Why Critical and Nuanced Thinking is Essential to Black Thought

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Have you ever tried to have a civil conversation with someone, in real life or online,
to no avail only to come away frustrated and wishing you hadn’t engaged? Do you
get tired of people peddling oppressive propaganda, misinformation, respectability
politics, and epistemic violence to suit their own agenda? Do you often bump
heads with folks who use religion or other disingenuous arguments to shame
others?

Black people have been through a great deal. We struggle, yet we persevere. One
thing that we should stop abiding is the myriad ways we shortchange ourselves
and buy into imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy to further
marginalize folks in our own communities.

We peddle respectability and class politics to shame other Black folks living on the
poverty line (when many of us are just a paycheck or two away from not being
able to feed ourselves and our families; we buy into harmful, anti-Black narratives
about ourselves and start pathologizing each other; we criticize those Black folks
who don’t have access to academia, travel, health, and job security. Even more
disappointing, we often become apologists for harmful and unacceptable behavior
that put the lives and safety of others at risk, while harshly judging and
excommunicating anybody who doesn’t fall in line with socialized or
heteronormative behavior. And without question.

Many folks in our community become conditioned to believe harmful propaganda
and start echoing language that oppresses and harms others. As a community, it’s
important that we start thinking more critically and start taking a more nuanced
approach to issues; something that seems difficult for some to do. We, as a
collective, need to develop the wherewithal to become self-corrective and wellrounded
so that we’re able to think sensibly and have empathy and understanding
of others.

We’d like to challenge our readers (Black or not-Black) to be better critical thinkers
as opposed to just accepting the status quo and using narrow thinking to harm
and harshly judge others. Let’s be honest, but constructive and respectful of one
another’s differences and life experiences. We challenge our readers to examine
your own biases (despite being part of a marginalized group) and self-critique how
respectability politics, oppressive language, the spreading of misinformation, and
harsh judgment harms others: Black LGBTQ members, sex workers, those unable
to overcome difficult circumstances, etc.

Let’s work to unpack our biases and the way we engage with one another and
break free from what we’ve become familiar and comfortable with (much of which
is antiquated and non-productive) , and come to a respectful understanding about
the lived experiences of others.

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May God’s Love, Peace, Health and Prosperity Be Yours
Sasha Allen, Editor-In-Chief