I know the title is baiting. I know that you might be chomping at the bit to debate what I’m saying before I even say it. But, I’m asking you to toss out everything in your mind at the current moment and hear me out. Now, if you wanna skip over the reading and jump straight to the comment box, go ahead and exit this post. I’m trying to spark some real dialogue, and I’m asking for adults only in the room. (Yes, that was slight shade).
Right now, social media is tripping over Lifetime’s “Surviving R Kelly” Documentary. What would seem like an open and shut case of “he did it” has turned into a divide – those for R Kelly and/or his music and those against. I’m not gonna make this whole post about R Kelly because I believe the nature of his actions deserves its own discussion.
But what I do want to discuss is the lack of condemnation from other black males. This is what your social media newsfeed has looked like the last 48 hours “where are their parents,” “where is the outrage for Harvey Weinstein or Elvis Presley,” “y’all had old boyfriends in high school too,” “they knew better” and last but not least “we still gonna listen to his music.” The number of “He should go to jail,” or “He’s wrong and anyone that does this type of stuff is wrong” is few and far between. But why fellas
Can you not call a man out on his wrongdoings and still be a man?
Do black men really support black women?
History shows that the black woman has always stood beside the black man. We have bore your children, tended to your homes, and supported you through times of trying to find yourself. Even if that meant away from those very things I just described. We have stood beside you as you faced police brutality and discrimination. As you were sent off to jail, we kept the families going. Raising sons and daughters with no men at home. We provided for our families with no support system. Working job after job on top of job to make sure lights and heat stay on. When you gave up on your dreams, we rubbed your back even though we knew that some burden would fall on us. When you tried something new, we stepped out the way to let you, even if we knew it was gonna fail. We have sacrificed ourselves, we coddled and catered — you.
And it’s not to point fingers or keep a tab sheet because it always came from a place of love. Because black women are love.
When’s the last time you supported a black woman that wasn’t your mama or your grandma? I’m not talking financially either.
Or the last time you thanked a black woman that’s not your mama or grandma for something they did for you or others? Outside of Mother’s Day, Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day.
Or the last time you took the advice a black woman gave you that wasn’t your mama or grandma?
How about that time a black woman gave you advice and you didn’t act on it until someone else told you the exact same thing?
When’s the last time you gave recognition or a shot out to a black woman that’s making moves or accomplished something (that’s not your mama, your grandma, or your girlfriend)?
When it comes to saying how pretty a face is, round a butt is, or big breasts are there’s no holding your tongue there.
How about the last thing you did for a black woman that didn’t come with an expectation of sex?
For all the black women who have supported and poured positively into your life, have you reciprocated that same energy and effort into other black women?
Is it that yall just don’t see us? Or do you just not value what we say because it’s not from your mama or grandma? Most of you were raised by a woman in a house full of women. Ain’t had a male figure in your life. And yet, refuse to honor another black queen.
When did we become so detached from each other? We made it through slavery and bondage with each other. Through lynching and colored only sections. Far worse conditions — side by side.
But yet … everyone wants the black woman’s strength. See white women want us to support and push their causes. You want us to support your causes and your plight as a black man. But who is there for the black woman? You can go out and be a black man, and I can go out and be a black woman, and we can link up and be THAT black couple – THAT black force. But as soon as the black woman goes off on her own path, we become feminist to you. As if, she doesn’t deserve to fight for her own rights. Again, everybody wants us to support them. Where is our cheering crowd of supporters?
This documentary would have been the perfect time to see black men stand in solidarity with us by saying out loud that this behavior is wrong and anybody who does it is WRONG too. PERIOD. Without any additional parallels and comparisons. Period. To be supportive and understanding of the trauma this (exact same patterned) behavior has done to the black community. To cast out those who are perpetrators or those that protect/enable perpetrators. Because you know that nothing is more sacred to a woman than her body. And because you care about our daughters. And our children. Why are so many black men reluctant to speak up and protect us?
This would be an opportunity for the black man to correct the women who are siding with everyone but the victims. “Sis, are you really saying these youngins should have known better?” “Sis, are you really going to justify his actions?” Perhaps, show a woman lacking self-love a reason to love herself. This conversation wouldn’t have taken so many paths, if y’all nipped it in the bud with us. Instead we’re arguing with men and women on how this is wrong. It’s all about the girls who are the victims who are black women. Black women who once again are being left to fight alone.
The victims in this documentary deserved men in their lives willing to stand up and say “No, you’re not going with no damn R Kelly under any terms.” They deserved men in their lives that woulda popped up at that studio or every concert 50 deep and not left. They deserved men in their lives to show them what love from a real man looks like so that attempts from people like R Kelly wouldn’t go anywhere. They deserved real men in their lives to show them that love ain’t control, it ain’t mind manipulation, it ain’t coerced sex acts that demean them, it ain’t sharing a mate with nobody else, it ain’t being smacked and peeing in buckets, they deserved men in their lives that would have put their foot down, even if the women in the family were on board with the R Kelly foolery.
And, it’s not all black men. I know. Because there are a lot of brothers in the trenches with us on this topic. A lot of yall are good brothers in real life, doing the right things for black women, your families, and yourselves. A lot of y’all do right by us every day without hesitation. We see y’all, and appreciate the support.
This documentary has exposed a lot, and we are going to take our time and address the real issues one by one. Let this be the year of difficult conversations. We can’t heal if we don’t talk about it. We need to fix us, so we can be that force our ancestors laid their lives down for.
Don’t take this as an attack. It’s an honest request for support. The damage we have suffered as a community is far more than a few willing souls can fix. We, the black women, need to have our own look in the mirror as well. We need to face some things we’ve been afraid to see. Cus some of us ain’t right, at all. But as we look in the mirror and reflect on ourselves .. will we see the silhouette of a black man standing – hand on shoulder- with us?
Oh, and if you won’t be standing there … just know that we will gladly heal ourselves (like we always do) and leave 👏🏽 your 👏🏽 ass 👏🏽 behind and/or 👏🏽 for👏🏽 the👏🏽 Black 👏🏽 Man👏🏽 that is proud to be there – with us. PeriodT.