So, if you follow the internets at all, you know by now that Big Boi from Outkast is catching it from Black Female Twitter about this wack-ass, sexist-ass, bullshit-ass meme.
I wasn’t gonna weigh in (since, really, does one more opinion really matter?) But I’ve changed my mind about that, as this particular assault on Black woman/motherhood hits me in a particularly personal place. First, a question: why do we never see memes about sorry-ass black fathers? Don’t worry….I’ll wait….
Could it be because (for the most part) Black women are so busy trying to support, uplift, and at least attempt to restore to the Black man some of what centuries of oppression and slavery took from him? And before you go off on some “Not all Black women. My babymama”—shhhhh. And before you start with the “If you not like that, you shouldn’t be offended” bullshit? Just stop. I’m getting to that.
By and large, Black women have marched, fought, been hosed, been tear-gassed, protested, gone to jail, lost jobs, stood up to heavily-armed, steroid-amped, militarized police goons….all in support of our men. Because to us, Black Men’s Lives Matter. Even though those same men CONSTANTLY shit on us. And oh, the list of offenses leveled toward Black women by our men is a long one indeed, but that’s another post for another day. For now, I want to explain why Big Boi, his train of thought, and his meme are so detrimental to our community.
The history of the destruction of the Black family is a long one. It stretches back centuries. But for the sake of brevity, I’ll skip to the 60’s, since it was about that time that government assistance policies dictated a woman could receive services and benefits, but not if a man was a part of the household. That meant her man, who was unable to find a job to support his family, had to leave. And it was either that, or face destitution. This left Black families torn apart. With no father in the household, and mothers who were left to raise children alone.
Fast forward to the 80’s and add crack to the mix. Now, you have those same children who are of baby-making age, with mothers (and fathers) who are caught up in the crack epidemic. By the way, thanks for that Reagan-era government. You have a generation of aimless, hopeless kids, walking around having kids. Mothers who have no mothers. And that shit carried on into the 90’s. Mothers, as a whole, have gotten younger and younger, and, as a result, so have grandmothers. No, they don’t really sit around baking cookies and sweet potato pies these days. THEY HAVE TO WORK, ASSHOLES.
But back to my story…you have generations of parent-less girls, practically raising themselves, and guess what happens then. You got it. Some opportunistic, somewhere-near-predatory asshole stops by to take advantage of the fact that this young girl grew up FATHERLESS, pretty much motherless, and has no idea how to interact as an adult, with an adult body and hormones, and BOOM. She’s now a mother. And before you start with “not all dudes are like that”, if I’m not talking about you, you shouldn’t be offended. See how that helps not at all?
And (as I near the end of my rant and step down from my soapbox), the meme is not only stupid as fuck, it’s hurtful. We loved Good Times, but young mothers out there today have nothing but reruns. Stuff you watch when there’s nothing else on TV. They didn’t come from that era. They have no idea what the world was like at that time. How can you hold them accountable for upholding standards that don’t even exist today? I’m sure he’s not judging the women paying for tickets to his shows. The women who buy his records. The women who have been fans and supporters of his through his ENTIRE career.