Thursday, September 25, 2008

Reality Check: What the Black Underclass is REALLY All About

This essay is contained in my new book. I'm delighted to announce that The Sojourner's Passport site has launched! You can visit it at http://www.sojournerspassport.com/.

Everyone, I can't thank you enough for your ongoing encouragement and support; I truly appreciate it. Your support is what made this possible. And here's a special shout-out to my web designers at Educo Web Design. They're nice people to deal with, and they do outstanding work!

Peace and blessings,
Khadija Nassif

30 comments:

DeStouet said...

The truth about the black underclass issue is that not everyone is going to make it out. There are many reasons for this but at the same time, I truly do not hear many people publicly acknowledge this fact. It should be said, so that black people can understand it's okay to leave the weakest behind. Those of us who are not strong enough to overcome our harsh upbringings are burdens to the rest of us. In the animal kingdom, they weakest is preyed upon by predators and left behind by their family. It's a matter of survival. I understand that.

Now what kills me about black middle class or our leaders are they are normally always speaking up for the underclass, and not the black working class. There is a difference.

Personally, I myself am in the black middle class and I don't have anything against the other middle class blacks BUT damn, it's time to understand that the black underclass is done. over. dead.

I write about why I understand here

http://childrenwhoovercome.blogspot.com/2008/09/there-are-no-bad-children.html

to constantly keep their issues at the forefront of the black struggle frustrates me. their issues are not my issues. i help when i can. i help who i can. but i have relatives whom i don't visit because of this very issue. to walk into their homes would be like walking into the gates of hell. i mean that. and the real sad part is that we were all violated and abused in the same way.

by the same token, there are a few people working their way up through the classes. i was one of them, and i do speak out on the fact that i was able to overcome. but i'm am a rare case. so i understand the filth, hate, misery and pain down at the bottom.

i look a free will like this, it is free but not enough people has enough of the will needed to change things for themselves.

for ex, if you are born into the world with a beginner's mind (a blank canvas) and for 18 years different individuals deposit nothing but negativity into your mind, when you become 21 I don't see many people being capable of making the necessary changes to get rid of the negativity and replace it with positivity.

I don't think i personally view anyone as a victim as much as I understand what it entails to raise yourself up out of the depths of hell. it's not easy. in fact, for two years all i did was cry in therapy... for two years. very few people have what it takes to unlearn their behaviors. and even fewer people have what it takes to dwell inside of themselves and deal with being psychically abused, raped and all kinds of other sick twisted s#! the people in their community had waiting on them.

and the killer is when i was a child i said to myself all i had to do was get out of the ghetto, get an education and move into a better environment and i would find "peace"...that's all. how do you think i felt when i was 24 years old and realized the middle class had their own demons to deal with? i was crushed. i was looking at people like i know why my "brother" don't like me,"what's your excuse?"

Look, i am not saying i would rather be back with the black underclass. what i am saying is that i left them behind with the understanding not everyone had what it takes to make it out. i grieved and had a funeral for them. i'm done. but at the same time, i'm about done with the middle class as well. everywhere i go there are people spiritually starving. i don't want that.

Khadija said...

DeStouet,

Words cannot express the pain and outrage I felt while reading your testimony at your blog today. I praise God that you were able to get out & away from that environment; and those...individuals. I can't quite call them "people."

It sickens me that Black social circles are so comfy-cozy for sexual predators. It sickens me that so many mothers are more interested in hanging onto their relationship with a man than their own children's safety. (I've seen plenty of this with the clients.)

It sickens me that the same Black men that will risk their lives pursuing somebody who owes them money, won't lift a pinky finger to protect their own children.

It sickens me that so few of us will break all ties to sexual predators. It sickens me when people are shocked when I say the following: Once I find out that a woman is dating, affiliating, or whatever with a man who is a sexual predator, I cut that woman off. Completely. I don't care who they are. Or who they USED TO BE to me.

You've made some extremely important points about the Black underclass.

As you've noted, not everyone is going to make it out; and there are many interlocking reasons for this. Very few Black folks are willing to publicly acknowledge this reality. And, as you noted, there is a difference between the underclass and the Black working class. Our mostly middle class (mis)leaders refuse to speak to this reality.

Black folks often insist upon confusing the Black poor and the Black working class with the Black underclass. I believe this is because we are looking at the Black underclass with ill-conceived nostalgia---we assume that ALL poor Black folks are like our parents or grandparents who were often poor.

The Black poor and the Black working class are often like our striving poor relatives. Starting in the 1960s, segments of the Black poor population morphed into the Black underclass. The difference between the Black underclass and other poor Blacks is one of poverty PLUS DEPRAVITY. Many of our parents & grandparents were poor. They weren't depraved. This makes all the difference in the world.

It's also critical to recognize (as you have stated) that the Black middle class have their own demons to deal with. I heard a minister sum it up this way: "For every level, there's another devil." This is true.

I'm also done with certain categories of people: mainly those who don't want to get to the promised land. I don't care what "class" they belong to.

Peace and blessings,
Khadija

DeStouet said...

when i said this "There is a difference."

It should have been this," They have different issues."

Anonymiss said...

You bring up great points.

For years I've been very critical of, for a lack of better words, the degenerates of our community. That's a strong word but a spade's a spade. I don't feel that they're worthy of protecting as they wouldn't protect me.

