going back to africa

Reunifying African diaspora across the Americas with each other, their pride, history, culture, true homes & identity…

Archive for the tag “beautiful black women”

White Fragility 2

Factors that inculcate White Fragility
Segregation
The first factor leading to White Fragility is the segregated lives which most white people live. Even if whites live in physical proximity to PoC (& this would be exceptional outside of an urban or temporarily mixed class neighborhood), segregation occurs on multiple levels, including representational & informational. Because whites live primarily segregated lives in a white-dominated society, they receive little or no authentic information about racism & are thus unprepared to think about it critically or with complexity. Growing up in segregated environments (schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, media images & historical perspectives), white interests & perspectives are almost always central, resulting in an inability to see or consider significance in the perspectives of PoC.

Further, white people are taught not to feel any loss over the absence of PoC in their lives & in fact, this absence is what defines their schools & neighborhoods as “good;” whites come to understand that a “good school” or “good neighborhood” is coded language for “white”. The quality of white space being in large part measured via the absence of PoC (Blacks in particular) is a profound message indeed, one that is deeply internalized & reinforced daily through normalized discourses about good schools & neighborhoods. This dynamic of gain rather than loss via racial segregation may be the most profound aspect of white racial socialization of all. Yet, while discourses about what makes a space good are tacitly understood as racially coded, this coding is explicitly denied by whites.


Universalism & Individualism
Whites are taught to see their perspectives as objective & representative of reality. The belief in objectivity, coupled with positioning white people as outside of culture (& thus the norm for humanity), allows whites to view themselves as universal humans who can represent all of human experience. This is evidenced through an unracialized identity or location, which functions as a kind of blindness; an inability to think about Whiteness as an identity or as a “state” of being that would or could have an impact on one’s life. In this position, Whiteness is not recognized or named by white people & a universal reference point is assumed. White people are just people. Within this construction, whites can represent humanity, while PoC, who are never just people but always most particularly black people, Asian people, etc., can only represent their own racialized experiences.

The discourse of universalism functions similarly to the discourse of individualism but instead of declaring that we all need to see each other as individuals (everyone is different), the person declares that we all need to see each other as human beings (everyone is the same). Of course we are all humans & I do not critique universalism in general, but when applied to racism, universalism functions to deny the significance of race & the advantages of being white. Further, universalism assumes that whites & PoC have the same realities, the same experiences in the same contexts (i.e. I feel comfortable in this majority white classroom, so you must too), the same responses from others & assumes that the same doors are open to all. Acknowledging racism as a system of privilege conferred on whites challenges claims to universalism.


At the same time that whites are taught to see their interests & perspectives as universal, they are also taught to value the individual & to see themselves as individuals rather than as part of a racially socialized group. Individualism erases history & hides the ways in which wealth has been distributed & accumulated over generations to benefit whites today. It allows whites to view themselves as unique & original, outside of socialization & unaffected by the relentless racial messages in the culture. Individualism also allows whites to distance themselves from the actions of their racial group & demand to be granted the benefit of the doubt, as individuals, in all cases.

 A corollary to this unracialized identity is the ability to recognize Whiteness as something that is significant & that operates in society, but to not see how it relates to one’s own life. In this form, a white person recognizes Whiteness as real, but as the individual problem of other “bad” white people. Given the ideology of individualism, whites often respond defensively when linked to other whites as a group or “accused” of collectively benefiting from racism, because as individuals, each white person is “different” from any other white person & expects to be seen as such. This narcissism is not necessarily the result of a consciously held belief that whites are superior to others (although that may play a role), but a result of the white racial insulation ubiquitous in dominant culture; a general white inability to see non-white perspectives as significant, except in sporadic & impotent reflexes, which have little or no long-term momentum or political usefulness.
history

(click to enlarge)

Whites invoke these seemingly contradictory discourses—we are either all unique or we are all the same—interchangeably. Both discourses work to deny white privilege & the significance of race. Further, on the cultural level, being an individual or being a human outside of a racial group is a privilege only afforded to white people. In other words, PoC are almost always seen as “having a race” & described in racial terms (“the black man”) but whites rarely are (“the man”), allowing whites to see themselves as objective & non-racialized. In turn, being seen (& seeing ourselves) as individuals outside of race frees whites from the psychic burden of race in a wholly racialized society. Race & racism become their problems, not ours. Challenging these frameworks becomes a kind of unwelcome shock to the system.


The disavowal of race as an organizing factor, both of individual white consciousness & the institutions of society at large, is necessary to support current structures of capitalism & domination, for without it, the correlation between the distribution of social resources & unearned white privilege would be evident. The existence of structural inequality undermines the claim that privilege is simply a reflection of hard work & virtue. Therefore, inequality must be hidden or justified as resulting from lack of effort. Individualism accomplishes both of these tasks. At the same time, the individual presented as outside these relations cannot exist without its disavowed other. Thus, an essential dichotomy is formed between specifically raced others & the unracialized individual. Whites have deep investments in race, for the abstract depends on the particular; they need raced others as the backdrop against which they may rise. Exposing this dichotomy destabilizes white identity.


