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Wednesday
Oct302013

SolidarityisforWhiteWomen and Apparently So is Strategy

I was just having a discussion with @RoslynHolcomb and @Zabeth8  on Twitter about my growing hatred of Twitter hashtag activism. It is ranking right up there with online petitions.  I like a good online fight, but hashtag wars rank right up there with watching cat videos. Hashtags are basically Twitter's Dewey Decimal System. They are quite useful, but they are still a tool.

I was on blogcation when the whole #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag broke out. #ThankYouLAWD! For those who missed the earlier uprising, the hashtag was basically a laundry list of grievances Black feminists have against White feminists. The grievances range from the substantive to the petty - real and imagined.

Well apparently NOW/Feministing/ the NSA/Who Cares At This Point  hosted a panel and they discussed #solidarityisforwhitewomen. I actually got an email invitation to the event, and I ignored it:

When the hashtag #solidarityisforwhitewomen was created this past summer it caused an uproar on Twitter, with Women of Color questioning their position within the feminist movement.  Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 22nd, the National Organization for Women (NOW-NYC) will host a conversation that will explore how Women of Color feminists navigate their experiences within a society where solidarity has been commonly defined by white women. We will discuss recent developments within the feminist movement as it pertains to Women of Color and how race, politics/policy, pop culture/media and economic developments affect their lives. Panelists will participate in a roundtable discussion, engaging in conversation with one another conducive to defining Solidarity for Women of Color by the end of the evening. I am excited and so honored to share that I will be one of the panelists sharing my thoughts on this provocative topic. This is a FREE event so if you can, please join us. 

Well they didn't get pre clearance from the creator of the hashtag and they didn't invite the creator to be a panelist and another round of online sniping ensued.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So apparently you can't discuss a hashtag on Twitter unless the creator of the hashtag is present and approves. And I'm being facetious here folks- this is far deeper than the hashtag, but instead of addressing the underlying grievances, we're fighting over a hashtag. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And yes, I like to do my own online sniping, but over things like rape, torture, murder, movies with all-Black casts, but not hashtags. Second, I'm not seeing the connection between Feministing and the panel other than a writer over at Feministing covered the panel and hosted a webchat. 

 

 

If the creator wants to control the hashtag then print up t-shirts sell them for a dollar and then get a trademark with the USPTO.  And if you have not purchased the domain solidarityisforwhitewomen.com - then you're a fool not to.    Too late. Someone purchased the hashtag while they were fighting about it on Twitter. LAWD Have Mercy! 

 

 

Can we be real here: this isn't about marginalized women. Sorry I'm not buying that.

 

 Yep- it's about money. 

 

 

Marginalized Black women don't give a rip about a bunch of privileged BLACK and WHITE women fighting over a hashtag.And if you want to scream "we're not privleged," I don't believe you. I know two things about you right now A) you have an internet connection and B) you can read. You're privleged. 

 

 

And so the way to address this is a hashtag?At least one person on Twitter got it right.

 

 

 

If you want to attack imbalances between Black and White feminists then start carping at the cable news networks who don't book Black feminists.

 

 

Demand that publishers explain why Black feminists weren't offered book deals. But before you demand that information from the publishers, we probably ought to know how many Black feminists pursued a book deal. 

The blood of Black women and girls is running in the streets and out brightest minds are fighting over who can use a hashtag. 

 

 

No, they didn't steal the hashtag, you gave it away. Isn't that the point of a hashtag, to spread a message? 

So folks is there any strategy associated with the #solidarityisforwhitewomen other than using it to memorialize grievances? Is the goal to create solidarity at some point or just talk about its nonexistence? And did anyone get in Michaela angela Davis' grill about "appropriating" the hashtag for her piece over at Jezebel?

Black and White American women were doomed from the start, introduced through treacherous, asymmetric, viciously competitive, inhuman maddening circumstances. And perhaps it’s because we’ve never dealt with the underlying issues of our tragic start a hashtag like #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen can trend in the summer of 2013.

Women’s movements can’t move in America until we have courageous honest discourse about the sadistic historic foundation of the relationship. We were systematically cultured to distrust and envy each other. We were never meant to be sisters.

