I was invited to Texas A&M to give an address on anti-Black misandry a few weeks ago (scroll to 35 minutes for my talk) and was excited to take up the opportunity. The opportunity of which I speak was not so much about speaking at the campus, but working with my brother Dr. Tommy J. Curry on Black Male Studies.*
I advanced the concept of anti-Black misandry by breaking it down into eight different types of misandry that fall under the umbrella concept of hating Black men–something that Black men themselves are conditioned to do. In fact, our conditioning is so well-entrenched that whenever I critique feminist perspectives on men, it’s usually men that attack me first. One such man questioned my portrayal of Black Lives Matter in this video to such an extent that he doubted my education! (For more info about me, click here).**
The point of my talk was threefold: 1) to highlight the potential efficacy of Black Male Studies, 2) to show how misandry works in nuanced and conflicting ways, and 3) to present in a manner that is inclusive of a myriad of academic disciplines while remaining accessible to non-academics—as Black Male Studies needs practitioners from all walks of life.
Admittedly, this was likely a bit pedestrian for a research one level Philosophy department mini-symposium (I heard an older White male faculty person address my colleague Dr. Warren as having the more complicated and interesting subject before we even spoke), but I thought it best to engage new paradigmatic ground by demonstrating the importance of new interpretive frameworks and empirical data in the proposal for studying Black males anew (i.e. void of stereotype and mythology).
I must also admit another agenda I had:
to find a new manner in which to draw connections between Black het/homo/trans “males.”
Obviously I use the term males loosely, as I believe that via misandry draws us together. Even former cis-males (transwomen) or “new males” (those who are visibly accepted as males post-op) experience(d) misandry in ways that complicate ideas about Black male privilege and connect Black “males” through shared experiences of social alienation and oppression. Nevertheless, I hope you learn something here. Feel free to send comments…
*Shortly after this event, Dr. Curry himself would experience anti-Black misandry on a national scale when targeted by conservatives for comments (taken out of context) made four years prior.
**The brother, a graduate student, accused me of being a hotep scholar, a term that applies to unlearned folk who identify as “conscious” or “woke.” I notice that it could just ad easily be directed to either Black men or women, but is uniquely directed at Black men. It seems to fit into misandrist assumptions of incompetence (#8 of my list in the presentation above), and Black men trained as feminists have no problem making such assumptions about non-conforming Black men—especially Black Masculinists.
The ultimate irony? Using a anti-Black misandrist slur against a man identifying and defining anti-Black misandry.
Nevertheless, he denigrated me on his page, suggesting that Black men were represented on BLM’s website (he posted an image of three martyred Black men) and when alerted to this slander I confronted him to ask why he hadn’t simply confronted me directly. To this I got only stunted replies…
To be clear, when I state that Black men aren’t represented in BLM or on its webpage, I’m not referring to the martyrs they champion. Rather, I speak of their characterization of Black men and it’s absence of nuance. I suggest that such appropriation of our deaths and use of said deaths to cull new supporters is disingenuous, and in this regard I’m talking about the organization–not individual Black women members of BLM who may or may not speak about us as human beings. As I argue in my piece, “The Ballot or the Bullet: Defining the Scope of Black Male Participation and Hyper-Vulnerability in the New Radical Activism,” on this blog, the Black Lives Matter movement is mostly a group of highly educated Black middle-class women who appropriated the Ferguson movement and used intersectionality to justify excluding cis-gendered heterosexual Black men from leadership positions in the organization. I not only argue that this is misandrist and ahistorical in regard to characterizing Black men as sexist, misogynistic, and lacking progressivism since slavery, but that it is disingenuous to exploit Black men’s deaths for publicity (highlighting them as martyrs) while silencing those who are actively trying to participate. BLM’s characterization of Black men is wholly problematic and can be found in the “About Black Lives Matter” section of their website where they state, “It goes beyond the narrow nationalism…keeping straight cis Black men in the front of the movement while our sisters, queer and trans and disabled folk take up roles in the background or not at all.” (http://blacklivesmatter.com/). Here, cis-Black men are a only presented as a problem to be confronted, while not being invited to lead in any critical capacity for the sake of prioritizing Black women and LGBT, despite those who’re most often dying at the hands of police and vigilantes. Here, we are either martyrs or oppressors, and such is untrue and slanderous to say the least. The takeaway? The only good cis-Black men are those that are either silent or dead…