Are black men unfairly vilified?

When news of the sexual molestation accusations against Bill Cosby went viral last year, I was shattered. I have never met the man before. But in the later years of my childhood, he entered our living room as the funny and wise Mr Huxtable from the Cosby Show. One former colleague of Cosby’ was quoted as having said the sexual molestation accusations were an orchestrated plot to put an end to the old man’s career.

Everyone has weaknesses, shortcomings and “skeletons in the closet”. Maybe Cosby was indeed a dodgy perverted man at the time. Who knows? 

But then again, why are all these women only coming forward now? I have had discussions about this issue with a few acquaintances. Some argued that since sexual violation took time to deal with, the women may have been scared to report the matter out of fear of being socially ostracized, but since its group of them, it was easier to talk about the issue. Fair enough. I have met many perverts and know that no matter how innocent looking a man is, there’s still a possibility that he could rub his hands against your thigh with a lustful leery look! 

On the other hand, a male friend suggested that Cosby was innocent, and like many other black men across the world, he was being vilified. But then again, we have to be fair here. Is this the reality, or some black men are the molesters, skirt chasers, rapists, beaters, thieves and conmen they are often reflected as?

I have realised that as much as I love black men, I am also scared of them. I hang out more with men, not only for the conversational and companionship aspects, but also the sense of protection. My male acquaintances, who have passed the trust test, are my “unofficial bodyguards”. I also get nervous when a black male stranger comes too close to me physically, or touches me. It’s this fear that makes me change direction when a black man walks towards me, especially when there’s no one else around. But can you blame me? We constantly read and hear of gruesome murders, domestic abuse, rapes and kidnappings. Chances are, 80 percent of you associate crime with black men. It’s a manufactured perception that has settled in our minds. Nowadays as women, we are even scared of our own lovers because of the “passion killings” rampant across the world. When he says jump, you ask how high my darling, because dude might shoot you if ever you piss him off!

However, whether we want to admit it or not, most people are capable of evil, regardless of their race. I don’t think blacks are any more violent than other races. It’s just that blacks are largely victims of dangerous anti-black agendas, targeted at discrediting us, undermining our culture and destroying the African social fibre.

The easiest way to destroy any nation is to emasculate or vilify the men through creating damaging stereotypes about them. So if black men are perceived as promiscuous, criminal and irresponsible, as has been the portrayal, it destroys our social landscape, and this in turn hampers our collective progress and unity.

As much as there are many bad men out there, I know for a fact that there are a lot of good black men too. I have been accused of being a man basher on this platform, especially since I have proclaimed to be a feminist. But I love black men. Not only am I the child of a black man, I was also raised by black men, have children with a black man and fornicate with black men. I love that ish (wink wink). Feminism has little to do with putting men down. It is rather a doctrine that advocates for social, political and other rights of women equal to those men… 

On the flipside, as much as we cannot disagree that the negative portrayal of black one of the negatives of the legacies of historical class inequalities and western imperialism, we also play a hand. As I have mentioned in previous articles, we need to evaluate the way our men are raised and socialized. Considering the high rate of abusers and criminals cropping from our communities, it’s clear that there’s a problem. I blame black mothers who pamper and spoil their male children, claiming they love them. The increased absence of positive black male role models also contributes to the situation of boys who grow up to be troublous delinquents, criminals or abusers.

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