I suppose I first read what has become known as the “Willie Lynch Papers” when I was in my late teens, early twenties. I was immediately grabbed by the sheer enormity of what was before me. The doctrine of a slave breeder conditioning the behavior of his criminal buddies. A policy of implementing fear and using differences to control human beings, namely my ancestors from back on the plantation. And even with all the logical trajectory showing us the outcome, some argue that the letter was a bit of fiction. I am not here to argue that, however, I am here to deal with one of the outcomes of the trajectory of the divided and conquered Black in the US.
As new media becomes the tool of choice in the Black panoply, the usage provides an often troubling analysis. The divisions are real. From the profane class antagonisms found on sites like “hot ghetto mess(http://www.hotghettomess.com/)” to one of Asylum’s favorites, “No wedding, no womb(http://noweddingnowomb.com/)”. For lack of a better term, it all seems slightly goofy until you begin to consider the impact on possibly the Black conventional undergraduate attending school with other Blacks from differing backgrounds. It also can become a bit nauseating when you think about the underlying message of, “This is what the good blacks do, this is what the unsophisticated blacks do.” An automatic begging of the question, why are the behaviors of the unsophisticated Blacks solely expressions of Blacks, and why are the behaviors of the good Blacks cultural expressions assimilated from Whites?
Exposure is necessary for empowerment. It doesn’t have to remove the roses from our eyes, but it must allow the thorns to break the flesh. What I am as a Black person is a reflection of my flaws and my strengths; for the most part, my understanding of my Self has come from bloody thorns. My Blackness is defined by my behaviors; it is not some cloak that I put on when applying for college loans and grants. This is what I initially believed the “no monolithic race” statement meant; these days, I believe it to mean,”I’m not like those niggaz, boss.” Regardless to what I believe is proper, I understand that people have their own ways of going about, and they ought to. And as simple as that might read, it typically doesn’t work that way. We are conformist neurologically, and often we seek to force our conformity on others like high school teenagers volleying for popularity.
This conformist nature reveals it Self as expertise and advice online…
I decided as a form of research to revisit a few blogs and online magazine contributors that have fed my blazing sword over the years with ample source material. First, I went back to our good friend Von’s ( @BlaqueConscious on Twitter) blog, Von’s Crime Stoppers(formerly Black Conscious Thought). With the change of identity and direction for her blog, I figured my hypothesis might be proven inaccurate pretty early on. Not that I believe her writing to be consistently degrading of poor Blacks, or fiercely antagonistic to some Black men, but I figured she’d have some pretty useful content for our purposes here today. And of course, it must go announced that she hasn’t been blogging as consistently as she once was, but we did find this interesting tidbit on her front page from a post dated July 31, 2011:
“6. Do you think there is hope for the black community? Honestly…no…not unless we get smart and demand that welfare, entitlements, foodstamps, etc be tied to the educational advancement of black children. If your child isn’t performing at their appropriate grade level your shit gets cut. If you kid is in the eighth grade and can’t read your shit gets cut. If your child drops out of school your shit gets cut. I think you get the picture, if not drop a comment in the comment section.”
Naturally, the solution to the problems that plague the Black community can all be tied to those parents on government assistance.Surely, the banking establishments that now live off of government entitlements will soon ruin the White community, and all those unemployed White workers will soon be uninspired by a system of institutionalized racism. Oh, not quite? Yeah, I thought the logic was a tad bit off, my Self. Sarcasm a little there. I actually applaud anyone willing to present solutions to the plight of Blacks, however, I do ask that we not blame the group most disenfranchised(obviously) due to our own set of perceived notions of comfort and success. Just like intelligence has to be measured by decisions reflected in actions, it also has to be considerate of all the dynamics involved to be accurate and thus useful. Furthermore, the nature of self-respect often forces us to question the response dynamic of objective social actors. Respect tends to act like a marketplace, a state of exchange, more than a solitude space, and any set of actions can be labeled as deplorable if enough people are willing to go with that.
Conformity, as stated, is a natural thing. The conditions of power lend them Selves definition and conditional responses that form our ideas of propriety: those acts that absolutist/conservatives regard as improper and proper. If you enter into a social space for the first time, it is customary that you observe those around you before assuming the cultural norms of said space. This is an understanding of healthy conformity. The danger lies in being labeled as an outcast, or unwanted, or something about your natural appearance, or temperament being so labeled. Any social space that a person(well, I can be a little more specific here, a Black person that doesn’t work for Goldman-Sacchs) who is on government assistance finds them Selves with a person holding on the viewpoints of Von will be stigmatized by them; a prejudice of sorts. That could cause a high volume of anxiety depending on the power of Von to affect objective social reality. Although, I’ve personally learned to be a better asshole because of it, social acceptance is a pressure; it has actual weight, it can create actual physical maladies. A note I’m sure our friend Christelyn Karazin would readily admit.
