The Diversion in Black Toxic Masculinity
With the first month of 2019 behind us it has become apparent that some traces of 2018 can’t seem to stay away. One example is the notion that “Toxic Masculinity” permanently resides in the black man community. If we take information off social media at face value, one would think that all of our dark skin brethren are aggressive culprits. Narratives such as straight black men are silent on homosexuals being assaulted have found their way into the “so called” Black Magazines’ lexicon. In the resurrected digital publication called Vibe an opinion editorial said that straight men’s inability to speak up in regards to (Empire actor) Jussie Smollett’s recent attack is dangerous.
Besides this statement being negatively targeted towards our brothers, it further displays this consistent effort to blame heterosexual men. As the details continue to unfold on the horrendous anti-gay and racially motivated incident, we hope justice will be served to the actual criminals. The need to finger point is so strong that a reader may have to do a double take on quotes like this.
White supremacy is one thing, but the toxic masculinity and internalized homophobia that plagues black and brown communities is another.
Let’s be candid for just a moment, the term that takes on multiple meanings has become trendy lately. As a community you would think that we would know toxicity has no color or gender. However, among the many definitions of the phrase there are more often than not key factors geared towards the dominant society. For instance stereotypical expressions of physical violence equate to manliness, which wields power. Besides that, certain forums generalize black men into the conversation on the principles of manhood. But neglect or fail to mention the fact white supremacy is condoned by toxic masculinity.
Even under the word “Hegemony Masculinity” which is a precursor to the popular label (toxic masculinity) speaks to this point. Australian transgender sociologist Raewyn Connell essentially talks about white men fitting this cultural profile.
So what does all of this have to do with black heterosexual men not speaking up for Mr. Smollett? Well, this scenario is the catalyst for a larger issue at hand. By casually tossing out terms that are not warranted at black men for simply choosing not to speak out in large numbers is a shaming tactic.
This isn’t to absolve other men from falling into the toxic category, but suggests that there is some type of forced divide between African Americans. Question, what is the ethnicity of Mr. Smollett’s attackers? Unless information has come out contrary to what was presented then how are our brothers to blame?
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