The Blk underclass have exhibited some of the strangest behaviors with regards to intraracial violent crimes and sexual assault/abuse. Many of them normalize that behavior and protect these criminals through the idiotic "stop snitching" movement.

I read something the other day that criticized Chris Rock's "Blks vs. N******" segment of his standup. Ummm...I fail to see the problem. We shouldn't pretend that foolish negroes don't exist.

I remember when me and my BF were discussing how some hood ppl let their neighborhoods go down the toilet. He said "You can't blame the gov't for everything. What does the gov't have to do with a n**** pissing in the elevator? That's common sense. The gov't can't give you that."

Now what's your take on Cosby's so-called attack on the poor and Obama's Father's Day speech?

I agree that Cosby's "pound cake" comment was extreme but there a number of underclass Blks that aren't very involved in their kids' lives.

Khadija said...

Anonymiss,

Short Answer: I feel that the statements from Cosby & Obama that you mentioned are basically correct. However, they are both the WRONG messengers (for different reasons).

Long Answer: The Dr. William H. Cosby who: (1) apparently cheated on his beautiful Black wife with a White woman; (2) apparently impregnated said White woman; (3) who apparently did not support the product of his adultery; (4) so that said product of adultery grew up to attempt to extort money from him; (5) who has apparently settled numerous cases involving allegations that he drugged & sexually assaulted women...is NOT the person to be talking to anybody about moral values. As far as I'm concerned, R.Kelly may as well join Dr. William H. Cosby on his lecture tour.

I don't appreciate Sen. Obama lecturing African-Americans because he's not one of us. I don't like lectures/scoldings from outsiders. He did not grow up with us. He was raised by his White mother in places like Hawaii and Indonesia. He does not know us.

Very Long Background Context Answer: Black America is a failed state. I feel that ALL Black social classes have a hand in this failure. For ease of speaking, let me use the following short hand terms (I'm tired of typing out various class terms):

Villagers = the poor in general
Merchants = the middle class
Aristocrats = the rich

There is a real problem with the "hateration" that Black villagers want to heap onto the other classes. Despite this, I give the lion's share of the blame for our state's failure to the Black merchants and aristocrats.

After all, who out of these 3 classes had the education and resources to provide effective management & guidance for the Black collective? Certainly NOT the villagers.

In my opinion, Black merchants and aristocrats have been PROFOUNDLY irresponsible and incompetent in our management of the Black collective's fate. [Incidentally, I'm a born merchant.]

Merchants have been preoccupied what the author of "The Black Bourgeousie" called "the gaudy carnival." In other words, conspicuous materialism and attempts at social climbing into the aristocrat class. We're not as out of touch as aristocrats tend to be because many of us have parents who were villagers.

Villagers also tend to live in close proximity to merchant neighborhoods. In many cases, villagers with Section 8 vouchers have invaded & overrun merchant areas. So, we're not as far removed from villager reality as aristocrats tend to be. We pretend that we're as out of touch as aristocrats, but it's dishonest posing.

The aristocrats that I've encountered are similar to African aristocrats: totally detached from the other 2 classes. Think Marie Antoinette. "Let them eat cake."

I'm not saying that merchants should have done a better job of managing the Black collective for altruistic reasons. It was in our enlightened self-interest to have done better. This is similar to the way that Asian dictators like Gen. Park Chung-hee (if I remember the name correctly) lifted South Korea's standard of living IN A GENERATION. He didn't do it for idealism---he was brutal and corrupt.

Gen. Park did it because he understood that it was better to be an elite on top of a prosperous, strong collective than to sit on top of a weak, starving, & pathetic one.

African & Af-American aristocrats still haven't got this memo. Many of them are still shocked when they find that outsiders don't respect them. They haven't quite figured out that, to outsiders, their image is often tied to that of the peasant masses in their collectives.

Side detail: My former Hapkido instructor often talked about how when he was a boy in South Korea, people didn't ask "How are you?" as a greeting. Instead, they asked "Did you eat?" That's how hungry they were before Gen. Park.

Well, they're not hungry like that anymore and many Americans are driving Hyundais and using Samsung electronic gadgets. He also pointed out how modern South Koreans tend to be taller and larger than Koreans in his age group. All of this in just ONE generation.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Stealthkitty said...

Hi, Khadija. You have raised some interesting points. Thank you for making the distinction that others have not - that the black poor and the black underclass are NOT one and the same. The black poor, as you wrote, are the working poor. People who get up everyday and to to work; provide for their families; all without inflicing harm upon others. The underclass (which in my humble opinion can include blacks from all socio-economic backgrounds) are a different matter. These people lack anything resembling a conscious. They deal drugs from the front door of their section 8 apartment, thereby endangering their neighbours around them and their children are left to roam the street day and night while mama is in the house "entertaining" and getting pregnant. It is a shame and thank you so much for shining a light on this topic.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Stealthkitty,

Somebody has to say this stuff out loud. We need to stop caressing the Black underclass, and cut them loose. It's a matter of survival for the rest of us.

Yes, there is a distinction between the Black poor and the Black underclass. The underclass is a depraved subsection of the Black poor. The compassion that we feel for the Black working poor is often misplaced and spent on the underclass. This is a fatal mistake.

Yes, there are sociopaths in every income stratum. However, non-underclass sociopaths tend to be non-violent. This makes a huge difference in things like the number of Black schoolchildren shot & killed every year in Chicago (which is usually in the 30s or 40s each year).

