For The Love Of Black Men

“Black men may be hated, feared, admired, or made the object of sexual fantasy, but they are rarely loved – either by others or by themselves…Sadly, the real truth, which is a taboo to speak, is that this is a culture that does not love black males, that they are not loved by white men, white women, black women, or girls and boys. And that especially most black men do not love themselves. How could they, how could they be expected to love surrounded by so much envy, desire, hate? Black males in the culture of imperialist white-supremacist capitalist partriarchy are feared but not loved.”

bell hooks

I’ve been reading hooks’ “We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity.” It is eye opening and it rings true. We have bought our objectification as men and so has everyone else. Nobody loves us AND we don’t love ourselves.

People want our bodies or style, want us to be the groom on the cake, but they don’t want the REAL us, don’t want a REAL relationship which requires openness/listening/hearing/sensitivity/feeling/seeing/being heard, being experienced, being butterball nekkid before your beloved. Who’s willing to commit to that? None of us, it seems. Most of us want an ideal, an illusion, want to be captivated, carried away, catered to, babied, blindfolded. Marriage becomes the end of the journey, the casket with a bow, not the beginning of an incredibly complex, one-day-at-time journey into the heart of the self and your partner.

This behaviour, of course, is programmed. But when it comes down to it, we all have to feel the feelings to escape the digital chip implanted in our backsides, sidle up to the taboo emotions that we suppress as a matter of course. If we don’t, we will continue to confront people with our facades rather than our ‘face of vulnerability.’ Few today keep it real, least of all us. We can be mean, tart, hard – but can we be vulnerable, sensitive, open?

We want, desire, crave desperately a relationship – but is the partner simply a silhouette, a black stick figure that we project our hopes, fears and dreams on?

Black people must be willing to heal in order to survive. Healing is dealing, dealing with the shadow, the racist toe-jam that must be plucked one lint piece at at time. We cannot continue to wear our daishiki-tudes and cover up the fetal-posed child within us – it’s destroying us individually and collectively. We have to go towards the inner pain, reach it, grasp it, hold it, love it. If we ain’t lovin’ that, we ain’t lovin’ anything else. Or getting loved, you can believe that.

It takes an honest soul to allow themselves to go there. Are you now or have you ever gone THERE?

As I’ve read this book, I’ve paid attention to how I approach other men.  I harden myself, ‘mean mug,’ give a look of toughess, invulnerability.  I present another face to women – is it real?

24 Responses to “For The Love Of Black Men”

  1. Free slave good post I dont agree with all of the poor black man no one loves us stuff. Simply because I have seen too many black mothers of murdured sons or brothers destroyed by the murder of thier loved ones to by into the No one loves black men sentiments expressed in part of this post.

    Also we cant expect folks to love and respect us more than we are willing to love ourselves. I learned this back in elementary school, no matter how nice I was naturally I absolutely didnt get any respect until I started to stand up for myself and stop tolerating over the top treatment from other kids.

    The fact that black men are murdering each other 6 times the rate as white men clearly shows that we do not love or respect each other as much as we should. Otherwise it wouldnt be so easy to kill another black man nor would it be so easy to sell crack (poison) to other black folks who are always the sons of other black men.

    The drug and culture of violence that is a reality for way too many black people ( so eloquently glorified in some hip hop music) is self hatred personified in my oppinion.

    Also human biengs who demonstrate the least ability and/or willingness to live harmoniously within thier environment will never be respected fully by those in thier environment who do live orderly and lawful lives. Nor will they be respected by people outside of thier community.

    From my own observation it is more than obvious that black men have less respect for the communities they live in than others who live in those same communities. Thier are many negative and destructive incidents I have had with other brothers going about my daily business were I live in Washington DC. I have never had any of those incidents with white people.

    So the article was good but I strongly disagree with the woe is me no one loves black men sentiment I think thats an insult to the 48% percent of black women raising children on thier own with no help from the black father.

    The only way your sentiment of no one loving black men makes sense to me is if you are speaking metaphorically. Then I can understand this sentiment a little better because black men have been marginilized and black men (starting when the were boys) have been left to thier own devices.

    Lastly we (black men) do need to heal ourselves because as men we given and taught a bogus and retarded deffinition of what manhood is. Because black men compared to all others spend so little time developing ourselves it is hard for many of us to function in everday societies.

    As men I believe the healing needs to start within our families, then our communities, countries and then the world. We need to develop a kinder and more sympathetic world in which black men develop in.

