Thursday, April 26, 2007

Millennium Generation Black Men: The New Pacifier Nation?

It does not surprise me that some white men still to this day carry themselves with an arrogance that exudes “I am a privileged man in this society – back the hell off”. It does not surprise me that some white men continue to think that they are better than other folk with darker skin. But, what has recently amazed me is the new attitude many of our black men and boys have been displaying, which motivates me to ask: Are these black males still sucking areolas and nipples at the ages of 3 to 25?

Before you stop reading or continue to read because you think I am on my way to “blasting black men” please be informed of this: I will NOT use this opportunity to torpedo my fellow brothas. Nope, I will not. However, I will share with you my thoughts on an unusual phenomenon within black culture. Queer in that I, as a 36 year old man, do not know of any black men my age who are walking around with a pacifier in his mouth.

Yes, there are black men my age out there who sistas claim want their mommas and not them as a girlfriend or wife. The sistas claim these men are still licking for breast milk. “Behaving like spoiled crybabies who eat and eat – and never feed their women!” Nonetheless, I am of the belief that if you were born in the seventies you still have a clue of what it really means to be a black man in America. Now, for these brothas born in the eighties and nineties my previous statement does not apply to many of them. These think-they-know something about hip-hop and information technology savvy Face Book addicts are beginning to be true Public Enemies. Not in the way the Public Enemies were described while I was growing up, but in the sense that they have taken on behavior that is reflective of too much coddling by momma which will eventually alienate them within this society of it is not my problem and dangerous narcissism. Black men cannot pull the same bull as our white counterparts.

I never thought I would see a black woman begging and pleading with her 5 year old son to sit down or come to her. I never thought I would see little black boys running throughout the grocery store like untrained monkeys. I never thought I would hear of a black kid smacking his momma. I never thought I would witness a black momma allowing her son to get away with just about anything. I always knew that mommas, particularly black mommas, favored their boys - but I never thought... You get my point.

What was totally foreign in my small black environment in North Carolina has finally made it into the mainstream of African American families: Total Disrespect for Momma. To be very honest I never heard a black kid say, ‘Kiss my azz, momma.’ I did not even think a child could formulate the thought to say it. On the other hand, this type of communication from white kids with their parents was and has continued to be a common occurrence. Even when I heard this level of impudence back in the day I just knew that the white kid was going to get a MAJOR beaten later. Evidently, I was wrong. These white kids did not get beat down when they were younger as far as I could tell because I was a witness to this type of disrespect of parents while attending that predominately white school in North Carolina. That place where I learned a few things about life. Thank God I did not pick up a crude reverence for my mother there.

Lately, black mothers for some reason have been giving out passes to their sons. It is evident in the young men’s actions: Never wanting to take responsibility for poor behavior. Making excuses for their problems. Never acknowledging that they have made a mistake. And, the ultimate: Using this behavior as a justification for their “plight” in life. Can you believe it? These sorry behind teenage boys are running around here believing that we have totally failed them. Yes, my generation and my mother’s have not completely done all we can do to assure our children are in a better position in the next 10 to 20 years, but we have not failed them to the extent we are the source behind: Total Disrespect of Momma.

However, there is indication that black mommas are failing our boys. I want to believe that my sistas with children today are not coddling their black boys to death (literally), but statistics and their behavior points to momma as part of the problem. Why can’t black women remove the pacifiers from our black men’s mouths? Why have they taken on this new role of ‘son, I will hold you in my arms and wipe your behind until you are 25’? Perhaps it has always been this way and I just did not conceptualize the magnitude, or are the affects finally reaching our doorsteps and schools with a vengeance? Momma is prone to “take-up” for Kris after he blatantly misbehaves in an orderly classroom. Ask any teacher or principal in urban America!

I emphatically believe more black women are refusing to cut the umbilical cord sooner, and it is causing us to be apart of this pathetic Coddler Nation along with the other America. Here we go again taking on what they do. I wonder if we are going to start outsourcing breast feeding. You read that right: (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18313552/). When are we going to realize that their ways do not necessarily jive with our mode of living, let alone childrearing? Don’t we have a different set of problems that our men face each and every day? Persisting on timeout as a method of punishment for kicking little Shawanda in the face is not an appropriate form of chastisement for Andre. What brotha you know will be given a light prison sentence for backhanding a Susie? That Negro will go straight to prison for abusing America’s beacon of beauty!

