Why I hate being a black man

DSP

Heri
hmmm

I do notice different types of self hatred depending on the country...

Why I hate being a black man | Orville Lloyd Douglas | Comment is free | theguardian.com

Every time I sit on a crowded street car, bus, or subway train in Toronto, I know I will have an empty seat next to me. It's like a broken record. Sometimes I don't mind having the extra space, but other times I feel awkward, uncomfortable, and annoyed.


I know I have good hygiene, I dress appropriately, and I mind my own business. However, recently, I finally became cognizant of why people might fear being around me or in close proximity to me: I am a black male. Although Canadian society presents the façade of multiculturalism the truth is Canada has a serious problem with the issue of race.
I didn't realize it until my sister said to me:Orville, people are afraid of you. You are a six foot tall black man with broad shoulders.
My sister is right, people don't sit next to me on the street car, the subway or on the bus because they are afraid.


The issue of black self-hatred is something I am supposed to pretend does not exist. However, the great French psychiatrist Frantz Fanon wrote about this issue in his ground breaking book Black Skin, White Masks: Frantz Fanon, Richard Philcox: 9780802143006: Amazon.com: Books in a chapter called "the Lived Experience of the Black Man". According to Fanon, the black man is viewed in the third person, and he isn't seen as a three-dimensional human being. The black man internalizes the perspectives of white society and its negative thoughts about blackness affect his psyche. In the chapter, Fanon discusses a white child calling him the "N word" and how he becomes cognizant of how he is different and viewed as someone people should fear.


There is also a fear by some black people that discussing the issue of self-hatred is a sign of weakness. There is a discourse that black people engender: that black is beautiful. But the truth is, the image of blackness is ugly – at least it's perceived that way. There is nothing special or wonderful about being a black male – it is a life of misery and shame.
The issue of black self-hatred is usually depicted from a female point of view. There are documentaries such as Dark Girls which aired on Oprah's OWN network earlier this year, in which black women discuss their feelings of self hatred for having dark skin. There are numerous books, articles, documentaries, and essays published by black female writers describing black self-hated. Black women are not afraid to speak out about their self-loathing, yet for some reason, black men are silent about our own contempt for what we are.


A lot of black men don't want to acknowledge the feelings of disgust we have for ourselves. It is considered emasculating to even admit the existence of such thoughts. I think my own self-hated manifests from the exterior, from the outside world. It is born out of the despair and the unhappiness I see within a lot of young black men.


I can honestly say I hate being a black male. Although black people like to wax poetic about loving their label I hate "being black". I just don't fit into a neat category of the stereotypical views people have of black men. In popular culture black men are recognized in three areas: sports, crime, and entertainment. I hate rap music, I hate most sports, and I like listening to rock music such as PJ Harvey, Morrissey, and Tracy Chapman. I have nothing in common with the archetypes about the black male.
There is so much negativity and criminal suspicion associated with being a black male in Toronto. Yet, I don't have a criminal record, and I certainly don't associate with criminals. In fact, I abhor violence, and I resent being compared to young black males (or young people of any race) who are lazy, not disciplined, or delinquent. Usually, when black male youth are discussed in Toronto, it is about something going wrong.


Honestly, who would want to be black? Who would want people to be terrified of you and not want to sit next to you on public transportation?
Who would want to have this dark skin, broad nose, large thick lips, and wake up in the morning being despised by the rest of the world?
A lot of the time I feel like my skin color is like my personal prison, something that I have no control over, for I am judged just because of the way I look.


Not discussing the issue doesn't mean it is going to go away. In fact, by ignoring the issue, it simply lurks underneath the surface. I believe a dialogue about self hatred should be brought to the fore in the public sphere, so that some sort of healing and the development of true non-label based pride can occur.


Of course, I do not want to have these feelings, to have these dark thoughts about being a black man. However, I cannot deny that this is the way I feel. I don't want to be ashamed of being a black man; I just want to be treated as an individual based on the content of my character, and not just based on the colour of my skin.
 

ladyrastafari

Notchilous
i have heard similar tales from men who have lived in canada that its racism is veiled under the guise of multiculturalism...
 

