The Economics of (Black) Love, Pt. 4 of 5

hand-heartSeniors: The Golden Sunset Years

Black women are doing double duty:

Black women fulfill many roles in the Black community.  They are the family anchor, role models, providers, educators, esteem-builders, defenders of the sacred, are activist and active resisters.  Black women leave a trail of strength on roads that have never been easy for them to travel. Yet, rather than shy away from a road that must be travelled; they forge it on behalf of others.  When it comes to roads difficult to travel, over time, their tears have worn the stony roads down to a manageable crossing-sometimes.

Black women do double duty not only as the flame but as keepers of the flame. They are the flame that lights the way not only for themselves but for other Black women, children and Black men. They are the measure for society to understand when their moral compass is off-against all peoples. They not only concern themselves with the Black community, but empathize and can be seen in solidarity with other marginalized groups. Sometimes that flame gets dull, threatens to go out and makes a righteous path harder for some to discern.

It’s a difficult position to be in to have to take care of oneself and others with little to no help or support. Self-care is difficult for women who have not wanted to, generally not been allowed to, or rarely been supported in the notion of thinking about just themselves for a minute.

Black people know that they’ve always had to work twice as hard as everyone else only to still get less than everyone else.  This is doubly so for Black women. To say that Black women are “tireless” is a disservice and supports a myth of superhumanness-which nobody has. They do get tired, it’s just that they can’t rest in a community and a society that has not rewarded their unending commitment to fight/work/pray for and achieve justice and equality for their people and all people. Yes, they have some strong warriors in the struggle, but the numbers suggest there are not enough. It is particularly important that in their golden years when their soul is most weary that Black women have a padded nest and protective arms to rest those weary bodies in.

Few Black Women have Golden years:

According to “Black Women in the United States, 2014”:

  • As it relates to the experience of Seniors, 1 out of every 5 Black women are poor,

compared to less than 1 in 10 white women aged 65 or older (21.2% vs. 8.6%)

  • Increasing the Minimum wage and access to benefits would be especially beneficial to Black women. Studies show that the number of women who are earning a minimum wage dramatically increased as a result of the recession-among all racial groups. For Black women the numbers doubled.

When the current political pundits, commentators, surrogates, preachers and panderers to the presidential candidates encourage Blacks and Black women especially to vote for their candidate, it’s problematic in a number of ways. But, it is most problematic that they are remiss in addressing two issues that are particularly important to Black women and Black community sustainability.

According to “Black Women in the United States, 2014”:

  • Because Black women are both less likely than other women to marry, and if married, are more likely to experience divorce, they are much less likely than other women to receive Social Security Spousal or Widow Benefits. In fact, the number of Black women aged 50-59 who cannot receive Social Security spousal benefits because they were either never married, or were married for less than 10 years, is more than double the rate of all other women.
  • Social security is especially vital to the retirement security of Black women. It is by far the most relied upon source of income for Black women throughout their retirement years.
  • Due to limited asset accumulation, modest pensions and lower earnings, Black women are especially reliant on Social Security in retirement to make ends meet.
  • For Black women especially Social Security is often the last line of defense from either poverty or complete destitution.

According to Black Women in the United States 2016:

  • It is estimated that if it were not for Social Security, nearly two-thirds (62%) of Black women would fall into poverty during their retirement years.

The over-reliance on Social Security by Black women due to lack of employment income, spousal support and inability to save is unjustifiable for women that have worked so hard and contributed mightily to keeping their families and the rest of America afloat.

If Black women don’t have husbands that can and will help provide for them and their families in their golden years, then the minimum wage and equal pay for equal works needs to increase now.  And, Social Security better not go bust.

I want to hear the candidates speak to that.  As Black women voters, we need to demand more. We need to demand that politicians and the pundits and preachers that support these candidates and encourage Black women to do so, show us how they will show us some Black Economic Love.

Abuse comes in a variety of forms. We’re familiar with what physical and sexual abuse looks like. However, we need to explore further what emotional and financial abuse and neglect look like on a collective. It is time to expand the definitions to show their impacts on Black women and Black Economic Love.

In establishing self-reliance and self-care, Black women will have to do their own assessments of how they spend their hard-earned money and to whom the recipients of their generosity of love are. It will be a rude awakening for some, but that’s ok, because Black women have been rudely awake for centuries. Now, it’s time for us to become keenly awake.

To be continued…

Please Note: October is Domestic Violence (DV) Awareness Month, but DV and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is something we must be aware of everyday.

Domestic violence (which can encompass: emotional, mental, social, sexual, physical and financial arenas), sexual assault and intimate partner violence knows no color-line and is a crime in any color. Black women are disproportionately represented in the numbers of assaults and death due to such violence against them.

