Black Men, Low Expectations and Embracing Mediocrity

| 11/24/2013 | Comments (20)

I created this meme to ask people around the web why young black men are falling so far behind. In every way imaginable they are at the bottom of the pile of achievements — educationally, socially, financially, legally, and emotionally. The drop out rate for young black men averages 52% nationally, with certain urban areas like New York and Washington DC reporting drop out rates of 63% for young black males.

Several seemingly plausible explanations for the graduation gap were offered by men on my Facebook page.

Folks may not like what I’m about to say but here goes. Culturally, Black Americans, have such low expectations for Black males. When so many of them do what should be the norm they’re exalted for that. Too many of our folks kowtow to Black men and our interests over a lot.

Which motivated me to ask: “Why can’t black males set their own level of expectations? So they are exalted for being mediocre, like I said. But why can’t he in his own mind, independent of what other people do, say “this is just basic, I haven’t done anything special or unique here. Nothing I’ve done is making a mark in history. Let me be greater than this! Let me stand head and shoulders above the crowd of basic *#@(# and be better than them!”

Why can’t they do that? Why are they needing to depend on what WOMEN do and what WOMEN say to establish their reach and level of achievement as a man?

Anyway, your thoughts on this issue are welcome.
black male dropout rate, black male failures, young black male

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Deborrah

Veteran social researcher, relationship advice columnist, author and radio host. Author of hundreds of articles on American and black culture, gender issues, singles, dating and relationships. Author of "Sucka Free Love!" , "The 24 Types of Suckas to Avoid," "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray," and "Why Vegan is the New Black" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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  1. Raz zy says:

    “I definitely agree that the absence of a father
    figure causes lower academic achievement.  All the studies suggest that’.

    It’s much more than just having a warm body in the house called
    ‘father’. Plenty of folks have a ‘father body’ in the house who is worthless,
    trifling and not about shyt and who hardly takes any active parenting role in
    the offspring they made.  
    A child needs caring and nurturing, time and attention and
    this needs to be done consistently.  It may not necessarily come from a “father”
    figure as some successful people were raised in orphanages.  But it should
    come from an adult figure who takes out the time and attention with a youngster
    to shape them so that they grow up strong with high self- esteem, a sense of
    self- worth and the knowledge and know how that they can achieve beyond the
    circumstances of their birth.
    Here are just a few people who grew up without a “father” in the  house but
    may have had some sort of  adult person in place who mentored them and provided what they
    needed to be the success they are today:
    President Obama 
    Gov.Deval Patrick,first black
    gov of Massachusetts

    Kevin Hart
    LeBron James,
    Shack, Bill Clinton
    Halle Berry
    Alicia KeysLouis Armstrong
    Malcom X
    Jackie Robinson
    Maya Angelou
    Lena Horne
    Jill Scott
    Stevie Wonder
    August Wilson… The list goes on and on far too long to
    name them all.

  2. Razzy says:

    “I definitely agree that the absence of a father figure causes lower academic achievement.  All the studies suggest that’.

    Once again you get it wrong.  (not surprising though)

    Here are just a few people who grew up without a father.President Obama went to Ivy League schools without a father figure in site.  Gov. Deval Patrick also went to Ivy League school and first black gov of Massachusetts without a father figure in site. Kevin Hart, a successful comedian grew up without a father, LeBron James, Shack, Bill Clinton, Halle Berry, Alicia Keys,Louis Armstrong, Malcom X, Jackie Robinson, Maya Angelou, playwright, August Wilson… The list goes on and on far too long to name them all.  

    You seem to think just having a ‘male figure in the house ‘called ‘father’ is enough.  No that isn’t what makes a child grow into a successful productive citizen. Plenty of folks have a ‘father body’ in the house that is worthless, trifling and not about Shyt and who hardly takes any active parenting role in the offspring they make.  
    A kid needs caring and nurturing, time and attention and this needs to be done consistently.  It may not necessarily come from a parent figure as some of the people I named above were raised in orphanages.  But it should come from an adult figure who takes out the time and attention with a youngster to shape them so that they grow up strong with high self esteem, a sense of self worth and the knowledge that they can achieve beyond the circumstances of their birth.
    Every time you post a response, you show just how much of a knucklehead you are.  Thank goodness you are a virgin and not breeding more knuckleheads like you.  I’m glad that knuckleheaded misogynistic gene you have will die out with you!

