Friday, November 7, 2008

Reader's Money Quote - From Rev. Lisa Vazquez

The Reader's Money Quote is a statement that is of such insight and importance that it merits frequent and loud repetition. This Reader's Money Quote is from Rev. Lisa Vazquez, host of the blog Black Women, Blow the Trumpet! She said the following while commenting on Welcome to Election Night at Grant Park.

"White people tend to build up a 'special negro' and they grin as blacks create an emotional investment in that person . . . . THEN . . . . whenever they feel like it, they whip out the noose on that 'special negro' and let him swing in the wind and they watch the faces of those blacks who put their IDENTITY and DESTINY in the successes of that one 'special negro' . . . . and they grin that they have again, and again pulled this same trick on us.

We never talk about this vile trick . . . . and fall for it every time . . . .

I can think of COUNTLESS 'special negroes' that whites were supportive of and later on, pulled out the noose on . . . . when Martin Luther King was killed, black people acted like the entire world was coming to an end. One man had died . . . . one visionary . . . . they put ALL OF THEIR HOPE in one person . . . . {shaking my head}

Once again, the blacks who had this mentality passed it on to the next generation since we are AGAIN . . . . seeing this same mentality . . . . {shaking my head}"

In response, I noted that what Lisa has described is a very old, very effective slave-breaking technique. Take the most admired slave and build him up by granting him special favors or a special position. For a while. Then make an example out of him by destroying him in front of the other slaves.

This leaves the surviving slaves TOTALLY demoralized, beaten, and broken. All because they invested themselves and their destiny into a person and NOT a plan for escape. Lisa, thank you for providing this Reader's Money Quote. This could be the most important point to be made about the dangers of the "Obama-ssiah" phenomenon.

24 comments:

goodness80 said...

I totally agree.

Thanks,

san

Chantal said...

it seems that no matter how many times i attempt to warn those closest to me--they do not want to listen. i just get dismissed. maybe i'm doing something wrong?

by the way i lurk here ALL the time (i live on my computer) and i love your blog. thanks!

Khadija said...

Welcome, Goodness80!

You're welcome!
____________________

Welcome, Chantal!

Thank you for your kind words. I hope that you'll de-lurk again in the future. I learn from the guests.

1-Continue your work & preparations. The people closest to you are going to need your level head & clear thinking when the bottom completely falls out of the economy.

2-Have patience & compassion for the deluded. This mentality has been with us for MANY generations. This mentality (looking for a messiah) has been carefully cultivated & nourished by LOTS of people.

People including, but not limited to: Our (mis)leadership class who profit individually from being false messiahs, our false "allies" who want us to remain non-competitive with them in terms of grabbing our slice of the resources. And, unfortunately, those of us who just are not prepared to wean ourselves away from childish things. Assuming the (political, economic, etc.) responsibilities of an adult, and giving up the belief in false messiahs/Santa Claus is traumatic.

I remember when I stopped believing in Santa. It was VERY upsetting. Christmas was never the same again. Putting away childish things is NEVER fun in the beginning. But the reality is that you can't have access to true grown-up pleasures while you're still clinging to children's pursuits. It's a trade-off of rewards.

None of us are going to be able to undo centuries of distorted thinking in a day, week, month, or year. Remain steadfast in your efforts.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

foreverloyal said...

I remember being little and asking my mom why Santa Claus never came to our house.
She let me know it wasn't real and then I was like, "oh". From then on I've simply enjoyed the pretty lights and decorations.

focusedpurpose said...

Khadija-

you and Lisa are not playing. i love it! truth! truth! truth! more people need to get some. quick.

about Santa:

when i was little i asked about Santa, since he was all the rage in school---we were not exposed to much t.v. and when we were it was pbs. my mother very calmly explained to me that if a white man came to my house in the middle of the night...he was NOT bringing gifts. if history were any indication he would bring ...TROUBLE. she went further to let me know that if he were inside the house i was permitted by law to shoot him.

i have been a realist ever since. lol!

interestingly enough, i shared this with an acquaintance that refuses to acknowledge the truth or teach it to her children. her response was that i must have been in hell in my childhood. i.don't.get.it.

thank you for an amazingly thought provoking blog. the way you and Lisa just broke it down is indeed worthy of an award!

blessings,
focusedpurpose

Khadija said...

