spanish people.” Our elders were hip to certain human behavior patterns.

    Expect Success!

  39. Ali says:

    This is quite interesting – I’m new here, so I’m just drinking it all in. I. LOVE. THIS. BLOG.

    What got me most about this post, Khadija, was this section:

    ——————————————————————–
    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.

    _——————————————————————

    Is there another post on this? Or could you expand more on this issue at some point in the future?

    I’m not sure whether I agree or disagree, because it’s such a complex issue.

    Couldn’t the argument be made that AA women are NOT being given enough support, sympathy, etc.? Because of the ‘strong black woman’ sterotype? And so that, therefore, as much as I HATE to hear some of these women’s stories, or as much as these stories don’t reflect my experiences, it’s good to see, and admit, that black women can feel pain, just like other races of women?

    Is a little sympathy such a bad thing? Isn’t the strong black women thing just an excuse to pile more crap on BW’s shoulders?

    Again, I’m not sure how I feel on this issue, but I’d love to hear you talk more about it. My instinct when I hear someone’s sad tale is (generally) to feel sorry for them and want to rush to help them, not despise them . . . . . . .wouldn’t that be the same on a larger scale, for AA women?

  40. Hello there, Ali!

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

    You said, “Is there another post on this? Or could you expand more on this issue at some point in the future?”

    I can’t remember if I did a post exclusively devoted to this pity party issue. I do know that it has frequently come up while discussing other issues both here and at the previous blog (“Muslim Bushido”).

    You said, “Couldn’t the argument be made that AA women are NOT being given enough support, sympathy, etc.? Because of the ’strong black woman’ sterotype? And so that, therefore, as much as I HATE to hear some of these women’s stories, or as much as these stories don’t reflect my experiences, it’s good to see, and admit, that black women can feel pain, just like other races of women?”

    MEDIUM LENGTH VERSION ANSWER:

    Let me preface my responses by saying that I only support courses of action if they bring benefit. AND only if that benefit outweighs any harm caused by the course of action.

    I’ll answer your first question with another question: Has anybody come riding in to rescue AA women from their pain after hearing these many, many pitiful personal testimonies? Have AA men reacted with sympathy? Has anybody else reacted with sympathy or empathy?

    You said, “Is a little sympathy such a bad thing? Isn’t the strong black women thing just an excuse to pile more crap on BW’s shoulders?”

    Again, I ask—Are AA women receiving sympathy or empathy in response to these public displays of pain and dysfunction?

    Also, for me this has nothing to do with the “strong BW” madness. Instead, it has EVERYTHING to do with AA women positioning themselves as attractive women who are excellent wife material. Here are some more questions for you:

    1-Does large numbers of AA women publicly identifying themselves as victims of various forms of trauma (emotional, physical, sexual abuse) serve to make us—as a group—more or less attractive and desirable as potential wives? I’m speaking in terms of how this makes us look to the global village of quality men.

    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?

    LONG VERSION ANSWER (a portion from Chapter 34 of the book with emphasis added):

    A Prayer For New Visions For African-American Women
    Please, Lord, no more art that depicts African-American women as traumatized losers. No more African-American art that plumbs the depths of depravity. Please, Lord, deliver African-American women and girls from any further exposure to this type of material. Guide us to life-giving, spirit-nourishing, victorious material. Guide us to create life-giving, spirit-nourishing material that portrays healthy images of ourselves. Amen.

    The Current Art Directed At African-American Women Is Grounded In Masochism
    Most art directed at African-American women is grounded in masochism. Let’s reflect on this for a moment. Let’s consider the sort of entertainment products that African-American women and girls have normalized. We seek out and consume entertainment products that showcase women and girls like ourselves being emotionally abused, beaten, molested, and raped. How did this sort of material become a steady source of entertainment for us?

    This is sick.

    The Current Art Portrays Trauma And Depravity As Normal Parts of Black Women’s Lives
    We don’t understand that repeatedly showing trauma and depravity serves to normalize such things. Even when it’s done under the guise of showing somebody supposedly ‚overcoming‛ the depravity. This is what’s wrong with the ‚reality‛ television shows. Things were better before people started openly broadcasting all the sick and depraved things they did or that were done to them. Some things do belong underground, in the closet, on the fringes, and not spoken of in polite company.

    Whites restrict (and keep on the fringes) such bizarre reflections of themselves. Depictions of Whites engaged in depravity is the stuff of Lifetime Channel movies, and ‚very special‛ Afterschool Specials. They don’t create and consume a constant stream of such images of themselves.

    The norm is not to depict a White family as emotionally, physically, or sexually abusing their children. The norm is not to depict a White teenage girl as pregnant, emotionally abused, beaten, raped, or sexually molested. White artists mostly portray their collective as composed of decent, wholesome, and healthy people.

    I don’t have a problem with dystopian works. I loved Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Parable of The Talents books. It’s not the presence of problems that I take exception to. It’s who and what are consistently defined as ‚the problem.‛

    Most dystopian literature and screenplays define ‚the problem‛ as emanating from the society itself. There can be flawed and even evil characters, but most of ‚the problem‛ stems from some extreme flaw from within the society that is the story’s setting. Something has gone horribly wrong with the society in which the characters live. Typically, ‚the problem‛ is the existence of conditions such as police states, catastrophic global warming, prolonged economic crashes, fundamentalism, and science gone astray.

    Meanwhile, the current traumatic, demeaning art directed at African-Americans positions African-Americans (whether it’s African-American families or individual African-American characters) as being ‚the problem.‛ And the source of most, if not all, evil in these books. We’re almost never shown to be normal, healthy people. Instead, there is a constant stream of entertainment products that portray African-Americans as problems to be dealt with.

    Other people are much more careful with their image. Other people are more aware of how their images serve to position them in the global village. For example, note how Jewish people present and portray their Holocaust. Note the difference between this and the way African-Americans play with (and allow other others to play with) the portrayal of slavery in this country.

