0601 MBK

On Friday, former NBA all-star and entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson announced he will help attract more private-sector partners to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative established to empower and improve the lives of young men of color. As a result, over 200 African-American men signed an open letter at the African-American Policy Forum urging the President to include women and girls.

“We write as African-American men who have supported your presidency, stood behind you when the inevitable racist challenges to your authority have emerged, and have understood that our hopes would be tempered by the political realities that you would encounter,” reads the letter. “While we continue to support your presidency, we write both out of a sense of mutual respect and personal responsibility to address what we believe to be the unfortunate missteps in the My Brothers Keeper initiative (MBK). In short, in lifting up only the challenges that face males of color, MBK — in the absence of any comparable initiative for females — forces us to ask where the complex lives of black women and black girls fit into the White House’s vision of racial justice?”

Read the entire letter here.


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  • gull2861

    A few observations. Its amazing when something that is supposed to be positive could create such negative reactions from a group of women who consistently complain about lack of support. It almost supports the view that some people will gladly accept anything that aligns with their prejudices and dismiss anything that refutes it.
    Second, regarding the blind stating of stats without also recognizing underlying context. this can be dangerous. Regarding Black Women/Black Men stats. Please keep in mind that blacks are more towards the bottom socioeconomically so it tends to make sense that crime would be more prevalent in the black world (that is a social class and poor issue, not necessarily a race or gender issue generally speaking). Also, when two groups are associated with each other more than any other group, one would expect to see a higher incident of both positive and negative interactions between the two compared to with other groups they dont interact with as much. On the positive side of things, black men and women, love, support, and marry each other more than they do any other race.

  • Objection

    We recommend an expansion of the MBK – and all other national youth intervention explicit focus on the structural conditions that negatively impact all Black youth. – Open Letter.

    No rational person can deny Sam has issues with African-American (AA) women. However, I’m not sure the problems of both groups should be lumped together. AA women and men should have equal rights under the law; however, the problems each group face aren’t necessarily identical. AA men will never experience pregnancy discrimination. The probability of AA men being sexually harassed or raped is low compared to women.

    How many AA women take part in drive by shootings in the community? How many AA women are part of gangs? Does discrimination affect women and men differently mentally? The beauty standards for both groups aren’t the same. The issue of obesity is not the same; men can lose weight a lot faster than women.

    The problems both groups have are equally important; however, I’m not sure they should be handled together. I’m in favor of two separate groups receiving equal funding and attention.

    • vintage3000

      The link to the actual letter shows where the writers have done a very good job identifying clear distinctions between the problems of marginalized males and females. These 100 men have noted gender violence against Black women/girls and other social issues that are discussed on this site alone. Their acknowledgement of the differences everyone is complaining about is clear as day, I am not sure why no one else seems to be reading this?

    • Brad

      That’s because the goal for the nay sayers is separation, not in working together. They wish for a separation between BM and BW, period.

      That idea may be great for the black woman who are able to leave. But, what of those who cannot leave or who wish to stay.

    • Objection

      LOL, nay sayers and separation. The life experiences my African-American wife have are different than my own. Some times its best to let men and women focus on their own unique challenges.

    • Brad

      Good point but, wouldn’t this program be seperate but, funded under the same umbrella.

    • Objection

      I’m not sure.

    • Brad

      The easy ( lazy) thing to do is to tell Black women that every community of Black people is evil. The easy (lazy) thing to do is to tell Black women that ALL of their husbands, fathers, sons, uncles, brothers, cousins, neighbors, church members, coworkers are out to get them.

      It is far more complex to say – I will exercise good judgment and judge people based on their behavior. I will make decisions about alliances based on values.


    • Tanielle

      Looking at your previous post it seems that you take offense with broad sweeping generalizations about black men being bad. I see your point since I am so tired of the black men who come here with their universal hatred of black women. The fact of the matter is many black women don’t hold this view. Why the continued desire to convince the minority of women who hold this view? I personally am totally indifferent about black men and only give a damn about the ones in my life who have PROVEN that they have my best interest at heart. I truly don’t care if all black men are good or bad. I don’t desire to do the research to find out. I think it would be best to accept that some black women don’t like all black men, some are indifferent, and others love black men and worship the ground they walk on. Accept it, move on, and focus your energy on those who care about your message.

