On Anita’s “hill”: Jamilah Lemieux and “the black a- – lie”

*TRIGGER WARNING: this post contains a disturbing final photograph of Laura Nelson’s dangling corpse.

My twitter-feed enlightened me to the latest charade of revolutionary discourse, which enlists the black woman as its weapon of choice. Jamilah Lemieux’s Vanity Fair article “Dave Chapelle and the ‘black a– lie,” is the most recent miseducated “voice” selected to do colonial work under the ruse of liberated speech. This psuedo freedom takes the form of what many call “black feminism,” and Lemieux implements a separatist ideology that would make Willie Lynch proud. What Lemieux called a “black a– lie” in her text upholds the fabrication that it is black men, not white supremacy, who are “holding back” the race.

What the author calls a “black a– lie” is actually a colonial projection. Now, I do not mean to posit the domestic terrorism inflicted onto black men as engendering the care, concern, or discourse that it deserves. I do, however, wish to say that this country, employs strategy in the superficial media showcase of black murder. What I mean here is that the same forces that control the media also determine what makes history. So Emmett Till may be a footnote in a narrative that fails to acknowledge Laura Nelson at all, but this is only because the forces of white supremacy exploit both the intra-cultural spaces within blackness.

In addition to the actual bullets cast against blacks for “atrocities” like sleeping, listening to music, and stopping at traffic lights, gender and sexuality are shots often fired onto the black collective via the black male. By projecting black males as a sexual deviant/predator and homophobe, the media conveys the black man as who and what is holding society back.  As a result, the murders of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, John Crawford III amongst others as part of an “ethnic cleansing” implemented for the betterment of the (white) world.

I have made this point in earlier posts, but I do not think that the masses have internalized this distorted prejudice that takes the form of black male censure. This distorted prejudice does not just breed an icy road for our boys and men; it kills off generations and promises to contribute to the physical and mental genocide of African peoples.

What’s interesting about the gender/homophobia claims that are too frequently cast onto black men, is that black men do not benefit from either. Misogyny and homophobia are pillars in white nationalism; they are not pillars in the progression of African people. If every black man was misogynistic and homphobic (which, to clarify, they are not), it would warrant no systemic or social consequence to anyone unless these interests converge with the larger value system. The black man as the misapplied scapegoat enables the actual assailant to load his metaphorical gun and seize more lives while the masses are looking in an entirely different direction. 

Like black male franchisement, the imbalanced portrayal of black victims was never to highlight masculinity, but to draw a line within the color line, thereby dissolving unity within the black collective amongst a shared trauma. Any belief to the contrary is a “white” lie paraded as colonial truth. Nevertheless, Lemieux embodies what the white world hopes to make of the black woman: an ally that speaks from a position of racial oblivion.

But, in all honesty, I could not care less about another bamboozled melanated person acting as the “master’s tool.” What troubles me is that Lemieux’s article performs in an unsettling pattern.

Many black women who seek an increased proximity to whiteness (which is a nice way to say a desire to be white), play (willingly or unwillingly) into the national predisposition toward black men as a vehicle to increased status and increased economic potential. Moreover, the being of black female form seduced by the forces of white supremacy will sell her male counterpart down the river for what she falsely believes is for the good of humanity. 

Essentially, this pattern places the contemporary black woman on “Anita’s hill” in its social reproduction of the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas ordeal that the nation watched unfold decades earlier. Here, and every instance afterward, illustrates that the white world only hears the black female voice when it is against a black man. The being of black female form is only “woman” when her gender can be weaponized to weaken the black collective. Specifically, the black female experience holds no significance in this country unless it factualizes the fiction of white supremacy.

My point is perhaps best illustrated by Tawana Brawley, a black woman who remains a national epithet laced with the shame and scorn best worn by agents of anti-blackness and those who “identify with the aggressor” (to employ a psychology term).

Tawana Brawley is important as an individual and collective symbol of national abjection. As seen in instances like Recy Taylor, it is the black female victim that has nothing (money, fame, or cross-over appeal) to gain from sharing her narrative but ontological sovereignty that hones a power that dissolves when the black woman is an ally to anti-blackness. It is the being of black female form denied status as woman because her narrative rightfully deems whiteness as culpable that becomes a pariah, or, as seen with Recy Taylor, acknoweldged on the heels of her death when her story has be neutered to fit the colonial frame.

Nevertheless, the contemporary world has seemingly convinced the most unprotected person (to quote Malcolm) that she is, in fact, protected under the very nation that she suckled by coercion. That she is protected by the very nation that abducted her and has relentlessly tried to mutliate her captivity under the farce of migration. This ruse is sinister but predictably contagious in casting the being of black female form as a shot fired against her male counterpart.

To join our oppressors in implementing the divide and conquer methodology has often proved quite lucrative for the black woman complicit in her collective oppression. For example, Kamala Harris sat at the head of an oppressive force that incarcerated, murdered, and stymied the progression of countless black men and black familties before becoming the Vice President. The Rihanna and Chris Brown incident catapulted Rihanna into superstardom. Similarly, Meg the Stallion became a Grammy Award Winner following her fiasco with Tory Lanez, and Keke Palmer began hosting more significant events on widely watched channels after her public accusations against R&B star Trey Songz. To clarify, I do discount the success that each of these women achieved before the referenced incidents; however, I wish to point out that the black female role in caricaturing the black man enables black female access to crossover appeal. Additionally, I want to point out that validity of any of the accusations onto black en by black women bears no significance. The western world does not care about the black woman’s sexual or bodily integrity. The white world cares about what these narratives mean for maintaining racial mythos and substantiating domestic terrorism onto the black collective. Moreover, once deemed detached from a “separatist,” or “self-empowerment” agenda, the black woman is deemed fit for the spoils of a white supremacist society. This dynamic is, of course, consistent in non- celebrity spaces as well when the being of black female form is acknowledged as “woman” and granted access to “success” when her behavior separates her melanated state from the collective interests of black people.

On the contrary, black women like Phylicia Rashad face contempt for simply voicing an opinion that might cause anyone to question what the world needs the black collective to believe without speculation. Black women like Phylicia Rashad are denied access to the concept of “woman” in a ubiquitious wrath against an informed unity within the black collective.

Nevertheless, I write this post because to eternally silence the murdered or professionally asphyxiated black man and mutilate the legacy of black greats within and beyond the spotlight of superstardom, the black woman is also relegated to the silence (and violence) of a supporting role in her collective demise.

So, although “perched” on “Anita’s hill,” the contemporary black woman complicit in her own oppression remains at the elusive bottom looking up at a world that socially and systemically lynches her through the lie of woman.

and, that’s the black a- – truth…


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