Saturday, July 18, 2009

The End Of The Road For African-Americans, Part 2: Generation(s) Apathetic

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

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

Peace and blessings,
Khadija Nassif

19 comments:

ActsofFaithBlog said...

I had just read your Part 1 and now you give us Part 2. Thanks so much for this reference material. I wasn't familiar with it. It's amazing how we can know in our hearts that a situation is what it is and maybe not be able to articulate it a certain way. Then we find others have actually discussed it! It is truly going to be the haves and the have nots.

Felicia said...

Often, when people can't accept what is front of them - for whatever reason - they simply refuse to.

And go along as if business is usual.

This is true for any number of subjects that are usually controversial in nature.

People with the best of intentions, often overestimate the interest level in the population they're trying to reach.

Basically BW need to get OFF the merry-go-round.

Possible solutions, antidotes, you name it will be discussed ad infinitum.

With NO change. As the years pass and the problems INCREASE.

These days it's basically every BW (and her children if applicable) for herself.

One can either leave the graveyard or join the living.

IMO those that choose to stay behind - even after realizing life is around the corner and attainable - should live out there self chosen fate in silence.

Because they were given the choice. Once you've made your bed, you've got to lie in it.

Khadija said...

Faith,

That's what's so wondrous about this new technology---so much is literally at our fingertips now!

When I was in high school, college, and law school, I had to physically seek out various local AA activists. I got on the CTA bus to go to their meetings, and actively searched for their (often poorly distributed) newsletters. In the case of several local Black book stores, I would get on the bus to find them. [As we know, many AA-owned bookstores operate more like secret societies than public businesses.]

In the case of Bob Law, I would get up several times at night to press the "record" button and flip the cassette tape over in order tape his syndicated talk show, Night Talk With Bob Law. And then go to school the next morning. [This was during the era of cassette/radios.] IIRC, his show came on from 1 am.- 4a.m. (local time) on WVON (the local Black-owned talk radio station).

I sought out all of these things because I was actually interested in AA advancement and cultural pride. But I did take note of the apathy all around me from my peers. That general apathy has never changed. And I see that the apathy has become more entrenched with each generation that follows.
__________________

Felicia,

You said, "Often, when people can't accept what is front of them - for whatever reason - they simply refuse to. And go along as if business is usual.

This is true for any number of subjects that are usually controversial in nature.

People with the best of intentions, often overestimate the interest level in the population they're trying to reach.

Basically BW need to get OFF the merry-go-round.

Possible solutions, antidotes, you name it will be discussed ad infinitum. With NO change. As the years pass and the problems INCREASE."
-

And there you have it.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Nathifa said...

There are too many of us who keep on listening to these so called black leaders and even though they do not produce results. We follow them and repeat there old useless rethoric.None of them have taken on the issue of Black male abondonment of Black women and children. They refuse to even discuss it. If they would take on that issue alot of the mess that is going on would cease to exist. Then we have black people who have turned the President into some kind of god like creature. He has not done one specific policy that directly relates to helping Black people. When you go to some of the Black political blogs and state this they get angry. The man recived 97% of the Black vote. He received that vote without any demands made upon him. We allowed him to tell us well I can't specifically address Black issues without alienating White people. The Jewish, Asian and Hispanic coummity seem to get specicifc policies to help there people or address there communites concerns because they demanded it. Notice how the LGBT community is making demands on him. They have made it very clear that they will vote for him again unless he adrresses there issues. We are the only ones caught up in the symbolism. I ageee that at this juncture it is too late for the BBB movement. Black people and especially the youth are not interested in that.There is a portion of Black folks that can't be reached and do not want to be reached. We have to be ok with leaving them behind for our own survival. We who understand that there is going to be a permanent Black underclass have to keep moving forward and living our lives in a way that brings happiness to ourselves and our children. We do not have to look back. Those that choose to stay and live in misery will have to face the consequences of there choices.

Sister Seeking, Miriam said...

ASA Khadija,

THANK YOU for taking the time to break it down in dummy terms! LOL LOL

I'm thinking over the information, and "proof" you've presented here.

I'm also reading Faith's essays as well.

Concerning the youtube video, what was left out was how the "family" contributes to the elevation of the group.

Breaking here:

Khadija, it's almost as if WE are invisible, as if FAMILY is invisible. I'm sorry... I don't know how to completely articulate my reaction to that video.


