Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"All Colored People That Want to Go To Kansas," Part 2: An Extended Reader's Money Quote from Sister Seeking/Miriam/MaryAnn

The Reader's Money Quote is a statement that is of such insight and importance that it merits frequent and loud repetition. This Reader's Money Quote is from Sister Seeking/Miriam/MaryAnn. She has brilliantly contributed two money quotes in the span of a couple of days! {raised fist salute to Sister Seeking/Miriam/MaryAnn} She laid out a detailed escape plan while commenting on Part 1 of the Self-Determination series.

The participants at this think tank have been discussing the need to escape Black residential areas since the post entitled "All Colored People That Want to Go To Kansas, On 9/5/1877, Can Do So for $5.00." I am truly grateful for the contributions of those audience members who participate in the blog discussions here. Especially when we come together, reason together, and find practical solutions together!

My reply to her comments are in blue. Sister Seeking/Miriam/MaryAnn said:

"Peace and blessings every one:

I’m going to shift my contribution to this discussion to taking steps to get out of black residential areas! I can only speak to my own experience, and I’m NOT presenting my self as an expert on the subject but if any one is interested here are some ideas:

Personal finances:

*Debt management --preferably debt elimination

*Credit repair --preferably raise your credit to the highest score

*Savings-- preferably 30 to 50 % of your income

*Do save for a down payment WATCH OUT for those no money down scams

*Emergency savings 6 to 12 months of living expenses

*Rethink credit cards or pay off your balance every month

*Find more than one way to make money

*Prepare for entrepreneurship don’t just dive in head first

*Think outside the box: how can you truly be self-sufficient?

Real estate:

*Don’t be afraid to try farming communities; homesteads; rural areas. This is my IDEAL living situation for spiritual reasons. If I could do it over again I’d buy a home or land further out in the country.

*Watch out for new communities that have just been built--looks ARE deceiving some times. They may have the all trappings of a middle class even an upper middle class neighborhood but you won’t find out you “got played” until you “got in”.

My girl friend owns vending machines in three new communities that have club houses. My friend had a beverage that was glass packaged and several angry, bitter, white men begged her to not put those bottles in the vending machines because the black teenagers in their neighborhood frequently bust glass on the side walks. The average home cost in this area prior to the recession was a half a million dollars now they are down to three hundred thousand dollars.

One old angry white man in particularly stated “ I’m not racist but black people, Hispanic people, and Asian people got into these homes on sub prime loans but were blue collar workers.” I thought this epidemic only affected working class multiracial neighborhoods like ours but evidently not. So keep that in mind when you are house hunting. The recession will have impact on the quality of families in all residential areas.

*Not ALL multi-racial neighborhoods are safe, and decent places to live. I’d hire a realtor who has thorough knowledge of the area you are interested in living in. Also, don’t leave it up to him or her--own your own decision. I suggest having male relatives or friends check out the area during the evenings and night time. Also, you may want to “study”? the area. Some places people go buck wild during the summer but are shut in during the winter. You may half to research a place a good year before buying home.

*Please keep in mind some of Khadija’s earlier essays about the middle class. In some regions, she is right on point. Don’t expect credentials, or upscale neighborhoods to guarantee your ticket out of unsafe crime ridden black residential areas: for what ever reasons many so called middle class or strivers don’t supervise their pre-teen/teen children well. You’d think if they can afford the home they could afford a nanny or extra curricular activities? NOT.

Social Networks

*My husband ,and I are Muslim but we now are apart of an interfaith fellowship. We’ve found that getting to know people of all religions nurtures our own faith, increases social capital, and if you’re a SAHM this is a great way to meet others if you don’t feel comfortable in secular mother groups.

*This is strictly an opinion, but my experience has taught me to join multiracial groups instead of isolating myself with one racial group. My best mother to mother experiences were not in black mothers group but in mixed mothers groups.

