Reader-Inspired Course Corrections From YMB
The willingness to listen with humility, to accept correction, and to engage in self-correction are qualities that I value. In that spirit, I’ve decided to imitate one of my favorite bloggers, Fabius Maximus, by doing an ongoing series of posts documenting instances (as they occur) where readers have either corrected my misconceptions or pointed out blind spots in my thinking. As I’ve always stressed, I’m definitely not any sort of guru, and I learn a lot from listening to the readers. Here’s the most recent reader-inspired course correction in my thinking―a reader named YMB pointed out something I had missed.
During a recent post, I said,
WHEN YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE DOING SOMETHING, THAT’S A CLUE THAT WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING IS NOT A GOOD IDEA
Here and at the previous blog, we’ve discussed a number of self-defeating behaviors that only African-American women engage in on a mass level:
. . . African-American women are alone on this planet in characterizing all romantic interest from men outside their racial group as a negative “fetish.” As I said during this post,
Faith, blog host of Acts Of Faith In Love And Life, is currently having an extremely important conversation. She’s raising points that need to be repeated among African-American women and girls who want to live well. And among those African-American women who want to maximize the odds of their future children living well. She asks the question, Are Asian Woman Trophy Wives, Or Just Smart At Picking Quality Husbands?
I would answer “both.” Yes, non-Asian men have stereotypes about Asian women. However, Asian women are shrewd enough to work those stereotypes to their individual (and indirectly to their collective) advantage! This is a lesson that more African-American women need to learn. We’re so preoccupied with issues of political correctness that we cut our own throats in terms of maximizing our marriage options. Nobody else operates like this. Certainly not Black men, including the many Pan-African Black male activists who talked “Black” this and that, and married White women. Including that scholar-hero of the ultra-Black, “Blacker than thou” crowd,
Cheikh Anta Diop (yep the very one considered one of the greatest African historians of the 20th century a senegalese) married Louise Marie Maes, a French woman in 1953 in Paris.
Many African-American women worry about nonblack men having a so-called “fetish” with the traits that these men find attractive. Let’s think about this for a moment. We’re actually bothered and offended when a nonblack man finds our West African-derived skin tones, features, and hair textures attractive. Why is it called a “fetish” if a nonblack man is able to appreciate Black women’s beauty? Meanwhile, we live among a collective of African-American men who are open about their hatred of those same West African complexions, features and hair textures in women! [See statements by creatures such as Yung Berg, NeYo, and so on. See statements and actions by countless other African-American men.]
And instead of calling these Black men the anti-Black racists that they are, we water down the language we use to describe what these racist Black males refer to as their “preferences.” So, there’s a post that asks, Does Hip Hop Like Light Skinned Girls Too Much? I need not say much more about how that question is being framed. It’s sort of like asking, “Does the Klan like white sheets and hoods too much?” In both cases, phrasing the question and the so-called “preference” that way deliberately misses the point.
Back to “fetishes.” Does it still count as a so-called “fetish” when the nonblack man is willing and eager to make a particular Black woman his wife first, and then the mother of his children? This type of “fetish” seems so much more respectful of the woman involved than a male who never offers marriage, and is willing to see his children by that woman born out of wedlock.
Instead of screening, dating, and possibly marrying nonblack men who might have a so-called “fetish” about their undiluted West African features that operates FOR them, many African-American women restrict themselves to dating Black men who have openly-declared fetishes that operate AGAINST them. How crazy is that?
YMB MENTIONED AN IMPORTANT POINT THAT I MISSED ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF BLACK WOMEN’S “FETISH” PARANOIA ABOUT NONBLACK MEN APPRECIATING THEIR BEAUTY
During this same conversation, YMB said:
I don’t think that BW concocted the whole “fetish” and “exotic” paranoia, although I think the lack of belief of our own worth and beauty is why so many BW have bought into that mindset. We are the only race of women that castigates rather than celebrates their uniqueness.
