Remember when we first met Tiger Woods and we knew he was black, but he opted for the unorthodox racial classification of Cablanasian and the black community was basically done with him? Then it all changed in the fall of ‘09 when 10+ mistresses revealed their sexual escapades with Tiger and all of a sudden he was every black man’s nigga? Black men came out of the woodworks to defend and empathize with Tiger’s “struggle” with fidelity or simply applaud him for racking up that amount of booty. It was like a Welcome Home Tiger Parade—we knew you had it in you!
Or remember when Bill Clinton got caught with his pants down and Monica Lewinski in his lap and all of a sudden that was how we really knew we had a black president (pre-Obama)?
Is this really how we define black—sexual promiscuity, lying, cheating, effing up? Sure, some of these things are said tongue in cheek, but there is always an element of truth in comedy. Where is the humor in embracing these stereotypes?
What are we saying about ourselves when we equate infidelity and disloyalty with being black? Can we really be surprised when people of other races assume that all black people do is lie, cheat, and steal when we mock this behavior as a defining characteristic of who we are? At this point, who is responsible for the bad rep?
It’s interesting, while in some cultures, people who disgrace their community are cast out, black people seem to do the exact opposite and embrace the prodigal sons and daughters. This has less to do with forgiveness and more to do with expectation. It’s like a public display of appreciation for screwing up, that way the rest of us have an excuse for what we do (MJ did it) and we don’t have to try to do better. How ironic that the people who we do cast out are the ones who pursue higher education and become upwardly mobile, you know, the ones “who act white.” How backward is that?
Where did we get these ideas? It surely can’t all originate from the scapegoat of the decade—rap music/videos. They had to get it from somewhere or someone had to buy their records for them to figure out that sex, drugs, and violence sells. They give us what we want.
Contributing to the destruction of a family unit is nothing to be proud of; nor is spreading your seed as far as your little guys will carry it. That defines selfishness and whoredom, not blackness. Why are we not holding ourselves to a higher standard and expecting and desiring more? Why do we wear our dunce caps with pride? Why are we not owning our image?
The sooner we let go of the very stereotypes that we claim to hate, not just in practice but in passing the behavior off as “just something that we do,” the quicker the rest of the world will stop looking at us as if it’s true.