Saturday, June 14, 2008


Breathing While Black and 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, 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 acknowldege what the late Judge Bruce McMarion Wright called 'Black male jeopardy,' and choose to be anyone but 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 for 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 this aversion?

One only need become aware of the viciously-stereotyping mass media in this country to find an alarming answer to this question. Broadcast media, especially the audio-visual outlets, harbor, in a negatively-classic fashion, racist/colorist individuals who routinely - albeit some of them inadvertently - 'put down,' invalidate, mock, belittle, ignore, undercount, stigmatize, disregard, denigrate, sideline, stereotype and insult Black males. It's almost a bloody art form!

Do we really have to name, as examples of the abject public villification/pillorying, by some of the more recognizable - but by no means the only - victimizers: Bob Grant, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Tilghman, Ted Koppel (who asked Jesse Jackson if he was a Black man or an American - as did a NYC Channel 7 wanna-be-big-anchorman ask Senator Barack Obama if he were Black first or an American first), Don Imus, Andy Rooney, Mike Taibi, Ann Coulter, Patrick J. Buchanan (of the "Zulu" name calling) - among too many other sickos tolerated by the unwashed masses and paid by mostly colorist capitalist white males. These 'media giants' must eventually be held responsible for perpetuating - for their own capital gains - the false notion of the Black male as one of the major threats to 'national security.'

Let anyone who remains obdurately ignorant of the unenvious plight of Black males in the United States of America look at "Stolen Lives," a project of the "October 22nd Coalition" - go to any page and see (in the Spanish-speaking ones - who were killed by the police. Doubters can also try to envision themselves as Black males; 'walk a mile in a Black male's shoes,' as it were - understanding what it means to know that they put themselves in dire danger if they forget who they are for a moment and run down a street; to have to endure being followed everywhere in retail stores; to see the disproportionate number of people looking like themselves in this nation's courts, jails and Death Rows; in the military, and the paucity of them in the colleges and in the country's jobs (50+% Black male unemployment in New York City)

What does it mean to the millions of Black males in the U.S.A. who, at one stage of their development or another, sooner or later begin to realize that they are targets for not only death-dealing cops of any color - (mostly racist/colorist white male Catholic ones, by the way) and other 'law enforcement' individuals, but also of other societally mal-educated, victimized, low self-esteemed Black males who (as they call each other "nigger") beat, rob and kill others looking like themselves - not realizing that they are carrying out the colorist hegemonic programming of dominant white males they'll never even meet? Heavy.

Involving the names of martyred Black males in this colorist society, because there are so many of them, unfortunately tends to irritate pople who can't seem to identify with oppressed Black people: names like Amadou Diallo, Brian Fillmore, Ed Perry, Anthony Baez, Timothy Thomas,Ernest Sayon, Hilton Vega, Malcom Ferguson, Sean Bell, Anthony Rosario, Nicholas Heyward, Jr., Patrick Dorismond, Randy Evans, Clifford Glover, Timothy Stansbury, Jr., Earl Faison, Idriss Stelley, Michael Stewart, Michael Phillips, Michael Donald, Michael Newkirk, Michael Carpernter, Michael Knight (Mother: don't name your Black son 'Michael' I guess!) - 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 were looking for"); how many times he's been stopped while driving (espcecially in his new expensive car); ticketed, accused of something he didn't do; how many times (if he's lucky enough to even have a job) he's been required to train a lower echelon white who then is promoted above him; how many times he's tried to get a cab and failed; how many people either won't take the same elevator or clutch their purses as he enters one - and on and on - ad infinitum and nauseam.

An ongoing for the entire U.S.A. population -
(given the mal-education system which up to the currrent time stubornly refuses to teach
that all huemans are 'of Black African ancestry') and where individual responses
to differences in color and culture are dysfunctional, refer these people 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 little bit easier in their skins of observable melanin.

HEAL America: with the !!!

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