Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Billboard

Last Friday, I didn’t post because I had a fever, chills, and body aches….some call it the flu, but if felt like “the gone die.”  Then the Friday, before that I did a video instead of writing something. Thought I would switch up a little and give my followers, something pretty to look at. Lol. Anyhoo, not writing for the past two weeks has left me mentally constipated, so today; I have a lot to say. First and foremost is “the Billboard.” Yes, the infamous and recently removed billboard that was hung up in that NYC neighborhood a few weeks ago. That billboard has gotten way to much press already, so I won’t bother posting another picture of it, but I did feel like it warranted a little conversation.  Intelligent conversation not just the, “Black women is the victim,” bs that I heard and read right after the billboard was posted.
 I must admit, I was furious after seeing the billboard, but not because of what it said but for what everyone else was saying about it. The majority of the comments that I read about the billboard had the same tone, which was “let’s point the finger at someone else…preferably someone White.” In general Black women were saying that it wasn’t fair to single out Black women and abortion because Black women are not the only women who have abortions. And my response to that is twofold, first… “no shit, Captain Obvious” and secondly….SO WHAT! Does it matter that other ethnicities have abortions? Does that make it better? Are more abortions better than fewer abortions? I mean give me a break. And before, I start to get a bunch of back lash from all my pro-choice comrades…let me say this. I am 100% in support of a woman being able to choose what she does with her body. BUT I am also a realist. My argument against the pro-choice people has more to do with them not being honest about what abortion really is. Abortion is murder. Period.  Just like capital punishment is murder and plain old “put a bullet in your brain because you broke in my house” is murder. It is the taking of a human life. The fact that said life is still connected to your body (in my opinion) makes it even more heinous. It does NOT make it some lofty and moral human right. It’s still murder.  Nowadays, we have gotten too political, too metaphorical with our view of the world and honesty and truth is suffering. People want to make it seem like they are doing some societal service and exercising some inalienable human right by getting rid of a problem pregnancy.  When in reality, they are just getting rid of what they deem a problem. I noticed that a lot of women who were so angry about the billboard had had abortions in the past. They wanted to be sure to say this so that we could all understand their pain. But, I am not sure that I do understand their pain…all I see is the problem and the solution. You didn’t want the baby, because you were young or whatever your reason is and so you killed it. That’s what happened. Why would you feel bad about it now?
(I think)what really happened is  that Black women are embarrassed, so they are being defensive instead of being smart. At six years old it may have been acceptable to get caught doing something and then point the finger at someone else, but as an adult I think we should take more responsibility. If you had an abortion it’s your abortion. You are the only person that is called to bear the responsibility, guilt or whatever comes with that decision. You and you alone. Stop blaming other people.
In this country, people can commit horrible atrocities against other people and all they need to do is apologize and all is supposed to be forgiven. And perhaps society will forgive you. But in the depths of your own mind and the quiets of your spirit, you WILL be forced to pay restitution for any and everything you have ever done that YOU felt was wrong. You see, human beings do not have the capacity or the authority to judge other human beings. All rightness and wrongness is determined in the mind of the person who perceives it. Another human being cannot make you feel guilty or judged…if you feel guilty and judged it’s because that’s how you felt anyway.  
Black people always feel like they have to protect this image of Blackness. Like, we have to keep all of our dirty laundry locked up in the closet (so that ONLY our house stinks)! Well, guess what…it doesn’t matter if people know or don’t know. The problem is the dirty laundry. So wash it. Beyond that, trying to change “the worlds” opinion of our Blackness is an exercise in futility. People who want to hate will create a reason to hate you. The first racists did not have a reason to hate Black people. So they picked surface characteristics like skin color and hair texture. And what did Black people do?  We went to work trying to convince White people that we were just as good and as beautiful as them in public, while we permed our hair and bleached our skin in private.  What we forgot to do, however was remember that excellence should be standard, not being the same as White people. White people are not perfect. So why are we always comparing ourselves to them and searching for their approval?  In a perfect world, there would be NO abortions, so why not see how we stack up against 0, instead of 20% or whatever the abortion rate is for White Americans? Equality has NOTHING to do with Sameness. Just a thought…
