Black Women – Devil’s Advocate: Are Black People Doomed?

It’s the last day of September, Devil’s Advocate* month. It’s round up time. :D

Before I begin, I have to highlight these fantastic blogs for their incisive commentary:

They all provide awesome analysis into the current state of the “black community”. The beauty of these blog posts is that they are complementary, logically flow together, and it can’t get better than that.

Follow The Trail Before It Goes Cold

What’s happening? Perhaps you’ve been reading some of these blogs mentioned above and others. You’ve been thinking: What are these women talking about? What are they trying to get at? They’re obsessed with empowering black women and girls by knocking the “brothers” down, harshly criticizing black people, abandoning the “black community” (by moving to low crime neighborhoods), and heading off to Europe, the West Coast or around the world, to find a white man (or non-black) to marry.

Apparently, the last straw for some people antagonistically familiar with some of these blogs was the No Wedding No Womb (NWNW) campaign. However, not all of the BWE / IR blogs were involved. Why? While it may seem to be a part of the logical outgrowth of these blogs, in some fashion NWNW is the antithesis of the general message.

Please note, I support NWNW, yet it also points in a direction that doesn’t fit within the contextual theme of the BWE / IR blogs.

No Wedding No Womb: The Blacklash

There’s been an interesting reaction to the No Wedding No Womb (NWNW) campaign. A lot of people saw a scarlet letter tattooed to their foreheads, and it stopped them from thinking. They lashed out at the spearhead of the campaign. The first and most consistent (and let’s be real, the only one they cared about) criticism: she’s married to a white man.

That’s right, her white husband meant that the general purpose of NWNW was suspect, illegitimate, ill conceived, and problematic, because it did NOT do the following:

  1. support “black love”,
  2. encourage “good brothas” to marry black women,
  3. deify black men,
  4. hold black males responsible,
  5. uplift the black family,
  6. use a less “judgmental” campaign phrase,
  7. blame white people,
  8. promise to fight patriarchy,
  9. hail the superiority of “non-traditional” families,
  10. recognize the incredible benefits of fatherless black children,
  11. request increases in government funding,
  12. support a woman’s right to be sexually adventurous / promiscuous,
  13. realize that the real reason the OOW rate is so high, is the fault of married black women.

You got that right: married black women aren’t doing their part, so the slack is being taken up by unmarried black women. It’s not quality of black people that counts, it’s the quantity. Folks need to keep the population high, quality of life for black women and girls notwithstanding. So there’s actually nothing wrong. Everything’s fine. Move along people. Stop gawking.

Are Black People Doomed?

Katrina was a fast example of black decline and government indifference at all levels. There are other examples that abound as well. In August 2010, a majority black crowd lined up to be put on a waiting list for section-8 housing in the Atlanta area. The number of units available came to less than 700. Crowds estimated at 30,000 to 50,000 (likely 97% black women and children) showed up. This is because the government is getting out of the public housing business. The number of available units is shrinking.

Hey folks, everything really is fine and dandy, please ignore the high rates of school dropouts, unemployment, incarceration rates, rates of death for young black women from AIDS, homicide rates, children born out of wedlock (OOW), black children in foster care, and the attrition of “good” jobs, etc.

I Like My Kool Aid Purple

In case it’s not apparent, I’ll spell it out:

Will black people see increased government funding? Not gonna happen. We’ve got wars to fight. Monies for social programs are being cut, and it’ll continue.

Is keeping the population high part of our strength? Doesn’t matter. Latinos already outnumber black people. Asians eventually will too. Plus Asians value higher education, strong family units, and possess incredible financial resources. Both groups marry whites in high numbers.

Are we politically relevant? Nope. Don’t be fooled by the current presence in the White House. When a member (Shirley Sherrod) of the group giving the highest percentage of votes can get tossed without a pause – the message is clear – black women have no political clout. That’s because we never use it, we give it away with no bargaining power.

Are there enough “good brothers” a.k.a purple unicorns around? He left the hood over forty years ago. Each generation leaves at the first peak of dawn. When they make good (career, financially and socially) they marry a non-black woman. Nearly a quarter (20% plus) of all eligible black men (you know, the “good brothers”) are married to a non-black woman.

White people have the same problems too, we just lead the trend. And the price of tea in China is what? Before the 1960’s, there used to be more white people in jail than black people. They were the face of crime. Don’t count on them following us off the cliff. They believe in course correction.

The government will solve our problems, or white people will save us. I know it hasn’t been stated blatantly in that fashion, but I realize a number of people seem to believe this. They’ve tried (see Affirmative Action and the War on Poverty). They’re done (see Ronald Reagan, Tea Party). The guilt is gone (see current White House resident). They put their children first, as always. They’ve got their own worries about family, friends, and foes. The economy, wars, environment, endangered animals, landing on Mars, and so on has their attention.

Should We Really Care?

Nope. There will always be a tiny top tier that survives and thrives. This sliver of population doesn’t appear on television. They aren’t entertainers, sports athletes, or media appointed leaders. They stay out of the lime light. They’ve planned for the quality of life for their children. They’ve leaving a valuable legacy for their progeny. They have their eye on the ball. They aren’t worried about the masses.

