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vernon42's avatar

Why do some black people destroy themselves?

Asked by vernon42 (40 points ) October 12th, 2012

First of all let me say that I am a black person asking this question. Field black vs house blacks, Light skin vs dark skin, acting white vs acting ghetto, hood vs middle class, not black enough, too black- (ie) Miss America Vannessa Williams.- Black churches hating gays and brain washing their masses to hate their own children who happen to be gay; Black sports figures marrying white women when they they attain a certain level of fame, not to mention how black criminals keep prison officals in high paying jobs and large penisons for life. How much longer and how many more ways will blacks unwittingly repeat this self defeating design of control left over from the days of slavery to destroy themselves and each other? Stop handing down self hatred to our children.

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14 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Before answering, may I ask one question? Did you grow up in the US?

tedibear's avatar

I think that a better question is how to stop this from happening. IMHO, it starts within the community, as it would with any culture. Unfortunately, I don’t have specific ideas on how this happens. There are too many variables for someone with my tiny brain to contend with. That doesn’t mean it’s not an important subject, because it is. I just don’t know how to make it happen.

marinelife's avatar

I think the answer is simple. Because they are human beings with flaws.

None of the actions that you describe are unique to blacks.

gorillapaws's avatar

I think it would be wrong to ignore the history of black Americans, how they came to be here and the hundreds of years of being considered inferior. Many African Americans in this country lived through racial segregation and discrimination and were taught “white is right.” Major shifts in cultural attitudes can take several generations to change, and I think it is heading in the right direction.

wundayatta's avatar

Actually, the answer is to stop judging. You mention all these behaviors and call them evidence of self-hatred, but you don’t have to think of them that way. Perhaps they are evidence of freedom. Perhaps they are evidence that blacks can choose to do what they want, and don’t have to be constrained by the social pressures of the “black” community.

Assimilation is not necessarily bad. Sure, people want to preserve their culture, but does that mean everyone has to conform? Is there really no room for black men to marry white women? So what if they see it as a status thing? Lot’s of people get involved with others for status reasons. They may be right or wrong, but it is still their individual lives, and who wants to live in a world where the politically correct police enforce the correct decisions about how to live life?

If you want to preserve culture, then you build it up and let people choose it. You provide funds to support a culture. You let people participate from pride. You don’t make them do it. That’s fake support. It won’t work in the long run, anyway.

janbb's avatar

I don’t feel qualified to have an opinion; I feel that a better place to ask this is within a specifically black forum.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

These actions are not unique to blacks, but I can see @vernon42 ‘s point. Statistically, blacks have a much higher criminal rate than other races. I know so many wonderful black people, who seem to have over-achiever complexes, maybe for the same reason. Their houses are cleaner, they are better-dressed, their children more well-behaved, their education at a higher level than their white neighbors. It would have to be frustrating for them to see their fellow blacks self-destructing for no apparent reason.

As far as why, I don’t really know. I think it started with prejudices in the old days, the blacks not getting a good education and hence not getting good jobs, raising their kids in ghetto’s and being poor. Then, somewhere along the line, it because “cool” to be ghetto and poor, and a criminal. We can only hope that this behavior will soon go out of style before large numbers of young people are in prison or dead.

Blackberry's avatar

There are people “destroying themselves” in every socioeconomic ladder. Some people don’t have decent upbringings, don’t have access to certain resources etc.

Also, how is dating a white person destroying yourself?

gondwanalon's avatar

People are people. We all are different and we all have weaknesses and we make mistakes. We are not machines or perfect robots. We are human beings who feel pain and suffering while trying to survive in an uncertain and troubled world.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Let’s roll up our sleeve and get to the real in the deal and hit each of these points head on.

House Negros and field Negros: House Negros did not readily get the whip as much. They were allowed to be clean, they were not out in the fields laboring and sweating away. I suspect their food was better and no matter what, got to be known better by Massa and his family so they gained a bit of favor and perks not becoming to the field Negro. I heard from older people in the South who had member who were actual slaves that to be a house Negro you got there because you had ”good hair”, or you had some ”cut” in you (another race which subsequently gave you “good hair”). With the favor the house Negro happen to gain by close personal proximity with the white family it gave them some clout when dealing with the field Negro. I am sure if the house Negro was mad at someone because the woman he liked, liked that field negro better he could fabricate a lie that that man stole something and he might be severely punished, sold, and if bad enough, killed. He could use that power as a chip to keep that man away from his intended love target.

Light-skinned vs. dark-skinned: Light-skinned Blacks, (at least when I was young and in school) had ”cut”; blood of another race in them. Therefore, their hair was more curly or wavy and less kinky. They got better treatment in school by teachers and staff. They did not get trailed or watched like a hawk while in stores shopping. Their hair and feature were more ”acceptable”. When it came to hiring many employers had to hire Blacks, (Affirmative Action which I hate with a passion) and if you can hire a Black that was “not-as-Black” because they were ”mixed” it was a two-for. Some very light-skinned Blacks do try to distance themselves from the believed perception of “Black”. That is a nebulous thought because Black behavior is NOT ghetto or gangsta behavior. Rap videos did a lot to perpetuate that asinine belief. Trying to be more corporate was seen as being “White” when being corporate is open to all who wish to seek it. Some light-skinned Blacks did not look at it as the bastion for all but as a departure from the ”hood” which is suppose to be the de facto zero position for African Americans.

