Farrakhan made problematic as fuck statements about black women again. Highlighting what continues to be a major flaw in his work and the whole nation of islam and Ankhs movement which is how heavily patriarchy ties into their black agenda.
That's problematic as fuck and it expresses itself whenever he makes comments regarding black women and the way he see's their role in the nation of islam. The comments he made recently shows his complete lack of understanding of woman's issues regarding rape culture and the autonomy of their bodies.
The reaction it made me have reminds me of another time when I was really upset at another figure doing social justice work. It made me want to explore frameworks of how to work with and take from people's work even when they have elements that are problematic as fuck.
Here's and article that completely unpacks the problems with his recent comments and movement in general:
Here's a video of the comments he made (the comments come in right at the beginning but skip to 30 seconds if you're feeling that impatient lol):
Let me know if you have any sources that explore the same question of how to bridge black social justice movements and allow them to exist in each others presence within your own work even when some of those movements have elements that are problematic. Would love to hear more from people exploring the same idea.
Going back to it this reminds me a lot of when Dr. Boyce Watkins made a post on YouTube that upset me so much I wanted to walk away from all of his work.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is an amazing individual who's appeared on news shows to speak out against anti-blackness in society and has done a huge amount for the black community in the ways that he knows how. His main work comes in the form of offering economics strategies to the black community that will empower it, leveraging his extensive financial background to offer those ideas.
The post that disappointed me was one that viciously attacked hip hop. In it he was going at lil Wayne and mocking him in the most petty and immature way. Expressing a very respectable view of hip hop as trash, and lesser than other forms of art and culture.
I felt like his motives where out of discontent for commercial hip hop's effects on the black community and I appreciate that. I had the same gripes at the time. But the way he decided to release his frustration, through such a disgusting, disgraceful, and belittling YouTube video was anti-blackness at its finest. I found that so hypocritical and contradictory to his very being.
In that video he wasn't only attacking lil Wayne, wasn't just an attack on rap music, it was an attack on the culture, the people that indulge in it and the community it was derived from. I was livid, I left a bunch of comments on the video, on his YouTube page, on his Twitter, I emailed him. Got nothing in return. I felt betrayed by him because I looked up to him and this was an attack on something that help create my identity, this was an attack on me.
I didn't get any responses but luckily other people where just as disappointed in him and I think he took down the video. Since then I've also noticed that he's change his behaviour towards hip hop music and rap artist. Now instead of condemning the culture and the artist he's trying to reach out to them and include them in his work.
I think I'm satisfied with how things played out. We called him out on his bullshit and he made an adjustment to make his social justice work that much less problematic. For me it was a prototype for how I deal with the Farrakhans, Ben Carsons and Ravens of the world.
I’m FUCKIN tired of people fighting anti-blackness with ANTI-BLACKNESS our community needs us of the most and we have to be as patient as possible with each other. Especially when we're met with people who are being problematic in their own misguided ways of fighting anti-blackness.
Dr Boyce Watkins for example was anti-black in that moment in order to call rap out for its anti-blackness. I could have been anti-black in my response by saying fuck this whack ass respectable piece of shit. But in my frustration I think I choose compassion and patiences and waited for him to learn from the incident. Which he did and I'm happy with how he's evolved since. It would have been nice for him to make that process more public but regardless I think that backlash is what resulted in the approach he has towards hip hop now and that's all I really give a fuck about.
However what I love so much about today's pro-black movements is the fact that their so decentralized and diverse. There's no leaders, it's just a mass, a wave of revolutionary bodies doing the work they need to do in their places of expertise. That's something that the power structures enforcing anti-blackness will never be able to achieve. We need to keep that wave alive and align it so that it's always moving in the right direction. In this case Farrakhan is completely ignorant of the flaws in his understanding. And those flaws a deeply problematic and a problematic part of that movement. But the work that movement has done and continues to do can't be discredited because of the fact that it's also problematic as fuck. The problematic elements have to be discovered, contained, and addressed. Also it would be great if Farrakhan took the time to make those adjustments but to me it doesn't matter what the fuck Farrakhan does. It's more important to me that the individuals themselves that follow this school of thought make those adjustments themselves. In order to make their social justice work that much less problematic.
That whole Nation of Islam movement and the whole Ankhs group (I apologize if that's derogatory I have no other name for it at the moment) needs to accept intersectional black feminism into their work. I think that would expedite the process of them becoming less problematic.
It's important that we hold solidarity with all black people and accommodate all their different experiences and perspectives. Being critical of each other's work is important but we should be able to take all the good and leave the bad instead of rejecting it all. I think we should also be patient with each other when we come into contact with people whose work is problematic as fuck. I mean keep your distance if you need to but don't condemn or reject them especially from seeking asylum from your community. We need to accommodate black people as much as we can. Especially seeing as the problems in their work stem from the same problems were all trying to fight.
We're all not perfect, we can't be under these circumstances. We live under a white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchy. But we have all the ground work and the framework covered to move towards lifting those structures from this world. All we need now to move forward is to hold compassion and patience for ourselves. We need it after being deprived of it for a millennium.