To address the apparent two sides to this dilemma and not place sole blame on our phenomenal black mommas, we must put some responsibility on the shoulders of the pansy-behind absentee male baby makers. I have continuously heard and read, “A son needs his father”. But, what does this truly mean? Does this imply if our fathers were in the homes these non-appreciative boys will behave differently? If this is the case, why cannot these black men who help make the babies understand that staying in the home or at least being a dad is CRITICAL? I seriously can’t believe some of us actually LEAVE. Get LOST. Then we wonder why black folk are stuck in third gear. My disdain for this dude is over the top! He really does not get it: The man is supposed to lead and make things happen for the family. We were not created to be cowards! This black man should be ashamed of himself.

It all boils down to what I call Manhood Responsibility. Just be a man. Why is there a need for manhood development training programs considering women when faced with having to be there for the life they help create are PRESENT? They take on the responsibility to be a mother while our men voice that they have to ‘find themselves’. This particular double standard is ruining our future along with babying Lil DJ.

How much longer will we allow this double standard to exist? When will our mothers realize that coddling is not working? Let Joe-Joe cry! When will these baby making boys stop walking around here frontin’ as men when in fact they are little punks? Man up!

Written by Muata. Inspired by those black mommas wearing both pair of shoes: Mom’s and Dad’s. Inspired by what I am going to do the next time I hear my son say, “I want my momma.”

23 comments:

Muata said...

Reader Responds:

You knocked this one OUT THE PARK! Oh, I'm right there with you!!!! I have two boys, and believe me, they are being raised old old school all the way. Even opening the door for me, or for any women. They pull out chairs at dinner, they answer questions with yes sir, no sir and all that. I don't fool around with that kind of stuff. I absolutely will not tolerate disrespect under no circumstance. And that goes for there lil' friends too!

You only get one chance to raise a black young man, the right way.

-RS

Muata said...

Readers Respond:

WOW!! This was very insightful!!

–SP

I totally agree with you. It's a got damn shame how we've become so passive when it comes to disciplining our children...I've been dating a dude but here lately things seem to be coming a part. What a lot of men don't realize is that you can not get too comfortable in a relationship and stop courting or dating the woman. Well it seems that he's done just that so I haven't seen him in a month and one week (you know how us women be keeping track of everything). LOL. And I don't talk to him daily like I use to...The summer time is coming and this one will be real niiiiiiiiize.

-CR

Muata said...

Reader Responds:

AMEN!

I feel we, as black folk have taken on white folk nasty behaviors and attitudes. I wonder if some of it has to do with the law of child abuse. What I say to that is I will rear and mold my child into the respectful, decent young lady I expect her to be.

I am so sick and tired of women allowing dead beat men, half ass men, and all the other names that are associated with those that make babies and disappear, use them as some sort of machine. Girls...because now, that's what is having babies, must begin to love themselves, and exude self respect and dignity before thinking of lying with some boy. I teach my daughter the importance of self love, respect, and the appreciation of herself and her body.

It is so sad that we have lost, and the rate we're going, continue to loose our babies, culture and generations. I'm sick of it all!
Thanks Brother!

-RS

Muata said...

Reader Responds with a question:

Hi! Nice observations and very good editorial piece.

Can you answer this question for me, Muata?

Why do our black men say they want a good woman when they actually are afraid of commitment and still want to cheat to prove their worthiness? I am just asking?

-SJ

Muata said...

Muata responds to the question from SJ:

Many of us are always trying to prove ourselves. It is called: poor self concept/esteem. We are searching for validation from something or someone. Unfortunately, we do it through destructive means. It is sad, but men have to be catered to to feel worthy at times. When we do not get that type of attention we "venture out" looking for it. We actually hunt for it until we are satisfied. And, we usually find it. It ain't hard. A lot of women are ready to do it initially. Commitment?? Put yourself in the black man's shoes. All these ladies out here willing and able to do what wife or girlfriend is not doing. Would you stay in the candy store or not? Would you find it tough to leave the store? If the man is afraid of commitment it is his conscious talking too. He is afraid that what he has done will come back to bite him in the rear. Not committing is his way of operating out of fear.

-Muata

Muata said...

Two more readers responds to SJ's question:

Too many dynamics to answer in such a general question. I can't speak for all men yet wanting a good woman does not assume physical faithfulness. I've said it many years ago and maitain that an emotional relationship is far more dangerous than a physical relationship when it comes to a man. As far as cheating, most women restrict that definition to physical intimacy......................................................rarely considering financial deceit and hlding secrets as part of the equation.