*If your self employed its great to start with “black___________” business organizations but if you want contracts with established businesses or your local government you may want to branch out and do business with all racial groups and pay attention to our largest minority: the Hispanic community and their influence.

Finally, I’m not sure that “I” want to live in a predominately white neighborhood, I do enjoy interacting with ALL people but for those who are worried about KKK land there are predominately white neighborhoods that are not racially hostile or dangerous places to live--and truth be told many of them are not in the new communities that are being built. Speaking of social networks, these can be wonderful places to network in! I personally would not tell some one to go from one hostile place to another. I hope that anything can help some one move on….

: )Good luck!"

Hello there, Sister Seeking/Miriam!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for laying out a detailed escape plan. I co-sign 100%; especially the detail about investigating what prospective areas are like on weekends and late nights. And you're right about the effect of former state wards coming back into Black areas. Black residential areas have already been battered by several earlier waves since the Reagan years:

1-Waves of mentally ill people being dumped back on the streets after many mental health facilities were closed and/or had drastic budget cutbacks.

2-Waves of teenage and now-adult crack babies born during the 1980s who are now parents themselves. Former-crack-baby parents who are raising their children to be even more deranged than themselves.

3-Waves of halfway houses, social service agency branch offices, and other loser-magnets being placed into Black neighborhoods.

4-Waves of Section 8 recipients overrunning previously stable working class and middle class Black neighborhoods.

5-In Chicago, the city has torn down many public housing hellhole projects. What this means is that violent Black criminals are now dispersed throughout MANY Black neighborhoods in the city. Instead of being quarantined into these projects.

6-Waves of paroled criminals coming back to their old stomping grounds within Black residential areas.These waves of industrial-strength, concentrated madness have been added to pre-existing problems such as the disintegrating Black family structure, and Blacks adopting strange White ideas about child-rearing (i.e, a refusal to discipline one's children).

How in the world could anybody seriously think Black residential areas can remain habitable under all of these combined conditions? They can't. They aren't. That's why it's time to roll up out of these places. Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Self-Determination, Part 2: A Case Study of How One Sister Got Her Crown Back (An Extended Reader's Money Quote)

The Reader's Money Quote is a statement that is of such importance and insight that it merits frequent and loud repetition. This Reader's Money Quote is from Sister Seeking/Miriam/MaryAnn. She explained how she got her crown back while commenting on Part 1 of the Self-Determination series. My responses are in blue.

"Salaam Khadija

One of many ways I/I’ve put back on my crown was marrying some one who preferred me: ALL of me.

Imagine that: A Black woman actually focusing on finding and marrying someone who prefers HER.

It was NOT an easy task because at the time I was a staunch Sunni orthodox Muslimah--that meant that I was surrounded by BAM’s both women, and men who had already determined what they thought I could or could NOT have. That meant being surrounded by IMM’S who were focused on the preservation, and dominance of THEIR OWN people and would not HOLD ANY BAM man accountable for THE MADNESS ( domestic violence; child abuse and neglect; poverty; polygamy; and heresy). Allahu Akbar…NOW 7 years later. I look back and SEE much of the genocide you write about playing out in the BAM community in masse--all those BAM women who told me I could not marry well because: I’m a convert, I’m an adopted child, I’m darker than a paper bag, I’m too tall, and so on--their life is in complete shambles. I rejected those AA women and I rejected those IMM’s who sat by and watched those children live through 20 or 30 “spiritual” marriages of their mother that left them: sexually abused; impoverished; physically abused; and illiterate by the way.

Yes, it's critical that we completely CUT OFF anybody and everybody who is devaluing us.


YES!!! And they will plan your life to their gain, and your detriment.

I attribute my ability to sift through the land fill of OTHER PEOPLES EMOTIONAL GARBAGE to being raised in my early years by decent white catholic foster families. I was not exposed to colorism, and madness common in black families UNTIL I was placed with black foster families. The fact that I was able to not just see but experience healthy family life during my childhood gave me a backdrop to measure what would later by dysfunction against.

