I anticipate that this post will be unpopular. I acknowledge the contention that my assertions will certainly prompt and welcome the scathing comments in the section below. With that being said, I still very must feel that my perspective is worthy of articulation and exposure to those that care to listen.
Singer and R&B legend R.Kelly made headlines this week for allegedly assembling a sex cult consisting of underaged girls. These allegations bear a disturbing connection to R. Kelly’s previous trouble with the law, portraying Kelly as a an OJ-like figure–a haughty recidivist who finagled through the loopholes of the American legal system.
I feel obliged to state that I have no respect for R. Kelly as a man. I do however, respect his talent. I perceive the ‘Pied Piper’ as an enslaved black who used America’s need to hyper sexualize the black man as a means to foment his career. While Kelly defiantly made family friendly songs like “Step in The Name of Love” and inspirational songs like “I Believe I Can Fly” and “The World’s Greatest” most of Kelly’s hits are sexualized slow jams to which I’m sure proved background music to the conception of many post millennials. His sexualized image fueled a career spanning over two decades with a plethora of adoring black female fans.
These fans remained loyal to Kelly even after a video surfaced of the singer issuing a golden shower to a then-fifteen year old girl. The charges were eventually dropped and buried in the past of a musician who was still able to maintain his mogul stature despite dramatic changes in the music industry.
While my argument is not to pardon R. Kelly from blame, it is that he is not the primary cause of the hyper-sexualized black female body that faces violation without consequence. R. Kelly was relieved of any legal responsibility in previous allegations of sexually violating a black female teen simply because the black female body bears no significance to the Western world outside of monetary gain. Consider how quickly the western world kills and incarcerates the black body. The reason why Kelly was not susceptible to these consequences is not because of his riches, but because his “crimes” served an integral purpose in maintaining white supremacy. Moreover, the world was and is more interested in portraying Kelly and his victim as sexual beasts than to upholding the integrity of those they do not see as a human let alone bearing the presumed innocence of femininity or childhood.
To the western gaze, the hyper sexuality of the young black female body violently seduces Kelly. To this same gaze, Kelly is a sexualized being unable to resist the callings of his bestial urges. Together, these caricatured images of black sexuality function assemble the historical narrative of blacks as primitive and underdeveloped beings worthy of the death and incarceration that befalls them.
Kelly, a melanated individual who believes his conventional success consummates his transition to whiteness, feels as entitled to young bodies as the white man did and does to young black females. Kelly, is a symbol of what happens when a morally impoverished black youth offsets a journey to acquire physical wealth and not a collective consciousness. As members of an oppressed collective, it is essential that we proceed with consciousness. To proceed without it, is to inevitably mirror our oppressors in thought and action.
There is also a large possibility that this ordeal is entirely fictional, and yet another means to lynch a black man by the rope of hyper sexuality. But the verity of these accusations does little to supersede its societal function. The scenario depicts how the black man and women are commonly pitted against one another and how the black male is villanized for implementing what he was nurtured to idolize—white male ideology.
The teachings of white supremacy are second nature to anyone not possessing a conscious gaze. I read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, a few years back and was mortified at what Pecola’s father does to her on the kitchen floor. I resented Morrison for years, holding her in contempt for depicting the black man as indifferently robbing his child of her innocence.
It took me several strides into consciousness to realize that the father was a man systemized and nurtured to become an animal, a subjugate human who performs the dirty work of his master in his oppressed state. This is not an excuse, as his actions are detestable and hard to read, yet even more difficult to process as a factual fate rendered to so many blacks throughout the diaspora silent in the shame of their systemic violation.
Kelly symbolically stands in the same image of this fictional black man who encompasses the factual narrative of so many other black males castrated by earthly demons who program the black body to inflict white evil onto their own people.
Kelly’s actions function to lure black women from blackness into the arms of feminism–yet example of society’s dedication to turning racist issues into sexist issues to further the cyclical disenfranchisement of blacks by hurling our struggle into oblivion. A second offense by a black praised for his prodigious talent, serves another blow to our collective identity alongside similar allegations afforded to other black greats like the late Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, Kobe Bryant, amongst others. These allegations function to fuel white esteem and denigrate black collective worth in staining the black psyche with portraits of themselves that seemingly lack a moral compass.
So, to those quick to compartmentalize a black man as a sexual villain— I would like to redirect your attention to the words of the late and great Malcolm X:
“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
To what contempt will you hold a system that upholds the systemic soiling of black female bodies?
