Black Women's Improvement Project (BWIP)

Jamila Akil: Beware of “Concern Trolls”

Concern troll (noun): A concern troll is a false flag pseudonym created by a user whose actual point of view is opposed to the one that the user claims to hold. The concern troll posts in Web forums devoted to its declared point of view and attempts to sway the group’s actions or opinions while claiming to share their goals, but with professed “concerns”. The goal is to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt within the group (Source: Wikipedia)

Concern trolls show up on blogs focused on black women and interracial dating to do one thing and one thing only: To sow fear, uncertainty and doubt with the group.

A concern troll is likely to say something like this: ” I know you are interested in dating men of ‘insert the name of the group here,’ and I fully support that and all, but I just wanted to let you know that ( 1) men of that group have historically been discriminatory towards black women and looked down upon black people; (2) men of that group don’t bring black women home to meet their mama’s; and (3) they are very macho/patriarchal. I just want you to know some things to be aware of so that you can make wise choices.”

The name of the concern trolls game is to get you to suffer from crippling self-doubt. What the concern troll wants you to do is to be afraid, uncertain, or doubtful about the intentions of a non-black man when you get approached by one. The concern trolls hope is that you will feel so unsteady around a non-black man, so uncertain of his intentions when he expresses what appears to be genuine interest that you will shoot your own self in the foot by making sure that you reject the non-white guy before he rejects you. And the concern troll wants to make you believe that he/she is only saying certain things to you because they care. NOT!!!

As an example of concern trolling in action, I present to you a portion of a comment left on my blog:

Seriously speaking, BW should be very careful when dating or marrying *anyone* from a country with a colonial history in or with Africa. There’s no sense in making a concerted effort to ignore Pookie and Ray Ray, just to fall into the arms of Guillermo “Goza” Velasquez (restauranteur, part-time lower- league football player and full time Lothario.) I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes, black military women who went to the Azores or Spain, “fell in love” with the first sweet talker with hazel eyes and actual swagger (because they made the mistake of thinking that all white men are middle-class white Americans), just to come back to the States complaining about how “all men ain’t shit!”, because their swirling partner was just looking to earn his “black oak” badge.

It’s jumping from the frying pan into the fire: trading black men who are most likely to specialise in *1* form of game (with one parent who approves) for white men who can jump between multiple forms of seduction (all of which are based on centuries of tradition, supplemented by parental approval of game and buffered by their disdain for black skin, the traditional “blacks are for sex, not marriage”, mindset.) Although there are plenty (way too many, although not a majority) of black men who are trifling and should be ignored, at least those black men have parents who *will* bother them to settle down. Your average Mediterranean man is going to swim upstream just to try to make things *serious*, never mind trying to convince his parents to treat his black wife as a daughter. My whole swirling mindset is based on the idea that BW shouldn’t ignore WM who are ready to date/marry them if their available black options aren’t acting right; it doesn’t make sense for me to cosign on the idea of BW going after WM who have even more reasons/excuses to not get married.

That being said, I’m obviously not the boss of anyone….

First clue that this person was concern trolling: The post where this person left the comment HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with interracial dating. When a person starts giving you relationship advice out to the clear blue, you can bet that they are just getting something off of their chest that they had been wanting to say to you anyways and now they finally found a way to make their opportunity.

Second clue: He suggested that I should be wary of anyone who comes from country with a colonial history in or with Africa. So he wants me to consider with suspicion the advances of any man who approaches me from France, Spain, Italy, England, Germany, Belgium, and Portugal at the least. I guess I should be happy, I can still date Armenians right? This concern troll is just spewing an updated version of, “How can you date the white men after they enslaved Africans.” It’s the ‘you can’t date white men due to slavery argument’ wrapped up in a new packaging with a little Febreze rubbed on it so you won’t notice the musty, mildewy smell coming from this worn out argument.

Second clue: He tells me white men just have too much game! How can you fight the white man’s game sista? Do you know how powerful and multifaceted the white man’s game is? Did you know that the white man has been honing his game for centuries under the tutelage of his white mother and father? Hmm, I’m supposed to be leery of the white man’s game. Now that’s a new one.

Third clue: He tells me that yes, there are many black men that are trifling and should be ignored, but even a trifling black man has parents who will advise him to marry you…eventually. My name is not Savannah Brinson so I will not be giving a man 9 years of my life and two sons before his momma finally convinces him that I’m marriage material. I’m also not a hip hop wife, so I won’t be buying my own ring and proposing. Somebody should call up the ghost of Ray Charles to let Mr. MaMu know that he has the wrong one baby, uh huh.

And the kicker, the part of his comment that finally sealed the deal was when he used the most tired line in the book: it’s ok to date white men, if there are no available black options. The black man should be first in line, and then only if I absolutely cannot find a brotha to marry me should I then seek out a white man with a boatload of game to spare who will turn his nose up at his family to be with me.

Is concern trolling the only job left in this economy? Has the job market become that bad?

Thankfully I see right through the concern trolls and I hope other black women interested in dating across color lines see it too.

Visit Jamila’s brilliant blog here.

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