Why Black Women Also Fear Black Men

Though the fear of black men by white people is based on racist stereotypes, black women’s fear is rooted in a lifetime of experience.

Black masculinity is a site of contradiction: a stigmatized and subordinate racial identity paired with a dominant gender identity. As a member of both privileged and disadvantaged groups, learning to navigate can be difficult.

Recently, I was in a class taught by my advisor, and it was my week to facilitate class discussion. My advisor sat next to me and told me that he wanted me to practice being a professor, that I should project my voice more. He said that even though I have a deep voice, when he sits at the opposite end of the table he can barely hear me. I told him that I choose to speak a little softer because when I project, my deep voice coupled with my 6’3” 220 pound body frightens white people. They think I’m angry, and angry black men are scary. Though he turned my comment into a joke, he didn’t say anything else about voice projection.

This experience is one that is unique to black men. Our perceived hyper masculinity, supposedly outstanding physical prowess and abnormal aggression, makes us scary and intimidating to white people. This isn’t new, and it’s something that we’ve learned to deal with. The purse gripping, refusals to join us in an elevator, white women scurrying around corners when we walk behind them, have all become a part of life that we simply accept with little power to change. In the course of growing my dreadlocks, I was even told by a supervisor, a really nice and supposedly liberal older white woman, that my hair made me look “more dangerous,” implying not only that I looked dangerous before I began to grow my hair but that my new, “black” hairstyle increased the level of threat attached to my body.

That is the life of a black man in a white world, one fraught with stigma and fear, but certainly returning home to our own communities would allow us to walk around freely without frightening those around us. Unfortunately, that’s not the case as we go from being subordinate in white spaces to dominant and hegemonic in black spaces.

A few weeks ago, I recall having a conversation with my girlfriend where I told her I was annoyed at the tweets of a black woman that I was reading. The woman ranted for almost an hour about her fear of black men. She said that she was afraid of individual black men, black men in groups on the street, and being alone with black men. It bothered me because I felt as if she was stigmatizing us in the same way that white people do, imbuing our bodies with inherent criminality. I expected her to feel differently.

We live together, in the same communities, in the same houses. We are natural allies in the black freedom struggle. Black women are our mothers, sisters, and cousins; they couldn’t possibly fear us. Somehow, though aware of the terror inflicted upon black women by black men, I managed to ignore their valid reasons for being afraid of us. I know that black men are like other men toward the women in their communities: violent (physically and emotionally) and entitled, but I naively assumed that black women would look upon us as individuals and gauge our potential for violence before assigning us the label “frightful.” Certainly, I, an “enlightened” feminist man, who doesn’t slut shame or participate in rape culture, wouldn’t be lumped in with the rapists and street harassers.

But how can we expect to be looked upon as individuals when we fail to extend to them the same luxury. I look just as threatening standing on a street corner as any other black man who may whistle at a black woman as she walks by and call her a bitch if she refuses to respond appropriately and deferentially. I look just as threatening at a house party as any other black man who may get a little too friendly while driving a black woman home after she drank a bit too much alcohol. We can’t expect black women to be unafraid when black men give them ample reason to be afraid.

Unlike white women, and white people in general, who are very rarely victims of the crimes of black men, black women are on the front lines being abused, raped, and harassed. Though the fear by whites is based on suspicion and irrational, racist stereotypes, black women’s fear is rooted in a lifetime of experience and hurt. We have to learn to separate the two and not be hurt by the fear we’ve caused. We have little power to alter whites’ perceptions of us, but we can combat the fear that black women have developed by refusing to perpetuate as system of domination and hegemonic masculinity that excuses and encourages behavior that makes us frightening.

We have to meet it at the source: our friends, cousins, and uncles. We must be brave enough to tell them not to yell at that woman across the street and push back when they suggest getting a woman drunk so they can have sex with her. We have to rid ourselves of the idea that because we aren’t the guys hiding in the bushes women shouldn’t fear us, and learn to own our privilege and frightfulness and fight to make our communities safe for black women so that we can also feel safe. If we want black women to be our allies, we have to stop positioning ourselves as the enemy.

Read more: Schrodinger’s Rapist: Yes, We Have To Talk About This Again

Image credit: alainlm/Flickr

About Robert Reece

Robert Reece is from Leland, MS and received his BA and MA degrees from The University of Mississippi. He is now a PhD student in sociology at Duke University where he studies race and racism and contracts as a NPO researcher. He blogs at Still Furious and Still Brave and tweets at @PhuzzieSlippers.

Comments

  1. @Alice: To,be fair and complete, the Afirican American community at large contributes and sustains this phenomenon. The African American community loves bold, macho men and why not, they were needed. Where would they be without men like Frederick Douglas, a first class bad ass of the highest order, or Malcom X ,or Dr. Harry Edwards? I remember laughing watching Melissa Harris Perry and a panel of women on her show trying to reconcile their political beliefs as feminists with the fact that they found thug rappers, like Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur atrractive. Of course, at the end of day,they were quite adept at rationalizing the contradictions—they got a free pass because they both rappers were typical African American boy’s who loved their mothers beyond all reason.

  2. @Cookie: As odd as it may sound,I have found some semblance of hope in the idea that this behavior is undoubtably rooted in culture and therefore learned.What is learned can be unlearned. I experienced what I think was a classic Southern upbringing,it just ocurred in San Francisco and as such was also influenced regionally. This regional influence which frowned on using corporal punishment on children gave me an option behaviorally.Even though I was beaten and verbally abused, I never beat my children. My mother never another way.The research I have done points to the south as epicenter of this behavior,especially South Carolina. Steven Stowe has the defense of honor closely to the men of the slaveholding class…failure to observe the code of honor—( the man code in the east and west)—resulted in duels…Southern conventions tolerated many manifestations of displaced brutality.Heavy drinking,gambling and dueling were accepted… Historian Elizabeth-Fox Genovese Remember,for the South the Civil War was about honor.

  3. Hey folks, it’s been interesting chatting with you but after a brief conversation with the writer of this piece, I can’t even take him seriously so I can’t take this article seriously anymore.

    He says “If we want black women to be our allies, we have to stop positioning ourselves as the enemy.” but the first time you disagree with him, he leaves tweets like, “You give [insert n-word] [expletive] to read and they don’t read it because it’ll prove them wrong. I get it now.” On my worst day with the worst person, I don’t call brothas the n-word so I definitely have zip zero respect for a black man calling a black woman that. We’ll NEVER be that cool regardless of a tweet telling me you followed the discussion to see what I was tweeting and agreed with me.

    I’m also blown by a lady in his timeline who calls herself “fat” and a “gorilla” and jumped into the conversation. *shaking my head* This entire post is a joke to me now.

    He leaves tweets like, “Is there a difference? RT @cablefixer: @me Do you hate white people or dumb white people who make stupid accusations?” and “Robert Reece ‏@PhuzzieSlippers I just wanna troll white people who accuse POC of hating white people and be like “I do.”

    Oh yeah and to @ogwriter his response to you talking about women being abusive was “[insert n-word] please” so before you send a message to me complaining about me saying folks are whining, he wasn’t exactly on your side either.

    I can’t take ANYBODY seriously who immediately insults HIMSELF with the harshest word in the English dictionary as well as someone disagreeing with him. How are you telling men to call other men out for being insulting and you’re insulting, too? That’s in addition to doing an entire piece about trying to calm white people down and then tweeting about how you hate white people. My gawd, this entire piece is a joke to me now. To preach self-hate and racism after writing THIS piece is beyond comprehension to me. You folks enjoy going back and forth on this piece. I’m too through now. Now THIS was a waste of my time. *shaking my head* Someday he’ll learn. At least I hope so.

    Later all! @Jules, again, wishing you the best!

    • @ Maroonsista – what a pity – and I mean that! You have an interesting voice and take on things that engages. And then you claim that words can hurt you… on twitter!

      I’m not fan of the Twittering Masses or the Farcebook clones – and I sure as hell aint a fan of anyone who takes 140 characters of less and turns it into a reason to run away! It’s the new social networking way to engineer a Flouncetastic Exit alla Drag Queen….. and honey your heels and frock have let you down.

      Sad to see you go but – well The tweet was too much and I will not stand to be tweeted at in that way … it’s so Hollywood Drama and Black and White repeat….. it’s on every afternoon along with Bargain Matinee.

      As I said, enjoyed your intelligent and engaging ways with words, but the drama and failed flouncy exit are not endearing or engaging.

  4. That is the key; to differentiate between good advice and a outright put-down, and I know that the former exists in our community all to often. It is just unfortunate that sometimes the two get mixed up…

  5. @Cookie : I can say for myself that I can differentiate between good advice and someone telling me how to be man or from someone wj hi is emasculating. The truth is emasculation for all manner of reasons is common in the African American community and thought to be a good thing. I think it contributes to some of the failings we see in the community.

    Ever since I was a kid, I have heard some of the nastiest meanest language surrounding masculinity–who’s got it and who doesn’t– and more importantly, how do we punish those who are deemed to fall short of whatever stupidity is deemed the current definition, at this point in time. Now that is critical to know==at this point in time, because whatever the soup dujour definition is today,in this country, will change over time.Which is More reason to reject whatever a woman says should be the definition of masculinity. I mean would you hire a Prius mechanic to fix your Ferrari?

  6. @Cookie: I can relate to what Jules has experienced with far too many African American women concerning control and masculinity. Too many either disrespect men by trying to be one even though they can’t be oine, or because they are constantly beating the, ” he ain’t no man drum, ” for some perceived violation of the “Black man code”( not to be confused with his equally stupid cousin, “the white male code” ) of which too many sisters think they define for him., or because they actually believe they can be a better man than men can be.

    Something that was touched on in the schmaltzy, annoyingly irritating, song by Beyoncey,” If I Were a Boy”.in which she basically sang that women make better males than males do. Again, this is nothing new in the African American community or, I’m finding out in culture at large. I far as I am concerned I j have little time for such ignorance and lack of depth of thought. There is no excuse for this stuff and the sooner African American women get rid of theemasculating behavior, the sooner there may be the kind of discussions between men and women that I thankfully experience here, on this site, daily

    • That is unfortunate; I can’t honestly say that I don’t know of any women in my past (and maybe present) who are a bit hardened by (their) life or circumsance; I am glad to say that I am not one of them.

      As for Beyonce’s song “If I Were A Boy”, I personally don’t believe the song is about emasculating men; I think it’s about enlightening men (and women) about the games that (some) men play in relationships, the consequences, and knowing what it is like to love someone and lose them because of your actions. I think it’s about the idea of doing things that are knowingly hurtful to someone who cares about you, and acting like their behavior isn’t hurtful – and granted, it may not be.

  7. Cookie I am certain you are sincere and forthright.However,I have discovered through life experience and in exploring sites like this one that often some women say they want a sensitive self aware man only to find out later they have no sexual or romantic interest in said man. This kind of crazy thing is very common and happens to men of all races.My point is, men are looking far more closely at what relationships and life has to offer them and women, I think,aren’t exactly comfortable with it. Women have been taught that men are supposed to want them,to pursue them and it makes many women lazy in certain respects. I mean men are simple right? There is in my mind,no excuse for some women to emasculate a man and in the African American community it happens too frequently.

    • Unfortunately I can’t disagree with you, because I have encountered women like that in my life – some of whom were friends and possibly family. Yet this ‘legacy’ continues to thriveand flourish in our community and its destruction takes no prisoners; it’s detrimental for us as a whole, because you can’t possibly have a successful relationship if you’re emasculating your man, and in turn reacting to that by disrespcting your woman. It’s a vicious cycle. I think a healthy mix of sensitivity and self-awareness is a positive thing, for both the black male and female, but we are too defensive and angry to even consider the possiblity of that. I am deeply saddened by this. Again, I am NOT saying that all of us are like that, but as I grow in ‘maturity’, I am becoming more and more conscious of my behavior, as well as that of others I encounter, by trying to understand the reason why some people shy away from vulnerability and commitment, which is so important for close, intimate relationships. Notably, their actions (or inaction) is rooted in some kind of trauma/pain, which is then manifested by keeping oneself ‘closed off’ to others, preventing any type of emotional commitment. Also, as they say, ‘hurt people, hurt people….

  8. I welcome a brother who isn’t afraid to express himself; speak his fears, vulnerabilities, hopes, and dreams…it’s called being real – how else can we have a real relationship? Plus, I’d imagine that all that pretense would give you high blood pressure…hey, wait, that’s prevalent in our community too…

  9. @Jules; As you can plainly see these problems are longstanding in the community, yet they really are no different than what “white” men are going through now as they struggle with attempting to regain control of their identities in a post-feminists world. From a mental health standpoint, for me, I can’t be around someone who doesn’t have the ability to compare, contrast and measure simultaneously the push pull effects of abuse on a variety of communities.

    Furthermore, trying to deal with and balance the contradictions associated with trying to be responsive to the demands of others is too much.On the one hand, men are told by women that men need to be more like them and be unafraid to be vulnerable.

    Men are told that they need to be unafraid to tell women how they feel and tell them what their innermost fears are:Right. We have seen, on this thread, how that works out.
    According to some, the very act of black men telling their stories is actually a part of the blacks mans plot ( damn,
    I must have missed the last meeting), in accordance with his overall desire to keep black women under his thumb,by preventing her story from being heard. Let me think here, do black men own and or operate any major news outlets like MSNBC, The Huffpost, Fox news…hmmm, no .Do black-men control any of the editorials boards where what is news for the country is decided…hmmm, no. This past political season the issues concerning women were front and center, while issues concerning black-men, that should also concern black women like mass incarceration,were not even on the agenda. Our feminists President doesn’t see clearly the issues of men. For every one military fatality, 25 more die by suicide. Overall the suicide rate for black, men has exploded in recent years.But, I go too far, I don’t want to get cursed out or be told that I am a coward or a whiner, by someone who has way more experience being a man than I do.

    Do I believe in personal responsibility, of course, but I also believe in justice. And I know enough t see that putting people in jail for drug possession is beyond retarded and of course the most vulnerable will suffer the most. And while men don’t have the right to abuse women the same can be and should said about the behavior of women.
    For instance, lesbians rape and commit acts of dv, and rape against other women, but not once did that ever come up in the comments about abuse in this thread which gives the impression that only men commit these acts. This is why I reacted the way I did.

  10. @Maroonsista:I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about. The emasculating language you have used in several posts in which you call men cowards,whiners,saying they need pacifiers is unnecssary and is exactly the kind of abusive patterned behavior I have been talking about and have mentioned before. This line of attack is all too common in the black community that eventually leads to an escalation in hostilities. Your behavior epitomizes what I’ve been discussing all along.Over and over again you resort to this shaming strategy because when you are disagreed with,and not with just me.Alchemist uses the same strategy when men disagree with her,especially black men. This is a site for men.Men who, by and large, are supportive of women. Sexism isn’t tolerated here.But men here don’t rollover just because a woman thinks he should. Deal with it.

    • You mean…a site called “Good MEN project” is a site for men to write about men? YOU DON’T SAY?! I’m so glad you told me. I really had no idea. That totally went over my head considering the MASSIVE amount of articles from men about men. And I still didn’t realize it when I co-signed on this entire article FROM A MAN about MEN all the while you spent time disagreeing with everything on the post and wanting it to be about women’s wrongdoings. *blank stare* We’re done speaking directly to each other. I can handle a difference of opinion, but I can’t respect any of YOUR views. Your ideas on how men can skip out on fatherhood and a few others makes the conversation between you and I absolutely pointless. AND I STAND BY EVERY SINGLE COMMENT I MADE ABOUT PACIFIERS, WHINING AND WHAT IS COWARDLY. Deal with it. (Last comment directly to you.)

    • Stop wasting your time with Maroonista. Some people are just not worth it.

      • @JT…

        You are wrong. I thought Maroonsista offered some very valid and truthful observations.

        Also, every human being is “worth it.”

        Just because it is not something you (or I) might not want to hear, does not mean it is not true.

        How about expanding your vision? Learn to see a different perspective. You don’t have to agree. But, at least take the time to indulge.

        Just saying.

        • Hey @Jules totally appreciate the defense and I thank you. But don’t worry about it. It truly makes me not a bit of difference if anybody on this board thinks I’m a “waste of time” to talk to. Comments like that show me where their viewpoints are and set the stage for why my comments would be a “waste of time” to them. No big deal to me. I expect certain people with certain opinions to not agree with me. I will be cool either way. *shrug* You’re going to have people who will agree and those who disagree on both ends. I, personally, just choose NOT to keep debating the same topics with the same people when I know we won’t see eye to eye. I indulged. Didn’t agree. Started focusing on points I do agree with. But whatever you do, don’t use the words “happening” and “testosterone.” Sheesh! *laughing* I kid. I kid. Anyway, have a good evening.

