Freeing the Scapegoat~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women & Girls Self-Define

Hello Sisters,

This post is near and dear to my heart, as the subject matter is personal on several levels. 

Have you heard of the term “scapegoat”?  Please allow me to provide a brief overview:

Classically defined, a scapegoat is “a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place”;  and ”one that bears the blame for others; one that is the object of irrational hostility.”  (Merriam-Webster).

In short-story form, in the days of old, villagers would take an innocent goat, parade it through the town, and project all of their sins, mis-deeds, lies, and tawdry secrets upon it. Afterward, they would ceremoniously lead the little goat into the wilderness and kill it, thereby absolving themselves of all things unclean and unlike God; the things they did not want to face about themselves.

This noun becomes a verb in the form of what’s termed “scapegoating”; the act of an individual or group performing the same activities described above to another individual or group, in an effort to absolve themselves of guilt, crime, sin, or wrong-doing; forcing the blame on the innocent.

Scapegoating in society was best summed up by Martiniquan psychiatrist, philosopher, and political activist, Frantz Fanon (1925–1961).  In his 1952 book titled “Black Skins, White Masks” Fanon wrote: 

“Collective guilt is borne by what is conventionally called the scapegoat. Now the scapegoat for white society–which is based on myths of progress, civilization, liberalism, education, enlightenment, refinement–will be precisely the force that opposes the expansion and the triumph of these myths. This brutal opposing force is supplied by the Negro.”

Fanon hit the proverbial nail on the head when he pointed out that black people in America bore the label of scapegoat, and still do to this day.  And as someone near and dear to me pointed out, what does a scapegoat do when mistreated and unfairly labeled?  They fight!  They rebel.  They become angry, and disgruntled…rambunctious and willful, in the attempt to shake off a label they never earned and that fits as comfortably as an itchy wool sweater in the heat of summer.

Does any of this sound familiar, dear sisters? 

It’s my hypothesis that in this day and age of supreme American narcissism, racism, classicism, and sexism, the newest scapegoat is not just black people, but black WOMEN. 

Why?  Because of our perceived vulnerability.  On the outside looking in, we’ve no one to protect us.  Our community appears irreparably divided (like no one “has our back”).  Our men appear to have abandoned us.  We’re an easy target. 

It just makes sense…the myriad articles recently penned by so-called professionals and specialists describing our perceived inferiority, our unattractiveness, castigating us as the “least desirable” of society.  What’s that about?!  And lately, the scapegoating tactics have become more subversive in the attempt to point a judgmental finger at black women, by presenting us in myriad forms of media as materialistic, uneducated, gold-digging, promiscuous savages, too wild and inappropriate to behave, function in, and contribute to society.  It’s not just entertainment, folks – it’s a full blown negative propaganda campaign.

I hear the protests now:  “but, we’re signing up for these shows/music videos/rap songs” you say, and “we do it to ourselves” you cry, and last but not least “but, there ARE some mad, ratchet, crazy, angry black women out there…lots of them!” you concede, and to that, I gently advise you to refer to the story of the scapegoat.  Again, if you’re constantly being told who you are not, what you cannot be, do and have, how you’re the least of a group, and the most unwanted, while knowing in stark contrast that you were born of God just as anyone else, and the only thing that makes you different is the color of your skin and the texture of your hair, WOULDN’T YOU FIGHT BACK TOO?

They’re LIES!  Wouldn’t you be angry if you were constantly lied to since birth?  Wouldn’t you be loud when out and about in a vain attempt to prove that you EXIST?  Wouldn’t you make every attempt known to man to make beautiful what you’re told is ugly by adorning yourself in the brightest, flashiest, most visible garb and jewelry available?  If you’re told your hair is the worst ever created, wouldn’t you buy it, trade it, sew it in, glue it down, fry it up, and slick it back, in an effort to fit in and be loved?  And lastly, if always on the bottom ledge of society, a few thousand dollars to episodically show off and show-out would be welcomed payment for both your pockets and your self esteem.

Yep, scapegoating, indeed (with a splash of exploitation). 

Now, since, per usual, we here at the site do not dwell on problems, but reveal them only to locate and provide solutions, we believe we’ve identified the way to stop this madness and redefine our roles in society, and in our own communities.

It’s time to free the scapegoat!

And how, you ask? 

We free the scapegoat by defining who we are, and placing value, emphasis, and worth on all of the beautiful, amazing, attributes we’ve been blessed to embody.  And we don’t just think it…we KNOW it, live it, walk it, talk it, and thrive as a result of our new perception of self.  We gently hammer it into our souls so deeply that nothing said or done by “them” can shake it.  We free the scapegoat.

Sisters, we have to define and re-define ourselves, for ourselves.  We cannot listen to the voices and projections of others to create our identity.  We cannot own what we’ve been told about ourselves if it’s anything less then positive and affirming, and we cannot live our lives reacting against lies.  Living in that fashion keeps us both trapped and enslaved by the thoughts and projections of others, and that is NOT the destiny prescribed by us by our creator.