The “fetish” tactic was thought up by WW in an effort to tar and stifle WM’s noted interest in AW. The difference being that when AW were presented with this, they rejected it wholesale as a ploy to paint genuine attraction to non-white women as freakish and wrong and to block WM from elevating AW to the same status as WW. Meanwhile BW got the same message and thought, “he likes my kinky hair, brown skin, and African features– how unnatural!”
She’s right. This “fetish” talk was originally a weapon that White women forged to block Asian women’s access to marrying quality, “Alpha” White men. It was a real-world example of attempted “inception.” Asian women were smart and self-confident enough to turn that “fetish” idea to their own individual and collective advantage. Only African-American women (and similarly situated Western Black women) were mentally beaten down and silly enough to get caught in that worrying about a “fetish” snare. It’s yet another example of how easy it is for outsiders to successfully perform “inception” on African-Americans. As I mentioned during this post,
The pity is that, unlike in the movie, most African-Americans don’t have to be drugged to be vulnerable to inception. Simply hearing somebody else say something is enough to influence most of us.
ONE SAFEGUARD AGAINST INCEPTION IS TO ALWAYS ASK “CUI BONO?”
More African-American women must learn to constantly ask themselves the question: “Cui bono?” ["Who benefits?"]
Who benefits from the suggestion or argument that Person X is giving me? Now, it is possible to have win-win situations where Person X benefits along with Person Y with whom they’re speaking. But most African-American women are not presented with win-win sort of advice or political arguments. Usually it’s I Win, And You (African-American woman) Lose advice. Most African-American women are surrounded by people who are operating a zero-sum game—people who win when that Black woman loses.
So, we need to learn to constantly ask ourselves, “Cui bono?”
- Who benefits from things (including my actions) remaining the same?
- Who benefits from me making a change of some sort?
- Who benefits from the arguments that are being presented to me?
- Who benefits from the course of action being advocated?
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU PONDERED “CUI BONO”?
I’d like to hear from the audience about the most recent examples in which you thought through the question “Cui bono?” My most recent incident was during a previous conversation when I discussed the case of Ms. Kelley Williams-Bolar and said,
Non-African-American outsiders (such as the libertarians) who give verbal support to thieves like this woman usually have some sort of ideological axe to grind. They wouldn’t support this woman stealing the benefit of their property taxes. They don’t want this woman or her daughter reaping the benefit of the taxes they paid into their personal school districts. White libertarians verbally support this woman because they want to destroy the unions. They are supporting this woman’s thievery only as a means to an end (destroying unions).
Cultivating critical thinking skills can mean the difference between abundant life and a needlessly diminished life.
I forgot to mention the following:
IF THERE’S SOMETHING YOU WANT ME TO RETHINK, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SEND ME SOME INFORMATION IN SUPPORT OF YOUR VIEWS
As you can see, at times I make course corrections in my views in response to readers’ input. I’ve never been in training to be Joseph Stalin. I prefer to focus the conversations on our own thought processes and actions, since those things are under our direct control as individuals. So, I’d rather not spend a lot of time rehashing what “they” (whoever “they” might be) are doing to “us.”
However, I am inviting audience members to use this and future Reader-Inspired Course Correction posts to raise other points (of disagreement or otherwise) that you want me to rethink and reconsider. This ties into my overall policy about dissent: I have no problem with dissent about the means that are suggested for achieving the goal of lifestyle optimization for African-American women and girls. However, I refuse to engage in lengthy discussions with people who are opposed to the very goal of lifestyle optimization for African-American women and girls. Of course, there’s no guarantee that I’ll change my mind; but I will consider all information that’s put forth.
PLEASE ALSO CONSIDER THIS AN “OPEN FORUM” OPPORTUNITY
This invitation doesn’t only include points of disagreement. Feel welcome to bring up issues you’d like to discuss that I haven’t talked about. Please consider these Reader-Inspired Course Correction posts as “open forum” posts.