By Professor Fred Whitted NORTH CAROLINA (BASN) — The title above...
THE UNEXPRESSED ANGER OF BLACK MEN IN AMERICA
With the recent execution of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, who was fatally shot by a police officer in a St. Louis suburb, and the death of Eric Garner, who was murdered by NYPD,we, at Blackathlete.com, felt this article was worth being republished.
NORTH CAROLINA (BASN) — In the year that has been called “The Year of the Angry White Male,” it seems as if everybody can express their anger but Black men.
The “white Tea baggers” can get angry but not Black men (especially if you are a Black Panther). Rush, Hannity, Beck, and Bill O’Reilly, in fact, are allowed to come on television every night professing their anger but as Black men, we are told to suppress our anger and pretend like nothing is wrong.
We, in fact, must smile and keep on smiling or force being fired for expressing our opinions. And if we are “allowed” to speak, we must speak with a soft voice like Michael Jackson because if we have too much base in our voice, we will be perceived as being a threat.
As a result, somebody might call security and ask us to exit the building.
Yes, when we speak with passion, it is characterized as yelling and we are often told to “calm down.” Ask the hosts of the Two Live Stews, a syndicated radio program in Atlanta about this?
Because during a heated debate with the infamous Skip Bayless on ESPN’s 1st and 10, host Dana Jacobson gently placed her hands on Ryan Stewart’s shoulder and told him politely to “calm down.”
Why? Because, they will be absolutely no yelling or finger-pointing allowed on this show. Sorry, Stephen A. Smith. Those are the “unhidden” rules. I didn’t make them.
Because according to Jonathan Capehart, a editorial writer for the Washington Post “African-American men are taught at a very young ages (or learn the hard way) to keep our emotions in check, to not lose our cool, lest we be perceived as dangerous or menacing or given someone a reason to doubt our ability to handle our job.”
“There’s no African-American version of say, Rahm Emmanuel, the White House former Chief of Staff with a widely known and celebrated reputation for F-bombs and confrontation.”
As silly as that may sound, it is true. Whether it is in the classroom, workplace, press box, boardroom, courtroom, basketball court, football field, or the White House.
We are told to keep our emotions in check.
That’s why you’ll never see a Black version of Bob Knight coaching a college basketball team cursing and slinging chairs across the court like he did at Indiana.
That type of behavior simply would not be tolerated if we were on the opposite side of the chair. Besides, there would be a high-price to pay for such unprofessional conduct by any Black man, who dares to try it. (Ask Kanye West)
Because in the worldwide world of sports, public displays of anger by any Black athlete will always be viewed as inappropriate and uncivilized. Consider some of the social commentary condemning Terrell Owens, Venus Williams, and Rasheed Wallace for their public outbursts. This is one reason why the former University of Kentucky basketball star Demarus Cousins has been catching so much hell from the media, because he had the nerve to confront and argue with his head coach John Calipari during a nationally televised game.
Why? Because Black men are suppose to be docile, friendly, soft, and non-threatening. That’s why when President Barack Obama was attempting to address the nation before being rudely interrupted by South Carolina Republican Senator Joe Wilson, who shouted “You Lie,” he had to bite his bottom lip and hold his composure.
Why? Because, being a Black man in Washington, D.C. and showing any form of anger, would be considered political suicide. This is one of the main reasons President Obama was considered so “selectable” and won the presidency.
Because during his political campaign, despite all the heated debates, death threats, name-calling, and mudslinging done by the Republican Party, he remained cool, calm, and collective throughout the entire process.
Why? Because, we must always…I mean always … keep our cool.
For this very reason, in my opinion, movie makers have tried to capitalize on this build-up anger being suppressed and depressed by Black men by making Samuel L.Jackson the “poster child” for Black Rage in Hollywood.
Why? Like I said before, nobody likes to see an angry Black man.
Even during a radio interview when former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin yelled “Now get off your asses (government) and let’s do something, and let’s fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country!!!!”
Many politicians felt that he was out of line and out of order for using such inappropriate language in a leadership position.
Why? Because, “subconsciously” they want us to have a “happy-go-lucky attitude.” In other words, they want us to have a slave-mentality even in 2010.
In effect, they try to convince and comfort us by placing their hands on our shoulder or patting us on our backs while saying things like: “You guys need to stop complaining so much. Hell, you should “just be happy” you’re living in America.
Besides, if you are not happy here, go back to Africa.” Even, President Obama has heard that “go back to Africa” remark especially coming from the Tea Party.
Yeah, that’s what they want us all to believe.
“Don’t worry; be happy”
That song, in fact, became the unofficial theme song for Black America during that time in which the government wanted us all to sing as if it was our Star Spangle Banner.
Because as long as we are singing, dancing, playing ball, and telling some dirty jokes to make them laugh, everything is fine in their minds.
By the way, keep doing that silly little jig John Wall, they like that, but DeMarcus Cousins, you better watch your back.
Why? Because, nobody likes to see an angry Black man.
Eric D.Graham, a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where he received a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio and Television, with a minor in History, with an emphasis in African-American Studies, is currently the Managing Editor of Black Athlete Sports Network, where his articles appear daily along with his controversial cartoon character Bobbee Bee “The Hater.” Graham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.bobbeethehater.blogspot.com