Friday, October 31, 2008

The Inner Sanctuary, Part 3: Decide to Beat the Curve







Helplessness kills.

Learned helplessness means that people die unnecessarily. "Learned helplessness" is a well-established psychological principle offered as a model to explain depression and apathy. Basically, it's when people conclude that they are powerless, and that their life choices have no bearing on the outcomes in their lives. This leads to people choosing to submit to apathy and external circumstances.

This attitude leads to having a stunted, diminished life. It also leads to death.

In his book, Anticancer: A New Way of Life, Dr. David Servan-Schreiber describes a lab experiment on rats that demonstrates the way helplessness can influence the course of cancer:

. . . rats were grafted with the exact quantity of cancer cells known to induce a fatal tumor in 50% of them. In this experiment, the rats were divided into three groups. In the first group, the control group, the animals received the graft but were not manipulated in any other way. In the second group, the rats were given small electric shocks, which they could learn to evade by pushing on a lever in their cage. The animals in the third group were also given electric shocks but were not provided with an escape mechanism.

The results, published in Science, were very clear: One month after the graft, 63% of the rats that had received shocks but had learned to avoid some of them by pressing a lever had rejected the tumor. The rejection rate in this group was higher than in the control group (which had not undergone shocks), in which only 54% of the animals had rejected the cancerous cells. On the other hand, only 23% of those animals subjected to the electric shock with no means of escape managed to overcome their cancer. . . The lesson of this study is crucial: It isn't stress itself---the 'electric shocks' life inevitably gives---that promotes cancer development; it is the persistent perception of helplessness the individual has that affects the body's reaction to the disease." Anticancer: A New Way of Life, pgs. 136-137.

If we are honest, we must admit that there is a LOT of learned helplessness among Black people. If we are honest, we must admit that much of what passes for Black political thought encourages learned helplessness. If we are honest, we must admit that much of our "common wisdom" reflects learned helplessness.

How many times have you heard Black women say things like, "all men cheat"? Or, "ain't no use in getting upset about it"? Or, "it's never going to change"? Or, "there's nothing I can do about it"? So many Black women have openly resigned themselves to defeat. In so many ways. No matter what particular topic is the "it" that is being discussed.

Some of you in the silent audience are resisting opening your hearts and minds to new possibilities because you don't want to expend the necessary effort to change your lives. That's fine. God respects free will; and so do I.

However, some of you are resisting opening your hearts and minds to new possibilities because you don't believe that there ARE any other possibilities for your lives. I respectfully submit to you that this belief is the result of learned helplessness. Helplessness that is not required or binding, unless you submit to it. Helplessness that can be unlearned. I believe that it's worthwhile to unlearn helplessness. In addition to diminishing one's quality of life, helplessness kills. Learned helplessness kills people unnecessarily. Survival curves often reflect this reality.

In medicine, a survival curve is a statistical picture of the survival experience of some group of patients in the form of a graph. The graph shows the percentage of patients surviving over time. Medical literature often refers to survival curves. Doctors also use survival curves to estimate a patient's prognosis; by comparing the experiences of other patients in a similar situation who received similar treatments.

There is an example of a survival curve at the beginning of this post. All survival curves have the same asymmetrical shape. Half of the patients' cases are concentrated on the left-hand side of the median. The other half of the patients are on the right side. The median survival time in the above survival curve is 2 years. That means that half the patients lived less than 2 years. The other half lived more than 2 years. Notice that some of the patients on the right side survived SIGNIFICANTLY LONGER than 2 years. Some of the patients were still going strong 12 years later. This is an extremely important life lesson! Especially when thinking about your own chances for victory in life when confronted with negative statistics, negative advice, and negative examples.

In the book, Dr. Servan-Schreiber makes a very important point about these survival curves:

"[These curves] don't distinguish between people who are satisfied with passively accepting the medical verdict and those who mobilize their own natural defenses. In the same 'median' are found those who go on smoking, who continue to expose themselves to other carcinogenic substances. . . who continue to sabotage their immune defenses with too much stress and poor management of their emotions, or who abandon their bodies by depriving them of physical activity. And within this 'median' are those who LIVE MUCH LONGER. This is most likely because, along with the benefits of the conventional treatments they receive, they have somehow galvanized their natural defenses." Anticancer: A New Way of Life, pg. 15 (emphasis added).

In other words, the people who live much longer tend to be those who decide to actively resist having the "average" and "median" outcome. People who decide to do whatever they can to BEAT THE CURVE.

Have you decided to beat the curve? Whatever the "curve" happens to be?

When you hear negative statistics (for example, such as 70% of Black women being unmarried), do you resign yourself to being among the "average" or the "median"? Have you learned to be helpless in the face of negative statistics? And negative advice? And negative examples?

Or do you decide that there's NO good reason why YOU can't be on the victorious side of the curve, too?

Are you willing to find out what the people on the winning side of the curve have in common?

Are you willing to find out what the people on the winning side of the curve did?

Wishful thinking will NOT enable you to beat the curve. You're going to have to work at it. Are you willing to work to beat the curve?

28 comments:

Khadija said...

Welcome, Everyone!

I'm currently rejecting anonymous comments because of the situation (with the immigrant Muslims) that I explained during an earlier post. Please sign in to leave comments. Thank you!

Peace and blessings,
Khadija

DeStouet said...

