Thursday, January 01, 2009

Do Black Women actually know what it takes to build the 'Strong black community' they keep talking about

Or is it all just 'dreamscape' fantasy?.

I remember coming across a book that said that immigrants often have fantasies of returning home. It keeps them sane and helps them face life in new lands, and many eventually never return and not suprisingly, because these dreams are never really actioned in any way. Indeed concrete steps and plans are never made to make these fantasies reality. I believe that the 'strong community /black unity', idea may occupy this position in many black women's minds, something to think about fondly and escape to, but never really actioned. Which makes it a dangerous notion for black women pinning real life hopes to it.

When you want to build anything; say garden a shed even, you first find out what it will take in terms of materials, labour, even time. Next, you take stock of what you have for the project. This is how you know how serious an idea is. Now have you ever heard any of the 'black community/black unity' activists/aggitators lay things out in these terms ie, what do we need, what do we have, what steps do we take to get the rest of the needed things. There isnt even a 'movement' towards black nation building (yet we could mobilise for Jena six), only people doing their pockets of activities 'here and there', crossing their fingers that it will feed into some general effort of black unity, and nothing to measure wether it is indeed effective and not cancelling out somewhere down the line. Nothing showing it as a practical idea.

Apparently this strong black nation is supposed to just spring forth at some point! Incredible.

Indeed, we have all sorts of tools and frameworks for achieveing goals these days, for instance the 'SMART' frame work which stands for 'Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time based. You will never hear these folks showing any kind of organising of the idea of 'strong black community' in meaningful terms that can be 'grabbed hold of' piece by piece and worked towards.


Now in terms of black nation building, this is what transpires with black women:

Black woman sees black man in the street, black woman says to herself 'thats a black man, there are men to build a strong black community with'.

Nothing considered about the type of black man he is, if he is even willing to build this black community (in deeds of course not lip service and 'i love my sistas' speeches), secondly if he has the right ideological perspective for this black nation building work. Nothing asked about 'what is his mentality?'.

Do black women realise that, There is a critical absorption of white supremacy in a significant portion of black men that renders a very large portion of them ineffective in the efforts towards black advancement.

In addition, the self-serving persepctive and politics of black men is so plain to see (me me me, serve me, cater to me) its also 'through the roof' at this point. This is directly opposed, to the level of self-sacrifice that will clearly and undeniably be required from them for any such black nation building. As I mentioned in the last post, you only need to look at the fact that black men are displaying all the wrong priorities in terms of black nation building; they have a well known and documented problem with black female achievers as a clear example. Yet these are the women black men should have been queueing round the block for, if black advancement was strongly on their mind. Consider this: If black nationhood was a priority for black men, do you think 70% of black children would be born outside wedlock with the attendant poverty, and lack of safety these children are more likely to experince? I can assure you that men who know the central position black children have in the races future would do everything in their power to be with their kids and complaints will mount to heaven if black women try to deny black men access.

Now there is a thing called 'entry level requirement'; for instance in order to study Engineering you must at least know basic maths, that is an entry level requirement. Now how possible is it to have a strong black community without strong black families. The basic or entry level requirment for black men who are really linked into the black nation building agenda would be a keen interest in marryimg and setting up home with black women. Yet black men are not even coming in at that 'entry level' to any note!

In terms of other indications, the incaceration rates of black men would be halved and the college rates would be doubled.

But yes I know black women are not supposed to go deep and ask these critical and crucial questions. We are supposed to gloss over the details that are necessary to get to the destination, and just flow along 'in the spirit' to the wonderful kumbaya idea of a black nation that is going to happen. ie I will get there, I will get there somehow....

Since any black man qualifies for this 'nation building' in our calculations and is just right for the job regardless of his mindset and perspectives on core black issues, many of us black women will have to build a black nation with colorist bm who dont care to give the archetype black woman a chance. This is what it will boil down to. Yet isnt this totally contravening the basic premise of building a black nation? Or maybe we should adjust the idea, since we always have to tailor things to fit around whatever way black men choose to go.

If it wasnt so sad how essentially black women are clamouring to build with men half who really have no interest in such grand schemes for the race (because they cant think beyond self-indulgence), and another 1/4 who might just be tempted to commit, provided the bw is light enough, it would be a good commedy. The very simplistic way in which black women look at the whole black nation building project, just shows that it would be better confined to the realm of daydream or 'fantasy', that bw might flee to in their imagination every now and then, while simply getting on with the reality of life.