To reiterate I am in no way excusing Kelly, but evoking a sense of nationalism to assert that we as a collective have been wronged by a system that lures us to incessantly blame ourselves but seldom confront the true villain and sole benefactor of global racism.
In closing, the power of blackness lies largely in realizing if and when we are being played. So while we may not be playing chess, our systemized state as blacks bears a close resemblance to a king being used to seize the most powerful piece of the game–his queen.
Article by CC Saunders
There has been much fanfare about the new August cover of Vanity Fair. It features tennis great Serena Williams. The black woman’s body is a beautiful sight to behold. And a pregnant woman is a glorious representation of new life. So when I saw the pregnant Williams I first thought it was beautiful. Then I had to remind myself that she was carrying a white man’s seed. But Williams is not alone in doing this. It seems many black athletes,singers,politicians and actors love to dilute their black genetics. Here’s a short list of black and (some biracial) people who over the years have continued to whiten their bloodline…
Ira Aldridge, Maya Angelou, Kofi Annan, Pearl Bailey, Amiri Baraka, Charles Barkley, Harry Belafonte, Julian Bond, Ed Bradley, Carol Mosely Braun, Lonnie Bristow, Avery Brooks, Georg Sanford Brown, Clarence Williams III, Johnetta Cole, Ward Connerly, Sammy Davis Jr., Father Divine, Frederick Douglass, Marian Wright Edelman, Olaudah Equiano (aka Gustavus Vasa), Franz Fanon, Roberta Flack, Henry Louis Gates, Clarence Gilyard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Berry Gordy, Dorien Harewood, Ken Hamblin, Calvin Hernton, Chester Himes, Gregory Hines, Michael Jackson, LaToya Jackson, Reggie Jackson, C.L.R. James, Rick James, Jack Johnson, James Earl Jones, Quincy Jones, Vernon Jordan, Monica Kaufman, Eartha Kitt, Earl Klugh, Ramsey Lewis, Wynton Marsalis, Ali Mazrui, James McDaniel, Bobby McFerrin, Barbara McNair, Edwin Moses, George Padmore, Clarence Page, Floyd Patterson, Scottie Pippen, Sidney Portier, Richard Pryor, Seal, Lou Rawls, Alphonso Ribiera, Dennis Rodman, J.A. Rogers, Roxie Roker, Diana Ross, Richard Roundtree, Leopold S. Senghor, O.J. Simpson, Mike Singletary, Kanye West, Michael Jordan,Taye Diggs, Kobe Bryant, Iman, Alfre Woodard, Garcelle Beauvais,Marcus Allen,Zoe Saldana,Derek Luke, David Oyelowo,Omar Hardwick,Kristoff St. John, Shelby Steele, Clarence Thomas, Melvin Van Peeples, Ben Vereen, Alice Walker, Hershel Walker, Walter White, Charles V. Willie, Montel Williams, Fred Williamson, Richard Wright, and William Julius Wilson.
Why are we so desperate for white acceptance? Do we not value our African phenotype? Why do we want to dilute our black genetics? We are a beautiful people. We are beautiful with our full lips,dark skin and African textured hair. We don’t have to be mixed to be considered attractive. We are taught to hate our own reflection. Over hundreds of years of imperial indoctrination,slavery and colonization we have lost knowledge of self. They gave us European mythology full of false white gods and black demons. This is evident by the fact that our most intelligent,successful and athletic even want to reproduce with their oppressor. Many of these athletes and entertainers don’t see the beauty in themselves. They can only see beauty in their biracial offspring. Something that looks less black. Something less hue-man. They feel by accepting the white penis or white vagina will exclude them from black pain. They think by kissing white lips they wont be spat upon by white racism. But this is delusional. This shows how deep rooted the self hatred can be. Africans are the oldest people on the planet. The black man is the Original man. The black woman is the Original woman and the standard of beauty. All these other races are subspecies. European culture is anti-African by it’s very definition. But the reality is we don’t need their acceptance or consent for anything. All we have to do is accept and love ourselves. And once we do that we’ll be taking the first steps in reclaiming power and control over our own destinies.
