During a recent episode of MSNBC’s midday show, “The Cycle” Touré took a moment to address his critics who feel he is too preoccupied with discussing the rampant racism black men still face in America.

Speaking about two extremely charged trials that confront the intersection of black men and stereotypes head-on—Florida vs. George Zimmerman for the slaying of Trayvon Martin, and the lawsuit leveied against New York City for its controversial ‘Stop and Frisk’ program—Touré riffed on “the assumption of black male criminality” and how it contributes to extremely difficult, and sometimes deadly, situations for black men.

He lamented, “Once, somebody asked me when would I stop talking so much about injustice against black men. I said, ‘I will when this country stops the tsunami of injustice against black men.’”

Touré, who has written and spoken extensively about race and blackness in American, went on to discuss the burden of being black in this country and how many black men are taught to actively make everyone around them—shopkeepers, police, white folks—more comfortable.

“All that can lead to what some have called, ‘proper negro fatigue,’” Touré explained. “Because I have to go around mollifying everyone around me and letting them know I won’t rob them.”

“And trust me, it’s tiring. Because, no matter how good I am at that, I still know I may end up dead.”

Take a look at Touré’s statement and let us know what you think.

Tags: , ,
Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • “All that can lead to what some have called, ‘proper negro fatigue,’”

    One of his better moments and words of wisdom that really speaks to black men being exhausted at constantly trying to assure every non black, (cause it ain’t just white folks), that we are safe, for those who care what they think, just to be treated like criminals anyway. I know how that feels and remembered when I was younger not giving an F what those non blacks felt even playing into their fears as a form of rebellion. Just like these kids today do. The thing is that any minority can relate to this donning of the mask. I am sure Muslims wear it, gays, Hispanics, and so on, all attempting to appear normal and safe to counter stereotypes placed upon them. It’s about how much isht are you willing to eat before spitting it back at them. Some people fill up rather quickly.

    • JustAThought

      That sounds good but NO! No other “minority” is affected by the ‘donning of the mask’ as are blacks. Take that gay for example. You cannot seriously tell me that you believe that. Now take that “gay” and add Black to it and tell me those two would be treated the same………..

    • Mademoiselle

      I have to disagree with the gay parallel. I’ve always wondered how it makes gay men feel to hear those “don’t walk behind me” comments that I’ve heard for SO long. I think gay men are forced to prove they aren’t sex-crazed indiscriminant predators to non-gays very often. I even think that’s why so much of the gay image is overrun by effeminate gay men — to show they’re no more threatening than women (i.e. the mousy Anderson Cooper or the diva Ms. Jay types).

    • No there not exactly the same, but I am sure gays have there own mask they have to wear if not out right denial of who they are publicly and to themselves just to navigate society

    • talaktochoba

      there is one point you fail to consider;

      homosexuals have the OPTION TO CHANGE their lifestyles back to normal and enjoy all the rights and privileges due any other citizen;

      black men, on the other hand, can change their clothes, hair, diction, political party, minds and even lifestyle, and they will be first and foremost the most feared (or revered, if you’re a white woman) threat this society has to offer, save perhaps for a deranged white man with a gun;

      that is precisely why homosexuals are not now, never were nor will be a legitimate minority and so cannot at all be compared to black people in general, black men in particular;

    • The fact that homosexuals can hide who they are is irrelevant the point is that some feel they have to hide who they are or conduct themselves in a disarming manner to appease a society that disapproves of them because of bias and insecurities.

    • talaktochoba

      no, the point is homosexuals feel that since not everybody likes/approves of their lifestyle, they must force everyone to accept them by trying to glom onto the definition of a “minority” to legislate their particular immorality upon the rest of us;

      i don’t like republicans–does that make me a republicanophobe?

      no, and they have but to change into real people to get my approval;

      so don’t try call me a “homophobe” or any other cutesy clubby term just because i disapprove of your lifestyle;

      i don’t want to kill you, simply because the next bullet sooner or later will be for me;

      just don’t try force me to spend my tax dollars in support of your lifestyle or accept it as normal;

    • Wtf? What the hell does your comment have to do with this post or my comments? You’re not even in the same book as me let alone the same page. This was about people having to hide who they are to make others feel at ease. Nigga ain’t nobody asked you if you accept them or not, or where your tax dollars are going. Where did you even get the idea that this was some sort of comparison between gays and black men? If you can’t stay on topic move on.