For those that don’t remember, Christelyn is the writer for the blog, “Beyond Black & White”(as if…) and the prime mover of her 2010 blog campaign,”No Wedding, No Womb!” were she allowed bloggers to use her space as a means to express their disdain for Black men in favor of White men. Since, of course, all White men marry their “baby moms.” She makes a poignant statement in her Sept 6th 2011 post entitled,”Attack on Education: Poo-pooing of College-Degreed Black Girls a Sinister Conspiracy?” when she writes,
“Our country is terminally classist, and we live by a meritocracy. The good news is, unlike the color of your skin, you’re free to rise from your station.”
I can only hold my smirk in for so long here. I’m always blessed to see irony in such things as a blog called,”Beyond White & Black,” conditions created by classism, and a statement that says we are terminally classist. Understandably, the context suggests Black Women with degrees seek men with a certain knowledge base. It implies via anecdote the option of not only marrying a White man, but also that it is acceptable to placate classist notions. I agree, most of the societies influenced by the West are classist; it should be duly noted, however, classism is the root of systems such as apartheid, Black USA slavery, and caste systems every where. It would seem as if we hate to be limited, but we love to create and hold on to the limits imposed on others.
I have yet to see a condition brought about with elitist notions that doesn’t in some way promote a form of oppression. Regardless of the initial professed intentions, clique mentality is clique mentality: if you don’t wear what they wear, you are imposed upon in some sort of fashion. If you don’t speak a certain way, you are imposed upon in some sort of fashion. In Black USA, I have yet to see a situation where imposed forms of conduct don’t reflect Western standards. And it only makes sense, the West is the power elite. Unfortunately, here in Asylum, I can’t promote an ideology that in so many ways feels like a professional whore attempting to teach a class on how to get respect from ones pimp. As much as I would love to subscribe to a belief that my actions don’t create pretty predictable reactions in others, I’ve learned through countless rose thorn pricks not to let my guard down in a guarded world.
But, moving on…
I wanted to take my time with the next author. Her piece, originally posted on MadameNoire(http://www.madamenoire.com), under the title,”8 reasons to Date a White Man,” touched me so deeply, and resonated with the Black bloggersphere with sheer alacrity, that I wanted to see what the sister was up to these days. Although she is still posting regularly, it seems as if she is doing a bit of ambulance chasing. Understandable, the original piece that caught fire was presumably just to gain attention. Suffice it say, I felt a bit disappointed. She does make a few references to the reason why women are getting married is because men are allowed to have open-relationships (well, she called us, “child-men”):
“A survey by Hercampus.com revealed the majority of college guys want to get married and have children by age 30. However, they are growing less inclined because it’s no longer necessary. Women have “redefined” their relationships to accommodate the child-man’s lack of self-control and inability to remain monogamous.”
I suppose the Black relationship issue is simple enough to solve in one sentence,”Blame the men…childs…or is it men-childrens?” I agree in some ways with the sentiment, however, to place the negative connotations on men and rework an absolution of the responsibility of women is less than mature or appreciated. Cultures tend to form around personality, necessity, and pleasures. Without much need for long debate, most people are going to sway towards the cultures that present them with more pleasures and less responsibilities. The hedonistic culture of the USA need not to be overlooked, nor its history of blaming the workers for the problems of a lazy, shiftless, and decadent elite body. Consumer has followed blind industry, and sex sells, affection sells, and the belief in a freedom of choice without responsibility sells. It is what built this empire. To casually handle any dynamic, especially one involving USA sex relations, is to either prepare the reader with a more comprehensive look based on the overview, or to be impressively manipulative…or just a careless writer.
I will address much of this in later topics, per usual. At the moment, I feel slightly blessed to see that some of these content providers are slowing down, and that they were simply taking advantage of the hype surrounding twitter and blogging in general. It is not my assertion that these lovely ladies, I’m sure, are opportunistic, nor should opportunism in and of it Self be viewed as scornful, it is just that as a Black man that takes the brunt of many of these exploitative measures, I’d at least like credible and passionately dedicated writers to bandy about with. Further, if I am to be placed on the proverbial chopping block, please don’t do it just to get blog hits. It is so tacky…at least by my lowly standards.*Chagrin*