As I roam through these Clubhouse hallways and rooms, I am searching for some type of collective consciousness that will appeal to my passions but alas I come up empty. Between the screaming matches called “debates”, the constant finger pointing between American Descendents of Slaves (ADOS) and Africans from Europe and America, I see many fallacies that Black people love to implement towards their case to be right. It becomes a battle of wits but the critical thinking because lost in the crowd as I become more flummoxed by the discussions.
I feel lost as many Black moderators speak on topics that clearly show their ignorance or inability to speak outside of their uninformed opinions. I know this sounds harsh, but I listen to their conversations like a fly on the wall, seeking some type of unison that will bring us closer to a tenet or two that defeat those “isms” we face each day.
Black Clubhouse loves to “Appeal to Tradition” when they speak on Black marriages, the Bible, and they way things were with their grandparents. Trying to pull us in with their memories of grandma cooking, teaching, cleaning he house while their grandfather worked. How they were married for 99 years without a peep out of grandma. Yes, many grandmothers held down the house and many grandfathers worked for his family. They may have stayed together until their dying days, but we also hear the other stories that came with it. Something we love to conveniently leave out. The domestic abuse, alcoholism, the loss of a job by the man, and many times the woman cleaning wealthy people’s houses and fall in step to clean her house after a 12-hour shift. Did you really think this would “stand the test of time?” This fallacy should and must be checked again!
Black Clubhouse loves to “Appeal to Gender”, that is the male gaze, thoughts, ideas, and opinions – mostly! The fallacies that show up in these rooms to shame woman with claims of them possessing “manly traits” and how they will “stay single” if they don’t tone it down and be “feminine.” How many men in these rooms yell and scream their preferences that a woman must have, with most of their argument centered on a Black woman’s weight. How the Black males in these rooms cry out that they are ALPHA men and that Beta men are the ones that cater to woman and get dogged out repeatedly is flawed thinking and shows how many of them treat their own gender that doesn’t fit into the “manly man” trope. “Man, the fuck up” and “Stop being a Pussy” has been said so many times that I could be rich off of the count. Black males that moderate or host rooms that speak on how they are silenced shows the audience just how violent their words are and the “fright” they expel upon people as they appeal to gender and call themselves “the most oppressed and hunted.”
“Appealing to Guilt” has been shown in these Black Clubhouse streets in rooms that focus on the relationships between Cis Het men and the LGBTQIA+ community. They have come together to police, navigate, and form an alliance that seems skews with the wrong type of people at the helm. The people the LGBTQIA+ community connected with has a flawed way of contributing to the conversation of inclusion, but since their following and “leadership” is considered strong, the LGBTQIA+ community decided to unite. But that union of the minds comes with the male leadership that “criticizes the listener for failing to correctly follow the offered reasoning.” The male leadership expects the same autonomy as the LGBTQIA+ community without understanding (more like refusing to be persuaded) their intersectional complexities because many of these Cis Het men believe they have intersectional complexities too. There’s a roadblock filled with the “appeal to guilt to have the listener agree with his stance – which decreases the opportunity to for him to “think again.” Instead he is guilting the listener which leaves me persuaded by the flawed thinking of this man and his supporters. And it’s all displayed in real-time, showing other Black man that his word is KING.
This last fallacy seems to be in hundreds of rooms from the Black Muslims (who don’t agree with feminism and LGBTQIA+), “Nigcels” (the Black version of Incels), Black Israelites, Black Cis Hets, Black Conservatives, AODS, and more. They “Appeal to Force” and demand he audience or the people on the stage to “accept their position or be punished.” And if you roam the Black Clubhouse streets like I do to past the time while working or school, you hear what the punishment is for people that decide to dissent.
BOTS are driven to their rooms to fill the audience with fake profiles and drive their numbers up – to trigger Clubhouse security systems. Doxxing people after they decided to reject a position that accepted at one time. Phones numbers, addresses, pictures of kids, grandmothers, and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans on display. Additionally, you see many people that continuously enter toxic rooms to appeal to that person’s humanity only to be cursed out by men with black marks on their profile that will never accept them. They accept the punishment just to be acknowledged as the martyr for the oppressed, but it’s flawed and traumatic.
Lastly, I see how many Black Clubhouse individuals will assault people with the Pro-Black rhetoric to shame and force Black men and women to think like them. “You can’t be Pro-Black if you’re mixed”, you can’t be Pro-Black if you don’t marry a Black man”, “you can’t be Pro-Black if you don’t have Black children.” They are forcing a Pro-Black definition that fits their agenda and the punishment is exile – and also less followers for you but many more “cultish” followers for them. So, let’s dispel the myth of what Pro-Black is to them and provide a clear definition that is not wrapped in groupthink.
Du Bois (1897/1995) defined a racial group as a vast family of human beings, generally of common blood and language, always of common history, traditions and impulses, who are both voluntarily and involuntarily striving together for the accomplishment of certain more or less vividly conceived ideals of life. (p. 21)
Our analysis supports one contention found in both social identity theory and much black political thought that identity is most strongly defined by individuals’ sense of common fate with the group. However, we find little evidence that black identity consists of antagonistic attitudes toward whites. Next we examine whether the structure of identity is generalizable across demographic groups of African-Americans. We end by speculating that racial group identity may have less to do with discriminatory treatment by whites than with the socializing experiences that occur within formal and informal black networks (Herring, Jankowski & Brown, 1999, p. 365).
So, Pro-Black means socializing experiences that occur within formal and informal black networks. Can we please stop adding to he definition which seeks to include Black folks based on your opinions? We are still pro-black if we decide not to have children, marry or decide to date outside our race. As long as we are socializing within our formal and informal Black communities, we are pro-black. The fallacies we love to implement doesn’t help our Black communities and until we change our thinking, open up to other perspectives, and ensure we are protecting all Blacks and not just the ones that are Cis Het, then we can form the right network of Blacks that holds everyone on code. But not by force, appeal, guilt or tradition – that involves us to THINK AGAIN.
As stated by Adam Grant (2021), Part of the problem is cognitive laziness. Some psychologists point out that we’re mental misers: we often prefer the ease of hanging on to old views over the difficulty of grappling with new ones. Yet there are also deeper forces behind our resistance to rethinking. Questioning ourselves makes the world more unpredictable. It requires us to admit that the facts may have changed, that what was once right may now be wrong. Reconsidering something we believe deeply can threaten our identities, making it feel as if we’re losing a part of ourselves (p. 12).
Grant, A. (2021). Think Again: The Power of Knowing what You Don’t Know. Viking Books. pp. 307.
Herring, M., Jankowski, T. B., & Brown, R. E. (1999). Pro-black doesn’t mean anti-white: The structure of African-American group identity. The Journal of Politics, 61(2), 363-386.
Thompson, Bruce (2021). Bruce Thompson’s Fallacy Page. Palamar College. Accessed on August 16, 2021. https://www2.palomar.edu/users/bthompson/Introduction%20to%20Fallacies.html.