**Reset Alert** I've gone through and deleted the least productive comments. I will be practicing much stricter comment moderation on these posts from hereon out.
The stages of grief (Kübler-Ross model) are as follows: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance. Note: a person doesn't just seamlessly hop from stage to stage in a timely fashion. A person can start at denial, go to anger, return to denial, and be stuck there indefinitely. This model was developed when a Swiss doctor (woman, by the way), observed and documented how people deal not just with their own terminal illness, but bad news in general. I was originally going to use this model for the post, but with modern black communication (i.e., black men and women talking to and about each other), of course, our stages run a little differently. As in...altogether.
We tend to start with anger
Black women are angry with black men and have every right to be. Black men can try to say they have a right to be angry with us as well, but it wouldn't be the most intelligent move at this juncture. In the meantime, neither side is genuinely in denial, so we - as a group - tend to just skip right over that stage and get to the point. For this post, I don't really think I need to list all the reasons black women are furious with black men - I think even non-black folks have that list memorized by now. The items range from cowardice, to treachery, to shiftlessness, to overall abandonment.
If I were to start on all of that, we'd be here all day.
Anger is empowering
Anger has motivated black women to accomplish astonishing things despite countless obstacles hurled our way. We're academically motivated, and hard-working to the point that even though we're paid less than white women with the same or less education as ours, we manage to make more money because we're willing to work a second and third job if necessary. And we've all heard innumerable times about how black women manage to raise entire families on their own, sometimes raising more than one generation. Our determination, our pyschological and emotional stamina, and our well-honed survival instincts all stem from our anger.
Anger, however, is also blinding
The problem is, it's hard to let the adrenaline rush go. When it comes to black women, we have gotten so angry with black men that we think strictly about the past and present, without fully considering the future. We're thinking reactively, not preventatively. We raise one generation of autophobic men after the other, while telling ourselves "it's just how it is" and that we've "heard it all before." Meanwhile, there's a crucial variable we're overlooking, and our anger has blinded us to the pursuit of identifying it.
There is no knowledge that is not power
By now you all know that I like learning things. Hell, I learn something new from you all every day; studying people is my life. So peep this confession, kids: in learning situations, I don't really mind talking about the BM/WW issue with black men. When the purpose is strictly to learn, I go into these conversations with the strict mindset that I am not interested in the men I'm talking to about this. We are not going to date. We are not going to have sex. If they try get some during or after such conversations, they are summarily rejected.
Next confession: In real life, I've actually developed a slight romantic aversion to black men. Mind you, I find them physically attractive, and very much so; I ain't no autophobe. And no, I'm not "scared" of black men either. *snort* Ever watch First 48?
You see, I have too have the "I don't want to hear it" instinct many adult black women have developed in recent years.
Black men, I don't want to hear why we went to the same college roughly around the same time, and yet I graduated while you didn't. I don't want to hear about the "skanky white women" you've slept with, and how now you've become re-interested in "black pussy" (yes, I've actually had that said to me). I don't want to hear about how it's soooooooooo hard growing up black and trying to make a living in a country like America - um, I think I know the drill, thank you...sans male privilege, no less.
I don't want to hear your horn beeping at me. I don't want to hear you shouting at me from across the street. I don't want to hear about how you find yourself drawn to the white aesthetic against your will, when I grew up in the same damn society, with the media pressuring me a hell of a lot more than it pressured you, and yet was somehow - for the most part - immune. So no...I don't want to hear these things - if you're trying to date/sleep with me.
Now...if you are speaking bluntly, with the utmost honesty, knowing fully well I don't want you and so trying to "look good" would be wasted on me - then by all means...I want to hear you.
I am not, however, interested in fixing you
If you learn something about yourself in the process of our discussions, then brava, black men. *nods* Kudos to you, bruhs. But allow me to be equally honest: I'm not here listening to you for your benefit, but mine. In the event that I finally do decide to adopt and raise some kids, I'm going to have a slightly better idea of how to make sure they don't turn out like you. And as harsh as that may sound, deal with it, playa. Unborn generations of men of color should never have to find themselves on dates with the likes of "Girl" nor certain white fans of Moi.
All things in moderation, black people. Anger is a good thing so long as we don't let it cloud our judgment and visions of our future. Besides, with all black women have accomplished thanks to our anger, we need to start talking about our next stage.
What do you suppose it would be?