Thursday, August 18, 2011

THE BLACK MAN REPUTATION

THE BLACK MAN REPUTATION



SO WHAT HAVE YOU HEARD!? That all black men run from their responsibilities, leaving their “baby mamas” to raise their kids on their own? That black men are dangerous and can’t be trusted which is why the prison population is filled with them? Black men have no class, will, desire, drive, and are lazy? 9 out of 10 black men you will meet are or have sold drugs, and or have been in a gang? Dumb? Stupid? Can’t communicate effectively? Welfare prone? Thirsty? Not good enough for your all American white daughter!? Well as a black man I have heard it too. I have heard the whispers and the chatter. I see the pointing and the looks of disappointment and shame. I see the mistrust in your eyes and the fear in your heart. While you may be able to compartmentalize your contact and experiences with black men, I have to live with these stereotypes all day every day. I don’t get any breaks or second first impressions. I have to fight your mind and your perception upon meeting you immediately. It’s a war that I have to fight every time I go on an interview and every time I have to meet with ANYONE! Don’t get it wrong, I’m not just fighting the perception white people have of me, I have to fight the perception OTHER black people have of me. NO ONE trusts a black man upon first meeting him. I DON’T! And yet I wonder why this is! You wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at me that I was in the army as an intelligence analyst, hold an active security clearance, am a linguist that speaks 5 languages, and have an I.Q. above 150. So why not give that benefit of the doubt to everyone? Cause it’s a stupid thing to gamble my life and safety on!

So the question is, is the black man as terrible as his reputation states!? Being who I am I could argue this point endlessly without a clear decision, so I took the liberty of giving a few pluses and minus to leave the discussion open for more points of view. However, here is my initial view on the matter:

1. Black Men gave themselves their own reputation. You see it every day in the media. The music portrays it and they revel in it on talk shows. You can barely listen to a rap song without hearing about pimps and hoes and the Maury show is built around the black man’s escape of fatherhood! COUNTER POINT is that the media stereotypes black men too, but it’s not just the media! The government has historically oppressed black men since we were brought here and it continues to do so today albeit subtly. Anyone being oppressed naturally tries to find escape by any means necessary and in this situation escape may mean relief of government control which ironically usually ends up with the government intervening in some way or another.

2. Black Women gave black men their reputation. As soon as you read that you pictured a stereotypical black woman talking bad about black men. About how he doesn’t take care of his kids. About how he doesn’t have a job. About how he got 3 baby mamas. About how he’s never home. About how she know he got money but she can’t have none. About how his lazy ass need to get up get out and get sum’n! You get the point. COUNTERPOINT is that there are just as many black women describing black men as gods as there are black women disgusted by them. Truth of the matter is that the ones that talk about them negatively have better press and a bigger audience. Truth be told, as horrible as they speak about black men, the majority of them stay with one if not find another, so in truth, how bad can it REALLY be if you’re still sticking around?

3. Where are all the good black men? First of all, you have to realize that there is no such thing as a pure good man or a pure bad man – no matter the race, color, or creed. If you believe for one second that there is one race superior at being good men over the other, you are sorely mistaken and I look forward to laughing in your face. Secondly every man has had their moments -good or evil. We’ve all done things we’re not proud of and to be fully honest, our being a good man or stereotypically bad man depends on the woman we are with! Some of them just aren’t worth the effort or time. COUNTERPOINT is that there is a trend of black women raising boys on their own without some kind of father figure in their lives so these boys don’t get the “man-training” they desperately need so they (the boys) adopt a persona from what they see and hear and continue the cycle. This wouldn’t be so bad if what they saw wasn’t a mother with several boyfriends, that talks trash about their (again the boys) father, has brother s with other daddies, and videos and television showing stereotypical black men. Continue this point to its logical conclusion and you have what you see today.

SO who’s to blame? Is it the black community? The government? Other races? Ourselves? Are we doomed to this fate forever? How do we escape it? I hear it so much on social media sites that it has become maddening. Honestly, the fight is getting old and I’m getting tired. Send you input to the comments below or on the social media site you found this on. Your complex thoughts on the matter will be much appreciated no matter how far left or right you are!

3 comments:

  1. I think whose to blame is irrelevant. The main issue at hand is, how do we change it? I myself have been raised to never judge anyone by their cover and have met many lovely people from all walks of life, from many different racial and cultural backgrounds. My daughter is taught the same, but what is the point, if everyone around her is stereotyping her.

    Example: My daughter and I were at the park. I should note that she had a very dark tan and is only a quarter hispanic. There's a little white girl there. Long story short, I overheard the mom telling her not to come by me or by my daughter because we live a bad lifestyle and you don't want to play with that girl because she's mixed, we don't believe in that kind of thing. And a bunch of other not nice comments. This women was judging me and my daughter.

    It may take some time, but I suggest diversity classes in school. They are required by most college students, why not get to them when they're young and still moldable. Of course there will be those who will be hateful/ignorant. I don't think there will ever fully be a solution for prejudice. Yeah, segregation ended, yeah gays are getting married now, but at the end of the day, there will still be people who play God and judge them all.

    I definitely feel that education/awareness is key. Also by enlightening the youth, can the next generation of black men or anyone for that matter, will help to stop the circle of "bad". Like I said it would take some time and effort,which unfortunately our government does not have time for. I start with my own child and hope that she will be able to influence others, as I have in my life to embrace all people as part of the human race and advocating for the causes I believe will help end this cycle of hatred against others.

    I believe your piece was very poignant and it accurately portrays why this cycle happens. Props for that. Here's to hoping for a world with less ignorant mofos.

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  2. thank you so much bekka! very insightful!

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  3. Our family structure has been heavily attacked by one 'system' (for lack of a better word) or another for centuries.

    The solution? There is no one solution. It's too complex for a single band aid; it's going to take reprogramming, through various methods.

    IMO - We as a race put so much emphasis on trying to measure up to our White counterparts by "being up on' all things materialistic. Instead of appreciating it for what it is (a display of wealth) we trivialize it by equating it with other, oft unrelated characteristics. We see the outward manifestation of equality and are content, opposed to desiring the intrinsic aspect. "We don't give a f*ck if they hate us as long as we get their money."

    All that to say this: We focus on the wrong shit. We have no customs, traditions or unifying culture to speak of, or so we've been taught. Our way of life appears to be a subculture at best.

    We should find a way to get to our own, educate our own, mold our own, MENTOR our own, support and praise our own; perhaps start a think tank and collaborate on ways to start chipping away at this burden? I haven't a clue.

    Good piece, J-Boogie.

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