Also, I thought that speaker before Mr. Anderson said something that should snap all bw/bg who don't want to live in poverty or be at risk of living in poverty:

"These immigrants/people aren't coming here to get an education, they are coming here to build an economy."

Umm... one reason they have succeeded in-spite of racism is because

The men come first
The mother comes next
The grand parents and the children come

They all buy a home with another family here.

Next they start building businesses and institutions with other people who have FAMILIES.

I'm preparing for an interview, so I'll be back in a few days...

Khadija said...

Nathifa,

Most of our so-called leaders can't address the BM abandonment/exploitation of BW and children because they're engaged in the same behaviors! [Yes, I'm thinking of Rev. "Baby Daddy" Jackson, among others.]

What you're addressing regarding our President is the reason why I have an aversion to crossover Negro politicians---their presence in office does NOTHING for AAs. But then again, most AAs are dumb enough to be "gratified" (as Bob Law put it) with their symbolic presence in office.

You said, "There is a portion of Black folks that can't be reached and do not want to be reached. We have to be ok with leaving them behind for our own survival. We who understand that there is going to be a permanent Black underclass have to keep moving forward and living our lives in a way that brings happiness to ourselves and our children. We do not have to look back. Those that choose to stay and live in misery will have to face the consequences of there choices."-

EXACTLY! This is why I'm about to turn my attention back to focusing on the survivors and thrivers, instead of going back over our previous failures as a people. It's important to understand how AAs got to this "end of the road," as well as the tricks and snares that keep us there, such as the dreadful Raising Him Alone program. But it's time to move on from all of that.
_____________________

SisterSeeking/Miriam,

Wa Alaikum As Salaam!

Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it.

You said, "Concerning the youtube video, what was left out was how the "family" contributes to the elevation of the group.

Breaking here:

Khadija, it's almost as if WE are invisible, as if FAMILY is invisible. I'm sorry... I don't know how to completely articulate my reaction to that video."
-

Yes, you're right. That's why later today I'm about to toss up link to part of a lecture from Sis. Min. Ava Muhammad of the NOI that talks about: family, and what we are ENTITLED to.

You said, "Also, I thought that speaker before Mr. Anderson said something that should snap all bw/bg who don't want to live in poverty or be at risk of living in poverty:

"These immigrants/people aren't coming here to get an education, they are coming here to build an economy."
-

Oh yes, that was an EXTREMELY important "money quote" from Bob Law.

You said, "Umm... one reason they have succeeded in-spite of racism is because

The men come first
The mother comes next
The grand parents and the children come

They all buy a home with another family here.

Next they start building businesses and institutions with other people who have FAMILIES."
-

Exactly! Everybody seems to understand this sequence of events EXCEPT the majority of AAs. Whatever. I'm moving on.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymous said...

"None of them [black "leaders"] have taken on the issue of Black male abondonment of Black women and children."

Some black women who comment on this issue seem to be of the mindset that black women have absolutely NO control over their reproductive function.

There are any number of birth control methods that women can utilize. Including, quiet as its kept, not having sex.

The fact is that no woman in the U.S.A. HAS to have an OOW baby if she doesn't want to.

The last I heard, abortion is still legal in this country. After all, at least 35% of all black pregnancies are ABORTED every year.

Black women are NOT powerless in this regard. Why aren't they exercising their power to: 1) say no to sex or; 2) use birth control appropriately when they do have sex.

Felicia said...

"I ageee that at this juncture it is too late for the BBB movement. Black people and especially the youth are not interested in that.There is a portion of Black folks that can't be reached and do not want to be reached. We have to be ok with leaving them behind for our own survival. We who understand that there is going to be a permanent Black underclass have to keep moving forward and living our lives in a way that brings happiness to ourselves and our children. We do not have to look back. Those that choose to stay and live in misery will have to face the consequences of there choices."

You've got that right.

Khadija said...

***Everybody, DON'T respond to Anonymous from 7/19/09 at 10:31 a.m.***

Let me deal with this individual (who is most likely a troll). If you submit comments responding to this individual, I won't publish them. I'm NOT going to let anybody (including Anonymous) redirect this conversation.

I actually agree that women have agency in their reproductive lives.

That is why I'm saying that AA women must remove themselves from anything, everything, and EVERYONE that supports/enables the mass AA epidemic of OOW/HIV/AIDs. And I'm linking these 3 things together because they have the same behaviors and mindsets at their root: irresponsibility AND magical thinking.

'Nuff said about that.

With justice in mind.

rainebeaux said...

