Self hate are two words which have plagued and continue to plague the Black community. In the last forty years the world has witnessed a Black first family in the White House, the ‘Black is beautiful’ slogans of the 70’s and Black artists filmmakers, CEOs hold positions of prominence. For all of this progress, the greatest enemy within the Black community is the self loathing that we have for ourselves and for others who share a similar hue. Skin lightening products are a booming trade, where people are prepared to put mercury on their bare skin. On both sides of the Atlantic, young Black men killing each other at a higher rate than any other racial group. To add insult to injury there is a new wave of Black entertainers who believe that it is acceptable to make derogatory remarks about their race with impunity.
The lack of self love is the negative emotional legacy of slavery and colonialism. Dividing the Black community was a deliberate strategy to control and manipulate. It is hard to stomach that several hundreds of years later that we have Black celebrities who are only too happy to spread this toxic bile to their own people. I read reports where rapper Lil Wayne was bemoaning the fact that his eldest daughter was dark skinned (source Bougie Black Girl.com) and his protégé Niki Minaj referred to other Black women as ‘nappy headed hoes’. In the Britney Spears remix of ‘Till the World Ends’ she goes on to say:
Chimpanzee’s is hatin’ but I take it all in stride
Put her in a jungle with bananas on the side
I honestly cannot believe that a Black woman would say such a thing, let alone put it on a record. My worry is that artists of this ilk have the platform to spread these self defeating thoughts to young Black men and women worldwide, who readily absorb these messages. It is important to analyse the information we are being fed and who is providing that information. Lil Wayne public persona is that of a bumbling, incoherent, baby making fool. He is a walking talking stereotype of the black buffoon. His image encourages young black men to be ignorant and irresponsible. Then we have his protégé Ms Minaj, a woman so desperate to adopt a White version of beauty that her hero is a Barbie doll. Her message is clear, in order for Black women to be accepted we have to renounce any trace of authenticity and embrace the old nonsense Black beauty and women are less than their White counterparts.
We have a generation of young Black people who have turned their backs on the education system. It is undeniable that the system is riddled with institutional racism, which dampens the enthusiasm to learn however the biggest threat is an accepted anti intelligentsia within the Black community. I deeply resent the implication that being poor and uneducated is the natural condition for all Black people. I think that rappers such as Lil Wayne and co are extremely dangerous because they endorse this message. They promote stagnation at the expense of progression. I don’t believe for a second that Lil Wayne is an idiot. He runs a label, manages the careers of several other artists/staff and has to oversee the legal requirements of his business. An idiot, no matter how well advised cannot do all of this successfully. Therefore all I can deduce is that this shrewd businessman knows exactly what he is doing.
None of us are immune from the effects of White patriarchy, my parents occasionally remind me of the time when aged four how I cried that I didn’t have blue eyes and long hair. I doubt that my school friend with blue eyes cried that I had brown eyes. We may not all be immune but some within the Black community are active collaborators. Our society has norms some subtle, some overt which is understood by all. Every Black entertainer who acts the buffoon, who insults Black women, promotes lighter skin tone as the only acceptable form of beauty,glorifies poverty and illegality is upholding White patriarchy. They are selling a vision of Black mediocrity to those who want Black people to remain at the bottom of the economic ladder and to Black people who take twisted comfort in never attempting to progress. These people are not selling entertainment; they are draining the youth of their aspirations, convincing them that they will always be less than. These ‘entertainers’ are not promoting ‘Black Pride’ they are force feeding their community ‘Black Fatalism’.
In order to fund my creative ambitions I often have to dip my toe in the corporate world. I have met various captains of industry all from different backgrounds. The one thing that they all have in common is an unwavering sense of self belief. Self esteem is the foundation of personal advancement and happiness. It is what spurs you on when your teachers tell you that you won’t amount to anything, it provides the discernment to allow and remove certain people from your life, it gives you the courage to pursue your dreams and the wisdom to know when to quit. Without self esteem you lack the skills to navigate your life in a positive way.
I don’t think that it is coincidence that the Black community has the highest level of Black on Black violence on both sides of the Atlantic. In the US Blacks are only 13% of the population but 40% of murder victims (Source: American Thinker.com) In 1998 Operation Trident was launched, a Metropolitan Police Unit dealing specifically with UK Black gun crime. No other race has a police unit charged with looking at crime in their own community in the United Kingdom. This is the most vicious form of self hate where scores of young Black men believe that their lives count for nothing, extend that sense of worthlessness to whoever shares their skin colour.
Institutional racism is a reality, a reality that we need to strengthen the next generation to fight against. if as a community we are not encouraged to adopt responsibility and fight for opportunities, stagnation is the inevitable outcome. We have political leaders who revel in Civil Rights past glories yet offer no direction with the self hate within the Black community. We rush out to financially support Black entertainers who mock their own people, peddling the idea that Black is synonymous with a lack of education and personal advancement. Make no mistake our so called leaders and entertainers know exactly what they are doing. Our continued victimhood keeps these leaders and entertainers very rich at our expense.
I honestly could not care less about these public figures that are only too happy to sell their communities down the river. I just recognise how important self esteem is to have a contented life. I want any future son that I may have to believe that the world his oyster and that he could be anything that he chooses. I would wish the same for any future daughter, and that she would know that she is beautiful, special and unique. It’s important that we protect our children from this self hating bile that often comes from other Black people. In order for the Black community to prosper and grow we must turn out backs and close our wallets to those who happily betray their own people for financial gain.
Please let me know your thoughts