The implication is that black men do not take care of their own children. And while there are men who are not willing or able to do the job they helped to create for themselves, this isn’t the burden of all black men. Furthermore, these images don’t help. They tend to disparage the character of all and lump us all together.
Social media has become a haven for negative stereotypes of Blacks. We are allowing it to eat away at our cultural identity and sense of self. If we don’t stop the constant reinforcement of the negative ideals placed on us, we will also have to accept the consequences of these negative values placed on our head. We will have to accept the lower pay. We will have to accept that there are places in the South where they are trying to keep poor blacks from voting. Or when a Black woman is raped, we will have to accept that these images of us as only sexual beings froth with bad attitudes and no education have played a part in the violation of our women.
How easy is it to accept that maybe there’s a cop out there killing young Black men because we have accepted the stereotype of the young Black man as young Black thug instead? We have worshiped the image as strength and not as a weakness. All these things are thing that we will have to answer for when our children are nothing but the easily killed, raped, and underpaid slaves of their time.
We now have a place where we can build each other up, yet we are using it to tear each other down. I wonder whether it is just another byproduct of American culture where we can’t fight what ails us, so we fight each other. I’m sure you’ve seen the memes of Black women in general or the one of internet sensation Sweet Brown in particular, with a bucket of chicken and watermelons and her catch phrase changed from ‘ain’t nobody got time for that,’ to ‘I have a little time’. I’m not sure if most of these are created by Blacks, but I’m sure that they are being spread through the populous by us. My own family has posted these images on their Instagram and Facebook timelines.
There are disrespectful images being praised by other Blacks but sometimes spread by everyone. I’ve seen them being posted by all types of people. But while you think it’s a joke, just think of all the stereotypes that still exist from back in the time of slavery. For example, the persisting stereotype of Blacks only eating watermelon and fried chicken. It was a way of ridiculing slaves, and ex-slaves for not having the money or resources, desire, or education to eat properly. It was depicted by whites in black face. And yet in 2014, there can be an image of that being shared across the World on modern technology.
While looking for work in the not so distant past, it was clear that my body of work was impressive and that my education was even more so, and yet, if I was passed over for work because someone had in the back of their minds the image of a twerking, watermelon eating, multicolored haired, hood rat, then how could I be mad if these are the things that we as Blacks are telling the rest of the World makes up our culture. We are telling everyone that Black women have bad attitudes and are vulgar and low class with every image and quote we post on the web. So when they believe it and discount us for it, don’t you dare get upset... we’ve told them that it’s true.
While your parents and grandparents fought for equal rights in the 60’s and 70’s, and were socially conscious of what was happening in their time, the youth of today appear to be in a social comma unless it has to do with music, clothing, or the futile pursuit and worship of money. All thoughts are given over to the celebrity driven culture, and not enough to the future of Blacks in America. This isn’t an abstract idea that I’m pulling out of the air. It is a result of paying attention to social media, music, and conversations that surround social media and music.