Saturday, May 25, 2024

THE BRIDGE: The Hole In My End Of Our Boat…

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under News, Weekly Columns

( We can say that the Black woman has carried a great deal throughout our time in America.

Because the Black family has been under siege for that entire time, much was required of the Black woman.

Quite frankly, her strength is one of the reasons we have survived as a race where other races could not have.

We know that even up to and through the first half of the last century, the Black woman was holding things down while her man left psychotic violence and stark oppression in the South to pursue jobs and freedom for his family in the North before standing on the front lines in the Sixties to secure rights for his people.

But we also know that Welfare came to destroy the Black family by making it easier for the family to survive in the man’s absence.

And we know that integration helped to destroy the Black community, which was not prepared for Black flight or the devastation of Crack Cocaine nor the privatization of prisons.

We also know that feminist propaganda has silently polluted the minds of many Black women, who now view Black men as the enemy.

As a race, we’ve come through a great deal. And for the most part, we did it together.

The difference was that in previous times when Black men were under siege, Black women worked with them to hold the community together and we were all better for it. Now, many Black women feel that they have it all together, that they have done enough for “us” and that it’s time for Black men to get it together.

Any Black woman who is alive and under 50 today is under some beautiful delusion to pretend to be tired of suffering anything at the hands of Black men or tired of doing anything for Black men, because it just hasn’t happened in their generation.

Frankly, Black people as a race haven’t done anything for themselves in decades—it’s been all about self-preservation as individuals.

If you are a Black woman under 50 today, the heavy lifting was done by your grandmother, not even your mother. You haven’t run any slaves through an underground railroad, no one has legally raped and/or forcibly impregnated you, and you haven’t carried the burden of the race on your back.

Many of the Black women who claim to be tired haven’t even held a family together, if they even have a family of their own.

We didn’t begin to seriously deteriorate as a race—men or women—until the end of the Sixties, when many Negroes decided to become shiny and new and abandon everything remotely connected to the community.

Really, any contemporary Black woman who feels that she has been carrying the race is crazy because the race is doing worse than ever.

Yet, some of today’s Black women act so terribly put upon, as though they are perfect and Black men are holding back the race.

In response to my column called “Man Up,” chastising men to stand up and be men, one insane woman wrote “not only are we (Black women) ready…but a lot of ‘outsiders’ are ready for Black men to finally get their sh-t together, too.”

Really? Black women and the world are simply waiting for Black men to stop being lazy bags of crap? The answer, of course, is no.

But what is most disturbing is such a sentiment accompanied by little concern about the lagging of Black men.

Black women, even if you believe yourselves to be ahead of Black men, why aren’t you concerned about the hole in MY end of OUR boat? If you believe that we are sinking, you must realize that you will sink as well.

And while no thinking Black man has a problem with Black women working to improve the condition of Black women, the destruction comes with pretending that Black men are in some way holding Black women back.

Some Black women are even retelling the story of the Civil Rights Movement, claiming that it was oppressive to Black women, yet the only “evidence” of that is a quote from an obscure member of the Black Panthers, who admitted to being a rapist and a lover of white women, but who never represented any great portion of Black men–then or now.

In order to truly believe this lie, we have to ignore the Black women who were a vital part of the Movement. We would also have to ignore the FACT that the Civil Rights Act of 1965 was the first time that the rights of women were mentioned since they were enfranchised.

And, we would have to ignore the FACT that Affirmative Action benefited Black women more than Black men.

But, really, the question is this: Why are we even having that discussion?

The answer is that some Black women find power in their own victimhood, which gives them an excuse for poor behavior, while accepting no responsibility.

If they can assert that Black men fail to protect Black women and are generally the oppressors of Black women, then there is less responsibility for Black women in their own foibles, including out of wedlock pregnancy; inability to find and sustain relationships; promiscuity leading to sexual diseases; and so on.

These are the same problems we find amongst Black men, but instead of coming together to resolve these issues for the community, too many women are choosing to lay the blame at the feet of men, while attempting to solve the issues solely for women.

We can only resolve these problems together, because they affect us all—men AND women, instead of pretending they are the sole issues of Black women caused solely by Black men.

Sadly, too many Black women have spent time telling the world how horrible Black men are.

But guess who has been listening and who has bought into that?

A number of today’s Black men and Black boys, many of who have been raised by single Black women.

We all know that there are a number of Black men who are weak, sad and sorry. The problem is when Black women pretend that those weak men represent ALL Black man simply because these crappy men are all the men they know.

Evil, ignorant Black man haters take this to extremes, vacillating between telling men how horrible they are and demanding that those same men deliver the things they desire. In search of something called the “Benevolent Thug.”

If we believe what these women say, we must pretend that over the past thirty to forty years, the male side of the Black race has either by sheer will or by force of nature simply fallen down, while the female side has become better than ever.

Whatever the case, no one is asking Black women to fix Black men.

And no one is asking Black women to stop working to improve the lot of Black women.

Really, there are only two things that Black men need Black women to do.

1—Stop telling the world and us what horrible bags of crap you think we are.

2—Stop dating and having children with Black men you know are weak and sorry, so you won’t think we are all that way.

Now, before we all take sides and line up to lob more grenades across the gender divide, let me ask one simple question of the Black women who come off as singularly concerned about the plight of Black females: “Do you really believe that the race can survive if many of us are torn between raising the condition of the community and raising the condition of one sex within the community?

And, if you seriously believe that Black women are far out in front of Black men, are you concerned enough to take decisive and affirmative action to bridge the gender divide?

Contemplate these questions before you accuse me of hating Black women.

Unless you are willing to work for both men AND women, then you care nothing about our people.

This is about getting more of us to see each other. This is about getting more of us to talk to each other instead of at or about each other.

It is about us, which means that most of us should stand together.

The good news is that Black men across the nation are starting to realize that we must come to our own rescue and that we must take action, no matter who is coming to diminish us.

And, Black men are standing up. For the truth. For their families. For each other and contrary to popular opinion, for Black women.

Black men are creating mentoring programs, rites of passage programs and other programs designed to place more Black men in front of Black boys.

The only real assistance we need is to be left alone.

Even if you disagree with us, you should support us by stopping the lies and hate wherever they appear.

Or, you can sit back, hate us and do nothing.

I’m okay with that.

Just, please, don’t get in the way. And stop telling the world how much you hate us. It makes you look bad, too.

Black women, ask yourselves: Are you concerned with the hole that is in the bottom of my end of the boat?

If you are not, then do not complain, as we both continue to sink into a river of despair.

We ourselves have to lift the levels of our community, the standard of our community to a higher level, make our own society beautiful so that we will be satisfied. We’ve got to change our minds about each other.”

Malcolm X

Written By Darryl James

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