I say it’s time to define, for the first time, who we are as Black and White American feminists, time to be fearless, fully equal and free for real. #SolidarityIsForAllSisters Jezebel

I don't have a dog in this fight. My only caution to my readers is be careful about pledging allegiance to #hashtags, just because someone is clever and can put a # symbol in front of a catchy phrase doesn't mean you want to ride off to war behind them. 

I washed my hands of Black feminists online when they mocked my horror and sadness over the Dunbar Village gang rapes on the blog BrownFemiPower. August 12, 2007. I haven't forgotten. I'd link to the post where the Black feminists attacked me for not embracing "transformative justice", but the blog was shut down because White feminists made her mad. Yeah, that was a brillant strategy. 

 

 

If "the work" means protecting your #hashtag then you aren't doing "the work." The "work" would have been to legally protect the phrase #solidarityisforwhitewomen to be a steward of its use - you didn't do that. Nor have you paid the $4.99 to reserve the domain name of the same name.   TOO LATE- someone with a clue purchased the hashtag last night during the Twitter fight. If "the work" is monetizing, then you should have already have announced a book deal. The moment the hashtag blew up, you should have been contacting agents if they weren't contacting you first.  UPDATE: My sources indicate that book deals were offered/discussed, but have not been accepted. UPDATE to my UPDATE: No book deal ( source, you're on my list naughty list!)

 

 

I can bet $1000 someone is writing a book called Solidarity is for White Women - right now---while you're fighting on Twitter over a hashtag. So what exactly is "the work" associated with a hashtag once it has been created?

I've been called CRAZY plenty of times online, so I ought to know... Y'all CRAZY!

UPDATE: I woke up this morning and bought the domain name for a hashtag I frequently use- I also checked the availability of solidarityisforwhitewomen.com and it looks like someone out of the UK already purchased it this morning.

 

 

The time y'all spent castigating Feministing.com should have been speant passing a collection plate to protect "the work."

UPDATE: NOW NYC just responded as well:

In response to NOW-NYC's recent event referencing the hashtag #solidarityisforwhitewomen:

On October 22, 2013, NOW-NYC's volunteer Activist Alliance hosted the event, Activist Night: 'What is Solidarity for Women of Color,' an event inspired by the recent conversations relating to the hashtag#solidarityisforwhitewomen started by Mikki Kendall. The panel discussion explored how feminist Women of Color navigate their experiences within a society where solidarity has been commonly defined by White women. Event information can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/465994880174466/

At the event, the hosts clarified that the event was not intended to reapprorpiate #solidarityisforwhitewomen, but that Mikki Kendall's hashtag was inspiration for the conversation. You can view the first hour of the discussion here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgczM5z6Fkc&feature=youtu.be.

Activist Alliance members invited potential panelists by tweeting at them directly or emailing them when an email could be found in connection to their work. Mikki Kendall was invited via Twitter from the onset of outreach. Alliance members reached out to many other influential speakers through the same initial tweet but received a response from only a handful. 

We would also like to clarify that this event was not hosted by Feministing. A representative from Feministing was invited to speak on the panel, who then referenced the #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag in her recap of the event on the Feminsting website. 

We hope this helps to clarify the event's production and intentions, and does not detract from the efforts to engage in a critical dialogue.

 

Update of the Update: Here is video of the panel and the first thing out of the host's mouth is that Mikki Kendall started the hashtag. 

Update of an Update of an Update:

The hashtag creator isn't writing a book because it would be controversial and she thinks it wouldn't sell. #GurlStop! #You'reNotSerious 

 

And one more update:

Maam. You have ridiculous sense of ENTITLEMENT. And are seriously detached from reality. In SEVEN years of blogging- I have never gotten pre-clearance to blog about whatever-in-the-hell I want to blog about. And I'm not going to ask permission from you NOW! Get a grip! Your supporters are cheering you right over a cliff. #YouDontWantNONEofThis. Go back to whining to feministing. 

Monday
Oct282013

Evidenced-Based Alliances: When Black Men Can't Use Their Words

For those of you who don't know a Black woman who is a prominent blogger and university professor was attacked last week at a panel hosted at the Brecht Forum. In addition to being doused with water by her Black male attacker, she was lunged at and eventually the water-throwing knee grow was removed from the room. She indicated that this has happened to her on several occasions - the Black male physical aggression when challenged on a panel. You need to go read Brittney Cooper's account over at The Crunk Feminist Collective. I can't truly capture the insanity. 

