The Stigma of the “Angry Black Man” (Part 1)

There is a term that Black people, in general, hate for people who aren’t black people to use. That term is, “YOU PEOPLE”. Considering certain things that have been going on both in my life and in other places in the city where I live as well as throughout various parts of the country, I have decided to PURPOSEFULLY use the term “YOU PEOPLE” in this post, certainly not as ANY reference to my fellow Black people, and not necessarily to insult anyone reading this. I simply want to get your minds on where I see things regarding the “angry Black man” stigma. Some (only some!) of you non-Black folk act or feel (for some strange reason!), that every Black man (or woman) is angry; and being “angry”, then we must be angry at, and with, YOU PEOPLE for whatever reason YOU PEOPLE tend to come up with!

SIDE NOTE: Any non-Black persons reading this note who takes offense then I say GOOD! My words fully apply to some of YOU PEOPLE in the spirit in which you’ve already assumed that I must have written them: as an “angry Black man”. It is my sincere hope however, that YOU PEOPLE will take something from my words and learn a thing or two more about Black people, in particular, Black MEN, for I wrote this specifically with many of YOU PEOPLE in mind! For every other NON-BLACK person (and even the few of my Black haters) who are NOT OFFENDED by my words, I hope you understand that this note is simply from MY point of view… as a Black man. Of course, it will not apply to everyone. There are indeed some very GOOD people in the world. However, since NONE of you are living in MY skin, there is only so much I can expect you to understand. Those who can will be able to relate to nearly everything I’m saying.

First, let me premise this little commentary by stating very clearly that I am NOT an “angry Black man”; at least not by any twisted definitive, stereotypical meanings many of YOU PEOPLE have been taught, have taught your children, and have taught and CONTINUE to teach AND believe yourselves to be true! In fact, I am a happy, if not reasonably content, person! Sure, I have issues and life’s challenges just like everybody else, but I didn’t get to be my age by not having learned SOMETHING about life and about other people. I happened to be a man of reasonable intelligence, wit and charm. I have a great sense of humor, logical (not just common) sense, wisdom, skills and a keen awareness of who I am, where I came from, and where I would like to go in the path that is my life. These traits and more could apply to ANY dick-swinging male on the planet. Just because there are BLACK MEN with such traits makes him no different from any other male.

Second, although many of YOU PEOPLE tend to think so damn little of us Black men, I cannot dismiss the fact that there have been, and currently are, quite a few Black men who perpetuate the stigma of the “angry Black man” and who tend to “fulfill” the stereotypes you might have of Black men in general. Those exceptions notwithstanding, I still say that many of YOU PEOPLE do tend to look down on us. YOU PEOPLE have a strong tendency to assume that nearly every Black man you see has “anger issues”; issues stemming and carried over from: a bad childhood, a broken home, fatherless guidance, drugged-out mothers, physical, mental, and sexual abuse, disabilities and illness, jailed/imprisoned relatives, a lack of personal attention, having a lack of respect for other people from other ethnic groups, unemployment, certain economic conditions or poverty, poor educational and recreational opportunities, a lack of people willing to care or love us, just to name a few. Yes, some of YOU PEOPLE do in fact, think and believe all this – and more – to be the answers for why the “angry Black man” exists. With a few exceptions, generally, you could not be farther from the truth!

With such mentality had by YOU PEOPLE, it would not matter how many Black men smiled at you, spoke pleasantly to you, or could walk into a room in the fullest of confidence, their heads held high. YOU PEOPLE would still fear or think less of them. With such mentality, it would not matter how many Black men were well-groomed and dressed, carrying their own sense of class, swagger, or how well they conducted themselves as mature, self-controlled persons – even in the most STRESSFUL of situations. How often have you heard stories of BLACK MEN gunning down hundreds of people or blowing up things, endangering and taking the lives of others? Yet YOU PEOPLE still show signs of those oh-so-very-damn-obvious vibes of FEAR of…us! Yes, YOU PEOPLE continue to show upstanding Black men that you are fearful of us! And for what! What are you so damn afraid of? I’ve seen how many of YOU PEOPLE prefer to deal with a Black man who is lighter (and I’m talking very light-to-almost-White) in skin tone than those men who are darker in complexion! What the fuck is THAT all about? (And at this point, I have to ask my own brothers and sisters the very same question, for some of US do the same thing among our own kind! But…that is another topic for another day!)

