Black men and men’s rights: where do we fit?

There was a time not so long ago when the very idea of a “Men’s Right’s Movement” was completely laughable and deemed unnecessary. A few years ago before my own awakening I would’ve agreed with that in the early 2000s. But as I have grown from a boy into a man I have come to see quite distinctly there are concerns that the world seemingly has fallen for political lie of Feminism in that it cares about the concerns and welfare of men. If we are going to be a legitimate “Men’s Movement” then we are going to have to confront and deal with issues that affect all men, and we cannot deal with issues that affect all men if we try and skirt around what affects minority men of color.

Already, I am calculating in my head the sneers, jeers, eye-rolling and accusations that I am playing the race card, race-baiting, being a race hustler, etc. Already I am reading the comments and I anticipate being accused of racism merely because I am willing here and now to try and broach the subject itself. Already I see those in denial that it’s 2015, this should be over already. I already see comments that racism will only go away if we stop talking about it, and finally I see comments saying “but we are a small movement, we have no time to address these concerns and we can’t focus on those issues”.

Well let me inform you, gentleman and ladies, feminists – more or less the loyal opposition – do exactly the same thing when this topic comes up. There is the same level of denial and inaction to address or do something meaningful about race. One of the ways to do that is not to exploit race for mere political gain, but by showing deep compassion and concern for men of color in our movement. When you think about the issues that specifically affect men of color, you have a good deal of material to work with in the first place. If you wanna talk recent history, the new “manspreading” rules by the MTA in NYC, those first two men arrested were Latino. This ties directly into the corrupt criminal justice system that disproportionately affects men and men of color, and this campaign came at the heels from whom? Feminists, who couldn’t be bothered to ask a man to simply move over on a crowded subway and instead snapped pictures of unsuspecting men in public about how they sit and complained. Never mind about women doing the same thing and taken up seats with their bags cause “equality”. This is just one example showcasing how the feminist movement is no ally to men of color, since they directly contributed to a policy that will target men of color disproportionately as a result.

Wanna talk incarceration period? We know we have more men than women in jail. We know most of those men are men of color. Imagine if we were to come out against the drug war? Think about it. Men sell drugs for what purpose? Money. So here you have men, largely affected by a world in which their skills are of no use, but still expected to bear the brunt of financial responsibility. A world where these men are expected to excel in an education system largely beneficial to females, and where unruly males are placed on psychoactive drugs and written off as troublemakers. They drop out of school yet need income. No GED, no HS Diploma, and gone are the factory jobs where a man could support himself decently and respectfully. So he sells drugs, ends up in the prison industrial complex, and once out will not be eligible for a job as a result of having a record. We failed him the moment he entered kindergarten. And most of these men affected are? Surprise, surprise….men of color.

Lifespans, education level, income inequality, criminal justice, prison reform, divorce court, child support….all have had not just devastating impacts on men, but men of color more disproportionately.

But in order to get here we have to come to an understanding and get to the point that when race comes up it is not about “guilting” white people. Yet you can’t pretend that being white, in America, has not been beneficial. There is not a single measurable statistic that is going to truly show otherwise. It’s also not about your personal views on race, race relations,  your experiences, or how your family came here with nothing.

It’s about acknowledging there are collective differences in treatment and benefits based on skin color. There isn’t a person of color that does not wish this wasn’t the case. I’ve been Black a long time and I can assure you none of us start our day hoping to get profiled, stopped and frisked and having our constitutional rights violated. We don’t enjoy stepping onto an elevator with a white woman and them automatically having that woman assume we are going to rob them or “fitting” the often times very vague and coincidental description of known criminals.

If we work together to fix the issues men of color deal with, that is addressing a Men’s Rights Issue. That attracts more men, that gives us more appeal, with each step we become closer to truly unifying and becoming a beacon to attract more men, not an alarm telling other men, certain men to stay away.

We don’t have to agree on every single little thing but as men we have to be able to speak honestly, YET RESPECTFULLY at the same time and work to address issues of concern.

I am not here to guilt you in so much as point out every time someone tosses around the term “race card” or “race baiter” you ain’t helping the dialogue. If you disagree fine, we are men, we’re gonna disagree, I expect it… you express that disagreement matters. The media showcases us as a movement for white men only and if you refuse to discuss race, then congrats, you’re just giving feminists the ammunition they need to label the movement as right-wing anti-minority. Feminists have a long history of shutting out and exploiting women of color, and do we really want to be like feminists? Caring about issues people of color have only in name, but nothing substantive?

This is a real chance do something Feminists seemingly are incapable of, or unwilling to do: address the concerns of all men and really give a shit.

We should listen, take in, ask questions, think about it, research, respond and then try to solve and work through disagreement …….T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R.

In the recent videos on “catcalling”, who was largely showcased in that? Men of color. A behavior many men participate in, but who was made to look like the villain? Black and Latino men. Why? Because feminists are not inclusive, they are largely upper middle class white women caring only about their own gains of power.

If we men of color are truly your brother in arms, when we tell you “this is a problem” you do not help your brother by telling him “tough shit and to let it go”… ask him, who is fucking with you and point them out so we can get the sons-of-bitches together. That’s what family does, that’s what unity does. Because if the Men’s Right Movement as a whole keeps ignoring the issues men of color have it will collapse and be forever cast into the fires of a perception it doesn’t want and won’t be able to survive as America moves to a more racially multi-faceted place. So let’s be ahead of the curve here for a change?

It is time to take the next step and have a Men’s Rights Movement that addresses the issues of every man affected and deals with them in a real, meaningful way. No one is asking to devote all resources and time solely into issues that affect men of color, but understand they do affect men of color more in some aspects and to speak to it.

In doing so, you will be speaking to the larger system of oppression against men in general.


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