For any and all women, men, children and otherwise identify, who are in an unsafe relationship or situation, for your sake and that of your children, please seek help immediately.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

Toll free, 24/7 hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

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The Economics of (Black) Love, Pt. 3 of 5

poverty-ball-and-chain

The Family

Entertaining Rape Culture in the U.S. is Not New for Black Women

When it comes to the “Rape Culture” of the U.S., for Black women it was initiated in large-part with the African slave-trade. It is estimated that upwards of 58% of enslaved women and girls were raped by White men. While this was happening, many White women looked the other way or took opportunities to re-victimize Black women.

Many Black men looked the other way as well (for various reason, but away none-the-less). In either case, indifference to, participating in or ignoring of, Black women’s abuse by allowing the perpetrators to go unpunished contributed to a rampant Rape Culture in the U.S.  A rape culture mentality is not new just because multiple sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump have given new life to the topic.

Now, the long-standing rape culture mentality is being given a make-over in typical revisionist history fashion. The origins (colonialism) and the mass sexual assaults perpetrated by the dominant culture (White men) on mass-women (Black and Indigenous women) are hoping to continue to go unaddressed. La Femme is not having that.  A new rape culture was not birthed by a Birther.

The Role of a Lifetime

Contrary to what the Birth of a Nation (BOAN) movie-based in part on Nat Turner’s life is inferring, few Black men sacrificed themselves and started mass-uprisings to protect, defend or avenge Black women. Yes, the film touched upon the callousness of rape of Black women.

However, the rape scenes in the BOAN movie failed in allowing the women to fully depict the effects on them. Instead, it used the scenes to suggest the rapes were the straws that broke the camel’s back and the impetus for male revolt.

Neither the rapes nor the avenging of Black women is attributed to the actual Nat Turner account.  As well, with 58% of Black women and girls being raped during that period, history would surely have a lot more accounts of Black male resistance-if 58% of Black males stood in their defense. In the case of BOAN, Parker abused the role of a life time in this, and a number of other ways.

The point BOAN did bring home is that from Gangsta-rap to major movie productions, violence against Black women has been a story-line that is woven gratuitously into many Black male productions for entertainment. It is economically profitable to sing, rap and act-out violence against Black women. But, make no mistake it is not in the interest of Black Economic Love to do so. Nor, does committing violence against Black women (or any other woman) make a Black male a man.

Too often in conscious-less male-produced movies, Black women’s stories are used as props to falsely hero-tize Black male masculinity or penalized Black female femininity. Black women’s are bodies used to fulfill Black male sexual gratification or, they are otherwise used as an outlet for masculine insecurities, envy, fragility and aggression.

Black males who create or participate in the gratuitous suggestion or representation of violence against Black women are normalizing the depiction of violence against Black women. They are also normalizing the notion of Black men as violent and abusive.

A Movie Kinda Love

Black men that make their living portraying the love interest of a Black woman in a movie but have no love for them in reality are essentially using Black women for their own economic gain and abusing their loyalty (more about that later).

They use the financial support of true-believers of Black Economic Love to line their pockets. Many of the most prominent Black actors chosen for the role of “love-interest” to prominent Black women actresses, have no real interest in loving Black women nor lining the nest eggs of Black families-beyond a script and the wrap of the movie.

True love extends beyond a paid portrayal or a fantasized movie’s defense of it. Real demonstration of protective, physical, mental, emotional, social, psychological- healthy love is vital to express and have in real life.

Faux-love or temporary love for financial gain is at once a reflection and a projection of a role that many Black women have been cast in. There hasn’t been enough exploration of the consequences- as a moral to the story.  The consequence is lack of Black Economic Love for Black women. That lack of Black Economic Love has many residual consequences on her and her child(ren).

The Permanent Temporary

When a permanent child arrives as a result of a “temporary love thing”, too often a Black woman is relied on as the permanent sole-provider for herself and their child(ren).

Many Black women have done outstanding in bridging the gap. Still, many Black women aren’t fairing so well.

The Economic statistics of how many Black Women are fairing in the U.S. are extremely alarming, sad and depressing. The economics of Black love play a huge part in supporting Black women and families and ensuring they have access to quality health care, education, representation and overall quality-of-life indicators through the end of their golden years.

According to “Black Women in the United States, 2014”:

  • Blacks are more likely to take on broadened financial responsibilities than the general population, a trend that Black women mirror despite comparatively low earnings.
  • In spite of having lower earnings and significantly less personal wealth to rely on in times of struggle, Black women are more likely than both white men and women to report having loaned money to help family or friends with expenses (60% vs. 54% and 52% respectively).

While Black women are busy supporting others (with money they could use to pad their own nests) so that others can survive and thrive, they are being further pushed back from the table of sustainability-of-self. Others are gaining stability from the generosity and hard work of Black women. Others are then able to position themselves to be attractive mates, are able to get education, able to buy homes in thriving communities and able to pursue and achieve their dreams by standing on a strong base of Black woman support.

