I Am Amber Cole’s Father: Blog Post Raises New Storm

October 26, 2011  |  

I am not at all a traditional woman in most of my views. In many ways I am radical. I understand how the idea that “a woman needs protection” would set fire flaming in the eyes of a run-of-the-mill white feminist. What I cannot and will not understand is the snobbery and self-righteousness with which this yard stick of correct relations between men and women is uniformly applied by many white women, who are so privileged that they are usually overprotected without even knowing it.

Black women — as Amber’s case has shown — know what it’s like to be used, abandoned and left for trash without even a shred of empathy for our suffering. The idea of being considered worth protecting sounds pretty good in that context. Men like Jimi Izrael who actually stick up for a young black girl who has been used — first by male friends then by the eyeballs-hungry media reporting on her story without sympathy — men like Jimi are our heroes for speaking the truth with emotion. For caring. If caring = wanting to protect, so be it. In the context of black women’s perpetual abandonment, being cherished in a traditional way is a salve on very old wounds of social alienation.

White middle-class feminists: You always want to be taken off your patriarchal pedestal. Many black women have never had the chance to be on one. So don’t kick it out from under us if a black man wants to place it there. It might seem like a strange way to you to approach female empowerment, but as usual you are demonstrating that you don’t understand our story.

I invite all our Madame Noire readers to head over to Jezebel and let them know what you think of their take on Izrael’s wonderful show of support of black women. As divisive as my essay is, it is my sincere hope that frankly telling this audience how we feel will knock them off their high horse/soap box. It’s only fair if they want to take our pedestal of protection away.

For all the women of the world — regardless of race — who understand and empathize with the tender issues between black men and women that Amber Cole is forcing us to recognize, I truly appreciate your unique perspective.


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