VSB’s Damon Young Explains Exactly Why Denying the Existence of Black Male Privilege is Straight Bullshit
If you haven’t heard about it by now, then let me be the first to tell you about “Straight Black Men Are the White People of Black People,” the-name-in-the-“Man Book”-removing, (probably) life-risking article written by Very Smart Brotha’s Damon Young, that’s probably as close to the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse as The Donald’s (s)election as POTUS.
Young does a more than fair job of explaining what Black Male Privilege actually is – and the ways in which (some) Black Men brazenly benefit, yet stubbornly refuse to recognize:
“…[W]hen [B]lack [W]omen share that we pose the same existential and literal danger to them that whiteness does to us; and when [B]lack [W]omen ask us to give them the benefit of the doubt about street harassment and sexual assault and other forms of harassment and violence [that] we might not personally witness…their words are met with resistance and outright pushback. After demanding from white people that we’re listened to and believed [,] and that our livelihoods are considered, our ears shut off [,] and [our] hearts shut down [,] when [B]lack [W]omen are pleading with us.” (emphasis added)
As distasteful and taboo as it may be to admit, Young’s not wrong in his assessment of the situation: Black Women have been pleading with Black Men for CENTURIES, just to be heard – seemingly to no avail. And, no you cannot blame feminism as the root of our discord. For one thing, feminism doesn’t explain away hypocrisy; for another, using one bullshit behavior as a justification for equally bullshit behavior is – to put it bluntly – BULLSHIT.
Here’s why I agree with Damon: I personally know of several so-called Black Men who’ve had no problem, whatsoever PUBLICLY talking all that “Black Power” shit, yet have in the same breath threatened, exploited, cursed out, or put their hands on (if not all of the above) the same “Sisters” and “Queens” that they swear up and down are THE keys to Black folks’ “nation-building.”
What’s more, Sisters can’t even speak out against that kind of blatant hypocrisy, for fear of being labeled ABWs (“Angry Black Women”) who neither know how to “submit,” or how to be “feminine” (whatever the fuck THAT means), nor know how to “let a man be a man.” Not once do (some of) these Brothers ask themselves if their characters and their personalities even merit the submission they so desperately seek – the (understandable) quest to rid themselves of their burden of whiteness transforming itself into yet another racial hurdle for Black Women to jump.
Even our very legitimate and natural desire for a suitable mate is called into question – done with the specific intent of “shaming” us for having a fucking fucking standard – while the fattest, vilest, ugliest Negroes to have ever Negroed live under the gleeful delusion that they “should” be dating supermodels.
And if we don’t signal our agreement with that entitled sentiment by spreading our legs for whoever wants it (because only Gabrielle Union is Gabrielle Union; the rest of us should just be happy to be here), then we’re the ones who get labeled “superficial.”
Black Women’s basing their selection of a mate on largely substantive factors is “bowing down to White Supremacy,” yet (some) Black Men feel more than just a little bit comfortable basing our beauty and our desirability on a European standard that Sisters are all but demonized for either being naturally out-of-compliance with, or for refusing to adhere to.
And considering the number of Black females who are out there bleaching, cutting, and sewing their way to whiteness – just so these kinds of Black Men will “love” them and “want” them – I just don’t see how anyone could continue to argue against the existence of privilege on the intraracial level, nor do I see how anyone could argue against the devastation it’s caused.
I could go on and on (and on) but, I’ll stop, there.
My point is simply this: Black Male Privilege is a thing, and not unlike discussions about Racism and White Supremacy, discussions of BMP’s existence are saturated with an arrogant, paternalistic attitude that curses the ground you walk on for even bringing the shit up, in the first place, let alone actually expecting something to be done about it.
How’s that different from what Black PEOPLE collectively experience, with White Supremacy?
If white people are the best qualified to talk about White Privilege to other white folks, then Black Men are the best qualified to do the same thing, with their privilege.
There’s no two ways about it.
The truth doesn’t have to be “nice.” It just has to be truth.