I adore Black men, as many Black women do. Black men have to deal with racism and injustice on a daily basis, yet many rise above it. I idolize men like Dr. Benjamin Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon, and John Keller, an unsung hero of Hurricane Katrina. I am not alone in my adoration of Black men. Most Black women love Black men and because we love them, we are loyal to them.
Some believe that Black women have no choice, but to be loyal to Black men because no other men desire us.
Black women are indelibly connected to Black men through our shared culture, struggle and history. If Black men are being profiled, brutalized by police or discriminated against, then it’s like our Black brother, our Black father, our Black son or our Black lover is being discriminated against. From the days of Ida Wells, who started the anti-lynching campaign, to the present day of Michelle Alexander, who advocates for an end mass incarceration of Black men, and the Black women who came out in mass to support the Jena Six, Black women have advocated for Black men because we care and we know that in order to survive, we must support each other.
Therefore, it is disheartening to see some Black men degrading Black women, while the majority of Black men do nothing. Racialized Sexism in the Black community is unacknowledged, yet it’s rampant, as evidenced by the Desiree Washington and Mike Tyson debacle. After being indicted for sexually harassing a Black waitress, Albert Haynesworth, who is a pro-football player, famously stated that the waitress was just jealous of his white girlfriend because he didn’t date Black women.
Black men date out more than twice the rate of Black women. There is nothing wrong with a Black man marrying a non-Black woman if the relationship is based on honest love. However, we live in a culture that assigns value based on skin tone. The whiter the woman, the more value she has in society. Consequently, Black women are portrayed as unattractive, masculine, immoral, emasculating and trashy.
Black men, in contrast, are portrayed as hyper-masculine, strong and athletic. These stereotypes harm Black men in the economic and political realm, but they are prized in the athletic and pop-culture realm. As a result, Black men are portrayed as trendy in the pop-culture sense, while Black women are not.
Some Black men go into interracial relationships because they’ve been indoctrinated with these stereotypes, because they’re ashamed of Black women’s low status or because of internalized hatred. I have yet to see a Black female equivalent of Tommy Sotomayor, SrgtWilliePete, Slim Thug or Albert Haynesworth. The closest that you can come to them is the BWE crowd, but even they have not stooped to the level of viciousness that men like Haynesworth or Sotomayor have exhibited. For this type of Black man, the love and loyalty that many Black women feel is not reciprocated.
The majority of Black men are not vicious like these characters, but more Black men need to speak against the Black men who mistreat Black women because at the end of the day, Black men and Black women DO need each other.
– Peanut, 2013.
Update (2015): While I respect and love the individual Black men in my life, my father, my brothers and other Black male friends who I care for, I no longer subscribe to the idea that any one race of man is automatically deserving of loyalty. I now believe that loyalty is earned and unrequited loyalty is unhealthy and ineffective. I empathize and understand the struggles with structural racism and I will continue to speak against such instances of structural racism whether the victim is a Black man or Black woman, or Black child, but I will do so because it is the right thing to do, not because of loyalty to any one particular group of men. I also believe that first and foremost, your personal health and safety should be a priority and if you are interacting with a man (or woman) of any race who exhibits behavior that is damaging to you, whether in a physical or emotional way, that person is not worthy of your loyalty. Therefore, my loyalty is to whoever is worthy of my loyalty, not to any one group of man in particular. Thank you.
- My views on relationships between black women and white men
- Other guest posts by Peanut: