Tag Archives: Self-Hatred

Steven Stephens: A 20th Century Bigger Thomas? (Black America’s Native Son)

Experience has taught me to expect the inquiry regardless of the venue or situation. Whether while being interviewed or in the aftermath of an exhilarating lecture regarding the dilemmas facing African-American males, someone will ask “What is the greatest issue confronting the black male today?” To the chagrin of interviewers and audience members, my answer to this poignant query is never singular as the foremost problems facing African-American males revolves around mutually reinforcing issues of mental illness and their adoption, due to both socialization and their environs, of what can only be termed a toxic manhood that possesses the ability destroy all that they contact.

The wicked cocktail of mental illness and toxic manhood is the only explanation for the actions of Steven Stephens, the African-American male who not only murdered Robert Goodwin Sr. (74), a defenseless elderly black male on a Cleveland, Ohio, street, but also uploaded his heinous crime onto Facebook. Although Black America reacted with horror to Stephens’ diabolical actions, the truth of the matter is that the vast majority of us know several black males whose existence mirrors that of Steven Stephens; a personable individual, who on the surface fails to exhibit the wear-and-tear of being black in America publicly, yet is privately straining under the weight of being a have not in the land of plenty. The alluded to frustrations feeds directly into the dawning of a daunting query of “Is life worth living?” Such internal strife has reverberating repercussions for all around them. Unfortunately, it appears that the appropriate motto for disassembled black communities in every inner-city may very well be “A place where life is not worth living.”

Considering the mantra that “you cannot change what you do not acknowledge,” it is past time Black America shed their thread-bare lie of being shocked by regarding the actions and activities of the Steven Stephens found within their environs. If we were serious about improving our community, we would stop feigning ignorance and acknowledge that we have normalized public indecency and uncivilized behavior toward within the black community. It is not accidental that Steven Stephens murdered another black man as a means of expressing his frustrations at the two black women to whom he was closest, his mother and a former fiancé.

It is imperative that we not miss this opportunity to at least examine, if not address the cause of the development of angry, brash, illogical, directionless, socially inappropriate African-American males whose moral compass is a toxic manhood possessing more power to destroy themselves and their community than Hurricane Katrina. We must face facts that figures such as Steven Stephens are a reflection of who we have become as a community; cold, distant, foreign to one another, combustible, and dangerous to ourselves. When considered in this light, it is clear that today’s troubled African-American male is a modern-day Bigger Thomas, meaning Black America’s Native Son. Such individuals reflect the frustrations, contradictions, and sadness that has been comfortably situated in our hearts for so long that we no longer notice its presence. For better or for worse, it is who we have become to each other.

And for that reason, we should all weep.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture 2017.

TRICK DADDY ON BLACK WOMEN: YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HOW EXPENSIVE IGNORANCE CAN BE

There is a certain amount of decorum that I have for some illogical reason come to expect from so-called adult African-American mentrick-daddy-5 when they are either in the company of or referring to African-American women. I am also certain that if you are a rational human being who has had any exposure to a fair sample size of African-American males that you also realize that I am grossly disappointed with the manner in which many, most certainly not all, Black males consider the women who have historically birthed, considered, coddled, comforted, and aided them in what often amounted to selfless unconscionable ways that no other population of women would ever do for even their own kind.

Let me make this plain, if you are an African-American male who does not hold the Black women in the highest place possible, you are an individual who fails to realize that in doing so you have made a conscious decision to “cut off your nose to spite your face.”

Considering that what I just penned most likely flew over your head, let me say it in the simplest language possible; “Black man, if you do not cherish the Black women you are quite simply in desperate need of a real world education regarding the path that Black women have paved for every Black man existing today. Without them, we would be extinct.”

Maybe you were fortunate enough to miss the most recent ignorance to fly out of a somewhat notable African-American male’s mouth on social media. The individual whom I am referring to istrick-daddy-2 none other than Florida based rapper ‘Trick Daddy’ — a dubious name in and of itself — who took it upon himself to warn Black women that “These Spanish, these white hoes…they done started getting finer than a mother*cka. Ya’ll black hoes betta tighten up…(if non-Black women learn to fry chicken) black hoes will officially be useless.

Only in America would it be permissible for a figure such as ‘Trick Daddy’ to voice such ignorance into a public space.

As an educated African-American I am actually unsure if I am more offended that ‘Trick Daddy’ has reduced the needs of Black men to merely having a fine ‘Spanish or white hoe’ who can fry chicken or what such a statement means in the larger scheme of things. Actually, I do know which offends me more, it is the latter.

Although I would love to say that ‘Trick Daddy’ is an anomaly in regards to African-American males continuing failure to understand even the most basic aspects of choosing a mate to produce and raise children with, he is in many ways ‘par for the course’ when examining this matter. One of the most obvious examples of the failure of many Black men to choose a suitable mate is found in their pre-occupation with superficial characteristics such as the eroding physical beauty of women or even more ridiculous is the adoration of the hair that adorning her hair, yet is not growing out of her own hair follicles. I am certain that many brothers will take great issue with what I am saying, however, it must be said.

Although it is a harsh reality to accept, the truth of the matter is that trick-daddy-1there is no balm to be found for the voluminous political, social, historical, economic, and cultural maladies afflicting Black men to be found between the legs of any woman, regardless of their race, the length of their hair, or even if their racial/ethnic background has been so muddled through the centuries that your ignorant ass is forced to refer to her as an ‘exotical’.

