25 Jun 2009

Them, Us. Race. Support. Politics.

There's a lot of love and support for Iran at the moment. OK fine!

I for one am not going green in any capacity to show my support. I show my support in the best way I know how, it's through prayer. Alright. I don't need to 'show' my support. I've never been into anything visual that shows signs of supporting charities/causes. In fact I hate what all that stands for.

That being said I spend a lot of time on Twitter on the Blackberry. A big addiction of mine. And all day every day tweet, tweet, tweet about Iran. God give me strength, I'm this close to Iran overload, to the point of I don't even want to know anything else about the situation at present. As they say, sometimes too much, is just too much.

Aside from that I noticed some interesting tweets, one in particular that caught my eye was one headlining about Black owned beauty supply shops getting no love from black customers. And with that, I thought about this Iran situation.

"We rarely support our own, from businesses to political and social troubles."

I have never seen so many black folks jump on a cause in my life with such passion. Everybody's talking about it. Fair enough, it's news, why not.

But you know what gets me? When a big ass crisis is going on in Africa, not a damn thing is going on in trying to garner attention amongst our own, let alone support. My God, just yesterday I got pissy in a tweet just to get a ReTweet of a missing black child in the US. For fuck sake, a headline pops up about Iran and bam ReTweeted with a quickness. One of ours goes missing, hardly a peep. [That child was found]. Although another one went missing again a 2 year old. I checked my tweets hardly any ReTweets. Thanks to the ones that did. It's less than 5 clicks to ReTweet. Twitter is mobile, who's to say someone doesn't read the story see a picture and spot the child in their area whilst they are about....I digress **HUGE sigh** The thought of a 2 year old baby breaks my heart. Black missing kids are hardly reported we need to do what we can to get that news out there and HELP OUR OWN when THEY [mainstream] ISN'T!

Today @BlackSolutions on Twitter posted a question about the whole blacks and their involvement/support on Iran 'trend' and wanted people's views on it. Interestingly enough there were a few people who had the mindset and mentality of "well when we needed help and support, no one was coming together to help us [blacks] as a people" and others saying "we need to help our own before we help others."

I'm in 2 minds when it comes to support of global nations.

1. is to do the Christian thing and help/support others regardless of creed, colour and race.
2. is to help/support our own people around the world and bring stories and struggles that are left on the back burner and bring them to the forefront.

People are dying brutally at the hands of governments and regimes all over the world, I understand that. But to be honest I'd be seriously having a WTF moment with black folks who have never batted an eyelid at anything that's gone down/going down in places like South Africa or Zimbabwe as examples.

Speaking of Zimbabwe Bodyform have a cause called Dignity! Period to help the women who cannot afford sanitary protection and are developing cancer by using dirty rags and newspapers whilst on their period. Imagine that? More than double the monthly wage for sanitary towels.

I'm not saying to hell with the rest of the world, especially the ones who aren't black, but TRUST me I'll be watching closely when some big news breaks about some serious BS going on in Africa and see how quickly, how many black folks jump on the support bandwagon.

One thing I've noticed about US as a people is our LACK of support as a community over many things from the smallest to the biggest. We're quick to help others and line the pockets of races selling OUR products to us, yet don't do a damn thing for one another.

So in a nutshell what I'm saying is this. Be a supporter yes! Not telling anyone not to, but don't act all dumb and clueless about what's going on your people's countries. I don't care if you're American and never set foot on African soil. If you're pumping your fist in the air claiming "I'm proud to be an African-American" then read up on some damn Africa dammit! Some black people wanna talk about the Motherland, claim Africa left and right, but haven't got a clue what the hell is going on in some parts.

Be aware. Educate yourself. Stay informed.

You've got the Internet to be reading this, read an online newspaper for goodness sake, whether it's Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Africa. But don't support one cause and not be informed of others that affect your OWN people. Remember in the Western world, plenty of blacks were under water in New Orleans and the US President at the time turned his back for 4 whole days. It's the same the world over. That man [Bush] was an example of how the world is when we as a people are in need....absent and blind eyed. If you're Asian [tsunami] you get donations pouring in with a quickness amounting to hundreds of millions. When you're black you gotta scream to be heard.

Blacks = Ignored. We have to start looking out for one another more from households to communities to on a global scale.


  1. CO-motherfunking-sign!

    Nothing else to say

  2. I agree, Black people are ignorant of our own issues, both locally and internationally. But I believe either we are taught to value the lives of others more or feel loss and tragedy are part of the Black experience that we do not seek even upbeat human interest stories. It is lack of hope?

    I would love to see more information sharing between Black people worldwide, whether through a social networking site or global news program, but sadly, I do not think the demand is there.

    Have to mention one of my favorite African news sites is the Pan-African News Wire:

  3. be careful though. its not every 'cause' thats valid. that dignity period thing...sorry. but cancer is not caused by using dirty rags for your period. its more an attempt to have people buy their products. ALWAYS had a similar campaign claiming that south african girls dont go to school because they're on their period and have cramps. so we should buy always to help them. i'm sure u know how South Africa is the richest country on the continent. Pads is not those womens problem. (and p.s. - when i was a kid, i used my period as an excuse to stay home as well. my mom never bought it tho! and she ALWAYS went to skool in nigeria despite having debilitating cramps and despite having to use the kind of pads that had to go on a belt!)
    corporations have to make money too at the end of the day. and they want to make sure they look 'good' by creating some 'cause' to tie it to. The same way US foreign aid given to africa is only given when african countries buy US goods. eg. the US will donate tractors to african countries in need, but the tractors must be US owned. or the way the US wont give aid to countries where they declare free medecine for all people, because it takes money away from US pharmaceuticals.

    end of the day - know the cause you're rooting for.

  4. Mojoyin

    There are certain chemicals, carcinogens and low level dioxins in sanitary products that WE BUY in the supermarkets that contribute to cancers, low infertility and endometriosis. So if a particular 'dirty rag' is being used , God knows where it's been and what chemicals/toxins are in those rags that women are using that will have an effect of them developing a certain type of cancer (usually cervical). That coupled with poor health care it's DEFINITELY an issue.

    It's all well and good to say know the cause you're rooting for. But know that because we live in the 1st world country not everything that is on hand to us is healthy and suitable as women.

    Anything that is unsanitary in the vagina can cause urinary tract infections and possible worse, cancers, over a period of time. In certain parts of Africa and India this is commonplace and shouldn't be ignored or bypassed as Bodyform trying to make money. People don't even have to buy Bodyform to support the charity that they set up. It's totally independant of their product that they sell in stores.

    Fact remains as a result women over the world in poor countries are dying because they don't have suffcient sanitary protection. Irrespective of what you believe stuffing dirty rags inside them is contributing to cancers in some of these women. Bodyform are NOT the only compnay/charity to raise/support this issue.

    It's very real.

  5. Bravo, LD. Thanks for blogging about this.


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