Challenging The Myth Of Black Male Privilege: #ChoppingItUp With Prof. T. Hasan Johnson

Dr. T. Hasan Johnson is interviewed on Mumia Obsidian Ali’s Blog Talk Radio Show on July 7, 2016!





2 thoughts on “Challenging The Myth Of Black Male Privilege: #ChoppingItUp With Prof. T. Hasan Johnson

  1. Hi Dr. T Hasan Johnson:

    I listened to your interview Thursday, July 7, 2016 on “Obsidian Live” Blogtalk Radio regarding “The Myth of Black Male Privilege”.

    I believe I deciphered an undercurrent theme from Obsidian, Valdez the Angry Man, and some other callers. This undercurrent seems to be their unwillingness to adapt to changes in the 21st century economy and to acquire the credentials and skills that will allow them to be economically viable.

    “American men are struggling economically; they’ve endured a three-decade drop in earnings. Even before the financial crash, prime-age men were dropping out of the workforce altogether, and the problem has only worsened since. [This is especially true for non-degreed Black men].

    Meanwhile, women are far outstripping their male counterparts in the area that’s most important for a 21st century global economy — education [this is especially true for college-degreed Black women].”

    Six Reasons Why Men Are Falling Behind Women

    Black Men’s Lack of Economic Viability Also Makes Them Unattractive to the Women They Want

    The educational and financial gains of black women have substantially increased their standards in regards to the type of man they want to date or marry. They want men on better or at least equal education and financial footing as they are or they don’t want the marriage deal.

    Obsidian and the Angry Man Valdez should know by their own complaints that Alpha males are allegedly cornering the market on the hottest babes and that the prettiest and most fit women of any racial group will tend to hold out for the most financially accomplished man they can snag.

    Although Obsidian and the Angry Man Valdez claim that women only want the most successful top 20% of men they (Obsidian and Valdez) also seem to only want the most pretty and sexy top 20% of women.

    The problem is that they can’t successfully compete for those women. And, they seem unwilling to put in the work to get the credentials and skills that will produce the high incomes that will support a wife and family in today’s economy and thus would attract the top-shelf women they claim they want.

    They need to understand that women want the security of a financially stable husband in order to agree to become his wife and bear his children in a 21st century information economy.

    “Professor Gustavo A. Duran makes clear he supports the recent economic gains of women — his own daughter has a master’s from Stanford — but he sees more and more men taking a backseat. “I am now seeing many women in their 40s being the main breadwinners while their husbands diddle [around] daily in odds and ends,” Duran writes. “I think this trend will just get larger as we move on the next two to three decades unless we as a society become more demanding of our male children to be disciplined and accountable … Men need to be equally responsible for themselves so that they can contribute to taking care of their children and their spouses.”

    Obsidian and especially the Angry Man Valdez are only focusing on part of the problem.
    They both note that Black Women are still primarily acquiring liberal arts degrees.
    (Although since 2009 more Black women than Black men are acquiring STEM degrees).

    “In 2011, whites held 71 percent of STEM jobs, Asians held 15 percent, and blacks only 6 percent.
    In 2009, white students obtained 65.5 percent of the STEM undergraduate degrees.
    However, STEM undergraduate degrees for blacks have remained flat for the last nine years.
    Blacks received just 6 percent of all STEM bachelor’s degrees AND LESS THAN HALF OF THOSE WENT TO BLACK MALES. Overall, blacks”

    But those liberals arts degrees are getting women very good government and corporate jobs.
    Jobs with high incomes and good benefits like medical and dental insurance plus a variety of 401K-style retirement plans. The college degree strategy has worked for women. Especially Black women!

    Yet, Black males are not only under-represented in colleges, there are also under-represented in trade unions, the skilled trades, construction jobs, and in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) professions. As well as the HEAL (Healthcare, Education and Literacy) Professions.

    African-American Men Are One of the Only Minority Groups Not Making Progress in STEM

    Blacks Missing Out on Construction Jobs – Industry Provides Good-Paying Jobs but Not to Many African Americans

    Trade Union Racism Hinders Black Male Employment

    Even after Obsidian’s unfortunate career-ending injury at his trade-union job with an industrial roofing manufacturer. The company was bought by a private equity firm and now those roofing components are made overseas in China. And Angry Man Valdez was previously a shipping and receiving loader and unloader at a furniture company. A good job that is hard, injury-prone, and has high competition from immigrants.

    Black Male Teachers, A Dwindling Demographic

    In addition, most Black male businesses are extremely small and few are in the STEM or construction contracting fields. Areas with the highest paying contracts.

    So what are Black men going to do to produce legal incomes just to support themselves?

    And what about the adverse impact of mass immigration from Mexico and Latin America as well as other places on the employment of Black male labor?

    How Mass Immigration Hurts Black America

    And, What about the adverse impact of Black male immigration from Africa and the Caribbean in regards to professional careers requiring college degrees? (Especially in the hot, high-demand areas such as information technology, science, engineering, and medicine).

    In my home state of Texas at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas all of the Black male Doctor of Medicine students entering with the class that began in the fall semester of 2014 had African surnames as was also the case for one-third of the Black female first-year medical students.
    These are the “Emergents” i.e., children of African immigrants born in the USA as was discussed in “Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America” by Eugene Robinson.

