Friday, October 17, 2008

Protect Your Stake in the Process: Vote Early

Several people that I greatly respect and admire have asked me (and many others) to participate in "get out the vote" efforts. After much thought and prayer, I decided to comply with these requests.

My initial reluctance comes from the ill-advised manner in which Black folks have made a fetish of voting. We have made the idea of voting an object of unreasonably excessive reverence. We are as deluded as the Iraqis proudly holding up their purple fingers after voting under an occupation-imposed puppet government. Their purple-stained fingers did not magically convert occupied Iraq into a functioning democracy. Millions of people around the planet have voted while still living under the heels of brutal tyrants.

Black folks need to grow up politically, and face the following realities: MUCH more than simply voting is required in order to have a functioning democracy. A functioning democracy needs to have a combination of practices in place. These practices are often referred to as "the rule of law."

Some concepts associated with "the rule of law" include: The principle that governmental authority is exercised only in accordance with written, publicly disclosed laws. The principle that these laws are adopted and enforced in accordance with established procedural steps. The idea that everyone is equal before the law. The idea that nobody is above the law. The idea that people who have been arrested have the right to be told what crimes they are accused of, and to request that their custody be reviewed by independent, judicial authority.

Keep in mind that none of this guarantees that the laws will be just. This only guarantees that there will be a PROCESS other than following the whims of a tyrant, or following mob rule. Having a process is extremely important. Having a real process in place makes it possible for people to work toward having just laws.

Other reasons for my initial resistance to engaging in "get out the vote" efforts are the emotional trickbags that are often used during these efforts.

I'm really weary of hearing people claim that "people died so we could vote." Black people didn't "die so we could vote." They died because racist White people murdered them. This "died so we could vote" phrase makes their murderers invisible. This phrase makes the fact that they were brutally murdered invisible. This phrase makes it sound as if our martyrs were killed by some impersonal process---almost as if they were plague victims.

I'm also weary of our inability to see that our martyrs intended for voting to be a tool of liberation and empowerment. They did NOT intend for voting to be an end in itself, which is how we currently view it. Instead of using our votes as simply one tool among others, we make hysterical appeals to register and vote during every election season. After the election is over, we promptly slip back into our collective coma until the next election.

So, I am not encouraging you to vote early if possible, because "Black people died so you could vote." I am not encouraging you to vote early so that you can vote for any particular candidate. I have no confidence whatsoever in the so-called "mainstream" candidates. I am not encouraging you to vote early because, "We're going back to slavery if you don't vote." [Which is the emotional undercurrent to many Black folks' "get out the vote" appeals.]

I am encouraging you to vote early in order to protect our collective stake in having a process in place. If you look at the concepts associated with "the rule of law," you can see that the very idea of a real process in this country has been nearly destroyed during the Bush reign. "The process" is on life support right now. I think that it's in everyone's interests to do what we can to nurse it back to health. One step is to support candidates who are most likely to enact laws in support of having a real process. Another step is to support organizations and initiatives that resist efforts to destroy the process. I believe that the "Steal Back Your Vote" campaign is an initiative that deserves our support. You can find out more at http://stealbackyourvote.org/ You can visit http://www.ncsl.org/programs/legismgt/elect/absentearly.htm#absent to find out if your state allows early voting.

Suggested Reading: Consider the similarities between Black folks' concept of voting and cargo cults; specifically the Pacific Island cargo cults formed during WWII. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

25 comments:

Chi-Chi said...

Aaaah, Khadija. I think I love you.

Excellent, excellent post and I couldn't agree more.

Black people didn't "die so we could vote." They died because racist White people murdered them.

Tell it!!

Khadija said...

Welcome, Chi-Chi!

{sending all those good vibes, kind thoughts, and well wishes back at 'cha!}

Focused Purpose is quite correct when she makes the observation that Black people are an extremely childish people.

She's being kind. Even children can display common sense and rational thinking. What we have going is a "cargo cult" mentality. For African-Americans, voting is a magic ritual, and political speeches are magical incantations.

I'm sick of it. There have been years when I have refused to vote for or against anybody. I have had periods of observing a personal boycott against voting at all.

Part of this is a function of age. I've lived (and voted) through the eras of "Run, Jesse, Run" and "Let's Make History" (Mayor Harold Washington, Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, etc.). We've made plenty of "history," elected plenty of Black politicians, and yet our collective condition gets worse and worse.

The other part of this disgust is based on observations. We're the only ethnic group in this country that believes itself to live or die based on who's in office.

Meanwhile, other ethnic groups (Cubans in Florida, Jewish Americans) have positioned themselves to get what they want no matter who (or which party) is in office.

Maybe we should learn how to do the same. Instead, we engage in hysterical voting rituals.


I am only pleased by,and proud of, my very first experience as a (just out of high school) voter with electing Chicago's first Black mayor, "Harold" (as Black folks in Chicago called him).

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Hagar's Daughter said...

Khadija,
You wrote: "Black people didn't 'die so we could vote.' They died because racist White people murdered them. This "died so we could vote" phrase makes their murderers invisible."
___________
If I may reframe and give a different perspective.

The belief that "Blacks died so that blacks could vote" pays homage to those witnesses (martyrs) who may have been afraid, who were more than likely afraid, but who sacrificed their lives anyway. It in no way takes the blame or responsibility away from racist White murders.

These murderers took the lives of these men and women, but I refuse to GIVE the murderers the memory and legacies of these great warriors. Their sacrifice was too great. Those murderers may have taken the lives of those martyrs, but they did not take their souls, thier spirits, their legacies, or energy.

Black Americans have failed in that we have not taken it further. We are content to just vote - those who even vote. We still have to prime and beg and cojole black folks just to vote. And those of us who do vote usually remain loyal to the DNC. We don't read, understand, or questions candidates' platforms. We don't demand anything. We don't even know what's going on. Now we are so enthused about a President Obama until we are in a trance.

When there is no one that I want to vote for on the the ticket, I will write in a name of someone that I think is qualified.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Hagar's Daughter!

We'll agree to disagree on the "died so we could vote" framing of the issue. However, I believe that there is great value in discussing different viewpoints about this in detail.

I believe that the pat phrases we use to describe our history as a people NEED to be reexamined. After examination, some of us will decide to keep the phrases. Some of us will decide to discard the phrases. "Strong Black woman" is another example of a phrase that I've rejected after some thought.

I think that what you expressed is lovely, but it's NOT what's motivating the vast majority of us when we use the "died so we could vote" phrase.

We are frightened slaves. We are afraid to name any White person as an enemy and a murdering beast. We never mention, much less talk about in any detail, what these animals did to our people. As a matter of slave-mentality policy, we take these animals & their evil out of every formulation of our history.

No. Our martyrs didn't just "die." They were brutally murdered. Nobody else removes their enemies and these enemies' actions from their history. I think it's significant that nobody else does this. We do this because we are still mentally enslaved and afraid.

