Let’s Talk About It: Pro Black [A Response]

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Recently, I read an article by a fellow teen-blogger, Ella Cas. I’d been following Ella on Instagram for quite some and was happy to see that she had a nice blog that she’d created through Google’s Blogger feature. One post in particular stuck out to me. It’s entitled, “Let’s Talk: Pro Black.” After reading the post, I realized that Ella has a few things misunderstood. When tackling topics such as these, it is important to research and fully contextualize information before forming any kind of opinion and trying to relay information to a new audience. This post is not meant to belittle Ella, her blog or her over all persona/image. Seeing as though she ended the post with, “So, do you agree or disagree? Wanna enlighten me on some things or share opinions with another?”, I’ll take this time to properly disagree. I will insert the link to Ella’s post within this and you’re free to check out the post for yourself in it’s entirety. My main goal is to clear up the misunderstandings throughout the post. I’ll do so by separating each the post into sections and elaborating on each in my own words. The italics and sections labeled “EC” are Ella’s responses. The sections labeled “Mo”, are mine. Let’s begin.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t intend to be disrespectful in any way to Ella and her blog. She has a great blog and I hope she goes far with it and her many other endeavors. However, I do feel as though I needed to speak on different points she made throughout her article.

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EC: I posted on my Tumblr some time ago “Black Pride Is NOT White Hate.” Why did I say that? Because so many people are making it to be that way. This is my first issue with this sudden pride everyone has gained overnight. I see my men & women of color bashing others races or saying how superior African American’s are compared to others because of what we went through and because of their ancestors and what have you.

Mo: Ella is right when she says Black Pride is NOT White Hate. Being Pro-Black does not mean Anti-White. Now, while I don’t necessarily “condone” the alleged “bashing” of other races, I do understand where it stems from. Africa is truly the motherland- the beginning of everything as it is. Everything stems from Africa. There were Africans in every region of the world prior to the diaspora. African/Black Supremacy is unlike White Supremacy in that it centers itself deep within the uplifting of the black race and is based only on the fact that Blacks are genetically and intellectually superior. When people (specifically “black americans”) find this out, and realize that they have been taught otherwise, it can be understandably upsetting for many people. If you aren’t aware of the black race’s superiority, many of your opinions may be extremely misguided and unsupported.

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EC:

1. Most of you hated African American History in school.

2. A lot of you know nothing of what actually happened back then, yet you’re so furious., 

3. You just started shouting ‘Black Pride’ because the Black Lives Matter hashtag looked cool and got you followers on social media.

Mo:

1. This is a heavy generalization. Especially when African American History is not offered in many places. Also, after speaking with my friends who have actually had different African American History classes, they were all able to agree that learning “in-depth” about slavery and the childhood of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks doesn’t appease the black students who know that there is more to learn. There are no lessons on Marcus Garvey, Mansa Musa, Assata Shakur, and so many more influential figures. This “hatred” of African American History comes from the repetitive story telling approach that the American school system has adopted when it comes to African American History. You are SO right when you say we hated African American History in school. I myself was fed up with “learning” about the civil rights each and every year. I knew that there had to be so much more. Outside of school, specifically in my day to day life, I found that the African American studies knowledge that I acquired was essential to what I deemed necessary to my personal growth.

2. This line in particular was confusing. Believe me, they’re mad for a reason. We have all seen those people on Instagram & Twitter ranting and talking about things they clearly know nothing about. However, it is better if we educate them, correct them or simply be quiet. You can not invalidate anyone’s anger because it doesn’t make sense it you. They have no obligation to be on one accord with you and what you deem as a sufficient reason to be angry.

3. The #BlackLivesMatter hashtag isn’t “cool”. When the events occurred in Ferguson and Baltimore, #BlackLivesMatter was one of a few hashtags that provided us with an unsolicited view of what was happening. More importantly, it was in real time.CNN was selective (racist) in choosing which images they placed on air. Sharing these images sparked a fire within so many social media users. Also, realize that because of the lack of truth in history courses, many people, specifically black people, don’t know, what they don’t know. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the things that are currently occurring are increasingly infuriating. Sometimes, it takes a massive injustice (that’s heavily publicized) to wake some people up. The fact remains that they are able to comprehend the deaths and the eerie correlations even if they aren’t able to acknowledge the historical relevancy. This claim was unsupported.

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EC: “………However, a lot of people are doing this for trend and it sickens me. Not only because I feel like you’re making a mockery of those who are actually serious about this prideful movement, but also because people are going about it in the wrong manner. 

Mo:  Why are you so sickened? There are vigilantes, outliers and misunderstood participants in EVERY movement. I can’t deny that there are some people who are following #BlackLivesMatter and claiming to be “Pro-Black” but really don’t know what all either of those movements and ultimately, these lifestyles entail. What is the correct manner for people to conduct themselves in? Who are you to dictate the manner in which some goes about expressing themselves? If the people who you say are “serious” about the movement aren’t concerned about these extras, why are you?

