Thursday, December 13, 2012

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Black women and babies are dying and it's devastating the human race. WHEN WILL YOU FUCKING CARE?

I try to stay away from profanity -- on my blog -- and even my Twitter stream and any other social network. Not because I have an inherent moral issue with swear words. On the contrary, I definitely can get in my fair share. But it's out of respect for my mother, and the strong Christian woman she was, who was always offended by them, and the fact that I do have a semblance of consideration for other people is why. I think about her and out of this respect, think of others who may have the same viewpoint and I refrain. That's it. There is no other reason. On another note, a friend of mine tells her children in addition to kicking and screaming to cuss loudly -- if someone is approaching them and trying to abduct or cause some other type of harm. It gets people's attention.

Yesterday I drove my little sister to the dentist. After a quick trip to the thrift store down the street to browse for a few, I was back in the parking lot of the dental office because I just didn't feel like going in, and sat outside in the car. I fell asleep for over an hour and woke up to half of my body being numb, apparently because of the position I was in. This may seem like no big deal to you -- falling asleep in the car -- except I never do that. Ever. Over the past few days I've been sullen and lethargic. I'm depressed. I'm depressed about of all of the attitudes of apathy around me and the carelessness regarding Black women and our children -- it's everywhere. It seems no matter what is done folks just don't seem interested enough to try and do what they can to help out. And I feel like I can't speak loudly enough to get anyone's attention.

I posted a link on facebook twice, asking my nearly 200 friends to vote for La Leche League of Washington to win a $5,000 award they're competing for -- one that would help out tremendously, by allowing us to provide scholarships for registration fees, and also it would help pay for travel, etc. for speakers for the upcoming summit on racism, white privilege an power in breastfeeding -- addressing these issues among communities of color. No one responded. Excuse me, except people who are on the planning committee. The second time it remained untouched. But this is only one of many examples that I've experienced recently. It never stops amazing me that I can be deleted countless times from facebook, and have people refuse to associate with me in various other contexts because of my political views, but when people remain silent then all is well.

As I've been over here sulking and wanting to sleep the day away, I thought about an article that was posted not so long ago on the mahogany way birth cafe, where Darcel, the blog's owner, criticized birth advocates, and asked what exactly will it take to get their attention on Black maternal-infant mortality? "When will you care?" When will the issues of health and wellness surpass the issues of race to make them become the true birth justice activists they claim to be. Here's an excerpt. Read the full article here:
I really want to know when will you care? When it’s your friend, someone you work with? When your son ends up with your half black grandchild? When you end up pregnant with a half black child? When will you see these posts, statistics, articles, and do something about it? How can you call yourself a birth worker, or birth activist, and sit by while innocent black babies die at an alarming rate? When will you be able to step outside of yourself to help a community and movement you claim to care so much about? Or is it that you only care when it concerns you?
Experiencing these types of apathetic attitudes is nothing new. And I'm not really surprised at the continued lack of regard for the lives of Black women and babies, but it's hitting me on a new level. I'm tired of seeing it so deeply from people near and far, and constantly seeing the utter lack of interest in the things I find important -- things that are important -- human life.  And I don't know how to process it. I don't need to spout off the sobering statistics from the CDC, World Health Organization, and any grassroots organization because I'm sure folks are well aware of these issues. I'm convinced they are. Just unconcerned. But I  have a few question of my own. Tell me when will you fucking care?

When will you drop a fucking nickel on a cause that's worth something, rather than rushing out to buy material shit, with resources mined from earth's materials and built on the backs of vulnerable communities?

When will you volunteer or otherwise spend one fucking minute of your time working towards equity instead of looking for others to do it for you, as you try and remove yourself from responsibility?

When will you stand the fuck up to issues of socio-political inequity, structural violence and cultural insularity, and recognize you are not helpless in making an effort to challenge these? To push towards a more just society -- so people can live?

When will you sit the fuck down and strategize on how to find practical or creative ways to counter oppressive tactics directed towards vulnerable populations?


When will you stop fucking pretending to be ignorant of racism and its fundamental impact on health and social equality? When will you speak up about it instead of remaining silent? Or, when will you stop referring to race relations in passing -- as if it's just a side note instead of the main component?

When will you give a fuck about breastfeeding and why doesn't it bother you that Black babies are disproportionately not receiving proper nutrition. Is it because you never had any issues nursing your own child? Maybe you did, maybe you didn't. Or maybe you don't have children at all, when will you fucking recognize this issue requires a collective effort -- and that you are affected? There's a bigger picture. This is your concern.

Black people, when will you care? When will white people care? And Brown and Red and Yellow people? When will heterosexual people, and gay people and men and women and trans and non-gendered people realize you need to pay close attention to what's going on? What about atheists and Christians, Muslims, and Jews, Buddhists and everyone practicing and non-practicing, old and young people care about the staggering rate of maternal-infant mortality among Black women and Black babies?

When will your consciousness extend beyond your fucking nose, and you make yourself accountable for supporting Black maternal-infant mortality by remaining complacent?

Tell me!

I want to know!

Though sometimes I wonder why I even bother.