In our fear, we don't just erase the direct murderers, we also erase from memory the huge White social networks that supported the murderers.

There were plenty of racist White animals (including White housewives) who supported the murderers in thousands of "little" ways: such as bringing home-cooked meals to the jail on those very rare ocassions when such beasts were arrested. These creatures, and their support of evil, are also rendered invisible by the "died so we could vote" phrase.

The teachers in my family have talked about these sorts of phrases quite a bit over the years. Here is how they have heard several generations of Black children ALMOST ALWAYS sum up the lives of Dr. King, Mayor Harold Washington, and the other few Black historical figures that they are aware of: "He loved everybody, and he died."

This "he loved everybody, and he died" formula doesn't just come from small children. [This formula is age-appropriate for little people's level of understanding.] They hear it from older children (8th graders) who have read and know the details of various people's lives and work.

I believe that there are a lot of slave-mentality-related issues underlying these pat phrases that we use to describe things.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Oh yes, while I'm thinking about all of this:

My relatives also talk about how they have watched GENERATIONS of Black children automatically laugh at any paintings or pictures they put up of historical Black figures. The children titter and comment about how "ugly" these people are (especially the Black women). They teach in all-Black schools.

The teachers in my family make a point of working to promote self-respect, including ethnic self-respect, with their students. Some of the children at best learn not to make derogatory statements about our ancestors in my relatives' presence. Some of the children genuinely learn some things about our people that they appreciate. It has consistently been an uphill struggle.

The children NEVER do this with pictures and paintings of Whites. Including geuninely odd-looking persons such as {shudder} Abraham Lincoln.

As a people, we've got many behavior patterns (including the ways that we describe the world) that need to be reexamined.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

foreverloyal said...

Khadija said: We are frightened slaves. We are afraid to name any White person as an enemy and a murdering beast. We never mention, much less talk about in any detail, what these animals did to our people. As a matter of slave-mentality policy, we take these animals & their evil out of every formulation of our history.

No. Our martyrs didn't just "die." They were brutally murdered. Nobody else removes their enemies and these enemies' actions from their history. I think it's significant that nobody else does this. We do this because we are still mentally enslaved and afraid.
--------------------

WHOA. You definitely have a sharp and analytical mind. I am sure your namesake would be proud.

On a lighter note, I actually have a post entitled "Strong Black Woman" up at my blog. http://foreverloyal.wordpress.com/2008/10/16/strong-black-woman/

Keep the posts coming. I just discovered you a few days ago and you are already a "must-read" masha'allah.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Forever Loyal!

Thank you for your kind words. The posts come as things "work my nerves" to the point where I feel the duty to speak out to a larger audience than the people I encounter in the "real" world. I go where the Spirit guides me.

Black folks' Obama-delerium (and refusal to think through the implications of his election) was a source of agitation. This delerium combined with Black folks' non-preparation for the 2nd Great Depression is what first spurred me to climb on top of this soapbox.

Yes, I loooove my first name. And the great woman behind it. For her to have been a businesswoman in the caveman society of 7th century Arabia is a testament to her wisdom and skill. [3 z-formation finger snaps in her honor}

Back on topic: As you know, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught that actions are judged by intentions. Many of things that Black folks say & do sound good on the surface, but the motives are ALL WRONG!

For example, the handful of mentally free Blacks like Hagar's Daughter have sincere motives for framing the "they died so we could vote" issue that way. But this mentally-free motive is NOT representative of the vast majority of us. I believe this because I'm looking at our long-term behavior patterns.

Pattern #1: Black people only pretend to be loving, merciful, forgiving, etc. when it's White people doing things to us. We are quick to literally blow another Black person's brains out for "looking at me wrong," or "you stepped on my foot." For proof of this, check any emergency room in (or nearby) Black residential areas.

It's NOT love, mercy, or forgiveness that has us erasing (and refusing to spotlight) racist White people's atrocities against us. It's fear.

We literally & frequently kill each other for much, much less. And talk about these Black-Black killings in great detail after the fact. This silence is only in reference to our former slavemasters' atrocities against us.

Pattern #2: We only pretend to exercise this feigned mercy, etc. when the victim of the trespass is someone we deem of NO VALUE. The people we deem of no value ARE OURSELVES. We don't talk this mercy mess when it comes to Bin Laden. This is because he has murdered people who really matter, i.e. White folks.

If we were sincerely motivated by a spirit of mercy, etc. we would have the same "merciful," "forgiving" reactions across the board. Instead, we only talk this "mercy" mess when the victims of an atrocity are Black, especially Black women.

Pattern #3: A well-trained slave will NEVER raise his voice or his hand to his master. No matter how bold the slave may be with others.

Look at the Black criminal underclass for proof of this. Do you notice that the mafia guys NEVER have a problem with police brutality? This is because the police KNOW that there will be swift and certain consequences if they fail to "come correct" with mob guys. The police know that they (and their families) will wake up to find themselves dead.

If Black wanna-pose-as-gangsters-criminals had any courage whatsoever, they would teach the police the same way the mob guys have taught the police how to treat them. For all their posturing, they are slaves.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Forever Loyal,

Hello again {waving},

I stopped by your blog, and checked out the Strong Black Woman video featuring Gina Torres. I never really watched the show Firefly, even though I generally like sci-fi shows.

At one point, I read an interview where it sounded like the actress was tripping down the "I'm not 'really' Black, I'm Latina" lane of unreality. However, she has sounded more sensible in subsequent interviews. She has pointed out that Black Latinas (like herself--she's of Cuban ancestry) are never really shown or identified as Latino.

[Only the "Whiter" ones are shown. *Side note: This was certainly the impression I formed during my few years of Spanish proficiency when I was in high school. I remember the Spanish language media (soaps, movies, etc.) as being extremely, and overtly, racist.]

P.S. I enjoyed the "How did it come to this?" clip!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Hagar's Daughter said...

Khadija,

I was talking to my sister about this "died that we may vote." She reminded me that our parents and our village elders would describe it more in these terms: "they (martyrs) were shot down like animals; ______ was killed registering black people to vote; _____ was beat down in jail by the police."

It was never a kumbaya momemt. I think this is where my reframing is rooted. And yes, we need to act NOW about this self-hatred we have instilled in our children.

But hey, we can agree to disagree. I do agree that we do not think things through and we are not pro -actors in the process, we are re-actors.

Mary said...

“We are frightened slaves. We are afraid to name any White person as an enemy and a murdering beast. We never mention, much less talk about in any detail, what these animals did to our people. As a matter of slave-mentality policy, we take these animals & their evil out of every formulation of our history.

Pattern #1: Black people only pretend to be loving, merciful, forgiving, etc. when it's White people doing things to us. We are quick to literally blow another Black person's brains out for "looking at me wrong," or "you stepped on my foot." For proof of this, check any emergency room in (or nearby) Black residential areas.”


