... the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. --Jim Beggs
Monday was a day in which I read one too many articles criticizing people (black women) for things that just aren't that critical. Buoyed by the endorphin high following yoga and step aerobics, I typed out this letter. Apologies if it's over the top. Without further ado…
Dear other bloggers,
Hi there! [waves] How are ya'll doing? I just wanted to say hello… and a few other things. Respectfully, I totally get that your blog is personal to you. You probably started it because you love to write and had a few things to say. Good for you. Let me ask you this though… once you developed a bit of a following and you realized that people actually paid attention to what you had to say… did that give you any sense of responsibility? You know, as far as content and tone? Not getting all up in your business… just wondering.
It might just be me. After blogging for a little over six months, I've gotten a feel for a lot of my readers and so I often make a conscientious effort to temper my opinions and declarations in such a way as to not be over the top combative or condescending. Though I could if I wanted to, I chose not to use my words like heat-seeking missiles aimed at making the most visible explosion possible. But I've never been a "look at me, look at me" person. What some people may view as a fun, topical post, others may view as self-serving grab for attention.
People have the capacity to be both incredibly strong and incredibly fragile all at the same time. And for the young females out there… well, I think the sisterhood deserves support, positivity and constructive criticism from their chosen bloggers. Keyword: Constructive.
Because I don't care to further promote some of the off-the-chain posts (and yes there have been more than one) that prompted this letter, I'm going to use an analogy featuring the fruitilicious candy known as Skittles. You with me? Let's just say that I have a lot of readers who love Skittles. Skittles make them feel good about themselves. Maybe there was a Skittles void in their past and they are making up for it now. Maybe Skittles are crazy expensive as opposed to say – organic, natural carrot sticks but who am I to judge someone for loving their rainbow goodies? Being aware of this Skittles-dependency among my readership, would I then write a flaming post about the evils of Skittles? How much I hate Skittles and look down on anybody who enjoys them? Would I spend hours (and I do mean hours) going in across all level of social media about how Skittles are what's wrong with the world today and I would never be caught dead hugged up next to a Skittle-eater?
I can hear my folks in BougieLand now – girl, it's just Skittles. I KNOW but then folks start going IN about how they've never had Skittles because they are too secure about themselves to ever ever eat a Skittle. Organic carrot sticks are the only way to go and anyone who doesn't cosign is a fraud. The Hell? Aw yes, now there is an entire sociology behind Skittles and people have to start taking sides – Skittles vs. Carrot Sticks. To this I say, why? What good did it do to go THAT hard about Skittles KNOWING the tsunami of ill-will and flame throwing that it would kick off? You don't like Skittles, don't eat them.
Okay then, in conclusion fellow bloggers, this is the American Blogosphere. You have the right to say anything you want to. But does that mean you should? And can we not agree that it's not always WHAT you say but HOW you say it? A finishing thought from En Vogue:
Yours in blogging, OneChele
Bougienistas - Let's make a pact… if I ever get preachy – one of ya'll call me on it, okay? I mean just stop me in my tracks and say – Chele, get off your high horse, you're not that crucial. If I ever get so desperate for page hits and readers that I just decide to go tabloid blogger, please feel free to virtually slap the sh!t outta me. Clear? Good. Woo-sah, let me take a breath. Read anything in the blogosphere that got your blood boiling lately?