Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Art of Majesty, Part 2: The Imploding Black Middle Class

For the past 30 years, those of us born and bred (B & B) into the Black middle class have done everything we can to systematically lower ourselves in dignity, significance, and finally, economic rank.

And it has worked!

A story from the Washington Post dated November 13, 2007 ("Middle-Class Dream Eludes African American Families") describes the situation. Let's consider some quotes from the article. [My responses are in blue.]

"Nearly half of African Americans born to middle-income parents in the late 1960s plunged into poverty or near-poverty as adults, according to a new study -- a perplexing finding that analysts say highlights the fragile nature of middle-class life for many African Americans."

It's "fragile" because of our own incompetence and foolishness. Others do much better at maintaining their station in life.

"Forty-five percent of black children whose parents were solidly middle class in 1968 -- a stratum with a median income of $55,600 in inflation-adjusted dollars -- grew up to be among the lowest fifth of the nation's earners, with a median family income of $23,100. Only 16 percent of whites experienced similar downward mobility. . . [The researchers were startled] that so many Blacks fell out of the middle class to the bottom of the income distribution in one generation."

A fool and his money are soon parted.

"Ronald B. Mincy, a Columbia University economist and professor of social welfare policy who has focused on the growing economic peril confronted by black men and who served as an adviser on the Pew project, said skeptical researchers repeatedly reviewed the findings before concluding they were statistically accurate."

Denial is a "b." Especially when simply looking around would confirm the findings.

"'There is a lot of downward mobility among African Americans,' Mincy said. 'We don't have an explanation.'"

Wait for it. . . You know it's coming. Somebody's going to (at least partially) blame racism.

"Mincy and others speculated that the increase in the number of single-parent black households, continued educational gaps between blacks and whites and even racial isolation that remains common for many middle-income African Americans could be factors. 'That's a stunner,' said Orlando Patterson, a Harvard University sociologist, when told about the Pew finding. 'These kids were middle class, but apparently their parents did not have the cultural capital and connections to pass along to them.'"

Yeah. . . It's hard to maintain anything when people are emulating the attitudes and lifestyles of the Black underclass. But I'll get to that later in this post.

Social Climbing With One Foot in a Ditch

I could excessively lace this post with qualifying words like "many"," some", "often," etc. but I won't. At some point, we need to be able to stop walking on eggshells and talk shop with each other. We all understand at the outset that I'm speaking in generalities and that not everything applies to everybody within a group. However, there is a big picture that we need to consider. So, with this in mind, let's continue.

I mentioned in Part 1 of this series that B & Bs have issues with material things, just not the same ones as dysfunctional strivers. Dysfunctional strivers try to use material things as magic totems that will grant them entry, and make them belong, to the Black middle class. They're hung up on "status marker" items because they don't feel like they truly belong to the middle class. In many cases, they DON'T. I've heard such people referred to as "ghetto." A more listener-friendly version of this put-down is to describe someone as "inappropriate." When the person is extremely out of place (like the striver Black lawyers I've seen use Ebonics in court), they're often called "totally inappropriate."

By contrast, B & Bs' hang-ups about material things mostly revolve around herd-like conformity, fear of "slipping" in perceived rank within the middle class, and fear of damaging one's (hoped for) chances of climbing into the social elite. All of this is based on several misapprehensions of reality. Ironically, the behaviors caused by these hang-ups undermine B & Bs' chances of remaining middle class (much less the notion of being accepted into the elite).

The first failure is the refusal to understand that class is a generational project. Therefore, climbing into the elite is a generational project. Since the entry requirements are less stringent, a poor or working class person can make the leap into the Black middle class. However (for those who care about such matters), a striver who successfully transitions into the middle class will never be considered part of the upper social ranks within this class. The upper social ranks are reserved for born members (B & Bs). This is a bitter pill to swallow for Black strivers.

The entry requirements for the Black elite are more stringent. The elite won't even entertain the notion of accepting someone unless they were born to serious affluence. This is a bitter pill to swallow for social-climbing B & Bs. Most B & Bs refuse to accept that so-called elite social status is closed to us, and something that is only possible for our children. Even in terms of B & Bs' children this possibility only exists with the correct overall preparation, and the correct positioning of the children. Successfully pulling this off requires generational delayed gratification. B & Bs can't engage in this sort of delayed gratification because we're too busy assuaging our own insecurities. While doing so, we damage our own fortunes and diminish (if not outright lose) whatever we have. This is one underlying reason why we're involved in downward mobility.

Because we are focused on trying to gate-crash our way into the Black elite, B & Bs can't even think straight. There are many echoes of dysfunctional striver behaviors. Most B & Bs are so focused on mimicking the elite's surface attributes (and buying similar baubles), that we don't look to see what lies beneath. We don't see that real affluence is based on having GENERATIONS of financial freedom. Financial freedom is several levels above and beyond financial security. Instead of financial freedom, what most B & Bs have is a "good job." B & Bs have to actively work for the money that sustains our lives and lifestyles. The money stops coming in the moment the B & B stops working the job, stops generating billable hours, and stops performing dental/medical procedures. This is a grave problem on several levels.

First, by depending on a single "good job," B & Bs are undermining our own financial security. This behavior violates one of Baltasar Gracian's maxims:

"Double Your Resources. You thereby double your life. One must not depend on one thing or trust to only one resource, however preeminent. Everything should be kept double, especially the causes of success, of favor, or of esteem. . . Thus as nature gives us in duplicate the most important of our limbs and those most exposed to risk, so art should deal with the qualities on which we depend for success." The Art of Worldly Wisdom, pg. 54.

So, not only do we undermine our own financial security, but we ignore one important attribute of the elite: They have assets generating enough passive income to sustain their lifestyles. Having passive income means that you are making money even while you're not working. You're making money while you're asleep or vacationing. Strivers who make it into the Black middle class rarely have any assets that generate passive income. They usually don't own things like stocks, rental properties, or the sorts of businesses that you don't have to personally work at, etc. B & Bs are more likely to have these sorts of things, but we use them as fashion accessories. Or we have them as hobbies. We don't develop these assets to the point where they are able to sustain our lifestyles.

The combined effect of this foolishness makes it impossible to transmit wealth to the next generation. You can't bequeath a "good job" to your children.

We are mostly squandering what we have on looking, dressing, and driving like the Black elite. We are not seriously building passive income, which means that we are not building any serious wealth. We are not building anything to pass on to the next generation.

Imitating the Poor Leads to --- Surprise! Being Poor! Who Knew?!!

Our "good jobs" can't be passed on to our children. It almost doesn't matter. Many of our children can't get or maintain a "good job" because they are emulating the Black underclass. I first found out about this article from Evia's blog. It's entitled "Black Culture Beyond Hip-Hop," and it's from the May 28, 2007 issue of the Washington Post. Here are some quotes. [My reactions are in blue.]

"Despite 40 years of progress since the civil rights movement, in the hip-hop era -- from the late 1970s onward -- black America, uniquely, began receiving its values, aesthetic sensibility and self-image almost entirely from the street up."

I was a teenager at the start of this mess. Many of us knew better. We hated the "music" and its message of self-degradation. We allowed ourselves to be silenced by accusations of being "bourgie. " I will NEVER make this mistake again.

"The historian Paul Fussell notes that for most Americans, it is difficult to 'class sink.' Try to imagine the Chinese American son of oncologists -- living in, say, a New York suburb such as Westchester, attending private school -- who feels subconsciously compelled to model his life, even if only superficially, on that of a Chinese mafioso dealing heroin on the Lower East Side. The cultural pressure for a middle-class Chinese American to walk, talk and act like a lower-class thug from Chinatown is nil. The same can be said of Jews, or of any other ethnic group."

Does anybody else notice how we adopt behavior patterns that are contrary to any known, surviving (much less THRIVING) group of people?

"But in black America the folly is so commonplace it fails to attract serious attention. Like neurotics obsessed with amputating their own healthy limbs, middle-class blacks concerned with 'keeping it real' are engaging in gratuitously self-destructive and violently masochistic behavior."

And then we act surprised to see that we're dropping out of the middle class and into poverty.

"A 2005 study by Roland G. Fryer of Harvard University crystallizes the point: While there is scarce dissimilarity in popularity levels among low-achieving students, black or white, Fryer finds that 'when a student achieves a 2.5 GPA, clear differences start to emerge.' At 3.5 and above, black students 'tend to have fewer and fewer friends,' even as their high-achieving white peers are at the top of the popularity pyramid.' With such pressures to be real, to not 'act white,' is it any wonder that the African American high school graduation rate has stagnated at 70 percent for the past three decades?" (emphasis added)

Sounds like White folks like winners. And we like losers. Maybe we need to get our children away from those who prefer losers, and into another environment? Do ya think?

This isn't the art of majesty. It's the art of debasement.

59 comments:

Hagar's Daughter said...

Khadija,
I applaud you and stand with you in solidarity in speaking against this foolishness. It grieves me that black Americans are striving to be failures. This will continue until more of us speak up and against this disturbing ideology.

I mean ideology in the sense that this behavior has mutated from a set of beliefs, to a set of practices, to now a doctrine that seeks to legitamize, justify, and change the worldview of what's left of the so-called black community and the black middle class.

Growing up I believed that every family was like mine in that parents (birth parents) were married to each other unless one was deceased, that parents wanted their children to achieve more than the parents had, and that siblings loved and respected each other even in the midst of misunderstandings, etc. I was surprised to learn at an early age that that was not always the case. I was always a little confused to why my teachers seemed excited that my parents always went to school's open house, parent-teacher meetings, and checked with them throughout the school year - didn't every parent?

My parents were not my friends and are still not. I knew that they had very high expectations and it hurt me so to hear my father say, "I am so disappointed. I thought I taught you better; maybe I'm not such a good father after all." (My eyes teared even typing this.)

I rarely see parents setting high expectations. Parents want to be "liked" by their children. Why? Your children may not like you when you pushed them to do their best, but they will respect you and try to live up to your expectations.

My stepdaughter tells me all the time that I am the only parent she has because her parents want to be her friends. She says she has friends, but needs guidance from people she trusts to tell her right from wrong (sounds like a job description for a parent).

Children need more than the latest Jordan sneakers / Tony Parker sneakers, the hippest iPod, or the next new fashion trend. Children need parents' time and attention. We need to get back to basics and to stop worshipping the dollar bill god and praying in the house of materialism.

We can't teach our young'uns because our minds are not right. We are caught up in the madness. There is nothing wrong with learning about financial matters with our children if we don't already know. We have to model responsibility and accountability to our finances, health, spirituality, our commitment to the environment and to community for our children - those born to us and those in the village.

We are mothers whether we have given birth or not and we are fathers whether we have impregnated a womb or not. What we do impacts the present as well as the future.

Somebody has to bold enough to stand fast and to look black folks in the eye and say, "ENOUGH!"

Khadija said...

Welcome, Hagar's Daughter,

Thank you so much for your kind words and stance in solidarity. Yes, we have to fight this evil ideology tooth and nail. Our very survival depends on stamping out this madness. There WON'T be any help specially for our needs coming from the next President (whoever it is).

Those Black folks who allow themselves to slip into poverty will probably be permanently lost to it for the rest of their lives. The 2nd Great Depression is underway. We better recognize. Folks better be building (or looking for) Noah's Ark.

I also found it strange when I realized as a teenager that most Black kids (even at my magnet high school filled with high achievers) didn't have two active parents in the home.

I liked the way my Mom described our relationship to someone when I was in college. She said that she could be "friendly and friend-like," but she is NOT my friend. She is my mother.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Bravo, Khadija, bravo!

(Cheers and whistles from your audience...smile)

Incredibly incisive, informative and persuasive!

So striking, these longitudinal studies that explain what happens to a people over time when they begin to absorb low-brow values (I must admit, the hip-hop garbage underclass cultural world view is even less than low-brow) as legitimate and thus eschew excellence because it is seen as "white."

Cultural values that inculcate excellence are not race-based!

I'm so glad you are reminding us that it is important to consider the values that are being passed on over time, and the foundation with which one's children will begin in life and continue into adulthood. What legacy is being passed on?

Khadija said...

Welcome, Pioneer Valley Woman!

Thank you so much for your kind words. BUT I've been part of the problem! I knew better, and yet said nothing about the hip-hop mess for about 15 years.

It wasn't until about 2 years ago that I got serious about having certain assets as something more than a fashion accessory. That's why I'm so often at the computer (working on another passive-income side hustle).

I'm not saying any of this to beat myself up (I don't feel guilty, I was simply distracted like so many people). I'm saying this as a truthful observation. It would dishonest for me to talk about this as if I haven't been part of the problem.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Chi-Chi said...

Khadija, excellent post.

Just the other day I was meditating on what you correctly identified as financial security v. financial freedom. The truly wealthy, the generationally wealthy ensure their financial freedom as a matter of course. Every move is calculated, almost intuitively, to generate income without having to do much, i.e. work. And it struck me, while contemplating schooling for my children (homeschooling v. private schooling v. public schooling) that most of us are dealing with an old cliche: time=money. It is not that time is somewhat like money or kind of like money. Time IS money. Both in the short-term and long-term sense. If your time is spent making money , you won't have the time to do other things, even important things like securing your middle class status and the status of your children (if you don't make it an absolute priority which, I find, many people complacently do not). And if you do find yourself with the time, you are often not equipped with the resources to do the things you want to do. It's a catch-22, it would seem, but there are clear examples by other peoples that would help us to find the fine balance between money and time. What truly wealthy people have are time and money simultaneously which equals FREEDOM.

