Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Diary Of A Tired Black Man

Well black men are fed up.  After dealing with the ways which they have been negatively stigmatized, economically exploited and generally relegated to secondary status they have decided to target the oppressor – ball busting angry black women.  The rage of black men is explored in Tim Alexander’s super low-budget film,”Diary Of A Tired Black Man

According to KansasCity.com Alexander declares, “There’s an epidemic of ABWS, and it’s threatening the very soul of African-American culture.”   Seriously the man needs to give himself a shake.  With all of the issues facing the African American community, his fixation is on those evil black wimmin, who refuse to  hold their tongue.  Black men have historically equated equality with the ability to act in the same manner as the white male patriarchy.  Isn’t it convenient that the best way to uplift black people is to replicate patriarchy in all of its manifestations.  Now who would that really benefit? HMMMM excuse me if I am a little bit sceptical about the gender neutral nature of this desire.

Alexander — he says he’s been a victim of ABWS — acknowledges that many women have reason to be angry after being abused and used by their men. (He also chides women for choosing “bad” boys when there are plenty of decent guys out there.) But so many women have become so angry that they cannot appreciate even good, upstanding black men, he maintains. And angry women rarely enjoy lasting relationships.

Is it me, or does this man not seem like he has quickly become the master of double speak? ..The ministry of truth would be so proud. We have a right to be angry at the men that have abused us, BUT it is still all our fault because we chose them in the first place.  He manages a perfect combo of victim blaming and misogyny all in one sentence.  Gee, why is it all of angry women cannot get over the bruises, emotional trauma, and broken bones, and worship the men that manifest their male privilege in so-called benevolent headship?

Truly, I am sick of this shit.  If black women are angry, then we have a right to our anger; it is not as though we have been walking the earth with the most favoured person status.  Throwing a legitimate emotion like anger at us, in an attempt to discipline us into performing a passive femininity will not work.  Even if we were to morph into the most submissive women on the planet, it would still not alleviate the problems of the black male patriarchy because we do not function as the power behind the social hierarchy, elite white males do.

The major issue that Alexander fails to address is power.  Instead of seeing power as a creative force he can only envision it as coercive.  In a society that daily affirms a hierarchy of beings, the ability to express power functions as signification of worth and value.  The more one is able to oppress, the more the self becomes realized and since none are born outside of discourse, gender exploitation is often chosen by males.  What Alexander seeks is not uplift but power.  He can never claim it as such because to do so would be to admit that what he seeks means the debasement of the very women whom he claims to want a partnership with.  Privilege and power go hand in hand and it is only the intentionally obtuse who fail to make the connection.

Black women are not to blame for the problems facing black men.  We did not set up this system, we have only been assaulted by it.  What I find most irritating about this refrain is the ways in which it fails to acknowledge the work that black women have done to defend black men against lynching's, high rates of incarceration, drug abuse and racism.  We have stood shoulder to shoulder with them in defence of their rights, against a system that has seemed determined to swallow them whole because they are our fathers, sons, brothers, and lovers.  To be told once again that we need to shut up and obey is offensive.  Black men were not looking for obedience when we openly risked ourselves for their benefit. Black men were not looking for silence when we  howled in righteous indignation at their suffering.  Loving you does not entitle you to blind allegiance. 

H/T Lis via e-mail

 


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