I've never known "helplessness." I've allowed lots of other poisonous toxins inside of my mind and body but have always felt that it was within my power to make a change. To do something else. And I have always made the necessary changes when the time came.

Khadija said...

Welcome, DeStouet!

Good for you! With me, I've felt helpless with some circumstances & empowered with others. I've been working on making the 1st list shorter and the 2nd list longer. It's an ongoing journey.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

Khadija, this is a great topic!

A lot of AA dysfunction is definitely due to learned helplessness, which is a "fatalistic attitude," and this becomes very clear when you live on a day in and day out basis among non-blacks and non-AA blacks--as I do. I've lived and mingled freely among prosperous, successful continental Africans here in the U.S. and among middle class whites and higher ever since I became an adult. I also mingle with AAs. I move back and forth between these 3 cultures or groups on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.

The differences in the attitudes/mindset about what CAN be done and what is not possible or only remotely possible is striking. Also the differences in the approaches to solving problems is truly where the rubber meets the road.

Many of the AAs I know are beset with numerous weighty problems MAINLY because of the huge amount of DBRness tolerated and excused by AAs. Money problems, man problems, children problems, health problems are the main problems they experience because most of the AAs I mingle with are AA women.

These situations cause them to be stressed, depressed, angry, on-guard, insecure, and feeling helpless and resigned most of the time. To offset these feelings, most of the AAs I know engage in one or more of the following: excessive spending, excessive eating, excessive worshipping, excessive sleeping, excessive focus on their appearance or status (hair, clothes, shoes, vehicles, etc.) excessive entertainment activities, excessive reliance on mood-enhancing substances (alcohol or illegal substances) excessive sexing, and spending huge amounts of energy and talk excusing of other blacks who are weighing them down.

At the same time, these same folks get very upset when other black folks (like me) don't want to be around them. They accuse folks like me of being "uppity" or "running away." LOL! I refuse to spend much time around folks like this because I don't feel helpless; I feel that I have power. When they hear that I feel that way, it always irritates them. It's interesting how they indirectly will then try to change my outlook. LOL!

This is exactly what happens to many AA children who enter public school motivated to learn, yet a few years later, have lost interest in learning. A LOT of this is due to their unmotivated peers who have changed or poisoned their outlook. Yet many black parents will blame their child's loss of interest in learning on 'racist' white teachers so there they go--back to de evil wm. LOL!

I've advised many black parents (mothers, mainly) to get their children away from their poisonous peer group, but these mothers will always say, "I can't afford to move." I've pointed out to them that they CAN afford to move if they do certain things differently and they always said to me, "You don't understand." LOL!

The FACT is that they were too lazy or insecure to move out of their comfort zone as you've mentioned. And what usually happened is they ended up losing their children to one type of bad, worse, worst situation or the other. This, of course, caused more stress, anger, depression, and excessing on this or that. It's a cycle.

For ex., with all of the stories surrounding the tragedy in Jhud's family, I wondered why they didn't move away from that community ASAP. Surely, she would have helped her mother to move.

I've known bw like that who refused to leave those hell holes, preferring to sacrifice themselves and their children rather than move away. It's actually a peculiar form of suicide.

I also sometimes contrast this "learned helplessness" with my upbringing where I was taught that if I could think it, I could accomplish it, as long as it was within the bounds of reason. So learned helplessness is a recent shift in attitude even among AAs. The bulk of AAs definitely didn't think like that--once upon a time-- or else very few of us would be here. Loss of the "real" bc-- which blacks gave up or walked away from voluntarily--caused most of this. That was due to a lack of black pride.

We may as well cut to the chaste here. A lack of black PRIDE, which encompasses ALL groups of blacks worldwide is what fuels ALL of this. This is why MANY black folks don't like each and get away from each other when they get the chance, which in turn, causes other blacks to leave, which then causes other blacks to leave, etc.

No black scholars, to my knowledge, has studied this "learned helplessness" phenomenon among AAs or talk about it because it takes the focus of the blame of AA problems off 'de evil wm' and for gosh sakes, AAs definitely don't want to do that!! The few who have tried to do that were labelled neo-cons or "Uncle Toms" and dismissed by other black scholars and high ranking members of the CCBC establishment. OR the CCBC will keep talking about how they need more money to change this or that. LOL!

There is a crisis in the AA "spirit" or lack of black pride. Money can't fix that and neither can white folks. And even if white folks could fix it, I'd like to hear from AAs who want white folks to teach them how to be proud of being black. SMH

Khadija said...

Welcome, Evia!

Guurl, you've laid out so many things that really need to be exposed & then thrown away! With a quickness! Well, let's run through the laundry list of dysfunctions for BW that you mentioned:

1-Shopping as Prozac.
2-Food as Prozac.
3-Church/Mosque as Prozac.
4-Sleep as morphine.
5-Status as Prozac.
6-Partying/"bar fly" activities as Prozac.
7-Surface validation from men (in the form of loveless, commitment-less,often random sex) as Prozac.

And then it's all gathered up in a neat little basket called "keepin' it real." With punishment doled out in the form of bitter tongue-lashings for anybody who refuses to hang out in these "Dead Zones" of life.

There were periods in our history here in America when certain things really WEREN'T possible. However, there's always some room to maneuver. Even if it's a very tight space. I'm thinking of the Black folks who went to medical & law school in Europe during the 1800s because American universities would not admit Black students into these programs, no matter how qualified they were.

