It’s safe to say that few centuries of violent white supremacy inflicted on black people have created a black inferiority complex (internalized racism). That campaign continues as black pathology has become a ‘thing’. Certain human problems have been morphed into black problems exclusively. Even the most ‘woke’ among us will blurt or rant at least one thing that hovers over the conviction that only black folks do this and that, which explains why we’re supposedly so fucked up.
We blame ourselves for the bullshit. And even if it’s explained, including the part how they are human problems and not black problems, we still think of ourselves as the most pathetic race on the planet because we somehow excel greatly at those problems with no reasonable explanation.
We see and hear this during conversations in barbershops, beauty shops or on social media sites, among other places.
But the self-depreciating crap needs to end. It’s easier than it sounds as white supremacy is all around us at every turn. So, I compiled a list of things I’ve heard from black folks that sound like baseline negative stereotypes and will deconstruct them one by one. I hope.
We spend more money trying to look rich instead of trying to be rich.
There’s this notion among ourselves that we have horrible spending habits. We seem to think we pay too much attention buying rims, weaves and Jordans than actually putting our cash into starting our own businesses. And we must look to Jews, Koreans and white people as entrepreneurial models, because they got their shit together.
But as Peter Coy of Bloomberg explains, it’s not that simple:
It’s natural to assume that if blacks have less wealth it’s because they’re doing less saving—i.e., more of each dollar of income is going to consumption. The opposite is the case, according to a Duke University study published last year and cited by the authors. At every income level, blacks spend less than similarly situated whites, the Duke researchers found: “Retail desertification in racially segregated neighborhoods, restricted access to affordable credit for blacks, and consumer racial discrimination, we argue, result in lower overall spending for blacks at all income levels,” they said.
Most of us are on welfare and most people that are on welfare are us.
We hear a lot from right wing whites. They strongly stick onto pinning welfare as a ‘black thing’. It helps confirm the racist beliefs they hold that black people are lazy always wanting ‘free stuff’. That connection has been debunked as the most folks on welfare are white. Strange though how they don’t consider them lazy.
However, we cannot afford to ignore that a significant population of Black Americans on welfare. But there’s more to the issue than trying to put racial myths to rest while ignoring elephants in the room. MsShona at Daily Kos says, “It is nothing but a distraction away from the real issue. And that issue is the handicapped economy of the Black American community…We need to wake up and grow up here. This is a welfare problem in the Black community. But that problem is not simply the fact that we accept it. The problem is that we still need it; in spite of living in one of the most prosperous countries on the planet. 27% of Black Americans live in poverty compared to only 10% of non-Hispanic White Americans. And that’s a more telling statistic. If Black Americans have a ‘in the ballpark range’ regarding the percentage of college graduates to White Americans (18% vs. 32%), then how come our poverty rates are still significantly higher?”
Only black men treat their women extremely poor.
Does the black community have a misogyny problem? Hell to the yeah it does. There’s no sugarcoating that many brothas look down or actively hate our sistas. We even have a name for it, Misogynoir. And yes, we damn sure need to have a conversation about this and look for ways to fix it.
But this woman hating attitude isn’t, by any stretch, a black problem. White men, Asian men, Latinx men, men from all backgrounds have problems with women, mostly due to their resiliency and drive, succeed above all odds, speaking their minds and defying expectations that goes against man’s natural order where women are quiet, subservient and are only born for pleasure and procreation. Though some issues are similar across the board, each group have their own uniqueness of misogyny. Regardless, they’re all extremely harmful.
Black women have bad attitudes.
This one needs to definitely drop off the face of the Earth, especially among brothas.
This is an age-old racist and sexist stereotype that demeans and controls black women. Their emotions do not define who they are. If they are angry, listen to the reasons why. However, do not think that their anger identifies themselves as black women. It’s not like everyone else doesn’t get pissed off, and it’s definitely not like black women aren’t oppressed.
Over 70% of black births are out-of-wedlock, and single black mothers are what’s wrong with the black community.
Ta-nehisi Coates of the Atlantic argues, ” no one disputes that 70 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock–or maybe they do, I never have. What we dispute are the reasons why. One notion that’s gained quite a bit of currency is that over the last 40 years, black mothers have, for whatever reason, decided that they’d much rather be single mothers. But the facts don’t back this up. As the data shows unmarried black women are having less, not more, kids then they were having 40 years ago. Furthermore, the number of unmarried black women having kids is declining, while the number of unmarried women–overall–having babies is increasing.”
Click here for more data.
There are more black men in prison than in college.
I don’t know how old this idea is. I’ve heard it at least ten years ago, and it’s just as false then as it is today. The American Council of Education breaks down where the myth came from and what the numbers actually show:
“The origin of this statement is a 2000 report from the Justice Policy Institute titled Cellblocks or Classrooms? The Funding of Higher Education and Corrections and Its Impact on African American Men. The report found that more African-American males were under the jurisdiction of a federal, state, or local penal system (791,600) than were enrolled in higher education (603,032). The report attributed this sobering finding to increased state investment in corrections and decreased support for higher education throughout the 1980s and 90s.”
“By 2002, African-American males in college outnumbered those incarcerated. Moreover, because a large portion of postsecondary institutions did not begin counting students who enrolled after the fall semester until 2002, it is quite possible that even in 2000 more African-American males were in college than in prison or jail.”
Click here to view the charts.
Only black people (insert human problem existing in all groups and cultures here).
When you’ve done research, which doesn’t take much, you will see that we are not singular when it comes to problems. But to believe that the troubles of crime, misogyny and poor economics, to name a few are examples that black people have some sort of remarkable pathology is to acquiesce to the myth of black inferiority in some way, shape or form. This is in no way a means to excuse or overlook such problems. But this is affirm that we’re not the only ones with problems. If we believe otherwise, we may as well practice on saying ‘yes, massa’ to any and all racial stereotypes thrown as us.
If there are any other damaging myths about us you would like to dispel, feel free to post them in the comment section.