A little over a year ago, Barack Obama became the first African-American President of the United States. A week later, comedian Steve Harvey’s self-help book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, hit store and internet shelves. The good is always outweighed by the bad.
In the last 16 months, Harvey has become the go-to voice for relationship advice in the Black community — like reverends Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson being consulted on why Black people smoke menthol cigarettes or hate the word “lynch.” While most cultures don’t have the painful self-analysis, self-loathing and tarnished history that African-Americans have in the United States, they also don’t have all types of media poking and prodding about every facet of their lives like a dissected frog in biology class.
For someone who cut their teeth on the comedy circuit and wore a hideous toupee until recently, it is interesting that someone like Harvey, with no discernible qualifications in sociology, psychology or picking quality projects, is now the leading expert on why Black women ain’t findin’ no good Black men. It would be like rapper Jay-Z being a consultant on why African-Americans love them some alcohol. Like Harvey, Mr. Z wouldn’t seem like the most knowledgeable person on the subject aside from being an occasional partaker of and profiting on the product of conversation, and yet white people would be enthralled by his lone words that would therefore encompass every thought of every African-American, so say we all. But I digress.
For a comedian that prides himself on being old-school (in other words, a fuddy-duddy), Harvey’s views are taken as gospel without considering many modern ideas and facts. In particular, television network ABC aired a wrist-slitting examination in December on the “problem” of single Black women being unable to trap them a man. And in modern culture, there are some startling changes afoot: Did you know that Black men dress (sports jerseys, jewelry, baggy clothes) that are turnoffs to women, degrade Black women in songs and are more likely not to take care of their kids? This may or may not be true because Harvey said so.
The media is quick to throw out hypotheses in the form of shockingly ignorant questions wondered aloud like they woke up in the middle of class. And true to form, I will now do the same.
Basically, what Harvey is getting at is that the real men Black men are hard to find because the average African-American man is a frighteningly-closeted gay — or, in FOX News speak, “ARE BLACK MEN BONKERS FOR BONERS?”
Let that sink in for a few seconds.
Have you been revived? Good. Let’s take a mind journey with our brain tissues.
1. Black men dress for other men
Jerseys, jewelry, bandannas, expensive shoes, grillz and gangsta muumuus: Based on the media depictions and popularized images of African-American gangsta culture, Black men are one-step away from standing on the sewer grate like Marilyn Monroe.
Harvey mentioned in a panel on Black relationships panel about men dressing to impress other men. Unlike the idea of women dressing their best because of peer pressure from other women, a Black man wearing clothes that appeal to and curry them in favor of their fellow men clearly means that they are hot for cock. Men picking wardrobe items that are tasteful, restrained and mature are all about the ladies, AMIRITE?
2. Black men love drama
The quintessential stereotype that women and gay men love to discuss and observe (and even participate in) dramatic situations is true — because stereotypes ARE true, right, golfer/racist Fuzzy Zoeller? And this is the most present in the rap world with feuds between artists. Who doesn’t remember the verbal sparring between Jay-Z and Nas? Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur? 50 Cent and The Game? Those are a small sample of the beefs that have plagued hip-hop culture since a young Kool Moe Dee dissed the Beastie Boys.
AND THEY LOVE IT.
While Biggie and 2Pac died for their cat-fights, most rappers are energized creatively when they can take their bickering to the stage and mic, spitting verses about their arguments like a shoe sale (or whatever stereotypical woman thing that women stereotypically fight over). Some hug it out (Jay-Z, Nas) and some sulk like the loser girl at prom (50 Cent, The Game), but they all get off on it like a pornstar. (Rufus Wainwright’s gaydar, currently aimed at 50 Cent, is especially interesting.) Hell, even the word “beef” can be misconstrued for penis, and boy do those rappers love them some beef.
3. Black men love forbidden fruit
I recently satirically chided Essence magazine and Jill Scott’s editorial on Black men dating outside of their race. The increasing trend of African-American men dating women of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds may look like a result of crumbling social and societal barriers of progressive outlooks on race relations in the U.S., but really it’s a big-ass metaphor for having a tang for wang.
Think about it. It is human nature for people to want what they can’t have. And in the more traditional African-American community, being gay is up there with country music and mayonnaise as something no one wants to be associated with. So the next best thing is to do something a little less taboo — courting a women of a different race. While those men are hopping on white women like a soccer mom at a Bed Bath and Beyond blowout sale (there’s the stereotype!), they are really wishing their partner could “wangle a new dangle.”
This also explains the hatred and degradation of black women in popular rap and hip-hop songs. Why talk lovingly about someone you’re not attracted to when you just want some man-meat? Darn those Black women and trying to steal Black men from other men. HOW DARE THEY.
Now, I know that my viewpoints may be considered crazy, wacky or dangerous, and for that I am thankful because that means you read the whole thing. But let this be a wake-up call to the African-American community: Until Black men individually speak for themselves, so-called experts like Harvey will speak for them, and we armchair therapists can boast about their secret, unspoken desire of slobberin’ for knobberin’. Until then, you can pick up my new self-help book, Think Like a Dingo, Act Like a Cougar: How to Troll for Old White Women, and fund my efforts to live forever. Thank you.
*The preceding blog may or may not be real.