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Sunday, October 26

Thoughts on the status of the black male




The following posting was based on the article "The black man... an endangered species" by Tiffany Chiles, published in DONDIVA, 2008.

There are so many areas that we, the black men are referred to as “unknown.” Society has been discounting the black man for hundreds of years and he has literally become unknown. We’ve lost a generation of black males to the streets, gangs, drugs, unemployment, violence, crime and broken homes. The question that we need to ask ourselves is will we allow the next generation to be lost or taken from us as well.

A quarter of black Americans live below the federal poverty level, a rate about twice the national rate. More than a third of all black children live in poverty, and almost two thirds grow up in homes without both parents. In some cities, more than half of all black boys do not finish high school, and by the time they are in their 30’s almost 6 in10 black high school drop outs will have spent time in prison. Half of all black men in their 20’s are jobless. The typical black household earns only about 60% of the earning of white households and has a net worth only about 10% of that of whites. The HIV/AIDS rate is highest for black Americans and blacks are more often the victims of inadequate healthcare. In 2008 the government has been enforcing drug laws that put young poor black men and women at a higher risk of incarceration. Two generations ago, you could go through a phase, get in trouble with the law, get involved with drugs for a minute, hustle a little dope until something happened to scare you straight. Today, you no longer have the opportunity to learn from your mistakes or be scared straight. Due to harsh Federal and State drug laws you mess up the first time and it could men a lengthy prison sentence. And that one prison sentence could affect the rest of your life and the rest of your family. You are the unknown. You can’t vote, you can’t get a job, you can’t get a grant or financial aid for school, you can’t live in public housing (not even with your momma), and you can’t get health care. You can’t support yourself or your family. The only thing you can do is exactly what the system knows you will do, commit more crimes to survive. This is why the recidivism rate amongst blacks is so high. For first time offenders, the rate of re-incarceration can be as high as 15%, for individuals with prior criminal history it can be almost 40%. These individuals don’t want to commit any crimes and be at risk of going back to jail but they feel they have no choice, it’s do what you do best or starve. The choice thereafter becomes instinctive. They are trying to survive in a society that wants to keep them unknown.

While we do believe that people in prison are a danger in society, there is something gravely wrong when there is a 2.2 million people in jail and almost 1 million of them are black, when the fact is that black people make up only 13 percent of societies makeup on a whole. If you as a parent have been incarcerated, your children are 6 times more likely to go to jail because you did. Most minorities know someone who knows someone that is in jail, that’s been to jail, or that’s been to jail themselves. Conversations about inmates in prison seem normal to us. Prison in the black community has lost its negative stigma. In 2007 the Bureau of Justice reported that the leading cause of death among black males ages 16 to 34 was black on black homicide. Today’s youth are disrespectful and wreckless as many participate in criminal activities for some feeling of acceptance and family. It is probable that their fathers aren’t in the home because he has either purposely disappeared, been violently killed or incarcerated. In 2008 it’s a sad truth but one in three is likely.

The black man is disappearing from existence in record numbers. They are being lost to poverty, HIV, violence, death, and incarceration. We cannot continue to treat these problems like many of us do our personal problems- we ignore them. We have already lost our fathers, brothers and men, we don’t want our children to be lost as well.

How do you perceive the black man of today? What can be done to bridge the gap between the races?

137 comments:

Athena Smith said...

In my classes, I have not observed a difference in performance between races. Some of my best students were white, some black and some hispanic. Also some of those who did not make it were white, some black and some hispanic.

I suppose once you are in college you are more disciplined and more determinded. So it becomes a matter of individual effort, individual responsibility and individual resilience.

Two years ago I had a black student who had a long scar on his face. He explained that he had been a gang member and that he regretted it deeply, for hurting others but also for hurting his mom. His performance was top. Resilient all the way. At the end of the semester he had gotten 4 As.

HeatherF said...

This is a really sad issue. It seems like it just one ridiculous cycle. Being set up for failure, with the small percentage having an opportunity to suceed, and then when failing the children are subjected to the same cycle! I think the first step is that overall, the problem is ascknowledged. Unfortunately prejudice is still alive in our country, but i think when Obama becomes president it will be an inspiration for black communities. Inspiration obviously isin't enough, but its a start. I think that we as a country have to be more active in all communities, not just our own!

bucs06 said...

A sad issue? Please tell me what you can do about it? I know as a citizen I can not do anything about this problem. I know many black males that are successful in their communities and in their professions. The black male in general is seen as a bad person, but that is a stereotype. I know a 21 year old black male that is a manager of an outback and he has no college education. The black male is perceived as poor and drug dealers and all of that, but I do not always agree with that. That is called a stereotype once again, and that does not mean that 100% of black males are that way.

Jason Raimondo said...

The article posted about the "Status of the Black Male" seems to be filled with defeatist attitudes. I don't really like voicing my political opinions unprompted, but I do believe that a side effect of a Barrack Obama Presidency would be to end the excuses. The populace of the United States becomes more diverse each year, and many studies believe that white people will be the minority in the country over the course of the next 60 years. To me, this means that it becomes less possible each year for anyone to be denied opportunities based on race. When you need a job and you can't find a good one, you should take a bad one. Working at a fast food place, or gas station is better than not working at all. Financial aid is based on overall income, and parental income, and I also believe that claiming that blacks are denied financial aid is most likely false. If your entire family has been to jail then you know more than anyone else around that it can ruin your life. It seems to me that blaming society for an entire community's problems is ridiculous.
If you are a felon without a job, then you probably don't have health insurance. Is this because the health care industry is racist? NO! I have never heard of anyone being denied healthcare, or financial aid because of race. These arguments made a lot of sense in 1968, but they don't hold much water in 2008. Not only is our society and government willing to hire people of minority races, but it has established quotas and affirmative action legislation to ensure access to employment. Falling into a group of criminals, and living a unproductive life happens in every community. As a child, I was one of 2 white kids to go to my Elementry school just outside of Little Havana in south Florida in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In South Florida at this time gangs ran the streets, and a child who was 10 or 12 years old was as likely to be carrying a firearm as any adult. While my need for acceptance among a populace that was 99% hispanic could have led me to become involved in gangs, I never did feel the need to participate in them. I was fortunate enough to have my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings around to keep me too busy to really notice that we lived in a warzone. As a child my father would pay us 2 dollars to pick up all of the beer bottles, trash and bullet shell casings that were constantly strewn across our parkway. I never thought that it was strange. I never even imagined participating in the craziness that was all around us. There was a chop-shop 2 houses away from us, and my father always waved at the neighbors as he pulled in the driveway, so I never thought that anything was wrong with our community. This personal experience leads me to believe that it is the responsibility of the family to raise their children properly. It also seems to me that the author of this article is telling black families that they are not responsible for each other. He blames society for all of the woes of the black commuity. While I do agree that the black community had a difficult time in finding equality among Americans, I feel that today in October 2008, we know better than to blame anyone other than ourselves for the courses that our lives have taken. The black community fought hard for equality in America, and it has equality in America. Maybe it just needs to be reminded that it is equalm it is feem and it is in command of it's own destiny. Most times the best place to point our fingers is right into the mirror.

allisonbeck said...

I believe the black male is no different than any other human being on this planet. I think it really IS a vicious cycle and its a hard one to be broken, when blacks have been judged and stereotyped and almost forced into portraying all of these negative things that have been said and titled towards them over the years. It's unfair and it makes no sense, but it's almost like black males have been accepting their definition from society and molded into what they were told to be, in a sense.. I'm not sure if that makes total sense either, but this issue can be stopped and fixed, if people would try to fix it themselves, black and white.. both sides can be wrong, and add to this problem, but honestly, anything can be solved and made for the better. I think it's just naive thinking and habit to live and believe in all of this, but it can stop.

tonydrdees said...

Although its sad I personally don't have sympathy for the "black male" because we are all given the chance in life to make something of it. God gave us all the resources to live and be happy and while some complain that they are poor, well at least they are alive. I'm a white male and I grew up very poor and in a not so good area. I lived with just my mom and 99% of the people in the neighborhood were of the black race. I don't use were I lived or how poor I was as a way to have other people give me any sort of special treatment. I think that it depends on the person and how strong they are. Also who do you see more of abusing the healthcare system or the social security system or the wellfare system? Mostly blacks. Although some do need real help most are just abusing the system. You can see they are living in government housing driving a Escalade. WTF man? Meanwhile my mom was seriously injured in an auto accident "not her fault" and got nothing out of the insurence company and they will not approve her for social security even though she cannot work another day in her life. Yes something is wrong but don't expect any hand-outs and thats the problem they want hand-outs. I say you better get your "dish-pan" hands dirty and rough it through like the rest of us.

Cardboard_Composite said...

I know their are many successful black males in America, and these sad statistics do not represent all black people. I also agree that many are as described and it is a problem.

I don't think this is really a job for the government to solve however. Things like unequal pay, yes, but I think the majority of the problem comes from the mindset of the individuals. Each person is responsible for their own actions. All people are responsible to make the right, legal, decisions. If one breaks the law; he's to jail, black or white.

Blacks fought so hard for equality. I believe today society as a whole sees them as equal. To say this is a problem and that society needs to fix it for them, because they cannot, almost seems like saying they aren't equal. I wouldn't think that be very fair to them.

Finally, how would society help them, If the problem does root from what Blacks consider to be their culture? It seems a new Black culture has emerged embracing the negative. In the article they said it's NOT a negative thing to go to jail. How can you help someone who cannot help themselves, that thinks it's cool to go to jail, join a gang, and do drugs? Is it really right to try to change their culture?

I understand this is not all Blacks. I think the best way to change the remaining would be for more successful, positive, and educated black role models to emerge. So That people can see what else there is to be in life, and want to reach their level without being called a whitey.

SBella said...

Being half black myself I see the downfall that the black man has had in my generation. Its sad to say I see a lot of my kind be in the predicament that they are in. AI look at my father and thank god that he is educated, well mannered, and believes in a goo education. But able todays black man is either/or. He's either educated, well mannered, disciplined or financially stable or the complete opposite. There seems to be no in between, which is difficult to understand. I believe your surroundings do shape the person that you are and become, but you as an individual can change all of that if you truly want to become better. This is my problem with todays black man (not all but a good portion), he is lazy and careless and takes the easy way out and gets in trouble with drugs and gangs and so on. I will agree with bucs06. We are born into a generation that has a stereotype against "us" and this stereotype will remain sadly enough to say. Because no matter how hard we try to succeed we then will e labeled as trying to become " white" and because we are educated and speak without slang we "are" white so this issue really just runs in a circles, and always will be so. We can only continue to try and do better, but it will take ages for us to be able to prove to society that we are better than what we are perceived as.

Da Chris said...

Call it rude, but there were a lot of misconceptions and generally wonky information.

Two generations ago, you could go through a phase, get in trouble with the law, get involved with drugs for a minute, hustle a little dope until something happened to scare you straight. Today, you no longer have the opportunity to learn from your mistakes or be scared straight. Due to harsh Federal and State drug laws you mess up the first time and it could men a lengthy prison sentence.

Umm, I'm not sure where to start.
First, like a lot of point, this isn't only a black problem. It's one that effects everyone. Secondly, those who do go to the "dark side" and return are few and far between. Due to these people's levels in society (not just blacks), personality (why they turn there in the first place) and the addictive nature of drugs these people won't make it very far. Those who do break out of poverty will probably avoid drugs and other things that could harm them and their credentials. Like mentioned in class, the people in poverty have a certain personality about them. The dominate people do not have this, so those who do break out will have this as well.

Blaming the federal system is like big companies blaming customers for not buying their products. It doesn't work like this. How can a company say it's the consumers fault that the product was something they did not want, fulfilling their interest. It does not mean the consumer is wrong, but there is something wrong with the product. It is not the fault of the courts for people doing something illegal. It does not work like that. Is the system bit harsh. Yes. But what you are saying removes all personal responsibility (which is a problem of the "black man"). This statement sums up the fallacy.
In 2008 the government has been enforcing drug laws that put young poor black men and women at a higher risk of incarceration.
Again, your blaming the government for people's problems because those people were doing something illegal. Sorry, but the world doesn't work like that.

This is why the recidivism rate amongst blacks is so high.
This is not a black problem, but a problem of all those who go into jail. I'll tell you the post could have replaced "black" to "poor" and it would worked a lot better.

there is something gravely wrong when there is a 2.2 million people in jail and almost 1 million of them are black, when the fact is that black people make up only 13 percent of societies makeup on a whole.
(This one is a little sketchy on my part).
First, it's not "is a 2.2 million".It's plural, so get rid of the "a" and change "is" to "as".

Now, numbers don't mean anything unless you put something too them. According to your numbers, less then 1% of the US is in jail. 39 million African Americans are in the US. Only 1 million of those are in jail. It is a large percentage, yet, overall, there are 38million others who are not in jail. The reason the "problem" continues is there is no need to fix it.

The typical black household earns only about 60% of the earning of white households and has a net worth only about 10% of that of whites.

And here is the root of all these problems. You spelled "poor" wrong.

SO, what does this mean? It means that the problems is right in front of you. It is.............
Get these people out of poverty

The problem is you make these out to be a black problem; however, it is clearly not. The problems is the blacks are in poverty. If these people can get out of poverty, then the "problem" is solved. Just like that. Cool huh? Now, the other thing is we do not try to rehabilitate drug users and criminals, so they continue to do crimes. Now, this isn't a black problem as it effects a larger group, but it is a social issue, nonetheless.

