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I subscribe to a lot of great blogs and when news broke of Whitney’s death we all sat stunned wondering if this was true or a bad joke. Unfortunately it was not a joke and soon, I began to get alerts from bloggers that I subscribe to whose posts made me pause and think. I think we can all learn a vital lesson from Whitney’s life and untimely death.
When Whitney began dating Bobby back in the early 90’s a lot of people including my mother and aunts wondered what such a young, talented, beautiful woman full of promise and potential could be doing with a man like Bobby who had baby mothers and chldren strewn all over the country and a reckless attitude. Surely someone could talk some sense into her before it was too late. It seems that talk never came or maybe it did but never sank in because next thing I heard they were getting married. On the playground the next day, in a circle of 10 and 11 years olds we discussed how Whitney was making the biggest mistake of her life. We all agreed and hoped for the best.
“What a big mistake Whitney is making. He is just going to bring her down”
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what he did.
I subscribe to the BWE movement for many reasons. First reason is my parents raised me with common sense values from I was a little girl which the movement strives to teach other young women and secondly, the movement provides practical real life warnings that cautions women against the schemes, rhetoric, lies, smoke screens and gas lighting that a lot of young black women face in the black community; many of which I seen first hand through the lives of friends of the family.
Whitney dating and marrying Bobby Brown, a DBR man who would later suck her dry (fame, prestige, money, status, brand, and image), introduce her to his drug filled lifestyle (cocaine, marijuana and other elicit drugs) and alter her life forever (her singing voice was never the same, fans felt abandoned, her image never fully recovered and her life aired out for all to see and shake their heads at) all came down to her own choice. No matter what reason she gave she still chose this person to couple with and the downward spiral her life took thereafter.
Women, we can’t sacrifice ourselves to save anyone who doesn’t have and prove to have the ability to provide for our best interests. If they cannot offer us receiprocity in exchange for our resources whether they are male or female it is not wise to continue to build any type of relationship with them. Black women, you MUST put yourselves and your children (and/or future children) first. Black women are not a protected group like other races of women whose men are raised to value their women, pursue success then share it and provide for their family.
If you don’t believe me, turn on BET, or any Black reality show such as “Love and Hip Hop,” “Basketball wives”, or “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and see how Black women are portrayed. Go to the movies and watch a Tyler Perry movie, a Martin Lawrence movie, Ice Cube, Snood Dogg or Waynes brothers movie. The stereotypes and negative messages being sent out is staggering. Black women are being portrayed as hoes, sluts, bitches, jezebels, baby mothers, maids, mammies, loud mouthed, ignorant, boisterous, uneducated, aggressive, confrontational, emasculaing, ball breaking, ugly, un-feminine, unattractive, self sacrificing, unmarried, unhappy, sad and lonely women whom no man really wants for more then some exotic coco-brown sex (or a good booty shaking on a poll somewhere to have money rained on her ass- The R&B singer Neyo and his baby mother showed everyone how it’s done last week -smh) when he feels the craving for something spicy.
I can’t say if Whitney had anyone to give her the wisdom and warnings the BWE movement provides and promotes but I do know she fell for the allure of the reckless bad boy. Bad boys have special appeal because they represent unapologetic freedom from the constraints society and our parents try to make us adhere us to. The freedom to do what you want is intocicating and seductive but freedom, in any form has a cost. We, women, especially black women cannot afford to waste another moment with someone who cannot receiporcate our resources be it love, money, time (yes time is a precous resource that we can’t buy back), our hearts or our minds back to us.
Arm yoursef with wisdom, follow common sense and not just your heart which relies on feeings that are fleeting. Substance, and character is what matters and what determines if this person is right or wrong for you. Black women, wake up and stop being a hero to men who don’t value or love you for the beautiful woman you are. Stop defending a woman beater, a man who makes every excuse as to why “the man” has held him back from college or a higher education, a man who has no ambition to not live a destructive lifestyle, a rapper or singer who calls you a bitch in his songs and celebrates women whose skintones and heritages are not yours, or who tells you your waist has to be annorexic but your ass has to be collosal (this is not a plausible reality), or refers to your worth by the way you can shake your ass, pop your vagina on a poll or by how many designer bags, jewels and men you can bag.
That is not your worth and men who can only offer you a certain lifestyle but not love and mutual respect is not worth your time no matter how “fine” he is. Swagger is not important. Swagger only shows you where his money is going not where it should be. Stop placing value in fleeting things and start placing them in men who are more then good on paper, reputation or what’s on their income statement.
When you place yourself with high value and respect yourself, it becomes easy to sift through those who can never measure up. Associate with positive people. You are the company you keep. Don’t associate in order to take, because thats not right. Remember receiprocity. There is always a way you can reciprocate while networking. Acquire resources that you can reciprocate with and start moving in circles that will be beneficial and lift you up not deplete you as you watch them being reciporcated with someone else while you are simultanesouly being put down publicaly. Lastly, your mind is your most valuable resource, make sure you get your mind right so you can not only recognize when you are being taken advantage of but you can start making better decisions and recognize good opportunities that may come your way.
Whitney, may you rest in peace. Everyone who ever met her says she was a loving and caring woman who gave out of her heart. May she now find the rest she deserves.
Take care everyone. Till next time.