Thursday, January 14, 2010

No "Good Black Men" Revisited

Sistas,


Before we form our mouths to say “there are no good black men” we need to look at this from a different perspective. Here, we’ll visit the socio-economic factors then we’ll go into personal accountability.


BUT FIRST: It’s one thing to want a man that meets your “standards” aka requirements and it’s another thing to have unattainable standards. Reevaluate those first. Accountability.


It is fact that black men make up the MAJORITY of the prison population (in comparison to any other race&sex) and the MINORITY of the college population. So while you’re getting your master’s master’s, he has been going day to day being “a black man in America.” With this comes a lot: racial profiling, glass ceilings, being over-looked for “good jobs,” “driving while black,” street influences, pressures from every-whicha-way be they psychological, physical, emotional etc.


You HAVE never, and WILL never, walk a DAY in the life of a black man so beware of how you speak of these Kings. Being the advocate for personal accountability, I recommend that we be more conscious of the prejudices we place on our brothers. Check yourself before pointing the finger at anyone.


Maybe you get “dogged” because there is something in YOU that allows that to happen in your Queendom.


Maybe you can’t find “a good man” because of the places YOU’RE looking. Being uber-selective is a gift and a curse. Blinders can only leave you blind; blind to someone good for/to you.


You should know what a good woman is BEFORE you go looking for a “good man.” Know how you should be treated and why you deserve it. That will weed out SO much. Build yourself up before seeking your reflection. BE a Queen if you want a King.


Maybe YOU’RE not ready for what you’re looking for (emotionally, psychologically etc.)


I say all this to say, we should be more conscious of our thoughts, words and actions in reference to our brothers. The “easy way out” is to point the finger. Think about all the of the circumstantial factors before making such a powerful statement about the men with whom our legacy is dependent. There is no us without them and vice versa.


Peace & Unity.


This is a video I came across. I'm not in TOTAL agreement with all of the claims in this video, but I dig where the brother is coming from. Take a look.



15 comments:

  1. Break it down for us! I love it...We must look within first, before looking for our reflection.

    Thanks again for another insightful post!!

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  2. I agree with some of your thoughts here. We all have got to get to that place and where we have been placed its a hard hard road and an even harder pill to swallow.We have way too many misconceptions and misinformation

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  3. HERE ARE A FEW COMMENTS/RESPONSES TO THIS ENTRY AFTER I POSTED THIS TO MY FB PAGE.


    Benji Ayari: tankx 4 sharin janine,insightful.i wil reserve my comments,im sure u re aware of them already.
    Sun at 11:08am ·

    Benji Ayari: i love da pics on ur blogspot,can i use dem as my wallpaper lol,jst kiddin.
    Sun at 11:10am ·

    Janine Bell: no, im not aware of ur comments.
    Sun at 11:13am ·

    Benji Ayari: well personaly i dnt tink dat women in general ask 4 mch wen it cums to men,at least here where i live.i honestly tink its very difficlt to find a faithful man since bein a playa bcame fashionable.im workin on a documentary abt mental health in ghana n i was shocked dat almost 85per cent of the women in psychiatric hospital are there bcuz of issues...
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    Sun at 12:15pm ·

    Janine Bell: society will never "be harder on me" simply because it's male-dominated. with that said, i charge women to take a stand on the issues that are affecting their interpersonal relationships. a man will only do what it is you allow him to do. if all women were on one accord about THIS a whoooooole lot would change. Having a set of standards, having ...
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    Sun at 12:34pm ·

    Janine Bell: *"harder on men"
    Sun at 12:36pm ·

    Yahshuah Ford: It's encouraging to see some female accountability, I'll be sure to replicate your efforts on the male side. There is still much healing necessary between the kings and queens of our community, and hopefully our generation will take that repsosibility seriously. I'll be lookin out for more...
    Sun at 12:45pm ·

    Benji Ayari: wen i say harder on men i mean it shld require more responsibility of men.i do agree wit abt women cumin 2gether.
    Sun at 12:50pm ·

    Janine Bell: @Yahshuah i totally agree with the necessary "healing." however, we need to be cognizant of the need for it...it's hard to speak for the entire generation, but GENerally speaking, most of us havent a clue of the need. oh and THANK YOU for the reciprocity. we need more "mees," we need more "yous." :)
    Sun at 12:54pm ·

    William Armstrong: Im feeling the direction you are coming from: taking accountability and analyzing our social interpersonal and extroversial surroundings but me being a black man, married black man, men need to stop feeding the hype of todays standards of whats sexy for a female. Women like Chaka Khan, Dorothy Dandrigde, Pam Grier, Mrs.King, and Jada Pinkett, just ...
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    Sun at 6:00pm ·

    Janine Bell: *waving* HEY WILL!I totally agree on the men's idea of beauty is completely off...but that can be attributed to the "willie lynch syndrome"....not making it right, but showing that it's a deepset issue. then when you have women (with no self-respect/worth) shaking their ass in their faces, dressing half-naked when they go out, getting "bagged" by...
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    Mon at 11:12am ·

    William Armstrong: no doubt sis! im behind you.

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  4. Hello. I don’t mean to offend, but what kind of BULLSH*T was that?
    Not only am I enraged that a fool like this made it to youtube and posted a video with this nonsense on it, but I am disappointed that you, as a black woman (and more, by the looks of the other comments) would accept this type of nonsense and even applaud it. We are brother and sisters in a struggle- not this mess about one is the head and the other the heart… or any other type of unsubstantiated, ignorant analogy he wants to come up with. We are brothers and sisters; we are equals. And we cannot continue to feed each other lies about gender relations while maintain that one if selfish, ignorant, brainwashed, crazy, and traitors to their race by wanting respect. Sista, YOU COME ON.

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  5. Saying that this video enraged me is even an understatement. And to show you what I think are the issues I have with this video, I will go through and show you where I disagree with him and/or you.
    1. “…turns out the heart of black America was spurned by the heart (the black woman) thinking she could be the head…”
    Black women CAN be and HAVE been the head of many households with no man in sight and are fully capable of doing so. Even in some African societies, women sometimes take on the role of the male of a household and even take up multiple wives (from a book by Ifi Amandiume). Even here in the United States, single parent households (headed by mainly women) make up about two thirds of households. Not only have matriarchal societies existed before, but some still exist in present day. This man is just speaking from his emotional disconnect from black women as opposed to any legitimate facts to back up these ridiculous statements.
    2. “…black America was done in by the…strong black woman..”
    Not only is this wrong, its hurtful. Black America has many issues-coming out of slavery, an inferiority complex that still exists, poverty, dealing with lost culture, capitalism, and on top of that, our gender relations have been hurt. For him to say that one half of us are responsible for this is counterproductive as well as wrong. We as a people have to take responsibility for our communities in this day and age, and understand that many of our problems stem from white supremacy ON ALL BLACKS. Black men AND women were lynched. Black men AND women were enslaved. Black men AND women were whipped. Black men AND women were told they were inferior. Black men AND women were hosed during the civil rights movement.….black men AND women have experienced this tumultuous history of racism TOGETHER. How dare he or you try to blame one side for the downfall! And if you want to go that route and say that the black woman is to blame for the downfall, you would have to prove that the black woman has even had the power before now or the responsibility prior to now the hold such a blame. And if you’ll remember, during the million man march, during MLK’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, during almost any large scale black caucus (more so during the civil rights movement) black women have been barred from speaking at these events. So please, let me know how in the world if the black woman has not even been allowed to take the lead role, can she be to blame for the downfall?