Welcome, Focused Purpose!

Thank you for your kind words. All I can say is that I'm feeling the same dread & anxiety for our foolish people that prompted me to borrow your platform in September. [And I can't thank you enough for your gracious sharing of your space. Please feel free to borrow my little platform here anytime you want!]

I've been . . . amazed . . . at the outpouring of tears & hysteria in support of Obama-mania. It's like movies of hysterical White girls swooning & falling out at Beatles concerts in the early 1960s. Meanwhile, our condition remains the same as on Nov. 3rd.

All I can think is that here we are in the 21st century, and we're still singing Negro spirituals instead of building a viable future for ourselves. This IS "the future."

[White & other non-Black] Humans are on the cusp of technologies that will change the very definition of "human" and "human potential," such as genetic engineering and nanotechnology. And what's our contribution to human advancement? Answer: Worshipfully chanting "Yes, we can [elect a crossover Negro--who's NOT going to do anything specifically for us---to a job]."

We're sooo far behind.

What will we do when wealthy Whites, Latinos & Asians start having their children genetically engineered to be smarter and healthier than the current norm? I include these other groups in with Whites, because UNLIKE US, they are positioning themselves to be in the upper slice of this country. These technologies are not that far away. It's also yet another example of something really important that most of us have NO CLUE about.

We're not planning strategies to cope with this coming development, because we're not even aware of it. By the time this enhancement becomes widespread, we'll be left scratching our heads and weakly mumbling about "equal access" to these technologies. Ummm...NO.

Anyone who's curious should read "Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever" by Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, M.D. The book talks about the cutting-edge science behind "radical life extension." As the authors state, "We are in the early stages of multiple profound revolutions spawned by the intersection of biology, information science, and nanotechnology. [Many] new and powerful methodologies are emerging."

What will we do when Latinos complete the process of becoming the new political overlords of all major cities in this country? What will we do when Asians outnumber us (which is not far away)?

If we don't change course RIGHT NOW, "Yes, we CAN become a permanent underclass in this country."

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Hagar's Daughter said...

The swooning and hysterics are so bad until I'm afraid to say anything because then folks put me in that Obama-bot category.

I celebrate this historic moment, but I'm just not caught up in the hype of it all. There is so much work that needs to be done.

For me it's not the PERSON it's the moment, the history, the movement (if you will).

I made a comment about not liking Michelle's dress and was almost burned at the stake. This is just going too damned far. I didn't think my comment was significant, I was just making small talk.

Keep up the truth telling.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Hagar's Daughter!

But the problem is that there is NO movement. In fact, most of these swooning Black folks weren't all that keen on the now Obama-ssiah until after White folks voted for him in large numbers in the first few primaries. That's another angle that makes all of this so pathetic. It took White validation for most Blacks to sign onto him in the first place. Whew!

There is NO movement. Instead, there is mass hysteria & emotional investment in the Obamas. Most of these swooning Blacks feel like their "work" was done once he was elected. What work? What are they talking about?

NO...What really happened is that Blacks jumped onto White folks' bandwagon and participated in efforts organized BY WHITE ORGANIZATIONS such as MoveOn.com, and organized by Obama's MOSTLY NON-BLACK campaign staff.

Please don't feel silenced while visiting here. Everyone is free to voice their support & celebration of Pres.-elect Obama here. My only problem is with the worshipping of him & the delusions attached to that worship.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Sister Seeking said...

@ Haggars Daughter

You know what I think is really ironic? All the AA's who insisted that his candidacy be only about "issues"

remember the out cries about this after he was accused of being:

Muslim
Terrorist
Jew
Arab
Backslider
Socialist
etc

lol

But now, those same AA's who insisted that his candidacy be about issues will have a psychotic explosion if you mention those issues now...

sigh

Some of us are truly schizophrenic in our thinking man for real...

I'm a county government employee, we are now being subjected to furloughs in which essential service and safety agencies will be shut down due to budget cut backs

The issues still remain and I expect him and his administration to stand up and do something

Even if we open our own businesses and try to become truly self reliant its not going to work if your customers are unemployed or underemployed DUH

I'm proud, I'm happy, I'm excited, and now I'm over it becuase I have tuition to pay; I have a mortgage to pay; and my daughters in pre-school that costs $1200 a month.