In many cases, these Black women who over-extend and sacrifice themselves are the grandmothers and mothers in the family-the “rock”, the “heart and soul” of the families. Often the sons that benefited from a hard-working yet under-paid Black mamma will then marry outside the Black community.  Thus, a hard-earned base of Black Economic Love that began with Black matriarchs and remained in the community leaves the community to be benefited by non-Black women  (and men) who their sons choose to marry or otherwise support.

This creates a vicious cycle of lack of Black Economic Love being received by Black daughters and granddaughters. It is a harsh reality that needs to be explored.

According to Blackdemographics.com:

  • When it comes to having children, only 33% of Black women who gave birth were married which is almost the opposite for ‘all women’ at 64%.
  • Black women are the head of 29% of all Black households which is more than twice the rate for ‘all women’ at 13 percent. These are households defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as having a female head and no spouse present.

According to “Black Women in the United States, 2014”:

  • Black women are more likely than any other group in America to work for poverty-level wages.
  • Black women are twice as likely to be working poor as either white women or white men.

According to “Black Women in the United States, 2015”

  • Among single mother households, nearly half of such families headed by Black women are poor (46.7%)

Collectively, Black women work their asses off for less pay. Thus, they have less money to save for emergencies or just to keep their heads and their child(ren)’s heads above water. Collectively, they are less likely to have the financial ability to save for that rainy day that inevitably comes.

They are less likely to have a double income to absorb some of the hit of a rainy day. They are less likely to have a strong shoulder of a real man to rest their weary heads upon.

We thank god for the few, the brave, the proud, the real men that show up and show how to provide Black Economic Love. Yet, being thankful for them is not enough to sustain ourselves.

To be continued…

 

Please Note: October is Domestic Violence (DV) Awareness Month, but DV and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is something we must be aware of everyday.

Domestic violence (which can encompass: emotional, mental, social, sexual, physical and financial arenas), sexual assault and intimate partner violence knows no color-line and is a crime in any color. Black women are disproportionately represented in the numbers of assaults and death due to such violence against them.

For any and all women, men, children and otherwise identify, who are in an unsafe relationship or situation, for your sake and that of your children, please seek help immediately.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

Toll free, 24/7 hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

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Definition: Black Economic Love

Black Economic Love: 1) Adverb: An expression of which actively ensures that Black and/or other financial  resources are distributed to Black people/communities in order that it: 1) reduces poverty 2) increases overall opportunities 3) increases self-reliance 4) increases community self-reliance 5) increases political clout for Black communities 6) increases ability to create generational wealth and sustainability 7) decreases reliance outside the community

2) Noun: A conscientiousness that good and healthy Black love includes and extends beyond the physical, sexual, emotional and mental realms to a well-rounded state that ensures financial well-being and a practice of forward thinking so that there will be generational benefits in the present and in the future.

Note: Black Economic Love can be shown by anyone to Black women/individuals/Families/Communities but it is imperative that at the very least Black people foster it for themselves and their own.

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The Economics of (Black) Love, Pt. 2 of 5

price“Black Women and Men”

They Came Two by Two

There is a reason that two heads are better than one, that it takes two to make a thing go right and that it takes two to make it outta-sight. This is a tough world (nationally and globally) for Black people in general and doubly so for Black women. Just as every woman has the right to protection by their own men, Black women have that right as well.

Collectively, Black women have certainly earned it. It’s true that Black women as a collective have been blessed with some serious Black warriors and kings that we can all hang our crowns on with pride. Yet, collectively those that seek relationships within, have also seen their share of jokers and jesters interspersed within and seemingly threatening to take over their dating and marriage pool.

According to Blackdemographics.com

  • There are about 364,000 more Black men who are married than Black women even though Black women are 51% of the Black population.
  • While an overwhelming percentage of Black women are married to Black men, (94%), about 86% of Black men are married to Black women.

For many Black women, a few good examples of strong Black love are enough to keep hope alive that they can have the same. It is in part because many Black women still believe in the possibility of being involved in a mutual “Strong Black Love” that they still “overwhelming” look for love within their own race.

It is of course, not their only option, but quite natural that they would look within. Other races do the same. However, other races do the same with a mutual since of loyalty, attraction, appreciation for, and understanding of, shared heritage and a since of strengthening their community through unity. The numbers suggest that for many Black men the desire for that kind of love is not as important to them as it to Black women and other cultures with a more unified front. The media pushes this narrative as well.

Based on the rates of marriage, absentee parents, poverty and violence within Black communities, the reality of lack of Black Economic Love, and what it means for Black women and the collective Black community (yes, I still hold the belief there is such as thing)  is real even without media intervention. Thus, it must be faced and collectively explored for remedies, not simply chalked up to media and ignored.

Let’s get really real, reality real

Not only do Black women have to combat external physical violence and unequal employment and pay that contribute to poverty in our communities, they have to combat internal violence and lack of sharing of economic resources that contribute to poverty in our communities. While Black women hold things down, it is a lot easier to do so with help and support.  There is a cost for Love in general, but what is the price for lack of it? What is the price to be paid for a lack of Black Economic Love?

