Marie Roker-Jones loves black men. But the ones that appear to be angry all the time—well, she wants to know why.
Now wait. Before you say I am “selling you out”, I love black men. My husband is a black man, my father was a black man, my brother is a black man, and I’m raising two future black men. As much as I love black men and I will defend them passionately, I am losing patience with angry black men. Because of you, the stigma of “angry black man” looms over the head of most black men. You have created the blueprint by which black men are judged. Black men have to play it cool when they are expressing themselves in order to not be mistaken as you.
I’m not talking about the passion, frustration and natural anger that a black man expresses. I’m talking about the black men who seem to be only capable of striking with words because he presumes every one is against him.
I will not profess to understand what you experience on a daily basis. It must be difficult and painful to have to deal with stereotyping, fear and criticism. I empathize with your pain of having to prove to others that you are not dangerous or a threat to society. However, you need to be accountable for your behavior and how you influence the next generation of black men.
I am tired of seeing young black men with chips on their shoulders who are so ready to prove their manhood by being violent and disrespectful. I urge you angry black men to “be better, not bitter”. I know that this is easier said than done, but you are not the only one who deals with discrimination, ignorance, and disregard. By behaving the way you do, you are perpetuating the same stereotype that makes you angry.
You need to stop this vicious cycle of anger. You have to be conscious of how this anger permeates families and communities. This anger is destroying family values and is so steeped into your core that you lash out at strangers, family, friends of anyone you feel is “out to get you”. As a result, we have black boys who are displaying the same anger and frustration. It’s sad to see black boys that lack self-control and are disrespectful.
Stop blaming the “white man” for all your woes. There are other brothers out there who have faced the same challenges and adversity as you and are doing great things with their life. They are not letting anger control them. They understand that while racism and discrimination is still prevalent in our society, they choose to respond and not react to these situations.
Stop cursing people out for minor infractions. Stop sitting on the train grilling like you are waiting for someone to start with you. Stop trying to intimidate those you want to control because you lack self-control. Stop making excuses for what’s holding you back in life. There are people who have done more with their lives with less resources. Stop thinking black women are the enemy. If the black women you are encountering are bitter and resentful, move on. Don’t try to be in a relationship with them and bring children into your misery. Stop looking for a target for your anger. Most importantly, stop taking the low road, you are making it hard for the strong and emotionally healthy black men.
photo: maria gertsovskaya / flickr