I did not want to publish this piece, because I feared it centralized someone not even worthy of an honorable mention. In writing this piece, it became evident that this experience was not about either individual involved, but demonstrative of an institutionalized problem frequently experienced but seldom articulated.
I originally authored this piece in the lonliness of striving for an elevated consciousness and not having anyone willing to listen or acknowledge the detriment of what the scenario represents. I am publishing this piece in hopes of holding hands with other black body throughout the diaspora wading the tides of white supremacy in hopes of contributing to the black collective displaced onto these stolen lands. So, I hope someone will get something from this post.
I recently met with an agent of white supremacy labeled “college professor” with regards to a final paper I was in the process of composing. The paper spoke to the inherent racism of feminism and the feminist agents of white supremacy as seeking to recruit the black female body in a violent attempt to fulfill an agenda solely vested in the interests of white women. Admittedly, my draft was a meandering prose, but one argument proved a thorn in the side of someone who must have falsely conceptualized me as a black female feminist.
My argument was simple: black men do not oppress black women. For the record, this is a statement I stand by. Feminism, in its recruitment of black female bodies, remains central in widening the wedge between the black man and the black woman. This is perhaps best evidenced by contemporary media who has launched a nuanced war on black men. Though men from Harvey Weinstein to Matt Lauer face accusations of sexual harrassment, Bill Cosby has been the only one to stand trail. Following the Cosby guilty verdict, the black male predator image fell back onto R.Kelly. There was an even a viral hashtag #muterkelly which called for the previous accusations against the singer be taken seriously, while Harvey Weinstein amongst other white men, outed and concealed, continue to bask in white male privilege. Thus, my statement was one of fact, not opinion; yet, was vehemently attacked by an antiblack agent, who said that “statistics” easily denounce my statements in a cloud of smoke. Statistics that enable the very racism spewed at me under the veil of academic integrity.
She continued, stating: “when you say something like that, it makes it hard for people to take you seriously.”
She goes on to say that this statement is in grave contrast to the person I “appear to be in class.” A person that makes “logical arguments.” What she means here is “you have a good thing going, don’t mess it up.” It also became blatantly obvious that she wishes to provoke an apology or retraction from me, and in receiving neither she attempts to attack my image. I am to fold to her demands as a black person who challenges white supremacy in part not whole.I am to look to racist statistics for truth and bash black men to make women feel like her feel comfortable despite the discomfort my physical blackness provokes.
I want to be clear and state that I don’t expect her to “get” my argument, let alone support it.
The issue is not the pushback to my ideas. That is anticipated and to be frank, boring. My issue is that this pushback is guided as constructive criticism and an effort to deflect the anxiety white, non black women of color, and even some black women have toward anyone who unapologetically appears “to black” in a world they desperately want to remain white. The issue is that statements like the one put forth by this antilock agent is identical to the pervasive propaganda that black people are and can be “racist,” providing equality to the true racists in such a bizarre assertion. This pro-black agenda is often misinterpreted as a war on whites, which in itself is indicative of white supremacist intention.
The troublesome part is that my analysis is dismissed as a feeling or opinion. I am pegged as a black woman who makes claims to big for the small space I am allowed to occupy by my white masters. I am to occupy the space of a good Negro wrench and decry the black male who does all he has been taught to do—imitate whites. I am to ignore black men like Nat Turner, Malcolm X, Fr\ed Hampton, Dr. Bobby Wright, Dr. Amos Wilson amongst others who love black women. I am to curse my father, brothers, cousins, and black men who love me for being the very thing this individual has asked me not to be. Perhaps more violently, I am to pretend that these men never existed.
Acquiescing to pressure demanding the black female demonize the black man is my issue with most black feminist thought. It is also a not so silent demand that dominated the persecution resulting from the #metoo movement. This is illuminated in the recent accusations of rapper Nas–a cases of assault brought forth by a melanated women. These cases function to suggest to the black woman that the black man is the problem, not those who build in the black community but don’t put a dollar in. Not those who used and use the money our ancestors earned to buy and built what they passed onto their children and grandchildren. Not those who stole our language, and marked our collective rape with a last name. To focus on the black man as the oppressor to the black female body is the essence of a systemized mind. This is not to say we don’t have problems as a people. This is to say that these problems were all engendered when that ship docked on the coast of the continent.
The Counterclaims of the Confused
My assertions to the skeptical reflect a black Woman who is in denial. A black female complainer who blames whitey for anything. My claims are not about avoiding responsibility. I did not steal myself from Africa, rape my foremothers, and brand my last name into offspring I would never claim as anything other than chattel. I will not take responsibility for what I did not do. It is our collective responsibility to move forward, and a small but significant faction of blacks have attempted to do so. Configuring plans of advancement begins with acknowledging what has been done.
And we as a people have been done in.
In this instance I am persecuted not for what god I believe in, but because I believe in myself. The “I” as it is implemented in this post does not function in singularity, nor does the the reflective pronoun “myself.” They both speak to a collective identity of blackness elevated from melanin to cultivate a state of mind where the experience of those with African blood remain central.
To overcome white supremacy is to acknowledge it in all its forms. I can not address the white female desire for supremacy and ignore the bizarre accusations of black male sexual and physical abuse engendered in the crossfire of feminist cultural contamination. I do however, understand why a non-black person of color would desire such dissonant behavior—-it assures her that my theory won’t disrupt their comfort. It ensures her that my perspective will never be “too black,” but be inevitably one-sided and intersectional in denouncing my other half. It ensures that my theory won’t incite her to research the history of black male/female relationship—not sullied by statistics designed to produce results that will foment a mythic white supremacy.
Focus on being Liked, not Black
Instead, I am to concern myself with being liked and being taken seriously, not liking myself or taking my own self seriously. I am to fixate on the superficial. I am to focus on being taken seriously in a world that does not consider me or my collective human.
In analyzing this scenario I am forced to concern that while after being “liked,” the few who do like me—-like me for the wrong reasons. The silent praise I get for being an intellectual, is because of the belief that my actions and words are a performance. When my actions and words begin to seem beyond performativism, I am a balloon that needs to be deflated, a light that needs to be turned off, a bug that needs to be smashed. So my professor’s words, though articulating an inability to “take me seriously”, marks an effort taken to ensure that she or anyone in the department would have to take me seriously.
It reveals that up to this point I suppose I was just “cute” in my outspoken stance against anti-blackness. I suppose I came across like a black Woman who just seeks to make a path in a white supremacy at world, a black Woman who has forgotten four hundred years of bondage, exploitation, rape, murder, and mental trauma—or who at the very least does not bring up “that slavery stuff” in front of company. It is a socially accepted form of racism for blacks to take responsibility for what has been done to them, yet help our oppressors ensure the same fate does not fall onto them.
I’m seeing now that to be an academic is to provide an image of intellect but to be utterly anti-intellectual in function. Now, this is of course not true of all academics like Dr. Bobby Wright, Dr Francis Cress Wesling, Dr. Amos Wilson, Derrick Bell, or some of the scholars that I have been fortunate to meet along my journey. These individuals though, sadly represent a very small minority.
I imagine ancestors Dr. Francis Cress Wesling, Dr Bobby Wright, amongst others were well acquainted with the ways the white institution will try to put a halt on black thought. The institution of higher education is a hyper-site for anti-intellectualism and those seeking to place prestige where they should place esteem.
It was thus ineluctable that she mistook me for a black woman wanting to be white. A critical thinker in image but not in action. It was inexorable that despite my body representing the literal backs on which the university was built, she mistook me for an academic.
But make no mistake, I am an Afrodemic.
To be continued….
Black Power ❤