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

When it comes to love, the reality for some Black women, is that when they find “love” within their race specifically, it can be emotionally and physically energizing or, it can be emotionally and physically deadly.  For Black women collectively, the latter is all of our concern. While all women are susceptible to sexual assault, domestic and intimate partner violence by virtue of their gender. By-and-large, at only about 13% of the population,  Black women experience violence disproportionately.

Some Black Women both Ride and Die

The number of Black women who experience Domestic and Intimate partner violence is truly staggering and appalling*. Truly, where is the love?

According to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • An estimated 41.2% of non-Hispanic Black women experienced physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetimes.

According to “Black Women in the United States, 2015″:

Black women are the most likely women in America to be murdered.

  • Overall, Black women are more than 3 times as likely to be murdered than are white women.
  • Nearly 15 times as many Black women were killed by a man they knew than by strangers.
  • 52% of Black women who knew their murderers were wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends of the person who murdered them.

According to the Violence Policy Center, in 2013:

  • Ninety-two percent (416 out of 453) of the homicides of Black females were intra-racial.

According to the AntiTransgender Violence report:

  • In 2015, at least 21 people-nearly all of them transgender women of color– lost their lives to violence in the first 10 months of the year (more than any other year that advocates have recorded).

This year has also been one marked with numerous domestic tragedies for Black/Transgender women.

Due to recent events covered by the Black Lives Matter movement and in the media, we have heightened awareness of the violence against Black men and women at the hands of bad law-enforcement personnel. The condemnation of it is warranted.

In curbing violence, we need to ensure that one perpetrator (Black) does not go up while the other (non-Black) goes down-they both need to stop.

NOTE: Intra-racial violence is true for any race of people. Generally, when anyone commits a crime it is committed against someone within their own race-whatever that race may be.  The myth of “Black-on-Black crime” as it is positioned to be “an aberration” from what is true of other races is for racist purposes.

What is the aberration is the disproportionality of Black intra-racial crimes in relation to our population. Equally, the numbers of crimes committed intra-racially are not equal.   Black women are not violating Black/men at even close to the rate they are being violated.

Taking an honest assessment of the violence tells us that just as those that are external to our communities have a lot of work to do to combat violence against Black individuals and communities, as a collective community, Blacks have a lot of worked to do within our own communities to combat violence against individuals in our communities.

In particular, all Black men have a role in reducing and eliminating the violence against Black women. It’s not only Black Economic Love when they take that role seriously- it’s self-love and self-preservation. The price for not planting seeds of Black Economic Love is too high a price for us all to pay.

* A group that out-paces Black women in Sex Assault/Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence, is that of multi-racial women who fare even worse when it comes to sexual violence against them (of which many Black women are multiracial as well).

To be continued…

Please Note: October is Domestic Violence (DV) Awareness Month, but DV and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is something we must be aware of everyday.

Domestic violence (which can encompass: emotional, mental, social, sexual, physical and financial arenas), sexual assault and intimate partner violence knows no color-line and is a crime in any color. Black women are disproportionately represented in the numbers of assaults and death due to such violence against them.

For any and all women, men, children and otherwise identify, who are in an unsafe relationship or situation, for your sake and that of your children, please seek help immediately.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

Toll free, 24/7 hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

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The Economics of (Black) Love, Pt. 1 of 5

cost“The Community”

Let’s see, there’s the movie “Love and Basketball”, “Love Jones” and “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate” and “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” and of course the “reality” show “Love and Hip-hop”. We have a lot of fine examples of Black “Love”, or at least with the word in the title-I guess.   It’s long past time to talk about The Economics of (Black) Love.

Love does cost a thing:

We can receive love unconditionally-meaning we can do nothing to warrant it and not even have to reciprocate it and it can still be received. However, “Love” is not without a cost to someone.  Even if you don’t pay a cost as a recipient of it, someone is paying a cost for giving it.  Just as lack of Love has a cost and takes a toll on a body, giving Love has a cost and if not reciprocated-exacts a toll on the giver.  So, what cost love? Let’s explore the various ways love costs someone.

The difference Between Rich and Wealthy is what you do with the money

Unlike many Blacks who live pay-check to pay-check, wealthy Blacks have disposable income to spend and/or save for a rainy day not only for themselves but for their future generations.

When Blacks make money on the levels that major players in the entertainment, sports, religious and political arenas, etc do, they have an opportunity to invest that money wisely and to grow it exponentially. They have enough money to take care of their basic needs, wants and desires, as well as, to save money that will build wealth that their future generations will benefit from. The planting of the seeds of money is a form of love.

Off the backs of enslaved people is not the only way that generational wealth can be accumulated. It is a testament to people of color who have been able to create wealth and pass it on to generations. It is a testament to those that can and do love someone else enough to plant those seeds.