    All of these black men sizing each other up constantly and giving each other the evil eye for no reason must stop. Were I live thier are some black men you cant even say goodmorning or evening to without getting a dirty look. WE must create a kinder more nurturing world for black people(black men in particular).

  2. What part of the Black Man’s exclusively particular and unique experience in America has put us in any position to be anything other than raving lunatics?

    Feel free to point to the numerous examples to the contrary as if the exception disproves the norm.

  3. Our pathology didn’t come out of thin air. I think what hooks is saying is that we ARE responsible for changing our internal problems period.

    And in terms of love, nobody asserts that ‘literally no one loves us’ black men. Methaphorically, though there is tons of truth in this. AND, there are A LOT of people who claim to love us who most definitely don’t love us. And some of them ARE us.

    Many if not most of us, don’t even know what love is.

  4. @ exodus

    ” What part of the Black Man’s exclusively particular and unique experience in America has put us in any position to be anything other than raving lunatics? ”

    mark bey: Exodus my brotha this statement would never fly with pass warrior like Frederick Douglass or Ida B. Wells who suffured from white supremacy in ways you nor I could ever truly understand.

    Even the nation of Islam has demanded that black people take responsibilities and do for ourselves to make life better, which means our behavior will have to change.

    The sad realities that you claim are all the fault of the system/the man/white supremacy will never change unless black people change it. Which means the killing, hatred of each other and all of the other nonsense holding us back are things we will have to stop if we want to have decent lives for ourselves and families.

    Also your assertion that things are not dramatically better for black folk in my oppinion is an insult to Ida b. Wells, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evars and thousands of other black folks hundreds of who struggled and were murdured for trying to create a better world for you, me and all other black americans.

    And nothing you said changes the fact that we black people are going to have to change our behavior from what it is now otherwise we will continue to be at the bottom in all of the quality of life indicators. We will have to change our behavior to bring about this Revolution I have been hearing folks talk about around here.

    Identifying the system as the 100% total reason for the problems of black america will do absolutely nothing to change black america into what we want it to be. That will take a unparalled focus by black people on education, thought, learning and debate amongst other things.

    I dont buy your argument that all or even most of our problems are because of white supremacy, but even if I did buy that argument, that argument alone will do nothing to change our current reality. That argument alone will not prevent a single young black man from killing another man.

    That will take change amongst the black america population.

  5. @ Freeslave

    ” Methaphorically, though there is tons of truth in this. AND, there are A LOT of people who claim to love us who most definitely don’t love us. And some of them ARE us.

    Many if not most of us, don’t even know what love is.”

    mark bey: I agree with this and surely this has been the case for a long time. My question is and always will be what exactly do we do to turn this outrageous reality we (black folk) are currently living through.

    What steps do we take to change these things.

    Yo Free I want to let you know that I mean no harm to you or anyone else here by bieng what might appear to be contrary, my objective is to come up with ideas and solutions to get us out of this mess we are in.:)

  6. Nice post Lubangakene!

    I’m feeling you on this one Mark.

    Asa

  7. No offense taken here mark. i come here to bounce my crazy ideas off sane Black folks before I take them into the streets.

    It never ceases to amaze me that people like myself, who point to the overwhelming effects of the white supremacist dynamic and particularly the manifestations of that dynamic against Blacks in America as being the root cause of current dysfunctional behavior patterns, are attacked as apologists for Black people’s own failings and accused of ignoring Blacks continuing contribution to their own downfall. Generally nothing could be further from the truth. I have never heard an intelligent analysis of white supremacy’s affect on the Black community without a concurrent call for Blacks to elevate themselves in spite of the forces arrayed against us. This call for self-help must be accompanied by an understanding of the white supremacy dynamic that many don’t even realize exists and others, vehemently decry. Pretending that blacks undo white supremacy, a system that we didn’t create and do not control, simply by being better people flies in the face of history and logic.

    I think the quote from bell hooks is valid and very pertinent, not as an apology for the dysfunctional things we continue to do to ourselves, but as a constant reminder that despite the fact that MOST of us have done our level best to become the absolute best people this society could ask for, we are still little better than third world refugees to this country (see Hurricane Katrina, unless of course you believe that those shiftless Negroes should have let when they were told to, or at least got off their asses and helped themselves once the trouble started.) Your argument seems to say the we are our own worst enemies, when in fact the super majority of us are model citizens and do everything in our power to play their game by their rules. We do this, largely with minimal success and certainly without any discernible elevation of the Black collective, in spite of the fact that we are still, fighting many of the same battles that were supposedly won in the Civil rights era.

