This is the story about how I (his GF at the time) challenged the well-known Brooklyn Activist, Organizer, Housing Coordinator, Program Director and Baba, Asere Bello about some questionable behavior and the aftermath that followed because he refused to come to the table.
This story is also about:
- how/why our movements rarely gain momentum and fall apart;
- ways women (especially young women getting involved in social justice work/circles) can spot the red flags and protect themselves;
- ways misogyny and patriarchy continues to undermine the work we try to do;
- the hypocrisy within these particular circles;
- how people try to silence women by calling them bitter and angry when the speak out about mistreatment and abuse;
- spiritual pimps, “woke” misogynists, internalized sexism/misogyny, the hoteps and alafia types to look out for; and
- the lack of community accountability.
*Since starting this, I’ve been told and have read about (too) many similar stories. It’s time for us to stop looking the other way.*
Why All of This Started and the Truth About Why We Broke Up:
Asere — You broke up with me because back in November 2016, I woke at 3 am with you downstairs with T. You were standing there in your boxers talking to her. Call it a woman’s intuition, I immediately felt something was up. The next morning when the topic came up and you pressed me to discuss, then again went into angry mode because I dared to question you.
After speaking with a couple of people about that post and my particular situation, I started doing some research and realized that I wasn’t the only one who has gone through a similar experience and that what’s happening is a major issues. No matter how many times leading up to our (Asere and I) breakup and times after, he refused to even listen — going into fits of rage and disappearing.
Although I tried to address and resolve the issues and concerns about him and his engagement, asking to sit with others, he refused.
After speaking with others and feeling more empowered about telling my story, I decided to use the domain I had already registered, created the site and sent Asere a link.
This isn’t just about bringing light to the situation, but getting people to understand why this type of behavior and abuse of power is dangerous.
The videos below are my responses to his last email (with additional text below):
- There were also a couple of other nights when you woke and came downstairs thinking it was her only to be surprised when you came down and found out it was me in the kitchen.
- Additionally, a few weeks before the incidents with T, you did the same thing when you tried to move R in. I told you that if you decided to override the house vote to block her moving in that I would not stay. Not only was she not a good fit, she was a young participant from your job, brought drama and she could not afford the room. When I tried to ask you about why you were so hell bent on having her move in, you stormed out of the room and screamed that no one gives you ultimatums.
- You didn’t like the fact that I questioned how you were dealing with the young women in the house. As a man who was supposed to be in a monogamous relationship, a man who is an authority figure and spiritual leader, AND the program director over one of the women, your behavior was completely inappropriate.
- All was fine between us until she moved in and you started acting weird again.
*I understand that “things” happen in relationships, HOWEVER you are not just anyone in the community. You are a housing coordinator, a program director for re-entry youth, and on your way to becoming a Baba. I’m still not sure if you are lying or just refuse to see how problematic it is.
- No ex partner of mine would ever have called me jealous nor insecure.
- I’ve never been jealous of anyone. I’ve no reason to be.
- You went out of your way to try and make me jealous.
- I suggested T move into the house.
- I’ve accomplished everything on my own.
- I’ve traveled this country and built on my own.
- What have you done independently?
My Past Hurts
- I come from a two family home, have never been abused and had a very happy childhood.
- I’ve never been cheated on nor abandoned. Have I been hurt? Yes, but I’m not walking around carrying that damage. If I was so hurt and afraid, I (unlike you) does not have a fear of commitment, etc due to childhood and past relationships.
- Last but not least, I have no problem having ex’s contact you to share their experiences with me.
- Your statements are partially true but you’ve taken only part of the conversations.
- How I live and my expectations are proof.
- You said you wanted to change the way your lived and organized.
Letting You Drive
- This is true to some extent, but then I realized that you were reckless in some areas. When I tried to discuss, you’d go into a rage and go silent.
- This is what people do in a relationship.
- I gave you more than enough of my time helping with projects, etc.that were not mine.
Being Your Oshun
- You know the truth about this. We did a whole ceremony.
- You didn’t honor what you had/was given.
- 100% a lie.
- You did it with #ByeKen and took credit for it so why even claim that you would never do such a thing to anyone?
Coming To The Table
- Your “House and Elders”
- First I’m ever hearing about them.
- I asked you to “come to the table” months ago.
- You’re only mentioning it now because you’ve been called out.
- Either way, I emailed you back and said yes — let’s and you’ve still not responded.