    • I’ve really enjoyed your comments on this post, ogwriter. Easily the most the nuanced and informed—which may be the reason they got so little response.

      And Maroonista is clearly a waste of time.

      • I thought about giving a damn about you both saying that I’m a “waste of time” to talk to. I actually did wonder if you’d read my other comments before making that completely intelligent and thought-provoking response. (Sorry about the sarcasm dripping from your computer keyboard. It happens sometimes.) But then I realized who you do agree with and realized with a laugh, “Oh, that’s why. Now I DEFINITELY don’t give a damn.” *shrug* And…moving on!

    • @ogwriter…

      “This line of attack is all too common in the black community that eventually leads to an escalation in hostilities.”

      Yes, and it becomes counter productive. I just wished as a people we could learn to “rise above” this sort of thing. We need honest discourse. We need to hear the other person out, regardless of whether we agree or disagree.

      You did a fabulous job of presenting some tough and informed points. While I did not agree with everything, I can respect (and understand) where you were coming from on the issue(s).

      The aim and goal is to find solutions and common ground to move forward. Unless we can do this, it really is all lost.

      • You did a fabulous job of presenting some tough and informed points. While I did not agree with everything, I can respect (and understand) where you were coming from on the issue(s).

        The aim and goal is to find solutions and common ground to move forward. Unless we can do this, it really is all lost.

        There’s a real challenge in there – so I wonder if people would be willing to rise to it!

        Pick a subject you are sure you won’t agree on – and then pick one where you will. Now pick one half way between and see what happens. Only one rule – you are not allowed to mention the other two subjects of drew them into the debate.

        Give that a try and lets see how easy it is to move forward!

  11. @wellokthen:The last comment I made to Jules was meant for you.

  12. @Jules: For the most part your observations are astute and true. Foremost is the point that this situation is bigger than gender.

  13. wellokaythen says:

    In some cases what we’re seeing is just the middle of cycle of abuse. Many of these men who are abusive to women were abused by women who were abused by men who were abused by women, etc., etc. That’s not an African-American thing, it’s a larger social problem. It’s an ongoing downward spiral.

    I don’t know what the rates of female-on-male domestic violence are within the African-American community, but I imagine it’s comparable to other groups. Bullies are often survivors of abuse themselves. There are certainly some high-profile cases that give me pause. Steve McNair’s murderer was an African American woman (his murder was basically an act of domestic violence), and Lisa Lefteye Lopez was not above using violence in at least one of her relationships.

    This is no excuse for any abusive men to be abusive, but I suspect that, if (IF!) black men are more prone to abuse their partners, it’s in part because society treats their own lives as cheap, and that includes the way African American women may treat them.

    In short, the reverse of the title is also true. Some black *men* fear black *women* not because of racism because of their own lived experience with black women.

    • @wellokaythen…

      It is indeed a larger problem. There are so many negatives in the black community. However, the majority is POSITIVE! Contrary to what is written there are NOT more black men in prison than college. Often, one has to seek out the truth and stop listening to half truths. Real income in the black community has actually increased in the black community! We actually have moguls and billionaires today.

      But, we need to tackle this issue with substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, and high school dropout.

      Lastly, Steve McNair was killed by his young Iranian lover. Not his black wife or black ex wife.

      “….if (IF!) black men are more prone to abuse their partners, it’s in part because society treats their own lives as cheap, and that includes the way African American women may treat them.”

      There is much truth to your comment. Also, the expectation for black men is low, even within the black community.

      And yes, there are some men who have had very negative experiences with black women. It does not give black men the right to be abusive.

      I treat all women the same. I am not going to take a white woman to Ruth Chris and then take a black woman to Chilis. No, they are all going to Ruth Chris. So, I think the key is to accord everyone the same treatment and always be respectful. If there is not reciprocity, then you know that person is not for you.

  14. @Maroonsista: I don’t subscribe to the values and beliefs of Southern honor bound society, nor do I believe that some arbitrary analysis of the value of shotgun wedding as a positive force on black culture is accurate in the least. I definitely don’t follow or believe in Protestantism. That kind of ridiculous chivalrous ideology is part of the problem.Which brings me to one of my overriding points;most of your knowledge and experience about these issues comes from your personal experience of your family. Since when has one family ever been used as a measure of how everyone else should manage their lives?

    What worked in your family, worked in your family, nothing more. The truth is in America, most families are headed by a single parent–it’s just the way it is. Neither men or women seem to be happy with the other. The possible unhappiness of your group is no more or less important than anyone else’s

    What do you actually do besides write about this stuff? Do you actually go out into the community you profess to care so deeply about and out your theories to the test? Anyone can sit in a boardroom or at a laptop and claim to have the answers. What do you do about any of this we have been discussing besides criticize someone id who is a doing something?

    • @Ogwriter, I’ve already told you that after the “degree” comment I was done talking to you. I think a conversation with you is a waste of time (along with William, both of you spend too much time with the “whoa is me” whining b.s. I can’t respect) but I have said on this board that I’ve spoken in the community about safe sex and talked to college students about HIV/AIDS testing and being safe, etc. So no, I don’t just sit on a computer. I’ve been in countless charity events talking to young people about reducing the risks of unwanted children and being safe in the community, along with my own peers. The next time you get ready to tell me what I don’t do, DON’T! And we’re done speaking.

      • @Maroonsista…

        I think polite discourse is important. We do not have to agree with one another. However, I think our community needs to learn how to engage in constructive dialogue without personal attacks.

        How are we ever as a people going to move forward if we refused to hear the other person out? How are we going to move forward if we shut the other person down?

        We do not have to agree. But, we can respectfully disagree. I am a fundamentally conservative man, even politically. However, I am open minded. I do not shoot the messenger.

        When I read your comments I hear a very intelligent and deep thinking person. Yes, you have strong opinions on the subject. That’s OK. But, as my father use to say, “you have to hear the other man out!” I too get tired of people refusing to take blame for their individual conduct. They are jobless but refuse to take the bus to Home Depot to work. Instead, they just sit on their asses trying to figure out a way to get on SSI, public assistance ……

        I listen and then I say, “you know if you work at Home Depot, they have training. You can get promotions….In about 2-3 years you can double you $$$” The point is not to shut them down, but impart some knowledge. Often people just don’t know in our community. They have lost hope. The worst thing a human being can do is to lose hope.

        When I was in grad school it was not easy even though the tuition was paid for by my TA Assistantship. But, when things were tough I thought about how my parents and grandparents had endured Jim Crow and prevailed. There is so much we can share with one another. But, if we break off the dialogue, then we cannot share.

        We need to as people impart the positives and cease belittling one another, no matter how dumb and ridiculous some things might sound to us. Remember, until you have walked in that man (or woman) shoes, you really don’t know.

        Peace.

        • @Jules

          From the very beginning I’ve heard you out and asked for actual examples of why you came to such grand assumptions that black women don’t like educated men and want to control them. I’ve even given you examples in hopes that maybe you’ll see from a first-hand perspective from a woman that it’s not always what it seems. As far as women ignoring you in the grocery store, no clue how to respond to that one. Maybe you give off a vibe. Maybe they don’t want to be bothered. It could be looks. It could be age. It could be a NUMBER of things but they don’t know about your education unless you’re constantly talking about it so there has to be another factor in that. Maybe these same women would ignore everybody because their focus is not chatting it up with a guy in a grocery store.

          It just sounds insecure to me to assume that it’s your education or status without asking these women whether it is or not. Your comment about politics made me take note though. Now if someone knows THAT from your job (ex. the woman with the Social Security boyfriend) or from some of the women you meet, that can definitely cause some tension. It could be a matter of difference of opinion in politics (especially considering the huge and harsh political debate that’s been had from the last presidential election). I just don’t think it’s a good idea to assume that black women don’t like you BECAUSE of your educational background (like your grandfather’s advice). It’s the easy way out and makes you look one-dimensional. I think you should just start asking women who you are interested in where is the shade coming from. Not EVERY woman but someone you’re genuinely curious about.

          I do find it a bit hypocritical that you just gave me a lecture on shutting people down and how we have to give people a chance but judged the Social Security guy and black women as a whole without knowing Social Security guy’s background (and saying he was about as expected so it sounded like you had your assumptions ready for him, too) and sistas (without asking them why they may not talk to you regularly). However, I don’t get the impression you’ve given up completely on black women so I could be wrong about that last example.

          I am NOT conservative but I can agree with you to an extent on the job situation. While I can’t confirm whether Social Security Guy is looking for a handout or whether he has a valid reason for getting on it, I will say that I agree with you completely about some people choosing fast money over slow money. I think there’s a problem in the African-American community as a whole when it comes to economics and people looking for an easier way out. I’ve had countless conversations with those described as “at-risk youth” and usually ended up frustrated by the logic that, “Why should I get a job at McDonald’s when I can get $500 a day selling ____________.” That’s why I mentioned that “BET Don’t Sleep” episode earlier this week. Hearing these guys in Chicago talk about drugs and violence and laugh about it was an example of what I see around me when I go into certain neighborhoods now. (On a general note: I don’t have to go find “at risk youth” through a program when I see “at risk youth” every day and know “at risk youth” and grew up with “at risk youth.” I moved for some time but I live in Chicago. Check the news. I’m already dead in the middle of that discussion and many loved ones have suffered from the logic you mention about people trying to take the easy way out. However, there are some who are headed for dead end because of their parents, other family members, neighborhoods, etc., and that APPEARS to be their only way out.)

          As far as shooting the messenger, hey, @Jules, I don’t agree with everything you say but I’m certainly willing to hear you out because I think you’re bright and I enjoy your responses. I can also RESPECT your opinion, as I can with a few others on the board. As long as I can respect a person’s opinion, I can hear them out. Once I can’t, I stop listening. Makes no difference to me. Plenty of others will applaud and co-sign some other nonsense I’ve read. I don’t HAVE that kind of time to waste with someone I will never see eye to eye on. You, however, I think we can come to some middle ground.

          Quite frankly, if you’re anything in person like you are on the discussion board, I strongly encourage you to have some chats with the women you think don’t like you. They may find that you’re not so bad after all, but you might want to tread lightly on the topic of politics. Now THAT topic I won’t get into with you because there’s 100% chance we’ll butt heads straight down the line (especially about Clarence Thomas). Oprah? Eh. I didn’t like that she had Mo’Nique’s family on her show without Mo’Nique so I don’t have much to say about her. Tyler Perry? Like some work, don’t like others. But the latter two I can respect for their professional success regardless of some personal decisions. Clarence Thomas? *sigh* I struggle with that one, but I won’t get that far off topic.

          Happy Sunday! Got runs to make but enjoyed the talk. Good luck out there with your dating life. I wish you the best @Jules.

  15. wellokaythen says:

    I guess my question is whether “racial difference” is the key thing here. If a person is aggressive or rude, is it a “black man” in particular being that way, or is it a *man* being aggressive or rude, or is it just a *person* being aggressive or rude? If a person of one race is mean to a person of another race, how do we know that it’s a racial thing and not just someone being an asshole? There are jerks born into all racial categories. If a black man is a jerk, it may have nothing to do with being black at all.

    (My usual caveat applies: all these “race” categories are stupid, so I’m using them loosely.)

    I’m curious what the experience is among women who have dated black men as well as other men. Are black men somehow notably worse than other men when it comes to mistreatment? I honestly don’t know. I wonder if some of this is a feeling of disillusionment – here’s a guy I expected would understand my world and have my back, but he’s not like that.

    • I’ve been sitting and watching this threat and it’s a hoot. I think there are some rather legitimate questions here that could do with being answered ;

      “I’m curious what the experience is among women who have dated black men as well as other men. Are black men somehow notably worse than other men when it comes to mistreatment? I honestly don’t know. I wonder if some of this is a feeling of disillusionment – here’s a guy I expected would understand my world and have my back, but he’s not like that.”

      I can make some legitimate answers as I have quite a bit of experience in dating men – and more.P^)

      I can’t speak for experience with Black American, But Black Caribbean/West Indian, as well as South African and other places too – been there seen it and done it. When you are darting someone you deal with all of their culture – all of it, from start to finish. It may seem odd but people don’t just put themselves aside because you have a different back ground.

      I have seen many interesting things linked to what some would see as masculine or effeminate traits. My main observation is that culturally dominance is part of the culture and gets displayed by many of the Diaspora created by slavery and removal from Africa. I don’t believe it’s all history related but strongly rooted in culture which is learned and socially passed on as a meme. Finding the same behaviours and attitudes linked to where slaves were sources from in Africa is odd, but I’ve seen and I know others too, but due to racial concerns and barriers around all things race it’s a big taboo.

      One of the most interesting contrasts is with Indian men – to call it a melting pot is an understatement and you get so many divides that are learned – religious – social. Within Indian culture and religious views there is as plasticity of culture which correlates with a spectrum from masculine to effeminate. There you find the guys who fall into the masculine role play Hyper Masculine and the guys who end up with the effeminate role and it’s Hyper Effeminate. That is within Hindu culture. If you switch to Sikh culture which is a warrior religion suddenly all of the guys are not just Hyper Masculine but actually can be violent – not just in attitude but in conduct. Then switch to Moslem – oh boy – it goes into Arab Culture and attitudes which get so bizarre and even uncomfortable – dominance which changes with age – young guys wish to be dominated and older they are dominating. Older guys may find younger men attractive, but not older men – younger men may find other young men attractive but still have to stick to the age hierarchy, so if one is a day older he has to play older …. it can be quite a head bender.

      Even WASPS get odd – and then throw in the Latin Quarter and it’s odd being told as you meet at the bar that you are the woman and had better behave as such! P^) I was polite and stayed for a drink and then took me and my Girdle home! Lets not even consider the Oriental cos there you are never sure if you are coming or going – it can get all rather sensual and mind blowing.

      One thing I have found interesting is having had the chance to compare notes over the same group – Indian men for India – Kenya – South Africa – UK due to the migrations that have occurred and also the Ugandan Indians as they are known – expelled by Idi Amin and ending up in the UK. I’ve seen the same patterns linked to religion and how society says people should act. Over time with UK based Indians, Pakistani and Bangladeshi you see a softening or dilution of the behaviour under exposure to other culture influences, but there are still these dynamics that are there and for want of a better term echoing down time. and across geography. You even get a hyper distorted version as came to light with the Rape Rings operating in the UK with Moslem men. From different backgrounds some classified as Pakistani others as Indian and others as Arab. it was a combination of social cultural factors colliding which motivated the behaviour.

      I’ve also had the opportunity to watch kids grow up through adoption where due to circumstances they have been raised by parents that are in no way culturally linked to the child – and as the child grows and matures into an adult those traits are just not there. The child learns the culture they are raised in and not the one which is for the Birth Parents. I still find it odd that if the child is Caucasian there is little concern as to which country and culture they come from, and Hispanic in much teh same way, but as soon as it’s another cultural and social grouping it’s all out protectionism. (That’s very much a UK and Euro issue at the moment – with massive arguments raging about Multiculturalism and Race – and if they matter).

      So I can see your question about ” I wonder if some of this is a feeling of disillusionment – here’s a guy I expected would understand my world and have my back,” – and I can see how if you thought narrowly that would work , but in many ways it’s linking colour to culture and even defining colour as culture – rather than grasping that culture is independent of colour.

      Lady meets great looking guy and they meet up – he’s a jerk and treats her like shit. I just described the experience that every white female friend I have who has ever visited Australia. There are guys there who are simply programmed by cultural experience to see the Sheila’s a certain way – and it’s changing over time. Just as beer is out and wine is in as social and cultural shifts move people forward.

      In many ways as a man I’ve come to see that when it comes to that partnership divide and relationship chasm there is afar more social programming for people to overcome than anything else. So many want social change to be like summer fashion, but unfortunately there is no way to change it that fast and any changes and the manufacturing don’t fit with the economics of made in Taiwan.

      Change is slow – if you want to speed it up the financial cost is high – Very High. I asked on associate about inequality and change USA way – the response, Eduction – Eduction – Eduction – Three Generations of Eduction – 60 years of making eduction, knowledge and learning the centre of every child’s life – where public schools were made to be palaces that kids wanted to be in – teachers who were failing were removed and being the best teacher beat the Oscars into second place. But – for the last 40 years public eduction has been repeatedly underfunded – undermined underestimated and so now it costs more and will never happen.

  16. If you can see this message now, I strongly recommend you watch tonight’s episode of BET’s “Don’t Sleep” about the violence in Chicago and two brothas talking about living in the hood. The amount of smiling about murder, gangbanging, robbery and drugs just blew me away and T.J. Holmes NEVER smiled. I watched the show and it bothered me that I wasn’t surprised by anything they said…at all. One made a comment about homes with no money and what you do to survive. That takes me RIGHT BACK to my comments about having positive male role models in your life to guide you in the right direction, whether they’re babies, teenagers or grown men who are just flat-out lost.