-PM

You may be a good woman that cooks, cleans and cater to your man. You may be a woman that take care of the kids and attend church. But in most men eyes you are a good woman, but not that perfect woman. The perfect woman does all that, however also has the perfect body, hair, nails etc..... I concluded that there is no perfect man/woman, but there are several good ones. What is important is who that person really is (the heart), because sometimes your appearance may change, your heart remains the same.

Most black men say they want a good woman, when they really are hurting for that perfect woman.

-KL

Muata said...

Reader Responds to the question:

Cheating is a frame of reference that depends on your personal definition of a good relationship. Monogamy is a totally unnatural state of being and is a result of a natural evolutionary process that occurs over time. People think that they are going to go into a relationship and just one day decide to be monogamous which is a false sense of hope and security and then argue all day because your natural instinct is to wander. If people make their relatioship choices based off of their own feelings and they not be dependent upon the feelings of their partner, ie, I won't cheat if you don't cheat, people will find themselves more content in their relationships. When that person is ready to join you, they will and when you are on the same page, you move on. Now, because I do not care if my man dates other women, I am just that much more intimidating because now he's trying to figure why it's okay. I have found that when we allow our men to be who they are and sometimes that is a man who loves women, they will be who you want them to be because you allow them the space and freedom to be themselves and in most cases that will keep their butts right beside you (their woman) night after night. I think a good woman is one who is willing to meet her man where he is and expects nothing more and nothing less. Everything on top of that is a bonus.

-MP

Muata said...

Muata responds to reader MP and MP response to Muata's question:

MP-

Well, well, well.

U know most women are not thinking along these lines. They definitely will not agree.

So, men are basically in your mind going to cheat??

-Muata

Muata-

no, not at all. but i know that i like to talk trash and drink cocktails with men and it does not have anything to do with my relationship at home and i know that my man likes women, likes to have cocktail dates, likes a lap dance...but to me, that isn't that deep...the happiness of the relationship is not worth placing all kinds of rules on the relationship. we're grown. we know what we're doing. we won't lose anything we want to keep.

-MP

Muata said...

Muata asks MP:

Michelle,

Where do those feelings that get all tossed around after the sexing go? Are they just feelings not connected to your emotions? You know as well as I do that sex changes the dynamic. Am I right, Ladies?? When those feelings/emotions get involved things change. Not many women will be okay with that man she is "into with feelings" now hitting something on the side. Come on now.

-Muata

Muata said...

MP Responds to Muata:

Muata-

First of all, you are talking me...a girl who has tipped more female strippers than the average man. but, sex can change things for some women and i cannot comment on that. but ponder this: i can love you despite you not loving me. can you allow yourself to be loved?

-MP

Muata said...

Reader responds to MP:

I respect your approach to relationships even though it’s the antithesis of my own. I agree that the happiness of the relationship is not worth placing all kinds of rules on the relationship. However, it seems that that happiness would compel one to self regulate or impose their own boundaries. No, I don’t want to have to establish rules and regulations or be pedantic about the do and don’ts, but I expect to be respected and for me, that means monogamy. It’s curious that people in their 30s and 40s would risk ruining a relationship where they have finally made that elusive connection or found their soul mate, for a false sense of freedom. I call it false because physically or emotionally engaging at will is not freedom. Actually, I believe it’s possible to become bound by those messy, ineffectual entanglements. Larikus reminded us that meeting a person that’s right for you is rare, so I ask again, why run the risk of ruining it. Call me demanding, but my man coming home to me at night is not my only concern. If he has crossed physical, mental or emotional boundaries with other women during the day, then he taints our bed and dishonors me and our relationship when he comes home to me. Larikus may be right. Perhaps, monogamy is not an inherent trait. If that’s true, I’ll choose the mature, responsible, disciplined, monogamous man everyday.

Finally, I believe that our brokenness as people has conditioned black women to expect less than honorable treatment from our men. These low expectations create weak men with low aim who, as a result, dishonor themselves and our community.

-Anonymous

Muata said...

Another reader responds to MP:

MP-

I was going to stay out of this conversation until your last statement. "I can love you despite you not loving me".

A mutual Love is the basis for every true long term relationship. When your in a long term relationship, you fall "in and out of love". Being "in love" is quite different than LOVING someone. You may sometimes lose that "loving feeling", but if you LOVE someone, the one thing you never lose is that LOVE. I always want to be with someone that I know LOVES me, but I want to also to be with someone that respects me. I deserve that, because what ever happens, If your mate truly loves and respects you, they're going to do what's RIGHT BY YOU because they truly love you. Love makes you do the Right Thing.

