Why Are Black Women Hurting Each Other?
If it was up to reality television, a lot of people of different races would probably think that black women couldn’t get together without drink throwing, bottle chucking, and shoes coming off before someone’s weave is snatched. We’ve debated that topic before. Many of us can accept that this is not our reality. We can get together and be civilized and not go through the motions of acting a fool in public places. But there is still an elephant in the room: black women really can’t stand other black women.
Let me make it clear that this is not the case for all of us. Please read that again. This is not everyone’s truth. But unfortunately, we have some sort of bitterness towards each other for one reason or another. I can’t tell you how many times my mom and I have gone out shopping and we get these looks from other black women as if we did something to them. We don’t know these ladies and yet they spew venom with just an evil glare. I’ve gone to places where a black woman is working, and get met with an attitude no matter how nice I am. I just don’t understand it.
I pretty much smile at whoever I make eye contact with. It’s just a habit. But I really make it a point to do so when I make eye contact with another black woman. And can you believe sometimes I get a response like an eye roll or a scowl? Woah, I don’t even know you. Why are you mad at me? It used to make me extremely uncomfortable growing up. I would feel like black women were staring at me and talking about me and I never knew what I did. As I continued to grow, I kept experiencing it and it was just sort of the norm.
The reasons could vary. You should see the negative conversation that happens when it comes to skin color. I’ve heard snide remarks about another sista’s clothing or hairstyle. Your job, your car, your home, anything is up for grabs for some women to talk about. I just don’t understand why. We tear down ladies who look just like us for no reason. People don’t like Jada. Folks talk about Gabby’s hair. Women aren’t satisfied with Halle. And don’t even get them started about Beyonce. It’s just a bunch of negative energy directed towards each other.
We should be embracing one another, not tearing each other down. The attitudes should disappear. Smile, don’t scowl, at the next black woman you see. Don’t think the worst of her, think the best of her. We allow jealousy and envy to get in the way of finding common ground. The ladies you’re talking down to have feelings. The women you refused to smile at may have really needed that smile. The one you think you’re better than could be in the same position as you.
I want to see us continue to build each other up, support each other, and love each other. We’ve been doing better, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. We have to help each other, not hurt each other.
Oprah has been discussing the Terrible Things that Women Do to Each Other during her Life Class. Check out this video about why women compete with one another:
School Yourself !!!
The Souls of Black Folks by Dr. W.E.B DuBois
Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey and Bob Blaisdell
The Mis-Education of the Negro by Dr. Carter G Woodson
Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Breaking the Curse of Willie Lynch: The Science of Slave Psychology by Alvin Morrow
The Destruction of Black Civilization by Chancellor Williams
Revolutionary Suicide by Dr. Huey P Newton
Assata by Assata Shakur
Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington
Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley
Religion Against Humanity
By Wole Soyinka
Intervention by Wole Soyinka, Member of UNESCO’s International High Panel, at the 2012 Conference on the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence, United Nations Hdqrs, New York, Sept. 21 2012
To such a degree has Religion fueled conflict, complicated politics, retarded social development and impaired human relations across the world, that one is often tempted to propose that Religion is innately an enemy of Humanity, if not indeed of itself a crime against Humanity. Certainly it cannot be denied that Religion has proved again and again a spur, a motivator, and a justification for the commission of some of the most horrifying crimes against humanity, despite its fervent affirmations of peace. Let us however steer away from hyperbolic propositions and simply settle for this moderating moral imperative: that it is time that the world adopt a position that refuses to countenance Religion as an acceptable justification for, excuse or extenuation of – crimes against humanity.
While it should be mandatory that states justify their place as members of a world community by educating their citizens on the entitlement of religion to a place within society, and the obligations of mutual acceptance and respect, it should be deemed unacceptable that the world is held to ransom for the uneducated conduct of a few, and placed in a condition of fear, apprehension, leading to a culture of appeasement. There are critical issues of human well-being and survival that deserve the undivided attention of leaders all over the world. Let us recall that it is not anti-islamists who have lately desecrated and destroyed – and with such fiendish self-righteousness – the tombs of Moslem saints in Timbuktoo, most notoriously the mausoleum of the Imam Moussa al-Khadin, declared a world heritage under the protection of UNESCO and accorded pride of place in African patrimony . The orientation – backed by declarations – of these violators leaves us with a foreboding that the invaluable library treasures of Timbuktoo may be next.
