Picking up where I left off in part 2, I want to speak to why so many black women, no matter how intelligent, successful and yes, interracial relationship-minded, will take some unnecessary bullets and jump head-first into crosshairs. Fear is a major motivating factor, but inorder to understand the reason, you have to get at the root. That root is indoctrination.
What does it meant to be “indoctrinated”? It is when you are taught to think and behave in a certain way without critically thinking as to why you are doing so. It is automatic. It is so well ingrained into how you are and how you view the world, no matter how for black-women centric issues and concerns you claim to be or even think to be, when the right “target” presents itself, you will go running towards it anyway without even stopping to consider why.
Black women are among the most indoctrinated people on the planet. Taught to think along the lines of the following:
– You are not first, and neither are your best interests. You must put everyone else above you. This act of “selflessness” is key to being the good workhorse/viral host you are meant to be.
– You are not allowed to be angry or upset about issues that affect you or even cause you harm. There is no righteous anger: You must be passive in how people treat you, and allow them access to you to use/abuse you.
– You are not allowed to discuss or critically think about issues that affect you. If you find this is happening, you must shut the discussion down and bring it back to “race” and sticking together in order to survive “outside forces”.
– You must not be too proud of yourself or think too well of yourself. You are a black woman, which is nothing to be proud of. You must always elevate black men above you, because it’s important that they never feel less than black women in the eyes of non-whites, because everyone knows black people are on “the bottom”. Better that black women are on the absolute bottom, because black male pride is more important than anything else. If these men put you down to these groups and each other, it’s okay, because (1) you deserve it for being a black woman and (2) this is necessary for their elevation above you, which is for the good of the black race.
– You require the permission of others to think and feel for yourself and your needs, and are not allowed to act until that permission is “granted” by another person or party. And even if “granted”, you must always use disclaimers and express your unwavering loyalty to the race. Make it clear you will never be out of reach of those who need to use you.
– You must come back to the fold to protect the race at ALL times against ALL threats, real or imagined, whether you are affected or not, and not think critically as to why you are speaking up or if it would be better for you not to involve yourself.
– Even if a black man is dangerous to your mentally, physically, or emotionally, because he is a black man, you must elevate and defend him. It’s more important to stick together and combat “outsiders” than separate yourself from this threat. Even if this works against you, it’s more important to protect the honor and pride of black men than it is to have these persons protect, respect and honor you.
These are the messages that are in a majority of black women today to varying degrees find themselves indoctrinated to believe. It is important to remember that. When you are fighting against ideas and actions that are holding you back as a black woman, you are not just fighting external parties. A lot of times, you are fighting yourself. And that’s rather scary.
Being in a BW/BWE centric space cannot protect you from yourself. Being in an interracial relationship or believing in exercising your choices regarding dating cannot protect you from yourself. If you feel that you are OBLIGATED to stick your neck out for questionable characters because of “racial loyalty” or some idea that it’s necessary to white knight for black men, you are acting out of indoctrination.
Some black women come into these spaces and honestly think that being here and talking means that they are not indoctrinated. They think that the key to BWE lies in bashing DBRs, dating a few white men, and “hallelujah I have seen the light”! That’s not how empowerment works. To be empowered, you take responsibility for yourself and your choices in life. You act on your OWN behalf and for your OWN best interests. You do not wade into any discussion looking to defend or excuse anything that brings you harm, because empowered persons do not go out of their way to act out against themselves.
At the same time, not every black woman who comes into these spaces is interested in black-women centric issues at all. Some of them, indoctrinated as they are, are here to overtly or subtly as they can disrupt discussions and dilute the messages with poison. This is because they are “programmed” to shut down anything that is going to get in the way of being better mammies, mules, workhorses, etc. to the black community. They have been convinced that it is evil to be anything other than a subservient abused thing.
They may not even think of what they’re doing in those terms, but the truth is there in what they say, do, and how they carry themselves. These persons are not necessarily as clever as they think they are, and inevitably, “the truth will out”: When you are heavily indoctrinated, all it takes is certain key phrases to trigger you and you will eventually expose what you’re actually about and where you stand. You have no control over it because you are not even consciously functioning. You must do what you have been taught to do, even at risk of making your trollishness known.
The truth is that the only way to escape being indoctrinated is to first admit that you are. This is incredibly hard because a key part of how indoctrination is able to take root is the use of denial and derailment to keep these harmful belief systems in place.
These defense mechanisms exist in order for you to better accept what you have been taught and to do what is desired of you without thinking. And there are trigger words and phrases that will bring out the good little sister soldier who will then take the desired bullet. You must critically think about what they are and NOT deny and avoid. You must critically think about what you are doing that’s working against yourself in whatever way and come to terms with that. This isn’t on non-blacks; this isn’t even on black men and the black community: It’s on you.
You can’t look to others to make you free from yourself and the teachings that make you act against yourself. Humans are more likely to exploit people who can be used for whatever ends than they are to work to help them liberate themselves. And it’s often too mentally exhausting trying to save someone from his/herself. Besides, if you aren’t willing to do the work on your own behalf, why expect anyone else to do so?
Either think long and hard about every bull’s-eye you choose to jump infront of or accept the fact that you will never be free and never entirely belong to yourself and your own best interests.