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Saturday, November 3, 2007

I'm Still Not Buying It, But...

"You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye" Matthew 7: 5

I’ve been quite critical of many things I see happening in the world and in my community. Implicit in what I write is a longing for things to get better, for behaviors to change. However, as someone who proclaims Christ, my writings must also be gracious. The other day I wrote a critique of a black women interracial dating blog. My writing was an honest and heartfelt assessment of what I can only term exploitation, but the bitter tone that I used to convey that simple message merits an apology. My opinion has not changed. If one claims to do something altruistically and then a while later attaches a very expensive price tag to those efforts than one can assume that selfish motivations were always behind it in the first place. There is another word for it: hypocrisy. I have a deeper understanding of that word for in lambasting Evia Moore, who does not proclaim Christianity, I have myself done a disservice to my faith and thus have committed the very act I accused her of. The Bible warns us to not focus on the speck in our neighbor’s eye when indeed a log is in our own. Today I see that log ever so clearly. In my haste to speak out against injustice, I became unkind. Instead of attacking Evia’s actions, I attacked her personally. God hates the sin, but loves the sinner. I could have effectively communicated my dissatisfaction with her behavior without vilifying her as a person and for that I do apologize.

I’m still not buying the blog. I still stand by what I have written and I would encourage those who want information about interracial dating to explore other, less expensive options. I would also implore them to be careful of the type of advice they seek out and to be even more careful about the advisor’s motives. When people are paying you for a service you owe them something. You have to live up to their demands and expectations because they are funding you. This takes away your creative liberty and affects the way you communicate truth. You must face appeasing you audience (i.e. watering down your advice) or loosing your paycheck. In other words, you are in danger of selling out. So many people do that nowadays. Just look at the hip-hop world. You have these brothers who have decided to denigrate women, glorify violence, and promote sexual hedonism all for a few bucks. They have sold out. They have allowed the record companies and the big wigs that sign their checks to determine their integrity, and as a result, have lost all of it.

To those who have left me the kind comments, I’d like to take the time to welcome you to the blog. I appreciate that people have taken the time to read a 23 year old graduate student wanna-be. I really appreciate when people graciously disagree with me—disagree, but do so without demeaning my character. To my first commenter I say that I believe in entrepreneurship. I believe in business. In a few short years I intend to start my own business. There is nothing inherently wrong with starting a business. My issue with Evia has nothing to do with her starting a business. I had nothing against her selling merchandise. Had I had a few bucks I would have supported that endeavor, because I believe in supporting black entrepreneurs. I had two issues with Evia putting a price tag on her blog. The first was the price itself. I’ve compared her price to that of leading, well established black interest magazines. She is charging 3 and 4 times the price of these time-honored periodicals. Her price is unfair to her readership, which has supported her since the inception of her blog. Ultimately, the reason Evia’s blog is successful is because of her dedicated readers. Charging them such a price and then bitterly denouncing those who disagree with it, demonstrates her true appreciation for their loyalty. My second problem with it is what I mentioned above. Almost every article she has written talks about her heartfelt empathy for the black women’s plight. She talks about how she hopes her advice will help change lives. She speaks to the heart of the black women’s issues and she has elevated the self-esteem of many women in her fanbase. But now that she has chosen to charge people to read her blog she has alienated the very individuals she claimed to want to help. She has turned philanthropy into enterprise, and traded the respect of her fans for profit. To top it all off, she does so while proclaiming to be a “womanist”.

To my second commenter who writes, “Applaud any one (Male or Female) who is successful at implementing a lucrative business idea and wish them the very best.” I say that I agree with that statement as long as that lucrative business does not exploit those who purchase its services. For example, the movie industry is a very lucrative business, but I cannot always in good conscience support it. What it often sells is gratuitous sex, deception, violence, and immorality. If Evia were to have written a book and had charged a fair price for it, I would have purchased it. (I’m going to purchase Halima’s book over at the other interracial marriage website, so I certainly believe in financially promoting black women writers). I believe in supporting any business idea that I can support in good conscience. For the reasons I have discussed previously, I cannot do so with Evia’s blog.

What’s my conclusion? 1) That Christianity should be demonstrated in how we deal with others. Whether they are friends, family, or just random folk we read about on the net. I express my sincere apologies, not for the essence of what I wrote, but for my unkindness in addressing the issue. 2) The love of money is the root of all evil 3) I believe in supporting black business, but 4) Not all businesses are created equal. I think that about sums up my worldview.


Grata said...

"Today I see that log ever so clearly. In my haste to speak out against injustice, I became unkind. Instead of attacking Evia’s actions, I attacked her personally".


Way to go. I admire your humility here.

I have seen way too many blog entires that would otherwise make good solid arguments get killed by personality attacks.

And I have also witnessed too many bloggers take benign disagreements too personally and resort to mud slinging. Useless waste of energy and ofcourse unprogressive but quite entertaining and enlightening to those who care about effective communication.

Sometimes I see it as a bw fight for dominance against each other or others they wish step on. Some of these incidents are important to take note of because they are clues to what is seriously wrong with in the BC.

SarahRain22 said...

Hey Crystal. I stumbled upon this blog by accident. It was a link to an article by the blog "Hicktown Press" that was criticizing Evia and her blog. I stumbled onto that blog by another blog and so on and so forth. Wow this IR dating blogosphere is big as hell.

Anyway, nonetheless, I'm glad I found your blog. Yay a Christian BW writing about things relevant to us. I say way to go. I'll be checking here often.

I also want to applaud you on your humility. It's sorely lacking amongst some of our brightest women in the BW blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sista,

you are not only beautiful to look at but you have a humane spirit that's gonna bag you a husband in no time!

Menelik Charles (Black male)
London England

menelik@btopenworld.com - just tell me when you are coming over lol