Khadija, this is such a good point. Blacks are very nice to others and borderline cruel to their own. If they would only switch this mentality around, things would improve for them so quickly. For example, blacks could topple asian owned beauty supply stores if they wanted to, but will that happen, no. As an African I can attest to how much black Americans hate blackness and anything related to their origin. As I’ve mentioned before, I think this is an issue because the low class acting black crew seem to outnumber middle class normal black people. I don’t know what’s going on in the projects or low income black areas but THEY HATE BLACKNESS. Normal blacks are usually alright in that they don’t think they’re better than you cause you’re African (maybe some do, but I wouldn’t say most), but the acting crew type of black person will loudly declare that they are better than you cause you’re African. Simply bizarre. Anyways, I wanted to add to your examples, like….how come when black folks want to riot, instead of rioting in white folks neighborhoods, they riot and destroy THEIR OWN communities. And if bm are so big and bad, how come black women and children are still the easiest prey out there. And if bm are so big and bad, how come they don’t stand up to white men, instead, they whine and whine about the man aka white men.

And I just want to point out that I’ve always thought what happened to blacks in America to be absolutely inhumane. However, I don’t understand how blacks have turned slavery into this “thing” that just happened and it’s not a big deal. I mean, slavery is not even a serious issue anymore to be completely frank. In high school, middle school or even college, it was not treated as a serious issue. Now the holocaust was treated as this devastating, unbelievable thing, but slavery, not so much. And all they would talk about is how blacks were taken from Africa, didn’t have rights and then were freed. They never detail how cruel whites were, which I think is very important to do. Whites now have this attitude that blacks are naturally deviant and that they themselves are moral and kind. For them, since their cruelty is never detailed, ignorance is bliss as far as they’re concerned. Meanwhile, blacks have the shame of slavery to live down. How come in all my years of studying in America, I have never heard the statement: “whites were cruel to blacks” instead I hear nonsense like, “blacks were forced to work for free”

And another thing that always puzzled me, how come no one treats the way whites have acted as an example of psychosis. No other people on earth have done the things whites have done in terms of murder, rape, displacement, deep-seated prejudice against others and this whole serial killer phenomen. They as a group are very materialistic and have been that way for thousands of year. White history is literally nothing but wars and how they started. Worst, it is all treated as if it is normal that they went around the world murdering and killing. It is not normal, it simply isn’t. white psychology needs to be investigated and compared to other people’s psychology. Instead, it’s treated as if white psychology is normal psychology, when in fact it is not. It really baffles that no one treats white people’s mentality and actions as odd or inhumane. And this is coming from an African female who dates intercially, including wm



“My relatives also talk about how they have watched GENERATIONS of Black children automatically laugh at any paintings or pictures they put up of historical Black figures.”

I just want to say this is absolutely ridiculous. I understand that the media has negative images of blacks, but this is a parental issue. Parenting is immensely important, especially when dealing with self image. Sometimes I try to sit African parents down to make them understand the issues there kids are dealing with in america, but for some reason, they not only don’t think about it, but don’t really care either. Magically, they expect that their kids will be okay

Khadija said...

Welcome, Mary!

Thank you so much for writing in. Your perspective as a continental African is valued and appreciated!

Don't remove continental Africans from this pathology. This pathology is a phenomenon that extends to Blacks all around the planet, including Africans.

It has always amazed me that Africans tolerate things that the Arabs never tolerate.

For example, how is it that White colonists still own all the good land in places like Zimbabwe, 30+ years after "liberation"? How is it that the same apartheid racists STILL own everything of value in South Africa? Why are these Whites still in these countries?

Why haven't the people who should be the true owners of "South Africa" changed the city names back to African names? What's up with all of that?

Contrast the Africans' passive acceptance of their White oppressors' continued presence on their land with what quickly happened in Algeria after liberation. The Algerian National Liberation Front gave the French colonists the choice of "the suitcase OR the coffin." I would suggest that people Google this phrase. The history behind it is fascinating.

The French people could either leave on their own with their suitcases packed, OR they could leave in coffins. The French fled Algeria with a quickness after liberation.

As far as the Korean merchants taking over the beauty supply stores in African-American areas: Continental Africans are allowing Chinese merchants to do a similar thing and dominate the small shops (and commerce in general) throughout Africa. From Senegal to Angola. To all over the officially "Black" regions of the continent.

Apparently, a Senegalese journalist named Adama Gaye has written a book about this phenomenon titled "China-Africa: The Dragon and the Ostrich."

What's wrong with African-Americans boils down to the fact that during slavery we had our names, our ancestral languages, our cultures, the purity of our bloodlines, and finally our God ripped away from us. We've been totally destroyed, and then remade (via rapes by White men) into a new people.

This is NOT an excuse. This is an observation. There are other conquered people who've been remade by White men's sexual conquests ("the used-to-be-Indians-they've-been-remade-into-mestizos" in Latin America) who have gone on to forge their own future.

Continental Africans still have their names, their ancestral languages, their lineage, and their cultures (more or less) intact. What's their reason for continuing to submit to Europeans, Arabs, and now submitting to the Chinese?

ALL Black people across this planet have a LOT of work to do in order to free our own minds!

You asked the (very good) questions, "If bm are so big and bad, how come black women and children are the biggest prey out there. If bm are so big and bad, how come they don't stand up to white men, instead, they whine and whine about the man aka white men."

These are very good questions. I will add that BM submit to the will of, and are servants of, ALL other men, not just WM. Whenever there is a meeting of BM and any other type of man, the BM is ALWAYS the servant of the other man.

BM in Africa are the "houseboys" of their "former" colonial masters. BM are the literal slaves of Arab men in Africa. BM in Africa are now the "houseboys" of Chinese merchants. BM are the servants of mestizo men in Latin America.

To put it bluntly, Black men across this planet are slaves. Period. By definition, a slave CANNOT, and will not try to, protect anything or anyone.

In response to your point about how Whites self-define their collective destructive behavior as "normal." This is the winner's privilege! The conquerors write the history, psychology, sociology books. The conquerors write ALL of the books! When Muslim societies were more technologically advanced than Europe (during Europe's "Dark Ages"), African Muslims were among the people writing "the books."

When we start winning as a people, then we'll get to write the books; and make OUR definition of events "stick"! LET'S ALL GET BUSY!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Hagar's Daughter,

Yes. . . You're right. My parents and elders also used the "shot down/beat down [like dogs]" phrase to describe these atrocities. As you noted, these were NOT "kumbaya moments" when they mentioned these matters. I had forgotten this until you reminded me of it. Thank you.

As I mention to Mary, Black folks across the planet have a LOT of work to do in order to regain our rightful place as actors on the world stage. And discard our current role of being subjects that are acted upon by everybody else.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Mary said...

Khadija, it seems that you think I’m looking down on AA’s or something. I have no problem talking about Africans (my desire is to understand our behavior as blacks and not be the high and mighty African) , but since I’m on an AA blog geared towards AA’s I just assumed no one would know what I’m talking about or care. Anyways…..