    Also note how, even if the White character dies at the end of the story, White artists still have that story end on a high note. For example, think of the last image in the movie Thelma and Louise. The audience does not get to see them broken and dead. Instead, the audience’s last glimpse of these characters is of them choosing their own fate.

    We need to understand that what looks like compassion isn’t necessarily so. Sometimes what looks like compassion is a clever way of stigmatizing us. These stigmatizing images of ourselves that we’ve bought into hinder our collective ability to escape into healthier environments.

    The Current Art Stigmatizes African-American Women
    I realize that artists are often working through their own issues in their art. The problem is that Black female artists’ public forms of catharsis are damaging to our collective interests. Their public showcasing of their wounds is stigmatizing ALL of us as a group of women. The We Are Dysfunction banner that Black female artists have been waving for the past few decades has tightened into a noose around our collective necks. This noose gets tighter with each new and increasingly repellent image of ourselves that gets beamed around the planet. The stigmata that we attach to ourselves are hindering our escape into healthier environments and connections with healthier people.

    Black female artists’ public showcasing of their wounds serves to keep other Black women trapped in the damaging environments that inflicted the wounds they are putting on public display. We can’t afford any more of their public catharsis. Their showcasing of their wounds needs to be pushed back into the fringes.

    Many of us empathize with Black female victim-artists, but not at the expense of our collective future. Not at the expense of unintentionally narrowing our daughters’ options. What was done to these Black female victim-artists is already done. There’s no undoing it. The best we can do is prevent the creation of new victims. The way to do this is to keep the escape routes open for other Black women and girls. This means rejecting all images that stigmatize Black women and girls. Regrettably, this also means that we’ll probably have to shove these “I want to showcase my many wounds in public” Black female victim-artists out of the way. Unfortunately, their actions serve to block the escape routes.

    We have to out-shout and out-promote our new, positive, attractive “brand” over that of destructive Black female victim-artists. I am sorry that it has come to this. But this is for our collective future. This is for our daughters’ futures. This is for keeps.

    Expect Success!

    • mochachoc says:

      Hear hear. It took me awhile to realise that the letting it all hang out therapy culture was/is damaging our collective image. Humans don’t gravitate toward damaged goods. Brutal but true. We’ve got to stop singing the blues. Let’s do our therapy in appropriate places, we have ground to make up.

      • Mochachoc,

        You said, “Humans don’t gravitate toward damaged goods. Brutal but true.”

        Indeed. It’s basic human nature to get far away from diseased people. This is because it’s anti-survival to hang around diseased people. That’s why wedding vows extract a promise from the spouses to hang around in sickness and in health.

        Expect Success!

        • Men especially don’t gravitate toward damaged goods. Just the other day I was at the DMV. A young woman was telling this young man all her trials and tribulations with the father of her child and with her mother. It was clear that they were a couple, but fairly new, and the young man’s body language was very telling. He was stiff and not receptive, but she was so caught up in her “woe is me” tale that she wasn’t paying attention. I just shook my head. My mama always said that telling a man all your business is a sure-fire way to lose him. I think these women/girls think it’s a pathway to intimacy or that he’ll ride in on his white charger to save them. No. Not so much. Men work hard, they’re looking for a playmate (not like the magazine just someone to have fun with), not more work. When they leave work they want to see their woman looking nice, take her out and relax. Not listen to the foolishness that you’ve let your life become. This letting it all hang out mentality is absolutely suicidal. I think I feel a free lesson coming on.

          • Roslyn,

            You said, “My mama always said that telling a man all your business is a sure-fire way to lose him.”

            Bingo! Your mom is absolutely right about that.

            You said, “I think these women/girls think it’s a pathway to intimacy or that he’ll ride in on his white charger to save them. No. Not so much. Men work hard, they’re looking for a playmate (not like the magazine just someone to have fun with), not more work. When they leave work they want to see their woman looking nice, take her out and relax. Not listen to the foolishness that you’ve let your life become.”

            Correct, again. After a day at work, men are not looking to have more stress heaped on them. And certainly not as a permanent lifestyle. The woman who does that will sooner or later be replaced with a “hassle-free” woman.

            You said, “This letting it all hang out mentality is absolutely suicidal. I think I feel a free lesson coming on.”

            Ooh, I hope so—and I can’t wait to read it. I still recall how tickled I was by your wise free lesson telling women to stop hanging on the phone with men. {chuckling}

            Expect Success!

    • Ali says:

      @ Khadija –

      Hmmmm – I see your point regarding this:

      ________________________________________________________________________

      I’ll answer your first question with another question: Has anybody come riding in to rescue AA women from their pain after hearing these many, many pitiful personal testimonies? Have AA men reacted with sympathy? Has anybody else reacted with sympathy or empathy?

      You said, “Is a little sympathy such a bad thing? Isn’t the strong black women thing just an excuse to pile more crap on BW’s shoulders?”

      Again, I ask—Are AA women receiving sympathy or empathy in response to these public displays of pain and dysfunction?

      __________________________________________________________________________

      I guess my question would be – how else can we stop what’s going on the these communities if we don’t shine a light on on it ? I think there was a book that came out called ‘Black Pain: It only looks like we’re not hurting’ that dealt with abuse in the black community. It turns out that there are many women like Precious, Fantasisa, color purple type women, who are being hurt everyday.

      And black men are the ones doing it are getting away with it, mainly because of this ‘code of silence’ ‘don’t snitch’ policy some black people follow.

      These men have to STOP what their doing to BW and BG!! If we keep it hidden, how can we make it stop?

      Also, when I hear about some of the tremendous obstacles some of these women must overcome to reach where they are, it does make me have a respect for them that I didn’t previously, based on their work.

      On the other hand – I just wish, as you said, that there were happy, healthy, normal depctions to balance these things out. It’s the lack of balance that drives me crazy.

