Let’s Talk about Black Men, Colorism, Sex, & Toxic Masculinity — Bohemian Visions
This is an opinion piece based on external information already provided. This isn’t meant to put down or bash Black Men. It’s meant to place a mirror in front of the culture and examine some problematic issues that plague the Black Community. Before you start chiming in your own personal accounts to disprove this OpEd just read the entire article and realize it’s not about you the individual reading this. Just because you know someone who doesn’t exhibit these toxic traits doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Someone actually is feeling this way and in some form or another and agree. Some have experienced these things.
Instead of getting on the defense just read to understand there are a lot of women who feel this way. It’s all over social media with individual posts and controversial beef that’s made it to the mainstream news. It’s so woven into the culture many don’t even notice.
It’s been 57 years since the Supreme Court ruling Loving vs Virginia making interracial marriage legal. According to 2016, U.S Census Interracial Relationships increased from 11 to 13 percent in the last ten years. It’s projected to increase in the coming decades. Despite the increase in interracial relationships, many people in this country are triggered by seeing two strangers of different races involved romantically. Especially in rural southern towns.
Black Men tend to marry outside of their race more than Black Women. Where the issues lie is when Black Men bash and disrespect Black Women because of their own self-hatred and colorism. Despite being born from a Black Woman the disrespect is there. The same men who are disrespecting Black Women citing their skin shade are not their preference. They are the very men become pissed or triggered when they see the same women enter a relationship with a man outside of her race. Oh, the Hypocrisy is insane.
A perfect example of this type of double standard is when actress Jodie Turner-Smith, an actress from the movie Queen and Slim. Her character was in a relationship with a Black Man. The movie was a kind of Bonnie and Clyde type drama. (personally I didn’t see it but I heard the positive reviews) The problems didn’t start until she walked the red carpet with her husband Joshua Jackson, a White Man. OMG Black Men on social media was so triggered. The hate and disgusting comments on her social media had me floored. Men who didn’t even know who she was prior to the movie were calling her a Bed Wench. She didn’t even know what that was. For those who don’t know what a Bed Wench is here you go:
Bed wench (plural bed wenches) (historical) A low-status concubine, often a slave or captive. (African-American Vernacular, slang, derogatory, potentially offensive) A black woman who dates white people, often accused of seeking privileges.) “Wikipedia”
Despite the centuries-old deep-rooted issues regarding interracial relationships. For Black Men being with a white woman is seen as some sort of right of passage or status symbol. Now there are women who come for men seen with non-Black Women. For example, Michael B. Jordan was a subject of some backlash when he was seen partying in Italy. It was so bad he had to do an IG live and explain he is an equal opportunity lover. He loved all women regardless of race. Even though more black women are finding love outside of their race the disrespect from black men can be seen on various social media platforms.
Colorism is as American as racism. Not only do Black People have to navigate the United States’ institutional racism in every aspect of society but they also navigate colorism within the Black/African American culture. For the sake of context, this discussion will focus on colorism in the United States. International colorism will turn into a 250-page dissertation. Colorism is so engrained it’s in Hip Hop and Rap culture. Dark Skin women are often treated the worse by Black Men than lighter complexion Black Women. Yet Black Men will demand unwavering loyalty expecting Black Women to be that Ride or Die Chick. Expecting her to hold him down no matter what. It’s in the music lyrics of famous rappers and singers.
Referencing Jodie Turner again. She addressed the issue of colorism when Black Men were coming for her on social media. The very Black Men who were in her DMs calling her a Bed Wench are the same very men who would find her unattractive and unworthy of being a wife due to the color of her dark brown skin. She didn’t let the nasty comments slide. She isn’t the only dark-skinned celebrity to be attacked on social media by Black men. Tianna Taylor was referred to as looking like a rottweiler in the same sentence lusted after on Twitter. She even addressed the confusing reference
Oftentimes Dark and Brown Skin women are called all sorts of animal references yet their bodies have lusted after. I have personally heard Black men say they would fuck but would never marry a dark/brown skin woman. Men who claim it is just a preference don’t even realize the Eurocentric standard of beauty is ingrained in men just as much as women.
While Black Men would bash dark-skinned Black Women calling her every animal in the book, yet her body lusted. Young Black women of all shades have been victims of sexual assault long before she hits puberty. For most young women their very first encounter with inappropriate language and touch often begins with a family member. A cousin, uncle, family friend, etc.
