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," and "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on Examiner.Com, SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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Category: Men's Issues

15 comments
Razzy
Razzy

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.

Shaylah
Shaylah

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.

blackcaesar
blackcaesar

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.

blackcaesar
blackcaesar

@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.

Razzy
Razzy

@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.

Raz zy
Raz zy

"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 may 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 an adult person in place whoconsistently provided them with what they needed to be the success they are today:

President Obama Gov.

Deval Patrick, Gov of Massachusetts

Kevin Hart

LeBron James,

Shack, Bill Clinton

Halle Berry

Alicia Keys

Louis 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.  

blackcaesar
blackcaesar

@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.

Raz zy
Raz zy

"

There's nothing wrong with being a 40 y.o. virgin.  I abstain from sex and advocate it for other men and women. "

And there is nothing wrong with enjoying a healthy sex life with the person you choose to have it with.  The slut shaming and condemning people calling them whores (especially the women) while not condemning the men because they choose to have sex is what makes you a knucklehead and jealous.  People can and do have sex responsibly.  People can and do have sex within the committed bonds of a relationship and that doesn't necessarily mean they have to be married.   Sex doesn't have to lead to out of wedlock births or STD's and plenty of people have wonderful sex lives and they don't have any of that.  

You seem to be under the  mistaken belief that any type of sex is bad.  You sound like a pious old judgemental victorian maiden and not like a healthy heterosexual male.  which is no wonder I think you are either gay or asexual. Either way something happened to you that traumatically affected your sexual nature and not in a good way. Which is why you need counseling because of your poor views on sex.


Sex is where couples go to share intimacy and renew themselves... something you wouldn't know anything about since you take such a narrow 'religious pious minded view on sex being bad... that's not normal.


And your sister is right, you are a misogynist.  I've said it before, you need counseling.. Somebody messed you over during the formative years of your life for you to have such weird views now.  Whenever you mention sex, you think negative thoughts.  Usually people who think like that have been abused in some kind of way sexually.  You need help dude.

blackcaesar
blackcaesar

@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. 

blackcaesar
blackcaesar

@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?

Razzy
Razzy

@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?

 

PatFinley
PatFinley

@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. 

Deborrah
Deborrah moderator

@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.

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