P/B

Nu Girl said...

Hello All,

Khadija, the questions you asked as far as what will we do..., was sobering to say the least. I don't believe that we will all finally unite and come together as a people and overcome. I have long abandoned that ideal.
In the pursuit of real power and not placebo power, those who know better are going have to band together for survival and advancement. We are also going to have to accept that most of our people are going to be left behind and we cannot be concerned with them. Survival is at stake and we must do whatever is necessary. If we do not, then we are not fit to advance or survive. My question is what happens when the truly powerful decide that we are no longer needed? What will we do then? I must admit that I admire Michelle Obama and believe that she will make a beautiful first lady. But I am under no illusions as to what this means for my children.

focusedpurpose said...

Khadija-

there is SO much food for the soul at your house. your brilliance and the brilliance of the commenters cause me to think long after i have signed off and shut down my computer. your house allows me to sharpen my tools, i am honored to come visit, learn, and think. so suffice it to say there won't be any hijacking from me any time soon:-)

after reading your response to Tasha on your last post, i resigned from my quiet acceptance of the worship of his O-ness. thank you for putting that in perspective for me. the random white folks that have been getting on my nerves with their assumptions about my beliefs have been getting a lady like, pleasant, laughing, issue focused, historically supported earful! i haven't really been around black folks that haven't already written me off as weird---i have been gagging loudly from the moment white folks demanded he dance (and he did!), made his dud books best sellers,and shoved him down our throats. this fact has only gotten me ridiculed and accused of thinking i am white. can someone help me with that? what is THAT about? (rhetorical, i get it!)

you are SO right. other groups are using their education to advance their groups' interests. educated black folks might want to emulate that sometime soon. ever notice how we collectively, emulate ALL THE WRONG THINGS? instead, it seems that even our most "educated" are focused solely on using their training to advance the cause of others and being paid well for their efforts. WE ARE FOR SALE...STILL...i have heard with my own ears black professionals indicate they won't do black this or that because it is not where the money is. why can't there be an understanding of getting money and doing what is needed for the collective as well? all others seem to invest in themselves much more than we do.

i am paying attention. i suppose i have stopped getting so worked up about it lately in the interest of peace. how can a nation be knocked out time and again with the same one-two combination? i have said repeatedly, that more than fashion is cyclical.

i agree with Evia that the internal stuff gets in the way of progress. how do we dismantle the internal stuff?

blessings sis and all,
focusedpurpose

Evia said...

Khadija said:

These 2 bad precedents (and others) are extremely relevant to any evaluation of any additional 1st/prominent Blacks. These bad precedents really should serve as cautionary tales of one reason why we need to STOP emotionally investing in these cosmetic, symbolic breakthroughs.

Khadija, I read a paper that someone had written years ago re this practice among AAs of investing in the "personality" or "charisma" or the colorful words of a black person whether s/he is a politician or other type of performer rather than in building and maintaining solid ORGANIZATIONS or what you call "teams." This can change, but the fact is that at this point in time, the bulk of AAs would much rather invest in the fleeting existence of a person who can "talk that talk" (MLK, Malcolm, Obama, etc.) rather than in building lasting, effective ORGANIZATIONS (families, associations, networks, clubs, companies, effective political groups, or "teams"). I think many AAs invest in glittery, fluffy things due to lack of critical thinking, but mainly FEAR of other blacks or fear of trusting other blacks.

This is learned behavior, so it can be unlearned IF desired and IF enough AAs could push past their fear of each other and learn how to talk and behave with each other and get along with each other. And trust each other.

But in general, this is what underlies a lot failure of AAs in many areas of life--investing in form or the "exterior," instead of substance (interior). For ex.,this is very clear in the male-female relationship realm where I've noticed all of my life how BOTH bw and bm get swept away by how a person looks, talks, or temporarily“acts” (exterior) with barely any notice of who that person REALLY is INSIDE. Looks fade; character doesn't.