  17. All I have to say is whan you get a loving, honest, respectful and supportive black women in your life, treat her well, don’t take her for granted, and give as good as you get; don’t lie and/or manipulate her to get what you want/need. We have a BAD habit of treating one another horribly, instead of appreciating and stepping up to be the man/woman that is needed and desired to have a successful (not necessarily on the material level!) progressive relationship; without that, we as a race will forever be behind the eightball….

    • @Cookie…

      Yes. You are right.

      Too often in the black community is always about “getting” and not enough of “giving.”

      • @Jules: Yeah we know that the uber mascul8nity thing is hype. We also know that it used like armor to protect us in a world where we can’t actually announce to the world that we are afraid. But the idea that the down low stuff is a reflection of a lack of masculinity is just not true.

        If a woman decides that she wants to experiment, she can without losing her womanhood. She is not penalized. In the oftimes homophobic hysteria of the black community, there is an obsession with monitoring the ebb and flow of masculinity of black men. One can loose UBER status for all manner of infractions of the black communities man codes. And black women wield an inordinate amount of power in defining masculinity for men.This really no different than what happens in broader culture, except that in culture for men of color because of the status they occupy in society, to maintain masculine status, in the community is of even more importance for them. One of problems in the community is not the lack of masculinity, which some people act like is a societal cure all. One big problem is our obsession with it and narrowness of it’s descriptions..

      • @Jules: I betting even money that Sarah will not engage you in a debate about black penises and white women. Touche.

      • I just want to make note of your comment about black women not appreciating your education, your ability to carry yourself in a manner which is dignified, and as opposed to seeing this as a positive, it is deemed as a negative; viewed as you acting white. I want to say how unfortunate that is; where is it written that we have to speak, act, and behave in a manner that is negative and why would this behavior be more acceptable than acting like someone who respects themselves? By no means am I saying that there is a right or wrong way to behave, but why must we cleave to what is not positive?
        I also want to ask if the perception of you as acting white by African American women, because of the way you speak, your education, etc. could be the reason why some African American men who reach a certain social/economic status often date/marry outside of their race. Granted, I know that you are not the spokesman for the ‘successful black male’; but I do know that not every African American woman would act as you have mentioned, just as not every African American man who achieves a certain social/economic status would marry outside of their race – but I do believe that on both sides of the equation what is desired is the opportunity; yet we have a very bad reputation for not valuing integrity and lean toward the superficial. Don’t get me wrong, I know racism exists – I’m one of only a handful of African American’s at my job, and the majority is women, but I do know that we have to stop fighting one another and value our relationships and seek the support and comfort we need without manipulating and devaluing our roles and sensitivities.
        I think that economics can play a role in our inability to meet eye to eye with one another, thereby preventing (some of) us from having positive, progressive relationships – but what happens if we (as individuals or collectively), never achieve the ‘American Dream’ – does that mean that we will forever have the attitude like crabs in a barrel?

        • @Cookie….

          Thanks for your comments.

          It is very sad that still in the 21st century we as a community do not value education and achievement (outside of entertainment and sports). We have much growing up to do. If we were to look at those immigrant blacks from Africa and the Carribean, we can see the stark contrasts. All too often we elevate form over substance. Much of it has to do with self loathing.

          I have always associated with people who knew MORE than I. I wanted to learn, excel, and succeed in life. What I see with many black people is the exact opposite. They are so focused on being the “top dog” in their circle that they tend to associate only with those beneath them. In and of itself it is not wrong per se. We all have friends, family, relatives who are not as fortunate. They should not be shunned. However, we need to show more respect for those who have achieved and can be role models, whether black or white.

          One of the things that really irks me is this tendency for blacks to develop personal animus towards those other blacks who are not politically correct. I love Oprah. She is an accomplished woman. She is a successful woman. She is an immensely spiritual and giving human being. Hence, I have reverence, respect and admiration for her. I might not agree with her political views. But, I do not allow that to take away my admiration and respect for her.

          Tyler Perry is another such person. I do not like his work. However, her is successful. He has endured adversity and with his belief in God and himself (and help from friends) he has achieved the American Dream. But, just look at the personal criticism he gets. Look at how Spike Lee talks about him. To me it is just wrong. Show respect to Mr. Perry for his accomplishments, period. Why do we have always get personal? Same with Justice Thomas. He IS a Supreme Court justice. Whether you like him or not, give him the respect he is due as a Supreme Court justice. Other ethnic groups are able to do this. However, we as blacks have an issue with it. No need to name call……

          As for black men achieving a certain social status and then marrying white or non black….First if you exclude entertainers and sports figures, you will see that it is a myth. Professional black men marry black women. Whether they are professors, doctors, lawyers, businessmen, etc. I married a black woman though I am now divorced.

          When I am out shopping or in the grocery store most black women ignore men. I can walk down the aisle and they just look straight ahead. However, a lot of the white women will give a smile (even if it is fake!) but I am acknowledged. I can even strike up conversations with white women with ease.

          I just seem to get the cold shoulder from many black women. But, what’s ironic (and I have seen this) is some bozo will come up to hear and she will actually have a convo! So, do they want me to do the same? When you get a cold shoulder or you’re ignored, it is not very inviting, at all.

          So, even with this treatment I do not have a negative view of black women. I really understand and am deeply empathetic to how black women have been treated and are currently being treated in America. Black women are beautiful but black beauty is unappreciated.

          But, it is the men in our community who bear the responsibility of telling their women, daughters, wives, they are beautiful every day.

          Finally, I will say this: A black woman will stand by her man more so than a white woman. O.J. Simpson would be on death row in CA if it were not for black women on that jury. So, I do not think as a black man I can really ask the black woman to prove her loyalty to me. I think she has already done so. Maybe this is the rub. I don’t know to be honest.

          Sorry for being so “long winded.”

          Cheers!

          • No worries re: long winded – your comments were thoughtful and insightful….Yes, black women will definitely stand by her man, but in some cases, are they (the black women) appreciated for that support? We endure A LOT collectively as a race, yet it is SO difficult for us to support one another. The loyalty factor is limited. Sometimes I feel that black men are so hung up on the control isse when it comes to black women speaking their mind (respectively, of course), that the message and intent is lost; all that is heard is that she is trying to control me/tell me what to do. A relationship should be based on the open communication betweeen both parties, and somewhere along the line, when black women speak, it is seen as negative. Not all of us are combative or looking to fight you like Laila Ali. Maybe it is because the black men have been either verbally or physically abused by the women in their lives – either by the ones who raised them, or by women in their past who challenged them in ways that were combative and aggressive, so innately they are closed minded to anything their mate may have to say to them. Which is sad because we (black women) want and need to be heard and valued in our reationships

            As for smiling at black man lol, I’ll smile, as long as he doesn’t look like he is a thug (lol) or a vagrant :-(…..I guess the perception that some black men may have of the ‘angry black woman’ is true, but if you look deeper, you will see that (in some cases) our anger may stem from the disappointment and disillusionment we have faced in our relationships with black men. The same way brothers want us to be supportive of them, their needs, wants, dreams, desires, etc., we want that too, only the package is different, and softer. Somewhere along the line our beauty, desirability, and strength has been misconstrued….

            • @Cookie, your comments were directed @Jules so I won’t dip in too long. Just wanted to say I agreed with pretty much everything you said (minus smiling at a thug, hell, even a thug is a person first and wasn’t born a thug). The rest though, *thumbs up* especially the part about “control” and “the message and intent is lost.” What some may consider “control” others may consider “teamwork” or “suggestions.” Anyway, good points!

              • LOL, I understand that a ‘thug’ is a person first, and wasn’t born a thug, yet to rewind to the beginning, as a black woman, I have to be cautious and careful about the vibe I give out when walking the streets and commuting to and fro..sorry, but it’s a fact, regardless of what the man may look like….sad but true…

                • With the amount of responses on here I’m pretty sure your answer will be no @Cookie but did you see the comment I left about walking home from work and the three guys I saw while walking down the street? Anyway, if you read that anecdote about the ‘grabber” (it was my first response) then you already know I can understand where you’re coming from. Problem is none of the guys (including the one who touched my coat) fit the description of a thug. Sometimes it’s NOT smiling or NOT speaking that can set someone off for no particular reason. That’s exactly why I agree with the last paragraph of this writer’s article. By his two friends not egging the guy on for being disrespectful (and probably me standing there lecturing and yelling at him), he may think twice about doing that again. Or not. *shrug* That won’t stop me from speaking (or not speaking) to people or smiling at who I want to smile at, but again, I understand what you’re saying.

                  • No one should feel that they have to speak to someone just to possibly save themself from unwanted attention/advances/drama; it all boils down to respect. That’s where our community tends to (at times, not all of us) cross the line. We don’t respect one another and that’s where the problems start….

  18. @Maroonsista: You sound young.Your analysis is also well. immature in so,many a ways and you continue to assume much.Just because your grandfather or father was able to escape the purge due to the war on drugs and draconian sentencing laws that doesn’t mean that the other guy or girl, from completely different circumstances, will do as your family as done. Complex problems with many moving parts are seldom solved with simple solutions.

    The all we need is good role models, trope is used by people who don’t actually work with at risk youth.

    Just one kid on the basketball team where I coach needs a therapist, his drugs and constant supervision of his behavior to keep him on track. He is like this BECAUSE his of homelife. The fact of the matter is no one is promised two parents and if your are married and your spouse dies or one gets divorced, one person may have to do all of the work. This has been happening for as long as people have been having families. I did it, without having a male role model myself. my father was mentally from his time in combat in Korea.

    Which is a another topic we should be discussing, if we truly want to support fathers so they can do the job at home. As a said before,my kids are fine and are well ahead of the game. I dare say that when you have raised three children, as a single parent from cradle to college, and had a hand in raising 30 others who are doing the same thing in one of the most challenging environments in the country,maybe then we can have a real conversation about how to best raise kids.

  19. @Maroonsista: The issue for me is and continues to be about the bigger picture of routine cyclical abuse in American society of which no one group is safe from experiencing, as both perpetrator and victim. All groups; gays, straight men and women, lesbians,rich people, poor people,educated people, Catholics, Protestants, Jews,Arabs, bus drivers, short people with mohawks suffer from rape and dv in the subtext of their communities.

    But the only group who bears the burden of blame for ALL the others is men. And men of color, bear more than most. The issues of abuse in our country are bigger than your subtext-ed group or of my mine.Nor can perpetrators be defined as belonging to one group.

    Though Robert might not have denied that black women can be abusive, his approach to the subject matter overall is not dissimilar to what the Color Purple, or For Colored Girls did which distorted the picture of violence in the black community. Robert’s message is connects to the all black men are violent narrative that we see in Alchemist response and that we see and hear in groups like crunkfeminists, to name just one.
    Furthermore, your group has no more right to be heard than does mine. It fact that we ” hear” these stories as separate culturally, when they are obviously connected is a problem I mean to address. Which is this source of this rift. In short, the abuse that happens to women is no more or less important, in the big scheme, than what happens to others. This is a small world we live in and it’s getting smaller all the time. Even though I was raised during the 60-70’s and have suffered the kind racism my children will probably never encounter, who am I to say that my problems were worse than the boy growing during that time in war torn Viet Nam, where the bulk of front line soldiers were men of color. Over the course of human history, or even American history, can I say, without reservation or error that I was the most aggrieved.

    This isn’t just about getting the issues of black men addressed in some empirical vacuum. It’s about everyone coming clean so we, white black,Asian, Mexican, male female can ask why this stuff is so prevalent.That the same kinds of abuse keep cropping up in the vast majority of culture,it is no coincidence

    I have done a good job raising my family and I spend a good deal of time volunteering, not in corporate America, but helping boy’s and girls from the hood, get out. I have launched two groups, taking them from freshman to seniors. with one group of 8 having graduated from college.There is among the group, one professional basketball player who gives back to his community and lives with his mom. I have been to funerals too, for the one’s we couldn’t reach: The one’s for who a role model just wasn’t enough.

  20. @rkandi: I don’t think for a moment that what I am doing has anything to do with promoting stereotypes. I am rectifying the use of stereotypes against men that too often serves as intelligent discourse. Even more important than that I am attempting to bring to light some issues of abuse that are hidden from view and public discourse.
    The problem is that the discussion of issues around abuse have been successfully highjacked by special interest groups that claim to be concerned about everyone but who clearly aren’t. The big picture is what concerns me and how the threads of abuse that cross over every known cultural barrier in America are connected.

    One thing is for sure, allowing what has been happening to continue will mean that only a select group of pc networked folks will get their stories of abuse heard.

    It makes little sense to me to talk about the abuse of one family member, a woman, and simultaneously ignore that she is abusing someone too. I submit that conversation is one conversation not two. Perpetrators and victims have always existed in the same body.

  21. THE ALCHEMIST says:

    R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Black Studies at the City College of New York – CUNY(B.A. from Morehouse College). His research concentrates on issues of educational inequality, the role of race in contemporary society, and gender equity. He has created B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S. (Boys Rising Organizing to Help End Racism and Sexism) where he will be working with adolescent males to become allies against sexism and gender based violence. He believes that sexual violence is a collective issue and one that is sadly often framed solely as a “women’s issue.” Quotes from some of this articles:

    “We, as in the Black community and men in particular (trust me women have been doing a better job of this than us), need to have some serious conversations about sexual violence. As a young Black man, my education around rape and other forms of sexual violence was a slogan, “no means no.” If you are like me and product of the 80s then you know slogans like “just say no” gathered more laughter than followers. It’s time for a different conversation with our boys.”

    http://www.uptownnotes.com/lets-talk-about-sexual-violence/#more-2417

    “If community members can muster enough courage to not turn our backs, we can be standing there to provide help when our brothers and sisters need it. ”

    http://www.ebony.com/news-views/domestic-violence/2

    I don’t that the narcissistic black males on this thread are capable of valuing the opinion of a black woman. Hopefully, the words of this black male Morehouse College grad will be heard through the cotton you guys have stuffed in your ears.

    • @THE ALCHEMIST:I don’t think you understand where I am coming from.I don’t follow your(Roberts) line of reasoning due to the fact that it is so flawed, in almost too many ways to mention.

      My abhorrence of these theories is based on a lifetime of research and experience, plain common sense, and has nothing to do with the color of your/his skin or of your/his gender. Dressing these ideas up in gender black face is strangely familiar and predictable. The professor sounds like a smart guy, but last time I checked, there are 100’s upon 100’s of sociological theories and according to you what makes this one special is that the professor is black. and I guess young, or yeah he went to Morehouse. Wasn’t that the school that produced misogynistic womanizing preacher guy? Or is it ok to like him again? Being black and smart doesn’t necessary guarantee greatness.

      I had no idea that you were a woman until you wrote that in your post. So the notion that previously I or someone else didn’t see your point was because you are a woman or because you are a black woman is again called into question. You appear to have a fixation on race that is askew. For instance, you write that ,” white people don’t care about black women.” What possible proof could you have of something like that? Your words are loaded with poorly articulated ( hidden )presumptions about how others MUST feel based on your misunderstandings.

      The message, I think is, we are all in together, black men and black women, and if men and boy’s just follow the script, everything will be alright, There is some general mention of the professor helping boy’s maybe do some vague thing having to do with his research on education and inequality.

      The REAL focus is on training boy’s to be solders in some fight to end sexual violence. This underscores one of my biggest problems with feminism, it pretends that whatever is good for a woman politically is also good for a man: Ridiculous My belief is that men and women can actually, simultaneously, help each other. But not the way it’s been done,with women pointing an accusatory finger in the chest of men, unilaterally setting the terms of the methodology going forward.

      As for the professor and his research— I got my boots on the ground everyday, with girls and boy’s, buying pizza and tennis shoes, band aids and ice packs, books and pens.I fix knees and backs and shoulders and teach them mutual respect. I help with homework and babysitting for the single moms who get off late from work; so I stand with their kids after practice on the streets of Oakland because robberies are up and police protection is down for young men of color. So I fool myself into thinking I can stop a bullet and that I am safer than them because I am a man, at least, until their mom shows up and I hustle home myself. Gods knows I am not the only one and I do very little comparatively to others like Coach Watkins and Will and are in personal debt by the thousands of dollars, helping these kids–I live his research everyday. I already know how to get a kid, no matter the level, through the educational system, as it is.

  22. @Irma: This is the freakiest thing ever.You have my mother’s name,God rest her troubled soul…too strange,for real.

  23. It strikes me that, in this amazing, insightful conversation, triggered by the amazing, insightful article, many of the people commenting are reproducing yet other stereotypes. Everybody seems to be questioning everybody else’s stereotypes. Few are questioning their own. That’s a problem. On this page alone, I think I’ve read stereotypes of black men, black women, black feminists, white men, white women…

    I think it’s safe to say that EVERYBODY stereotypes other people. To some extent, it seems to be part of how we learn about the world. The problem, I believe, occurs when, we allow the stereotypes to become larger than life. They end up being all that we see, and they block out the real world.

