Are we or are we not a monolith?

Written by Nicole


As black people, specifically American black people in particular, there are some things on which we can all agree. Meat is required to be seasoned to be considered edible. Those pots and pans piling up in the kitchen sink? They need to soak first. The top of the fridge is a cereal shelf. Those sorts of topics are innocuous and pretty widely accepted to be true.


However, if a topic comes up that is slightly more controversial, there will be a variety of differing opinions and viewpoints. And, inevitably, there will be a declaration that hopes to point out and explain why some people have different opinions:


Black people are not a monolith!


And, of course, that is true. Outside of a very limited range of topics, it would be impossible to gain a consensus on anything. Something that I may hold dear, may be considered utter nonsense to you, and vice versa! I was inspired to write this article after an accusation of being self hating for the umpteenth time. But if we are not a monolith, why are opposing, or even just slightly different, viewpoints met with such hostility?


One prominent example is Candace Owens. Candace is a black woman who holds some very conservative and controversial viewpoints. I definitely don’t agree with all of them, but she’s made a name for herself as a prominent black female conservative speaker, and I respect that. I like the fact that she is marching on her own path, even though I’m not in 100% (or even 50%, really) agreement with her. Sometimes, amidst her incendiary criticisms, there will be a gem or two she drops. Even though our politics don’t align, I respect Candace’s hustle. But despite not being a monolith, loads of detractors, male and female alike, will accuse her of all manner of crimes.

First, they will attack her hair, because if a black woman did or said something you disagreed with, you just gotta go after her hair. Those are the rules. Then it’ll be her general appearance, and then the content of her argument. Despite not being a monolith, Candace’s viewpoints are wholly rejected, and her blackness is taken away. Couple that with a gif of Daffy Duck or a raccoon and there you have it, the argument is quashed.

Tap Dance GIF - TapDance Dance DaffyDuck GIFs

The gif that shuts down any argument.


Interestingly enough, black male commentators holding views similar to Candace do not get nearly as much vitriol directed their way. Hmm.


The internet being what it is, meaning and nuance is lost due to text, and you don’t always know the fingers above the keyboard. But what’s crazy to me is that without fail, certain viewpoints will get your e-Black card taken away faster than you can say “Dasvidaniya”. If we are in fact, not a monolith, why are alternative paths and beliefs seen as such an affront?


With this being an election year, there’s been an increase of accusations of being a Russian bot, or an agent, or a plant. Those are not outside the realm of possibility, however, to me it seems more likely that more black women are being vocal with their beliefs, even if it doesn’t align with the vast majority.


It seems to me that black folks are not a monolith…until someone strays off the prescribed, socially sanctioned path. Black folks are indeed not a monolith, and as more black women in particular vocalize their thoughts, feelings and concerns, despite the threat of excommunication, accusations of being white, or being likened to gray mammal with a facial mask and ringed tail, we will start to see even more diversity in thought. Because of this unique situation, I recommend that black women in particular are very selective with where they share “less monolithic” thoughts. Moving in stealth will always work in your favor in the long run.

Until then, wash those pots, they’ve been soaking long enough now.

Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Nicole, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.

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