So I AGREE that it is critical to cut through all of the fluff and empty symbolism and look at the bottom line. But different AA folks have different expectations of the Obama presidency though there can be some overlapping.

Also, MANY AAs are going to have to change their OWN ways.

For ex.,we cannot expect for any politician to raise our children for us. Trust me. MANY AA parents need lots of child-rearing instruction because many AA children are not being ‘developed’ and not reared properly, AT ALL. They’re just growing up like weeds--even in many black middle class, hoity-toity areas with very permissive, inconsistent,confused parents or a single parent. Girl, I could write a book about this. Maybe my next site will focus on parenting. LOL!

As we often talk about, many AAs have become lazy and UNDISCIPLINED across the board. I'm not sure how any person in Washington can turn that around.

Anyway, symbolism is very important in some cases. For ex., I mainly voted for Obama because of Michelle and how her prominent position as "fairest of them all" will directly and indirectly cause more Quality males in the world to focus on the beauty and desirability of AA women. It was just that plain and simple for me, and I thought about that decision seriously.

Uplifting bw is one of my KEY interests, so Michelle will promote my interests a lot. LOL! This is a BIGGIE because one sure way to improve the lives of MANY AA women is if many more of them are MARRIED to Quality men of all skin shades. She will help to right a terrible wrong--the wrong being the way bm have denigrated bw in the last couple of decades, with the cooperation of bw, of course.

So, I'm not expecting her to DO anything. She has done it already. Obama already DID what I wanted him to do too when he chose her. LOL! So my vote was a reward to him for him choosing correctly. LOL!

Other than that, I'm not a magical thinker. I KNOW that I don't have a vehicle to access them or his administration to put my other interests on the table and keep them there because I’m not aware of any viable black organization with an umbrella wide enough to encompass my views, that I could join. Thanks, Lisa for mentioning some of them. MOST black organizations tend to be black male focused (as are most black individuals I've encountered offline or online) and socially conservative. I am neither of these. So I know that my interests will mostly be ignored.

The incidents you talked about--Wilson Goode with the MOVE group in Philly AND Katrina--result from lack of effective organizations or having that vehicle to put our key interests out there and KEEP them out there. That's it in a nutshell.

What am I doing to contribute to the building of sound teams or organizations? I’ll continue to teach online and through my books. I'm constantly thinking of ways to promote and spread more critical thinking about these issues.

I keep hearing AAs mutter about how this, that, or the other “ain’t fair.” SMH Life is hardly ever fair for anyone. Smart people don't depend on life to be fair. Smart, effective people become their own self-agents and wring from life what they need or want. Rarely will any politician or anyone else just do the right thing simply because it's the "fair" thing to do or the right thing. To expect that is the height of naiviete.

Other groups are revving up the motors of their vehicles and are alreeady heading to Washington to put their 'core interests' on Obama's table and keep them there. Where is OUR vehicle?

Khadija said...

Welcome, Nu Girl!

Yes, I believe that (unfortunately) most of us are going to die in the wilderness. You asked, "...what happens when the truly powerful decide that we are no longer needed?"

Answer: They will ignore us to death. We (and our issues) will completely drop off the radar screen. We will, for all practical purposes, drop off the planet. The same way Africa & Africans have already dropped off the planet. Life for others will go on and get better.

This process has already begun. Keep in mind that AAs are ALREADY obsolete in many ways. We're not needed for cheap labor---the illegal aliens have that angle covered. We're not needed for modern-day political machines---the legal Latino voters have that angle covered. And we have NOT repositioned ourselves to fill a higher niche, like Jewish-Americans in the professions, or Asian-Americans in the science fields.

Those of us who are going to "survive & thrive" will have to position ourselves and our children into a higher niche. This is why I'm busy building a business for myself.
___________________________

Hello there, Focused Purpose!

Yes, the atmosphere of intimidation surrounding the O-Cult of Personality is part of the reason why I'm speaking out. At first, I was going to ignore the election on-blog; since it has very little meaning for me. But then I saw the early stages of serious O-worship, and I knew I had to speak out.

Oh yes, our educated class emulates all the wrong things. Most them will also die in the wilderness. We (I'll include myself since I'm part of this class) are generally AS idiotic as the Black underclass. We just dress better. Sometimes.

