Dear “not all black men” black men,
Hmm.. I don’t even know where to start with you. I really don’t.
Let’s start with this: you never cease to work my everlasting nerves. Why?
As we all know, I am vocal on twitter. One of the things I’m most vocal about, being a black woman, is the tribulations black women endure.
Every day, 24/7 black women are demeaned, dehumanized, belittled, and slandered by many people, no matter their race or gender–including a great number of black men. Black women are abused, sexually assaulted, and killed by black men at alarming rates.
One thing about Twitter is that Twitter sheds light on issues most don’t verbally speak on because of the controversy surrounding said topic. Behind a screen, people get bold and gain a voice. One thing it has shown me is that black women are hated for what reasons, I’m still exploring, but we are hated and devalued from all fronts. Every day I go on Twitter and I see some sort of slander towards black women and most of the time by black men.
So naturally, as a black woman, I am rightfully bothered by the attacks made on black women daily and I let the world know–particularly black men because they make up about 90% of the perpetrators.
When I speak about the hurt black men cause black women on Twitter I do not generalize. I realize that not all black men disrespect black women. I know. So in turn, I say “some”, “half”, “too many.” I’ll even throw some adjectives in there so people know who I’m directing my thoughts towards (see: “ashy f*** boys). Are you an ashy f*** boy “not all black men” black men? If you do not share the same characteristics of the black men I am speaking of then why are you chiming in with your unnecessary “not all black men” mantra? Guilt? Because remember, not ever did I once say “all black men.” Help me understand your flawed logic.
When I speak on the slander I see towards black women perpetuated by a lot of black men, it is not your time to come into my mentions screaming to the top of your lungs that “NOT ALL BLACK MEN ARE LIKE THAT.” Well guess what?! TOO MANY black men are.
Read that again. Read it one more time. Let it resonate. Let it sink in. Recognize it. Acknowledge it. Do whatever you can to take in this life hack. This FACT.
Too many black men find sick pleasure in tearing down black women. You–“not all black men” black men may not but your brothers do.
When you hippity hop your ass in my mentions screaming “not all black men” when I’m clearly speaking to the black men who fit the description in my tweet, you completely ignored the fact THAT THERE ARE BLACK MEN WHO DO ATTACK BLACK WOMEN. You’re ignoring every thing I said because it’s an inconvenient truth. You are silencing me along with other hurting black women.
That’s great that you’re not a part of ashy fuck boy Twitter but the fact of the matter is when you scream “not all black men” at me, you go about the rest of your day peacefully and I, along with other black women, are still attacked regularly by black men WHO ARE LIKE THAT.
Let’s be real fam.
You do not care about the plight of black women. You only care to not be generalized WHEN NO ONE WAS GENERALIZING YOU IN THE FIRST FUCKING PLACE. If you’re more concerned about not being grouped up with abusive, misogynoiristic black men than you are about the fact that there are abusive, misogynoiristic black men that are hurting black women, then you are a part of the problem.
Instead of coming at me barking about “not all black men” why don’t you say to yourself: “Hmm, you know what? I may not disrespect black women but let me acknowledge the fact that too many of my brothers do. Let me also understand that she’s not speaking about me. She’s speaking about the black men who do disrespect black women. Instead of silencing black women speaking out on the abuse with my “not all black men” nonsense, why don’t I address my brothers who are attacking my sisters in the first place. Let me address the actual problem.”
Boom! There we go. Now we are getting somewhere.
Because you know what the irony is in you “not all black men” black men telling me that not all black men are like that, is the fact that I know because I’ve lived it. For half of my childhood, I was raised by a single, loving, BLACK dad who treated me and my sister with the utmost love and care. Obviously, I realize not all black men are calcified, self-hating fuck boys. I know. Please save your breath. I got it. Sit down.