      Outside of the books by Octavia Butler – whom I adore – can you think of a movie or tv show that showed black women as normal? Or that you would say: this is good for our image?

      It’s a serious question, because I can’t – and I think it would be a good idea to examine that film and see how well it did, box office wise, critically. Sometimes I think the depressing stuff is the only stuff that makes money and gets attention . . . . . .

      • Ali,

        You said, “I guess my question would be – how else can we stop what’s going on the these communities if we don’t shine a light on on it ?”

        “Shining a light” on this hasn’t done anything to stop these brutal assaults on AA women and girls. And it won’t do anything to stop this. It stops when more AA women take themselves and their daughters OUT of easy striking distance of BM predators. By evacuating Black residential areas.

        The other way it stops is when more AA women attach themselves to more powerful, stronger, non-Black men who will MAKE it stop regarding their individual Black wives and half-Black daughters. The masses of AA men have not and will not protect or provide for AA women and children. Therefore, more individual AA women have to find an alternate set of Alpha-male protectors. This ties into something I said in a slightly different context during an earlier post.

        As I mentioned in this post, the long term answer to many of African-American women’s major problems is to do what large numbers of Asian women have done: start marrying men from the most powerful collective on the planet.

        MANY PROBLEMS WILL SOLVE THEMSELVES WHEN MORE BLACK WOMEN MARRY THE MOST POWERFUL MEN ON THE PLANET. THIS IS HOW ASIAN WOMEN GREATLY IMPROVED THEIR COLLECTIVE IMAGE.
        Finally, the long-term, permanent solution to the twin problems of: (1) African-American women’s negative public image and (2) the harmful public slander of Black women by Black men will only come about as more African-American women marry more of the most powerful, dominant men. For a very long time leading up to right now, White men have been the most powerful, dominant, Alpha men on this planet. It’s reasonable to expect them to remain the planet’s most powerful, Alpha men for the foreseeable future.

        This is the strategy that Asian women quietly and successfully carried out. These women did this to better their own individual circumstances, but it had the positive side effect of bettering their collective image. As increasing numbers of quality, prominent, powerful White men started marrying Asian women, suddenly Asian women started being perceived as increasingly desirable and attractive by other types of men.

        Asian women weren’t always considered desirable by large numbers of non-Asian men. That shift in mass perception came about because of more Asian women marrying prominent, powerful, Alpha-male, White men.

        I would add that the common assumption was that such women were among the Asian prostitutes that hang around US Army bases in Japan, Korea, South Vietnam, Thailand, the Phillipines, and so on. And many of them were! Asian women indirectly turned that mass negative perception totally around. One Asian bride—married to a prominent, powerful, Alpha male, White husband—at a time. African-American women can do the same thing.

        THIS IS BECAUSE MOST MEN OF COLOR TAKE THEIR CUES ABOUT MANY ISSUES, INCLUDING WOMEN’S DESIRABILITY, FROM DOMINANT WHITE MEN
        This is because most men of color on this planet take their cues in assessing women’s desirability from White men. In terms of raw power, White men are the dominant men on this planet. Whatever White men feel is desirable, other men will follow their lead and buy into that belief.

        African-American males are generally followers on this planet. They are not the dominant, Alpha males on this planet who get to decide which groups of women are considered attractive. Black men take their lead from the dominant White men. Whoever the dominant White men feel is attractive (White women and Asian women in general, and individual Black women), many Black men will follow their lead and parrot whatever these dominant White men say about these women. For example, I didn’t start hearing many African-American men saying that the dark-skinned Mrs. Obama is attractive until after the White media and White men were publicly talking about how she’s glamorous and reminiscent of Jacqueline Kennedy.

        When more dominant, powerful, Alpha-male White men marry Black women, then Black men will stop slandering Black women. Either out of their habit of taking their cues from White men, or out of fear of offending this emerging critical mass of White men who view Black women attractive and desirable.

        In this context, when more dominant, powerful, Alpha-male White men marry Black women, then Black men won’t be so quick to physically attack Black women—because there will be enhanced consequences. WM always enforce consequences whenever BM (in any way, even verbally) attack or harm people WM hold dear—look at what happened with Kanye West for just one example.

        You said, “On the other hand – I just wish, as you said, that there were happy, healthy, normal depctions to balance these things out. It’s the lack of balance that drives me crazy.”

        I don’t want “balance.” I want AA women lifted up. How much uplift would it take to rectify the amoung of damaging, stigmatizing images that have already been beamed across the planet?

        You said, “Outside of the books by Octavia Butler – whom I adore – can you think of a movie or tv show that showed black women as normal? Or that you would say: this is good for our image?”

        That requires some thought…if I think of anything that fits this description, I’ll get back to you.

        Expect Success!

        • YMB says:

          I think this might be a long reply so apologies in advance!

          The lack of sympathy and protection offered to BW rape and abuse victims has nothing to do with a lack of publicity- which this topic has plenty of, and everything to do with the callous disregard the black community has towards it. When was the last time you heard an AA leader or organization speaking out against the rape of a black woman or child when the accused rapist was not a white man? The modern black community protects black rapists who are terrorizing black women and girls right now while railing against white slave master rapists who are long dead, and trying to convince BW that the latter is more relevant to their dating and life choices than the former.

          Ali said: Outside of the books by Octavia Butler – whom I adore – can you think of a movie or tv show that showed black women as normal? Or that you would say: this is good for our image?

          This one got me thinking. The only 100% positive example I can think of is ‘The Cosby Show’ and probably ‘A Different World’ although I remember less of that show. The TV show ‘Roc’ may have been another positive example. I don’t remember it being full of debasing coonery but I also don’t recall much of that show. Arguably, ‘Girlfriends’, might have been another example.

          Remember the howls from the black community of how the Cosby Show was “not representative of black people”? White people certainly do. How dare the media show AAs at their aspirational best?! I suppose those people are happier with the endless stream of thugs, baby mamas, and mammies currently being shown.

