Friday, November 28, 2008

Rejecting the Black Person In The Mirror

I love to use stumbleupon to surf the web.  It brings me to websites that I never would have visited.  On a recent search I landed at StormFront a white supremacist website (No I will not link, hit google) At any rate I expected to see the usual racist screed about how whites are suffering reverse racism, and how underprivileged they have become.  What I did not expect to read was the following.

Letter from a Black Girl: I love you guys

Hey. I just thought I would stop by and let you guys know that, despite my race (I am a non-White), I think the message that Stormfront promotes is absolutely right; I would be wrong to condemn any of you for defending your people, who've made so many contributions to this world. It's difficult for any sane person to know of individuals like Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Aristotle, Socrates, and countless others who existed because your race did. It's difficult to see the beauty of European nations (including the United States), but demonize and/or ignore the race that made it all possible.
You are absolutely right to love and adore your race; I think Whites in general, especially compared to Blacks, are more moral, peaceful, intelligent, creative, open-minded and forward-thinking, and definitely much better people to be around.
Furthermore, my own heart lies with the culture that your race, Whites, have built. Especially your music, of all genres; Some of my favorite bands are Cradle of Filth, Gorogoroth, Nickelback, The Fray, Nightwish, Lifehouse, Coldplay, etc.
You may think I'm odd for writing this, but I personally am disgusted with my own race. If you call Blacks a race of morons, I'll agree completely, because it's true. Anyone who is around Blacks enough can plainly see that most Blacks are impulsive, lack compassion, and are lazy, loud, corrupt, and rude...I can't stand people of my own race. I don't even know why the Black race exists, really. The Black race as a whole is a failure and I wouldn't mind if Blacks went extinct, even if that included me (I always have wondered what it would feel like to die anyway). I know that many of you don't, but I do believe in White Supremacy. I think the world would be a better place if Whites took over everywhere and I do believe that Europeans are as close to a master race as it gets.
As you can probably see, I would rather be White, but it's so bad I would rather be ANY race other than Black. I'd take Native American, Asian, Hispanic...anything. I've just completely lost faith in my race. It's fowl and I am always ashamed when I have to fill out forms where I have to put a checkmark in the box next to "Black", because it just reminds me of what I really am (stupid me, I'm seriously tearing up as I write this)...I hate my race very strongly.
Well, enough of my whining. I've made it quite apparent that I think Whites are a great race, and I hate that your countries are being gradually taken over by other by other races who will do it no good. I couldn't imagine what the world would be like without the contributions of your people; you deserve a place in this world more than any other race.
Thanks for reading, to those of you who read. Goodbye, and good luck for the future and I support your movement.

Obviously I have no way of knowing for a fact whether this person is truly a black female or not.  For the sake of argument I am going to assume the validity of the poster. 

The feelings that she expresses on this bulletin board are by no means  strange or unique.  From cradle to grave blacks are told that we are inferior.  Some never achieve the moral fortitude to recognize that they are being manipulated.  Some cannot see that those that are giving you this message do so for their own benefit. 

Hating yourself for being black is to be a dupe of the system.  The racial hierarchy exists to justify exploitation.  No matter whether it is between blacks and whites in the Americas, or castes in India, when we see difference in humanity the end result is always economic disparity. 

What posters like this do not realize is that by embracing blackness they would be thwarting the very force that seeks to create them as less than.  When you reject the metaphorical chains that whiteness seeks to place upon you, you disturb the hierarchy thus loosening the heavy yolk of oppression.

The brilliance of teaching the oppressed to hate themselves is that the prisoner now policies himself.  Scared of judgement the internalized hatred will cause the individual to constantly make decisions that are not in their best interest, in search of the approval of whiteness.

This approval will forever be dangled like a carrot on a stick, always just out of reach.  We are told if you speak properly, dress appropriately, educate yourself and generally remain docile that you too can be part of the American dream. It is the dream of acceptability that keeps blacks performing a lifelong minstrel show in the hopes of a scrap from the table of plenty.

In each generation there have always been a few exceptional Negroes that seem to break through and gain the respect of whiteness, but upon closer examination it is always revealed that they never escape the  blackness of their skin.  Whether it is Kennedy not wanting to invite Sammy Davis Jr. to the white house or President elect Barack Obama being hung in effigy, no one can ultimately escape the weight of a black body in a white world. 

Blackness is not a monolithic identity, though whiteness continually portrays us as baby mamas, drug dealer, criminals and thugs.  What we must seek to do is deconstruct blackness and embrace it in all of its multiplicities.   Policing ourselves and demanding a Eurocentric appearance or behaviour standard reduces our potential as a race.  There is no one way speaking, behaving or dressing that is necessarily more appropriate than another.  The aforementioned are only constructed social values that have no real bearing on the worth of a person.

We can look at great white poet and be moved by their articulate play with words, and yet rap which can be a very revolutionary form of poetry that has its genesis in blackness is repeatedly decried.  We can celebrate Mozart as a musical genius and ignore the brilliance of the likes of Miles Davis.  Our understanding of blackness is what causes us to ignore our contributions and devalue our unique and beautiful culture. We only elevate what is ours when it is appropriated by whiteness. 

