From What About Our Daughters?: What Chanequa Campbell Did Wrong at Harvard- How She Can Fix Things Now
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Issues like this worry me more and more every day. Over the past couple of years, now that I'm paying more attention, it's becoming clearer that Black women don't mean shit to anyone, sometimes not even ourselves. It makes me so sad to say this, but it seems like as far as the Black community is concerned, it's always the Black woman's fault. It was that girl's fault that R. Kelly is a pervert, it was Desiree Washington's fault that Mike Tyson raped her, it was the victim in the Dunbar Village rape case's fault that those boys savagely attacked her and her son, it's Chanequa Campbell's fault that some guy she knew killed another guy she knew, the list goes on and on.
I know that I'm generalizing. I bet that this happens in the white community, too. Women are always blamed for society's ills. But Blacks are a much smaller portion of this country, and it feels like we need to stick together more. When I look at all of the incidents...I just wonder when is it my turn. Actually, now that I think about it, I already may have gotten my turn.
See, last September when a mandatory evacuation was ordered in anticipation of Hurricane Gustav's impending arrival, I had no where to go and no way to do it (I can't drive. Still.). So I asked Smokey (formerly The FOC), who was my closest friend here and a coworker, if I could go with her wherever she decided to go. She said that she'd let me know whether whoever her and her husband were staying with would have room for me. This was the Thursday before Gustav hit on Monday, Sept. 1st. About an hour later, I get a call from her husband, who I'm not really friends with because he's always in a pissy mood, from her phone. Pissy tells me that his brother, Asshole, is on the line, and that he and Smokey have decided to go Asshole and wife's apartment in Baton Rouge to stay, and that he was sending Smokey away the next day, Friday. Three days before the hurricane would be here. But first they wanted to talk to me about something.
You see, I had a friend staying with me at the time, who we'll call Chicago White. He was evacuating back to Chicago, so there was no reason for him to be brought up other than the fact that over a year before this conversation, Chicago White and Asshole had fought over something stupid. According to both sides, the other had tried to kill them. Subconsciously, I think the fight was about Chicago White being white and going with a Black girl (me), and Asshole being jealous, and Chicago White doing that thing that white men do and being afraid of big Black guys like Asshole. Yeah, that kind of stupid. Anyway, Asshole wasn't aware that I was still friends with Chicago White (he, of course, learned this from Pissy), and asked me to choose between my friendship with Chicago White and GIVING ME SHELTER FROM A HURRICANE THAT COULD KILL ME. This is why his alias on this blog is Asshole. I should post his full fucking name, but I won't.
I chose my friendship, because if nothing else, I'm extremely loyal to people who I feel are my friends (and I never considered Asshole more than an acquaintance). So there it was. These people were the only people who I knew well enough to ask for help, and I was on my own with no escape from New Orleans because of a year and a half ago fight that did not directly involve me. The Black woman's fault. Asshole, a Black man, couldn't take that shit out on the White man who he was mad at, so he took it out on me. And I think that this is an overall problem in the Black community. Black men are so beaten down and demonized by everyone else, that the only ones who they can take it out on who no one will care about are Black women.
I ended up getting a ride from another of few friends, and stayed in a hotel in the Mississippi Delta. I didn't even hear from Smokey until she needed me to do something for her. Her excuse was that she didn't know what to do, so she just did what her husband told her to. I find it interesting that the most opinionated, strong-seeming women tend to be completely useless in emergency situations.
I spent a year and a half while I was working with The Organization feeling completely alone and being told that it was my fault because I wasn't close enough to Smokey. I should have left after the Gustav incident, but I stayed until the bitter end, to which you can read my badly written and probably confusing reaction in my very first post. I think I'm a masochist sometimes, the way that I let people treat me like a doormat, but I see myself growing out of it now. I'd rather people think I'm a bitch than feel the way I felt sitting in that hotel room watching Gustav footage on CNN. Feeling like Baton Rouge getting the eye of the storm was karmic justice for them, but also praying that no one got hurt and trying to call people to see if they were all okay.
I intended for this post to be my brief thoughts on the subject, and I kind of realized as I was writing that I had experienced this phenomenon myself. I do feel much better now getting this off of my chest, but I think I won't feel completely over it until I spend more time with other people in this city, or in California, which is probably my next destination. The most I've talked about this is with Smokey, who has since apologized, and her father-in-law (and Asshole and Pissy's father), who in a few short years has become the closes thing to a father that I know, apparently cussed them all out over leaving me behind. The problem is I WANT TO CUSS THEM OUT, still, but...I guess it feels better to have friends who I'm angry with than to be all alone in this big city.