  3. blackcaesar says:

    Razzy blackcaesar There’s nothing wrong with being a 40 y.o. virgin.  I abstain from sex and advocate it for other men and women.  You can try to shame another brother about lack of sex.  I don’t need it, and no, I’m not gay.  I am some thing of a misogynist, or atleast so I’ve been told by my sister.  Oh well, I’m not hurting anybody with my attitude.  Actually, I think that the lack of sex that I have is why my quality of life is superior to that of most men.  Black men are some serious sex addicts and I don’t envy their lots in life.

  4. blackcaesar says:

    Razzy blackcaesar

  5. blackcaesar says:

    Razzy Well, one post in which I agree with you.  I remember my black males asking me “Did you pass” with regards to academic classes as opposed to “what did you get?”  I definitely agree that the absence of a father figure causes lower academic achievement.  All the studies suggest that.

  6. blackcaesar says:

    PatFinley blackcaesar Razzy I don’t think I ever said “all” actually.

  7. blackcaesar says:

    Deborrah blackcaesar Razzy Hmmm, you’ve got me thinking on this one.  So, your saying that every time a man forcibly has sex with a woman it is because of power and control and nothing else?  Maybe, I don’t know, I’ve not studied the subject matter in depth.  That’s probably why I didn’t call in.  What’s been fonky about my attitude?

  8. Razzy says:

    blackcaesar Razzy
    BC“Black women, well
    women period, have 33 different birth control methods and the right to have an
    abortion.  The blame falls disproportionately on licentious black women
    who can’t keep their legs closed. You know I don’t think you black women hear
    the truth told enough, but nobody is putting a gun to your heads making you all
    have sex “
    You need to read the article and view the video that Ms.
    Cooper wrote on this very same website called.“Men that don’t take responsibility for a pregnancy are Punks! And Why
    don’t mean keep their dycks in their Pants”She breaks it down and totally refutes your silly one sided argument
    that assigns all the blame and responsibility for preventing a pregnancy on a
    woman, while absolving the man and leaving him with no responsibility.
    http://survivingdating.com/men-that-dont-take-responsibility-for-a-pregnancy-are-punk-bitches(article)
    Why don’t men keep their dycks in their Pants:( video) “
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvUjWNjV2xc

    BC“ I remember
    this show Deb had about male violence against women.  I felt like calling
    in and saying that the rape numbers were inflated because nobody had to rape
    black women and teenage girls in large part because they gave away sex so
    freely.  Also, that they tend to provoke most of the violence against
    themselves with their own violent behavior towards black men.  When the
    black man gets tired of them yapping in their faces and smacks the shit out of
    them, well, they deserved it.”
    I bet your dumb azz changes your tune on this stance if a
    female family member of yours got raped or slapped about.See stupid azz trolls like you always say dumb
    shit like this until it happens to someone you know and hits close to
    home.Your dumb azz just shows that you
    know nothing about the causes of rape.And for you to justify a rape just shows that you are a misognistic
    fool.
    BC“ I agree with
    you that black men play a part in the problem of out of wedlock births, but
    again, the women don’t have to sleep with them, and they don’t have to have the
    baby.  A lot of black women see babies as their meal tickets.  They (
    a lot of them) want to fuck their way into a tax-payer supported lifestyle of
    food stamps, section 8 housing and child support from a man they never even had
    a relationship with in the first place.”
     Another dumb comment from a troll like you.Dude no woman gets rich off having a baby and
    child support from the average black man.Most
    of ya’ll don’t even pay your child support payments.And you ain’t celebrities either.No woman can sit back and make a living off
    of a child support payment unless she has a baby by a serious baller (someone
    worth millions) and that aint the average black male like you.
    BC“Notice that
    with all the white women Tiger Woods fucked, none of them came up pregnant.”
    You don’t know that, stop talking out of the side of your
    neck.They may have had abortions or
    maybe Tiger Woods, used a condom, or maybe he had a vasectomy.’ And while you
    are condemning black women, why aren’t you condemning Tiger Woods for fucking
    other women while he was still married?Oh, I see you conveniently overlooked that part, where he could bring
    home STD’s to his wife.
    BC“Now you know it
    would have been different had he screwed even one black woman.”
    Again, you don’t know that.You assume that whenever a man fucks a woman, and she comes up pregnant
    it’s all her fault. What ever happened to personal accountability?Can’t you wrap up your dyck?
    BC“ I agree with you
    when you write that “if she’s good enough to sleep with bareback and make
    a baby with, then she’s good enough to marry”.  I’ll go one further
    than that Razzy.  If she’s good enough to sleep with PERIOD, then she’s
    good enough to marry.  “ 