There are also reports that this Black male "freedom fighter", a former employee of the Brecht Forum,  has a history of violent uncontrollable explosions that he manages only to direct at Black women. 

Kazembe Balagun left the Brecht Forum this past summer… before we moved to Brooklyn. So he is no longer an employee of the Brecht Forum. Several times in the past he has “moved” on Sisters or “went off” or stormed out of meetings. The Brecht Forum Board had strongly suggested that he seek help for his periodic individualistic and ofttimes chauvinistic meltdowns. We as a board of trustees were liberal with our tolerance of his behavior… even after we have talked with him to seek some counseling because it appeared that he was working on his “snapping out/rage” issues.

Other Black women thought leaders who come out from behind the keyboard and speak at events indicated that they have also experienced physical assaults ( that's what they are) when they've been on panels with manChildren as well.

I had a similar experience in 2008 at Georgetown University at the NABJ Watergate conference when the Black male moderator that I scattered smothered covered diced and chuncked onstage flew into a yelling screaming rage and physically menaced me as I was speaking with another panelist afterwards. It's not a good feeling to go to an event thinking you are going to be using your brain and be confronted with having to use your fists.

I learned about Brittney's experience on Twitter. The only thing I saw was the title On Black Men Showing Up for Black Women at the Scene of the Crime. I immediately rolled my eyes "Here we go again!"

Her post concluded with the following thought:

On the long train ride home, and in these days since, I have been reminded that this is not the first time that I have been subject to a man in a movement space using his size and masculinity as a threat, as a way to silence my dissent. I remembered that then as now, the brothers in the room let it happen without a word on my behalf. Why? Is it so incredibly difficult to show up for me – for us—when we need you? Is it so hard to believe that we need you? Is solidarity only for Black men? As for the silence of the sisters in the room, I still don’t know what to make of that. Maybe they were waiting on the brothers, just like me. I do know I am tired. And sad. And not sure how much more I want to struggle with Black men for something so basic as counting on you to show up. Crunk Feminist Collective

By the time I was through reading her account, I was angry, not with He Who Throws Water When Angry, but with Brittney. 

After writing about Black women being raped, tortured and killed for almost seven years, I'm a cynic. I don't expect Black men to show up. I expect nothing out of them at all. The idea of Black Unity sits right up there with the Easter Bunny, Jack Frost, and Big Foot. After experiencing my own episode of He Who Cannot Hold His Temper When Challenged, I charged it to the game and focussed on everything I did wrong ( I shouldn't have excepted the invitation, when I found out he was involved I should have declined, I should not have gone to the event alone, I should have brought backup with me-) The truth is I did nothing wrong - he's a grown Black man, he's in charge of his own emotions. And the NABJ Owes me an apology. 

The fact that Brittney responded with tears instead of stoicism annoyed me. 

- Didn't she know that's what" they" do?

- Why on earth would she expect them to show up- they don't!

- of course the audience just sat there- that's what they DO!

I was angry with Brittney for having hope. How dare she be hopeful! How dare she expect fidelity, comraderie and a defense from Black men! How dare she accept an invitation to go speak in a public space and not expect to be physically assaulted.  These things wouldn't keep happening to her if she abandoned all hope!

As someone pointed out on Facebook, that's absolutely absurd. 

Despite the fact that I have no hope that Black men will show up, they keep showing up. These men are my allies- the ones that show up. My alliances with all people- are not based on hope. They are based on evidence. Evidence of a shared interest. Evidence of a shared vision. Evidence of good faith - none of which can be determined by looking at someone or listening to the professions of "solidarity."

What is clear is that Black women thought leaders cannot retreat from public spaces. We must maintain their right to fully participate in public discourse even if we have to organize groups of professional Black women to attend these publc discussions armed with a cell phone in one hand ready to dial 9-1-1 and a a sock full of quarters in the other hand ready to roll up on a brother  to assist him in managing his anger.

 We have to purge these temperamental manCHILDREN from the mainstream and public spaces. If they can't control their emotions when a Black woman disagrees with them in public, then the must be banished from public spaces. Let his petulant behind go throw a tantrum on the street corner. 

This isn't a case of  uppity negresses who didn't show teh' precious the respect that was due them. This is part of a national problem of Black men who run out of words and move quickly towards uncontrollable rage.  But they don't unleash this uncontrollable rage on everybody- just Black women. And before you start yelling "But But But But White men do it too!" Yes, they do, but Black men do it at FAR. HIGHER. RATES!

