Saturday, December 26, 2009

What on God's green earth do I know about blacks' issues.

I’m not sure what the age demographics are on this site (perhaps a subject for future article Brett?), but as a young white in my early twenties I found this particularly interesting. I normally don’t talk about such things, because, well, I’m a white dude. What on God’s green earth do I know about blacks’ issues. Still, I think here I can safely add my two cents.

I agree that there is a double-standard when it comes to racial treatment and I’ve seen particularly disturbing examples of this at work in certain places. However, I think before whites can ask what whites can expect of blacks, whites need to ask what blacks expect of themselves.

From here on out, I will be speaking in generalities. As with any random distribution, there will be statistical outliers and deviations from the normal line. I am not addressing these, I’m addressing the 80-95% statistical norms.

Whites have had a single model for white masculinity in any given era. The Macho Man. The Coporate Tycoon. The Sensitive Guy. The Metrosecual (the one I most vehemently hate). Occasionally you will have dueling standards (The Macho Man vs The Metrosexual, neither of which are healthy models) but for the most part it boils down to money, muscles, and lookin’ good. I’m not saying this is correct, I’m simply stating what I have observed in the mass media.

Now, compare the vast array of media targeted at blacks. Or heck, just take a look at a magazine rack in the check-out line sometime. Blacks live with a constant cacophony of voices, giving them different models of blackness. Be a multimedia tycoon. Be a sex-driven animal. Be a nerd, like the kid from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Be a rapper. Wear gangsta clothes. Ignore gangsta style and wear whatever’s on sale at Walmart. Buy designer hip-hop clothes on sale. Get a good white woman to date. Ignore white women except for the occasional one-night stand. Be corporate tycoon sex-driven animal with a tanned, submissive white woman. Couple that with the stupid idea that there’s only correct model of blackness and all others are “betrayal of the brotherhood of blacks everywhere” and you’ve got a recipe for utter confusion. For both races.

I think it is necessary for blacks, on an individual basis, to decide what their model of blackness is. Just as there are multiple types of whiteness (Brett did a post on this a while back, November I believe), I think there are multiple variants of blackness. The question that I’m not sure whites ask (or heck blacks ask for that matter) is what those variants are.

Okay, so that was more than two cents worth.

Source: Jonathan Cunningham's post (#51) on What can manly men expect of women?

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