Only In Black America Are Men Judged For Their Looks & Not Their Accomplishments

Massive government intervention has led to the unintended consequence of Black men acting like Black women

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
-Theodore Roosevelt

Something that I have observed for quite some time now – that of Black men judging and rating each other not on their accomplishments and achievements but rather on their looks – has gone from the impersonal to the very personal in recent days.

Fresh off the success of the first ever Black Manosphere Meetup held in Atlanta, GA earlier this month, it seems that there are a number of Black men online who have leapt at the opportunity to weigh in on my appearance in recently released video footage of myself and others participating in an informal roundtable discussion in my hotel suite. If it were Black women doing the judging I’d have no problem with it; it’s long been known that Black women consider looks in a man to be far and away more important than anything else about him (well documented in, among other places, Essence magazine: “Why Is It So Hard For Black Women to Find The Love They Deserve?”, Updated Oct 27, 2020). While we can (and should) debate the efficacy of such a mating strategy and criteria, the bottomline is that the ladies have the right to do that.

But how do you explain obstensibly heterosexual Black men doing the same?

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HOW WE GOT HERE
It occurs to me that the circle is now complete; by that I mean, that the wholesale gender role reversal that has been underfoot in Black American life for the better part of a half-century as a result of the Great Society & other Welfare State programs on the part of the American government, have so perverted what used to be the natural order of things there, into a de facto Matriarchy where men are raised to view life through a feminine lens. The result are several generations of Black men, who in essence act very much like Black women – replete with all the cattiness, gossip and fare one would expect to see in a beauty shop, not a barbershop.

In Black America today, Black women are judged not on their looks and feminine charms, but by their educational and career achievements, while Black men are judged by their looks and “swag” – and as the lovely ladies interviewed in the Essence magazine article above note, ONLY in Black America is this the case. The results and outcomes of such a state of affairs, really do speak for themselves, do they not?

And the true and real irony of it all was that these Black men gossip about me during an event held for the improvement, empowerment and uplift of Black men(!) – something many of these same Black men lament isn’t being done, or done enough, in the Black Manosphere. Of course, none of these Black men attended, or lent support of any kind. Only gossiped about it afterward like the clucking pseudo hens that they are.

Some of these cats – and I do mean that – attempt to justify their sus ways by arguing that since I’ve been a harsh critic of the looks and bearing of Black women that it’s only fair that I be subject to the same treatment. That argument would work IF it were the lovely ladies leading the charge in that regard. As it turns out though, and to my knowledge, the main ones doing all the clucking have been to a Black man, Black men – as I’ve been saying for quite some time now, the more I move the needle on the personal self-improvement front (with pictures!), the quieter the lovely ladies get (notable bag lady/busybody who ain’t got nobody holdouts notwithstanding). So, no fellas, you gotta hold this L on that one. Don’t try to put your clucking ways about how another Black man looks onto them. Own it. And your sus-looking selves.

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WHY FOCUSING ON A MAN’S LOOKS & NOT HIS DEEDS IS UNNATURAL – & UNMANLY
While I can’t say that this phenomenon in Black American social life is alien to me, I have to say that it takes on a completely different meaning when you’re the subject instead of merely being a dispassionate observer. Back in the summer of last year I wrote about this issue at some length, and a bit of what I said then bears repeating here:

“What I’ve discovered is that for many Black men – more than any of us are willing to admit, mind you – “looks” matter as much to THEM as it does to Black women – possibly, in many ways, MORESO. Why, you might ask?

Well, to answer that question, we have to turn to Yale academic Elijah Anderson, best known for his groundbreaking work, “Code of the Street”. Prior to its publication in the late 1990s-early 2000s, he released an earlier work that I think greatly informed the latter, called, “Streetwise: Race, Class, and Change in an Urban Community”. In both works, Anderson argues that the “pose”, veneer and appearance or look of a Black man is seen as hugely important to other Black men, because of their inability to display the traditional markers of American manhood, which is to have the means and resources available to support and take care of a wife and family up to a middle class or higher living standard. In response, many Black men, particularly in the inner-city context, have “adapted” to their deprivation and have devised alternate norms of (Black) manhood – rooted in being very good looking, very well dressed, having a good “mouthpiece” and being charismatic.”

