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

Posted on | September 30, 2010 | 81 Comments

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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81 Responses to “Black Women – Devil’s Advocate: Are Black People Doomed?”

  1. Bellydancer
    September 30th, 2010 @ 11:54 AM

    Golden ah said:
    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.

    I am glad you pointed that out came across this the other day.
    See old article here where this idiot places the blame on the high oow rate on the fact that married bw do not make as many kids as unmarried bw SMDH

    http://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2009/02/the-math-on-black-out-of-wedlock-births/6738/

    GoldenAh: Oh, yeah, I saw that. I used to read his stuff, until I realized he is a few fries short of a happy meal. 😀

    He’s not alone. That is the general consensus thinking right there: keep the numbers high, by any means necessary. Yet no one is asking, who will educate, nurture, feed, clothe, and house them?

  2. Bellydancer
    September 30th, 2010 @ 12:56 PM

    Other anti NWNW bloggers were quotin and totin his words like they were manna from heaven. Sure blame women who are doing the correct thing on what’s wrong with the bc today.
    If a married bw did decide not to have kids or to limit her family that is her decision.
    When you get free housing, free health care, foodstamps, wic and other programs to help you, you don’t worry about how to care for your family when you have to pay for all that ish then you start thinking about it.
    Don’t worry soon enough these others will be thinking about it too.
    We got girls here too lazy to use their WIC vouchers they will not get up and go to the store and spend them even if it is just milk, eggs, butter and cheese still that is a whole lot of meals missed. Years ago a lady we knew used to use her excess supplies to make cakes for people for a little bit of extra money so it would not go bad. Anything but you not going to get the free food SMDH some of these bitches have gotten too entitled.
    Section 8 has been cutting back for awhile now, people are tired of people tearing up their property.

  3. Faith
    September 30th, 2010 @ 6:25 PM

    Thank you for the links!

    So I was a bit thrown off when you mentioned not all of the BWE bloggers participating. I don’t think it was from lack of support but being focused on their own forums.

    GoldenAh: True. I agree.

    From what I’ve read on Twitter in particular there are quite a few BW who are married opposing NWNW which still makes NO SENSE TO ME.

    I also had someone who follows me pretend to want to participate but she wanted to fight with Christelyn instead. That one still has me shaking my head as she reads my blog and has thanked me for trying to elevate BW for months. It was incredibly dishonest of her.

    The reaction from the opponents of NWNW has been nothing less than stunning in that they have unleashed their bile so publicly and so loudly. They really fail to understand how foolish they look!!

    I’ve also noticed the non-blacks jumping into the fray to fan the flames of dysfunction by instigating the naysayers. Who do they think they’re fooling?

    GoldenAh: They want us to be on the bottom. That is “othering” at its finest.

    I’ve seen my share of Internet Ike/Ikette behavior but this is one for the record books. This is also a great opportunity for us to raise awareness.

    You covered all of the angles beautifully! Great post.

    GoldenAh: Hello Faith, thanks for the feedback. 😀

    I was wondering if that area of my post would be interpreted that way. I agree, the overall message would be something I believe would be supported by the others. I didn’t mean that they had to join in. 😀

    I give Christelyn credit. Big props to her. I don’t have that kind of patience for the twitter madness. However, as noted, a lot of people showed out themselves. Hmmm. 🙂

  4. Amanda
    September 30th, 2010 @ 6:36 PM

    Anything but you not going to get the free food SMDH some of these bitches have gotten too entitled.
    Section 8 has been cutting back for awhile now, people are tired of people tearing up their property.

    Oh It’s going to get bad. I’ve seen many home owners who have their homes under sec 8 trying to find out if they can get out of it and how. Many got so tired of having to either kick folks out or the mess they leave the homes in. Yes people who are renting do this as well, but many sec 8 homes etc. are so toe (and I yes I said toe.lo) up it’s ridiculous. Not only that, but new buyers of sec 8 homes are buying these homes to sell.

    It’s not surprising that there are NWNW complainers. Like I said before look at movies like Hitch etc. bp complained because the woman was hispanic. Producers didn’t choose a black woman cause bp would have complained about that. BP complained about the The Moynihan Report stating it was racist. But if the same white person had acted like none of the problems within the bc didn’t exist; folks would be complaining about that.

    GoldenAh: With so many houses going into foreclosure, and in some urban areas the most affected are single black women (with children). While I don’t believe people should go through these kinds of extremes, I suspect that the requirements for obtaining housing will become more severe. There will be records kept as to who’s destroying people’s properties (I think there’s a landlord database available now), and it will get tougher.

    Oh, I’m writing about stuff like that next month: Hitch, Eureka, The Event, etc. That’ll be fun. This “serious stuff” is a bit exhausting. 😀

  5. Amanda
    September 30th, 2010 @ 6:38 PM

    Yeah I missed the boat for signing up, but I am supporting it. I just haven’t done a post yet as I’ve been dealing with school. I’m working on a post. But yeah it’s sad isn’t it.