It's not hard to know what's right. You feel it in your heart. So if it feels right to YOU and YOUR partner to haves a open relationship, then good for you, but if it doesn't feel right, a person should not accept less than what they want. You deserve to have what makes you feel good and right, loved, and respected. Define and Expect that love and respect in your relationship.

-Anonymous

Muata said...

Muata reacts to AJ's response:

I must say it has been GOOD for me to read all the comments. EACH AND EVERY ONE. To come to a close with talking about LOVE makes it sweeter (thanks, AJ). Think about it: the initial question shared was basically asking why men cheat. Which can put people on the defense. Then a question concerning LOVE was interjected (thanks, MP) which brought us to a place where we need to be: LOVE talk. This was beautiful. We did it in the confines of RESPECT too.

LOVE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE ANSWER.

-Muata

Muata said...

Reader Responds to the lingering question: Why men cheat?

For the longest time we have tried in the courts of public opinion and trivialized the complexity yet simple dynamics of male female relationships as it relates to "Good Woman/Cheating Brothas'" ladies, so you're educated, work hard, pay the bills, take care of home, even got the latest from Victoria Secrets and you can lay in on your man like no other with the Ill nana. But wait a minute, there are no "ENTITLEMENTS" for all that except a good credit score. Sistas' fail to realize it's not about being a "Good Woman" but rather a man's conscious awakening and discipline of monogamy and "age ain't gat nothn to do wid it". Even the good Reverend couldn't defy his inherent nature and it's not a weakness.

So Sistas' , erase that "Good Woman" stamp off your foreheads, us brothas' have to step up our game up to a higher level of consciousness, self worth and discipline to help rid our communities one of many dysfunctions..

Peace..
jds.

Muata said...

MP responds to Anonymous reader:

Despite the fact that you don't think we see eye to eye, this is exactly what I am saying. I am possibly more open in ways, but I believe in gradual evolution to monogamy. Its wonderful when two people find themselves there together. But you cannot get there arbitrarily by imposing junior high school rules. Like I previously said, we will not lose what we want to keep. I do not want my man to feel like he HAS to be there. I do not want to be the ball and chain. I want to be the thing he CHOOSES above all things.

-MP

Muata said...

Muata responds again:

Men will cheat. It does not matter what you are (fine, sexy, fat, tall, short, rich, broke, etc.) or what you do. He does not care. I have said it before: “A man will cheat for NO REAL REASON at all. He will JUST cheat. You CANNOT do anything about it. There is not any pre-work or pre-intervention you can do. He has to decide to be faithful on his on accord. That’s it. It will be in your best interest to ease back. Chill. Let him be himself. If he cheats get rid of him or deal with it. It is that simple. Also, the sooner a woman becomes “okay” with understanding this you will be more at PEACE. This is not to say you must just give up and take his unfaithfulness. Just stop trying to get him to stay at home. Despite your efforts he will possibly throw hi relationship away on a CHEAP FIVE DOLLAR working girl!!

Thanks, Mr. JDS for putting this out there!!!

-Muata

Muata said...

Muata responds again:

I am not saying that women have to “accept” a man’s cheating ways. First of all, he should not be cheating if he is in a committed relationship and the understanding that CHEATING is unacceptable. Please understand that I know as a man that a man will cheat for no reason other than that he wants to and that he can. Morality rarely comes into play. Your feelings rarely come into play. He is behaving as a man who has NOT DECIDED TO DEAL WITH HIMSELF on this level to some degree. He knows he is wrong. Some actually feel remorseful. So, black women please forget about “seeing” what you can do to keep him faithful. You are not a factor. He is the only factor. So, I say chill out and be at peace. Stop trying to change yourself and do this and that. Men really behave on an animalistic level.

Do you think we REALLY want to be married? Something has to occur within for us to be ready. We have to be ready for that change. We are not excited about getting married and going through all the drama most women create to get married. And finally, if he is not cheating while married or in a relationship you BEST BELIEVE it is a CHORE to do be a non-cheater. But, guess what, he can do it and be happy with only you. We just have to tap into that conscious that’s says ‘I have to do RIGHT for my children, wife, and for my community.’ Men can do it!

By the way, you can question my “man’s say” on this, but I beg you to LISTEN AND TAKE THIS ADVICE I am giving. I am a man.

-Muata

Muata said...

Reader responds to Muata:

Its not only a chore for a man. Just like you all (men in general –not you) are out there flirting and “getting” women, please believe YOUR woman puts up with that everyday. Understand that you are not the only ones that struggle with the decision.

