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 BETs 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. (Theyre called Amber Alerts and Megans Law and not Lakeesha Alerts or Shanitas Law for a reason.) In fact, the only time we ever look for black women is when were 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 wont 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, womens 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 Americathe 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 Sterns 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:
Were the ones who ignore/defend the misogyny in our own communities. Were the ones whove been covering up the endless domestic abuse and the man-sharing/random sex partners for generations. (I wouldnt be surprised if our hatred of black women has factored into the AIDS epidemic. After all, its just Black Women catching it, so who cares about increasing treatment and changing behavior, right?) Were the ones who accept leaving black women alone to raise the kids that we helped them create. Were the ones who defend treating black women like products and sex objects in the videos and on the street corners of our communities. Were the ones who defend interracial relationships as being the product of black women driving black men to women outside the community. Were 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. Its just understood that when emcees talk about bitches and hoes, theyre talking about Black women as bitches and hoes. Thats why you dont hear much outrage from mainstream womens groups like N.O.W., Independent Womens forum, etc. because they know this misogyny isnt implicitly directed at white womenexcept maybe if Eminem says it. And of course hes proven that hes 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 Eminems 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 its inherently built on degrading and commoditizing Black women; and of course, black women deserve what they get right?
Theres 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, Im sick and tired of waiting for white folks to stop it or to solve it. (As theyve proven time and time again, they dont do anything for black folks unless they can control it or profit from it, or unless they feel like they dont 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, hiphops first success guide for business, culture and life. Email him: email@example.com and get free excerpts, order info, etc. at: http://www.knockthehustle.com