Listen: This is NOT any racist charge; it is a FACT based on fear or being uncomfortable with someone BECAUSE of race and gender!
We (Black men) see this in hundreds of instances where many of YOU PEOPLE clutch your purses tightly, lock the car doors, and in some cases, even change directions to walk on the OTHER side of the street- at FIRST SIGHT of a….BLACK man, just like a person does when he sees a big dog heading in his direction! I am NOT making this stuff up! I CAN’T make it up! It’s 2012 and it’s STILL happening! The brothas and I talk about it – and quite often, too; never in jest, but in sheer wonderment! If one of YOU PEOPLE were walking side by side in a forest with me, the wildest animals living there would attack YOU first – simply because of the scent or pheromones of FEAR which you tend to emit! It makes me wonder and shake my head in disgust sometimes on how obviously fearful some of YOU PEOPLE can really be over a seemingly harmless individual simply because of that mix of skin color and gender! Many of YOU PEOPLE also emit this fear in the silly and very awkward ways in which you communicate with us Black men whenever we assert ourselves in an effort to peacefully address or resolve a situation. If we raise our voices, even on the smallest scale, or write a letter in an assertive manner, YOU PEOPLE tend to assume that we are acting out in the “angry Black man” mode. Your initial reaction to that is to try ever so hard to choose your words carefully in responding to those situations of confrontation or dispute. How is it then, that unless a gun is pointed in your face, you’ve never shown ANY of these awkward behaviors towards WHITE men?  And I know some of you are just waiting at the edge of your seats for President Barack Obama to show his true, “angry Black man” or “real nigger” nature! Admit it! You’ve probably said to yourselves, “No black person is THAT damn cool under all that stress!” It really bothers some that Obama, like myself, and other of men of my race are the epitome of coolness! (or “kool”, which is my preferred method of spelling when using the word in this sense.) Some brothas have this coolness it to a very high degree; others have it at other degrees! It’s really that simple when it comes to the coolness of Black men! The REAL “icing on the cake” of YOU PEOPLE daring to deal with a Black man who is not happy with you, or with the services you provide, or the way you’ve been treating him is: AVOIDANCE, LYING and DENYING that you are available to meet or talk with him either in your office or some neutral setting. Many of YOU PEOPLE like to have your secretary or some other office lackey pass on this same blatant LIE to the “angry Black man” (or Black MEN) patiently standing and waiting in the foyer who, just five minutes before, peacefully asked to see you. YOU PEOPLE always tend to jump to conclusions, assuming that the Black man is already very pissed off and… well, you “just can’t deal with that man now!” You know, some of us Black men have been in that situation (of wanting to meet and talk with YOU PEOPLE in the office to address or resolve an issue) only to have your office lackey AND sometimes an armed SECURITY GUARD come back to tell us that “not available” lie. You would send an ARMED guard to ensure that the “angry Black man” (or angry Black MEN) won’t go ballistic! As I said, YOU PEOPLE think very little of us Black men and you continue to erroneously underestimate our ability to control and conduct ourselves accordingly as well as our ability to deal with you personally in a peaceful, mature, and rational manner! Shame on you for thinking like that about us and ALL men of color!

So what to do about the “angry Black man” stigma? Well, first thing is for many of YOU PEOPLE to stop believing the hype, the stereotypes, and the perceived and assumed social problems of the world which some of YOU PEOPLE think contribute to the development of EVERY Black man in America, thus making him to be “the way he is” towards other people and issues. All of THAT is the reason why you are afraid to deal with us! Second, other than skin color, generally Black men are no different from any other male. We have moments, just like you and non-Black males, when we get upset or angry over certain things, too! Therefore, do not be afraid to deal with or even confront us based on such small-minded, unproven fears or worse, our skin color. We are still MEN; and MOST of us are still peaceful, intelligent and RATIONAL human beings! I’ll write more on this subject later.

Keepin’ It…REAL!

Reports Indicate Black Men Continue to Rate High in HIV Infection

Either something is wrong with the REPORTED numbers that state that BLACK MEN are the HIGHEST in HIV infection OR whomever is taking the tally, seems to ignore the fact that White men (and women!) and the men (and women!) in OTHER ethnic groups are – and have been – doing a lot of things –both sexually and drug-related – which places them at risk for HIV and AIDS infection, too!

Think about it: reports say that Black men are LESS LIKELY to have unprotected anal sex. Reports also say that Black men are TWICE as LIKELY to USE CONDOMS. So why is the HIV rate among Black men still high? Here’s my guess: Factually, just as there are people from all ethnic groups who exchange needles, etc for certain drug use, there is also lot of INTERRACIAL sex going on, too! (Yes, I said INTER-RACIAL. Look it up if you don’t know what that means.) Therefore, I would think that if the reported numbers about all the infected Black men are so accurate, then SURELY (at least in MY mind) many MORE men…white, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, etc…. (and many of their women) would also be greatly infected by all this very high number of infected Black men!