Much of this boils down to how resourceful & persistent a person chooses to be. I can understand people feeling intimidated because they've never seen anybody within their circle of acquaintances do certain things. This is often a clue that it's time to find some new acquaintances. To find some people who are doing what you want to do.

But doing this requires people to become active participants in their own lives and seek out new information. It's so much easier to be lazy and then blame everybody & anybody else, including de' evil WM.

Whenever I see somebody who has accomplished something that I want for myself, I approach them & ask them questions. Most of the time, people have been willing to answer. Even with those folks who aren't approachable (for a variety of reasons), I spend a lot of time observing them to see if I can pick up any hints.

Yes, I also feel that this mass epidemic of "learned helplessness" is a relatively recent phenomenon. It has to be. Our people would NOT have survived long enough to get this point in time if they previously had these helpless mindsets.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello there Khadija!

This is a very relevant discussion!

I am happy that you mentioned how "religion" can become Prozac...people showing up for their fix...I see this in the black church all the time. There are women who show up full of rage and stress and they come to church waiting for the "moment" when the drum beats start and they can just start going wild - screaming, jumping, crying outbursts. This is ALL under the guise of "praising God". {raised brow}

The truth is...some are merely releasing their own pent up emotions in a place where they feel it is "safe" to do so.

Yep...the church as Prozac.

There are churches who encourage this behavior because preachers tell the masses THIS IS evidence of the presence of God.

I don't reject the possibility that God will be present and the atmosphere will change.

I also don't reject the possibility that emotionally wounded, emotionally unhealthy people are showing up to find a "release" for their emotional baggage.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

Khadija said...

Welcome, Lisa!

You made an extremely important observation:

"There are women who show up full of rage and stress and they come to church waiting for the 'moment' when the drum beats start and they can just start going wild - screaming, jumping, crying outbursts. This is ALL under the guise of 'praising God.' {raised brow}

The truth is...some are merely releasing their own pent up emotions in a place where they feel it is 'safe' to do so."


I'm really happy you said this out loud. Many of us have made the same observation. My 2 best friends are sho-nuff "church ladies," and they've been really concerned about the prevalence of this phenomenon.

One best friend is an ordained minister, like you. The other is the granddaughter of the bishop who founded the local area's first major COGIC (Church of God in Christ) temple.

The COGIC bishop's granddaughter is additionally aggrieved because some of the other [female] congregants are subtly trying to pressure her to "fall out" in the manner you described above. The Spirit has thus far not moved her to do so. Nor has the Spirit thus far ever moved her other female relatives to do so, either.

My friend and her relatives don't have that type of stress in their lives. Which is why they don't need to use church as Prozac. When difficulties occur in their lives, they face them & work on them.

Need I say out loud that there's an undercurrent of jealousy with some of the other congregants because the very name of the temple bears my friend's maiden name?

In both friends' opinions, very little of this phenomenon is actually about the Spririt. It's really about a lot of OTHER things, including releasing pent-up rage and stress.

Just so folks don't think I'm singling out Christian BW for observation, let me point out what I've seen Sunni Muslim BW do in the mosque:

Since many of the Sunni Muslim BW I've seen appear to be powerless prisoners in their own homes, the mosque is the only place where they can exercise some smidgen of authority. Of course, this is "authority" is asserted over other women.

When visiting other mosques, I've had several "sisters" swoop down upon me to tell me that, "Sister, you shouldn't be wearing clear finger nail polish in the masjid [mosque]!"

They had looked me up & down to make sure that my "uniform" was in place (scarf, full sleeves, etc.). The clear fingernail polish is the only purported breach of hijab that they could find. I ignored them, and resisted the urge to say "Look, heifers...why are you looking at me that hard in the 1st place? Purchase a clue..."

What this is REALLY all about: Instead of wearing drab gray or black scarves & potato sacks, I wear cheerful, colorful scarves with matching tops & pants. The underlying problem is that I DON'T look like a grim & sorry prisoner, like them. My appearance does NOT reflect a prisoner lifestyle, even when wearing "the garb."

That is, on those rare occassions that I play "dress up" and go to a mosque. I haven't found one that I'm comfortable at since my imam retired.

Then there is the undercurrent of hatred, stress & tension among the women at Black Sunni mosques where polygamy is promoted. After all, any single woman might be looking to 'marry' one's husband.

Ultimately, I called my imam & his wife all the way out west where he's retired. They both reiterated that I was not under any religious obligation to pray in congregational prayer in a mosque. [This is the preferred option, assuming that there's actual healthy fellowship going on. However, there ISN'T.] I could pray at home.

Non-Muslim friends have been telling me over the years that I should start a mosque. They figure that there are probably MANY other disaffected Muslims looking for someplace healthy & sane to worship. Attempt something like that and have the FBI sending in people to join? NO.

Hmmph.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymiss said...

Hey Khadijah,
Interesting post and comments.

Helplessness is truly a disease in our community. It enables many of us to be weak-minded. I believe that to be our biggest problem. In this day and age, isms (class, sex, race) don't do as much damage as giving up on yourself.

I've come to learn over the years that I've had to just "do me." I can't take advice from people who've given up on life and are so scared to step away from their comfort zones. As I've said before, I cannot stand a downer. I'm 27 and am too young and inexperienced to just give up. Life gets hard at times but I can't just give up and deal with the "What ifs" later.