The overwhelming majority of homicides of black females by male offenders in single victim/single offender incidents in 2011 was not related to any other felony crime. Most often, black females were killed by males in the course of an argument—most commonly with a firearm. In 2011, for the 383 homicides in which the circumstances between the black female victim and male offender could be identified, 87 percent (332 out of 383) were not related to the commission of any other felony.

Nearly two-thirds of non-felony related homicides (200 out of 332) involved arguments between the black female victim and male offender.  When Men Murder Women

Why? I don't know, but part of it has to be the Black community's acceptance and permissiveness of Black men wilding out  on Black women whenever they feel their apparently fragile manhood has been pricked. The idea that Black women can't be victims. That you can do to us whatever you want to - and clearly that's reinforced by a community that makes excuses for their bad behavior. 

Even in the aftermath of this event, the conversation and concern has shifted off of the woman and towards the attacker. And it doesn't matter that the  attacker didn't actually hit her or that mine didn't manage to get his hands around my throat - tell that to your body that's awash in adrenaline and God knows what other chemical the brain released as it prepared to fight or flee. It is not easy being a bold Black woman. And by bold, I don't mean loud. I mean willing to say things that challenge the current power structure within the Black community. Lot's of people have a list of tasks that Brittney needs to complete to make THEM feel better right now - Call the police, buy a tazer, engage in "transformative" justice, stay strong, keep speaking out lots of suggestions are rolling in from people who probably have no idea of what it's like to fear for the physical integrity of your body even for a second. After reading her post several times, what sticks out to me is that Brittany says she is tired. You don't owe the world anything- not even an explanation. Take care of yourself and rest.

And to the Brecht Forum - your actions on that evening are absolutely ratchet. You employed this man for years as he attacked Black women in YOUR SPACE. You invited him back where he showed his @$$ again, because he KNEW you would let him. Then instead of calling the police to cart off  He Who Throws Water When Words Are Not Enough- you brought him BACK into the room with his victim.   You suck in so many ways.

Friday
Oct252013

Thank you for Commenting - Getting Back in the Blogging Saddle Again - Join Me in Houston, TX on November 2nd ( Discount!)

My fellow Texans, I'm one of the speakers at the Black Social Media Summit in Houston, TX on November 2nd. I'll also be attending the Black Weblog Awards later that evening. If you use the promocode "blogmother" you'll get $15 off both tickets. See you there.  Get Tickets!

Thanks for commenting!

Whew chile, blogging is like running, you've got to be in shape for it. After the best. blogcation.ever. I'm getting back into my rhythm and have lots of pent up things to say. I saw so many blogworthy Twitter hashtags, just begging for a doses of common sense. I see a lack of evolution in some quarters of the blogosphere and I can acknowledge that I am not the person I was when I started this blog and have no ambition to stay the same. 

While I was away, I realized that What About Our Daughters isn't a blog. Its a community. And it is a community that managed to thrive despite a 3 month absence. Granted the Facebook fan page is always on and popping. But I thank all of you who continue to comment on the blog itself. Some of you have no chioce because you've been banned from the Facebook page. HA!

If you didn't have a change to check out my last three posts, you can read:

 

Black Mama’s Guide to Social Media Crisis Management: So Your Daughter’s Naked Pictures Are on the Internet. 
No Black People DO NOT Need to (Blindly) Support Each Other - Carol’s Daughter Edition 
12 Years a Slave Opens Today- I Ain't Going to See It -"Helplessness, Grievance and Martyrdom" AGAIN!

Wednesday
Oct232013

Black Mama’s Guide to Social Media Crisis Management: So Your Daughter’s Naked Pictures Are on the Internet. 

It is now time for another edition of Ask the Blogmother: Because She Cares Mmm Hmmm!

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the Blogmother are her and hers alone and are intended for entertainment purposes only. Nothing written here should be taken as actual advice a sane person will take and if you do any of this and it results in less than ideal results, you're on your own-You're Grown!

This week I received a message  from someone close to me who is the church member of the friend of the hair dresser of the step cousin of the brother of the sister of a coworker who has a daughter who engaged in a bout of public exhibitionism butt nekkid  and the images landed online and have been seen by at least 1 million people... or 250,000 people who keep looking at the images over and over again. Who knows- Lot’s of folks have seen the images. 