As for the colorism issue Khadija, you spoke about surrounding your self by healthy images--and I’ll add on to that to include taking better care of myself and slowing down a bit. The best image I can give myself is ME. I am my own ally first, and foremost.

[Boldface added.] A money quote within the overall money quote: 'The best image I can give myself is ME. I am my own ally first and foremost.' {raised fist salute} Ladies, if you take nothing else from these conversations, please take THIS one statement to heart!

Also a side note here: my family, and I attended a Kwanzaa celebration for private black home schoolers. Its nice to see black men raising black children to have a strong sense of self determination, and coincidentally “color struck” was brought up by several elderly black men…

P.S.I echo Khadija, Evia, and others in running out of black residential areas. I live in a multi-racial area ( Hispanic, Asian, White, and a few blacks). Before moving here we lived in a black residential area--I kid you naught, the first day our welcome package including a letter explaining that a teenager had been stabbed to death and found on a tenants deck. When we moved in our town house in this neighborhood a stay at home Hispanic mother brought us over some sweets from her native Ecuador."

Lord have mercy.

Sister Seeking/Miriam/MaryAnn, thank you for providing this Reader's Money Quote with a detailed explanation of how you reclaimed your crown! I'm sure that you've helped and encouraged many women who are silently reading these conversations.

*Reader's Note* We're transferring our discussion from Part 1 of this series to the comment section of this essay. [I don't like having the scroll down miles of computer screen to read new comments, and we've reached 100 comments in the comment section of Part 1.] Please post your comments to Part 1 right here. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Self-Determination, Part 1: My Dark-Skinned Sisters, STOP Letting Biracial/Bicultural/Multicultural/Light-Skinned Women Wear YOUR Stolen Crown!

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

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

I. My Sisters, Let's Be Clear About the Fact That Your Crown Was Stolen

Negroes stole your crown. In earlier decades, Black men stole your crown of recognized beauty and gave it to light-skinned women like me. I've watched and denounced this practice back since I was in high school in the early 1980s. I HATE oppression. Which is why I've always made a point of rejecting "stolen goods." Especially stolen goods that are based upon devaluing Blackness. I've always rejected Black men who have a fetish for light skin. You see, my crown does not depend upon devaluing other women. My crown rests upon my head because it belongs there, based upon my own individual charms. I don't want a crown that was stolen from some other woman.

II. Dominance Through Hair-Flips

Unlike some of the other light-skinned girls in my high school, I didn't prance down the hallways while making sure to flip my hair in the presence of darker-skinned girls. We all know what the hair flip is really all about. It's an act of dominance by Black women who have so-called "good hair." It's intended to put those without so-called "good hair" in their assigned place. Which is somewhere beneath the woman who is doing the hair flip.

First of all, my hair (even while permed) does not flip. LOL! Second, despite other people's eager suggestions, I was never interested in pursuing concoctions (gel, carefree curls, etc.) that might have given my hair a more "flippable" (as if it were naturally wavy) appearance. Most importantly, I came to hate the entire scenario. So, I had my hair cut into a natural. Of course, other Black people were horrified. The common refrain from other Black folks was, "You let somebody cut your hair off?!!! You need to find the person who did that, and get your money back!"

Let's be real. I had the self-confidence to do this as a teenager because I knew (in the back of my mind) that no matter what I did, my light skin would ensure that I got a certain amount of favorable [Black] male attention.

I know how painful it is to talk about these things. I know that talking about this is pulling at half-healed scabs. But we need to be able to talk honestly about these things. As Black women, we need to get our crowns back, and take our rightful place on the global stage! I was going to do a post about Black consciousness. Then I realized that nothing (including consciousness of any sort) is possible without a foundation of self-determination. Self-determination means that we think, speak, and define things for ourselves. It means looking at the world through our own eyes. And we can't have self-determination when we cooperate with other people assigning lower value to us. Collectively, we've got to get our crowns back. In order to recover our crowns, we need to understand how they were taken away. And how we [sometimes inadvertently] cooperate with this mass theft.

