Saturday, August 1, 2009

True Fellowship, Part 3: An Extended Reader's Money Quote From Evia

The Reader's Money Quote is a statement that is of such insight and importance that it merits frequent and loud repetition. These Reader's Money Quotes are from Evia, blog host of Black Female Interracial Marriage Ezine http://www.blackfemaleinterracialmarriage.com/. Evia and I had the following exchange during a recent post (my comments are in blue):

Evia said:

However, on the topic of REAL "friends," well I think volumes could be written about that because there are virtually no rules anymore. Therefore, lots of people are very UN-likeminded until the meaning of friendship. To one person, it means something totally different than it may mean to another person, yet both people are using the same word. This causes lots of confusion and disappointment.

For ex. when I was in college I had what I considered a close girlfriend. Everything was fine until she went into the hospital to have some surgery. She was there for a couple of days. She NEVER told me she was going into the hospital!! I only found out later when she came out. I was devastated! We talked about it afterwards and she said she didn't understand why that even bothered me. OMG!!

My take on this is that when you go into the hospital for surgery, you should WANT those people who are close to you to know about it and BE there for you. So when she didn't tell me about her surgery, IMO based on my background, that was an indication that she didn't consider me a close friend. That also told me that if I went into the hospital, she wouldn't consider it important to be there for me either. These are MAJOR values differences, and I knew at that point that we would most likely never be really "close".

However, both she and her mother had been born and raised in NYC (Harlem) and had taken on the whole array of NYC "individualistic" values whereas, I grew up on a rural farm down South and had "communal" values from that background, so our backgrounds were VERY different. It wasn't her fault and it wasn't mine. That was the first experience that made me realize the importance of VALUES and likemindedness and how they determine whether people will get along with each other satisfactorily and have a mutually satisfying relationship. I'm not saying it can't be done. I'm saying it's a lot more difficult.

And this has nothing to do with ethnicity or race because I've met continental African women and white women with whom I've bonded almost instantly, whereas I've met AA women who I know I could never bond with.

This is a very clear example of why people from very different thought systems and value systems cannot jell, in many cases. There are so many unspoken expectations and assumptions that will usually trip them up.

So I have **sisterfriends**, **friends**, and then I have a variety of acquaintances. A sisterfriend is a friend of the 1st degree. A sisterfriend is the type of friend who could live with me indefinitely. I would go all out for her and her children to the extent that I could, without harming myself. She is, in a sense, my "sister" with the full meaning of the word. I would expect her to do all of the same for me.

At this point in my life, I put energy into cultivating sisterfriends, and I've had a moderate degree of success. I'm finding women who also relish this type of REAL relationship. It requires HONEST talk though about your needs. You cannot make assumptions. You have to tell a potential sisterfriend the biggies that you expect and she does the same and then you both have to decide whether you're willing to come through for each other.

I think AA women need friends, but due to the massive breakdown of the fledgling AA culture which eats away at even supposedly close-knit family relationships, I think that every AA woman REALLY needs at least 2 sisterfriends and 3 or 4 would of course be a lot better. That would make a typical AA woman feel a lot less vulnerable, alone. A sisterfriend is a type of insurance.

You know there's a 95% that she'll be there for you when your "friends" and acquaintances call to give you excuses as to why they can't be there for you in whatever way. Also, you're her sisterfriend too. So the sisterfriend relationship requires obligations and responsibilities.

Human beings are not islands. We have been wired to need a variety of others.

Evia, I'm happy you talked at length about friendship. The topic is the very FIRST thing that I'm going to get back to in detail in August. It's the FIRST order of business for August.


. . . You're being very gracious. I grew up in Chicago (as did my parents), and that person's behavior sounds CRAZY to me (for somebody who calls themself a friend). The harsh reality is that there are a LOT of improperly socialized, SAVAGE AAs out there. You described one of them.

And I think it's a very good thing that you mentioned the reciprocity implications involved in this sort of crazy behavior. A so-called "friend" who does not expect you to be there for them does NOT expect to be there for you!

. . . [T]oo many AA women try to rely on their husbands and boyfriends to supply ALL of their emotional needs. Not only is that unhealthy (one person simply can't supply ALL of another person's emotional needs). But it also sets women up to be extremely needy and vulnerable in their relationships with men.

It also sets them up to be utterly destroyed by divorce/break-up. I've seen this happen over and over to women who felt that they didn't need friends or sisterfriends because they "had a man." It's NOT a pretty picture. In fact, I've been observing a BW coworker like this who's in the middle of a mini-breakdown right now because she threw away what few friendships she had as soon as she "got a man." Meanwhile, her ex-boyfriend held on to his friendships with "his boys" throughout their relationship. Now that he's broken up with her, she's almost catatonic.

I don't feel particularly sympathetic to her. She got what she created for herself.

Khadija, re my college chum and your comments above, this was a very eye-opening experience for me--having Freda as a "friend." She had been raised not to trust black people because her mother, a hard-working black woman had had a hard life. The mother was a very bitter bw. She had been preyed on by a good-looking, sweet-talking, womanizing bm. He impregnated her mother and abandoned her. To her mother's credit, she had pinched pennies to send my friend to a private girl's school in NYC and then Freda went on to college, which is where I met her.

Freda came from a very different background than me. She grew up around lots of predators, and with barely any protection from them. Her mother worked 2 jobs all of her life and provided a clean,comfortable home, but there was no time for Freda. Freda had been molested a couple of times while she was a teenager.

My childhood wasn't perfect, but I grew up in a safe environment surrounded by various adults in my extended family watching over me, protecting me. At the time, I thought they were TOO protective, but now I know better. I also always got enough attention from adults. It certainly sounds like you also had a bunch of people who protected you and were there for you.

Even today, I don't think Freda has ever gotten over some of those childhood experiences and the LACK that was in her life during critical periods.

So after my initial hurt, I just accepted her as she was and knew that we could never be "close."

Evia, Thanks for explaining the history behind your college chum. I knew there had to be something SERIOUSLY wrong with that person. It's NOT normal to act like that regarding somebody you call a real "friend."

Yes, I was also BLESSED to grow up being protected and loved by many, many adults around me. Unfortunately, that sort of emotional and physical security are becoming unknown among AA children.

There are a LOT of sociopaths among our people. These bizarre attitudes toward friendship (like what you described about your college acquaintance), and the inability to form close friendships are a part of that syndrome.

That's why I was horrified by some of the statements made during the True Fellowship discussions (which I'm going to revisit in August). I was shocked and appalled to see people say out loud, in public, statements like "I don't want any friends." That's mentally SICK. For real. And it's the kind of statement that I hear from sociopathic clients. IIRC, the inability to make or keep friends is one of the DSM-IV-listed symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

We already know what the problems are. We know that the social fabric among our people has been destroyed. We know what extreme isolation and non-reciprocity can lead to for African-American women and other Black women. http://longbench.wordpress.com/2008/07/03/esmin-green-died-alone/

I don't want to keep talking about the problems. We already know what's wrong. I'm tired of seeing the conversation pattern that exists at many African-American blogs: People go round and round over the problems. If somebody offers concrete, actionable suggestions, these suggestions are ignored in favor of engaging in yet another round of (often insincere) hand-wringing.

For example, I recently watched a heckler-troll at another blog (who is apparently angry with the idea of African-American women divesting from dangerous and non-reciprocating scenarios) completely ignore the list of concrete actions that I suggested she could take in support of an 8 year old Liberian girl who was recently gang-raped by four boys.

She had used this girl's suffering to try to score a debate point against divestment; and I responded by giving her a list of actions that she could take in support of this girl, since she claimed to be concerned about this particular child. Actions that nobody is stopping her from doing, such as: (1) reaching out to the local prosecutor’s office, and local victim advocacy groups to find out what specific needs this little girl might have right now, and (2) coordinating donations for this little girl.

Instead of taking up the mantle of ACTION, this woman repeated her already-answered question by asking the blog host, "The Arizona authorities are taking care of the child, what do you suggest should be done next?" As if it's a reasonable assumption that ALL of the child's needs (including long-term needs) are being met by "the Arizona authorities." Right. Sure.