Wealthy Blacks have an opportunity to support Black businesses to ensure that Blacks become entrepreneurs, employers and independent business owners and have something to pass on to future generations. Those business owners tip the scales of Blacks being viewed as simple consumers that support everyone else’s quest to get rich.

Those Black business owners and highly paid entertainers have wealth that gives them the financial clout to make or influence political, economic, legal, educational, health and social decisions. When wealthy Blacks are conscious and tribe-minded, when they “love” themselves and other Black people, then they’ll use that clout to improve Black communities’ standing and protective-factors- as well as, have enough leftover to improve the standing of others if they choose.

When Blacks circulate Black money in Black communities, they have collective bargaining power to influence how other businesses interact with them and the Black community. They have the power to influence quality grocery-stores to bring quality produce and products at reasonable prices into Black communities, as they do in White communities.

Wealthy Blacks have the power to influence Black health and that is wealth.  Black people living in Black communities who reap the benefits of Black businesses that hire Black people, receive a livable income that allows them to shop and support those quality goods and services- which keeps them coming into Black communities.

Everybody’s economy grows when Black dollars are returned at least in-part to Black communities. Imagine if wealthy Blacks dumped as much money into Black communities as they do…other communities.  Every other non-white culture has been able to do this successfully for their communities. As a result they are less reliant on someone else for their livelihood. In fact, in many cases those cultures count on Black people not investing in, or creating their own economies, so they can continue to gain the Black dollar. They rely on the lack of Black Economic Love to strengthen non-Black economies.

What is Black Economic Love?

When we talk about the “Black family” Black two-parent households and extended family households aren’t discounted and don’t go unacknowledged or unappreciated. I am indeed grateful to be part of one. However, statistically, (too) many Black families consist of Black women and Black children only. Nearly 30% of Black households are headed by Black women. Where are the men?

Black women are unquestionably loving and giving of themselves and their possessions for the benefit of uplifting anyone and everyone else-often at the expense of their own lives. Black women’s support of Black men and Black community is legendary. Black women are resilient and resisters.  Black women’s strength, courage and resistance to injustices on behalf of themselves, other Black women and Black men, may even be the determining factor in Black family and community survival. Yeah, I said it.

Yet, their unconditional love, in its multiple forms of uplift and upkeep too often does not experience the reciprocity equal to their out-put. Black women and Black children are the one’s suffering from lack of Black Economic Love.

Black Economic Love is a conscientiousness that Black “love” starts with but extends beyond the physical, sexual, emotional and mental realms to a well-rounded state of loving that ensures financial well-being and a practice of forward thinking of generational benefits from it in the present and in the future.

You can’t grow anything, if it’s plucked before it’s firmly rooted. Planting and rooting the seeds of wealth is only one way to plant seeds of generational wealth for Black communities.

When one is conscious of the future and loving enough of themselves, their heritage and their communities, Black Economic Love is a natural by-product of that love. Understanding of Black Economic Love is an understanding of complete and real love.

According to Black Men in America.com, a dollar spends:

  • 6 hours in the Black community
  • 17 days in the white community
  • 20 days in the Jewish community
  • 30 days in the Asian community

To be continued…

 

Please Note: October is Domestic Violence (DV) Awareness Month, but DV and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is something we must be aware of everyday.

Domestic violence (which can encompass: emotional, mental, social, sexual, physical and financial arenas), sexual assault and intimate partner violence knows no color-line and is a crime in any color. Black women are disproportionately represented in the numbers of assaults and death due to such violence against them.

For any and all women, men, children and otherwise identify, who are in an unsafe relationship or situation, for your sake and that of your children, please seek help immediately.

 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

Toll free, 24/7 hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

…To be continued

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We Got 99 Problems but a Birther Ain’t One

certificate-of-live-birth

In my opinion, the media has gotten it wrong again.  As usual most main-stream media (some Black media included) only scratch the surface of a controversy, rather than go deep and look at the real meaning and ramifications.  As usual, if the controversy is about shameful actions (that primarily) white people have taken against Black people, the media will cover it is as a shame that Black people should wrestle with. Unfortunately, many Black people buy into it and get distracted by it.

The media seized on an opportunity to create a non-story that would stoke the fires of racism when they covered the Birthers. Rather than admit that they did their part to give life to that non-story by giving air-time to obvious racist and despicable people, like pigs at a trough, they instead feasted on non-substance…again.

Now, it’s a new election season and the media wants to act as if their original non-story is an election vote-stopper. This time the story is not just about how the president was so-called “delegitimized” by the Birthers and Trump. It’s seemingly about how Blacks secretly want to vote for Trump, but they need to hear an apology from him first- cause that will make it all better.  Really? Seriously?

