At the end of last year, 2014, I thought about writing a piece about my coming to the realization that there is a strong undercurrent of disdain for Black women perpetuated by Black men. For whatever reasons I never took the time to put my thoughts down and flesh them. The past weekends news from McKinney, TX where a police officer assaults a bathing suit clad 15 year old, DaJerria Becton was heart wrenching enough. But the fall out that has happened since as Black men question Black women, not out of a want for betterment but to self serve and boost their own egos, is entirely egregious.
I have acquiesced to the fact that White people just don’t get it and will question in order to justify blatant abuse. That is standard fare and an unfortunate social norm of 2015. However, there has been a steady cry from Black women who jump to support our brothers without question as we protest for Freddie Gray, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and others. Yet as soon as we ask can you love and support us in the same vain that we give ourselves to you, we are told to shut up and focus on Black men. And now in #McKinney, with DaJerria Becton we have a clear visual of the unnamed assaults that have been happening to Black women by police. But instead of showing up and offering the same unquestioning support, Black men with amplified platforms have taken it upon themselves to assert dismissive questioning suggesting that Black women aren’t or haven’t done anything for our own.
Whether you are questioning “Black feminist,” sororities, national organizations, or your Facebook friends what purpose does it serve to question why aren’t Black women speaking out about #McKinney when we could come together for xyz? My immediate response is to question the quality of your wi-fi connection, because before #McKinney, groups of Black women who cross over into any silo you’re attempting to call out, have been aggressively attempting to amplify the voice of Black women who are overlooked as we are brutalized by the same forces that attack Black men. The irony of it all, is these same men are missing how when you remove the voices of Black men, it gets pretty quiet. There’s not less coverage because Black women aren’t talking about, there’s less coverage because Black men haven’t deemed #McKinney a personal concern. Promoting questions that further demoralize and demean Black women is not the support we are looking for.
Then the dedicated platforms that regardless of the incident, spend time, make money off of promoting ideology that Black women are worthless, victims of their own stupidity and self-hate, are a serious issue that when brought up again Black men balk and seek to deny the severity of the issue. There is no Black woman with the same platform as a Tommy Sotomayor, Tariq Nasheed, Farrah Gray and many others who dedicates her space to degrading Black men at the same rate that these men excessively degrade Black women. When I asked a young man to name one Black woman who has similar platforms as the aforementioned, I was met with ‘it’s a matter of perspective on if they’re really offensive or not.’ Right, because the mythological hate-mongering Black woman who promotes stepping on the backs of Black men seeking to keep them down, is just that a myth. Even the attempted take down of Melissa Harris Perry by Cornel West, there is no parallel to be found. But yet, I’m suppose to ignore these messages and not balk at persistent defamation of my own womanhood. I shall not complain or raise awareness, because my own voice is either not enough to show that I care or is too much and is now taking away from the support of Black men. What is it? I’m just asking that you let go of your disdain for Black women, especially those of you who continue to question us while pursuing us as sexual and/or romantic partners with your actions there again signifying your lack of respect for us.
Why is there is such an unwillingness to take a step back, outside of ones self and see another perspective, especially when the one asking has done the same for you without question? When you shame Black women, when you tell them their concerns don’t hold the merit of deserving your support, are you not shaming your own mothers, daughters, and wife? Or has your life been entirely devoid of the positive influences of Black women?
Producing this video and a few responses I’ve seen from peers on social media sparked this post.