On My Divestment From #BlackLove

I’m done with Black men romantically.

I sat staring at a blank Word document for several minutes while skipping through Pandora songs and trying to figure out how I wanted to start this piece. A friend of mine suggested, “Black love is an oxymoron,” and although I agree, I didn’t necessarily want to start with that. Then, it occurred to me that the easiest way to say something is just to say it.

Warning

Before I get into the guts of this entry, I want to make a few disclaimers.

No, this has nothing to do with my divorce. Many of my friends can attest to the fact that for at least the last three years, I’ve said that if I ever ended up single again, I wouldn’t consider re-marrying to a Black man.

No, you’re not going to hear some hood tale about how I have 10 half- brothers and half-sisters all across the metropolitan area that I’ve never met or that I grew up with absolutely no male presence and therefore have some Black man-sized hole in my heart.

Thirdly, I know that not every single Black man on the planet is a completely undateable, low-achieving, unchivalrous, pathological liar/cheater with babies all over the place. So there’s absolutely no need to respond to this post with any variation of “not all” unless you’re trying to convince yourself of that. In which case, stand in front of your bathroom mirror and say it 100 times until you believe it, it has worked its way out of your system, or Bloody Mary shows up and takes you away.

bloody mary

Fourthly, I know that there are men of all races who consistently show us they ain’t shit. No need to remind me of that either.

Lastly, I suggest you read the hyperlinks and screenshots that are placed throughout this entry before you kneejerk yourself into arthroscopic surgery.

Now that that’s out of the way, some background. My grandfather died in 2015. It wasn’t sudden but of all the men I knew, Black men in particular, I considered him a great example of manhood. He had one wife, my grandmother. His ONLY children were by the woman he married, my grandmother. He worked and made sure they had a roof over their head, food in the refrigerator, transportation, and made sure the utilities stayed active. He had very little vices and didn’t throw his money away. I never grew up with stories about how he was a rolling stone and I may have three other uncles and an aunt on the other side of town somewhere. He had a lot of dignity. He had a lot of honor. He was respectable.

I was well into my marriage when I realized that, as far as Black men go, that kind of excellence, en masse, would be seen no more. Was it the profusion of webpages, YouTube channels, Facebook statuses and Tweets from Black men verbally abusing, advocating for the harm or murder of, and otherwise being wretched towards Black women? Was it #theothers that Black men used to express their desire to only date non-Black or half-Black women because they were more (fill in the blank because to be quite honest, after a few conversations about it, I’m still not sure what the fuck they were getting at)?

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Thankfully, Bougie Black Girl fixed this meme. But read between the red. Brought to you by the “brothers.”

Perhaps it was the graphics and hood “artwork” that insisted that Black women are unsupportive of Black men even though every time one of them gets molly whopped by the police, it is overwhelmingly Black women who organize, march and even go to jail for them while Black men scoffed and ridiculed Sandra Bland who was brutalized and eventually lost her life for actually no reason (yeah, I went there). Or was it when any positive press about Black women and our accomplishments was released, there always managed to be a least 10 Black men in the comments noting that “just because” we achieved what they haven’t, that “doesn’t make” us valuable…to them? Was it the countless videos of Black men harassing Black women or watching their brethren harass and harm Black women and standing idly by laughing?

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Spoken like someone who only has penis to offer. Lucky for him, he has plenty of company. If a woman getting an education and a career endangers and emasculates you, you’re already sunk.

Maybe it was Black men dehumanizing us because of our hair, skin tone, physical shape, make-up choices, clothing choices, etc…and telling us no other man would want us but them (aka emotional and verbal abuse); then when we start to date white or other men, calling us “Negro bed wenches” who were being used by the white man like back during slavery while Black men dive headlong into every non-Black vagina that’s open for business. Perchance, it’s because they are the only men I’ve seen call a woman a “gold-digging hoe” because she expects the man to pay for dates (yet, they never make enough money to have sterling silver, let alone gold, to dig). Let’s not forget their desire for June Cleaver without even the wherewithal to be Ward.

serenawilliams

This comment was made in reference to SERENA WILLIAMS after she became engaged to Alexis Ohanian. Notice how he refers to her as a “that.”

