Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Where Protection is Subjective


Hello everyone. The Unleashed One here. I had another post in mind, but I woke up feeling weighted. As I write this, I'm unsure of how, when, or even why this came to the surface. I do hope that by the end of this, I'll feel lighter ... or start to have clarity on why this bubbled up in the first place.

I am conflicted when it comes to the phrase "Protect Black Women". It's as if the phrase is everywhere and on the lips of everyone.

It presents as something an individual is supposed to say in order to give the appearance of care. It's a catchphrase designed to trend and to produce a certain level of popularity to those who yield it.

I am not saying I don't agree with the sentiment, just the inconsistencies with the energy and the frequency of the intention.

If we are to be truthful, Protect Black Women comes with conditions ... conditions that are impossible to meet unless you're unflawed.

Keep in mind that this is from my experiences and observations.

As most of you know, there was a period of time when I was bullied. What I did not go into detail about was the first time I remember being bullied.

It was by my own cousin and her friends.

No other black girls stepped in to stop them.

No black boys interjected.

Only the bus driver and a white boy.

A sea of faces (various shades of brown) pointed and laughed at me while I sat there: my face mirroring a makeup tutorial gone wrong.

According to their words during the encounter ... they were trying to improve my look.

They thought my own natural appearance was ugly.

When the bullying was happening in plain sight, there was no protection of me: a black girl blossoming into a black woman.

The majority of the fights I had to get into were with distant cousins. By "had to", I mean that I had tried ignoring them and walking away from them, but that wasn't solving the problem; I felt that fighting back was my last resort.

Black girls.

No protection.

Just people chanting as if it were a UFC fight or wrestling (before it became more like staged entertainment).

The fights only lasted mere seconds. I don't remember too much of what happened because my adrenaline and rage made me black out and unleash a side of me I'm not proud of. All I know is that I was the victor and they never messed with me again.

I was too dark.
I was ugly.
I was fat.

The community demonstrated through their words and actions that I was not worthy of treasuring. My uniqueness was not worthy of celebration.

I was not good enough to be "protected at all costs".

In my experience, when a perpetrator inflicts pain and suffering, the memory is short, selective, or both. To those on the receiving end, it's long and unedited.

Source of photo: Time

The whole Tory Lanez trial further emphasized that "Protect Black Women" is only for certain women.

If Megan Thee Stallion was not so overt in her sexuality and her antics, I predict she would have been handled differently.

She initially covered the incident up to protect him. Our teachings to "protect black men at all costs" caused her to put her own pain, discomfort, and embarrassment on the back burner to make sure nothing happened to him.

How did he repay her? By spinning this narrative that nothing happened to her. In my opinion, Tory put himself in the situation with his stupidity.

As far as Megan not being truthful about sleeping with him, um ... I wouldn't have been upfront with sleeping with him either. That angry munchkin isn't exactly a brag. 

Even with that (and everyone else was lying also), does her not being upfront with their situationship take away from the fact that she got shot? Does that lie contradict the evidence? Personally, I don't think so. 

Yet, everyone dragged her, although he was the one on trial. 

Even thinking about the Shanquella situation pisses me off. She was around people she believed were her friends. All black people. No one protected her as she was getting beat up. They didn't value her friendship or her life.

There is so much spotlight on how white people have oppressed us. That conversation is important and will always be important.

But when are we really going to have the discussion about how we oppress ourselves?

When are we going to speak about how messed up we are, as a people, and as a community?

When are we going to be honest that colorism and texurism are always going to be a debate?

We are experts at talking about what's wrong but don't have pots to piss in when it comes to solutions. That is what makes me throw up my hands and shake my head. It's the whole short-sighted, playing into the system that separates us, crabs in a barrel mentality for me.

My unpleasant experiences with my own people have made me more distrustful of them than others. Not just in my childhood but in my relationships (both platonic and romantic).

I don't know if there will ever be enough positive experiences to heal that pain.

It sucks to have this toxic relationship with my people. Like, I love ya'll, but you make me want to step back.

To treat you like who I'd want for a few hours at the picnic but not at the cookout.

To treat you like the Starbucks establishment I'd never go to unless I had a gift card instead of the coffee I like to savor at my home on a daily basis.

I wish you loved me back then, even now, like I love you.

All I can do is put it in the Universe's hands. Pray that there is a devoted path to our community's healing. We keep doing the same thing and getting nowhere.

To be honest, I'm tired of the insanity.

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