What's sad is that so many people I know are weak-minded. I just can't wrap my mind around it. Maybe they're scared of what others may think.

Man, I'm in my final stages of no longer giving a you-know-what about what anyone thinks. As the the saying goes, "Opinions are like you-know-whats. Everybody has one and no one thinks theirs stink."

Dr. Seuss has a nice quote: "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." I think I'll put that back in my e-mail signature :-)

Divalocity said...

It's all basically a mind set, many of are people need to reprogram what they are thinking and what they have been taught as logic.

Many of our ancestors came to this country as slaves and that legacy does not have to continue for the descendents. Sadly, many of them are still in bondage to this day.

So as a man thinks, so is he… if we think we are nothing then we will display this type of behavior. One thing that we all know for sure is that successful BP do not possess a spirit of failure nor inferiority. They know who they are and they do not let other's define them, they know that they are more than just a skin color.

Many of our people are confused, they really don't know who they are, many think that we are this big monolith and all think just alike which is not true. Many of us share a common ancestry and that's all.

Our people need to start seeing themselves as victorious and not as victims. They have to forgive those who they feel have wronged them in some way and that includes forgiving America and moving forward with their lives.

They must began to believe what they deem as true, that they are a great people, even when they can't see it or touch it. The main thing that anyone has to understand is that your thoughts determine your life. The power to change one's thoughts and how they influence your life is in each and everyone of us.

The cycle of mental slavery has to end and it must first start with the parents. Many beliefs are passed down from one generation to the next. I've met so many BP who are terrified to become whole individuals and interact with people of different cultures for fear that they would be ostracized by other BP even when they really don't care for these individuals in the first place.

We've got a long list of problems that only we as individuals need to work on and address head on or we will continue being in denial.

The truth will set us all free. The power to lead and live a glorious life is within each and every one of us.

You’ve got to want something in order to have it.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Anonymiss!

Good for you that you've resolved to NOT let the "Helpless Brigade" slow your roll!

Ahhh. . . Dr. Seuss. . . my favorite author, from the very beginning to now! Well, here's a small bit from him in celebration of your resolve:

"Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!...

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose...

So...
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray,
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!


[From "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"]

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Divalocity!

Let me get a few knee-jerk reactions out of the way before responding to what you actually said.

I'm trying very hard not to have a knee-jerk reaction to the "we are not a monolith" phrase. Here's why: This phrase is a favorite expression of those Black internal enemies who have done the most to damage our collective interests. These internal enemies use this phrase while stabbing the rest of us in the back.

For example, Ward Connerly used this phrase to justify promoting Proposition 209 in California, which banned affirmative action in the state universities. After his efforts, and Proposition 209 was passed, the enrollment of African-Americans in California's universities dropped like a rock.

Other groups are monolithic when it comes to their core interests. For example, the Jewish community is monolithically in support of Israel continuing to exist. It's only common sense for a group to be monolithic when it comes to their core, collective interests.

Meanwhile, African-Americans are monolithically at, or near, the very bottom of every conceivable social index. For the above reasons, that phrase automatically leaves a very bad taste in my mouth; but I'll try to get over it.

I also take issue with the idea of forgiving anybody (including "America") who has refused to repent & atone for their misdeeds. I can, and have, moved forward with my goals (in honor of my ancestors) in the absence of others' repentance.

I'm not waiting for other people to repent. However, I'm also not going to say that everything that went down previously is a-okay & forgotten now. It's not. Not without some sort of acknowledgment of wrongdoing. America doesn't get a pass just because it's bored with hearing about what it did to us & those who came before us.

Let me be clear: I know that you did NOT say any of the above. I'm just venting about the arguments that are usually underlying the "we're not a monolith" & "let's move on [from our historical grievances]" code phrases.

Now, finally on to address what you DID say (LOL!):

Yes, you are correct. Your thoughts DO determine many, many things in your life. I don't understand why more people don't understand the importance of (as the Christians phrase it) "taking thoughts into captivity." It's literally a matter of life & death.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Sister Seeking said...

P&B

@Khadija

Boy oh boy, do I have a comment on "learned helplessness."

I feel a "slight" rant coming: warning!

I have been friends with a BAM doctor, and her family for 11 years now. I've always known this doctor to be a charitable,and kind hearted woman. About every say two or three years I'd get a call from her asking for about $1,000 to help out a BAM sister with anywhere from 5 to 10 children who was either a) recently divorced or b) stuck with DBR IMM/BAM man. Well, I don't know what it is, but as of Ramadan, I've received quite a few calls for money for SEVERAL BAM women who average 8 children, that are in need of immediate financial assistance both here, and abroad.

Yesterday, I nearly snapped off on my friend with good intentions for telling me of yet another BAM woman with 10 children who recently divorced. No shelter can take her, and the 10 children. No Muslim family can take her and the 10 children. Evidently even her own family can not take her and the 10 children. Now ALL of her children are at risk of being placed in foster care due to the financial hardship of the mother, and the inability to provide basic needs. I will also disclose that my friend who is the BAM doctor strictly adheres to what I call a salafi type implementation of Islam, and is active in a very tight nit IMM community. Many of these BAM women seem to be affiliated with this IMM community.