The Conundrum 

The young lady was not alone in the public exhibitionism, but because she is Black and she is a woman, she, alone, was targeted and was the talk of the town including several broadcasts on the local news and earned her own Twitter hashtag in the process. 

Request

The requester indicated that this young woman needed a strong support system from Black women and I assume that the requester meant “Blogmother can you please intervene!” Because I love the requestor, I refused to intervene primarily because this story has already died down and it is mainly quarantined in the gutter bucket sewer section of the internet which has already moved on to watching 3-year-olds twerk while dressed as Miley Cyrus for Halloween. To discuss the specifics of the case here would only place a quickly dying online blip into the mainstream. Besides, my tools are a keyboard and a mouse, not a magic wand. 

However, the Universe has been urging me to address the disturbing phenomenon of teenage girls committing suicide after naked images of them have appeared online. 

In some cases, the photos aren’t even of the girls, they are photo shopped See-> Facebook Cyber Bullying Ends With Two Teens Arrested On Felony Charges!

 

SO while I will not address this individual case, I will address the general issue of  how Black women should cope  if this happens to their child. 

This post does not apply to the following:

 

  • If your daughter is under 18- consult law enforcement, this post does not apply to you.
  • If your daughter was unconscious - consult law enforcement, this post does not apply to you.
  • If your daughter did not know the photos were being taken - consult law enforcement and a lawyer, this post does not apply to you
  • If your daughter is suffering from a mental illness- consult a licensed and trained professional and address her mental health crisis, this post does not apply to you.

 

 

My response assumes the following:

 

  • Your daughter is an adult.
  • She intended to display her naked body in front of other people.
  • She knew photos were being taken.
  • BUT she did not intend for those photos to be uploaded to the internet and appear on the local evening news. 

 

 

So here’s the Black Mama’s Guide to Social Media Crisis Management: Naked Daughter Edition

 The following observations will apply to non-Black Mamas such as Moms and Mothers and Ma Mas, but I have some Black Mama Specific Instructions in recognition of the unique form of public persecution inflicted on young Black women. 


Black Mama Specific Instructions:

Your daughter is not White. She is not a Black male. There will be NO. INSTITUTIONAL. SUPPORT for you in all likelihood. No one is going to mobilize around your daughter. No one is going to feel sorry for her. She will be treated more harshly than she would be if she were not Black and when that harsh treatment is handed out, she is less likely to be rescued by the institutions of the Black community because she is not a Black male. In fact, her most vicious attackers may very well be other Black women. The Calvary ain’t coming. You will have to save yourself.

General Instructions: 

  1. Ascertain whether your daughter is unhappy with her photos being widely disseminated. No, I did not stutter. I know you might be upset, but is your daughter upset about these photos being out there? We live in an age of celebrity worship and young people seek celebrity by any means necessary. Your daughter may really believe that this incident is a stepping stone to a “career.”  If your daughter is not upset, then you are going to have to learn to live with her current desires. If you have trouble coping, then YOU should seek professional help and grieve for the daughter you thought you were raising and accept the one that is showing up currently. In any event, this is a true test of unconditional love - don’t flunk it. 
  2. While your daughter is entitled to be a public exhibitionist, you are not required to subsidize her current lifestyle and you shouldn’t. Don’t fight harder for your daughter’s future than she’s willing to fight for it. Save your strength and your money. I’m not saying throw her out in the streets, but you need to have a frank discussion about what you are willing to subsidize and what you are not and come up with a plan to transition your daughter to a lifestyle that is not supported with parental subsidies. Keeping in mind than an abrupt disruption of your financial support might make her vulnerable to exploitation by others - your goal is for your daughter to be free to be who she wants to be right now without you having to pay for that.  Take the money you would have spent on her lifestyle and start a “Resurrection Fund” There may be a time at some point in the future when she changes her mind and at that time you can use those resources to help resurrect the dreams you put on hold during the Exhibition years. But don’t fight, struggle and extort. If this is what she wants to do- its what she wants to do. And part of the thrill for her might be that it ticks you off. So just  wait it out. If she deosn't come around in a few years, use the Ressurection to go an an amazing vacation. 

If your daughter is AS horrified or MORE horrified that her photo is on the internet then you’ve got some options.

