I was at a workshop many years ago. Several Black men and women participated and gave presentations. There was a point when one of the women told one of the presenters that he had good information but that it was presented in a cold manner. It was as if his heart was closed. The presenter didn’t get mad. He preceded to tell his story. He related that since he was young no matter he did on behalf of Black Women he never felt loved by these same Black women. He wasn’t talking about romantic love but just a feeling of being accepted by women who looked like his mother and sisters. In that moment he spoke for many Black men.
Black women complain about what they consider to be “Black Women Bashing.” I understand where they are coming from. The issue that should be addressed is WHY Black men are taking to social media to air their grievances. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Many of the men who are making videos, and writing blogs are voicing the feelings of thousands, perhaps even millions, of Black men. Now these are not just any Black men. Many Black women will say they want men who are educated, who are employed, and who have their own places. Fair enough. Most Black men can respect that a Black woman wants a man who is trying to do something with their lives. Most Black men even question why Black women would even bother with a man who doesn’t have those basics. The issue is not that Black women are rejecting bums. The issue is that Black women are not showing love to the Black men who are doing something with their lives.
An honest look at the men who are airing grievances against Black women will show men who are educated, and gainfully employed even to the point of making six figures. For those not formally educated they are men who have mastered a trade or have made strides in some other profession. Many sales professionals in various fields are Black men. On that one level these Black men have one thing that many Black women say they want which is gainful employment. The term used back in the day was “BMW,” – “Black Man Working.” On top of that many of these Black men have attained the levels of education that Black women say they want.
On top of all these material accomplishments these Black men actually want Black women. That’s the irony in all of this. The same men who “bash” Black women are the same ones who want more than anything to be in a productive relationship with a Black woman. Not only that but Black women across the spectrum. Black men want the chocolate sistas, the brown sistas and the light sistas. Black men want the petite sistas and the BBWs. Whatever the preference it’s obvious that many Black men want Black women. So what’s the problem?
The problem is that despite having advanced degrees, above average incomes, and a genuine love for the sistas, Black women find a reason to reject these men. The men could understand if they were bums but it “seems” like many Black women would rather be with the bums. To Black men who worked to do something with their lives it feels like no matter what they do the Black woman will not show any love and appreciation. To a man’s way of thinking this is frustrating because when Black women talk about what they want in a man, most Black men can look in a mirror and say, “That’s me.” This fuels the anger.
Black women have gone on mainstream media for the past forty years complaining about a shortage of good Black men and how the Black men that are there don’t just measure up. For the past forty years many Black men have worked to “measure up.” Yet Black women still find reasons to reject these men. These brothas are human. A group of men cannot continue to be degraded without there being some resentment. You cannot tell a group of people that they are not “good enough” without that group feeling angry and wanting to push back. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. What we are seeing are the repercussions of forty years of degradation and disrespect. Until these issues are addressed expect Black men to express their anger and frustrations on social media and in the streets.