    I’m glad for the variety of comments you have all contributed, because they identify/ suggest a problem that few ever talk about: the fact that abuse (of different kinds) and mental illness have had a huge impact on the shapes of our families. We don’t talk about them much, do we? And with the high incarceration rates of our men, there’s also the specter of abuse and mental illness in prisons. Thanks for this enlightening conversation.

  24. @Alchemist: You should speak for yourself. If this years election, was any indication of whose issues are more important,the war on women propaganda, answered that. The idea that black women are not being heard is pretty strange. There has been a pretty steady drumbeat of anger for many years now.”All blackmen ain’t shit.”We don’t need blackmen.” “I could marry a whiteman and not have to deal with this shit.” These are all things I heard growing up and still hear. Anytime you want to discuss what really goes on in the community ,let me know. If you just want to discuss one side of the issue,no thank you. Lastly,when black lesbians who rape and committ acts of dv are brought into the discussion maybe you will have restored some credibility.

  25. @Alchemist: You should speak for yourself. If this years election, was any indication of whose issues are more important,the war on women propaganda, answered that. The idea that black women are not being heard is pretty strange. There has been a pretty steady drumbeat of anger for many years now.”All blackmen ain’t shit.”We don’t need blackmen.” “I could marry a whiteman and not have to deal with this shit.” These are all things I heard growing up and still hear. Anytime you want to discuss what really goes on in the community ,let me know. If you just want to discuss one side of the issue,no thank you.

  26. Why can’t the full spectrum of abuse be discussed as the interlocking experiences they are? Black women can be and are abusive. You really think people who have been abused by them are not,eventually, going to speak up? Do you really think these people are going to stand by and watch silently as these women drape themselves in the shrouded innocence of victimhood?I think not.I won’t be silenced or intimidated. My experience is real and deserves life unfettered by the unreasoned limits of someones political agenda.

  27. THE ALCHEMIST says:

    It seems that a lot of the commentators are very uncomfortable with violence against black women being at the center of the article. The white commentators seek to position themselves at the center of the narrative. This does not surprise me. I don’t expect white people to empathize with the pain and suffering of black women. They don’t value black women so of course our woes do not elicit empathy. The black male commentators take it to a whole different level. The pain, suffering and violence that black women live with positioned at the center of any discussion makes them blow their tops. Black men have grown accustomed to having their woes prioritized in any discussion involving black suffering under the system of racism/white supremacy. “Good” black women are expected to suffer in silence or risk having their racial fidelity called into question. You see, black men are only interested in individuality when their destructive behavior is the topic at hand. In the minds of so many black men they are the only people that suffer and have been oppressed. This sort of narcissism is very dangerous. It allows them to ignore and invalidate the disproportionate amount of violence black women experience in relation to non-black women (excluding native American women). Some members of the black male collective can put black women in hospital emergency rooms and in the ground and not shed a single tear and sleep soundly at night. The silence of black women and our coddling of black men is literally killing us.

    • There literally isn’t a single true statement in your whole comment. Let’s just pick one comment. Show me where black men have had their woes prioritized? Show me the black boys rock or nightline specials. Show me all the corporate-funded websites that put black men over black women? That clearly isn’t happening in this article. Now would you like a list of websites/media sources where black women and their woes are placed at the center (LIKE IN THIS ARTICLE at a site called THE GOOD MEN PROJECT)? People can continue to lie about what’s going on, but that only guarantees you’ll get no sympathy from anyone who values the truth.

    • @TheAlchemist I can’t say I agree with EVERYTHING you said but this line I do agree with: “Black men have grown accustomed to having their woes prioritized in any discussion involving black suffering under the system of racism/white supremacy.” If we go straight down the board we’ll say a lot of “what about me” comments from guys who have YET to say another man was wrong for something he did. Black woman gets grabbed by another black man? Hey, some women may like it. Men being openly disrespectful to women? I won’t tell him he’s wrong because I don’t want to be physically assaulted. Men being abusive to women in relationships? “Well, what about ME? Women are abusive, too.”

      Meanwhile every single real-life story that was mentioned was ignored by some of the men on this board. At no point am I reading from the same few guys who continue to point the finger at women that “Hey, this guy was wrong for ___________. He shouldn’t have done ___________.” There is this pacifying for immaturity that is beyond comprehension to me. I’m actually impressed that the writer didn’t go into a bunch of finger pointing about how everything is the white man’s fault or the black woman’s fault but there are some men in this world who would rather blame EVERYBODY else and never look at the man standing next to him or himself to see, “You might be the damn problem, too.” They are uncomfortable with the idea of ANY article that doesn’t complain about both groups at the same time but I have this sneaky suspicion that if the writer had done an entire article about black women’s problems and what their flaws are, these SAME guys would never go, “Well, what about black men? They do ______________ wrong and they need to correct _______________.”

      It could be a matter of defensiveness though. If you have a society that tends to blame you for everything and you see yourself constantly portrayed as the wrongdoer in everything, the idea of self-criticism makes you uncomfortable. Amazing though because black women have long been on the bottom of the societal totem pole and are STILL able to criticize other women AND men. I won’t say that’s the case for all of them though. The writer was able to have a grown man conversation about what other black men need to do. There are a couple other commenters who have said when something is wrong that a man could’ve done but by far the loudest ones are the “whoa is me/this is why black men are ALWAYS right” crew. At this point I think some should consider investments in pacifiers.

  28. I believe this site is called “Good Men Project.” People have a terrible habit of assuming that any voice is, unless specified, white. Had this article been written without race-identifying adjectives it would still (sadly) ring true; there are a lot of women who are afraid of men. Period.

    But by including race, Robert brings a marginalized group and their problems to the center of a discussion for the betterment of all men. By harshly criticizing the introduction of this topic you are further excluding anyone who may be dealing with this emotionally and psychologically boggling predicament.

    Also,
    I am ashamed to see the rationalization of the fearing men for their skin and hair among the comments based on “experiences.” I imagine that some of these tales ( the window-banging comes to mind) wouldn’t constitute a reason to fear had their antagonist been of the same background as the storyteller.

  29. But how can we expect to be looked upon as individuals when we fail to extend to them the same luxury.

    Why do you assume that black men fail look at black women as individuals? Why do you assume that black men started this idea of looking at the opposite sex in their community as a collective? And since you supposedly look at black women as individuals and yet they do not return the favor, would that not imply that what you as a black man do has little impact on how black women perceive you?

    Setting aside the idea that this is okay to hate a group of people because a few of them treated you badly (as long as they are a marginalized group that is acceptable to hate), why are all black men collectively responsible for the actions of a few? Even if black men are responsible for a large portion of the violence committed against black women (and the same is true in the reverse), certainly all black men are not like that. So why should they be treated as a collective and not as individuals under a feminist perspective (which ironically but unsurprisingly supports our cultural racist views about black men )?

  30. I really liked this article. Mr. Reece, like any good writer, did an excellent job of uniquely positioning a heated topic (anything regarding race) in a new point of view. He did his job. He got people thinking, relating, agreeing, and opposing, an emotional issue. Men, women, race, violence, etc. will always stir emotion, but because he articulated his view so well, people are engaging in the dialogue. Kudos, Robert.

    As far as my opinion on the topic itself, I’m going to take a different position and bring it down to base human emotion, namely fear.

    Regardless of race, gender, age, or social status, human beings are wired in the old brain to fear for basic survival. Fear-based thinking as a general mode of operation is typically more destructive than constructive. Worrying all the time about anything or being too afraid to ride an elevator with a large black man with dreads to me is just an indication that there are likely other issues that individual fears so much that it retards what might otherwise be a joyful human experience.
    Rational fear – the lady who was abused, or the child who endured physical violence at the hand of whomever, is completely understandable, but irrational fear based on stereotype in any scenario (no negative experience associated) is exactly that, irrational. Ride the elevator. Make it to your floor safely and overcome your fear. Every time you do, you grow and mature as a person.

    Fear-based thinking and living is going to transcend gender and race. If a person is just generally an irrationally fearful person, it won’t matter if it’s Robert, who’s a well educated, yet large black man in the elevator, or me (a big, clean-cut white guy) in a parking garage at night. I’ve heard the racing footsteps and have received the backward, wide-eyed glances, and I’m as non-violent and nice a human as you’ll ever meet.

    So there 🙂

  31. “But how can we expect to be looked upon as individuals when we fail to extend to them the same luxury. I look just as threatening standing on a street corner as any other black man who may whistle at a black woman as she walks by and call her a bitch if she refuses to respond appropriately and deferentially. I look just as threatening at a house party as any other black man who may get a little too friendly while driving a black woman home after she drank a bit too much alcohol. We can’t expect black women to be unafraid when black men give them ample reason to be afraid.

    Unlike white women, and white people in general, who are very rarely victims of the crimes of black men, black women are on the front lines being abused, raped, and harassed. Though the fear by whites is based on suspicion and irrational, racist stereotypes, black women’s fear is rooted in a lifetime of experience and hurt. We have to learn to separate the two”

    No no no no no.

    No.

    If all you are being judged on is (a) appearance and (b) gender (I’m not going to say race – that’s a whole other can of worms that I’m not even going to go near, I would have thought that given we’re talking about women of the same race then race not really an issue but maybe I’m wrong) then she is nonetheless being prejudiced, even though the reasons are different. I’ve long held that any statistic – whether real or false – does not justify stereotyping.

    Maybe women could learn to not judge men purely on their gender and appearance? It is, after all, entirely unreasonable according to people who speak about equality etc to judge someone on race and appearance, so why should gender be any different? You, personally, are not being discourteous by being male and looking a certain way.

    What you are describing is sexism, pure and simple. Nothing more needs be said.

    • @OrisihM: I have lived m my life trying to not make people,mostly white women, fear me. You know what, it doesn’t work. In fact, all it does is saddle one with guilt and paranoia, pushing one ever closer to mental illness. This is what this young-man is asking us to do to ourselves and for what and for whom?

      To placate the sensibilities of someone who couldn’t care less about what I experience in this country. Yes, I mean black feminist. No, I am not ready to take on the persona of a threatening person just to make someone else feel better or safer.

      I have been robbed at gun point. The gun was so close to my head I could smell the gunpowder. The robbers were about 16 years old. They could have been two of the boys I coach and mentor everyday. That night my so called male privilege didn’t protect me, nor did they decide to not rob me because I am a man. The world is a rough place.

      • I don’t even know if I’d say it’s a problem with the notion of privilege. What the author here is recommending would be denounced with great fanfare as hugely sexist AND racist if he was claiming women were being discourteous based on knowing nothing more about them than their skin colour / appearance, their gender and some numbers.

        It just frustrates me that these double standards come up so often.

  32. Richard Aubrey says:

    So. At what percentage of real-life hard experience do we switch from unjustified stereotyping to justified expectations due to real life hard experience, or vice versa?

    • Kevin Carter says:

      29.98% Justified expectations/70.02% Real life Expectations
      There really is no hard defined point.

      I see this problem to the same extent in the Native Canadian population as well. Native woman are wary of Native men.

  33. “But how can we expect to be looked upon as individuals when we fail to extend to them the same luxury.”
    If a (black) woman sees a (black) man on the street, how does she know, whether he “looks upon her as an individual”?
    “I know that black men are like other men toward the women in their communities: violent (physically and emotionally) and entitled,…
    Guess where I found the following quote:
    “The following will get your comment deleted. …
    Sweeping generalizations”

    • Oh I messed up my comment, again the lower part was meant to be:
      “I know that black men are like other men toward the women in their communities: violent (physically and emotionally) and entitled,…”
      Guess where I found the following quote:
      “The following will get your comment deleted. …
      Sweeping generalizations”

  34. Dear Robert,

    I agree. We need to be looking after ourselves. Your angle is one of many ways we can approach the problems that plague our community.

  35. I’m having a weird reaction to reading this. On one hand, I want to scream to the ceiling about how I’m afraid of nobody. But on the other, a recent incident that happened in my neighborhood involuntarily changed my reaction to guys in general. I grew up with an older brother and a bunch of his friends so there was this understanding that I was NOT to be disrespected unless they wanted to deal with him. But when I grew older, my brother got married and I was out in the world on my own, I started dealing with things that I’d never really had to deal with before. Brothas honking horns. Snapping when you wouldn’t take their numbers. I’ve lived in a neighborhood away from most friends and family for over 7 years and loved the freedom. I even lived in two other states for four years. But recently a large group of brothas moved in within the past couple of years, and I’m seeing far more teenage black young men. I was coming home from work one night around 9 and three teenage boys walked by me. I’m DEFINITELY not the type to cross the street or hold my purse. That’s that confidence and don’t-f-with-me attitude I got just from hanging out with so many guys. But one of the boys reached out and touched the front of my coat. If I didn’t have a coat on, he’d have completely cupped one of my breasts. I was stunned and then I turned around and was furious. His two friends went “Aw naw, we’re not with him” and walked away. They trucked it down the street in complete embarassment while he stood there smoking a cigarette. I asked him what was on his mind to do something like that and he said, “I liked what I saw.” I went into full on lecture mode about how to treat women and how you don’t treat a grown woman like a hoodrat and I don’t give a damn how many other females think it’s cute, don’t do it to me. He said, “I won’t do it to you anymore.” I screamed “Don’t do it to ANYBODY.” I finally stopped yelling at him and stormed off, but that sat with me. It actually made me want to move. In all of my years of living with other cultures, I had never been disrespected like that but one young brotha spoiled it for me. I feel terrible about that though because I should be focusing on his two friends who disappeared and left him standing there to explain himself. Instead I just keep thinking, “There’s more like him out there.”

    • I guess its safe to say that the boy probably doesn’t have positive male influences in his life.

      • Budmin, I think that’s a fair assumption. That or his “positive male influences” are with females who think that’s cute. I’ll go into that part in my reply to Yirssi.

    • Maroon, while I love that you were strong enough to speak your mind to this young man, I dislike that you said “you don’t treat a grown woman like a hoodrat.” It implies that certain women are above others in stature, and should be treated differently. In a way, you canceled it out by telling him not to do it to anybody, but I just wanted to point out that “hoodrat” or not, no woman deserves to have their physical space invaded just because a man feels like it.

      • Yirssi, you make a good point. No women DOES deserve to be manhandled. However, the reason I decipher the two groups is because some women LIKE it. I’ve literally watched girls in clubs and walking down the street who giggle, laugh and say things like “Boy stop” or “You so crazy” when a guy would rather grab her or yell out random (and corny) pick-up lines than a calmer, “How are you doing?” I didn’t mention this above but I actually did snap at him and say, “You could’ve just said ‘hello’ if you wanted to get my attention. Don’t put your hands on me!” His response was, “I got my a– beat by a girl yesterday.” I’m not making this up. He LITERALLY said that. My response, “But I’m NOT the girl who beat you up yesterday so don’t treat me like I’m her.” If you’re surrounded by females who encourage that type of physical contact, it’s pathetic but I’m convinced some guys just don’t know any better. It takes not only men but WOMEN and GIRLS to speak up about it. But if a guy gets a smile and some action from grabbing one female, how does he then know it won’t work on the next? Hoodrats versus women. I stand by my opinion.

        • If a man has gotten positive reactions from woman by touching and “catcalling”, how’s it wrong that he concludes that all woman like to be approached that way ?

          • William, I have yet to meet a woman who I’ve befriended or am related to who enjoys someone grabbing her or catcalling. When I talk to my married friends or family members, not ONE of them stayed with that guy from him acting like a gorilla. You say how is it wrong for him to conclude ALL women don’t like to be approached that way? I say how is it RIGHT for him to conclude something like that unless he’s done a Census case on what all women like. There are no two people who are exactly alike. Here’s a thought. Err on the side of caution until you can confirm that this female LIKES that sort of thing. Nobody’s hands are going to fall off and their teeth won’t rot if they don’t say a pickup line or grab private parts for too long in a day.

            • “Richard, but if the stereotype (whether stated aloud or only thought of) is continuously proven to be true, are these women wrong?” This is no different than the black woman who since being harassed/assaulted by a few black men is now fearful of every black man she encounters. If you accept that then you’d have to accept the man who agressively approaches every woman, the black woman is using her experience with black men and the man is using his experience with woman.

              • William, this is coming from the SAME man who said he wouldn’t speak up if his friends were disrespectful because he wouldn’t want to be physically assaulted. Why are you so sure you would be physically assaulted? Shouldn’t you speak up on an individual basis or did you assume from a PAST experience or an experience you’ve seen that it would happen? If we’re all about pie-in-the-sky-judge-everybody-blindly attitudes, then the thought of physical alterations should’ve never come to mind. And as far as the woman who freaks out because of an encounter with a few men, can’t say I blame her! Hell, I was completely aggravated from a guy grabbing my coat. My first thought was, “Man, for women who really ARE criminally assaulted, I really feel bad for them. I know they really go through a thing.”