You asked, "How do we dismantle the internal stuff?" I believe that we dismantle the internal stuff by changing the fabric of our everyday lives and the lives of those around us. We dismantle this internal stuff by re-knitting human connections between more & more of us. This is why I keep talking about fellowship.

In another comment, Evia gave the example of AA parents who were unwilling to cooperate with each other or pool their resources so their children could take advantage of the opportunity to get into an elite prep school. Meanwhile, Caribbean parents worked together so that their children could reap this benefit.

It's AAs' routine, accepted, TOTAL lack of connection to each other that created this travesty that Evia described earlier. We will NEVER be able to cooperate with each in important things unless we create a new habit of trusting each other. We will never create a new habit of trusting each other unless we start successfully fellowshipping with each other.
_____________________________

Welcome, Evia!

Yep. We loooove "charismatic" leaders. It's another example of how childish we are. Building organizations/teams is dull, "boring" work. It doesn't have the immediate emotional gratification of having one's ears tickled by a captivating speaker. Collectively, we are addicted to fluff. We're also quite lazy when it comes to childrearing. Really, we're lazy when it comes to anything & everything of substance.

Lazy, fluff-addicted fools will simply have to die in the wilderness. I'm talking to those of us who want better. Those of us who are willing to do what it takes to "survive and thrive."

In a patriarchal world, marrying a quality man is the quickest strategy for any woman to secure her interests and her future children's interests. More Black women need to purchase this particular clue. Instead of being tricked into thinking that it's normal, natural, and okay for us to try to "do it all" on our own. Evia, you've done a great service with your work and your message. I know the difference you've made in my thinking. Thank you.

So, yes, in light of the above, the Obamas have already done an extremely important service in repositioning typical, brown-skinned Black women as being beautiful, desirable, and "the fairest of them all." I am deeply appreciative of this.

You asked where are OUR vehicles to roll up to Washington and put our core interests in front of Pres.-elect Obama?

I believe that since Black women are late to the party (as always), now is not the time to reinvent wheels. Lisa did a post back in June where she listed the contact information for various Black women's organizations (bless her heart--LOL!). Lisa's post was entitled, "Obama's Victory Formula = Nefarious Commitment To Blacks + Kowtow + Compromises + Optimistic Message + White Voter Approval."

Here's the information from just a few of the organizations she listed:

The National Council of Negro Women, Inc.
633 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20004
phone (202) 737-0120
fax (202) 737-04
email: ncnwinfo@ncnw.org

National Congress of Black Women
1224 W. Street, SE
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20020
phone (202) 678-6788
email: info@nationalcongressbw.org

National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.
1925 Adam C. Powell Jr. Blvd.
Suite 1-L
New York, NY 10026
phone (212) 222-5660
fax (212) 222-5675

I would suggest that all who are interested should contact these groups. [Thanks, Lisa, for doing the groundwork on digging up this info months ago!]

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

LISA VAZQUEZ said...

@ Khadija

This is a great conversation!

Thank you so much for the shout-out! (smiles)

I agree with you that it is a HUGE MISTAKE to continue to applaud and get excited when black people step up and want to reinvent the wheel by starting more and more organizations. There are PLENTY of black organizations that are focused on advancement. There are PLENTY of black organizations that are focusing on empowering women.

Why do we re-invent the wheel and start anew? Because we want CONTROL...we want to RUN the show.

We are perpetually in the mode of "starting something" rather than reinforcing WHAT WAS STARTED by another organization and taking THAT to the next level.

We need to carefully examine this pattern of always getting excited about "starting something" when we have not supported the black organizations that are ALREADY STARTED....we looove to use the excuse 'they aren't doing anything' as the reason for perpetuating this "starting something" pattern.

Always, always reinventing the wheel...always always starting from scratch. Black women love to start from scratch it seems rather than building what someone ELSE created. Can we look within and ask why?

@ Evia

You said:
For ex., I mainly voted for Obama because of Michelle and how her prominent position as "fairest of them all" will directly and indirectly cause more Quality males in the world to focus on the beauty and desirability of AA women. It was just that plain and simple for me, and I thought about that decision seriously."