After my first semester of teaching I was invited to meet with the department chair, a frumpy, middle aged- white woman who treated me like white retailers have my entire life–as if my presence depreciated the value of the company. She arrived over thirty minutes late for my meeting, a fact she would casually disregard when pushing me out of her office not even ten minutes later. Her actions stated that I did not belong, despite the fake and almost nervous smile worn as an effort to melt my stoic expression. In those ten minutes she’d gloat about what she considered “bad” student reviews— an attempt to break me down into a negro in need of a fictive white brilliance to step into the role of woman. This was the same woman who failed to provide me with the room number for my class and made it so that I received my first check shortly before midterms. I was invisible until something seemingly negative surfaced, then my black female body became a canvass for white shame, a means to bludgeon me until my posture slouched in defeat. For white functionality is solely rooted in black inferiority, no matter how hard the white body must work to make their fictive superiority a reality.
The contemporary black female body exists in the shadow of her ancestors, only seen in instances of negativity, because to acknowledge her in her beauty and brilliance is to threaten the false esteem of her oppressors. Sadly, the same is true for the melanated individuals referenced interchangeably with those black in body and mind. In conversations or simply in the presence of melanated folk, the black woman is ignored if not overtly deficient in one way or another.
In Black Looks, scholar and cultural critic bell hooks says the following of black female visibility:
Objectified in a manner similar to the block female slaves who stood on auction blocks while owners and overseers described their important, salable parts, the black woman whose naked bodies were displayed for whites out social function had no presence. They were reduced to mere spectacles. Their body parts were offered as evidence to support racist notions that black people were more a kin to animals than other humans (hooks 62).
Just like the Saartje Baartmans of the past, the black female body remains a dismembered presence that only becomes visible to prove white superiority. The black woman is commonly shoved, reached over and ignored in quotidian activities from riding the train to grocery shopping. However, if wearing a garment where her protruding backside is visible, or her breasts or legs are exposed, she assumes the hyper visibility of her ancestors cast along the auction block, dismembered by the white male gaze and itemized for white male consumption.
I write this post in hopes of enlightening the black female and even black males to embedded expectations that subconsciously recruit us as soldiers of white supremacy. Namely, many blacks have also grown comfortable with caricatures blackness and downcast their own for failing to embody the necessary imperfection to seem normal in our western setting. This imperfection is commonly conceptualized in labeling the black female body a “bitch” or “whore.”
The Black “Bitch”
A student called me a bitch for the first time this semester. I’m actually pretty sure I, like my sisters throughout the diaspora, have been called worse, but this was the first time a student had rendered an expletive to my face. Following hurling the expletive my way, the student proceeded to talk over me until storming out the classroom and reporting to the dean.
The cause of the altercation you ask? I simply asked the student a question.
Like clockwork the dean shows up a few minutes later asking to see me. An act that festered the very authority challenged by my student. After dismissing my class I went to visit this middle-aged white women with a foreign accent, short haircut and slightly abrasive attitude. She asked me what happens and becomes overtly agitated when I disclose that the student called me a bitch. She then rolls her eyes, sighs and asks me to prepare a written statement. Although I had been disrespected twice that morning, once by the student and again when the director came to remove me from the class like a misbehaved student, it was me who had burdened her. In producing a response to the query she asked me, I cast this poor woman as the victim because she would now have to draft some paperwork.
“You have to be very careful how you address these students.”
I nodded indifferently.
“Be careful.” she said, with her eyes locking intensely with mine, embedding a slew of words she wished to say but could not.
The exchange was a vindictive display of power by a being disinterested in both my and my student’s well being. All the director saw was money. So instead of engaging my comfort in returning a student who blatantly disrespected me, my other students, and most importantly herself, it was without discussion that she would return to the class.To the director I was salt thrown in the would of a battered ego. I, like countless other black bodies cast throughout the diaspora, had become too visible in a space solely desiring my invisibility. To lure students into an invidious state, is to insult the white bodies who wish to be the sole source to evoke green from a black a gaze.
This is an unexpected example of black females being asked to be less of themselves to not fester insecurity in their counterparts, who must remain subjugated for whites domination.
Similar are the conversations that surround the black female body and romance. The black female body is commonly compartmentalized as “intimidating” if failing to exist as the a caricature, or controlling image like the mammy, jezebel, sapphire or tragic mulatto.
The strong black Woman is too independent to appease the male ego. The angry black Women too abrasive for the masculine pride. The beautiful woman is too high maintenance and too tenable, the educated woman too intellectually elevated to have her feet planted firmly on the ground. The black woman can seemingly not win when it comes to possessing attributes that extinguish a caricatured identity and propel her into a state of hyper-visibility.