    The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. The beneficiaries of the white supremacy dynamic don’t have to hate us. We have been oppressed and subjugated to the point where indifference to our plight (see benign neglect, an official U.S. government policy that has never been repudiated) contributes to our demise as surely as the overt aggression of the nightriders of old. If we are similarly indifferent and neglect to understand the true root causes of the majority of dysfunction that affects our communities, we too contribute to our demise. Maybe not as high-profile as a drive-by, but much more insidious because white supremacy thrives on our ignorance of it’s scope and nature, and like the hydra of legend grows tow more heads for every one we chop off.

  8. Exodus, couldn’t agree muthafuckin’ more with you! There is that ole implication – even by us – that blames us for our condition. Now, I could agree with those folk who make those arguments, if racism/white supremacy was over and we were just yankin’ on our dicks. But we are assaulted in ways that Frederick Douglass and Ida B. Wells couldn’t even conceive of; yet, there painful existence is used to discredit ours.

    Slavery ain’t over – just ask the brothers on the yard in the pen. Read the 13th amendment of the Constitution which DOESN’T end slavery, but actually moves it to the jailhouse. Millions of us are on lockdown; millions of us are dying of HIV, millions of us have been hooked on crack, etc, etc.

    Its amazing how we can beat each other over the head with the misery of our forefathers. As if right now ain’t the most fucked up its ever been.

    Mark says he doesn’t believe that racism/white supremacy is the problem. What is the Native American’s problem? Its the same problem as ours. If we hadn’t been kidnapped and brought here, what would we be like – shooting each other on the corner in Accra? The foundation of this society is R/WS – that’s had it began and it ain’t never stopped, whether you believe me or not.

    That being said we do have the power within. And it is this power that we MUST tap. We have to vision our future, vision organizing our communities to do for self, vision how we deal positively with R/WS. And turn those visions into reality.

    Sounds like a job for the AfroSpear.

  9. @ Exodus

    mark bey: Exodus I do think black people are thier own worse enemies, I dont buy the racism argument bieng the reason why but even if it is racism that is behind every last one of our problems. That still dosent change the fact that either black folk change our behavior or we continue to suffer what it is were going through. Besides in order to destroy the white supremacist system you is responsible we need brothas thinking and learning how destroy this system instead of bieng locked up or in the cemetaries. When all hands on deck and our current reality is throwing hands off deck.

    The intellectual warriors you need to destroy white supremacy are bieng killed at early or incarcerated due to behavior we have the to change.

    This glorying of destructive behavior in too much of hip hop is basically glorying the plague that is assailing black america. Too much of hip hop gloryfies behavior that brings so many black people so much pain and suffering. That aint cool brother , they need to change the content and message of thier music.

    Lastly you are an apologist for negative hip hop or at least that how it appears to me. Also when you imply that we dont have it better know that in the past is wrong its insult to those folks who had to died to give us rights we didnt have before.

  10. ” But we are assaulted in ways that Frederick Douglass and Ida B. Wells couldn’t even conceive of; yet, there painful existence is used to discredit ours. ”

    mark bey: Maybe we are assaulted in ways they werent but we also have access to resources and technology and funding they did didnt have. Also how does my statement discredit our existence and it is a fact that black now enjoy freedoms we didnt have before. Im not arguing that thiers full equality but I am saying that even we (black folks) stand on the shoulders of those who came before. Also we bennifit from the battles one by our ancestors thats fact.

    ” Slavery ain’t over – just ask the brothers on the yard in the pen.”

    mark bey: A lot of brothas are in the pen for selling crack to black people. This includes a lot of brothas who live on my block. Which by the way is part of the reason why I am saying that hip hop needs to reform itself. It shouldnt be gloryfieng selling crack which is responsible for so many brothas bieng in the pen or underneath slavery as you call it.

    ” Millions of us are on lockdown; millions of us are dying of HIV, millions of us have been hooked on crack, etc, etc.”

    mark bey: Millions of us are locked up for criminal behavior committed against other black people which hip hop encorages and gloryfies by the way.

    Hiv is spread mainly through having sex with someone infected. Condom use (which the black church should endorse for all unmarried people having sex) will cut down the current rate of infection.
    Also please explain to me why you arent mad at the black for spreading fairytales about aids when the black american popultaion needed good thoughful advice and information about aids. Long after Magic Johnson and Authur Ashe came out about thier conditions. Also taking creative and decisive steps to better ourselves is the most effiecent answer to our problems.

