Sexuality, the State, and the Death of Black Manhood

Recently, my college friends and myself were discussing a recent article in Vibe magazine on the experiences of a flamboyantly gay man at Morehouse College, and the response of the school’s president. I shared the two articles with family and friends, and the inevitable question “what has happened to black men?” came up. It seems clear to me that the main things which have happened are the reasons I despise Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan. The war on poverty brought us welfare, which pushed a lot of black men from homes in the name of easy (or easier) money. That was Johnson. Reagan escalated the war on drugs, which further devastated the black family, especially the black males. Can anyone really claim that it is better for a black guy to be locked up for smoking or selling weed, rather than going to a community college and getting himself a job some day? Is controlling what someone does with his own body so very important? Is promoting the creation of drug gangs, then promoting the increase in the intrusiveness and violence of policing something we can really describe as “good?”

Because of these two factors, black men have fewer male role models. Many men emulate their mothers, unsurprising, as so many men are reared without fathers. Some of those mothers are educated, so that is fine as far as education goes. These men will pursue education. But they do not act like men. This is true even of many heterosexual men. Among any sufficiently large population, a number of gay people is to be expected. I do not find it surprising that a segment of the gay population would take emulating their mothers to an extreme that the straight men would not.

I predicted years ago that black higher education would become increasingly gay, and specifically, effeminately so. The war on drugs has devastated the ranks of black men in black communities to such an extent that female role models are, all too often, the best role models for success that black boys have. The testosterone has been depleted from the segments of black society most in need of it. This is one of the many tragedies brought to neighborhoods across the nation by the desire to force moral choices on others “for their own good.” And, while I targeted those two presidents for specific criticism, we can hardly “blame whitey” for this one. There are lots of people who are black drug warriors. Pretty much every black politician, including Obama, is a drug warrior. Eric Holder, his pick for Attorney General, is an especially fervent drug warrior. As far as I am concerned, we should treat blacks who support the war on drugs the same as we would treat a black guy doing a minstrel show in full blackface at an NAACP meeting. They deserve nothing but derision for being essentially black slave overseers. They profit from promoting oppression.

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