We forgive scammers as long as they sell us a vision of wealth. As an influencer, I am consistently confronted by how pernicious behavior, that often maligns members of our own community, is swept under the rug with a kiss to the right cheek. Whispers “don’t say anything you don’t want to look bitter”.
Empowerment as an industry is nothing new. We’ve long filed into churches, bowing our head to wistful benedictions hoping that seed will be sowed into something personally prosperous and not simply make our pastors wealthy(er). Everybody likes nice things. The ministry has just evolved for the social media times. Snakes showed up in Genesis, so no surprise they’re still with us now. We understand when the snake does not have our skin, we can loudly rail against how that disenfranchises our hue. But when it looks like us, it moves like us, we see a snake cross the line of ethics against their own and we tell them to turn the other cheek, slide past it sis. There’s a point to not harboring anger and letting things go, this is not to suggest that we stew in negativity. But how do we address those of our community who consciously step on the throats of other Black women?
We have a responsibility to self-reflect and stay critical of our actions. As much as the capitalism of society tells us comfort is all we should be seeking, that’s not how liberation functions. In liberating Black women, in creating the systems and structures that allow our community to become successful, we have to be critical of ourselves. Yet, as long as a person can sell us on an image of wealth and Godly graciousness, no matter what their actions suggest, if their social media feeds keep up the appearance, as a collective, we lift out fingers to our lips to hush the Black women who have been stepped on.
This is why I do not buy into or attend a lot of the “empowerment” activities for Black women. In hush voices behind closed doors we swap stories about the same people, undercutting us but because we could weather the storm we shook our heads and let them be. We watch as other Black women sell a lie to the unknowing, digging into the bank accounts of Black women who are just searching for the hope the world never gave them. We book them on our panels and support their message because it looks good, no matter how many Black women it harms. We don’t know them, we’re not confronted with their reality…look how nice our photo is…make sure to tag where you got your outfit from, link in bio. We do have to look at ourselves and ask how do we speak about uplifting the position of Black women while emboldening the same systems that keep us precarious, simply because it looks good? I am not calling for a public condemnation or dragging, but a moment of self-reflection, a call for a point of consciousness where we do not support unethical behavior. But then we would also have to confront how much we love to sell to the masses this image of personal wealth. That there is no benefit to nepotism. That we are dishonest when we claim the success of an individual is a radical benefit to the community. I’m sure your feed is poppin’, tho.
March is my birth month, as a reflective time for me I am blogging every day this month. You can catch the posts here. Hopefully, this will help me improve my poor time management, editting skills (if you’re quick to read after I post excuse my errors, takes me a minute to catch them) and inspire more content for my YouTube channel.