Entitlement to racial comfort
In the dominant position, whites are almost always racially comfortable & thus have developed unchallenged expectations to remain so. Whites have not had to build tolerance for racial discomfort & thus when racial discomfort arises, whites typically respond as if something is “wrong,” & blame the person or event that triggered the discomfort (usually a person of color). This blame results in a socially-sanctioned array of counter-moves against the perceived source of the discomfort, including: penalization; retaliation; isolation; ostracization & refusal to continue engagement. Whites insistence on racial comfort ensures that racism will not be faced. This insistence also functions to punish those who break white codes of comfort. Whites often confuse comfort with safety & state that we don’t feel safe when what we really mean is that we don’t feel comfortable. This trivializes our history of brutality towards PoC & perverts the reality of that history. Because we don’t think complexly about racism, we don’t ask ourselves what safety means from a position of societal dominance, or the impact on PoC, given our history, for whites to complain about our safety when we are merely talking about racism.
white11

(click to enlarge)

Racial Arrogance
Ideological racism includes strongly positive images of the white self as well as strongly negative images of racial “others”. This self-image engenders a self-perpetuating sense of entitlement because many whites believe their financial & professional successes are the result of their own efforts while ignoring the fact of white privilege. Because most whites have not been trained to think complexly about racism in schools or mainstream discourse & because it benefits white dominance not to do so, we have a very limited understanding of racism. Yet dominance leads to racial arrogance & in this racial arrogance, whites have no compunction about debating the knowledge of people who have thought complexly about race. Whites generally feel free to dismiss these informed perspectives rather than have the humility to acknowledge that they are unfamiliar, reflect on them further, or seek more information. This intelligence & expertise are often trivialized & countered with simplistic platitudes (i.e. “People just need to…”).
white4
Because of white social, economic & political power within a white dominant culture, whites are positioned to legitimize PoC’s assertions of racism. Yet whites are the least likely to see, understand, or be invested in validating those assertions & being honest about their consequences, which leads whites to claim that they disagree with perspectives that challenge their worldview, when in fact, they don’t understand the perspective.Thus, they confuse not understanding with not agreeing. This racial arrogance, coupled with the need for racial comfort, also has whites insisting that PoC explain white racism in the “right” way. The right way is generally politely & rationally, without any show of emotional upset. When explained in a way that white people can see & understand, racism’s validity may be granted (references to dynamics of racism that white people do not understand are usually rejected out of hand). However, whites are usually more receptive to validating white racism if that racism is constructed as residing in individual white people other than themselves.

Continued below: See White Fragility 3
Advertisements

My Sister’s Keeper

No other woman is my competition! My hope is that we ALL make it!!

yemaya20y20ochunIn the Chakra chart below, the right side shows the physical consequences of when women do not have their spiritual (left side of chart) lives in balance. Yoga, meditation, healing stones & a pH balanced diet will all work to counter those consequences, but it’s still equally important to try keeping our emotional states in check. We are what we eat & that includes emotions & thoughts…

woman-in-lotus-positionMany of these factors are outside of ourselves, out of our control & at the helm of others, so it’s also equally important that we take care of each other, so as not to throw our fellow Kings & Queens off their spiritual balance, nor our little Princes & Princesses.

As you see, when our partnerships &/or relationships are nonexistent, weak, broken, or abusive, our self esteem is damaged; if we hate our jobs, have overwhelming responsibilities or financial troubles; feel unwanted or under-appreciated, those issues can trigger us to make poor lifestyle choices, including our diets, which leads to high blood pressure, various cancers (an epidemic in this country), weight gain/loss, drug & alcohol addictions, lowered fertility, uterine fibroid tumors, depression, back pain, breakouts & a weakened immune system, amongst other health problems.

When men abuse (eliminating our sense of safety), disrespect or degrade (altering our perception & morality), cheat on (damaging our self esteem & sense of security), ignore or withhold affection (ruining our sense of belonging & feelings of appreciation), it can literally kill us ladies over time. It works the same in reverse or when we do it to ourselves, or to other women.

POOPSide-chicks have no place in the healing & uplifting of our Queens. I’d like to believe that the above meme is not true. I believe that most women who choose to assume a #2 position are very damaged themselves & that through personal growth & healing, they can change their destructive ways. A woman of substance that truly loves herself would never accept such a position, and if a man truly loved a woman, he would never allow or expect her to.