Neither should we.

One of the critical goals of the BWE /IR blogs is recommending how to increase quality of life for black women and girls. Criticism serves to help you see the forest for the trees. Like all advice – you take what works and leaves the rest.

There is no “black community” to save. It is all individual effort, and it is also determined by the company you keep. Choose your friends and advisers wisely. If they are not enriching your spirit, your mind, body and finances. Run, do not walk, away.

Last Thoughts on This (For Now)

Based on the feedback from twitter and blogs against NWNW, I’d say that some very vocal black people are unconcerned about their own general well being, and that of other black people. So why should anyone else be?

However, there are self-sufficient people who could do with some assistance. There are motivated black women and girls who are interested in moving out and up. They are the ones we care about.

As for those who believe they have to be persuaded to care about themselves – remember this proverb: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

**UPDATE**

From the woman who started the ball rolling with BWE / IR blogs in general. I salute you, Halima. Thank you for this comment:

Thanks for this GoldenAh

and for the record I support NWNW. And yes you have rightly pointed out that there is a certain disconnect with BWIR which leans towards bw doing their thing independent of bm (because we feel as things stand, struggling to make it work with bm and bw is of no use and wont work), but the angle i come in on is that bw should be protected and supported in child bearing so yes it links to the wider sense of NWNW (indeed NWNW has never stated it is only about bw and bm though i know for a fact that this is the underlying context within which oow is being considered).

What the whole storm around NWNW has shown me…there are some strong gatekeepers of black dysfunction and destruction, folks happy to let the situation continue to deteriorate while they have intellectual debates about the right way to do ‘activism’ that is if there is need for it to start with!

One could say that poverty has become an integral part of blackness and of the ‘culture’ of black people and thus some folks are fighting tooth and nail to ensure that this culture continues because it is authentic for blackness, indeed rather than look for ways to get bw to lift up and out, they argue for a continuation of the dynamics that keep black people/women authentically black i.e. in poverty.

some feel that because they have signed up to ‘progressive’ principles, they have no choice but to support bw’s activities that mire them in poverty, indeed they have to support bw self limiting choices out of their devotion and dedication to feminist perspectives like ‘not slut shaming’.

I can only think of how Jesus said to the Pharisees that ‘The Sabbath was made for man not the man for the Sabbath’, when they insisted in ‘sticking’ to the letter of the law than grant freedom to the person under its yoke, and so as i have said before, any feminism that doesn’t address bw needs and situation is not one bw should be too concerned about!

remember that black people are always the forerunners in terms of negative trends, so we are now ‘leading’ in what could well soon become a  mainstream debate; ‘do people have a right to be left to wilfully chart a ‘self destruct’ course’.

it is important that each young bw know that there are two factions out for their souls. those who want them to continue to be free to make the choices that lead them into permanent underclass status because as you know, ‘it is a personal freewill choice‘, and then there are others who are fighting for them to survive and we are not content to just say, ‘well it was their choice’. we are the latter, who are not too attached to any ‘ideology’ to be happy to let our daughters and girl-children go to hell in a hand basket.


*According to Wikipedia, Devil’s Advocate is:

In common parlance, a devil’s advocate is someone who, given a certain argument, takes a position he or she does not necessarily agree with, just for the sake of argument. In taking such position, the individual taking on the devil’s advocate role seeks to engage others in an argumentative discussion process. The purpose of such process is typically to test the quality of the original argument and identify weaknesses in its structure, and to use such information to either improve or abandon the original, opposing position.
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Random Thoughts on Father’s Day


My father introduced me to politics.

He even wanted me to become a lawyer, but alas that was not to be. He’s still around, and lives with my mother of course.

My folks are immigrants, two times. They left their island home for the United Kingdom. My mother foresaw that opportunities in Great Britain might be limited. She decided that America would be the better choice for us. She was right.

This country has always fascinated me – the good and the bad.

Many many years ago my Dad came to the USA, before he married my mother. He was in the deep south having to contend with segregation and the color line. I don’t know if he knew about it before he arrived. He did speak about what a tough adjustment it was. The work alone was rough and very very hard.

Now, my two brothers live in the deep south. To say that their lives today are a world apart from what my father went through would be an understatement. Along with visiting my older brother, I go visit an old friend of mine in the deep south.

The only way things can change in America is based on the people, not the government.

The first time I voted was when my Dad took me to the polls. I was quite proud. I vote because so many others died so that I have this right. It is my voice in this representational democracy. I don’t take it for granted.

I don’t believe that the government can re-create a majority of stable two-parent Afro-American families. I do believe it did a lot of damage to it, resulting in the small number of these families today.

I don’t believe the government is capable of efficient, capable, and positive social policy for its citizens. It is too late for that. The only thing it can do is poorly manage money and wage wars.

I sometimes fear that with its profligate spending and wasting of resources this government will collapse under its own weight. I hope it doesn’t happen.

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