So, to recap, if you fix poverty, you fix this problem. One sad truth is this is the fate of minority groups, so it may be improbable. However, one thing that can be done is these people take on traits that can help them succeed. If they break the cycle, then it's one less person on the streets.

iOperationJapan! said...

I don't really have any thoughts on the status of the black man, as I don't like to fall into sterotypes. Such as, "oh they're all drug dealers!", no, I know that everyone is an individual and has an opportunity to make something of they're lives.
As for the lives of these criminals or "Ex-Criminals" I don't have a shred of sympothy.
It's their fault the way they are.
Statements like, "The only thing you can do is exactly what the system knows you will do, commit more crimes to survive" is bull.
Okay, you may have had a bad start but to say that you are stuck in a rut because of the system is stupid to me. You just have to work harder to make your life better. You may have to work harder to undo your wrongs or the wrongs of others, but you are not helpless. "So it becomes a matter of individual effort, individual responsibility and individual resilience"
Nobody is forcing you to take the drugs or do something you don't want to do. It's your freaking choice. Just cause your whole family or community does it doesn't mean you have to. Geez.

Da Chris said...

Hmmmm, I see a problem with my comment. Generally, I post on what is said on the blog, so I may not give a broad look at the topic. Other have said different things about the "problem" beyond what the post has said. Maybe it is a weakness of mine.

Snake said...

Obviously the government has put up these parameters around the black man from the statistics that they have created about them to keep them in prison because the government thinks that since he's been in jail once for it he'll do it again. But with these parameters they have put into place, the new generation has to go through it right from the start. So of course anyone is going to do what they have to do to survive. For most its what they have to do too and then go right back to jail for it. I think that if you remove these restrictions of just one strike and your out kinda thing and be more lenient and give like three strikes, it could give anyone another chance to redeem themselves and not shut them out from society, which if that happened to anyone, would make them fight society.

CandaceRenee07 said...

I do not think the black man still has this status. There are several successful black men just the same as there are white men. The problem is that you still have those group of black men who think we, as white Americans, owe them because of their ancestors and that because of their color, they will not succeed. Look at Obama, that man is running for PRESIDENT, the highest job in the world and he sure as heck isn't white. I have absolutely no problem with anyone of a different race until you blame your race on who you have become. You are an American whether you are white, black, hispanic, blue, or purple... you have the same opportunities as everyone else. Do something with yourself and quit gripping about the stereotype others might have of you.

sduffy3 said...

I think that everyone has just the same opportunity as anyone else- regardless of your culture, color, or sex. I hear a lot about job descrimination and what not, but for me personally, I just do not see it. I have seen just as many successful black men as I have seen white and I do not think that color makes a difference in their success. I believe that the problem here is not that these men are black, but that they are living in poverty.

Even after reading the numbers and statistics, I still have to beleive that it depends on the type of person you are. If you are determined to succeed, and work hard for it, at some point you will prevail. On the other hand, I do have to say that lack of money will be a huge obstacle to overcome. You need money to do everything today, but that doesn't mean you need to engage in criminal activity just to get by. I am not speaking from experience, because I do not know that life, but I know anyone can become something if they put their mind to it. Therefore, to bridge the gap between races- something needs to be done about the poverty level. That is what divides everyone. Money, not color.

RAwildcats06 said...

Within my social class I have not noticed a difference between races. In my humanities class one of the smartest students in there is an African American boy. Throughout my life I have had many black friends some who were more determined than others but I also noticed them helping each other out. I think that any race can fall victim to the violence and gangs. I think when someone has support of friends it helps them stay out of trouble. When I see a black man in society I do not perceive him as being a bad person. I know many successful African American men. I think that some people can be scared straight and that everyone should get a second chance.

sweetmenthol said...

I do not believe there is any gap in the bridge to build, you lay on your bed the way you make it.
Black, white or yellow, you find yourself where you plan to be,although misfortune do happen. If you do not want to lose your right to vote, don,t do what will make you lose that right. It is so clear, it is just like being in school and don,t study and you expect good grade, isn,t that impossible?. You don,t do drug and stay in school and see if you qualify for financial or not. I do not like the idea of blaming others for our wrong doing. Why don,t you obey the law of the land and see if you will not get the goods of the land or not.Why on this earth do anyone want to live on the government anyway? Why will you always think of what the government can do for you and not what you can contribute to your community to make it grow and don,t wait on social security and food stamps to live. Even illegal immigrants make good living, because they know there is no way to make living rather than work, but our black brother do not want dirty jobs but they want money from government for doing nothing. If everybody wait on government to provide for us, don,t you think everything would have collapse by now, because who will be working to make the money that everybody wants.I am black and do not support the idea of my fellow black people waiting hands and legs on government to help us out. It is time to wake up from our slumber and look at the world from the eye of the brave and not a liability perspective. I salute the achieved black people of today that are doing great things in the country, let us emmulate good character and be a better citizen, rather thean being a drug addict, bank robbers and so.Let us work to remove the stigma that have been put on us and make a better tommorow for the coming generation.

Melissa said...

I was taught at a young age to work hard for my money and appreciate everything I earn. I feel through experience, that the poverty stricken black community isn't built the same way. I value the job that I have been given, and I realize that I cannot live without it! A lot of the poor people I went to school with would have a new job every month because they "didn't like the manager" or something else along those lines. I don't understand how they can blame the community and government for being poor when they don't try to resolve the problem. I think this is a major factor in the way people base their decisions on the community.


And this comment..."Two generations ago, you could go through a phase, get in trouble with the law, get involved with drugs for a minute, hustle a little dope until something happened to scare you straight. Today, you no longer have the opportunity to learn from your mistakes or be scared straight."

I think going to prision would kind of scare you straight and hopefully you would learn form your mistake.

kndglv@yahoo.com said...

I hear alot about this topic. I try not to do things that will get me put in prison. It is an obsessive thought. I am tried of people making drug dealers to play the victim. Yeah, people make mistakes: Yes, the drug laws are unfair, but stop with the "I was just trying to feed my family GARBAGE.
The lies that have been perpetuated by rap music and high profile profession althetes, give inner city kids a false paradigm for them to live up to. Nobody NEEDS 22 inch rims!!! Nobody NEEDS $100 sneakers. I want brand new Michael Jordon sneakers, but I can't afford them. TOUGH. Make do with some other ones. Don't get caught selling drugs or committing some other crime, and then blame society!

Athena Smith said...

kndglv@yahoo.com
Interesting point about the $100 sneakers.

Athena Smith said...

To all who spoke about the association of poverty and crime
The point is valid indeed.
BUT
How do you explain the low crime rates in some very poor communities, here in the US and abroad?
On the other hand how do we explain violent crime, drug pushing and the rest among middle class and upper class folks?
Remeber Miller?
Yes, there is a connection between poverty and crime but goes through a deviant subculture with certain focal values.

Miranda said...

I can see where these people are coming from when they say that he black men are slowly disapearing from our records. Its true statisticly that black men do occupy a giant percent of jail cells and they do commit more crimes that white or hispanic people. I think that if we create programs to get these people jobs, things would be much better. But then if u think about it, if people stop going to jail and commiting crimes the police and judges would be out of a job. So i believe that we dont want to help these people on purpose, just so the lawmakers and abiders can keep a job. Its so sad but its so true. U hate to say this but our government NEEDS lawbreakers in order to keep functioning.

bellabelle66 said...

I do not really understand why there is such a difference. I mean there are obvious reasons to why people believe so, gangs and violence. But I do not view them any different as me. I believe each person has the make and the willpower to succeed if YOU want to. I have heard and seen plenty of stories where someone has grown up just being around a defeatist attitude, but they have been able to overcome that. What I think the problem is is that those young black males feel there is no way out and their choice of friends greatly influences that. If they are around friends who do not care and portray this defeatist attitude, there is a greater chance you will end up following the group. I think it is a sad thing that it has become such a problem, but unless those black males choose better for them, and I know many have, I do not know what else can be done.

jayci57 said...

are we seriously even speaking about this subject? it's 2008.. everybody is equal, and everybody has the same rights. I'm tired of the white people who still hold something against blacks, and im tired of the black people who feel all white people owe them something. The person running for president of the United States is black, if thats not showing that everybody is finally equal, then I dont know what is. I dont see a black male any different than I see a white male.

Athena Smith said...

Jojo47 emailed me the following comment:

"I think that the problem the "black male" is having has nothing to do with their being black at all! i think its having to do with the poverty that many men are living in nowadays, and the influence that the media gives the men on how to solve their money issues.For example if you turn on the radio, some songs(especially Jeezy) all they talk about is selling drugs or something of the like,they are giving young men the wrong idea that yea its okay to sell drugs or commit crimes for money because if this rapper guy did it that means i can do it too,also they say its the only way they can survive "trap or die", which to me is a big load of crap! I live in a 99% black neighboorhood and so many of the young guys i live around are selling drugs and commiting these crimes for money but i dont think its because they are black. The few white kids and hispanic kids that live there are doing the same things. Its as if it was a fashion trend or something and i beleive its because of medias influence and becauseo f their poverty level. "

Athena Smith said...

Jojo47 made an interesting observation about the power of the neighborhood as it fosters a particular kind of subculture.

Jinkzt3r said...

Choice.

That is what it comes down to. I have witnessed many people make poor choices in life, which have cost them dearly. In the end, I think this is the deciding factor. In this generation, with Affirmative Action and the ever looming cry of "Racist!" out there, I don't see how African Americans can still claim this idea that it is societies fault for their current condition.

I do not look at any African Americans, male or female, as any different than myself to be honest. I look at the individual, and I decide what to think of the person.

It is a choice to commit a crime, it is a choice to leave ones family, it is a choice to join a gang, it is a choice. For those who are incarcerated, black or white, it was their choice to commit the crime, and we all know the Nuremberg defense has no credibility in our society. I.E. being peer pressured or what have you.

The author said the following

"These individuals don’t want to commit any crimes and be at risk of going back to jail but they feel they have no choice, it’s do what you do best or starve. "

Every American knows that your chances are slim to none of getting a decent job if you are a convicted felon, yet they choose to commit these crimes anyways, is that their fault or societies? A little bit of both, but more so towards the individual, not the rest of society.

Nowadays, this argument is severely flawed. As Prof. Smith has said, "So it becomes a matter of individual effort, individual responsibility, and individual resilience."

When both African Americans and other minorities accept the fact that they have just as many opportunities as whites, if not more, then we will see a dramatic turn in current statistics.

For everyone... one's own survival and success is placed in the hands of the individual, you can not depend on society or government to do everything for you.

I do not ignore it, I merely blame the individual for making poor choices.

Tell me that is not what it comes down to.

Yes, there may be quite a few racists out there, but they fall on all sides of the fence.

shortie6411 said...

I think there is a very negative stereotype associated with black men. They are said to be lazy, aggressive, and players when it comes to women. I agree stereotypes are wrong and not true about the whole race of people they are connected to, however, they exist because they are somewhat true. Im not racist at all an I am definitely not saying that that applies to all black men cuz it most certainly does not because some of my best friends are black guys and are hard working an treat my frineds (their girlfriends) better than most men do. Im simply saying that I understand why it exists and I really dont think anything can be donme about it, at least not a quick fix.

Nathan Howard said...

I believe it is up to each individual to choose the path they take. I myself sad to say, have had run-ins with the law and learnt my lesson and realized it wasn't the right path. I am a strong believer that where theres a will theres a way. I also believe that their is help for people regardless of race if they are willing to help themselves. I believe that strong parenting skills is what is needed for a kid "any race" who is raised in poverty to brake the cycle for that family and make something of themselves.

Rose said...

I have so many views on the black man. Going back to hundreds of years, the black man has been what seems to be a threat to the white man. In a matter of fact, years ago my sister said to me, why is it that the white reace finds fault with all other racrs, hmmmm.
Now going back to the black man, its a shame how the media focuses on making black man look so bad. If a black man does a crime its all over the news pictures and all and he is the main focus. On the other hand, focus is given to a white man, but never as much. Society has it out for all back men, but they have to learn to rise above the sterotypes and stop living them. Plus I am so sick on black men blaming the white man as an excuse because he is to lazy to go out there and get a job, especially when he has a clean record.
Sometimes I wonder if Martin Luther King and others fought for our equal rights in vain. Blacks are killing blacks like its a game. One KKK member said, "more blacks have killed one another more than we did since slavery." Wether true or not, its a shame that we are killing each other for no apparent reason. I saw on the news when one black killed the other because he stepped on his new sneakers. Another time it was because one guy was being robbed and only had nickle on hin. DEad over a nickle.
Where is that dream that Martin Luther King had. Why has it been taken for granted? Black men need to know how strong that they are. Again live above the sterotypes, never give up. Encourage one another to do great theings. Mke that difference because believe it or not , others are looking up to you for guidance. Stop everyone wanting to be a rapper and a ball player. Strive to be a doctor, lawyer, rocket scientist. Think outside the box that society have put you in. BLACK MEN, YOU ARE TRULY SPECIAL, THATS WHY PEOPLE TRY SO HARD TO PUT YOU DOWN. Be encouraged, look to God the Father for help. Black men, you have made it through slavery, and have come too far to give up now.

Gator_Gal5 said...

