BM vs BW

Black king here.

There’s a civil war that’s been raging on indefinitely and, quite frankly, I’m absolutely appalled at the two parties involved. The two demographics who are already at the bottom of society’s barrel, battling it out for no gain or reward whatsoever.

Black men and black women. Sworn enemies. Snake and mongoose.

Constantly at each other’s throats; the countless occasions where we never see eye-to-eye. Dishing out one demeaning generalisation after another. The triggers are many but – in my humble, sweet and tender, medium-rare opinion – ridiculously minute in the grand scheme of things. The squabbles can’t even compare to the microaggressions and challenges we face as black people on a daily basis.

We’re disunified on the foundation of a fleeting concept rather than being grounded and rooted within each other irrespective of the issues we have. In a utopian world which shouldn’t be so difficult to achieve, we should be singing kumbaya with one another, fighting together as allies, void of any disputes which would create discord between us as a people.

But we’re out here trippin’ and slippin’ on romantic tragedies like wet tiles and banana peels.

Honestly, somebody should ask the Black Eyed Peas where the love is ‘cos boy, it ain’t in this community. Not as it should be.

I nominate patriarchy as the cause and trigger to the chain reaction of this inevitable catastrophe. Since women were always seen as inferior, men began to evolve into “trash” (we’re still leaving that in 2017) and women have understandably revolted etc. But patriarchy is mildly independent of race, so why does it feel like black people have been damaged by this more so than any other?

Take a gander at the state of our black community in this generation. If you don’t know where to look, cast your gaze through the binoculars of Black Twitter. Which is – again, in my esteemed and sautéd opinion – a relatively accurate representation of the black community today.

What do you see? I’ll tell you what I see.
Conflict. Conflict based on issues which are infinitesimal from greater perspectives.

Every once in a while, something pops up on my timeline, particularly somebody cosigning the quote tweet of an apoplectic black woman, of which the contents are a generalisation on how “black men are so *insert detrimental descriptive phrase here*“. Delving into the tweet in question, I’d witness the ignorance of a single obtuse black male individual who sought to express himself while subsequently ruffling the feathers of the many black women who populate the social media platform.
A common example would be an expression on his reasoning for dating white women over black women. Shouting the praises and kissing the behinds (or the lack thereof) of the former while derogatorily demeaning the latter with generalisations of what he has seen to be hyperaggression and irrationalism based on the pattern of women he had encountered prior.

Golly, I’ve sure mentioned “generalisations” a lot. Maybe it’s an omen.

Human beings have a habit of judging every possible future scenario based on the one or few bad experiences they’ve had, or trying to validate their theories based on a pattern they’ve witnessed, the latter being something I’m pretty much doing right now. There are times when that’s necessary, useful and acceptable.

But I honestly think our issue here is heavily-linked with that omen I just mentioned: generalisations seem to be the pattern which overtly displays our intraracial hatred, whether we actually mean them or not. NO ONE takes generalisations well; you’d be lying if you said you do. They are triggering, they are ill-defining, they are inconsiderate of individualism. And I personally believe it shows a substantial amount of ignorance.

Comparison is the thief of joy, but when you glance at other races, they don’t seem to have these issues. And EVEN IF they did, they’re not chilling at the bottom of the food chain, are they? So, to be honest, they can afford to have these issues. We can’t.
Have you ever heard white women say: “Argh! White men are so *insert detrimental descriptive phrase here*“? when they have issues with them? Have you ever heard white men express distaste for their own race of women for any reason that isn’t based on their natural anatomy?
Genuine questions. ‘Cos personally I haven’t, but if you have, let me know.

The little we have as black people is still too much to lose in disunity. We’ve come such a long way; individual preferences and amorous woes should honestly be the least of our problems. Those are first-world issues which will always be trumped by the existence of black subordination and will always play into our deficiencies.

Now call me Sway, ‘cos I don’t have the answers – I can’t close this off with some pretentious grand solution because, quite frankly, I don’t have one – but if there’s one thing I know, it’s that the atom of every movement is an individual.
Hence, I urge all of you to re-evaluate the way you consider, treat and speak about your black brethren of the opposite sex and measure that against the odds stacked against us as a people. Can you claim to love your people yet still slander the sub-demographics within them with no consideration for individualism? Riddle me that.
Why not just train yourself to refrain from making satisfying yet obtuse generalisations and learn to look at groups as clusters of individuals? Don’t confuse atoms for molecules. If someone wrongs you, that person alone wronged you, don’t bring their kindred into the mix. Don’t bask in the rays of ignorance. Your generalisations contribute to the divide and exacerbate the fissure. Translation: YOU ARE PART OF THE REASON WHY BLACK PEOPLE ARE NOT UNIFIED.

Keep thinking that you’re just one small person who doesn’t make a difference. Even Tesco will tell you that ‘every little helps’.

Zavid Egbue

@zzavidd

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