“To put it bluntly, Black men across this planet are slaves. Period. By definition, a slave CANNOT, and will not try to, protect anything or anyone.”

And I absolutely hate that because of our association, we bw have to suffer. I came to this conclusion that bm are other men’s slaves awhile ago with a friend of mine. It has always puzzled me why blacks have such a lowly position in this world cause bw are pretty strong and hard working. It didn’t take long for us to conclude that the issue here is with bm and their cowardice in the face of other men. Asian women, white women, and Hispanic women know to behave themselves around black women. however, bm are known for kissing the behinds of other men (to be blunt). I’ve noticed this for a long time with AA bm and African bm.

The first time it truly donned on me that they’re the problems was when we were having a family decision, my uncle was completely silent the whole time while us women discussed a very important matter ( I was about 13 at the time). Even when I asked him to give an input, he refused. And then, when the discussion was over, he took credit for the decision, I was amazed. As a female born in an African society (where women are supposed to be strong) and raised in American society (where men are supposed to be strong), I have to admit I am ashamed of bm as a whole. They really are an embarrassment to me especially with their behavior towards bw. But most of all, I’m just embarrassed that they’re mentally weak or whatever influences their cowardly behavior . I think this is where my attraction to other men from other races began, many of them actually have a backbone when dealing with other men.

And I guess this is why I can’t stand them (except for the few hardworking ones with a backbone) because the world we live in now is one ruled by men. So in terms of upliftment as a race, it can’t be bw fighting against wm/am/hm; it has to be bm fighting against wm/am/hm and we all know this will most likely not happen. Women’s work is an important one is all cultures. But the difference is in other cultures, women are not expected to raise children/take care of their families AND uplift their communities in terms of power relations with other groups. For some odd reason, bw are expected to do it all

Khadija said...

Hello there, Mary!

{excited waving}

I didn't feel that you were looking down on AAs. I didn't take your comments that way at all. Also, I didn't mean my comment to be a "slam" against continental Africans. I'm simply speaking the truth across the board (to the best of my knowlege and ability).

In the spirit of the open and honest communication that I want to promote, let me point out a few things from my perspective:

1-Even though I didn't interpret your comment as looking down on us, other AAs very well could take it that way. Here's why:

When people remove themselves from the observation/critique (including by omission), it often gives the impression that they believe themselves "above" whatever it is that they are discussing.

This is a large part of what's wrong with Dr. William H. Cosby's presentations about moral & family values. He doesn't 'fess up to his own participation in the problem he's discussing.

This is why I try to be careful when I'm dissecting the dysfunction of Black folks from classes other than my own. This is why I try to include truthful observations of what I see people in my "profile" [B & Bs] doing that's also crazy.

I don't do a "tit for tat" style of discussing things. But I do mention B & B madness when it's relevant. That way, anyone who's been listening to me over time (hopefully) knows that I'm not singling any category out for discussion.

2-Many AAs are interested in an insider's view of what's going on with African societies. When those of us who care don't know "what you're talking about," it's because Africans choose not to tell us anything about it.

3-Reciprocity. Those AAs at the table are being open about painful things. It's only fair to expect others to be open too. Frankly, I find AA dysfunctions humiliating. It's especially humiliating that it's out "on front street" for all to see and laugh at.

4-Understand your conversation partners' experiences. Most people ARE looking down on AAs. Especially foreign Black folks. I understand why---our condition IS a disgrace. However, this doesn't make it any less painful.

Many AAs have had non-stop BAD experiences with foreign Blacks. My experiences with foreign Blacks have been 95% NEGATIVE. When I add up all of my experiences, the only foreign Blacks that I've generally had positive interactions with are Panamanians.

5-Understand (NOT agree with) your conversation partners' grievances. Speaking for myself, my basic grievance with the foreign Blacks I've encountered is that they look down on AAs & take advantage of us, all while riding our civil rights/affirmative action coattails.

While benefitting from the things in this country that OUR civil rights martyrs made possible. Readers & I talked about this during Part 1 of the "Charity Begins at Home" series.

6-I DO see the crazy, self-hating things that AAs do in reference to Africa & Africans. Continental Africans have legitimate grievances about being insulted & disrespected by AAs.

However, let me bring to your attention something that I raised with another continental African: I find it quite peculiar that I've NEVER seen continental Africans raise the "you hate Africa & Africans due to self-hatred" observation to people who REALLY hate their African heritage with a passion: BLACK LATINOS & BLACK ARABS. These people generally won't even identify themselves as Black!

I'm not saying that all Black Latinos & Black Arabs have this attitude. But, let's be real. We've seen "how they do." The same way other people "see how we [AAs] do."

With the exception of some Black Brazilians (who seem extremely "into" their African heritage), the vast majority of Black Latinos & Black Arabs are examples of people who want NOTHING to do with Africa, Africans, or African heritage.

Since I've never seen or heard of Africans trying to "check" Black Latinos & Arabs on their self-hatred of all things African, it makes me question the motives of those Africans who come to AAs with this (accurate & true) complaint.

Please understand that I'm NOT saying any of this as a criticism. I'm saying this in the hopes of having everything up front & out on the table. In order to effectively support each other, we have to understand each other. In order to understand each other, we have to be able to speak candidly to each other.

I, for one, AM interested in understanding what's going on within African societies. I hope that you'll feel free to share your observations (in this regard) with us in the future.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Mary said...

“2-Many AAs are interested in an insider's view of what's going on with African societies. When those of us who care don't know "what you're talking about," it's because Africans choose not to tell us anything about it”.

Khadija, in all honesty, if AA’s really want to learn about African culture, all they have to do is ask. Most of us are more than willing to reminisce about our homelands and discuss our issues. However, for many of us, including myself,we don’t see it as our jobs to educate AA’s about our cultures, especially when a majority of AA couldn’t care less. And I say a majority cause I’m sampling the AA’s I’ve met in my life. Good or bad, a majority don’t really care to know (and I don’t look down on them for that) but they don’t and it’s not our job to go hunt them down and let them know. For example, the African union at my college was made up of mostly Africans and people from the Caribbean, we didn’t recruit the caribbeans, they came on their own free will. AA’s could have done so too if they wanted to learn about the issues


“Many AAs have had non-stop BAD experiences with foreign Blacks. My experiences with foreign Blacks have been 95% NEGATIVE. When I add up all of my experiences, the only foreign Blacks that I've generally had positive interactions with are Panamanians.”

That’s very unfortunate but I think foreign blacks have a bad attitude with AA’s from having to deal with so many of the acting black crew (ABC) AA’s that we’re just done. For example, my whole family has had issues with the acting black crew. Anyways, by the time an African and other foreign blacks have been here for a while, a lot of us simply can’t stand AA’s and group them as one. the ABC does harass other AA’s but they get really personal with us foreign blacks cause in their delusion about themselves, they see themselves as better because they’re American. Obviously, we foreign blacks don’t see why we should be the “bigger” people. I have friends who don’t understand why I care about AA issues since they’re so horrible to us.