                • Difference is i take responsibility for my assumptions and the action from them, i dont ask other people to change their behavior. Woman can be as fearful of men as they want, just dont expect men to change their behavior simply to quell womans fear.

                  • @William: I am struggliong to understand how teaching boy’s or anyone else that it is ok to be prejuidiced. I fail to understand how teaching someone that they are responsible for someone else’s irrational fears is healthy, pyschologically. I don’t get that logic. And whts up withall of the language suggesting that one opinion is more ‘grown man” than the other, or more braver, or not as whiny, or doesn’t require a pacificer? Have you heard this kind fo language before used tis way?

    • @Macroonsista: I definitely think what this young man wrote was black male bashing and was also biased. BLACK WOMEN CAN BE PLENTY ABUSIVE AND VIOLENT.Just yesterday, a young woman punched the vice principal, A WOMAN HERSELF, at Oakland high in the face.
      Respect is a door that swings in both directions. It seems to me that one cannot accurately address, in a gender vacuum, abuse in the black community without talking about how things and events relate. I and many other black men have known our share of abuse from black women. I might also add that the experiences of Precious and of Antwone Fisher are hardly singular incidents.
      The author of Precious speaks eloquently of the reluctance of our community and of Hollywood to show movies where women are the abusers. She tells of how they wanted her to change her movie, make the mother less abusive and soften it for the “public”. She speaks of how black women and feminists were upset because they said her portrayal of black women was biased . Didn’t black men say the same thing about The Color Purple? And they were told by black women to stop being cowards( no emasculation there) and stand up..Why does the black community continue to hide abuse by women? When the black community begins to speak to all abuse maybe then our community will get somewhere.

      • At no point in the entry did he say that black women aren’t abusive. Your whole motto seems to be the “he hit me last” attitude. Black male bashing? So every time someone doesn’t speak about black men (INCLUDING A BLACK MAN SPEAKING ABOUT HIMSELF) he’s bashing? So if this whole article was about abusive black women, would you then be leaving comments about abusive black men? I’m just wondering because I have this sneaky suspicion that you’d be okay with this entire entry if it was talking about the wrongs of women. Regardless of what happened between “Precious” being made and “Precious” being released, the movie still remained graphic and the mother was a horror story. And guess what? The father figure in the film was raping his daughter, got his daughter pregnant and was not taking care of the child and being mentally abusive mother. Did you leave the theater to go get popcorn on those parts of the movie? Same goes for Antwone Fisher. And guess who HELPED this guy become a better person? Denzel Washington’s character, a male father figure, when he went to the service. Every example you give me goes back to how a positive, present father figure can make ALL the difference in black homes. But even in your own examples, you don’t seem to get that. I’m done talking to you. It’s incredible how much time I’ve wasted trying to get you to get that.

        • @maroonsista…..

          “Every example you give me goes back to how a positive, present father figure can make ALL the difference in black homes.”

          This is what MUST take place. It requires teamwork and respect by the man and woman.

          I grew up in male dominated households in the South. One of the BIG problems I had when I got out of grad school was with dating black women. Many of the ones I ran into (even well educated) was this tendency to want to control me. In essence, many exhibited the same tendencies of white men.

          I did not give up. I did marry a black woman. It ended after 16 years but not due to her being black……

          My point to you is a lot of black women have to allow the men they say they want to be fathers and/or husbands in their lives BE men.

          • @Jules What EXACTLY do you think a woman should do to let men “BE men.” It’s difficult to respond to this one because I don’t know what these women weren’t doing. As far as living in a “male dominated household in the South,” that raises a bit of alarm for me because I”m wondering why did men HAVE to dominate the house. Were the women forced to not work? Were the women forced to not participate in certain events? I don’t understand why one person has to DOMINATE the other instead of act as a team. Marriages I’ve seen that worked in today’s society (where women can vote, work, start their own business, etc.) were ones where both people worked together instead of the guy dictating what the woman could do.

            As far as black women exhibiting the characteristics of white men, you’re going to have to give me examples of how they wanted to “control” you because SOMETIMES men get incredibly sensitive about ANY suggestion and think the woman is trying to make him into a robot. However, the irony in that is you seem to be a-okay with a male dominated household where the woman can be dictated to. But that’s another assumption I’m making from the entry above. Examples please.

            • @Maroonsista….

              “Marriages I’ve seen that worked in today’s society (where women can vote, work, start their own business, etc.) were ones where both people worked together instead of the guy dictating what the woman could do.”

              Yes, I agree with you. When I speak of male dominated households I mean in terms of leadership. The men were the leaders. My mother worked briefly. My grandmothers worked. But, the women in my family always showed great confidence and loyalty to their husbands because in their eyes they were good men. We’re talking Jim Crow era where we they did not have the luxury of debating equality within marriage. It was about survival and providing….And no, they did not dictate what the women could do and not do. Often the women did defer to the men on certain decisions.

              One of the challenges I continue to have is many black women just do not seem to want to give me respect for being a successful black man. I am not asking that they kiss my ass. But, this, in all fairness, is something that runs deep in the black community. There is this envy, jealousy, and self-loathing. What I have gotten in life I have sacrificed and earned the hard way. I earned two Masters (Econ, Finance) and take a lot of pride in my accomplishments. But, I temper this with gratitude and modesty.

              I feel I have to tread lightly around many black women who might accuse me of being uppity….or thinking I am “all that.” I do not brag, boost….I just carry myself in a dignified manner. Most professional black women like me on a professional level but feel I am “too white” on a social level. Oh well. I am myself. I listed to R & B, Michael Baisden, Don Imus In the Morning, …..White women have more respect for me and my education. White women are drawn to men who are educated, successful, and powerful. I do not find this to be the case with most black women.

              A lot of black women would much rather be with a dumb athlete or entertainer than a cardiologist from Johns Hopkins. How do you explain a Georgetown U educated physician marrying Mike Tyson? How many white female physicians do you know would do such a thing? Zippy. I see this kind of thing all the time with black women. Mind you I have two sisters. Each one married men below them in social status.

              Yet, if I am out on a date with my brunette friend I get the nasty looks. Why? They do not seem to want men like me anyway. I am not into controlling anyone. Nor will I allow anyone to control me or talk to me in a condescending manner. I treat black women the same way I treat white, Hispanic, or Asian women. I do not feel black women treat black men similarly.

              I will qualify this by noting that black women of African or Carribean decent do not engage in this type of controlling and preferring men beneath them. This is what I meant by both black men and women MUST change their attitudes and behavior towards one another.

              A lot of this is taught in the families. I see black girls favored over black boys. I got into a heated argument several years ago with a black guy about him buying a car for his daughter when she went off to college but not his son. I asked him why did she need a car and not his son? His reply: “Oh, she is girl. My son does not need a car.” F**d up if you ask me. Both should get a car or none. The daughter was treated as special. When she brought her boyfriend by one day. It was typical. Bad boy, riff raff ,knucklehead. She loaned him the car and he wrecked it!

              Again, I am not advocated male dominated anything. But, just because black men are well educated and successful does not mean our women should fear us. The best ex is the POTUS and the First Lady.

              Cheers.

              • @Jules I think both you and @Yirssi are two of the brightest guys on this board, but I also think you just said something REALLY dumb without thinking it was. (I still think you’re bright though and tend to enjoy MOST of your replies.)

                Instead of telling you why I think it’s dumb, I’m going to give you two examples of ACTUAL dates I’ve been on that sound a LOT like they’d be similar to you. Of course I don’t know you and you could be far more humble than you’ve sounded in your last two replies.

                I went out with a guy who I’d been chatting with back and forth online on Amazon. We were always rating the same stuff and would get in the comment section and have a ball. This went on for a little over a year before another guy (who live in Europe) also noticed we were also rating the same stuff (never on purpose). He asked both of us privately why we’d never decided to hang out/date since we were both in the same city. I hadn’t really thought much of it, but since Mr. Europe brought it up, I said, “Well, hell, it’s something to think about it. We get along great when we’re talking about topics on this board. What could possibly go wrong?”

                Fast forward past him asking me out, me agreeing to go and we’re out. Gorgeous guy. I thought he was breathtaking. He’d complimented me repeatedly on my photos, too. So the physical issue wasn’t a problem. However, not even two minutes into sitting down at this restaurant (the service was terrible, which didn’t help), this guy went into his degrees, his real estate license, the land he owned, his jobs and his money. I was ready to leave. I was bored out of my mind. I jumped to more personal topics and he found a way to bring his financial highlights right back up at least three times.

                When we left, he hugged me. We parted ways and got in our own cars. I got home. He asked me, “Did you enjoy the date?” I asked him, “Did you?” He said he did. I did not answer. He asked again. I told him the truth, “This entire date felt like a job interview.” He was floored. He felt like talking about “safe” topics like his business, his degrees, his land, his real estate would make me feel more comfortable so he didn’t say anything inappropriate. I told him he did it the entire night. His response: “But I didn’t even mention my 401(k).”

                After that I was too through. Both black women and black men have overcome some serious obstacles to be able to make it in education and jobs so when we get there, we’re proud as hell of it. But BOTH of us have a habit of not knowing WHEN to stop blabbering about it. He probably came away from that date thinking, “That’s what’s wrong with black women. They don’t appreciate a black man who has it together. A white woman would though.” (He literally told me by e-mail one time that he didn’t think it was cool for black women to date white men due to the slavery/rape history but okay for black men to date white women solely out of revenge for all the white slaveowners who kept trying to keep them away from their daughters all the while raping black women.”

                What I took away from that date was that if he’d even simmered down just a tad on his accomplishments, this whole date would’ve been a walk in the park. We did end up chatting a couple more times but it ended in a disaster of other arguments.

                Second example, very attractive man I met in college kept trying to approach me and finally said in an exasperated tone, “I don’t understand why you don’t like. I’m a commodity! I’m a black man with an education, a job and I will make it in this society.” It never occurred to him that I didn’t date him because he’d never REALLY asked me out (just cheated in a game of Spades and laughed about it), never made his claim he was interested (only complained that I didn’t hang around him after he complimented me on a poem I read aloud at some spoken word event we were both at) and never even bothered to ask me ANYTHING about me (just…)

                • (cont) (just talked about himself). He probably also went away thinking black women didn’t appreciate his accomplishments all the while never thinking it could possibly be his APPROACH. I haven’t been around forever. I have been around for 31 years, and I have never heard a woman (not in my family, not friends, not even strangers) tell me she didn’t like a guy who was “acting too white.” I have heard accusations that I “talk white” when I was a kid. I flipped the hell out and asked when did speaking correct English become not a black thing. I’ve already mentioned on this board how annoyed I was with The Breakfast Club interview asking T.J. Holmes do black people feel like he’s “talking down” to them on “BET’s Don’t Sleep.”

                  You make a LOT of assumptions that black women don’t like you for this or that, but I’ve yet to hear you state that you actually ASKED these women why they weren’t interested in you. (You were married to a black woman for quite some time and at least you will admit that there were other issues before you divorced.) But it could be as simple as YOUR approach.

                  My mother has joked about how she wasn’t interested in my father when she first met him because she thought he was a “snooty college student.” He had the same things going for him that the guys I mentioned above had. But he ignored her original opinion of their first encounter and kept trying. I already said they’ve been married 31 years (they got married before I was born so I think it was 32 now) but had he not asked her WHY she wasn’t interested in him, they’d have never gotten past first base.

                  Have you ever seen the film “Think Like a Man”? If you have, remember Morris Chestnut’s character at the end of that movie? That’s how both of the guys I mentioned (who were Kappas coincidentally enough, no clue what in the world they’re teaching these guys during pledging) came off. Fine as hell. Intelligent. Career driven. But Taraji Henson’s entire date felt like a job interview. Just something to think about on your next date…hope it helps. Black women would rather have a man with everything going for himself, but if he’s walking around patting himself on the back nonstop, what is she there for? He’s acting like his OWN girlfriend!

              • Couple more things @Jules:

                1) Fathers favor daughters just like mothers favor sons. This is not a race thing. There is a reason there’s a label called “daddy’s girl” and why women fear meeting the mother of her boyfriend/fiance far more than the father. The fathers tend to be a walk in the park for a woman. The mother will cut her son’s girlfriend or fiancee from head to toe. And as far as that father not getting his son a car, could it possibly be because his son is a reckless driver? I’m saying this as a far safer driver than my own brother. My godfather built my first car from the ground up but didn’t get one for his own daughter. (His wife was totally against that and made him build her a car, too.) What was his REASON for it though: My godfather and I are much closer than he and his daughter. Sometimes you may ASSUME something is one thing but ASKING the method behind the mayhem will make much more sense.

                2) I don’t have any issues with black men dating white women as long as they’re dating them because they really like them. I do take a bit of issue with them dating white women as a last resort (as if you’ve given up on black women completely due to a couple of “weeds” in your “dating garden” and before someone ELSE on this board says something about “never hearing such language” it’s called a METAPHOR much like when I say “pacifier” I mean “grow up). But I’ve gone to task with many sistas who do cut their eyes at biracial couples. I personally don’t care. Date who you want to date. I don’t have the energy or the interest in trying to convince someone who doesn’t want to date ANYBODY like me on why he should. I’d rather focus on those who DO want to date me. But with that said, I do realize and @Jules I think you should too that there are things that I can probably improve in my own dating experience so I don’t cut off the entire black male population based on some horrendous dates.

                3) This thug life versus professional issue is a rock-and-a-hard-place situation. There are many brothas who started off with nothing and worked their way up to something. When black women do NOT date them, then we get flack for not giving non-professional black men a chance. Sometimes the situation gets better. Dwyane Wade wrote in his book about all the things his ex-wife Siohvaughn and her family did to help him as a teenager and adult before he went to the NBA. (He later said she was controlling while he was there, but I’d be interested in her side of that.) Jay-Z started off with nothing and worked his way up. We already know he married Beyonce. T.I. is still struggling to be more positive, but he’s managed to keep himself together as a business man and an artist all the while Tiny was successful before she met him. It’s bizarre that his reality show over pretty much all others is the MOST positive for father figures. Hell, even Obama was a graduate but wasn’t at the level of FLOTUS when he first married her. Sometimes dating the guy who doesn’t have it all can end in happily ever after (yes, that includes helping a man get Social Security. If he doesn’t know how to do it then what is she supposed to do? Ridicule him for it or help him? I dated a guy before who didn’t have a clue how Monster or CareerBuilder worked and preferred to fill in applications and go to the location. Meanwhile he was really successful at sports. Not EVERYBODY knows how to do everything and making fun of it doesn’t help them learn.)

                And then when sistas date professional men, some of these same professionals are side-eyeing them wondering if they would’ve dated them when they were nothing. So who the hell are some of these black women supposed to date then? We’re looked at as odd when we date the guy who is TRYING to make it (whether legally or illegally) out of his current situation or the guy who already did and now black women are fighting to keep him (some get selective amnesia about who helped him succeed). Even the guy with “potential” may not have it all. Ever seen that interview with Hill Harper and Sherry Shepherd where she said she wouldn’t date him because he didn’t have a car and was a waiter? Her rationale was she was already struggling and could take the bus on her own. Now he’s an author, businessman, lawyer and Barack’s friend. She mentioned going out with him NOW and he ignored that.

                I think black women are far more likely to date a guy who is coming from nothing in the hopes that he may get himself together. I also think black women who do try to date the guy who has it all have a harder time because so many OTHERS are trying to grab him, too, and oh boy does he see this fresh new line of dating choices. So what exactly @Jules would you advise these women to do?

          • @ Jules: Just to be clear, are you saying that some black women, enough that you noticed anyway, have a hard time giving a man space to be a man in his home? HMMM… and these women can even be as controlling as some white men who feel the need to let black men know who in charge and what a real man is? If you are saying those things( better you than me), what possible connection could there be between that and problems some black men and black women face? Could it be that this, usually denied and seldom discussed problem, has something to do with the ever decreasing marriage rate in the black community? Rest assured that as soon as black men end sexism( against women)in all of it’s various forms and permutations,everything will be just fine– though I’m not how or who would determine when we have reached that summit, but I think I know who.

            • @ogwriter…

              What I have seen is many black women exhibit this controlling tendency like white men. They seem to want men beneath them in social status. My former sister in law was in medical school at Ohio State U. Starting dating an unemployed drug dealer! Got caught up and ended up failing out of medical school.

              My grandfather use to say that a “black woman does not want a smart man.” Well, I just brushed it off as an old timer set in his ways. What I have observed in life is white women and other women like well educated and successful men. They do not fear such men. Many black women seem to fear such men UNLESS they can control such a man.