I believe that the black male should be successful and have just as many oppurtunities as thye white male! I believe that this cycle of races is never going to end. That whites will always be racist to minorities. I have seen and met many successful black males but then you look at how they get paid next to a white man in the same job class and it's sad! Most white suburban families preceive black males as gang members or drug dealers. They tend to try and stay away from any black male no matter what they wear or where they live. I feel that this is a racist steriotype that will never end. It's sad to say but I believe it to be true unless we stand up and do something to help!

x3tink0x3 said...

I believe that all the different percentages posted in this article could also be put towards and other race. I do feel that there are many black men that have become very successful. I mean you can take Obama for example. He is a black man running for president and has a very good chance for winning. It just makes sense for anyone who has been in jail to have a hard time to find a job. Not only blacks have that problem. If you can’t get a job then of course you will not get health care. That just makes sense. Another thing brought up is financial aid. It is not determined on the color of you skin. Financial aid is determined on how much your or your parents make.

pachrique said...

Today’s youth are disrespectful and wreckless as many participate in criminal activities for some feeling of acceptance and family.

This makes me sick to be honest. It's sad to see that they resort to crime as a way to fit in. I read a newspaper article a few months back where a reporter followed a black student through a school that was in the slums of Tampa. The student had nothing good to say about students who did their homework and paid attention, calling them nerds and such. This is a stigma that effects all, but seems to be worse among blacks. It's like its beaten into their heads that they cant succeed by getting an education, that the only way to make it is to be involved in crime. I believe it does go back to not having a positive role model in their lives.

As it was stated in someone else's comment, there isn't anything I can do about this though. It's up to them to realize there is a better way to succeed, it's just a shame that most don't realize this in time.

pt4life813 said...

I guess i have a personal experience with this. My brother is mixed half black and half white and although i do not believe that race has any part in knowing right from wrong-in some sense, it does. My brother had lived with his father in the "ghetto" most of his life and his father let him run wild and do whatever he wanted. When he started getting in trouble when he was only 9 years old and his father lost custody my mother gained custody and he came to stay with us. My mother had rules, that he was not used to so he continued to get in trouble with the law. He is now almost 21 years old, with 2 kids, by two different mothers and is locked up until 2012 for many charges. Although i think that him being mixed did cause some emotional problems, i still think that if you are raised properly and with rules that you learn to abide by, i think that this world would be a lot better place. I know that kids will be kids and get in trouble, but there is a point where you stop and say, "my parents raised me better than this." If you were never taught these values, i believe that it will have a great effect on your life.

Artimid said...

This issue seems both silly, and somewhat important to me. Let me start off with stating something: I had racists in my family who hated everyone else, and I blew them off and still do. I do not consider myself racist in the slightest, and I do believe that hate is taught; however, the only times I have been stolen from (even in elementary school) was from black students in my class, and the only times I had to deal with fights of 5 or more against 1 was against spanish students. So, these are in my elementary schools and higher and I -still- do not accept racism. This point will come back in a minute.
I agree with pretty much everything Da_Chris said, so I will let that remain. I want to point out though, that from my own personal experience, the problems that "black men", as you put it, face are ones they create.
I had students in my own English class failing, and accused the teacher of racism. They failed because they refused to speak English and right English properly. Now, not to say it was everyone but it was the students who wanted to take the easy way out. I had 4800 in one school and less in another, but I had a pretty diverse group of schools. I saw the trends that followed.
While I would be interested to see where you got your statistics from, the people in jail deserve to be in jail. I point to a recent case in Jena where 6 black students decided to try to kill a white student. The white student did something stupid, but he never resorted to violence. (Oh, and before anyone says they weren't trying to kill him, 6 on 1 isn't a fight, that is a murder attempt). These kids who attempted the murder had all sorts of groups and rallies to help them, to me this seems wrong. These children would kill someone if given a chance, and they deserve jail. Does it matter that they were black? Only in that they had groups willing to help them. If they were white? These groups would have cheered that the children were being punished.
There is a cycle here of voilence and poverty, and the children who tried to say racism was against them in my own classes, they failed because they wanted to fail. The people who are in jail, they are in jail because they deserve to be in jail. The people who have no money, they are in poverty because they choose to be. I know it sounds sucky, and I know it sounds unfair, but at some point we have to stop blaming society and look at where the problem actually is.
I may just have been lucky, my black and other races friends seem to be doing really -really- well for themselves, but now I have to wonder who they had to bribe in order for society to not oppress them. I simply thought they worked harder than I did, and fought more than I did.
For some extra reading:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/04/24/cosby.lecture.ap/index.html
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/4/3/234500.shtml

So white men: Make sure you oppress your minority today, and maybe you can slap down a few of them uppity females who are trying to be all ... "equal" and stuff. Make sure they stay in the streets, and in the kitchens respectively.

Artimid said...

Oh, forgot to mention: My cousins who happen to be half black and white, one of them is doing really well, and the other had a few really rough patches. I do blame their mother, but the one as well. There is no reason one should fail when her sister, who has the exact same life to face, is succeeding. It is simply one being lazy, and the other wanting something useful from life. The younger one faced no more or less struggles than the average person, and I could bet all the money I own that she hasn't faced anything in her life that I haven't, outside of her home.

lkm1991 said...

I read the article titled "The Status of the Black Male" and feel that it suggests that society has done nothing to alleviate or improve opporunity for the black male. I am sorry but even Bill Cosby suggests that African Americans need to take some responsibility for their plight and condition in life. The tools are their. Affirmative Action if there. I have some African American firneds who tell me that their mothers do not live with their fathers because if they are married their joint income is too great to allow them to recieve welfare checks from the government. The entitlement system in our country does not encourage poor families to be responsible for their own condition. How do I perceive the black man of today? I am sorry but I think the black man has just as much oportunity as a minority man of Asian descent or a poor white man or a poor Latino. They need to take some resonsibility, I am sure community organizers are striving to help and churches within the communities also try to help. Just think, if Obama becomes president of the U.S. and "redistributes the wealth" they will all be able to ride the "entitlement train" to instant success and maybe stop blaming the world and society for their problems.

Ballinasian said...

Well besides what the past has brought to the black man, all men should be treated as equals no matter what skin color you are. But as the present and future show that the black man is a major part in today's culture from music all the way to sports, heck even the black man is running for president in this great country. This world is experiencing change from that and as of 50 years ago, the black man couldn't even drink out of the same water fountain. They have come a long way in their rights as the black culture. But, I would say the black man is a real influence in sports all the way back to Jessie Owens and Jackie Robinson. And even now in the Olympics, NBA, NFL and even the music scene the black man keeps on rising. In the recent Olympics it's a black man that is the fastest runner in the world, so I would say that the black has come a long way in less than 100 years.

Lessner said...

I do believe that the black man of today still does not have as many choices as the white man.Even though the choices are far greater than in the 1960's and earlier times,but it is still not equal to their white counterpart.I personally know employers who will not hire a young,black man just because of their color.Being black is still a stigma whether or not some people recognize it.Many young black men grow up in single households with their mother on welfare and no positive male role model.Sometimes their only role models are drug dealers who treat them as family. I know young black men who are drug dealers who go in and out of prison constantly because they can't get hired at a McDonald's or they don't get enough hours at McDonald's to pay the rent.They filled trap with no way out. Because of a prior offense, they are restricted from getting any kind of financial help to survive.They can't afford to live on their own, they are not allowed to live with family members who live in subsidized housing,they can't get welfare.What are their choices? They end up doing what they know how to do and usually end up going back to prison. Sometimes, they just don't know how to live outside of prison.The prison system is a corrupt system that denies prior felons any chance of survival in the real world.They are not prepared to go out and function normally, or even given the opportunity to try.It is definitely not just a black thing or not just a poor thing but most of the time, it usually applies to the young,poor,black man.I grew up in this reality and witnessed it for many years.I may not be a black male but I am definitely not blind to his struggle.

krosselle said...

I think that they are being set up for failure and once you are in that cycle of neverending poverty and constant reminder of what you are-not who you are and what you can accomplish, it is extremely tough to overcome it. It has been done by many black males some of whom I know personally and some that I notice in the news. It is possible to overcome but it is in no way easy to achieve. They are constantlt told that they cannot do certain jobs, etc. and this reminder sticks with them in the back of their heads when they are applying for jobs(they will only apply to entry-level jobs instead of trusting themselves to go for the better career choice), they will remember it when they try to go back to school when it costs so much and everyone is telling them they are crazy for thinking that they could get their diploma. All of these constant reminders help sabotage them into thinking they are incapable of ever escaping the viscious cycle that is poverty in the black male world.

MidnightSun said...

Our government really should do something about this. I can't imagine how hard it is to be a black male in a bad city. When you are surrounded by negativity it's so hard to get out of.
I personally experienced something small scale, yet similar to this. When I was in high school I was in normal classes my freshman year and I hardly got C's. My sophomore year my classes got mixed up and I was put in all honors, and got all A’s. The difference for me really was the environment I was in. In regular classes the majority of kids didn’t care about grades and were expecting to fail, whereas in honors everyone was really trying, competing even. Given the right circumstances I think almost anyone can do great.
The government did really well by beginning integration. It was the start of something bigger that they should finish. Instead of taking away public school funding for bad grades, they should fund them so they can fix the problems. Give great teachers larger incentives for teaching in the higher risk areas, to make a difference. Of course people in a bad situation have the ability to get out of it, but not all of them have the internal fortitude it takes. How many of the privileged would be where they are now if raised where poverty was okay, and selling drugs was an accepted profession?
As for the drug issue, I really think it should be decriminalized. These people should receive help, not punishment.

mathr said...

What the government should really do is put a stop to this "ghetto" culture. That is what is glorifying this don't care about school, don't care about the law, live by violence. These black children in these bad areas listen to that and think it's so cool to do drugs and join a gang and disrespect women. And drugs should not be decriminalized. They're illegal because of thier addictive properties and what that addiction will drive people to do. Why should the government blow money on people who don't care about law in the first place. If they want to do drugs and are caught then they should sit in jail as long as they sentence is. The parents are really the ones to blame. They should teach their children to obey the law and try to do the best they can and if they had their child at a young age it should be taken from them and put into a foster home.

JK said...

I feel that yes it is a stereotype on black males. There are bad people in every country, and ever race. But also i hate to take sides but it is an issue with black males. The homicide rate is through the roof. In June 2006, 409 per 100,000 were white. For blacks it was 2,468 per 100,000. Only 3 out of 100 black males that entered kindergarden will graduate college. I feel something has to change not only with the black males but with everyone, yes the black males have to improve on something im not saying everyone im saying in general because the statistics show and at this rate there not going good.

Dgirl89 said...

This is a sad issue, just because I know so many black males that are doing wonders with their life right now. I think it is definately a stereotype that many people have, when they see a black male. Many people think of the black male as a drug dealer, thief etc; This is a situation that people need to get over, there are black males that are in jail because they commited crimes and they deserve to be there,but should not assume that every black male chooses that way of life for themselves. People need to look at people for who they are and not for stereotype they are put into.The black males that are in jail and that are poor made their own way there, someone else did not do it for them.

CBurke7 said...

I think that this article is only looking at the areas where this happens. I think to start that these areas need to be cleaned up. Maybe make some new clinics that you dont need health care and so on. But on the other hand black men arent all bad ive had plenty of black friends and they had a good job, graduated from high school, and were making them selves a someone. I dont think they black male race is disappering because if police werent so centered in only looking in the bad areas of town you would see a great amount of white people or hispanics being arrested for drugs and so on too. I understand that this is unfair that our justice system only really watches these areas, but what can we do about it? really the answer is nothing.

Jensjacob24 said...

In this day and age race is still an issue but I don’t think race plays an issue if you do something wrong and are black you go to jail, if you do something wrong you go to jail, I can’t stand people that use the race card when it comes to these types of scenarios, people like this author or even other black activists, I think it’s wrong what they do, if anything they are dividing equality and separating the races even more. the way I see it is every race has its minority group that people see and stereotype, you can either live up to that stereotype or live up against it, the problem with most kids today is, the perception of cool, has reached a new low, being in gangs, dealing drugs, having sex with multiple partners, the list can go on, but it’s not only "black kids" that do it, there may be more blacks than other races but its only because they are living their stereotypes, everybody has the choice, but it’s gotten to the point where even the Hispanic race is getting to that level, I am a minority as well and I have seen what goes on from the outside of not being black nor white. And I think it’s stupid what I hear. What kind of excuse is this quote "Two generations ago, you could go through a phase, get in trouble with the law, get involved with drugs for a minute, hustle a little dope until something happened to scare you straight. Today, you no longer have the opportunity to learn from your mistakes or be scared straight." so this is the example he gives for the “white man” trying to be against the “black man”? Even if you are white, black, brown, yellow, you will go to jail for dealing drugs. And this quote "Most minorities know someone who knows someone that is in jail, that’s been to jail, or that’s been to jail themselves." are you kidding me? Who doesn’t know a person that knows a person in jail? why do you have to be a minority to know that? I know plenty of black males that have the capability and the education to be great, some choose to take them and others don’t the same with white men some do, some don’t. The bridge is to not to live up to your stereotype but instead live against it.

Nelly12345 said...

