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Archives for : black lives matter

DDD: I Am An Angry Black Woman

I’m angry. I’m pissed. I’m incensed. I have an attitude. I’m mad. I’ve had “Resting Bitch Face” since long before having a resting bitch face was in style. Oh, and in case I haven’t been clear on this fact, I’m Black… and a womanly woman with lady parts. Got it? Good. So when you, in your infinite wisdom and privilege, curl your lips to make statements about my character, or tell me to “smile, it’s not that bad…” understand that you have now contributed to what was probably an already unpleasant day. You don’t know my life. You can’t fathom my struggle.  I don’t owe you anything, least of all a smile that I might be saving for someone who actually deserves a brighter day created by my pleasant side. If you aren’t directly contributing to my wellbeing with friendship or a paycheck, your opinion is invalid. I might be an angry Black Woman, but you helped make me this way. Now, I spend a good percentage of my days trying to not be “the Angry Black Woman” everyone seems to be so hateful of, but today seems like a good day to let her loose.

Malcolm X had an idea about why we're angry...

If you had to spend your entire existence justifying your every emotion and defending your right to humanity, you might be angry too. If you had to listen to people devaluing you and women who look like you day in and day out, you might have an attitude too. If you had to watch non-Black women be praised and lauded for their fiery attitudes, their assertiveness, their braids, their purchased body parts, fabricated mannerisms, carbon copied style… but when you do it its unprofessional, unsexy, unattractive… all manner of Nope… you too might find yourself UNwilling to put up with the bull shit. If you had to read words from Black men who probably have equally Black mothers, sisters, and cousins talking about Black women as if we are… no, not “as if,” because they clearly have no love for Black women unless they are light skinned and otherwise as close to whiteness as Black woman can be. If you had to work 3 times as hard to earn half of what your white counterparts are paid, and one third of what men in the same position earn, you’d be pissed too.

One reason why we're Angry...If you belonged to the most educated, hardest working demographic who is also the least valued, often imitated/never duplicated group of human beings on this planet, you too might find cause for anger.

Here’s the history lesson:

Especially in this Nation, while white women were fighting for a right to work, own property, and not get beaten and raped bySkin Color does not equal Angry their husbands, Black women had never not worked, and weren’t even considered wholly human. While white women were burning their bras, Black women were tending to white women’s dirty laundry, raising their children, cleaning their homes, cooking their food, and making sure that they could come home to comfort when they were done Not working. Then, after suffering at the hands of often cruel “employers” they’d get to go “home” to similarly abused Black men who often found cause to take their frustrations out on who else but the Black woman who’d just gotten home from working to do more work and tend to her own family, and get raped and beaten too.

 

Anger happens when you see things that piss you off

So here’s the thing, no one really likes being angry. No one wants to spend their lives in a general sense of dismay. This one isn’t directed toward any one group because everyone, other Black women included, are guilty of contributing to the discontent of Black women. Existing in this skin is hard enough without additional external factors making a mess of things. Speaking in general, we don’t need a pity party or snowflake treatment. Just get out of the way. How? Keep your judgments and opinions to yourself. Stop telling us what we are, who we are, what we need to do… just stop. More specifically, stop limiting our humanity. I’m allowed to get and be angry. We all are. If you see us walking down the street looking serious, assume we’re contemplating metaphysics or the solution to world hunger, silently acknowledge our heroism to yourself, and move on with your life so we can continue moving through ours.

Do More, Require Better with your #50percent. The day you save may be your own.

The Lives That Matter

I woke up this morning to a Facebook feed full of posts Enough Internetabout lions and how much more important the general public seems to have deemed animal lives in comparison to Black lives… because apparently, we can’t validate both. I’m not going to spend too much time on this because once again I had a completely different piece planned for today, but this crap has overrun and distracted me from some of the other issues that matter so much more to me.

1. I hope that murdering dentist loses more than just his business, his livelihood, and his way of life. I hope the spirits of the animals he thought it was okay to murder and mount to his wall visit his dreams and drive him insane.

Cecil's life mattered2. I am not one of those “All Lives Matter” fools. In the grand scheme of things, no life matters. We are all insignificant. Our lives are insignificant, and the planet would be doing much better without human lives in particular.

