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Monday, January 25, 2016

No, I'm not going to let it go. . .Black women and forgiveness


Being a black woman, to society, seems to mean that we have to forgive all the atrocities that happen against us. Not only do we have to forgive, but we need to forget and let it go. 
No more. 
Forgiving is one thing, but when you forget what happens to you, you're giving permission for it to happen again.

You're rewarding bad behavior and not teaching people a lesson on how they should treat you. If you've read comments on stories about black women who are victims of crimes, you'll see that the victim is blamed for what happened to her. 

But let's be clear, there is a war on black women. And sadly, black men are participating in it. 
Janese Talton-Jackson, 29, was shot and killed Friday morning in Homewood, Pittsburgh after leaving a bar, and the suspect is now in custody after being shot by police.
This isn't the first time this has happened and the hashtag: #youoksis has come under fire when women talk about street harassment. But the problem with this is people think black women should look forward to men catcalling them as they walk to work, to the store or go on their daily routine.

And last week, a Harlem man forced the mother of his children to walk outside naked and pose by trash because he said she cheated.  
Jason Melo, 24, beat and choked his 22-year-old girlfriend in their W. 142nd St. apartment in front of her 2-month-old daughter before forcing the woman into the cold for the medieval-style degradation, cop sources said. 
The brute punched the victim in the face and crotch and threatened to kill her if she didn’t disrobe, put on a towel and leave the apartment, sources told the Daily News.
Video of the Sunday morning incident, as the temperature hovered in the 30s, shows the woman wrapped in the towel being filmed by a man speaking Spanish who derides her as a “b---h” and “a thot” (an acronym standing for "that ho over there").
The man says he’d caught her talking to “seven other men.”
But he said he was sorry. Insert eye roll.

And when Black women try to uplift themselves on social media or in the community period, we are met with scorn and a bunch of bullshit. Take #Blackgirlmagic for instance.
Dr. Linda Chavers wrote an editorial piece for Elle Magazine (cause we know how Elle celebrates black women and Dr. Chavers is black by the way) denouncing Black Girl Magic.
Honestly, Lord only knows how this is going to play out. I had already written the piece, and I'd pitched to Elle before. I've pitched that piece to other places. I'm not a full time writer. I write small pieces as a freelancer to pay my bills. I'm being very honest here. I don't make shit up. I don't do crap for crap's sake, but that's why I do what I do. I'm trying to write a memoir and I'm a freelance writer and I need to write. I honestly had not followed the controversy about Elle with the hairstyle thing. I know of the controversy overall and I agree with the criticism, like, oh, Black people, we've been doing for decades and a white woman who does it, it's oh my God, it's so cute. It's been going on for a long ass time and it's not specific to Elle. It's not. It's been going on since I was 9 years old. Frankly, if you ask me why Elle? It's because in terms of what I'm being criticized for. What I'm being criticized for has been going on for longer than I was alive and it's not specific to Elle.
It's as if we're damned if we do, damned if we don't. When I look at the black mothers who've lost their children --sons and daughters -- at the hands of violence, whether it's police, domestic terrorists or neighborhood violence, I'm always pissed that people expect them to forgive the killer less than hours after experiencing the worst pain in their lives. Black women can't be angry, even in situations where anger is a natural reaction.
Because if we show anger, then we are the angry black woman and everything that we say is illogical and unfounded.
My mom told me once that the reason why people don’t think big Black girls like us feel is not just because they don’t see us as human, but because we make resilience look so easy. It goes back to this idea of the strong black woman trope that we can bear pain and wear resilience like a lightweight jacket. That underhanded dehumanization shows how easy it is to disregard the emotional and political labor Black women dedicate to just surviving, yet alone doing organizational work.
We don't have to let it go. We don't have to forgive and we don't have to hold back our anger. And anyone who doesn't like, they need to let it go. They need to move on or learn from our dismay.