Ain’t that bouta…

By now, you may have read the story of Kamilah Brock. If you haven’t, click here.

There are many reasons why this story is terrible and tragic and racist and sexist. Many. But that is not why I’m here today.

I’m here today because, as usual, the police have provided a bullshit scenario in an attempt to justify kidnapping, drugging, and traumatizing this woman. The story they used is so preposterous and bullshit filled that it is yet another example of how few fucks they have about justice, the truth, Black life, and public perception.

These sons of bitches claimed they detained her, tricked her into thinking she could recover her car, had her drugged and carried away to a mental health facility in an ambulance because…they didn’t believe the car was hers. Come dafuq on!

Almost every squad car in the country has a laptop in it. Assuming some still don’t, they can call dispatch to run a vehicle’s tag. They can find out your name, last known address, arrest history, whether you have outstanding warrants, previous names, credit score, blood type and browser history. I may have made those last three up (never can tell with the NSA), but you get the drift. They can find out all the pertinents either from their car or with a radio/phone call.

But they didn’t believe the car was hers.

Let’s say for the sake of argument that all the computers in the entire precinct and in each cop car crashed that day and the next several. That didn’t happen, but let’s play make-believe. This woman is a banker. She is driving not just a car, but an expensive one. At the very least she has to have the vehicle registration or proof of insurance in the vehicle with her.

But they didn’t believe the car was hers.

Just for kicks, let’s play make-believe again. So they pulled her over. Their computers do in fact work so they run her name and plates. Either one of three things will be discovered. The car is in her name, it isn’t but she hasn’t stolen it, or it’s stolen. Unless it is stolen, she is apparently authorized to be in possession of it. You hand her back whatever documentation she’s provided and go your separate ways.

But they didn’t believe the car was hers.

I could go on, but I think you get my point.

Let me tell you what this suggests to me. This suggests that cops are SOOOOO accustomed to having the support of their supervisors and fellow cops that they know they will not be questioned. No matter how ridiculous the lie. No matter how tragic the circumstance. The formula goes like this. Cop does fucked up thing, up to and including murder. Cop lies about what happened and why they did what they did. Police get the full support of the department, and the white community, especially if victim is Black. Life goes on with a minor hiccup if they are caught in the lie. Each and every time.

Now that I’ve demonstrated that there is no way they kidnapped, drugged, and traumatized this Black woman for eight damned days for the reason they put forth, I will tell you what I think happened. I think they believed this Black woman had gotten above herself. How dare she be a professional Black woman driving a car like that! She probably complained about their accusations. She was probably offended. And they felt the need to teach her a lesson. They felt the need to show her who’s really in charge.

There will probably be a cash settlement of some kind eventually. At least I hope she plans to sue. But no dollar amount will ever be enough for the indignities she suffered. And no dollar amount will prevent them from abusing their power in the future.

I’m glad she lived to tell the story though.

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I Don’t Even Know What to Call This Because It Makes Me So Mad

Let me begin by saying I am not here for Iggy Azalea or any other culture vultures.  White people have a long, storied history of ridiculing Black people and our art. Then one or two or 10 of them will copy said art and suddenly it’s “new” and “edgy”. And profitable.  A white artist making Black art gains fame, money, and other markers of success faster and in more abundance than the Black originators could imagine. And often with less talent.

Despite receiving very valid critiques from Black legends of the genre she’s chosen to mimic, Iggy refuses to have a MODICUM of respect for their legacy or experience. She WILL NOT listen to what is being said or consider whether it has worth.  She dismisses it out of hand and makes herself a victim, or pretends that she is just “being herself”.

She is not being herself.  Her self is Australian.  Her self has an Australian accent.  Yet when she raps she copies the voice of a southern Black woman.  Really?  You’re being yourself when you mimic our voice and phrases? When talking about a life that you have NEVER lived? That’s being yourself?

No!

