Last week we talked about the War on Poverty and it’s role in the Destruction of the black family. What this war did was remove the black workforce and since at the time most of the workers where male, it removed the black male from the workforce. From that the government began to replace the black male as the provider in the black household. Remember these are all overviews of what happened from the black family perspective, it is also important to remember that we are discussing most of these in terms of there impact on a psychological level. It’s time for the next war which is:
I went a little deeper then I wanted to in that last one but there was just so much to cover. You can relax the next 4 won’t be quite as in depth. When you look at the War on poverty it sets the stage in my mind for the war on black men. Some say it was the start of the war on black men and that point can’t be argued because a lot of the policies set during the war on poverty directly deal with providing for the family. This isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but it becomes a bad thing when you begin to look at the psychology involved. But then the war on black men got kicked up a notch, and what I mean more specifically is that the black woman was talked into warring with her black man.
You see this is a separate point because the government has always been at war with black people, but it because something different when the black woman is trained to war with her black man. But here is where we talk a little bit about black feminism. You see the black feminist movement began to take real shape during the late 1960’s following the civil rights successes that where occurring in rapid succession, but it wasn’t until the 1970’s that it really took hold. In 1974 the Combahee River Collective introduced a theory that if the black woman was freed from oppression, both racism and sexism would be destroyed because they would have to be for her to be free. A wonderful idea in theory but it didn’t quite work out that way in application. What did happen was that the black woman stop supporting civil rights and started supporting women’s rights, and while not going against civil rights, her rights as a woman begin to take precedent over her rights as a black person. People argue as to whether or not the CIA was involved and a bunch of other things and whether or not they were is always going to be a cause for debate, but what is true is that the moment women stopped fighting with their men and started fighting against them is the moment that the black power movement began to lose steam.
The point of this being that violence against women in Black America has actually increased since the creation of the black feminist movement, not stating causation here, merely correlations. And while one can plainly see that black women are doing well in America today (yes even better than the men), as a group black people are doing worse. This isn’t really about arguing the merits of black feminism as that is a discussion for another day, but the point must be made of the division that the movement started, and the detrimental impact it had on black man and woman relations.
3. The war on Black Women
The war on black woman actually begin, in my opinion, in 1976 with President Ronald Reagan coining the term “Welfare Queen.” From that moment forward it has been open assault on the black woman who has been utterly defenseless during this onslaught. The disconnect that had developed between her and the black male along with the utter destruction of any semblance of a black community left her more than vulnerable to having her brand slaughtered and her stock dumped. It was in the 1970’s and 80’s that she began to be seen and portrayed as a loud mouthed, obnoxious, overly masculine being that is both unattractive and unruly, only to be used for moments of pleasure.
But just like in the war against men, the war on women would never have been as potent as it had been without the men jumping in on the action. In the 1980’s and 90’s we begin to see black women being objectified and humiliated by none other than the black man. While I personally believe a lot of this has to do with the scorn he felt due to the war, replacement and eventually removal of him from the black family, that really can’t be proven and it is my theory alone. Suffice to say that the black woman not only had to now fight the white power structures deteriorating image of her alone, but she had to also really begin to fight her black male and his attacks on her character. As the music and the culture begin to shift to a more misogynistic one, the image of the black queen was thoroughly destroyed much as the image of the black king’s had been decades before.
Last point on going to mention in the war on black women has been the introduction of interracial marriages. While in my last post I said that black men aren’t running to other races in droves, it would be irresponsible not to admit again as I did in the last post that black men are 8 times more likely to marry outside of their race than any other man in America. The psychological ramification of this are far reaching and it is not outside of the box to say that this played a hand in creating even more distance between the black man and the black woman.
Short I know, But how do you feel about the War on black men and women? Do you feel that either have merit? What do you feel is necessary for us to come together? Tune in Tomorrow for the next war.
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.