Thursday, December 1, 2011

Great Debacles Of Society

We Are Your Gift;  Recognize

The Black male;  Millions of men who identities are as unique and expansive as the night sky, but who find themselves confined to a myriad of stereotypes. What is it that shackles our sense of self appreciation? What causes us to perpetuate negative stigmas that limit ourselves as well as our communities? It is my belief that the American culture has created a sociological construct with in the minds of black males that have relegated us to gangsters, pimps, and athletes.
                                                                                          The Gangster
A Scene From The Movie Scarface
Being a child of the 50’s I grew up seeing many movies with pervasive drug and gangster paraphernalia representations that left an indelible mark on my young psyche. Maybe the most highly glorified of these films was Scarface.   A story of a poor Cuban immigrant who would rise to prominence and power through the mobilization of cocaine and an undoubting, willingness to acquire wealth through nefarious tactics; (extortion, stealing, murder, etc.) polarizing a generation with his “gangster” mentality. I began to contemplate the affinity to which my peers would internalize and begin to act out this storyline.  
 Realizing that "Nigga’s" being the perpetual American underdog;  I began to see the ideology to which so many black would cling to coming from similar backgrounds as tony Montana; (Scarface) and why they would identify with the plight of his struggle. 

Most black males feeling powerless in an institutional structure that relegates us as second class citizens; longing for ways to exercise their ambitions, desires, and masculine egos in the struggle for power. Combine that with environments that are conducive to incubating ideas of “gangster” lifestyles, and other negative influences; you see why so many young black men can be caught up in the illusionary appeal of the Scarface persona. Throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s preceding to even present day 2011; gangster cinema or “hood films” as dubbed by the industry insiders are still a profitable market with in entertainment and still received with ambiguity within the black culture.
                                   The Pimp                
I just couldn't resist

Dr. Cornel West
Taking a closer look at the second social disorder the classification of the pimp; it is not necessarily in pure contextual value as the world’s oldest profession, but in the defamation and exploitation of women; as it relates to the misuse of the female body that we engage in chauvinistic and misogynistic behavior. As Dr. Cornel West would point out in his poignant work “Race Matters”; there is a taboo encapsulated around black sexuality.   Dr. West would break down the stigmatized triad of black male sexuality. Beginning with Bigger Thomas (the mad and mean predatory craver of white women), Jack Johnson (the super performer- be it in athletics, entertainment, or sex- who excels others naturally and prefers women of a lighter hue), or Uncle Tom (the spineless, sexless or impotent side kick of whites). (West 119-120) I felt this was important to note and give credence to the contemporary slang terminology of the pimp. Within urban culture this word is mainly used as an affirmation of ones hegemonic masculinity or to simply state “power over pussy”. 
Anything Goes When It Comes To Ho's Cause Pimpin' Aint Easy

Within the greater at large world culture there is an overt and subverted subjugation of women from receiving lower wages even when having equivalent job titles and educational backgrounds as their male counter parts; to human trafficking and prostitution rings prevalent amongst all social institutions from religion to politics. This is systemic in every “civilized culture” but attacks are waged on black males when they themselves are victims to agents of socialization. (Family, environment, religion, media, peer group), and acting out the major dominant culture.  Now in no way do I think black men should get a pass on their role within this circulatory perpetuation of masculine oligarchy, but I must ask the question why there is so much scrutiny on black males? Hopefully with the help of our female counter parts we can usher in the ideological utopian society hand in hand with our sisters.
          The Athlete
The third theoretical sociological disorder that of the athlete; might not be viewed with the same disdain or negative connotation as the pimp or the gangster, but may foster the same psychological confines to the mental growth of the black males mind. Being an avid sports fan and participant ranging from basketball, football, baseball, and mixed martial arts; I believe sports especially with our youth can build bridges of comradely and direct energy in a positive manner. However when taking a closer look to black athletes for inspiration and to act as advocates of social change this concept is held singularly to Muhammad Ali. Historically athletes when asked controversial questions as it relates to social issues or cultural progression. There comments often oscillate between dismissal and unconscionable non-chalantness to the issue at hand. Charles Barkley maybe the most affiliated athlete to the mantra “I am not a role model” is 100% correct in his affirmation. However as uncle Ben would tell Peter Parker “with great power comes great responsibility,” and yet these rich, powerful athletes seem to be well chiseled Neanderthals who hold their nuts and bite their tongues when the opportunity for free thinking and expression arises.  

Eldridge Cleaver
Eldridge Cleaver in his book “Soul on Ice” gives substance to this slave derivative mentality with the omnipotent administrator and the super menial. The role of the omnipotent administrator would be played by your David Sterns and Roger Goodells with their weakened impotent bodies, but their firm resolve in their minds and will power to control not only the institution in which these athletes make their living, but also the very actions, speech and expressions of our modern day gladiators. Now our beloved athletes are unknown subscribers of the philosophical super menial; athletically superior with large muscles and brute strength as their calling card and an attraction to the eyes of the opposite sex as sexual deities who are physical manifestations of the black male libido; yet are mentally and psychologically atrophied and subject to the power control of the omnipotent administrator.
Omnipotent Team Owner
 Will black athletes ever join the struggle for equality? Maybe if they realize that money, status, and fame can’t help you escape from the ubiquitous duality of being niggas.

 As we have walked through the halls of perceptions, stigmas, stereotypes, conjecture, and theory of the socialization of the black males mind. It is to framework the greater debacle of society at large and the effects it has on the development of our communities. It is my hope to spark thought in the advancement of society and culture by addressing these issues and dispelling any myths of authenticating ones blackness; whether you fit within the confines of gangster, pimp, athlete, banker, nurse, engineer, or mechanic. I merely compel you to be more than a position, job title, or a statistic (we all are in some way) but take individual responsibility for one’s self, home, community and culture.     

1 comment:

  1. WOW!!One of if not the best you've written.Very impressed..WOW. My honor to twit