III. Many Black Women's Bad Faith & Collaboration with Oppression

I've raised my voice against intra-Black colorism since high school. Over the years, I've had VERY, VERY few light-skinned sisters in arms speaking out against this with me. Most of us didn't have our darker sisters' backs "back in the day." Many light-skinned Black women did not take Black men's self-hating choices seriously until these choices began to put a crimp into their lives. Until they lost their spot at top of the "preferred by Black men" heap. Until Negroes snatched the already-stolen-from-darker sisters-crowns off their heads and placed them on the heads of Becky, Lupe, J. Lo, and Susie Kwon.

This is an example of bad faith, not any kind of solidarity. From what I hear, it hasn't gone unnoticed by darker sisters.

However, I've also noticed that many darker sisters cooperate with being robbed of their crowns. Many Black women in general aid and abet having their crowns stolen. In many cases, we have allowed Black male thieves to redefine their theft of our crowns as a matter of their "personal preferences." Which is why we acquiesce to this mass theft.

Let me give some examples:

When a Negro celebrity such as Ne-Yo says "All the prettiest kids are light-skinned anyway," he's stealing your crown, and giving it to light-skinned women. If you persist in listening to, and buying this creature's products you are helping him snatch your crown off your head and put it on somebody else's head.

When a Negro celebrity such as Yung Berg says that he doesn't date "dark butts," he's stealing your crown. If you persist in listening to, and buying this creature's products, you are helping him steal your crown.

These are obvious types of collaboration. There are many less obvious forms of collaboration. When you embrace mediocrity in your self-presentation, you are helping to validate Negroes stealing your crown. You are also helping to validate other women's decision to wear your stolen crown.

IV. Verbal Forms of "Hair Flips" & Collaboration Through Inappropriate Inclusion

Unfortunately, some of us have grown so accustomed to being assigned a lower value, that we accept this as normal. There are verbal hair flips that many of us accept, and don't even recognize as dominance and aggression. We feel the effects of the verbal hair flips. But we don't make the connection between the verbal hair flips AND our battered and bruised spirits.

One verbal hair flip is a woman making a point of making sure that you know she's so-called biracial/multicultural/bicultural. There are normal, loyal Black people who happen to have one parent who isn't Black. Or one parent who is Black, but is not African-American. At some later point (when it comes up naturally, such as when you meet their parents) you find out that the person has a non-Black parent (or non-African-American parent). Such a person's identity and "claim to fame" does NOT revolve around making a distinction between themselves and Black people. These are people who are acting in good faith by rejecting stolen goods. Stolen goods that rest upon devaluing Blackness (or, in the one foreign Black parent scenario, devaluing African-Americans).

This is quite different from self-proclaimed "biracial," etc. persons who want to make sure that you know that they are NOT Black like you. From so-called mulattoes within ancient African societies to apartheid-era South African "Coloreds," to the "biracials" here and now among us, these type of "I don't want to be Black, and Whites won't let me be White" people have done great harm to Black people's interests.

Throughout out our history, Black people have allowed these "biracial" types to form a wedge, and a disloyal fifth column among the Black collective. Where do you think the self-proclaimed, yet Black-skinned, "Arabs" in Darfur came from? They came from partially-Arab, so-called biracial/bicultural people. Where do you think the mostly-collaborating Coloreds in apartheid-era South Africa came from? Throughout our people's history, what these internal enemies all have in common is their obsession with being recognized as something other than, and distinct from, Black:

"...there were many tribes or societies in Africa which were exclusively Mulatto (to use the term loosely). Nothing was more characteristic of the mixed breed clans, tribes or societies than their unceasing efforts to emphasize their separate identity, and their constant fear of being considered 'Negroes' or Black Africans."

The Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race From 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D., by Chancellor Williams, pg. 208.