How quickly people wriggle out of assuming any responsibility whatsoever for taking action! This is the same type of bad-faith nonsense that "Internet Ike Turners" like to engage in (falsely professed concern about issues that they have NO intention of doing anything about).

Let's STOP playing these sorts of games with the life and death matters that are facing us. It's time to revisit some solutions. It's time for people who are sincere and serious to take concrete actions in support of their values. Part 2 of the True Fellowship series mentioned several concrete actions we can take to create true fellowships in our lives. http://muslimbushido.blogspot.com/2008/10/true-fellowship-part-2-breaking-bread.html

Over the months, I've been delighted to hear periodic updates from a reader and fellow blogger named ForeverLoyal (her blog is at http://foreverloyal.wordpress.com/) about the concrete steps that she's taken to enhance her relationship with a close friend.

It's really up to each one of us.

47 comments:

April said...

Khadijah: thanks for this.

I will say something about that friend of Evia's. I don't know about their situation and Evia seems perfectly lovely. However, I can say that some of us don't share ourselves with certain folks because we don't trust THEM. Perhaps that girl who kept mum didn't trust specifically, not generally. Perhaps she wasn't interested in sharing herself with Evia because their dynamic didn't allow for trust.

I have a friend who is EXTREMELY judgmental. I keep her at arm's length because she is older, harsher, more bitter. She also has good qualities: we work well together, she's great at what she does, and she's a trusty road companion. I've largely kept the interaction because my trusted friends are geographically remote and undergoing tough life challenges. She's often offended by my reticence and distance; I don't care. I'm torn about her and am sufficiently comfortable with the dissonance. IF she pushes me? I will end the relationship. My distance is my compromise.

BTW: I WOULD be there for her if she were in the hospital! That's the thing. I'd support her as she needed; I just don't want her in my life to that degree to allow her to support ME. That's for others who won't be judgmental.

This may be entirely consistent with what you've said. However, my childhood was more about safety, good adults, care, and protection than hers (poverty, difficulty, and the like). I was taught to be careful and not to tell everyone everything.

BTW: I love your tone here. I've read another BW empowerment blog and I was turned off by how that blogger practically gutted a supporter of President Obama who simply WONDERED why that blogger was so harsh in her assessment. NOT sisterly at all. I won't go back there.

Khadija said...

April,

Well, it gets back to one's definition of "friend" and "close friend." For me, somebody that I feel it's necessary to keep at arm's length is NOT a friend. They are an acquaintance.

Also, to me an actual friendship involves reciprocity: If I'm willing to be there for the person; but I'm unwilling to let them be there for me, then that is not reciprocity.

It gets back to how we define these relationships for ourselves.

You said, "BTW: I love your tone here. I've read another BW empowerment blog and I was turned off by how that blogger practically gutted a supporter of President Obama who simply WONDERED why that blogger was so harsh in her assessment. NOT sisterly at all. I won't go back there."

Thanks for the compliment! However, I CAN be "abrasive." LOL! Much of it is about personal taste. I will question people's beliefs, and the basis for their beliefs.

However, there are some things other than personal taste going on with some of what you're descrbing:

(1) Not everything that calls itself "BW's empowerment" is actually about BW's empowerment.
That phrase seems to have become a catch-all term for a variety of forums that are dedicated to a variety of things.

For example, just because a particular forum is discussing/advocating that AA women expand their marriage horizons by being open to interracial marriage, does NOT necessarily make that forum about "BW's empowerment."

SOME BF-IRR blogs are what I would consider to be about BW's empowerment. Some other BF-IRR blogs are simply about IRR. Being in an interracial relationship does NOT automatically equal "empowerment" for a AA woman. An IRR can be a bad one for a woman just like any other type of relationship. To me, AA women having the FREEDOM OF CHOICE to excercise the option of IR marriage is what represents BW's empowerment in that context.

(2) Even among those forums that are actually about BW's empowerment, there will always be differences of opinion. More importantly, there are always NUANCES to various issues.

(3) And then one must factor in individual human frailties. Just because a forum is helpful for ONE topic does NOT mean that it's helpful for ALL topics that impact AA women's lives.


For examples, a forum that is helpful in terms of generalized BW's issues might be pure poison in terms of issues specifically relating to AAs cultivating ethnic self-respect as AAs. A forum that is helpful in terms of AAs cultivating ethnic/racial self-respect might be pure poison in terms of addressing class issues. A forum that is supportive of those BW who have been cast to the bottom because they "flunk" the paper bag test might be pure poison in terms of addressing class or AA self-respect issues.

However, it takes DISCERNMENT to suss out what a particular forum's weaknesses are. And, just like every other human endeavor, every forum has its own unique weaknesses. This is only natural, and to be expected. I have my own weak spots here in terms of certain topics.

My biggest concern is that I DON'T see enough AA women using discernment in terms of these various forums that have been lumped under the title "BW's empowerment." Too many AA women lap up anything and everything that calls itself "empowerment." Whether it actually represents empowerment, or not.

I don't think that this can be directly addressed. I'm hoping to demonstrate critical thinking skills for the silent audience so they can then apply these skills to every idea they encounter. Including those ideas discussed by forums that have been referred to as "BW's empowerment blogs." This is the main reason for the Al-Walaa Wal Baraa series. I hope to spur some more CONSCIOUS, CRITICAL thought about how we assess things.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

Thank you Khadija for highlighting my comments about friendship in the money quote!

Re:

To me, AA women having the FREEDOM OF CHOICE to exercise the option of IR marriage is what represents BW's empowerment in that context.

Exactly, Khadija! Unfortunately many readers who read my blogs, for ex., have poor reading comprehension and/or they impose their ***issues*** on what I say and they then start arguing with themselves. I have NEVER advocated that AA women should only date and/or marry IR. Instead, I HAVE advocated that AA women should only mingle with and marry QUALITY men of whatever skin shade/race/culture, religion/place of origin. I myself was once married to a quality bm from an entirely different culture, religion, and place of origin, and if my current husband kicked me to the curb, I might marry another Quality bm or he might be a wm or . . . . LOL!

No matter what though, QUALITY is always going to be the KEY criterion with me. I feel empowered because I have choices, and I KNOW I can take advantage of my choices without asking for or getting anyone's permission or approval.

It IS all about CHOICES, so I'm glad that you highlighted that point. If a person only has 1 choice, they have NO choices(s) and IMO, they are not free in that particular area. Choices = empowerment.

One last addendum to Freda's situation was that it was ironic that Freda was born when her mom was almost 40. Her mother had been "careful" all of her life to avoid ending up an unwed mother. Yet, it still happened to her, so her mom was extremely bitter and distrustful--especially of other blacks.

I think the ingredients for friendship has just been wrung out of some people, yet they still want relationships or friendship because virtually no one wants to be totally disconnected, so they go through the motions, mimicking being a friend. It can really rob the other person involved. This is why I flag any questionable behavior in my relationships with my sisterfriends and they do the same with me. We talk a lot about this.

So, it's either going to be a sisterfriend (SF) relationship or I'm going to move it to the casual friend or acquaintance category and I will adjust what I give to that person. I give a lot so I expect to get a lot, and if a person can't reciprocate, I'm not going to allow them to coast along with me, benefiting from what I give, and waste my time.

Khadija said...

Evia,

You're welcome; and THANK YOU for providing yet another important Reader's Money Quote.

You said, "It IS all about CHOICES, so I'm glad that you highlighted that point. If a person only has 1 choice, they have NO choices(s) and IMO, they are not free in that particular area. Choices = empowerment."

Exactly. And if a woman finds herself choosing from among the scraps that other people have allotted for her, then she's NOT free! And this negative circumstance (of AA women choosing from among the scraps, and raking the cat litter for a man, etc.) is a large part of what you and other bloggers have been talking about.

Halima's latest post makes an excellent visual demonstration of the type of woman that Michael Jackson chose to be the MOTHER (White) of his children, versus the type of woman (Black) that he chose to burden as the MAMMY of his children. [I don't care for the "mammy" term, but it's PERFECTLY accurate in this context.] Halima is the blog host of Black Women's Interracial Relationship Circle.