I also wanted to note that my parents had expectations of us that were never really spoken. Just understood. And I know, till this day, that they are not my friends (and really not interested in being friendly, btw). I'm not sure if teachers thought they were detached or uncaring about my school work (although I was an excellent student) but they didn't go to PTA meetings. To them, there was no point. What was there to discuss? You go to school, do your work, bring home good grades, graduate and keep doing that till you get the highest degree you can get. God forbid if a teacher needed to talk to my parents about behavior. I remember that happening once in second grade. Never again. I am so sad to see, actually sadness doesn't capture how I feel, how undisciplined so many of our youngsters are and how they are being cheated out of a bright future simply because parents refuse to parent. Too busy being kids.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Khadija, I've been thinking further about some of the information you posted in your essay:

"Forty-five percent of black children whose parents were solidly middle class in 1968 -- a stratum with a median income of $55,600 in inflation-adjusted dollars -- grew up to be among the lowest fifth of the nation's earners, with a median family income of $23,100. Only 16 percent of whites experienced similar downward mobility. . . [The researchers were startled] that so many Blacks fell out of the middle class to the bottom of the income distribution in one generation."

"Mincy and others speculated that the increase in the number of single-parent black households, continued educational gaps between blacks and whites and even racial isolation that remains common for many middle-income African Americans could be factors. 'That's a stunner,' said Orlando Patterson, a Harvard University sociologist, when told about the Pew finding. 'These kids were middle class, but apparently their parents did not have the cultural capital and connections to pass along to them.'"

My reply:

When I thought further about this, something occurred to me.

(Putting on the academic hat).

A typical black family earning $55,600 in 1968 dollars, what was the family's employment pattern?

Traditionally, black husbands and wives both worked, although of course, there were black stay-at-home wives at that time.

Was it a matter of two spouses working, each earning $27,800, or was it a matter of a black husband earning the family income?

If it was a black man earning the family income at $55,000, how was he employed? Was he employed as a blue-collar worker? A factory worker? A white collar professional? What was his educational background? High school diploma/GED/high school dropout/college/some college/graduate or professional school?

If both spouses worked, what was her educational background? What type of job did she hold?

I'm guessing that since this was before lots of blacks began going to college and gaining professional status, the employment pattern might have been that of two working class parents earning about $27k each, or a highly skilled/paid black male worker earning the salary for the family.

So the argument about the rise in single parent families makes sense, along with longstanding discussions about the loss of manufacturing jobs in urban environments and a recognition that in many urban environments, black men did not find it easy to enter the trades (white working class men kept those plums for themselves).

[As an aside to this discussion of white men in trades, consider Palin's husband and son-in-law to be. Palin's husband dropped out of college, I believe, and then became an oil rig worker; he is currently earning a salary that is way beyond the $55k middle class average quoted. Her son-in-law to be is dropping out of high school. He will become an apprentice electrician in the oil rigs.]

Here is something that is easy to research. For those of us with parents who would have been employed at this time, see whether your parents remember what their income was in 1968.

Check the economic historians' website for discovering the worth of one's money over time: http://eh.net/.

So for example, what if your mom/dad earned $330 per paycheck gross in 1967, and earned 26 paychecks per year. That might be the equivalent of earning $2000 per paycheck in 2007 dollars ($52,000 salary per year: http://www.measuringworth.com/ppowerus/.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Some other thoughts:

Think about the working class family of 1968 in which the parents only had high school diplomas and no skilled trade to place the husband/wife into a higher income bracket.

Beginning in the 1970s and into today, those with high school educations only or who dropped out of high school (but who did not have trades) found that they could not compete economically, earning less and less as time went on.

But in 1968, a high school graduate could more easily support a family. Once things began to go downhill, were those parents able in the 1970s, 1980s and beyond, to encourage their children to pursue avenues of education and training which would enable the children's success in the world?

In striver families (ie., immigrant and working class with middle class values), they were telling their children during that time that they needed not only to go to college, but they should consider getting professional degrees, in order that the children might do better than the parents did. They were to pursue all the new options which were becoming available.

Michelle Obama's family is a perfect example of this.

[It is another story, though, that higher education is becoming less and less affordable to many average working and middle class families today.

I say this, because some of the elite colleges and universities have been improving their financial aid packages for average folks, when they realized that many of their students had families with incomes in the six figures!]

Yet, there are parents today who think graduating high school is enough. Yes, it was a great achievement in grandad's or dad's day, but in junior's world today, that is just a start!

Combine that lack of awareness with the underclass perspective that education is "white," and one can see why implosion is a problem today.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Chi-Chi!

The author of the Rich Dad/Poor Dad series of books talked about the time vs. money trickbag. From the book, "Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Freedom":

"E(employee) = You have a job.
S (self-employed) = You own a job.
B (business owner) = You own a system & people work for you.
I (investor) = Money works for you."


Cashflow Quadrant, pg. 30. The author points out that financial freedom comes from having the bulk of one's money coming from B and/or I activities. This is what frees you up from having to actively work.

However, most Black folks think they're really doing something if they are highly-paid Es and Ss. We don't understand that having a professional practice simply means that you own your job; and you're still tied to a job.

My parents also had expectations that they didn't have to say out loud. It was assumed that my brother and I would get advanced degrees. Anything that was contrary to this outcome (bad grades,etc.) was a cause for commotion.

On those rare occasions when the teacher called them about us (oooh, God forbid! LOL!) my parents assumed that we were the ones who were wrong! Unlike modern friend-parents who like to assume that their baby can do no wrong. We can all see the difference in outcome between these two parenting orientations.

We really do know better than to want to be our kids' friends. We're just too lazy and selfish to do better.
______________________

Pioneer Valley Woman,

I love it when you put on your academic's hat---you significantly raise the level of conversation; and I appreciate it.

I suspect that the rise of single-parent broken families has a lot to do with this. I have the impression that a lot of other Black middle class folks from that era were like my parents: Two married people, each with a "good government job." Or a marginally-employed wife married to a Black man with a "really good government job."

In my parent's case, their advanced degrees didn't come until later, throughout the 1970s. As a child, it seemed to me that they were in school forever. Looking back, they were.

Yes, White folks had, and have maintained to this day, a "lock" on the highly-paid trades. However, it is important to note that White men generally marry the mothers of their children. This has economic conseqences that reverberate throughout many generations. Black folks like to pretend that none of this matters. It DOES matter.

[For the "What about Ted Bundy, Ted Kennedy, and other DBRWM" readers: I'm not saying that WM do this because they are gallant knights in shining armor; while BM are slugs. I'm saying that White culture programs most WM to want to get married. And to want to avoid having children out of wedlock.

Black popular culture has a different set of values. No matter how much we try to deny reality, we can all see the effects of these different values.]

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Pioneer Valley Woman,

You're being very gracious about the fools/lunatics/liars who claim to believe that high school is sufficient.

I don't buy that. I've heard many tales about how my grandparents would frequently encourage their children "to get their 'book learning.'" My parents were teenagers during the 1950s.

Furthermore, the common expectation (in their poor neighborhood) was that anybody who was foolish enough to drop out of high school would take their rusty, dusty behind to night school to get their high school diploma while they worked! My parents grew up in the tenements (that pre-dated housing projects) on the South Side of Chicago.

I don't believe that anybody really believes that high school is sufficient. That's just a cover story for being too lazy & trifling to work toward a different outcome.

Similar to the lazy manner in which many modern Black parents act as if the schools are totally responsible for their children's educational attainment.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Khadija:

I have the impression that a lot of other Black middle class folks from that era were like my parents: Two married people, each with a "good government job." Or a marginally-employed wife married to a Black man with a "really good government job."

In my parent's case, their advanced degrees didn't come until later, throughout the 1970s. As a child, it seemed to me that they were in school forever. Looking back, they were.

My reply:

Exactly; if they were not going to school themselves, they were encouraging their children to do so, and the parents had concrete reasons they could explain why:

Going to school gave the parents a shot at a promotion, or a higher pay scale (ie., if they had government jobs) or another employer together.

I see this all the time in higher education. Many colleges (and even some professional schools) enable their employees to pursue higher education at a discount.

Khadija:

However, it is important to note that White men generally marry the mothers of their children. This has economic conseqences that reverberate throughout many generations. Black folks like to pretend that none of this matters. It DOES matter.

My reply:

Because conservatives were speaking about this for a long time as a crisis of dysfunction [Moynihan report, Welfare Reform], many did not want to "air dirty laundry" or "blame the victim," so those who should have known better acted as though the developing dysfunction was normal, or they tried to spin it as a testament of "strength." They explained it away or even justified it.

This goes back to the earlier discussion of the "contract." It obviously had other manifestations outside of bf-bm relations, but included relations among the black middle class/working class/underclass, which you have been speaking about.

It is one thing to talk about the racist infrastructures, but it is another to think about the most effective strategies to counteract the racism through the community using its social units: families, churches, etc.

Black folks of earlier generations it seems had more effective social institutions within--the civil rights movement rooted in churches and building strong families--to counteract the negative effects of the racism.

Phoenix Sun said...

Good day to you, Khadija!

I stumbled to your blog via Evia's site. You are truly a breath of fresh air with your insightful comments on black American life.

I've escaped the United States. Prior to moving out of the country, I fought tooth and nail to get out of the Bronx in New York City. The black middle-class in that borough have collectively lost their minds. I started to witness an influx of the black underclass. The underclass to me is a state of being. As you mentioned, you can be in a higher income/class status, and have an underclass mentality. This keepin' it real nonsense will be the death of us.

My mother was a very depressed woman. She didn't want us to do any better. She didn't want us to excel in life and undermined our confidence from the time me and my brother were very small children. She was threatened and jealous when she saw me become a book worm. I hid from her the award I received in the fourth grade for having one of the highest reading scores in the state. She wanted me to be a low-level secretary all of my life like herself. She was the happiest when I failed.

Despite this mediocre indoctrination, I refused to give in. I knew from the time I was a very small child there had to be something better than this. I went on to receive my undergraduate and graduate degrees. For me, it was a life and death situation to my soul. I could not subscribe to these "black attitudes." As a result, I was harassed and stalked in my neighborhood by so many black males. I was called a bitch who thought she was all that. I would have young black male teenagers wanting to "punch me in my face" because I wouldn't give them the time of day. These areas are war zones. Not just for your physical safety, but also there's a lack of financial planning and educational achievement. Things are getting so bad in the states, in terms of housing. You have whites from the upper middle class encroaching on predominately working to lower middle-class black neighborhoods. How are black communities going to survive these violent socio-economic changes?

You hit the nail on the head on black strivers. Some black folks who received their degrees and respectable jobs have lost all sense of professionalism and common sense.

I look forward to following your blog.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing to add.

Everything you've stated I've known for years.

It's good that others are finally speaking out about these issues. And articles are being written about this disturbing phenomenon.

I sent Evia that article you referenced about the children of the black middle class diminishing, and said PLEASE share this information. The word MUST get out about this situation. I'll continue to supply Evia (and now you) with as many must read articles pertaining to what's really happening to black folks as possible.

The information IS out there in print. Hell, the information SURROUNDS us for God's sake.

And truth be told white racism has NOTHING what so ever to do with this foolishness. This craziness described in the articles.

This is an EMBARRASSING situation. I think that these issues are by and large not publicly discussed in the "community" because of the whole "airing dirty laundry" excuse.SMH

I've got NEWS for any fool who actually thinks this way. The dirty laundry stinks to high heaven and is NO secret to ANYONE.

Non blacks can SEE what's going on. They're not blind.

Whether it "looks bad" or not, these issues need to be discussed openly.

Lack of discussing these issues is what's led to these problems TO BEGIN WITH.

As it says in the Bible, what's done in the dark will come out in the light.

ALWAYS.

It all goes back to emulation. If you emulate the right winners (and what they've LEGALLY done to achieve and keep their wealth/status/social class) you win. You emulate losers (who are at the BOTTOM socially/educationaly/health and employment wise/etc...) you sink.

And you sink FAST.

Some AA are the ONLY people on earth I've come across who've twisted the notions of good and bad.

Denigrating monogamy, education, common decency, self-respect, etc...

And praising promiscuity, violence, hatred, misogyny, etc...

And claiming it's an "art form". A "form of self-expression".

Well... this CRAP music is a DEATH NAIL to anyone who listens to it.

Anyone black that is.

Whites, Asians, and others somehow are able to listen to this garbage without allowing it to destroy THEIR communities/cultures, women, and children.

They can listen to it without killing THEMSELVES. And that's what this ridiculously high self-hating black on black homicide rate is.

MASS SUICIDE. And all of the innocent decent people - who can't get out because of poverty - being caught in the crossfire.SMH

You emulate criminals and it will eventually lead you to jail or the grave.

You have children by those who emulate criminals (and actual criminals) and you've basically cursed your descendants.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

There's SO much more I could add, but then again you've done a GREAT job of pointing out the obvious Khadija.

Lets all get out the message of REASON and common sense as much as possible.

And most importantly, one should always make sure that they themselves don't fall into these negative statistics and predicaments.

Otherwise it's the blind leading the blind.

This is a WONDERFUL and insightful blog Khadija. Keep up the good needed work.

God bless.

Felicia

Anonymous said...

Good article...

Maybe Lou Dobbs is Right
BY TRACIE POWELL | TheRoot.com

http://www.theroot.com/id/48158

Some insist that the black middle class is still growing, but it sure is hard to tell these days.


