A black male president in office is enough for the entire country to breathe a sigh of relief for the black man. All Americans declare that black men are no longer an endangered species. I beg to differ. Black men are more endangered now than ever. Their education, job, and incarceration plights are forgotten.
Their volatile and often demeaning relationships with black women, however, are exploited in the media nationwide. In 21st century America, being endangered is a state of mind and a state of being.
An endangered species?
In nature, the Alpha male leads the pack. The history of America is time spent making the African-American men less than; destroying their ability to be a leader for their pack. Black men languish in poor school systems where they are virtually ignored in the inner cities. They go on to drop out of elementary and high school at higher rates than any other race. They remain less educated than the women of their race who finish college. Many men are finding themselves incarcerated at a young age and statistically are the highest rates of incarcerated individuals in America. No one is checking for the brothers unless they are balling.
Blinded by the bling
Balling and rapping are the allowed success avenues for black males. It’s what’s expected. If he exceeds that realm, and succeeds as a college student or an entrepreneur, he is viewed as exceptionally gifted and a prime catch by black women. But the “bling” black males outnumber those striving for a different presentation of the race. The bling males have quick, easy money. They shine to the throngs of available black women-women who outnumber the available men of their race because they are currently rotting in jail in a biased penal system. The bling male is blinded by the facade of success. In this state, this male is frequently delusional about his ability and, unfortunately, compensates for the delusion with demeaning behavior to others. He knows his ability and status are for the moment and worries about the future.
For the most part, however, he’s a God to those around him and treats everyone as beneath him, including the woman he used to call Queen. The bling factor stands out so strongly to the black male that they also forget the women of their own race and more frequently than not date, bed, and marry other races at a rate that’s noticed by the mainstream U.S. media.
The disturbing fact is that black males are the race. They lead the race, yet they aren’t leading at all. The Alpha male role has been passed on, like someone put the torch down. Barack Obama stands as an example of what black males are capable of, but he is the rare example of what mixed-race and class can do for a person. His diverse life is different from the experience everyday black men. He’s a stand-in for what could be in the eyes of others if his story were our own. But it is not. His white and recent African heritage makes his story stand out, though it is little consolation for what is happening to the black race.
Endangered is a state of mind. Black people have the ability to turn around the situation that is occurring within their race. But the men are the leaders. It must start with them. Obama showed that the leadership required begins with education. He would not have accomplished so much if he had remained ignorant to things in the world. The next step starts with repairing relationships. Black males and females have to redeem their ticket that was “given” to them when they were tossed on the boat from Africa to American. The ticket is an open offer to travel back to a place of regal power and combined strength.
Angelic Jones is a freelance writer for Austin Weekly News.