Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Some black women are holding up the traffic aka MindGuards

Tom Teichman is a Founder shareholder and Vice Chairman of Dialog, one of the world's largest on-line business information companies. He has been married to Sandra (Ghanian/Barbadian) for 10 years and they have a son.

Scroll down to see Sandra

Some black women are consumed with worry that their noses and weaves and etc will disqualify them from dating beyond their race.

Well I guess Sandra wasnt!

Some black women will really be shocked to discover that the things they firmly believe men are after are not necessarily what they think!


Holding up the traffic? How?

As black women we tend to take our cues from the 'alpha females' among us. I have seen this dynamic play out so many times that I dont doubt it any longer. I have seen how an idea suddenly becomes 'ok with me' or legitimate, because another black woman who is esteemed and looked up to, agrees with the idea. Before then, a black woman might recognise it as the truth from weighing up the issue for herself, yet will pull back and manufacture excuses which will magically get resolved once she sees sister A (who she deems as at the top of the pyramid) agree with the view.

It is indeed fascinating to study the dynamics existing in the black group particularly those that we strongly deny. Many of us (including myself) will claim to have independent minds for sure lol!

This 'deferring' to the endorsing personality rather than what we sense as the truth is however a very powerful 'checking' force among black women. It means that some women, well aware of their power to 'allow' certain ideas and conversations to take place, can position themselves as obstacles to black women moving on, moving forward and doing what is logical and needed. These women (consciously or unconsciously) knowing that they are being looked upon to broach certain topics for instance, and by so doing confirm them as issues of importance, validity and urgency or they are being looked upon to set the pace, context, tone and direction for the deliberation, might decided to hold back or give a negative or luke warm response, knowing this attitude will carry along. These women are mindguards — self-appointed group members who shield others from or block out dissenting information.

For instance some 'influencial' black women know that if they dont raise the topic of broader dating options on their forums etc, their audience will think that its not an important issue or it doesnt concern them, or 'nothing needs to change in the way I am conducting affairs'. Imagine how such women who have personal 'issues' with dating white men for instance can stymie a very important and necessary exploration or discussion for other black women at this critical time because of this. I am particularly worried when such women claim to be open minded, or they claim they can rise above their personal bias, or they say they have an open forum that will discuss honestly all issues pertaining to black women etc (when in the analysis of it they do not). This claim in itself elicits undeserved trust and belief from women who take them at their word and respond to their writings and etc without recognizing that they are unable to have an honest discussion.

A simple way of looking at what transpires is that alpha female says, 'I hate white men and the idea of dating white men or the notion of giving up on black love thus; I will not allow my forum etc to be used to explore this key issue, or I will weave a crafty article which will have the net effect of keeping black women where they already are.

Indeed, for some 'alpha females', its all about giving a superficial treatment to the topic and thus communicating no urgency or need for action (which they realise with their logical minds there should be). Instead they create an impression from their writing and in their forums that there is 'no big deal to the situation,' 'you will get by, you dont need to consider this an issue to look into personally' etc etc.

All over blogosphere, black female bloggers are coming up with the understanding that the black group suffers as a result of a lack of critical knowledge and it does appear that there is a deliberate blocking of such knowledge, which has itself become a commodity and tool for control and dominace. Never underestimate the ability of those who have access to knowlege (or knowledge portals) to control it, ration it and to give it a parculiar twist to either create, or sustain a situation of their liking among others or maintain a social gap between themselves and the rest, which then accrues some material or social benefits. Indeed one of the key problems of the black group is the fact that it continues to depend on knowledge, power and political brokers to make transactions on its behalf, while the rest of the population operates at a substantial deficit in all these areas. A very corrupting interface is thus created for the brokers, particularly when these brokers are interfacing for other black people with the wider white society.

Now some of us will have to answer for how we have used our positions and influence to control and cripple others, but individual black woman have to decided wether they want others to hold up their lives like traffic and indeed if you have commonsense and understanding and yet would rather defer to personality, then thats on you really!

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Why don’t you speak about the evils of white men?

What do you see?

So, why don’t you speak on the evils of white men?

I think black women are well acquainted and comprehensively so, of the evils of white men. As far as I am aware black women are in no doubt whatsoever that white men:

Raped our foremothers
Made us slaves
Instituted racism and actively discriminate
Visit police brutality on black people etc etc etc

White men’s evil is old news, common knowledge and common analysis (we are at this point very much in need of new understanding and further analysis to bring a better picture of what ails us as black women).

In addition 'White man as originator of all evil' gives a huge and blanket covering for other groups to keep hiding their own deliberate oppressive behaviour towards black women. In other words, they can brutalize black women and point at white men as being somehow responsible for shaping their actions. Often times this leads them to be treated leniently while black women are denied full redress.

Indeed if a white female boss victimizes a black woman and if this situation, is pursued in court, and if the white female is able to argue that the white man somehow made her act 'out of character'(often by saying he created the climate under which she was forced to act in such a way), and manages by this to gain some leniency, well guess who has been short changed in terms of full justice? You guessed it, the black woman.

Yet, if we imagine this scenario but replace white women with white men, a black woman has access to enough analysis to make a strong case for the full weight of the law to come down on him. She can claim sexism and racism; both recognised as discrimination and frowned upon generally. Yes the analysis for recognizing white males as victimizers, oppressors and misusers is in place and it is unambiguous.

Black women must understand that it is not in their interest to gloss over details when it comes to analyzing oppression, because it is in the finer details that black women‘s real situation is revealed.

Do not be thrown off the scent by some broad arguments out there of how others are 'victims' and all are 'victims' of white men.

