Monday, April 18, 2011

Voices Carry: Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd is not wrong. She may not be the person black folks want to hear from on what is considered an ‘in house’ problem, but her observations are not false.

Far too much rap/hip hop music is misogynistic, violent, degrading and glorifies base/deviant behavior. Far too many videos depict black women as ‘things’. Things exposing their butts. Things gyrating on a bed. Things dancing on a pole. Things flashing their boobs. Things on their arms. Things in their cars. An interchangeable set of parts offered to the rappers because the have money to pay for it.

Black women as perpetual prostitutes; prostitutes get no love or respect or protection.

Are You Complicit?

Rappers and their apologists (male and female) defend the videos, insisting the women want to be in the videos. The women don’t have a problem being treated like this and if they do they shouldn’t be in the video. It’s the fault of the women, because they allow themselves to be treated like ‘property’. If black women wouldn’t let black men treat them this way, then there wouldn’t be a problem.

Historically, black women have been considered sexually promiscuous, licentious and immoral. Prior to the 1960’s the larger society did not believe black women could be raped! The specific history of bw in this country MUST NOT be ignored. The attitudes and actions of black women today are played out against the brutal history of sexual violence and terrorism of yesterday. It is this history of violence and deliberate mischaracterization of black women that color how black women are perceived by everyone who is not a black woman.

Clearly the fact that a man is black means nothing in light of how they characterize individual bw or masses of bw. The numbers of black men who care about the black experience of black women appear vanishingly small. Far too many black men seem happy to objectify, degrade and dehumanize black women for fun and profit, completely disregarding how treating black women like property in their videos helps to further the perception of black women as ‘thing’. Reduced to being merely a commodity, one bw (thing) can be easily discarded for another. Once the ‘thing’ loses its value, it does not matter what happens to the ‘thing’.

In these videos and in this culture, black women become replaceable and unimportant because there is always another ‘thing’ somewhere.

‘You remind of me of my Jeep….’ Indeed.

Are You Responsible?

Apologists (male and female) tell women it is their responsibility to fix the situation. When bw (black women) demand black men respect them and treat them better; when bw stop accepting thugs and ex-cons as suitable dating partners; when bw teach their sons to respect bw; when bw create a source of carbon neutral, sustainable, low coast energy……. Well, maybe not the last one. Maybe.

Notice how all the work falls to bw. Notice how bw have to fix themselves and black men. Notice how the problem is framed as black women!

Are You Strong Enough?

It is not the job of black women to fix black men or the black community. It is the responsibility of every black woman who has broken out of the matrix to remove herself from the deviance running rampant in many black communities.

First, shift your perceptions.

Second, lay the plans to shift yourself right out of the toxic environment.

Third, make that move!

No it’s not that easy! There are baby steps along the way.

Start small: make a budget and stick to it; save every extra penny you can; research safer places to live (with better school districts if you have children); keep your mouth shut about your plans!!! Saboteurs, haters and the indoctrinated will try to dissuade or straight-up destroy your plans.

Are you strong enough to take action?

Remember, Ashley isn’t wrong…….


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