              But, lets be real. No man who has slaved and sacrificed to climb up the ladder of life here in America is going to let someone control him. Forget it. I worked with a young black woman about 24 years old with a BA degree. One day she called in to let men know she was going to be late for work. Why? She has to go with her boyfriend to Social Security to help him get his SS card! I said OK, But, honestly I was disgusted. What idiot cannot figure out how to get his damn SS card.

              But she was so in love with this guy. He had not a damn thing going for him. But, she did not like me. Why? Because, I was to educated and powerful I guess…I really did not give a shit. Actually, at the holiday party I met her boyfriend. Pretty much as expected.

              But, many black women like her hold men like me in contempt. Only because we have sacrificed and earned our strips. Then, when I date a white woman or Latina because the black women don’t think I am “black” enough they catch an attitude.

              This is a seldom discussed issue that needs to be dealt with. Even when you look at these black mega churches, take note that 80-90% of the audience are women. Why is that? Even if the pastor is a known scoundrel!

              The irony is my mother, who I would describe as more of a submissive type of woman, always took my sisters to task over the men they dated. She just could not figure out what “they saw in them.” LOL! But, it was control.

              Oh well. Deal with it. Life is short. I intend to live it to the fullest.

              Peace!

              • @Jules Again, it is NOT control. I spent my 20s dating a few thugged out guys and let me be VERY VERY VERY clear when I say this. A thug is the ABSOLUTE LAST person you’ll ever control. He simply does not give a damn and will do whatever he feels like doing when he feels like doing it. If anything, sistas date ruffnecks because they’re attracted to his aloof behavior and need to be the toughest man in the world. Da Brat and MC Lyte were rapping “That’s What I’m Looking For” and “Ruffneck” but at no point in the lyrics of that song did they say a thing about controlling them. If thugged out guys who had nothing going for themselves were controllable, the crime rates wouldn’t be out of control. Their mothers can’t control them. Sisters can’t control them. Girlfriends and wives can’t control them. All they can do is go along for the ride until he gets himself together. Quite frankly I can understand why the 24-year-old didn’t like you but stuck it out with the Social Security guy. (I don’t know how to do it either because I’ve never HAD to. You act like getting Social Security is equal to turning on the radio. It’s not something you do on a regular basis. And then when you say he was “pretty much as expected,” it sure does sound like you turn your nose up to anybody who hasn’t succeeded like you have.

                Be clear. I have no desire to date anybody even remotely thugged out now but I went through that stage, even while in grad school with my own place, a successful job, etc. I think this tends to happen more often with young ladies who grew up in neighborhoods around guys BEFORE they turned to illegal activities. She knows the guy BEHIND the persona so while others just see, “This guy is up to no good” she can remember a bunch of other times when they were good or knows them now. I’m beating a dead horse again but a lot of men who don’t have much going for themselves don’t have it FROM NOT HAVING FATHER FIGURES AROUND (or fathers who think it’s okay to tell their sons that they don’t have to be fathers, these guys were “trapped” into having sex [as though these penises walked in not having a clue where they were and just started pumping away]).

                Sistas tend to want to play that motherly role and “help” these guys. But guess who does a better job of helping keep him on the right track? FATHERS!

                And I’m done! Off to enjoy my Saturday. Have a good weekend, folks!

    • @Maroonista – “Instead I kept thinking ‘There’s more like him out there’.”

      And you would be correct.

  36. Also knowing that the police rarely care about a black woman being abused or attacked plays into this. I have first hand experience being attacked by a strange black man and the police wouldn’t even file an official report. Black women know they’re mostly on their own and have to protect themselves in any way they deem necessary.

    • Are you seriously trying to imply that black men are not persecuted enough in America? That’s a load of crap because last time I checked black men are 40% of the prison population and less than 7% of the general population. If you want to sing some sorry song it ought to be for all the black men locked up in this country. This pathetic tripe about how the women are doing in the face of enormous male suffering is sickening. When we look at victims of violence black or white they are overwhelmingly male and within that group they are overwhelmingly black. Stop playing like being female makes you a unique target of this violence because it doesn’t. You are far better off being a black female.

      • GMP Moderator says:

        Folks let’s not get into a “who has it worse” argument.

        • Not to be argumentative but I think it’s appropriate for the Good Men Project to have a open an honest debate about the state of black men in America when they see fit to publish a article bashing black men where they are essentially blamed for their skin color being a source of fear for others.

          • “Bashing black men”? This is an article about a black man telling his personal experience of being black in America. At no point and time did he bash black men and if you think he did, quote THAT part. If anything he wanted more men to be accountable for checking other men making bad decisions. His comment about being brave enough to speak up when friends or family see disrespect is reasonable. Take off the helmet and stop playing defense. You may find that the writer actually had some points. He didn’t say tap dance to make society like you, but my gawd, at what point does personal responsibility factor in? Those who blame all their issues on society will be crying a river until their dying day. Those who know the odds work to change the system.

            • ” If anything he wanted more men to be accountable for checking other men making bad decisions.”
              ” He didn’t say tap dance to make society like you, but my gawd, at what point does personal responsibility factor in?”
              Why should a (black) man be “personally responsible” for the bad behaviour of another (black) man?
              What would be the difference if one said:
              “If anything he wanted more women to be accountable for checking men making bad decisions.”?

            • No man is responsible for “checking” another man. I wouldn’t be caught dead doing it because 1.why would they listen to me ? And 2. I’m not getting physically assaulted for anyone.

              • William, no man is responsible for checking another man. So that means no matter how WRONG your friends are on any topic, you just co-sign for it and don’t say a word. I find that very hard to believe. I’ll hear guys tell another what he needs to do and give him unsolicited advice on EVERYTHING outside of women. I’ve also heard men give unsolicited advice on how his relationship SHOULD go, but to tell him NOT to be disrespectful or NOT to be rude or violent or whatever, that’s not okay? If these are your friends or family, why wouldn’t they listen to you? Do they not value you your opinion? If that’s the case, why talk at all? Sounds like a “yes” man to me. Physically assaulted? If the only people you hang out with are hitting you every single time you two disagree, when do you EVER stand up? I wouldn’t even want to meet the guy who feels like he’s going to hit somebody for telling him to be respectful to a woman. THAT guy needs to stick to men. He’d do both men AND women a favor.

                • If you could stop someone from doing something by simply telling them its wrong, the world would be different. At a young age i learned that people are gonna do what they wanna do even when theyve already experienced the consequence of their actions. Im not gonna be there to put them on the right path nor am i gonna be there when they screw up saying “i told ya so”. Theres a huge different between confronting someone you know and confronting someone you dont know, and im not confronting a total stranger and putting myself in danger over something that doesnt involve me.

                  • William, first of all, re-read the last paragraph of this article. It says “We have to meet it at the source: our friends, cousins, and uncles. We must be brave enough to tell them not to yell at that woman across the street and push back when they suggest getting a woman drunk so they can have sex with her.”

                    It does NOT say strangers.

                    Second of all, your response is the most cowardly comment I’ve seen on this entire board. It’s the bystander effect that helps so many continue to wild out in the community. They know that they can do whatever they want to do and other grown men will just sit back and watch. What I find ironic about that is why you’re so paranoid about speaking up to strangers and people you know about doing something wrong because of the backlash, you want women to walk around like She-Ra not afraid of a care in the world and judging everybody on an individual basis no matter how threatened they may feel. The analysis I got from you was that men should be weary of the people they’re around and mind their own business based on PERSONAL EXPERIENCE (which you’ve already gone back and forth on) but women should be open-minded and treat everybody the same. Oh yeah, and if someone grabs on them, hey, it worked on the last girl so don’t blame Mr. Gorilla either. Amazing. You and @ogwriter should be BFFs.

                    • I dont have a problem with woman being fearful as like as they acknowledge it and see it as their responsibility. If im walking behind a woman and she fearful that im going to assault her its her responsibility to quell that fear not mine. If a woman has a negative attitude towards men i know shes not relationship material because im going to constantly be compared to men of her past with the attitude that i have to prove im not like the rest. Cowardly? smart, smarter than alot of people who foolishly think trying to get through to someone multiple times is going to work. Here is one of your earlier comments: “Richard, but if the stereotype (whether stated aloud or only thought of) is continuously proven to be true, are these women wrong?”. The man aggressively approaching woman is going off past experience with woman, just like the fearful black woman is going off past experiences with black men.

        • @Moderator: Exaclty what kind of reaction dd you expect when you run an article obviously designed to provoke? This is like the comedian who harassed CB and was surprised when she got a reaction

          Embedded in this title, Why Black women are ALSO Scared of Blackmen,there is so much license to hate and be afraid of random black men because,after all, everyone else seems to be. It says so inthe title. How are we supposed to act when this lazy use of language bemirsches the reputation of an entire subtext of people. based upon what one man’s, a youngman at that, experiences. Also in the body of his work he plays fast and loose with perjoratives, as if he can speak for all men.This article promotes the very thing you claim to want to avoid. All this article does is raise the red flag over the heads of black men. Are they trustworthy? Are they too violent to be in society? If black women, who suffer the most in the black community, aren’t safe with them can anyone be safe? Black men are just dangerous. Black men are THE problem in the black community.These are the kind of ideas, bereft of any contextual information, that this article encourages.

      • She wasn’t saying that, I am sure she believes when it comes to the police all black folks are fair game.

  37. Blame black men for everything. That’s always a safe bet….lol. Black men have no privilege in this country. Please unlearn all of that feminist nonsense you’ve soaked up. Black boys are being raised predominantly by black women. And yet, we are the problem? How does that happen? What, exactly, are these strong, independent women doing to these boys that have them turning out the way they are? The black community has been destroyed and it has been destroyed by taking the fathers out of the home and encouraging single motherhood. White people generally don’t give a sh!t, but their turn will come. White people might as well consider what happened to the black community as a preview of what’s coming for them. You’ll soon be overrun by the same effeminate, ineffectual males and gangsta rap caricatures that are held up as models of manhood for your boys.

    • Why are these (white) people even trying to defend people judging people by their skin color? What happened to equality and being threated as individuals. I think the bigotry in feminsm has infected the writer of the article and many others who have commented on it. Some how they feel because they are usually critical of males as a group that it makes it ok to become prejudiced against black males specifically. That is a serious problem considering black males are the most disadvantaged group of people in the nation by a wide margin. It’s unbelievable how quickly their struggles are forgotten but that’s what comes with being marginalized in the first place.

    • Nobody “encuorages” single motherhood. Sometimes those are the cards that are dealt. And some of the guys you mention who are being “taken out of the homes” are voluntarily leaving. At what point does personal responsibility factor into the equation?

      • @Maroonsista: I can tell you what I told my boy’s about personal responsibility and pregnancy:
        1) Get a paternity test.
        2) You have the right, just like she does, to choose to not be a father for what ever reason is important to you. I had invested a good deal of money on their education and was determined that they were not going to get side tracked, by anything.
        3) If a girl does get pregnant by you and and has a baby you will not quit school to step up and be a man!!! My mother was pregnant at 15 years old. According to her it was her fault, her desire and her ignorance of the consequences that got her pregnant.

        She wasn’t raped, she wasn’t molested, she wanted to have sex and didn’t protect herself. I would suggest that young black men avoid at all cost becoming fathers until there are at least 30 years old and they should avoid marriage altogether.

        • I didn’t know you could have intercourse by yourself. “She wanted to have sex and didn’t protect herself”? So she put your biological father in a headlock and forced him to have sex with her because that’s about the only way she could control him not using protection either.

          I can definitely respect a paternity test. Everyone should get one if they’re not sure. I also don’t think people should quit school, although it would certainly help to have a job to help take care of the child. As far as having the right to NOT be a father, that’s a great way for more lost young men to not have father figures and end up in the prison system or broke because their biological fathers did not take care of them. Great for society, don’t you think? Legally they must pay child support. If you’re paying child support, you might as well be in the child’s life. Anytime you CHOOSE to have unprotected sex (from both parties) you’re CHOOSING to risk a child being brought into this world.

          Instead of the b.s. you’re teaching your boys, how about starting off with the basics of condoms and other contraceptives. And as for young black men avoiding being fathers until they’re 30, I’m so glad my father (married to my mother for 31 years) didn’t do that. Even happier my grandfather (married to my grandmother for 49 years) didn’t do that. Then there’s my brother (married for 11 years) didn’t do that. All responsible black fathers who had kids. My grandfather was 34 but he didn’t “avoid marriage altogether.” Your entire argument sounds like a disgruntled man who never found love with a father figure or a woman so you’re taking it out on the rest of society. We already have enough examples like you. Dare to be different.

          • First of all my boys and daughter were all college educated at some of the finest colleges in the country and I did it as a single father. I hardly think my sons need a better role model of fatherhood than me.For you to assume that I didn’t teach my boys about condoms and contraceptives is silly and arrogant. And even if one teaches them they don’t always follow advice. Young people, boys and girls, have notoriously poor judgement.
            As for the stuff about my mother, you’ll have to take that up with her, good luck with that.

            I never wrote that if my sons had a child they wouldn’t pay for the upbringing of said child, that just dumb ass shit. My point is that they have the right to decide for themselves whether or not they want to be a father, not the pregnant girl or the community. Women have that right through abortion, adoption or they can just drop off a baby they don’t want at a designated location and walk away and not pay a dime. My other point is, just because she got pregnant, doesn’t mean you should marry her. That is a recipe for disaster. My sons are not a paycheck.

            • Way to pat yourself on the back! I find it ironic that you’re calling me arrogant but the beginning of your message sounds like you’re missing nothing but some pom poms to pat yourself on the back. Moving on…

              1) Regardless of what your mother said, you have the ability to translate it how you see fit. At no point did you mention that your biological father could use protection, too. You only said what your mother didn’t do as if somehow it’s okay for the guy not to. But considering you are now saying that you teach your sons about contraception, okay then.

              2) Paying for child support is a GREAT way for a person to be a father! Oh boy. Roll in pieces of paper. That’ll totally help a child who didn’t ask to be brought into this world by two people who are fully aware that EVERY single time they have sex, they risk an accidental pregnancy and no contraception is 100%. Women who have abortions risk never being able to have children later on down the line should they want to. It also tears up their body. Men who don’t want children don’t have any physical alterations whatsoever and can just conclude with “I don’t wanna.” Problem is many of the men who say they don’t want children also don’t use any form of contraception. (I’m saying this from many, many examples of high school, college and work associates through the years. Boggles my mind the amount of people who are “surprised” when the woman is pregnant knowing full well neither party bothered to use protection.)

              But think about the prison rate for today’s society without fathers versus the prison rate for shotgun weddings and when marriage was more common in the African-American community. Deadbeat fathers and paycheck fathers are hurting Black America more than anything the government could ever do. Regardless of the parents making stupid decisions, the child is here. And guess what? If that child has no male role model to look up to, he/she will get that “role model” somewhere else and more often than not end up on the local news. CONGRATULATIONS on such superb advice!

              • @Maroonsista: It is common and normal for a parent to expect and receive praise for a job well done raising their children. It takes a village and community support is critical.The last time I checked, mothers day was a damn big deal!?

                You confuse me. On the hand, you are all fired up about men being responsible fathers, but when I tell you I am and that I am a single father to boot you put me down as being arrogant. No mixed messages there. If your point is to encourage fathers to be a part of the program wouldn’t praising what they do help? Your thesis, that the primary(only) reason there has been an explosion in the incarceration of young black men, Unlike what your grandfather experienced there was no bogus war on drugs and no three strikes laws to contend with. If you study the rise of prisoners in the system,across the board, men and women, you will find a considerable correlation between these laws and the increase in prisoners across the board. So your belief that the government has nothing to do with this problem is without much support.

                On my advice. Hell its worked. Or are you blaming me for the high incarceration rate?I have three athletic, good looking,community oriented,college educated children that didn’t have children at an early age.and that never went to jail,ever. I won’t tell you what schools they attended, don’t want to sound too arrogant.

                • Oh, and by the way, my brother is seven years older than me and he DID grow up through the war on drugs. Still married his high school sweetheart, is a present father of two boys and got married and had children BEFORE he was 30. And guess what? His biological father was an absentee father. It was MY biological father who stepped up to the plate, adopted him and who has been in his life since he was seven that made him want to be a present father.

                  My father was a present father BECAUSE my grandfather was a PRESENT father. People tend to copy what they see, but if they have nothing to copy, guess what? They tend to do just that…nothing.

                  I applaud men who are products of absentee fathers who choose to be present in their children’s lives knowing full well what it was like to not have men around. I do not, however, applaud any grown man who is telling his sons you don’t have to stick around for someone you helped create. You don’t have to stick around for a decision YOU helped by laying down with her. You don’t have to stick around but you can throw some money her way and hope the kid turns out all right. The prison system sends warm smiles and hugs to men with that mentality though. They’re sure their jobs will be there every day from guys who encourage absentee fatherhood.