If some Blacks are willing to ignore the 99 other problems with Trump, such as: he took out a  racism motivated, full-page ad condemning the innocent Central Park 5, that he wants people of color to fight each other for low-wage jobs, that he’s stated he could stand in the middle of Times Square and shoot people and nothing would happen, that he’s called his constituents “Stupid” and “poorly uneducated”, that he has said that protesters need to be punched in the face and he would pay their legal fees (in which a Black man was punched by one of his supporters), that he’s said his first day in office will be dedicated to protecting law-enforcement-giving no discernment between the good and the bad,  that he didn’t even pretend to give a damn about Blacks until he someone told him that he needed some of their votes, that he’s essentially stated that Black neighborhoods are waste-lands, that he said Collin Kaepernick needs to move to a new country because he used his right to peacefully protest, that he disregards constitutional rights such as the freedom to protest and freedom of the press, and that he’s said he would punish women for their reproductive choice and the list goes on.

Any Black person who doesn’t consider those problematic and still plans to vote for him, won’t let his racism-motivated speculations of the president’s birth origins stop them.

It is to be expected that after four hundred years of brain-washing and the current media-system of education, that there are still a few enslaved left on the plantation and a few enslavers running the plantation they live on. Just like any cult member that’s been brain-washed into following those with self-appointed, false-god-like complexes, Black voters who choose to vote for Trump even given his unabashed stance against them, have been brain-washed by  Trump’s deplorable cult-of-personality.

However, the majority of Blacks depicted in the media have been brain-washed by Clinton’s and so they will vote for her, not Trump.  Well, just like anyone else, Black people too, have the right to ignore facts-they just can’t afford to as much as other people can. Sad, but true.

Still, the focus of this Observant Musing is not who is going to vote for who, but rather who owns the shame for the Birther movement. Blacks have at least 99 problems with this election, but the Birther thingy isn’t one of them. Black folks (except Ben Carson) can sit this one out because apology or not, it won’t change anything for them.

Let’s keep the lens in focus and focus the lens where it should be.

We, the Black people (with the exception of Lil Wayne, Cam Newton, Stacy Dash and Don Lemon and a few others) and the conscientious white people of the United States, already knew that there is racism and racists in the U.S.  We already knew that the election of a Black president would disrobe them and bring them out of the wood-work. That there would be weak people grasping at weak straws to thwart Obama’s election, is not news to us. Oh, and another non-news flash, the South lost. There was no need what-so-ever the make the Birther non-story a story.

The issue I have with the Birther “Movement” and non-story being shopped around now is that it supposedly “discredited” or “delegitimized” the President.  Trump played a big role in that supposed “delegitimization”.  Don’t get played, President Obama has not been “delegitimized” in anyway shape or form because of the Birther controversy.

No, the Birther thingy delegitimized the media, Trump and the Birthers themselves. Let’s put the spotlight where it belongs, I say.  The Birther thingy was simply a failed, racist tactic by some ( “a bunch of people” according to Trump) to thwart Obama’s election chances.  Yet, the President won 2 terms of office. The first Black president made history twice. I’m pretty sure a man of that caliber got over the Birthers on that second-term election night. Even when he’s been ineffective, the president still has been more effective than most other presidents in history have been or will be. And, as an aside, to suggest that being born (or not being born as was the case), in the U.S. is what makes one “legitimate” is a farce. Trump was born here- so he says, and he doesn’t seem legitimate to me.

The Birther non-story was given the credence of a “movement” because many U.S. based main-stream journalists have gotten extremely lazy (with the exception of Democracy Now! who are the hardest working people in news biz).  Rather than own up to its shameful role in promoting shameful politics in the first place, the media continues to spin, spin, and spin it as a Black problem. Well, I’m not buying it.

The Birther thingy is a symptom of racism, it is not a cause.  It is a symptom of an (primarily white people’s) enduring legacy of shameful hatred. It is a disavowal of the Christianity they profess. The Birther thingy is proof that there are a lot of white people who want to be racist and want racism to continue. It is symbolic of what a “bunch” of U.S. citizens think is “great”. The Birthers are conduits of a legacy of hate that is birthing new generations. The Birthers symbolize that racism was not confined to the “worst period” in American history.  The Birthers are proof that we don’t live in a post-racial society. Trump is a cause of racism; his Birther shtick is a symptom of that racism. If racism is to ever be eliminated, the cause must be addressed, not just the symptoms managed.

Regardless of how Black people will vote, the shame for the Birther non-movement thingy belongs on the shoulders of the racist people that created it and the non-discerning media that breathed life into it. It is their shame to carry and live with-not the Black community’s, not the POTUS, not the FLOTUS, not the CoPOTUS (Children of the President of the United States). Not the number of conscious people who disregarded the nonsense from the get-go.

The Birther controversy was never about the Black vote, and it isn’t about the Black vote now. It’s about racist White people’s refusal to acknowledge or vote for someone supremely qualified, dignified and likeable, like President Obama- simply because he is Black.

It is Purely. Simply. Solely. Shamefully. about the media’s ineffectiveness in squashing a non-story, labeling it a movement, aiding and abetting racists and trying to hand-off sloppy work as a problem that Blacks need to reconcile.