About building with colorist black men. Marcus Garvey. He wanted to build a strong black nation, 'Africa for Africans' and all that, but he wanted to do it with the lightest black woman available, at his side as the symbolic black queen lol! And he had black women with the same ancestral looks he had, throwing money at him nay taking him very seriously. I repeat Marcus Garvey was in favour of building with the lightest of us black women.

Do you know that the trend spread because black men took their cue from him, as he was a man of influence. He reinforced and endorsed their views of seeking the most euro looking black woman. If you think I am joking pick up a copy of Autobiography of Malcolm X and see how his father, a staunch garvyite was married to a woman that could pass for white. I mean it could well be a coincidence of course but I wouldnt put it pass the fact that he copied his mentor right down to the woman he choose as bride. The white men at that time must have been laughing their asses off with the antics of these 'freedom fighters', and the joke was defintiely on the black women who choose to reject the clear, 'in your face' statements being made against them in the choices of men like Macus Garvey so much so they handed over money and financed his enterprise.

Have any of you ever seen pictures of Marcus Garvey? I mean he is the archtype of black, non apologetic looking black.

One of my favourite activities is to come up with analysis and frameworks which speak to and perfectly delineate the situation for us black women(as I believe that all the analysis of isms and oppression out there do not and were not 'made' for black women and black women need to come up with their own analysis), and one of the most 'ground breaking' analysis I have come across in blogosphere was written by an internet personality called 'Sangraneth' who wrote that, what we often rush to refer to as self-hate in black men is actually more accurately an ideology of black=male and white=female A black man that expresses hatred for black women is NOT expressing SELF-hatred

Read this analysis and see that what we rush to label 'self hate' is actually black female hate. And when black women 'mis-define' issues (as they are often encouraged to do), they end up with the wrong solutions. I have said this before and say it again, that unless black women accurately identify and pin down what ails them and their issues they will never be able to marshall an effective defense againt the attacks that are raining down from every angle.


So in summary 'Are we are building a black community?' If we are we would know first to take stock to find out if the necessary materials are assembled. We would get a road map to the goal. There would be an understanding that there is a calibre of black men in particular required to take forward the vision. Sadly we would realise that there is a standard required beyond what todays black man is offering unless something drastic happens to change mindsets (and dont hold your breath because I know many want to make this an issue of 'faith', but it isnt, it is a practical issue)!

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8 comments:

Phoenix Sun said...

Brilliant post, Halima! You've summed it up perfectly by stating black women have to critically assess what their needs are, and how to achieve those needs. The needs, and the answer to satisfying them, are too frightening for the average bw. They will realize they have to stop looking to bm as viable mates in nation building. This nonsense is truly disturbing. Why do black folks keep recycling the same old same old? Over forty years of evidence that we're sinking still hasn't penetrated through. I'm afraid with President-Elect Obama, who's about to take his place as commander-in-chief, this nation building fantasy nonsense has been reborn with a renewed spirit.

When the Obama honeymoon comes to end, which will be very soon, I can only think that black folks will become bitter all over again. Failing to realize they are responsible for improving their lives.

HBC said...

Hi Halima,

I just want to piggy-back a bit on Phoenix Sun's comment. I remember back in the eighties when New York City elected it's first black Mayor(Mayor David Dinkins). I was very young at the time, but I remember how bp rallied around this man like he was the Second Coming, black people came out in droves to vote for him, just filled with magical thinking and fantasy nonsense.

Until, they realized that Mayor Dinkins wasn't there to solve all their problems and wasn't going to either. And, he quickly became "a sellout" and "a traitor",lol. He is still disliked by many in the so-called black community.

Unfortunately, I see this very same fate for Obama.

Ssandra77 said...

Interesting that you mentioned that post by Sangraneth. His analysis of this supposed "self-hatred" syndrome was spot on, IMO. I have wondered what happened to him - I miss his analyses - they were topical and enlightening. I sometimes wonder whether Sangraneth has been reborn in the form of the author of the "White Women Suck" blog - I detect the same level of critical analysis in that blog as there was in Sangraneth's blog - I wonder if they are one and the same.

Your own analysis, Halima, is spot on. This so-called "nation building" fantasy that is often so prevalent among in AA's is nothing more than pie in the sky. This is made apparent by the fact, as you point out, that no plans are ever drawn up or steps taken in execution of such a plan, to go from fantasy to reality. And that is because black men are not willing to accept the responsibilities, the self-discipline and the self-sactifices that nation building entails. Give up chasing exclusively after non-black, mixed black or light-skinned black women with euro-features only - NEVER! No AA male would willingly surrender these "privileges". Buy a cow when the milk is free - NO WAY is he going to get married when he doesn't have to! Support his own children - why should he do that when the government happily steps in to do so - are you crazy! AA men have got a good thing going, and they are not willing to give that up for a concept as ephemeral as nation building. As long as he can get his on a personal level, why worry? The truth of your post is a shame, and it is true not only of AA men, but also of British black men and Caribbean black men in large part. But since it is highly unlikely that this will change, black women must acknowledge this reality and truth, and take steps to live our own lives, and live as well as possible. Thank you, Halima.