    Lets say everything in your argument is 100% true, well then on a practical level the more of us who reform our behavior and intellect into something that is more progressive than now the more easier we will be able to fight the racism you claim is responsible for everyone last one of our dysfunctions.

    ” The foundation of this society is R/WS – that’s had it began and it ain’t never stopped, whether you believe me or not.”

    mark bey: Once again if everything that you say is true well then we need to be creating a process that will bring about reform in form of saving money and creating wealth, education, health for black folks. The more business blacks have the less of us working directly under the white supremacst system and a lot less of us in jail. Also if you truly want to defeat the system it will require development of powerful intectual talent to create business and to lead in all areas.

    Im not saying racism dosent exist, but I do believe that our worse enimy is us. You blame goverment all you want but the bottom line is in order for blacks to progress we will have to do a lot things we currently arent d0ing. We will also have to change some behaviors that arent working.

    Simply saying racism exist will not stop its affects. Simply saying racsims exist will not stop brothas from killing eacher in my hood ( where men are killed regularly). That will take the reform of black america. Fortunately we can start with one locale at a time. So how do we take the energy from Afrospear and turn that into programs and innitiatives that keep black men(and people) out of jail and how do we influence programs and innitiatives that lead to better lives for black folk.

    The reason I hark about personal responsibility is because whatever the system is doing we absolute do not help ourselves by not go after and trying to change criminal and destructive behavior. For example racism is bad but its even worse when your illeterate, poverty or sick. Also it is the only compenent that we have total control over.

    So my question is always what is the plan.

    I will say this I heard some Afrospear ideas that are excellent and powerful. Also strong debate will make whatever we do stronger in my oppinion.

  11. Excellent discussion. I agree with a lot of what each of you have stated and I see more unity of thought than disagreement. Allow me to share a couple of observations and add my “2 cents” to the discourse.

    I am not going to speak for Mark, but from the discussion I didn’t get the impression that he believes or said that “he doesn’t believe that racism/white supremacy is the problem.” I may be wrong, or it may be a matter of perception, but I re-read his comments a number of times and the feeling I got is that he doesn’t buy into the idea that ALL our problems as a community, can be laid at the feet of racism/white supremacy. His focus, which I sympatize with, is that the fight against r/ws needs to start with “us” individually and also specifically how we engage with each other as African/Black people. I don’t see this belief as blaming the victims for their plight. I see it as preparing yourself mentally, physically, spiritually to engage in this battle with r/ws. I see it also as not givng the proponents of r/ws any more reasons and/or excuses to justify their actions. What bothered me most about the Imus incident, is that he made a statement “trying” to justify what he said, on what he has heard others in the Black community say to and about each other. Now we can ALL agree that this is a lame excuse, BUT the fact remains that some within our community provided him with the avenue for that excuse, and they need to be taken to task for it. I agree wholeheartedly (or to coin a phrase: “couldn’t agree muthafuckin’ more”) with Mark’s assertion: “Also we can’t expect folks to love and respect us more than we are willing to love ourselves.” Neither is this belief an “attack” on “apologists”- those who may not see it this way.

    Another observation is the idea of comparing struggles and/or oppressions. We need to be careful, because I see this as a way that r/ws justifies, perpetuates, minimizes and denies any responsibilities for their actions. I can’t fathom living in a time when I would be physically whipped from “can’t see sun up to can’t see sundown”. I can’t fathom the reality of not being able to sit where I want on a bus, or the fact that I could be lynched for the idea that I was looking at a white woman or for “talking back” to a white man. Yet although I agree that “we are assaulted in ways that Frederick Douglass and Ida B. Wells couldn’t even conceive of;”…. however we need to be mindful that our “assaults” are just continuations of the history of what they, and others before and after, have experienced… different times, different tactics, same results. So I ain’t feeling the statement: “As if right now ain’t the most fucked up its ever been.”

    Now for adding my “2 cents” to the discussion. Well why reinvent the wheel. Lubangakene said it best:

    “That being said we do have the power within. And it is this power that we MUST tap. We have to vision our future, vision organizing our communities to do for self, vision how we deal positively with R/WS. And turn those visions into reality. Sounds like a job for the AfroSpear.”

