Resorting To Sexism Will Not Cure Racism: Black Men Need To Think

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There is no denying that black men face racism in North America. There is a legacy of slavery, impoverishment, disrespect, and lynchings.  These facts are not disputable.  Black men and white women have a history of a shared struggle for equality, however they are often divided by racism, and sexism. 

It is perfectly understandable for a black man to become enraged when he is racially stereotyped.  To know that as you are innocently going about your day, that you will be perceived as a threat, based on the colour of your skin reduces one to the status of an animal. 

Black men do have a choice to make, on how they respond to this obvious racism. They can rise above, calling out racism when they see it, and demand respect, or they can rely on their male privileges to try and assert power in a situation in which  they feel powerless.  The decision to resort to unearned male privileges will not lead to the kind of satisfaction that they are attempting to achieve, as in the end  hostility and violence render legitimacy to the label of animal.

You cannot fight oppression by becoming an oppressor, as it only increases the cycle of victimization.  I could offer the cliches of an eye for an eye leaving the whole world blind, but instead I believe that it is more apt to realize that by taking on the masters tools, you are simply doing the masters work.  Those that seek to encourage division do so to maintain their own hegemony within the race/gender hierarchy.  When black men and white women approach each other with distrust and suspicion, they are eroding the possibility of forming an alliance to achieve freedom.  No matter what “ism” you are the target of, benefiting by wrongly asserting power over another only assures that you will never be free of the weight that holds you down. 

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