Trigger Warning: anti-LGBT bigotry
Image description: A screen cap of a post on a facebook page. the facebook page is called dangerousNEGRO. the text reads “Family, Another strategy used by those who have an interest in the destruction of the Black family is to label everything that doesn’t directly praise LGBTQ as homophobic and femmephobic. The attack on Black masculinity is well documented, despite the persistent efforts by many who resent the Black man to change the topic of discussion to hyper masculinity. It’s always the same thing with disinformationists: they tell us we should be focused on a different issue; they tell us that ‘everyone else is doing it - not just Blacks’; they tell us race doesn’t matter; they tell us that they are disappointed in what we share on the page; they ridicule the Admin/Page for sharing a specific subject, but get offended when they get shut down. This is the M.O. of the overwhelming majority of Facebook “debaters”. You may take them seriously, but I don’t have time for that.”
dangerousNEGRO and Dangerous Homophobia
This morning i was checking my facebook feed when i saw one of my friends had commented on thread trending on the dangerousNEGRO facebook page.
For those of you who don’t know, dangerousNEGRO is a black owned clothing company which makes t-shirts that attempt to pander at black nationalist rhetorical sentiment, mainly the idea that the upliftment of the black community is contingent on education and respectability, i.e distancing yourself as far as you can from the “n**** mentality”.
And after seeing this t-shirt make the rounds as something on the side of enlightening i went to their website.
Color me not surprised when i saw t-shirts like
So i wasn’t really surprised when i checked the thread she commented on only to find the above picture, which attempts to connect the destruction of the black family to the prominence of LGBT issues in society’s discourse. The above screen cap unfortunately cuts off a picture of a passage from the book entitled “The N***** Family”, which discusses the destruction of the black family in further detail. Click the above link if you want to read it.
Honestly, this is not a new phenomenon within cis heteropatriarchial black nationalist circles. Its not difficult to find reading material and merchandise which supports black nationalism but subsequently shits on black women and black LGBT folk.
so why do i point this out?
usually i’m not one to tell people to boycott a company or a product because i think boycotts are anchored in some seriously classicist bullshit. but i don’t think a t-shirt that promotes black nationalist themes at the expense of black women and LGBT folks is essential for daily survival.
i also think as much as black LGBT folk want to anchor themselves and be included in black nationalist struggle, they have to be aware that many of those movement not only seek to exclude them but use them as a rhetorical device for why the black family/community/word is essentially crumbling. this essentially, in my eyes, is a safety risk. I don’t know how many times I’ve attempted to navigate black nationalist spaces in Chicago, for example, only to have cis black men come on to me as an attempt to “show me that i’m not actually queer”. and this isn’t to say that there aren’t some out there that actively work towards being checking homophobia and transphobia, and the connections of that to violence against queer black women.
but they’re aren’t enough for us to feel completely safe in their company.
and dangerousNEGRO isn’t one of them
i’d also like to point out the scathing the irony of black nationalist movements orienting themselves around cisheteropatriachy and anchoring their rhetoric in anti-LGBT bigotry is that some of the most well known contributors to black nationalist thought or discourses on black liberation are queer identified.
i don’t know how many times i’ve seen older likenesses of a young angela davis used as a pin up, or an essay by Audre Lorde quoted in an attempt to make a point about revolution. So there’s a blatant commodification of black queer bodies and ideas that goes on within these cis heteropatriarchial black nationalist spaces, yet all the while shoving us out of the movement for our “deviance and destruction to the black community”.
so i ask that people think twice before purchasing or reblogging anything that comes from the dangerousNEGRO website.
You can be for black power and for black LGBT people at the same time. Its not an oxymoron. But not if you support the likes and rhetoric of dangerousNEGRO.
Note: For every non-black person reading this post, please work to actively check your notions that black people are somehow more homophobic than the rest, especially in contrast to white folks. If there’s one thing i hate is when black folks are trying to have a legitimate conversation about oppressions that plague our community, such as anti-LGBT bigotry, and then someone whose not black goes and uses it as an example of how homophobic we are and here’s the golden nugget of truth. No, this is not your golden nugget of truth. This is an internal dialogue going on between black folks. Know that!