    Lubangakene when we meet, remind me that I owe you 2 cents…. lol!

  12. If you only knew how much I am not an apologist of negative hip-hop. I was a DJ for several years in an adult nightclub, so I have had more than my earful of bullshit rap. I got rid of cable in a useless attempt to curb the flow of negative images into my home. I don’t allow my children to listen to any music with offensive lyrics. I’ve got an 18-year old son who doesn’t listen to that type of music and a 9 year old who will turn it off for herself if she happens to hear it.

    I would bet that I would would take my assault on rap lyrics much farther than you would. You want to get rid of all the misogyny, the racists references to ourselves, the glorification of violence and the drug culture? I’m all for it. Let’s get rid of all the talk about bling-bling. That message about the value of a dollar is crippling us economically. Next rapper that talks about spinning rims gets his hip-hop card pulled. We should probably get them to stop talking about sex too. Too many teenage pregnancies, probably because rappers talk about sex all the time. Surely Sex and the City on Broadcast Television has absolutely nothing to do with it. (I’m only being partially flippant).

    My only point of contention with Mark and Asa is that I really believe we can only do so much to improve ourselves while we remain in the oppressive grasp of the R/WS dynamic. There is a small portion of the African American population that engages in criminal and anti-social behaviors, just like there is a small percentage of any racial or cultural group that will be criminals. Most poor Blacks are NOT criminals or deviants, even though most Blacks are poor, and one would think well within their rights to come up by any means necessary. Selling illegal substances to come up in this country is just acting out the history you should have learned in school. You think old money in white families came from legal enterprises? Ever read the history of prohibition.

    I could rant for days, and if you don’t like my position now, you’ll probably never get it. Like Asa said, we’ve got more in common than we do in dispute. I’ll make you a deal, I’ll sign on to your program, and you don’t even have to sign on to mine. When my program gets implemented, you can make your choice to get in then.

  13. To quote Odinga from “The Mack”: “We have to take care of both at the same time.”

    We have to understand that 10 or 20 rappers and 50 videos can do a world of damage – literally. The price that record companies pay them to destroy the image of black people is cheap. How do we teach broke-ass Negroes to not take the money??? We have to explicate the problem.

    A part of “CHANGING” people is illuminating what’s going on, what the processes are that lead people to choose self-hating, destructive behavior. You don’t change the behavior of folks by saying over and over again: “you are at fault/you are harming us” though that may be true. In part.

    Contextualizing issues like hip hop profanity and the demeaning of black women is crucial to changing behavior.

    Clearly, black hip hop artists must stop taking dollars to assasinate the character of black people. But, explaining that the people who run these companies are white, many of them are Jewish (according to Chuck D.) and they don’t give a damn about the damage this crap does to us. But if these artists spoke about Jews in the same manner that they speak about black women – how long would their contracts last? (Ask Michael Ray Richardson)

    Every move that we takes place within a racist/white supremacist context which exerts overt and covert control over the movement, choices and even thinking of our people. One reason AfroSpear is necessary is we have to counter this indoctrination. We are victims of racism, not the creators and maintainers of it. It plays into the hands of the enemy when we blame the victim. We are RESPONSIBLE for changing our condition; but we are not responsible for the existence of our condition, our learning to hate ourselves and each other and acting that shit out.

    That conservative “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” lingo has limited value unless you present the full picture. Its not an either/or: either we focus on racism/white supremacy or we man up and do it ourselves. No, we do both; we identify the way R/WS operates so that we don’t immediately fall into another trap and we keep examining ourselves, healing from the poison that has been injected into us and act to strengthen our bonds.

  14. EM… let’s be clear…. we have had this discussion on this topic here and over at my own page and I honestly have never had the impression, nor stated that you were an “apologist” for bad behaviour or negative hip hop. You were the one who brought up the issue of being “attacked” for being an “apologist”, which surprised me, but I am not aware of all the dynamics of all the conversations you have had with others.

    Second, like you I really do believe that we can only do so much to improve ourselves while we remain in the oppressive grasp of the r/ws dynamic. So actually, this is not a point of contention between us. However, again to be clear, as an example of where I’m coming from, while we deal with the issues of r/ws, the poverty, lack of quality education, lack of adequate health care, substandard housing, negative media images, police brutality, injustice, the industrialization of the prison system, the war (or crusade) on drugs, poverty and crime, which are wars primarily against those of African descent…. maybe I’m wrong, maybe I don’t have the depth or subtlety of understanding I should have, maybe I’m “out of line”…. BUT I don’t think it’s too much to ask the rappers…. the hip hop artists…. to STOP calling our mothers, sisters, wifes, aunts and daughters: “Bitches and Hoes” and to STOP glorifying the killing of other Black males. I believe this is something we CAN do to improve ourselves while we struggle against these issues. That’s my program.