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EC: Bashing others (more so Caucasians individuals) because they admire our culture and our body and our hair. Saying they’re trying to copy us or steal from us. Baby, no one can steal you and who you are. Granted, some have done things out of inspirations of African American’s and with that have tried to bash us however that’s them and they are ignorant and to be ignored. I know I surely will not get mad enough to arguing with someone because I inspired them and they admire my looks. I’m not saying join hands and sing praises together but instead of being mad, why not be proud? Because there was indeed a time that we were ridiculed for our looks, and now we are darn near praised for them. Just something to think about.”

Mo: “Baby, no one can steal you and who you are.”… Really? For real? No. Cultural Appropriation & Appreciation IS NOT THE SAME. It seems as though you would rather disregard what’s happening instead of trying to understand the anger of others. What we argue about and go to war for on social media is not an admiration of culture. Michael Jackson (pictured below) is showing appreciation. Kylie Jenner’s actions are the epitome of cultural appropriation. Admiration and blind lust are synonymous with ignorance and disrespect, NOT appreciation. There are people who take this issue to be a serious one because they understand the deeper implications. This is a very problematic statement. When it comes to other people’s cultures, you have to be extremely careful. Some things are really sacred and important to other cultures, so you have to be aware, politically, about these things before you just adopt them. In order to truly appreciate something, you have to truly know about it. You don’t just wear something just to wear it—you have to understand the history behind it. Again, there are people who see the true meaning of these topics and choose to attack the surface levels while others work on the roots. They are in fact copying and stealing from a very rich culture created and cultivated by Black people everywhere. We are still ridiculed for our looks. Black women are still demonized for their natural features while women of lesser pigmentations pay for these features and are instantly placed on pedestals. There are black women who have been fired from their place of employment for wearing hairstyles that Elle and Vogue portray as new trends of 2015. Please realize this.

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EC: Secondly, White on Black Crime is nothing new. Yes, a lot of vicious things have begun to happen between the two very recently and frequently, I’ll give you that, but its not new. There were things happened for years, however now its making the news more and now everyone wants to raise their fist to the air? Because its a hot topic. So many had RIP Sean Bell, Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin in their bio, yet now so many of your memories have to be jogged in regards to who they were and why their names are important. Once again, this is applied to everyone but to those who it does apply to, you know who you are. How about instead of trying to just join the social media movement, you join the actual movement? Change your lifestyle, better yourselves. Stop supporting Black on Black Crimes, because yes whether you know it or not, it is a thing and many unknowingly support it. You cannot pick the straw out of your brothers eye without removing the rafter out of your own. Fix yourself first before you try and bash others for doing to you what they see you doing to you. I’m not justifying any violent behavior in or out of your own race, I’m simply making statements and sharing my own opinions. 

Mo: “White On Black Crime is nothing new.” CRIME is nothing new. It is indeed a very hot topic and many more are becoming angry by the second. Not many people can relate or sympathize with the Emmett Till story but so many people can definitely relate to Sandra Bland and Trayvon Martin. The Black on Black Crime argument has to die. My issue with the ‘Black on Black’ argument is HOW and WHEN it is used. Black on Black crime is never discussed in the context of empowering the black community. Those who use it do so in an attempt to minimize or justify the impact of police brutality that plagues us on a daily basis. The statements are always “But what about Black on Black crime….”, never “Let’s find ways to minimize the amount of crime that occurs within black communities.” As I said in another post, Black on Black crime is a term within our lexicon that is simply in place to further demonize blacks. Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Sean Bell (Kendrick Lamar Johnson, Sam DuBois, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Rekia Boyd, and Aiyana Jones just to name a FEW more) are not forgotten.The list just keeps growing! When we say “Black on Black Crime is a myth”, we are not saying that it’s not happening- we’re saying that the way it’s being portrayed in the media and discussed is mythical. Blacks don’t attack other blacks because of skin color. Blacks don’t get away with crime in the same way the police officers do. There is a genocide of black people occurring. Sadly, in a sense, many people are becoming desensitized to these occurrences. They are happening so frequently that the list is rapidly growing and keeping track has become a tedious, gut-wrenching task. So, my questions for Ella are Which movement are you apart of? Since Black on Black crime is MORE important to you than police brutality & the lack of a true justice system, what are you doing to fix it? They should be of equal importance with you realizing the difference the two: a lack of justice. I don’t understand your issue with the new wave of activism. There were definitely people in the civil rights movement before who weren’t as involved or enlightened as others.

Again, let me be clear when I say that by no means am I attacking the writer of the post but the arguments presented within it are invalid. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions (duh). Everyone should also do themselves a favor and read up on a few topics to see how we got to this point. If I misunderstood any of your points, please let me know.

Overall, I believe Ella wrote this post without knowledge of many underlying occurrences.

Here’s a link to Ella’s Blog Post:

http://ellagottea.blogspot.com/2015/09/lets-talk-pro-black.html 

Related Posts:

Let’s Talk About It: My Culture Is Not Couture

Black On Black Crime Is A Myth

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