We could fill this page and a thousand others with all of the amazing attributes that black women and girls possess (and we almost did, in the previous post titled “Who We Are” – check it out!), but the whole truth is that you, as an individual, must define yourself, for yourself.  YOU must take a powerful, silent inventory of all of the great things that make you, you, and firmly own all of the glorious attributes that you know, deep in your soul, God blessed you to be, do, and have.

And then you have to LIVE them, whether in cooperation with, or in contrast to, what and who surrounds you on a daily basis.  Let this quote guide you on your new journey of freedom and self-definition:

“Be committed to creating a soul-connected reality, building a new sense of self, connected to your inner core.”

Simply BE who you SAY you are!  Be tenacious.  Be unshakable.  Be demure, and graceful.  Be purposeful and loving, graceful and glamorous.  Be bold and self-assured.  Be confident and vocal. If you’re a star, BE a star!  If you’re fabulous, there’s no need to shout it to the rooftops and hammer it into the heads of others…”they” don’t matter.  Simply BE it.  You are all that you want to be, and all that God placed you here to be; you just have to reveal it to yourself and own it.  And if it helps to jump-start your self-identification process, start with knowing that in the eyes of your creator, you are simply PERFECT.  :-)

Free the scapegoat today, then after you become free, reach back and help free the minds of our other “trapped” sisters.  It’s our duty. 

I’ll see you in the pasture of self-identification and self-actualization, where the grass is indeed greener.  :-)

Love always,

PositiveProp~

WatchCatting: Paw-Bumps to P&G!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Propaganda:  YES, Our Black IS Beautiful & Our Money is Long!

Well hello, Sisters (and sis-supporters)!

Have you heard (or seen)? 

Amid all of the whack and inaccurate portrayals of us in commercial advertising (neck rolling grannies, no-money having sistahs, rapping fast food eaters, etc, etc, etc), there are a few corporations that care about our needs as black women, and who take pains to ensure we’re accurately represented.  *wee!*

Considering that black buying power is “projected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015″ (per The State of the African-American Consumer Report, released in Q4 of 2011), it clearly behooves corporations to pay attention to our needs and portray us more positively and accurately in their advertising.

To that end, we as black-women-consumers need to hiss loudly at those who overstep their advertising boundaries, and promote and uplift those who wish to maintain a positive relationship with us.

And since we love to highlight all-things-good on this site, It’s time to give a paw-bump (that’s a fist-bump, C.A.T. style) to Proctor & Gamble (P&G)!

P&G has been around since 1837, and is currently a billion-dollar brand with ownership of some of our most beloved (and quality) products, such as Tide, Always, Secret, Olay, Crest, Tampax, and CoverGirl (don’t you love those “easy-breezy” adds with Queen Latifah?!).

In taking a quick view of their company’s site, their mission statement includes their committment to diversity, which we at Positive Propaganda LOVE to see:

  • Diversity and Inclusion
    “Diversity of ideas, experiences, race and gender are vital to P&G’s ability to touch and improve the lives of consumers around the world. The practice of inclusion ensures that this diversity isn’t merely represented, but is integral to the way we compete and win every day.”

But most imporantly, P&G walks their talk, and has blown this sister C.A.T. away with the creation of “My Black is Beautiful”, a movement devoted specifically to women of color, and black women, specifically!

While the campaign has been in existence since 2008, we here at the site are just now hearing about it, and want to make sure all of our sisters are in the know so we can actively support brands who support us.

Check out what P&G has to say about this awesome campaign:

“Our extraordinary initiative, My Black Is Beautiful, celebrates the diverse collective beauty of African-American women and nurtures black self-esteem. The movement encourages black women to define and promote our own beauty standard — one that is an authentic reflection of our indomitable spirit.

Recognizing that beauty and self-confidence are intrinsically linked, My Black Is Beautiful Is designed to ignite black pride and to support a sustained national conversation by, for and about black women — the way we are reflected in popular culture and how we serve as the catalyst for a movement that effects positive change.”

Now THAT’S what’s up! 

I knew I loved Olay, Always, Tampax, and CoverGirl for a reason!  LOL! 

Be sure to patronize brands such as those under the P&G umbrella, and become a part of the My Black is Beautiful movement:  http://www.myblackisbeautiful.com

And also, feel free to share with the C.A.T.S. community and sisters everywhere the names and brands of advertisers and corporations that are getting it right! 

Money talks, so let’s love those who love us.

Happy shopping, and meow,

PositiveProp~

Listening To Our “God Voice”

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women Are Intuitive

Good morning, sisters!

And it is.  :-)

A lot’s been going on in black America lately with the rise of negative media images such as those seen on VH1′s “Basketball Wives” (I’ll post on that soon…need to spin someting positive out of that atrocity.  Pray for us, ya’ll.  Pray), but as is the mission of this site, we’re choosing to continue focusing on the light, bright, and right. 

Which brings us to today’s timely post:  listening to, and using, our intuition.

Do you recognize the sistah at the top of this page?  She’s an American hero in my book, and I’m sure in the books of many.  Her name is Lisa Campbell, the woman whose faithful use of her intuition led to the arrest of kidnapper and convicted rapist Phillip Garrido in 2009. 