-SW

!!!**&&&&!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well then I don’t get the point of the email string. I’m sorry. Was it just to persuade women to accept infidelity? Was it to tell me that as a woman I am wrong for expecting a man to be faithful? So then at this point – I should be grateful for this new twist of insight on relationships????

-SW

Muata said...

Reader responds:

Deciding not to Cheat is a Choice. Just like deciding not to steal or lie. We can teach our children right from wrong and tell them not to lie, cheat, or steal, but ultimately each has to make this decision on his/her own. We all are faced with these types of decisions each and every day.

Deciding not to cheat is a moral decision. In many cases, that instant gratification outweighs the moral consciousness.

When the consequences of cheating are are greater, MEN/people will think much more before they make that decision to do it.

-AJ

Muata said...

Muata responds to AJ:

If we like it or not this pathetic American culture we live in has condone infidelity. It is okay to behave like wild fools. Think about the soap operas some of us watch. Think about how the public turns a blind eye to it. We are becoming numb to it. It is like: so what. I will venture to say that the majority of us are to blame for allowing these things to be “okay”. Not many of us are up in arms with the “immoral acts/behavior” this society has accepted. We carry on like we are in a good world. Moral standards should be at the top of our leaders list, but no we (voters) do not even think about this. We elect a man who cheated on his wife in the white house and then we (black folk) embrace him like we were okay with his cheating ways. And, some of us said they would vote for him again if he could run for office. So, I guess his lying to and cheating on his wife was okay?

We all are the problem. All of us! Not one man and not one woman. We are killing our children with all this “liberalism”!

-Muata

Muata said...

MP responds to Muata:

if there were no more liberals, who then would challenge the status quo?

i just want to say to everyone that i appreciate this dialogue. while it is deep, it is nice to be able to chat with people who are thinking about social issues on an intellectual level. there is not answer, i don't think so anyway, but to be true to self and stick with what you believe to be right and not be swayed. but i am happy that we have been open enough to discuss this with one another and maybe we all will learn something from the thoughts of another.

-MP

Muata said...

Reader RC (female) responds and ask PM (male) a few questions and PM responds:

Good point! I was telling a married male friend about the email and we started talking about why married men may cheat. He stated (somewhat jokingly, or a least I hope) that women aren't doing what they are supposed to do. I think a lot of men and women think that way, but I believe it's too simple. It just seems like that is an easy way to avoid taking responsibility for one's actions.

I do have a couple of questions for you? What's your opinion on what happened to "him" (the man who sacrificed for his woman & family) and how can we get him back? Do you think that being that man precludes him from cheating (in what ever manner it may be)?

-RC (female)

RC-

I can't offer a direct answer as to what happened to "him" because I feel it has to do with a multitude of dynamics. That man was living under the morals and values of his own culture (which was not "perfect") in an era where community/village support was commonplace. The gradual and painful transition from slavery into "freedom" has left some extremely deep psychological, moral, emotional, and spiritual wounds. The black man has been in SURVIVAL mode every since. The wounds that I mentioned are rarely even talked about much less dealt with. While he has proven his ability to rise and thrive in the educational, entertainment, religious (which can be separate from spiritual), and business arenas, he has not scratched the surface in RECOVERING from such a traumatic experience. His fear and pride contributes to a continous pattern of non-progressive decision making. A governmental system in the "United" States also plays a role in what happened to him. Welfare, Voters Rights Acts, Minimum Wage, Minimum Job Requirements, Interest Rates, Wall Street, Integration, Religion, Prisons, and even education was and at times is used as weopons against him. That man feels as if he has been RAPED in every imaginable way possible yet he must protect himself "cause life really ain't been no crystal stair".

Getting that man back probably won't happen as long as we all continue to cling on to the values and philosophies of Western "Civilization". He is lost and so is most of his people. We rarely try to connect with our culture via reading and practice. We learn spanish before understanding swahili. We eat, drink, think, and behave in manners that we were introduced to here without knowledge of what our how our ancestors did as families. We even buy into all of these man made holidays but fear watching ROOTS!

-PM

Muata said...

Response from EJ:

I told Muata a month ago that I was going to stop
responding to every email but I have to say this...It
is impossible to be in love with a person absent of trust. The minute you lose trust there is no way you can make love work. So to say that a women or man
should except this type of behavior(cheating) is to say that you should never trust them...which means you should not expect to be in love. Women should
understand that men don't fall in love with sex....we fall in love with loyalty! When you prove to your man that you truly, not only believe him, but believe in
him...HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU! Yes that does mean you may play the fool sometimes...but we all will have to sacrifice something in the name of Love.

-EJ