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  6. 3. “…what condition was American in under black men? We had blacks building universities….”
    With no help from black women? And if he or you want to make the case that blacks in this country were EVER in a better position than we are today, then I will have to ask what level of reality you all are living in.
    4. “…we were decisive, assertive, and logical. In other words, we exhibited the qualities of men.”
    Really? REALLY? Yes, I remember now. There has never been an account in the history of blacks that show a woman being decisive, assertive, or logical. Yet we’re the downfall of black America? Please let me know where the “logic” is in this? Oh wait, you can’t. you’re a black woman who is only emotional, selfish, and stupid. We as black women don’t exhibit any qualities of success or betterment. You and I shouldn’t even have what I was thinking we would have (a logical, constructively critical dialogue). You should instead have your boyfriend point out the flaws in my response.
    THIS is the type of thinking that has been the downfall of black America. Blaming one another as opposed to getting to the root of the problem, and that is racism, capitalism, and yes, PATRIARCHY.
    5. “…white feminists came along and poisoned the minds of black women.”
    This is absurd. Women are not only contributors to society but presidents, prime ministers, pastors, rabbis, heading their own organizations, businesses, schools, television shows, etc. women can do all that a man does and any man that says otherwise is simply insecure within their own manhood to handle an independent and intelligent woman.
    But the main problem with this thinking (because he says “feminist” in the rest of the video with negative connotations) is that a feminist is a man-hating, angry, lesbian that wants to take the place of a man as opposed to achieving equality with them. And this is wrong. I consider myself a feminist, and I am none of those things. A feminist, the one I am, is someone who aims to end all forms of gender oppression. This includes the gender ideals of domination, lacking emotion, and overt sexuality that men have to live up to as well as the subordinate, degraded position that women have been put in. bell hooks, Audre’ Lorde, Glorida Anzaldua, Beverly Guy-Sheftall and Johnnetta Betsch Cole are just a few women of color that are feminists that would be helpful to read that show that there is a feminism that we possess that is much different from that of white women. The thinking that all feminism is the same is nothing more than ignorance coming from a man that has evidently only gotten his “knowledge” about the subject from text books prior to 1975. Simply reading books like Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women’s Equality in African American Communities by Johnnetta Betsch Cole and Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by bell hooks (or any of bell’s books),and This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua would have educated him, but he is too busy blaming rather than trying to learn.

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  7. 6. “….somebody who had all their bad traits and was rich and successful. Didn’t have a man and didn’t want one. Somebody who could be made to make them believe that their BS feminist philosophy could actually work…”
    What gets me about this is that he not only harps on Oprah, but he’s harping on one of the FEW successful black women in America. No black woman has ever in American history reached the success that Oprah possesses right now. Not one. and she’s in some way wrong because she educates and encourages women to lead happier, healthier lives? She has never spoken ill of black men and not once have I ever heard her saying anything along the lines of “ain’t no good black men” so why villainize her? Grow up dirt poor, bring yourself up in this world, and be successful and you have black men acting as if you’re the face of their problems. That’s just bullsh*t. I don’t look up to Oprah because I want to have her house or her fame. I look up to her because her show has some of the best topics that truly help out all women and educate us to better ourselves- emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. And if there’s something wrong with that, then I don’t know what else there is to say.
    7. “…and they think that somehow her success is theirs.”
    Yes, actually. Her success is the success of all women, and especially women of color. For too long in this country, we have been the sluts, the mammies, and the cooks and nothing more. We have been high achievers in the bedroom, in the kitchen, and in the nurseries, and made to think that this is our strongpoint. We have also been made to believe that black women who assert themselves are being traitors to the race, when it is more than evident (if he was to actually watch Oprah’s shows) that she does much to get the idea of race inequality out to her public. Not only that, but she has opened a school in the motherland. she has put a new face on the black woman as an educator, successful, educated, and a philanthropist. How dare he try to downplay her achievements? This high status she possesses should be applauded by all blacks, regardless of gender.
    8. “…no black men wants it to go back to the ‘olden days’ because back then black men were enslaved. “
    Notice how he tries to emphasize that black men were enslaved. Completely leaving out the fact that black women were enslaved with them. He is trying to get black women to believe that we had the longer end of the stick in this racist society, when in fact we may have had it harder.