I agree 100% that there are still racial issues and that African Americans, in many cases, are still treated unfairly because of their color. However, I dont appreciate how this article made it out to seem like black Americans are treated differently than white Americans when it comes to getting caught for "hustling dope". If a white American got caught the consequences would be the same. That white person wouldnt be able to vote, live in public housing, etc. However, it is true that the majority of these people in jail for dealing drugs, stealing etc are black Americans, simply because they dont have the financial opportunities that many white Americans have. This is unfair. I think that anyone being arrested and facing a large amount of jail time (a first time offender) should be given a choice: "We can pay the money to put you in jail, or we will pay for you to attend college. You get the grades and stay clean, awesome. You mess up again, you wont have a choice next time". After all, it would be less expensive to send all of these young black Americans to college than it would be to lock them up for 5, 10, however many years! As far as what can be done to bridge the racial gap? complicated issue. I think that there will always be a racial gap of some sort. Is this a good thing? no. Its just the way things are.

Nelly12345 said...

I agree 100% that there are still racial issues and that African Americans, in many cases, are still treated unfairly because of their color. However, I dont appreciate how this article made it out to seem like black Americans are treated differently than white Americans when it comes to getting caught for "hustling dope". If a white American got caught the consequences would be the same. That white person wouldnt be able to vote, live in public housing, etc. However, it is true that the majority of these people in jail for dealing drugs, stealing etc are black Americans, simply because they dont have the financial opportunities that many white Americans have. This is unfair. I think that anyone being arrested and facing a large amount of jail time (a first time offender) should be given a choice: "We can pay the money to put you in jail, or we will pay for you to attend college. You get the grades and stay clean, awesome. You mess up again, you wont have a choice next time". After all, it would be less expensive to send all of these young black Americans to college than it would be to lock them up for 5, 10, however many years! As far as what can be done to bridge the racial gap? complicated issue. I think that there will always be a racial gap of some sort. Is this a good thing? no. Its just the way things are.

ALong said...

I have honestly not thought a lot about this issue. Based on the article, this seems to be a problem in society today. As much as it is a comforting thought to think that America is a nation that promotes equality, I don't think this is entirely true. And while we strive to make things equal, we fail a lot to make this a reality. It is a fact that women make 70% of what a man makes, and this is an outrage to me, just as this article is.
I think this is where I take a stance on nurture. If a black couple has a black son and the father leaves, the child is raised in a fatherless home. Because he was raised in a fatherless home, he is more likely to leave a child fatherless. It is a vicious cycle and I have no idea to stop it.

Jecka said...

I don't have any specific thoughts on the "black man". I think like many others are saying that it is not necessarily the race it's the offense. I think your surroundings have a great deal of influence in you decisions. And these statistics could probably go along with any race. It's up to the person to make the right choices and stop the circle. I believe today we all have the same opportunity.

As far as stereotypes all races have them but I don't think people are acting on those comments. I don't see people doing something wrong just because there might be a stereotype that they are supposed to be that way.

To Gator_Gal5 I think your right racism will always be and some may never notice because they are not a minority. But we have to look past that and see all the opportunities available now that weren't years ago.

JulyssaV said...

Well I do agree with this article. I do still believe that the black man is still kind of the underdog. I think its just the way the world is, as long as there are differences among people there are always going to be problems and outcasting. There is no way to cure it totally. I do think on the other hand that the black man is improving. To bridge the gap between races I think will never happen, as long as there are differences in color, thats hows its goin to be. I am African American and engaged to a caucasin guy and we are so great together but when the topic of race comes up, we have our difference and two points of view.

DiamondSteel47 said...

I view black males just the same as any other capable human being. I think black males are quite capable of being successful in school, productive citizens just as anybody else no matter the color, we have seen many successful black males just in our time that have tried many diffrent ways to reach out to young black males to change their course. You can only do so much to try to help, in the end it takes resilence on their part to strive for change.

Athena Smith said...

Jullysav
I think you are living proof that the gap is closing.

In many communities you will see the problems that are described by the author as a direct result of zero supervision. (The author by the way is not Wes. Wes reproduced an article written by a black man who had spent ten years in jail).


Having said that, I must add that when we deal with people who served time, the vast majority of us are not willing to hire them. This question appears in all employment applications "Have you ever been arrested...." And do remember that we do have the largest prison population on the planet. A quarter of our prisoners have been jailed for drug related offences. Most were users. We are still one of the few countries that treats the user as a criminal. Many other countries treat him as a patient.


So although I do agree with all of you who have placed emphasis on individual responsibility, I also think that our society excludes some from decent employment opportunities.


Remember Wilson's theory? He spoke of structural obstacles to personal achievement. One of those structural obstacles was unemployment. If you are laid off, if your sector is slowly disappearing or moving elsewhere, what are your chances of maintaining your previous standard of living? I have known people in this category, professional, hard working people, who all of the sudden found themselves without a job, without medical insurance and without prospects for decent employment. The only ones who made it back were those who had a diverse educational background and were able to be retrained for something else.
The rest... I do not know.

It goes without saying that the rest of us can do many things to alleviate the situation. Programs like Big Brother have produced miracles. I was watching a documentary about schools in Newark in areas where 70% of the children are raised by a grandparent as the parent is either in jail or a drug addict. Intervention programs went into action by various community organizers and the results were impressive. A reporter asked a young black kid what drives him. He said "I don't want to be like my father."

But so many other areas have been left to their fate.

Despite this, some kids from these communities where the parents are gone, where the crime rates are soaring, do strive, do discipline themselves and do make it. I think they are gifted. They are not average.

My two cents.

skeletor said...

This article in prospective what society expect to happen to Black male in this country. I don’t believe the black males are any different from other so this is really a challenge they can overcome. For them to be in control of how this reflect there future they must try and defeat what is expected, by becoming more educated on how society view their lifestyle. This type of negativity and racial stereotype is difficult to surpass but for the black male to become more versatile in today’s society they have to be willing to rise to the challenge and make a positive impact on society that they can become one that they will be wiling to change how they perceive how the future of black male would be like, this might be difficult but it is essential for them to prove that the are not a debt beat to the society.

chantillylace26 said...

I think black males aren't given enough credit on how smart they really are. In college it is somewhat different because everyone is there for the sole purpose of their future. However, in high school black males, I feel, are viewed as a problem. Teachers treat them with more authority because they see them as the trouble makers and underachievers. My mother works in the school board and tells me stories like this all the time. I think black men and women have a lot of potential, and sometimes need to be treated as so.

amooney2 said...

Reading this article I find myself wondering why it is anyone's fault except for the person making the choices. Let's look at some of the points:

Homes without parents: This is across race and economics. It is happening across the board and the responsibility lies with the adults who choose to not be involved in the children's life. There are several children in single parent families that are not drug using, criminal drop outs.

Half of all black boys do not finish high school: School is free; all you have to do is show up and apply yourself like the other 50% of the black males.

The HIV/AIDS rate is a sad statistic, but I don't think that it is a lack of education, or available protection. I think it is irresponsibility. Everyone old enough to be sexually active knows that there is an epidemic called AIDS that will KILL you.

6 in10 black high school drop outs will have spent time in prison: What is the rate of white or Hispanic drop outs spending time in prison? I am sure it is about the same. And the choices that are made to land you in prison are your choices. You know right from wrong. If your parents don’t teach you, society does. To state that you don't have the opportunity to be scared straight is ludicrous. There are consequences to actions. The idea of "commit more crimes to survive" is unacceptable. This whole concept lacks one key argument: Self Accountability. Being black does not give you an excuse to act like a deviant.

mescobar3 said...

For the most part, i haven't seen a difference in classes between races. Every day i see Black Males that drive Mercedes and Lexus while white men are driving Honda's. However I am not an ignorant type of person. I know that the majority of Poor men happen to be black. And just because i don't see poor black men doesn't mean our nation does not have any. However I believe that the majority of every man, whether black, white or Hispanic has an opportunity to be successful. I know that there are some cases were actually there is not opportunity, but many grown men use this lousy excuse. So therefore, with equal opportunities among us all, we need to be educated and try to prosper in our lives. Its not just the black men that have it hard, it just seems they must be the 1st to quit on life. For example Barak Obama lived in a very poor community. With no father figure he managed to work his way up and make to senator, and possibly our new president. I think his story helps the "Black Men" and shows them Hey here is someone like us and now this is what he is doing today.

irishqt7 said...

I view the black male the same way I view the white male. Race still is a large issue in the world today but not nearly as bad as it used to be. Everyone has the same opportunities in life, it doesn’t matter if your black or white. I believe that any race can fall into the scene of gangs and violence. The support and love from family and friends helps tremendously in life. I think it is awful that you only get one chance in life these days. People can change but how are they suppose to if no one gives them the chance.

Starbuzz said...

I think in a way society doesn't want the black community to survive. Specailly when the laws are getting stricter and stopping them from getting jobs or health insurance just cause they made a mistake in the past. How do you expect people to change if there not givin a chance. And then when there not given the chance they have n other choice but do go back to commiting crimes just to survive. So I think to break the gap between the races we need to give them a secong chance and inform them more about the choices they make and how it can and will effct them.

Belle said...

Personally, I really have not seen a difference in race, especially in the classroom. The statistics are very sad regarding the black man. I do think everyone has equal opportunity in our country though. Everyone has the opportunity to choose right from wrong. I do not know from experience what it is like to have no good role models in my life, but I can only imagine how hard it is to stay out of trouble when you are surrounded by it 24/7.

It really is hard for me to say that the penalty for drugs or something to that matter is to strict. Something like drugs is very addicting and not always promising that someone will learn from jail time, but I do think every person (no matter race) deserves a second chance.

I see many black males as being successful people in our society today. Obviously the black man is not disappearing because we are viewing the first black man running to be our leader. I think with some black males being noticeably successful in life helps younger generations without the best home life to know they can be whatever they strive to be.

Ronald O. Horne said...

Its upsetting to know this is just the way it is. you can fight against racism and equal rights which we have been getting nearer to but the fact is there still going to be someone out there that disagrees. I think black males should be treated equal. alot of them have harder obsticals to over come just because they are black but there is no doubt that they could just push that much harder and overcome what ever they need to, to be sucsessful in life. we shouldnt treat anyone differently and we should have respect for all races including the black male.

Nurse4U said...

I don't look at people based on the color of their skin...so it's hard for me to state my opinion on how I perceive the "black man of today". I think that a person's race, gender or religion should not be the defining point of who they are. The men that I have come in contact with are independent, trustworthy and very intelligent and are of all cultures, colors and backgrounds. Regardless of race, it's the individual who is responsible for the way his/her life turns out. Black men are not the only people who grow up in a single parent household, live in poverty, or end up in jail at some point in their life...these problems are color blind.

RAFY said...

I don't see any problems or differences beetween the performances of black, white hispanic or other minority student in any of my clsses. They are respectful and eloquent. Some of them like to participate in class discussion while others are obviously shy. Some hang in groups and others study alone; they act like everyone else.
The statistics in the report we had to read before posting are overwhelming, but the fact that we see black male students in class interact with everyone else has to prove somethig. It shows we are losing the black man of the past. The ignorant, stereotypical "punk" of the past is being replaced by smart individuals who truly earned their spot in society. This is something to be proud of!!!
We even have a "black man" running for the presidency of the United States! you can't really get any better than that. If you ask me, the black man of today is doing fine, and just like everyone elsw, he had to work hard to get there.

torasu said...

Black people truly are a mystery to me. They have been in this country for like 400 years, and got their civil rights like40-something years ago, and yet still, it seems that they are doing worse than pretty much every minority out there, even the hispanics who just started coming in this century. I turn on the radio to listen to some songs, and I hear some dude talking about how he sells drugs and spend thousands of dollars at club everyday. I find that pretty sad. You know, I really don't know who to vote for, but it's a good thing Obama is running. If he wins the election, he can actually inspire black males to better themselves. I'm African, born and raised, and I really don't understand black people at all. But what I do know is, their status is pretty low in this world. Even foreigners who come here look down on them.

Livelife220 said...

First of all, black males or anyone in general (no matter what color ,race, gender) can’t blame the society as a whole for the wrong decisions they make. Although they may be stereotyped or have low money, it is their responsibility to handle situations correctly without having to do criminal activities like selling drugs. No one is forcing anyone to fit into the stereotype so a person just has to make the best of themselves and simply ignore them. I think it’s ridiculous how people have to find ways like selling drugs so that they can LIVE and support their family. There are resources available to help people start or boost their lives. I think if a person is determined to get something and put their mind into by doing the right and conventional ways, they’re hard work will pay off. Today, there are many successful black males/people in this world so ask yourself, what did they do to become successful and overcome any harsh reality? Determination and perseverance.

Crystal said...

I think that between all races there are gaps becuase each race doesn't want to step up. no offense to anyone, but most blacks are raised in those types of environments, see that families are being torn apart and separated due to death, violence etc, however they fall into the same footsteps. WHY? personal choice. There is a lot of help out there for people who want to do better for themselves especially for minorities who want to go to college, get good jobs etc. people just aren't choosing those paths. It's personal choice. and I dont agree with the article speaking about how it's all blacks. No, many people black, white, asian, indian, etc go to jail. In todays society people know what is legal and ILLEGAL. drug use, selling, etc is all illegal. If you choose to make a big buck quick by doing something illegal, you run the risk of getting caught, white, black, hispanic, indian etc. Minorities have choices! JUST LIKE WHITE PEOPLE. especially now days when minorities and "unknowns" out number white americans. They could ahve the upper hand they just make poor choices. Minorities need to step up and make better choices to bridge the gap between races, all the help in the world won't make you equal unless you want it. and I dont think they want it bad enough, or they just don't want to go about it the right way. Gangs violence drugs etc are not the way to gain power. they are only loosing respect in society.

pcenluv08 said...