The point is not about various men's color. The point is about how it's totally unnecessary for AA women to choose from among cast-off scraps or to rake the cat litter (by "man-sharing" and other such degrading craziness). When AA women open their eyes to the GLOBAL marketplace for marriage, then they don't have to be bothered with the "scraps" that various other people want to assign to them.

You said, "I think the ingredients for friendship has just been wrung out of some people, yet they still want relationships or friendship because virtually no one wants to be totally disconnected, so they go through the motions, mimicking being a friend."

Definitely. As AAs, we've got so many sick people among us that we've normalized what is really DEVIANT and ANTISOCIAL behavior. This madness that so many of us engage in regarding friendship is one example of this.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Karen said...

Khadija,

Again direct to the point. As with everything in life, a person has to first know who they are and then know what information out there is useful for their continued growth and development as a person.

For too many, there is a stagnation of personal development. For me personally, I know that my life is a continuous work in progress. I have improved many aspects of myself and my life.

At the same time there are "hard-wired" core aspects of my personality (along with my core values) that will not change. I ACCEPT that..

When I visit some of these blogs, I assess them based on whether I can contribute, learn something, or dismiss it either because it does not apply to my circumstances or provides no value at all.

To be able to do that is to again, know oneself and to apply critical thinking.

Based on my limited observations, I think there may be people who are unwilling to "DO THE WORK" to evaluate where they are, who they are and what they need to change/improve to better their lives if they are currently not happy in their situation.

There is NO FREE RIDE - there is always a price to be paid. I prefer to pay that price by learning and growing versus trying to take the "so-called" easy way out and thereby sacrificing peace of mind, health or personal safety.

I think there is a serious danger of the BW Empowerment bloggers being used as excuse for "Group Think". The BW Empowerment bloggers provide a valuable public service but they are not a replacement for a person to think and act for themselves in their best interests... At the end of the day, we all must take personal responsibilty for our choices and actions.

Nathifa said...

This is a great post. It got me thinking about who I consider a friend and why. After I looked at each person and thought about my interactions with them and I realized I have more acquaintances than friends. I have one friend. She is someone who I can count on and she can can count on me as well. We do live in different cities but we find time to get together during the summer and on holidays. She flies to my home and I fly to hers. We talk several times during the week. My acquaintances live in the same state and they never want to drive to my home I always go to there home. Everytime I invite them over there is a reason why they can't come. At first my feelings were hurt but I think I'm just realizing that I can't change other people and I have to accept them as they are but I have a choice on whether or not I want to be around them. I can chose when and how we interact. Some black women have trust issues. I'm willing to work through that but I'm realizing I have to draw a line somewhere and decide what I will tolerate and what I will not.

Khadija said...

Karen,

You said, "As with everything in life, a person has to first know who they are and then know what information out there is useful for their continued growth and development as a person. For too many, there is a stagnation of personal development."

Exactly. What I see is that most people keep doing the SAME things/thoughts/behaviors over and over again. Even when they're dissatisfied with the results that they're getting.

You said, "Based on my limited observations, I think there may be people who are unwilling to "DO THE WORK" to evaluate where they are, who they are and what they need to change/improve to better their lives if they are currently not happy in their situation."

Yes. People are displeased with the results that they're getting, so then they start looking for answers. But the search for answers is only on the surface. What most people really want is to get a different and better result without having to do anything different. This does NOT work. If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting. For good or bad.

You said, "I think there is a serious danger of the BW Empowerment bloggers being used as excuse for "Group Think". The BW Empowerment bloggers provide a valuable public service but they are not a replacement for a person to think and act for themselves in their best interests..."(emphasis added)

Yes, this is exactly the reason why I'm so skittish about providing reading lists, etc. I can already see from browsing various blogs that most people are NOT willing to change what they're doing. Instead, they turn any new idea presented to them into a slogan. They then take the hip, new, slogan/terminology and plug it into their SAME, OLD behaviors.

I've watched some readers do this with Evia's term of "vetting" men. They write to her seeking her approval of their involvement with men that they know are inappropriate for them. Instead of screening a man first, they get involved with an inappropriate man, and then claim that they "vetted" him.

Like you said, there's NO FREE RIDE.
_________________

Nathifa,

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

You said, "Some black women have trust issues."

It seems to me that MANY (if not most) AA women have deep-seated trust issues.

I can't repeat this enough: Esmin Green, Esmin Green, Esmin Green, Esmin Green. I hope people are taking the time to read the blog essay that I linked to that discusses her death. Alone. After coming to the hospital. Alone. ALONE, despite being a member of a church congregation, and having (biological) relatives that she was financially supporting.

And I'll add the name of Banita Jacks. Living ALONE for months with the decomposed bodies of her children (that she murdered). ALONE with NOBODY checking on her OR her kids. Despite the fact that there were at least 2 separate baby daddies who donated sperm to produce these children. Living ALONE with the decaying bodies of her children despite having various (biological) relatives that lived in the area.


Unlike BW from some other ethnic groups, AA women generally DON'T have stable families to draw real support from. The AA family has become a shell of its former self. As I said in Part 2 of True Fellowship, there are MANY AA "families" that only sit down together at the same time to share a meal during Thanksgiving and funeral repasts!

When AA women fail to build true fellowships, they increase their personal odds of ending up like Esmin Green. Or Banita Jacks. Or countless other BW who cracked under the pressure of not having anybody watching their backs.

God respects free will; and so do I. Whether they have trust issues or not, I'm just sounding the alarm for those women who have never seriously considered the implications of not bothering to develop any true friends.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

JS said...

Fellowship is very important and something that I have been seriously lacking perhaps my entire life. In my childhood, I had “friends” at school but we rarely if ever interacted after school. I went to a private Catholic school for fifth grade and was unprepared emotionally for the classism and racism I encountered. I went from being a child who was quiet but knew how interact properly and had average self-esteem to a distant, shy, and very emotionally untrusting adolescent. I also believe that growing up I suffered some slight emotional abuse from other family members. My mother’s inability to form lasting close relationships with others has also affected my ability to form relationships. My mother can be very judgmental due to her religious beliefs. She also has trust issues that I believe stem from an abusive childhood and unfortunate dealings with “friends” as an adult. Combine that with a condition I was diagnosed with in my late teens that can affect my mood and you have the recipe for a socially maladjusted individual.

I know that it is not normal to not have any close friends or even casual acquaintances I can call to go out with. I want to change and have been making baby steps towards social normality. I met a young woman in my age group recently who I’ve been exercising with. I did meet her through my mother though. I want to forge a relationship but I am afraid that something will go wrong. If a change is going to occur, I know that I must force myself out of my comfort zone and stop engaging in behaviors that are preventing me from forming close relationships.

Khadija said...

JS,

I appreciate your candor. Too many of us hide too far behind "got it going on" shells when we need to be able to brainstorm ideas. It can be useful to have a shell in a hostile world. I also understand how sometimes it's much more comfy to retreat, and hide in one's shell.

I understand the dynamic with hiding from things: The longer one hides, the more one loses confidence in one's abilities, and the harder it gets to jump back into whatever it is that one is hiding from. This applies across the board. From interacting with people to make new friends. To dating. To how nervous some lawyers get the longer they go without doing a trial (since the last one).

But sometimes it's worthwhile to poke one's head outside the shell for a minute. And look around. And maybe reach out to the nearby "turtles" who look like they might be reasonable.

You said, "I want to forge a relationship but I am afraid that something will go wrong."

Let me put it this way: As far as I'm concerned, something has ALREADY gone wrong when one doesn't have any close friends.

Something that needs to be rectified. Rectifying this sort of situation will take time; it can't be solved overnight. But it CAN be done. As long as one is willing to TAKE the baby steps needed to do it.


It'll take time to sift through (and step around) the large numbers of user-type BW to find the few gems that are among us. Frankly, there are LOT of AA women who are sick, foul and user-types regarding other women. The same way there are a LOT of b**chy AA males. This is because we have a lot of improperly raised, improperly socialized AAs who are incapable of sustaining healthy relationships of any kind with anybody.