“Understand (NOT agree with) your conversation partners' grievances. Speaking for myself, my basic grievance with the foreign Blacks I've encountered is that they look down on AAs & take advantage of us, all while riding our civil rights/affirmative action coattails.”

How in this world do foreign blacks take advantage of AAs. I completely agree that many foreign blacks can’t stand AAs but how do we take advantage of AAs. When it comes to the whole affirmative action thing, black educational and living standard statistics in this country would drop if you take away the contributions of foreign blacks, plain and simply. There are so many of us that simply don’t need affirmative action. But worst of all, since we foreign blacks are placed in the “black” category, our achievements as a people can never be seen, we’re just dumped in the black category and our accomplishments not recognized as a result. I hate to be disagreeable, but too many AAs like to throw never-ending pity parties. This victim mentality needs to end cause all blacks everywhere have been subjugated, just like AA’s. However most of us manage to live our lives without this “it’s cause I’m black” attitude or “it’s cause I’m AA” attitude.


“I find it quite peculiar that I've NEVER seen continental Africans raise the "you hate Africa & Africans due to self-hatred" observation to people who REALLY hate their African heritage with a passion: BLACK LATINOS & BLACK ARABS. These people generally won't even identify themselves as Black!”


Khadija, to be frank with you, Africans do not care about how BLACK anyone is, it is AA’s who go around checking how black other blacks are( btw, according to many, I’m not black enough…which is fine, I’m not losing sleep over that). Plus, black latinos and black arabs do not give us Africans grieve like black Americans do, so there’s no need for us to be like “you hate Africa and have self-hatred’ cause they don’t attack or ridicule us for BEING African. As far as a lot of AA’s are concerned, many Africans (and other blacks period) are NOT black enough, which is fine cause a lot of Africans (and other blacks also) don’t go around thinking of themselves as black. I know for myself, I am my ethnic group first, my nationality second, African third and then black. Many other Africans (and other blacks) also have this mentality from what I’ve noticed. Anyways, when it comes to the hating African heritage thing, a majority of us don’t care either cause as far as we’re concerned, AA can never be African, just like an asian can never be African. For example, since an AA’s is not born in Nigeria and can never be Nigerian enough, Nigerians don’t care about AA’s proving themselves cause guess what, they can never be Nigerian, so they’ll always be an “other” anyways. I’m I making sense? In general, Africans see AA’s and others as separate from them, just like they see other African ethnic groups as separate from them. As far as many of us are concerned, AA’s are just another black ethnic group out there, just like the thousands of black ethnic groups in Africa. So many of us don’t feel compelled to connect with AA’s anymore than we feel compelled to connect to other black ethnic groups when we’re in Africa. AA’s on the other hand are simply not used to having other blacks around and feel like foreign blacks should love and embrace them automatically, even if half of them are constantly attacking/ridiculing us.

We Africans say AA’s hate Africa cause they pick on us because we’re African. When people make jokes about you and where you come from, it doesn’t take much to conclude that they think lowly of your birthplace. Do we Africans think it stems from self hatred, yes (cause other blacks from other cultures/ countries don’t treat Africans like AA’s do), but we also think it stems from good ole fashion ignorance. It is very sad but I feel more kinship with other non-AA blacks than I do with AA’s. when I interact with non-AA blacks, I don’t give a fig about whether they see themselves as black or not (many AA’s would have an issue with that though). most Africans don’t care if other blacks consider themselves as Africans, cause like I’ve said, you can never be igbo if you weren’t born one, you can’t be Nigerian if you’re not born there, so it doesn’t matter anyways if another black person considers themselves to be African cause at the end of the day, you can’t be African if you’re not born there, so there’s really no debate as Africans are concerned.

So for black latinos and arabs, I don’t blame them at all for not identifying themselves as black or African cause they’re neither. I don’t know why AA’s make such a big deal of this blackness, it is just a color after all, it doesn’t say much about any person that they’re black. I do not identify myself with a color cause there are better ways to identify myself. Saying that I’m African is a much better description of myself than saying that I’m black since with African, people can imagine what I look like, what kind of mentality I have, etc. saying I’m black doesn’t really describe me much cause even people with white skin can be called black as long as there is a drop somewhere in there (ie Mariah carey and kimora).

I know that was so long, sorry but I just wanted to make sure I made my point

DeStouet said...

Mary,

America is one of those countries that very few Africans truly understand.

In fact, if AA and Africans got over some of their differences we could learn something from one another.

I know a couple who is from Ghana, he and his wife have been in America for about 15 years. (If I am not mistaken, his wife has been for 18 years.)

They are a Republican family with conservative values.

He has a very lucrative career and she does pretty well for herself. Well, this election they are crossing over to vote Democratic. Their really impressed with Obama and have told everyone they know so.

Well, we live in a republican state and low and behold he has lost business opportunities, friends and connections because of his change of heart. His wife have also discovered that every woman she thought was her friend is not her friend.

I spoke with his wife this weekend and she told me that her husband is so confused, saddened, hurt and distraught because he thought "he knew" these white business associates of his. He thought "he knew" these white friends of his that he has had for the last 5 years.

What he failed to realize was what any educated AA could of told him. You can't trust all white people. As a matter of fact, if you are not invited to their houses for dinner & "get-together's" they probably don't consider you their friend. Working with a white person does not make you their friend. Going hiking (which he kept repeating in the background..."I go hiking with these men.")does not make you their friend. He was truly baffled by his "friends" total change of heart.

This election gave them both a good slap in the face.

(BTW, this is the same couple who decided NOT to teach their children their native language and had to eventually stop visiting certain relatives because they grew frustrated with having to translate between their children and other relatives.)

Khadija said...

Welcome, Mary!

Ahhh...it's out in the open. Which is the way I prefer things.

You said, "Khadija, in all honesty, if AA's really want to learn about African culture, all they have to do is ask."

But I DID ask. I asked YOU. I said, "I, for one, AM interested in understanding what's going on within African societies. I hope that you'll feel free to share your observations (in this regard) with us in the future."

Hmmm. . . Let's see what you said in response to my request:

You said, "However, for many of us, including myself, we don't see it as our jobs to educate AA's about our cultures, especially when a majority of AA couldn't care less."

If this is what you say in response to an invitation to share when specifically invited to do so, I can see why people would be hesitant to approach you. You also said it's not Africans' "job to go hunt them down and let them know."

But you DIDN'T have to "hunt me down." I asked you for information. You declined my invitation to educate me about your culture. Furthermore, you're telling me that it's 'not your job' to educate me about your culture. Very well. This is your right.

Back to reciprocity: It's NOT my job to educate you about how OUR Civil Rights Movement led to, and influenced, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. It's not my job to inform you that, prior to OUR Civil Rights Movement, White Americans were quite clear about keeping non-Europeans like you OUT of this country.

I could go on about some other historical things, but you know...it's not my job. That reciprocity thing again.