I honestly don't perceive the black man any different than I perceive the white man. I really don't think that race accounts for what your goals are in life or even education. I think that especially in this day and age different races are offered the same equal opportunities. I think that poverty is one of the main causes of bad actions- theft,burglury,gangs,etc... And if statistics show that it is dominantly the black man that has committed these crimes, then I can't argue with that. However, I really believe that everyone has the opportunity to do something good in there life and make something of themselves. For example through scholarships, financial aid, and grants that are available.

Kazoom525 said...

I personally do not percieve anyone as a horrible, or in any way bad, person by the color of their skin, just by the way they act. If someone wears their pants so low they have to walk bow-legged and talks slang to everyone including authority figures I would probably want to keep my distance from them, but people from all races do that, it isn't a color thing for me at all, just the way the person portrays themselves to others. Everyone I know sees it the same way, and I'm pretty sure that's the way it is for my generation. Unfortunately, we have no power over society, and our parents' generation sees things differently than we do. I think everything will work itself out and get better in the future.

Candy18 said...

I do agree that black have it very hard in society. I think the whole had been dug so deep already that it's hard to get out. Some would say if black men just tried harder then it wouldnt be a problem, but when you try so hard and someone knocks you down everytime you're going to give up. I think black men today have more opportunites than in the past, but I feel like there are people out there who are trying their hardest to stop black men from succeeding. I dont think there is much we can do to stop prejudice. I feel like people are set in their ways and nothing will change their minds.

Jessica said...

I perceive the black male the same way I perceive everybody else- suspicion and scrutiny. Black or white in this day and age there is little trust to be found in anybody. It may sound cynical but there it is. I would like to begin to say that I grow very tired of the use of race as an excuse. I grew up in a middle class neighborhood but there were many domestic violence issues in my home. When I was barely seven years old, my mother took custody of us and went and worked for nigh slave wages to provide for us. Now, I see much of the same issues in minority children who grew up in very poor neighborhoods to the correlation of the violence that happened in my household.

I am one of three children. My oldest sister has great self esteem issues and tends to distance herself from the entire family. My other older sister has two children by two different men and they are less than a year apart. She dropped out of high school and believes in the idea of instant gratification and has no consideration for the future.

I don't believe it is race that plays an issue as much anymore. Many black males have chosen to make their lives mean nothing... they get caught up in a single moment that they forget about the future. Yes, there is inequality in regards to race but there is to gender as well. And age. And physique. When can we stop using it as an excuse?

Right now.

Long ago I chose that I was not going to use my upbringing as an excuse for any actions I may take. Because of that, I always did well in school, got into a wonderful college and continue to do well in my studies. We live in a society that allows the excuses of upbringing, race, and gender to hold ourselves back. As somebody said earlier, I believe that if Barack Obama is our next President that the time for those excuses has ended.

The way to bridge the gap is to allow people to take personal responsibility for their actions. Hard work is the way most people rise above the stereotypes. After all, success is 10 percent inspiration/luck and 90 percent perspiration.

sally soltau said...

There are so many opportunities to become successful and using your race as an excuse is probably the one reason why you feel like your "unknown." It is clear that not everyone is born with a silver spoon, even though it might have an effect on their future, those who less fortunate still have the chance to make something from their life. However they have engraved the thought of being "black" meant that everyone looks down upon them. People act the way they believe people see them. Realistically, there are people who are racist and discriminate against black people, however there also are those who believe in their equality. I think the blacks in a sense might have this belief that if a person is not black than they do not understand what they go through and automatically discriminate them. Although they do make up part of the poverty in the US, there are other people of different races who share their same situation.

So many people in their situation have been able to get through the negative stage they lived in and get passed it. Everyone mentions Obama. Yes, if he becomes president it not only will inspire those black Americans that anything is possible. However, even if he doesn't become president, the fact that he was able to get so far and not back down due to the racial comments people made, actually proves that no matter what the outcome is, just as long as you put your heart into something you believed in and pursue it.

The economy is bad right now, not many people are hiring, many families are suffering, and many might feel like nothing they are doing is getting them anywhere. That is where they get the idea of doing illegal things and that might get them put in jail. Are they bad people? No. However, they do set an example to the people around them. That is why maybe their kids, relatives, friends even, might fall into their foot steps. Lack of learning from others mistakes definitely does not play here. People should make their own choices and hopefully the right ones.

Athena Smith said...

Jessica
What a contrast between the sisters! Same upbringing, totally different outlook!

RSXGirlie1988 said...

It is sad that society today still judges on the color of others skin. I know a few black men that have risen up from dark pasts and are succeeding in life just as much as anyone else. It takes personal endurance, belief, faith, determination, to surpass these sterotypes set by our society. It is unfair that these men are being held up to this judgement. However, I do believe that an individual can change the way they are by personal acheivement. If you do not like the way you live, change it. That may be harder for some than for others, but it could be possible.

Caduceus01 said...

It is unfortunate what has become of the black male in the last sixty to seventy years. The reasons are many, varied and complex. I would think one of the primary reasons are the lack of father or mothers for many black young male and females. This complete loss of family most certainly palys a role in the lack of respect for themselves and others. I do not believe that if whites and black come together we can figure this problem out. It will take the black community to address this issue from within. It must become important enough for them to invest their own time to the commmunity and set an example. The black male has made great gains considering the hardships he has had to endure. However, the time for excuses has come and gone. My mother some twenty years ago was involved in a car crash (very bad) she was admitted to Tampa General Hospital, my point? The head of neurology was black, so if one applys ones self one can succeed.Had that doctor gone though life believing he could not be a doctor my mother might have had another doctor who may have been less competent, thankfully he or his parents believed in him.
I think if more blacks who are successful were to move back to the inner cities or whereever the black community centers. They could have an impact on the young black men and women of those communities. I look forward to the day when more people (blacks and whites) are willing to be accountable for their actions and or inactions and take responibility for their lives and the choices they have made. Typically, we all, are where we are, by the choices that we have made, both good and bad. It is my hope that the black male make good in his life so that he in his time may be able to assist me in my time of need whether that be the need of a physician, attorney, teacher or other. Good will to him and all.

Madeline said...

Wow.... Well I think this is a really tough issue. If we were having this discussion 20 or 30 years ago I think I would have a little more sympathy though. I think this country has come really far and made a lot of progress, but there has to be something said for personal accountability. The "black male" can't always just sue the injustices of society as an excuse for why someone makes the choices they make. The article made mention of tough 1st time drug offenses and how this held people who made a mistake down... well they should have done more thinking before they made that choice! Where is the sense of personal responsibility?? You are responsible for your action no matter what you race! I agree that there have been unfair stereotypes and that minorities have been treated unfairly, but at some point people need to take responsibility for the chioces they make in life. There are many many many highly sucessful black males... some were raises wealthy and some were raised poor... Now in some severe situations a child might grow up honestly not knowing any better, but I think this happen far less than it is made out to be. I think the "I grew up poor and didn't know any better" is an escuse people use to justify their actions. Really though I think it all comes down to people taking responsibilty for their own action and not blaming it on the siciety.

Flip Barbie said...

I honestly think this a personal issue that can only be solved by the individual. We are all given the same opportunities it’s just whether or not we take them. I hate how society makes it seem like we look down on black people, when really the majority doesn’t. I graduated from what most people considered to be the “project school,” of course referring to the government housing most of my classmates lived in. What gets me though…the same people who called it the “project school” were black. It amazes me how quick your own race can put you down. So I believe before we can help anybody, they need to help themselves first.

Disneyfreak said...

I fell that I must disagree with this article. I understand that there are alot of blacks that are in the poverty areas, however I do not think that any of them are the "unknowns". My dad works in a big corporation and when I go to visit him I see many well astablish, well respected black men and women. I think that in some way this is societies fault. Society has decided to depict the blacks in this way and I think that if we would raise the bar for black education and no longer allow the idea of well your poor so it is ok not to go to collage. One of the examples I can give of this working was in the case of Obama. He cam from a poor family but his mom saw something in him and she would not let her son live countinue to live like she was living, so long story short she made education the number one thing in his life. She would get him up at 4:30 in the moring so he could do his lessons. Because of his mom and her push for him to be better he is now running for president.

dragonfly said...

I really didn’t know that black men were referred as “unknown” in the 21st century. The article’s information almost sounds as if the material researched was from the 1990’s. If so, the gap between then and now is no longer broad, but regressed. Could it be that the black coalition and ACORN wants society to think that the black man is subordinate? I think this type of article causes controversies. If you look back to the 1980’s where affirmative action’s was put into law, this created an open doors for all minorities to be hired to work in all jobs especially government, city and state facilities. Now, the question is “why haven’t black males” jumped on the bandwagon to pursue a higher level in the job market. I do not think it is the government’s fault that some genders will not take advantage of government assistance to help them to become responsible, taxpaying citizens and successful individuals. Sometimes you can over help people to where they become co- depended instead of depending on themselves. What we can do to bridge the gap is to “EDUCATE ALL PEOPLE”, and hopefully, every person will see their future as a important component as a part of society to eliminate prejudice, poverty, and uneducated individuals in America.

Ashley Michelle said...

The black man of today? Why is it just the black man? I think every race has equal opportunity to become successful in this life. I have seen some of THE best plastic surgeons, lawyers, and business CEO's, black, spanish, and/or white. But like Bucs06 said, there is nothing you can do about it. No matter what, people and society are somewhat always going to judge people because of their race, background, and ethnicity. There is never going to be a world where everyone is seen as one. I know that is what a lot of people would want to happen, but it's just not.

Anyone can fight for equal opportunity. If I had to think of something, I would think the black man today is perceived just as good as anyone else. Look at Obama: He is a black man, and he is running for president of the United States,even though I am a dedicated McCain supporter, I can honestly say that Obama still has just as much chance to be something even though he is a black male.

I do not think anything can be done to bridge the gap. I presonally think that there is always going to be issues about who people are. It's just the way the world works. You can fight all day about trying to make the world right, but at the end of the day, there is always that one person that is not going to like you because of yourr skin color.

Darren L. said...

I feel that no matter how i express my true feelings on this, it will come out some what bias or racist, so here i go anyways. I completely agree with who ever said earlier that the black male has this intent idea that they NEED 22 inch rims and 100$ sneakers. Growing up, i came from an incredibly poor neighborhood, worse of the worst. I have been homeless before, living in front of a supermarket with my entire family and i have been wealthy enough to live in a beautiful middle class neighborhood, with gates and security, which has the 2nd lowest crime rate in Tampa. After all of this, never in my life have i ever resorted to selling drugs, joining a gang, or committing any heinous crimes. I hate this double standard of us having to feel sorry for these people who live in such poor neighborhoods, but their shoes, cars, clothes, rims, and jewelery adds up to ridiculous prices. I think that this status is only a state of mind of the black male. To those that rise up and over come all challenges in your lives, i praise you, but to those who don't, it's no ones fault but their own.

Athena Smith said...

I must repeat that the article was written by someone who has spent ten years in prison. So his subdued attitude is not surprising.

However this country has integrated minorities better than any other society on the planet. Many of you mentioned Obama. We have certainly come a long way to have a black man nominated for the presidency. Would that be possible in European countries. I don't think so, and
this article
expresses the same opinion.

Enigma Breeze said...

While I do believe that the black man is still viewed as low on the society chain, I think that they can be successful. It may be harder for the black male to succeed in this society, but adversity can be overcome. I feel that it is all a matter of perseverence. There are plenty of black men that have shown what hard work and determination can do. Barack Obama is a prime example for young black men right now. He grew up in a single parent household, but instead of feeding off of that and traveling down a path of negativity and defeat, he strived to achieve greater things. Everyone will have things that they have to overcome and it is up to the person to decide to continue or break the cycle of defeat.

Bluefieldstana said...

Despite the civil rights movement and a progression towards equality, African-Americans still face many challenges in today’s society. The article highlights several of these disadvantages such as, “being lost to poverty, HIV, violence, death, and incarceration.” (Chiles) The inequalities presented black people include workplace discrimination, housing discrimination, and an over-all smaller opportunity for advancement. I feel that in order to make strides forward to the goal of equality we must invest in education for the next generation. Tolerance and understanding must be instilled in our children if there is to be any hope for things to get better. I feel that even though African Americans still suffer discrimination, we as a society recognize how wrong it is to judge someone merely by the color of their skin.

PixieBob said...

I don't believe in the subjugation of one race or one gender over the other. I do believe that we are all created equal, but this seems to be more simple meaningless words, than practice, in this country sometimes.
That being said, it appears to me that black men(and many other races and ethnic groups)have much more opportunity to succeed in life in today's society than in past times. Many programs are geared toward keeping kids off the street and interested in school. Many scholarships and grants are put forth specifically to enable certain groups of people to gain a higher education and live a better life.
But like I said this is how it appears to me. Not being a black man myself, I would be a hypocrite if I tried to pretend that I really knew how difficult life was for others. I just hope that more people are willing to stand up and speak out on their issues, because that is the only way to bring change in this country. Bring knowledge to the light of others and work toward change.

Shay said...

