Powerful Black Men: A threat to America?
Let’s talk about why black liberation frightens you
Black liberation has always been a threat to America. From the moment our African ancestors touched foot on this (Native) land, we were meant to stay under white control. For hundreds of years whites controlled every aspect of black lives: education, citizenship, identity, labor, religion, language, culture, tradition, etc. There has always been resistance against the inhumane laws and beliefs, but the movement really took off during the Civil Rights Movement.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X are commonly recognized as the most influential figures from the movement. Although the education system teaches us that they worked on extreme opposing objectives, there is obvious common ground between how the two worked to liberate black people. The greatest common factor being love. King’s approach was based on using love to bridge a gap between whites and blacks. He believed that plotting a revolution based on love as the foundation would lead to equality for all. While King had focused on loving our enemies, Malcolm called us back to ourselves, acknowledging that taking care of blackness was our central responsibility. Malcolm X may not have been preaching about loving all or creating unity, but he did teach about self-love and black love. For centuries, black people were taught to believe themselves to be inferior, but Malcolm X focused on uplifting black people, black bodies, black communities, black businesses, black worth, etc. For both activists, an element of love was at the core of their missions. Whether the goal is to have a level playing field or enhance black communities, the advancedment of colored people is always seen as a threat, especially when the rhetoric comes from black men. These two black men disrupted and challenged the principles of what America was built on.
There is a trend of intimidation and hatred that spews when black men gain power or make influence. Fear of black men was strictly based on the physical in the 18th and 19th century. Black men were developed as monsters and sexual beasts. Their bodies evoked fear, which helped justify many inhumane practices against them. Slowly there was shift from fearing black men’s bodies to fearing their mental capability. Dr. King and Malcolm X are perfect examples of how educated, charismatic, black men frighten the underlying systems and values of America.
White America was not having it then and they certainly aren’t having it now.
During Barack Obama’s entire presidency, racial slurs and threats were made toward him and his family. Sure, maybe some people disagreed with his policies, but there was a vast group of white Americans who simply hated seeing a black man be in the most powerful position in the world. Most of the criticism surrounded the fact that Obama was a black man. This was seen in many billboards, posters, cartoon strips, etc. There was even a bar sign that read “I do not support the nigger in the white house”. Regardless of what Obama did or how he carried himself, it was never enough. He had too much power.
Strong men have stood at the forefront of the progress black people have made. As black men they have faced a specific kind of challenge or battle with white America. It does not matter how valid ones point are, how many degrees one earns or if they earn the most powerful position in the world, they will always be a threat to America.