Poca

Registered User
I don't think nothing is really disguised here. Most pretty much know the deal.

IMO, once an issue is spoken about something is usually done about it or at least there's an attempt to. Can't talk for Toronto though.
 

jamaicangirl

Boonoonoonoos
Isn't this the same as saying that those features are not beautiful in someone else e.g. women. Many Black men feel this way. I respect him for being honest. I hope that he gets some help and that he meets someone who loves him and tells him that he is beautiful.
 

DSP

Heri
elaborate on this pls DSP
alot of towns/cities in Canada black men(and alot of women too) symptoms of self hate manifest by going after any and everything european, similar to England.

In the US they're just rude to each other and devalue themselves and forget their humanity when it comes to someone their same race

Isn't this the same as saying that those features are not beautiful in someone else e.g. women. Many Black men feel this way. I respect him for being honest. I hope that he gets some help and that he meets someone who loves him and tells him that he is beautiful.
lol knowing Toronto he's shooting for a non black person to fill that role
 

BacchanalDiva

Registered User
alot of towns/cities in Canada black men(and alot of women too) symptoms of self hate manifest by going after any and everything european, similar to England.

In the US they're just rude to each other and devalue themselves and forget their humanity when it comes to someone their same race
Hmmm, so you're saying that rather than it being a melting pot is the reason interracial relationships are the norm?
 

Georgeflash

Who feels it knows it!
He's mad because people don't want to sit beside him?
What a fool.
He's mad because they fear him?
Jackass.

It's better to be feared than loved. Fear last longer. - A Bronx Tale
 

Poca

Registered User
I don't think that Canada was ever seen like a "melting pot". I think it's often used in reference to the US. In Canada well here, each culture usually have their spot and people mingle when needs be. Hence the multicultural aspect.


Hmmm, so you're saying that rather than it being a melting pot is the reason interracial relationships are the norm?
 

LB

Peace Love n Pretty Tings
I read this a few days ago and started to feel sympathetic towards him because I think women and men experience racism differently. Plus T.O. has way more blacks than anywhere else so its a different experience there. But by the end of the article I wasn't.........When I read it the underlying subtext is that he has a problem towards other black ppl who dont seem to accept him as as outside the stereotype or "different" than the norm. That is his bigger issue than white ppl think. His problem is self-alienation. If he could cut off his nose and straighten his hair to not be like other black men he loathes he'd be cool not realizing its behaviour that drives the difference. He should just be cool with who he is and not keep framing who he is in the "what is black" box. He fences himself in with that thought process.

And that whole bus thing....man I did that when I was in school :rofl: That is a Canadian thing. lol Ppl love them space and loathe to give it up too soon so you'll see a whole bus fill up with single person in a row of seats before ppl start sitting next to one another. lol Plus if he is big who wants to squish themselves up next to him...I'd look for the skinny person who leaves more room for me to seat! Common sense.
 

DSP

Heri
Hmmm, so you're saying that rather than it being a melting pot is the reason interracial relationships are the norm?
they're not the 'norm' like people think

Asian woman used to have the same problem black men did, but that has changed
in recent times.

if you go to a city/town and you see Asian couples, White couples, Arab couples, but the number of mixed relationships only outnumber the black couples(if you even see any black couples) then something is wrong.

Genuine mixed relationships are random, not a norm or pattern. When it becomes a pattern then something is off. You got black people who on purpose never dated a black person and have no black friends in an area where there are lots that look like them. It's not the norm to avoid your own.
 

BacchanalDiva

Registered User
I read this a few days ago and started to feel sympathetic towards him because I think women and men experience racism differently. Plus T.O. has way more blacks than anywhere else so its a different experience there. But by the end of the article I wasn't.........When I read it the underlying subtext is that he has a problem towards other black ppl who dont seem to accept him as as outside the stereotype or "different" than the norm. That is his bigger issue than white ppl think. His problem is self-alienation. If he could cut off his nose and straighten his hair to not be like other black men he loathes he'd be cool not realizing its behaviour that drives the difference. He should just be cool with who he is and not keep framing who he is in the "what is black" box. He fences himself in with that thought process.