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  8. 9.“…the black man has never oppressed the black woman.”
    Yes, most indeed, they have. ALL men have oppressed ALL women before. A video full of this type of foolishness is keeping YOU (and the rest of these women who “applauded” this video) down as we speak. And they’re doing so by making us believe that our proper place is somewhere under theirs, that black women who assert themselves and are successful are villainous liars who are brainwashed by whites, and that black women have been the downfall of black America! If you don’t see this as keeping black women down, then I’m at a loss of what to tell you.
    10. “…so she began to imitate the white woman…”
    So success, independence and assertiveness are white? This brother is brainwashed. Next he’s going to say that getting an education is “trying to be white”.
    11. “madame CJ Walker got them lightening their skin and beyonce’ got them lightening their hair…”
    Mme. Walker didn’t invent skin bleaching, she simply marketed off it. Blacks had been trying to look white, Mexican, and Indian for years before Mme. Walker came on the scene, and it is pure ignorance that he is trying to blame her for this. Similarly, it was black men lightening their skin as well, not just women. And black women were bleaching their hair as early as the 50’s (Etta james?). The problem with his “reasoning” is that he assumes black women do whatever we want with our physical appearances (which is the case for some of us, but not most). Most women simply do whatever they feel will attract a man. And considering black men have been brainwashed into wanting white women, many black women have then tried to imitate white women in order to get black men. The same goes for skin lightening. If more black men went for kinks and dark skin, we would see more black women putting down the creamy crack and being proud of their dark skin.

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  9. 12. And then he goes into how the black man was lynched, castrated, whipped, and categorized as inferior “….so the black woman wouldn’t have to [go through this]”.
    Is he out of his mind?! Where did this brother get his education because wherever it was needs to be bombed and rebuilt from the ground up because of the asinine lies they are telling their students. THE BLACK WOMAN WENT THROUGH THESE THINGS TOO! What the f*ck does he mean “so the black woman wouldn’t have to”?? we were beaten, whipped, lynched, and categorized as sub-human as well. We were also raped, used as sexual objects for slave masters, used to test gynecological tools on without anesthesia (by Marion J. Sims), forcibly sterilized, made to bring black babies into this white supremacist world, and to add insult to injury, being told by our black brothers that we are the cause of the downfall of our people! I really cannot even process with type of absurdity.
    13. “…black women chose to walk away from the civil rights movement”
    No, black women were tired to being told that our interest as independent human beings was challenging the issues of race. We were trying to battle both; all forms of oppression, and that includes patriarchy. We didn’t walk away from a movement; we simply took another one on as well. That’s called strength.
    This video not only degrades black women, but it encourages black women to stay dependent upon men and to take the black for the downfall of the race, when it was neither of our faults. The society we live in is to blame for our downfall, not any particular gender of blacks. How can we expect to progress as blacks when we are constantly pointing the finger at one another and not getting to the root of the problem? By continuing to downplay the destructiveness that patriarchy has had? By villainizing any successful black woman? By acting as if slavery impacted men more than it did women? We cannot progress like this.
    I do not mean to offend you with any of my comments, but thinking like this will only keep the black community in a downward spiral. And this thinking like this is nothing new-It came along with the feminist movement, and many black women believed it. and what has advanced since then? Not much. So why does he (or possibly you) believe that this type of thinking is going to change the black community for the better when it hasn’t in the past? I also wanted to note that I do not hate black men. Theres plenty of good black men, I think, and most women who say that have just had bad experiences that they could have very well avoided, but they chose not to.
    I am sorry for its length, but I felt that a lot of things needed to be explained. Again, I’m sorry if I offended you or anyone else on this forum. It was not my intent. It just gets to me when I think black women, especially, are buying into nonsense that adds to their demise when we, as women, are capable of so much.
    my blog is http://www.elephantchronicles-nell.blogspot.com
    thank you for reading.

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  10. Peace sis, thank you for your extensive comments. I can see why you take issue with me posting this video.

    It seems as if you have a problem with the video more than anything. You could leave this comments on his youtube video "comments" section.

    If you read my caption above said video, you will see that I noted: " I'm not in TOTAL agreement with all of the claims in this video, but I dig where the brother is coming from. Take a look."