    Fewer Black Men in Medical School in 2014 than in 1978.

    And, in regards to competing for the most attractive Black women for marriage partners?

    Women will tend to marry the most financially successful man that they can attract.
    If the male children of African and Caribbean immigrants dominate the most high-status and high-paying professions then many of the most attractive native Black American women will agree to marry them.

    The husband of African American actress Kerry Washington is Nigerian American former NFL pro athlete with the San Francisco 49ERS, Philadelphia Eagles, and Oakland Raiders, Nnamdi Asomugha, who graduated from the prestigious University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance in 2006. UC Berkeley Cal Golden Bears Hall of Fame

    Is this a sign of things to come? Will native-born Black American males whose ancestors were in the USA for generations find themselves also competing for wives with high-status “Emergent” male children of African and Caribbean immigrants?

    Obsidian and the Angry-Man Valdez listened to what you’ve said but they don’t seem to have heard what you meant.

    Even with all the hoopla about the Black Gender Wars brothas still need to step up their game!

    Because Black American men are getting left behind!

    Yes. College is Worth It! Opting Out Not Good Strategy for Men by Gail Marks Jarvis

    Is college worth it? The short answer is yes.

    For the first time in U.S. history, people with college degrees make up a larger portion of the workforce than those with high school diplomas.

    Workers with bachelor’s degrees, or higher, now make up 36 percent of the workforce; whereas, the workers with high school diplomas are less than 34 percent of the workforce.

    The U.S. economy has created 11.6 million new jobs since the Great Recession ended and 11.5 million have gone to workers with at least some education beyond high school.

    In addition, workers with some post-secondary education have captured the vast majority of the jobs paying more than $53,000 a year and provide benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans.

    Of the 7.2 million jobs lost during the Great Recession, about 5.6 million of the jobs that vanished had been held by people with high school diplomas or less. And they have recovered only 1 percent of those jobs over the past six years.

    There has been “no growth of well-paying jobs with benefits” for the group that didn’t go beyond high school, and the people with college degrees have incomes that have averaged 80 percent more than high school graduates over a lifetime said Anthony Carnevale, director of the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University.

    The growth in jobs now is in health care, consulting, business, education, government and financial services.

    The number of jobs for workers with associate degrees or some college has increased by 47 percent since 1989, to 43.5 million from 30 million. Meanwhile, jobs for people with bachelor’s degrees or higher has doubled, to 54.2 million from 26 million.

    Yet, jobs for workers with high school diplomas or less declined by 13 percent over the same period, with a loss of 7.3 million jobs.

    The Black Gender Gap in Educational Attainment

    Dr. Johnson, how do we get these men to understand that the gender war is also, and possibly primarily, about the lack of economic viability of Black men in the modern labor market?

    How can we get these brothas engaged to acquire the skills and credentials they need to be economically viable just for their own interest, development, and survival?

    -Ray Alexander

    1. Ray,
      I agree with you that Black men need to become politicized and grasp the communal value their education provides so that they may provide Black community (esp via relationships with Black women) parity. However, we disagree on some of the points I was making on the show.
      You said, “Although Obsidian and the Angry Man Valdez claim that women only want the most successful top 20% of men they (Obsidian and Valdez) also seem to only want the most pretty and sexy top 20% of women.” And later you said, “The problem is that they can’t successfully compete for those women. And, they seem unwilling to put in the work to get the credentials and skills that will produce the high incomes that will support a wife and family in today’s economy and thus would attract the top-shelf women they claim they want.”

      For me, I don’t advocate competing for “top-shelf” women. This only promotes “trophy” relationships and a form of competition that doesn’t really urge women to address men’s actual emotional needs in relationships, just “resources-for-sex,” and I find that deplorable. Thus, I advocate for undermining the alpha male paradigm because unlike other communities, Black males often earn less than their females counterparts, have greater unemployment, and have institutional barriers that make Black male/female mating a unique dynamic in contrast to other racial groups. Especially when mating over 40, other attributes begin to play a more significant role than solely money, status, and traditional alpha characteristics (for better or for worse), such as Black women’s need for companionship and the desire for family. And as Black MGTOWs, they are already seeking to undermine the current gender paradigm anyway…
      Also, when you suggest that Black men should work harder to attain the societally recommended education, to some extent I agree but I also believe that telling Black men to work harder doesn’t sufficiently address systemic racism and the institutional exclusions Black males. Black women’s success is not solely a function of hard work, but rather a function of allowed access (and I make a distinction between African males and African American males). I don’t believe college is THE answer, and I don’t believe integrating is the only way to address their lot, as getting women and money are empty gestures when confronting the very particular issues African American men face.

      Lastly, the gender war is only partially economic. It is also about investment in a system that promises one gender access while denying the other intra-racially, thus separating a community along class lines as well as social, political, experiential, and cultural lines as well. Overall, it encompasses the myriad of socio-political dimensions, but even that belies the war on Black people by elites, GOs, and NGOs that is every bit as intentional as it is invisible. The men on that show were not only aware of that but are casualties of it (as most Black men are). That isn’t so easy to “work harder” out of…

      -Dr. Johnson

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