The thing is, I’m trying to keep my New Year’s resolution to walk in the light—to evolve and grow and focus on what’s beautiful after a year of unrelenting, heartbreaking ugly. The ugly is still there, trust and believe: even more Black bodies have been irreparably broken by a criminal justice system that seems hellbent on using law, politics and trickery to decimate our children and community; Baltimore is still simmering, and; media coverage and dissection of our collective anger is both laughable and infuriating. But I’ve chosen to express my anger over Freddie Gray’s death on my personal Facebook page, and limit the coverage here on MyBrownBaby to writing about it from a distinctly Black parenting perspective. The rest of the time, well, I’m in the search for something new. Something beautiful.
Why, then, do folks insist on pushing dark, heavy rainclouds all up into my light? Why, in this age of social media and easy access, do people choose to buck rather than think before they (e)confront strangers? And sweet baby Jesus in a manger surrounded by wise men and little animals, why are there still white women stumbling onto this website—this Blackety Black website where we write unapologetically from a Blackety Black mom’s perspective about Blackety Black shit—to demand I write for their gaze, from their perspective, for their approval? Witness the foolishness that one Nicole Tongue deposited into my email inbox earlier this week after reading, “Parenting Through White Privilege: Mom Attacks Meddling Stranger Who Offers To “Help” Her With Her Crying Toddler,” a post that apparently had her feeling some kind of way:
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I am raising two biracial boys. I thought it would be nice to have a perspective from BOTH spectrums – black and white. I understand that my sons will experience things that as a white mother I will not understand.
But being married to a black man and raising two gorgeous sons with him has been a roller coaster to say the least. He deals with discrimination everyday – and since falling in love and marrying a black man – so have I!
The discrimination of my own race – I totally get. What has BAFFLED me – is the constant discrimination from blacks. He is criticized by black women for marrying a white woman. I am criticized (by black females) for being a white woman who married a black man.
Stumbling across your blog – I see why this is still the case in 2015! For some reason, black women feel that white women “are taking all the good brothers”. Really? Because I have a lot of white females who have been in relationships with black men – who would HAPPILY have avoided the experience altogether. Heck – some black women should be THANKING white gals for ridding themselves of such a jerk from the dating pool.
My husband once told a black woman RUDE enough to say “what a damn shame” while shaking her head and looking at my pregnant belly – with my hubby standing there! My hubby is not one to avoid an altercation and he said to her “what the hell makes you think I would be dating YOU if I were not married to my wife anyway?”
Point being. There is NOTHING more hypercritical than a racist black person! And your article calling WHITE PRIVILEGE parenting was EXTREMLY offensive. Here I go to your blog expecting POSITIVE reinforcement about parenting and raising a minority child – and it is BANTER against white women!
Thanks for the disappointment.
PS WHITE WOMEN are minorities too! Last I checked, we qualified as “women” too! So tired of the hate. Makes us want to hate back.
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Now, keep in mind, Nicole dropped this into my inbox first thing in the morning. I woke up to this mess. I mean, seriously? What in the what was all of that stuff about interracial marriage and white women and Black male losers and white women being minorities and disliking a blog post so much that you want to hate Black people even though your husband and children are black… for real, what WAS that? First inclination? Send her a link to that Big Sean song. You know the one. But I’m walking in my light, remember? So I tapped into Somewhat Tolerant Denene:
I don’t know you. I don’t know your husband. I don’t know your family, your friends, your life. I don’t care about any of it precisely because I DO NOT KNOW YOU.
See, while you’re rooting around my website looking for evidence that allows you to lump me into your stereotypical views of Black women, I’m actually living my life, raising my family, running a business and working hard to reserve my emotions, thought and energy for people I actually know. It is not so much as a thought in my mind to look at two strangers on the street and think—much less say out loud—disgusting things about their love/union because their skin color doesn’t match. I don’t care about who you choose to love/sleep with/make babies with. It’s your business. Not mine. As I’ve written time and again here on MyBrownBaby.
That you’re in my inbox with this foolishness this early on a Monday is… ugh.
Do me a favor. Get out my inbox with this craziness. Live your life. Go be happy with your family. And if you don’t like what you’re reading here on MyBrownBaby, if your disagreeing with my opinion on ONE post out of hundreds written over the course of seven years makes you feel some kind of way, baby go up to that little button on your browser bar and move it on along to another site. Somewhere that brings you immeasurable joy.
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Not enough for ol’ Nicole. It seems that her point, whatever it was, wasn’t addressed to her satisfaction. So she hopped back into my inbox to tell me how I should have responded to her early morning rant:
To be expected. You addressed all but the point being made, you even failed to offer some sort of acknowledgement that maybe your article was a bit critical and written without knowing the back story.
Consider your suggestions duly noted and completed. I’ll be sure not to recommend your site.
Have a blessed day.
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*insert image of Denene giving her inbox the gas face, then pounding out this*
Quite honestly, with all the rambling, I couldn’t quite figure out what, exactly, was your point. And then I reminded myself that what you think about my writing, my thoughts and my website is a non-factor in my equations. You don’t matter to me. *shrugs*
See, that’s the thing, love: I don’t need your validation, and I most certainly do not need to write so much as a single letter to please you. I am, however, slightly amused by your insistence that MyBrownBaby exists for your gaze.
Oh–and I STAY blessed.
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And I say that with my chest. From deep down on the inside. With almost seven years and well over 1825 blog posts under my belt, the absolute last thing I’m doing when I write here at MyBrownBaby is thinking about how overly-sensitive white women with absolutely no ability to see beyond their own limited purview, will respond to my experiences, thoughts, opinions and truth. I spent a lifetime—20 years as a journalist, author and freelance writer—caring about this, mind you. I used to get upset, too, when people would send me racist tirades in the mail or, of late, try to deposit them into the MyBrownBaby comments section (thank goodness for keyword filters), on the fan page, in our Twitter mentions or, like good ol’ Nicole here, would take the extra effort to drop them in my inbox.
But no more. No more.
Calling me a nigger, coon, porch monkey, ugly black bitch and, yes, more subtle versions of these (nee: Black racist, you people, minority) and whatever other names and phrases you all shove in my (virtual) face don’t hurt dear. Not even a little bit. One whiff of it and I shove it into the darkness, and look toward the light.
My delete and block fingers are pimp hand strong.
I know, loves: it’s hard to digest. That a Black woman could be so passionate about her children, her man, her home, the health and well-being of her community, the education, safety and rearing of Black children and the unconditional support of the mothers raising them that she won’t stop the earth’s rotational axis to bow down to your perspective—to your insistence that a white woman’s opinion is the only one to be valued. The only one that matters. After all, white privilege—yes, Nicole, I said it, white privilege—apparently renders one completely incapable of understanding that not everything is about you, you do not control all things, and you have zero power over people who think freely, love their people deeply and don’t need your approval to… be.
But you will deal.
Start by leaning into your screen and reading this very carefully: the MyBrownBaby world does not revolve around you, dear. And if that’s a problem, you best get all up in that browser.
Run along and tell a friend.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.