Thoughts, Musings and Reflections

How Dumbed Down, Meek, and Quiet Do Black Women Need To Be?

Recently I had a conversation with a friend that told me that they had met a mutual acquaintance of ours. Because I am a very introverted person, I inquired as to who this friend was that we had in common.  When they mentioned her name, I was stumped. In my profession, I meet many people, and perhaps I overlooked this person that I had apparently made such an impact on that they would mention me to my friend. However, what struck me is that she told my friend that she had an exchange with me that was not wholly positive. Now that made me pause because I rarely, if ever, have a dialogue that is negative with people, so my curiosity was piqued. And my friend told me she said, “Well we got off to the wrong start because Hannah was speaking about injustice and that affected me.”

Pause.

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Now me being me, I said, “While I do not recall this exchange, if something came out about injustice and I was speaking on the topic, and they felt offended, I will own it. Because more than likely, if I am speaking the truth and she is a White woman, my truth and the truth of so many Black people, may rub her the wrong way.” I do not take the time to access, nor do I care, nor will I ever care, how the truth may make White people feel uncomfortable. As the old folks would say, “A hit dog will holler.” Typically, if no one is bowling in your lane, you do not have to worry about your pins. Apparently, something I said struck a chord of truth with her, and instead of facing that truth, she would rather carry an offense. And she carried this offense for so long that she made sure to mention it to my friend months after meeting me.

Okay

I told my friend to please tell her that she has allowed me to live rent free in her head because I have not thought about it and honestly do not know her enough to have an issue with her. When I speak about injustice, I am talking in general terms regarding a system, and if she or anyone is a part of that system, that is something they need to contend with.

My job is to hold up the mirror. What people see in the mirror is their issue, not mine. I do not create the demons. I only hold up a mirror to reveal the demons. And I understand that the reflection they see may not always be pretty. I understand that facing their own racism may not be something that they want to discuss over tea. I understand that their tennis buddies, PTA sisters, and front pew church friends may not want to deal with racism. I get that their husbands, boyfriends and significant others have their racist opinions that they just “go along with” to keep the peace because what is a little racism if it means their man will fuck them mediocrely and pay the bills?

In light of knowing all that, I always wonder how dumbed down, meek and quiet do Black women need to be, to appease White people?

Recently Ben Rothenberg, a tennis reporter, wrote about an exchange with Serena Williams and a reporter that asked about her use of prednisolone- a banned substance during the 2015 French Open. Serena was very calm, measured and precise in her response stating that she received a Therapeutic Use Exemption for prednisolone because she was ill. She went on to state in the interview that she has always been open in her 20 years of playing and that she would never take any substance to give her an advantage over her opponents. The exchange was one that was normal and nothing to write home about but Rothenberg took it upon himself to call the exchange heated. I watched the exchange waiting for the fire. Serena is a phenomenal athlete that is not just one of the best, but THE BEST in her field and yet still people want to question her dominance. Everything about Serena has been analyzed by White America from her body, her outfits, her pregnancy, her hair and even the way she celebrates a victory.

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Rothenberg wasn’t EVEN THERE but felt the need to come on Twitter and call the calm, peaceful exchange between Serena and the reporter “heated.”

I am still looking for the “heated”exchange.

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Why is it that when Black women speak up and hold their own authority, it is considered, “heated?”

Why is it when I speak about racism, White women feel as if I have sat down and constructed my comments to be directly offensive to them?

I had an exchange on Twitter about Trump and evangelicals, and I will post the images below. I asked a hypothetical question, and this woman said, that I was making a, “veiled threat against her daughters.” Now, you have to know Twitter to know how this works and peep the game but she didn’t reply directly to my comment. She quoted it and posted it on her page so that people wouldn’t see the FULL exchange but just read her comment and automatically make me the villain. Well played White woman. But I know the game. Please look at this exchange and tell me WHERE is the VEILED THREAT against her daughters?

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Rose realized with her, “No,” she had painted herself into a corner of undeniable truth and INSTEAD OF JUST ADMITTING THE TRUTH, her GO TO CARD WAS, “YOU ARE THREATENING MY DAUGHTERS.”  WHERE? Show me the threat. 

White people, particularly White women always find a way to play the victim or toss out the ever-present Angry Black Woman card like a draw four Uno card. This is the modus operandi of MANY White women.

As soon as a Black woman asserts her intelligence, she is aggressive.

As soon as a Black woman has an opinion, she is the Angry Black Woman.

As soon as a Black woman excels in her field, she thinks she is all that and needs to be shut down.

How dumbed down do you want Black women to be?

How soft do our voices need to be for you not to feel afraid?

How small do our asses need to be for us not to be inadvertently sexual?

How quiet do we need to be for us to be the docile Black girl that you can be friends with, high-five, and invite home for dinner?

How meek do you need Black women to be for you not to feel threatened?

Throughout history, we have been told that we were too much.

We were too loud, too quiet, too dark, too light, too curvy, too sexual, too smart, too aggressive, too much of everything and our “too much-ness” was intimidating. It is not that we are too much it is that you are intimidated by our excellence. Our very being is a threat to everything that you want to uphold.

Yet still, we refuse to cower to your fear, trepidation, and insecurity.

Those are YOUR issues that YOU need to contend with.

This is BLACK WOMAN EXCELLENCE in all its glory, and we will not DIMINISH WHO WE ARE TO MAKE YOU FELL BETTER! WE WILL NOT DIM OUR LIGHT because you are afraid OF STANDING IN THE SHADOWS!

YES, WE ARE LOUD AND PROUD BECAUSE WE SPEAK IN THE VOICES & CADENCE OF OUR ANCESTORS, THAT TOLD US, “GIRL, BE TOO MUCH! BE EVERYTHING THEY TOLD YOU THAT YOU COULDN’T BE!”

THIS IS BLACK GIRL GENIUS, UNAPOLOGETICALLY!

20 replies »

  1. White women admit everyday that they understand who puts butter on thier bread, they will not in number challenge this because they know how quickly white males will drop them into minority status, along with the rest of us. White women don’t want to have to admit that they know what that feels like, because largely they already do.

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  2. I am a melanin deprived female. I see and hear racism constantly from similarly hued people as myself who assume it is alright with me to make their bigoted remarks. You definitely don’t need me to speak up for you, but I think it is pretty important for us to speak up against our peers. In the end fairness and equality are not your responsibility, but ours

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    • I had to smile at melanin deprived, Vivian. 🙂 I do believe Vivian, that you are doing the right thing when you are in those circles because it will take people like you to speak up when you hear racist remarks. It takes that for it to change. When we have enough people standing up to say, this is wrong, things can start to change. Stay in the fight!

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  3. I don’t know why you care so much what yt people think. And I don’t know why you cate about their feelings. They don’t care about ours. And I certainly not going to waste my time “educating” them. I am not their professor or intern.

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  4. Thank you for this. Feminism is vital, but toxic white feminism is lethal if unchecked. As a brotha, I’m all too painfully aware that many of the entirely valid and reasonable criticisms you’ve so powerfully made about white women are also faults that we brothas are guilty of. We need to do better and stand with you whenever you’re attacked, not least by our own. So, thank you.

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