    Asabagna

  15. Yo Asa/EM/Mark: I think we’re all on the same page. None of us like rappers running folks down US. The issue I have is blaming the victim. Racism/white supremacy dictates how we act, they create the context within which we operate. Accusing rappers of creating the context within whice they operate is what I object to. They are pawns, highly paid, ignorant pawns, but pawns just the same. I say, explain to them how they are being used, boycott their asses, expose the corporations and people who pimp them – who are all white – and keep taking the money out of the game. If they don’t make money, they ain’t gonna do it. So we organize our people to stop saying that crazy shit/and organize people to stop buying it. Then, it’ll just be the frat boys in the burbs buying it. We gotta work on the imagemakers because it is the images AND the music that are programming our youth to seek the gangster life.

    PS The other thing that I think Mark ignores is that jobs have been scientifically removed from our communities and other poor communities (with an accompanying cut in student loans, minority placement in schools), which has had the tendency to drive kids of color into the military, the service industry and, more significantly, prison. This is not an accident and this was not caused by Jay-Z or Dr. Dre.

    We need to tell the full story.

  16. ” I don’t allow my children to listen to any music with offensive lyrics. I’ve got an 18-year old son who doesn’t listen to that type of music and a 9 year old who will turn it off for herself if she happens to hear it.”

    Mark bey: If you dont allow your children to indulge then why cant you just say up front that these guys need to change thier content and message. 67% of all children with hiv are black and you still cannot bring yourself to say upfront that these overtly sexual messages are destructive. Its clear to me that blaming/addressing insults and what you percieve as dangers from the system is more important than clearing all or most black neigborhoods of dangers that are putting so many young black men in coffins. This I cannot uderstand Im not saying that the system dosent threaten us, but I am saying that having all these guys in my hood smoking joints in front of kids and acting like they want to rob people is causticly destructive. These negative and destructive behaviors must be modify because they increase the affects of the racism of america or white supremacy. Its bad enough for a black family in america, but if you through the husband in jail lfor selling crack to black people it well be even harder on the entire family. Hell exodus thier are black people in Washington DC who I know who are warriors against white supremacy who have lost sons to this sensless violence. Too much hip hop advocates and gloryfies behaviors and actions resulting in the deaths of thousands of black men. Hundreds of those black men would have gone on to struggle actively and aggressively against white supremacy.

    ” I would bet that I would would take my assault on rap lyrics much farther than you would. You want to get rid of all the misogyny, the racists references to ourselves, the glorification of violence and the drug culture? I’m all for it. Let’s get rid of all the talk about bling-bling. That message about the value of a dollar is crippling us economically. Next rapper that talks about spinning rims gets his hip-hop card pulled. We should probably get them to stop talking about sex too. ”

    mark bey: In light of the aids situation we deffinately should get them to change thier language and presentation of sex. For example if your gonna talk about sex then you should also be talking about condom if the artist isnt married. It is the only thing along with staying with one partner that well drastically cut the infection rate of aids.

    And while where on aids how come you arent focusing more of your attention on getting the black church to grow up and act responsible on the aids matter. The church has promoted the fairytale that aids is a curse against gay folk long after the goverment and activist have been calling for responsible social behavior on the part of all america citizens. Long after Magic Johnson and Authur Ashe first admitted that they contracted aids for reasons other than homosexual activities.
    Yet the church gets to stoke the fans of prejudice against gays by lying and claiming that aids is a curse againt gays by god.

    This is an abuse of a holy document that says ” remove the plank from your own eye before you complain about the splinter in another mans eyes. No where in the bible does it say that god will curse gays for bieng homosexuals so basically the church has been lying on that matter at the expense of the health of black america. They have been lying on gays when black america was infecting itself through unsafe behavior. Now you have all this rage at the white supremast system but you say nothing about the church making up fairytales about aids at the expense of black america and black world population. I find this to be ironic. It seems to me if we really are interested in helping our people one of the first things we would do is to build a vehicle through which we can publicly hold all our leadership accountable for thier actions, words and results.