I don't know if there is some sort of conspiracy going on with the IMM community and the BAM community concerning family planning but I've seen the IMM girls marry early BUT they remain on birth control while completing their education; buying a home; and allowing time for the marriage to even out. BAM's marry early ( born and convert) with out any relationship longevity; financial stability; and parenting plan. I'm sick and tired of people using the ayah in the Qur'an that says " don't kill your children for fear of poverty" as a justification "to just get by" and when they can't anymore expect others including the IMM's who they beg for money to pick up the pieces of their life. Blindly following or just imitating a the IMM's with out thoroughly investigating their methods, resources, and infrastructural systems is pimp slapping BAM children to the pavement. FOR REAL!

When I first became Muslim, I met one of the kindest, warm hearted Pakistani sister, I've ever known in the IMM community. This sister was 21 years old, married, and had two children. She planned on having six. As she invited me into her life, I got to know her better. This 21 year old had been homeschooled using the accelerated method. She had completed her bachelor degree at 18 years of age; had completed her masters degree at 20 years of age; had lived in 3 Muslim nations and 2 secular nations; made hajj 2 times; and was currently teaching in an IMM Muslim school. Prior to marriage her parents gave her a hefty down payment for a starter home, and furnished it as well. Her situation has been so cleverly established so that she can take the risk of having a large family with out it endangering her, and the children she plans on having.

But when BAM's run into people like her, they just jump up, and go for it?

I believe that continuing to have children when you know your marriage is unstable is learned helplessness; I believe that having children with out the basic resources, and plans is learned helplessness.

I also believe that many BAM women are hiding behind child bearing, home schooling, and staying at home as a cop out from the realities of life because they lack the integrity to face them.

Because our community has so many competing discourses for women they are being enabled from their clergy, leadership, and layman alike.

I do believe in parental rights. I do believe in our constitutional right to direct the education of our children, and I do believe that children belong to their family not the state. I also believe that it is no ones business how large you grow your family if the children are not being abused, neglected, and reared to become a menace to society.

BUT

I'm sorry to say this but many of us BAM's are making decisions that are terminating our parental rights legally, and emotionally.

Something else I don't understand is:

-You lived in a home, why are you on the streets, and that DBR man is up in the house? Why did you not put your name on the title?

-Why did you not get an attorney to ask the judge to order that DBR man out of the house with the obligation to still financially support it?

-Where is your life insurance policy?

-Where is your savings?

-What do you mean you don't have any transcripts and portfolio's for your home schooled children? How in the heck do you expect them to get into college?

What have you been doing the 10, 15, 25 years you were married? NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why is being educated, self-reliant, and mentally stable a threat to being a devout Muslim woman? Why can't we be both? The Imm women seem to be both? What is wrong with our thinking?

As a former foster child myself, I feel very deeply for all these children who didn't ask to be brought into this world or the circumstances they are in only to end up estranged from their biological family and into the foster care system.

Is that a cruel twist of fate or what?

Sister Seeking said...

I have some more comments to make lest I go totally mad

1) Theologically speaking, I disagree that using birth control is aborting children for fear of poverty becuase life begins at conception? If conception is being prevented how in the heck is that "killing" anything?

2) I can only assume for the better, that these women are mentally ill, becuase it is beyond my little mind how some one could go from a situation of stability to instability with children? I can only assume that there is some serious medical neglect going on, and these OB/GYN's are not screening these women for mental illness. If this is the case, maybe, their children will forgive them for the drudgery they have been forced to live, and understand she was sick, and didn't know any better.

Quick story here: I met a BAM woman married to a Pakistani who had six children--she begged her Pakistani OB/GYN to tie her tubes on the sixth one but he lectured her about "killing" children, and she ended up pregnant again. Like that was HIS choice...

3) Both the IMM and the BAM communities need to reform their premarital counseling and education classes. We need to get beyond what the sheriah says, and focus on what our secular law says, and what reality DOES when you disregard some fundamental laws of both safety, and common sense.

In particular I'm thinking:
All women need to seriously think about the consequences to themselves and their children when they have large families. It doesn't matter if the marriage ends with death or divorce. Why are we not planning ahead? Why are we not taking preventive measures and protecting our stability NOW?

All women need to have a plan during the child bearing phase and beyond. There needs to be some exact strategy for maintaining financial stability and independence during all stages of your life. Any gap should be temporary.

All women should be required to have a prenuptial agreement, and they should be required to learn the divorce/custody laws in their state prior to getting married.

Knowledge is power baby. Women need to know just exactly what they are signing up for before the dive in head first.

Children are both blessings and burdens in that they require a consistent LABOR of love. Some how, that LABOR part is always left out when people start growing their families.

When you know that a child number 2 or 6 or 9 that your marriage is on the rocks: STOP having children.

Also, these women in high risk or fragile marriages need to be thoroughly educated on what their state laws are on terminating parental rights. You can have your rights terminated for having children in abject poverty. It is on the books in MANY states.

There is no Muslim American adoption service; or foster care network for BAM's.

P/B

Khadija said...

Welcome, Sister Seeking/Miriam!

You mentioned sooo many crazy behaviors. Where, oh where, to begin? I'll just pick out a few drops from the ocean of madness that you described.

You mentioned the so-called, self-proclaimed "salafi" dawah.

