“Who is working today, brothers and sisters? The black woman. Who’s making more money? The black woman. Who is more educated? The black woman. Who’s world are we in? The white man’s world.”
That’s the opening statement from Minister Louis Farrakhan’s daughter Donna in a speech on reverse gender roles which she attributes solely to the corruption of the white man. Dr. Boyce Watkins recently shared the video on his YouTube channel which sparked a great deal of debate, and understandably so.
Donna’s man point in her speech is society — or as she calls it, “the white man’s kingdom” — has emasculated the black man to the point that we are out of order with the gender roles set out in the Bible and the Quran which both call for men to be the head of the family. Instead, what we see are women “making the bread and butter” and black men being denied jobs. And, according to her, this has grave effects.
“He’s got her bamboozled,” she said of the white man, “because now, put a little money in her pocket, she starts getting a little heavy voice. With a little money in her pocket, her mouth is uncontrollable. What is she saying to you? She’s saying, ‘I make the money in this house. I pay the cost to be the boss. If you don’t like what I say, you know what to do.’
“She’s not seeing the bigger picture — the hidden hand. She’s not seeing the hidden hand of the white man; the slave master. We have the appearance of being free but he’s still in all our affairs.”
Oh, if only sister Farrakhan didn’t subscribe to such antiquated ways of thinking about gender roles perhaps I’d be shouting and whistling like the members of the crowd too. See while I certainly believe evidence of white oppression exists in just about every facet of black life today, Donna is speaking from the assumption that black women don’t know what time it is.
We know black men are under attack — that’s why we started #BlackLivesMatter. We know there are systems in place in nearly every societal institution to keep black boys from ever thriving as black men. That’s why so many of us get caught up in the system ourselves trying to be ride-or-die girlfriends and wives. The problem isn’t necessarily that we don’t feel empathy for black men or we’ve been tricked, it’s that if we know these obstacles exist then black men do too and we just want to know what they’re going to do about it.
And let’s not act like black men are sitting around just dying to be welcomed into the arms of black women. For the most part, black men know who has their back and yet when issues concerning us and the trickery we succumb to as a result of racists and sexists, we hear crickets from out male counterparts. Nobody’s marching, protesting, or rioting, black men, by and large, simply go on about their day. Who’s bamboozled now?
Yes, it’s true that when black women earn a living (because no one is putting money in our pocket) we do have some rules about how we’ll be addressed and subsequently treated, but it’s not because we want to emasculate black men, we’re just doing what we have to do to survive.