    Every black church needs to become a center of healing, love and intellectual development, every black church should be equipted to test for hiv and to treat those infected. They already have the capacity. Why the hell dont they do it? And why arent you enraged over thier failure to lead and tell the truth on the life or death issue of aids.

    ” My only point of contention with Mark and Asa is that I really believe we can only do so much to improve ourselves while we remain in the oppressive grasp of the R/WS dynamic.”

    Mark bey: To me this is not a healthy attitude to have. What if black folks like Ida b. Wells, Walter White and others had felt that way, would they have gone into all those hick towns in the south to investigate the lynchings of black folk. .Because such people risked thier lives to investigate these crimes asssisted by state and federal goverment agencies we now have a rich and fascinating tale of lynching and mob violence against black americans available to us for study and to learn from.

    WE have a lot more resource including education with which to fight white supremacy than we did before. Also the effects of white supremacy are made worse by the behavior gloryfied in hip hop. It has become pretty clear to me from some of the things you have said that you have more antaginism towards the system than energy to talk about and create programs to change our personal behavior that makes the wickedness of the system worse and makes us less vulnerable as a group do fend off the ravages of white supremacy.

    I aint saying that racism dosent exist, but I am saying that today we have more resources available than Ida Wells or Walter or Dr. Martin Luther King for that matter. Dr. King didnt go around saying things like that the circumstances he grew up in where more urgent and dangerous to his immediate life and health. And what if Dubois, King, Ida Well, Malcolm X had had access not only to the dialogue available to you and me, but also the enormous amount of information we have access to. We have access to many stories of successful action taken by black people in this country to use as a guide and template for future and current battles. Our forefathers didnt have access to all of the neccessary resources we have and yet they still didnt reflect some of your more pessimistic attitudes.

    ” Selling illegal substances to come up in this country is just acting out the history you should have learned in school. You think old money in white families came from legal enterprises? Ever read the history of prohibition. ”

    Mark bey: Selling crack to black people is probably the single biggest reason for black men bieng in jail throughout america history, the #s are staggering. Addiction to crack has been a scourge in our communities. Whether or not old money in white families came from legal enterprises is not relevant to the black struggle or our advancement. The fact is this Crack has destroyed many families in black america, hundreds of thousands of black men are spending time in jail for selling crack. YOu are still trying to justify behavior that is leading to a murder rate 6 times as white people. If your focus is saving black folks then in my oppinion we should erradicate any threat to our people whether or not from white supremacy or from black on black crime.

  17. ” You don’t change the behavior of folks by saying over and over again: “you are at fault/you are harming us” though that may be true.

    mark bey: You also dont change behavior by bieng reluctant to address behaviors that nuture degradation and murder. Why is when ever we start talking about the things we can do to stop behavior that affects many of us negatively you guys roll into the fight the power rhetoric. The behavior that hip hop gloryfies is responsible for the deaths of a lot of people who would eventually go on to fight againt white supremacy. Some of these people you claim are victims are willing to rob my family members here in the distric. One of these people you call victims robbed my cousin and best friends mother right around the corner from her house. Anyone who would harm black women comming home from work to feed their kids must be stopped ” by any means neccessary”. Poverty may be an excuse for stealing but its no excuse for rape or murder. Saying that the system is responsible for all of our criminal behavior will not prevent 1 single murder. What will prevent murder in my oppinion are programs and innitiatives that focus on making our families stronger, working with young men to change behavior early and a massive effort to better education all of black america and raise the intellectual level of all black people.

    ” Clearly, black hip hop artists must stop taking dollars to assasinate the character of black people. But, explaining that the people who run these companies are white, many of them are Jewish (according to Chuck D.) and they don’t give a damn about the damage this crap does to us.”

    mark bey: Whether or not every non black person in the world hates us has nothing to do with us respecting ourselves. WE also need to change the market for some of the more destructive hip hop. Freeslave if we know folks are out to get us then why continue to allow this disgusting content and language to be gloryfied. Why not picket music companies and companies such as bet to make them change thier ways.

    WE SHOULD PULL AN IMUS ON THE RECORD COMPAINES AND BET.

    ” It plays into the hands of the enemy when we blame the victim. We are RESPONSIBLE for changing our condition; but we are not responsible for the existence of our condition, our learning to hate ourselves and each other and acting that shit out. ”

    mark bey: You call it blaming the victim I call it doing what we need to do to change negative and destructie behavior. Is spanking a child for doing something you tell not to do blaming the victim. No one is saying they cant make music or cream Im saying for the good of black america this hip hop artist need to change the content of their message.

