Archuleta A. Chisolm
Toxicity Is Not Funny (or deserved)
I'm not sure who needs to hear this but... toxicity against women is not funny or deserved. Even when it's Kim Kardashian.
Not only is it not funny but we have to stop calling it a “feud,” or gossiping about it like it’s just the latest hot topic. As we watch the ongoing conflict between Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, it’s like being in the middle of a car crash. If you’re like me, you probably thought there was nothing that could make you feel empathy or concern for Kim Kardashian. Unfortunately, some find Kanye’s social media posts and antics to be entertaining. Most of us find his behavior disturbing.
Recently, another topic reared its head – a viral post about Kanye West needing a Black woman to save the day. Black Twitter chimed in right on time to argue that Kanye doesn’t need a Black woman - he needs mental health care. The media and everyone else need to stop perpetuating the “strong Black woman” savior trope that continues to be toxic to Black women.
It's difficult to ignore the social media exchange between Kim and Kanye. It’s almost as if we’re being dragged in to watch against our will. Some have supported Kim and argue that Kanye has consistently demonstrated abusive behavior toward her and their children – posting insults and threats. He has also repeatedly threatened physical harm against Kim’s new love Pete Davidson, most recently with his video “Eazy.” In the video, Kanye kidnapped, tied up and buried a clay-like version of Pete Davidson.
Kanye has a pattern of harassing his exes and their new partners. Yet, through all the conflict, and his compulsive behavior, some feel that the best anecdote is a Black woman.
Recently, social media called for Black women to save Kanye. It’s not the first time Black women have been the recommended daily allowance for Kanye’s troubles. During a 2018 interview with The View, Snoop Dogg was asked what he thought about Kanye’s rant about slavery being a choice, and Snoop commented that Kanye needed a Black woman in his life.
This unhealthy obsession to position Black women as only worthy to save and serve should be no surprise, considering we've been used as the solution for many of America’s societal problems throughout history. Black women have been expected to love and support Black men into the best versions of themselves, raise children into acceptable members of society, maintain a flawless home, and secure a level of social status. All while giving back to our community, acquiring educational achievements, being a supportive friend, sister, cousin, aunt, and daughter, serving the church in various capacities — with a smile on their face. If Black women miss a single step, we have set the worst possible example and have proven ourselves unworthy.
Black women can’t even be taken seriously when we go to the doctor. Black mothers are dying more than any other, after giving birth. Black women are being paid less, yet always expected to do the most and be the best. Black women are the most educated group in the country, yet still the most disrespected, neglected, and unprotected. And constantly, we are expected to put that red cape on, swoop down and save everyone else from their demise? And our magical pixie dust is supposed to get Kanye West “right” and absolve him of his toxic behavior towards women?
No, thank you.
Anyone with compassion and empathy can understand the enormity of mental illness. This is why so many people are hoping that Kanye West finds the help he needs. However, that help cannot be given solely by him dating or marrying a Black woman. And it should not be expected that a Black woman, outside of a mental health professional, can help Kanye toward a journey of healing. Doing so only frees him from accountability for his behavior and perpetuates the myth that Black women should only be seen or heard to come to the aid of Black men, while many of us continue to drown in our own trauma without care or concern.