The non-violent embezzler, swindler, etc. is much more manageable than native-born, armed-to-the-teeth Somali-style warlords.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Sister Seeking said...

"When you give blind support to, and make excuses for, the Black underclass, you are often choosing the Janjaweed over the Klan."


SS: Bingo baby! I agree wholeheartedly! We need to dump this attitude that everything from our people should be tolerated becuase we share the same ethnicity or historical baggage. I also think its really important for people not to gloss over this comment: frankly, not many BM's of your degree make such "connections." I attribute that to public education--including public colleges, and our mass refusal to travel outside of Europe. Text books can not teach everything! Nothing like hands on learning. If more BA's travelled to the nations of Africa, and to a few Islands, if they posses a well trained mind: they can not depart from their journey with out seeing the connections.


"It's taboo to say this out loud. We encourage each other to demonize & bash the Black middle and upper classes. People who generally AREN'T killing, robbing, and raping the rest of us. But the Black underclass is a sacred cow that we must pity and rescue, even as they prey upon the rest of us. This is insane."



SS: What do you make of Dr. Eric Dyson's response to Cosby's comments on this issue?

" Many of them have physical impediments that hinder their cognitive abilities. Many were born with various problems: drug-exposed, fetal alcohol syndrome, etc. In addition, many have negative genetic inheritances such as low IQs, and genetic predispositions for mental illness."



SS: So very, very, true... Untreated ( not: undiagnosed) mental illness; unmanaged learning disabilities, and poor prenatal care is responsible for FOUR generations of my kin in foster care. Yes, you read that right: FOUR GENERATIONS. When I converted to Islam, I left behind my biological family, and relocated to a different region of the United States. After my mother died, my biological relatives would emotionally beat me up about my refusal to come home. Truth be told, I did feel guilty. But I just couldn't do it... Every time I booked a trip to "visit" ( which they took as me giving up on Islam and returning to their madness) I would have nightmares for DAYS! I remember when I had to return home for my mothers funeral with out DH, I had a anxiety attack so bad in the airport that security guards were actually monitoring me: For those who don't know, I wear traditional Muslim dress, so this apart of their reaction. Saying all of this to say: I don't have a bond with ANY of my biological family members becuase of their refusal to get professional help which is free as well as their refusal to take personal responsibility and manage their life.

" They view themselves as victims. No matter what. The killers I've represented viewed themselves as victims. The pedophiles I've represented viewed themselves as victims. The mothers who've allowed their children to be molested viewed themselves as victims. Everything is always all about them. No matter what they have done, they see themselves as the "true" victims in every situation. When you view them as victims, you reinforce their worldview."


SS: Amen sista! It used to be painful for me to say this but: this is exactly why I chose to terminate my own mothers parental rights when it occurred to me at a young age (10 ish) that I was never going home, and was tired of languishing through the foster care system. I'm sorry to bring up my childhood so much but so much of what you write reminds of such. I know first hand by intimate personal experience that when you do view them as victims you reinforce their world view. I'd like to add something else to that: when a whole group of people buy into the victimization scandal it punishes innocent by standards. Case and point: when I terminated my mothers parental rights I was emotionally bullied by all my biological family members as being "selfish" " ungrateful" "hateful" and get this: "IMPATIENT." My mother actually expected me to wait out the foster care system ( even though my siblings and I were being abused) and rejoin her during my late teen years(18-19). It took years of soul searching, reading, praying, therapy, and fellowshipping with stable people to realize that I made the right choice: how do I know I made the right choice? My sibling is stuck in the exact same situation as my mother was: mentally, financially, and physically becuase she stayed in foster care. Thank you for this comment.

"They don't want to work for a living, and will go to great lengths to avoid having to work for a living. They will migrate to states that offer the most plentiful welfare benefits. In order to get more free money, many of the women will eagerly have their children labelled and stigmatized as emotionally disturbed. You see, SSI pays "crazy money" benefits to people caring for "crazy" children."


SS: So very true... As a customer service coordinator I take a good 150 calls a week from single parents who do this. My sister also is trying to have her child labelled so that she can have more money. What infuriates me about these self-hate CRIMES is that some BA's who are middle class buy into this madness. What a crying shame that some black mothers have already closed the door to opportunity.

Sister Seeking said...

Peace & Blessings:

@ Destouet You know what lady? I think you are my "spiritual blogger soul mate"! lol : ) I'm so glad I met Khadijah on the Muslim blogsphere! : ) You ladies are a breath of fresh air! In fact, I'm going to take some of the statements here, and springle them through the homeschooling manual I'm working on. These are reminders homeschooling moms need to approach our children's education with.


"to constantly keep their issues at the forefront of the black struggle frustrates me. their issues are not my issues. i help when i can. i help who i can. but i have relatives whom i don't visit because of this very issue. to walk into their homes would be like walking into the gates of hell. i mean that. and the real sad part is that we were all violated and abused in the same way."


SS: I feel ya! In fact, I won't allow any of my biological or adoptive family members around my child alone. I do not want them infecting her with their madness. It's a shame but it nearly killed me trying to have this baby and I'll be gosh damned if other people think they are going to destroy her.


