Monday, April 4, 2011

The Forever War in Your Town

There is a de facto war against women in this country. African American women are the primary target in many cases and unacknowledged collateral damage in the others.

Cleveland, TX and Moreno Valley, CA in 2011.

Trenton, NJ in 2010.

Milwaukee, WI and West Palm Beach, FL in 2007.

Shall I mention the countless number of domestic violence situations occurring daily or the countless number of assaults perpetrated on women on a daily basis or the countless number of rapes not reported or the staggering amount of street harassment women and girls endure.

Most of the victims in the above mentioned cases are under 12 years old.

I’ll say it again. Four (4) out to the five (5) female victims in the above mentioned cases are younger than twelve (12) years old!!

I bring this to your attention because it is foolish in the extreme not to understand the Congo-fication of our neighborhoods, especially all-black neighborhoods.

Excuses, Excuses

They go something like this:

Black men suffer post-traumatic distress due to the history of slavery in this county.

Black men suffered through one hundred years of Jim Crow where he was oppressed, dehumanized and lynched.

Given the history of this country, it is too early to expect black men to be the moral equals of white men because to the centuries of indoctrination and programming to believe they are something less than human.

Etc, etc, etc.

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s black people managed to lift themselves from the hell of chattel slavery to owning business, building towns and schools and colleges and infrastructure to sustain a community against all odds; against the active enmity of white people; amidst poverty and lack of education and while being subjected to the state-sponsored terrorism of white citizens organizations.

It appears despite the Underground Railroad, nascent organized resistance among black people and a national civil rights movement later; some segments of the black population seem be taking a step or three backward?

A Considered (Sane) Reaction

The reaction by some of the adults to the horrific events in Cleveland, Texas must serve as a call to action. These people appear to blame the victim for being somewhere she should not have been late at night. Never mind their non-adult children were not at home either and they were allegedly engaged in criminal activity!!!

If you missed it, these people; mostly women (at least initially); were portrayed as something significantly less than human in the media. The media constantly asked what kind of person would blame this poor child???? Even NYT defended the reporter of its infamous article declaring it wasn’t the reporter blaming the victim, it was the community blaming the victim; the reporter was, supposedly, just reporting the news.

The undercurrent, the subtext of this reportage is the less than reasoned, less than human reaction of the townsfolk. The townsfolk were shown as mostly African American women.

AfAm women + blaming the victim = AfAm women are not normal.

Normal people are horrified by this attack. Normal people cannot feature any kind of defense for this behavior.

Classic African American women as Other trope.

Denial is Not An Option

African American women must pay attention to the subtext of these media reports!

I suggest AfAm women bypass the microphones and ignore the calls from reporters until they know what the situation is. I’m not saying AfAm women should not advocate for their family members or be watchful of the police investigation; but the reflexive reaction to weep, wail, gnash teeth and assume an injustice has been perpetrated against Pookie, Junebug, ‘nem' is not helpful for the overall image of African American women nor reasonable in light of the subsequent investigation.

Denying the evident deterioration in various neighborhoods is neither a productive nor sane response to the terrorism women face. Ghetto-fabulous, ghetto-rich, ghetto-whatever is not a culture that is safe for women and girls. Getting out of these toxic environments is paramount.

We are now in a forever war. On one side there are those who desire safe neighborhoods and schools and who believe in education and disciplined work are a road to a better life. On the other side are those who want what you have, are jealous because you have it and are willing to work for what they want. Instead, they will engage in criminal activity to get the things you have worked hard to attain. 

Word to the wise: As resources diminish, the pitched battles will only get worse.


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