I don’t feel like writing this piece. It might attract haters. I’m going to do it anyway.
Law enforcement officers who kill black males when it wasn’t necessary and law enforcement officers who use their authority to have non-consensual sexual activities with black women (and men) are men. There I’ve said it. Let the haters have their way with me and let me defend myself.
No, I don’t hate men. No, I don’t hate cops. No, I am not primarily a guilty white male ashamed by the unkind of his kind. How can we talk about the obvious here without you getting offended?
I consider myself to be someone who sees all men as being brothers. Some men make it easier to feel brotherly love towards them than others.
At this point, I think it is best to warn the reader that I am about to describe something awful that happened to a young child. If reading about horrible things that happen to young children is something you can’t take, DON’T READ ANY FURTHER. If you can stomach such things, read on:
As a social worker, I once was doing an assessment interview to help a couple whose preschool-aged child was experiencing some mild delays in his speech development. I was pleased the child’s father had come to the interview with the child’s mother. This was rare in my experience. Although both parents were always invited, I usually had mothers show up to the first interview alone. Fathers were often too busy working, or playing, or just trusting their wives to do the talking about concerns relevant to their child’s growth and development.
Fortunately, this child’s speech difficulties were mild. Unfortunately, his baby brother’s problems were much more severe. I never saw the brother. His parents didn’t mention that he had been in a lot of pain. The initial culprit was believed to be intestinal gas. Until the radiologists interpretation of the x-ray images had been made available, no one would ever have imagined that this baby’s father had been feeding the baby straight pins. But he had been. He had even made a game out of it.
I learned about this situation in the local newspaper two days after meeting with this man, who was interested in his children enough to attend a first interview with me along with his wife.
There might have been some signs this guy had attended the interview to make sure his wife didn’t tell me what was going on in that home. If so, I missed them. He seemed like such a nice fellow.
I think it is true to say everything you can imagine being done to abuse children has been done and many things you can’t imagine have also been done. I’d never imagined this one.
Although this happened over 30 years ago, I still have trouble thinking of this man as my brother, but I do. I hope he received good psychiatric care and the space that kept him securely away from children was sanitary. I hope what is sometimes done to individuals who are imprisoned for such crimes by other inmates, wasn’t done to him. If it was, I disagree that abusing child abusers of any kind is the way to go, but if the man was abused, he was abused by my brothers.
Now I picked this example not to shock and abhor you, and not to just piss you off, but because this is an example of an easy man to hate. How can we come to better understand such a mind to help find better ways to prevent minds from getting like that? How can we really understand if, we don’t balance our capacity for hate for what he did, with compassion for why he did it?
By now, you may be very annoyed I have said nothing yet about murdering and rapist cops. I understand. So, let me get on with it.
If you have read thus far, I think there is hope that you will hear me out as to why I think Evolutionary Theory is the best way to understand murder by law enforcement that ends black lives and rape by law enforcement that traumatizes black lives.
For those of you who don’t believe in Evolutionary Theory, don’t waste your time reading further. If you believe Evolutionary Theory can be misused to justify injustice, I agree with you. If you believe Evolutionary Theory can inform us as to why repeatedly telling people to love each other and just get along, isn’t enough to stop the murder and rape, I am very much with you.
It would be great if the problem of certain law enforcement officers murdering and raping was merely the lack of education, as to why it is not nice to use your office to murder or rape. If this was the case, a little more education could go a long way. Evolutionary Theory suggests it won’t. A little education will not be enough.
It would be great if these problems were the result of a few bad apple men and us good men could simply prosecute the rot away.
Evolutionary Theory suggests men forming coalitions to control resources to have access to female wombs is a very effective way for men to get their genes passed along to the next generation. Getting passed along is what genes want most.
Examples of modern day coalitions founded by men to compete with other men, to control resources include street gangs, organized crime rings, Nation states, corporations, labor unions, and political parties. I don’t believe all of these are bad or that none of them include influential women, only that they are based on male genes doing their thing.
Another primitive example involves a tribe of of men attacking another tribe of men, killing most of them, enslaving the rest and raping “their women.” The offspring of raped women, not only pass on the genes of conquering men, they also provide a source of more slaves. The tribe grows in numbers, making it easier to conquer the next tribe encountered. This is not the way modern man conducts business, but it is not far off because genes use memes, (culturally transmitted ideas) through a process known as epigenetics to keep their transmission balls rolling.
