It's been obvious to me for some time now that at the center of so many of this year's debates re: misogyny in hip-hop and Don Imus' distaste for the texture of black women's hair and what have you is the fact that so many black women these days don't have a man to take care of them. I'm not saying that a black woman is incapable of functioning without a man; I'm just saying. Crude remarks about someone's personal appearance don't sting nearly as much when you know someone actually likes you.

I could sit here and spout off statistics, but I've already done that a few times now. Black women are so unmarried, in fact, that they're pretty much singlehandedly responsible for the grim statistic, as reported in the New York Times earlier this year, that there are now more single women in this country than there are married women. As was noted in the Columbia Journalism Review, if you remove black women from the mix, the state of marriage in this country is hardly any worse than it was 10 or 20 years ago.

It actually occurred to me a while ago that it might not be a bad idea to allow polygamy in the black community the same way gambling is allowed on Indian reservations, but I was reminded of it the other day while I was checking out a new episode of one of my favorite shows on TV, HBO's Big Love, which has to do with a fundamentalist Mormon family out in Utah that practices polygamy.

If I'm not mistaken, the idea behind Indian casinos is that the white man has done so much damage to the Indian community, what with driving them off of their land and onto arid, desolate reservations and then giving them "firewater" to drink (nevermind crazed Indians kidnapping white children and cutting their scalps off and what have you) that the least the government could is let them make a little money from gambling.

Similarly, I wonder if the government doesn't owe the black community a solid, given the way that the white man has destroyed the black family over the course of several centuries now: by splitting up black families during slavery; by raping our black women to the point where so many of us are "lightskinted" (and hence less trustworthy); and by using welfare to drive the black man out of the home and to keep black families mired in poverty for generation after generation; let alone the fact that the white man's woman is so much more desirable to those of us who are being honest with ourselves.

I'm not sure of all the specifics of how this would work, because, like I said, this is just an idea. But this wouldn't just be a situation where any ol' brother off the street could have three or four wives the same way so many of our brothers these days have three or four baby's mothers. I myself, for example, wouldn't be elifgibe for this program. But the idea would be that those of us who have the means should be able to have more than one wife, so long as they can take care of them. After all, what's worse: the idea that a man with the means should be able to make it with more than one woman, if he so pleases, or the idea of so many fatherless children crowding Amerca's ghettos, just waitin to be shipped off to prison?

One possible scenario I imagined is that a black who's got a few dollars in his pocket and hence has managed to score himself a white chick could also keep a few black chicks on the side. I mean, obviously once a black man reaches a certain income level, he's gonna be free to explore his options, but, as far as I'm concerned, that's no good reason for the black woman to be left out in the cold, as so many of them obviously have been. Tiger Woods, for example, could have his beautiful Nordic princess as his main wife (his bottom bitch, if you will), but then he could have three or four black chicks on the side that he could send checks to and stop by and fuck on occasion.

I know, it's not the best solution in the world, but at least it's something. What do you 'bags think?