A perfect example of this inappropriate action towards young black girls was a scene from Madea’s family reunion when a group of elderly black men was telling a teen to bend over and get them some beer. The fact they were making sexual gestures towards a girl who could be a minor was bad enough. The most disgusting part was they were family and still viewed the child as a sexual fantasy. That scene brought back memories of perverted old men asking me if I had a boyfriend and looking at my body discussing my virginity. I lost count how many times I cussed one or two at a family event or function which was always at church.
Listening to brave women coming forward and sharing their stories of being sexually assaulted or forced into the slave trade as a young girl is heartbreaking. Despite the staggering numbers these young girls are still not being protected by their own family. A perfect example is a movie , adapted by the book . I think that was the first book that had me in tears from start to finish. I remember putting the book down after finishing crushed that the book ended on such an unhappy note.
Most Black women who are victims of childhood sexual abuse grow up to be promiscuous. Many are exploited and forced into some type of sex trade. The second assault to these women is the abuse they are subjected to by the very men they loved. What’s hurtful is when their promiscuity turns against them and these men label them hoes and sluts. When men on social media claim a hoe will always be a hoe or you can’t turn a hoe into a housewife. These are the very men that will lie, cheat and abandon these women once they become pregnant. Yet expected unwavering loyalty if they find themselves in prison.
Men want a sexually liberated woman who is down for casual uncommitted sex on their terms. Yet will bash and slut-shame the very woman who is down to fuck on her terms. While celebrities like Papoose are promoting Black Love. The actual number of two-parent Black households pales in comparison to interracial and other two-parent households of different ethnicities. Yet the very people who are consistently abusing and disrespecting Black Women and Black Girls are Black Men.
Society expects Black Women to support and stand by Black Men due to the Mass incarceration, Police Brutality and Killings, and the countless murders by white supremacist organizations. Yet where is that same energy for Black Women? Where is the mass public support when there is a Black Woman being attacked? Black Women are dying, giving birth, disappearing at a rapid rate yet nothing is being said by the masses. Only a few but it’s coming from people who are directly affected. Where is the same energy and support?
Over 300 hundred years of chattel slavery has left some very deep-seated psychological wounds that are inherited and passed down. The hyper-masculine persona comes from being stripped of one’s manhood. Beaten, sodomized, and castrated what a way for White Slave owners to break the mind but keep the body strong. It’s why most Caribbean men have a violent aversion to homosexuality. The generational trauma needs to be broken. Ignoring it isn’t going to begin working on solutions to the issues. The need to express masculinity is seen everywhere. To disrespect a Black Man by questioning his manhood can harbor deadly consequences.
There was a news story of a young woman in her 20s at a party. She was dancing alone having a good time until a Black Man tried to grind on her. She turned around and said no. He ignored her and continued. The young woman rejected him again and he shot her in the face in front of everyone. Her rejection is taken as a sign of disrespect to his “manhood.” This is just one of the countless stories of women brutally attacked and or killed because they rejected their sexual advances. The clash between Black men and women can be seen all throughout the media.
I am going to come out and say that the entire community needs therapy, it’s not just Black Men. Mental health is so important yet so neglected. The pressure to stay within the social perceptions of masculinity is a burden. Imagine living with the world against you because of the color of your skin. Law enforcement views your skin color as a weapon and will shoot you dead without hesitation despite complying with orders. Mothers and Fathers have to sit with their children and discuss what to do when their children encounter the police. How not to get killed when pulled over for speeding or some other traffic violation.
The struggle to survive is real. Black men are dying at a faster rate than women and other men of different races. Black men are incarcerated more and spend longer time in prison than any other race. The burden is crushing. Many times there is no safe outlet for men to express these concerns. The Black community isn’t as receptive to seeing a therapist or a counselor compared to other races. So How are they supposed to seek the help they need?
This is in no way shape or form a means to degrade, humiliate, or tear down Black Men. It is only to put a mirror in front of behaviors that do not progress but regress the culture. There is a crushing burden that befalls a man all because of the color of his skin. The excuses in dismissing these behaviors doesn’t benefit anymore and it will only get worse. Just like it took generations to create these problems. Its going to take generations to correct it.
Do you, Be you, Love you
Originally published at https://bohemianvisions.com on April 30, 2020.