Maybe it was the fact that in the last five quarters, I know at least six Black women in my age group (not including myself) who have divorced due to their husbands cheating, lying, disappearing, engaging in financial fuckery, being “on the DL,” or plainly being emotionally unavailable assholes.

street harassment

Brought to you by the illustrious Tariq Nasheed.

 

Conceivably, it’s because they regularly shrug off the rates of child molestation amongst Black girls by Black men or call the little girls liars or insist that the little girls purposely “entice” men to violate them. They do the same with intimate partner violence rates among Black women.

 

Black abuse

“greater good” = keep him out of jail because the white man is already mean enough to him.

 

It could be because they seem to be the only men who are old enough to shave every day but think the women of their ethnic group are the ones responsible to clothe, feed, house, ride AND die, and freedom fight for them plus procreate, raise their children and go half on bills. It may be because they are the only group of men I’ve ever heard talk about having multiple simultaneous sexual relationships with women as if that’s not pathological behavior. Or, it’s because they are the only group of men I’ve seen collectively blame everything they didn’t manage to accomplish on the women of their own ethnic group or white men.

ninasimone

A post in reference to the fact that both Nina Simone and Zoe Saldana, who played Nina Simone in a movie, dated/married white men. #negrobedwench….apparently

I can’t point to one specific thing, but I know that I do not believe in #BlackLove anymore. Several empirical studies have been done on Black relationships and they all point to one major conclusion: outside of making more Black people, there is no real benefit for Black women to couple with Black men. I think this is a simple cost-benefit analysis. In other words, are they worth the effort it takes to try build a viable relationship with them? You can answer that question for yourself but remember when I said to read the hyperlinks.

simone biles

They weren’t even dating but how dare an accomplished BW share space with a non-Black man!

Over and over again, Black men have failed to establish a standard of care for the women who birth them, feed them, house them, bail them out of jail, work 2+ jobs to materially support them, birth and raise their children, and the biggest of all: forgive them and remain loyal to them, even foolishly so, to the end. As a Black woman, I’ve developed friendships with several other Black women and the consensus is that, when in a relationship with a Black man, a significant amount of time is spent waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even the older Black women who chose, for whatever reason, to stay with their Black men will often express that they can’t and don’t trust him because of his history.

A couple of years back, Black men said that “white girls are winning” as a way to taunt Black women. It turns out that white girls are winning because they aren’t messing with Black men at the same rates as Black women are.

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Being the swami that I am, I already know all the rebuttals.

“Where are these men you are meeting?” In your state, city, and living room, sir.

“I don’t know any men like that.” You’re lying, sir. As a matter of fact, you’re probably one of the “men like that.”

Cue Iyanla

“You’re choosing the wrong men.” Well, sir, given the male penchant for, um, impersonation, that may have merit. It also has merit when you’re ranting on Iyanla about how some Black woman 15 years ago didn’t return your phone call and therefore you needed a life coach to fix yo’ life on national television. But you want to guess what all the men that were “chosen” have in common, sir? Basically, when Black women choose better men…I’m sure you can figure that one out for yourself, sir. 

The thing is, I’ve dated the spectrum. College-educated, blue-collar, white-collar, American, non-American; it doesn’t seem to matter at all. How far down into a pile of maggots is one to dig to locate the grain of rice?

im-not-insulting-you-im-describing-you

“It’s because of systemic racism that we, Black men, can’t get ahead.” Sir, we are Black and women. Double whammy. Yet, somehow, we manage to push forward without being complete terrors to our communities and pick up everybody’s slack in the process. Why the men, the KANGZ, who demand unquestioning submission and a permanent smile can’t do the same, I don’t know.

