This is what Black men need from you right now

America is bad for us from boys to men.

Sam McKenzie Jr.
Apr 15, 2018 · 5 min read

Please brace yourself because you are about to get an eyeful.

I’m fighting every urge to type this story in all caps. I’m keyed up over the capital case of craziness in our society.

I now know

It’s a common misconception that if you raise a child in the “right” neighborhood, they will have a better shot at life.

It’s a common misconception that Black communities fall behind because we lack two-parent households.

It’s a common misconception that if Black men only got degrees, then we’d succeed.

Because a new study by researchers at the Census Bureau, Stanford, and Harvard, gives the middle finger to all of that sage counsel.

In a study reflecting the lives of 20 million children born between 1978 and 1983, researchers show how Black boys fare no better in the United States regardless of their household.

Stop and read that again, please. Let it hit you and sink in one more time.

Now let me break down the data:

  • It didn’t matter if the Black boys had two parents earning more than $140,000 a year.
  • It didn’t matter if the Black boys had parents with all kinds of assets.
  • It didn’t matter if the Black boys went to the best schools.
  • And, it didn’t matter if the Black boys were in the same neighborhoods as the white boys.
  • The study showed the Black boys were more than twice as likely as the white boys to become poor and lower-middle-class adults.
  • On the richer side, the Black boys were twice as unlikely as the white boys to remain rich as they got older.

I crunched on this indigestible data from an article in the New York Times, “Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys

As I dig into the details, I see how “a Black boy raised by two parents, together making $140,000 a year earns about the same in adulthood as a white man raised by a single mother making $60,000 alone.”

The wealth gap doesn’t dissipate because, “Black boys raised in America, even in the wealthiest families and living in some of the most well-to-do neighborhoods, still earn less in adulthood than white boys with similar backgrounds.”

Is that what we are calling an equal opportunity in this country? Apparently so, which is why I am logging an EEO complaint against the country.

Now, this enormous study was not limited to wealthy children, it also followed 10,000 poor children, and the results were reversed.

The record shows that Black boys were more likely to be poorer than white boys at every level.

And the study shows what we all know about poor white kids — “poor white children struggle in parts of the Southeast and Appalachia.”

But, the study shows how poor white children “fare better” than poor Black children in most of the US.

In essence, “the worst places for whites produce outcomes that are about as good as the best places for Blacks.”

How’s that for white privilege? And, folks, do you realize how polite it is that we even call it “privilege!?” What a bad joke!

“Privilege” is an academic word for social bullshit.

F--- it, let’s just call it white power because that’s what it is.

What we call “privilege” has always been an insult and an injury.

And keep in mind, all the wonderful civil rights and social advancements in our society have gotten us to these data points.

And, the researchers in the study tried to identify neighborhoods where Black boys fare better.

But according to the researchers, there are “essentially no such neighborhoods in America.”

The study shows how “Black boys fare worse than white boys in 99 percent of America.”

Dr. Ibram Kendi, an anti-racism expert is quoted by The New York Times and says this study “explodes” the idea that our problem with equality is class and not race.

In our country, we justify everything by a good economy. You’ll hear people say, “it’s the economy, stupid!” Well, let me scratch on that and say, it’s racism, stupid!

Now, you might wonder, what about Black girls and white girls? This study showed these gaps do not occur between Black girls and white girls.

So, the study underscores the fact there’s something uniquely wrong about the Black male experience in America.

It says to me that the American dream is a haunting and recurring nightmare for Black males. Your American dream is for me to fail.

It says to me there’s a conscious and unconscious conspiracy nationwide to bring us down at every level.

And, most of all, everyone needs to shove it with their advice for Black men.

Shove it Bill Cosbys with your calls to pull up our pants. Go to hell with all that bootstrap pulling.

Don’t say another damn word about individual responsibility. Instead, fix your lips to talk about individual racism and institutional racism.

Academia, you can shove it too because all that talk about the ‘more you know' can kiss it real good. Knowledge is power and I know it’s no match for racism.

I want people everywhere to stop driving through neighborhoods with thoughts and talks about the lack of education and ‘opportunities.’ Your ‘if only' thoughts are meaningless.

Put all that grant money and voluntary service into eradicating racism now.

Because based on the study, all the opportunities in the world only set us up to fall from higher heights.

Dear America, how long is your rope?

So now, I want everyone to shut it with self-help, morality, values, better schools, choice, after-school programs, mentorships, financial planning, and the whole shebang. It’s all worthless where it counts.

Because it’s clear, the staying power of rage against Black men will stick and stay stronger than any status.

Right now, there’s little in this life that can make right what whiteness robs and wrongs.

Even with all the advantages possible, this US society is set up for the demise of Black males.

Hello, America, we have a racism crisis that capitalism and class can’t crack.

But please don’t mistake this for a glass ceiling, no, no, no. Because we can’t even see our way up or out of this misery. I’ll tell you what this is, this is a snapping trapdoor that’s wide and waiting for Black men.

This system of racism is snarling at Black men. It’s rigged, revving, and ready to run us down.

We need you to fix racism.

So, get out of my face until you fix your race. Come back when you’re serious about anti-racism education. Be quiet and stay at home until you deal with your implicit biases.

America must admit that Black men are not the problem. Say it with me now, “America is the problem!”

And let me say this one good time for the record — we don’t fall and fail because of our “culture.”

We fall and fail because of the consequences of America’s ways.

Now, let’s talk about how you will deal with your racism.

Let’s talk about how you will frame “the issues” in the future.

Make damn sure you include racism in your frame.

Put that racism right in the center where it is because I’ve had an eyeful.

That’s all I see here, racism.

Sam McKenzie Jr.

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I combat racism with verbicide and literary devices. https://www.patreon.com/SamMcKenzieJr | http://ko-fi.com/sammc