#Justise4All No. 25

⟦ A Rebuttal to Social Media commentary ⟧

For those who follow, it has been a good stretch of time since I've posted a #Justise4All blog, but I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't create a post here unless I was 100% motivated, so long as the Universe provided me the inspiration to do so. Stringent followers will note that, as opposed to a Friday posting, I went ahead with this midweek entry; this is because I was so compelled to accurately respond to a recent bout of commentary on my Instagram page, I didn't want to wait. Striking while the iron is hot, I suppose. Also, this response ties into much of what I've been exploring and posting about elsewhere in recent months; namely, non-cisgender, non-heterosexual, and women's advocacy within racially marginalized communities, and the toxic Black and Brown masculinity that inhibits this crucial process.

Last week, I posted on Instagram about the problematic nature of cisgender, heterosexual Black and Brown men being virtually silent about promoting or defending the new movie, "Hidden Figures." If you're not a media consumer, and per Wikipedia, this picture details the lives of "the African-American mathematician Katherine Johnson and her two colleagues, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who, while working in the segregated West Area Computers division of Langley Research Center, helped NASA catch up in the Space Race." The silence I noted was duplicitous, in that said men were wildly adamant, if zealous, about making sure that all racially marginalized peoples, Black people especially, made a point of seeing "Birth of a Nation," Nate Parker's cinematic tour de force chronicling the life of Nat Turner, whose slave rebellions shook up a young America and ultimately led to his execution. What was worse, in my eyes, was how these men, in their zeal, went about the business of openly slandering Black and Brown women who had any critiques about the movie that were negative, or if they - like myself - refused to invest in the movie itself due to the controversial histories of both Parker and his creative associate, Jean Celestin. That slander included the violent verbal excoriation of "B.O.A.N." co-star, Gabrielle Union, who penned a public op-ed in response to her learning of the rape allegations levied against her colleagues in years past, having read the transcripts from the original court case. Ms. Union is herself a survivor of sexual assault, and made it plain that because of her experiences, she empathized with anyone, women especially, who could not bring themselves to support the film.

My full take on that - and the subsequent arguments, are all on my Instagram profile, so if you're interested, feel free to check them out. Fast-forwarding to the present, the post which rendered some interesting commentary that moved me to write about it was the screenshot of a tweet I posted last week:

While it seemed that my followers were in general agreement with my simple, if harsh, point, others were not. Enter the I/G user Amari 4.0 @darkknight_brightmind1, who not more than half a day ago, left a lengthy rebuttal in opposition to my point. So as to try and keep this concise, rather than post the whole response and then dissect it, I will simply proceed with the parse. You are more than welcome to contact Amari to get his take on Black liberation and social justice, as his I/G profile is quite clear regarding his stance. For the record, I appreciate an intelligent debate, but I've a feeling that once fully vetted, you'll see why this individual not only proved my point, but may very well have sabotaged his own argument. So, to him, and all of you, please review the following: a parse. His text is in bold.

This sounds like anti feminist propaganda!

-FYI, starting of a rebuttal about gender inequality by calling a valid but debatable point "propaganda" is in and of itself textbook propaganda.

For one- Some of those BROTHERS that were upset were very conscious and enlightened gentlemen. I was one of them. You, must have, like the rest have fallen victim to the "Talking Points of white supremacy." All you did was regurgitate it.

-You just did the "Not all White people" response to racism, but put anti-patriarchy in its place by saying "Not all Men." This doesn't address the point, or excuse the original actions being critiqued.

Two- Did you ever wonder....why they didn't bring that HOG WASH CRAP OF A STORY up when Nate Parker filmed Red Tails amongst a few there after. Was the theme of the MOVIE NOT PALATABLE to white audiences? 

-Calling a rape accusation hogwash because the defendant(s) were acquitted is a form of violence against the plaintiff, particularly when you weren't a witness to the incident(s) in question. What is clear is that the court proceedings were not made public knowledge for media consumption around the time of "Red Tails," even if they were available for review.

Three- It was a divide and conquer strategy and it worked SOMEWHAT...The movie still did well DESPITE the upliftment[sic] of a message for a people but specifically for a BLACK MAN in this NOciety- no mistake. 

-By default, you don't have enough evidence to prove or disprove this point, and it would be impossible for you to do so without a major investigative team and professional cyber-journalism.

(Here's where it gets interesting and fun, folks.)

Us Men were the ones on the front line for wars and numerous RIOTS protecting black women. It was the Government that put forth the setaside[sic] for the BLACK WOMEN which created and started the "I don't need a man. I'm independent and could do BAD ALL BY MYSELF nonsense. 

-So, rather than go into all the things that are historically and socially inaccurate with this statement, I'll be short in saying that men are the sole reason why women were not allowed to openly serve in any branch of any Western country's armed forces until recently. Your concept about the independent Black woman being a divisive tool by the US Government to break up Black communities and families is so broad and ridiculous that it's not even worth my time to explain how much reading you need to do, but I'll throw you a bone by saying yes, we know that Black men, the historical/present violence done against them, and their mass incarceration, certainly gave rise to Black women being independent. But their independence is not - nor was it ever - "nonsense." Black independent women saved your community and provided you the opportunity to have a voice in this society: even if you decide to use your voice to promote ain't-shit misogynoir philosophies.

The Sociologist Moynihan predicted what will happen if the Govn.[sic] Keeps giving only the BLACK WOMAN n*gger trinkets and NOT THE BLACK MEN. 

-Using Patrick Moynihan's writings on the Black family as a defense of your argument - a White politician whose ideas were based on Supremacist concepts about family and horribly inaccurate race theories - is just a bad idea. What you should do is read Ta-Nahesi Coates' review of those writings, and then come back to the table when you've learned something. Here's the link to that, btw: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/10/the-black-family-in-the-age-of-mass-incarceration/403246/

SO, to round trip this thing here....by you capitulating and bending ( it seemed) you're NOT helping with this effusive, vociferous and debilitating argument. This isn't a Male Vs Female type talk either- in hopes that you won't try to spin it. Lastly, what I'm saying is...check their AGENDA first. We collectively lack that....different ideologies, sexual orientation etc. Seems to always impede. By your logic women ( black, not really speaking of brown) shouldn't watch "Scandal"and "Love & Hip Hop" and "How did I get away with murder" amongst many many more. We seem to comment, repost scenes from these horrible depictions but you won't here [sic] ME OR MY CONSTITUENTS go on a Jihad to smash men that couldn't understand LOGICALLY how you won't support the movie WHEN HE WAS FOUND NOT GUILTY. That's not how I depict BLACK WOMEN. But the white media structure sure KNOWS HOW TO PERPETUATE the bullshit and then have signed on Coons to push a made-in-the-dark- narrative. Look further into this issue before prematurely causing potential consternation.
-Let me wrap this up too. From your profile, it seems you are a cisgender, heterosexual Black man. Whether you like it or not, whether you believe it or not, you exist in a position of privilege over other members of your community, and that's with the understanding that all of us who ID as racially marginalized still exist under the mantle of White Supremacy in a hyper-capitalist society. In the quest for liberation from these things, here's some pro-tips to help you better navigate your narrative. One: you are never, ever in a position to speak for Black women, LGBT Black people, or anyone else who exists at those intersections. Your idea that sexual orientation, gender orientation, or social ideologies that differ from what you understand are an impediment are a product of the privilege you possess, and until you recognize that, your arguments will go nowhere. Two, using three completely different kinds of shows where Black women are centered to make a point about the possibility of Black women in general being portrayed in a poor light is a trash argument, and sexist A/F. Stop grouping Black (and yes, Brown) women in media together to defend your point. Three, and most importantly, whatever "consternation" you think ideas like mine can cause, they are only matched - and exceeded - by the kinds of ideas that those like you have supported, since those ideas still allow for Black/Brown women to be subjugated, LGBT People of Color to be victims of violence from within their own communities, disabled Black/Brown people to be treated like 3rd-Class citizens, and men like you to continue thinking we can fix all of these problems YOU perpetuate if we put them on the back-burner and destroy the White man. In MY humble opinion, I highly suggest that instead of posting your baseless critiques of social media you don't follow, that you invest in an Amazon Kindle app or a library card, because it's pretty clear that you have a lot more research to do before you can square up about this shit and not get your ass handed to you.