 

  1. Remember that the internet is like a house featured in an episode of A&E’s Hoarders. The internet has a long memory and a short attention span. So while the internet might store images of your daughter “forever.” That image is gong to be buried under cat videos, pictures of manbabies, and animated gifs.  So while the people in your town and social circle might continue to bring this up over and over again ( if they do, they are losers) - most of the world doesn’t care. Your daughter just isn’t that important to them. They were entertained or horrified of maybe a few minutes and then they’ve moved on to tweeting about the latest episode of Real Housewives of Hip Hop. 
  2. The whole world isn’t watching. I don’t care how many people tweeted about your daughter, there were billions of other people on the planet who didn’t So the whole world isn’t watching. No, the people at the grocery store aren't looking at you- unless you live in a tiny town with less than 20,000 people- then they probably are looking at you. If that bothers you, consider moving.
  3. Yes, she can still get a college education, yes she can still get a job, or better yet, she can still start her own business. There are plenty of men in the United States Senate who ran around naked at some point when they were in college. Your daughter can still be President - though she will have some explaining to do. Are there certain jobs that she may not be able to hold? Perhaps, but she didn’t need to work for those people anyway. Her life is not over. 
  4. Resist the urge to do anything that attaches your daughter’s name to the image. You may want to respond on YOUR twitter account. Your daughter may want to respond on her instagram, but if the internet only knows your daughter as #nakkidTwirkgurl, that’s all that the Internet will remember, if on the other hand you start defending and complaining and going on the evening news about this, that dusty unmarked box at the bottom of a pile of cat videos is going to have a label on it.  Your biggest fear right now is that someone who searches or her name in a decade will find the image, well the more you associate her name directly or indirectly with the image, the more likely that will happen.
  5. Own that it happened and be unapologetic about it - Shame will lead to your complete and utter destruction.  If someone throws this in you or your daughter’s face ( in person), your response should be “And?” That’s it. Make the idiot who is running around trying to throw this in your face explain to THEMSELVES why you should care. What is wrong in their lives that makes them so invested in tormenting your daughter? If moralizers  call your daughter out of her name then your next question should be “Explain to me how I’m supposed to take a moral assessment of my child from an immoral person- and by immoral, I mean your lack of compassion and mean-spirited-hate-filled heart?  The greatest commandment is to love- please explain to me how your words about my child are exhibiting the love of God at this moment?” Or "I don't recall Christ running around in the Bible yelling SKANK! Can you point me to that scriptural passage?"  ANd then stand back and watch their faces CRACK. #shutTheDevilUp. What the bully wants is a direct connection to your soul- they get off on inflicting pain and your response to it. Deny them that and they have no power over you. And you can’t just say they have no power over you- you’ve got to mean it. 
  6. If she took the photos of herself, she owns the image ( unless she signed away her rights - that can only be done in writing)- If she owns the image then don’t communicate with the people posting- go directly to their internet hosts and start filing DMCA takedown notices.Don’t ever beg or plead with an internet bully- they like that. With the DMCA you don’t have to say a word to them - the host has to pull the image and they have to explain to the host why they have  the rights to post it- Most aren’t going to do that. But don't spend too much time on this- You've got a life to live. 
  7.  Your daughter isn’t ruined. Her future is not destroyed. Will she have some difficulties? Maybe. Maybe not. Don’t underestimate mankind’s ability to have compassion for a young person who made an impulsive decision. If people claim to be perfect when they were a teenager, then that person is a) lying or B) boring. Don’t overestimate the power of mean, petty, emotionally disturbed, morally stunted, trollopians. WHile there may be consequences for lapses in judgement, our destinies are not defined by our mistakes, but how we respond to them. 
  8. Speak openly with your daughter about self-harm and suicide. While Black girls may be less likely to engage in DIRECT suicide- we do have a propensity to engage in indirect slow deaths. In any case, based on the slew of stories about girls killing themselves after these types of incidents, it is a conversation worth having. 

 

Readers feel free to add your 2 cents, but I won’t publish comments that identify the incident I reference at the beginning of the post. 

If you have a pressing social-media related question to ask the Blogmother, think twice, and if you insist, use our Contact Form. 