Sept. 19, 2008--It's easy to ignore the ho-hum routines in a city like Washington, D.C.—a town that hosts conferences and conventions of some sort every single day, four or five times a day, it seems. But a town-hall meeting at this week's 30th Annual Conference and Exposition of the National Black MBA Association offered timely insight into the anxieties of black professionals.

Hosted by CNN contributor Roland Martin, the meeting focused on the tenuous stability of the black middle class.

I thought I was going to hear that the middle class in America is, in fact, disappearing. That's certainly the message that Lou Dobbs conveys to me—or, rather, yells at me—from my television screen five evenings a week. In fact, the questions and concerns voiced by most participants in the audience suggested that they believed Dobbs' take to be true, especially when it comes to blacks.

In an attempt to define who is included in this supposedly fading group, panelists spent the opening minutes of the meeting trying to get people to define their perceptions of just who exactly makes up the black middle class. The already murky definition was made even fuzzier by John McCain's recent gaffe that a person earning just under $5 million a year could fall into this category.

By the end of the conversation, panelists and audience members agreed that being middle class may be largely a position of perception. "Today everybody thinks they're in the middle class. Nobody wants to be rich, and nobody wants to be broke," said Michael Eric Dyson, one of five panelists, a noted author and a professor at Georgetown University.

Michael Fletcher, national economics correspondent for The Washington Post, reiterated the sentiment saying, "Income really doesn't have anything to do with it. Being middle class is a state of mind. It's about people trying to move up and who are buying into the system. It's more of an aspirational thing."


So what do many blacks think of as the requirements for middle-class status? According to those in attendance, a bachelor's degree (at a minimum), a salary over $75,000, a retirement-savings plan and home ownership.

Hmmm…sounded like the audience described themselves (I know because the entire audience was asked to provide their own demographics, which were displayed on two large movie screens for all to see). I would have guessed that the people sitting inside the ballroom at the Renaissance Hotel D.C. would be considered more affluent, educated and professional than the people I saw while growing up in my "middle class neighborhood" in Atlanta. Those folks worked at the U.S. Post Office or General Motors and didn't have the advanced degrees or the Mercedes Benz parked in front of 2,000-square-foot houses. But like the panelists said earlier, it's all a state of mind.

Statistics paint a mixed picture. While blacks as a group still have lower incomes than white Americans, a report released last year by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that median incomes have risen over the past 30 years for black Americans, from $27,100 annually between 1967 and 1971 to $35,010 today.

Whites earn $60,000 today versus $50,262 in the early 1970s, the report shows. Incomes for blacks haven't kept quite pace, the report states, largely due to declining income and employment of black men and depressed marriage rates among black Americans.

The nuanced reality was reflected in the discussion. Many argued that the black middle class was still expanding. But the cheery talk about continued growth was tempered throughout with questions about the challenges that continue to plague the African-American population at large as well as the differences that separate those in the black middle class from their white counterparts.

There is a list of pressing problems that seem to threaten black Americans' collective middle-class footing. Among them, African Americans possess little-to-no financial literacy, there is a well-documented dearth of black men on university campuses, and black children still suffer disproportionately from lack of access to quality education in inner cities.

The perilously shaky economy creates numerous extra pressures. Food and gas cost more than they used to. In tough times, black middle-class families—who are more likely than their white counterparts to be financially responsible for extended family members—bear an even greater burden. The broadly felt stress of that greater interdependence was a common theme among the group of well-heeled professionals.

"Many times our parents chose to pay for our education rather than save for their own retirement," said Lisa Toppin, a vice president with Charles Schwab's human resources department and the leader of talent programs and inclusion for the company.

The result of that early sacrifice is, of course, that the responsibility of caring for parents post-retirement falls to their children, who often bear an even greater burden than their white "sandwich generation" peers. "It's a splitting of resources that we see more of in our communities," Toppin added.

CNN's Martin took on the sobering statistic that only half of all African-American and Hispanic students graduate from high school. He gave the issue a surprisingly trivial spin by noting that soon there may not be enough young black men on college campuses to populate and grow black fraternities. Even more surprising: There was an audible gasp from some in the audience. How odd that anyone needed more shock value than hard statistics about more young black men trending toward prison than college.


The two-hour discussion moved back and forth between a number of daunting realities, from declining incomes and fewer black-owned businesses in black communities to higher black unemployment rates and disappointing levels of personal capital.

Even with such a laundry list of challenges, the Post's Fletcher insisted that the black middle class is actually growing, not disappearing. "It's just under extraordinary pressure," he said. As anecdotal evidence, Fletcher pointed to black Americans' ability to buy bigger homes, state-of-the-art home theater systems and high-end cell phones. Sadly, these are the same kinds of things that help keep blacks from saving more of their money and accruing more real wealth.

As people filed out of the meeting, it was clear that upbeat messages about growth and black economic potential were losing out to the depressing avalanche of news about tanking markets, failing institutions and dwindling personal savings. I couldn't help but think as I left the ballroom that Lou Dobbs might just be right. And I suspect other folks in attendance—folks who feel their own grasp on hard-fought, middle-class status slipping these days—felt the same way.


Tracie Powell is a journalist who lives in Washington, D.C.

Felicia

Mary said...

which is absolutely ridiculous. i usually lurk and don't say anything on here (i don't want to interrupt grown folks) but it's beyond ridiculous how many blacks think the government should solve all their problems. it’s beyond retarded actually. "the school system is failing my kids", no you're failing your kids. the middle school and high school i went to were filled with mainly acting black crew kids. people were always acting up in class, teachers were often distracted. Most of the time, it was the kids preventing the teachers from doing their jobs. what if the kids had enough discipline to sit, listen and learn? Wouldn’t all the students learn more. it is not the school systems' responsibility to discipline anybody's children. (I’m aware that many black mothers work all day and can’t discipline their kids normally, this is where bm could be helpful, if they cared)
My middle school was especially horrible but me and few kids did well probably cause our parents expected us to do well. there's something to be said about parental expectation. it was never said but i knew that i wasn't allowed to even make B's. plain and simply. these parents that allow their kids to cuss out teachers and THEN come themselves to cuss out the teacher, those parents who do this (and there are quite a few of them), they are underachievement enablers
like I’ve said before, simply marrying each other would solve so many things in the bc. It’s that simply. The government can’t do anything about missing fathers and single parent homes. It is beyond ridiculous and embarrassing that blacks are asking candidates what they’re going to do with the single parent issue. Have we lost our minds


btw, Khadija, i really like your blog

Mary said...

sorry about that, i forgot the quote

"Similar to the lazy manner in which many modern Black parents act as if the schools are totally responsible for their children's educational attainment."

which is absolutely ridiculous. i usually lurk and don't say anything on here (i don't want to interrupt grown folks) but it's beyond ridiculous how many blacks think the government should solve all their problems. it’s beyond retarded actually. "the school system is failing my kids", no you're failing your kids. the middle school and high school i went to were filled with mainly acting black crew kids. people were always acting up in class, teachers were often distracted. Most of the time, it was the kids preventing the teachers from doing their jobs. what if the kids had enough discipline to sit, listen and learn? Wouldn’t all the students learn more. it is not the school systems' responsibility to discipline anybody's children. (I’m aware that many black mothers work all day and can’t discipline their kids normally, this is where bm could be helpful, if they cared)
My middle school was especially horrible but me and few kids did well probably cause our parents expected us to do well. there's something to be said about parental expectation. it was never said but i knew that i wasn't allowed to even make B's. plain and simply. these parents that allow their kids to cuss out teachers and THEN come themselves to cuss out the teacher, those parents who do this (and there are quite a few of them), they are underachievement enablers
like I’ve said before, simply marrying each other would solve so many things in the bc. It’s that simply. The government can’t do anything about missing fathers and single parent homes. It is beyond ridiculous and embarrassing that blacks are asking candidates what they’re going to do with the single parent issue. Have we lost our minds

Kiya said...

I am delighted, amazed, and in agreement with every word you are saying - I inhaled your entire blog in one sitting as it's the breath of fresh air that I needed.
We, as a people are in some deep stuff, and if we, as a people, can't look at ourselves and stop blaming 'the man' for our lack of foresight and stagnation - well, we will just keep digging this hole we are in even deeper. Thank you for writing, and I can't wait to check out some of the bloggers on your side bar.

mcoled said...

Peace and blessings everyone : )


"Nearly half of African Americans born to middle-income parents in the late 1960s plunged into poverty or near-poverty as adults, according to a new study -- a perplexing finding that analysts say highlights the fragile nature of middle-class life for many African Americans."

Oh my Holy G-d...
: (

"At 3.5 and above, black students 'tend to have fewer and fewer friends,' even as their high-achieving white peers are at the top of the popularity pyramid.' "

So very true. I think I may be the youngest here (26) but this madness was still going on in the 80's, and I was shocked to hear Al Rocker talk about a young man going through this in Chicago today. I'm also not sure if black parents realize the mental pressure they are exposing their children to when they leave them to the public school system.

I grew up in both white, and black foster homes. The majority of my placements were with white foster parents in which I did the best in school. Because I grew up living with more whites than blacks from an early age, I never, really learned "so called black culture." I remember as a middle school student being so lonely, and so desperate for friendship that I allowed all of my grades to slip into the D unit, and I deliberately tried to "talk" and "act" black in order to fit in, and make some friends.

Listen now...

I'll never forget the day the principal called me into her office to investigate what was behind the extreme change in my behaviour

Principal: Miriam, is everything okay at home? Are you still with Jo snow family?

Miriam: Yes, I'm still there.

Principal: Did you have another visit with your biological family again that didn't go well?

Miriam: No, won't be having one this year.

Principal: You used to be an honor roll student, you use to dress like a lady, and I don't see you attending you the flag prayers in the morning? What is going on Miriam why are you acting this way?

Miriam: Because I want to be black.

Principal: Physically taken aback, and abruptly leaves the room.

Enter black female assistant principal: (BFAP)

BFAP: You "AIN'T" acting black fool, you're acting stupid. I'll be calling your social worker to let her know Mr. Wo snow has kicked you out of his class.

Miriam: He kicked me out becuase I wouldn't let him touch me.

BFAP: You're in detention. Get out here now.

Mental pressure...

Sister Seeking said...

The government can’t do anything about missing fathers and single parent homes. It is beyond ridiculous and embarrassing that blacks are asking candidates what they’re going to do with the single parent issue. Have we lost our minds-Mary

Mary, preach it woman!

: )


YES WE HAVE LOST OUR MINDS!

This issue right here, is what made me give up on both major political parities, and become a Libertarian.

We as a people have become every one else's ideological dumping ground--especially socialists or communists. Because so many of our people NEVER PLAN to take care of themselves or their offspring they go out of their way to support or promote programs with HEAVY involvement in education, and child welfare.

Have you ever read the book: "The child, the parent, and the state"? Ever herd of John Taylor Gatto?

Because they never plan to take care of themselves and their families they are comfortable with surrendering their liberty and giving up their own constitutional rights. They want to slaves for the remainder of their life, and they know their children are doomed so they promote socialist programs to drag unsuspecting parents into the web of statism.
I'm a pro-homeschooling becuase I believe that the parent has a constitutional right to direct the entire education of their child. Furthermore, I do not believe that the child belongs to the state--you're talking to some one who grew up in a state institution: foster care.


I said this an Khadija's earlier post: the structure must come from WITHIN the family not outside of it: hence the government. The real deal is this: black women have allowed the government to replace black farthers by accepting public aide that a farther would provide. Black women have allowed the government to replace black farthers by allowing so called mentors to intervene and interfere with parental instruction and guidance. As far as I'm concerned: we no longer exist.


This sounds very schizophrenic to say but, if our economy weren't in such a poor place I would vote for a republican becuase I believe in less government: NOTHING is free.

"it’s beyond retarded actually. "the school system is failing my kids", no you're failing your kids."
Mary, you're a breath of fresh air! It's nice to "meet" some one who is not in denial about the status of our children's well-being and especially their educational well-being.


Let me share a conversation I had with a B&B who lives in a 1 million dollar home, and exhibits many of the traits of what Khadija calls a dysfunctional B&& or striver:

Sally Jo: Everybody is not in a position to home school Miriam

Miriam: I'm not talking about "everybody" Sally, I'm talking about you.

Sally Jo: So what happens to the children left behind if everybody does what you are doing now?

Miriam: The U.N. and other international bodies have "indicted" our system not to mention some of America's own scholars. If we pull our children out of the public school system it will a) leave more money and resources for the children there b) force the county, and state government to submit to the parent instead of the parents submitting to the state and c) reform the structure once and for all.

Sally Jo: Well, what I am supposed to do? I tried the public school, and I tried the private schools?

Miriam: The key word is SCHOOL Sally, your three children can not escape the pathologies common to black children no matter where you place them becuase the problem is NOT the child its the system of schooling and the system in your home, its killing them.

Sally: I half to work.

Miriam: I never said you didn't half to work.

Sally: Miriam, I'm not into simply living like you, I'm not going to downsize, becuase I'm used to this quality of life.

Miriam: Hire a governess or a nanny?

Sally: I don't want anyone living with me becuase my husband has uneasy eyes.

Miriam: Open your own business, you wouldn't be the first or last mother to work and home school.

Sally: I'll pray about it and get back to you.


Mary, I rest my case.

Khadija said...

Pioneer Valley Woman,

You make an excellent point about the various social "contracts" among Black folks. The contract between BM & BW; as well as the contract between the Black poor, working, and middle classes. [I don't know if the Black elite ever bought into any sort of contract with the other classes. I suspect not.]

One such contract is that the Black middle class is expected to support, and cover up for, the screw-up/inappropriate strivers in our midst.

I've watched 2 in a row Black-striver-supervisors at work cover up for striver/drug addict/Black male attorneys at work. Until it got to the point where these dope fiends were openly doing things that were embarassing them in front of their White colleagues in management.

Interesting, the B & Bs at work seemed evenly divided on the issue. I wanted these nuts gone ASAP. Their actions reflected on ALL of us. They were a liability.

Dope Fiend Striver No. 1 had the payday loan people calling the office everyday to try to get their money back. After being on the payroll for over 2 years of various antics (including malpractice), he finally got fired.

Dope Fiend Striver No. 2 would fail to appear for work (including trials) for 3-day stretches without explanation. [I assume on a coke binge.] Dope Fiend Striver No. 2 ended up being arrested for shoplifting, which of course was reported in several local papers. He resigned of his own accord and went into private practice.

Then there was the situation with the twice-accused-once-convicted Black male attorney alleged date rapist. Let's call him Alleged Date Rapist. He was found not guilty of one alleged date rape. Later on, he was convicted of a 2nd alleged date rape, but got the conviction quickly overturned on a technical point.

Somehow, Alleged Date Rapist also remained on the payroll (and kept his license) throughout all of this. Alleged Date Rapist ultimately resigned of his own accord and opened his own practice.

I have no idea if Alleged Date Rapist was a striver or a B & B, because I did not speak to him, and stayed FAR away from him. The only questions I asked about him pertained to "Where is Alleged Date Rapist located in this courthouse right now?"

I, along with a couple of other Black female attorneys, would warn Black female staff at that site to NEVER allow themselves to be alone anywhere with this individual.

Like I said earlier, ALL of the above individuals were protected by Black managers. Curiously, the Black supervisors who cover for Black male lunatics DON'T cover for Black female attorneys who are engaged in dubious activities.
________________________

Welcome, Phoenix Sun!

Thank you so much for stopping by, and for your kind words! I praise God for your resilience. I've heard of several unfortunate examples of BW who have fixed their lips to tell their daughters to "dream small." Sickening. Absolutely sickening.

It's interesting that you left the US. I'm also trying to create foreign options in terms of other places I can go. I refuse to end up in an internment camp like the Japanese-Americans during WWII. I feel that all Muslims in America need to figure out where we're going to run if the government starts making similar moves toward us.
__________________________

Welcome, Felicia!

Thank you so much for stopping by and your kind words! I consider that high praise, considering how you've been "holding it down" over at Evia's blog.

Thank you so much for the article. Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

In terms of the article you gave: I think we need to STOP having these sorts of conferences, etc. If the conference isn't teaching folks concrete, "ACTIONABLE" information, what is the point?

What is the point of having idiot pundits like [boo--hiss]Michael Eric Dyson and the fool from the Washington Post who feels that all is well because more Negroes are buying expensive consumer goodies like "high end cell phones"?

At least the people at the conference had enough basic survival instincts to be worried. That's half the battle right there [as opposed to denial and/or heedlessness].
__________________________

Welcome, Mary!

Please feel free to join the conversations! Anybody with common sense is "grown enough" to join in.

As far as I'm concerned, for example, you're more "grown" than the Right Rev. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and the national economic correspondent for the Washington Post who feels that the Black middle class is growing because folks are buying high-end cell phones, etc.
_________________________

Welcome, Kiya!

Thank you so much for stopping by; and for your kind words. Please do check out the blogs on the sidebar. I believe that all of the bloggers listed are doing important work.
____________________________
Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Miriam/Sister Seeking!

Yes, these statistics are incredible. It makes one wonder how it can be that these various Negro organizations are talking about anything else. What's the point of (supposedly) trying to get folks out of poverty if they're going to fall back in?

You also made the excellent point that many of our people are actually planning to be parasites. I've always been amazed and horrified by the widespread acceptance of this mindset.

Finally, "Sally Jo" in the million-dollar home is so willfully out of touch with reality that I applaud your patience in even trying to talk to her & open her eyes. God bless you.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Mary said...

It's nice to "meet" some one who is not in denial about the status of our children's well-being and especially their educational well-being.

Hi Miriam, as far as I’m concerned, the kids are the only people that matter in the black community, they’re my last hope. It seems for many blacks, pass the age of 13 they’re too old/resistant to change. They want you to leave them alone so they can “do them”. Anyways, I don’t even care about bm/bw issues really, I just want to understand it (I’ve always wanted to understand human behavior and motive). And also, since these bw/bm issues affect black children (who, with discipline, can do anything), that’s why I care so much about black women being single. It just seems that we as a people have lost our common sense. Bw for me are the biggest puzzle of all. I can understand human malice and selfish behavior; but this self-sacrificing, machosistic trip many bw are on just boggles my mind. I SIMPLY DON’T GET IT. I’m glad that I’ve found black ladies on line who have a healthy frame of mind.

Also, the fact that everyone has such a negative opinion of us absolutely sucks and bothers me a lot. I think the issue is the fact that the “low-class” acting black crew outnumber us and overpower us. Even worse, we normal ones don’t fight back. Instead, we let them represent us and undermine all our hard work with their constant nonsense. even more worse, normal decent blacks feel that they have to act a fool in order to be black….that’s when I have to say “where are the parents”. I remember when I used to act up when I was younger and my mom would say, “you are not one of these black Americans”. Do you see to what extent the acting black crew has dominated and tainted the image of AA’s. People think of them when they think about AA’s instead of the normal decent educated AA’s. This is very problematic and unfair!!

Evia said...

And Khadija, another aspect of this situation--the one I exclusively focus on--is the large number of AA women who are still trying to honor "The Contract" in some kind of way.

As you know, that contract has many threads. A large number of bw could get totally away from a lot of this nonsense if they weren't always trying to somehow "save the black community," even though a huge proportion of AA men who can escape are gone and will only reach back into the bc to give themselves a boost. The future will show that as more AA men can totally escape, they will be GONE.

This really needs to be STRESSED to many bw who find that to be too unacceptable to even try to comprehend. It only took my one course in business law to reinforce to me soemthing that I already knew--that if the other party involved in a contract is not present or doesn't honor it, the contract is null and void.

I was just on the phone yesterday with an ex-colleague who was telling me about an attractive young bw with a calm demeanor who she known for years, an attorney, who simply can't find a suitable BLACK man for marriage. This woman has a relatively high-paying job, lovely home, helps her family out in various ways, is involved in the community, yet she's alone many weekends unless she "fakes" it by pretending to be "down."

All of the bm she dates find something wrong with her mainly because they think she's too successful, makes too much money, acts "too mainstream" for their tastes, yadda-yadda. As an aside, I find it very amazing that many bm don't like it when a bw behaves more mainstream, but love mainstream white women. LOL! That would be an interesting topic for exploration for anyone who's interested in further exploring the damage in the mentality of many bm.

Anwyay, this woman is now scared to tell any new bm she meets that she's a lawyer and absolutely will not give him any indication of her salary or won't use certain vocab--like what my minister refers to as "$500 words"--because it scares these men away. Now, of course, any of us can say that's ridiculous, but she doesn't want to sit in her beautiful home every weekend alone--after helping her family and giving to the community-- so she fakes it by pretending that she's low-level--in order to get a date. The problem is that these guys eventually find out anyway and they bail.

There are MANY young and older bw similar to this woman out there. We know this. And they're not getting any younger, not having children because they don't want to be single mothers. Therefore, all of the indicators (because those indicators are CRITICAL) point to the fact that the vast majority of the children of AA women in the future will be from un/undereducated, un/underexposed, impoverished single bw who are often the least capable of mothering or providing for the children and will form, as you often warn, that permanent underclass. That's an ugly but unavoidable picture, but objects in motion (according to Newton)tend to stay in motion or if a ball is rolling down a hill and nothing breaks the momentum, it WILL KEEP rolling on down.

No matter how it's looked at, the level of black family life is never going to be raised without **MANY more bw in the USA MARRYING Quality men** AND/OR unless the masses of AA women can somehow create a **brand new** type of family system, where the women design a system to raise children without depending on any man. Yes, that's radical, but we have simply run out of choices and are even more quickly running out of time.

At the end of the day, these are only 2 choices-- from my perspective. I say this because marrying and mating with Quality men is the MAIN way that other women in a patriarchial-driven world raise the quality of their lives and those of their children. It's not just a matter of marrying because practically ALL bw could easily marry if they'll just marry any thing out there. Some people think it's a matter of having a man or a father present in the home, but that's also not the answer because many biological fathers are poor fatherhood material particularly if they've never experienced or observed men being good fathers.

AA women cannot create a new world, but they CAN individually create "Living Well" lives and new non-oppressive systems within this world for themselves. They simply cannot continue hanging on to threads of "the contract" and survive and thrive. They cannot do both simultaneously. They have to make a decision.

So the way I see it is that we pull out all the stops and COMPEL any AA woman who can to ditch "The Contract" and all of its threads to get out there and find a Quality man, which is what I do OR we need to set up tents in every black neighborhood or social circle and urge bw to come in and help to build a brand new type of family system ONLY with men who demonstrate they're totally and completely committed to that new family system.

We really need to stop trying to use band aids to patch up the old hemorhagging black family system. It won't work.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Evia!

PREACH!!!

Big Mama is dead. She's not coming back. The social construct she lived in is not coming back.

The Contract is null and void.

The least-competent among us are birthing the majority of our people's children.

BW are going to have to marry out AND stitch together a new social contract among those of us who want to survive AND thrive. We need a new vision, and concrete steps to take, to build a healthy community.

Your outstanding researcher, Felicia, sent me a 28-page scholarly article that I'm still trying to digest. It's titled "The Emerging Black Middle Class: Single and Living Alone" I haven't read the article itself, yet, but I've been reading news stories about the article.

I find it disturbing that one of the researchers involved seems to be trying to spin this development as something other than the disaster that it is. There's even a "cute" name for this group: "the Love Jones Cohort." I am NOT amused. Even so-called "primitive" people recognize that isolation = death.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymous said...

This passage below (scroll down) brought tears to my eyes. Because I have a brother who is a GOOD man. And there but for the grace of God, it could have been him on that freeway.

Just because a black/biracial woman marries a white man DOESN'T mean she doesn't still care about these issues that are tearing the very fabric of AA culture apart.

I think that's why I'm hooked on these blogs. There are SO many misperceptions of us interracially married sistas.

Anyone who comes across these blogs will KNOW that it's not that we interracially married sistas don't care about what's happening in what's called the black community, but instead it's that we REFUSE TO BE ENSLAVED to a mentality/"contract" that is detrimental to our very beings. Our hearts and souls.

We are FREE women in every sense of the word, and world citizens that realize we deserve the BEST this world has to offer. In ALL respects including marriage.

Irrespective of "race".

Whether the majority of black folks like it or not.

And we're not ashamed to admit it.

Whew! I just had to get that out.lol

Anyway, this INSANITY described in this article is taking place across this country. And these excuse my language ANIMALS (actually animals is too good a word for them) targeting primarily themselves - but ALSO the children and grand children of middle class, upper middle class, and well to do blacks - are being spawned by poor uneducated victimized black women who are simply not equipped to successfully parent children (especially boys) alone in a hostile environment.

NO woman PERIOD regardless of "race" can successfully raise children ALONE in the HELL HOLES that are passing as black "communities".

If most black women refuse to only date, marry, and procreate with the BEST men who would make the BEST fathers regardless of "race" , you can expect more of the same in the future.

Therefor this "something new" message has GOT to get out there. Especially amongst the young.

READ THIS ARTICLE YA'LL. It's chilling but necessary reading.

http://articles.latimes.com/2006/mar/03/local/me-boys3

"On a recent visit home from college, Paysinger’s son was on the Harbor Freeway when a carload of young toughs pulled alongside his car and began glaring. He changed lanes, they changed lanes. He sped up, they sped up. He moved over again, they moved with him.

Alarmed, he grabbed his cellphone and called his dad, who talked him through a series of risky freeway maneuvers that sent him speeding down the exit ramp but got him safely home."


This innocent boy thank you Lord had a FATHER to call who got him through this situation. Otherwise he would have surely been dead for absolutely NOTHING.

Black/biracial women who plan on thriving, MUST marry OUT to men from INTACT working cultures.

The current AA culture is regressing and devolving.

It cannot be "saved" because one half of the equation (black men who could but have no desire to resurrect it) are MIA. Never to be seen again.

Black/biracial women need to start evaluating men the exact SAME way smart non AA women do.

Basically looking at who is the best provider, who has the highest social status, the most intelligent, etc...

QUALITIES NOT COLOR/"RACE".

The "contract" is null and void. DEAD.

Felicia

Khadija said...

Felicia,

I read the LA Times article. {long sigh} This is what we collectively get for allowing Black popular culture to become intertwined with criminality.

If I was a parent: I would rather have my child grow up to be a so-called "oreo" who is out of touch with their heritage because they never spend any time in Black residential areas, than killed by gangbanging Negroes.

These 2 extremes shouldn't be the only available choices. But, sometimes they are. This is because sane, decent Black people have not developed strongholds of our own. Places where we can safely be among each other.

So, those of us who want to survive and thrive are forced out into other people's areas. And our children become disconnected from legitimate Black culture. Our children often become strangers to their own people. From what I've seen, it takes a LOT of careful thought and planning to avoid this sort of outcome.

I praise God that the young man in the article survived his encounter with the predators (that our misleaders want us to support and rescue). This reminds me of a Black middle class child from Chicago who didn't survive such an encounter.

