“The spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation among people, mediated by images. ” – Guy-Ernest Debord, “The Society of the Spectacle”
“I’mma make it do what it do, baby!” – Colonel H.M. Stinkmeaner, The Boondocks
So, I read Egyptian-Sudanese author Kola Boof’s “Dear BLACK AMERICAN Sisters” earlier today. Given the Black African American media climate presently, with Russell Simmons releasing rape spoofs depicting Harriet Tubman and Twitter erupting in trending topics such as “#BlackPowerIsOnlyForBlackMen”, I felt Boof’s timing could not have been better. Actually, I thought her timing was much better than even Melissa Harris-Perry, who has decided not to use her national media platform to address the Black African American history revisions of ridicule and repulsion. Oh, well, I suppose…more Black Womenist traffic for Kola.
Not to make too light of the discussion, Kola’s scathing attempt at media sisterhood had as its main point a questionable, but worthy enough sentiment. Although, her justifications for her own hypocrisy, and furthermore agenda of pushing Black African American women into the arms of White men reeks throughout the piece like five day old pamper soil, I am glad the rant was published. While sipping French brandy on her Californian ranch away from the world, and reality in general, Boof makes the claim in her open missive that seems to be running to her continental African brothers in a very elitist and demeaning tone:
“And though many of you African men also suffer from self-hatred and adore all things European…it’s quite different with the Black American males. They literally hate their black mothers and do everything to undermine and dehumanize the image of their mothers. Listen to their Rap songs (bitches ‘n ho’s…I don’t like dark skin women) and their “hip hop cultural” language (she nothing but a hoodrat; she black) to understand me.”
I was truly surprised that Boof had not used “akata,” or her favorite epithet for US Blacks, “niggerstock” in her dedicated work. Instead, she just uses lofty generalizations to falsely frame a collective of Black men. Yet, as stated earlier, I am glad she publishes this depressing diatribe.
Sure, according to the US census, as recent as 2010, only 10.8% of all married US Black men were betrothed to a nonBlack Woman, and of that, 8.5% are White women, I do understand that some Black women feel left out of the Black male marriage pool. Yet, with numbers such as these, it is difficult to make the claim that “the Black American males…hate their black mothers and do everything to undermine and dehumanize the image of their mothers.” But, I do not want to be rebutted here with claims of strawman argumentation. It would be extremely easy for a writer of my caliber to pick and poke at a woman that reminds one of their drunken aunt rambling before a national stage. Fortunately, for her sake, I do find the notion of Black Women being presented as less than desirable in the media, and often in our expressed culture in more local spaces, to be somewhat truth.
I have written elsewhere(oh, and here as well) about specific Black men in my life urging me to date White women. I also realize that many Black men in the public eye date and marry along interracial lines. That, as a product of media enlargement, can mislead one to believe all sorts of damaging things about Black men. Now, Boof states she is privy to 26,000 years of history of Africans, yet she dangerously overlooks the trajectory of the slave master relations and impact on family. With all of her historical wealth, Boof somehow forgets to type between sips of wine purchased by her powerful Jewish White husband that White men raped Black women, causing lighter skinned children to be born that would also be privileged due to a familial political connection to the master. The color coded caste system that Boof refers to in her rant is based on the rape of Black Women by White men, the same White men Boof now presents to Black Women as saviors. Even with this social psychology, Black men are marrying Black Women at a rate of eight times or better percentage points than Black Men marrying any other race of Women.
Instead of Boof addressing the concern of US Blacks, and thus a portion of the global African population being genetically reduced in a similar fashion as Blacks in Brazil and Argentina, she grabs her “powerful” White Jewish beau and begins her contribution to the White Male marketing campaign. In some sort of magical elixir induced(read: drunk or high) state of consciousness where cognitive dissonance is just a mist of fog, she claims that US Black Men are worse than White men for US Black Women. This is from a woman that in the same passage states she knows twenty-six thousands years of African history.
(Man, White Male privilege must be nice…that and rich African Woman privilege…)
So, yes, I do believe that Black Women deserve and in a practical social political sense, need a better media and cultural representations. In the same way that women in the west in general need better representations for beauty standards. However, there is no objective data stating that US Black Men are completely not desirous of Black Women. There is no credible data pointing to Boof’s allegations that deny the reality that Black Men marry Black Women at rates much higher than Black Men practicing exogamy. As much as I want Black people to focus on strengthening their numbers, this position that Boof presents is purely irrational conjecture seemingly conjured up for the sake of website hits and cheap book promotion.
Now that the spectacle of media has been not too lightly handed to us all in the form of “social media”, I do feel Black African Americans have to be even more careful of the images we present and forecast to one another. US Black Men need not scamper about in protest that White Men are stealing all the Black Women, and Black Women need not worry that White Women with “phat asses” are going to capture the hearts of all the Black Men. The numbers simply are not there, and the media amplification of a few images need not to be trusted. Stop letting people manipulate your fears. And get out of the house a little, y’all, it is a big world waiting for your brilliant Black beauty.