 

 

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I’m Not Down with BPP

Thumbs DownI love my people- most of them anyway (and a lot of other people too, well some of them anyway). Mostly, though I just like people. It takes a lot and depletes a lot of energy to feel more and to write upon those feelings.    I can’t hold my tongue when it comes to pondering specific Black People’s Problems though. I’ve been especially pensive about the nature of them during this election year-which promises no more solutions to them, than any other election year did. Yet, oddly, the same “Hope” and “Promise” is expected. Is that the famous Black Optimism that is the stuff of lore?  I’m all for optimism, but optimism alone is not what brings change. Optimism has never worked alone. It has worked in conjunction with proactiveness.

The events of Blacks being murdered with impunity and an election season that is reproducing fruits of a Colonialist Empire has put the spotlight on some of pressing issues. Issues concerning the way we handle our business of being subjects not objects. Issues concerning our business of being conscious thinkers not recipients of a media system of education (thank you Paulo Freire for your thoughts on a “Banking System of Education”. )

This is not to say that other races don’t have issues because obviously, they do. Yet, they also have unity to absorb some of the negative impacts of problems. Unfortunately, I’m not so sure that Black people have that level of unity-protective factors.  Certainly, there is a Black sisterhood & brotherhood that holds things down the best they can in spite of the circumstances. As powerful as that is (and thank the Black goddess for it), it is not always enough in all situations where all or the majority of Black male and female unity are required. However, unity is one thing, and smart unity is another. We can’t have people stupidly unified to support nonsense, as that will not move us forward, and it will not hold us back, it will move us back. Smart unity understands the difference.

There are a lot of issues and challenges that can be blamed on external influences. Some may argue that everything within Black communities can be blamed on external manipulations. I am not one of those people. Nope, there are issues in Black communities, which some Blacks are responsible for creating and using to manipulate them. Those issues must be acknowledged and addressed by all Black people whether they are rich or poor or somewhere in between. Blacks must find their own solutions to these issues collectively-independent of external influences (the most well intentioned can offer support). To always blame someone for problems that we (collectively) allowed to be created and/or collectively allow to be maintained and to wait on anyone else for solutions, is to give someone else control of our fate and to relinquish our self-determination.

Of course, not all Blacks are to have issue taken with.  I’m down with Black people doing what is required to have honest discourse that will affect positive and lasting results for Blacks and everyone else. But you know who you are when you’re causing or supporting Black People’s Problems. If you don’t, here’s a list of Black People’s Problems and the people causing them, that I am not down with (not necessarily in any order after the 1st one):

  • Black People’s Pictures in obituaries because they were killed by perpetrators of domestic violence and/or legally sanctioned brutality
  • Blacktivists Pejoratively Punished by other Blacks because they keep the lens and narrative focused on Black people who are overwhelmingly disproportionate victims of murder and mayhem from any source
  • Black Preacher’s Promises of heaven if Blacks survive the hell on earth created by hellions and pressing for Blacks to give them immediate forgiveness (often before the bodies are cold and buried and the acts of violence have been processed mentally, emotionally, or legally)
  • Black Preachers Proselytizing that Black people should vote for Clinton
  • Black Preachers Proselytizing that Black people should vote for Trump
  • Black Patriarchal Pronouncements about who Black women should vote for when they’re absent and non-supportive of Black women’s struggle the rest of the year and/or are pathetic paternal phantoms who come around to make babies but don’t stay around to care for and protect them. Have several seats
  • Black Populace Passivity unable to read the writing on the wall
  • Black Pastors Playacting like Clinton or Trump is a Panacea
  • Black Presidents Pacifying perpetrators of Black people’s injustice
  • Black Pimps Pimping Black votes by pretending that Clinton doesn’t support the mass imprisonment of the very Black people they’re pimping votes from
  • Black People Parodied because enslaved mentality Black Preachers act like they can’t see or read Trump’s racist rhetoric, act like he doesn’t mean “us” and “hope” if they support Trump, Trump will support them, when he’s clearly stated he doesn’t and won’t.
  • Black Press Promoting dependent thought, rather than independent thought and not publicizing the good, the bad and the ugly so people will have information to make informed choices without undue pressure and swaying from them
  • Black Population Prisons also known as, Privatized prisons initiated by the first Clinton and supported by the second
  • Black Pitchmen Pretending they’re oblivious to Clinton’s Politics and not demanding de-privatization of prisons and reparations from either candidate
  • Black Pitchwomen Pretending they’re oblivious to Clinton’s Politics and not demanding de-privatization of prisons and reparations from either candidate
  • Black Pompous Politician’s political gains placed before Black People’s Protection
  • Black Political Pundits pressuring Black People to Vote for a “Lesser” evil, as if a vote for “lesser” evil isn’t still a vote for evil and isn’t a concerning proposition
  • Black Persons Pilfered by anyone who collects money from them to support political candidates who use the refrain “Hope to” as her plan for when she’s is in office. Or “I will” as his plan when he’s in office.
  • Black’s Passively Pledging support to candidates who are obvious (or covert) racists because they don’t want to sort the facts out for themselves and because they believe what they’re told by Black press and Black pompous  politicians and preachers
  • Black Prominent Performers preserving a system of silence (and letting a few other Black prominent performers take the heat for speaking out about injustice) in order to protect and accumulate more assets that they’ll utilize to support non-Black communities
  • Black Professionals Purchasing positions in organizations by being actively silent about issues regarding the Black community
  • Black’s Provocation Placated by religious and political fallacies and provocation going unpunished by legal systems
  • Black People Praying for a Clinton win as if she nor her husband has never preyed on Black people
  • Black Presidents Pointing out issues with republican presidential candidate more vocally in the last 3 weeks than he’s pointed out issues with institutional racist practices, policies and behaviors in the last 8 years  and ignoring issues with democratic presidential candidate (with all due respect)
  • Black Programming Period