The truth, alas, is that the science fiction archetype of the mad scientist who craves to dominate the world has been replaced by the mad cleric who can only conceive of the world in his own image, proudly flaunting Bond’s Double-0-7 credentials – Licensed to Kill. The sooner national leaders and genuine religious leaders understand this, and admit that no nation has any lack of its own dangerous loonies, be they known as Ansar-Dine of Mali, or Terry Jones of Florida, the earlier they will turn their attention to real issues truly deserving human priority. These cited clerics and their ilk are descendants of the ancient line of iconoclasts of Islamic, christian and other religious moulds who have destroyed the antecedent spirituality and divine emblems of the African peoples over centuries. Adherents of those African religions, who remain passionately attached to their beliefs, all the way across the Atlantic – in Brazil and across other parts of Latin America – have not taken to wreaking vengeance on their presumed violators in far off lands.
These emulators are still at work on the continent, most devastatingly in Somalia, with my own nation Nigeria catching up with mind-boggling rapidity and intensity. Places of worship are primary targets, followed by institutes of education. Innocent humanity, eking out their miserable livelihood, are being blown to pieces, presumably to relieve them of their misery. Schools and school pupils are assailed in religion fueled orgies, measured, deliberate and deadly. The hands of the clock of progress and social development have been arrested, then reversed in widening swathes of the Nigerian landscape. As if the resources of the nation were not already stretched to breaking point, they must now also be diverted to anticipating the consequences – as in numerous nations around the world – that would predictably follow the cinematic obscenities of a new entrant into the ranks of religious denigrators, who turns out – irony of ironies – to have originated from the African continent.
In sensible families, while every possible effort is made to smooth the passage of children through life, children are taught to understand that life is not a seamless robe of many splendours, but prone to the possibility of being besmirched by the unexpected, and unpredictable. A solid core of confidence in one’s moral and spiritual choices is thus sufficient to withstand external assaults from sudden and hostile forces. That principle of personality development is every bit as essential as the education that inculcates respect for the belief systems and practices of others. The most intense ethical education, including severe social sanctions, has not eradicated material corruption, exploitation, child defilement and murders in society, not even deterrents such as capital punishment. How then can anyone presume that there shall be no violations of the ideal state of religious tolerance to which we all aspire, or demand that the world stand still, cover its head in sackcloth and ashes, grovel in self-abasement or else prepare itself for earthly pestilence for failure to anticipate the occasional penetration of their self ascribed carapace of inviolability.
It is time to demand a sense of proportion, and realism. Communication advance has made it possible for both good and evil to transcend boundaries virtually at the speed of light, and for the spores of hatred to travel just as fast, and as widely as the seeds of harmony. The world should not continue to acquiesce in the brutal culture of extremism that demands the impossible – control of the conduct of millions in their individual spheres, under different laws, usages, cultures and indeed – degrees of sanity.
What gives hope is the very special capacity of man for dialogue, and that arbiter is foreclosed, or endures interminable postponements as long as one side arrogates to itself the right to respond to a pebble thrown by an infantile hand in Papua New Guinea with attempts to demolish the Rock of Gibraltar. I use the word ‘infantile’ deliberately, because these alleged insults to religion are no different from the infantile scribble we encounter in public toilets, the product of infantilism and retarded development. We have learnt to ignore, and walk away from them. They should not be answered by equally infantile responses that are however incendiary and homicidal in dimension, and largely directed against the innocent, since the originating hand is usually, in any case, beyond reach. With the remorseless march of technology, we shall all be caught in a spiral of reprisals, tailored to wound, to draw virtual blood. The other side responds with real blood and gore, also clotting up the path to rational discourse. What we are witnesses to in recent times is that such proceeding is being accorded legitimacy on the grounds of religious sensibility. It is pathetic to demand what cannot be guaranteed. It is futile to attempt to rein in technology: the solution is to use that very technology to correct noxious conceptions in the minds of the perpetrators of abuse, and educate the ignorant.
I speak as one from a nation whose normal diet of economic disparity, corruption, marginalization, ethnic and political cleavages has been further compounded by the ascendancy of religious jingoism. It is a lamentable retrogression from the nearly forgotten state of harmonious coexistence that I lived and enjoyed as a child. One takes consolation in the fact that some of us did not wait to sound warnings until the plague of religious extremism entered our borders. Our concerns began and were articulated as a concern for others, still at remote distances. Now that the largest black habitation on the globe has joined the club of religious terror under the portentous name, Boko Haram – which means ‘The Book is Taboo’ – we can morally demand help from others, but we only find them drowning in the rhetoric and rites of anger and/or contrition. Today it is the heritage and humanity of Timbuktoo. And tomorrow? The African continent must take back Mali – not later but – right now. The cost of further delay will be incalculable, and devastating.
