I was never going to see the Butler movie by Lee Daniels. I get tired of seeing us depicted in movies as stereotypical characters who are wholesome and good, but help white people discover themselves and become better, while we serve them in servitude. However, I am very appalled to the recent words of the film’s director Lee Daniels.
In an interview with Larry King, Daniels was expressing his experience growing up as an African-American gay man. The conversation went South. View his interview here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rrr7izsQa-Q
He then started describing how he walked into a gay mens’ health crisis center in New York City. He states “I expected to see a room full of gay men, but there are nothing but women that are there – black women with kids, I thought I had walked into the welfare office, but they service black women with AIDS, why?”
“Because black men can’t come out. Why? Because you simply can’t do it. Your family says it, your church says it, your teachers say it, your parents say it, your friends say it, your work says it. And so you’re living on this DL thing and you’re infecting black women.”
Although I understand Daniels’ sentiment with black men infecting black women with HIV/AIDS, why compare black women in a clinic, treating themselves and their children to black women being in a welfare office. There is no comparison.
One thing that pisses me off with welfare is that it is believed that we African-Americans, especially black women, are on welfare. Yes, I know statistics will tell you one thing. But, what are statistics? Statistics are numbers generated by people in power to gear the greater population into believing stereotypes, ideas, and garner certain beliefs about different groups of people, medicine, trends etc. That is the real definition of statistics. I mean who are participating in these surveys and tests? Have you ever been called up? Think about it.
Also, the people who use up welfare the most are Latinos, Jews and Europeans. Yes, I said it. It is so much easier for these groups of people to get welfare than it is for us. Jews get their welfare and other aids in the synagogue. Who else has this privilege. Not African Americans! Latinos and Europeans come here aided by their people in offices, and higher positions who pull down the curtains of difficulty and make it easier for them to get welfare. I do not say this to be bitter. These groups of people are organized and unify to help each other gain resources and opportunities. That is a beautiful thing. That is something that is definitely lacking in the black community. However, I say this because the hype should not be believed that we African Americans, specifically black women possess more welfare than anyone else. I know black women who have had five kids, and no job, but due to the difficulty of obtaining welfare have not been able to gain it. Thankfully she is working now. Family, statistics are not all true. They are made up to control your thinking and beliefs. V for Vendetta anyone. That was a great movie. If you have not seen it, see it. It discusses how a lot of corruption and beliefs are created.
Back to it…
I am tired of black men stomping on black. Yes, Daniels made a point about how homosexuality is different in African-American culture. He also sheds light on the struggle, homosexual black men experience. However, why try to highlight your struggle as a minority-oppressed person by bringing down another group of minority oppressed people, black women? It makes no sense and diffuses the positivity he was trying to highlight in his interview. We black women have NOTHING! Let me repeat NOTHING to do with a black mans struggle growing up gay.
We black women are not a stomping ground. We should not be used so easily as a punching bag to make a point, no matter how positive the point may be. I will not, and do not support anyone black or otherwise that seeks to benefit from the degradation of black women. None of us should. Lee Daniels is another African-American man, who unfortunately instead of trying to uplift ALL of his people, steps on those who have supported on him. We black women need to demand more, and hit them where it hurts. Deny them from flourishing with our economic power. Support those who support you and this man does not support us. –M. Millie