    • Brad

      You know I can’t argue with the sound advice you give.

      My own energies should be focus on more positive things instead of arguing against a negative…

    • sam

      Yes, pregnancy discrimination, obesity and beauty standards is much worse than black men being incarcerated at an inhumane pace or black boys are dropping out of school more than anyone else, gun violence, highest unemployment of all Groups …ect ( sarcasm).

      A quick look at the prominent issues tell quite a different story. The harsh truth is that as black women have moved ahead, black men have fallen behind. Each year, nearly twice as many black women as men graduate college. Black women have surpassed their male counterparts even in lucrative and typically male-dominated fields like computer science. Twice as many black women as men go to graduate school, and in law and medicine, the gender gap is approaching 2 to 1 as well.

      It is actually in black women’s present and future interest to encourage and support the building of a nation of productive black males because until black men evolve beyond our temporal conditions, what remains of “the black community” shall continue its slow March to extinction. When you build a strong nation of responsible, economically productive men, the benefits, like water, will spread to every member of said community. These men become better husbands and fathers as individual units, and better community builders as a collective.

      And next time you mention my name, do it directly, don’t be such a coward !

    • Objection

      I mentioned your name to separate your foolishness from my opinion. I have nothing to say to you and a couple other posters on here.

    • Tanielle

      “It is actually in black women’s present and future interest to encourage and support the building of a nation of productive black males because until black men evolve beyond our temporal conditions, what remains of “the black community” shall continue its slow March to extinction.”

      So many assumptions here but if you look at your argument you are basically saying that black men’s current condition is dragging down the black community. I agree. I think that black women shouldn’t wait for black men to become productive but focus on themselves and building alliances with men who are already productive no matter their race or ethnicity. This includes black men from other countries and those who already have the skills to be good husbands, fathers and community builders. I simply cannot encourage black women to focus on the uplifting of black men over themselves for the benefit of the “black community”.

    • sam

      First of all, don’t flatter yourself, black men still out-earn black women. Second, stop deluding yourself in thinking other going to come and rescue you.

      Anther teeny problem with that retarded black feminist logic is; 1) Other men are not interested in you in large 2) you are going to have a black child anyway 3) you are talking about your own brother, father and son 4) The majority of black people (men and women) are not as stupid as you, They don’t want to eradicate themselves….ect

      And when are these white savior going to show up, I mean you been saying that BS for the last 2-3 decades…..lmao

    • Tanielle

      You mentioned white saviors not me. You clearly didn’t read my post because I said that black women should focus on men that don’t need programs like this to save them but are already productive members of society and have the tools to be good husbands, fathers, and leaders. I don’t understand the logic of some of the men who post here. They blast black women for choosing men who aren’t worth a damn and becoming single mothers then turn around and say they we are all in it together as a community and black women need to support these men. So support them but don’t mate with them?

      You have made it clear that you think black women are horrible. Why would I want to be a part of a community with someone who feels about me how you do. No thank you. That can’t be in my best interest. The fact of the matter is that as a smart, educated, fit, and well traveled black woman it isn’t flattering myself to say these things. And I am not talking about my father or my brothers because they don’t need programs like this. You can’t advocate for a community while tearing down half its members every chance you get. The best thing I ever did was liberate myself from the idea of a black community. At that point I realized that my fate IS NOT tied to that of black men. You can keep trying to convince yourself that it is but it is not. I don’t need black
      men outside my circle to give a damn about me and that includes you.

      Also, you can’t say my kids will be black anyway but I’m trying to eradicate myself. You can’t have it both ways. These statements contradict each other. Which is it?

  • Vag Owner

    how is it crabs in a barrel if those bm are looking to HELP bw??? that doesn’t hurt bm at all. in fact it makes bw more trusting of bm. you guys are acting like that program will actually help blk ppl. lol. it will be just like affirmative action. they’ve already made rules that the organizations have to be in X amount of states even though blks are concentrated in the south and coastal areas. seems like only naacp would qualify…