    ” That conservative “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” lingo has limited value unless you present the full picture.

    Mark bey: No lingo here but the bottom line is this in order to achieve the things we want black people need to live in harmony with their environment and each other. IN order to make a living working you need to treat all human bieng with the utmost respect and courtesy. I aint saying that folks have got to do all by themselvves, that is why I am always talking about programs, mentoring and education development of the entire black world. It does not cost a penny to read to your kids each night before they go to sleep and before you start with that folks have got to work 2 jobs stuff I honestly believe that most people have enough time to at least began to work on and improve the things they need to. Also a lot of these same folks have time to go party and talk on the phone when they get hom. Thier must be parental reform all across black america lead by the church and are other social institutions. Freeslave most successful people work hard and a lot of those have got to studyl, read and learn to continue to be successful.

    EITHER WE CHANGE OUR BEHAVIOR OR WE FEEL THE EFFECTS OF WHITE SUPREMACY IN ITS WORSE POSIBLE FORM ALL OF THE TIME.

  18. ” PS The other thing that I think Mark ignores is that jobs have been scientifically removed from our communities and other poor communities ”

    Mark bey: I havent ignored this one bit, we have just been stuck on stupid over the past few days arguing what should be a moot point in my oppinion. Its obvious that some of the content and lyrics of hip hop is offensensive and glorfies death and destruction. Its obvious this needs to chage if we want to be able to fight white supremacy mor effectively. If you really feel that way well then should thier be a new and progressive self employment push going along with your message. Shouldnt black people sweat and bleed to learn effective business principle and practices in order to build widespread business growth for the black world population. You guys seem to be more concerned with the heated rhetoric of white supremacy than working to create programs that defend us from white supremacy, such as widespread community business development amongst all black churches, communities and school. It is clear to me that you and exodus spend a lot of time and energy engage at hurling anti-white supremacy rhetoric than brainstorming on programs we can take to the hood that will allow our people to protect themselves from that white supremacy. This has nothing to do with blaming the victim, but every to do with changing behavior that is killing us.

    I am not a fan america ( although I do enjoy my protected right to say what I want and believe is true), but bieng againgst the system is not enough we must be for black people to the point of where our focus is on creating programs that develop and hone leaders and leadership qualitities with in ourselves this include economic policies that will affect black americans positively. Either we change our behavior or white supremacy will wipe us out completely.

  19. Mark:

    Neely Fuller said that: “if you don’t understand racism/white supremacy, everything else will confuse you.” I think you’re confused.

  20. Supremely interesting topic.

    I’ll just add my portion if that’s okay:

    1) Freeslave said: ‘Nobody loves us AND we don’t love ourselves’ – I think general society doesn’t love the black man. Excuse this generalisation, but he suffers whether it is struggling to fight stereotypes of him being an athelete or a producer or him supposedly being a bad father. I think the ridiculous separation between black women too and black men, in addition to the obsession with machismo has created a broken black man. I hope it changes for the future because I as a black girl and I am sure many of my sisters agree only want the best for the black man.

    2) Freeslave said ”Most of us want an ideal, an illusion, want to be captivated, carried away, catered to, babied, blindfolded.” – This is exactly what is stabbing the soul of black men! And I do think black girls are culprits to a great degree in relation to this point. For example, many black girls just want thugs or that man who is suave and smooth — all these illusions can be applied to the one you are referring to.

    -Love this discussion.
    –A

  21. Like Aulelia, I too am loving this discussion, I find it really interesting.

    y’all might wanna check out this book: From Black Power to Hip Hop by Patricia Hill Collins. She discusses the portrayal of black women in particular through hip hop music and how damaging it is.

  22. I was just passing through, and let me say that as a black man, I find it hard to find black men willing to love themselves. This is a culture built upon veneers and false appearances, and unless we change the ways that we see ourselves, then we will never get a chance to break down those stereotypes.

  23. It’s the truth of our reality. But does it have to always be that way? We’re the only one’s that can change it. But only if we really want to, are willing to work to. Are we willing to put a smile on, or a hand out for a stranger, a supposed “brother,” if we know it’ll be met by “who you looking at?” Some days we try, most days we don’t. Or, do we shift it, spin it and flip it, like our people have always found a way to do. After all that ingenuity and insight is a part of what makes us, us, too.

    http://www.whatwouldtyronedo.com

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