7 Black Male Stigmas Addressed
In all fairness, let’s start off by saying we are not completely innocent all the time, like anyone else isn’t but if you are a black man then you know that every day that a black man leaves his home he is confronted with some kind of stigma by the end of the day. Even if it does not directly affect him he is often a witness to it on another black man. Some people would call it racism or profiling and while those descriptions fit well within the range of stigmas, the nail drives a bit deeper than that. These stigmas are not often interpreted on a singluar basis by the accuser, most of the time there is a cross reference from their limited experiences or last night’s news. While there are those who would love to place the blame head on direct to black men, there are other factors that contribute and in all fairness, we state them here today. For the most part media corporations are to blame for the mass perceptions of black men even though they would deny it vehemently. As you read more you will see. (Click “next” above or below for the next segment)
Black Men are Irresponsible
This is absolutely NOT an excuse. There are certainly some men from ALL races who are irresponsible but if you want to dig deeper into why black men are considered irresponsible, I invite you to check out the movie The Pruitt Igoe Myth on Netflix. This is an EXCELLENT explanation of not just what happened in St. Louis but in MANY major cities across the country. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted the Social Security Act 1935, which was amended in 1939, it was to established a number of programs designed to provide aid to various segments of the population. Unemployment compensation and AFDC. Housing was also developed mostly in the 50s and 60s to help aid the poor in getting on their feet. However, something else was going on. Black men could not find work after the great depression in 1929 and they were constantly rejected for employment opportunities decades later. To that end Welfare offices stepped in to “save” impoverished black families from the brink of starvation by granting the wife and her children subsidized housing (the projects) PROVIDED she got rid of her husband. You read right. The black man was not allowed to be a part of the family.
The Welfare department was so adamant about men not being in the home that they would send young college graduates to the home to look in the fridge, bedroom or any place else where there was evidence of a man. If the woman became pregnant again she was rewarded with more money from the welfare department making her even more dependent. Welfare, originally started for veterans returning from war to help them get back on their feet then became a crutch and a staple for the poor black community. Many black women who wanted more children refused to have them if they didn’t have a husband to avoid welfare but that was difficult. Abortion was not legal until 1973. Kids born in poverty were most likely to be impoverished themselves and not having a father in the home was something that was to be expected for poor blacks. Black men are very proud and it’s incredibly hard for many of us to admit that we are ashamed when we are. This is not about today, we’re talking about the 50s and 60s. If a man can’t find a job and is kicked out of his home what’s next? he lives with his mother or a woman who is childless, becomes an alcoholic or simply gives up. Not a lot of great options. The ratio of married black couples was much greater before “urban
destruction development” (projects working in concert with welfare) kicked in. Once again, this is not an excuse but our living environment as children shapes how we think as adults. How can we expect a father to be in the house if we never saw one and he was not allowed to be there?
Black Men are Criminals
As stated above when you rob someone of all hope and opportunity, where do they turn? This is certainly not to say the disproportionate amount of black men in jail today is accurate because most of them had horrific representation by lawyers fresh out of law school. Poverty is always the worst enemy of anyone facing criminal charges and there’s no telling how many black men would not be in prison if they had better representation and a better history with the criminal justice system. It goes without saying that if a child’s parent(s) or close family members have done time in prison there is a better chance that child will end up in the legal system someday as well. If the only person I look up to in the family is in and out of jail, that would probably seem normal to me as a kid. Unfortunately, many black men who are NOT criminals experience the stigma everyday. Like President Obama said, you hear doors lock when you walk past cars, white women (mostly older) hold their purses closer when you walk past them and then there are the white men who make sure his wife and children are in front of him when he sees a black man coming from behind. While nobody can blame a person for protecting their family it’s odd when you see a bunch of white people together and the kids are running around and playing away from the parents. This is not all white people’s faults, at least not the everyday white man or woman. Media corporations play a HUGE role in constantly instilling fear and negative subliminal messages in white people when it comes to black men. The focus is almost always on the negative and rarely the positive. This has only gotten better over the recent years because blogs and websites are giving the TV news media a run for the money and many adults under 30 don’t even watch TV they do everything online. This is why, if you ever tune into the local news, it’s now so sensationalized and over the top, you would think you’re watching TMZ. If a black man does have a criminal background with a federal charge his chances of turning his life around are damn near non-existent. He can’t live with anyone on public assistance, he most likely will have a VERY hard time finding work, he can’t vote and he will not qualify for several grants if he wants to go to college to get on his feet. Sounds like a success story doesn’t it?