The pattern that I've seen with these self-proclaimed "biracials" is that they want to be considered Black like any other Black person when there's something to be gained [such as scholarships from Black organizations, affirmative action slots, etc.]. When there's nothing to be gained [nothing to be stolen from Black people], then they want you to know how distinct they are from Black people.

NO! If they want to be distinct from Black folks, require them to be all the way distinct! Cut them off from Black folks' scholarships, set asides, etc. Make them find biracial, etc. scholarships for biracial people. And stop them from stealing Black folks' meager resources. STOP including these people.

In the crown context, STOP celebrating these self-proclaimed biracial/multicultural/bicultural women wearing YOUR stolen crown! STOP lifting them up. STOP claiming them as part of our collective, and worrying about them. Purge them and their problems from your list of concerns. These self-proclaimed biracial/multicultural/bicultural/whatever women don't need your help. They have plenty of worshipful Negro slaves [like Ne-Yo, Yung Berg, the NFL, etc.] to attend to their needs.

Don't fall for the lie that says, "They're part of us." Didn't these self-proclaimed biracial, bicultural, multicultural, etc. people already TELL you that they are something other than part of us? That they are anything but Black? Why are some of you so eager to claim them when they are not claiming you? Especially when they are wearing your stolen crown?

V. Celebrate Yourself and the Women Most Like You First & Foremost

We're going to need some affirmative action among ourselves to get this situation righted. I mean affirmative action in terms of who we hold up to our children (and ourselves) as representing our ideal "look." The "color neutral" and "let's celebrate our internal rainbow" doesn't work in the context of everything that has come before it. It's similar to White folks wanting to play color-blind after centuries of accumulated injustice went down. In both examples, doing this leaves pre-existing problems firmly in place.

As Black women, WE have the power to turn this around. By taking back our crowns and taking our rightful place on the global stage. It doesn't matter what most Black men think about us. Since most of them don't protect or provide for us, they are generally of NO or LOW value to us. The only thing that matters is what WE think about ourselves.

Ladies, if you have Black-oriented magazines in your homes, who's images are you surrounding yourselves (and your children, if you have any) with? Are you surrounding yourself with images of White women's children like Alicia Keys? Halle Berry? Lisa Bonet? Persia White? Rashida Jones? Jennifer Beals? Jasmine Guy? Victoria Rowell? Are you surrounding yourself with images of Black women who look like White women's children like Vanessa Williams? Are you watching music videos packed with biracial/light-skinned women? If so, have you considered the possibility that this is not healthy for your psyche?

If all of the above is true, are you willing to find images that affirm YOU and women who look more like YOU?

Black self-hatred is so deeply entrenched that it will be a long, long time before people like me are in any real danger of having our self-worth assaulted as a result of corrective internal affirmative action. I don't feel threatened by efforts to raise my darker sisters up so that their beauty can also be appreciated. Everyone has their own rightful crown. Collectively, we need to get ours back. Nobody is going to voluntarily return our stolen crowns to us. A thief never returns what he has taken. A person who accepts stolen goods never returns them to their rightful owner. We're going to have to snatch our crowns back ourselves. The first step is to stop aiding and abetting the theft of our crowns.

*Reader's Note* We've reached 100 comments to this post. Since I don't like having to scroll down miles of computer screen to read new comments, I'm closing the comment section here and transferring this ongoing conversation to Part 2 of this series. Please post new comments to this essay in the comment section of Self-Determination, Part 2. Thank you!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Adventures in Juicing: Cucumbers Really DO Help Alleviate Skin Conditions!

A couple of months ago, I mentioned in one of my comments to the Inner Sanctuary, Part 2: Life Instead of Death post that I had bought a juicer. The original point was to start juicing vegetables that are known to have anti-cancer properties (since I won't eat them---feh!). So, since then I've been juicing Brussels sprouts.

Well, I've made a happy, accidental discovery along the way. I've discovered that drinking the juice of one whole cucumber once a day really does help alleviate skin conditions.