The spiral of reprisals now appears to have been launched, what with the recent news that a French editor has also entered the lists with a fresh album of offensive cartoons. To break that spiral, there must be dialogue of frank, mature minds. Instant, comprehensive solutions do not exist, only the arduous, painstaking path of dialogue, whose multi-textured demands are not beyond the innovative, as opposed to the emotive capacity, of cultured societies. So let that moving feast of regional dialogues – which was inaugurated by former President Khatami of Iran in these very chambers – be reinforced, emboldened, and even-handed. The destination should be a moratorium, but for this to be strong and enduring, it must be voluntary, based on a will to understanding and mental re-orientation, not on menace, self-righteous indictments and destructive emotionalism. Perhaps we may yet rescue Religion from its ultimate indictment: conscription into the ranks of provable enemies of Humanity.
Sept. 21, 2012, United Nations Hdqrs, New York.
I don’t think violence is funny. I wasn’t raised to think violence was funny, and it’s just not part of how I live my life. I find violence very discomforting. Some of us never grow out of the school yard titillation of fights, and that is truly unfortunate. It’s like everyday is sixth grade for some people. They see violence and run to it eager to boost it up and laugh at the victims. What part of the game is that? I don’t want anything to do with it. The bus situation, this recent Lil Reese situation, it’s all unfortunate and pitiful. Why are we encouraging and condoning violence in the Black community, and why in the world do we or would we think it is funny?
– The Anti-Intellect
NO FEMALE EQUIVALENT
In the Black community, there can be no female equivalent of the often heard expression “Light skin men gone out of style.” White supremacist notions of beauty and femininity have seeped too far into the Black community for us to ever be comfortable with saying that “Light skin women have gone out of style.” In the minds of many Blacks who have embraced white supremacist thinking, light skinned Black women represent both idealized beauty and femininity, and therefore are always “in style”. We may laugh and chuckle about light skinned men going out of style, but the true would never be allowed with women. We are much more comfortable with dark skinned men than we are with dark skinned women. A dark skinned man can be seen as macho, rugged, rough; all things affirming to his masculinity, and therefore appealing in the eyes of Black men and women.
The dark skinned Black woman, however, is in a much more precarious position. How could the dark skinned Black woman ever be in style in a Black community that has internalized white supremacist notions of beauty? In the minds of white supremacist Blacks, her dark skin marks her as rough, rugged, unfeminine, and ugly. The intersection of white supremacy and patriarchy. Light skinned men may go out of style in the Black community, but the light skinned woman will always hold her position in a community that views her lighter skin as a marker of feminine beauty.
Sharmeka Moffitt, Louisiana Woman, May Have Set Herself
On Fire In Dubious Race-Related Attack: Police (UPDATED)
The Huffington Post | By Cavan Sieczkowski
UPDATE: 6:19 p.m. — Tuesday afternoon police reported that they now believe Louisiana woman Sharmeka Moffitt’s story about being lit on fire in a race-related attack was fabricated. Police now believe that she wrote “KKK” and “n—er” on her car and lit herself on fire.
The Franklin Sun reports that Moffitt’s fingerprints were found on the cigarette lighter and lighter fluid recovered in the wooded area near the crime scene. The writings on the car, written in toothpaste, were linked to female DNA.
Police Chief Lester Thomas said that regardless of the outcome, this tragic event is still a heavy burden, according to The Franklin Sun. Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb added: “Although I think what she did was wrong and had major consequences not only for her, but throughout our community and our country, there’s something wrong here, and we need to help individuals like this. In the same way our community came to support her as a victim, I still hope the community will support her emotional and physical recovery.”
A Louisiana woman was the victim of a horrific attack during which she was reportedly set on fire and had her car defiled with the letters “KKK,” police reported Monday.
Sharmeka Moffitt, a 20-year-old African-American woman, made an emergency call to police on Sunday night claiming three men wearing white hoods or hats attacked her, doused her with flammable liquid and set her on fire at a park in Winnsboro, La., CBS News reports. Moffitt, who said she was unable to identify the race of her attackers, was able to extinguish the fire with a water spigot before police arrived.
Officers found the letters “KKK,” an apparent reference to the Ku Klux Klan, written on the hood of her car, according to CBS News. “KKK” was smeared on her hood in a paste-like substance.
Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb confirmed that “KKK” was written on the hood of Moffitt’s car with a racial slur underneath, WMBF News reports.
Moffitt is currently in critical condition at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport, according to the station. “Both of her arms, and they are third degree burns, down her chest and legs – one. Basically her arms are real bad,” her mother, Edna, told the media. Edna also denied initial reports that claimed her daughter was wearing an Obama T-shirt at the time of the attack.
Police currently have no suspects or motives in the attack, which occurred while Moffitt was walking on a paved trail in Civitan Park on Sunday at about 8 p.m., according to The News Star. Authorities do not know if the attack was planned or random but called the racial connotations “unsettling.”
“My hope is we’ll all stand together while we determine the facts,” Cobb told The News Star. “I’m asking the community to trust us to do the right thing.”
The attack on Moffitt caught the nation’s attention after a Facebook page, entitled, “Prayers for Sharmeka Moffitt,” was created. The page currently has more than 30,000 likes.