I believe that baby steps are a VERY good thing when sifting through people. One mistake that many AA women make is sharing waaay too much intimate information waaay too soon in their interactions with people. And then they're disappointed when (foul) people use this volunteered information against them.

It's best to start with baby steps. It doesn't take that much to invite somebody to have lunch. Or participate in some other light-weight shared activity.

It seems to me that as long as you don't put yourself in any sort of danger (including the emotional danger of sharing too much information too soon), you don't have anything to lose by reaching out.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,


Your posts have been amazing as usual.


I have known someone for about a month that I am interested in cultivating as a "sisterfriend". I have only talked to her twice, but it was the second conversation that really got my interest. I like the fact that she has an advanced degree and I think the may be BB middle class.


But the thing that really piqued my interest was that in our second conversation - she broke down everything that you have been saying on this blog inside of 30 minutes. I was floored.


She spoke about

1. Blacks being anti education

2. embracing mediocrity

3. she even alluded to "crossover negro politicians™" she didn't call them that, but she commented that black politicians are "afraid to stand up for blacks and black interests and they shouldn't be because all other groups are looking out for theirs"

4. she talked about how whites here are ok with electing negro mayors and council people and such bc those blacks will then turn around and appoint whites - to the positions that control the money


5. She alluded to refugees who clog up the path- in her words people who "get theirs" and then block others.


6. She told me about how people are picked - the same as you did on your blog - who are incompetent or who have "skeletons in their closet" and then discarded


7. She even talked about the "haterism" as you mentioned here she has had to endure from the black people she "helps" and she was angry that they will act a nutcase on her, but are afraid to do the minimum to hold whites in similar positions accountable


8. she talked about the lack of critical thinking skills among the blacks here




And then when I heard all that she endured with no support from the negro/refugees around her just to get simple things accomplished I was overwhelmed.


And when she got finished dropping knowledge and telling me all the in and outs of how things worked in this place politically and where the money was going and who was doing what both Black and White - I felt so dirty I wanted to soak in a hot tub of clorox.




At any rate she is straight old school and has a lot of AA pride. The way she speaks it feels like she leans more towards dominance vs equality - which reminded me of Rev Lisa.

She is in politics and I get the impression that she is worn and burned out. She lamented that the things she was dealing with as a young woman are still happening and some have even worsened now that she is an elder. And I thought about what you said here- when people like her die off - then what?



I haven't figured whether or not she is a total race woman or if she has pro-BW leanings yet. But I was just so amazed and excited to meet someone who had the common sense shown here. She apologized for "unloading on me", but I didn't mind, because I learned so much...


If she is not as pro-BW as I am comfortable with she still could be a major ally.

Aphrodite said...

Hello JS

I have anxiety about meeting people all the time. I am introverted and a bit shy myself. I can also be very self critical.

I know that you said that you had a condition and endured some emotional abuse so I can understand how this can make you unsure of yourself - but none of that was about you. You can move forward.



I think what Khadija said was key: "It'll take time to sift through (and step around) the large numbers of user-type BW to find the few gems that are among us."


And when you meet a hard rock instead you have to know that it is not about you. Hopefully you can vet and determine this as early on as possible.

Aphrodite said...

"I believe that baby steps are a VERY good thing when sifting through people. One mistake that many AA women make is sharing waaay too much intimate information waaay too soon in their interactions with people. And then they're disappointed when (foul) people use this volunteered information against them."


I had to learn this the hard way.

Karen said...

I just read about Esmin Green and it is upsetting on so many levels. Most of all though is that not one single person from her congregation stepped up to the plate and went with her to the hospital. That speaks volumes concerning the people in this "house of God" not walking the talk. Not one single person "inconvenienced" themself. I am a part of society and I cannot imagine not helping someone in a crisis and this woman was clearly having a mental and physical crisis.

When my spouse had to have surgery, I was right there with him and did not leave until he was concious again, I made sure I understood the procedure, the medciation and the expected outcomes along with the associated/potential risks. The nurses and the doctor jokingly said that I was making sure that no mistakes would be made and I said "there is no joke here" I AM HERE to make sure no mistakes are made.

Hospitals are full of the same people you see in all walks of life. They know who they can ignore or give substandard services and who to be accountable to either because they have money or because they are keeping tabs on what they do. The Esmin Greens of this world, need to have such people in their lives... they are called FRIENDS.

Khadija said...

Aphrodite,

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

I'll say this about your acquaintance: BABY STEPS. Although, she sounds promising. And, from what you've described, you two already have enough shared topics of interest to last through many lunches and dinners. *Smile*

I'm thankful for the good advice you gave to JS. You said, "And when you meet a hard rock instead you have to know that it is not about you. Hopefully you can vet and determine this as early on as possible."

This can't be emphasized enough. I dare say MOST AAs are poorly socialized users, nuts, etc. at this point. And I see that it's getting even worse with younger generations because these are people who never played together with large groups of other children when they were small.

This is yet another hidden cost of the Gameboy/Xbox generation---there are a bunch of young people who never learned how to share, how to take turns, how to cooperate, or how to get along (at least on the surface) with various other people with various personalities.

We now have several generations of Black people who never played outside with large groups of children. Who never experienced the endless summer days of playing outside non-stop from early in the morning until sunset at around 8:30 p.m.

Who never experienced only coming in the house during those days to drink some water and go to the bathroom---and then right back outside to get back to the game.

To:
-ride bikes together,
-to jump rope,
-to play dodgeball,
-Simon Says,
-hide and seek,
-"Chinese" jump rope (with long "ropes" of rubber bands tied together),
-"off the wall," etc.

Or to just run up and down the block in large crowds of children.

One of the dads on my block used to make homemade ice cream for all the children on the block once a week during the summer.

I realized just how many socialization lessons I learned by regularly playing with all the other girls on my block when I was small. I realized just how many socialization lessons guys in my age group learned during endless summer days of playing catch-ball or "off-the-wall" with large groups of other boys when they were small.

And what I find creepiest of all is that there are now generations of AAs who don't even know any better.

Khadija said...

Part 2

Karen,

You said, "I just read about Esmin Green and it is upsetting on so many levels. Most of all though is that not one single person from her congregation stepped up to the plate and went with her to the hospital. That speaks volumes concerning the people in this "house of God" not walking the talk. Not one single person "inconvenienced" themself. I am a part of society and I cannot imagine not helping someone in a crisis and this woman was clearly having a mental and physical crisis."

This is another price of having poorly socialized people. They tend to do BARBARIC things; such as totally ignoring somebody who's clearly in extreme distress.

I was also annoyed by many of the blog discussions I read about Esmin Green. When are Black folks going to get it through their heads that government and private businesses CANNOT replicate the functions of true friends and true family?

Of course, I'm outraged by the hospital personnel in that case. However, I'm even angrier at the crowd of people in her personal life that literally ignored her to death. And then these people had the gall to weep and wail at her funeral! Of course, the parasite-relatives are suing and looking to get paid off of her demise.

You said, "Hospitals are full of the same people you see in all walks of life. They know who they can ignore or give substandard services and who to be accountable to either because they have money or because they are keeping tabs on what they do. The Esmin Greens of this world, need to have such people in their lives... they are called FRIENDS."

Oh yes. Hospitals can tell which patients have people who care about them (= not safe to screw these patients over because somebody who cares about them will retaliate in some way); and which patients have NOBODY who cares about them (= safe to screw over because there's nobody who'll retaliate).

I saw how nervous the hospital staff were when my relatives and I maintained a CONSTANT, CROWDED presence in my aunt's hospital room.

They got the signal that was being communicated by our ongoing presence. Not to mention that another aunt is a retired nurse who had plenty of detailed questions for the doctors...It also came up in "casual" conversation with the cleaning staff that I was an attorney...They caught the hint.

[For those who read Part 1 of True Fellowship, let me clarify what happened. Some of my relatives were actually pretty good when my aunt was in the hospital. It was when the hospital sent her home to die that almost all of them started drifting away and acting flaky.]