Blair Holt was 16 years old when he was killed last year on a CTA bus after a teenage gunman got on and opened fire, hitting five people. He was on his way home from school. Blair Holt was a hero. He was shot point blank after he pushed a girl out of the gunman's path, and out of harm's way. May he rest in peace.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Mary said...

"The Emerging Black Middle Class: Single and Living Alone"

just seeing this title reminds me of the 5 hour argument i had with a friend simply because i mentioned that i'm interested in non black men. according to her, since i am a quality bw, i don't have nothing to worry about because other quality bm would overlook other nonquality bw and come my way. (negro please!!!, what about maria, becky and soh yun; a bw is NOT a status symbol as far as educated bm are concerned ) also, i tried explaining to her that when it comes to women, men don't have to go for quality, a pretty face or a willing body will do. a woman with a degree automatically has less options for a serious committed relation. i want to get married one day and have kids whose father is my husband. still, wit all that explanation, for 5 hours i had to deal with absolute nonsense. i'm not sure why it's so hard to see that educated, quality bw need to expand their options. seriously, what is so special about bm, I JUST DON'T GET IT. with high levels of bad attitudes, promiscuity, financially unstableness, std's and an unwillingness to marry, what is so attractive about these bm. btw, that friend is college educated and calls herself a feminist

Khadija said...

Mary,

Good interpretation of your friend's motives: This is the result of magical thinking in support of The Contract.

Bad interpretation of your friend's motives: Depending upon your friend's circumstances, it could be "crabs in a barrel," i.e. unconscious sabotage.

Either way, the best thing is to keep moving forward. Your friend will catch the hint when she sees you living well. Real-life examples of BW living well are the best arguments to counteract The Contract. Nobody really wants to get left behind in hellish circumstances.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Sister Seeking said...

Peace and blessings ladies:

WOW! This thread blew up!

: )


@ Evia

Be like you make me proud, and give me a sense of hope for our children's future. Until, I met Khadija, I didn't think any of use were AWAKE. It's easy for any group of people to remain in autopilot mode if they have lived in a pro-longed state of stress, but I've found the BW in particular are comfortable with remaining there. Entering the gates of hell with our eyes wide open...


"This really needs to be STRESSED to many bw who find that to be too unacceptable to even try to comprehend. It only took my one course in business law to reinforce to me something that I already knew--that if the other party involved in a contract is not present or doesn't honor it, the contract is null and void."

A couple of issues to mention here:

1) Religion IS the primary system of governance used to:

*Preserve freedom--freedom from the idolatry of secular systems that force its subjects to worship it by controlling their time, intellect, and family systems.
*Preserve land--declare what is rightfully yours, and maintain it.
*Preserve wealth--protection from usury primarily although Calvin did away with this
*Preserve family--including the law of legitimacy as it preserves your lineage

Due to the corruption, and manipulation of the sacred texts by PREDATORS within the clergy; due to modernity and post modernity; and last but not lest in context of this conversation, due to our peoples willingness to be the landfill for ANY ideology or philosophy, the belief that marriage is a contract with G-d and state disappeared in the early 18th century. Please don't misunderstand: I'm not advocating religious literalism or legalism as a solution but I think its important to put out there. I also want to return to something I said earlier: many professionals are not educated: they are trained. They are not classically educated. Modernist educational institutions are schizoprehnic in their delivery and their pedagogy is based on conjecture: where as the pedagogy of classicist is proven. A prime example of our schizophrenic thinking is this: even though we are a secular nation ( although our current radical, rogue regime has blurred the distinction) family is an inherent religious animal, and so is family law. Family law exist becuase the law still views the entering of marriage, and parenthood as a contract. Our pledge of allegiance teaches us that we are a republic, and a republic never intends to carry illegitimate peoples, places, or things--harsh but true. Let us be honest: we have all heard people say: "marriage is just a piece of paper" NO THE HECK IT ISN'T! Our perception that marriage, and parenthood are not contracts reveals the primary reason for anarchy in our family systems. With out law there is no order--with out order there is chaos--with chaos their is oppression, and evil. This is where we are right now: the hour is NOW...

Evia, I'm saying all this to say, bw/bm through violating our oaths and agreements with each other, have ended up violating the highest oath with G-d, and country. Because our people don't want to care for themselves, we are loosing our liberty, and property: my proof is this horrific statistic quoted in this post. Our so called leaders failure to make these vital connections, frightens me.




"No matter how it's looked at, the level of black family life is never going to be raised without **MANY more bw in the USA MARRYING Quality men** AND/OR unless the masses of AA women can somehow create a **brand new** type of family system, where the women design a system to raise children without depending on any man. Yes, that's radical, but we have simply run out of choices and are even more quickly running out of time."

I'm beginning to understand the depth of brother Malcolm's statement: by any means necessary.

A few issues here for me:

The last solution mentioned leaves out that very human need for sexual and physical intimacy. The quest to fulfill this very human need can become self-destructive when a female has no protectors or providers to enforce the preservation of her own reproductive health. I'm not saying " hey lets get a few riffles and a mob" lol : ) but I just want to put that out there.

I know here is where I will most likely break from every one if not already: but my research has proven to me that sex was meant to be confined with a marriage or contract so that

each spouse has an obligation to keep other chaste
the protection of the womb
the protection of ones lineage
the protection of ones wealth and access to that wealth for ones offspring

unfortunately the religious clergy( main the theologians and scholars) have presented the contract as a divine mandate in such a manner that it declares war on women and children negating the benefits of this contract being attached to any religious system. The other problem here is some within the feminist movement have completely missed the point: justice starts within the family not within the workforce. I can see the confusion and bi-polar like thinking manifested in our current family law: no fault divorces etc.

Of course marriage no longer a guarantee of fidelity and protection from STD's becuase it is no believed to be a contract with G-d, and country; and for black people in particular, some of us don't honor ANY oath, ANY agreement, or ANY contract, why on earth, would we expect some one to honor the oath of fidelity?

My other concern with your second solution is that BW have issues attracting, and maintaining close knit bonds, which is the beginning of creating this new family system. The other part of that is if we truly have the ability to hold up our again of the deal--becuase the creating of any family system ( all sexual orientations included here) requires a system of governance and a contract: or you will be right back where you started: anarchy.

Peace
Miriam/Sister Seeking

Sister Seeking said...

@Anonymous

Inter-racially married sisters aren't the only ones who get pounded: internationally or inter-culturally married bbw women do too.

My husband is from Senegal, West Africa. His tribe has not deteriorated into the madness we saw on the news in Uganda.

I would encourage bw to not marry bm who are NOT American and to learn how to properly investage men within the African diaspora.. but that's whole new discussion

My husband and are deliberately excluded by other Bw/Bm becuase they don't think he's best suited for me: as if I care.

DeStouet said...

Okay...after being told that class does matter, I just watched the comments that flowed afterwards and was enlightened beyond my wildest dreams.

I won't go into many details but after reading everyone's comments, I had a epiphany. I was forced to call my friend from Georgia, Arlene, who use to always tell me that I had a chip on my shoulder and tell her that she was correct.

Because I get it now...I get it.

Khadija said...

Welcome, DeStouet!

I'm so happy you joined the conversation! Here are some specific reasons why, in addition to me generally aspiring to be a "hostess with the most-ess" at this blog:

1-I was concerned that audience members (silent & otherwise) would interpret Part 1 of this series as me "picking on" the Black poor, working class, and Black strivers who have made the leap into the middle class.

2-I don't believe that this is/was the case here. It certainly was never my intention to single out "strivers" for discussion or critique. I've always believed that (unfortunately) there are plenty of unaddressed issues within and between each economic class.

3-Those BW who want to Survive & Thrive (as Evia terms it) are going to have to negotiate a new social contract with each other. As part of this new contract between ourselves, we HAVE to be able to speak honestly, candidly, and respectfully to each other.

This walking on eggshells with certain issues has to stop, if we're going to learn from each other, and give each other effective support.

4-If you are willing (and don't mind doing so), I would really hope that you would share some of what about the discussion that led to your epiphany.

Knowing some details of what led to your epiphany would help me learn how to communicate more effectively with other BW in this fellowship (that I hope we are forming through our various blogs).

Let me stress this point: There is NO pressure for you to share your thoughts or impressions. I realize that this is quite personal. I am HAPPY to respect your right to privacy in terms of your thoughts about this conversation!

Please do WHATEVER feels most comfortable for you. If you don't want to talk about it; that's cool. If you only feel comfortable e-mailing me about it; that's cool. Guurl, it's your "thang"!


Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

{This will be long}

Khadija,

First let me say that I didn't take anything you said personal or as an attack on me/us strivers because ever since I first came across your comments at another blog, I noticed that you did not play favorites.


After the comment about class on Part 1, I just had to sit back, shut up, watch, read and learn because I didn't have anything to add to the discussion at that time.

With that being said, let me say
I had a soft spot in my heart for children who have been abused and neglected because at one time in my life, I was one of those children and I remember that anger and pain many of us tried to deal with. So any time someone spoke negatively about adults who had the "will" to change their lives, I rejected that.

Immediately, I would envision that adult (male or female) as a child and begin to defend that person's position in life. (Whether it was a DBR black male or a DBR black woman). How can they do better when they do not know any better, I use to ask myself?

I could not separate the man from the boy I was once in a group home with. They were one in the same to me.

Now Arlene saw this chip and use to point it out to me (although she could not put her hand on it at the time) in Georgia because although I was a starch defender of the underclass and poor, when my husband ETS'ed out of the military we move to North (middle class side of town) and not the South side of town, where the majority of blacks lived. My daughter also attended a very good school where her teachers spoke proper English which has always been a "biggie" for me, although both my husband and I grew up speaking Ebonics.

Yet and still, I fought A. tooth and nail whenever she spoke harshly about blacks and their behaviors because she did so without "explanation."

At this moment, I think it is important to share with everyone some of the things A. did or didn't do.

1.Her children were only allowed to speak proper English in their home.

2.Her children were not allowed to listen to ANY rap or hip hop. Classical, jazz and other easy listening were the only music played in her home.

3.She has already cut ALL ties with ANY of her family members that had chosen not to serve the Lord Jesus Christ or take any kind of personal responsibly for their choices & actions.

4.She was a very disciplined woman.

5.Was one of the only other women I knew of, that was not trying to be her children's friend.

6.Would go "word for word" with an African American who thought that "keeping it real" meant being uneducated, loud, rude, materialistic, etc.

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. She would have been been very comfortable discussing these issues.

To many I am a paradox (which I am), but I see now I also had a lot of tangled thoughts. I also do most of the things A. does (with the understanding of how pathetic life is in the ghetto) BUT still felt the need to defend the people who contributed to the destruction of their own people whenever anyone of middle class status said something negative about them.

This confused people like A. because after one of our many disagreements about the AA community & hip-hop --with me doing all of the defending; three days later I would go out to the music store and purchase an album by Kitaro.

She use to wonder if I knew the "right" way to live and actually modeled these behaviors for my children and then required my children to do these same things, why did I feel the need to defend those who choose not to do as I did?

I could not explain it. All I saw was the pain in some of the eyes of young girls & boys I once lived with. I believed they knew no other way.

A. never went into many details, or broke down things as many of you ladies have chosen to do. (In A.'s defense, by the time the two of us met, she was tired of explaining things to people so when I asked her something she didn't go into any details. She just stated her piece and moved on. If you understood great, if not, so what?)

And this is where she lost me, and why my thoughts probably remained tangled (in my opinion, it wasn't time) until now.

Now before my family relocated to the west coast last year, A. told me about this chip on my shoulder (which I of course denied) until just last week, when my father's behavior was brought to my attention. (After a night of drinking and partying, he arrived at my aunt's [a volunteer mule] 4:00 am in the morning. He had soiled his pants, was extremely drunk and very dirty). When I called him on his behaviors, he had used all of the excuses a DBR black male would use. All I can say is that my heart dropped into my stomach as I listened to his excuses and his blaming of the "evil white man" for his lack of personal progress in life.

This was the first time I had ever heard a man use these excuses, you ladies said they would use. And the first time I would not see a man as a little boy. I actually got sick to the stomach listening to my father not accept personal responsibility for his actions. And then he dropped the bomb on me by saying that my aunt had chosen her role in the family as a "mule." And openly admitted, that her male siblings were going to continue taking advantage of her as long as she allowed it.

There wasn't anything I could say to change his mind or get him to see his sister (my aunt) as a woman who deserved to be treated with the same love, respect and care she treated her brothers with. He just couldn't see it.

Instead he reminded me of how bad the black man had it.

To which,I pulled out all the stops (Evia's knowledge, Gina's knowledge, and even your knowledge) but no matter what, the black man had it worse and was justified in many of their actions towards the AA woman and their children.

And then he hit me with the accusation of no longer understanding the AA/BM struggle.

The epiphany came Friday morning, immediately upon awakening, I saw that I did have a chip on my shoulder and everything A. had shared with me about the AA community was in fact -correct. It's the very same thing many of you women already know and have known for a while. In fact, it was the very same reason I raise my children the way that I do. I pushed my children towards the sun even though I stayed one foot behind.

My daughter even pointed out this contradiction in my behavior Friday evening, when the two of us had our mother-daughter dinner date. I was under the impression that I had been pushing her to believe in the "contract" and she told me, she had never once gotten that impression from me. She repeated some of the things I had taught her about dating, and let's just say none of it had to do with "waiting" on a black man. I just kept saying,"Really?"

