I’m Not A Controlling Parent Who’s Trying To Keep Rebellious Teenagers In Check—You’ve Always Been Perfectly Free To Do Whatever You Want To Do—Even When It’s Self-DefeatingWhen I was actively engaged in BWE blogging, I recognized several unpleasant and time-wasting dynamics with many of the AA women readers that increased as the BWE social justice movement became successful.
Non-AAs and nonblacks tend to put their time, energy and other resources where their mouths are. Nonblacks generally don't use up, bleed dry, and sometimes ultimately destroy the people from their collectives who try to serve them.
By contrast, this is what AAs usually do with/to the sincere workers among us. AAs have an established pattern of using and then discarding and then totally forgetting about the other Black folks who act in service to them. We use up the Black folks who are idealistic (perhaps naive?) enough to try to serve our collective interests.Let's just recall how many AA activists from the 1960s that we collectively and completely forgot about. We allowed many of them to languish in prison for their activism while we totally forgot about their sacrifices on our behalf.
Let me mention an incident from law school that made a deep impression on me. I decided to attend a National Lawyers Guild meeting about political prisoners in the US. Needless to say, most of the activist-prisoners from the 1960s were Black. And from what I could tell, the only people who had bothered to remember them and organize support on their behalf were White leftists!
White leftists appeared to be the only ones writing letters to Amnesty International on their behalf, etc. Meanwhile, they had been totally forgotten by the masses of AAs and by AA/Black activist organizations. AAs were more interested in following the exploits of rappers.
AAs didn't just forget about the now-obscure AA political prisoners from the 1960s, we forgot about and ignored “big names” like Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hamer in their later years. Aside from AAs invoking their names during Black History Month, Rosa and Fannie Lou (and many others) were for the most part (if not totally) on their own in their elder years.
AAs forgot about and left Dr. King's widow and children (and Malcolm X's widow and children) to fend for themselves.
I learned from all of that. I learned that AA/Black activists have to VERY careful to not let Black folks use them up. And bleed them dry. And leave them flapping in the wind as an empty husk. And to be very careful of folks who might be following the AA/Black tradition of leaving Black activists hanging after making a lot of suggestions about what extra things these activists should do (in addition to whatever they're already doing).
Speaking for myself, after seeing how Blacks used and then discarded previous generations of Black activists, I'm very skittish of folks who want to give me what feels like additional homework assignments while they're doing nothing themselves. If the historical context was different, and if AAs didn't have the established pattern of using up our activists, then my reactions would be different (and less skittish).
To my way of thinking, some of the activist reactions to suggestions (from nonparticipants) [another commenter described] aren't about defensiveness or hostility. It's about self-protection, self-care, and self-love.
In response to this Oppositional/Defiant Teenager dynamic:
It’s Not About Dogma, It’s About Keeping Track Of The North Star & Not Getting Off Course
The Perils Of Presuming To Do Cross-Cultural Preaching
THIS POST and the many crazy comments in response to this incident is a good example of what AA women can expect the reaction to be from many self-described Good BM™ when BW are threatened and attacked by other Good BM™. HERE'S a video of the “conscious” Good BM™ panelist who menaced the woman panelist at that public forum.
See Gina's POST about this incident at What About Our Daughters.