    Well not all people want to marry who they sleep with and
    nor should they have to do that. Sometimes, you just want a good fu$king and
    that’s all.Not all sex means a
    pregnancy. One can have responsible fun sex with a mutually consenting partner.
    BC“Razzy, I’m a
    law-abiding, tax-paying, no baby-momma having, gainfully employed,
    college-educated 40 y.o. black man without a criminal record (Black men are
    disproportionately targeted by law enforcement), so whoever raised me did a
    fine job by most people’s standards.  My attitude about black women is
    spot on.”
     Yet I’ll bet you are still single and no wonder.  Your attitude about black women, and women in general is
    probably why you are most likely a 40 year old singlel man who is probably more
    like the 40 year old virgin. Nobody wants you, not white women, not Asian women
    and certainly not black women. Deep down, you hate black women.I don’t know what your mama and daddy did to
    you, but they fu$ked up somewhere along the way for you to have such a deep
    seated hatred of black women. 
    You don’t even like women, which makes me wonder if you ‘like
    men instead and you are dealing with closeted gayness thatyou haven’t come to terms with.See, real men don’t have time to come on a
    mostly all women thread and whine and rant and rave aboutnegative things about black women. Why?Because they are too busy out there living
    life and being with women.
    Only men who have issues with women, whine and talk about shyt like you about black
    women all the time.If you are all of that, college
    educated and law abiding, then some woman should have snatched you up a long
    time ago especially since there are women out there looking for a decent
    man.But on paper, you may ‘sound’
    viable, in real life,  but you are rotten to the core and women pick up on that. I
    certainly did in everythingyou write in
    cyberspace, your funky negative attitude against women comes through loudly and
    clearly. You probably ain’t had PU$$Y since PU$$Y since PU$$Y had you. Is it
    any wonder?
    Women want to be with men who actually ‘like them’ and you
    clearly dislike black women.You are
    probably still bitter behind some rejection you experienced in college from a
    woman you wanted who didn’t want you. But rather than look within to fix
    yourself, you just act like the typical male, and become hardened and bitter.
    Dude you need help. some kind of counseling services… You
    need something because you are totally fu$ked up when it comes to women.
    Once again for the umpteenth time, why are  you continually on here interacting on a black woman’s blog with black women since you hate them so much?  You keep failing to address this question?

  9. PatFinley says:

    blackcaesar Razzy I work with a part black dude who thinks all women are whores, black or white.  I think this is because HE is a whore.  Too bad he doesn’t have enough sense to realize nothing is absolute when it comes to race.  People are people, all raised differently by different standards and values.  As soon as you make an ‘absolute’ statement about all Asians, or all blacks, or all whoever, here comes one to prove you wrong.  It happens every time; you just have to keep your mind and eyes open to see it !  And so even if it were the majority, it’s still never absolute, which is enough evidence to blow the theory altogether.

  10. Deborrah says:

    blackcaesar Razzy I’m glad you didn’t call in with that simple bullshit. You think rape is about sexual desire? Rape is about power and control, hate and objectification. It has nothing to do with sexual desire. Black women have sex same as other races of women, yet only black women are condemned for it.  You attitude is real fonky lately. Best watch what you say about black women on a site owned by one. You got one more chance.

  11. blackcaesar says:

    Razzy blackcaesar Black women, well women period, have 33 different birth control methods and the right to have an abortion.  The blame falls disproportionately on licentious black women who can’t keep their legs closed.  You know I don’t think you black women hear the truth told enough, but nobody is putting a gun to your heads making you all have sex.  I remember this show Deb had about male violence against women.  I felt like calling in and saying that the rape numbers were inflated because nobody had to rape black women and teenage girls in large part because they gave away sex so freely.  Also, that they tend to provoke most of the violence against themselves with their own violent behavior towards black men.  When the black man gets tired of them yapping in their faces and smacks the shit out of them, well, they deserved it.  I agree with you that black men play a part in the problem of out of wedlock births, but again, the women don’t have to sleep with them, and they don’t have to have the baby.  A lot of black women see babies as their meal tickets.  They ( a lot of them) want to fuck their way into a tax-payer supported lifestyle of food stamps, section 8 housing and child support from a man they never even had a relationship with in the first place.  Notice that with all the white women Tiger Woods fucked, none of them came up pregnant.  Now you know it would have been different had he screwed even one black woman. I agree with you when you write that “if she’s good enough to sleep with bareback and make a baby with, then she’s good enough to marry”.  I’ll go one further than that Razzy.  If she’s good enough to sleep with PERIOD, then she’s good enough to marry.  Razzy, I’m a law-abiding, tax-paying, no baby-momma having, gainfully employed, college-educated 40 y.o. black man without a criminal record (Black men are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement), so whoever raised me did a fine job by most people’s standards.  My attitude about black women is spot on.