The venom that you seem to reserve for the AA "acting Black crew" is fascinating. Are they holding Africans in slavery, like some of the Black Arabs in places in Mauritania and the Sudan? You know, these Black Arabs who "don't give [Africans] grieve like Black Americans do."

And since "so many of [you Africans] don't need affirmative action," I warmly invite all of you to remove yourselves from consideration from any such programs when it comes to university admissions in the US.

And please leave affirmative action programs to those AAs who need it. I don't think this is too much to ask. You know...since you're not using them anyway. Because you don't need these programs. Since you don't need it, there's NO need for you to reap this particular benefit that was produced by OUR struggle and OUR dead martyrs.

Back to reciprocity: It was all good & all cool when AA pathologies were under discussion. But let me bring up some facts that indicate that there are similar pathologies with Africans, and suddenly it's not so much fun anymore.

This is really telling. It says that you're not participating in this conversation with us in good faith. It says that you're not reciprocating the openness and honesty that the other participants have shown during this, and other discussions, at this blog. This blog is my home.

Ultimately, it says that you have no legitimate reason to be here. I'm inviting you to leave in peace.

This blog is about us providing each other with mutual support, and moving forward to a better future. "US" includes ANY BLACK WOMAN who chooses to define herself as part of "us," including so-called "foreign"-origin Black women who stand in solidarity AND RECIPROCITY with the rest of us.

Peace and good fortune be upon you in your journeys.

Mary said...

“America is one of those countries that very few Africans truly understand.”

Destouet, I am NOT one of those Africans, I am still pretty young but have been here for a long time since the third grade basically. Meaning I grew up in America. If I wanted to and if my rearing at home was careless, I could have forgotten my African heritage, and I’m only pointing that out because you’re probably thinking I haven’t been here long enough to understand.


“What he failed to realize was what any educated AA could of told him. You can't trust all white people.”

This is not even about white people, anyone that knows me knows how I feel about white people. Just read the original post I wrote for this topic and you’ll KNOW that I know that I can’t trust all white people. It is not about white people. To be honest, I simply don’t get your point. Africans like your friend are a shame to me, especially for not teaching their children the language. And also, they probably had that mentally BECAUSE they didn’t grow up in America. THEIR children, on the other hand, will know how to deal with whites, just like I know how they are and how to deal with them. There’s something to be said about growing up in a particular society because that’s where you learn and become who you are. My childhood was in America, so just because I criticize some things about African Americans does not mean I think white people are harmless/perfect.


“But I DID ask. I asked YOU. I said, "I, for one, AM interested in understanding what's going on within African societies. I hope that you'll feel free to share your observations (in this regard) with us in the future."

Khadija, why would I discuss African issues when the topic we’re on is so far away from discussing African issues. You had replied to me with so many things that I wanted to reply to you about. And no, it is not our responsibility to hunt down AA’s and give them a lesson or whatever. when you want something from someone, you approach them about it, not the other way around. but when an AA asks a question about Africa, I have never met an African who was turned off by that, it’s certainly better than the other questions they normally ask us. We’re discussing African--african American relations here and you just want me to bust out and discuss African issues??? That is so off topic and random. When you have a question, or any other African America, I have no problem discussing it here or anywhere. Plus you said: ‘I, for one, AM interested in understanding what's going on within African societies. I hope that YOU’LL FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR OBSERVATIONS (IN THIS REGARD) WITH US IN THE FUTURE.’ Khadija, does that sound like a question? Yes you said you’re interested, great, what is your question Khadija??????


“I asked you for information. You declined my invitation to educate me about your culture. Furthermore, you're telling me that it's 'not your job' to educate me about your culture.”

Khadija, you asked me to feel free in the future to share my observations about African issues with you all, which I’m more than happy to do. You did not ask me anything about my culture, you simply did not. And like I’ve said, it is not my job or responsibility to do it, I stand behind my words. It is not my job to teach anyone anything they don’t want to know about and you yourself know a majority of African Americans don’t care to know. Does that mean if an AA asked me a question, I’ll be like “it’s not my job”; no, of course not (and I feel that you understand what I’m saying) but for some reason, you want to make an issue out of it.


“It's NOT my job to educate you about how OUR Civil Rights Movement led to, and influenced, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. It's not my job to inform you that, prior to OUR Civil Rights Movement, White Americans were quite clear about keeping non-Europeans like you OUT of this country.”

Khadija, unless they teach the civil rights movement to first and second graders, I don’t think I’ve missed any lessons, so no, I don’t need you to teach me about the civil rights movement. I know pretty much anything and everything that the average American does knows about the issue. And also, an African who comes here pass the age of about 15 probably does not give a fig about the civil rights movement or AA issues for that matter. The fact that I’m on here says a lot about my age and when I came here. So please, spare me the whole “you didn’t suffer like we did” cause unless you were alive during slavery and the civil rights movement, you didn’t suffer either.


“The venom that you seem to reserve for the AA "acting Black crew" is fascinating. Are they holding Africans in slavery, like some of the Black Arabs in places in Mauritania and the Sudan? You know, these Black Arabs who "don't give [Africans] grieve like Black Americans do."”

Khadija, first of all, we are discussing the treatment of Africans IN America by AA’s. please stay on topic. I hold a lot of venom towards the acting black crew (ABC) and every AA in their right mind should also. You do too as a matter a fact, I don’t know why you’re going into protection mode now. For the last 13 years of my life, I’ve interacted with mainly AA’s and other foreign blacks. Maybe WHEN I meet a black arab, I’ll choose to throw some venom their way but I can’t throw venom to people I’ve never interacted with. Have YOU met black arabs before? And no, black arabs do not give us Africans in America grief


“And since "so many of [you Africans] don't need affirmative action," I warmly invite all of you to remove yourselves from consideration from any such programs when it comes to university admissions in the US.”

Khadija, believe me, if there was an African category, me and MOST Africans would choose that category. So please, I know not all Africans are genius but we certainly do care about education and it shows. And yes, most of my African friends did not need affirmative action and yes, most of us went to public high school, crappy ones at that. There is something to be said about parents encouraging/forcing their kids to excel in school. The affirmative action thing, we didn’t come up with it and it seems that every school has a certain number of minorities that they’ll choose. I don’t know but I didn’t make the affirmative action system, white people did


“Back to reciprocity: It was all good & all cool when AA pathologies were under discussion. But let me bring up some facts that indicate that there are similar pathologies with Africans, and suddenly it's not so much fun anymore.”

It’s not even about that Khadija, we can talk about African issues to death. sometimes, it’s not what you say it’s how you say it. And the way you replied to my original post was in a confrontational manner, like you Africans suck too. Well we both suck!!! Does that make you feel any better, geez. but since we weren’t talking about Africa, I’m I supposedly supposed to say something negative about Africans every time I say something negative about AA’s. that is too exhausting and completely random. And also, this is a blog that discusses AA issues, I would feel like I’m hijacking it by discussing African issues


“This is really telling. It says that you're not participating in this conversation with us in good faith. It says that you're not reciprocating the openness and honesty that the other participants have shown during this, and other discussions, at this blog. This blog is my home.”

