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My alter ego was in a Facebook group dedicated to the black man’s love for black women. Then, someone posted a meme that says that no one has put down their women more than black men. Naturally, it started a comment thread that I bet is still active with most brothas refuting the meme. Some sistas agreed with the brothas, but some agreed with the meme, including the one who posted it in the first place.

I stepped in to give my two cents. I stated that misogyny is prevalent among all groups. I agreed that we need to fix this problem in your own communities. But to read that black men are the worst struck a nerve with me.

Maybe it sounded similar to the “we’re the most criminal” cliche we hear among racist trolls. Maybe it implied that black men disrespect their women without any explanation. Whatever it was, I wanted to defend my brothas, the ones who genuinely love black women. Maybe it was my male privilege that made me want to put the meme and arguments to rest without hearing any counters. But in retrospect, I pondered if it was right to do so in the faces of black women who had reasons of their own to back up the claim.

One sista argued that other races of men do not disrespect black women the way we do. I responded by saying that they do, but in their own ways which are no more or no less damaging to the women within their cultures. She wasn’t having any of that. She argued that black men are more open with their misogynoir. Interracial dating, raunchy rap lyrics and music videos and social media conversations and images are some examples of black men’s lack of respect for black women.

I was frustrated. I didn’t feel like conversing with her anymore.

Prior to the thread, I stated how tired I was of my people being seen as the worst of the worst. It seemed that someone somewhere want to make black people as the most inferior collection of humans on the planet. And to not only see the meme that says we’re the worst when it comes to our women but also see people defend it was too much to take.

So, I left the thread and the group. I was already depressed as hell. And I just wanted to retreat.

I think back to the sistas who backed the meme. The one I was arguing with was definitely tired and hurt in some way. Something happened to her to make her think and feel this way and she latched her anger on behalf of black women against black men. I think she even mentioned considering dating white men, a nod to the Black Women’s Empowerment movement where nonblack (usually white) men are looked upon as ideal mates for black women.

Sure, I’ve said that as black men, we need to do better. Still, I inadvertently argued that everybody does it putting the reputation of black men instead of being concerned for the sistas who were hurting.

As black men, we need to love, honor, protect and respect black women. Most of us are. But our sistas are in pain, and overall, we need to man up and help them instead of making things worse. We’re all in the same boat fighting the raging sea of racism. But if we don’t stand together as equals with love as our power, we will all sink to the bottom.