You “not all black men” black men are the same men who will preach to me all the day long about not all of ya’ll are like that but will completely ignore when you see other black men attacking me or other black women. Because again I say, you do not actually care about black women. Because if you did, you would have our backs all the time. Not only when it’s convenient to black men. Not only when the abuse is coming from a white man.
And what I have come to realize is that black men don’t chime in when they see black women being dragged because they don’t want to get dragged along with us. You’re afraid to get dragged by other black men but black women have literally been on the front lines fighting to preserve black men’s lives, especially with Ferguson. Black feminists have been at the forefront fighting for black men’s right to live. A black woman got a bullet to her skull in Ferguson while protesting for black men to be able to live without fear of police but you can’t have our backs when we’re being slandered by ashy fuck boys? On Twitter? Black women risk their lives for you, the least you could do, is help us when we are attacked by other black men. Right?
Because what I’ve also come to realize is that black men are more likely to listen to other black men than they are to black women. It’s unfortunate but it’s true. Your brothers are more likely to hear you out when it comes to the abuse that black women face by black men than they are to black women speaking out about the abuse towards us by black men. So instead of coming at me with “not all black men”, why don’t you tango your way into your brother’s mentions and let him know why what he’s doing is problematic.
Thing is, “not all black men” black men is that you don’t want to acknowledge the fact that black men tear down black women more significantly than any other race of men. You don’t want to acknowledge that too many black women are abused by black men. This is a fact. This is not debatable at all. I’m not saying other race of men don’t slander women of their race but I’m saying no, it does not happen as frequently as black men slandering black women. I need you to understand this. Stop deflecting.
I’ve actually had a number of non-black people ask me verbatim: “Why do black men hate black women?”
“Not all black men” black men’s favorite line is: “Well, no other race of men hurts their women?” Whoever said they didn’t? Why is that relevant? Why are you okay with this? Why are you complacent with black women hurting? Do you not think black men are better than their toxic ways towards black women?
Another one of ya’ll’s favorite line is: “Well, those black men aren’t ‘real’ black men.” YES THEY ARE. They are very real and the pain they cause black women is very real as well. Stop that mentality right now. How is this going to get us moving forward?
Or even another “not all black men” black men excuse is: “Just ignore them. They’re losers.” It’s hard to ignore someone when they look like you and are demeaning your entire humanity. It’s hard to ignore someone who is suppose to, out of all people, have your back right? It’s hard to ignore when it’s too many black men inflicting hurt onto black women. It’s easy for you to say because you’re not the butt of the joke, I am. Not you. You don’t have to directly deal with this. I do. And after centuries, black women are tired. So, so tired.
Too many times I’ve had ashy men, come into my mentions blaming white supremacy for the slander towards black women from black men. While I understand that white supremacy plays a big part in self-hate, don’t you think *looks at calendar and what year it is* that it’s bout time, black men unlearn patriarchy? I’m just saying. At what point are you going to hold yourself and your brothers accountable for your toxic actions and stop blaming “the white man?” The white man started it, now it’s your time to finish it. Once and for all.
If you don’t plan on having my back when you see me being attacked by other black men, if you don’t plan on addressing your brothers who hurt black women, then don’t come at me and shuck the “not all black men” card at me. Just leave me alone period. Because even though you’re a “good” black man, you aren’t doing anything to actually help black women.
You want to help black women? You want to be an ally to black women? You need to stop silencing us, first and foremost. You need to hear us out. You need to understand where we’re coming from. You need to put your brothers in check when they come at black women crooked. You need to let them know about themselves. If they don’t listen, black women will still appreciate that you had our back. But we also ask that you continue to have our backs even when a black man is the perpetrator and not a white man. Speak life into black women. We are killed by racists too. Let the world know that black women’s lives matter too. Let the world know that black women are necessary.
Let us know that we are loved.
That’s it. That’s all.
Please stop bombarding me & other black women with your “not all black men” card when we speak out.
That’s not reassuring. That’s patronizing.
I expect better from you from now on.