All this year, ever since the New York Times published its story on the sad state of black men here in the US (apparently, we aren't doing so well), there's been a lot of discussion about issues affecting black men. There was interesting discussion on whether these issues might be attributed to hip-hop culture, which I touched on here briefly and then expanded on at my own site.
Then there was the Washington Post's sadly stillborn series of articles called Being a Black Man. Earlier this year they published an op-ed by some angry black woman about how so many black people these days have given up on the idea of marriage, and this past weekend they followed that up with another story about some poor black woman who couldn't find a brother to settle down with.
One of the key themes you noticed repeated in so many of these articles are popular myths about black men allowed to go mostly unchecked, presumably because the writers of these stories have come to except them as fact. jimi izrael touched on a few in his humorous debunking of the WaPo's most recent state of black relationships story, and here I've gone and debunked several others.
Myth: Black men are too lazy to work.
Truth: Nobody likes to work, but many black men couldn't find a job if they wanted to due to a) systematic racism, obviously, and b) on overall shift in the structure of the US economy from being based primarily on manufacturing to a lot of shitty service industry jobs which have historically gone to women.
Most of the growth of the economy these days, such as it is, is centered around jobs having to do with shit like folding clothes and rubbing lotion on an old white man's balls. Of course it's going to be difficult for a black man to find work in such an economy.
Myth: Black men are horrible fathers.
Truth: Most men are horrible fathers. Having grown up around cracka-ass crackas, I've definitely heard my share of horror stories having to do with white people's fathers. No Boutros. Art Alexakis, anyone? If there's a difference, it's that more white men can afford not to raise their kids in shitty areas. Still, I'd hardly consider that some great achievement of white fatherhood.
Myth: Black men are attracted to fat white women
Truth: No one is attracted to any fat woman, regardless of race. Not to suggest that courtship is primarily an economic arrangement (because that might make me look like a sexist), but men of lesser means eventually learn to settle for fat women because that's all they can afford.
Well, I suppose there is a certain subculture of mentally ill men (mostly white, it's worth noting), who hang out in chubby chaser bars looking to find morbidly obese women to take home and "antique" for sexual purposes, but that's a relatively small minority.
Myth: Black men hate black women.
Truth: This goes right along with that last myth. The popular notion goes that black men can't stand black women's attitudes, and that's why you see so many of them walking around with fat white chicks. The truth of the matter is that men in general, regardless of race, don't like a woman with a fucked up attitude.
Is a fat white woman preferable to a (relatively) skinny black woman with an attitude problem? In some cases, yes.
Myth: Black men are secretly teh ghey.
Truth: See, this is a tricky one. Because obviously there are quite a few brothers out there on the DL, who are contributing to positively ridonkulous level of AIDS in the black community and especially among black women.
That said, if the question is whether or not black men are more likely to be teh ghey than other races of men, then the answer is obviously no. If anything, an argument could be made that black men are the straightest race of men there is. The problem is that so many black men have teh gheyness foisted upon them due to the racist nature of the criminal justice system here in the US.