Just as the directors sought to admonish with the words “be careful” the black woman is often issued a similar warning in being told to re evaluate how she carries herself. She is to exist to make others seem bigger in comparison to her smallness. To other blacks she is to encourage them to aim low and garner some attribute of a subjugated being.
The black body, if not dwarfed by the ax of white supremacy is nurtured to bend in order to fit through doorways–rather than build their own structure to which she can strut through in her prodigious state. The only thing the black Women is, is too stereotyped. If too pretty, too smart or too successful the white and other persons of colors typically aim to discount blackness with other races or ethnicities to eschew diversifying their perspective on black people.
Seemingly a lifetime ago I worked as a customer service representative. I worked alongside a beautiful sun kissed woman, labeled difficult and unprofessional. She was helpful in teaching me the ropes and aiding me with difficult customers. The issue was not that she was difficult, or unprofessional, but that she refused to be invisible in instances of overt racism. I recall an incident where a white “businessman” yelled at us to complete his task because “he had things to do.” He had dropped his item and demanded that I get on my knees in a dress to obtain his item. My coworker came to my defense and we were both reprimanded in consequence. To our oppressors were were not wronged, but in the wrong for refusing the demands of an oppressor. Where oppressors see green, the conscious gaze sees racism.
The black female that escapes being labeled the bitch (or in addition to this label), is often compartmentalizes as a sexualized object. This is not to say that the black female body fully escapes the negative connotation as a difficult being, but that the white gaze conceptualizes her sexually. This may sound complimentary to those who falsely equate a sexual gaze to an appreciation of beauty. A sexualized gaze means black female bodies are seen in correspondence to sex, i.e. concubines or asexual beans. Beyonce, Rihanna, etc, are black women who maintain relevancy because they are seen as sexualized objects. All the hype surrounding Beyonce’s fertility, or Rihanna’a latest partner, both reflect a fascination with black female genitalia. This fascination also functions in the reverse. Black female bodies lacking conventional attributes that would deem them overtly sexual, become demonized. Examples are Serena Williams, Wendy Williams, Gabourey Sidibie, etc, women who because of unconventional features are deemed beasts by the true beasts of the western world. Whether hyper sexual, de-sexualized or a bitch, the black female body continues to surface as a female subjugate by her white male oppressors.
As a female subjugate, the western gaze validates not only murdering or incarcerating the black female body, but resigning her to invisibility by default. By subjugating the black female body to a womanless being, the western gaze seeks to dim the light on a ethereal presence who shines in her sun kissed state– a state withheld from the white experience.
The dark girl is continually required to dim her light to ensure the comfort of the world around her. If the dark girl fails to bow her head in the face of racism she is a “bitch” and “difficult,” If the dark girl’s sensuality proves impossible to ignore in the western terrain, or she bears multiple children in the face of white female infertility she’s a whore, or welfare mother who’s untamable sexuality bills the white collar world. She is not to shine her light too brightly. We are the stage, not the performer, the words not the song, the pedestal not the recipient.
To shrink to western expectation is to forfeit the “stand out” quality that is the black woman. White supremacy is quite similar to how the western world has been nurtured to conceptualize the moonlight– whiteness that illuminates along darkness. Without the dark sky the moon and the stars do not glow. Rather than be a beacon for those who glow against our background, it’s time that the black collective become entranced by our own glow.
Dark women are the true light of the western world. We are the moon, the sun, and the stars. Moreover, we need not look out the window to see the glow of the moon, we must simply look within.
Don’t dim your light black girl. Shine.
Black Power. ❤
Article by CC Saunders
Since the abduction of black girls recently in Washington DC,people have asked me what happened to them. A subject that keeps coming up is organ harvesting. I think this is serious problem for black people. I think there are very powerful people kidnapping black children and adults for their organs. This is a very scary issue that some people don’t want to touch on. Even in the horror film Get Out is shows black people being abducted and being used for their organs. Not too many realize that Hollywood was showing what they already do. Are black people paying attention? I hope so. Art imitates life right? And many people aren’t aware that this is a global problem. It is really big on the black market. It’s not only big in America but also India,China and Jamaica. The video(above) is a Jamaican doctor. He explains how much of a problem it is in Jamaica. Here’s an article from the Kulture Kritic about organ harvesting:
In a 2006 article, USA today estimated that more than 16,800 families had been represented in lawsuits that claimed that their loved ones’ body parts had been stolen for profit over the course of the previous 19 years. The estimate was based on data from federal and local investigators, lawsuits and public organizations such as medical universities.