          ‘Lady Sings the Blues’, ‘The Color Purple’, and ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It’ are all films frequently brought up as examples of inspirational BW characters, but all of these films feature rape and abuse. I recently flipped past “the White Women’s Channel” aka Lifetime, and saw an anomaly, a movie featuring black female leads. While there was no sexual abuse, it was still about two generations of single mothers and their multiple dysfunctions.

          I’ve been racking my brain thinking of examples of movies or TV shows prominently featuring abuse and rape of white women. Generally that is restricted to horror and thriller films. The only exception I can think of is, ‘The Lovely Bones’ which came out around the same time as ‘Precious’. Let’s contrast and compare- stop reading here if you care about spoilers.
          ‘The Lovely Bones’:
          -main character is a bright, attractive white high school student who has
          -a happy, normal, two-parent upbringing in the suburbs
          -a reciprocal love interest
          -is brutally raped and murdered by a neighbor
          -goes to an afterlife of wonder and beauty where she gets to observe her family gradually heal from the tragedy, matures and moves past her own murder
          -the murderer eventually gets karmic justice in the form of an icicle

          ‘Precious’:
          -Main character is ab arely verbal, barely literate, morbidly obese black high school student who
          -has a squalid, oppressive single-parent upbringing in an inner-city slum
          -fantasy love interests
          -endures serial rape by her father, whom she has two children with, and constant physical, sexual, and emotional abuse from her mother
          -gets to move into a halfway house paid for by public assistance
          -the mother receives karmic justice in the form of getting her welfare checks cut off, and she most likely has also been infected with HIV by the degenerate father, but so have Precious and her children

          White audiences threw around praise for Precious being “uplifiting” and “a triumph of the human spirit”, but I don’t see how anyone could be anything but appalled at such a movie. I think the truth of the matter is that such viewers were experiencing joy that they were not black women since that was the “typical black American woman experience”.

          • YMB,

            You said, “I’ve been racking my brain thinking of examples of movies or TV shows prominently featuring abuse and rape of white women. Generally that is restricted to horror and thriller films.”

            That’s right! WW normalize the idea of themselves enjoying the good things in life. They don’t establish the norm for themselves as consisting of abuse and rape. The norm that they’ve established in terms of image is of WW being treasured.

            You said, “The only exception I can think of is, ‘The Lovely Bones’ which came out around the same time as ‘Precious’. Let’s contrast and compare- stop reading here if you care about spoilers.”

            Indeed. ‘Precious’ was designed to be an appalling freak show.

            You said, “White audiences threw around praise for Precious being “uplifiting” and “a triumph of the human spirit”, but I don’t see how anyone could be anything but appalled at such a movie. I think the truth of the matter is that such viewers were experiencing joy that they were not black women since that was the “typical black American woman experience”.

            I agree. Whites are not interested in portraying themselves as routinely being involved in depravity.

            Expect Success!

  41. **Audience Alert—Temporarily interrupting this conversation thread to make the following announcement :-)**

    Everybody,

    Please take a moment to check out Karen’s outstanding guest post over at CW’s blog: http://blackwomendeservebetter.com/2010/08/29/karen-08-29-10-but-was-anyone-really-paying-attention/

    Karen and CW, The Blog Hostess With The Mostess, are providing some potentially LIFE-SAVING food for thought! Check it out.

  42. Valerie says:

    One of the biggest problems, is that African people need to really understand, who was really involved in the slave trade, despite all what the white imperialists have done, we who live in Westized countries are able tohave a life, we live in countries, where we can walk and get on with our own lives. Many Arab countries, still kidnap and have African slaves. There was a very interesting programme about Slavery on Channel 4, on Monday 30th August.

    Instead of making ourselves, economically strong, I don’t understand the mentality of joining with Arabs and joining their causes.

    One of our biggest problems in Africa, we still like to sell each other.

    • Valerie,

      I beg to differ. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no “we” in terms of me and Africans. Africans’ problems (whether in Africa or elsewhere) are THEIR problems. I’m not involved in any of that.

      I learned my lesson about that after participating in the anti-apartheid struggle. After Nelson Mandela got free and in power, suddenly AAs didn’t hear from him or his government anymore. 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. Nelson and his supporters only came around AAs when they wanted something. I vowed that I would never again be used like that.

      The only African leader I can think of that has done something CONCRETE for AAs is the NON-Black Muammar Qaddafi—when he gave Min. Farrakhan’s NOI $5 million dollars.

      Expect Success!

    • Robynne says:

      I’m in no way excusing African participation in the slave trade – but looking at the sale of blacks by other blacks to white Europeans is looking at the situation through 19th and 20th century concepts of race – a European conception. The Africans involved did not see themselves in terms of race – ie I am a black person – but instead designated themselves by tribe – I am Mandinka, Serere or Wolof. A Mandinka would probably sell a Wolof to a slave trader, but not a fellow Mandinka. Before the Europeans, they would sell individuals from conquered tribes to other tribal units or to the Arabs. The loyalty was to the tribe and not to the race, since I doubt that the conception of race ( “we are all black people together”) even existed among Africans at that point. The defining point of self was the tribe. You can argue that it is still like that today in many parts of Africa, where the tribe is venerated over even the nation itself – see Rwanda. But like I said, it still does not excuse the horrors of it all. The idea of Africans being united by colouring or the fact that they are from the same continent has always been a big farce – even in the heyday of “Pan-Africanism.” It was useful to the extent that it allowed the self-interested and exploitative leaders to of the respective countries rally the locals and expel the colonial powers.

      • KAW says:

        To add to this, people saying Africans sold Africans is like saying African Americans owned African Americans (which on surface level was factual in a few incidents but hardly the norm), or Indians sold New York for ribbons. I believe the rhetoric is a purposeful way to mitigate the scale of European planning and participation in the trade. Slavery was a corporate enterprise. I can’t think of one tribal ship/company that actually wheeled and dealed in slavery like the DEIC

        • KAW,

          Okay now: You should have ‘fessed up bout your ethnic identity during this comment, and revealed that you’re a 2nd generation African (as you mentioned in another comment later on). So the audience can put your comment in its proper perspective.