“It goes both ways.” Sir, I’ll just let one of my Facebook friends answer this one for you:

Oshun

This blog has become past brief but before I hop off, I want to share an anecdote. Saturday night, I was scheduled to meet with three male friends to conduct some business. I was the first to arrive. When I pulled up to the building, there were probably 8 Black men standing around outside. Most of them were smoking and they were talking to each other. I instantly froze up. When I was in undergrad, I had a friend (Black) who said she was afraid of Black men. At the time, I thought she was weird. But age and experience….Anyway, I waited in my car until two of my male friends pulled up so that I wouldn’t have to directly interact with the men who were standing around outside. This was probably the clearest portent that finalized my decision. The thought that I automatically expected the worst behavior from them unto fear, was my confirmation that I’ve made the right choice for myself.

Those of you reading are free to do what you want to do but I’ve never been a gambler, and if I have to play, I’m going to play to win.

 

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Chad Over Becky Any Day: Workplace Becky & Why White Women Actually Are The Worst

Picture this: a young Black woman starting her career in government. In her immediate office, there are two other women who seem to be friends. The Black woman is nothing but professional. She comes to work on time, dressed appropriately, puts her head down and does her work. One of the other women finds out that the young Black woman, besides clearly being intelligent on her own, is college-educated and secure. They invite the young Black woman to lunch for pizza and she declines. One of the women tells her friend, the other woman, about the young Black woman’s impeccable background and that begins a reign of office terror. The women begin spreading rumors about the young Black woman. They begin tracking her every move. The young Black woman can’t sneeze without it getting back to the manager within the hour. The young Black woman is called into the manager’s office to address false allegations. When the Black woman provides proof that the allegations are false, she is sent back to her office without so much as a “mea culpa.” The reign, however, does not stop and eventually, the manager moves the Black woman to three other offices since she, “can’t get along” with anybody. The rub is, all the young Black woman has done was come to work, work, and go home.

Toilet scene

 

Dig, if you will, a Black woman in the middle of her career. She is educated. She is quiet and always has been. She goes to work for a mid-sized accounting firm. Her work product is beyond reproach. She shows up early and often leaves late. She even shows interest in the little irrelevant moments of their life like recitals and shit. Three months in though, it starts. One of the women starts to tell her boss that the Black woman is behind on her work. When the boss comes to her office and questions her about it, the Black woman is able to produce every file and every piece of work that the co-worker told the boss she hadn’t done. The boss is satisfied. Seeing that the Black woman didn’t get in trouble, the woman then raises “concerns” about the Black woman’s demeanor and whether or not she’s a fit for the company. After weeks of this, the Black woman is unhappy and starting to apply at other firms.

snooping

 

Since bad things come in threes, a Black woman who has worked at her company for almost a decade in B2B sales, and exceeds her target every month is constantly harassed by her female boss. One month, it’s the female boss “forgetting” to correctly tabulate a large chunk of the Black woman’s sales. The next month, it’s the female boss fraudulently taking credit for the Black woman’s work; a matter that ended up having to be escalated to her boss’s boss. The month after that, it’s the Black woman being reprimanded for losing a client based on bad information that her female boss gave the client in an after-hours venue where the Black woman wasn’t even present.

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What do all these stories have to do with each other, you ask? Well, first of all, they’re all true.

But more importantly, in all three stories, the lying, conniving, insecure, envious female co-workers were white bitches.

Ask 95% of Black women who are or were of working age and they will be able to tell you at least three stories a piece about how a Workplace Becky tried to sabotage them at some point in their career. There is a clear pattern and it all adds up to white women being the worst.

I know Black men have an issue with white men but as a Black woman, my worst work experiences by far have come at the hands of Workplace Beckies. I thought about this most recently a couple of days ago after reading yet another tale of a Black woman just trying to live her life, work, and support herself and being administratively bullied by the Workplace Becky du jour in her office.