I've always had extremely sensitive skin. I can't wear most metal jewelry. My skin will only tolerate 14 karat gold & up. Prolonged contact with anything else metal against my skin (the inside of the top button on blue jeans resting against my stomach, etc.) will lead to contact dermatitis and/or eczema. I believe that prolonged, repeated contact with the mat (being thrown onto the mat) during years of martial arts classes caused a recurring outbreak of eczema on my hands. [When I think about the numbers of bare feet walking around that mat during classes, I shudder. It's washed down between classes, but still...]

I'm happy to report that the cucumber juice is resolving the eczema problem from the inside out. It's keeping it under control. *Smile*

If you've had positive experiences with juicing, please let us know about it. If you've had negative experiences with juicing, please let us know about that as well. The information you share might help somebody else.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Table Talk for Activists, Part 2: Make the Opponent Follow Their Own Rules

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

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

One of the rules for power that Saul Alinsky discussed in his book Rules for Radicals was the following: "Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules." This is sound advice for several reasons that I discussed in a comment to the post, An Open Letter to Princeton Theological Seminary:

"With my 'editorial' comments about all of this, I wanted to give the general audience an example of an inside view of 'lawyer think' that they can apply to situations.

My first step in evaluating any situation (or preparing a cross-examination of a witness) is to compare what the person did/is doing to what they're supposed to be doing.

Almost every institution and profession has rules, regulations, and codes of conduct that are supposed to govern people's conduct in various situations. Universities, government offices, etc. typically have their own internal rules & regulations. Each profession has its own ethical code of conduct that is established by leading organizations within that profession (ABA, AMA, etc.).

So, with a university situation, my first step is to look at the Student Handbook to see what sorts of things are (or should be) covered by disciplinary rules. The next step is to look at the disciplinary rules themselves. This gives an objective guide for evaluating a university's response to an outrage. . . .

. . . Comparing their actions to their own rules and codes of conduct also prevents activists from being confused by defensive, bad-faith whining from racists about how 'we sponsored a 'healing & learning' festival. What else do you people want from us?!!'

I don't want some fake 'healing & learning' festival. As a first step, I want PTS to follow its own rules & regulations." [i.e., hold disciplinary hearings concerning all of the students involved]

Please know that most of the handbooks, internal regulations, etc. that I've seen are fairly straightforward. You don't have to be an expert to understand them.

I believe that part of the reason why some activists are easily tricked by their opponents' stalling tactics such as insincere calls for dialogue, healing festivals, etc. is because they haven't researched the rules that are supposed to govern how an institution handles a particular situation.

Insisting that, at minimum, an opponent follow their own rules strengthens an activist's position.

First, because it's hard for opponents to make deviating from their own rules sound reasonable. Second, most institutions' in-house attorneys will warn key players that deviating from known standards creates heightened exposure to lawsuits.

And finally, insisting that an opponent follow its own rules applies mental pressure to whatever semi-decent and decent people exist within the opponent organization. Most people like to have a self-image of being reasonable and fair. People like to have this self-image even when it's not accurate. Most people also like to believe that the organizations that they serve are lawful, legitimate institutions. NOT crime cartels.

Take the time to research whatever rules govern the situation you're mobilizing around. Knowing the applicable rules can only strengthen your activism.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Table Talk for Activists, Part 1: Support Principles, NOT Individuals

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

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

We now have several generations of African-Americans who have never "come up" through, or experienced for themselves, the discipline of an actual social movement. Most of us have only seen social activism from the perspective of an outsider watching a television soundbite from some "big man" spokesperson/leader. Most of us have never seen the "nuts and bolts" of social activism. Nor have most of us made any real effort to study what happened with our predecessors in any great detail. I can see the negative effects of these deficits in some of the cyber-activism that I've witnessed over the past year or so.

One negative effect is that we are often reinventing wheels. Another effect is that we are being deceived and duped by the same anti-justice strategies that were in operation during the 1950s and 1960s.