    GoldenAh: If you get to accomplish your goal of producing content that counters the anti-BW nonsense, you will be making a difference. 😀

  6. Lisa
    September 30th, 2010 @ 6:59 PM

    That writer for the Atlantic has written about the fact that he and his longtime partner have no plans to marry, despite having a child together. He said she doesn’t believe in marriage and he’s cool with that.

    Now… at least they are in a committed relationship and he is an involved father, but it’s rather funny how much he mentions their respective objections to marriage and then writes articles constantly questioning folks who speak out against OOW parenting.

    His father was a rolling stone… he wrote that in another article.

    So I take ALL that he writes with a big ole’ grain of salt, knowing his admitted background.

    GoldenAh: Thank you so much for saying that. 😀

    I thought I was the only one who noticed this! That’s his shtick at the Atlantic. His (white) fans and co-writers love to pat him on the head when he serves up black dysfunctional stuff for their entertainment.

    But yeah, as for not marrying black women (or anyone wanting to marry them), that’s all he ever writes about. Endlessly. Nauseatingly. I don’t get the link love he gets from some BW. Maybe they feel like they should be supporting him, since he’s not overt and obvious about his “issues” with BW.

    I guess he’s agreeable, since he’s not writing death threats or is openly contemptuous of BW on twitter. 😀

  7. Amanda
    September 30th, 2010 @ 7:07 PM

    After reading many of the opposing and just hateful comments I urge others to realize the bc is on a big massive road to croacksville. It’s just time to move on.

  8. Lisa
    September 30th, 2010 @ 8:10 PM

    Hey GoldenAh!

    I also thought I was the only one who paid attention to the Atlantic writer’s background and the themes in his articles that are typically anti-marriage or focusing on BW’s singleness rate.

    It bugs me too that a magazine like the Atlantic, which caters to the intellectual/literary crowd, has this guy as its “black representative.” Black writers rarely break through the racial barrier at these types of magazines (while they’re quick to hire the next 24-year-old white kid from Harvard with a lot of hype), so when a black person is hired, it’s this dude?????

    And like you said, I hate how so many BW cite this guy’s articles like gospel and how many white folks he has fawning over him… while they praise him, they go on and get themselves married and then have kids. I bet a whole lot of money they’re nowhere close to living out the dysfunction they praise in his life.

    GoldenAh: Exactly. I could not have said it better. Some of those bitch-ass liberal, oh-so-damn-hip, white boys enjoy mocking us, which his writing about us being single and pathetic invites. (The “othering” technique.) He once got all excited when he found some white boy who didn’t want to marry a black woman. Turns out the chump was afraid of dealing with biracial kids. Huh? I doubt the bastard even got as far as thinking of marriage.

    That’s why I wrote a post about white men being “friends” with a “brotha”. Nobody is gonna convince me that a lot of black males don’t work overtime at dissuading or punking white (and other) guys from dating and marrying black women.

    Somebody try and find a white woman’s magazine that focuses on black males in such a consistently negative fashion, like this rag does with black women.

    Yeah, I didn’t think so. Some of these folks think they’re slick. They’re not fooling anyone.

  9. lostkitty
    September 30th, 2010 @ 9:23 PM

    Lisa:
    He said she doesn’t believe in marriage and he’s cool with that.

    lostkitty:
    That’s just her way of protecting herself; she knows he does not want to marry her and she does not want to be hurt by making it an issue and risk being told that he will never marry her.

    Marriage is not just for the benefit of children. There are legal, social and emotional benefits of marriage for the woman also, and a woman must look out for herself, in addition to her children. A committed relationship is just not the same as a committed marriage. In fact, a bad marriage offers legal benefits not available from a committed relationship, not that I am advocating getting into a bad marriage.

    GoldenAh: He called her a “feminist.” Last time some guy called me “strong”, I jetted. I figure that’s codeword for “I can abuse and use you.”

    I guess she avoids reading the website, since he makes his bread constantly writing about how much he never wants to get married (to her). I suspect if this was a white girl, he’d have that engagement ring ready yesterday.

    Lostkitty, your words on marriage are on point. I don’t know how black people lost sight of this. Black women need protection more than most women, yet we are being told it benefits us the least. That only applies if the guy is a total deadbeat, but if he is, she shouldn’t even think of having a relationship (or children!) with him.

  10. Lisa
    September 30th, 2010 @ 10:10 PM

    Lostkitty, I completely agree with you.

    One commenter on his article said, “Well, regardless of what she said in the past about marriage, did you ever ask her to marry you?”

    He never answered that question, as far as I know!

    I will only believe that a woman does not want to be married if she turns down an actual proposal of marriage that comes from a man she loves and intends to stay with whether she has a ring or not.



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