Phillip and his wife heinously kidnapped young Jaycee Dugard in 1991 and held her prisoner in the backyard of their Antioch, California home for 18 years.  Jaycee was impregnated with two girls during this traumatic time.  One can only imagine the horrors Jaycee and her children had to endure while being held captive for nearly two decades.

Lisa was working as a special events coordinator with the University of California, Berkeley police department on the fateful day that Garrido walked in with two young girls in tow.  While neither Garrido nor the two girls displayed behavior in Lisa’s office that was out of the norm, it was, acorrding to Lisa, the girls’ “nonverbal communication” that triggered a cause for alarm. 

The next day Garrido returned with the two girls and Campbell sprung into action.  She quickly alerted office-mate and police officer, Ally Jacobs:  ”This guy in my office…he’s got these two young girls…something’s not right.”

And the rest is American history.

A feeling; a whisper.  It’s routinely called intuition.  I call it our God Voice.

It’s my belief that this voice resides within the souls of black women to a great degree.  We KNOW things.  We sense them.  It’s our God Voice that allowed us to stay alive during times of slavery and entrapment; that sustained us during some of the worst atrocities known to man. 

Harriett Tubman’s God Voice led her to strike out against captivity, and risk her life seeking freedom for both herself and hundreds of other slaves.  One white abolitonist once said of Tubman:  “She spoke of “consulting with God”, and trusted that He would keep her safe. I never met with any person of any color who had more confidence in the voice of God, as spoken direct to her soul.”

What if Lisa Campbell hadn’t listened to her intuition that fateful day in 2009?  What if Harriett Tubman had been too afraid to trust her God Voice, and decided to stay “safe” on the plantation instead?  Sisters, our intuition is both our spiritual guide and our gift, and deserves to be routinely and strictly followed.

My intuition is amazingly strong – some might say I’m downright psychic – but I’ve many times more than I’d like to count not followed it out of habit, fear, laziness, or human willfulness.  And in every instance, unfortunate events occurred.

I’ve since learned to trust my God Voice.  I trust it now in the simplest of times:  like when a song comes on the radio denegrating women (you know the type), and my God Voice politely asks me to change the station or turn it off.  “You don’t need that in your spirit” it will whisper, and where I would once continue to bob my head and cry “Look Ma, no hands!”, I now take heed.  And you know what?  I feel lighter.  Lovelier.  Better about myself and my sisters.  Our God Voice loves us and wants the best for us.

In other times, my God Voice is louder; more insistent:  “Leave that man alone!” it will scream.  “Don’t go there with those people!”, it will say.  “Don’t take that trip!” it warns me.  And I listen.  Who knows if my life has been spared, or if I’ve avoided something as simple as an unpleasant experience…I’ve learned to listen, regardless of the predicted outcome.

God knows best.

Lately I’ve noticed my God Voice speaking to me in another way.  It’s saying:  “You’re so much greater than you know” and “You can be, do, and have ANYTHING you want!” (“Ask and ye shall receive”).  So many times we denigrate ourselves as black women.  We listen to popular culture that says we’re “lesser than” and “unattractive.”  That we’ll never find a mate, or that our black men have abandoned us for good. That our role in society is to neither be seen nor heard in postive ways.

I’ve since decided to no longer listen that THOSE voices.  I don’t know, nor do I trust, THEM.  But who I DO trust is God, and God – my creator, and to whom we will all return as the source of our lives – knows that I am beautiful and loved, wanted and appreciated, desired and deserving.  My gentle yet firm God Voice says that I AM that I AM and what I AM is a spark of genius..a piece of God itself in human form.

THAT’S who we are, sisters, and it’s high time we tune out the voices of others and seek the only one that matters as we enter the next evolution of our journey. 

We have a legacy to uphold.  Let us not squander the powerful gift provided to Lisa Campbell that helped save three lives and bring evil-doers to justice on that random day in 2009.  Let us not ignore the same voice that urged our sister Harriet Tubman to reach for a reality of freedom far beyond her imagination and circumstances.  I truly believe that none of us would be here today if our courageous ancestors had not followed their God Voices to safety, in one way or another. 

How are you using your God Voice today, and every day?  Are you using it to catch your man in a lie (we’re good at that!)?  How about taking that same energy and power, and asking your God Voice to lead you to a healthy realtionship with someone trustworthy and emotionally safe?  Or are you not using it at all?  Are you at a place in your life where you’ve been so beaten down and discouraged by others and difficult circumstances that  you’ve completely shut down and turned off your God Voice?  If so, know that it will never leave you and is simply waiting for your attention and obedience.  God is faithful, and will never leave you in life’s wilderness.  Ask God to reveal your next steps through your own personal intuition…your individual, unique God Voice…and then take action on the guidance you receive.

Who knows…the life you save, emotionally, physically, spiritually, or mentally, could be your own. 

Or heck, mine, ’cause as sisters you’ve got my back, right?  ;-)

With love,

PositiveProp

meow~