This immigrant-sponsored, Shaitan-inspired poison destroys ALL who swallow it. Just read some of the posts by the man who is the blog host of the Salafi Burnout. He's quite upfront about how imbibing this form of "religious" crack destroyed his marriage, destroyed his life, and he's just beginning to recover.

For all who drink this poison, this immigrant-sponsored, Shaitan-inspired, self-proclaimed "salafi" dawah is responsible for the:

1-Corruption of the Muslim victims' understanding of the aqeedah (creed).
2-Corruption of the Muslim victims' understanding of the manhaj (methodology, ways) of the prophets.
3-The spread of misguidance.
4-The spread of hateful partisanship & sectarian bigotry.

The self-proclaimed "salafis" have corrupted the affairs of the deen (the religion). They have also corrupted the worldly affairs of all who have swallowed their poison. Both here and abroad, the false "salafis" & their doctrines are the source of MOST of the evil found today among the Muslims.

The immigrant Muslims & their Arab-trained Negro puppets brought that poison to us. We must reject it (& those who are peddling it) at every turn. Those who have made the fatal mistake of swallowing even a drop of it must spit it out!

You said, "I also believe that many BAM women are hiding behind child bearing, home schooling, and staying at home as a cop out from the realities of life because they lack the integrity to face them."

BINGO! These women are still living a "welfare queen" lifestyle. Only now, they have adopted fake religious justifications for being welfare queens (having 20 babies that they know they can't care for, refusing to work, etc.). They are scarf-wearing welfare queens.

And mark my words: Eventually, one of these BAM welfare-queen-homeschooling-mothers is going to create a tragedy that will force the federal government to tighten up & crack down on homeschooling regulations. It's just a matter of time.

Far too many Negro Muslims have continued in their same dysfunctional pre-Islamic behaviors (promiscuous baby-daddies, welfare queens, etc.). Only now they have found fake religious justifications for these behaviors.

You asked, "Why is being educated, self-reliant, and mentally stable a threat to being a devout Muslim woman? Why can't we be both? The IMM women seem to be both. What is wrong with our thinking?"

Being a woman who can function in reality is not a threat to being devout. It IS a threat to the type of Negro Muslim male who came to Islam with the hope of being a harem-operator or a wife-batterer. It IS a threat to those Negro Muslim Ike Turner imams who preach & adopt "salafi" doctrines to justify their Ike Turner ways & behaviors.

And since, many Muslim Black women came to Islam to please a Muslim man who supports these views, many BAM women adopt these views about what a "devout" woman should do with her life.


The other thing is that this behavior is another example of "cargo cult" thinking among Black folks. With so many processes (political power, business, and now this) we are content to mimic the outward appearance of something.

We mimic the outward appearance while we have NO CLUE about the internal factors that make it work for other people. And then we're confused about why we get different results than the people we imitated on the surface.

Considering the madness & chaos within the BAM ranks, it's just as well that there is no Muslim American or BAM foster care network. I consider this a sign of God's Mercy.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

For those audience members who are curious about the details regarding the fake "salafi" poison among BAMs:

A WM working-class Muslim convert named Umar Lee did an excellent series detailing the spread & effects of this movement among BAMs. [It seems that, at one point, he was among these ranks.]

The final installment of his series can be found at:

http://umarlee.com/2007/01/31/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-salafi-dawah-in-the-us-final/

If you google the phrase "the rise and fall of the salafi dawah in the us" you'll find plenty of blog discussions about the sad, sordid history of this poison.

Negro "salafis" are often the no-working BAM males who survive off of the welfare checks from their multiple "wives." They justify this continuation of their lazy, pre-Islamic behavior by calling themselves religious students. You see, they claim to believe that it's more important for a man to learn all the intricacies of medieval religious rulings than to support his family!

Negro "salafis" are often the BM Muslims who have been "married" & divorced (with religious ceremonies) literally up to 30 TIMES. They "marry" women, have sex with them, and then divorce them in a matter of days. Of course, the children produced by these multiple marriages are discarded & forgotten along with the ex-wives.

These foolish, hungry women & their innocent, hungry children are among those described by Sister Seeking/Miriam in her comment. I don't care about these women who volunteered to be victimized. I AM concerned about the children raised in this madness.

These women also can't turn to their salafi "sisters" for help because the salafi orientation encourages complete social boycotts of all who run afoul of it. These "salafis" are constantly falling out with each other over medieval scholars' rulings, the degree of allegiance one has to current Saudi religious scholars, the degree of allegiance that one has to those who sit upon Saudi thrones, etc.

In his series, Umar Lee described a situation where children were required to shun other children because that child's parent did not show sufficient allegiance to a particular Saudi scholar.

Truly, this is madness.

Meanwhile, even these Negroes' beloved medieval Arab religious scholars condemned the whorish behavior of marrying & discarding women as "marrying with the intention of divorce." They only take heed of these medieval Arab scholars when it satisfies their lust & ego to do so.

To put this "salafi" poison in context, not only is it social & family poison, but it is also political poison. Violent lunatics such as Bin Laden often like to call themselves "salafis."

Keep in mind that the above-described behavior has NOTHING to do with the Nation of Islam. This is purely from "orthodox" Sunni Muslim Blacks, and the extremist immigrant Muslims that they slavishly follow into the hellfire.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

After some digging, I found a site that has the whole series (which doesn't seem to be available at Umar Lee's blog anymore).

http://weblog.liberatormagazine.com/2008/03/rise-and-fall-of-salafi-dawah-in-us_08.html

It's really quite...remarkable...to read in its entirety.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Sister Seeking said...