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

All of which is not to say that my childhood was "ideal." There were still real-life issues at play.

For example, the dad who made the ice cream during summer Saturdays had a LOT to deal with. For one thing, his elderly mother (who lived with him and his family) had what we now identify as Alzheimer's. She would wander off quite frequently.

And the children on the block would join the search for her. I recall riding our bikes as a group to neighboring blocks while searching for her. The Let's Find Mrs. ___________ Bike Rides happened many times.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

energize said...

First of all Khadija, thanks for this amazing blog.

This is such a wonderful topic. Finding those real sisterfriends is not easy. When I thought I found a few, I started getting bad feelings of competition or jealousy from them or as you mentioned in your post, they would find a man and disappear into oblivion only to resurface when they were emotionally destroyed and needed a sounding board. I have lived in several neighborhoods and have made numerous efforts to befriend other single or single parent bw. I must admit it is difficult. I introduce myself, offer to exercise with them, even offer information about the neighborhood. At the least, we could keep an eye out for each others children, homes or if an emergency came up, there would be a safe place for children to stay. The friendship is rarely reciprocated. When they see me, they will hardly wave. They come home from work close the door or garage and you never see them again until they are going to work or church. This leaves bw at such a disadvantage.

Khadija said...

Energize,

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

You said, "This is such a wonderful topic. Finding those real sisterfriends is not easy. When I thought I found a few, I started getting bad feelings of competition or jealousy from them..."

I...hate...that sort of behavior. At first, I was confused as a teenager when I began to clue into that dynamic. Now, I'm just disgusted with it.

I don't know how it came to be that these nuts concluded that life is always a zero-sum game (where more for somebody else equals less for them). And I just don't care enough about them to try to untangle their distorted thinking. To me, these types of women are simply biohazards to be avoided.

You said, "...or as you mentioned in your post, they would find a man and disappear into oblivion only to resurface when they were emotionally destroyed and needed a sounding board."

Yep, and I have NO sympathy for those types of women. I won't let them cry on my shoulder---they need to hurry up, get some pep in their step, and find themselves another "piece of a man."

Here's the deal about most AA women:

People can be oppressed and exploited AND yucky people all at the same time! In this context, this means that AA women are exploited and oppressed by BM AND are mostly poorly-socialized, yucky people. The same way AAs are exploited and oppressed AND are mostly poorly-socialized, yucky people.

Bottom Line: Even though most AA women are doormats for BM, these same women mostly want to PIMP and USE other BW!

Let me say out loud some of the "cavewoman," PRIMAL thoughts I have about this mass attempted pimping of other women by AA women. Since I REFUSE to be pimped by men...including men I've had sexual relationships with...there is NO way on God's green Earth that I would EVER allow myself to be pimped by another woman! It's just not happening. And when I see that pimping is another woman's agenda for me, then I quickly change the channel and drop that chick out of my social life. Period. I don't care what her problem is.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

rainebeaux said...

Khadija...just wow.

Like Aphrodite, I had to learn the hard way to not volunteer personal information and keep my mouth shut. I have only told one person of my escape plan because she understands. As for mom, my 'bff' of nearly 25 years and the co-parent, I can forget about even hinting at such plans. I don't want the nagging/naysaying, the "take me with you" malarkey or the "you could/should move to (insert adjacent Midwestern state here) for section 8" spiel. It's an uphill struggle to say the least, but I'm working on it. I feel alone for the above reasons...that, and I just know I don't have to pay anybody/everybody to encourage reciprocity.

GADZOOKS. What happened to us? (I already know and have almost seen it all, but still.)

Sister Seeking, Miriam said...

Salaam Khadija,
Thank you for yet another outstanding essay! Also thank you Evia for sharing.

The case about the woman dying alone is horrible, and frightening.
Salaam

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,

You are right...baby steps.



@ energize
"they would find a man and disappear into oblivion only to resurface when they were emotionally destroyed and needed a sounding board."


I have had two women to do that to me and I cut them off immediately. I don't play that game. The first time it happened I was hurt bc I didn't get what was going on. I kept thinking I offended her.




"When I thought I found a few, I started getting bad feelings of competition or jealousy from them"


I have sensed this, but only form men or when I used to deal with BM. I still don't get it. What happened to interdependence?

Southland Diva said...

I recently had a short stay (a day and a half) in the hospital. My mother was there from the early a.m. the day of the surgery until late p.m. the day of the surgery. She wanted to make sure the anesthesia had worn off and that I was lucid and not in pain. I had one of my best friends stop by early the next day and others calling and planning to come by. Luckily, I was out by early afternoon the day after surgery.

The nursing staff treated me with great kindness and attention (they kept waking me up to check temp and bp all night long!!!lol) which I believe was due in part to my mother's presence (she's a nurse). Also, I made it a point to be positive and friendly with the nurses and other hospital staff. I smiled and thanked them for their attention/efforts. What I got in return was really superior service!!

I have heard more than once recently how a good friendship often lasts longer than a lot of marriages (esp. where the relationship was not built on friendship). Women ignore true friendship with other women (or men for that matter) at their peril. True friendship is reciprocal, based on shared values, and a similar outlook on life. If you continually draw negative people to you, you must change your thought patterns and behaviors! The people around you serve as a mirror. Do you like what you see?

I have a rainbow community of best friends(sisterfriends), good friends, and acquaintances. My best friend circle is very small. My good friend circle only slightly larger. As I have matured, I realize it is not the number of friends you have that matters, rather, it is the quality of the friendships you have that matters.

Peace

Khadija said...

Rainebeaux,

Yeah, a disgusted "wow" pretty much sums it up. What I find amazing is that most AAs don't see the connection between having a majority of our people who are poorly-socialized users and/or nuts and the various "official" pathologies that are rampant among us.

All the things that are besetting our people from within were only able to take root because of our lack of positive connections to each other.
___________________________

SisterSeeking/Miriam,

Wa Alaikum As Salaam!

You're welcome; and thank YOU for your kind words about the post. I truly appreciate it.

Yes, the facts of Esmin Greene's death ARE terrible and horrifying. AA women better recognize! This sort of thing can happen to THEM in their hour of need, unless they build some "insurance" for themselves by developing some true friends.

Khadija said...

Part 2

SouthlandDiva,

You said, "I have heard more than once recently how a good friendship often lasts longer than a lot of marriages (esp. where the relationship was not built on friendship). Women ignore true friendship with other women (or men for that matter) at their peril."

Correct!

You said, "If you continually draw negative people to you, you must change your thought patterns and behaviors! The people around you serve as a mirror. Do you like what you see?"

I believe that this sort of thing is true in one sense and untrue in another sense. This is where I part company with "law of attraction" type ideology. It tends to ignore the existence of oppression and true evil; with an inclination toward victim-blaming.

I've mentioned this before, but it wouldn't make any sense for slaves on a plantation, prisoners in a concentration camp, or African women in mass-rape societies like the Congo to ponder questions such as:

"How did I 'attract' the slave owner/Nazi guard/rebel soldier-rapist into my life?"

"How can I 'attract' freedom into my life?"

"Are the Nazi concentration camp guards/slave owners/rebel soldier-rapists a 'mirror' or reflection of who I am?"


or any other such esoteric inquiries.

I believe that there are a disproportionate number of objectively FOUL people among AAs (this is what I mean when I say "yucky"). I believe that this disproportionate (and ever-rising) number of foul AAs is in large part the result of interlocking measurable pathologies. Pathologies such as the ones that have become ENTRENCHED among AAs, like:

1-The absence of marriage.

2-Which means the absence of 2-parent parenting.

3-Which means MASS fatherlessness.

4-Which means THE MASSES never having seen what a husband/father does up close and personal.

5-Which means THE MASSES never having observed adult male friendships up close.

6-Which means THE MASSES never having seen a healthy marriage up close and personal.

7-Which means extra (and often extreme) stress on the MASSES of BW who are left to parent alone.

8-Which leads to increased MASS likeliness of the BF single parent allowing the tv and Gameboy to babysit their children.