What is their fascination with Black women that makes them want to emulate us while simultaneously hating us? I have a few theories:

  • Awareness of their own mediocrity. Usually, in situations like the ones I’ve described, the Black woman in the office is smarter, better educated, more competent at the job, and has more life-long potential than Workplace Becky. Workplace Becky should never have been hired in the first place but you know, white privilege and all….When you know you have no business being where you are, you can’t help but act like an emotionally rabid dog towards the people who are sure to pass you up. If you can get the more excellent out, the pressure is off. White women have gotten by for centuries bringing little to nothing to the table but somehow are on that same pedestal that systemic racism put them on centuries ago. The thing is, they know they don’t deserve it. Basically, you can think you’re cute until you have to go and stand by Naomi Campbell, figuratively, of course.2cf27de1f1ef3ef5a83bb44e4f4cdc0c--annie-lee-ego-tripping
  • Jealousy/Envy. It’s been said that women are naturally jealousy of other women. That claim may have some merit. But when you mix racism with jealousy, that makes for a helluva drink. White women, where Black women are concerned, tend to unleash a special brand of treachery when a Black woman is stuntin’ on them in any area of life. Maybe it’s the fact that we have lips to actually apply lipstick to. Maybe it’s because we can change our hair every single day if we want. Maybe it’s because, in the words of Nikki Giovanni, we are so hip that even our errors are correct. Who knows? But workplace Becky seems to be pressed like ham about it.no butt
  • Feminism. More like white feminism. Another theory I’ve kicked around (because theorizing is another talent that Becky can hate me for), is that white women sat under the thumb of white men for so long that they need to control (read, fuck up) somebody else’s life. Who’s the easiest target of their bunco (look it up)? They know the corporate structure and systemic racism and sexism are not going to let them screw Chad over without question. They also know that Black men have an intra-community safety net and someone will come to his defense. But Black women….the double whammy. We have no friends so that makes us easy targets. White women, in the name of deranged feminism, will stick together no matter how wrong they are. What I didn’t tell you is that in every one of those stories, the bosses and managers who dangled the Black women’s jobs over their head based on nothing more than hearsay were also white women. You see how that works?

As I’ve grown older, I now fully understand what my mother and her mother and Black mothers and grandmothers everywhere meant when they would say that white women are dangerous. Them lying and getting someone’s Black child lynched or thrown in prison is just the tip of the iceberg. Their bullshit has infiltrated every place you can imagine and for Black women, who are most often heads of household or the ones called on to care for sick elderly relatives or other children; who go to college and rack up student debt in hopes to get an education good enough to put them in places where they can not only support their livelihood but effect change, the workplace is one of many precarious places for us to be because of Workplace Becky.

sojourner

But what makes them dangerous is not only that they have it in them to behave this way, but that they are using the systemic racism this country operates in to get away with it. When are the (mostly white) men in the C-Suites going to check Workplace Becky? When is the white female boss (who was a diversity hire) going to use her brain and break rank when Workplace Becky decides it’s her job to be the hall monitor of Black women colleagues? When are people other than Workplace Becky’s targets going to tell Workplace Becky to sit the fuck down or take a pink slip? Probably never. And that’s why she keeps doing it.

Mommie Dearest

People laud Black women for being the newest crop of blossoming business owners but did anybody ever stop to ask why? Maybe, on top of the normal reasons that most people become entrepreneurs, we’re sick of having to play office politics with Workplace Becky who operates like Mommie Dearest the minute she feels threatened by us simply breathing in the same space. Perhaps, we’re tired of everybody else’s resting face just being their resting face but our resting face = “angry,” “aggressive,” “not a team player,” “not a good fit” when Workplace Becky doesn’t get the worship she wants from us. *shrug* Just a thought.

I know white men feel like these days they are getting a lot of heat; and to be honest, they deserve a lot of it. But, I’ll take Chad over Becky any day of the week.

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