Written by Nicole
The Divestment Movement has been picking up steam on social media in recent months/years. I myself do not identify as “divested”, as I am hesitant to put a label on what my own beliefs and how I navigate the world as a black woman. I simply say I am a “black woman of a certain mindset” – it is a flexible designation that allows me to grow and change in my own unique way.
This doesn’t mean I am anti-divestment or anything like that. I am all for black women turning away from anything and anyone that no longer serves them, no matter what that set of actions is called. However, no matter what your new approach to life is, if it goes against the “usual” way, you’ll probably hear a few things, such as a few of the “insults” below. You will hear these from both black women and black men, who both have a vested interest in keeping you on the hamster wheel.
I have included a translation for each one.
Translation: Because I cannot rely on you to put my own interests ahead of yours, you have betrayed me.
What they say: You’re selfish!
Translation: Even though everyone else can put themselves first without apology, I view your lot in life as a black woman, to be a beast of burden, a mule. Focusing on yourself means that you are a selfish bitch.
What they say: You ain’t even black! (or Your Black Card is revoked!)
Translation: I measure your blackness on a scale of how useful you are to me or my interests. Since you have made it known that you are divested, you therefore are no longer useful, and no longer black.
You might also hear the opposite…
What they say: You just want to be white!
Translation: I view wanting to be successful and doing what needs to be done to ensure that success, as being white.
Many times there will be an overlap of divested women with black women who choose to date interracially. Let’s be clear, divestment ≠ swirling. Interracial dating is just something that some divesters do. Some divested women are happily married to their black husbands of many years. Some are single and have no intention of changing that. And some are lesbians. Divestment does not center around penis color. But since the population who does not want black women to stray from the pack lacks much critical thinking skills, you may also hear:
What they say: You are a Bedwench! (or a coon, or a coon-whore, or a Bedwench-coon-whore for maximum effect)
Translation: Even though everyone else can find love in other-race packages, a disparaging term has been coined specifically for black women who do, to keep her self-esteem low, and to gaslight her into believing that black men are the only viable option.
Stepping out of the group think mentality and into one that centers yourself first is the most Black Love think you can do as a black woman. Despite claims that black women are not a monolith, there is a vested interest in keeping you blindly loyal to a monolithic way of thinking. That loyalty could be to the race, to a cause, to some mythical ideal that is still yet to manifest.
If you are embarking on this journey, it is quite likely that you will hear these phrases, or otherwise meet some kind of opposition. One key way you can avoid this is by keeping your new way of thinking to yourself. A very important tenet of divestment or any similar kind of undertaking is to move in stealth. Those who seek your failure can’t trick and trap you if they don’t know where you’re headed. As such, keep it to yourself and let the fruits of your new way of thinking speak for itself.
Have you heard disparaging remarks since you’ve forged your own path? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Nicole, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.