First, I don’t like using the word “victim”. It implies that one is helpless to a particular situation or circumstance, and there is nothing that can be done about it. With regards to the black community, I don’t think the word victim applies, however the black community, as well as society as a whole, tend to use it when referring to our black men.
Black men seem to be victims of the Justice System. Victims of institutional racism. Victims, some might add, of BLACK WOMEN!
I participated in a discussion started by Roland S. Martin on twitter regarding the state of the black community where one of the guests on his great radio show stated that 70 percent of households headed by women is a statistic that raises grave concerns about whether the black community can build wealth. Women already make .77 for every dollar a man makes and the opportunities for advancement in business is often difficult.
I don’t necessarily disagree with that premise, however I have a problem with the way the statement was phrased, and the way the resulting question from Mr. Martin was phrased. He asked his listeners/followers: “Is the black community hurting itself financially by having 70 percent of households headed by single women?”
While I’m sure Mr. Martin wasn’t laying the onus on single black women, the way the question was phrased implies, once again, that something is wrong with women who run households.
Black women are stereotypically seen as angry, baby-producing, weave-wearing. twerking drains on society. We are seen as the “welfare queens”. These things, on a large scale, simply aren’t true. Are there black women who fit this stereotype? Of course there are, just as there are white women, Hispanic women, and others who fit it as well. Black women, however, seem to be given that title more often than not.
Reality shows that black women are graduating from college, starting businesses, and even VOTING at a higher rate than our male counterparts. Why can’t we get THOSE titles? Why can’t we be acknowledged for the accomplishments and strides we have made in society?
There have been studies done on why black women are single, citing one reason is simply we WANT to be.
We have been, are, and probably will forever be, the backbone of our community, and yet like Rodney Dangerfield, we get very little respect.
I say stop with the propaganda and the phrasing that depicts Black Women in a negative light. We are, have been, and will forever be, productive members of this society. Treat us that way.
Leslie Wimes is the founder of Women on the Move. You can listen to her and Me and My 1000 Girlfriends, that’s Who! founder, Kathy Scott, every Wednesday evening on the Women on the Move radio program at 7pm ET. Find her on Twitter @WomenOnTheMove1 or on her website at www.mywomenenonthemove.com