I hope that helps because this epiphany is still fresh and it's really kind of difficult trying to explain it all because I am attempting to do so from raw emotion.

Khadija said...

DeStouet,

Thank you so much for sharing that. Hmmm. . . . I see now. Actually, defending the perceived "underdog" is a very humane and (ordinarily) praiseworthy trait. The problem comes when we misidentify who exactly is the "underdog" in a particular situation.

As far as I'm concerned, once somebody is an adult, they don't get to be the underdog anymore. Adults have access to resources (and the ability to effectively flee situations) that children don't have. Every adult (excluding the profoundly retarded, and the schizophrenic) is EQUALLY grown.

But I do understand what you're saying. The closer that someone fits our particular life history profile, the more we instinctively identify with, and want to defend, them. I do this too. This urge has been one primary reason for some of the debates I've had with various friends over the years.

Now, I still have MANY points of disagreement with some friends that will never be bridged. LOL! [Which is cool.] But at least now I'm more self-aware about some of the sources of my different perceptions of things.

Thank you again for sharing this. You've helped me learn a lot.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

Khadija,

In many ways, I was rooting for the "underdog" but that's not important to me any more.

As far as I am now concerned anyone over 18 are on their own.

Evia said...

@ Miriam/Sister Seeking, I'm happy you raised questions about my solution #2 where I proposed that AA women need to create a full-fledged system for supporting and protecting each other and for raising and developing their children without dependence on most of these biological fathers. Let's call my #2 idea: "OASIS" since it would be a system of safety/refuge and support.

Bw actually could develop LOTS of oases in this country and have them in every locale, where needed. Naturally, I know that some bw would not be a good fit for an oasis, but many AA women would welcome such a haven, though it wouldn't be perfect. Nothing is. But it could be set up and tweaked until it met many of the needs of the women.

Other than marrying loving and lovable non-black and/or non AA men (solution #1 and many AA women reject the idea or are not shaped for this solution), I think it has to FIRST be accepted that many AA women have virtually run out of time and other viable options. AA women MUST face reality and take charge of this situation and stop scrounging for scraps and crumbs or pretending that things are going to be alright in the by and by, as they and their children suffer in the here and now.

I could be wrong, and would love it if someone can point out other VIABLE options for the masses of AA women. I think that drastic problems require thinking outside the box or sometimes drastic solutions. That's the starting point for any worthwhile discussion about the merits or lack thereof of such a drastic solution as my Oasis idea--because if folks can present several other viable solutions (not band-aids type solutions), then what I've proposed may be unneccesary or premature.

Someone mentioned the option of marrying bm from other countries. That works sometimes, but it's been proven to be problematic for many AA women due to proof that **some** non-citizen bm seek to marry AA women mainly to acquire American permanent residency or citizenship. Although my (African)) ex-husband had permanent residency before we met, I knew of and heard of many other situations where this was not the case and AA women were **used** by continental African men. We have to keep in mind that many of these men are desperate to remain in the U.S.

So, my #2 solution would be a solution for **some** AA women. I say this because, as we know, a whopping percentage (73%) of AA children are born out of wedlock, into situations where the vast majority of their sperm donor fathers are not financially AND emotionally committed to their children's lives.

Don't believe anyone who tells you differently:There really is a severe shortage of of GOOD AA men marriage-material and fatherhood-material out there, available to typical AA women. This is just a fact.

Many of these AA mothers would be MUCH better off inside an oasis. It's not ideal, but they would be a lot better off.

I think that many people don't really understand how devastating it is for typical black children to grow up in a hostile society with one, often ill-equipped, adult fending for them, and sometimes not even one. I know people talk about it being a bad situation, but I don't think that people have fully processed how excruciatingly painful and damaging that is to the typical black child in this situation.

Re:

The last solution mentioned leaves out that very human need for sexual and physical intimacy. The quest to fulfill this very human need can become self-destructive when a female has no protectors or providers to enforce the preservation of her own reproductive health. I'm not saying " hey lets get a few riffles and a mob" lol : ) but I just want to put that out there.

Well, most women of any group can easily get **physical** intimacy/sex, if that's what you mean--LOL!--and many AA women are definitely getting that now IF they want it, but they rarely get EMOTIONAL intimacy from these encounters. Also, in many cultures, women do not expect to be emotionally intimate with their husbands. That is mostly a western cultural expectation/ideal, and it doesn't happen in many marriages, even in the West.

Yeah, emotional and physical intimacy with a mate is sublime, but it's not necessary, ESPECIALLY when you don't have a choice. I repeat: AA women only have a few options and some are better than others, but in general, this is a highly abnormal situation and one that is unparalleled in recorded history--to my knowledge. This is why I've told AA women to prepare themselves to "mate out OR die out!" This sounds terrible, but the fact is that many AA women who are on higher rungs of the social ladder are not having children--for ex. Oprah and Condi. They are, in effect, dying out.

Also polygamy is NOT a solution to even be considered because the type of polygamy that I hear some AA women and men proposing is another form of slavery and oppression for any AA woman that is foolish enough to fall for it. In true polygamy, the men are financially responsible for their many wives and the households, whereas in the type of fake polygamy that these AAs propose, the women are financially responsible for supporting the man and the household. LOL! This is a scam.

Obviously, my 'oasis' idea is not the ideal solution for ALL bw and their children, however, I bring this solution to the table because I don't see where many AA women have more than a few choices. Notice that I say it's one solution for **some** of the women because many other AA women could marry out into healthier more stable populations to Quality men. Some of us have done that already and many others will do it. One size doesn't have to fit all, but it's very clear to be that the old model where AA girls were indoctrinated up to marry AA men is obsolete and is causing AA women to take devastating hits from AA men as the women try to make this obsolete model work.

AA women have the right to exercise their sense of agency to create new, healthy systems for themselves and their children.

Many AA women already CAN develop and sustain close-knit relations with other AA women or can learn to do it IF it's made blatantly clear to them that they either do it or they will live a mangy dog's by suffering slowly and painfully before they die all alone--as many of them are already doing. Some of them would opt not to go that way, it they had a choice. Many AAs are not getting the pure, unadulterated truth about their precarious situation, so they have no sense of urgency. They wallow in magical thinking--that somehow things will magically change. Many AAs think, for ex. that IF Obama is elected, their problems will go away without them changing any of their own attitudes or behaviors. LOL!

Once again: those AA women who can find and secure loving, suitable and compatible relationships with Quality men of any skin shade wouldn't need an oasis, but others obviously can't and these women and their children definitely need help.

Khadija said...

Evia,

Now you're reading my mind! LOL! I've been thinking about the "oasis" (as you put it) idea since the first True Fellowship post. Among other books, I'm currently reading "Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities" by Diana Leafe Christian.

I think we need to lay the mental groundwork for this idea. As shown by the experiences that many of us described in terms of seeking out sistafriends, many BW who need an "oasis" wouldn't know how to act within one. Truth be told, some of us don't know how to fellowship on any meaningful level.

I believe we all need to redouble our efforts to model the behavior we want to see take root among our sisters.

I've been pondering some concrete steps and suggestions for this. I plan to discuss one concrete step we can all commit ourselves to practicing in the next True Fellowship post. Hopefully, I'll have this post up by the end of this week.

Onward to building an oasis wherever it's needed!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Sister Seeking said...

Peace & Blessings

@ Evia

You had me worried there for a minute... thought maybe I had offended you or something! Whew! Its so nice to be able to discuss this issue with mature black women. : )

"Someone mentioned the option of marrying bm from other countries. That works sometimes, but it's been proven to be problematic for many AA women due to proof that **some** non-citizen bm seek to marry AA women mainly to acquire American permanent residency or citizenship. Although my (African)) ex-husband had permanent residency before we met, I knew of and heard of many other situations where this was not the case and AA women were **used** by continental African men. We have to keep in mind that many of these men are desperate to remain in the U.S. "


SS: That was me Evia. You're correct here. Hands down on this one. I have seen this problem occur many times in the black American Muslim community. I should probably also disclose that upon meeting my husband I had already been an orthodox Muslim for five years, and had a traditional support ( marriage guardian/wali) in place facilitated a bonafide marriage. When I sit back and read this, I'm slapping head saying: duh! Black women don't have any marriage guardians! Duh! lol : )


"Yeah, emotional and physical intimacy with a mate is sublime, but it's not necessary, ESPECIALLY when you don't have a choice."

SS: I don't mean to sound insensitive or sectarian but again, you and Rev Lisa are blowing me out of the water with some of your comments. I converted to traditional/classical Islam when I was a sophomore in high school. I converted for mainly theological reasons but one reason was that I gave up on the system I was exposed to in both the black and white foster homes I grew up in. I concluded they were all mis-guided, and left behind my culture, heritage, language, and history--becoming really an Arab I suppose. Saying all this to say, that I do agree with you Evia, and this was actually how my marriage began: we did not marry for love we married for purely religious and contractual reasons only. We have grown to love each other over the past six and half years.
I'm just shocked to hear a non-Muslim say that: I'm beginning to really see just how much I've been isolated from the pathologies of the black community by re-inventing myself in another...

"Also polygamy is NOT a solution to even be considered because the type of polygamy that I hear some AA women and men proposing is another form of slavery and oppression for any AA woman that is foolish enough to fall for it. In true polygamy, the men are financially responsible for their many wives and the households, whereas in the type of fake polygamy that these AAs propose, the women are financially responsible for supporting the man and the household. LOL! This is a scam."

SS: Evia, honey, don't even get me started on this one... : (
Lest Khadija be a tabloid blogger I'm sure she could post just as many true horror stories of polygamy in the Muslim community as I have...

"So, my #2 solution would be a solution for **some** AA women. I say this because, as we know, a whopping percentage (73%) of AA children are born out of wedlock, into situations where the vast majority of their sperm donor fathers are not financially AND emotionally committed to their children's lives."

SS: Okay, Gotcha you Evia. Now I understand where you are going with this. Thanks for breaking it down in dummy terms. I do agree with you that our condition as BW is unprecedented...

"Well, most women of any group can easily get **physical** intimacy/sex, if that's what you mean--LOL!--and many AA women are definitely getting that now IF they want it, but they rarely get EMOTIONAL intimacy from these encounters."

SS: Few things here lovely lady:

1) We are going to half to disagree to agree on this issue: BUT I still have love for ya! : )

I'm feeling ya, believe me I am, but please, please, hear me out here:

a- I'm concerned about our sexual and reproductive health: Gwen Effile has been blasting this current administration's "turn the other cheek" approach to dealing with the high rates of PEDIATRIC HIV/AIDS cases, and female HIV/AIDS cases in our ethnic community.

b-I'm concerned that by creating the Oasis you speak of, we are going to unconsciously end up becoming modern day concubines to all men of all ethnicity becuase we will still lack a system to govern and protect us as well as our offspring. This is one reason I kept bringing up system. Mankind has used it to oppress each other but we are in unique situation where it can be used to empower each other if we re-invent or re-build it. It doesn't half to be religiously based but there must be a system or you will not have justice.

By the way Evia, I'm passing your blog address and Rev Lisa blogg address to fellow BW co-workers who have the itch or are baby crazy like candy. : )

Miriam
p.s. Okay Khadija, now I'm ready to move onward! : )

Evia said...

Now you're reading my mind! LOL! I've been thinking about the "oasis" (as you put it) idea since the first True Fellowship post. Among other books, I'm currently reading "Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities" by Diana Leafe Christian.

I've thought about this idea for years--since I've seen upclose in my professional capacity how AA women were devolving. So, this is GREAT that you too regard this as a viable idea! I'll get this book.

I don't know whether you saw that news story about how a group of Kenyan women set up a "women's town" and forbade any men because Kenyan women were also being used and abused bigtime by Kenyan men. So these women just separated and declared that section to be almost like a "preserve" where women could not be preyed on. SMH Many bm, worldwide, are warring against bw because, as you've pointed out, these men are too cowardly to fight men or figure out how to successfully compete against other men.

I think we need to lay the mental groundwork for this idea. As shown by the experiences that many of us described in terms of seeking out sistafriends, many BW who need an "oasis" wouldn't know how to act within one.

Yep! I realize that some wouldn't know how to act but some (not ALL) can be taught and do need the modelling as you've pointed out. I have to say at the outset though, that we have to accept that this is not going to work for **some** bw because some of them are too far gone. Let's keep the "triage" in mind.

Truth be told, some of us don't know how to fellowship on any meaningful level.

It has to do with recognizing that a bw is VALUABLE and worthy of the best treatment, and therefore learning to treat each other as valuable people-- that is, if we can do that without being harmed by the next bw. As you can see, I avoid bw who don't know how to treat me as the valuable person that I am, or I will ask them to leave my site, which is my online home.

I believe we all need to redouble our efforts to model the behavior we want to see take root among our sisters.

YES! And we ALL need to do that. I don't tolerate abuse from anyone!

I've been pondering some concrete steps and suggestions for this. I plan to discuss one concrete step we can all commit ourselves to practicing in the next True Fellowship post. Hopefully, I'll have this post up by the end of this week.

Can't wait to read it. I LOVE it that we're now talking about solutions. As the saying goes: "Great minds talk about IDEAS!"

Onward to building an oasis wherever it's needed!

Yes, it's just Common Sense to do this. Many of our AA female ancestors would have seen the need to do this already and figured out how to do it. Maybe I feel differently than other AA women reading this, but I'm very proud to be an AA woman who has come from the bw in my lineage. I'm proud because of the ACCOMPLISHMENTS of those women--and what they stood for and against. They didn't bow down to "foolish, cowardly" men. And I'm being kind with those terms. LOL!