I wonder though... will it matter if the world is admiring Michelle's looks or clothing when another 911 occurs on American soil during the Obama presidency? Will it matter if black women continue to have more illegitimate children, thus ensuring the probability of a permanent black underclass?

Many black women at these blogs seem to have a mentality that if Michelle is praised then "WE" are praised...if Michelle is deemed pretty then "WE" are deemed pretty...this is the mentality that is so dangerous. Because when Michelle is viciously criticized and attacked for being a bad mother, a bad wife, a bad Christian, whatever the media will come up with...THEN WHAT? Black women who allowed THEIR sense of worth to be based on how much Michelle was approved of and accepted will be demoralized...

Whether Michelle is deemed pretty by the world HAS NOTHING to do with me...I was pretty before the world knew her name and will be after she moves out of the White House after two terms.

If the media criticizes Michelle, they ARE NOT criticizing me. Plenty of black women DO not seem to have that mentality.

They actually think ANY attack on Michelle is an attack on black women because they CAN NOT separate the experiences of any black person in the public domain from the macro black experience.

My IDENTITY and PERSONHOOD is not tied to Michelle at all. She is just another black woman in this country. Oprah being loved by white women DID NOT change the view of black women in America by whites. Black women are still being animalized, objectified and fetishized.

Michelle is NOT a key factor for black women to look to in order to interpret their worth of black women in this world. That is dangerous.

I am not, of course, saying that you have implied this. I am just making that point.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

Khadija said...

Welcome, Lisa!

You said, "Why do we re-invent the wheel and start anew? Because we want CONTROL...we want to RUN the show."

I believe that you are correct about this. I would only add that this is another manifestation of the Head Negro in Charge Syndrome. Not only does it take inner security to be a good "sovereign," it takes self-assurance to be a good subordinate. Most of us are too insecure to be good subordinates. We're usually looking to depose the sovereign.

I agree with you that MY sense of beauty & self-worth does NOT come from how Michelle Obama is being projected. I've been pretty & smart ever since my Dad told when I was small that I was the prettiest, smartest, BEST little girl in the world!

However, I also believe that marketing matters. It matters a lot. No, Michelle O. being projected as among "the fairest of them all" won't undo the damage done by these other images that are being projected. Not by itself. But it certainly helps.

The other thing is what I've noticed about human psychology. People imitate other people. I've been imitating you, Evia, Focused Purpose, Pioneer Valley Woman and other BW bloggers. LOL! Men DO notice the type of woman that powerful men choose. They often pay more favorable attention to women who match the "type" of an Alpha male's woman. It's not a "make or break" sort of thing, but it does matter.

Considering how BW's general image has been thoroughly run into the ground (often with our collaboration), I'll take whatever collective uplift that is available.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

Having AA women viewed in a much better light world wide is something I am hoping for. It speaks volumes when non-black Americans and people of other countries see us (African Americans Women) collectively taking care of our interest.

Based on the choices we make now (as far as marriage, finances, employment, acquiring degrees, choices in spouses) we begin to carve out a new image for “our” face. Something that most of us women (whether we know it our not) are trying to do. If for no other reason than to tell non-black folks that your idea of me is all wrong. Speaking for myself, I’ve always been a really bothered by the fact that my skin color & gender marked me prior to birth. Like you know something about me that I don’t. I’ve learned to deal with it, but there are have been moments when I have had to scream out loud by some of this “stuff.” That alone is part of the reason; I secretly enjoyed Simpson being acquitted.

Inner conflict.

I do believe this is what most of the women here who comments are hoping to achieve. Subconsciously & Consciously.

I snipped the rest of your comment because for us AA women who were not born into the upper crust of society, we understand how important the public’s opinion of something is.

Eventually many of us get there, I believe, however, we have so much work to do. Michelle’s image will do something for all of us. It can’t help but to. Watch.

Also, looking at things as you do, (whether Michelle’s image anything to do with your image) will only come AFTER AA women have worked on our trust issues, our fellowship issues, and our one-on-one relationships. Why? Because only then, will we be able to adopt the attitude that “that one” over there has nothing to do with the way “I/we” am viewed.

Evia said...

Why do we re-invent the wheel and start anew? Because we want CONTROL...we want to RUN the show.