P&B

Off my soap box now! : )

Khadija, I read Umar Lee's series about three years ago, and I know Tariq Nelson has also written extensively about the devastation of this cult on his blog. I also know that Umar Lee had a fallen out with Abdur Rahman on his blog when Abdur Rahman posted evidence to back up his claims against "some" within the IMM community. Also, I don't have an issue with brother Tariq himself, but one of the Muslim papers he writes for( The Muslim Link) is affiliated with a masjid in College Park Maryland that has been in various mainstream news papers becuase a "few" individuals were or have been investigated for terrorist/conspiracy/racketeering/tax fraud/immigration violation charges. Also, in my opinion, there are "degrees" of salafis. I personally think that community is salafi they just haven't allowed their practice to make them dysfunctional like BAM's. I have a problem with any group of Muslims who teach that their minhaj is "the" minhaj or the only acceptable minjab. When I hear that, I turn around, and RUN in the opposite direction.


Don't worry about home schooling being regulated! lol! a non-Muslim fundamentalist family beat us to it in California. Word is in my local secular home schooling group that one or both of the girls who asked to attend public school called CPS themselves, and reported physical violence in the home.

All I know is, I now know how to spot a fallacy or faulty thinking. That's one reason why I decided to interview homeschoolers in my local area instead of solely relying on what I read. When some one tells me that their five year old: speaks seven languages; is a member of Mensa; performs algebraic equations; and has memorized the whole dictionary--I know something is up! lol lol lol lol

It's all good!
lol

: )

Khadija said...

Hello there, Sister Seeking/Miriam!

{excited waving}

Actually, I'm happy you got on your soapbox! LOL! These things need to be brought to light in front of the general Black population. Sunlight usually helps to disinfect a situation.

When most Black folks think "African-American Muslim," we tend to conjure up memories of the Nation of Islam's many good works within Black residential areas. We have a mental image of "Black Muslims" as clean, disciplined, healthy Black people standing tall with righteous self-respect.

Most non-Muslim Blacks have NO idea that many "orthodox" Black Muslims have returned to the servile self-hatred that our pioneers became Muslim to escape. Most Blacks have NO idea that many Muslim Blacks have replaced White, European idols with Arab/Pakistani ones.

I had no idea that this shift had happened under my nose. My ignorance of this phenomenon was truly bliss. Tears came to my eyes when I first found out about this trend a few years ago. For me, finding out about this mass return to self-hatred was as distressing as finding out about the Dunbar Village Atrocity and its aftermath.

You're very kind in reference to Tariq Nelson. As far as I'm concerned, he's part of the problem. I was through with him after reading his blog post advocating "passing" into non-Blackness as a solution for Arab/Pakistani, etc. anti-Black racism.

"Passing" into non-Blackness is his answer to Arabs using the expression "son of a Black woman" as an equivalent to "son of a b****." So, the answer is to marry Arab women & have one's progeny disappear into the Arabian gene pool. And hope that full-blood Arab children don't tease one's half-Arab children as "sons of Black women."

Slave.

If I remember correctly, he also has an Arab wife. I don't know if he flew to Morocco to buy her. I really don't care at this point. I have zero respect for him. I don't understand why somebody who advocates slipping into non-Blackness is accepted within Muslim "Black" circles. To me, it's just another example of how far we have sunk back into the vomit of programmed racial self-hatred.

About foreign entanglements: This is another source of my chagrin with the immigrant Muslims. They have used & abused people's innocence & trust to the point that nobody (in their right mind) can feel comfortable donating to any Muslim charity or institution at this point. You just have no way of knowing what these people are doing with your money.

This is not only a shame, it's a crime. Their actions have caused the downfall of legitimate Muslim charities and institutions as well as tainted ones. Since there's no way to know which is which, many people have stopped giving charity altogether.

I'm not trying to have the FBI ringing my doorbell. Ever. Especially not over some mess that I have no knowledge of, and did NOT consent to.

I'm happy to hear that you have your "critical thinking cap" on. I wish more people would put theirs on.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Greetings, Khadijah and Sister Seeking!

Thanks for your explanations of this learned helplessness phenomenon among certain subgroups of Muslim women.

I want to stress, though, that there is a parallel phenomenon among certain very fundamentalist Christians, who take the same attitude towards reproduction and women's accomplishment. They share common cause with the traditionalist Roman Catholics who also oppose birth control, but who advocate "natural family planning."

Among the fundamentalist Christians is a group that follow what they call "the quiverfull" movement, that couples should not use birth control, because only God can decide how much children a couple has.

Some of course, do it well, because they plan well--they have family resources and so forth that permit them to do this.

On the other hand, some follow to their detriment, having way too many children they can't afford; life strikes them with some calamity, and they don't know what to do.

And yet, they are told, God will provide, not to worry about the financial struggles, those are irrelevant "earthly concerns."

Ugh!!!!!!!!!

Khadija said...

Welcome, Pioneer Valley Woman!

Yes, I've read some articles about the "quiverfull" beliefs. These are groups of [White] American Christian fundamentalists explicitly & consciously having large numbers of children as demographic weapons ("arrows in a quiver") against "unbelievers."

Yet another example of crazy people out-reproducing more sane & responsible folks. I understand that there will always be a certain percentage of nuts within any population.