  • Sarah

    He lamented, “Once, somebody asked me when would I stop talking so much about injustice giant black men. I said, ‘I will when this country stops the tsunami of injustice against black men.’”

    Pretty sure that is supposed to read injustice AGAINST black men not giant black men. Not sure perhaps it was a tiny pixy asking the question or perhaps Touré is secretly like 8 feet tall.

  • sixfoota

    But Toure hates black women so like, no matter how truthful THIS is, I can’t rock w him.

    • Eva

      You don’t have to rock with him. Just rock with the message. The message is 100% spot on.

    • jcole

      Exactly. .. he has no problem saying problematic things to and about black women. .. so until he fixes that… anything he says in null and void to me…

    • cupcakes and shiraz

      Yeah. I could care less about this black woman-hating fool’s “proper negro” plight.

  • My general demeanor is a screwface and being tall and dark does nothing to lower that impression. I get the nervous smiles from white women and glancing look from white men but I really don’t invest a lot of effort in trying to put them at ease. I admittedly get a little pleasure out of intimidation, making others nervous because the anxiety they are feeling says more about them and less about me. I just will not expend that much energy worried about how to put some other person at ease because of their own racial fears…you do not know me and I reject you projecting your biases onto me. I maybe tilting at windmills but I do feel a lot better about it.
    It has probably cost me more than I know but I am also less stressed on a daily basis. Because pretending to be happy and relaxed when you are not is a stress inducer and I think I have enough on my plate already: commuting, working hard and just the general ish of living a modern living. Why should I take on more, it does nothing but shorten my life expectancy. The other thing that happens is that you bottle all that ish up and take it home to pollute your home environment that is not fair. I consider myself quite lucky that I have never had to swallow the “bile”. Close my mouth and force a smile as that bitterness raises in my throat because I did not want to make them uneasy. Fck them!
    “You just don’t care?” is something I hear all the time from my lady. But I correct her that I do care, I conduct myself as a gentleman at all times but I do not feel any pressure to adjust it based on the race or gender of the person I am addressing. Why should I?

    • Jay

      I think a lot of black women take your approach also, they aren’t afraid to let their feelings be known in public which is why we get the “angry or bitter black woman” label (unfortunately that also comes from the brothers).

      But you’re right, it’s unhealthy to keep things bottled up inside or wear a fake mask, express yourself. At the same time choose battles wisely

    • Anthony

      A significant downside of patriarchy is that perceived aggressiveness from men is taken much more seriously than aggressiveness from women. Women tend to be killed at a much lower rate in confrontations with authorities or wannabe like George Zimmerman (allegedly) than men.

      Sometimes a mask is just survival.

    • RaiseTheBar

      ” . . . I do not feel any pressure to adjust it based on the race or gender of the person I am addressing. Why should I?

      “It has probably cost me more than I know … ”

      You know yourself and are LIVING your personal TRUTH and it seems to be working well for you.

      As for what it has cost you, probably NOTHING of any TRUE significance.

      Those of US who have PROSTITUTED our Souls or continue to prostitute them know — if we are paying attention — the material possessions are taken away in a blink of an eye (i.e., home foreclosures, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes).

    • Patterson

      I have not seen anything in our comments about what we can do as a community to uplift and ameliorate our public image, and thus others’ reactions to it. Why are we imposing the blame 100% wholesale on the white media and community?

    • RaiseTheBar


      “Why…the blame 100% wholesale on the white…”

      Male dominated, exploitive, oppressive, culture — Zeitgeist
      h t t p : / / w w w .

      Because that is where it belongs!

      I start and end with the woman in the mirror. I am so world-weary, but whatever time I have remaining on this planet will be spent SHARING what I know/have with as many others as I can in hope it can improve who he/she is as a fellow human being AND MORE IMPORTANTLY he/she will pass it on.

      My challenge is finding the right “energy” to network with. Too often my God-given energy had been WASTED undoing the damages of those whose goal was the MIS-use of my energy to support his/her SELF-promoting, SELF-serving, SELFish agendas.

      SO, I’m still “open”, but extremely wary, so step to me correctly or stay out of my personal space.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    Remember this crap he vomited all over his twitter page:

    “Some [Black women and girl slaves] were cunning and brilliant enough to use their bodies to gain liberation thus fooling massa. Of course most were raped, we know that, but some were sharp enough to trade that good-good for status or liberation.”

    The proper negro role is something that Toure has played along willingly.

    • Precisely. I have no interest in anything this negro, proper or otherwise has to say. If that wasn’t proper negroing WTF was it?