BET Runs Anti-Obama Ads Featuring ‘Buppies’
The commercial can be viewed here:
BET is running an anti-Obama ad targeting buppie voters [buppie = young, intellectual, professional, and progressive African Americans] in Washington and Ohio.
The ad, sponsored by Pivot Point Washington Political Action Committee (PAC) in Seattle, is supposed to encourage African Americans that it’s ok to vote for another political party, according to the Pivot Point Washington’s leader Dave Shemwell.
The ad features a young African American male and a young African American female, each challenging President Obama on education, black businesses, and gay marriage. The commercial starts with the male saying “When Obama was elected it was thrilling.” The woman challenges the audience by asking, “What has he done as President?” The male responded, “Cut aid to black colleges. Cut aid to back businesses.” The woman chimes in again saying, “And the support of gay marriage is a slap in the face to people of faith.” To reiterate the tension between the black church and President Obama’s support of gay marriage, the male echoes the woman: “A slap in the face to people of faith.” The commercial ends with the woman asking “How can I vote for someone who doesn’t respect me?” The man echoes, “Who doesn’t respect me…“
In a recent interview, Shemwell says of the black community: “You have no power when people take you for granted. You only have power when people believe realistically that you’ll seek an alternative if they don’t come through.” He added: “Once [Obama] got into office, he didn’t pay any attention to the black community.”
Shemwell wanted to make sure he effectively communicated to the African American audience, so he partnered with Reverend Wayne Perryman, a local black evangelical pastor in Washington. Rev. Perryman is the author of Whites, Blacks & Racist Democrats and activist for black issues. He refers to the black community as “a forgotten race.”
“The Democrats take it for granted. They don’t put anything on the table, but they get our vote,” Rev. Perryman said. “For all the votes they’re getting, they should have an agenda.” Contrary to popular belief, Perryman believes Mitt Romney is for the black community, citing his NAACP speech. “When he went to the NAACP and spoke, he talked about the conditions in our schools, in our communities,” he said. “He did make an appeal to African Americans, but we’ve seen no such appeal coming from Obama.”
Mentioning economic instability, high foreclosure, and high school dropout rates in the black community, Perryman said President Obama has neglected the black community. “If a white president was in office and all these things occurred, blacks would be out in the street,” he said. “Black people should love black people so much, regardless of who is in office. When these kinds of conditions deteriorate to the point they have now, there needs to be strong, black voices bringing up these issues.”
When asked if he believes Mitt Romney will solve the black community’s problems, he replied “What do we have to lose? I really think he’s sincere.” He added that the changes Romney plans to make may not be radical because some of the issues in the black community can only be solved by the community, not the government. “But I think he can start things moving in the right direction,” he said of Romney.
Lately there has been an influx of African-American women featured on their own reality shows on cable networks such as VH1 & BET. Shows such as Basketball/Football Wives, Love & Hip Hop, and Real Housewives of Atlanta have been eating up the ratings. Clearly, these shows are great for business, but what have these shows done to the image of the black woman? These shows have been catapulted to fame by catfights, screaming matches, and even fist fights. No matter who the star of any reality show may be, these are the ingredients to get the engine going, but, for African-American women displaying these behaviors is a completely different because of the stereotype we could never escape.
After shows such as Nurse Jackie and The Cosby Show, positive images of African-American women have dwindled. It is difficult to believe that the younger generation looks up to these reality stars that hurl drinks into each other’s faces (Evelyn Lodaza is a great prime example of this in Basketball Wives) and decides who remains in and out of “The Circle”.
The main issue is that none of these women on reality television will put down their knives and guns to play nice at tea time because drama, tears and fights define what makes reality television and well, basically their jobs.
In the case of the white women, they have a balance in which they are able to argue and fight, but they are also the anchors of the evening news, or debating on CNN with another expert regarding a topic important to the world. It is no secret that African American women are lacking a strong presence in that field. What happens when they are on a different type of reality setting? Nene Leakes on last season’s Celebrity Apprentice made it clear to show reality audiences what that would be like.
In a shocking and extraordinarily embarrassing display of confrontation with Star Jones, Nene Leakes stepped into Star Jones’ face snapping her neck with a strong bravado asking her nemesis to bring her “street game” in front of their team members, Donald Trump and the clients they would be working with during that episode. Despite the fact that I was at home with my mother and my boyfriend, I felt a flushed in my face and embarrassed for Black women everywhere.
There is no solution to this growing problem because reality television will never be a positive glowing ray of light for anyone, especially African-American women. I can only hope that one day, black women will be able to counter the stereotypes and behavior perpetuated by the indignities caught on film and played back to us in our homes.
Black Women Being Misrepresented On TV Reality Shows