"I don't think i personally view anyone as a victim as much as I understand what it entails to raise yourself up out of the depths of hell. it's not easy. in fact, for two years all i did was cry in therapy... for two years. very few people have what it takes to unlearn their behaviors. and even fewer people have what it takes to dwell inside of themselves and deal with being psychically abused, raped and all kinds of other sick twisted s#! the people in their community had waiting on them."


SS: See, you are my soul mate! There are few of us destouet. When I returned to introduce my dh to both my biological and adoptive family I saw former fosters who were old siblings strung out on drugs, in the pornography industry; knocked up with umpteen men, and the list goes on. I've learned that healing is a life long endeavor. When I look back, I can finally laugh but most of all feel extremely grateful to the Almighty for having mercy upon my soul--pure mercy ,and you know what I'm talking about... Do you know what I believe brought us to our place of rest today? In addition to G-d's mercy, I believe that people like us have a certain degree of rebelliousness--a higher level of resilience that was present from birth on. From a preschooler on, I always knew something was terribly wrong with my family, and childhood. From early on I developed a protest spirit refusing to be beat down or beat up by other people. My defiance or " oppositional disorder" was not a result of mental illness, drugs, or the desire to rebel against authority--it was my innate disposition to rebel against oppression, and just pure evil. The flame inside me never has died. This is why I recognized early on that I was going to become another statistic if I didn't get out of the foster care system--and fast. This is why I terminated my mothers parental rights. And today with only a meek, and humble heart to the Almighty can a truly declare victory becuase I refused to pissed on, and defecated on by people. I did waver but my anger motivated me to fight back.
"-and the killer is when i was a child i said to myself all i had to do was get out of the ghetto, get an education and move into a better environment and i would find "peace"...that's all. how do you think i felt when i was 24 years old and realized the middle class had their own demons to deal with? i was crushed. i was looking at people like i know why my "brother" don't like me,"what's your excuse?"



SS: Been there, and done that. When I encounter people with such an elitist, got something stuck up their but attitude, I can now graciously walk away with out taking a hit to my self esteem, and aspirations. Growing up in an abusive, chaotic, and insane foster care system taught me to tune out the wacky crap from people, although I do waver at times but the majority of the time, I'm keeping my eyes on the price. I'm striving to live for a higher ideal. Our black middle class is spiritually bankrupt. Everything is about us, our ego's must constantly be stroked lest we committed an injustice to another. So many of us have fallen for philosophies and ideologies that deny life having a purpose. I once read a passage in the bible that warned: " people with out vision perish."



"Look, i am not saying i would rather be back with the black underclass. what i am saying is that i left them behind with the understanding not everyone had what it takes to make it out. i grieved and had a funeral for them. I'm done. but at the same time, I'm about done with the middle class as well. everywhere i go there are people spiritually starving. i don't want that."


SS: Amen to that. : )

Khadija said...

Sister Seeking,

DING! DING! DING! DING! We have a winner here! The phrase you used, "self-hate crime" sums it all up perfectly.

To answer your question about fast-talking, hip-hop scholar, the Right Rev. Michael Eric Dyson: I can't stand him.
He's an apologist for all that is wrong with the Black underclass, an apologist for the pure posion being peddled by rappers and hip-hop faux scholars.

He is an opponent of Black people having any standards whatsoever. People like him are a large part of the problem because he provides cover for the atrocities routinely committed by the Black underclass.

Why does the Black middle class buys into the "I'm the true victim" worldview of the Black underclass? Here are some of the reasons (in my opinion):

1-Trying to avoid the hateration that many Black poor direct toward the Black middle & upper classes. Some folks pander to the underclass to avoid the hate that is directed to anyone who tells the truth about them. You saw what happened when Dr. William H. Cosby & Sen. Obama told the truth.

2-Feelings of nostalgia for parents who grew up poor. Wanting to believe that the underclass are like our parents who made it out of the slums.

3-For those middle-class Black folks who grew up poor, sometimes "survivor's guilt" is part of this equation.

4-Not knowing any better because some have been blessed to have never come into close contact with the FOUL behaviors & attitudes of the underclass. Either as direct survivors of their evil (what you & DeStouet have described) or as bystanders (in my case as a service provider).

5-Supporting this worldview is our political status quo. Most people don't question the "accepted wisdom."

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

And what is worse, the dysfunctionality of the underclass is being presented on some level as legitimate (and authentic) black culture, thus, the easy acceptance of their world view.

Moreover, there is this glamorizing of the underdog. Because they are seen as the underdog, a whole bunch of misguided folks want to excuse them.

I don't think so. I'm with you and the Dyson thing. He is up at the forefront of acting as though underclass culture is authentic black culture, uplifting it, claiming it is the next level of an evolving civil rights movement.

In his view, it is where things are at, the poverty and despair of the underclass as indicative of the entire community's despair. They apparently give voice to our communal response to the failures of the movement.

If I remember correctly, he might have spent part of his youth in that sort of culture, so it is no surprise that he has a soft spot for it...

Khadija said...

Pioneer Valley Woman,

You said, "And what is worse, the dysfunctionality of the underclass is being presented on some level as legitimate (and authentic) black culture, thus, the easy acceptance of their world view."

This will be the death of us all. This is what has (in my opinion) fatally poisoned by Black collective. This is why I advocate that we flee Black residential areas and enclaves. This is why I advocate that all who want to survive must distance themselves from anybody & everybody that holds that worldview.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Ensayn1 said...