Don’t let that line “Do it for your ancestors who died for your right to vote” convince you to vote for someone unworthy of their struggle.  To act as if our ancestors would vote for just anyone because they had the opportunity is to discount that they were intelligent and discernible. Even if they were forced to be illiterate, they were not unintelligent. They had a great sense of knowing that enabled theirs and our survival. They were resisters. If you think they would just vote for any candidate when neither has their best interest in mind, then you think that they were just as unintelligent and non-discerning as their “masters” once did.

If you’re going to vote for someone, vote, but be honest about their shortcomings-be aware of them. Vote knowing why you’re voting for someone (or not) and be able to live with the consequences. Don’t act upon other people thinking for you. Acknowledge that past behaviors are indicative of future behaviors and that pandering to specific populations during an election year is soon forgotten upon election.

Nothing magical will happen for Blacks after the election, no matter who wins- unless we make it happen-as we often do.  Maybe there is  higher power than our ancestors, but so far our ancestors have been the only tangible performers of miracles that don’t need “faith” as proof of existence. It’s time we learn that our saviors on earth are within us and to start protecting our own sanctity, not trying to give others a job that they won’t do at all, or will do half as well.

 

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WWJD? Bump That! WWWPD?

 

Black Trail of Tears3Given some white people have legacies of being descendants of people who enslaved, raped, robbed, murdered, harassed and pillaged Blacks and indigenous in this country  it’s no wonder that some of their descendants are now acting in-kind.

It’s no wonder that some are hoping for slavery 2.0 under the guise of “Making America Great Again”.

It’s no wonder that some feel entitled to punch Black people in the face for taking advantage of their patriotic right to peacefully protest.

It’s no wonder that some White people scream, shout and fight for their constitutional right to bear arms,  but when a Black person lawfully carries as is his constitutional right too, his arm is shot off and he bleeds to death they remain silent.

It’s no wonder that some are attacking young Black women in public spaces for selling candy, or while they wait patiently in line.

It’s no wonder that 2016 is looking like 1460, 1560, 1660, 1760, 1860 and 1960 with people shouting profanities at Blacks as they go about their business in public spaces.

It’s no wonder that our current president doesn’t believe that even in 2060 his children will see an equitable society.

It’s no wonder that photos taken during the civil rights movement that captured the evil that resided within some people’s hearts and minds and manifested in hateful, twisted white faces spewing profanities and spittle at Blacks, can be taken today with no discernable differences other than the clothing.

It’s no wonder that seeing Black people marching time and time again today is reminiscent of the civil rights movement of yesterday.

It’s no wonder that  some of the “Law” enforcers of today are acting like the “Law” enforcers of yester-year and using bullets to murder Black men and women with impunity as frequently and as wantonly as they used ropes to murder them with impunity.

It’s no wonder that all the Black men who would have been leaders in times like this have been murdered and not replaced for times like this.

It’s no wonder that people are at a loss for what to do as we witness a new era of colonial rule-no matter who you vote for.

Often people ask the question “What Would Jesus do?” or “WWJD”  as a guide to help them in decision-making, or as some kind of moral guidance. Given that Blacks have been indoctrinated to take their appeals to a White male god over and over in times of travail, and given that over and over, that White male god has not answered them but has continued to reward oppressors, perhaps it’s time to stop asking “WWJD?”

Perhaps, it’s time to ask, “WWWPD?” If they were overly and unfairly represented in the Judicial System, if they were pulled over by police 3 times more than Black people,  if they received the death penalty more than any other group,  if they actually got the same penalties that Black people do when they committed the same or lesser offenses, if they were more likely to suffer from police escalation resulting in murder than de-escalation resulting in life-“What Would White People Do?”

Because it seems to be working swimmingly for them. Oh wait, we know what they would do and it wouldn’t be to  ask “WWJD?”

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