Are you kidding me. Khadija, this kind of attitude is what really grieves me about some African Americans, as soon as someone says anything against them, it’s ‘you’re against us’ or ‘you don’t understand’, well you know what, there’s an African proverb that goes like this “people that watch you while you act a fool DON’T care about you, people that care about you will say something to you”. Do you see any Asians, Hispanics or anyone else for that matter discussing AA issues, no, cause they couldn’t care less. I would absolutely love it if we discussed African issues cause when you criticize something, it’s basically calling it a problem. People don’t solve things they don’t consider problematic. African American issues will continue repeating themselves if AA’s are not willing to be honest with themselves and each other. African American issues do not affect me personally (except that I have to fight against annoying stereotypes) but since I have a sister that’s born here and is considered African American by most people including her useless AA father, I can’t help but care about what AA women go through. I am on here, as I am on every other bw blog, trying to understand what she has to go through as an black female in america cause since I was initially raised in Africa and mostly hang around international people, I don’t completely understand what AA women go through and I want to know what she could be possibly going through. That’s the only reason why I’m here and on other AA blogs. I really do resent what you’re trying to imply, and yes this is your blog and you’re more than welcome to exclude me since my opinion does not coincide with yours, but oh wait, our opinions do coincide but I’m African so I shouldn’t say anything, whatever. I don’t have to be here

Chi-Chi said...

I'm a Black women raised by African parents here in the States. Because I don't have an African accent, most people assume that I'm AA and that has made me privy to a lot of conversations that involve all kinds of bashing of African people. Khadija, I am *glad* to hear (and see) that you are open to learning about the African experience. You are, in my estimation, one of the few. Many AAs that I have encountered really seem to hold Africans in contempt. I think this attitude is heavily influenced by the media but there also seems to be resentment because AAs feel that 1) Africans sold the descendants of AA's into slavery and that 2) Africans on the continent did not experience anything as brutal as slavery. I have only met a handful of AAs genuinely interested in African history and culture. And those that I have met are often surprised to learn of the similarities between the subjugation of enslaved Africans and colonized Africans. It is no wonder that both groups share similar pathologies.

Let's just take the example of religion. For the most part, AAs don't practice indigenous African religions because they were forcibly removed from the land so even if the slavemaster hadn't put up barriers to them practicing, it would have been largely impossible to practice anyway. Africans are still on the land and, for the most part, don't practice indigenous religions because of how the colonial master operated and set up his colonial society. The African can physically practice because he is still there but he can't practice because of his psychology. I've always thought of what an impact still being there but not being able to practice your ancient religion has on one's psyche.

It is an interesting position I find myself in here as a first generation American. I am privy to and understand quite well the pathologies of both groups. As I like to say, both get equal heat from me, at least in my mind. My husband says I'm way too hard on AAs but I think it seems that way because I am dealing with AAs much more frequently and much more closely than I am dealing with Africans. I would, therefore, have more day to day observations and critiques.

Anyway, once I'm clear that an AA is interested in what it means to be Nigerian and not just in a "oh that's so exotic" way, I'm always willing to share what I know/what I have experienced. Generally speaking, though, I'm tight lipped about it, or if I feel particularly attacked, will highlight the good and forget the negative and I know that sometimes that gets taken for being haughty or feeling better than.

Khadija said...

Mary:

I tell you to leave my blog home; and yet you're still here in my living room. This is incredibly disrespectful.

Despite this, I will pay you the final courtesy of posting and responding to your latest post.

This won't happen again. Do not come here again. You are not welcome here. You have no productive purpose for being here. I am not willing to spend any additional time with you. Do not attempt another "home invasion" of my blog home.


You were given an open invitation to share whatever you wanted us to know. It was your choice to discard that opportunity.

You don't get to tell me what's "off-topic" on my blog. You also don't get to define what my blog is about. For you to presume to think that you get to do so is also very telling.

I was willing to interrupt the conversation to give you the opportunity and platform to share whatever you wanted to share. Again, it was your choice to discard that opportunity.

I never said that you "didn't suffer like we did." I don't know what you've suffered. Unlike your presumptuous claims of knowing "anything & everything that the average American knows" about OUR struggle, I don't claim to know very much about you or yours. That's why I extended the invitation to share.

Furthermore, it seems to me that the "average American" knows very little about OUR struggle and OUR dead martyrs beyond soundbites of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech. You certainly don't sound like you know very much about the connection between OUR struggle and OUR dead martyrs and the increased numbers of non-Europeans like you being allowed into this country.

I'm saying that OUR struggle and OUR dead martyrs made lots of things possible for lots of other people. Including the increased access to immigration to this country from places other than Europe.

Yes, I've met Black Arabs. I'm Muslim. I've been disgusted by the attitudes some of them have expressed toward AAs, and toward. Africans. Like. You.

Yes, I have a lot of rage with the "acting Black crew." However, I have venom across the board for people who are harming others and doing wrong. I don't just single out the least powerful wrongdoers for my venom. A lot of non-AAs have the very bad habit of taking liberties with AAs in ways that they're too cowardly to do with OTHERS who are disrespecting them.

So, to use the Black Arab slaveholders as one measure of how much venom we allocate to various wrongdoers: Their vicious, violent, anti-African racism isn't a problem with you, because...they're not doing anything personally to you. There's no reason to be upset. They're not holding you in slavery.

Lovely. And inspiring. Using this same measure, I guess AAs should have adopted the same policy and NOT responded to Nelson Mandela's requests for support and solidarity. And we should NOT have gotten ourselves agitated about apartheid, etc. After all, Africans' problems and suffering really...doesn't...affect...us...personally.

You can't seriously try to construe this as being about me indulging in AA protectionism. There is no protectionism for dysfunction and wrongdoing here. Most of my posts have been about dissecting AA dysfunction. I really don't like it when people start indulging in big, fat, greasy, obvious lies.

This is about reciprocity. If the door doesn't swing both ways, then there is NO reciprocity. If I can honestly discuss the many pathologies within the AA collective and "keep it moving," you should be able to do the same when it comes to your group. Without stopping to get defensive.

You weren't willing to listen to any observations about the parallel pathologies that Africans are engaged in. I never asked you to agree with anything. I don't ask anybody to agree with anything.

You stated, "...you're more than welcome to exclude me because my opinion does not coincide with yours, but oh wait, our opinions do coincide but I'm African so I shouldn't say anything, whatever. I don't have to be here."

This is another heaping of lies and distortions. Which is showing me yet another reason why you don't have any productive reason for being here.

This is my bottom line: Reciprocity. The people who are participating in these discussions in good faith are willing to accept feedback. Positive or negative. These discussions are about mutual consciousness-raising, mutual support, and moving forward.

This in NO place for voyeurs who get off on discussing AA dysfunction ALONE, and in isolation from the parallel dysfunction throughout the entire Black world.

