On Internalized Racism

This is my text response to this post.

As a Black (able-bodied cis-) woman who grew up with a single mother (from age 6 on), a Black woman who is a good person, a Black woman who doesn’t fetishize Asian men, a Black woman who isn’t desperate… there were just so many things wrong with this video.

I don’t know why you think you are the authority on Black American women. You cannot speak for everyone. Please understand that your experience is yours- it does not apply to everyone. Especially since your argument only addresses cis, heterosexual women.

You are not better than us. I spent most of my life growing up in a suburb in New Jersey, but I was originally from Newark. So is my mother. My mother is a beautiful, strong cis-woman who is most certainly not a failure. And neither am I.

How dare you say all Black women are failures. What does failure even mean to you? Are Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou and bell hooks failures? What about Harriet Tubman, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston? How dare you belittle their contributions? How dare you?

By saying that we are failures, you are contributing to this society of hate and disgust of Black people and their needs. There are a great number of Black people who are extremely successful, and in order to have more successful Black people, we need to have the same opportunities as everyone else. This goes for all people of color, people of different religions (other than Christianity), all gay folks, lesbians, trans*, non-binary people, and genderqueers as well, American or otherwise.

I know you probably will never see this blog post, but if for some reason you did read this, I want you to realize that I do know how to speak proper English. There are many Black women who do know how to speak proper English. It’s interesting, because we are teased for it. You have no idea how many times I’ve been called “an Oreo” because I am articulate. But guess what? You are no better than a Black woman who is not good at spelling or grammar, who speaks slang, is dyslexic, or is the product of a poor school system. That isn’t something you blame on the victim. That is a little something called patriarchy and another little bit of capitalism. And these are not “excuses,” as you say, these are valid reasons.

There is also this stereotype you mention about Black women being loud. Yes, it is a stereotype. I can be loud sometimes. And I can be quiet sometimes. The women in my family don’t get loud with other people. I know plenty of Black women who aren’t loud.

But loud isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

What you need to understand in order to comprehend my reasoning, is that Black women have gone centuries without being heard. Women in general have gone centuries without being heard, but especially women of colour. I don’t know if you have noticed but there is a hierarchy in the Western world. There is oppression, and you are a victim of it by default. Which is why it is so sad and ironic that you are reinforcing it.

And the worst thing in my opinion, was when you said that a majority of Black women aren’t good women. Please tell me where you got that idea. I’d love to hear it. Because no matter what sort of race or ethnic group you can name, there are assholes in every one of them, and it is not necessarily related to the colour of their skin. I am a good person, I know many good Black women.

How do you define a ‘bad’ Black woman? What does that mean to you? Does that mean that they are loud? That they get angry? That they, like you, thrive on generalizations and are condescending and ignorant? That they are in a relationship with someone of a different race? That they don’t speak proper English? That they grew up in a single parent home? That they live in a Black neighborhood? That they didn’t finish school? All of the above?

How dare you indicate that I am damaged, that people raised by single parents are “damaged.” Damaged goods? I’m not defective in any way. I am a good person. And even though I was raised by a single parent, A) that was not my fault, and B) it doesn’t make me any less valid as a human being than you or anyone else. I am not dangerous, I am eligible. I am not desperate; I am whole on my own and do not need anyone else to complete me.

I am glad that you have your own culture. I envy you for that. You’re right- plenty of Black women do not know what country they come from. But that doesn’t make you any better than us either. Believe it or not, it isn’t our fault we were taken from our homeland and forced to adopt a new culture that was unfamiliar to us. Again, chill with the victim-blaming please.

I don’t even know what your obsession with Asians is about so I’m not going to touch that. The only thing I will say is that there are Black women who have relationships with Asian partners and I’m 100% sure they aren’t doing it to please you or to raise your eyebrow of judgment.

And finally, I am angry at what you said, but I am not mad at you. You are simply a victim of patriarchy’s portrayal of Black people, and as they say, “don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s