          You said, “people saying Africans sold Africans is like saying African Americans owned African Americans (which on surface level was factual in a few incidents but hardly the norm), or Indians sold New York for ribbons.”

          I beg to differ. What I find (in terms of AAs owning other AAs as slaves) is that the more detailed material I read, the more FOUL facts and incidents I run across. Foul facts and incidents that don’t neatly fit into the “it was all White folks’ fault” narrative. I’ll repeat one example that I mentioned in a previous post,

          There’s an episode I came across while reading a biography of 19th century Black Nationalist, Martin Delany. The author mentions some quotes from Mr. Delany’s letters about Liberia:

          “While he hailed the Liberian Declaration of Independence a week later, Delany declared that he regarded, ‘Liberia in its present state as having thwarted the design of the original schemers, the slaveholding founders, which evidently was intended, as they frequently proclaimed it, as a receptacle for the freed colored people and superannuated slaves of America; but we view it in the light of a source of subsequent enterprise, which no colored American should permit himself to lose sight of.’

          The reverse of the coin? The head of the judicial system in independent Liberia was a Judge Benedict who was ‘a person of no force of character or fixed moral principles.’ It seems he had bought his wife out of slavery, and when she objected to his taking some mistresses, tried to sell her back into slavery.” Martin R. Delany: The Beginnings of Black Nationalism, pgs. 100-101 (emphasis added).

          This foul episode was mentioned as an aside in the book. From what I can tell, there hasn’t been much mention about these sorts of incidents. I haven’t run across a book or other material that made a point of researching and estimating the frequency of these sorts of incidents. [I would expect that most AA historians wouldn’t be interested in documenting this for ideological reasons. And non-Black scholars wouldn’t want to risk the firestorm of being accused of racism in seeking out this information.]

          In light of the popular human inclination toward getting over on other people whenever possible, I doubt that this sort of behavior was an isolated incident. And since no ethnic group is unique in terms of its members doing foul things, I would expect similar un-recorded things happened in terms of the Africans selling Africans and the Native American nations doing foul things to enemy Native nations.

          [Which ties into how different Native Americans made competing alliances with different European settlers. From one of my favorite authors and bloggers, the War Nerd:

          The worst thing a world power can do is pick sides in a non-stop tribal war for sentimental reasons. You know why we’re speaking English and not French? Because way back in 1609, the French explorer Champlain hooked up with a Huron war party and headed south into New York. He liked the Huron, they liked him (the French had much more respect for the Injuns than the Brits, generally got along well with them) and when the Huron went into battle against a tribe they told the Frenchman was their hereditary enemy, he couldn’t resist a chance to help his allies and show off his hi-tech military equipment. This being 1609, the hi-tech gadget was a huge arqebuse, more like a shoulder-fired cannon than a modern rifle — but when Champlain lit the fuse, pointed the barrel at an enemy chief and fired, he made an even bigger impression than he meant to. Sure, he killed the enemy chief and probably got to strut like a 17th-c. Pimp all the way back to Tribal HQ…but he also doomed the French in North America.

          See, the Hurons’ hereditary enemy happened to be the Iroquois, who were not just the tribe next door. They were a six-tribe confederation, one of the few big, stable alliances among the North American Native tribes, with a reputation for holding a grudge forever. From the moment Champlain fired his hand-cannon, the Iroquois were the sworn enemy of the French and the allies of the English.

          So even though the French knew how to make friends with the natives and the Brits didn’t, the Brits had the biggest and most powerful tribe in the Northeast on their side. From then on, the Brits had the advantage. It took them another 150 years to take Quebec, but once the Iroquois swore vengeance, that area was as doomed as Constantinople.

          http://exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=8282&IBLOCK_ID=35%5D

          Expect Success!

      • Robynne,

        I 100% co-sign. It’s a mistake to assume that other Black folks from around the globe (past or present) think of “race” in the same ways as one’s own ethnic group (whatever group that may be). For many people, their circle of concern only extends as far as their own particular ethnic group—and not to the other Black folks who share their country.

        I would guess that in terms of Africans who feel this way, this is partially because of the artificial borders drawn up under colonialism. These artificial borders had the effect of putting different ethnic groups together in the same political unit—when these people had never been part of the same kingdom, emirate, empire or whatever before.

        Expect Success!

  43. **Audience Note**

    I used the “reply” function to respond to the most recent set of comments. Please check above.

  44. Felicia says:

    “I beg to differ. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no “we” in terms of me and Africans. Africans’ problems (whether in Africa or elsewhere) are THEIR problems. I’m not involved in any of that.”

    My motto is charity begins at home. Obviously I’m not one to tell anyone else how to spend their time and hard earned resources and would demand the same respect in return. However, I DO find it odd that Black Americans can find the wherewithal, determination, and focus to give resources AWAY to blacks outside their culture/nationality while leaving their collective black American children to often fend for themselves.

    http://www.gondobaymangafoundation.org/#/home/

    There are black American children suffering right here in this country. And in spite of actor Isaiah Washington being sworn in as a Sierra Leonean citizen,

    http://www.thepatrioticvanguard.com/spip.php?article5165

    he is an African-American first and foremost. And thus under normal circumstances (MOST African-Americans think, act, and behave ABNORMALLY IMHO) his resources naturally would be put towards improving the lives of black American children who share his culture and history.

    The ONLY reason why Isaiah Washington was welcomed with open arms as a “long lost son” was because he was bringing RESOURCES/MONEY to the table. Which makes perfect sense. Diasphoric black celebrities and other black folks of means appear gullible, naive, and needy, when they eat this “brother”/”sister” stuff up. IMO it appears that there is something lacking within their soul. This seeming need for acceptance from anyone not African-American.