Whiteness wants us to focus on the negative while at the same time ignoring their contribution that created the condition.  It is not accidental that blacks are over represented in prisons, and the military.  It is not accidental that we are undereducated and poor.  Even when they choose to educate us, our history is often ignored in the effort to present whiteness as the father of all that is good.

So yes I understand how and why this woman came to the determination that hating blackness was the answer.  After a lifetime of social conditioning and negative representations there will always be some that choose to identify with their oppressor because they are awed by  power. It is a desire to have the power to oppress that they seek.  It is a desire to have privileges to which they have been denied.  Just as children who are molested sometimes identify with their abusers so to do black internalize hatred and identify with whiteness.

The desire for power is the root of this hatred.  It is not that whiteness is naturally more attractive, or intelligent, it is that power and  whiteness are bed fellows.  When I write repeatedly about owning privilege it is for women like this.  No one should wake each day to reject themselves so that others may be uplifted.


Jadelyn said...

Uncle Ruckus, no relation.

This, somehow, frightens me even more than female MRAs. I can intellectually understand how one can internalize the constant messages of inferiority that we are steeped in day in and day out - hell, it's hard NOT to internalize some of it, but that kind of blatant expression of self-hatred just...scares me.

Vera H. said...

What a sad letter, but if you take any group of humans and constantly put them down, tell them they are stupid, criminal, and unattractive, this is the natural result, and I think it's a lot more common than people will admit to.

When I was younger, I would look at magazines for blacks and almost never see women of my darker complexion held up as beautiful, and this made me feel ugly and deeply resentful. I'm older and pretty much over that now, and, strangely, it was mostly white people who would tell me I was beautiful (another story for another time).

Clearly, the letter writer is totally mistaken, there's plenty of goodness and beauty in being black, although it often crowded out by the ugly and bad.

I admire many people of many races and try to look beyond what I'm being told and do my own investigation. Sometimes, it doesn't work as well as I'd like, and fall into some of the same patterns as I did in my youth, but I keep trying.

Although the letter is tragic, it's too often true, and I'm glad it's out there for people to discuss.

julie said...

I beleive she is real. I think we do compare.

And for the record everything I say below is as real as it gets.

I love the colored women. I love the way they love their children. They hug them and kiss them and make them feel special. I love the way they are community and know each other. Often Asians and whites don't even know their neighbour who they have lived next door to for many years.

I like the way they have healing abilities through their touch and how they have knowledge of herbs and such instead of prescriptions from the doctor.

I love the way they care for their elders. I love the way they respect them.

And I love the way they are humble enough to say, "We know what happened to us but we are not going to do it to you", and they reach out their hand to help a white.

And I especially love the sex appeal they have when they dance. It doesn't matter the shape or size, these girls just know how to use it.

I love the way they don't age as fast a white women. My gosh, they can be 60 and still look in their 30's/40's.

I love the way they can cruise. I swear white women make half the stress they carry themselves.

I love the way their hair can be naturally permed.

Oops, should let someone else have a chance.

But my point is that we all hate what we see in the mirror from time to time.

Anna said...

That is so sad, and the temptation is to be overwhelmed with the sadness of it, rather than getting angry. Your post is angry and sad, and all the more eloquent for it. Keep writing for women like her.

Allison said...

"Just as children who are molested sometimes identify with their abusers so to do black internalize hatred and identify with whiteness."

So much truth in one sentence. Excellent, excellent post!

nia said...
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nia said...

Julie, no offense, but are you serious when you write these posts?

nia said...
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Rj said...

Nia, I was wondering the same thing.

nataliaantonova said...

The letter reminds me of a woman I met once through work - her abusive father essentially inspired her to hate and fear her own race and ethnic group while growing up. When she spoke about her dad (this was many years after she had left his house and had the opportunity to move on with her life, as she said), she always mentioned how he would excuse his own abusive behaviour by pointing out stuff like - "this is OUR tradition, it's in OUR blood," when he beat her and molested her. A really nightmarish scenario. If the letter-writer is a real person, you can only hope that she will be able to move past this somehow - regardless of what culmination of events and life experiences have lead her to identify so strongly with the white pride movement.

julie said...

Nia and Rj, I take it you don't like what I say.

I am not the intellectual type to be honest. So I understand I must come over differently. But I say what I mean. It was not meant to offend. In fact, I have no intentions of hurting anyone on my chosen track.

Regarding a site for a WOC, (Renee's) I have come to realise I have stepped way out of my league and am quite happy to leave it be in this time of my life.

Just wanted to set the record straight with comment no.1.

jemimaaslana said...

What is it with so many people and describing and entire group of millions of people as a unity of features and traits.

It's not that white women don't have knowledge of herbs and such - quite a few of 'us' were burned as witches 400 years ago and that didn't kill the 'white witchery' traditions. It's not that only poor women have herbalist traditions several Danish nobles in the 17th and 16th centuries were accused of witchcraft due to their herbalist practices. But don't you just love how it is always assumed that men don't know anything about herbal medicines? As if they were HERbal... *snort*

I love how julie thinks she's talking about 'coloured women' when in fact she's only talking about the tiny minority of coloured women that she has decided to take note of.

