Why do we hate Black Women so much?
By: Hadji Williams

Somewhere between the 24/7/365 coverage of white women like Laci Peterson, Martha Stewart, and shows like BET’s UN:CUT something dawned on me: We hate black women. We hate black women so much that when someone kills a black woman it barely makes the local news, nevermind the national news. We hate black women so much that if a black woman goes missing, we never look for them. (They’re called “Amber Alerts” and “Megan’s Law” and not “Lakeesha Alerts” or “Shanita’s Law” for a reason.) In fact, the only time we ever look for black women is when we’re casting for strippers, babymammas, hoes, bitches, cockteasing gold-diggers, magical-negro-enabler-for-their-white-friends, attitude-filled caricatures. And even then, that black woman had better not be too “dark” or too “thick” or her big black butt won’t be working too much.

We hate black women so much that we refuse to even get outraged over the fact that 50% of all new AIDS cases in America are among Black women. We hate black women so much that when they get pregnant, we blame them, as if they all made withdrawals from the local sperm bank. We hate black women so much that we rationalize slurs like “bitch” and “ho” at almost every opportunity. We hate black women so much that when it comes to beauty standards, the feminist movements, women’s rights and health, we still subjugate Black Women to the perspectives and paradigms of White Women and gay white men (and to an increasing degree Hispanic Women)… Yep, we truly hate black women.

Now when I say “we,” of course I mean White America—the only black women they seem to even acknowledge are: Oprah, Condoleeza Rice, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Star Jones, Whoopi Goldberg, Maya Angelou, and Robin Quivers (Howard Stern’s sidekick). But when I say “we” I also mean the hip-hop community, Black men and Black America at large. Whether we like it or not, WE may well be among the biggest Black Women haters of all.

Just look at our actions:

We’re the ones who ignore/defend the misogyny in our own communities. We’re the ones who’ve been covering up the endless domestic abuse and the man-sharing/random sex partners for generations. (I wouldn’t be surprised if our hatred of black women has factored into the AIDS epidemic. After all, it’s just Black Women catching it, so who cares about increasing treatment and changing behavior, right?) We’re the ones who accept leaving black women alone to raise the kids that we helped them create. We’re the ones who defend treating black women like products and sex objects in the videos and on the street corners of our communities. We’re the ones who defend interracial relationships as being the product of black women driving black men to women outside the community. We’re the ones who chase all the standards of womanhood that the larger society says we should.

I think we accept and defend the misogyny in hip-hop because, on one level or another, we believe that black women (at least most of ‘em) deserve it. It’s just understood that when emcees talk about bitches and hoes, they’re talking about Black women as bitches and hoes. That’s why you don’t hear much outrage from mainstream women’s groups like N.O.W., Independent Women’s forum, etc. because they know this misogyny isn’t implicitly directed at white women—except maybe if Eminem says it. And of course he’s proven that he’s not above calling black women bitches and niggers every now and then. (In fact, looking back, I think the main reason so many of us forgave Eminem’s “black bitches/niggers” was because Eminem was only saying what most of us already think about Black Women.) And we accept the institution of pimping because it’s inherently built on degrading and commoditizing Black women; and of course, black women deserve what they get… right?

There’s so much hatred of black women, not only in America, but also in countless other countries around the world. You see it in the double standards for access to healthcare, representation in government and businesses, etc.… But mostly you see it in the way we treat Black women and in the way we allow others to treat and portray Black women. When you put all this together, the answer is simple: America, Black America and Hiphop included simply hates Black Women.

And personally, I’m sick and tired of waiting for white folks to stop it or to solve it. (As they’ve proven time and time again, they don’t do anything for black folks unless they can control it or profit from it, or unless they feel like they don’t have a choice.) Nope… My goal for 2005 and beyond is to finally get answers to two questions: (1) When are we as a community going to acknowledge this hatred? (2) What are we as individuals and as communities going to do to stop this hatred?

Hadji Williams is author of the new book, KNOCK THE HUSTLE: HOW TO SAVE YOUR JOB AND YOUR LIFE FROM CORPORATE AMERICA, hiphop’s first success guide for business, culture and life. Email him: author@knockthehustle.com and get free excerpts, order info, etc. at: http://www.knockthehustle.com

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