    On the POSITIVE side, thankfully we have liberal white Americans of means and noteriarty who are interested enough in the plight of black AMERICAN families.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6181639n&tag=related;photovideo

    MAKE IT RIGHT FOUNDATION…

    http://www.makeitrightnola.org/

    OK Off my soapbox. Anyone is free to agree or disagree. This is just my two-cents.

    • Felicia,

      You said, “However, I DO find it odd that Black Americans can find the wherewithal, determination, and focus to give resources AWAY to blacks outside their culture/nationality while leaving their collective black American children to often fend for themselves.”

      Yep, this is crazy. It’s deeply dysfunctional and self-defeating behavior.

      You said, “The ONLY reason why Isaiah Washington was welcomed with open arms as a “long lost son” was because he was bringing RESOURCES/MONEY to the table. Which makes perfect sense. Diasphoric black celebrities and other black folks of means appear gullible, naive, and needy, when they eat this “brother”/”sister” stuff up. IMO it appears that there is something lacking within their soul. This seeming need for acceptance from anyone not African-American.”

      ITA. {smh}

      Expect Success!

  45. Ali says:

    – – – -“Shining a light” on this hasn’t done anything to stop these brutal assaults on AA women and girls. – – – –

    Perhaps not, but it was reading The Color purple – long, long ago – that first made me so passionate about helping BW and girls that has translated into working with afterschool program for ‘urban’ jr. high school girls. Seeing and hearing these awful stories makes me want to do everything I can to convince BW friends and relatives – hell BW I hardly know – to try IR.

    The perps are gonna do what they do, but I wonder how many BW who are on the ‘fence’ saw one of these ‘tragic tales ‘ or read ‘The bluest eye’ and quietly decided to get the hell out.

    The problem is, as you’ve stated – and it can’t be denied – Precious isn’t exactly a good look. I refused to see the film when it came out, and I still refuse, it makes me so angry.

    I feel like when WW or AW do their ‘tragic tales’ they are careful to make the stars beautiful, slender flowers – victims of a cruel world. In the black ‘tragic tales’ they make the women as fat, ugly, and unappealing as possible . . . . . . . . . . .

    – – – – – –The other way it stops is when more AA women attach themselves to more powerful, stronger, non-Black men who will MAKE it stop regarding their individual Black wives and half-Black daughters. The masses of AA men have not and will not protect or provide for AA women and children. Therefore, more individual AA women have to find an alternate set of Alpha-male protectors. – – – – – –

    Ha ha – you won’t find any disagreement here. I’ve been doing my thing for years. But there’s a problem with this . . . . . .many, many women esp. the fantasia types – are not at this level yet, and never will be.

    Khadija, what you are talking about takes motivation, self esteem and a fairly high level of reasoning. Just the other day I read an article on the Essence website – apparently this was ‘the summer of black love’. The writer said that she felt certain that ‘black love’ was coming back. It just ruined my day, reading that, (No more Essence for me) because I keep expecting/waiting for this mass movement.

    I am afraid that most black women are not going to do any of the things you are outlining. Most of them are waiting, and will continue to wait, for ‘black love’.

    What about all those women? What is to be done for them?

    The situation with Asian women is not comparable because Asian women – whether they are Korean or Indian or Chinese – were all 100% agreed on the swirl from the beginning. Whatever their cultural and language differences, they managed to turn their image around so quickly because when it comes to marrying white men, they were all acting as one.

    Not so with black women. Try criticizing the ‘black love’ concept next time you’re at the beauty parlor, and see what you get.

    – – – – – – -That requires some thought…if I think of anything that fits this description, I’ll get back to you.
    Expect Success! – – – – – – –

    I am also thinking of films. But I’ve got a tv show – weren’t Gabrielle union and Aisha Tyler both on the show Friends? And then there is that movie ‘guess who’s coming to dinner now?’ w/ Zoe Saldana . . . .but it’s slim pickings . . . . . . . . .

    • Ali,

      You said, “I am afraid that most black women are not going to do any of the things you are outlining. Most of them are waiting, and will continue to wait, for ‘black love’.

      What about all those women? What is to be done for them?

      Several thoughts in reply:

      1-We must abandon the hive mentality that says the move toward abundant life must wait until there’s a solution in place for each and every AA woman. If “most” AA women choose to wait on “Black love,” then that’s their own free and voluntary choice. Once they’ve been presented with another view and other answers, what they choose to do with that information is up to them. If they choose not to act on life-enhancing and life-saving information, that’s their business.

      2-Keeping the above in mind, the only thing that “can be done” for these women is to give them the life-saving information. It’s a fool’s errand to try to rescue people who don’t want to be rescued.

      3-God respects free will; and so do I. Therefore, let the dead bury the dead. The show will go on for the rest of us who “get” it. I also suspect that more of these women will wake up as they watch the rest of us leave them behind and thrive. Sometimes, the bad feeling of knowing that you’re being left behind by your peers is more motivating than all the pep talks in the world.

      You said, “The situation with Asian women is not comparable because Asian women – whether they are Korean or Indian or Chinese – were all 100% agreed on the swirl from the beginning. Whatever their cultural and language differences, they managed to turn their image around so quickly because when it comes to marrying white men, they were all acting as one.”

      I respectfully disagree. I don’t get the feeling that Asian women checked-in with anybody—or asked anybody else’s permission—about their marriage choices. Including checking-in with each other Asian women. It seems to me that individual Asian women did whatever worked best for them as individuals. It started with a trickle of Asian women risking being thought of as prostitutes when they married White American servicemen. And then the floodgates opened wide (of AW being open to marrying WM) after other Asian women saw how these original AW “pioneers” benefitted from their marriages to WM.

      Expect Success!