You are profiting from attributes natural to many Black women. Black women are held in the lowest regard for speaking, looking, and acting the way they do. You are a gimmick. You gleefully pick and choose the parts of our being and our hip hop culture that YOU enjoy and use those for your own gain. You don’t care about any of the issues that effect us, or about the way your caricature affects us. And in a few years, when you tire of putting on this act of Blackness, you will throw it aside and continue reaping all the benefits of your whiteness. Black women can chance the way we speak, look, and behave but we can not change the Blackness that is the root of our oppression.

Recently this woman had the unmitigated gall to disregard the thoughtful criticisms of our Ladies Eve and Jill Scott. Bish what? With all the ways you are stealing from us, you have the nerve to reduce our innovators to merely “haters” who are “jealous”? No one is stereotyping you! You are stereotyping US! When ANYONE dares to criticize you, you have Black men everywhere, especially TI, coming to your defense.  At the same time they defend you and your right to do what you do, they denigrate Black women without hesitation and to resounding applause.  We’re stereotyping you! Tuh! By asking that when you “perform” you do it with your own voice. Girl, Bye!

Miley Cyrus tried on Blackness for a while as a way to separate herself from her child star image.  Thankfully, she has moved on.  I’ll be relieved when Iggy does the same.

Sh*t White Feminists Say to Black Feminists (and How to Counter Them)

When white feminists ask us to temper ourselves, they are saying, “Give in to the status quo.” They are saying, “You have no right to meet your dehumanisation, exploitation, and oppression at the hands of white people with righteous anger. How dare you be visibly shaken!”. They are saying that they are more dismayed at our reactions to racism than with racism itself.

via Sh*t White Feminists Say to Black Feminists (and How to Counter Them).

Go read this!

Am I Doing Too Much?

I was reading a conversation on For Harriet between the sites founder Kimberly Foster and author/professor Yaba Blay.  They were discussing colorism and the documentary Light Girls. It was a very interesting exchange, but one thing in particular got me to thinking. The two women briefly discussed a desire they have as dark-skinned Black women to have light-skinned Black women acknowledge their privilege in discussion around oppression.

As a light-skinned Black woman, I get that. It is very difficult to have a productive, non-damaging exchange of ideas with a privileged person that doesn’t even recognize their own privilege.

It has only been the last couple of years that I have been learning about white supremacy, patriarchy, intersectional feminism, etc. I still have a long way to go in that learning, but just those few years have given be a better understand of the way the world works against oppressed people, particularly Black people. Particularly Black women.  This new information has been instrumental in giving me the vocabulary and concepts to express things that have always troubled me.

Prior to this new understanding and vocabulary, I’d say maybe 17 years ago, I became acutely aware of colorism (although I couldn’t yet name it) and how I benefited from it. Things that used to feel like compliments then began to feel backhanded.  Being called “redbone”. Having people fawn over my perceived beauty while dismissing my similarly featured, but darker, relatives. Getting unwanted, but always complimentary, attention from men who were always anxious to mention my complexion or my hair.

Once I began to see this treatment for what it was, it soon became apparent the obviously negative experience of my darker cousins.  They were told to avoid the sun because they would get “too Black”. As soon as new growth was visible at the roots of their relaxed or hot combed hair it was derided as being nappy. The discussions overheard where Black was always used as a negative against someone.

I could go on and on.

I then looked back on my youth.  I could remember grown ass men, men my father’s age, talking about what a heartbreaker I was gonna be with my pretty (straightened) hair and my light skin.  I mean…I was just a kid.  Wasn’t calling me cute enough? Ugh.

Anyway, after noticing how I was treated compared to darker skinned women, I felt obligated to call people out on it.  I also felt obligated to ALWAYS give them extra love and praise.  Just to let them know “I see you girl, and you have value”. I even do it with strangers.  And don’t let it be a natural with hair only slightly courser than my course hair.  Shoot, I’m counteracting some of the negative the world projects on them with my sincere adoration!

I sometimes wonder if I’m overdoing it.  But I know this world has standards that tear Black women down. But I know as bad as it is for me, it is different and often worse for darker women.

Loving them like they should be loved feels like the least I can do.

But maybe I am doing too much.