**Meanwhile, the mother of beautiful little girl whose picture was used on the billboard wants it removed. EVEN though, she signed a release that the image could be used however by whoever. BUUUUT, I guess that someone's else fault too. Not hers. I just wonder if its not her job to protect the likeness of her daughter...who's is it???**
PLUS….Shame and guilt are personal emotions, reflecting pre-existing personal feelings of inadequacy. You are not mad at the billboard people for saying bad things about Black women. You are embarrassed and ashamed because of choices that you have made in the past or feel like you would make in the future.  I have never been pregnant before, so I can’t speak to how it feels to have to make that choice. BUT I was in love at 14, and sexually active with a man that was 7 years older than me. At 14, we didn’t always use a condom (surprise, surprise) and it was completely possible that I could have gotten pregnant. Who is to say what I would have done, if I had gotten pregnant…but seeing how my life as unfolded this far, it’s very possible that I would have chosen to have an abortion. Why? Because I wanted to go to college, to pledge Delta, to travel to do all the things I have been able to do because I didn’t have children young.  But if I had of had an abortion, I am not sure that the billboard would make me feel as bad as going to college made me feel good. Do you know what I mean? 
Choosing to be pro-life or pro- choice isn’t really the issue.  For all intents and purposes, I guess you can say I am pro life. Because I don t think it’s the unborn’s fault that I made a poor choice, and I don’t think that I have the right to take a life, that I did not create all by myself.  The creation of life is an undertaking that is shared by man, women, spirit, and baby. So I don’t think it’s fair that the woman is the only one who gets to choose how long that life is sustained. On the other hand, I don t like the idea that all abortions (even ones that would save the mother’s life) should be illegal. Because again….man is NOT to be the judge. And who is to say that NOT having a child at 12 and allowing a young girl to grow into a woman uninhibited by an unwanted baby isn’t saving her life in a way. I think it’s all pretty relative and subjective. So I guess instead of mislabeling myself as pro-life or pro- choice…I’ll be honest and say I’m pro truth and pro responsibility.  Abortion is murder and sometimes (to some people) murder is the appropriate way to deal with a problem. If you don’t like it, don’t get one. If you can’t deal with the responsibility of taking a life to improve your own….don’t do it. But if you do decide to make that choice, understand that no other human can or will judge you for it. You will need to be honest with yourself about how you feel about what you did. It’s ignorant to believe that there is some arbitrary pre-determined rule book on how to live life. That GOD is going to punish or judge all of us for each sin and transgression. It’s a child’s understanding of the world and it’s time for all us to grow up. The universe has one law and it goes like this…It is what it is. A tree is a tree. Grass is grass. People are people. Murder is murder.  The assigning or right and wrong and good and bad is an exercise that only human beings participate in. Some people think only GOD can judge me, but the truth is he won’t. Because he won’t have to.  You will do it to yourself. 
In college, I studied Sociology. I really loved it because Sociology as a science is very matter of fact and very emote-less.  Things just are what they are. I had a great professor, who was such a Sociologist that she wouldn’t allow us to give her reasons if we were going to miss class.  She felt like our “reasons” could be considered excuses. Reasons, she said were too subjective. Just state the facts, I am not coming. Because that’s the truth. No room for interpretation like being sick or being tired leaves. It is what it is.
It’s true, we all have feelings about things, and our feelings (while important) have nothing to do with the facts of any given situation. In my opinion, you almost have to compartmentalize each situation to understand this and be able to deal with problems as they are. You will find the issue is almost never the problem per se, so much as it your feelings about the problem. Think about it. People weren’t mad about the billboard. The billboard made a statement…based on documented facts. But the facts of the billboard made people feel bad. People don’t like to feel bad, so the emotions erupted. It’s just that simple. I don’t know maybe I am a cynic. I am an Aquarius after all and we tend to be highly intellectual and a little distant and out of touch at times. We can be aloof and live in our head a little. But I just feel like it’s time for we as human beings to take a more active role in our lives. It’s time for us to show up to life. No one wants to judge you or attack you. There is so much division in the world, so much separating, labeling and judgment…where there should be unity. Everybody fighting with everyone else, because they refuse to confront the man in the mirror. My beauty, goodness, and morality is not a matter of public debate. It’s a private matter, between me and my spiritual leader. The world is entitled it’s opinion about abortion, same-sex marriage and so on. But it doesn’t have the power to make you feel one way or another. You feelings are your responsibility. So do a better job or protecting them by making decisions that you can stand behind (even when you are under attack). And if you feel guilty about something… say it. If you’re sorry, say it. Then let it go. It’s not about everybody else…THIS is all ABOUT YOU…but you knew that didn’t you…and that’s why you got so mad and embarrassed when other people put your private shame, fear, and regret…on a 100 foot billboard.

No comments:

Post a Comment