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Saturday, August 18, 2007

What's The Problem?

At first my post was simply going to state the fact that black women advocating for black women should do nothing but garner respect from black men. That it doesn’t have to be one or the other as far as fighting for black women or fighting against racism.

But I was in the car and heard Fabolous and Ne-Yo’s “Make Me Better” I was nodding my head to the beat and then I heard this line that says: Beside every great man, you can find a woman like a soldier holdin' him down


You always hear songs about being “down” for your man, and men singing about needing a good woman to support him. Everything in the black community is about supporting the black man. Well, I could ask, “What exactly am I supporting you in?” You’re not running households. Almost 70% of black children are born to single mothers. 35% of all women killed are black. We have some dammit issues too. Where is our support? Hold me down. I’m dying right along with you. But I guess I shouldn't acknowledge thats its black men who are doing it.

And if we are getting that support (because maybe its just me who isn’t) how so? I’ve learned from a past relationship love isn’t the same as support.

In Prince’s “Future Baby Mama” (cute) he says “Gotta bend in the wind but don't break, 2 keep yo man” (thats from some lyrics site). Au contraire my little man. I need to bend but not break for me.

There are too many black “leaders” to accept them only making a fuss when we are wronged by white people. The Dunbar gang rape hits home for me because she is me. I am a single mother of a young boy and it was painful for me to truly, truly realize that if anything were to ever happen to me no one would be there for me, no one would fight for me, no one would speak for me.

And we’ve all received the “Why aren’t you doing anything instead of calling on the leaders?” We have and we get blasted for that too. Before I ask why we’re receiving the flack I have to make something clear. Leaders aren’t just Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and the NAACP (though if you give them your money--and I have never--you should expect them to advocate for the black community even when those bringing it down are black).

The leaders are politicians who have constituents living in the poorest of poor neighborhoods. For all the criticism he has received, Newark mayor Cory Booker was up front, we saw his face. Mayor Frankel hasn’t done a damn thing. You’re telling me this mayor couldn’t go to the MSNBC Miami Bureau and make some noise? Every politician knows you don’t wait for the media to come to you, you go to them. If she were up for reelection I bet she would find a way to get some attention. After all, she’s a Democrat and isn’t the “mainstream” media liberal? And doesn’t the media like sex and violence? She could have received some airtime.

I don't understand people who don't hold people accountable for their actions while sitting back and saying, "Oh well thats just the way things are." Where would black people be if those who came before us said that? Probably still in the back of the bus.

Where is Florida governor Charlie Crist? As Elisa Cramer stated in the West Palm Beach Post, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine visited the victim. Has Governor Crist made any inquiries into the gang rape and the two other rapes? Because lets not forget, a 15 year-old was raped one month later. And a 42 year-old woman was raped days before that.

But back to the flack for speaking out. Why? Does it somehow emasculate black men? Do they think our speaking up means we’re saying they can’t do the job of protecting us? I just don’t get it. All our problems are not racial ones no matter how conspiracy theorist you want to get. We can all admit that. Even the hardest believers of racial injustice and discrimination know that is not all that’s going on here. We victimize ourselves…a lot.

  • In 2005 there were 36,620 black sexual assault victims. 100% of those were by black offenders. 0% by white offenders (meaning fewer than 10 nationwide).
  • The overwhelming majority of black women who are sexually assaulted do not report it. And by overwhelming I mean for every one that does, 15 don't.
Okay, but look, a Black person would have to be a fool to think racism isn’t an issue in this country but on the other end of the spectrum you have the other half of the fools--who believe the only issue in Black America is racism.

There is a reason Bruce Gordon left the NAACP. Could it be he felt there was more the organization needed to do besides talk about white people? At least that’s what I got from him when he said in an interview that yes, we need to get fair pay but once we get that pay what are we doing with it? In other words, there needs to be some educating of how this world, in which Black America exists, operates and how to succeed in this game. For all the talk about Black dollars and Black buying power there isn’t a whole lot of catering to us, now is there?

I don’t know why black women calling out the old guard organizations and “leaders” is a problem but the fact that it is a problem for some speaks volumes. I just don't get why there are some Black people who don't think Black organizations should concentrate on the problems that don't involve white people. And since I have a feeling I will never get it, I won't bother to give it much thought as to why you only hold white people to a certain standard of expectation.