3. I can see and even relate to wondering how a person can get passionate about the murder of a lion and not bat an eyelash over the unjust killing of a black person… and then I remember how I feel about humanity, why I feel this way about humanity, and I get it.

I automatically side with all living things over human beings every day. When that trainer was drowned by that whale at Sea World a few years back, I cheered for the whale. When I watch those “When animals attack videos, I cheer for the animals. My favorite part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy is when the Tree Nymphs fight back. I love seeing mother nature win against the tyranny of man. Nature doesn’t fight or kill over ideas or ideals. They do things for survival. When we do things, its usually just because we can.

That said, the state of race relations in the world and specifically in this nation pisses me off. I can’t abide by a psychology that would sooner see me and people who look like me dead for no reason other than the color of my skin. I can’t appreciate a policy that supports faulty social programming. I can’t approve of a dogma that is set up specifically to see me and mine fail. I can’t  accept mediocrity or a lesser standard of living that was determined not by my level of effort but by someone else’s opinion of what I do or don’t deserve.

I shouldn’t be able to draw a parallel between the murdered lion and a murdered human. I shouldn’t have to ask why people can rally around murdered lion, but can’t seem to see that a murdered Black person should also require the closing of a business, the loss of livelihood of the murderer, and the need for justice being served Race Cardswiftly and without prejudice.

I hate playing the race card, but every card in my deck is Black. You can’t see the content of my character because you’ve already seen the color of my skin. The darkness of my skin has already colored your perception; you’ve already assumed that I’ll be loud, uncooperative, belligerent, uneducated, ignorant, and somebody’s “baby momma.” The race card was dealt long before I knew which game I was playing.

So, here’s how this is going to work. I’m going to continue loving animals, hugging trees, and applauding when mother nature does her thing. You can keep filling up my Facebook feed with your parallels and your indignation… and while we’re doing our individual thing, let’s all

Do More. Require Better.

Lesson 5: History is a Teacher. Learn from the Past

There are so many quotes out there about learning from the past to protect the future. Whether its on a global or local scale, the idea is the same: “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Its an important lesson, but not one that I’m going to drag out too much, because, like I said, there’s a lot out there on the subject.

History ComicIn politics, people who lost previously get to run all over again, sometimes claiming a new set of ideals, or denying the ones they claimed the last time, and the general public eats it up, they get votes or at the very least undue attention in spite of their history. In relationships, cheaters and beaters get undeserved second and third chances presumably because they changed or an underlying issue got resolved. There are those who find themselves trying so hard to avoid their pasts that they forget to make the necessary changes that would save them from making the same mistakes. The past; the history, is forgotten. We have such short memories.

The history of racial injustice that this nation was built upon is an excellent example of history lessons that weren’t learned. White people–in general–haven’t accepted their role as it relates to the present state of racial relations. They say things about not seeing race, or racism not being “a thing”… They lean on skewed statistics to support the idea that blacks are prone to crime, violence, and sexual deviance… Simba's History Lessonas if this entire nation wasn’t stolen from an indigenous people who were murdered and raped into endangerment… meanwhile, children of color are criminalized, cities burn, unemployment rates climb, local governments choose to fund prisons instead of schools, and the cycle of injustice continues. Black people–in general–forget that the civil rights movement didn’t make strides because of negro efforts alone. We forget that there is more to black culture than rap music, slang, and beautifully thick kinky hair. Our children remain under and miseducated; having forgotten that the reason slavery lasted so long was because things like education and reading were reserved for whites only. And even with having the freedom to learn and be educated, we still act as if literacy and proper grammar is still reserved for whites, and uppity negroes trying to “act white.” We cannot move forward as a nation because there are too many lessons that haven’t been learned.

So what happens when people learn from history? People abandon their vices; having learned that to remain addicted will cost them their family and their life. The abused leave their abusers; having learned that no amount of sorry will unbreak their ribs. Relationships thrive because people remember why their last relationships failed, they put in the effort to improve themselves, and make sure they don’t fall back into bad habits. Sacrifices are made. Laws are written. Constitutions are amended. The general public is put on notices that there are inalienable rights that will no longer be denied. Slavery is abolished. Women get to vote. Labor unions are established. The disabled get to work. The LGBTQ community can marry. Freedom rings across the land. So much is possible when we use history as a teacher… and, of course, if we Do More & Require Better.