Khadija, Once again you have hit the nail squarely on the head. There was a time in my life that I was like "set all the prisoners free", yet I grew up. Many of those in prison need to be there and should remain. I grew up in a working class neighborhood that now has become the "Village." It is a mind state that drives the the villager. This is a mind set that has come full circle as the word villian comes from the word village. Thus, I do blame the rappers for their continuation of this mind state, for their romantisizing of this mind state and publisizing it to the world as many of them are no longer living in the village, but are now living along side the aristocrat feeding village noise to the world. I see the affects of such a mind state each and every day. I ride public transportation and I see it, I hear it an worse I smell it daily. We, the Black collective, are in a state of confusion. Yet I wonder what we are Fused with? And unfortunately, the world views this village mentality as us. So, what do we do? I feel at a loss on this daily. I am often overwhelmed by the blatant dispair on the faces of the villager.

Khadija said...

Ensayn,

Thank you for your kind words. Once upon a time I also had the "set all the prisoners free" mentality. That was, until I started working with/for them, and got to see how profoundly evil many of them are. Dealing with prisoners and other underclass members has plucked the rose petals off my glasses.

You've touched on so many important points. First, these identities ("villager," "merchant," "aristocrat") are mostly self-perceptions. My grandparents and parents were poor, but never self-identified as "villagers." They were simply "merchants" who were facing a lot of adversity! LOL!

This is why they didn't hate on Black people who had more than them. They were too busy doing what they could to imitate the life choices that led to improved circumstances.

Second, the villager state of mind is spreading through the merchant class. [Since I'm not a social-climbing type of merchant (LOL!), I haven't interacted enough with aristocrats to be able to speak to what their kids are doing.]

I saw this with my brother when we were younger. He started wearing villager fashions & striking villager poses. It was crazy. The day that, after reading some interview in a hip-hop rag, he told me that some creature named Slick Rick "had" to shoot somebody, I knew he had lost his mind.

Mass media filled with rappers "feeding village noise to the world" had a lot to do with this example of adopting a deranged world view. This is NOT at all how we were raised. Thankfully, he was not bold enough to start actually making villager-type moves (like some other merchant children I knew of who were selling drugs on their college campuses). And, thankfully, he aged out of this mental distortion.

What to do? First, those of us who are decent & sane need to COMPLETELY detach from the underclass. I know it sounds harsh, but we have to create & maintain a defensive perimeter around ourselves and our children. In short, we need to escape their proximity to build a stronghold of decency, sanity, & progress. We can't do anything without a safe base of operations!

Second, we have to stop hugging and caressing the underclass! Continuing to do this is more dangerous in ways that we don't realize. No one talks about this, but it wasn't only racism that prompted the White sheriffs of Gretna, Louisiana to refuse entry to evacuees from New Orleans.

Let's be real: Would you allow a group of unknown Black public housing residents to find shelter in your home? With your wife & children?

I know my answer to that question: H*** to the NO. I wouldn't risk my life & those of my loved ones like that. Real life (not political fantasy island) means that we're all playing for keeps.

Hugging & caressing the underclass gives outsiders the justified perception that we don't have a problem with underclass behaviors. This is one of several perceptions (that we have unwittingly fostered) that bit decent Black people in the buttocks during Hurricane Katrina.

Until we build a secure base of operations for ourselves, we can't afford to invest any more time & energy fooling around with the underclass.

In the event that we are simply too disorganized & confused to build a secure base of operations of our own, I suggest that we all run for our lives and seek refuge with outsiders who haven't allowed their collectives to be totally ruined.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

To All:

Let me clarify my most recent statement. The point I'm making is that good will matters. Sometimes good will from outsiders is the difference between life and death. Having a good reputation is often the basis of good will.

Once upon a time, people in the so-called 3rd world extended good will toward African-Americans. In previous decades when people were taken hostage, the Blacks among them were often released. The perception was that AAs weren't responsible for the US' often unprincipled foreign policies.

Dr. King helped foster the perception that AAs were "the conscience of America."

When we blindly support US policies, that goodwill dries up. When we blindly support politicians' (such as Sen. Obama) declarations of willingness to bomb & invade other people, that good will dries up. At this point, people in the global south will treat us just like White folks (in terms of taking revenge).

To bring this back to the immediate example of Katrina: When we give the impression that our entire race is a support network for criminals, goodwill from outsiders dries up. It helps foster the idea that it's not safe to have ANY of us around. Including Black folks fleeing natural disasters.

Peace and blessings.

DeStouet said...

@ sister seeking,

i must admit you are a lot further in your healing than i. this morning i read your comments and the effects were immediate (it's really been like that lately). i spent the entire morning in a daze...numb. i didn't feel anything until i sat down to write this, and even then I was crying.

I'M DONE WITH MY FAMILY!

there is not any doubt in my mind what took place today after i read your comments...i was set free. your story made me walk to my bathroom mirror and have a good look at myself... i couldn't stop crying either.

you talked about how your family emotionally beat you up after your mother's death. i know how it feels to beat up when you are only doing what is best for you. being emotionally bullied by family members?!?...i just couldn't put the name to it, ya know? i went home at the end of May and have faced ridicule, insult, slander, and given the silent treatment since I came back because I can't just "forgive" my mother. (She still has ties with some of the people who once hurt me.)