Thank you, Khadija, for breaking this down even further for me. The anger has dissipated somewhat, but the depression has rendered me ill for the past couple of days. I won't bother with the bargaining: the "leaders" have done this for years (I saw the discrepancies then and in turn tuned them out) and...still nothing.

Perhaps the acceptance will kick in while I'm packing the boxes.

Felicia said...

http://www.divorcereform.org/black.html

"Today the number of children born into a black marriage averages less than 0.9 children per marriage. "The birthrates of black married women have fallen so sharply that absent out-of-wedlock childbearing, the African American population would not only fail to reproduce itself, but would rapidly die off."

IMO this is not only pathetic. It's shameful. If this doesn't speak to a permanent underclass/pariah status underway I don't know what else does.

Khadija,

You said...

Let's stop camping out in the graveyard of various dead ideas, and instead seek to live among the living. Are you ready to pack up your sleeping bag and leave the cemetery? Are you ready to be among the living?

Those BW who refuse to leave the graveyard/Titanic/Matrix - that the majority of the "bc" has been reduced to -will eventually be considered 21st century UNTOUCHABLES.

Relegated to the margins of society. Forgotton. STUCK. Along with their descendents. As if stricken by a curse.

A SELF inflicted curse.

Heck, this is already happening in certain parts of the country.

So... if anyone out there is still questioning whether the Titanic has basically sunk or not, read the above quote again.

Khadija said...

Rainebeaux,

You said, "Perhaps the acceptance will kick in while I'm packing the boxes."-

I've found that "packing my bags" in preparation for my planned departure is quite soothing AND pleasantly energizing at the same time! *Smile*
___________________

Felicia,

You mentioned, "http://www.divorcereform.org/black.html

"Today the number of children born into a black marriage averages less than 0.9 children per marriage. "The birthrates of black married women have fallen so sharply that absent out-of-wedlock childbearing, the African American population would not only fail to reproduce itself, but would rapidly die off."
-

{shaking my head as I continue packing my bags}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

ak said...

Khadijah

How is it that the old school black people who came from a real and more positive and safe black community where there was as you call it 'Big Momma's House', did not or could not pass down their basic traditions or even strict rules for the next generation of blacks to live safely, keep out of trouble, marry before having kids, protect and do for their kids, police their men, police the ways of their church and the preachers, and buy from the black shopkeeper and businessman/woman down the street?

I just don't see how those 'givens' that older black people had and used just couldn't change hands sucessfully. It's always made out to be just down to the horrible drug trade and addictions from the 1960s and onward as the breakdown in these communities.

Khadija said...

AK,

You asked, "How is it that the old school black people who came from a real and more positive and safe black community where there was as you call it 'Big Momma's House', did not or could not pass down their basic traditions or even strict rules for the next generation of blacks...?"-

I'm sure to offend plenty of people with my answer, but I think it was a combination of several interlocking things:

Big Mama's house had termites that she and "Pops" didn't know about.
Whenever something falls apart quickly in the face of new circumstances, that's how you can tell that it was shaky to begin with.

I would use traditional African religions as an example. The fact that they faded whenever confronted with Islam or Christianity shows that these were inherently weak traditions.

There were problems infesting the foundations of Big Mama's house. Problems such as unaddressed racial/ethnic self-hatred and rampant sexism. Problems that were artificially kept somewhat in check by the pressure of outside aggression. AAs HAD to stick together and act semi-right toward each other to survive in earlier eras. Once the outside pressure of Jim Crow was diminished, folks felt freer to act out their ethnic/racial self-hatred and sexism.

With integration, AAs became culturally assimilated. Assilimated into the worst aspects of popular White-American culture. We learned how to imitate many Whites and:

(1) be more individualistic;

(2) stop disciplining our children
---many of us stopped spanking our children in imitation of Whites---a notion that was UNHEARD of in Big Mama's house; many of us learned from Whites to have the desire to be our children's friend as opposed to their parents ("parent as pal" is another notion that was unheard of in Big Mama's house);

(3) buy into their "free love" (translation = open promiscuity) during the 1960s;

(4) be more materialistic;

(5) In recent years, AAs have even learned how to commit the sorts of crimes that were previously UNKNOWN among us. We've assimilated and learned how to be serial killers. We've learned how to kill our own parents.

Becoming more individualistic meant that more AAs started "doing their own thang" instead of adhereing to previous AA cultural standards.
This is how large numbers of AAs dropped the ball in terms of transmitting sane AA values to their children. They were too busy doing their own groove thang to be bothered with that.

