So initially it took me a while to figure out what I was going to write about. It’s tough to find something insightful when you’re preaching to the choir. Then I remembered an interesting thing I learned in my race, ethnicity, communication class with Dr. Underwood–phenomenal class btw. Here it is.
In the Combahee River Collective, Smith acknowledges their struggle with black men regarding solidarity. In my other class we talked about the Prison Industrial Complex and mentioned the question of, “Where have all the black men gone?” Well clearly they haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. They’ve just been put in a cage and the key has been thrown away. 1 in 4 black men are arrested every day. In Chicago black men are more likely to go to prison than to college. Sorry to digress.. The article we read last semester talked about a silence from black women when this issue was brought up. (internalized oppression anyone?) Either the women are in denial of they have just come to accept it. This is unfortunate and counterintuitive to the movement of black freedom. While I can sympathize with these women, to me silence is surrender. So the only solution I can think of is to keep talking. Always. Which is a common theme in our brainstorming for solutions to “end” racism, but it cannot be stressed enough.
Okay side note LOL when I was back in my hometown, (ugh) —brownsville, tx— I don’t remember how, but I sprung up a conversation about racism with my boyfriend and personal trainer during our workout. Of course he said that he didn’t wanna talk about such a touchy subject but I assured him there was no way I’d be offended and that this was why we should definitely have this talk :-). In the end he kept saying, ”It’s a dog eat dog world.” He was asking me what he thought I could do about it. Why talk about it, if there’s nothing you can do? WELL, as I huffed and puffed, I gave him my two cents..or I yakked his ear off but anyhow I stressed the dire need for dialogue about racism to continue happening ESPECIALLY since it’s such a “touchy” subject. Conversations lead to chatrooms, from chatrooms to books, and so on. And do you know what he said? What is a book gonna do. WELL my bf proceeded to tell him that Uncle Tom’s Cabin ended slavery. (not truly but it made a huge impact!) So I concur, talking to people about uncomfortable issues is essential to making any moves forward in the black empowerment movement. Like someone said in class, this is a fight. So don’t think it’s going to come easy. Silence speaks louder than words and in this case that is not what we want. so be FREAKING LOUD.