Yesterday the internet was abuzz with the fact that
Prince might be homophobic.
Carmen from New Demographic commented on
Twitter that this didn't make sense. She wrote ,
"I'm still amazed that Prince is a homophobe.
I mean, isn't there a good chance he's been gay-
bashed in his life? (Even if he's not gay). I responded
back saying that she presumed that possessing
a "fringe Black masculinity" would make him more
likely to be tolerant. I added that tolerance, like hate is taught.
She responded saying she agreed, but it was still sad.
Even before I read the evidence of what Prince said, I suspected that
if Prince was being intolerant, then perhaps may have something
to do with his interpretation of the tenets of his faith practices.
This Prince moment also reminded me that our generation has a
hard time accepting the fact that victims can be perpetrators.
The question of whether victims can be perpetrators
has been on my mind for a while. A couple of weeks ago,
I was having conversation I had with Krisna Best, of the
Hip Hop and Democracy Project, which grew from my review
of Byron Hurts film, Barack and Curtis.
Below I provide two quotes, which in my opinion
get to the issue of our discussion of whether victims
can be perpetrators.
Krisna wrote,While he didn't respond at the time to my question,
Your example of the white woman reminds me a lot of
the whole "black on black crime" thing. This is where
I start to disagree with you. There's a white supremacist
tinge to the black-on-black-crime concept because it
pathologizes, if you will, black behavior. Black folks commit
crime not because of a pathology or because of false
consciousness, but because of much larger structural
circumstances and is related to my point about this generation
breaking with the conditions of work. They see the old arrangement
as providing no road out of the circumstances of our society,
not because they believe in their inferiority or whatever the
conclusions of this bogus psychoanalysis are.
Aren't you pathologizing them into permanent victimhood?
They have agency. They can choose. We all choose to sell crack
blog, have children, vote, join the army. I am completely aware of
the fact that our choices take place within the range of options
available to us, and that often times our parents class status
dictates exactly which options we just may have.
Let me ask you this? Do you think that D-boys/Pimps have agency?
he has done so since I posted this.
The notion of victims being perpetrators weighs heavy on
my mind, as I have been reading a lot about the Black Power
Movement, Gender and Sexism for the past few weeks.
You may be surprised, but, there were folks who felt that Black
men weren't capable of being sexist because they were
victims of racism. Somehow, they some folks to believe that being a
victim, they couldn't be a perpetrator.
Now this of course makes no sense. For example, Black folks
who have been victims of racism can be prejudicial towards others
Black folks regarding skin color. Paper bag party anyone?
Thats the horror of racism. It corrupts. It poisons.
Once we decide to refuse to look at people solely as victims
who have nothing to contribute, and to see people as subjects
who have agency and a will to change, the path will be laid for
us to have personal transformation on an individual and societal scale.