Some women are sociopaths & lack the empathy necessary to care about the damage they are participating in causing when getting involved with a man already in a relationship. Some are too hurt themselves to consider the feelings of others &/or afraid to get a man of their own, so being a mere side-chick will prevent them from getting hurt again. They may believe they are in a safe & even superior position by being the side-chick, because they may get a satisfying enough amount time, attention, affection & money/gifts – all without the responsibilities & stress the girlfriend/wife has at home.

In some instances, it may not be a self-esteem issue, but actually one of an inflated ego. They may just enjoy the excitement of having the attention of another woman’s man. A woman without any real substance will take so much pride in her looks & sex appeal that it blinds her to see that’s all she is worth to that man, not [yet] realizing her true value. My hope is that ALL women of such levels of mediocrity will discover or develop their self worth, leaving men without the option to betray their wives & girlfriends.

Of course, it is ultimately the responsibility of the persons within the relationship to keep up their side of the deal & to protect each other from hurt. I am not in any way relieving the cheating partner of their obligations by placing more of the blame on the sidepiece; I believe they are equally wrong in their actions & therefore equally responsible for the pain that they cause. I find both their actions deplorable, especially when there are children involved.

Us Queens have to support each other, uplift each other, take care of ourselves & stop hating on each other, stop fucking each others men (or women), competing with each other & fighting each other because no real positive changes or true unity will ever happen if we don’t! It begins with US!

The Miseducation of… Basically EVERYTHING

cleeo

“…Showing off your ass ’cause you thinking it’s a trend… It’s silly when girls sell their souls because it’s in… Hair weaves like Europeans, fake nails done by Koreans… Come again”

Songstress Lauryn Hill’s Doo Wop – That Thing dropped 16 years ago & her lyrics are even more relevant & needed today than when it released. Instead of retreating away from the culture of obsession with image, society has dove in even deeper in the age of real-time media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Women & girls all over the World spend billions of dollars & thousands of hours every year on artificial enhancements & surgeries – sometimes risking & losing their lives – to look like something they are not, to attract the type of attention they don’t really need.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look nice, but it’s whole other level when you can find endless photos & videos of young ladies & girls all over social media trying to garner the most looks & likes, as if their self-worth depended on it. Needing to validate themselves by how many people out there want to sex them, or wished they looked like them. Wanting to be admired for being a Barbie or a ‘bad bitch’, rather than a Queen or a phenomenal woman. Being more prideful & worrisome over the contour of their eyebrows, waist & size of their hips, than in the content of their character, health, or finding purpose in life.

If you are unfamiliar with who Sarah Baartman is, she was a South African slave who was featured nude in a traveling circus around London & Paris, catering to Europeans fascination with her physical African attributes, mainly her large butt, which some deemed an abnormality. She was led around stage like a wild animal, by her ‘keeper’ who’d have her walk, stand or sit when ordered. During this time, she was assumed to be the “missing link” by Napoleon’s surgeon-general, who upon her death in 1816, cast her body in wax & her remains were displayed in a Paris museum until 1974. In 1994, then president Nelson Mandela made an appeal to the French to retrieve her, but it wasn’t until 2002 that their senate approved a bill for her to be repatriationed back to South Africa, where she was finally laid to rest in the Eastern Cape.

Today, African women are exploited similarly in more modern circuses, known as talk & reality television shows. Celebrity obsession, pop culture, rap music, photoshop, womens & teen magazines, pageants, bullies & other factors have all contributed to this image & attention obsessed epidemic our current generation is facing. The difference between these practices amongst women of African descent & most other races is, many times when undergoing these beauty techniques, African women are also killing their sense of identity. Those are the girls L. Boogie was calling out, asking to ‘come again’. Millions of them are avoiding sun exposure & bleaching their skin, perming their hair & wearing weaves in any & every texture except for that of their real, natural hair. They are constantly celebrating & striving towards other races natural beauty, while failing to embrace their own.

Even Beyonce, as gorgeous as she is, has had a nose job & admitted to wishing that she was born Latina. I don’t believe it’s because she actually hates being African, but because she favors their natural beauty over her own. Sadly, there are hundreds of thousands of young black girls & women that feel the same way – boys & men as well. Many of us have been conditioned to & not just via mainstream media, but sometimes even by our very own friends & family. This destructive conditioning has been passed down through the generations ever since the days of slavery. My father used to live in New York City & had been to black nightclubs where they would do a ‘paper bag test’, not letting in any patrons whose skin tones were darker than a brown paper bag.

Our ancestors in Africa did not discriminate against each other in such ways. Looking at their artwork & hieroglyphics, they celebrated all their various shades of brown & hair textures equally! Like Lauryn, I want my fellow sisters to realize that their natural features are just as beautiful as the ones they are hiding them with & that there are much more meaningful things in life to worry about than how big your butt is, how well you can twerk & how many followers & likes you can get. There is more to you than meets the eye

“How you gonna win when you ain’t right within? …………Come again”

Post Navigation