Our Sisters’ Keeper: Are Black Men the New White?

In lieu of the events in Charlottesville and other heated race related events, there has been a large push for unity in the African American community. However, African American women for years have criticized the unity of black men and women, or lack thereof. The question becomes who treats who worst? With my hands in my mouth, biting my nails nervously, might I dare ask, are straight black men the opposition of black women?

Writer, Damon Young, thinks so. In his article, Straight Black Men are the White People of Black People, Young argues that its true, suggesting that black men pose a greater danger to black women than white people (or people as a whole) is “shocking and succinct: simple, subtle, and fucking scary.”

Though speaking about the truth of black women and male relations is enough to stir the pot, it must be discussed. So here it goes.

  1. It’s very unusual to propose that black men possess something that black people rarely experience, that is “privilege”. However, in some ways, it’s kinda true. It is important to understand that privilege is based in institutionalized oppression, and so black men can never obtain pure privilege. My argument, however, is that in the systematic oppression that is instilled in black men onto black women. In a 2015 study done by Columbia Law School, the finding found that black women are disciplined more than black men. In New York, for example, black girls were disciplined 10 times more often than white girls.They found that  African-American students tend to be disciplined far more than their white counterparts, but what many do not know is that black girls’ disparity, relative to that of white girls, is far greater than the disparity between black boys and white boys. In the conclusion of the finding, the black girls thought that the over discipline was due to heightened stereotypes.


However, these stereotypes don’t live in isolation. Where else have black women seen such stereotypes? Black men. One woman stands up to call out the stereotypes that black men who seen no beauty in black women thanks to negative stereotypes and stigmas. Kimberly Foster (@For Harriet) in her powerful Youtube video, intends to call these men out on their shit.


These stereotypes have been used systematically to discount and cheapen black women for decades, so much so that black men have come to believe them .

2. In 2012, the shot heard from around the world struck 17 year old Trayvon Martin and marked the beginning of a platform of demanding visibility, “The Black Lives Matter” organization. Since 2012, and many many years before then, black women have been the protectors of black men. So much so, the Black Lives Matter movement was founded by three women, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. So it goes without being said, black women protect black men, but do black men protect black women?

According to a 2017 CDC report, black women are four times more likely to be murdered than white women. Homicides are the second leading cause of death and over 50 percent of female homicides are committed by intimate partners, as the case for most murders of women. In D.C., there has been a string of black women getting murdered by black men with little to no outcry from black men.

Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 4.09.37 PM
courtesy of Susan G. Komen

African American people account for only 13% of people in the United States. Black women account for about 50% of that population. African Americans lead national deaths in plenty of widespread cancers and diseases, like heart disease for example, the highest cause of death in America. For women, however, black women are disproportionally represented in a large death of women, breast cancer. Black women experience the same risk as white women who represent 65% of the American population. The question is, are black men promoting the importance of finding the cure for breast cancer as widely known foundation, Susan G. Komen has. What will black men do this month as October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, will the stand by or will the stand up?

What do you think? Are black men really worst than Charlottesville torch-carriers, no but do they carry something else with them? Yes, hundred years of oppression and stereotypes.


photo: flickr.com



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