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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Why Black Men Don't Even Believe That "Black Lives Matter"

I have been reluctant to weigh in on the Brown, Garner, Martin etc. cases here on the blog because my opinions are as complex as they are controversial. I could write 100 blogs about how I feel police in this country have too much power, how instructing cops to shoot to kill is disastrous and unnecessary, how police seem to do more harm than good especially when it comes to their interactions with minorities. But this blog is for black people, especially black men. Before I start in I want to say that my heart goes out to the Brown and Martin families. I feel so connected to these cases because they involved children (Brown was 18 which in my opinion still makes him a child). Nothing I say on this blog condones the murder of the defenseless. America as a country has a lot to answer for (more in future posts), but as I said this blog is about black people.

You can glean a lot about a culture based on the way it treats its women and children. So let's take a look at some statistics.

Black women face an increased rate of domestic abuse and we are more likely to die from it!!!! (citation)

The proportion of Black children in families who lived with their custodial parent (mother-emphasis mine) while their other parent lived outside their household (49.2 percent) is more than twice as large as the proportion of White children. (citation)

Approximately 40% of Black women report coercive contact of a sexual nature by age 18. (National Black Women’s Health Project)

The divorce rate for black Americans is 70%.

64% of women with STD's are black women and their infections are the direct result of sexual relations with black men. 

So we have a culture of oversexed men who embrace misogyny, abandon their children, assault their women and jettison their marriages. This is down-right pathological.

Let's look at some of our most vocal black leaders and see how they treat women.

-Rev Jesse Jackson has made himself irrelevant because of his publicized affair and embezzlement
-Rev Al Sharpton cheated on and divorced his wife of 24 years and traded her up for a young model, as if she were a used car.
-Bill Cosby has made many noteworthy comments about the state of black affairs, which I endorse 100%, but a cursory glance at the news will show you what he thinks of women.

I don't say this to disparage these men or to take away from all they have accomplished for black people. Please don't get it twisted. I want to get at the root of what I think is really destroying the black community: black men.

As an aside, black lives matter: but do they matter when the victims are female? If Trayvon Martin had been a girl would we have seen the outrage, the protests. If Michael Brown were a young black female would the entire black world now be upside down. The same of Eric Garner. As a whole the black community does not value women and girls (see the stats)!!!! I find this ironic because one of the biggest problems with the black community is black men! Black women outrank black men in education and financial attainment. Most of the positive statistics about black people as a whole are due almost exclusively to the contributions of black women, and yet I am not convinced that our community appreciates us. The fact that 10% of the few black men that we have marry white women is, in itself, an indictment against us (citation).

The elephant in the room is that there is something not ok with the behavior of black men in this country, but when they are down we rally behind them, coddle, handhold and make excuses instead of making them accountable for their own behavior. The bottom line is that black men behave like trash and as a result society treats them like trash. I know we can argue that the poor treatment of black men by society explains why they behave the way they do: why they value having sex with multiple women or why they seek out violence and crime all as ways to prove their manhood in a culture that does not value them. I agree, but society has not changed. We keep having protests, rallies, and vigils, while society takes a proverbially dump on us. Black men need to stand up and take responsibility. Black men need to value education. turn the hip hop and pornography off, leave the drugs alone, develop a love and respect for women. stop having out of wedlock children, take care of the children they make,  and become more than just a big penis. They need to become strong enough to go against the grain. They need to stop perpetuating the stereotypes, which inevitably refuel America's hatred of us.

I'm so tired of black men in oversized street clothing, speaking ebonics, and crying about how society has let them down. Talking about how they never had a father, how it's hard out here for a brotha, while they play their xbox's and smoke their blunts. They run from one bedroom to the next  at alarming rates in search of their next sexual high instead of building relationships that can help buffer them from the stresses of a racist society.Oh, and last I checked colleges still accept black men, just as they accept black women, but black men don't work hard to distinguish themselves. They are too busy getting suspended from schools and throwing their opportunities away. Then they die years younger than their white counterparts. They leave nothing behind but more grim statics, out of wedlock children, and poor credit scores. 

We can argue that white men do the same things. Yes, there are white men who treat their families poorly, who commit heinous crimes, who are misogynistic idiots who probably don't deserve air, but society values them so they never have to change. Their whiteness make them worthwhile. . After all, no one's holding up a sign saying, "white lives matter"-- we understand that implicitly. If we want to matter, we need to behave like we do. As a young black professional I have to pay a black tax. I have to work twice as hard as my colleagues in order to be seen as almost equal. I have had to deal with all kinds of crazy that I am not allowed to type on this blog just to remain employed. It is the same thing with black men. They have to work harder to overcome, they have to be honest people. People with bone deep, inextricable integrity and inextinguishable convictions. They have to pay the tax, and prove to society by their contributions that they do matter. I am not talking about fair. The so called black tax has never been fair!!!!!!! I am talking about doing what we have to do in order to survive and thrive in a culture that hates our very existence.

Pop Quiz: If a black man and a white man commit the same crime which person is going to go to prison? We know this! Every black person who lives in this country knows this!!! So my question is why the heck commit the crime in the first place!!! Take a look at our incarceration rates.
  • African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population
  • African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites
  • One in six black men had been incarcerated as of 2001. If current trends continue, one in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime (citation)
These statistics aren't staggering--they are flippin jaw-dropping!!!
And here are some more grim stats.

Only 54% of African Americans graduate from high school, compared to more than three quarters of white and Asian students.(Citation)

For most young adults, aged 20 to 24, the No. 1 cause of death is car accidents, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. For black men in that age group, though, the top cause of death is gun violence; they are four times more likely to be shot and killed than they are to die in a car accident. 82% of these cases are homicides (citation).

Although 45 percent of black men 25 and older have attempted college, only 16 percent have a four-year degree (citation). 

African American men accounted for 42% of HIV cases diagnosed among men in 2011 (citation

A majority (72%) of African American men with HIV contracted the disease by male to male contact. 

The statistics of black male STD rates make me want to vomit!

We say black lives matter, but our actions say something entirely different! I am not trying to blame the victim. Brown, Martin, and Garner did NOT deserve their fates. But I am saying that black men are erasing themselves. Black men are black men's biggest problems.  If a man's greatest asset is his character, then the above statistics show just how bankrupt black men really are. If a culture can indeed be defined by how it treats its women and children then the black community has essentially reduced itself to irrelevancy.

"Black lives matter!" is the rallying cry and I believe that from the bottom of my soul, but its time for us to act like we do!

*Note I know there are isolated black men who keep on keeping on and I applaud them here , but I am talking about black men collectively.


Natalie Owens said...

I've expressed some of these same sentiments,but let black men tell it, it's the black women who are the problem. Black men need to grow up!

DahomeyAhosi said...


Michele Colvard said...

I totally agree