Now, for safety’s sake, I would never try to dispute such reports (not yet), for I would want people, especially Black people since THAT group is the one such report focuses upon, to take notice of what is going on: not to scare them, but to bring about AWARENESS! Also, while I have no means to factually dispute such disturbing reports, it seems to me (as it probably would to others), that according to these reports, IT WOULD BE DANGEROUSLY RISKY for ANYONE to EVER have sex with a BLACK man! If this “senseless” yet somewhat “logical” thought casually crossed MY mind (again, if one were to FULLY digest such reports as is) then SURELY it would cross the minds of OTHER men and women! It seems to me that such thinking COULD possibly add fuel to the negative stereotypes many people (including OUR OWN), be them straight, bi, or gay, already have of…the BLACK man! The possibility that someone might be afraid to have sex with me (protected or otherwise) based on the assumption of this report and, of course the HIV epidemic, is a possibility that would scare me as a BLACK MAN!

I would NEVER say that one should EVER engage in RANDOM sex WITHOUT the use of a condom, WITHOUT practicing safe sex techniques, and WITHOUT knowing the HIV status of that sex partner. I would NEVER dispute that Black men are high in numbers in HIV infection. I’m merely saying that the logic to me isn’t there, knowing what I know about …SEX. And knowing what I know about: Drug use; Economics; Sex Education; The UNWILLINGNESS of MANY SEXUALLY ACTIVE PEOPLE to GET TESTED-REGULARLY; and lastly, what I know about… FEAR!! Get my drift? All of this – and more – is involved for why many people in general, not on a selectively ETHNIC basis, are STILL getting infected and STILL infecting OTHERS from ALL ethnic groups with HIV.

Let’s be SEXUALLY safe –YES! But let’s also THINK about the many reports we read that seem to concentrate ONLY on BLACK people or on one particular ethnic group versus another. Remember, such reports about HIV infection seem to come from REPORTED numbers. There are still a lot of people FROM ALL ETHNICITIES who DON’T go to the doctor when they are beginning to suffer the effects of a STD or STI, and even those who do make doctor visits, it is still a human being who writes up the reports and submits the information. Mistakes can be made in such reports; numbers can be inflated. I’m just saying that it happens!

Sex with ALL ethnic groups is risky! You just have to be careful— and then be brave and humanly considerate to get regularly tested for STD, STI, and of course, HIV. That is all.
Keepin’ It...Real!

Honesty on Racism (Part 1)

This blog is all about being REAL. Straight-up. No bullshit.
So…in this one minute video, renown Michigan attorney Geoffrey Fieger IS being REAL, and is saying what many SENSIBLE people – both Black and White – have been saying over the last four to five years about Barack Obama .

Now, to be clear, I have seen enough YouTube videos actually protesting Fieger’s comments. They range from calling Fieger an “opportunist” to gain the Black [sympathy] vote for some future political office he wants, to the hoodwinking of certain ethnic groups, to actually denying the fact that certain people and certain political groups were “never really out to get rid of Barack Obama due to his race, religious beliefs, or his place of actual birth, but only for his political views”. What an outright lie! GIVE ME A FUCKIN’ BREAK!

Look, I’m not only a news junkie but I know damn well American history. And, one of the things about this country’s history which has always fascinated me is that of the American Presidency! I know, (and so do many of you reading this — don’t dare deny it), that until Barack Hussein Obama ran for, got properly vetted and nominated, and rightfully won the presidency, NO ONE ever questioned or challenged the natural citizenry or race of any other person who went through the same process and went on to serve this country as President of these United States. Now it’s true that for a few of our past presidents, there have been questions or concerns about the religious beliefs (i.e. JFK’s catholic upbringing comes to mind), military service, etc during the campaign and after entering office but never such to the level of that done against Barack Obama. And with all the political (and personal) differences the American people, members of Congress, and religious and political groups have had of the last 43 presidents, strangely enough (perhaps strange to everyone except maybe Black people) it was not until Barack Obama came along that all the bullshit questions and challenges of his birth certificate, parentage, religious beliefs, political, religious, and personal associations with so-called “controversial” people, his youth AND his race came to be of very deep concern. It’s shameful but the more we would like to believe that America is socially, ethnically, and ethically moving forward, the more many of us REALize that we still have a very long way to go.

I support Fieger’s comments in his video and in this follow-up news link where he addresses why he posted the video, clearly pointing out the video is NOT a support ad for President Obama’s re-election. Fieger says the video was posted to bring to light the racism that still exists in America, implying that RACE has been – and will still – be a factor to many in this year’s election. Listen carefully and you’ll hear Fieger’s direct and intended inflection of the words, “BLACK family occupying the WHITE House”. In the follow-up news story, Fieger uses the term “code words” to relate to the racist tactics used against Obama by many of his (Fieger’s) “white brethren”, today and in the past four years. (The same terms used particularly by radio pundits by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Fox News, et al).

I won’t sugarcoat it: Black people, particularly those in my general age group and older, have been, and are certainly sensitive to coded language used against us. Black people (and the Native American) practically invented it!  I find it refreshing, to say the least, to actually hear a White man of the fame and credibility Fieger has reached, calling out the obvious racism of the staunch Obama-haters. Thanks Geoffrey Fieger for…
Keepin’ It….REAL!