Monday
Oct212013

No Black People DO NOT Need to (Blindly) Support Each Other - Carol’s Daughter Edition 

So my Carol's Daughter Hates Black Women post is generating traffic again, despite it being almost 3 years old. People are still commenting on it. I want to address a theme that crops up in the comments of that post, but also appeared on a Facebook post I made on the WAOD fan page over the weekend. The idea that I cannot publically criticize a company because it was founded by a Black person. An equally annoying theme is the idea that Carol's Daughter is so fragile a company that the mere criticism of a Black businesswoman will mean that I am driving her out of business.

This is my reponse...

First, Lisa Price no longer controls Carol’s Daughter- if she did, she would have come out and responded publiclly to Steve Stoute’s vocal disrespect of her customer base. According to this Reuters article from MAY, Carol's Daughter is owned by a private equity firm and they are attempting to SELL te company:

Carol's Daughter, known for its products for naturally curly hair, is exploring a sale of the company, according to two sources familiar with the matter...The tiny company, with big backers including Jay-Z and Will Smith, is owned by private equity firm Pegasus Capital Advisors. It is being advised by Moelis & Co, said the sources, who declined to be identified as the process is private. Reuters

The fact that after two years, she has yet to rebuff Stoutes attacks on Black women in her name meas A) she agrees with him or B) she’s scared of him or C) she doesn't want to rock the boat while she is attempting to sell the company to L'Oreal, Estee Lauder or Proctor & Gamble. 

Second  if the criticism of one lone blogger  was enough to drive you out of business, then your business isn’t that strong. If you’ve got a good product, good customer service and a loyal and respected client base, then you ought to be able to endure public criticism. The reason why my blog post is still buzzing three years later is that it keeps resonating. Some segment of the Carol's Daughter customer base can tell that the company doesn't want them anymore. It's not their imaginations either. 

I made legitimate observations in Carol’s Daughter Hates Black Women Some portion of their customer base is feeling betrayed. That’s not the thoughts of one lone grumpy “feverish” blogger ( I've never been called feverish before), that HAS to be the thoughts of the thousands of people who keep reading  and sharing this post. This post is now one of the most popular on this blog. 

But this is bigger than Carol's Daughter.  I want to address this idea that Black people cannot hold each other PUBLICLY accountable. My response is:

 

What has this lack of PUBLIC accountability gotten us?

 

We’ve got a Black Elite Establishment that can most charitably be described as predatory and exploitive. 

 

We’ve got  a Black Religious Establishment that looks the other way as clergy members sexually exploit their congregants ( of all ages, genders and sexualities) while turning a blind eye and ear to their suffering. 

 

We’ve got a Black Political Establishment that is corrupt, ineffective, complacent impotent - very economic, social, geo-political demographic is headed in the wrong direction. 

 

We’ve got a Black social justice establishment that in 40 years has managed to master the art of marching and being run roughshod over by very. loud. observers on Black Twitter. 

 

We’ve got Black journalists, who conspire to craft fairy tales about men who sexually exploit Black women and girls.

 

We’ve got a Black Entertainment Establishment that BRUTALIZES Black women on film, in movies, on the radio and in person - the equivalent of cultural genocide. 

 

What, pray tale, has the complete lack of PUBLIC accountability gotten us?

Oh right, it's gotten us this kinda nonsense- A Black "leader" who runs a "decency" initiative taking massive payouts from a company whose entire business model the the dehumanization of Black women and girls and who has a culture of violence that is so embedded in the DNA of the company that rapes happen on its premises:

and high ranking company officers are beating up girls on tour buses. Yep, he broke the girl's jaw.

Decency The Decency Initiative was created in order to reduce the degrading, racially insensitive and misogynous language and culture that has become pervasive today and to hold corporate America and the private sector equally accountable with racial sensitivity. The Decency Initiative promotes a message of anti-violence, self-respect and pride in heritage. It also advocates against the entertainment industry’s use of capitalizing off of denigrating lyrics to describe black culture. Recently, NAN worked with the family of Emmett Till to hold PepsiCo accountable for using a spokesperson that defamed and denigrated the legacy if Emmett Till. National Action Network

That Pepsico "spokesperson" is Lil Wayne--- of Cash Money--- the same company that gave Sharpton a book deal--- yeah that makes complete sense. And yes, that's the Cash Money "brain trust" looking over Rev Al in his book promotion video. 

No accountability to even bother trying to appear ethical. 

 

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