Yet another effect is the general failure to think these matters through to the detriment of whatever efforts we are pursuing. I am NOT any sort of expert on activism. However, I was blessed to have participated in the anti-apartheid struggle when I was in college. Looking at what's going on now, I realize just how precious that experience was. For all of the above reasons, I feel the need to share what little experience I have. I feel the need for us to talk about some things related to activism.

To that end, let's have an ongoing series of "table talks" about the nuts and bolts of activism. Starting with Strategy #1: Support Principles, NOT Individuals.

Modern African-Americans are not the same type of people as our ancestors. We can see that just in comparing how resourceful our ancestors were versus how helpless we've learned to be. This fact has implications for activism. Aspiring activists need to recognize that modern Black victims of atrocities are NOT the same as past atrocity victims.

Modern Black victims of an atrocity will often behave in ways that are NOT helpful, and are actually contrary, to the cause of justice. The modern Black atrocity victim is often not looking for justice to be served. Instead, they are looking to be rewarded for their silence, or they are looking to hide within their silence. Either way, their actions make it that much harder for justice to be served. For examples of this, consider R. Kelly's many, many victims. Including the victim that was the subject of his recent criminal trial.

This means that activists need to make some decisions up front. What is more important in this particular situation? Catering to the victim's desire to get paid for their silence? Catering to the victim's desire to hide within silence? Or is there a greater collective interest that takes priority?

With the R. Kelly situation, I believe that there is a greater collective interest in getting a sexual predator off the streets. No matter what his past victims want. It is more important to me to prevent any more Black girls from being victimized in the future. As far as I'm concerned, his past victims do NOT get to decide that it's okay for the rest of our young Black girls to remain in danger because he's on the loose.

This has to be a case by case analysis. With each situation, we must weigh whether or not what any particular victim wants is endangering the rest of us. And ask ourselves are we willing to run that risk in order to accommodate the victim's wishes.

The bottom line is that many modern Black atrocity victims have wishes that are contrary to justice, and contrary to our collective interests. They will often do things that "burn" the people who supported them. This is why we must support principles, and not individuals.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Welcome, New Readers! Please Catch Up With The Inner Slum/Inner Sanctuary and Self-Determination Series

Over the past few days, I've noticed that there's been a lot of new readers visiting the blog (thank you, Evia!).

Welcome, New Readers! I hope you'll ultimately decide to join the think tank here by participating in the discussions at this blog. I want this blog to be one of several "safe spaces" for Black women to exchange ideas, strategies, and tips for renewing our minds, lifting our spirits, and taking our rightful place on the world stage.

I believe that lasting, positive change only comes from the inside-out. Enduring victories come from the inside-out. We've tried various surface techniques over the past 40 years. For the most part, all we've done is exchange one form of oppression for another. We have exchanged an external oppressor in favor of an internal one. We have exchanged external violence in favor of internal violence. In politics, we have exchanged White political hacks for Black ones. All the while, our collective condition has gotten worse and worse.

I want CHANGE, not exchange.

Our people are at a crossroads. We can continue along our current path which leads to African-Americans becoming a permanent underclass within this country. I believe that we've completed roughly 80% of the permanent underclass process. Or we can change our collective fate by changing our individual lives for the better. In order to change our lives, we have to renew our minds. This is why I've written a series of introspection essays (the True Fellowship series; the Inner Slum series; and the Inner Sanctuary series). I hope you'll take the time to read some of the ones that I feel are the most important:

Please also take the time to read one of the most commented upon posts: "Self-Determination, Part 1: My Dark-Skinned Sisters, STOP Letting Biracial/Bicultural/Multicultural/Light-Skinned Women Wear YOUR Stolen Crown!"

And, last but not least, please take the time to read the most hotly-discussed introspection post so far: "The Inner Sanctuary, Part 4: Are You Ready to Feel Flawless?" from 11/10/08 (there's a badge that links to this post at the top right on this screen, directly below the masthead).