What I don't understand is how harshness & oppression became confused with religious "authenticity" in so many normal people's minds. There seems to be a common belief that people are only "spiritual" if they are political reactionaries living grim lives filled with harshness & misery.

This widespread confusion is part of why I've become more vocal about my religious beliefs. Progressives & (more or less) happy people can be religious zealots too! LOL!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

Khadija said:

"There seems to be a common belief that people are only "spiritual" if they are political reactionaries living grim lives filled with harshness & misery."

Exactly!

Many many people believe that God only blesses those that constantly suffer & live the most miserable lives. I'm certain this is not always the case. It can't be!

Because what are they doing for God? They commit crimes & make really bad choices/decisions only to end up believing that He is showing them favor because they are reaping what they've sewn.

That's really wicked thinking.

In fact, it quite insulting to believe that someone finds favor in you when you haven't done much.

Khadija said...

Hello there, DeStouet!

{excited waving}

You made the observation, "That's really wicked thinking."

Truly, it IS!

And it's wicked on so many levels. Among other things, it shows that the person has (in my view) an extremely distorted view of God. What...these people really believe that God is the believers' and human beings' greatest enemy who delights in inflicting suffering?

???!!!???

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Sister Seeking said...

P&B

Any one interested FYI:

www.duggarfamily.com
www.quiverfull.com
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiverfull

MUST READS
http://www.homeedmag.com/seelhoffvs.welch/interview.html

http://www.homeedmag.com/seelhoffvs.welch/news.html

Khadija said...

@Sister Seeking/Miriam: Thanks for the info!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hey there!

I know this is totally off topic but...

Ladies and gents....

We have elected a Kenyan-American president....

BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
44th President of the United States

And we're movin' on up!!

ak said...

Divalocity: Many of our ancestors came to this country as slaves and that legacy does not have to continue for the descendents. Sadly, many of them are still in bondage to this day.

So as a man thinks, so is he… if we think we are nothing then we will display this type of behavior. One thing that we all know for sure is that successful BP do not possess a spirit of failure nor inferiority. They know who they are and they do not let other's define them, they know that they are more than just a skin color.

Many of our people are confused, they really don't know who they are, many think that we are this big monolith and all think just alike which is not true. Many of us share a common ancestry and that's all.

The cycle of mental slavery has to end and it must first start with the parents. Many beliefs are passed down from one generation to the next. I've met so many BP who are terrified to become whole individuals and interact with people of different cultures for fear that they would be ostracized by other BP even when they really don't care for these individuals in the first place.

We've got a long list of problems that only we as individuals need to work on and address head on or we will continue being in denial.

The truth will set us all free. The power to lead and live a glorious life is within each and every one of us.



Anonymiss: I've come to learn over the years that I've had to just "do me." I can't take advice from people who've given up on life and are so scared to step away from their comfort zones. As I've said before, I cannot stand a downer. I'm 27 and am too young and inexperienced to just give up. Life gets hard at times but I can't just give up and deal with the "What ifs" later.

What's sad is that so many people I know are weak-minded. I just can't wrap my mind around it. Maybe they're scared of what others may think.

Man, I'm in my final stages of no longer giving a you-know-what about what anyone thinks. As the the saying goes, "Opinions are like you-know-whats. Everybody has one and no one thinks theirs stink."

Dr. Seuss has a nice quote: "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."


Yes. Yes. Yes. Ladies you were right on the money about thiese things. Anonymiss, I am tired of the opinions of others and especially the way the DBR blacks have to impose their whole way of life and their views on black women especially when she wants to be her own person and get out there.

Divalocity the whole stereotypical monolithic mind set that everybody has regarding an image of black women, a mind-set that other black people should be ashamed of having, has always been the bane of my life or at least since right before my pre-teen years!

sdg1844 said...

Yes we can beat the curve Khadija. If the stats were correct, I shouldn't be here. I was the child of 2 drug addicted parents and I should be dead, strung out or in prison.

However, I am educated, positive and hopeful about life. I have always been this way even during difficult times.

I am a solution oriented person. There are times when I get down and I am in tune to the point where I work my way out of it.

I get excited about finding solutions because the answers aren't always huge. Many times there are small steps needed to change your life for the better.

I am ferocious about life and love it w/every breath in me. I'll fight to my last breath to keep improving myself for all the days I have.

I don't dig helplessness because it lets one of the hook when it comes to responsibility. I've seen too much "helplessness" and defeatism around me to ever find it acceptable.

Find a way. We've always been able to not just survive, but thrive. It's hard work though Khadija and most of us are too lazy to do it.

I've given in to Debbie Downer-ism and Self Indulgence and realized what a dullard I'd become. Who in the hell wants to be around someone like that?

Let's keep it moving and get things done because life is a verb. Period.

Khadija said...

Welcome, SDG1844!

As you said, "Yes we can beat the curve..." I have bouts of feeling helpless from time to time, but then I snap out of it. I've learned my lesson from seeing so many elders give up and literally die shortly after giving up.

Several of them had falls, which led to broken bones. This led to losing confidence in their ability to walk around. This led to spending more & more time in bed because they were afraid of falling again. This led to depression. All of it led to death before it was necessary.

Observing all of this taught me that people have to literally "keep it moving" and "use it or lose it." For real. I REFUSE to go out like that!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.