Monday, August 3, 2009
Support Those Who Support You, Right?
If black women are being "taught" to only support those who support us, how does that play into IR dating from both sides. Certainly black men can take the same argument to justify why many date outside the race, right? Folks need to be careful when talking about who supports whom.
From the Boycott Black Men website:
Are you sick of our black men that leave our race and marry outside our race profiting off the black community while they in turn, turn their backs on us?
This is actually an issue I have been meaning to discuss for some time. The red herring that black men who date outside their race still "use" black women for support. The idea being that black men reject black women but still "need them" to purchase products and services, give of their time, etc. The prevailing sentiment among some bloggers is that if black women were to stop doing this, black men would see how much they need black women and "come home".
Black Gender Separatist Tenet #1: Black women are so used and abused by black men that black men don't seem to see that without us, they would literally die in the streets. Furthermore, black women are much more equipped to craft the kind of community THEY want and we can do this without black men.
Let's examine this idea. Notice this person on BBM mentions black men who "profit" off the black community. This would mean any black man tied to an industry that primarily makes its money off blacks. I am trying to figure out what industry in America is supported mainly from black dollars. Outside of the hair care industry and check cashing/pay day loan establishments blacks cannot collectively keep any one industry afloat. A football player is not making his money off the black community since most blacks do not pay to go to professional football games. Blacks may purchase NFL apparel but they do not do it in numbers that would cause it to "collapse" if they took it away. Keep in mind that many black epople by bootleg sports apparel. I once went to a Baltimore Orioles game in college and the number of blacks in the stands compared to the number of blacks on the field was incredible. Black folks do not spend money on sports the way white people (and even Latinos) do. So a black football player who marries a white woman is in fact "taking care" of a woman from the community who supports his livelihood. In essence, it is the white community who is funding his ability to take care of "Becky", not the black community and certainly not black women. So, what about men who are not in professional sports?
OK, let's take a corporate black man who works for a company like Northop Gruman. This black man is an engineer with an advanced degree. He attended prestigious colleges and universities on scholarships. He is, on the surface, a perfect "equal opportunity" candidate. Perhaps he represents the company's "diversity' initiatives and gives speeches to black kids about his job. Now if it was revealed that this man had a nonblack wife, how exactly did black women support him in his efforts? Outside of this man's black mother and black female relatives, he probably has been "supported" by far more whites than blacks. Mainly because blacks are not in the position to hire, mentor, develop or train talent in many industries. So the 5 or 10 black women in his life who may have helped him achieve success does not discredit the 10-20 whites who were also involved. Where should this man's "loyalties" lie? With the women who reared him (which was their responsibility)? Or should he be "allowed" to make his own choices about who he wants to spend his life with?
The music industry is the same way. I remember when Herbie Hancock won his Grammy a lot of black women were furious to find out that he had a white wife, as if they all had 5 copies of his CD in their collection and had spent years following him around the world on tour! I asked one BW why she was so mad and she said that he had "made a career off being black". I asked her what she meant by that and she said that he was a black man who profited off blackness. Again, I asked her what she meant by "profited off his blackness" and she refused to answer. She kept tossing out generic phrases like "he wants to be black when it suits him." I then asked her when was he not black and she said when he chose a white woman. I also asked her how many Herbie Hancock CD's she owned and she said none.
Many BW do not support the BM they despise for dating outside of their race. Let's look at sum very famous black men married to nonblack women and see just how black women "support" these men:
Like I said before, black women DO NOT purchase tickets to professional sporting events in large numbers. The only "support" I see possible is purchasing gear for their children or male relatives. The majority of Kobe's money is made from endorsements of products not at all geared towards black women (sneakers, Gatorade, etc.)
Seal's biggest hit song was "Kiss from a Rose" from one of the Batman films. He also has had a string of successful pop songs and is well-known internationally. His marriage to Heidi Klum has been more talked about than his music but he is still a very popular artist. Seal performs all over the world which is primarily how he makes his money. How many African-American women have paid money for a CD or concert ticket? How have they supported him to the point where he would feel "obligated" to marry a black woman?
Taye Diggs has never once been in a blockbuster film and has had numerous failed television shows. Much of his success came from starring in a few black movies in the late 90's early 2000's alongside other black female actresses. So couldn't we say that the black women he starred in films with (Angela Bassett, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long) were a HUGE draw for black women, perhaps even more than Taye himself. Because the films in which he starred without black women (Go, House on Haunted Hill, Rent) didn't do nearly as well. So black women were supporting him in projects that also SUPPORTED THEM (black love stories) but not in anything that did not directly PROMOTE THEM. So what does he owe black women again?
There are just a few examples but you catch my drift. If black women never went to another Laker game or purchased a Seal concert ticket or watched a Taye Diggs film, their careers would still thrive or not. Threatening and shaming men is not the answer and it never has been. Industries suppressed solely on the backs of black women tend to have nothing to do with black men. Black women do not make up the majority of any serious industry outside of haircare. And last I checked, there weren't many heterosexual black men in that field.
Let's try to have honest dialogue about black male/female relationships and what is lacking on both sides. Shaming and guilting hasn't worked in thirty years and it never will.