Now men don’t like to spend resources on taking care of another man’s genes. This may be why men feel concerned about babies who are off color to their perception. This strategy for male genetic transmission involves knowing which lives matter a lot and which not so much. It involves getting power to access female wombs.
Law enforcement officers who murder black men or rape black women are just doing what comes naturally. Hate for the other is taught and molded, yes. However, the male clay forming the vessel of xenophobia is preformed in that direction even before the teachers of fear and hatred arrive.
My guess is when it comes to law enforcement, officers murdering black men reflect shades of Black Lives Matters. The blacker a man is, the more likely he is to become a target, is the hypothesis here.
Since many men are notorious for possessing the capacity to feel sexually interested in anything they can rub their penis on, shades of black probably doesn’t mean as much when it comes to rape by law enforcement, and the same applies to murder. With rape, the action is more about power, including the power of a victim believing that the consequences of accusing a cop of rape won’t be good.
So, what is the Evolutionary Theory’s answer as what to do about these problems men cause? It is that civilized society needs to put many more resources into inhibiting the aforementioned mode of male gene transmission. Society needs to put many more resources into fostering the other mode of male genetic transmission.
The other form refers to a man working with other men to increase the chances their offspring will live long enough to reproduce. That includes fostering devotion to women as potential mothers. Such devotion reduces the chances that a man’s woman will be off risking being seeded with some other man’s genes. Such devotion helps form a stable pair bond which is great for protecting and nurturing children.
Men so much enjoy being in love with the mother of their child. Men so much enjoy loving their offspring. Men so much love helping each other—no matter their color. It feels a whole lot better than murder and raping.
Do most men murder? Do most men rape? Do most law enforcement officers use their office to do either by accident or deliberately? No, no and no. Are most law enforcement murders and rapes perpetrated by men? Yes.
This answer raises the question, am I my brother’s keeper or do I keep away from any knowledge that the sinful seeds from which murder and rape can grow, can find fertile soil in my being a man as well?
As a man, do I have perspectives on male violence that people without a Y chromosome may lack? Do I have different perspectives on what to do about it?
It feels to me like I and my brothers do.
One perspective is that not enough resources are being allocated to raising boys well. Growing boys can be fed by loving pair bonds or through toxic ones. They can be fed the capacity for fostering compassion or they can be fed the straight pins of abuse and neglect.
Sometimes, men need to be violent to protect those they love. Sometimes, men need to be violent to make it safe for lovers. When there is the need for such protection, it is usually men who provide it. Most soldiers are men. Mainly because women have been historically excluded from their ranks. This goes for law enforcement as well.
I am afraid to write about these complex issues in such a short article. I don’t want single parent mothers, gay couples who are excellent parents, female soldiers and police officers and staff to get the wrong ideas about my opinions.
I am afraid to write about such complex issues in a short “click bait” post. After all, there are so many other things to write about.
Bad men help me look better at first glance. I am a non-violent, non-racist, non-sexist man. I want non-violent, non-racist, non-sexist people to like me.
If I write that I am the company I keep and I stand in the company of all my brothers, how do you like me now?
If I am writing something critical about some of the bad things some men do, a whole lot more than women do, I am not writing about anything alien to the shore I call home. This is the way it is whether I like it or not.
I have written plenty for many women to not like if they don’t understand what I am trying to say. Please know, that when I write a “man’s woman,’” I am talking caveman talk. When I write of men doing bad things naturally, it is not to say that social evolution is hopeless in preventing good men from acting badly. It is to argue the emerging social revolution of the empowerment of women is mankind’s best hope of keeping the violence that rests in the genes of men from waking up at the wrong time.
Women can help men be better fathers. Women can help men do a better job in supporting their brothers with the challenges of nurturing children. Well-nurtured children are less prone to violence.
Men can keep striving to empower women for the betterment of us all. We can do this as brothers to each other.
In modern times, the transmission of male non-violent memes are vastly more important than the transmission of male genes. I hope that my male genes capable of violence just contribute to the memes of peace and social justice for all.
It feels good to be able to write for a coalition of men and women known as The Good Men Project, a coalition which is pro-feminist, anti-racist and anti-xenophobic, in general. At goodmenproject.com you can find all sorts of men in conversation regarding what to do with problems that are mostly male. This includes an openness for the expression of opinions by men who cherish masculinity and who also refuse to claim exemption from all responsibility for the sins of their brothers.
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Photo credit: Getty Images