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The Conspiracy to Destroy Black Women
By Michael Porter
African American ImagesCopyright © 2001 Michael Porter
All rights reserved.
WHEN LOVE HURTS: SPOUSE ABUSE AND SEXUAL MOLESTATION
While working as a child and family therapist, I had the opportunity to help many families deal with issues of domestic violence — verbal and physical abuse of the female spouse and sexual molestation of the children. In my practice I've found that insecurities, the use of control, fear to assure loyalty, and the displacement of anger were the reasons men battered their wives. Morally unrestrained, lustful perversion was the primary dynamic in the molestation of female children. Ironically, these dynamics are also active in the patriarchal White male supremacist power structure. Consequently, American society does not embrace trusting, patient, secure male-female relationships.
Insecurity, control, and anger displacement arise when White men experience job loss, financial setbacks, diminished social status, or sexual impotence. Feelings of love for the wife are selfishly based on the husband's material status and his view of adequate sexual functioning (which is not necessarily the wife's view). If the husband is financially satisfied, then he is able to "love" his wife; if not, he cannot be satisfied or love his wife. Quite often, when the husband has no money, the woman is wrongfully accused of acting differently. Thus, the husband's feelings of insecurity gradually move toward displacement of anger. A man believes that if he loses his money, he'll lose control or influence over his wife. The dangerous logic is that women can be purchased and that if all else fails (meaning the husband's control), physical violence will set things right. So the wife is physically beaten. Remember, this same logic is inherent in the White male supremacist power structure: If all else fails, kill or injure the opponent.
Let's now examine some of the spouse abuse dynamics that exist within many African American men. Unfortunately, many African American men are very familiar with issues of unemployment and underemployment; therefore, job loss is not always an issue in African American men abusing their wives. Some miseducated African American men who consider themselves "players" are sexually active with both their wives and a girlfriend. Several clients have stated that they can get sex from a woman even if they don't have a penny in their pockets. Such logic points to a dynamic that is different from White males.
The dynamic existing among too many African American men (many of our boys too) is what I call the charisma factor: The belief that charm, attitude, and persuasive speech compel women to desire their company. From my experience, some African American men become physically abusive of their spouse when they feel they no longer possess the charisma factor. The charisma factor is very fragile! The following female behaviors and actions can trigger extreme feelings of insecurity and rage in some African American men:
A perceived show of disrespect.
A change in dinner preparation routine.
A visit to her mother's home.
A visit to a female friend's house.
A smile from a former male school mate. Some men respond by slapping, punching, kicking, strangling, stabbing, cussing, or drawing a gun on their wives and girl friends.
The control dynamic has entered at this point. If charisma fails, then force must prevail. Of course, the wife is blamed for this destructive behavior (anger displacement). Let's examine a case in point.
The August/September 2000 issue of Heart & Soul magazine features a painfully revealing article entitled "Behind Closed Doors: Living a Life of Abuse." The article explains Lola's loving relationship with Kevin. As long as Lola was dependent upon Kevin (both are African American) the relationship went well, but after Lola enrolled in college, Kevin began to physically abuse her. It is my belief that Kevin felt threatened by Lola's desire to better herself in a way that he could not control, and he attempted to regain control through inflicting violence upon Lola. In sad and sick fashion, insecure African American men need someone to control; this need makes it impossible to have healthy, growth-oriented relationships with women. The article mentions research from the Emory University School of Medicine which states that half of African American women who have attempted to commit suicide reported being abused. Perhaps even scarier is the fact that, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, African American women, women living in urban areas, and women living in low-income households experience high rates of domestic violence.
African American men, as do African American women, live under a constant threat to our very humanity, and if there is no spiritual grounding or racial awareness — in an African-centered sense — pathologically destructive behaviors will result, as is seen in domestic violence. As relates to White men and women, they are (collectively speaking) superiority and materially based; spirituality is nonexistent or irrelevant in their scheme of things. Their existence is deemed worthy only if they believe themselves to be better than other humans and if they have accumulated large sums of money.