Black Churches and gays: I have not been in any church that asked me or commanded me to hate gays; in fact, it was the other way around. I was commanded to love the gays as I would any brother or sister in the church. I DID NOT have to love or embrace their gay activity, because the Bible commands me to loath that. Gays are people and Jesus tells me to love all people and to get along with them as humanly possible.

Black athletes and white women: It is not just athletes, this happened across the race in every economic stratum. Why it happened is vast a multi-layered. Part could be the culture we grew up in, the standard of beauty or success that was hammered into us as children. When I was a boy every car ad I can remember seeing in the magazine had some shiny red number with a blonde in it or draped across it. The idea was that is a perk of success; you get that car, you will have that woman; that equal success or a level of it. A while mate made you quasi-acceptable to a level of social and professional most Blacks economically was not privy to. Another less talked about component was that many Black women were too difficult and combative. That is understandable seeing they had to fight tooth and nail, maybe harder than anyone less the native Americans to get a grunion. Being told they have no ”acceptable” beauty, won’t get jobs where glamour is needed, etc. I can see where they won’t take any crap.

Black Criminals and prisons: That is a nebulous view. I don’t believe Blacks pound for pound more criminally minded than any other nationality just more likely to do time behind any criminal activity; and for longer periods. Society seem to believe that Black men are more prone to be criminals and more violent thus getting get convicted more often and for longer time. Having been stopped more than 6 times in my life DWB I know Black men are more likely to be accuse of something even if they did not do anything. I cannot find the story but there was a case where 2 white men raped a woman, but rather than saying what really happened she said a Black man had raped her which sparked a race riot (one-sided) that left many Blacks dead. Even when it was discovered later that very day that the two men had done it, they had blood on them and parts of the young women torn dress, the sheriff did not arrest the men. Top that with because Black men are perceived as more likely to be violent, uneducated, or criminals, they do not get hired yet they still need cash to live. Most turn to some sort of crime, usually low-level or mid level; not the high-level you see on Wall St. As Ice T said: ”I had nothing and I wanted it, you had everything and you flaunted it. Turn the needy into the greedy, with cocaine my success came speedy” They did not know all the ways they could have made an honest buck with capitalism because they knew no one that knew how to work it. The man with all the money was the dope man. All the other nationalities steal, and do crime it just when you steal $150 dollars from the liquor store it is worse than if you swindle 4 million from customers or homeowners.

Why Black people keep repeating the process: They learn the bad from those around them. Those who learn how to break free usually distance themselves from those who are still stuck. Part of it is the mentality, that getting out of the ”Pit” is ”acting white”; (which is so stupid). I have seen it, many times when Blacks achieve a certain level of income they get out of the “hood” and go to better neighborhoods. Sometimes those who have yet to make it drive those successful Blacks out, because rather than trying to learn from them they want to take a short cut and steal from them because they have no patients or they are resentful and jealous as well. All those Black entertainers, athletes, and pool their money and resources together and create a great movement to empower their fellow Blacks to learn how to use free enterprise to the best of their ability, but why has that not happened? Why is the effort largely small disjointed groups? Makes you go……”ummmmm?” I don’t believe it is largely self-hate. If not striving is lack of love for oneself that would make Middle Easterners, Asian, and Europeans more in love with themselves than anyone else in America, but we have seen many of them self-destruct, individually and in groups.

ETpro's avatar

First, @vernon42, be thankful you are not a Native American. Some of us white trash, Asians and Hispanics destroy ourselves in very similar ways to what you describe, not to mention the percentages that do in the Native American tribal communities. So do not feel like you are alone.

Personally, I am all for assimilation. Bring it. When this rainbow nation has finally dipped its collective wicks in enough other colored pools and eddy currents we will all look like this and maybe we can quit judging one another and acting out based on how much melanin we happened to inherit in our skin. OK, so I have a preference for beautiful women. but you get the point. Works just as well in men. Besides, it’s Friday. :-)

ETpro's avatar

BTW, @vernon42 Welcome to Fluther. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

rooeytoo's avatar

I agree that the problems you describe are not only present in black people. But statistically or per capita the rate is probably higher in some groups than in others. I think it is not a good thing if people are constantly being told or read about themselves as victims. Being told you are down trodden, etc. is a self fulfilling prophecy. We do not tell our children they are stupid or ugly or anything negative but seem to think telling someone they are a victim of society or history is an acceptable thing to do. I think we all have battles and obstacles to overcome in life and we all have choices about how we go about conquering them. Some have bigger battles than others, those with poor health or mental disorders and those born into a culture of dependency would naturally find it more difficult to break with what is the norm but it can be done. There are enough examples of those who do break out to prove this. I think all children should be told they can be anything they want to be regardless of sex or skin color or whatever. I am all for the day when we (society) stop talking about differences and dwell instead on similarities.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Well, at the risk of sounding like a complete racist (because I’ve been called so by some overly PC, analtastic individuals), I will mention one reason that I believe is the biggest factor in this issue. The constant, constant, constant wailing and gnashing of teeth over past slavery will only ever add fuel to the fire and keep many folks in the black community in a state of victimization and entitlement.

Bear in mind that I’m only stating what I’ve personally seen. In my own personal experience, when a black person talks about slavery, they’re not talking about it in the sense of “This is an awful part of history and it is what it is,” they’re talking about it in the sense of, “My people were abused slaves, and because of this, the white fuckers owe me.” That right there, IMHO, is why so many black people “destroy” themselves.

That being said, I do know quite a few wonderful people in the black community who do not live in that mindset, and who are truly amazing human beings.

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