Sunday, June 10, 2012

Outward Gazing: When Black People Hide From Black Problems....

Well, well, no time no blog. At least not here.

I'm actually working on a new movie review feature for the blog, my book, and contributing over at "Beyond Black & White". Aaaaaand I've just begun preparing for my second master's. So yes, busy.

BUT, there is something I'll be speaking on here, because I've seen it a lot, and I am tired of it.

I call it, outward gazing. Outward gazing is an escapist tactic used by black people who are mentally and emotionally incapable of facing the glaring problems unique to the black community. When I say "unique", I mean situations and consequences that you are not likely to see play out in scenarios not involving black people.

One recent example where I observed this is when addressing the recent case of Creflo Dollar. Naturally the conversation brought up disagreements over whether or not corporal punishment works, but the sensible people discussing the case understood this was NOT normal punishment by any means.

As more has come out about the case, it's clear that the wife called the police on her husband and the sister who was a witness to the events backed up what the daughter who was attacked said happened. The daughter wanted to go out to a party and the father lost it because she wouldn't obey his authority. Yes, because if there's anything that establishes your authority as a parent it's hitting, choking, and throwing shoes at your kids. *eye-roll*

In this situation, the following conversation occurred between myself and a commenter named "C15h".

They wrote:

i don't think this is a black people issue and more of parents lacking proper self control. i was just watching some dad whipping his son with a belt for not being good at baseball. like really? over baseball? that is out of control.

I responded:

Corporate punishment vs. non-corporate punishment = non-black people issue. A black preacher who committed what amounts to child abuse on his daughter and is now being defended by black people who (1) view his extremes as normal because "she disrespected him" or (2) would rather throw a black female under the bus than take a black man to task for acting inappropriately = black people issue. This is very much representative of a problem within areas of the black community. It cannot be carried over to other ethnic groups because the dysfunction behind it is unique.

They wrote:

we all agree he was out of line and anyone who tries to defend him for what he did is just plain crazy but there's no reason to believe domestic abuse is a black issue and there is no reason to believe only black people are defending him and there's no reason to believe a significant population of black people don't disagree with what he did. Creflo Dollar has a huge following, and it's expected for people to jump to his defense no matter what he does but it's bit overreaching to extend that to black people. as a group, do we really wanna be responsible for an individual's bad behavior/choices?

I responded:

I'm going to say something that you don't necessarily agree with and it's probably going to make you uncomfortable, but I don't care, because I'm tired of people trying to do this whenever a light is shined on the type of dysfunctional thinking COMMON among a large portion of black people. 
Are you ready? 
*clears throat*

One of things that keeps dysfunction in check in the black community is this fairy tale that people like to tell where this type of ridiculousness is seen as normal or not as problematic outside of the black community. Even worse, some people would rather pretend it's better to focus on the dysfunctional behaviors of others outside of the black community than to give a damn that it's dysfunctional and seek to change it. I am not playing the, "white people do this too!" game. I am not playing the "white people have criminals/domestic abuse/etc. game". 
If black people focused more on THEIR OWN GROUP and what was wrong, it would be a step in the direction of fixing it. But people don't want to think about that. It's funny you bring up individualism because my individual self decrees that I will not be goaded into overlooking a common problem for the sake of being mentally and emotionally comfortable. 
I take no comfort in the dysfunction of other groups. I do not instinctively look to that in order to make myself feel better. When people do this, it troubles me. It's too much like hiding and denial, which solves nothing. As a group, I'd rather call something the disturbing as heck thing that it is than placate myself with "outward gazing", which is what I call the knee-jerk reaction to a bright light shined on trifling and backward behavior within the black community. Sorry, but you are barking up the wrong tree in this regard.

The fundamental point of my view is bolded. It is that absolute truth, and something that some people just cannot come to terms with. It's one reason why I've distanced myself from people who claim to be about "saving the black race". Their solution is to cry racism and "white people do it too!", while ultimately not addressing the dysfunctional behaviors that exist within the zombie black community. The denial is so bad, problems that are very real are treated as either normal, non-existent, or not as bad as they are.

I have pretty much signed onto the notion that survival means separation. I am also a believer in othering and shaming undesirable and terrible behavior; I am not about coddling and enabling criminals and deviants. Moreover, I do not see myself as an undesirable or deviant, and have no problem calling out persons, as I'm not mentally associating myself with them and their trifling, problematic behaviors.

In any case, the response this person chose was rather telling:

"...i just don't see what individuals chooses to do somehow become an indictment on black people. you've written many times on not making one's self the target for other people's buffoonery. i don't see it any differently when making black people the target."

I responded to this comment, but I won't post what I said here, because that is the end of the conversation as far as I'm concerned. But I found it interesting that (1) this person completely bypassed my point and (2) attempted to use my own words to strengthen their desire to keep their head in the sand.

The irony?

The posts they chose to defend their standpoint back me up, not them. Calling out foolish behavior among black folks is NOT making yourself a target; it's called "othering". When you other, you are actually going out of your way to distinguish yourself from persons in the crosshair. This is why I have no qualms calling out ridiculous behavior: I am not the party in question and have no mental or emotional fear of ever being mistaken with such persons.

In fact, you are mentally and emotionally making yourself a target when you refuse to address a situation because you think ALL black people are being addressed. ALL black people are not the target...just the trifling ones who would rather throw victims under the bus than hold a simpleton accountable for questionable and illegal behaviors.

Hiding from undesirable truths and consequences does not make them go away.


samadhi101 said...

great post! I've noticed this tendency amongst black folks and its extremely irritating when trying to have a discussion geared toward finding a solution. Another tactic used is accusing any BW who talks about the anti-BW misogyny directed at them by BM is labeled a BM basher/hater. It's obviously used as a shaming tactic to keep BW silent. Combined with the "other races do it" excuse, blacks are trapped into non-thinking patterns. Black unity has always bs because a meaningful discussion hasn't been had in the last 3 decades!

Michelle Calloway said...

What I can't understand is why it's so HARD for some people to just tell/face THE TRUTH. A man choking his daughter and hitting her with a shoe is JUST WRONG and dysfunctional, Period. The End. Why drag what other people/races/etc. do or don't do into the discussion? Just state the obvious truth, and call this DBR behavior out for what it is.

Lorrnae said...

It's a distraction tactic. Just like when a issue about BW comes up in an article, and people in the comments section divert into talking about BM, completely bypassing the message.