#BlackLivesMatter, Just Beware the Misogynegro

A few months ago I started to wonder if Black women who discuss their interracial relationships online weren’t doing themselves more harm than good. It seemed like we could hardly post a blog, Facebook post, Tweet or Tumblr update celebrating our relationships without intense backlash and unfounded claims that we were “bashing Black men.”

I had hoped the drumbeat would die down, since Black women were not backing down from marrying out. Actually, the phenomenon gained steam. Also, independent think tank data, mainly from the Pew Center, suggested that Black women who married out were often just as healthy as any other woman in a stable, healthy relationship, so it seemed like “swirling” did us no harm.

But the hypersensitivity didn’t die down. In fact, it has morphed into full-on hatred. For reasons that no rational person will ever be able to work out, a specific strain of Black men have intensified their campaign of railing against an oppressive white regime, proclaiming that #BlackLivesMater, while instilling self-loathing in Black women. Incredibly, they begrudge Black women of the happiness they find outside their race! Their videos, crude artwork, photo manipulations and blog posts communicate one message: Black women of every educational and social background are the scourge of the Black race, and are the cause of its “downfall.” It’s not enough that they don’t want us, but they don’t think anyone else should want us, either. To them, it doesn’t matter if we are cut from the same cloth as Michelle Obama or relate more to “New York” of reality TV infamy. To them, we are all trash, and deserve to be reminded of that fact whenever anything, be it innocuous or really troubling, sets them off.

Also, I couldn’t help notice that they idealize women with brown, caramel, olive and white complexions. Remarkably, the one or two men who had the courage to show their faces on their troll accounts were often very dark-skinned, broad-nosed, coily-haired and thick-lipped Black men. What else could this content be but hypocrisy and a bit of self-loathing itself?

Notice that the ideal male ruler has a "chocolate" complexion, and his so-called Queen is significantly lighter?

Notice that the ideal male ruler has a “chocolate” complexion, and his so-called Queen is significantly lighter and significantly softened Black features?

That’s when I gave up on trying to make sense of the pointed attacks that these men leveled from their cowardly social media troll accounts. I systematically began reporting all videos and channels with disembodied voices ranting about the evils of the Black woman, and then blocked them from my feed. That’s also when the word “misogynegro” came to mind. That type of character underpins what I call the hidden Third World in the Black community, and I define it this way:

mi-soj-uh-nee-gro

  1. a man of African, particularly Bantu, descent who zealously and irrationally vilifies women of African, particularly Bantu, descent. Such individuals tend to display an obsessive interest in ancient Egyptian of African Hebrew culture. They also devoutly glorify women of all other ethnic groups, regardless of their socio-economic background, educational attainment, or personal mores.

Mind you, misogynegros don’t all subscribe to a specific pseudo-religious sect, hail from the same socioeconomic background, and they are not all straight. Several of the most demeaning misogynoiristic hate speech, be it public, private or online, come from gay or trans men. You’ll find misogynegros all over hip-hop, which is why the “Straight Outta Compton” movie phenomenon can miss me forever, no matter how phenomenally it performed at the box office. No narrative about the Black experience is so important to Black people that it can be allowed to ignore the degradation, brutal violence, blackballing and finally, abandonment that Black women endured to prop up Black men.

I have some theories about what might be driving this visceral hatred of Black women, and maybe it’s something I’ll address in another post. My point for now is that Black mothers need to prepare their daughters for the inevitable encounters with these guys. I don’t believe these guys are harmless, docile internet trolls. A video composed of a disembodied voice feverishly cussing out Black women dubbed over footage of boys wielding guns and smoking weed is a sign of a troubled mind, ready to blow. I would hate to see violence against Black American women to the point that it’s indistinguishable from what you hear of in oppressive paternalistic societies. Don’t think that gang rapes on a bus, honor killings or dowry murders is something only East Asians are capable of doing. We live in a society that has a cavalier attitude about violence on Black women. How long do you think that those fever-brained rantings will stay confined to the outback of the Internet before something happens on Main Street? Black women will need to learn how to either talk their way out of confrontations with these guys, or knock them down and run!

First-World Address, Third-World Problems

We were all shocked and grieved by recent news accounts of the death of Mary Spears, a 27-year-old Detroit mother of three who was shot, ultimately, because she turned down romantic advances from a stranger.

It’s a tragedy that tears at all our hearts, or should, not only because it was an unspeakable act of cruelty, but also because it’s an example of the kind of dangerous and backward existence so many Black women face in this country. Black women are routinely treated with moral depravity at the hands of Black men – the very ones who should defend them the most in our society. It is the kind of misogyny and casual violence that we associate with the rough and remote warlord territories of Afghanistan or the repressive regimes of the emirates.