Evia said...

Sister Seeking, excuse me for not being more detailed in my last comment, but this is not the best medium for this type of heavy duty discussion since it involves volumes of details. LOL! However, as has just occurred, when we take shortcuts and don't provide--as I didn't--we're misunderstood or not clearly understood.

Re:

b-I'm concerned that by creating the Oasis you speak of, we are going to unconsciously end up becoming modern day concubines to all men of all ethnicity becuase we will still lack a system to govern and protect us as well as our offspring.

In the Oasis of the type I envision, bw would naturally design and **create** the comprehensive system needed to meet their needs. This doesn't have to be a NEW system. It would be common sense to use parts or aspects of other systems that are already 'tried and true.' So, the wheel doesn't need to be re-invented.

Young black girls would be TAUGHT how to "think" and create "Living Well" lives for themselves. I realize now that I was mostly taught how to create a "Living Well" life for myself, which includes being exposed to the wherewithawal (attitudes, behaviors, skills, and resources, etc.)and the very basic, but most critical notion that I am VALUABLE. So I know it CAN be taught and without so much difficulty--IF the right input is in this comprehensive Oasis system.

It doesn't half to be religiously based but there must be a system or you will not have justice.

I agree wholeheartedly that there must be a system, which I always refer to as a "culture."

Khadija said...

Sister Seeking/Miriam,

The problem is (as you noted) that our condition as AA women is without precedent in human history.

I understand your concern for having some sort of "system" in place. However, where is this "system" going to come from? How long shall we wait for it before we do what we can to provide for BW & children's safety?

AA women are already mostly unprotected concubines (or "sperm dumps" as I've heard Evia describe it on her blog). The harsh reality is that marriage is NOT going to be available for all of these women (for a variety of reasons).

What shall we do about the unmarried women & their children? [The ones that actually want help, & are salvageable.] We can't make men become their protectors. So, now what? So far, the "oasis" is the only semi-concrete idea on the table. I would like to hear some other ideas, if possible, before discarding this one. [By the way, I'm NOT saying that you're discarding the oasis idea.]

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

"I think we need to lay the mental groundwork for this idea. As shown by the experiences that many of us described in terms of seeking out sistafriends, many BW who need an "oasis" wouldn't know how to act within one. Truth be told, some of us don't know how to fellowship on any meaningful level.

I believe we all need to redouble our efforts to model the behavior we want to see take root among our sisters."

This is where I will start and I also look forward to your True Fellowship blog (which I will forward to everyone I know).

Right now I am taking the necessary time to decompress from some issues but I will be up and running again in no time.

I admire the ideas each of you are coming to the table with but I also agree that we women need to learn better ways to deal with one another. And as Khadija mentions to us here on this site, we must stop walking on "egg shells" with one another & taking everything to heart/personal.

We're teachers and should always model the behavior we'd like others to exhibit back to us. Mentally most of you are "light years" ahead of other AA women -especially the ones that are in need of our help.

I know I have the tendency to take a lot of things personal, as if every time a person has another thought or idea it is a slight against me or my contribution to the conversation. But since Khadija started this blog, I've watched like a hawk (and will continue to do so) the way she handles issues, disagreements and differing view points and have come to the realization that I can agree to disagree with another person without either person losing any ground.

And she gives a lot of people the benefit of the doubt which will be given back to her when the time comes. This is another aspect that I have studied. (Khadija, I know you are not perfect and are only doing God's work)

Most of us are in a position to help other women but I know I can use a lot of help as to the character traits a teacher or leader has. I am willing to bet that NOT taking things personal is going to be one of the major things.

I will not agree to help another woman if I am not (as Khadija said) mentally prepared. These ideas are great but I know before I accept this challenge I am going to need to see a few more examples of a woman leader and do a lot more homework.

I just do not want to be responsible for causing more damage to the hearts of the AA women. And this is where I start.

foreverloyal said...

Perhaps some women with close friends could set up a "Kate and Allie" type situation for themselves.

For those of you unfamiliar with the reference, it is an 80s TV show. Two moms with children shared a house, bills, babysitting, chores, cooking etc. and were also emotional support for one another.

(I think at the end of the series 1 or both of them got married, but the show did a good job of showing the benefits of this arrangement)

Sister Seeking said...

Peace and blessings:

@ Evia

Thank you for your patience, and understanding in responding. Now that you have totally broken it down in dummy terms for me, I realize I misunderstood you. I also realized we are basically saying the same thing with a few variations.
My apologies, I’m a little slow at this…

@Khadija
Are you going to review the books you are reading about creating new communities?

Anonymous said...

Regarding the oasis idea: What about the black male children growing up in such an oasis? How could you avoid teaching the male children (subtly, if not deliberately) that adult men/males are incidental to family life (except as "sperm donors")?

Khadija said...

Welcome, DeStouet!

Thank you for your kind words. Whatever is of value is from God. Only the mistakes are mine. Please keep "watching [how I handle things] like a hawk!" Reciprocity means that I'm accountable too!

Specifically, I'm accountable for at least trying to follow the aspirations I originally set out for this blog: standing for justice and opposing "the ruinous traits" listed on the masthead.

As I read the "Creating a Life Together" book, I can also see that those of us who are of like minds about wanting to help BW & girls to "survive and thrive" are going to have to produce a "vision statement" at some point. Evia has mentioned this on her blog, in slightly different terms.

I admire your commitment to "first, do NO harm." I share this concern. As I've said before, I'm NOT trying to act like I've got it all together. I've got my own problems (and character flaws) like everybody else.

This is why I truly appreciate the fact that you're willing and able to hold me accountable by carefully watching how I handle dissent, disagreement, etc. Your position takes courage, and a real commitment to seeing positive change. Most people won't bother to do all that. Which is a large part of why so many things go so wrong.

In my life in the "real world," it scares me how so many people give an inordinate weight to my opinion simply because I'm an attorney. Don't get me wrong: I'm an expert in my OWN field. But when it comes to everything else, I'm a lay person. Just. Like. Everybody. Else.

Listening to you and the other discussion participants has deeply affected and influenced me. When I first started this blog, the best I could think to hope for was to encourage individuals to do random helpful things with a monthly "Howard Beale Reminder Day."

You ladies (and gentlemen who have participated) have shown me that TOGETHER we can do so much more than that! Together, we can create a ripple effect that will radiate outward and literally change BW's & girls' lives. Truly, God is Great. Allahu Akbar!
_______________________

Welcome, Forever Loyal!

"Kate and Allie." Yeah, I vaguely remember that show. I'll have to read up on it to jog my memory some more. Sounds like something worth looking into! Thanks!
________________________

Welcome, Sister Seeking/Miriam!

I hadn't even thought of doing a book review about the intentional-community-building books. That's a great idea. Thanks! I think I will!
__________________________

Welcome, Anonymous!

You've brought up an excellent point. I've been thinking about the many, many negatives that would have to be planned for, and eliminated (or minimized as much as possible).

Most of the immediate problems I see revolve around the type of males in these BW's lives (be they sperm donors/criminally-inclined boyfriends/criminally-inclined & gangbanging sons).

BW bringing outside male predators onto the premises (or raising teenage male predators within the premises) is what causes housing projects to be violent hellholes.

In terms of the message sent to these women's sons, quite frankly Black boys are NOT my priority. My priority is what's going on (health-wise, security-wise, mentally, spiritually, etc.) with the BW and girls involved.

This is going to sound as cold as ice: I suspect that most of these boy are already ruined. I'm thinking in terms of triage. I'm thinking in terms of who is capable of getting the most benefit out of extremely limited resources.

I'm not trying to stop or discourage anybody else from thinking of things that would send the right messages to such boys. I'm just saying that this isn't the project for me. Others are free to figure out this angle, and I encourage people to do so.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

@ All

Thank you for this wonderful exchange! I am just catching up on this conversation!

There are many fantastic points that were raised. Thank you for sharing! {smiles}

@ Khadija

Thanks for this excellent conversation!

I think it is true that we need to stop coddling the hypersensitive. I made a conscious decision to NOT coddle those who want to fly off of the handle and take everything personally that is being discussed. I will address issues very candidly and I will not "walk on egg shells" to keep the peace with other black women.

This does not mean that I will speak without sensitivity about the pain of other women. I think we need to make sure we are clear in making that distinction.

One sista was upset when I said that I will not marry a gay or lesbian couple. She was a lesbian. She was deeply offended to learn my position.

I have lesbian and gay friends who know I do not marry gays or lesbians - even in "symbolic" ceremonies.

This does not mean that I believe that the laws in this country should be different for homosexual or heterosexual persons. I believe the laws should be the same for all citizens in this country because I don't think that it should be ILLEGAL to make choices that do not align with the Bible or the Q'uran.

I don't think that America IS a Christian nation. The laws are not based on the Bible...and I don't feel they have to be.

Would I like America to be a Christian nation? That all depends.

I am still wondering WHY she was so offended. If someone tells me that they will not marry blacks, I am not offended. Their decision does not impact my existence on any level.

Sorry if I veered off topic. I just wanted to mention the whole issue about some women who take everthing personally that they don't agree with.

I also think black women need to stop having children out of wedlock. Yes, I know it takes two to make a baby but we all realize just WHO IS left raising the children now don't we?

Thanks so much for this rich dialogue!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

JS said...

foreverloyal said:

Perhaps some women with close friends could set up a "Kate and Allie" type situation for themselves.

For those of you unfamiliar with the reference, it is an 80s TV show. Two moms with children shared a house, bills, babysitting, chores, cooking etc. and were also emotional support for one another.

(I think at the end of the series 1 or both of them got married, but the show did a good job of showing the benefits of this arrangement)
-----------------------------------
Great idea, but then the problem boomerangs back to the dilemma of many black women being unable to form close relationships with other black women.

When I was a child, my mother tried to do a “Kate and Allie” situation with other black women and it was a complete failure. To make a long story short, the arrangements turned parasitic with my mom, my brother, and me the hosts.

I hope I don’t sound foolish suggesting this, but, perhaps we need a match maker situation set up to weed out certain families and match the appropriate families together based on things such as familial personalities, age of the children, etc. Of course this would have to happen after the Oasis idea is completed and in action in the real world.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Lisa!

Thank you for your kind words about this discussion! Like I mentioned earlier, I think some of you in the audience have no idea how much you've impacted my thinking. I'm truly grateful for every reader comment that has opened my eyes to previously-unfamiliar (to me) angles.

This walking on egg shells is a luxury item that we can NO LONGER afford! It's grounded in dishonesty. This walking on eggshells-induced dishonesty is part of how AAs got in such dire straits.

I'm thinking of how Black folks howled about the Moynihan Report from the 1960s that sounded the alarm about the rise of single-parent families among AAs. We didn't want to hear it because it hurt our "itty-bitty" feelings. Well, look where we are now in terms of the disintegration of the Black family!

I was going to write a post about this insane scholarly article that Felicia (one of Evia's top-notch researchers) sent me. It's entitled "The Emerging Black Middle Class: Single and Living Alone." In retrospect, I've decided not to waste our collective time dedicating a post to such madness. We're too busy working on solutions.

Synopsis for the curious:

I first looked up & read the news release for the article. I wanted to see the "spin" the head researcher was putting on this. Well, I found out (to my disgust). Then I read the scholarly article, and was really disgusted!

Her underlying gripe seems to be with anything "which presents marriage as an anti-poverty strategy." She views this common-sense idea as "consistent with neo-conservative ideology." Which seems to mean that is HAS to be refuted. Even if it's true.

This Ph.D. post-doctoral scholar also feels that the rise of what she calls "The Love Jones Cohort" does NOT create an alarming problem in terms of the intergenerational transference of wealth. She says that this is NOT an "alarming problem" because such people "might transfer their wealth to nieces and nephews, cousins or even siblings."

Yeah. Right. The whole point of her article is to spin the growing percentage of single, living alone, NEVER married people among the Black middle class as a GOOD thing.

You see, according to her, it's actually okay for the Black community that we're having more & more talented BW like Oprah, Condi Rice, etc. NOT marrying and NOT reproducing!

At a minimum, the article tries to spin this as something other than the unmitigated social disaster that this phenomenon actually represents.

This is utterly insane. And it's where decades of intellectually walking on eggshells about our people's problems has led us.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

Khadija,

I know you are human. I do not expect anything from you but I will learn from you (and everyone else) while I can because one day I will be a voice to someone else, and "excellence is a habit."

Khadija said...

Welcome, JS!

Please feel free to put all concerns on the table! We CAN'T afford wishful thinking that is out of touch with reality.

I think the matchmaker idea is GREAT! People need to be screened & vetted. And matchmakers have plenty of real-world experience in such matters.

Thank you sooo much for sharing that! Do you see how our reasoning together is much greater than the sum of its parts? Synergy is a wonderful thing!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Sister Seeking said...

Peace & Blessings

Okay, I’ve now had an epiphany too…
I'm going to half to reach out and talk to somebody man...

: (


In terms of the message sent to these women's sons, quite frankly Black boys are NOT my priority. My priority is what's going on (health-wise, security-wise, mentally, spiritually, etc.) with the BW and girls involved. Khadija

SS: I personally don’t see anything morally or ethically wrong with this Khadija? Why don’t I? What I’ve seen of most black American civil rights organizations is that their main priority is black male teens, and young men.
Nobody from these organizations is becoming hypersensitive or apologetic about that? What I’ve seen in the last five years is an intensive almost aggressive fight for the preservation of the black male—at the cost of black women and ALL children. It’s a shame it’s come to this but it what it is…

This is going to sound as cold as ice: I suspect that most of these boys are already ruined. I'm thinking in terms of triage. I'm thinking in terms of who is capable of getting the most benefit out of extremely limited resources. Khadija

SS: I personally came to this conclusion in foster care! It does sound cold Khadija, it really does, but you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.