I've suggested to my family to seek both individual therapy and family counseling... it's just really amazing how reading your story ripped a hold through me.

I settle for scraps from my family. I blogged about it --even knew I had to do cut the ties....just didn't know when that was going to happen until this morning.
it's really a done deal.... over... i can't justify anything...i can barely explain myself over here. it just makes complete sense.

it's funny how one small chain can hold you back from elevating to the very next level. after i got down to this,
"Been there, and done that. When I encounter people with such an elitist, got something stuck up their but attitude, I can now graciously walk away with out taking a hit to my self esteem, and aspirations. Growing up in an abusive, chaotic, and insane foster care system taught me to tune out the wacky crap from people, although I do waver at times but the majority of the time, I'm keeping my eyes on the price. I'm striving to live for a higher ideal."

I IMMEDIATELY felt foolish...even petty. I'm Back on board!

Thank you Sister Seeking & Khadija!

(SMH)

Khadija said...

DeStouet & Sister Seeking,

DeStouet: You're welcome. Whatever is of benefit from this forum is ultimately from the Almighty. Only the mistakes are mine.

I'm humbled, amazed, and thankful for the generosity of spirit & courage that you & Sister Seeking have shown in sharing your testimonies. Keeping the silent audience in mind, I'm sure that you two sisters have helped more people than you can possibly know.

Thank you and may God bless you both.

Peace and blessings,
Khadija

Sister Seeking said...

Peace& Blessings

@DeStouet

I'm e-mailing you my contact information. I look forward to and am grateful for an opportunity to fellowship with a former foster--we have a unique perspective that many can't understand. : )

@ Khadija

"He's an apologist for all that is wrong with the Black underclass, an apologist for the pure poison being peddled by rappers and hip-hop faux scholars. He is an opponent of Black people having any standards whatsoever. People like him are a large part of the problem because he provides cover for the atrocities routinely committed by the Black underclass."

SS: I completely agree with you about Dr. Dyson... I was very disappointed with his "performance" when B.E.T hosted a "discussion" panel ( read bitching panel about not being able to force feed their idolatry) about black entertainment. I couldn't believe he let some : nigga--yes, I said it NIGGA-- in it's authentic meaning such as Nelly talk down to him about the degradation of women. Responding with a "rap" is destroying the English vernacular but that's whole different issue...

In my opinion, scholars like Dr. Dyson are dangerous to the survival of all black people--even those of who walk out of hell and into the promise land or at least purgatory... You know from my comments on Abdur Rahman Muhammad's blog that I don't believe in censorship, and value freedom of conscience but there are limits... He is one of the MANY, MANY, reasons I do not read parenting books written by ANY African Americans anymore.


Not matter what stage we are at: awakening; consciousness;movement;migration; or destination--we will not succeed for the LONG TERM if the black womb is not protected. As you know I'm a pro-homeschooler. I use every opportunity I get to promote "structured" home schooling to other black parents who are in a position to do so. Please allow me to explain why:

you said: "Yes, there are sociopaths in every income stratum. However, non-underclass sociopaths tend to be non-violent. This makes a huge difference in things like the number of Black schoolchildren shot & killed every year in Chicago (which is usually in the 30s or 40s each year). "

SS: I'm a firm believer in tracing any problem back to the root, and than destroying it from that point on. My life experience has taught me that if you don't, you are merely running in circles. In order to preserve any form of healthiness, peace, and stability we MUST begin with the mother first. Some people don't want to hear this becuase they are confused about the "original" goal of feminism: justice WITHIN the family equals justice OUTSIDE the family. Whether a black parent has their child enrolled a public school in poor area; a private school in a affluent area; or independent school in a rural area--black children CAN NOT escape: violence, rape, drugs, emotional abuse; mental distortion, and dumbed down educational policies. Again, whether you are just awaking or have "made it" ( what ever that means) our children are our future and if we can't protect the mother we can not protect them. Black children in both private and independent schools have the same pathologies shoved down their throat from white peers and their parents who are a) "going through a phase" and can move on with out a nasty public record b) are suffering from one of the many forms of racism and unconsciously push barbaric behaviour on these black children who THEY KNOW struggle with their cultural identity and c) the whole method of "schooling" is schizophrenic to ALL families: work, worship, education, and living are can never be integrated, and the strains of "schooling" are evident in ALL families:anarchy. The structure needs to come from WITHIN the family not from WITH OUT--relying on an external source for the management of ones family has made our black families extinct.

My personal belief is to return to the tradition where all areas of life are integrated so that relationships are protected, and maintained. Black infants have higher mortality rates than infants in third world countries; black women who are middle class have higher rates of preterm labor, stillborns, and gestational diabetes than women in Asia; and black infants born to middle class blacks suffer from higher degrees of anxiety disorders induced by the environment. We are done before we even start folks. You mention taking refuge with groups outside of our community. I realized I needed to do this after I began my home schooling preparation and ran into middle class blacks who were unschooling or deschooling instead of dealing with their son's behavioural and psychological problems. Based off my interviews with White Catholic and Protestant homeschooling families I'm convinced based on evidence they have got it right. I disagree with some of their theology of course, but I'm not throwing the baby out with the bath water. These folks are running "real" home businesses, educating their children at home, travelling, and contributing to their religious/cultural infrastruct. They are wealthy and healthy becuase they put G-d and family first. They also have family business so they are passing wealth on as we speak.