Now here is my pandering and obligatory disclaimer, for the oversensitive types who will rush to pan this post as a Black male-bashing effort: I’m not bashing or vilifying Black men. Ms. Spears’ fiancé tried to intervene before the shooting happened, so clearly he is a shining example of: a Black man who deplores violence; a Black man who is responsible enough to marry his girlfriend and give three Black children a full-time, attentive and protective father; and a Black man who thinks Black women should be able to move through society without being harassed and threatened with bodily harm. 

Yet the late Ms. Spears’ fiancé is a figure whose job in Black society is hindered by the troublemakers, and we all know this. How many communities are in the grip of violence, which shaped the mentality of that shooting suspect? How many times have I complained on this blog about Black men who I encounter in public who become enraged when I don’t feel like making idle chit chat with them? Clearly the shooting suspect is unstable, but I’m not willing to brush it under the rug of mental instability, or slap a bandage of “hurt people hurt people” on the situation. He has no impulse control, no anger management abilities, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a psychiatric or clinical psychological assessment revealed a dangerous personality disorder. It’s unclear as to what really drove this man to a murderous rage: Does a mental imbalance perhaps stem from untreated trauma from his youth; are his impulses unchecked because a father was never there to help him control them; or did he have a good upbringing but simply made poor decisions and looks down on women as less than him?

This is the kind of violence that we read about in dispatches from Third World nations, mainly Asia and the Middle East, where many of the men feel that women don’t have rights or feelings that need to be respected. She must keep her place and not seek betterment through education, and she has to submit to the desires of his id on demand, regardless of what place, if any, he has in her life. Over there, we call it backwardness and misogyny. Here, or London, Kingston or anywhere else Blacks of the diaspora are assembled, we call it Blackistan.

We have known that for a long time American Blacks have been socially and economically disenfranchised. Over time, social scientists believe or fear that it has relegated us to second-class status. I disagree. We’ve fallen well below second-class to third world. If researchers with the CIA World Factbook, the CDC, or the Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Pew Center were to assess the well being of Blacks as a separate society unto itself from Whites, the results would tell us that we are far behind the mainstream Whites in terms overall wellness. We can either become defensive about it, lapse into pro-Black denials, while ranting about the white supremacist systems that thwart all of our efforts to do better, and try to censor the message (I’m looking at you, Lisa McDonald), or we can take action. That does not always mean marrying out, and I’ll tell you why: I married a White man with Liberal (or Pluralistic, if you ask him) ideologies, and we jointly decided to live in an aging urban city in the Northeast. You can call it a “transitional neighborhood” or “pre-gentrified” all you want. The nearest high street has too many liquor stores, too many used condoms that litter the sidewalk, and so many idle riff-raff that when I used to send my little sister on errands to the local bodega, I strictly timed her and promised to come looking if she wasn’t back within the grace period. The next high street has too many drug-addled wraiths of people who used to be young with bright prospects, too many prostitutes and too many abandoned buildings. We didn’t escape the challenges of living in the inner cities, so I have to confront these issues as much as any other woman living in a distressed neighborhood.

There are too many, far too many, Black men who become violently, irrationally enraged when a woman tries to walk away from a relationship, or when she refuses to engage with him in public. We are not a Taliban-controlled society. We are Americans, and women are supposed to enjoy a world-class standard of living here. This kind of extreme violence, enabled by broken families, personal failings and yes, the irrational prevalence of military-grade guns, undercuts what we aim to be as a civil society. We need to deal with this problem and do so from all angles, and we need to be committed about it, not letting bruised egos suck us down into censorship tactics, or be stymied by squabbling among different factions in the Black community.

When it comes to my only child, a good-natured and polite girl who is growing up beautiful – I grow more fearful of what she will encounter in the days when she moves through our city unattended. As a matter of fact, Hubby and I had to deal with a situation at her school recently where she tried to ignore the inappropriate advances of a boy classmate. None of our suggested tactics or teacher intervention worked, until one day we were preparing dinner in the kitchen and she told us that the boy had touched her on her privates, and when she moved to correct him, she was detained by the teacher. We did eventually bring this up with the teacher and have since worked out an acceptable solution. We are still happy with the school, but I am concerned about that little boy. Which older sibling or older male relative taught him invalidate a woman’s ‘no,’ to pester her, and overstep boundaries to get what he wants anyway? Someone is failing him, and if steps are not taken to correct his behavior, I fear we’ll read about his arrest, trial and sentencing — or worse — one day in the newspaper.

Mary Spears’ experience is not unheard of in cities that have a Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard – and what a heartbreaking irony! It’s another failing on our part to get a grip on these issues and stop losing young people to such violence. Somewhere in America right now an attractive young Black woman is rejecting the advances of a paramour. May God watch over and protect her until we get it right.