My ex has many faces. One that he always wore was to always smile. It was fake, despite how handsome he looked. Behind the smile he was judging you big time. If you were a non-brown person he deemed you as rich and ripe to give him money. If you were brown, depends on where you are from. Unfortunately I already knew his views on the USA and “black American” women, so I’d asked him never to say these things in front of my family or friends or else…they’d beat his ass.
I guess he was feeling in a sharing sort of mood one day. We were eating ice cream with 2 ladies of whom were teachers, black Americans. Between the 2 of them there is a serious love of teaching children coupled with the fact that they are educated with Master’s degrees in teaching. Truthfully, this type of woman is who I meet all the time in my travels: she is educated and most of the time traveling alone, doing her thang. Emmanuel decided they needed a new type of teaching about the women that they were: black American women who needed his guidance.
He went on to share how black American women are loud and aggressive and they have no idea how to be in a realationship. Imagine the discomfort this caused to the other 2 women of whom were out for a day to relax and enjoy the mall. I was embarrassed. I did the usual social things such as trying to redirect the conversation over to something else, but he wasn’t following me. I even suggested that if he wanted to go to the bathroom, he should…yeah, nothing. I did the soft touches and nudges to try to get his attention…still, nothing. The 2 ladies were getting more and more uncomfortable.
Once Emmanuel finished his tirade of what black American women are and how lazy black American people are in general – the ones of which he’d heard about and saw on television, as he’d never actually visited the USA to know from firsthand experience, the ladies went in. Not in the manner in which he summarized, but in an intelligent sit-yo-ass-down type of manner. He had become what he was mocking, alas, the dumb African man.
In the end Emmanuel and I argued in front of the ladies about how he was insulting other black American women of whom may not have it all together yet and we already had centuries of caucasians to tell us what he was saying. We certainly didn’t want to hear it from him. He called himself dismissing me and stating: “Ah, if we were in my country I would send you home to your father!” I think I was supposed to be offended and I think this statement was supposed to put me in my place, wherever that was, but because I do not have the same background as the ladies in Ghana it sounded more like misogyny and an attempt to shame me which pissed me off even more.
Emmanuel allowed the dumbness to shine through and he let others see what I had been seeing. We have all heard of how Africans do not like African Americans and vice versa. I’ve heard all kinds of statements directly from the mouths of Nigerians I’ve met along the way. It is based in a false sense of being superior.
We can blame nationality, ethnicity, culture, economics and education. In essence there are very little cultural differences between the 2 people from these different lands. There are only egos and a false sense of pride wrapped in the word “culture”. Being ratchet or village – it’s all the same. No judgment needed.
The same single moms in America are equally caring for their children in Ghana. In Ghana they will reserve their words and pray about it rather than react to it in a way that acknowledges that they are really stressed about that Ghanaian man leaving them with all those kids and the fact that she is working hard to maintain the household alone. Reacting and not reacting become the disease which equates to the loudness or the slowness to the black American lady or the West African woman. The Ghanaian lady may have some relief by having a small community of people to send the child elsewhere – the same happens in the USA. This can lead to an aloofness of care. Either way the stress will remain at home with the mother who will pass it on to the child in one form or another. Overall, if you continue to send your child to someone else’s house because you cannot cope due to depression or any other ailment, then you don’t notice that little Emmanuel is developing sociopathic tendences and you may need to pay attention to him so that he doesn’t grow up to be an asshole. Also, mental problems are not seen as an issue in Ghana. You simply pray about it and it will go away. We all know it does not go anywhere, it only gets worse. But to further admit there is a mental issue will mean that you will be placed in the crazy house a facility of which you may be chained to a tree for the day. Ghana is on the humanitarian watchlist for such acts.
If you visit west Africa, the masses of the people are locked in the same circumstances as poor African-Americans. The only difference is that it may look shabbier. In observation, both groups, from both lands seem content to do nothing other than what they are currently doing. Emmanuel’s own personal plight was the exact same. He had no forwarrd thinking plans that he had ever shared with me. All of the plans were mine because I was on a mission before I met him. My track record was filled with winning and losing, which further showed my ability to be flexible and adapt while still moving forward. I had no problems sharing them with him because if we’re on the same team, then we need to assist each other in meeting these goals and know the others’ weakness to compensate for those times.
When I would ask him he would say he wanted to have his house built and own a big screen television. I’d already had this and was looking forward to something else in life. Later he would state that he wanted to go to the USA in order to “get a job”. I had to always remind him that the jobs he saw on television were if you had the education to obtain the job or start a business of your own and don’t forget that there are those who are born in that country who are looking for jobs too. If you did not have that, then you were in for a few years of hardship and struggle in order to arrive at that point. Emmanuel had no higher level education so that would mean that he would have to obtain a GED and then get in to a university or college while I was supporting us still or while he worked parttime at WalMart or at a restaurant. I did not want what he was saying and I’d made that very clear even before we said “I do”. Besides, how are you going to get those things that you speak of without a clear plan of action and reachable goals? All the items that I am even listing such as a parttime job, means of housing, etc, he had not even mentioned. He only had his sights on reaching the promised land known as the USA. Emmanuel relied upon me to bring the ideas, reach the goals, and to bring the money for him to step up and out of his situation. Emmanuel had not held down a job nor an entrepreneurial pursuit in years before I met him. The plan was that I was the plan. His sisters and his mother provided for him, so he expected the same from me. They had already instilled and perpetuated a sense of entitlement. No hustle whatsoever other than to use.
In his lack of knowledge, education, and insight he failed to even realize that when you visit parts of West Africa you will also notice there is not really a sense of pride in the way those of us of whom are not born there have. I used to attend African drumming and dance classes weekly while living in Atlanta, Georiga. You have to ask around to find that in Ghana. And when you find it it is not filled with the locals, but foreigners. The traditional drumming is a hustle for money, not to indulge in culture of the past or to enhance the cultural bond. As is the visits to the slave dungeons. I’ve been personally offended, like my soul was on fire, from visiting a dungeon in Ghana to find that the locals were living in it and weren’t very clean with it either. You are also expected, as a black American to pay double what the locals would pay. The money is used for their everyday pay, not to refurbish or maintain the integrity of the place.
So the stereotype that Emmanuel was referring to and had decided to make a part of his doctrine of life on black American women is in his own country. There are exceptions and all that, but parenting “as an oppressed, working-class, tired and alone woman does not come with manuals nor support collectives, but we’re so glad that you can sit there and just look while you are entertained.” (quote from a dope therapist, Iresha Picot – gasp! A black America, with her educated self.)
African American women, and our sisters of other beautiful brown skin tones, why do we have to explain anything at all? I think I just had an epiphany: we don’t. Do you, talk to someone about the issue and stay on your path to greatness. Do not allow the beating up of our image nor personality with its perfections and flaws to become a post that someone else can beat up on because their penis is shrinking due to being challenged on their b.s. Misautogeny – hatred of one’s own race .
Share this post and make certain to buy the book, Wanted: Green Card. Nothing that you read here is in the book – it’s waaaayy juicier.