            • Ogwrit,

              I have no problem giving credit where credit is due for any responsible father. I am as enthusiastic on Father’s Day as I am on Mother’s Day. I just gave credit to several men in my own life. I just think your advice as a whole does more harm than good for your sons. As far as what schools they went to, while we do have those who go to prestigious schools who have done great things in the community (POTUS) we also have high school dropouts who are just as effective (Jay-Z donating water to Africa, helping the POTUS or even Russell Simmons with his charity work. Even philanthropist Alicia Keys has done some outstanding work, and guess what? It was her own personal experiences that make her impressive. Not the school she went to.) Going to a prestigious school can definitely make you have a better education and make you smarter books wise, but what you do with that education after you leave is what matters to me, not a father or the student spouting off the name of it. You think folks are paying more attention to Mark Zuckerberg because he went to Harvard AND DROPPED OUT or because he created Facebook and became one of the Time’s Person of the Year. (And I say this as a college graduate who went to a pretty impressive grad school. Didn’t impress me. More expensive and I was bored out of my mind but the undergrad degree helped me get the jobs I wanted so it is what it is.)

              But going back to the prison system, you talk about the “bogus war on drugs” and the “three strikes laws,” did it occur to you that the massive amount of people caught up in that were selling drugs to feed families from the homes of absentee fathers. I can personally provide MANY examples of boys I knew growing up who started selling drugs because their biological fathers chose NOT to be fathers. They didn’t even choose to be “paycheck” fathers who support the child by money and never show up. They just didn’t show up. There is a direct coalition between crime rates for African-American young men without father figures or without fathers in the home and the more likely they will turn to criminal activity and drugs.

              Regardless of how much you lecture a person to not have kids or not getting married, once it happens, it happens. (And I say this as a woman who has never been pregnant and doesn’t want children but has talked to students about safe sex education. I’m floored by the lack of knowledge they have on simple things like getting tested for HIV/AIDS.) I’ve stated this a few other times, but the child should NOT be held accountable for a poor decision of the two adults who created it. Should women abort every time the man doesn’t stick around? Well, hell, if that was the case we wouldn’t have people like the POTUS, whose mother stuck it out for the long run even though the father was long gone.

              I’m beating a dead horse here, but ANY time you have sex (whether protected or unprotected) you risk bringing a child in this world. What you do with that responsibility after being involved in it shows your character, no matter what degree you have or what school you went to because no child can snack on his/her parent’s “prestigious” degree.

              • @Maroonsista….

                As a Black man who is a father to his 15 year old son BECAUSE my dad was a father to me and my siblings AND my GRANDFATHERS were fathers and providers to their families.

                It is inexcusable that men make babies and just walk away. But, I have to also say and ask just why do so many black women fall into this trap? Regardless, the fathers have a moral obligation to support and be a father to his children.

                I never wanted to have any child out of wedlock. Not that I felt better than anyone else. But, having grown up in a two parent loving family and extended family with strong and proud men, I wanted to do the same.

                My grandfather was illiterate. He hated jeans. He forbid his kids to wear jeans. Even the grand kids when we wore them he did not like it. I bought my first pair of jeans at age 34! For my grandfather, jeans were a symbol of poverty and hardship (picking cotton on overalls). He stood for something and I still admire him for this. He was a man of immense character.

                The lessons these great men taught me I give to my son. I share with my son all of this. I want him to be a father, husband, lover, provider, parent to his family and children should he elect to become a father and/or husband.

                Hence, I must agree with you 100%.

                Cheers!

                • @Jules THANK YOU, somebody gets it. That’s reassuring. *sigh*

                  As far as females getting pregnant by guys who they know won’t be around, I had a LONG debate with my grandfather about this. He’s old school. He’s still of the shotgun wedding mentality and men should always take care of their children. He believes it’s ALL men’s fault that young men are thugging it the way they are. I disagree. I think it’s BOTH people’s fault. He thinks I’m too hard on women. I think he’s too hard on men. (And depending on whose listening to us when we debate topics like this because we’re always doing it, they may think we’re too hard on people in general.)

                  No point in talking about the man’s fault. You already know that by now because I’ve been pretty vocal about it. As far as girls, I had a buddy in high school who just refused to have safe sex. She was on her fourth abortion and said, “I don’t want kids anyway so I’m all right with that.” Another buddy of mine was on her third abortion. And NEITHER one of them had positive male figures in their lives to answer to and mothers who were too busy trying to take care of the household to even pay attention.

                  But when I ask them WHY would you have unprotected sex (hell, even SAFE sex) with a guy you KNOW isn’t about anything knowing he could possibly get you pregnant, the mentality is very much your average player’s mentality. Hey, I’m human. I hear responses about wanting sex and sometimes you gotta relieve stress. He’s cute. Blah blah blah.

                  As a woman who had to answer to a father, two godfathers, a grandfather, an older brother (we’re 7 years in difference) and a couple of male friends, I just couldn’t wrap my mind around that idea. I don’t know the stats for EVERY woman who is a single mom or is it out there sleeping around, but for the ones I do know, ALL of them said stuff like, “My father doesn’t play that. I wouldn’t do that because of my father. My father raised me better.” Moms are so helpful in so many areas of a female’s life but when it comes to a female’s relationship with a guy, fathers REALLY leave an impact (or lack of it).

  38. Richard Aubrey says:

    Surely not every encounter between a black man and a black woman is violent. The percentage must be under 100%.
    Which brings us to a question: At what percentage of encounters do we drop from judgment justified by real life experience and enter the realm of stereotyping. Given the definition of stereotyping, black women are stereotyping. Now what?

    • Richard, but if the stereotype (whether stated aloud or only thought of) is continuously proven to be true, are these women wrong? At what point do we acknowledge that if you don’t want to be considered a stereotype to stop unapologetically acting like one?

      • Maroonista
        “At what point do we acknowledge that if you don’t want to be considered a stereotype to stop unapologetically acting like one?”
        Who do you mean by you? Let us say you meet a black guy on the street, how can he personally stop acting like a stereotype? Does he have to stop being black or male?

        • @Alberich When did “acting like a stereotype” become “black” or “male”? Your last two questions don’t make sense to me. You KNOW what the stereotypes of black men are. I’m saying don’t feed into the stereotypes. Be yourself, not somebody you saw on a music video. Hell, even rappers will tell you they are tired of people rapping about stuff they don’t do. I run into too many guys who either act tougher than they really are or spend entirely too much time blaming EVERYBODY else for their problems all the while acting exactly how Fox News LIES and portrays all black men.

          There is a section in D.L. Hughley’s book “I want you to shut the —- up” where he embraced stereotypes and said they’re stereotypes for a reason…they’re true, but at no point in the book did he acknowledge that there are African-Americans who don’t all act the same. You got George Jefferson. You got Bill Cosby. You got James Evans. You got Uncle Phil. Four different black men. Four different personalities (albeit TV personalities but you get the idea). But if you have a bunch of guys all acting one particular way and proudly declaring “black people don’t act like that” it reinforces the stereotype.

          You want another example? On New York station, the Breakfast Club, one of the hosts (DJ Envy) asked T.J. Holmes does he get backlash for speaking so proper to black people. He asked him do people feel like T.J. is talking down to them. ANOTHER STEREOTYPE. I hate it when people ask a black man who can speak proper English if he’s “speaking down” to people. There are all these goofy rules about how black men should act and some guys will feed RIGHT into it as if they’re not “keeping it real” if they don’t. Please don’t tell me you’ve never seen a walking, talking stereotype.

          P.S. The “you” was meant in general, not to any one particular person.

  39. @Robert: It seems to me you are, as is usually the case when discussing the bad things some black-men do sometimes, overstating the facts and in some ways leaving out some facts as well.

    I was raised by a black woman and I have noticed that the contributions to violence in the community, in my lifetime, include her contributions, but are seldom talked about openly. This is particularly true of black men and boys who are taught( INDOCTRINATED) to never ever criticize or mention the wrong that MOMMA does in public, ever! Most black people I know have at least one horror story of abuse involving their mother, but she gets a free pass, leaving black men to carry the entire burden.
    Momma’s violence is ok because she is under duress. Momma’s violence and abuse and emasculation of men is ok because she is a victim.Momma’s abuse is ok because she has suffered racism.It wasn’t ok in the movie Precious or Finding Fish or any of the other under reported instances we ignore.
    Most of what I learned about abuse and violence I learned from my mother. Unfortunately, it was then and is still called raising black boys in America. That black women and other women can be violent is Americas sleeping giant.

    And there in lies one of the problems; It is ok to treat black boys abusively as long as you are preparing them for the outside world. I know far too many boys who are afraid of their mothers. So, while I’m sure you position will win you friends and get you opportunities to write for mainstream feminists and pro feminist magazines it doesn’t mean it’s true. No one is interested in hearing or presenting the other side of the story to the world. For you to say that I am positioning myself as the enemy because of what some random asshole does is ridiculous. My mother was never as afraid of me as I was of her. Stop covering up for the behavior of black women at the expense of black men. If a black woman is going to be afraid of all black men because of a few then that’s her problem, or yours not mine, not mine. I coach at a high school in Oakland California. Everyday I hear girls cursing out boys, challenging boys to fights, calling the boys gay, calling them punks, d calling them tricks, soft, or too girly if they don’t meet some stupidly formed arbitrary definition of masculinity as defined by a mean, snarky, attitude dripping, teenage girl. Lastly, ALL black women aren’t scared of all black men. Do me a favor, don’t speak for me, I am not a part of your “we”. You are one black man who has an obvious bias( you are a feminist) and it prevents you from seeing this problem of violence in its entirety

    • This is interesting. I have read articles elsewhere saying that it’s widespread, common, even accepted, for black parents, mostly mothers, to physically discipline their kids harshly. To beat them. I was shocked when I first started reading this kind of piece, but if they do reflect reality that probably explains quite a bit.

      • @CmE: You are right and as a black male who as experienced the kind of abuse masquerading as discipline you speak of it frustrates me to know end how much the black feminist and white feminist collude to keep this problem under-wraps
        This was clearly demonstrated in this article, where only abuse caused by men in the black community is viewed as bad or is even spoken of.At the end of the day, it is black people themselves that must bear the burden of responsibility for the secret abuse that is destroying the community from the inside. I will tell you this, it’s not the beatings that get to you, but comparatively, it’s the verbal stuff that cuts deep. After a while you can steel yourself against the blows that damage the body. Here are some of the things that were said commonly by my mother ” Boy!” I will beat you until you are within an inch of your life!” ” Boy, don’t make me hurt you.” “What kind of fool are you!” ” I brought you into this world, I can take you out of it too.” ” Stop crying! I haven’t even hit you yet!” ” God may have your soul, but your ass belongs to me.” The more you move the worst it will be and the longer it will take.” “Find the belt, take your clothes off, and shut the door.” These are things I and millions of children heard from our mothers and dads frequently growing up.

        To this day my family is engaged in a coverup of her behavior that is linked to broader community led effort to protect the image of black-women. Admittedly, some of this is a reaction, however self destructive, to how the image of black women, as compared to white women, has been damaged.

        • This is amazing….I think that it is about time that we finally unveil the truth about the abuse in our community, masked as discipline .It’s an unfortunate yet unspoken fact that we are our own worst enemies and treat one another poorly, and it’s no wonder that we struggle with finding and keeping good, positive relationships

        • This is really interesting because I’d never really paid attention to the experiences of parenting in the black community. And it hurts my heart to hear this. Hate that you went through this and that many boys are going through this.

          Right now, a lot of awareness is centering on Mommy Wars… but looking back on it, it’s blatantly white issues. Mainly, “I’m going to judge you and not parent my child” along with “I’m raising my child better than y’all now”. There is no respect or support for mothers in that sense. Too much criticism on that front, not enough love, especially thrown at each other.

          And yet here, with black mothers, you are asking that they should be criticized. I see why, though! Don’t get me wrong. I’m just seeing two opposing worlds here and trying to reconcile it. From what you’re saying, it looks more like “I’ll raise my child anyway I see fit, ya’ll turn a blind eye now” and people do it out of fear.

          Lots of other points you made I gotta think about. Thanks for sharing your insight.

          • @ Kayla: For me, this is not an effort to deny that black women, or any other women for that matter, doesn’t suffer abuse. Nonetheless I am saying that for too long the narrow point of view of a select group representing special interest has dominated this discussion, owning it, redefining what abuse is for over three hundred million people, and more importantly, which victims are more important than others and which victims are unworthy of recognition—-and therefore inclusion and help.

            I don’t believe that black women are worse than anyone else,period. But I know that they are just as bad as everyone else, regardless of how much they theorize that have suffered more as compared to anyone else. Like any theory, that version is open to debate.

            Child abuse is real and other anger management issues exist in the black community. We can and should have the debate about why. But that debate can’t be shallow and politically constructed to favor one group over the other.

            These problems of anger and control also exists in other communities; the LGBT community has rape and dv problems just like everyone else, as does the white community, at all economic levels. Rape and dv are among the few issues that leapfrog over a plethora of social boundaries like class, culture, race, sexual orientation, AND .GENDER. The question then becomes, what are the threads of commonality that link our culture to use violence and control.

        • A similar, less common example is denial of pedophilia as something black people are capable of. Counterexamples to this are dismissed as being merely influenced by outsider values. I shudder every time I hear it because recent history has shown that the places where pedophiles thrive are the communities that most steadfastly refuse to address the issue.

          It’s the siege mentality at work, and it can be seen in everyone from feminists to Ultra-Orthodox Jews to conservative Christians. It’s a certain way to put a halt to any meaningful internal change in a group.

          • @ chuck: You have an interesting point chuck and t5hink threr is some connection to that mentality. But one of the reasons( i think) that the black community has been reluctant to address pedophilia is due to the reliance of the community, men and women, a uber sense of masculinity—related to the siege mentality — for protection. Basically it says that we are soo masculine that it would be impossible for real a black man to a be pedophiles.

            • @ogwriter…

              Yes, but this uber sense of masculinity is a farce. Look at all the down low men. Look at some of big time preachers and all their crap. There are lots of gay men in our community.

              There is just too much denial and window dressing in our community. Yes, somethings we are very real about. Too damn real. But others, we are in denial.

              I always like to focus on the positive. There is still talent, love, creativity, vibrancy, and fun loving people in black america. Far more positive than negative.

  40. Alot of white women’s fear of black men comes from their experience of the special kind of sexist scorn black men reserve for white women. White women are an easier target of resentment than white men.

    • @ How many white women even come in contact with enough black men frequently enough to make the kind of broad determination you made? What kind of special sexist scorn do ALL (presumably)black men give to white women?” White women are an easier target then white men.” This presumes much about ALL black men, like ALL black men are resentful of ALL white people, to name just one item, that I don’t think any of which you can prove. What do know of history and the 100’s of years of racist propaganda that told white women that no black-man could resist the allure of the pure white woman?

    • @Sarah….

      Simply not true. What scorn?

      As a black man, I can honestly say white women have been very supportive of me in business……

      If we had so much scorn, then why do white women date us and have sex with us? The black penis?

  41. 1.It’s ridiculous to assume that a white person’s fear of blacks ISN’T based on actually experiences with them.

    2.Responsibility for a negative view of black man falls on the woman and her alone.
    If she wants to maintain her views she needs to accept that there are consequences for that, namely the lack of black man willing to associate with her.

    Why would any man want to associate with someone whose mindset is “you’re the worst of the worst until proven otherwise”.

    3.No man is responsible for the harm woman receives simply because they couldn’t stop other men from committing acts against them.

    • Bay Area Guy says:

      It’s ridiculous to assume that a white person’s fear of blacks ISN’T based on actually experiences with them.

      Exactly.

      In many instances in the past, I’ve either had black guys accost me, threaten to beat me up (mainly at school), or have had them instigate racial conflict with me.

      One time I was just randomly waiting in line at Burger King, and a black guy out of nowhere yelled “what you lookin’ at!” Of course, I wasn’t looking at him and as a result was flustered and didn’t know how to respond. This guy then laughed and said, “I’m just messin’ wit chu.” He did it just to toy with me.

      Another time, I was eating with my dad in a restaurant, and we were seated right near the window. A group of black guys just randomly banged on the window from the outside, and then walked away laughing for having startled us.

      There were other, more minor incidents.

      Granted, the experiences with blacks (male of otherwise) that were either good or uneventful outnumber the ones that were negative, but I’ve had enough negative interactions with blacks to be wary of them. I don’t fear them. I don’t see an average black guy and think he’s going to mug me.

      I just have my guard up when around them. It’s a potential confrontation or instigation of conflict that worries me.

      Granted, I understand why many black men have chips on their shoulders. Having Americans of all races either fear your very presence or look down on you probably makes many black men edgy. And I’ve even heard some blacks online admit that black people sometimes make some rude or confrontational remark towards white people out of nowhere, as a preemptive strike against potential white racism.