When a man physically or verbally abuses a woman, he is asserting his belief that the woman is inferior. Some men know that they may face harsh legal consequences for hitting their wives or girlfriends, but they cannot stop themselves. It is quite possible that some abusive men may develop sadistic traits; they may begin to enjoy abusing their mates. Again, we must acknowledge that sadistic behavior is woven into the fabric of the patriarchal White power structure. We are socialized to enjoy viewing violence and this enjoyment is, at times, transformed into a desire to actually do the violence. And who better to inflict violence against than a class of individuals society has deemed the weaker sex? If women don't raise hell, I don't see an end to spouse abuse. Victims must save themselves. Too many women put up with physical, emotional, and verbal abuse because they fear losing their husbands' salaries or being murdered by the husband. Some believe they don't deserve better. As a result, these women will remain quiet about their tormented lives until the signs of abuse become all too clear. These economic and psycho-emotional aspects of abuse must be thoroughly addressed in helping women to free themselves from all types of abuse. Let us now explore sexual abuse of female girls.
When men sexually molest female children they have given in to a base, morally unchecked desire to experience sex with someone they can conquer. The female child is a guinea pig for the male's lustful desires; he can enjoy the "newness" of the child, and he can do as he pleases with her and avoid any negative consequences (avoidance achieved through instilling fear into the child victim). He can have sex with someone who's pure, innocent, and controllable. Under patriarchal White supremacy, females are attacked shortly after leaving their mother's womb. This society only superficially advocates the teaching of moral discipline. The primary, motivating value is to do whatever feels good. Thus, we have what is essentially the rhetorical ethic that Marimba Ani explains in Yurugu: An African-Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior: There's no reason to feel guilty or ashamed about having your way with others, including children. Women, along with men of conscience, must protect their children at all cost. In a morally corrupt society in which sexual freedom really means doing whatever you want as long as you can get away with it, women must protect themselves and their daughters. Some young female victims of sexual abuse will survive, such as the multi-talented Oprah Winfrey, but many will battle the emotional and psychological turmoil the rest of their lives. The message, "open season on females is over," must be transmitted through example, not rhetoric. Everything from physically incapacitating the abuser to pushing for stronger punishment through legislation must be undertaken by women. Only then will this pathological behavior end.CHAPTER 2
BITCH, HOE, OR QUEEN? THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN RAP MUSIC AND VIDEOS
Only in a morally bankrupt society would one find popular, for- profit, generally accepted, and blatant exploitation of women in the media. Although such exploitation exists in television programs and Hollywood movies, it has become pervasive in rap videos and rap music. Before going further, understand a major point: Teenagers and young adults are the major audience for rap music and videos. They are being desensitized to exploitation while being conditioned to love and enjoy the exploitation of women without even knowing that this is being done to them! This is the perverted genius of the patriarchal White male supremacist power structure — people are programmed just like computers. The result is that this society has ten-year-old boys believing it's "cool" to call girls bitch, freak, skeezer, and hoe. Too many girls, and even some women, accept being called derogatory names. In her book Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman, Queen Latifah states:
I'm writing this book to let every woman know that she, too — no matter what her status or place in life — is royalty. This is particularly important for African American women to know inside and out, upside down, and right side up. For so long in this society, we have been given — and have allowed ourselves to take — the role of slave, concubine, mammy, second-class citizen, bitch, hoe. Many of us have been so hurt and so dogged out by society — and by men and by life — that we can't even wrap our brains around the notion that we deserve better, that we are queens.
It has been said that if you call a person a name long enough she or he will begin to believe it. Imagine if teenage males and females were conditioned and encouraged to address one another as queen and king, and to act like royalty! Women will claim their rightful place on this planet only when they begin to see themselves as sacred creations. Latifah states that women were created in "Her image." Unfortunately, the rap industry tends to shun positive messages put forth by such women as Sister Souljah and others because positive rap is a threat to the patriarchal White male power structure. The power structure understands the necessity of keeping us happy, violent, and lustful. Watching and listening to destructive lyrics serves this end. The victims of White supremacy must remain ignorant if the White supremacist is to remain in power. Sister Souljah, alone, scared the hell out of the White male power structure with her consciousness raising lyrics! Unfortunately, most rap music and videos that get air and television time portray females as lust-crazed, money-hungry worshipers of foul-mouthed male generated filth.