To conclude my rant, I'm furious with our black leaders, professionals, and especially our scholars for not paying attention to the home schooling movement for our children. I'm fed the heck up with people who don't put children first. Instead having a scholarship foundation for young black boys who engaged in sexually perverted behaviour with white girls where is the scholarship funding for black homeschoolers who in college at age 12?
Being a working class woman myself, I'm fed up with the attitude that the solution is outside of my guidance, instruction, hands, and home--why do I need to send my child to a place that's preparing them for prison? I'm tired of hearing about Konesha, Toyota, and Alaze! I can't wait to finish my get real guide to home schooling!

Peace

Khadija said...

To All:

Let me take this opportunity to remind everyone of the commenting policies listed over on the side of this comments page. Posts with the N-word and its letter 'a' at the end spin-off word will in the future be deleted.

I let it go this time because even thinking about, much less discussing, Rev. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and the rap creatures will bring the N-word, etc. to just about any sane Black person's lips. LOL! Believe me, I DO understand! LOL!

In the future, I will strictly enforce my policy about hate speech.

Peace and blessings.

Khadija said...

Sister Seeking,

You raise many important points.

About censorship: First, I find that most Black minstrel show "artists," faux scholars scholars, and their supporters have no clue what the First Amendment that they hide behind actually says.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I haven't studied constitutional law, so I know next to nothing about it. Maybe that's the reason why I don't see any connection between Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech and some minstrel show "artist" engaging in commercial speech being shielded from market reactions (such as consumer refusal to buy or consumer boycotts).

The minstrel show artists (and their supporters) want to use the 1st Amend. as a shield against market reactions. I don't see how this is connected to the 1st Amendment. Furthermore, don't people have the right to boycott? I could be wrong.

Second, I find that claims of censorship are only whipped out to defend speech that harms the powerless. When White folks and police unions shut down Ice-T's "Cop Killer" mess, he didn't whimper once about censorship. He shut up about this fairly quickly.

Third, I observe that the minstrel show "artists" self-censor. They KNOW not to "joke" about things that are painful to non-Blacks. I have never heard a Negro "comedian" joke about those who were murdered on 9/11. Or about the Jewish Holocaust. Or anything at all that is held dear by White people. Yet, they desecrate our civil rights martyrs & heroes like Rosa Parks.
____________

About homeschooling: What you've left out is that this really only works in the context of a stable marriage. How else can one parent afford to stay at home & homeschool the children?

This one requirement removes the vast majority of Black children from having access to homeschooling. To paraphrase, how can the "Black womb" be protected outside the context of a healthy marriage? And where do healthy extended families come from, except from a network of healthy marriages?

Is there really any way around this? Can anything be cobbled together to help/rescue/salvage Black single mothers who want to do right by their children educationally?
________________

About Black leaders, professionals, and scholars: Truth be told, most of us are either incompetent, corrupt, or confused.

I had a conversation about 1.5 years ago with a colleague that really frightened both of us. [This was before I found out about Dunbar Village.] We realized that we had always assumed that there was a layer of Black professional & scholars over us that were silently working on the fate of the Black collective.

We thought that because we're not rich, and have to work for a living (unlike true aristocrats), we wouldn't be in the same social circles as this presumed Black elite that we assumed were working on our problems. So that was why we weren't privy to what "they" were doing.

I remember telling the colleague "People like us CAN'T really be the last, best hope for Black people! If that's the case, we're doomed!" We both realized that it's not just that our leaders are asleep at the wheel. There's nobody at the wheel!Help is not on the way.

This is why everybody must assume more of the responsibility for saving themselves, and by extension, others who want salvation. This is part of what compelled me to start blogging. At the time of my 1st post, I was extremely agitated about how most of us are so caught up in Obama-mania instead of preparing for the future.

It still bothers me that Black people (mis-leadership included) are NOT talking about reality-based survival strategies. This blog is partially a humble effort to contribute toward filling that gap. I thank you and the other astute commenters for taking the time to visit and share your food for thought.

Peace, blessings, and solidarity.

Anonymous said...

No one talks about this, but it wasn't only racism that prompted the White sheriffs of Gretna, Louisiana to refuse entry to evacuees from New Orleans.

I hate to say it, but many of the bp coming from Katrina caused lots of hell in Austin. Fights at malls etc. Even underclass bp were like hell we don't even act like that. Not all were like this, but a lot were. I realized why my grandmother believed you should only stay on welfare for at least two or so years or in such communities while you are working to get the hell out. Plus she came from a generation were you were stigmatized for being on welfare in the first place.


You might want to google or yahoo single parent homeschooling to see if their are any helpful sites or programs/networks for single parents.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Anonymous!

Yes, a friend's sister lives in Houston. The tales she's told about the New Orleans evacuee-caused crime wave have been disturbing. People see what we're collectively doing whether we talk about it or not.

Thanks for the idea about googling single parent homeschooling! I'll look into it. If I find something that looks helpful, I'll be sure to spread the word! Thank you.

Peace and blessings.

BLKSeaGoat said...

Khadija,

This was an exceptional post. This is my first visit to your blog, but certainly not to your thoughts. I remember reading a response to a post that you wrote on the ruminations blog and I have never been able to forget it.