  46. Karen R. says:

    When I was in a verbally abusive employer-employee relationship, I was asked one time “what is it about ________ that makes him worthy of your desire to be affirmed by him? That question was so clarifying for me because it made me think long and hard about why I put up with the abuse. It also made me realize what I thought about myself and that is I thought my former broker was wiser, smarter, etc. and that “if only” I made him even more money, I would gain his approval and therefore join his ranks. Embedded in my thought process (at the time) was the belief he was “better.” When we tolerate abuse it is almost always based on the belief that the abuser is better and that we deserve it or are otherwise not entitled.

    • KarenR.,

      You said, “When we tolerate abuse it is almost always based on the belief that the abuser is better and that we deserve it or are otherwise not entitled.”

      I agree.

      Expect Success!

  47. Nathalie says:

    Fantastic talk with multiple threads. I want to come back to what you and Roslyn were talking about in analyzing black inferiority and its relationship to black nationalism. As a parent of a young child I do a lot of thinking about how to inoculate my child in the face of constant inception messages of white superiority in the larger world and media. I’ve been thinking about the limitations of what black nationalist/ afrocentric cultural resources offer- basically the “we were kings and queens”..”we invented..so many things”..”Black is beautiful” 3 part harmony. The problem with this is that the evidence, i.e.; reality that our children see everyday clearly reveals that..so what–black people are still in a hot mess, and most clearly don’t really believe the Afrocentrix or love their culture/blackness themselves. I think, in addition to what Roslyn points out, that this is another part of the problem with black nationalist/afrocentric rhetoric—it doesn’t address the contradictions between what it espouses—black/African genius— and the very real hot mess we see in Africa and throughout the African diaspora. And when people respond by saying, “well , that’s because Eurpoeans/The White Man did ____” that line of defense only reinforces the notion of white superiority and black victimization. I am using afrocentric/African school-age resources as well as other reinforcements to give my child a sense of what is positive and unique about his race and culture, but I am also looking ahead to figure out how to address this contradiction. If others on this blog are already doing that work addressing the contradiction in honest, healthy, empowering, age appropriate ways with children, I’d love to hear more and would be happy to talk via email/facebook.

    Also, both my parents are Caribbean so I have dealt with this black superiority/inferiority nonsense from all sides. It’s refreshing to hear it discussed here for what it is—attempts by others to use white supremacy to humiliate African Americans, feel better about themselves, and do the work of racists for them, without pay or thanks. I appreciate the keeping it real at the same time, about the dysfunction that we are seeing in the black American community and the fact that no sane person is going to want any part of that. Love this blog. Is there a T-shirt? Can a sista get a t-shirt? lol.

    • Truth P. says:

      Hi Nathalie,I just wanted to tell you that I admire that you are working hard to bring your child up with a healthy view of their African and African American heritage.I think one of the things you can do first is to let your child know that we define ourselves as individuals.Encourage your child to be great at whatever they do,of course.

      I wish I had the answer for you on how to help your child not view Africans and African Americans as being inferior to whites but I don’t.Personally when I was a child I had a black supremacist view because of my parents.In the grand scheme of things though I feel that my mothers way of making me view African and African Americans as being actually better than whites was messed up and sometimes akin to what Pat Robinson said about Haiti it help me view myself as better than others.I had a high self esteem when I left my home and went into the greater society.Though I do not suggest this for you because there has to be a better way.Anywho,I don’t know if you all know this but Pat Robinson made a claim that Haitians made a deal with the devil/satan/shaytan in order to defeat the french.It’s like Pat couldn’t fathom blacks being better at war or anything else than whites as if blacks are inherently inferior.Well growing up my mother said that white folks were inherently evil,hence their ability to create guns bombs etc, and that God was just using them to bring us back to him because we(black folks) are the people of God,smh.Even though I know this is wrong I have found that many people i’ve come across of different races and various religions had been told something similar Jews,Muslims,Christians and others.I don’t condone what my family did but I understand why it was done.

      I think ultimately a combination of learning about my own history, as well as other people’s history, and learning the bible, helped me to develop the good view I have of myself today being someone of African American descent. I also think what helps me is the fact that I view the current condition of blacks world wide as a choice and not something that is impossible to undo.That belief alone keeps me with a high self esteem because I know that blacks are not where they are because of being born or created inferior but because we have made a bunch of bad decisions.There have been other groups that have been enslaved or are almost extinct in this world and though there have been outward factors that contributed in their downfall most of it was internal and the problems tend to start within the group before anybody can “infiltrate the system”.

    • Nathalie,

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

      You said, “I’ve been thinking about the limitations of what black nationalist/ afrocentric cultural resources offer- basically the “we were kings and queens”..”we invented..so many things”..”Black is beautiful” 3 part harmony.”

      “3 part harmony”…{laughter}

      You said, “The problem with this is that the evidence, i.e.; reality that our children see everyday clearly reveals that..so what–black people are still in a hot mess, and most clearly don’t really believe the Afrocentrix or love their culture/blackness themselves. I think, in addition to what Roslyn points out, that this is another part of the problem with black nationalist/afrocentric rhetoric—it doesn’t address the contradictions between what it espouses—black/African genius— and the very real hot mess we see in Africa and throughout the African diaspora. And when people respond by saying, “well , that’s because Eurpoeans/The White Man did ____” that line of defense only reinforces the notion of white superiority and black victimization.”

      ITA…and it’s something that never occurred to me before hearing you say this. Nathalie, THANK YOU for moving this analysis forward! We need to understand how this backfired so we can come up with messages that actually succeed in being empowering.

      Expect Success!