However, all is not lost, you can reverse your current course if you so desire. The first step toward addressing a life that has become so painful to live that you are now cursing your mother, even if indirectly, your aunts, your sisters, and your daughters by swearing off the comforting embrace of a woman who looks like your mama or the sway of the hips that so many Black women have been naturally blessed with that reminds you of your first crush, begins with you and only you. Put simply, stop blaming Black women for your inadequacies, inefficiencies, and failings in life.

Any African-American male who has been able to build a stable family will tell you through experience that whom you mate with matters greatly in regards to where you are headed as a man. Such men would advise you to pay more attention to the expansiveness of a potential mate’s brain than the plumpness of her derriere. Unfortunately, a figure such as ‘Trick Daddy’ and the droves of those who emanate from similar viewpoints refuse to follow such tried and true practices that have worked for our people for centuries; failure to do such most certainly places you in peril.

In many ways it is poetic justice that they pay the price for their poor decision-making. The great social critic James Baldwin said it in this way, “People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become, and they pay for it, very simply, by the lives they lead.”

It is this failure that makes the following information not only likely, but also predictable for African-American males who chose to follow the gospel of the greatest Trick of them all, ‘Trick Daddy’.

Trick Daddy has filed for bankruptcy because, according to him … he’s got trick-daddy-3next to ZERO money in the bank, and his baby mama bills keep piling up.

The Miami rapper filed for Chapter 11 saying he’s got about $430k in assets – which sounds decent, except he’s also $645k in the red! Including: $34,837 child support to one mother, $22,282 to another, $290k in back taxes, and $280k for his first mortgage. (TMZ)

The only thing that I could say to a figure such as ‘Trick Daddy’ or the droves of ignorant males that follow him is that they need to go and get a ‘life coach’ or something, embrace the fact that they are Black and that Black women are absolutely unrivaled in their beauty; and then go out onto the street, any street, and apologize to every Black woman for the evil that you kind has done for centuries.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016

LARK VOORHIES: Yet Another Example of Extreme Self-Hatred and Convoluted Thought

I have learned that when making a life altering decision, you are either running away from something, such as problems, or running toward something, such as opportunity. Trust that decisions motivated by the latter (running toward something) are exponentially more beneficial than those motivated by the former (running away from something).

It is an understanding of the aforementioned logic that makes many of the decisions and public proclamations of African-Americans all the more peculiar as they often appear to be emanating from both sides of the equation. Put simply, they are running away from their problems for what amounts to an opportunity that is as genuine as fools’ gold; meaning the thing that they are running toward will in no way shape or fashion solve their problem.

When one attempts to logically illuminate and examine the primary problem facing African-Americans, their investigation should guide lark1them toward the issue of identity, ancestry, and a homeland. It was into this abyss that Lark Voorhies, best known as Lisa Turtle on the show Saved by the Bell, recently stepped into with the following communication. “No, I am not black. I am American! I was born in America. I was not born in Africa, therefore I am not african. Africans are not african-americans!

As previously discussed, I am certain that Lark does not realize that she is running from what is apparently her most significant problem, being inextricably linked to Black America; however, she believes that she is running toward greater opportunity by bathing herself in American patriotism. This identity problem is most certainly a problem that the vast majority of persons of African descent, regardless of where they are found, desperately need to resolve within themselves.

One of the most important things that any of us will be forced to answer during our lifetime is ‘who am I’? Make no mistake about it; this query reflects so much about our understanding of historical background, ancestry, heritage, upbringing, socialization, and where we project ourselves in the future.

One would be hard-pressed to find another area where there was less discord and misunderstanding among our people than larkmoments when we are forced to definitively declare an identity. The answers to this poignant question of ‘who are you’, run the gamut as our people to this day define themselves or others in the race, in the following manner: Black, African-American, Negro, Nigger, Nigga, African, Moor, person of African descent, Muslim, Catholic, Black Muslim, Christian, American, and Black Christian.

In our defense, there is no other population of people like African-Americans who are devoid of a homeland that officially welcomes them with open-arms, consider the resistance of African nation’s to offer dual-citizenship status to those of us strewn throughout the Diaspora. Mrs. Voorhies’ statement touches upon the reality that the disdain that is all too common among Africans and African-Americans is a two-way street with ample room for hatred, disagreement, and unforgiveness. Words can never relate the level of disappointment that I felt when during my initial venture to Ghana in desperate pursuit of some connection to my ‘roots’ to find my African ‘brothers and sisters’ referring to African-Americans as ‘the white man’.

The alluded to experience drove home the reality that the masses of African-Americans who had developed an affinity for Africa lark2through our readings of historical texts and literature had not only romanticized our ‘ancestral homeland’ but also filled in so many holes in our story with fanciful thoughts and expectations of how we would be welcomed home.

So the matter of racial identity that public figures such as Lark Voorhies and a slew of other young African-American stars have addressed is an important one that reveals much about how this next generation is constructing their understanding of racial matters. All indications are pointing to the reality that huge portions of this latest generation do not consider a relationship with their ‘ancestral homeland’ a priority as evidenced by their increasing tendency to mimic the values, priorities, and interests of whites.

The unsophisticated manner that young African-Americans such as Lark Voorhies address this matter of racial identity is a foreboding shadow that promises untold problems for persons of African descent, the Black community, and the continent of Africa. And for that reason, we should all be ashamed and recognize that if our children are not taught proper values regarding their racial identity and their duties on this planet, their idiotic understanding of such matters is honestly no one’s fault but our own.

James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016.

#ManhoodRaceCulture