Trick Daddy’s disrespect for black women is a prime lesson in self-hate

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A degrading and abusive tweet directed towards black women as a whole and usually involving a comparison to another racial or ethnic group is enough to make any black woman bristle and wonder: “When did it become acceptable for black men to so publicly disrespect us?”

Yes — black men — in this case, Trick Daddy. You may remember the once-popular rapper who expanded the mainstream popularity of the Miami bass sound many years ago. He decided it was a good idea to post this on Instagram:

PSA from #trickdaddy

A video posted by Baller Alert (@balleralert) on

Trick referred to all women as hoes while admonishing black women (“bitches”) for not being as appealing or valuable as white and “Spanish” (Latina) women. It is important to note that by referring to each group of women as “hoes,” he immediately made obvious his disdain and lack of respect for the humanity of any of us; he didn’t use the word “women” once.

And, as if we spend each of our waking moments waiting for some washed-up rapper’s guidance on strengthening our womanhood, he then went on to tell black women that we need to “tighten up” and change our ways, because the other women were making gains on us. He even went so far as to suggest that if non-black women learn how to fry chicken, we as black women would become as irrelevant and unnecessary as he, his career, and his opinion are today.

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When male celebrities who have long relied on the social, emotional, and financial support of black women speak about us in such horrible ways, we often end up feeling sold out and betrayed by the those we expect to have our backs. When a rapper who hasn’t had a song hit the chart in ten years and needs attention goes on an anti-black woman Instagram rant, we have to think about where we are, culturally, and what this means for intraracial relationship dynamics between black women and black men.

Malcolm X once said that the most disrespected woman in the world is the black woman, and rather than take the time and energy required to explore such a powerful statement, we end up with a chorus of reactions — ranging from outright denial and distancing (“Not me!”; “Not all black men are like that”) to pointed blame (“You need to choose better men;” “It’s your fault for letting them do that to you”).

Despite the statistics that show black women experience violence at rates disproportionate to those of women of other racial groups, there remains a subtle demand that black women work hard to prove that we are valuable and worth black men’s emotional and financial investments.

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We already struggle with positively acknowledging and embracing our whole selves in a society that casts us as the opposite of beautiful and desirable, so to have some of our own “brothers” join in on the constant attacks on our personhood hurts.

It hurts like hell.

It pains us nearly every day, and on the days when we manage to escape the onslaught of attacks, someone will come along and make sure that we feel that pain by asserting that “white girls are evolving.” We’re relegated to being durable mules, often praised as cooks and caretakers, while other women are exalted as “wife material” and better simply by not being black.

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We have to endure regular attacks from brothers who seek the attention they know they’ll garner by bashing us; angering black women has become quite a valuable marketing tool. They also know others will join in, and those few laughs and retweets are worth completely denigrating the women who come from the same bloodlines, communities, trauma and triumph as they have.

Centuries of colonization, enslavement, rape, torture and psychological poisoning have rendered black women especially vulnerable to violence and abuse. As we have been designated as the mules of the world, too many buy into the idea that our only value is our ability to perform labor for others; bearing children, managing households, tending to physical and emotional wounds, existing as never-ending fountains of wisdom and support and providing sexual satisfaction (or the opportunity to exhibit sexual dominance) seem to be the primary functions of black women as seen by others.

As such, we are often denied even the most basic courtesy, respect, tenderness, kindness, protection and defense other women seem to receive without hesitation.

We are all supposed to be in this life together, yet the most toxic notions of masculinity have permeated our communities for decades, causing a seemingly exponential increase in emotional, psychological, and physical/sexual abuse against us. When I say there isn’t a week that goes by when I don’t read at least two news stories about a black woman being killed or sexually assaulted by a black man, I’m not exaggerating.

Trick Daddy’s response to the backlash over his video is also disturbing. Here’s what he had to say on Facebook:

I ask myself: is it that the violence and abuse against us is increasing, or are we just hearing about the acts more because of the internet and social media? Have brothers always treated us this horribly, and where did this come from?

Though some will read this an indictment on all black men, it is not. There is no way I would condemn every brother for the actions and attitudes of others, because that isn’t fair — I know entirely too many amazing men who try to do their part to fight this and bring about change. And yes, I know that all races of men have abusive monsters among them.

What I am suggesting, however, is that we have to acknowledge how white supremacy and sexism combine to create unique experiences for black women and how, unfortunately, those closest in proximity to us are too often the primary and likely perpetrators.

I’m troubled by how quick people are to poke fun at black women to get us riled up so they can use our expressions of pain-induced outrage to get clicks, retweets, and hits. I’m deeply troubled by how harming black women has become a go-to mechanism to garner attention.

And I’m disgusted with how casually some will take to public spaces to make sure others know, without a doubt, how much they hate us.

And how much they hate themselves.

Feminista Jones is a social worker, author, and activist living in Philadelphia. Follow her on Twitter @FeministaJones.