The lucrative business of illegally harvesting and selling organs and body parts without consent does not appear to have slowed down since then. The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 7,000 kidneys are illegally obtained by traffickers every year. Other organs such as hearts, lungs and livers and human tissue such as bones, tendons and other body parts are illegally harvested all over the world for transplant, research and education.
The illegal harvesting of organs and tissue from Black men, woman, and children who are kidnapped and murdered is not covered widely in the mainstream media and is many times written off has more of a conspiracy theory than fact. However, there are several cases that prove that illegal organ harvesting from Black people is happening, not just in other countries, but right here in the United States.
In 2008, former dentist Michael Mastromarino was indicted for stealing more than 1,000 bodies in order to sell body parts and tissue. Michael Brown of Murrieta, California kept bodies that he was supposed to have cremated and sold them for more than $400,000. These men and others who participate in the illegal harvesting and trade of body tissue leave many families without answers about what happened to their family members organs and/or body parts.
The illegal harvesting of organs from Black people seems to be more sinister due to the fact that organs must be harvested not long after death for them to be viable for transplant. This leads to cases where families have trouble finding answers about the mysterious circumstances their family members died under.
One such case is that of 14-year-old Jason Smith in Eros, Louisiana whose death was ruled an accidental drowning despite the fact that his organs were missing when his body was found. A case that received more attention but did not provide the family with any more answers is that of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson whose death was initially ruled to have been the result of accidental suffocation. A second autopsy yielded a different conclusion, but when the second autopsy was performed, his body had been stuffed with newspaper, and his organs were missing.
More recently in September 2014, 24-year-old Ryan Singleton’s body was found in a California desert with his eyes, heart, lung, liver and kidneys missing. Singleton’s mother believes that his organs were stolen because the rest of his body remained in tact, meaning the organs had not been eaten by animals.
As the disparity between supply and demand for organs continues to be insurmountable, authorities are considering rewriting the 1984 law that bans the sale of organs, but in the meantime, the World Health Organization estimates that a human organ is illegally sold every hour, and families all over the world are left without answers about their loved ones death’s and burials.
Here’s some information taken from Selfuni’s WordPress blog:
64,000 African-Americans girls are reported missing, but nobody’s looking for them. Why?
Despite representing 12.85% of the population, black Americans accounted for nearly 226,000 — or 34% — of all missing persons reported in 2012. According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, the comparison with other racial groups is unfavorable: Whites and Hispanics are a combined 80.1% of the population, but account for 60% of missing persons.
This is especially troubling when you break down the numbers by age. Black and Missing reports that 37% of missing minors and 28.2% of missing adults in 2013 were black. No fewer than 270,000 minorities have gone missing since 2010, 135,000 of whom were black and 64,000 were black women, according to the Atlanta Black Star.
Essence points to a 2010 report titled “Missing Children in National News Coverage,” which found that while black children accounted for 33.2% of missing children that year, the media exposure rate was an unimpressive 19.5%. While black men go missing at statistically higher rates, coverage of black female disappearances is particularly telling in light of the attention similar stories get when white women are involved.
“In the field, I’ve seen a majority of black missing children classified as runaways, who don’t get Amber Alerts.”
No way the same US government and media that gave so much attention to 2-300 Nigerian girls would ignore 64,000(!) its own, unless there was a reason. The most likely reason is organ harvesting, and the skin is the body’s biggest organ. Considering America’s dark history of medical exploitation of Blacks, this isn’t as far-fetched as it seems at first.
First of all, there’s a long history of medical research using unwitting/unwilling African-American women for medical experiments:
on the 19th century medical plantation—a locality spatially separate from the agricultural plantation—black women’s bodies were imagined as the ideal test subjects of research and innovation within what became modern gynecology.
That trend has continued from Emancipation until today, at the GOVERNMENT level: ”
throughout their long history in the USA, African-Americans have been secretly used as guinea pigs for medical experimentation by various American governments
It’s a MARKET. The medical industry cannot advance without unwitting/unwilling Black subjects. Cells secretly harvested, and later cultivated from a Black woman are the source of ALL cells used for medical research- vaccines, cloning, testing, etc. “This represented an enormous boon to medical and biological research” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrietta_Lacks