Sunday, February 28, 2010

Black Like Me

Can't get over this.

Now, in all fairness to the rest of the world, I am not 100% black. But to establish my black credibility, I grew up in a black community, went to a 85% black school district, and joined the Black Student Union in college. I would have been a slave. I count!

So, re: conspiracy theories pertaining to racial oppression, they run rampant in black communities. Legit or not, I have heard/been involved in all. Since that poor rating at an orchestra competition at age 12, I'd joined the ranks of angry folks who claim "It's because we're black". On occasion, we're right. But often, we buy into the hype because we need to explain away the feelings of self-loathing and inadequacy that accompany our shortcomings. Thus, rather than coming to terms with certain truths about abortion and black women - e.g. black women are among the most oppressed demographics in the U.S. and internalize feelings of inadequacy, helplessness, and hopeless in far greater numbers than their male or white counterparts, or that they earn much less on average to boot - we conspiracy-theorize.

Black women have abortions because white people make them.


Alveda King is the niece of MLK, Jr., is black, has had two abortions, and is an anti. She, too, buys into the black abortion conspiracy theory. I read an article on her during the 40 Days in 2008, in which she was quoted as saying many stupid things, among them something to the effect of: "Like my uncle, we have to stand up for people who have no voice." Talk about your classic case of self-loathing. Black people have no voice? Nor did they have a voice during the civil right movement? Black people were powerless to bring about change, and only did so thanks to the leadership of MLK? Dr. King, hero that he was, did not speak for the entire black race during the Civil Rights Movement (Black Panthers ring a bell?), and was just one of many public figures who stood on the shoulders of the masses. I hope you all are paying attention: Alveda King, riding on her uncle's coattails to sociocultural notoriety, just reduced the collective political power of all blacks in the United States to that of a fetus.

Thanks, Alveda, and fellow conspiracy theorists. You just set black people back 300 years. Godspeed.


  1. Not to do the old "one drop of blood" or whatever -- but of course you "count" if you ID as black and/or other people ID you that way and it affects your life, perspective, etc. No need to justify yourself here :)

    I find it interesting, also, that Dr. King's kin are pretty diverse when it comes to current social issues (see: equal marriage rights) yet conservative groups manage to find his most vocally conservative relatives and pretend the others don't exist. They've been coopting his legacy in all sorts of ways since realizing they couldn't demonize him, so this is no surprise.

    Second, you're right about how there were a whole bunch of other leaders and footsoldiers in the civil rights movement beside King, but again among them it wasn't all one view or another. Much of the civil rights movement was damned sexist, among both black and white leadership and in the hierarchies and atmospheres of many different groups. Just because conservative black men call/called abortion "genocide" doesn't take away black women's right to self-determination, and just because a conservative woman says she's against abortion doesn't mean she speaks for the rest of us either. It's pretty simple.

  2. ps, also liked this post to help with context:

    and this one:

    and really there's been a bunch of good writing by good people out there - the pushback, and the rumors that CBS (yes that CBS!) got such an earful from Atlanta citizens as to possibly be taking them down, has at least kept me from giving up hope.


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.