9-Which leads to MASSES of poorly-socialized, yucky, AA children who never learned how to share, cooperate with peers, etc.

10-MASS single parenting means the normalization of "tele-parenting" and weekend-only parenting by sperm donors.

11-Which means MASSES OF AAs who are raised with strange ideas about parenting, etc.

12-Which means NOT being able to trust THE MASSES of random AAs in terms of letting one's child play with their child.

13-Which means ENTIRE blocks composed of single BF mothers.

14-Which means less cohesion as a block.

15-Which means THE MASSES OF poorly-socialized AA children won't face intervention of any sort by other parents on the block.

16-Which means that THE MASSES OF poorly-socialized, yucky, AA children are more free to grow up to be yucky AA adults.

All of which adds up to poorly-socialized, dysfunctional SAVAGES who form the MASSES of the AA collective at this point.

You see, I don't believe that "law of attraction" stuff works in situations that are sufficiently bizarre, far-gone, or EVIL. To me, that stuff only works within the context of a reasonably healthy environment.

What currently exists within the vast majority of AA biological "families," residential areas, and other social circles is NOT reasonably healthy. The norm among us has become a DEPRAVED, EVIL one. This is what I meant when I said (in Part 1 of the All Colored Folks Who Want To Go To Kansas... series) that the AA "community" is FILLED with Satanic strongholds!


Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymous said...

Hi Khadijah,
I've been lurking for a while and I love how analytically you break everything down. I've been reading bw interracial/empowerment blogs for a while and although they speak to me in many ways because I have a white husband I've noticed that many (not yours in particular) have an anti-ww bias. This is not a good strategy if you want to marry interracially. When I decided a few years ago to concentrate on finding a husband I made a lot of friends of all races, and my white and Hispanic girlfriends introduced me to a lot of non-black men. I met my husband at my white girlfriend's house and I never would have met him otherwise.

Also your white boyfriend will probably have white women in his social circle and most men prefer to marry women who get along with their friends. Some men do marry women that don't get along with their friends but it's never a plus.

Finally if you marry a white man you'll have a white mother-in-law and (probably) white sisters-in-law. Fuming (if only inwardly) towards your in-laws will cause needless problems in your marriage and could well end up causing a divorce. Resentment towards white people who aren't themselves racist is not something that white men, even ones interested in marrying black women, like. Again he might put up with it if he's head over heels in love with you but in most cases he'll choose a black woman who doesn't have those issues.

I love bw and I am very pro-bw. I have a sisterfriend that I grew up from infancy with and will be my sisterfriend for life, but shedding the rest of my black girlfriends was the best thing I ever did. They twisted themselves into pretzels to accomodate bm who just wanted a piece and tried to convince me that no wm would ever want me. I've made a new connection with a bw who has a Latino husband and it's nice to have more bw friends. But hating on ww is a relic from the dysfunctional bc where women scratch each other's eyes out for the few available bm. I think that we need to give up that bad attitude when we expand our dating pool because bitterness is not only bad for your soul but unattractive to men. I have a great relationship with my sister-in-law and it really increases the family bonds and socialization that I want my children to have. And if there's a little initial hesitation on the part of your mother-in-law (as there was with mine) having her daughter love you will help to melt it. My MIL and I now get along great and she's even become friends with my mother!

Khadija said...

Anonymous,

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

Well, I agree in part, and disagree in part with your comment.

You said, "I've been reading bw interracial/empowerment blogs for a while and although they speak to me in many ways because I have a white husband I've noticed that many (not yours in particular) have an anti-ww bias. This is not a good strategy if you want to marry interracially."

I agree to the extent that I've also noticed that many of the commenters on these blogs are quite preoccupied with tearing down WW. Or, as some of them have put it, seeing WW "snatched off of their pedestals."

I've always been uncomfortable with this posture. For several reasons. First of all...it's unseemly. As AA women, we have our own "crowns" and charms that have NOTHING to do with tearing down other women. We don't need to tear down non-Black women in order for our inherent beauty to be recognized.

Like I said, I find that "snatch them off their pedestal" posture to be unseemly. It reminds me of how Tonya Harding apparently felt that the ONLY way she could win was by having Nancy Kerrigan physically wounded. This "snatch them off their pedestal" posture makes AA women seem like a group of Tonya Hardings. Like women who can only win if another woman loses.

Coming off like Tonya Harding is NOT a good look.

You said, "I love bw and I am very pro-bw. I have a sisterfriend that I grew up from infancy with and will be my sisterfriend for life, but shedding the rest of my black girlfriends was the best thing I ever did. They twisted themselves into pretzels to accomodate bm who just wanted a piece and tried to convince me that no wm would ever want me."

I only love and care about mentally healthy AA women with "old school" values. The rest of them can bounce.

I agree that AA women who want to THRIVE (and not just survive) will probably have to drop most of their current AA female acquaintances. As I said earlier, the AA collective is now mostly composed of poorly-socialized, dysfunctional, toxic people. Toxic people who will do whatever they can to discourage and sabotage AA women who want to thrive. Crabs in a barrel.

Khadija said...

Part 2

You said, "But hating on ww is a relic from the dysfunctional bc where women scratch each other's eyes out for the few available bm."

This is a CRITICAL point that AA women need to understand. We need to start responding to people based on their actions, and not their ethnicities, color, etc.


For example, I strongly dislike so-called biracial/multicultural/Cablanasian "hairflippers." But it's not because they're so-called "biracial," etc. It's because such people are OPPRESSORS who are busy breaking AA women's spirits. I don't dislike Kimora Lee Simmons because she's half Asian. I dislike her because of her stated negative, demeaning attitudes about BW. I dislike her because she works very hard to demean BW and break their spirits. THAT BEHAVIOR of hers is the source of my animosity toward her (and other creatures like her).

You said, "I think that we need to give up that bad attitude when we expand our dating pool because bitterness is not only bad for your soul but unattractive to men."

This is a very practical point. Bitterness is NOT a good look.

Now here's the part where I disagree. Your comment reads to me as if you might have a somewhat Pollyanna view of non-Black women. You're not acknowledging that there are PLENTY of Beckys, Lupes, JLos, Ming Lees, and Fatimas who DON'T want to see BW married to quality Brads, Joses, Hectors, Jin Daes, and Alis!

There are also a large segment of non-Black women who are only comfortable with BW being in a subordinate, asexual (= non-glamorous, and not found attractive by Brad, etc.) role.

A lot of these chicks don't like it at all when they see Brad, etc. responding to BW as attractive women. It upsets their world view; which is based on having BW firmly entrenched in the "m-word" (picture Aunt Jemima) role.

Many of these women don't like it at all when AA women are viewed as attractive and glamorous; and many of them will try to sabotage Brad's etc. respectful, attentive interactions with AA women.

So, yes, we should treat people based on their actions. But AA women should also keep their eyes open for possible racist hateration and interference from Becky, Lupe, JLo, Ming Lee and Fatima.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

I've been reading bw interracial/empowerment blogs for a while and although they speak to me in many ways because I have a white husband I've noticed that many (not yours in particular) have an anti-ww bias.

IMO, this anti-ww bias is SO unflattering and counterproductive for bw. I've campaigned against it on my blog and in my comments on other blogs.

I've always made it a point to never blame ww or any non-bw for any of the bm "leaving home" nonsense, because no other woman can convince a man who's worthwhile to "leave home." I've known this since the time I was a young girl and would witness other girls/women squabbling and fighting over a worthless boy/man.

I've also pointed out numerous times that I do NOT blame ww/light women at all when AA men choose them. A woman cannot help it if a man prefers her. My husband obviously prefers me and that's not my fault. WW are just taking advantage of bm's white-skin adoration and the bm's feelings of inadequacy when he compares himself to wm. If I were a ww, I would capitalize on that too and get everything I could. LOL! Ww are just using their "skin" card with the men who value it just the way AA women should be using their good cards with the men who are willing to SHOW them that they want them.

