Why the “The Apology” Instagram Post is Problematic

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So…

As of recently, I’ve been seeing this Instagram post floating around on Twitter. It’s… interesting…

Here. Have a look at it for yourself:

See? Interesting.

And also ahistorical.

Misogynoiristic.

and well… Just no with a side of no.

I’ve seen this being circulating around the world wide web and being proclaimed as “deep.” *laughs* *cackles* *guffaws*

When I read this caption, after the first couple of lines I knew it was going to be BS. If I’m correct, I believe this “apology” was meant to be this apology from black women to black men. I’m presuming this narrative was meant to be a critique on why and how black women treat black men. I do not think the woman who wrote this story had ill intent. I do think that she’s misinformed however. What I’m also sure of is that this IG post is historically and culturally inaccurate.

Let’s break down why this IG post is problematic:

Let’s begin with the fact that if black women had an issue with black men, it did not stem from black female slaves resenting their partners for not being able to protect them and save them from white slave owners. That’s reaching way into the Milky Way with that one. If there was resentment from black female slaves towards black male slaves for not being able to “protect” them, that wouldn’t be a significant amount of resentment to say that that’s the leading cause to why black women perpetuate self-hate towards black men today.

[Trigger warning for next paragraph: Sexual assault]

Secondly, let’s also state the obvious here: A black female slave did not have the choice to “submit” to slave masters in hopes that the slave master would “protect” her and her children. They were sexually assaulted by slave masters. They were raped. There was no endearing romance involved. At all. And slave masters most definitely were not concerned with “protecting” slaves and their children regardless of gender. Slaves were considered slave masters’ property; commodities to be bought and sold. Don’t confuse slave masters trying to preserve their slaves, their “property” for sales and labor with well intended “protection.”

I’m also sure that any abuse female slaves endured, they did not fault black male slaves. They faulted their white slave master. You know, the one who was actually abusing them…

There’s also a line in there that goes: “Massa had a plan that he said would work for 400 years.. 400 years is over now.” I have this spidey sense that that line was alluding to the notorious Willie Lynch letter. If you don’t know what the Willie Lynch Letter is, in short, it’s an address a slave master by the name, Willie Lynch, gave to other slave masters discussing different strategies and ways to separate their black slaves in hopes that that would keep Black people divided for centuries to come. Black people blame our division on this notorious letter…. that never happened.

The Willie Lynch letter is fake. It was fabricated in hopes that it would “wake” black people up; in hopes that it would help us see how we’ve been brainwashed to be against each other. Here’s one of many articles by **Black scholars who have proved that the Willie Lynch Letter is non-existent: http://manuampim.com/lynch_hoax1.html

Here’s also an article where the actual author of the Willie Lynch Letter confirms it was a hoax: http://rev-elution.blogspot.com/2013/03/durham-resident-is-author-of-willie.html

Now, I’m not denying that the black community is divided up and down, side to side, and diagonally left and right. The divisions between the black community are very apparent and well.. sad but let’s not fabricate documents and pass them off as historically authentic in hopes of catalyzing black people to get up and dismantle our divisions. That’s dishonest and unethical. I’m not with it. At all.

So, back to the line in this IG post about “Massa had a plan for 400 years…” In the infamous Willie Lynch letter, there is a section where Lynch speaks about how to divide black male and female slaves in hopes to permanently cause division between them. *Sighs*. Slave masters did have a plan. They did intend to make slaves see themselves as inferior, to see each other as inferior but not through the strategies cooked up in the inauthentic Willie Lynch letter. Frederick Douglass and other former slaves have actually released writings and journals on actual ways slave masters would brain wash and gaslight their slaves and none of those strategies were listed in the Willie Lynch Letter. That furthers my point on why this “apology” is historically inaccurate. Slave masters did play a major part in the division between Black people that still affects us to this very day. Now that is correct.

But here’s the best part about this all: The ironic part of this, is that the actual story behind this illustration and the other illustrations preceding and following it are the complete, polar opposite of what this caption suggests the story was about.

The original story behind this image is actually very moving and beautiful. It annoys me that this image was taken way out of context.

Here is the original story behind this image. Just keep scrolling to the left. There are no captions because the pictures are poignant enough and speak for themselves: https://www.facebook.com/389878191038380/photos/pb.389878191038380.-2207520000.1417617230./995131747179685/?type=3&theater

Sidebar: the illustrator’s name is Joseph Kendy. He’s a talented black artist. You should definitely check out more of his work.

The actual story was a slave couple sacrificing themselves to save each other from white slave masters. That’s how much they loved each other. That’s what made this original story powerful and beautiful.

The original story was never meant to be an apology. It was meant to show how powerful black love is and has always been.

Now, don’t read all this and think that I’m saying black women don’t have our faults. Oh trust me, I know we do. Black women are not perfect. We do perpetuate self-hate as well. I hold black women accountable too. But black women do not perpetuate self-hate by ourselves. Black women and black men do that collectively. We owe each other apologies. This is not one-sided especially considering that black men are notorious for slandering and slamming black women more so than black women slandering black men. I mean.. I’m not about to dismiss that little life hack. That’s the truth. In modern times, if a black woman feels some type of way towards black men, it’s a response from tumultuous relationships she’s had with black men. It’s her personal experiences with black men. It’s not from this ideal that black female slaves resented black male slaves for not protecting them from slavery and that is why she’s resentful towards black men for.

Lastly, generally speaking, black women have always seen the king in black men. To say that there was a time in history where largely, black women didn’t have black men’s backs? Uh… Hm? Majority of black women, regardless of a portion who do not value black men, have always valued black men. We birth you. We raise you. We feed you. We clothe you. We cherish you. We. Love. You.

You mean to tell me that largely, black mothers, specifically, stopped loving their sons? Now, you know better.

Black women have consistently stood in solidarity with black men. Black women have consistently been in the forefront fighting for black men’s rights to live. Hell, we’re still fighting this battle today. Black women have been on the front lines in protests regarding Ferguson and police brutality against black men in general. If we didn’t see the “king” in black men, then why are we willing to risk our safety and sanity to fight for them?

Now again, I’m not saying that black women are perfect in our walk with black men. I know that black women can say and do things that black men interpret as us downing them, emasculating them, and belittling them. But if we’re talking about black women generally, most black women see black men as kings regardless of how they’ve been treated by black men and continue to ride and fight for them.

All in all, the black community does have a lot of healing to do. We do have a lot of apologizing to do between each other. We do need to lay our prides to the side and admit our faults. The white man started the division. Now, we have to stop it but we shouldn’t do it in ahistorical, unethical, inaccurate ways such as this “apology” or the Willie Lynch Letter.

One day we’ll get it together but we’re not going to get there if we keep fabricating history.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. thinkylilyo says:

    That Instagram post is the most ridiculous thing that I have seen this week. I needed that laugh. Thank you for mentioning that the Willie Lynch letter is fake, I love all things history and that letter is not real. That does not mean that slavery did not cause extensive damage to our community, just that the letter is not real. I agree that the undertone of the Instagram post is so misogynistic that it is laughable. I really enjoyed this post, great read!

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