Goodness knows, almost everyone in my surroundings are white and I know lots of people who fit her descriptions - except that they're not coloured.

What is it with these monolithic impression of all the different groups society can be divided into? If all blacks are alike and different from whites who are also all alike, how can there be any differences between women and men? How can any statement like: "Blacks are like this, whites are like that" ever make sense to anyone? I don't get it.

We're all PEOPLE, people. Individuals - coloured by our surroundings, yes, obviously - but still individuals.

Not only is it sad when someone has come to hate what they are, it is perhaps even more sad when they've been taught/indoctrinated to completely deny all individuality and consider all societal groupings as monolithic - no matter how contradictory. Sad, sad.

Anonymous said...

As someone who grew up among white supremecists who actively read and spouted the evil crap you see on Stormfront and other sites, and one who lurks on these sites myself just to see what the haters are up to, I call bullshit on this letter. My gut reaction is that it is most likely a fake, even though Renee's commentary is still relevant. The language and construction is way too suspect, too pat, too referenced with markers of white Haters. It reads like the ultimate wet dream of a Hater of what "good" black people should think about themselves, their community and "White European Civilization".

And if it is by a young African American woman, I think the line about her wondering what it would be like to die confirms that she has serious mental health problems, beyond the mental and social health problem of masochistic self-hatred. Yet, even the whole mass and personal suicide line again sounds like a projection of wish fulfillment (all blacks need to die and become extinct) by the white Hater whom I think wrote this. I still can't shake the feeling that it is fake.

Xiphactinus audax said...

I smell a Poe, personally.

AR said...

The main thing that strikes me about your comment, julie, is the references to traditional medicine, if medicine it may generously be called. Such things may be useful for minor aches, but for anything more serious than that, scientific medicine wins hands down. It's even made failure to survive until adulthood so rare that it's considered a tragedy when it does happen. Any approach to human health that can't achieve that isn't worth serious consideration, and herbs and healing touches have had millennia to implement their solution to that problem.

LorMarie said...

Hi Renee,

I lurk on Stormfront and other such site so that I can no what the "enemy" is up to. The funny thing is, I too saw the letter. Since surfing those sites, I noticed quite a few posts from "black women" (almost always a woman) who hates blackness and loves whites to some degree. That is not to say that her post is definitely fake. I just don't trust anything on Stormfront.

LorMarie said...

I should have first checked my post for grammar, LOL. Just wanted to say that your post is still useful whether the "self-hating girl" is real or not.

Anonymous said...

"I think the world would be a better place if Whites took over everywhere"

Is she aware that this is basically the current state of the world? Has she heard of globalization/colonialism?

Dori said...

I really hope that letter is a fake. If it isn't...just...fuck.

and Julie?

Are you the same Julie that posts really thoughtless comments over at Alas? Your styles seem the same, and not just in the blind idiot way. 90% of what you listed is a pretty obvious stereotype, but i knew it would be bad when you started out using the word "colored." What the fuck? Really? Making something "exotic" out of black women, and basing a ton of assumptions about what they are really like as though they are a monolith, especially when your "points" seem to come out of movies from the 80's... I can only hope that you don't believe that stuff for real...or that you are really really really young or sheltered.

julie said...


I don't mind being called names so 'blind idiot' will get little response from me.

Truth be told, I only have one black man around me. He is from South Africa (30) and had a stroke in his 20's and now is paralysed in his arm and part of his leg. He studies at University to become a social worker. I wouldn't bring this up with him because I think I would insult his past life in Africa.

Also there are Indians, Iraqis, other women from Africa, Aborigines, Maori and Pacific Islanders.

I say coloured because I can't call all nations that are not European black.

I am pretty sure you are saying that whites are privileged to everyone else who is not European decent.


What I wrote above is how I see the world around me. I cannot relate to American Black people so I relate to what I know is meant by WOC.

Nevada Mojo Rising said...

Well, I am probably going to get beat up for what I write but I am going to write it anyways.

I am a white woman and I am ashamed of the racists in my own race like the ones on Storm Front (sorry, I can't go to that site because crap like that makes my brain freeze).

Great blog, btw.

Ebony Intuition said...

Calling people "Black" or "Coloured" totally eliminates their culture and nationality and true identity. I'm not black or coloured or any of these other foolish slave names, black codes that Europeans have designed for us. I have a heritage, a nationality , and customs. People will continue to be confused if they keep calling themselves what Europeans labelled them.!!!

Anonymous said...

The kind of blackness we know today may go extinct,because we aren't marrying well, reproducing enough AND we don't have as much economic wealth/power to go around.
Hispanics are expected to increase to about 45% of the USA population by 2035, blacks....a mere 2%. Coupled in with the fact that we do intermarry and have multiracial kids, it will be hard to define who is considered black anymore.

Other than that, I could not complete this. It shows an infantile understanding of race and achievement. IT's intellectually dishonest.