As a social worker, I have always wondered what created this black underclass and why we allow it to strangle us. For every traditionally known cause for this underclass, I have or know of an exception. I struggle daily with the fact that the work that I do, in some cases, functions to promote mediocrity, sloth, brazen entitlement, laziness, low expectation, and a lack of self determination.

What do you think creates this black underclass and if it's tangible, how do we kill it?

Again, I enjoyed the post and I'll be lurking (and responding).

Khadija said...

Hello there, BlkSeagoat!

{excited waving}

Thanks so much for stopping by, and for your kind words. You mentioned that you remember some of my earlier words. Well, I remember some of your earlier actions.

I remember the "One Black Man Standing in the Gap" counter-demonstration that you launched in support of the Black woman & child who survived the Dunbar Village Atrocity. I remember how you were instrumental in rescuing another Black mother & child from living in the Dunbar Village hellhole.

I remember the gallant actions you took in support of Black women & children. I remember and I won't ever forget.

I know what you mean when you talk about how your work as a social worker sometimes serves to promote sloth, etc. Sometimes I feel the same way about being an attorney. As a prosecutor, I was often serving the equivalent of the Klan. As a defense attorney, I often feel like I serve the Janjaweed.

However, upon further reflection, I decided that the above view is inaccurate. I believe that we're both functioning as necessary safety nets in our respective fields.

Social workers are needed to provide a safety net of services to strivers who have been laid low by outside circumstances. The fact that unworthy people sometimes benefit from these services does not diminish the original noble purpose involved.

The same observation applies to the other fields. The fact that some of the people involved (some of the police, defendants, etc.) are unworthy of the services provided by prosecutors & defense attorneys does not diminish the original noble purpose.

How do we eliminate the underclass? By cutting off support as much as possible. Like other non-functional things, the underclass only lives because it's on artifical life support: public aid, etc. I think it's possible to make the requirements stringent enough to keep out the welfare queens, while still helping the strivers.

For example, NO SSI "crazy money" should be paid to parents unless the child is psychiatrically hospitalized for a period of more than a month. Also, NO housing assistance unless you put in "sweat equity" like the Habitat for Humanity programs. And the housing assistance would continue only as long as you continued to help build other people's houses.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Ensayn1 said...

Hi Khadija, I have been away and could not respond the way I wanted to. I really have appreciate you post here and the responses. I posted a comment on the AfroSpear on this very subject that was put on the front page by one of the moderators there http://afrospear.wordpress.com/2008/09/29/from-the-school-of-critical-thinking/ and it was met with this post in response to my comment http://afrospear.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/another-white-person-done-us-wrong-song/
I often wonder about such apologist as the writer of the post in response to my comment.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Ensayn!

{excited waving}

Welcome back! Welcome back! Welcome back! I hope and pray that all is well with your family. I'm on my way over to the links you listed to check out your comment and the response you mentioned. I'll come back after I've read it all.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Hello again, Ensayn!

Lord have mercy. I admire your patience. Here's what struck me the most about the gentleman's response to your comment:

There is absolutely nothing in his self-described actions that show he really believes what he's saying!

If he really believes what he's saying about how "not all of us are free to participate in the world of the dominant culture," then why isn't he working to build a business that could employ those of us who are barred from employment solely by racism?

He cites statistics about employment discrimination, along with his own experiences of it, and then talks about looking to find a job.

Now, I DO understand that most of us are not currently in a position to abruptly & permanently walk off our particular plantations. We need our jobs to save up the resources to escape.

But this is exactly what folks who feel as he does should be working toward. NOT complaining about White people's employment discrimination, while simultaneously seeking to spend a LIFETIME as an employee of White people.

You alluded to this in your reply to him when you mentioned:

"...there would be an uptick in how and where we spend our BILLIONS of dollars, there would be an uptick in creating money streams and business for ourselves and among ourselves..."

Bottom line: This gentleman is crying out about a phenomenon (anti-Black employment discrimination) that it doesn't sound like he's trying to escape from (by building his own money streams/business). This makes no sense to me.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Ensayn1 said...

Khadija, Thanks for checking out those post. LOL, now I can get on to your new latest post I can't wait to catch up. Thank you again.

sdg1844 said...

"The difference between the Black underclass and other poor Blacks is one of poverty PLUS DEPRAVITY. Many of our parents & grandparents were poor. They weren't depraved. This makes all the difference in the world."

This stmt captures everything I believe in a nutshell. I spent some years growing up in the Projects & was called everything but a Child Of God because I kept to myself.

I didn't associate w/ 99.9% of the people there and many resented it. I've worked all my life and worked full time and carried a full undergrad course load to pay for college.

I got SERIOUS hate leveled at me. I've worked hard and paid taxes since I was 18 and I am now 40. The fact that I could be called a snotty B*tch, etc opened my eyes a long time ago to the "underclass."

I never had a name for it and you've given me one. These are the chicks that were pushing out kid after kid and mad at me because I didn't go that road.

It's madness!

Khadija said...

Welcome, SDG1844!

{excited waving}

I praise God that you came through all of that safe & sound. We've all heard of situations where the haters/crabs in a barrel have physically attacked anybody who was working for a better life.

Like I said, there's a huge difference between the Black poor & the Black underclass. Members of the Black underclass don't want to do anything productive. And they don't want anybody else around them to do anything productive, either. They will take all sorts of action to try to keep everybody around them down.

Again, thank God you escaped from around these nuts. I salute your mental focus & perseverance.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.