As I was speaking with my fiance about the state of (Black) America as it pertains to social media and its effect on real life, I noticed a trend of victimhood that’s unfortunately been increasing as the days goes on. Despite the number of police killings decreasing over the decades, the fact Black American women are leading the nation in entrepreneurship and college education, or even the fact that Black Americans spend over a trillion dollars every year in the US retail market, Black Americans on social media have been clinging to the idea that they are powerless victims of the oppression of what they consider “white supremacy”.
It seems that since the murder of Trayvon Martin Black Americans began to believe that it is more likely to suffer the same fate as our fallen brother than to be a success in this country. That we are destined to be second class citizens for the duration of our entire lives and no matter how hard we work to overcome adversities, we will always be “less than” just because we happen to be black in America. Terms like “oppression”, “institutional racism”, “white privilege” and “injustice” are sure to garner you social media affirmation from the masses, confirming your victim state of mind in every way possible.
More and more I began to see people I’ve been following on Twitter for years start to think less of themselves because of this new narrative. Men and women who displayed themselves to be intelligent, competent, confident individuals began tweeting about white people, racism and the strongholds they had on their lives. Out of thin air, oppression became cool. Oppression became sexy. You were NOW considered intelligent, competent, and confident if you could eloquently speak on how oppressed and downtrodden you were.
Are there racists, sexists, homophobic, transphobic people out there that will do any and everything like rape and kill to make sure they go against these groups? Of course! But falsely accusing people of being one of them is exactly what the REAL criminals want. The more people that “fit the description” of what these people do, the easier it is for them to blend in and continue to wreak havoc without getting caught. The internet harbors a lot of sick people, but let’s use discernment when interacting with people, huh?
This sensitivity came once young adults started ingesting content that was alien to them before. A lot of these people have never seen these oppressive acts up close. Most of Social Justice Twitter is made up of mid to late teenagers who have yet to experience life on their own merit and impressionable adults who like rallying behind a cause that makes them feel like their making a change.
When I walk outside in these Philadelphia blocks I see women on their phones yelling and begging for their child(ren)’s father to be more active in their kids’ lives. Knowing there’s a word for this behavior like “misogynoir” does nothing to solve their problems. Knowing guns and drugs were planted in the black community to destroy it from the inside out does nothing for the corner boys who still think this is the best way to make money.
With all this confusion and division comes the selectivity of conviction on social media which then spirals into total hypocrisy. So even though bad diets/lifestyles, abortion and gun violence are killing more black people than racist police, because the former issues are issues that deal with changing self, it goes unheeded. How can your movement be directly concerned with “Black Lives” and not address these issues as well or more than police brutality? Because it’s easier to blame external forces for the current Black American condition.
Seriously, if someone hates you because of your skin color, sexual orientation, religion, etc then say “F*** them” and keep it moving. If they try to do you harm, defend yourself at all costs and never allow yourself to be a victim. That is the only solution to these problems. Racism, sexism and all these other “isms” aren’t going anywhere anytime soon (especially if we keep giving it power by being victims to it) because it’s all rooted in preference and ignorance.
So in closing, understand that if you say you are oppressed, you will be oppressed. Understand that love and unity will still be the key to any liberation on our parts. Understand that in 2016 racism and sexism doesn’t hold the same weight as it once did and it’s up to you on how it affects your life. Understand that every problem has a solution. Nobody can afford to make excuses anymore. Either you choose to be great and make it happen or you die a bum, no gray area. Until next time, family. Hotep.