Do you really see more than a few black folks seeking to CONTROL things? I see just the opposite. I see the vast bulk of black folks shrinking back from taking charge, not wanting to be in leadership. I know I certainly don't want to be in charge. I'm an artist; I'm fine just concentrating on what I do.

But I think a lot depends on a person's vantage point. From my vantage point, I don't see folks trying to invent anything or steer anything unless you're talking about black ministers. Actually, I'd be happy to see as many black folks as possible **trying** to invent wheels or anything to address these issues. LOL! That would be a Hallelujah day if I saw that going on around me or knew of it going on anywhere, so it apparently depends on where you are. The vast majority of the black folks I observe are complacent and are MUCH more interested in being spectators than participants.

Maybe y'all are in big cities and see lots of inventive, creative black folks buzzing you--LOL!--but I certainly don't.

I wonder though... will it matter if the world is admiring Michelle's looks or clothing when another 911 occurs on American soil during the Obama presidency?

I think it will still matter a lot because hetero men will ALWAYS want women no matter what--even if the world is going to blow up tomorrow--and it always gives a woman an advantage in a patriarchial world to be viewed as more desirable rather than less desirable.

Will it matter if black women continue to have more illegitimate children, thus ensuring the probability of a permanent black underclass?

There are various overlapping issues involved in the 70% of unpartnered bw phenomenon. Not saying that Michelle can perform magic, but if more AA women are connected by association with the AA First Lady, there will in general be more options for bw matewise.

There are some very trashy, immoral, very unappealing NONblack women out there who men pursue like crazy because they are considered desirable **by association.**

I'd be a magical thinker if I were looking for an absolute fix. Improvement is made in degrees and many times, a few degrees can make a big difference.

I agree with you that MY sense of beauty & self-worth does NOT come from how Michelle Obama is being projected. I've been pretty & smart ever since my Dad told when I was small that I was the prettiest, smartest, BEST little girl in the world!

LOL! I don't think I was viewed as pretty, but I knew that I was important and approved of by others in my family, my community, my school, etc. They always treated me like I was important so I knew I was valuable to them for whatever reason. When I became an adolescent girl, many males treated me like I was desirable, so I've pretty much always felt valuable and desirable all of my life. This definitely helped my self esteem. But many AA women have NEVER had those experiences.

Most people in the world form their self-concept based to a large extent on how others in their immediate environment view them--from the time they're very young. Then there are other people who self-define from a young age.


So, IMO, it won't matter whether anyone tries or succeeds in assassinating Michelle's character. As long as he has her as his mate, other men will take note. In this patriarchial world and everywhere in the world, the status of women always rises or falls with the status of the men in their group OR the men they associate with or marry. If bw want to raise their status in the world, many of them could do so by exclusively associating with and/or marrying higher quality, higher status men. I think this is exactly why Asian women marry wm and actually, many Asian women just point blank say they marry out for that reason--to better position themselves and their children.

Related to that, various bm and the bw in their harems and/or their mules keep telling AA women that if lots of us marry interracially, black folks are going to disappear from the earth. LOL!!! That's nothing more than a flimsy scare tactic. AA women represent a tiny portion of the black women in the world. Look at the huge numbers of black women in South America and Africa. Yet, some AA women actually believe the lie that if they date out, they will be responsible for black folks disappearing from the earth!

Khadija said...

Hello there, Evia!

Oh...I don't see "lots of inventive, creative Black folks buzzing [me]" here in the big city. Unfortunately, I DO see a LOT of conniving colored girls. LOL! This is just another type of "yuckiness" that I encounter quite a bit.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello there,

I want to add another point to this conversation...people with a poorly-developed self definition will be the ones who are MORE LIKELY to cling to persons and things as their identity.

I mentioned at my blog in a discussion about "The Guilt Trip of Class Mobility" that many black women are CONDITIONED to believe that it is okay to put their identity in people. This dyfunctional conditioning begins when they are very small when they are made to feel that they have no identity apart from their family members....this is why so many black women have so much emotional turmoil about receiving rejection from their families. They will enter into any type of destructive emotional contract JUST SO THAT they will not be emotionally banished and talked about. This is how deeply intertwined their self definition is to the identity given to them by family.

