(underline and emphasis are mine)
The article you wrote on October 28, was once again something that speaks to the peculiar situation that we -more emphasis on myself- find ourselves in. the roles are reversed!!! its unnatural and we are paying a hefty price.
There was a comment along the lines: that black woman in the show does not speak for me. I wanted to respond and suggestively point out that it doesnt work that way. But, out of fear that it might be taken to mean that I think I’m right and she is wrong, and thus move the focus away from what IMHO is more important- the ailing relationship between BM and BW, I thought the email more fitting. Its very possible that if the commenter might have agreed with me and started us on what I think is perhaps a better course of action- to voice our displeasure at the way we are being portrayed in the media. Equally more effective, we should “shame” such behaviour from our own. Shame might not be the best word hence why its in quotes.
The reason I say she [Deena Jacobs] speaks for us is that we are seen as a group-BW. For the majority of other people, they go by what they are exposed to in such media outlets. I say this with a humility that words may not convey: most people would rather not do the thinking to arrive at their own conclusion– especially in the western culture of either-or versus both-and. That woman speaks for all black women just as that man spoke for all (DBR) BM.
Whats more, other men want what other men want-its in their competitive nature to do so. The woman who believes that she has options and that she is the prize will go through life with that belief confirmed. This is more true for the group than the individual. Our stock is tied to our collective image. The highest regard for the individual has its basis on the standard of the lowest common denominator. As per the racial hierachy, black men are at the bottom. If we as black women allow for the public and/or private disrespect from BM, that stains our image even more. Men do not want what others dont want.
The reason I say this is because I have noticed that other men (and women ) of other races seem to think that that vulgar behaviour is appropriate with me- a BW- at first meet. Even when I insist through my actions and words, its as if my initial demands to be treated like a lady fall on deaf ears until I have made it a point that I’m not that type of BW-and I highly doubt that there is even that type of BW!!! Never mind my level of sophistication etc, its almost as if the default thinking is I should be treated like that. To them, its probably all I know.
Its because of such portrayals that we start off with a social deficit. I had to write this because I’m reminded of this every time I meet new people-this evening was no different. At the start, they stand off in the distance just waiting and watching for me to reveal myself and as always, it never comes. Several encounters later, others will still be waiting and watching in confusion and, dare I say it, disappointment that I’m not being myself around them- read that as I’m not acting according to the BW script.
Soon enough, I find that I attract those that are open minded (and those are in the minority at any gathering) and we have enriching relationships but the bulk of people go through our interactions as curious as ever and unwilling to betray their own prejudices. And whats more, even those that are challenging themselves to learn who I am without the filter struggle to accept me as both black and proper. That is not entirely their fault, society needs an excuse for a cruel joke and we fit the description-we are doing this all by ourselves (with the help of outsiders of course). And the bulk of the the population needs an image of someone who they see as less than they are so can feel better about themselves so you cant blame outsiders for fuelling the fires. I’ts entertaining to say the least.
PS:what you are doing with your website, the NWNW and the community that has resulted because of it is nothing short of stellar. I for one found your resources to be a wealth of information at a time when I could easily have become a statistic.
[Chris here, blessing your heart and doing a praise dance like the atheist who comes to Jesus]