I've always known that enough men would want me because I was never indoctrinated to focus on bm ONLY. Therefore, I never wasted time on bm or any man who didn't SHOW me that he knew how to treat me.

Being antagonistic towards an individual ww who has done something unethical or vile to you is one thing, but being antagonistic towards a whole group of them simply because bm adore them is not rational to me and more importantly, it's a FAILING strategy.

Southland Diva said...

My comment addresses situations where one is in a safe environment.

I agree one cannot attract freedom or human rights when one is enslaved or oppressed, there are situations such as slavery, concentration camps(pick a continent), and oppressive regimes(again, pick a continent) where no matter what you are doing, positive or negative, insanity can be visited upon you. Laws of attraction and basic human decency are abandoned.

Even in safe environments some negative, dbr males are attracted to positive women. When approached by these negative males, women have a choice; either entertain or dismiss.

Peace

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Re. tearing down women of other backgrounds:

All too often, legitimate criticism is silenced by the "tearing down" metaphor.

There is a difference between "tearing down" and recognizing the prejudice that aims to put down black women, whether it comes from men of whatever background or whether it comes from women of non-black backgrounds.

All too often, non-black women have been able to hide their racism and act as though there is no such thing, and that myth needs to be shattered, as Khadija said, there are plenty of non-black women who are incredibly racist and who are royally pissed off to see acceptable non-black men of their group with black women. Thus, they and their black male allies are eager to attack black women with non-black men.

A typical example that one can see all the time--a black man with a white woman in public will give the "side eye" to a black woman with a white man, and his white female partner will join him in doing so!

Anonymous said...

"You're not acknowledging that there are PLENTY of Beckys, Lupes, JLos, Ming Lees, and Fatimas who DON'T want to see BW married to quality Brads, Joses, Hectors, Jin Daes, and Alis!"

I've seen that. I broke up with a Mexican because he wouldn't acknowledge that a Mexican female friend of his didn't like me because she didn't want to see him with a black woman. I don't like it one bit but if non-racist white, Asian and Hispanic men are acceptable as husbands non-racist white, Asian and Hispanic women should be acceptable as friends. Everyone needs friends and you're going to make a life for yourself outside of the black community hating on white (and other) women will make life harder.

Southland Diva,
White women who date black men can be a mixed bag. White women who marry black men and don't get pregnant until after the wedding are usually fine but white women who have OOW kids with black men or date black men exclusively are almost universally low-class and don't make good friends. But the scenario you describe is more a testament to the kind of white woman DBRBMs can attract than to the dominant mentality among white women. I've had white friends tell me how embarrassed they are when black men ask for their number in the grocery store or how shocked they are by how viciously insulting black men are to black women. White women who are too dumb to notice these things or too insecure to be repelled by them are the best these losers can do, which is why black women are too good for them.

Khadija said...

Anonymous,

You said, "Everyone needs friends and you're going to make a life for yourself outside of the black community hating on white (and other) women will make life harder."

Nobody who's commented so far has advocated "hating on White (and other) women." I know that I never advocated that.

What I am saying is that AA women have to keep their eyes open. And not wander out into other environments blindly assuming that everything is cool. Sometimes it is; sometimes it's not. And sometimes there are people in whatever environments we're in who are trying to sabotage us. It's similar to the mental awareness that I was referring to in the "Racial Discipline" post.

AA women CAN'T afford to be naive about the dynamics of ANY setting. The stakes are just too high to wander around anywhere oblivious to what might be going on. Now, I'm not saying that this is what you or anybody else who has commented was advocating. I try to be careful to mention ALL of the angles to the various situations that I discuss.

AA women need to be aware of the potential pitfalls of various settings.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Information on dying towns and cities--these articles identify common themes that such communities share:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0405/feature1/fulltext.html

http://www.forbes.com/2008/12/08/towns-ten-economy-forbeslife-cx_mw_1209dying.html

Khadija said...

PioneerValleyWoman,

Thanks for the info!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Ifetayo said...

Aphrodite,

It took me a while to harmonize the different ideologies of equality and dominance. My take:

We are all equal in the eyes of God.

Aim to dominate in the eyes of (wo)man.

Aphrodite said...

Thank you Ifetayo.

ak said...

Khadija to be honest. I souned a lot like m'Freda' Evia's friend in college just from that description alone. It's like I eerily have doppelganger. Freda's familial and environmental sounds so much like mine it's not funny. But thank God I was never molested as a child.

Khadija said...

AK,

Onward and forward!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

What I am saying is that AA women have to keep their eyes open. And not wander out into other environments blindly assuming that everything is cool. Sometimes it is; sometimes it's not. And sometimes there are people in whatever environments we're in who are trying to sabotage us. It's similar to the mental awareness that I was referring to in the "Racial Discipline" post.

Khadija, this goes back to notions of "ALL or NONE" that some AAs tend to want to cling to, and the seeming inability of some AAs to realize that most of life operates in the middle and is very nuanced. It is a lot easier to think,for ex., that ALL people are a certain way or that NONE of them are, but that's NOT the way life actually is. There's barely anything about life that is an absolute. AA women MUST learn to navigate nuances.

Also, due to the fragmentation of AAs, over time many tried-and-true tips or much valuable knowledge has been lost and isn't getting passed down or passed around among AAs the way it occurs in other groups and the way it used to occur among AAs. This is a MAJOR loss for a typical younger AA woman because in many cases these days, she has to start at square 1, whereas her white, Asian, or African counterpart can start at square 292.

I was listening to testimonies at church on Sunday and I noticed that the bulk of the AA women who gave testimonies didn't wake up until they were in their late 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s!! So they stood there talking about how they're now insisting on respect in their social lives and are trying to start college or go back to college! This is fine, but they've already lost SO MUCH time.

I'm so happy that I was forced to listen when I was a very young person! Lawdy! I hear folks saying "You shouldn't make your kids do this or that," but 'children are children.' DUH! Why would any adult with common sense expect for a CHILD to know what's best for them??

Anyway, I constantly compare the way AAs function with each other to the ways that other people function with people in their own group. Knowledge-holders in these other groups provide the info to the less-knowledgeable ones of them and those in the latter group reciprocate in various ways.

This is yet another social indicator as to why so many AAs are struggling, collapsing and are actually, in general, NO competition when trying to compete against other groups for the better resources. Other groups are ORGANIZED, whether loosely or formally, even though these threads and networks may not be visible.

We live in the Information Age, but AAs do not have vehicles to carry the information to each other and many AAs haven't learned to reciprocate in return for getting vital info.

Evia said...

Part 2

The social world is increasingly sophisticated and NUANCED. Some people in ALL groups are going to like you and some aren't. Some of the ones who don't like you--for whatever reason--are going to act out that dislike. So of course, SOME of them going to try to sabotage. This is simply human nature. AA women need to court allies in ALL groups and both genders. You don't have to be likeminded with or totally in sync with someone or even like them much in order to have them as an ally. We need people for many different reasons in our lives. I think AA women MUST go across those ethnic and racial lines for allies because unfortunately lots of AAs do not know how to be friends or allies.

Also, I think that AA women need to sometimes be much less direct in ***certain situations*** in what they say and do because it leaves them little "wiggle room." The idea is to be more subtle in order to increase that 'wiggle room,' if and when it's needed.

Some AA women trap themselves with their mouths with the first statements out of their mouths! In other words, there's a lot to be gained from learning how to talk like a diplomat or talk without saying anything that can be used against you. LOL! What's the point in giving others ammunition to use against you? Why create hostile others for no reason?

I am direct online ON PURPOSE, and I can be very direct in certain situations in my offline life because I'm already secure in critical ways. Many AA women CANNOT afford to run off at the mouth, however. Also, I've noticed that many AA women are very quiet when they ought to be talking. This is just indication of their anti-bw indoctrination.

I think MANY AA women have been indoctrinated by the church and church teachings to 'love thy neighbor' and 'be your brother's keeper' LITERALLY. They want to love everybody, save folks, and to get everybody to like/love them. Are AA women the only Christians on earth? I say this because I notice that MOST other folks who say they're Christians or "saved" apparently have and practice a very different interpretation of those scriptures.