Anonymous said...

Halima Said: "Now there is a thing called 'entry level requirement'; for instance in order to study Engineering you must at least know basic maths, that is an entry level requirement. Now how possible is it to have a strong black community without strong black families. The basic or entry level requirment for black men who are really linked into the black nation building agenda would be a keen interest in marryimg and setting up home with black women. Yet black men are not even coming in at the 'entry level' to any note!"

Greetigs Halima,
This post is so on point! I used to be one of those super-militant types until I realized there can be no “strong black nation” without enough “strong black families” to sustain it. There are some bm black nationalists that actually acknowledge how difficult it is for bw to build happy lives with functional, non-colorist bm, but suggest bw are better off living the rest of their lives alone for the sake of uplifting “the cause.” These same bm have the nerve to complain when they see bw with non-bm.

"Touch on Marcus Garvey
About building with colorist black men. Marcus Garvey. He wanted to build a strong black nation, 'Africa for Africans' and all that, but he wanted to do it with the lightest black woman available, at his side as the symbolic black queen lol! And he had black women with the same ancestral looks he had, throwing money at him nay taking him very seriously. I repeat Marcus Garvey was in favour of building with the lightest of us black women."

You just committed black nationalist sacrilege! LOL!
In addition to choosing a wife who was one chromosome away from being white, Garvey was also quite vocal about colorism allegedly practiced against him in elite black social circles! These facts are supposed to be swept under the rug.

As far as I’m concerned, “the black cause” is a lost cause. We’re witnessing evidence that the future of the black race in the Western world cannot lie solely on the shoulders of back women. I’m just gonna do me.

Khadija said...

Excellent post, Halima!

{raised fist salute}

No, BW don't actually know what it would take to build a "strong, Black" anything. This is because we have accepted slogans as if they were reality. And have embraced wholesale magical thinking.

As Anonymous at 10:53 am said, "As far as I’m concerned, “the black cause” is a lost cause. We’re witnessing evidence that the future of the black race in the Western world cannot lie solely on the shoulders of back women. I’m just gonna do me."

Yep. That about sums it up.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Cobra said...

Halima writes:

>>>"As I mentioned in the last post, you only need to look at the fact that black men are displaying all the wrong priorities in terms of black nation building; they have a well known and documented problem with black female achievers as a clear example. Yet these are the women black men should have been queueing round the block for, if black advancement was strongly on their mind. Consider this: If black nationhood was a priority for black men, do you think 70% of black children would be born outside wedlock with the attendant poverty, and lack of safety these children are more likely to experince?"

First of all, my experience, and those of many OTHER Black Men, teaches that Black male scholarship, intellectualism and academic pursuit is NOT generally viewed as a desirable romantic trait among many Black women until such a time when that academic pursuit results in a high salary or lifestyle. The brother who spends his time reading or studying instead of hanging out or playing ball is severely disadvantaged in the dating scene, IMHO. Boisterous machismo is preferred over respectful comity.

Black people are no more immune to the "looks and money" principles that guide human relationships than any other group.

As far as the 70% Black illegitimacy rate--why are Black women having all this unprotected sex (or not protected ENOUGH sex) when we KNOW who bears the burden of the results?

--Cobra

Halima said...

Cobra
As far as the 70% Black illegitimacy rate--why are Black women having all this unprotected sex (or not protected ENOUGH sex) when we KNOW who bears the burden of the results?


Women have babies, thats what they do. white women have babies, asian woman have babies, black women have babies and latinas have babies, this is a fact of life.

However unlike black women, the rest of the races do not have the bulk of their children born outside wedlock.

Anonymous said...

This cobra person is the typical BM hater of Black females spewing the same tired woe is me crap about some Black nerd. Cry me a damn river. I do not see White or Asian nerds abandoning and spewing hatred at their own women simply because they had trouble dating while young.

Girls when they are young are especially attracted to athletic, outgoing, trendy guys. GET OVER IT. This is a simple fact that is universal to ALL RACES OF FEMALES, so stop trying to act like it is a crime agianst humanity when Black girls do it. You bitter Black merds are just as pathetic and useless as the thugs, seriously.