When I look at the last part of your statement as to why, it actually doesn’t bring a person to ask “why” anymore but more along the lines of “why not” what else was going to happen given the series of events that have transpired over CENTURIES

What I’m beginning to realize is that there is a great deal of confusion or uncertainty in the black community concerning the role of the black mother to her son:

Can black women home educate (not referring to homeschooling here) and train black boys?

Is there a difference between home educating and training versus surviving?

Is it acceptable that survival is the only litmus test and is it acceptable to the entire society who is affected the by the destruction of these boys who become men that the survival is the standard?

continued..

Sister Seeking said...

Okay, I’m jumping around here, bear with me please:

The only two religious groups I’ve ever seen with the infrastructure, resources, and highly skilled masters are the Jesuits and the OLD Nation of Islam. I say this with not as much emphasis on their (theology or creed) but degree of education, discipline, and commitment it takes to produce a Jesuit or one of the old men from the NOI.

This is why I kept bringing up “system” perhaps I’m using the wrong word? I don’t know, but both groups of MEN have a system that is used to humanize and socialize men.

I’m not convinced that any bw no matter how educated or skilled can compete with an institution ( this is why I’m hell bent on encouraging them to pull their sons out of public school because they cant compete with a state institution either)

I’m not sure if the black American masses realize that every civilization has always had a distinct system for training men (to preserve the supremacy of their nation or tribe).

My husband, farther in law, and grand farther in law are born Muslims. They were all sent to madrassa's, and than to the military before marrying and becoming parents. Classical Islam was not the only discipline being taught to them, and so they had reinforcement from several worthy male role models other than their own farther.

When Evia presented her Oasis theory, I too, wondered how this would work for the black male children as well, and this is one of many reasons why I kept asking about a system. But then Evia mentioned that there would things in place to teach children how to think straight! Alhamdilal ( Praise be to G-d) for that because not knowing how to think critically and logically in a non-academic or non-professional setting is one of the major causes of our collective madness.

How are we going to cut off this dysfunction once, and for all. Marrying out to become something else is an option) but I’m a firm believer in going to the root of the problem, and destroying right, then, and there. Enough is enough.

Peace
Miriam

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Anonymous:

Regarding the oasis idea: What about the black male children growing up in such an oasis? How could you avoid teaching the male children (subtly, if not deliberately) that adult men/males are incidental to family life (except as "sperm donors")?

Khadija:

Most of the immediate problems I see revolve around the type of males in these BW's lives (be they sperm donors/criminally-inclined boyfriends/criminally-inclined & gangbanging sons).


My reply:

I read Anonymous' post as raising the question of what to do regarding those women raising boys who are not yet into the damaged mindset/lifestyle. How are they to raise upstanding boys in an oasis type environment, where there might be few positive men (especially if the damaged men are kept at bay)?

Khadija said...

Hello there, Sister Seeking/Miriam!

As you can see, I'm still struggling to deprogram myself from the typical Black-male-centered dogma I soaked up while I was in a Black Nationalist trance.

I'm still sometimes apologetic when putting BW & girls first. {humming: that's really gotta stop}

I'm happy you claritied what you meant by "system." I totally misunderstood what you were saying and thought you meant a theological system of thought. You're talking about an actual, structured process for "training up" capable men. Yes, the Jesuits and the old NOI are excellent examples of this!
____________________________

Hello there, Pioneer Valley Woman!

Oh...I see. I didn't "get it" at first. Hmmm...I still don't have any real thoughts about that. Although, I do think that it would be worthwhile to look into the exact structures and procedure the Jesuits & old NOI established to train capable men.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

foreverloyal said...

I read Anonymous' post as raising the question of what to do regarding those women raising boys who are not yet into the damaged mindset/lifestyle. How are they to raise upstanding boys in an oasis type environment, where there might be few positive men (especially if the damaged men are kept at bay)?
I saw an interesting short documentary that stated that many black boys, in the absence of fathers/uncles/etc., are developing their ideas of black manhood based on hip videos, mags, etc.
In that case, a mother in the "oasis" will have to cut off all such influences, and stock books/dvds/music that shows positivity, responsibility, etc.

Evia said...

I read Anonymous' post as raising the question of what to do regarding those women raising boys who are not yet into the damaged mindset/lifestyle. How are they to raise upstanding boys in an oasis type environment, where there might be few positive men (especially if the damaged men are kept at bay)?

Allowing for a few exceptions here and there, based on my social science and comparative culture readings, observations, and discussions, the evidence shows that women, alone, cannot raise male children successfully.

This is all the more so because we live in a patriarchial world where men have designed and enforced the various systems and women are generally regarded as less-than, weaker, lacking in authority, not regarded as competent as men and of lower status in much of the world. Thus boys do not want to grow up to be like 'dear old mom.' Boys want to grow up to be like dad or other men, whether these men are good or bad role models because people tend to want to emulate those with higher status. Men,in general, have higher status everywhere in the world, compared to women.

We have lived under the patriarchy for thousands of years now. There is no culture in recorded history that I'm aware of where the socialization of male children has been entrusted to women--EXCEPT among AAs. In ALL traditional cultures and even now in modern societies in the West and other places, male children, who are past a certain age, are MAINLY socialized directly and indirectly by adult MALES--or expected to be, except among AAs.

The overwhelming majority of social scientists are NOT surprised that AA males are running amuck in black neighborhoods and enclaves. It could have almost been predicted with 100% certainty that this would happen and will continue to happen because it goes directly against all customary norms under the patriarchy to expect or believe that women can raise male children successfully all by themselves or to be able to control these males past a certain age.

In the Oasis I envision, male children, beginning at age 8 would be sent out to get male-"finishing" instruction and be prepared for manhood, just like is done in some older, traditional societies, though less formally. At any point in time, there exists enough non-sexist, non racist males who would be able to provide this instruction, guidance, and modelling to prepare these males for life--even if the women in the Oasis must pay for it.

As a mother living in the Oasis system where expenses will be much lower, due to combing resources, I'm sure many mothers wouldn't mind paying a male "finishing" school to provide this training for her son(s).

I'm sure many of you know how Jewish children who attend regular public and private schools are sent out for Hebrew instruction. At my youngest son's school, I watched how all the Jewish boys would leave the school on various afternoons on their way to their Hebrew instruction classes. Other ethnic groups also provide cultural and language classes to their youths. Likewise, the Oasis women could contract out this type of critical task since we know by now that the women CANNOT do it. It's like anything else--if you can't do it, you'd hire someone else to do it.

However, young male children would be mothered JUST LIKE females because boys need mothering just like girls until they reach a certain age. So they would be fine in the Oasis as **little** boys or until they start getting close to puberty. That's when they'd have to start going out and once they start, they can't ever live in the Oasis again because there are no adult males in the Oasis to protect the females from these young males.

Young males of any group and EVERY culture are kept under control by older males. Look into any other cultural group and you'll see how this works.

I'm not suggesting that the Oasis is THE solution or the only solution, but if AAs are not going to provide for and protect these girls and women--and we know by now that most AAs engage in magical thinking to solve their problems--then at least alternatives need to be available.

Back to the young males-- at puberty, the boys would begin to get pre-vocational and pre-professional education in schools similar to boarding schools until they graduate from high school. This already happens in some other countries (but for different reasons). The boys could have visits with their mothers BUT outside the Oasis. No one would try to stop these mothers from visiting with or being with their sons OUTSIDE the Oasis as long as she wants. If a mother could not bear to be separated from her son(s) at all, she would have to leave the Oasis or never come to live there.

We're talking about **survival** here and offering a better quality of life to **some** AA women, so some very hard decisions would have to be made. However, any woman is free to leave whenever she wants.

This is just a rough sketch of what I'm thinking. There are various ways this could be handled and in the U.S., this would not be that difficult. First of all, it would REQUIRE different **thinking.** That's the most important part of this.

This type of system would not be for everyone. I have to say that because frequently, some people think that when something is said on these bw sites, that someone is trying to FORCE other bw to do something against their will. So the Oasis-if it ever jelled, would be totally voluntary.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

I am reminded of older black women (in their 60s and up) I know who in their younger days were raising children on their own, either due to an early out of wedlock pregnancy, separation or divorce. Their sons are now in their late 30s.

Now these women raised their children in a different time, before the detrimental forces of today.

How did they do it, raise their boys on their own?

1. They raised their sons among their extended family of sisters and brothers, so that their young sons had male influences notwithstanding the fact that the father was not around.

2. The men they married and then became separated from or became divorced from maintained some role in their sons' lives while the young men (of high school age by this time) made the transition into adulthood.

3. The mothers kept their sons away from the popular culture, made sure the boys went to schools where they were less exposed to black underclass culture.

The boys grew up being very close to their mothers and sisters; they are definitely non-sexist. Today, they are married family men.

Evia said...

I am reminded of older black women (in their 60s and up) I know who in their younger days were raising children on their own, either due to an early out of wedlock pregnancy, separation or divorce. Their sons are now in their late 30s.

Now these women raised their children in a different time, before the detrimental forces of today.

How did they do it, raise their boys on their own?


1. They raised their sons among their extended family of sisters and brothers, so that their young sons had male influences notwithstanding the fact that the father was not around.

2. The men they married and then became separated from or became divorced from maintained some role in their sons' lives while the young men (of high school age by this time) made the transition into adulthood.

3. The mothers kept their sons away from the popular culture, made sure the boys went to schools where they were less exposed to black underclass culture.

The boys grew up being very close to their mothers and sisters; they are definitely non-sexist. Today, they are married family men.


As you pointed out, these women had extended families to help them. They were not ALONE. I was raised in an extended family, so I know what you're talking about. It was a safe, supportive, encouraging environment.

The popular black culture IS the MAIN cultural piece for most young black folks these days. The popular culture used to be more on the periphery of a black child's life, but not now.

Today's typical single, younger black mother is ALONE or virtually alone. Her family members--if she has a reasonably healthy and productive family--no longer feel committed or obligated to do anything for her child. They have their own lives and their own problems. So she's usually all on her own. Many people today are not willing to sacrifice time to help to fill in another person's life even if it's a relative.

However, many of these women are a part of a broke-down family with members struggling in various ways.

One reason why some relatives don't help out is is because some relatives disapprove of the bw having children by these "no-good" baby-daddy type men. Yet this is unfair to the women even if she's more selective because--let's be honest--many times, there are barely any other type of men in the woman's vicinity IF she remains in black social circles.

Even many more middle class, or more educated bm these days are straight-up DBRs OR are taking advantage of the number of bw available to them. As one such man pointed out, there are 40 bw PLUS other women for every bm of his type.

Definitely in many poorer black neighborhoods or social circles, the number of quality bm who seek long-relationships, committed relationship with a bw is almost ZERO. I constantly look at the situation in the black community near me. If you can find more than 2-3 such men in that area of thousands this morning, I'd give you my house. Since I write about this topic so much, I spend time looking for and asking about these men. LOL!

Many of these bw are surrounded by MOSTLY DBR men or user type men, but no one teaches or WARNS the girls and women that these men will use them and throw them and the children away, so they foolishly allow these men to sex them and impregnate them. I can see this happening every time I go into the black community near me. I STILL don't hear anyone saying this to these females. So, the baby-daddy types roam free there looking for another girl or woman.

As most of us know, the system from those days has overwhelmingly broken down. That extended family pitching in was/is a great model, but it's not available to most of these women.

People MUST adapt to changed conditions or else.

And PVW, I think many magically thinking black folks have quietly made a decision not to even try to adapt. While talking to a more-conscious bw recently who lives in that poor community, she said "If it's meant for blacks there to survive, then they will and if it's not, then--oh well."

Khadija said...

Evia,

I had to step back and think for a minute. I'm still shocked when confronted with details that show how far out of touch with human norms our people have become.

After catching my breath, I realized that you're right: I can't think of a single human society that has entrusted the socialization of its males to women. Even societies that were traditionally less patriarchal than most (like some of the Native American nations) had their boys socialized BY MEN.

Because women socializing boys does NOT work. Certainly not on any mass level. The exceptions are still the exceptions, not the rule.

Another thing that we need to factor in is that the oasis would need a team of lawyers to fend off gender discrimination lawsuits. Even though residence in the oasis is voluntary, there would still be plenty of BW who would want to live there AND sue to have their teenage (& adult) sons live there too.

I remember the colored girls who raised a ruckus when Min. Farrakhan had a series of Black men-only lectures. They just couldn't understand that the Minister needed to talk to BM alone to get some of the BM in the audience to "Stop the Killing" in Black communities.

In terms of the BF Resident/Plaintiffs, many Black folks have an established habit of wanting something for nothing. There are many BW who would want the benefits of the oasis (security, sanctuary) without being willing to follow the rules that make these benefits possible (no teenage or adult males on the premises).

This behavior pattern is what makes housing projects into violent hellholes. I'm also sure that the prospective Resident/Plaintiffs would be able to find Black "grassroots" organizations that would back them in suing the oasis to allow their teenage sons to live there.

The oasis would need a legal team to find loopholes around a discrimination suit (to make the oasis "lawsuit bulletproof").

Peace, blessings and solidarity.