  12. Razzy says:

    blackcaesar If Black men stop making babies with black women then this problem would dry up overnight.  Most black kids come from single parent homes because black men skeet and run and refuse to marry the mothers of the babies they make. If she’s good enough to sleep with bareback and make a baby with, then she’s good enough to marry.  
    Whoever raised you did a poor job because you turned out to be a black woman hating misognistic knucklhead.  Maybe you were raised by a black bitter angry daddy.

  13. Razzy says:

    I  hate to go back to slavery, and even after slavery with Jim Crow and segregation, but basically I think it is the fractured family life that black folks endure in America.  Unlike the majority of white males, who have had a male role figure in their life, a lot of black men just don’t have that.  Even as far back as slavery and Jim Crow, the civil rights, era.  Black males have not been there for their sons or daughters.  Which lead black women to be both father and mother.  Unfortunately this sets up a dynamic of having an overprotective mother who is used to being the ‘man’ and who unconsciously instills this in her own daughter, while the male grows up with a skewed since of what it means to be a man and achieve, and stand on his own two feet.  He sees his mother, aunts, sisters, female relatives all ‘taking care’ of house and home, while the male do very little and that’s what he internalizes.
    I also think religion plays a role too.  In the black community, women are very religious and taught that the male is to be exalted and protected even at the expense of the woman.   She is to be the ‘helpmeet’ of the man.  Black women go over and beyond this ‘helpmeet’ but this idea is reinforced in churches and religious communities.
    Black women are encouraged to do what they need to do to ‘help that man’ and not look for  him to reciprocate or even stand on his own.  Hell even in white communities this idea is taught with the Tammy Wynette song ‘stand by your man’. 
    So now you have a dynamic where all a man’s role is really to show up, make some babies, do just enough to get by, while the women do the bulk of the work in keeping home, and community together.  It’s really matriarch, and black men don’t see it. 
    This comes from years of disenfranchisement of the black community as well.  White men viewed black men as a threat, thus they were shut out of jobs, whereas the black woman continued to steadily get work as maids.  Black men were shut away in chain gangs, lynched, locked up, all sorts of things, so the black woman got used to doing what she had to do to hold the family together.
     Overtime this mindset has been ingrained in the black community and what we have today is a black man who thinks by ‘avoiding trouble’ he’s doing alright. Most have no frame of reference to succeed beyond mediocrity, because most don’t even know the difference between mediocre and achieving beyond that level. If everyone around them is doing the same thing, how are they to know that they are just mediocre when this is normalized? For many black males, someone like President Obama is as familiar to them as Bill Gates.  They can’t relate to someone on that level.  
    I really do believe that men are the weaker sex when it comes to standing on their own two feet and achieving beyond the known and without ‘help’.  Men just can’t seem to do it by themselves.  Years an years of fragmented family life (In the U.S.A.) has wrought a terrible toil in that we now have a vast majority of underachieving men.

  14. Shaylah says:

    The bottom line success takes work. Transformation takes work. You have degrees that you can get online without leaving the comfort of your home. When the black man gets an education and start becoming successful, he craps on the Black woman or women who have helped him in the form of money. being his secretary, atm, counselor and uses up her time and then he does not give back to the same skin looking women who have helped him. They have all sorts of monies out there but it is not coming to you, you have to go to it. You can just about take any course online and learn form there. Is it easy,no, is it possible, yes. We can’t get mad at the people coming from other countries taking advantage of opportunities that we are just letting lie by the waist side. Too many black men have success stories and no, you can do other things besides start churches because we don’t have enough of them. (LOL)!There is only one person responsible for your success and that is you.

  15. blackcaesar says:

    Well you have to look at the kinds of families that the boys come from.  Most black boys come from homes headed by females and therein lies the problem.  You all can harp on the absence of black fathers all you want, but at the end of the day, its black women who are raising these under-achieving black boys.  Study after study shows that children in two parent homes have better outcomes in life.  I’ve always felt that the most dangerous place for a black child is in the custody of his single black mother.  I mean it is kind of telling that the first black president was raised by a white woman.  Black boys come from black women who have low expectations.  That’s why so many black women have children and have never been married.  So my answer is that the boys have low expectations because their mothers have low expectations.  It runs in the family and is passed down from generation to generation.

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