Popularity and wealth are promised to African American males (sadly, some female rap artists participate in the madness) who are willing to call women names and glorify doing all sorts of sadistic sexual acts to women. Put a funky beat to disrespectful lyrics and abracadabra! It's a chart busting hit! Too often the music industry, as well as other industries under the White male power structure, pimps women and girls. I believe that young girls watching rap videos develop two destructive beliefs: They begin to view themselves as unattractive if they don't resemble the half naked, made up, light skinned females with long hair in the videos; and they begin to believe that it's alright for boys and men to treat women like toys, especially if the boy or man has an expensive car and money — all she has to do is provide the sex. Under patriarchal White male supremacy, every act is driven by profits. Understand: Women and girls are the product of rap music and videos. The "bitch" is tied to money, the "hoe" is tied to money, the "freak" is tied to money, and the "bait" is tied to money. Several scenarios provide examples. A teenage male starches his most expensive jeans, buys the latest Jordans, and goes to a fine department store to purchase the latest Hilfiger shirt to match his jeans so that he can look "fresh" for the "bitches" or "them hoes." A well educated, professional male puts on his Brooks Brothers suit to go to a local hangout so that he can "score" with a female. I personally believe that men and boys seek women and girls that closely resemble those in rap videos — they desire the product. Women are not to be protected, loved, and respected, but are to be purchased and used.
Women must protest the blatant, wholesale exploitation of women. Women must critique the rap songs their children listen to. Women must monitor and boycott rap videos that exploit women. Women must protest rap concerts that feature violent, exploitative rap artists. Women must sponsor, purchase products, and otherwise support those female rap artists that are about liberation. Women must challenge the wickedly clever argument that these destructive videos and songs are "art." Women must challenge African American rap artists about exploiting their own people. The role of women in rap music and videos must be changed from negative to positive. I recommend that women call, write, and e-mail all stations that offend them. Second, involve the entire family and have your children and husband also express their dissatisfaction.CHAPTER 3
Single Black Female. It is well known that more than half of all African American households are headed by single women and/or grandmothers. Thank God for the grandmothers. The problems facing African Americans would be worse if it were not for grandmothers, elderly grandmothers, rearing their grandchildren or helping their daughters rear the children. Where are the Brothers/fathers? Let's examine several dynamics which seriously influence African American female-male relations. These dynamics have given rise to the existence of single African American motherhood.
Question: How is it that in some African and Asian countries, women and men marry, and remain married, to a virtual stranger who was chosen for them by their families? The answer is, because they live under a different value system. Even though the tenacles of White supremacy reach far and wide, some nonwhite cultures have been able to hold on to ancient, historical customs and values that predate colonialism and the European slave trade. I have several African friends who never met their wives until both families had decided on a particular woman. In America, we are "free" to date and marry the person of our choice, but most of our relationships fail! Something is seriously wrong, and that "something" is the value system developed by patriarchal White supremacy.
Our "freedom" to choose a mate is not true freedom because we live within an alien society and its destructive belief system. Jawanza Kunjufu has stated that we choose our clothes and cars better than we choose our mates. The Brother is correct. Under patriarchal White supremacy, we are conditioned to like someone who makes us "feel good." An examination of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors is, if done at all, only superficial. And men have it worst of all. Under this wicked value system, men are conditioned to "love" women based on facial "beauty," hair, breasts, behinds, legs, thighs, and women's willingness to let men enjoy these "assets." This is extreme perversion, and is, therefore, illogical. It really makes no damn sense! It is common to hear a man say, in response to being questioned about his love for a woman, that, "I love the way she looks and the way she makes me feel." Lust is often mistaken for love. Under patriarchal White supremacy, most healthy values are turned upside down and the people become confused as a result. These values are not even working for White families, and they have a built-in safety net under patriarchal White supremacy.
Excerpted from The Conspiracy to Destroy Black Women by Michael Porter. Copyright © 2001 Michael Porter. Excerpted by permission of African American Images.
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