Its sad but its the truth! The status of a black male is reaching its boiling point. My boyfriend has been in trouble and is now trying to do right but no one wants to hire him and this and that! I just tell him keep praying. We go in and he does a few applications a week. I just feel, some people just need motivation. Think about it. In the black community, most people are not fortunate enough to get people who tell you to do right. Or encourage you. But like many of you have said, maybe things will change if Obama gets elected. It should because I myself an African American Women am tired of hearing the "White Man is Keeping Us Down" ugh! No! Your keeping yourself down.

But its not just black men (youth) although they are at the top of the list but all of our youth. It is getting ridiculous. They are so disrepectful! These generations to come are going to be a hand full... African Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics, whomever! (No such thing as purple n yellow)

Anyways this subject can be a little risky if you have a closed mind and read some of these opinions, stereotyping comes into play. But I have openmind and agree with many (for the most part) I just think that it is an individual problem, but soceity still has a different approach when it comes to race, whether people see it or not!

Athena Smith said...

Darren
Quite a comeback! You have certainly seen both sides. Like many others in our college.

Shay,
I definitely agree that disrepsect has acquired serious dimensions. People nowdays confuse it with the right to free speech. The borders between free speech and respect for others should be clear and distinct in everyon'e mind. Not only are they not, but for some, they have totally faded away.Too bad for them.

Chocolate Thunder said...

The black man today is my friend. i have so many friends that are black. i feel that skin color shouldn't ever push someone away from another. Race doesen't exist and there is no difference from my skin color than from a black skin color. A good way to build a bridge to cross together on is to first learn to accept the fact that people are different than others. They holod differnet qualities and if they are treated differently, then they have just as much right to treat you differently. we should accept and love everyone. there is no wrong color or person.

CrazyFred21 said...

It seems to me that the author of this article is blaming everyone around the black communities for their problems. I’m sorry but if someone commits a crime they have to pay for it, white, black, or Hispanic. This author comes off as basically saying just give them a free ride because their life is already hard enough. The truth is life is hard and you have to bust your ass to stand out and get ahead. I think this attitude mostly comes from black males not having anyone to look up to as role models. Instead of looking up to rappers and athletes maybe they should start looking up to more positive role models. Trying to act like someone they saw off a music video slinging crack is only going to lead to bad consequences. But hey that’s their choice and it’s really no one else’s fault but theirs. There are plenty of very successful African Americans in America, so it can be done. I just don’t understand why anyone would feel they should get special treatment over another race.

fender71 said...

Once again an incredibly touchy subject. I believe the attitude towards the black male has gotten much better considering that fifty years ago the segragation and prejudes that involved the black male and the entire african american culture was incredibly unfair and unjust. Today i think the status of the black male has risen to the highest point that it ever has been. though most of the statistics say otherwise, the black male has made leeps and bounds with school and graduation levels. Goodness a black man is running for president, i would say that the african american race is not doing half bad

Sneakers10 said...

A black person is da same everybody else. Nothing Diffrent. It sucks for them how they get judged and streotyped for being bad or a drug dealer, Because they are not all like them. I know black people thats been reali succesful in life. Just like all of us you just gotta work hard and make it threw in life. Not all of us are born in rich familes, its just not black people. Whatever you put your mind too and to be succesful in life is gonne be your outcome in life.

incendiary said...

Personally, I perceive the “black man” of today to be of equal status as any other man, however unfortunately I am aware, that this may not be the majority feeling. I being of Indian descent, am considered “colored” as well, and know that even for my race there is still evident racial in equality. I think that some of the most powerful and influential men in society today are black, including the potential next president. As for sports, especially in America, the majority of the best athletes are black. I also think that this is sadly an issue which will not be eradicated in the near future. As much as I hate to admit that, I feel that is the sad truth of the matter. However, to alleviate this and help move the process of completely wiping out racism, I think each individual one of us can put prejudices behind us and treat all as equal. At the end of the day, we might not be many people, and we may not even make a big change, but every little piece counts when you are trying to change something that is so widespread.

joeyohweoh said...

While examining these statistics of the black community while reading this article shows an overwhelming number of the majority of Africans doomed to be incarcerated. I personally believe everyone has a chance living within the United States to become a professional where hard work must be condoned in order to achieve a successful social status. It’s a matter of personal effort, responsibility, attitude, and, way of thinking that shapes a person into what his future will become. Lastly with the topic on what can be done to bridge the gap between races… I have no answer to that question nor believe anyone really does but what I do know is as long as there are living human beings racism will be alive.

wes said...

There are so many ways to address the thoughts which arise pertaining to the status of the black male, on a psychological and social level. On a psychological level, African Americans endured alot up to the present day and are a resilient people. Many people act as if the the civil rights movement of the 1960s erased all of the problems of segregation and inequality, Wow! Years of racism and prejudice and the ideas of white superiority and black inferioty erased in only about 48 years. Yes! In 2008 these ideas still exist and Yes believe it or not America, no matter how diverese these attitudes and prejudice exist and they do effect black men! American society refuse to take any type of responsiblity for any thing that can be blamed on an individual, American society wish to turn blind eyes to social issues when it reguards minorities. Yes, population wise, whites will become the minorities, however, look in congress,look who are making the laws, look who has all the money to make the laws and pass bills, who are building the cities and making decisions on what funds goes where and to what? The Majority are White affluent Males! Even in the consitution, if anyone has read it and analyzed, cleary it was written to ensure the security, wealth and well-being of the white male. This is something that has held up for hundreds of years and yes even today. There are several issues that have not been addressed concerning black Americans such as the REPARATIONS for 400 years of FREE LABOR, in which on the backs of AFRICAN AMERICAN (MEN)and women, this nation upon built on leading to the United States being the most prosperous nation in the world, and set backs such as oppression, segregation in education,THE BOMBING OF BLACK WALL STREET,and various other acts of injustices against African Americans. The reason why Americans want to say that is ridiculous is that they wish to remain oblivious because if it is not effection WHITE AFFLUENT America it is not important and not there problem. For some reason the United States is not responsible for black problems.
No as far as the drugs, HIV, street gangs and violence, etc... that is in every group, it is prevalent in the BLACK, WHITE, HISPAniC. In 2008 The media portrays blacks as they way they were believed to be over the years, as inferior, living in poverty, oversexed, lazy. However, up to today the majority of African Americans are employed, however, high umemployement rates of black males are always mentioned in the media, why? The media further validates the stereotypicall view of black males today and this negative stereotypical view have an effect on black because it leads to discrimination and fear of the black man. What happens to some one who is feared, they are locked down, oppressed and eliminated. Many people do not bring back the effect of Social Darwinism had in relation to race and discrimination in many feilds, such as in the 1960-80s study of the BELL CURVE which supports the idea that non whites are intellectually inferior.. Can you think that these studies and idealogies have no effect on the perceptual of American people, especially those in power of making educational fund decisions for inner citiy children??? Yes today it does believ it or not. In as far as Obama running for president, do you think the media provided enougth coverage on a second assisination attempt. NO! no as much media attention ? NO, not as much as the negative media attention as he has been getting. The fate of the black man relies on the individual but there are deep rooted social constraint that need to be addressed. Unemployment, violence and drugs are just the consequences of a the various social injusticises and inequalities that exist in society. I know that if Obama is elected for president may use that as an excuse to further ignor current racial inequalities and close the case for ever on these issues.

hunter07 said...

This guy is blaming society but at the same time his statistics show what the problems are. when he states that the drug laws are to harsh and can ruin someones life, I think that is the whole reason the laws are getting harsher law enforcement wants to prevent people from doing drugs. Being put in jail is no excuse for why black males are doing so poorly in society. Everyone can find out the laws it is your responsibility to obey them so you don't end up in jail. There are people of every race who are successful and they're are also people from every race who live in poverty and are in and out of jail all or most of their lives. The police don't go around looking for black males to arrest. They are looking for criminals. It seems everytime a minority has an issue they want to blame it on someone else, they try to pull that "race card" most problems have nothing to do with your race. Prejudice does still exist but a lot has been done to give everyone an equal opportunity.

baseballer8132 said...

The black male have been criticized and stereotyped for a very long time. I believe there won't be an end to this criticism for a very long time.
I personally see the black male as an individual. You can't judge someone how they look. Only how they act...and you need to get to know someone to see how they act. We should all be respectful for others but we have people who want to still believe that all blacks should be slaves again and that blacks shouldn't have an active role in society. I believe the opposite. I'm a white male brought up in the Christian faith...everyone deserves the chance to work in society, but you have to be willing to work your way through and never give up as hard as it might be...

Stranger said...

My father is black, alond with two of my half brothers. However my father and my brothers are completely different. My father grew up during a racist time period with a broken family in New Orleans- a city filed with crime. However he managed to become successful and has never been to jail. My brothers on the other hand live in an extremely low income area, and have been in and out of jail. But i think this is because of their state of mind. They could easily get out of that environment if they wanted to. My father has always been willing to hep them. I can't think of the "black man" as one thing, because there are different types of people with different mind sets and goals in every race. A for stereotypes, I think society sees the black man as lazy, unintelligent, easily tricked,criminals, rude, and obsessed with race. I don't beleive in any of the stereotypes. I can honestly recall every one of those steretypes being broken. But I do get upset when some black men become part of those statistics though.

goodriddens said...

The only thing I have noticed in my life about the black population was that in High School many of the black kids did not try and many of them failed all thier classes and many dropped out, and the few parents of thiers i saw many of them parents did not care that they were failing and did not push them to try. Then the ones who had parents that did push them had success in school, one of which was our class valadictorian. So the only way I could say we can bridge the gap is to try and get a few of the kids out of the inner city schools and out to the more white populated schools so they will hopefully be peer pressured into trying thier best since thier parents won't do it. Or educate the parents to try and get their kids to do thier best.

iluvrap said...

i dont care how poor you were, how bad your father was, or what kind of neighborhood you lived in, any black person with the same status as you, still has it worse. You can't honestly say that you've been the victim of racism as bad as a black person has. It is true, that many of them only use that as an excuse to be lazy or bad, but countless people don't. Many of them might not have been treated badly but it has already been programmed by their peers that white people are the enemy because of the experiences their neighbors have endured. That tough luck attitude people have towards black people is why they act this way too. They have a negative perception of the white man and until people can HONESTLY come together, (which i doubt will ever happen, its too late for that) thing will stay just the way it is.

TaureanWong said...

My thoughts on the black male are that they are marginalized a great deal (negatively) today. As a black male myself, I feel my personal views, thoughts, concerns, etc. is rather bias so my personal expressions will be tainted. However, holistically, as I mentioned I feel they (we) are marginalized in a very negative way as discussed in the article and many opinons on here.

As far as how we can bridge the gap between races, my opinion is that overall there needs to be more dialogue between people that are different - plain and simple. Being that so many people are too afraid to step out of their comfort zones, and people often have misconceptions and fears of people and things they don't know, engaging in more opportunities to get to know and interact with other races will help bridge that gap. If anyone has any questions or comments feel free to ask me, I'm always open to dialoguing and welcome your questions.

keekee said...

I personally believe that this issue is not black and white. I see many problems with saying that the black man’s issues come from being black. Not in 2008. I believe that the problem is not just were you are, but who you choose to associate with and the guidance that you have from your parents. One of my friends has 3 kids, one in the military, one just graduated from the firefighter academy and one has become a manager in a retail store. None of her kids live at home any more and that is because that is what they chose from them selves. It also helped that they did have their father in the house growing up that made them walk the straight and narrow. Between the two of them, they worked three jobs, volunteered in football and cheerleading while their kids where growing up. They kept them involved and showed them that there is a whole world out there waiting from them and all they had to do was go get it. The parents set the example and the kids followed. I have preached in all my blogs about how education is power and how important and serious being a parent really is. I think that there are a lot of parents who have children that are in trouble, that at the time they had these kids, where either kids them selves or where just not ready for the challenge. Now by no means do I think that this is the problem and the answer. I know that there are so many other reasons for the situation to be where it is today, but, like every white home, Hispanic home, African American home, Asian home…..that is where it starts. Imagine a world where everyone took responsibility for them selves and their children. How many problems would or could it solve? We are quick now days to point the finger, and maybe some should be pointed at others at times, but in my home, I choose to exhaust all my resources here first. Does this approach work? For my girl friend (who is black) it did. As for my family (who is white) not as well. I feel like I did all the right things, and the truth is even if I did not, young adults will make their own choices and like my son, have to live with what they do. By no means was this blog meant to belittle the real problem out there, I just think that its not just black and white.

Athena Smith said...

I fully agree with Wes' comment on the need to pour money into the inner city schools. The inner city schools are grossly underfunded, and if the classes become smaller, the teachers can be more efficient.

Needless to say, family and neighborhood play a huge role as well as they can shape achievement.

Florida Mom said...

I believe there is inequality, whether it is inequality of race, gender, sexual orientation, and even religion. I do not agree with it at all, but I am not going to be naïve about it and say there is a quick fix to this problem. For many generations, some families discourage the younger generations to distance themselves from certain races. There are numerous stereotypes out there for each culture which does not seem to help the problem at all. The media also influences the inequalities- especially racial inequalities like when it comes to criminals for example. The problem I believe has become less severe, have you noticed who the candidates are for the next election? A hundred years ago-or even fifty years for that matter, no one would have believed an African American would make it as far as Obama has. I think the only real “cure” for this is an end of stupidity or when every one looks exactly the same and that is not likely to happen. The only thing we can do is learn from past mistakes and teach our children right from wrong.

