It is painful to watch thousands of black women commit suicide everyday. I’m not talking about the quick, shoot yourself, or take some pills kind of suicide; I mean the slow, agonizing death that comes with allowing ourselves to be degraded, objectified, used and abused, then fighting so hard against our own best interest for the sake of members of our own race that mean us no good.
I’m speaking in this case about the majority of hip hop (c)rap music that poisons us with every line that says some black girl is a Slore, Beyotch, trick, sperm receptacle or nappy head. Our souls are stomped upon with every lyric that says dark girls are ugly, light-skin is superior, and thugs are the best that we can get because we’re worthless pieces of trash. And this isn’t said by white people. It’s coming from black men–our supposed brothers in the struggle, and justified by the music media machine, the NAACP and worst of all, we black women support it every day, every minute, and every weekend when we drop it like it’s hot to Lil Wayne, et al.
And if ANYONE DARE speak up against it–especially a white chick like Ashley Judd–that person gets pimp-slapped into apologizing for telling the damn truth. In just two lines of her book, All That Is Bitter & Sweet, she says “As far as I’m concerned, most rap and hip-hop music — with its rape culture and insanely abusive lyrics and depictions of girls and women as ‘ho’s’ — is the contemporary soundtrack of misogyny.”
Exactly what part of that statement is NOT true? What part of rap/rape culture actually makes black women feel worth a dang?
What we really need to do is examine why rappers are so invested in silencing someone who could have been an advocate for causes and interests of black women. Perhaps the answer lies in what one commenter said on a popular feminist website: “Black male celebrities almost ONLY get pissed about racism in public discourse if it threatens black *masculine* culture and are either totally silent or indifferent about the ways in which black women are effected by racism, sexism in general and sexism from the men within their own racial group. (re: Spike Lee and others who have come out in support of Chris Brown).” She has a point. When was the last time black men, en masse, mobilized because someone offended a black woman? And before you start Googling, let’s stick to this decade, please.
I’m fuming right now because with all of the attacks on Ms. Judd, we, black women, have lost an ally. And it’s not like we have so many to spare. Never mind that Judd has worked tirelessly for the betterment of all women around the world, and she expresses a genuine concern, I guess she’ll learn her lesson next time to dare defend black women, and this incident will teach anyone else who comes along that does not align with The Guardians of All Things Dark & Lovely in the future.
Why, oh why are we so quick to defend the very men who abuse and debase us? Why does Chris Brown have a stable of black women cheerleaders behind him after he pounded Rihanna’s face in? Why did Jay-Z, a drug dealer who shot his own brother at only 12-years-old, make his millions off the backs of black women and become a pinnacle of success? Why do we have spokespeople in the New Black Panthers rallying behind more than a dozen black boys who raped an 11-year-old child and join the pile-on in blaming her?
“Black women have been brainwashed into thinking that images of them being dehumanized is acceptable,” says Sophia Angeli Nelson, political pundit, columnist and author of the upcoming book, Black Woman, Redefined. “In the case of Ashley Judd, we are offended by the messenger. This is damaging.”
Ladies, think about what you’re doing when you yell and scream and fight to the death for a segment of black men who stomp on your neck to make a buck. I guarantee that in the confines of their mansions, Bentleys and around their buddies, we are the laughing-stock, because not only do we buy and dance to music that tells us we ain’t shite, we’ll cut somebody who attacks them. These people are not worthy of our protection. When you capitalize upon debasing your own people to make money, you are not for us, you are for yourself.
Many of us act like battered women, using resources and energy as a human shield against any insult to grown-arse men. And before I get some idiotic comment about how all hip hop isn’t bad, let’s go by the 90% rule, umkay?
Christelyn D. Karazin the co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race Culture and Creed (to be released February 2012), and runs a blog, www.beyondblackwhite.com, dedicated to women of color who are interested and or involved in interracial and intercultural relationships. She is also the founder and organizer of “No Wedding, No Womb,” an initiative to find solutions to the 72 percent out-of-wedlock rate in the black community.