You are not welcome here. Do NOT come back.


Peace and good fortune be upon you in your journeys.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Chi-Chi!

I believe that those of us who are genuinely curious about(in a respectful way), and interested in reaching out to members of other Black ethnic groups are fairly rare within our respective ethnic groups. There is a lot of mutual hatred and contempt. This is profoundly unfortunate.

With non-Western people, I generally don't ask pointed questions. I prefer open-ended questions/invitations. I don't want to unwittingly pry. I don't want to unwittingly violate social boundaries/space.

For example, over the years I never asked my Korean personal trainer pointed questions. I let him talk, and disclose at his own pace. And at his own discretion. And I listened. As time went on, he chose to say more and more "inside scoop" sorts of things about Korean culture (including its dysfunctions). And I let him know that he was welcome to ask me things he was curious about.

It looks to me like many other cultures are NOT as approving of the kind of social exhibitionism that often goes on in American culture. It's been my observation that many cultures are profoundly private compared to what is considered acceptable behavior in America. This is how it often looks to me as an outsider.

However, because I'm willing to reach out to others, doesn't mean that I accept lopsided interactions. I check people to see if they're willing to give reciprocity. The interaction has to be mutual.

I won't allow it to be a thing of the other person gets to keep their ethnic 'face,' while I have no 'face.'

My ethnic group's 'face,' and 'honor,' (whatever one wants to call it) is as important to me as others' is to them. I feel like some non-AAs forget this because most AAs don't carry ourselves with dignity.

As distasteful as this whole episode has been, I think it's good to have certain things out on the table. Too much of the wrong type of silence only increases mutual misunderstanding among people who genuinely want to learn.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hi there...

You said:
I find it quite peculiar that I've NEVER seen continental Africans raise the "you hate Africa & Africans due to self-hatred" observation to people who REALLY hate their African heritage with a passion: BLACK LATINOS & BLACK ARABS. These people generally won't even identify themselves as Black!


Hi...I am Lisa Vazquez...a black Puerto Rican!!

Am I so rare?

(smiles)

Khadija said...

Hello there, Rev. Vazquez!

Answer: Yes! {gales of laughter}

[*Note to audience: Lisa and I have talked about this topic many times before. With some things, we cordially agree to disagree. And life (as we both know it) goes on. It's amazing how that it can work like that when people speak to each other honestly, and in good faith. {more chuckling}]

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

Khadija, what occurred between you and Mary is an example of what I've experienced with **some** Africans and even **some** AAs (who were from a very different background than mine), and for sure, this is my general experience in trying to dialogue with 95% of AA men about these topics. If we were to go further into trying to set up the Oasis, we will encounter this a lot. So we may as well prepare for it or decide not to prepare for it.

I get exasperated with folks who try to dialogue with me sometimes too because I wonder why they want to talk to me if they don't know what I'm talking about or don't know how to talk to me. This happens at my site sometimes and I wonder why do people want to be around me when we're on such different pages or in different books!!

I consider these breakdowns in communication due largely to the fact that many of us so-called black folks--sometimes even those with the best intentions--don't have a common "language" to have a dialogue any more, because language embodies tons of experiential elements. And if either party in the conversation has not experienced enough of these commonalities, the dialogue will suffer or break down.

So I think that sometimes people are genuinely trying to dialogue, but they lack that common language. This is why I stress that I mainly seek like-minded people or those who are on the verge of being like-minded. It's not that I'm trying to fight other folks, it just saves a lot of time and energy. I personally don't want to deal with adults who are light years away in their understanding about such critical issues. Maybe that's selfish, but that's just saves me time and energy. When you spend so much time with people who just "don't get it," that's time you could have spent with people who DO get it.

For ex., if you've noticed these various blog wars that have arisen around me and my interracial marriage message, I decided that I wouldn't even attempt to dialogue with those various attackers (most of whom were AA men and women because I actually never understood what exactly they were talking about.) Put another way: I didn't/don't understand their "language." So it would be an exercise in futility to try to have a dialogue/discussion, and would result in all heat and no light.


I think that some black folks of various ethnic groups and social classes DO want to connect, network, etc., with each other, but we don't share enough common experiences--mainly emotional ones--to make that connection. I've had this same experience in talking with members of various Nigerian ethnic groups when they were discussing another ethnic group there, where they would heatedly say to me, "You just get it!! You don't understand what the _______s (another Nigerian ethnic group) are really like!" LOL! To me, they were all the same people, but that's because I didn't share their emotional experiences as regards that other group that they didn't like.

This is why I gave up long ago in trying to talk with AA men--even the more sane-talking ones, because I'd notice quickly that we don't have a common language. Language is much more than just words. You're going to find that MOST of the time, the only people you'll have a successful discussion with about these heavy duty topics are people who have had **enough** COMMON emotional experiences as regards the elements of those particular experiences that are under discussion.

Khadija said...

Good Morning, Evia!

Yes, it's an interesting conundrum.

On the one hand, I find that if I'm patient and give folks the opportunity to speak, they will eventually let their real motives show. From what I've read of the 1960s, our activist predecessors were much too quick to label somebody as a counterrevolutionary, traitor, etc. (Or to use the term I favor, "saboteur.")

Too many of us in this era still have this sort of knee-jerk "shut 'em down" response to dissent and/or disagreement. I try to model patience and good faith in communicating with others.

On the other hand, I'm not willing to waste a lot of time with non-productive exchanges. Similar to what you've described, this is exactly the reason why I don't even bother trying to discuss BM-BW relations with BM. Those sorts of conversations never go anywhere productive.

I'm also not willing to hang out and fight with folks. There's just too much work to be done. Sometimes saboteurs (while operating in agent-provocateur mode) will instigate fights to derail something that people were actually making progress with.

I don't think that active, deliberate sabotage is what was going on here in this case.

But I DO believe in spiritual warfare. I think that humans (MYSELF INCLUDED) are sometimes listening to the whispers of "Ole Scratch" that we mistakenly believe are our own thoughts.

[To the believers: It's been my observation that this ploy is one of Satan's favorite tricks. That's how you can often tell when you're on the verge of a breakthrough of some sort. Negative stuff just "jumps off" for no apparent reason.

I found it interesting that this bit of unpleasantness kicked off just as our ideas were flowing about the "oasis" concept in another thread. I don't believe that this was pure coincidence.

Believers: Be aware that the negative powers that be have a highly vested interest in seeing certain types of MASS, COMMUNITY-WIDE dysfunction continue unopposed and uninterrupted.]

Anyway, Evia, I see now that I'm going to have to get better at recognizing the "early signs" of a conversation that will be a waste of time. And cut it off quicker.

My goodness...This discussion/cyber-activist facilitator work is MUCH more complex than it looked to me when I was a passive spectator. Thank you so much for your guidance and example. I will take heed of your (experienced) counsel.

Thank you again.

Peace, blessings and soldarity.