I was thinking since we were talking about the word “desperate” being thrown around, why not bring it around to another word that certain people like to accuse us of in this space: Hate.
I tried to write about this before, but I don’t think I was really able to get across what I was saying. I also don’t think I conveyed how accusations of hate aren’t necessarily just aimed at the people who write for BW-centric communities like this.
You probably notice, at least before the comments are suddenly gone with the wind, that people insist on coming into the comments on posts and telling us about how we all “just hate black men.”
What’s funny about these comments is that they are usually a reaction to a post where black women are being hated, abused, if not outright threatened.
Why would anyone accuse black women sharing their negative experiences in this space of expressing hate?
Theory 1: Misogyny Disguised As Righteous Anger
Have you ever had a man angry at you for talking? Not even arguing or being disrespectful, but expressing an opinion that they didn’t like. And you could feel that they wanted to hurt you? You did nothing to harm this individual, and yet the fact that you weren’t being silent because they wanted you to be silent made them violently angry. You could feel that your refusal to back down generated hatred. You could feel both the hatred and the fact that your life might be in danger if this person and you were alone?
I have felt that kind of anger both off line and online. And it can be very scary.
I can feel that level of hatred directed at me by a black man but I can never understand how they can, with their voices or words full of loathing of my black womanhood, turn around and say, “Won’t nobody love you like a black man.”
I’m really tired of black men saying this while hating me, like I don’t know that they don’t care about me as a human being. Because I don’t have time to pretend to believe it and these men are doing a terrible job of convincing me of the lie between calling me “bitch”, “desperate slut”, and “white man’s whore.”
The thing is, men who hate women like this simply cannot disguise their hatred. They hope you’re too stupid to notice.
This is why some black men feel comfortable being in spaces like this and being absolutely disrespectful. Because it isn’t love that drives them: It’s perceived ownership.
These persons feel like they own you, even if they don’t say it. They own you like inanimate property in their minds. You going off to be free and live your life is like the living room chair just one day scooting out the living room and out the door.
A chair does not simply leave the room of its own accord. Welcome to the world of interracial hatred of black women and the logic therein.
Now, black men who hate us can’t just come out and tell us that they hate us in these spaces where we talk about our thoughts, feelings and experiences. Even when it’s clear they strongly resent the fact that they don’t get to direct our discussions or control us.
So projection happens: They don’t hate us; we hate them.
WE are evil and ungrateful (for what exactly? I don’t even know you…) and we hate all black men everywhere.
What’s implied in these violent tirades under this theory is that we as black women don’t have the right to talk about what we experience and any emotion regarding black men that isn’t glowing praise. In addition we’re supposed to shut up because that’s what these powerless men need in order to feel powerful.
Bottom line: There is nothing you can do or say that is going to make black men who hate you suddenly stop. These are the men who really wish we were all dead or so broken that we could never have any sense of self-worth. These men don’t love you and being silent in the face of their verbal/physical abuse of women will not earn love. They don’t even know what love is. Because really, what man talks about loving a woman if he doesn’t know that it’s not expressed through cussing out women you don’t know on the internet?
Theory Two: Black Womanhood Under The Rug
I frequently argue with black women who insist that all the sexual predators in the world are white, even as R Kelly is a free man and allowed to sing his love of raping young black women.
That is the world that black women live in. Well, some black women are leaving that world. But not before they kick aaaaall the dust from under the rug.
This is what happens when you allow black women to talk freely about the negativity they experience in the black community. When we are harassed while trying to walk down the street. When we are molested on trains. When we have black men curse us out, beat us, spit at us, and tell us that they hate us. Yes, black men tell us through words and actions that they hate us, and some people want to act like our willingness to speak openly about these experiences is an act of hate.
Hate for whom exactly?
Tracy wrote a brilliant article about something that is very common in the black community and black households (stop and read that article, because it was just that good): saving face.
Now, saving face is common among certain ethnic groups. But usually this behavior when practiced by black people almost always works to the detriment of victims. Even if those victims are toddlers.
Where does this face-saving nonsense come from? The only thing I can think of is that some black people passed down this belief through generations that it was more important to present a united front in the face of white racism and to the white media than to confront predatory behaviors by black people, especially black men. This is why you’ll note that community outrage is greatest on the international stage when there’s a black male victim and a non-black perpetrator. When the victim is a black woman or girl-child coming at black accusers, it’s far too common for her to be shamed into silence
She is said to hate her people and her family because how dare she call black men out when white people put them through enough.
So you can imagine black people who are used to being able to save face and ignore problems and step on black women’s issues are shocked, SHOCKED, that black women have the audacity to talk about those problems on a site where they at the same time talk about how they like being with men that aren’t black.
Bottom line: The truth will out, and in the age of the internet, you can’t keep the experiences of young black women under wraps. We are not our mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers. We are not women who stayed silent about being beaten everyday by a man who then went out to march for black rights or the man who claimed that black was beautiful, but told dark-skinned women to their face, “you’re was too dark to be pretty”. Those days are over. As more black women find empowerment and their voices online, we’re going to talk.
And yes, the anger is going to come out. But also the soul is going to be unburdened. Because these young women are going to come up believing that it is worth more to be unburdened than to help predators and enablers “save face”.
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I might write a part two, but I don’t know yet. My attention span is terrible.