Harper said...

The question was asked how do I perceive the black man of today? Well,to answer the question I see the black man the same as i would see any other man or woman. We are all people who fall short of gods glory one in the same. With that said I do feel tons of sympathy for the "black man" however because i think that as a whole, many are given bad rapes and are forced into stereotypes from the time they are born until adulthood. many of the issues that the black community faces are glorified in music and in movies. the young men of today are sadly a left fatherless with know other direction other then what they hear on the radio and or see on the streets. What do you expect if that is all you know. It would be easy to say that if they would just get a job and work they would be OK. sure, I'm all for hard work. I work hard too ,but the question I want to pose is Dose the black man of today get the same opportunities as i do (a white women)? You can do anything if people would first give you a chance to be different.People need to break down the stereo types that plague the black man. I think that even the black man himself needs to tare down the walls of stereotypes for himself and believe that he can be more. I think the two main ways to bridge the gap between races is to first like i said tare down stereotypes and walls of prejudgement and prejudice. second, is a Pele to all the fathers (of all races) STOP leaving your children fatherless love and raise up YOUR KIDS, DON"T JUST MAKE THEM. i strongly beleave that if these 2 actions take place maybe the the next generation will not be as lost as the present one.

blue sky said...

Let me begin this by saying I will give my best views on this topic as being a black male in America. Second I will do my best to be unbias in my opinions.
It is obvious there is a problem in the black community. We have steorotype and a negative rap that seems to hard to escape. Truth is every person black, white, asain whatever has their own walk in life and environmental issues to deal with. In turn that help mold the morals, ethics, and character of individuals. If you want to focus in on certain groups of the black community the fatherless uneducated are the most in need of assistance. But my point is that I cannot give a solution that will solve all these problems that are only growing and getting worse so I will give only 2 that I believe will solve the rest in a domino effect. And that is through Education and rehabiltation. It seems the individuals who get into trouble seemto trapped into that lifestyle because of the amount of doors that are closed to them killing avenues of opportunity. We are the country with the highest imprisonment rate and the amongst those imprisoned it is so depressing the statisics of those that are young black males. I understand that consequences for actions is important but something equally important if not more important is rehabilitation. If we can show the ones who have been lost or never had someone to show them the way to begin with. We can instead of watching the black population only increase its already despairing number of criminally active individuals we can replace them with reformed leaders that will reach right back to the ones who are following in their footsteps and stop the chain gang right at the source.
This leads to the next solution education. With education there is nothing that cannot be resolved. Alot of those with low education have very limited options as to a good source of income. And studying in Sociology I have learned that usually the less educated and poor are the ones to have larger familiies. With larger families comes more responsibility. A great quote that needs to be stressed to the communityis, "The seeds of education are bitter but the fruits are sweet." The black population need to be educated and then they can pass the fruits of their hardwork to those in their communities. In stead of the neighborhood dope dealer with the nice car, rims, clothes women, and power. He is the one the see with respect and the money. What do you think would be the way you would go if you only saw that person "succeed" in your hood. Its easy when your not in that situation to say that is an easy decision to make as to not follow the drug dealers or criminals that make that fast money. But every race has a deviant role model. Look at those on wall street. They take different risks but are equally irresponsible. I'm not making excuses for black males, because I have worked hard to get to where I am at. But I am giving a little insight as to correcting the issue means focusing our energy to educating new ways to people who have never been shown many avenues. And then work on rehabilting those who have made poor decision in life instead of being so worried on only incarseration and probation.

wrtmillions said...

The way I perceive the black man of today is exactly what this articles talks about. We have lost a lot of black man to prison and violate crimes. Hack, I just came back from seeing my child’s father in the state pin and I lost one of my male friends Friday night to a shot out. My black males feel like there is no other way to make a living once they have been convicted as a felon so that’s why they turn back to the street life to support themselves and their families. I think that there should be a law that makes jobs hire a first time convicted felon so that they can have a second change to turn their life around. I love my black men but there are few good ones to choose from now a days.

wrtmillions said...

Forgot to mention, that I stood in line from 9:38am-2:00pm to vote on Saturday and all I could think about was that I was doing this for all my convicted felons, my generation, and my younger black generation that will follow.

DannyBoy said...

I perceive the black male today the same as the white or any other race.I dont think race or any other factors should really play a role in anyone's everyday life.In my area I dont really notice any difference between races at all.However i am sure that this is not the situation everywhere in the world.We really need to stop looking at people as races and need to start just looking at people as just people.We need people in areas where race is an issue to start communicating with each other more.All of these negative thoughts of different races need to stop.

Athena Smith said...

Blue sky
Exactly. Every group (not race... remember, race does not exist) has its deviant role models. And as you put it Wall Street is the best/worst example of that.
I heard a speaker the other day saying that he had adressed a group of Wall Stree executives a few months ago, all of them making $3-7 million, and that the atmosphere was toxic. Why? Because they were not making $7-11 million. They apeared ready to bend many rules in order to make it to the higher bracket.
The speaker (a well known poet) added that on that day he realized he could not and should not ever trust them with his money.

So, the smart thing to do, is recognize the deviant role models and break away. For good.

Harper said...

I perceive the black man the same as I would any other man or woman, we are all gods children who fall short of his glory one in the same. However sympathy dose have to go to the black community because in my opinion as a whole,many black males are forced into a stereotype from the time they are born until adulthood.unfortionaly many boys are left fatherless with no other direction then what they hear glorified in music and OR T.V., The streets become home for many of these children leaving them more compelled to follow the example of thoughts that came before them and the cycle repeats. I am a strong believer in hard work however I don;t believe that the black male of today gets the same opportunity as maybe I do as a (white woman) I think that giving people a chance to be different is the key. what you were in your past is not who you can be in your future. This is the land of second chances and every one deserves at least one. With that said I think two main actions can bridge the gap between races. First is to tare down walls of stereotype and prejudgements of races which includes the black man himself. the second actions is a Pele to every father of all races STOP making babies if your not going to raise them. Kids can not raise them selves and they all need a hope of a promising future one not involving gangs or jail or death or baby momma drama or drugs. this generation may be lost to these demons,but the next one can be different.We as a people should change are way of thinking our futures can all be affected if we don't!

Athena Smith said...

Charles emailed me the following comment:

"I think the black man today is look down apon in a bad way but there are many black men that have shown the being black doesn't always mean you can't better yourself in life.There are many hard work successful black people in this world because they chose that route in there life. Many although have choosen the route that give black people a bad name, such as drugs and violence. It is all about the choice that one makes and how they make them in life how that will be later in life. I know it is hard to change yourself with the court system that we have today. If you mess up once you are messed up for life which sucks. "

Little One said...

I have always perceived black men the same way I perceive any man of any different background. Race has very little to do with how I react to people. I think maybe before the problems between races were serious, but I do not think it is as bad anymore, maybe I am naïve. Black people, to me, have the same opportunities and downfalls as Hispanics or whites or any other race. I do know racism exist and that it has caused serious damage in people’s lives. But I think in today’s world it is a less likely and rarer problem.

vertuxa said...

I believe that everything starts with opportunity at proper education. White middle class neighborhoods have good

schools and low level of crime. This is exactly what is missing in the low class minority neighborhoods. If more

money can be spent to improve these two factors then I believe changes will be obvious within few decades. Until

then nothing short of a miracle will change the situation of the black man in today’s American society. The cycle

just continues over and over - children are born into poverty and surrounded by drugs, crime, and violence.

Eventually, they become part of the criminal culture that is part of their day to day lives. The end result is

clearly described in this article.

beren1hand3 said...

The treatment of black males in this country is absolutely ridiculous. the treatment of many human beings is absolutely ridiculous, but the black male in America faces a situation that disgraces the true ideals of this nation. For practicing the "all mighty" free market system in its freest sense buy selling goods to willing customers people in America are labeled as degenerates and incarcerated buy the same group of people that say socialism will destroy the country. for many people living in poverty the easiest way to make living is to sell drugs, and sense "the black man" has been in a state of poverty(or slavery) sense coming to this country "His" image is essentially destroyed. it is growing up in a culture that has been labeled as degenerate and being locked in cages that makes these men violent, and the solution society uses to this violence is to lock these people in cages. we have no correctional facilities in this country, only a large well orginized system that is used to ignore our problems.

London Skies said...

I believe that it is sad that people still judge others based solely on color, but I also believe that it has improved greatly over time and that it will continue to get better. However, I do not believe that the way they turn out is solely based on their upbringing. I was raised in a church and in a nice neighborhood and I still saw a few of my friends go to jail. The most troubled were both from two parent homes, one was a white guy who was also raised in church and he has gone to jail several times for a variety of things ranging from burglary to battery to drugs. And the other was a black guy who was a great kid growing up with many opportunities at hand. He went to jail several times mostly for drugs but was also a dealer for a while (and money was never an issue for him). Therefore I believe it is mainly based on choice. Every person becomes who they choose to be in life.

TooSweet08 said...

I've had and heard this conversation so many times that this article brings forth no emotion from me. I'm absolutly tired of society using the black community as their "poster child" for change. Whether its a black man, white man, or purple man crime and poverty happen. The inequality of our nation can be used as an excuse or even growing up in the projects with a broken home. Bottom line is people in worse situations have made it black men in worse situations have made it. Skin color doesn't matter, home life doesn't matter, the only thing that matters is having the will and determination to make something of yourself.

lacrossechic8 said...

Being black does not always mean that you are poor, have gone to jail/ prison, or have dealt with drugs. These are all stereotypes of a particular person and/or race. This would be like saying all blondes are dumb; and we all know that isn’t necessarily true. I don’t believe there is anything we can do to correct this stereotype. If black people feel they have a problem it is their job to fix it, just like any other person would do. People don’t go to jail or prison just because of their race. They go because they have committed a crime, if you don’t want to go to prison then don’t commit crimes you know that are illegal. People of all races have a choice in their lives of what they want to do. Some go in the direction of leading good lives and going to school to get an education and job, others go down the road of a life of crime and violence. The choice is yours in life, you make the decision.

MiiStAkEn iiDeNtiiTY said...

Well today the black man is immediately put into a category. They cannot make their impressions on society because before hand they are already being stereotyped. Its sad to see this happening to a black man. Society should give each individual an opportunity, not everyone is the same, some are actually different.
What can we do today to bridge the gap between this, really I feel as though we cant do anything about it; every single individual in this society have their own opinion and are entitled to use it whether right or wrong.

Bobby Allen said...

To me college is a place where people want to be. The fact that race comes into the effect of progress in this type of area is a joke. All people that I see are here to to succeed in their own way and don't hurt that chance they have in any way no matter they be white, black, hispanic, or any other race. I feel bad that a stereo-type about black males would be out there like this. If a few people show this side doesn't mean you should categorize a whole race of people like that. I know a lot of my friends that have the same race as I do that are lazy but as a white person I'm not put into a lazy category. i think that if they are going to do this then categorize every race as lazy because that would be the truth and fair to all. Its wrong to put this as a problem concerning just one race.

kobebro21 said...

It is a sad situation and it its not. I am a Black male and the majorities of black males I hang out with have either been in jail, in jail or aren’t doing anything with their lives. There are good black men out there and bad ones also. That’s with every race but the black male has more bad ones than good. I feel that it all starts at home with the parents in the early years of a black mans life. It’s hard to grow up poor with a single parent or none at all. That gives them a less chance of finishing high school and attending college, which leads them into the streets or Jail. Black males need good role models in early years of life to show them in the right direction. I am a black male and I lost my father when I was 7 but my mom kept me in the right direction because she cared for about my future. I don’t feel sorry for the black males that have good opportunities and screw them up.

J3NNii3 BABii3 said...

HMM Lets see..how do i percieve the black mail of today. Well we have the ignorant low lifes of the society but then again we also have very successful black males. I am half african american so dont think im a racist against them with the first comment.When it comes to most black males i have to agree with the article. Black males work so hard to prove that they are "down" and are sooo "hard" but when it comes down to it they really arent because they have to grab that gun to handle their problems. or that needle if its drugs. and i cant stand it when people use the EXCUSE of an absent father. who cares. if anything that should make them stronger and not want to turn out like them. i know plenty of people who were like that and they have a good head on their shoulders and are very successful. It depends on what you want out of life and how hard you are willing to work for it. And how do i think we could bridge the races. In all honesty i dont think that day will ever happen when all races will actually be equal. There will ALWAYS be that one negative person who is against what is trying to be proposed..thats my opinion

Brian H said...

i belive that there is better equality between the races now a days. people who still hold grudges against other races are ignorant. i belive also that some black males do the things they do becuse society molded them that way, just as poor people make themselves think they can never get out of poverty. i like to belive we are all equal, one, becuse we have an african american man running for the highest status in the united states. and two because we all are american, and we should not hold grudges against another. we should all work towards the common goal of the country.

liime_aiide said...

I feel that we are all given the chance to become successful, its wether or not you take that chance. You have to be willing to work for what you want. Its sad that we stereotype that average black man as described in this article. I understand thatwe are all not as lucky as others but we all have the same oppertunities. We are all given the opption the go to school to further our education. You just have to want to better yourself.

edwin said...