      • LaJane Galt says:

        I would argue that it starts at home. For AfAm, we worry about Africa as far as the DNA test. After that,put in the back burner and focus on your families professions, migrations, military service…talk to your old folks

    • This is something I’ve been thinking about since my son was born, and I think I have at least a partial answer. More than anything I want my son to have a healthy attitude about his ethnic heritage and background. I know that I grew up with this, but I really struggled trying to figure out why that was so. My parents were poor with little formal education, but with a great deal of pride in who they were and their accomplishments. Back then black folk were a mess, not to the degree that they are now, but certainly there was plenty of mess. Even back then our family was seen as “different.” Obviously that “difference” came in the way our family functioned and the core values and pride we were taught. As parents we sometimes underestimate the impact we have on our children. We are stronger and more powerful than the streets and the ABC-crew, as long as we exercise that power.

      Just like everything else with children we have to walk what we talk. Children are the best BS detectors in the world. They’ll know if we don’t believe in what we’re teaching them. We can talk about loving ourselves and our culture, but if what our children see every morning is us cursing our nappy hair and how awful it is to work with, that is what they’ll learn. (Please note, this is not anti-relaxer, it’s about our attitudes toward our hair texture.)

      And I think this is ultimately why the various movements of the past failed: We talked it, but we didn’t walk it. You can’t have a movement about freedom and liberation and then say the only position for a woman is “prone.” You can’t say “black is beautiful” then make jokes about nappy hair or full lips or say you “don’t want nothing black but a Cadillac.” The same is true for racial epithets and other coarse language. Your home has to be an island of sanity in a sea of craziness. I truly believe that if you manage that your children will grow up with a strong sense of self, and pride in their skin color and heritage.

  48. Faith says:

    I’m so glad you continue to introduce these conversations because quite frankly I’m not seeing them elsewhere and certainly not from at a forum that has proven to be truly supportive of black women and in particular AA women.

    I hope the Obama-based currency doesn’t reverse itself as quickly the way the value of the Euro trumped the US Dollar. I distinctly remember having to tell some Brits I was Canadian and how I made an effort to wear my Roots (a Canadian sporting goods company) jacket because of the anger over the Iraq occupation back in 2003. My being black gave me no quarter amongst some people who did not separate the gov’t policies from the individual citizen (as I’m sure some have difficulty doing in relation to countries in the Middle East).

    The currency of having US citizenship is invaluable as a traveller but can be a bit of hindrance when it comes time to seek legal employment. The leniency and amnesity that exists here for some immigrants does not exist abroad.

    I appreciate the discussion about Spain and the considerations of language, history and a more in depth analysis of who and how Latino is categorized as well. For example looking at Argentina and the ties to Italy had me wondering if it was an increasing population with Italian heritage who speak Spanish. I know this challenges the political agenda of tying all Latinos together but if the Spanish language was an indication the separation of Nosotros/Vosotros was always seen by me at least of a means of distinction of the Europeans from the “others”.

    I mean even in Spain, the Basque people want to have their own distinct culture and language officially and formally recognized. I find it all very fascinating. The Northern region of Spain is of interest to me because Salvadore Dali lived in Cadaques and there’s a museum on site. If I had $100K now would be the buy up property….ah well….

    • Faith,

      Thank you for your kind words about the work I’m trying to do at this forum; I truly appreciate it.

      You said, “I mean even in Spain, the Basque people want to have their own distinct culture and language officially and formally recognized. I find it all very fascinating.”

      Yes, I find all of that interesting as well. It’s been fascinating listening to ethnic White work buddies speak about their various (European) inter-ethnic tensions and the historical squabbles that they’re based on. Which has reinforced for me the fact that AAs are the only ones who have historical amnesia to our degree. Other folks remember historical vendettas from centuries ago as if it happened yesterday.

      Expect Success!

  49. Yes, yes, yes!!! People of color and women of color, I had to let it go!

    On India and the caste system. I practice yoga and have for over ten years. There are so many yogis who feel they have to make a pilgrimage to India so they can experience the place first hand. You know, do the poverty and suffering tour and say they’ve practiced in India. Umm yeah, well this African-American woman is not about to go to a place where they characterize dark-skinned people as untouchable. I live in the U.S.!! I already have enough racism in my diet thank you. I am not about to spend money to experience even more.

    Fabulous post!!! Know that you are valued beyond even what you know!

    Peace

  50. Felicia says:

    Regarding my last comments about charity beginning at home. I certainly don’t wish to minimize in any way the positive contributions that Isaiah Washington is making with his organization.

    Help is good.

    My only point is that since Khadija pointed out the fact the non African-Americans period regardless of “race” tend to support FIRST those from their own cultural/ethnic/historical groups – almost instinctively – I’ve also begun to notice the phenomenon of black folks in America doing the complete opposite of this practice.

    Case in point Almaz Bohm. She is the Ethiopian wife of the well known actor (in Europe) and humanitarian Karlheinz Boehm.

    http://www.isarbote.de/andrea_s_boulevard/boulevard-archiv_12/Fam.Bohm1FotoSigiMuller.jpg

    http://cache3.asset-cache.net/xc/80837951.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=77BFBA49EF8789215ABF3343C02EA5486D5D4E6BF2DB4FEEEBFD93AB65AC57D73591F796DEE7A509E30A760B0D811297

    http://allafrica.com/stories/200610310632.html

    Addis Ababa — President Girma Wolde-Giorgis said that the government would continue supporting the activities of Menschen fur Menschen (MfM), in its efforts to implementing various development projects in Ethiopia. MfM founder Karl Heinz Bohem vows to continue in his development endeavors in Ethiopia until his last breath.

    Speaking at a ceremony organized late on Sunday to mark the silver jubilee of the organization, President Girma commended the commitment to Ethiopia of Karlheinz Bohm, founder and chairman of MfM, and the development activities his organization carried out over the last 25 years.”

    I honestly feel that whatever country his wife would have hailed from, if there were children from HER particular country suffering, Karl Heinz Boehm would be sharing his resources to help those particular black folks. Because his wife is Ethiopian, and his children are half Ethiopian, his first instinct is “charity begins at home”. “When I help them, I help a part of myself” based on his children.

    Anyway, it just seems natural to me to focus on the home front first. That’s what most people do.