      Okay, that’s understandable, but it certainly won’t make a white person like me any more sympathetic towards them.

      • If all those things that happened occurred with white men would you be complaining about them right now? Of course not which is why your attitudes are deeply racist. I seen way to many women use their fear of men as an excuse to be bigoted against men, in this case the target of hate and derision is specifically black men. The fact someone with brown skin does something you don’t like does not mean the next person with brown skin should be feared. That is BLATANT RACISM!

        • Joey Joe Joe says:

          Sounds more like conditioning to me.

        • Actually, as a white female, I have been harassed by more white people than black. And I make a point of talking about that. I do NOT like men of any race harassing, abusing, or startling me or any other folks. But I have seen young black men be rude, loud, and abusive, too. Across the board, I’d say… every group has their edgy, bad eggs. And it’s definitely a responsibility to educate and speak out against any sort of abuse by anyone.

          Ed, I don’t like that you asked that question and then assumed OF COURSE she would not complain about that. Why not wait for an answer.. make it a real dialogue? Personally, OF COURSE I WOULD. I would speak out about it. This white guy did this or that… that was mean or cruel or annoying. If a black guy did, then I would say the same… speak out about it or complain about it. These folks do not have the right to assume they can do whatever they wish towards me.

        • ” The fact someone with brown skin does something you don’t like does not mean the next person with brown skin should be feared.”

          Yet the entire crux of the article is that it’s acceptable for black women to fear or distrust black men based on their negative experiences with black men. Is that not racist?

      • I’m reading all of these responses to @Bay Area Guy about how this racism and he shouldn’t blame all black men but not one person has said how idiotic it was for either incident to happen to them. I don’t like it when someone KNOWS that they can be feared and uses it for amusement. That banging on the window part? Absolutely stupid. The “What you looking at?” outburst. Unnecessary. That’s a sign of immaturity. I’m not sure if they felt you already look shook before you even stepped into Burger or sat down at that restaurant, but those examples ACTUALLY back up what the writer was saying. However, as far as race, I’ve seen black men do these same things to other black men. Get mad when somebody looked at them the wrong way and I can’t count the number of times I’ve been on a train and somebody banged on the window solely for attention. But my reaction is usually a sneer and a look of disgust. Problem is when men do that, the chances are higher that that’ll look like a challenge and could potentially end up a fight. An immature man with too much testosterone flowing is a news story just waiting to happen.

        • An immature man with too much testosterone flowing is a news story just waiting to happen.

          That one sentence has so much in it and it is so nasty!

          Actually – the too much Testosterone is sexist. It goes along with the idea that having control of male gonads = control of the whole man – it also ties in heavily with that very old and sexist trope of men have a brain and it is anatomically a penis! … and that if just from the “Too Much”.

          There are quite a few Immature women out there with too much testosterone – but its seen as rude and abusive to make comment that pathologies them. It’s not clear what the meme is for that one – is it don;t say negative things about women or is it don’t beat up on someone cos they are seen as having health issues… don’t best up the crippled kid?

          Maybe the meme is it really is not allowed to query maturity with women – if you indicate too young you are going into pedo and rape territory – if you use it to be about lack of intellect you get hot with Sexists and Woman hater … if you actually have stats to show a percentage difference in say IQ or SATs you get lectured on how the samples are biased – none representative – the premise was built upon patriarchal views of what maturity and immaturity is and how it is measured… and them memes just keep rolling and get used to justify all that is “happening”!

          I do get that media news trope too. It just perpetuates a blame game and creates a sub class who can be used to Point Fingers at, have people to blame – it’s the oppressed finding a group to oppress (Oh How Marxist can you get) – If the Nigras have it bad and they can find other Nigras to oppress you end up with the Nigra’s Nigra!

          Radical idea. If there is an issue with a period of time when Young Black Males are overly full of hormones as nature intended, why not find ways to manage and accommodate this natural physical state within society for the good of all – except the news crews who would end up redundant!

          I’m not advocating for the chemical control of all males of certain racial groups in specified age ranges – even if there has been a vogue for this and grave concerns about parthologising males of certain ages and that meme has shown cross racial mobility and co-morbidity with other binary pathologies.

          One wonders – is it that there is a genetic and physiological difference caused by genes for skin colour so that then White Males not only have less skin pigments but lower hormone levels and higher maturity?

          If there is no actual linkage to hormones and skin pigment does that means the issue is not genetic but environmental – and the maturity trope is a red herring and stinking the house up?

          It is odd – Immaturity has two meanings – young in age and lacking mental development, skills and knowledge. Male/Man is also fixed, unless some are advocating whole sale gender reassignment and having all roosters end up chicken! Testosterone is a necessary factor in human development, both male and female, yet you never see comments about what happens when the ladies have too much of it and they is being immature.

          Why are male hormones talked about in ways that relate to Toxicity and Pathology? I’m getting real worried about them Toxic and pathological levels of Oestrogen there and as for Progesterone, I think mandatory testing could be the way to go with three strikes and you is out – Lock um up when them hormones and the pathology they IS gets way too much for me and my comfort zones – oh and my blame stick which I use on the whole world is just itching in my hands.

          So it all comes down to one word and what can be changed “Happening”!

          That is really just a disgusting word “Happening”. It’s so hopeless – negative and I can sit on my ass for eternity and play the blame game cos it’s all just happening! It’s such a nasty word with how it makes people central to nothing and they look about and it’s all just happening around them. It’s such a superior up you own ass I have no responsibility for nothing word – and it gives you an eternity to use that blame stick cos it’s all just happening around you and you have done noting – deny you can do anything – and you give yourself a complete hall pass for life the universe and everything.

          You can do – and even be done to and done by – you can be .. but as soon as it is all just Happening you have given up and are blaming that Universe all around you that you have just divorced yourself from! Way to go!

          One issue – we can still hear the wining – so if you is just about happening shut that hole and shut the F### up! If you want to be divorced from all of reality and just about happening you loose the right to wine, moan and complain and you really should leave this universe and not treat it as some play thing. It’s just happing and you are no longer part of the being and doing. So stop being a winer and moaner and an irritant noise and go to where you belong Out Side of Reality

          Those who have stopped doing and stopped being have become News men and media clone commentators – they only bitch about the past and what has happened – they have given up having any rights to comment upon and even shape the future. Well the can comment – but it has to get broadcast to others who are also only interested in the happening and have given up with the being and doing.

          People who are all about it happening are some of the greatest dead weights there are – they are like great anchors in deep water! They exists to comment and bitch about happening – what happened – and they never make anything happen – and they are never around to make anything happen. They are as good as dead and need to be treated as such – they are dead weight and need to be left in the depths where they belong so that other people can get on with being and doing!

          too much testosterone – or way Too Much Happening and not enough Being or Doing?

          Immature? I just happened to notice that may need to be looked at and reassessed.

          • @MediaHound o_O When I spoke about testosterone, I was referring to psychological studies that focus on whether testosterone will make a man act more aggressively. Psychology Today says it’s not a factor and a myth. Scientific American says it’s automatic. This isn’t a matter of being “sexist.” I was referring to the actual hormone (hydroxy steroid ketone) men have. Now whether the myth is true or not depends on what study you’re willing to believe but both men and women have testosterone. Women just have more estrogen than testosterone. To be sexist is to believe in “behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex.” I’m not judging from stereotypes. I’m making that statement based on scientific studies mainly because I read them all day and pretty much every day based on profession. But if it makes you feel better to vent this long about a study (and I never said a WORD about race when it comes to testosterone or immaturity because any guy or lady can be immature) hey, do your thing. And your reaction to the word “happening” makes me believe you must really just lose it when a dictionary is near you. You just completely lost it over a word like “happening.” *shaking my head* Umm…okay.

            • @Maroonsista – interesting that you happen to use materials professionally, so you grasp that testosterone is not a Uniquely male matter – and can be linked to Immature females too. Both can be agressive I too just happen to spend and have spent a great deal of time studying, reading, and more for professional reasons.

              It’s fascinating how people choose to use words and how those words, the phrases and constructs that get communicated say so much. I love the word “Simpatico” in Italian because it simply can’t be translated into English as a single word. Many try – but it just does not work. The reason is easy, Simpatico communicates a social construct that is absent in those using English as a language.

              I do get the Venting and Frustration and to that I would say go for it – but just be careful of any constructs that are being used because even though it may seen like just words ” An immature man with too much testosterone flowing is a news story just waiting to happen.” is a f=great deal more than 16 words – a mixture of nouns, verbs, auxiliaries and and one adjective “immature”. P^)

              To do – he/she/it does = active
              To be – he/she/it does = active
              To Happen – he/she/it = Fatalistic – It just is – unavoidable – coincidence – convergence of space and time

              You bring your papers and I’ll bring my dictionary – could get real interesting. P^)

              • All right, Media Hound, I’m about to wrap this conversation up real quick:
                1) Me saying the studies I read all day wasn’t meant to sound [sic] “real interesting.” It was just to tell you WHY I was about to start giving you sources on the studies done on testosterone and why it’s not a matter of sexism. Majority of the studies done on testosterone are done on men because they have more of it. So if me talking about testosterone in reference to men is sexist, wouldn’t that make every single study done on the same topic PRIMARILY about men sexist, too? Or is it as simple as men having more testosterone?

                2) I’m well aware that women can be as immature as men. I thought I explained that already but if not, sure, I can agree with that.

                3) I’m thrilled that you understand how to construct a sentence. But what does that have to do with anything I said? Round of applause that you know an adjective from a noun and a verb. I’m not sure if you expected a Good Men Project award for it, but I wouldn’t stand by the mailbox waiting for one.

                4) You typed all of that and I still stand by my original opinion: “An immature man with too much testosterone flowing is a news story just waiting to happen.” Check your daily paper. Some of the reactions to actions in a newspaper are signs of immaturity (or overreacting). It is what it is. You can insert as many comments as you want complaining about the dictionary and talking about sentence structure but my opinion stands as is.

                Now did you want to get back to the topic of the article or start debating with me about Associated Press Style versus Chicago Manual Style or why you can’t stand the word “the” or some other bizarre vent that has nothing to do with nothing? If so, continue on. I’ll pass on a reply to it though. A debate not worth debating is time lost. Have a good night now.

    • I don’t think that’s a ridiculous assumption, especially as a black woman working in corporate America and hearing some of the slickest things come out of a few men’s mouth who have never really interacted with black men. No hangouts. No lunches. No games. No nothing. They have just watched the news and formed these outrageous opinions about the entire population. I used to think some generalizations were based on personal experiences, but the more I question some people’s views, the more I notice their answers are based on stats and the news instead of personal situations.

      • Its ridiculous because you’re judging/predicting the actions of an entire group of people, base only on the actions of a few. The person using personal experience and the person going off news/stats are in the same boat.

        • The person using personal experience is NOT in the same boat as the one using stats. Cut the B.S. We all behave certain ways after situations we go through. Personal experiences teach us to react in certain ways to anything, especially if we see a certain pattern repeatedly.

          • News and stats are just experiences that come from someone else. People uses their own experiences and the experiences of others to judge someone.

            • Really? I’d actually break the whole thing up into three distinct categories: personal experiences, secondhand experiences (those of friends or family), and finally “common sense,” gossip or news stories. We all build our worldviews on some combination of the three, but just as a person with an extremely disturbing personal experience has to prevent those intense emotions from clouding their perceptions, so too does someone who subjects themself to the carefully curated gallery of horrors that is TV news.

              • I used to think the “TV news” and reality show example was a bunch of b.s. and that people can tell that some of that is “planted” or staged. But when I get on sites like Twitter and see people co-signing some of the most RIDICULOUS stunts on television, calling folks who have no business being a role model “a hero” and then when I see television news prefer to report on the WORST issues possible instead of any positive ones, it’s starting to stick. Case and point, how much coverage did the “Soul Train Awards” get? Totally positive. Fun. Musical. Then I see the coverage of the Grammy Awards. When the BET Hip-Hop Awards had the fight, people were all over it. Chris Brown and the Struggling-to-be-Famous comedian, nonstop coverage. But positive news in the African-American community gets more crickets than a closed campground.

      • @maroonsista….

        Was not going to reply to this post, but……

        I grew up (until age 20) in the Deep South. Attended great university in Wash DC and then grad school in NJ. I have lived in Maryland for the past 20+ years.

        I can say unequivocally that whites outside the South are far more bigoted and prejudiced than whites in the South. Why? Any black person who has been raised in the South (or even white for that matter) are aware of the close physical proximity of blacks and whites.

        I grew up in a very rural area but there were enclaves of black and white areas (not neighborhoods). The separation was not that great. More important, white people saw blacks going to work everyday. White people saw black men going to work and taking care of their families (such as my Marine father). White people knew (and know) black people on a personal level. The view they held of black people was NOT based on the media ……We knew one another on personal levels. Even today in the South, white people do not move out of neighborhoods when a black family or black families move in the neighborhood.

        Maybe it is because in the South, we were all Protestants with no communities Balkanized due to ethnicity. We were just blacks and whites. Not, Irish, Catholics, Italians, Poles, Jews.etc. as with say NJ. I don’t know. But, these ethnic whites were some of the most bigoted folks I have ever met.

        When I came to Washington DC, I lived on campus. I was truly shocked when white students told me they had NEVER talked to a black person. Or there was only two black families in their neighborhood.

        Fast forward to grad school in New Jersey. OMG. Talk about bigots and prejudice.

        So, yes. You are correct in that when you are outside the South, whites primarily have images of black people (largely negative) based on stereotype, media, etc. Most white men outside the south have rarely interacted with black men. As a black man, I get along with southern white males a lot better than other white men. Most white men have fear and envy (penis) when it comes to black men. It is weird and schizophrenic. But I do have several close white male friends, including my 87 yr old very lucid finance professor.

        • @Jules Thank you for sharing (although you didn’t intend to respond.) I live in Chicago, which is documented as one of the most segregated cities in Chicago. As a kid and teen, I lived on the south side where seeing a white person in my neighborhood meant they were without a shadow of a doubt lost. However, as an adult, I went to two undergrad universities and grad school and had three college white roommates (and a neighbor who may as well have been my fourth roommate). None were from the South. Some went to high schools with black people while others didn’t. I could definitely tell a white female who had been around black people versus one who hadn’t (and then there was the other group who’d watched entirely too much BET). But some of the girls I met, none of which were from the south and were mainly from the East Coast and Midwest, were really bright and fun and we got along. For whatever reason, I had entirely too many problems with people from Grand Rapids, MI. (I don’t know what is going on in that city, but that’s the BET crowd I mentioned previously.) I also dealt with incredibly bigoted and prejudiced people because I was in Marquette, MI (a land all its own) before I transferred to a different school. However, what I learned from the university I originally attended was that a lot of the people didn’t even realize how racist they were because they’d never had the opportunity or experience to be around someone unlike themselves. Even the BET crowd I mentioned had to kinda calm it down around me because I refused to just allow them to talk to me the way they talked to other black women AND men.

          However, when I came back to Chicago and moved on the north side (and hung out quite a bit in Hyde Park on the south side), these are both neighborhoods where it’s common to live with different cultures/races. When I walk to my mailbox, I’ll see Asian people, African-American people, African people, white people, Mexican people, etc. etc. I say that to say I agree with you but in a different way. I do not agree that it’s a southern versus northern thing. I believe it’s a non-segregated neighborhood thing.

          I NEVER had any problems with race issues with a couple of my roommates who had African-American friends and were used to being around black people. It was the roommates (and roommates’ friends) who had never been around black people before who were forever saying something offensive. But I came back to Chicago, one of the most segregated cities in America, and did not have that same problem. Hell, the high school I went to was diverse (mainly white, Latino and black) and I never had these race issues. It wasn’t until I got to college and met a whole new crew of people who had only seen black people on television that made me realize “My gawd, we’ve got a long way to go.”

          So I tend to take issue with gentrification because I think it does us all a disservice. If you’re on YOUR land and I’m on MY land and we never meet in the middle, how in the world do we ever learn about each other? (Off topic: This is the reason I’m fond of visiting sites for men. I’ll check out a Men’s Health magazine or this site as quickly as I’ll read Essence magazine or Women’s Health. You cannot learn about other groups/cultures/races if you never take the time to hear them out [unless it’s a bunch of nonsense]).

    • This is something that has been weighing on my mind for a while. It seems that today when it comes to people being fearful of others based on some category (like race and gender) it looks like the responsibility for dispelling those fears shifts not depending on whether those fears are justified or not. No the responsibility shifts depending on what group(s) said person is fearful of.

      And it seems like personal experience is not even a part of the equation unless the group(s) they are fearful of is designated as a group that one can safely and openly hate on.

    • bilqis reed says:

      Robert Reece. You need to come on over to macklessonsradio.com and let Tariq Nasheed put you up on some REAL game.. because this isn’t it.. I don’t even know where to begin…

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