I do not discriminate, I have noticed however, that the attitudes that "black males" or "black females" have acquired in their name, is nothing that a Caucasian, or Mexican, or Indian individual cannot possess. I believe the color of your skin does not depict how arrogant or smart you may be. I understand that black people as a community have come very far, although, some people use that as their excuse, and almost a scape goat. I have met many people while living in Florida, that are extremely racist. I have not learned how to react, explain or help these friends of mine. So I just try to ignore it.
Colored people have every opportunity that a non-colored person may have, its just using what they have and excelling with that, that makes one successful.

Aboylan said...

I feel like some of the statements of the article are true for black men. But then again I feel like some of it is stereotyping black men in a whole Not only is this a problem for black males but, it is one for every person who has things to overcome. I personally feel that it is up to an individual to break the cycle. It is well known that some people just dont have the ambition to rise above their surroundings. But, is that any ones fault but their own? My dad dropped out but he went back and got is G.E.D did anyone force him to? No, it was up to him to better himself. and I don't believe there is a "bridge to gap." There are bridges for people who are dumb enough to make their own personal bridges.

Aboylan said...

I feel like some of the statements of the article are true for black men. But then again I feel like some of it is stereotyping black men in a whole. It is not just black males who face these issues, it can be anyone. My whole issue is that in America anyone is able to better themselves. It is up to the individual to rise above their surrounds. For example, my dad dropped out but had enough ambition to better himself for his family that he went back got his G.E.D then did even better by going to college. as for the bridges that need to be gapped, there are only bridges because people have looked so far into an issue to create them. people make race an issue when in reality its really not unless you yourself make it an issue.

blogger59 said...

This article really hit a raw nerve for me. Luckily it answers itself, but it is frustrating and frightening. The “back man” along with all the other minority groups, plus the exclusive idiotic DUI club suffer recidivism because it’s easier to check out and “, it’s do what you do best or starve” than to check in and do the hard work of being responsible for themselves, and not expect others to reinforce self control. It is unfortunate that the original writer of this article refuses to understand that the legal system was designed to keep the “Criminals” off the street, Not home the cruel and lazy people who like to violate those who work so hard not to starve, if that means “keeping that Black man down” then our judicial system is working. Unfortunately for the people that the “Black Man” represents have found great comfort in the prisons and jails of America. “The black man PURPOSELY disappear”, lucky him, free cloths, free food, free dental & health, just a good old family reunion in the Hood, he won’t have to worry about how to put food on the table for his family, or clothes on the children he created, NOPE just a FREE ride . I have many people in my extended family incarcerated; Some where raised by abusive fathers, some no family because they like roaming around the hood too much and refuse to buckle down. There was no lesson greater that I learn than watching the consequences of the stupid choice of my cousins’ get what they want at the expense of everyone around them. For all groups of people in America, we are always reminded that “the promise of starving” for more is always there. And it is a hard day of work that makes life so worth living that makes you want to protect all that you have from those who want to just steal it from you.
The gap between the races already have a bridge, unfortunately while the rest of us is reinforcing the bridge there are still many others “the black Man” who keep trying to break it down and ruin it for the rest of us.

Vicki said...

I believe that black have just as much potential and ability as any other race. Yes, there is still a stereotyping among some that all blacks are poor and live in bad neighborhoods. But this prejudice isn’t only reserved for blacks in the community. There is a racial bias toward all races in one capacity or another, including toward whites. For example, there are many phrases or words that if a white person used in reference to a black person then is would be derogatory and called racism. But, if a black person called another black person the same thing, then it’s ok. If it’s a derogatory comment, then it shouldn’t matter who is saying it. I’m not sure what can be done to bridge the gap. Certainly presidential elections like the one we are enduring right now haven’t done anything to help. Hearing people say they are only voting for Obama just because he is black just shows ignorance in my opinion. Forget about whether he is qualified…just pick him because you like his ethnicity. What a sad statement about our country.

HarlequinMask said...

I have seen and met a lot of black guys and some fit this "status" and some don't. To just say that most black males fit in to this status is ludicrous. Anyone can do anything if they set their mind to it. It's not about what color you are or what nationality or race or ethnicity you are. It's what you want to do with yourself and what you want to succeed in that counts. Its the fact that you try to accomplish things, even if you're against the odds.

These statistics show things that we can not be proud of. They show only things that we look down upon. How many white men are high school drop outs? How many of them have no jobs and don't take the initiative to turn their life around? How many of them don't even try? I'd like to see some degenerative articles about a white male please. And yes I'm white and I'm talking about my own 'color'. I've met more down and out white guys than black ones and yet the media still does not make statistics out of that.

almostmarried said...

I do not notice any difference between a black male and a white male, to me there are just as many white males in prison as black males, and alot of black males have just as good of jobs as white males. Everyone just focuses so much on bringing the black male down that they look past a poor white male or a poor white family. Take Deion Sanders for example, he is a black male and he is very wealthy, so I do not see any difference between a black and white male.

wes said...

How about all the money JAILS are makinG! Have you ever hard of the prison industrial system here a description+>,"The prison-industrial complex' refers to interest groups that represent organizations that do business in correctional facilities, such as prison guard unions, construction companies, and surveillance technology vendors, and to the belief that these actors may be more concerned with making profits than actually rehabilitating criminals or reducing crime rates.

USA incarceration timeline.Allegedly, this desire for monetary gain has led to the rise of the Prison industry. Writing for The Atlantic Monthly in December 1998, Eric Schlosser said that "The 'prison-industrial complex' is not only a set of interest groups and institutions; it is also a state of mind. The lure of big money is corrupting the nation's criminal-justice system, replacing notions of safety and public service with a drive for higher profits. The eagerness of elected officials to [1]pass tough-on-crime legislation — combined with their unwillingness to disclose the external and social costs of these laws — has encouraged all sorts of financial improprieties."
"The prison industrial complex (PIC) is a complicated system situated at the intersection of governmental and private interests that uses prisons as a solution to social, political, and economic problems. The PIC depends upon the oppressive systems of RACISM, CLASSISM. It includes human rights violations, the death penalty, industry and labor issues, policing, courts, media, community powerlessness, the imprisonment of political prisoners, and the elimination of dissent.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison-industrial_complex)
THE PIC in relation to RACISM and Classism>

The more money you have the more likely you are going to get off the hook for doing a crime. Also some minorities are in jail not for murder but for misdominors and get slapped with various charges and technicalities given them longer sentances.
How about the parole system that targets minorities to remain in the correctional system. I see a link between that and the (PIC)

lilbit said...

Even though this is a sad problem I feel like that the only way that their problems can be fixed is if they find help for themselves. Just like everyone else we have found some way to better ourselves so that we don't fall into that situation.It's also sad to see such stereotyping against black people because I know many black men and women that have successful jobs and lives and they too came from bad neighborhoods and families where parents were on drugs and in and out of jail.I believe that the only way to fix things for black children in the future is to make sure that they know that as long as they ask for help someone will be there for them to help them with their struggles.

jb23 said...

I dont believe that the image of black men being drug dealers, violent, or dropouts is correct. I would have to say that I know many black men that are 100% successful in their life today. I think that the way the article describes black men is just a stereotype. I think that black men are no different from any race, white hispanic or asian. Every human being has the same oppurtunity to do what they want. Some choose to go to school and some don't. I'm not exactly sure why the blog just points out the black people and doesn't look at the other races that are involved.

Lady HCC said...

I perceive the black man of today just as I see anyone else. I don’t ever judge anyone based upon their ethnicity, but unfortunately there are many other people out there that do. I agree with some of the statements in the article. It’s a sad situation and I think that needs to change. It’s a new generation today and things have changed. I have noticed there are many stereotypes out there and I think that they are ignorant for not even giving anyone a chance just because of their skin color. It’s just the same as any other race or human, you have your “good” and your “bad.” If it is true that there are so many blacks in poverty and in jail, then I think it needs to be their motive to take a step up and improve that. They are in charge of their actions and their own lives, and they will have to be the ones to change that. As far as bridging the gaps, you can’t change an ignorant person, but you can keep reaching for success and positive things in life, so as long as we all come together to bring peace and equality then we can succeed for equality.

Athena Smith said...

The article decsribed a dark side of the black community and therefore it was one sided. There is another side as well. The blacks who are increasingly graduating from college and establishing themselves in competitive professional fields.
According to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (Winter 2007-2008 issue), as of 2007, 4 million Blacks hold a BA/BS, representing 19% of all blacks 25 years and over. One million hold an MA or MS. 166,000 hold professional degrees (medicine, business, engineering and law.) 111,000 blacks hold PhD’s (In the 70s there were around 6000 blacks with PhDs).

However, the majority of these black students have been drawn from middle class households.

If you are born in a poor, high crime neighborhood other factors may shape your upbringing as well. Remember Sutherland's differential association theory (learning from groups), and Miller's focal values in deviant subcultures. Both theories also spoke of the resilience of individuals who break away from a vicious cycle.

If you don't remember the theories we studied, open your books. Praising "white power" is easy, learning and studying how social forces operate is a bit harder. I had to delete one comment that applauded "white power", but this country, this college, this class and this blog WILL NOT tolerate hate statements. Period.

greenjellybean said...

I think the only reason there are greater numbers of black males rather than any other race in prison is because law enforcements purposely look for trouble in those areas of poverty. I know over a handfull of people from my graduatiing class who after graduation started selling drugs or stealing to make a living because they couldnt find a job after moving away for college. I didn't move away for college because I felt I wouldn't be able to find another job myself with today's economy. I noticed a lot of friends of mine have parents who buy them everything. Houses, dorms, pay for their classes, phones, cars, etc. I and many others don't have that luxury. I pay for everything myself and still live at home. I think if we gave people more opportunities they wouldnt be out there selling drugs on streets or killing and stealing from one another. Blacks, whites, hispanics, asians, everyone should be given equal opportunities and recieve the same punishments for the same crimes. It's 2008 people. Just because some people live in nicer areas doesnt mean there aren't the same crimes being committed. I understand there may be less crime, but I think it is too often overlooked.

Blah said...

Being a black woman, I find myself often implying the same stereotypes to black men as every other race does. My family for example, is outnumbered in men to women. Even though I do have male family members that are successful and are married, with children, I also see the "other side" of the black male in my family as well. Some of my family members, mainly the younger ones, have been to jail or prison but have chosen a different path other than crime, but they do have problems with getting and keeping jobs. Then I have family members that have stayed on the wrong path reluctantly. These family members may have been married with children but are no longer together with their families, or they never were. I have a little brother and our father has not been around for years, so between my mother, sister, and I, we try very hard to encourage him to stay on the right path. Also, my fiancé is one of the few black men to defy the odds. He attends USF, and will have obtained his masters degree by next semester. I stereotyped him from when we first met. I automatically assumed that he probably didn't have a job and had nothing going for himself. I honestly believe that black men as a whole will never be able to be considered equal among all races, but I feel that some will find their own way to defy the odds. I hear a lot of black men say that America is against them. I feel as if they are against themselves. Lots of people fought very hard and lost their lives in order for blacks to have access to what we have now. I feel that black men often use that this is where America put them as an excuse. Everyone in America has free will to make their own decisions, and choosing to defy the odds is up to you.

TheSexyTeddyBear said...

i agree with the 4th post ALOT (Jason) he wrote basically everything i would say on the topic. i hate how people pull the race card(blacks) or the sex card(women) on irrelevant issues. most of the problems that the "black man" faces are self inflicted and blaming it on the "white man" is just bologna. i am in NO WAY a racist but i honestly believe that there are FAR more racist black people than there is racist white people. but white people get all of the flack for being racist, i dont think i have ever seen a black person get called out for being racist or what have you. and i agree fully to what Jason said at the end of his post : "Most times the best place to point our fingers is right into the mirror."

on a side note... it absolutely infuriates me that people are voting for Barack Obama based on the color of his skin... i have nothing against people who are voting for him who agree with his ideology and views, but i do have a problem just voting for him because he is of an ethnic background. how is this not racist? how can a person vote for someone without knowing ANYTHING about their political experience, views, or beliefs and just vote because the man is an African American? i know ill probably get flack that i am a racist for pointing this out but i don't care, because i know that i am not racist, i would have no problem voting for a black presidential candidate but people need to look more deeply into things then just by the color of a persons skin, look into the topics at hand and their views on them.

eney352 said...

Well me being a black male myself, i believe that some of what was said in the reading was true, but at the same time the author was focusing on the negative things in a black male's life. We have black males like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Booker T. Washington, Thurgood Marshall, Barack Obama, Mohammad Ali, Michael Jordan, and many more that's done great things in today's society. I feel that the author should've included more positive actions that black males were apart of. And with Barack Obama winning the 2008 election i think he will definitely change the minds of some young black males. Obama had people who never voted in their life voting for the 1st time in 2008. My mom is 46 my dad is 44 and this is the 1st time they voted. I believe that change is going to come.
Racism will never die. And thats the government make laws that makes its hard for some black males to succeed. But the laws aren't made based on race. Its whoever makes the wrong decisions are the ones who are going to suffer. No matter what color you are. Barack Obama becoming president has made me a believer. Hopefully soon in the future the color of our skin will not be a reason why we cant succeed. Then our black males who have an excuse why they cant get a job or why they keep going back and forth to jail. I can strongly relate to where the author is coming from in this article; i'm just hoping we have more black males as positive role models in the future that will change the attitudes of the black males in the younger generations. I plan to be one of those role models.