If a black man beats down and beats up a black woman and then claims that overarching racism has placed burdens and stresses upon him to the extent that he 'brutalizes the black woman', and if he manages to gain leniency as a result, guess who has been short-changed in terms of justice and redress? You got it again; the black woman. Using a simple analogy, if the black man had to pay for the black woman’s medical treatment and was able to slash the amount due to half the value, then the black women gets treatment worth half the value of what should be due her, regardless of the fact that her injuries are just the same as if her attacker had been white (an attack for which she could claim full compensations).

We must see as simply dangerous, any discourse that does not visit equal condemnation and guilt to all oppressors of black women. Any act of direct oppression towards black women must not be made less, because it is occurring in ‘wider’ oppressive fields. This would be ratifying and endorsing certain conditions under which it is ok to annihilate black women and this loop hole must never exist for anyone to exploit. What made them do what they did? Let others worry and concern themselves about that, we have to ensure our survival. Indeed the most important thing here is black women being able to continue to ’present’ as entities among all other beings on this planet, and if there is a ’clause’ under which their destruction becomes ’excusable’ or ‘tolerated’, then it is a call for this to happen.

Black women MUST recognise a need for a black woman-centered analysis of oppression, which simply is an analysis which makes no concessions to any, but calls for equal and maximum penalties to be meted out to all and any who victimize black women. This serve as a deterrent to those who would attempt to hide behind the accepted discourse of 'white men are the source of all evil' to acquire leniency for acts of deliberate aggression against black women.

It is not for us to worry about what would happen to our attacker or to 'feel' for them because their poor life experinces made them whatever. We must careless or else we will be sitting ducks for them indeed why dont they target other demograhics if it is just a simple matter of their hard life making them do whatever? No it isnt just about 'their hard life', it is about an opportunity to express their damage on those who have less recourse because of their social positioning. It is about target practice on those who society does not adequately and actively protect. Therefore, our focus must be on sending a strong detering message to any would be exploiters and abusers.

We continue to foolishly adopt an approach that enables others to argue against paying the full pound of flesh for targeting us. This is indeed and again the repeating symptom of black women not understanding their interests, because it is for others to argue for concessions and reprieve, it is for us black women to vehemently reject such proposals!

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Send your questions to relationshipadvice@dateawhiteguybook.com (I will try my best to give a reply/answer)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Are you being recruited to the cult of the 'Blues'

In the last post, I spoke about black women who believe their lot in life is to 'sing the blues', and how they actually gravitate to this situation or seek it out, or even self-sabotage if it looks like their current course might just take them away from the life of the blues.

There are another group of women who actively scout out and recruit on behalf of the cult of hardship and suffering. If they see that you look a bit 'unburdened' by life and that you seem not to be weighed down by the things 'real' black women must be weighed down by, they come over to you to first discover why and how you missed out on assuming 'the natural burden that all black women need to be carrying,' then by words, actions and 'advice', they try to move you into the life they feel that is required of all black women and that is one of carrying burdens and singing the blues.

Most of these women who recruit others do indeed look dour and burdened and have the air of a 'world of care' about them. You can see in their eyes that they question your perkiness and cheerfulness (not the feigned fabulosness some of us like to put on). Indeed there is a begrudging there of your different 'air'. You look to them like a strange specimen of the black woman; a new 'ignoble' breed that refuses the natural heaviness and weariness that should characterise a black woman's life. If you exude a different energy, a different air of a black woman who is not 'work horsing' on behalf of others or aggitating on behalf of race (with the attendant scowl and expression of one ready to kick off), then you become a concern because you are on the wrong track of black womanhood and need to be brough back to how you should be!

If you are in a group or team with these women etc they will try to nudge you towards the 'nobility' of and conditions of hardship mostly by making you feel that you are inauthentic unless you take on a burden or a fear that black women should have e.g. fear of not snagging a black man or the travials that come with the efforts to secure a black brotha (that is of course if they look at you and feel you do not belong to that select category of black woman who should escape that sorrows of black womanhood).

No suprises that I see too many examples of black women's wings and spirits being clipped in church. It is there that the notion of suffering black womanhood is more salient than anywhere else. I mean what else but suffering and hardship is the portion of the black woman, it permeates almost everything we do in the church from the testimonies we give to the thankless drudge work and non recognition and lack of support and even criminal elevation of mediocre men in ministry above women who have twice the aptitude. I wager that if the church preached and communicated a new message of 'no need for suffering' to black women, the first place that black women would begin to peel away from is the church itself! In the church, suffering is deemed as ennobling, sharing in christs characteristics etc. No wonder the ration of five women to one man continues to be shrugged off as a none issue. The truth is that suffering is supposed to be a mark of Godliness for black women and many black women run with this view and even police others into this suffering lifestyle!

The Black Church is indeed one place where women who are acquinated with hardship and sorrows do their bit to snuff out the optimism they sense and see particularly in the young women who have the lighheartedness of youth about them. Soon these young girls begin to take on the spirit of heaviness and the look of one who recognises that they have less claim to happiness and freedom.

One way of recruiting to the cult of the blues is by not talking about solutions but speaking as if the only thing that is to be done, is to 'pass through', 'endure' and keep ones dignity and integrity through the trials, as if going through harship is non negotiable. When there is a discussion about a difficult situation and it does not introduce a solution or a way out, then indeed it is essentially a call to continue in the pain, madness, lack and the mess.

A lot of suffering black women go through would fall away if black women are told, 'Actually, you dont have to endure or put up with this.' So when women withhold conversation of 'solutions', this is tantamount to endorsing a life of hardship.

So watch out, it could be that you are being recruited to the life of the blues.

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Send your questions to relationshipadvice@dateawhiteguybook.com (I will try my best to give a reply/answer)