Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Breathing While Black & Male in America

[Carol Taylor is a well-traveled international journalist who has been published in magazines and newspapers in various countries. She, also the First Black U.S.A. Flight Attendant and writes mainly about social issues, specifically targetting racism/colorism]

On a list answering the question: "Who would you rather Be?" - Black males would be on the very bottom because, when forced to face stark reality in the U.S.A., most people, irrespective of gender or hue, would have to acknowledge what the late Judge Bruce McMarion Wright called "Black male jeopardy," and choose to be anyone other than a Black male.
Professor Andrew Hacker, author of "Two Nations: Black and White: Separate, Hostile and Unequal," after conducting a study with his students some years ago where he asked if they would choose to be Black if paid a million dollars, found that even for a million dollars, not one student 'chose' to be Black (male or female). Where/when did these multi-colored young people arrive at such an aversion?
One only needs to become aware of the viciously-stereotyoing mass media in this country to find one alarming answer to this question. Broadcast media, especially the audio-visual outlets, harbor, in a negatively-classic fashion, racist/colorist individuals who routinely - albeit inadvertently in some cases - 'put down,' invalidate, mock. belittle, ignore, undercount, disregard, denigrate, sideline,, stereotype and insult Black males. (WABC TV asking Jesse Jackson years ago and Barback Obama on 'Nightline' recently- "Are you Black or American?"!!!)
Do we really have to name, as examples of the abject public pillorying, some of the more recognizable, but by no means only, offenders: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ted Koppel, Kelly Tillman, Bob Grant, Patrick Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Don Imus, Curtis Sliwa and Andy Rooney among too many others tolerated by the unwashed masses and paid by mostly capitalist colorist white males?
Those 'media giants' must eventually be held responsible for perpetuating - for their capital gains - the false notions of Black males as major threats to national security.
Let anyone, who remains obdurately ignorant of the unenvious plight of Black males in the U.S.A., look at "Stolen Lives," a project of the 'October 22nd" Coalition - go to any page and see the photos of cop-murdered victims; one can learn that the majority is of Black males (including Spanish-speaking ones).
Doubters can also try to envision themselves as Black males; 'walk a mile in a Black male skin' as it were - understanding what it means to know that they put themselves in dire danger if they forget themselves and run down a street; have to endure being followed all around retail stores; see the disproportionate number of people looking like themselves in this nation's courts, jails and Death Rows, in the military and the paucity them in the colleges and in the country's jobs (50+% unemployment for Black males in New York City). What does it mean to the millions of Black males in the U.S.A. who, at one stage of development or another, sooner or later begin to realize that they are targets not only for racist/colorist cops and other 'law enforcement individuals, but also of other societally maleducated and victimized, low-self-esteemed Black males who - as they call each other 'the N-word' - beat, rob and kill others looking like themselves, don't realize that they are carrying out the colorist programming of dominant white males they'll never even meet?
Invoking the names of martyred Black males in this colorist society, because there are so many of them, unfortunately tends to irritate people who can't seem to identify with oppressed Black people; names like Amadou Diallo, Brian Fillmore, Corey Mickens, Ed Perry, Anthony Baez, Ernest Sayon, Hilton Vegas, Malcom Ferguson, Sean Bell, Patrick Dorismond, Randy Evans, Anthony Rosario, Timothy Stansbury, Jr. Cliffor Glover, Earl Faison, Thimothy Thomas, Idriss Stelly, Michael Stewart, Michael Phillips, Michael Donald, Michael Ellerby, Michael Newkirk, Michael Carpenter, Michael Knight (Mother, don't name your Black son "Michael!") - just to list a few of the cop-killed Black males.
Ask any Black male how many times he's been stopped and frisked ("He resembled a suspect we're looking for") how many times he's been stopped while driving, ticketed, accused of doing sometning he didn't do, how many times (if he's lucky enough to even have a job) has he been asked to train a lower echelon white who then's promoted over his head, how many times has he tried to get a cab and failed -seeing others who've arrived after him get picked up, how many people either won't take the same elevator or clutch their purses as he enters one and on and on infinitum and nauseam.
Solution? Ongoing the entire U.S.A. population, given our maleducation system which up to the current times refuses to teach that all huemans are 'of Black African ancestry,' and where individual responses to differences in culture and color are dysfunctional refer those misfits to Ethnotherapy until they can think straight.
Then it won't be such a scary thing to be Black and male in America and those males can walk around breathing a bit easier in their skins of observable melanin.
HEAL, AMERICA, with the!

No comments: