Last night I was trying to drive home the point that since Black women’s bodies have historically been enslaved and had narratives placed onto them outside of our control, Black women have a right to redefine what it means to empower our sexuality. Some disagreed that twerking was empowering, but seeing as how I was presenting that I myself find twerking empowering, someone’s disagreement was actually irrelevant because this is my body and the only thing I can do is explain to you why I find it so, but I’m definitely not going to be apologetic. And that’s the problem, when we disagree with the way others are empowering their sexuality we label, judge, and determine that they deserve no respect, when in fact this is the very idea driving rape culture. “She was wearing this so what did she expect”, “She does this so of course that happened”. All human beings deserve and should expect to be treated with decency. Don’t be a dickhead.
In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.
Toni Morrison (via black-culture)
I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all. I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are all hurt about it. …No, I do not weep at the world - I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
Zora Neale Hurston, “How It Feels To Be Colored Me,” WORLD TOMORROW, 1928 (via wagingpeace)
Who do we blame? Should we blame the parents for allowing their 13 year old son to curse, rap about violence, sex, and drugs? Do we blame the media for only presenting the gangster rap image as the only one that matters? Do we blame society as a whole for the ever problematic notion of black hypermasculinity?
What do we do when the community encourages the behavior? When the parents are on set for video shoot? When the media rewards the behavior with record deals and society condones and glorifies it all?
Will it ever get better? We already know that people like Gucci Mane and Lil Wayne say various raunchy and misogynistic things, but what about now that the trend is starting to become more and more prevalent at much younger ages? This means something. This doesn’t just mean young kids like to rap. This means that young kids are use to violence so much so that they choose to glorify the lifestyle. It means that although the media will stereotype black families as single-parent with the mother being that parent, these kids have little to no respect for women, seeing them only as objects to be obtained, used and thrown away to the next awaiting male.
This means there is no progress. Education falls by the wayside. Everything in life is gauged in a fatalistic sense of “live in the moment”. Fast money, material objects, pleasure…why desire a college education? 4 years to reach your goal? PSsHHT! Why not be a baller and make it to the NBA (Derrick Rose made it) or a rapper (Chief Keef made it).
Of course progress is a slow process, but in a city where the homicide rate has jumped 40% for the year, and a school system that continues to fail it’s students, I think we may be at a standstill, rather than creeping slowly along. What do we do? If you can’t reach the community, you can’t reach the youth, and you can’t reach the parents… who is left to piece back together our broken city?
I have learned new information in this case that leads me to believe that he is innocent and there is a case of mistaken identity.
1. He took two lie detector tests and both indicated he was not lying about his innocence. However, this evidence was NOT ALLOWED IN COURT!
2. They gave the girls a picture of the basketball team and let them pick their perpetrator. Im willing to bet the whole team is black, and these white girls picked the closest resembling guy they could find. Also the players may have all been wearing their jumpsuits at the time of the attack.
3. Screw whoever on the team really did it and is just watching his friend take the fall. You’re messed up buddy!
I just…don’t know.
This story has me torn… because on the one hand you shouldn’t stick your hand down other people’s pants without their permission. That’s a sexual crime. However, how can we be absolutely sure that this happened? With NO physical evidence?
I’m torn as a woman of color because I know the history of Black Men being accused of rape, sometimes falsely, as a result of white women trying to save face after they were caught with them. Lynchings happened. You’ll hear older black women tell their black sons “don’t be alone in the elevator with a white woman”.
I myself am wary of black men on the up and up (i.e college athletes) and their conoodlings with white women just because a lot of times these boys are from, like the depths of the HOOD and I find it strange that they found a north shore white woman to relate to them on that level. And MAN, black athletes are lightening rod magnets for white girls in college. I get wary. But I am all for interracial relationships, been in a few myself. It’s just a historical fear that’s been planted.
Anywho, I’m unsure about how I feel in regards to this story. I think it’s important that men learn what all can constituted as a sexual crime, and that men become more responsible for their actions, even while drunk, and learn that they do not have the right nor reason to touch, or grope a woman with her permission. Even as parties. Nothing is an open invitation except “touch me”.