How many black women can SAY:

Michelle is NOT me.

Society's esteem or rejection of Michelle does not tie into the ability I have to forge my own sphere of influence.

I set my OWN definition of self.

Michelle is not an icon. She is one woman. She does not define all black women in America.

She does not represent ALL black women in America. Her experiences and views DO NOT reflect all black women.


Saying these things takes away all of the worship...and many women just can't do that.

Black women deeply want to identify with Michelle. Is it because THIS IS part of their conditioning? Looking for something to cling to in order to say "this is WHO we are"??

The more we DEIFY black people in the public eye, the more we place a bullseye on their back for racist factions to use as an emotional weapon against the black masses.

Haven't we learned? No.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

DeStouet said...

What is the difference between Michelle and the women who were left to float in New Orleans, or the women in MOVE?

I heard a black women say during those five days when the AA in New Orleans went without any aid, "That's sad what they are doing to "those" people".

Is there a way to balance the two?

Self identity and still maintaining a heart for other black women?

DeStouet said...

Some other thoughts...

it is completely normal to identify yourself by blood. Most people do, including and especially the rich & elite. In another post, you made a comment about Warren Buffet's grand daughter & if a Kennedy was to drop out of college they would still belong to...

The difference is that unlike them we are NOT in a position to make moves beyond our family's dysfunction. If many of us were wealthy we could still remain close to our prescription addicted, alcoholic addicted, gambling addicted, physically abusive, etc. relatives without it causing much harm. So, it is VERY normal to identify yourself by blood ties and be conditioned to do so from birth.

Also, I don't think women are looking at Michelle and at the same time saying to themselves, "Now you can stop working so hard at being excellent and improving your discipline and character.

Speaking for myself, in order to feel an outrage about the Dunbar situation, I had to identify with the mother of the young boy. In order to feel outraged about the situation in New Orleans, I had to do the same.

In order for me to feel, I have to identify first. It has to be "something" there.

In order for me to distance myself from my family, I had to feel like we no longer had anything else in common. I begin to identify with another class of people & women. Now I associate more with middle class women who arrive at track meets on Saturday mornings as early as 6:30 am sometimes and do not have to wait until the weekends to go to the movies or see a play.

I AM my own messiah though.

Faith said...

This is a lot to think about and strive for. Undoing years of conditioning to the contrary isn't a thing I can wave away with the snap of my fingers. I made the decision to do so but now I have to keep lubricating myself. I can't go back and change the past but I don't want that to determine my future either. But I also think other external forces can still do things that cause of us harm like this current economic crisis which is the result of a bunch of greedy white people trying to get over on the majority, including other whites. How would we have been able to thwart that? But I also agree we are going to be left behind. I don't want to devolve into an insular or bigoted mindset however as I can see issue with immigration and gay rights can overlap and have meaning to a lot of us. I also see how we can be in need of oxygen and give away our last breath to some other group's needs and we would die. On the other hand then could we just accept white supremacy is at heart about them enacting laws, intimidation tactics, violence and a meme for their survival? Where do we draw the line? I see numerous ethnic groups of whites who are thriving but I still think it's because they got a leg up over us. Who runs the movie studios? Who owns newspapers? Television stations? Infrastructures. When Black people did manage to survive and own property and businesses white people killed them and stole it. Would it be so different now? Wouldn't "rules" be changed to block our way? Or am I being pessimistic? For all of the discussion of Obama not being a Messiah and critiques of capitulation, he had to collect and spend $700M to run that campaign, he had to have a certain about of charisma, he had to play the game and play it well. Otherwise he would've never made it to Iowa or would be a marginalized politician like Cynthia McKinney. She has a lot of policy platforms I completely support but she doesn't have a wide enough coalition. Is that on her or on us?

Khadija said...

Welcome, Faith!

The concept of "preparedness" is the best defense to whatever may come, including financial crises. For example, the Mormons require their members to keep at least a year's worth of food & water stored in case of emergency. The Amish also seem perpetually prepared for whatever may come.

Meanwhile, many Black folks don't even own flashlights. That's on us.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Ebony Intuition said...

Great break down, this is so very true.