Much of what AA girls and women are being fed that is supposedly coming from the Bible is nothing more than "AA-Woman INDOCTRINATION." That's what's involved in many of the black churches these days. Many of the teaching's lay heavy emphasis on "giving selflessly." LOL! I was in church on Sunday and the minister actually said that people (85% women in the church) must give without expecting anything back.

SMH--It keeps morphing, but it's still the same anti-bw teachings, and most bw go to church, in part, because it's the ONLY support system or the most workable support system they have.

Khadija said...

Evia,

You said, "Khadija, this goes back to notions of "ALL or NONE" that some AAs tend to want to cling to, and the seeming inability of some AAs to realize that most of life operates in the middle and is very nuanced."

Yes, I find it scary to see just how primitive and childlike many of our thought processes are. I don't understand how so many AAs get to (physical) adulthood without understand that life is filled with ever-shifting "shades of gray."

You said, "Also, due to the fragmentation of AAs, over time many tried-and-true tips or much valuable knowledge has been lost and isn't getting passed down or passed around among AAs the way it occurs in other groups and the way it used to occur among AAs. This is a MAJOR loss for a typical younger AA woman because in many cases these days, she has to start at square 1, whereas her white, Asian, or African counterpart can start at square 292."

Well, as you've noted: (1) the information isn't being disseminated; (2) many times when people DO try to tell folks stuff, modern AAs refuse to listen; and (3) many times modern AAs who do listen REFUSE to reciprocate---they just want to take and take and take from the speaker.

Standard AA Situation #3 above is the reason why I stopped being helpful with the less senior AAs at work. I was irritated enough to actually come out and tell a couple of individuals, "For future reference, it would be better for you if you learned how to help the people who help YOU." This was in response to their observations (subtle whinings) that I wasn't being very responsive to their questions.

One fool told me that it didn't occur to her that there was anything she could do for a senior coworker. I told her that obviously she didn't understand the concept of MUTUAL support. I went on to say: "You know, MUTUAL support like these White people and others on this job do with each other that you complain about. You know, the MUTUAL support that they give to each other that y'all complain that they WON'T give to AAs."

Khadija said...

Part 2

You said, "I was listening to testimonies at church on Sunday and I noticed that the bulk of the AA women who gave testimonies didn't wake up until they were in their late 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s!! So they stood there talking about how they're now insisting on respect in their social lives and are trying to start college or go back to college! This is fine, but they've already lost SO MUCH time."

That's ridiculous. And I don't believe that these women gave honest or accurate descriptions of their journey from absolute foolishness to some semblance of sanity.

I've noticed that EVERY single battered woman I've talked to was warned by at least one person against taking up with her future batterer.

These battered women CHOSE to ignore those warnings (that often came from multiple people---I'm thinking of one woman whose own brother had warned her against her future battering boyfriend---"Can't you see the hate in his eyes when he looks at you?"). Many of these battered women CHOSE to characterize the warners as people who were "jealous" of their relationship with their soon-to-be batterers.

All of these battered women then pretended to be "surprised" and "shocked" when these men (that others warned them against) boxed their heads.

I believe that it's a similar thing with all these decades-later claims of "I didn't know that I could/should insist upon respect in my social life." What I suspect is that at least one person around these women told them that at an earlier point in their lives, and they CHOSE to ignore this good counsel. And they probably CHOSE to characterize the person(s) who warned against tolerating mistreatment as "stuck up," "think she White," etc.

Back to shades of gray. These women who only got a clue decades later probably messed over folks who tried to advise them to require better for themselves.

Khadija said...

Part 3

You said, "I'm so happy that I was forced to listen when I was a very young person! Lawdy! I hear folks saying "You shouldn't make your kids do this or that," but 'children are children.' DUH! Why would any adult with common sense expect for a CHILD to know what's best for them??"

I'm also happy that my parents were old-school and never contemplated the madness that so many modern AAs have bought into. As a teenager, I recall my Dad repeatedly telling me that I didn't know enough to be able to have an opinion that mattered! He also went on to comment that our family was NOT a democracy for the children invovlved, and that my brother and I did NOT get to "vote" on family policies. And that any child who doesn't like it needs to live somewhere (ELSE) where they are paying somebody rent.

And he was right! And I got to see how right he was as a teenager by contrasting our home life with that of a slightly older cousin (whose parents had bought into some strange, "White" childrearing ideas). To make a long story short, my cousin's family had moved out into a White suburb and started mimicking the (bad) cultural habits of the people around them. Such as not disciplining one's children, giving your children "votes" about family policy, "respecting your children's so-called privacy", and other failing ideas.

[Even as a teenager, I found this last bit about child "privacy" to be a strange idea. How can you have "privacy" in your parents' house? "Privacy" is for people who pay rent or a mortgage to have their privacy. When you're living on somebody else's dime and in somebody else's space---particularly your PARENTS' space you can't "do" like you would "do" on your OWN dime and space. That just seemed to be COMMON SENSE to me. But then again, I was raised "old-school." LOL!]

Anyhoo, back to this particular cousin. Well, the end result of all that new-school madness was a teenage boy who felt that it was appropriate to smoke reefer in his parents' house. And was disprespectful enough to have fist fights with his father over this (over his "right" to smoke reefer in "his" home).

I recall him complaining to me about all of this once. He said that "it was his house too." I said, "How is it your house when you don't pay the mortgage or bills? And you actually FIGHT your Dad? What's wrong with you?" I was around 15 and he was around 17.

Craaa-zeee. And he's been estranged from his parents ever since.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

(3) many times modern AAs who do listen REFUSE to reciprocate---they just want to take and take and take from the speaker.

Standard AA Situation #3 above is the reason why I stopped being helpful with the less senior AAs at work. I was irritated enough to actually come out and tell a couple of individuals, "For future reference, it would be better for you if you learned how to help the people who help YOU." This was in response to their observations (subtle whinings) that I wasn't being very responsive to their questions.


This is one reason why more of us CANNOT afford to do things for each other. ALL of us need support sometimes, yet many AAs no longer know how to reciprocate or be supportive or friends or allies or refuse to do it. This is why I've said many of them seem to feel ***ENTITLED***--for some mysterious reason.

Even my own children know they HAVE TO say "thank you" to me and their Dad and to anyone else who does something for them because no one has to do anything for anybody. Yet strange AAs online and offline will expect for me to bend over backwards for them and won't even think about reciprocating, as if they are royalty. LOL! This is why it's a mystery. I mean, I don't know the basis for why they think others should just do and do and do for them without reciprocity.

I've never encountered anyone from other groups who expect this kind of royal treatment. In my experience, a continental African will keep thanking and thanking you until you feel like telling them to shut up--LOL!, and can be counted on to reciprocate when they get the chance. In social transactions with white folks, they definitely know they have to reciprocate and to not give away anything for free.

Let me repeat: We ALL need support sometimes, but this type of non-reciprocal behavior makes me wary of AAs. It's as if you're dealing with very young children; you have to tell them EVERYTHING, and when you tell them that you expect something from them, that's usually when the argument breaks out. It really is ironic because so many AAs are constantly talking about why AAs need to stick together and all of that "black" talk, but these same folks will NOT reciprocate.

Instead of doing all of that talking, they need to start DOING. Let their ACTIONS speak. I mean, how do they think that folks can stick together if they don't support each other?

ak said...

Oh my goodness Khadija, I bow down to you for breaking the problems of OOW-ness down in numbers!

Khadija said...

AK,

It sounds like you have me confused with Faith (who is the one who's been breaking down the statistics).

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

vegasturkeymom said...

I really, really love this blog. I am soaking up sooo much information, and haven't even gone through all of the topics btw. My DP and I have two daughters, and while he has made a few friends from work, I still haven't made any(unless you count my 73 year old neighbor). We've been in Vegas for a year now, and it would be such a delight if I could befriend people who are similar minded like the ladies here. It also doesn't help that I'm a scorpio, introvert, and hate feeling as though I'm "bothering" someone.

Thanks for the encouragement though as I struggle to gain new friendships.