    Also, by the looks of your comments, it's crystal clear that you have a few gender issues that need to be self-examined and corrected, immediately. I would love to speak with you in person. It's both frustrating and sad that you come off like this....and self-righteous about it! Try hoping off your soapbox and re-evaluate your line of thinking. thats all i ask. it's hard to see problems within ourselves, this is true. But sis, you have some clearly deep-set issues that are a part of you're/our demise. TRUST.

    This video "hit home" because you're a part of the problem. I looked at it like "this is someone's point of view, some things are dead-ass right, and others are dead-ass wrong, but it sheds light nonetheless" THAT'S why I posted the video. You're welcome. I wished it had been more effective, ESPECIALLY for you...

    PS: thanks for the shameless plug. classy.

    Peace&Love

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  11. Hello again Janine.
    Thank you for inviting me for coffee, but I think I can best get my point across through text, more so than conversation. I get a chance to get to think about what you’ve said, what I want to say, and rethink it and make corrections to it. I’m not really able to do that as well in person or on the phone.
    But, back to the topic. You’re right, I should have posted my comments on the youtube.com , but seeing as how I saw the video on your blog, and many others who wouldn’t have seen it on youtube.com saw it on your blog, I felt it necessary to post it on your blog so that you and your followers who apparently agreed with the video’s message would see it and see my criticisms of it.
    Yes, I did see your comment above the video that states that you do not agree with all of the video, however you said that you “see where the brother’s coming from”, which, is equally problematic.
    his entire video was basically saying that black women are selfish, sad, annoying, stupid and bitchy individuals who are to blame for all the problems within the black community. Even when he wasn’t saying it directly, he was insinuating it and using positive words, such as “feminist” with negative connotations. He had no respect for the black woman, nor women in general, and his “analysis” of the causes for the problems within the black community are even more wrong than his stereotypes of black women. Videos like this do nothing for the struggle. They, in fact, are counter-productive.
    So, I’m curious, what portions of the video did you agree with, because there was nothing I saw or heard in that video that I would even slightly agree with, or even respect as a legitimate and logical stance. I mean, he has “black America” represented as a BLACK MAN. Do you not see this as problematic that he seems to think that black women are unimportant (aside from the plethora of other negative aspects he ascribes to us)? Do you not see how he pretty much put the black woman back at the bottom of the totem pole in this video, not from some sort of reasonable stature, but mainly so that he can feel more a man (in his twisted idea of the word) as opposed to the sorry joke that he is? Do you have no problem with the way he berated the black woman in this video while basically vindicating the black man from any wrong doing? What exactly are the “gems” in this video that I am missing? I just don’t see how you could agree with ANY portion of this video, and attempt to justify it.
    I’m sorry if I came off harsh or bitchy in that post, but I was just completely disgusted and angered by that video. And I cannot fathom how you could post such a video (even if you only agreed with some portions of it). Women of color are the strongest and most intelligent creatures on this earth. I truly believe that. And when a black woman (you) is not only being counter-productive to the struggle, but promoting it to other women of color….i am just thrown off.
    Again, I do not mean to offend you. I think that conversations like these can be quite productive when they’re taken from an honest stance that involves two individuals that are open to learning. I hope this feeling is mutual. Although, I do wish that you would read the rest of my post and tell me exactly the issues you had with it (you will also see towards the end that I actually do somewhat agree with your post, about women being more determined. I would definitely agree that there are plenty of good black men out there, and if some women would stop pessimistically assuming that all black men are bad, then they’d find one). I like to think that I am often right; however, I admit I may be wrong. I encourage you to voice any criticisms you have of my stance. I don’t think any progress can be made when people are afraid to say what they truly feel, especially when it is such an important topic as this.
    Hope to hear from you soon, Nell.

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  12. nell, stop competing and debating and investigate. find out for yourself. read some books. talk to some black men and see how they feel about this situation. talk to some black women who aren't radical feminist. it seems like you're not seeing on purpose.

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  13. What a great post! I definitely agree with seeing the issue from the other side. Black men have to face so many outside factors that affect their lives. We as black women must understand and not have unattainable and fictitious standards that we want a potential mate to have. Life can surprise and being open to that reality opens many doors.

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