Other AAs failed to be vigilant in terms of the community decay because they naively ASSUMED that most other AAs were holding up their end of the bargain. By the time that they figured out that multitudes of AAs had dropped the ball, it was too late.

This is similar to how many BF-IRR activists and participants ASSUME that they don't have to be vigilant about racial self-respect issues. They're automatically assuming that the other BW talking about IRR are doing so with healthy, non-DBR-related motives. They assume that other interracially married BW are NOT raising anti-Black racist children.

Add all of this together with drugs and you've got a disaster waiting to happen.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Brother OMi said...

Peace Khadija

Dug your final points b.u.t. I want to add that several traditional African religions are alive today which demonstrates their faith and vitality particularly among African descendants outside of the United States.

It is ironic that many BW find much more solace in the African traditional religions then the so called major religions of the world since they are given positions of authority.

just wanted to point that out

b.u.t. the entries in the last few weeks have been phenomenal.

Khadija said...

Brother Omi,

Thank you for your kind words about the recent blog posts; I truly appreciate it.

You said, "...I want to add that several traditional African religions are alive today which demonstrates their faith and vitality particularly among African descendants outside of the United States.

It is ironic that many BW find much more solace in the African traditional religions then the so called major religions of the world since they are given positions of authority.

just wanted to point that out"
-

Point taken! *Smile* Yes, traditional African religions are alive. These traditions are still "alive" in Africa. But for the most part, they've lost the competition for capturing African hearts and minds in the marketplace of ideas.

In terms of AA followers of these religions, I submit to you that there's often another dynamic at play.

There's one type of situation where a previously neutral, not-angry, NON-DISGRUNTLED consumer buys into a religious "brand" that they think will meet their needs.

There's another type of situation where the consumer's current "brand" (AA versions of Christianity or Islam) DRIVES them into active disgruntlement, exile and search for something else to replace the original "brand." This 2nd scenario seems to be what's driving a significant number of the AAs I've met who've taken up traditional African religions.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

ak said...

Khadija:

Big Mama's house had termites that she and "Pops" didn't know about. Whenever something falls apart quickly in the face of new circumstances, that's how you can tell that it was shaky to begin with.


All of what you said in this comment, couldn't be more true.

BUT I have noticed that while everything was turning into DBR-ville that some blacks still continued to use corporal punishment on their kids. But what would happen to some kids, is that they would not act up around Mom but they would act up as soon as she or their Dad would turn their backs.

That's because some of the parents who were DBR-ing or who made a big mistake, were not teaching lessons about consequences to actions and just beating kids or slapping them haphazardly just to keep the kid quiet and behaved around them! This is why Evia in another post mentioned AA children acting too rowdy and undisciplined in public pool areas, making certain other AAs want to send their children elsewhere during the summer.

ak said...

Khadija:

What Mr. Law left out of his analysis is the fact that most African-Americans don't want to "bring Black back." If he wants us to "bring Black back," perhaps we should consider who "threw Black away" in the first place!

We did! The ugly reality is that we never wanted "Black" to begin with! There was never any real ethnic/racial self-respect. And we don't want to have any now. That's why we have all these African-Americans clamoring to have themselves and their children considered anything but Black (multi-whatever and Cablanasians, etc.).




Dear God! This could not be more true. This explains books that I read when I was younger back in the 90s like The Color Complex.

This is why some dark-skinned blacks find themselves resenting light skinned blacks or some biracials yet they do not celebrate the beauty of other dark-skinned blacks, sometimes not even their own childrens. How can twist yourselves up resenting lighter people if you put down dark skinned black beauty? Who else will respect it and cherish it? Will they ever want to hold on to their God given crowns?

This is why Negro performers think nothing of saying 'dark butt' comments in public. It's as if AAs have never bought into 'black is beautiful' ever in their lives.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is refreshing. As my mother said you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. I believe that the issues that impact black folks lives have been analyzed to the point that people should be tired of talking. What I find most insane is that there continues to be a mind-set amongst black folks that we must be saved by someone else. It is as if black folks have internalized and bought into the myth that they are helpless and powerless and that "one man" or one group of people will be our salvation. While it may appear that many young black folks are apathethic many are not and while a large portion of the black community is looking for the president to save us- I am not. I wish more black folks would understand that this is all a game and either you play the game or be left behind. When you understand the rules of the game or the rules of engagement then you are in a better position to act accordingly. Not many people, let alone black folks understand politics and economics.