Continuing:

“As Dr. Jordan Peterson noted in one of his many interviews with Joe Rogan, the way men compete to determine who is who in the status hierarchy, is on the basis of COMPETENCE – who is good at what, who is better at what – and to the better men go the spoils. Peterson goes on to argue, that from an evolutionary standpoint, the women who selected the men who emerged the victor in these “competence contests”, had a better chance of putting their genes into the future than by mating with men who were, for all intents, the losers of such competitions (“Joe Rogan – Jordan Peterson Clarifies His Incels Comment”, YouTube, Jul 2, 2018). For his part, Brett McKay, host of the insanely popular “Art of Manliness” podcast, argues that these contests among and between men MUST BE PUBLIC. This is vital, not only so that all other men know “who is who”, but also because WOMEN CAN PUBLICLY EVALUATE WHO THE MOST COMPETENT MEN ARE (“The 3 P’s of Manhood: A Review”, Apr 29, 2020).”

I wrap up with the following two quotes from my previous column in question:

“THIS is the reason why my mere presence in the whole thing is not only so jarring to other Black men who deem themselves “select” online, but is downright THREATENING: Because I have proven myself to be quite competent across a number of domains, including writing, podcasting and now, being a dating coach for a segment of Black American men who, until very recently, have never really had a real and legitimate, media voice – and what happens if said guys got just a little help – guys like me? What would that mean for the “contests among Black men” insofar as dating and mating is concerned?”

And:

“Black women have never really had a choice, as Anderson makes clear above. They’ve had to choose from among the Black men that were available to them – the supposedly “select” ones. But, for a number of reasons, the “non-select” ones have been MIA. With social media now fueling the rank and file “everyday brotha” and amplifying his voice, and being assisted by others who can help him when and where it’s needed, the “contest among Black men” can now occur on a truly level playing field. The “select guys” have never really been tested in real time; never had to “put it on the wood”, so to speak; and I think this is what my interlocutors are fearing: My presence is the handwriting on the wall that a “new world order” is upon us.” (“The Non-Select Guy’s Burden”, Jul 28, 2020, Negromanosphere.com)

Indeed.

SHAMELESS PLUG AD BREAK: Haven’t you heard? The wait is over, and it’s official – “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman” has finally arrived and is NOW available at BookBaby, Amazon and wherever fine books are sold – get your copy NOW!!! Better yet, get your personally autographed copy – CLICK HERE for more details! OK, let’s get back to the article!

REAL MEN COMPETE & EVALUATE EACH OTHER BASED ON ACCOMPLISHMENTS, NOT LOOKS
A parting shot, if I may: It occurs to me that the Black men who say the most about another man’s looks and the like instead of comparing their real world achievements to those they don’t like, happens for a very good reason: Because the Black men in question have little in the way of real world achievements to speak of. Academic Elijah Anderson covers this richly in his excellent works, “Code of the Street” & Streetwise” and they repay close study. I welcome the chance to go mano-a-mano on the metrics that men from time immemorial are measured on – their track record – instead of how they sit in a chair, or how tall or muscle-bound they are, etc.

Unfortunately, there seems to be far too many “average at best” interlocutors afoot, who honestly couldn’t touch the hem of my garment.

Don’t be those guys, gentlemen!

Now adjourn your asses…

MOA

Mumia Obsidian Ali is a citizen journalist, podcaster, talk radio show host, commentator, newly minted dating coach and author of “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman”. You can catch his daily live shows on YouTube & Mixlr, as well as his dating coach column at the Negromanosphere website. One of the “Three Kings” of the Black Manosphere, Mr. Ali has contributed to the creation and development of Black Male Media. Follow him on Instagram at @ObsidianRadio. He’s also a semi-professional pest.

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