And that whole bus thing....man I did that when I was in school :rofl: That is a Canadian thing. lol Ppl love them space and loathe to give it up too soon so you'll see a whole bus fill up with single person in a row of seats before ppl start sitting next to one another. lol Plus if he is big who wants to squish themselves up next to him...I'd look for the skinny person who leaves more room for me to seat! Common sense.
Yup. I caught that. He wants recognition as the black guy who "doesn't act like black guys". I get the sense that he has internalized the idea that those stereotypes actually define blackness and since he doesn't feel they apply to him, he doesn't think he should be black. He'd change his color if he could; but, since he can't, he makes a plea to be seen as who he really is. Pretty pitiful.

His point that black men should feel free to or have a platform to discuss their feelings about race without having to pretend has a lot of merit though.
 

BacchanalDiva

Registered User
they're not the 'norm' like people think

Asian woman used to have the same problem black men did, but that has changed
in recent times.

if you go to a city/town and you see Asian couples, White couples, Arab couples, but the number of mixed relationships only outnumber the black couples(if you even see any black couples) then something is wrong.

Genuine mixed relationships are random, not a norm or pattern. When it becomes a pattern then something is off. You got black people who on purpose never dated a black person and have no black friends in an area where there are lots that look like them. It's not the norm to avoid your own.
Never thought of it like that. Good point.
 

LB

Peace Love n Pretty Tings
Yup. I caught that. He wants recognition as the black guy who "doesn't act like black guys". I get the sense that he has internalized the idea that those stereotypes actually define blackness and since he doesn't feel they apply to him, he doesn't think he should be black. He'd change his color if he could; but, since he can't, he makes a plea to be seen as who he really is. Pretty pitiful.

His point that black men should feel free to or have a platform to discuss their feelings about race without having to pretend has a lot of merit though.
That's why I started off feeling interested in what he was saying and then fell off because muddled things with the other points - which I feel truly drive his thought process.
 

DSP

Heri
and in regards to nobody sitting near him on the bus I didn't really
experienced that in a pattern when I was there. Most times I tried
to find a spot to myself(on the train mostly). Some people sat beside me and I didn't
want anyone there, but you know hey paid for a seat just like I did, so that's
their right.
 

Poca

Registered User
I think that your biases are the reason you think that most interracial relationships here are not genuine. Albeit, there are indeed people who avoid their own but they are definitely not the majority.


they're not the 'norm' like people think

Asian woman used to have the same problem black men did, but that has changed
in recent times.

if you go to a city/town and you see Asian couples, White couples, Arab couples, but the number of mixed relationships only outnumber the black couples(if you even see any black couples) then something is wrong.

Genuine mixed relationships are random, not a norm or pattern. When it becomes a pattern then something is off. You got black people who on purpose never dated a black person and have no black friends in an area where there are lots that look like them. It's not the norm to avoid your own.
 

DSP

Heri
He's mad because people don't want to sit beside him?
What a fool.
He's mad because they fear him?
Jackass.

It's better to be feared than loved. Fear last longer. - A Bronx Tale
I saw this article on another board with mostly black Americans. All
the guys on that board thought similar. They couldn't grasp why he
didn't have some kind of pride in who he was in spite of racism.




I think that your biases are the reason you think that most interracial relationships here are not genuine. Albeit, there are indeed people who avoid their own but they are definitely not the majority.
I disagree, and it depends on what ethnicities are involved and some other variables.
If I was an Asian guy in these recent times I would most definitely disagree with your point.
 
J

Juan Dan

Guest
interracial relationships wouldnt seem strange to sopreemaciss if they understood that there are folks who believe in the human family...
and not any "we/our" type thing.....
 
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