A few days ago, an anonymous black man published an honest self-critique titled “Confessions Of a Former Self Hating Black man who Used to Bash Black women on Social Media.” In the piece, the author claims he published to answer the frequently asked question “Why do black men come down hardest on black women?” and give insight into the thinking that creates the black woman bashing mentality, the writer goes begins by defining a “self-hating black man”. He wrote: “What exactly is a self-hating black man? A self-hating black man can be a lot of different things but for me it was a man who was not fully comfortable in his blackness and as result directed his feelings into other things in order to compensate. For me to reach the point that I am at now where I am able to label my former self as a self-hater has not been easy but through thinking back on my former thought process and actions It’s a conclusion that I found I cannot escape.”
He also delves into his personal account of the adolescent thinking that lead to a preference for white girls and other non-black women, noting a burning desire to fit into a social environment that rewarded interracial dating and even deemed black women inferior to their white or Latina counterparts. “The mindset of my friends and I at the time could be summed up as something along the lines of “if she ain’t white, she’s at least gotta be light”, he wrote, while also highlighting the prevalent stereotypes about Black women he had then internalized. That they were too argumentative, loud, unagreeable. And of course, that they were too “black.”
From an early age, the author knew and understood that black physical traits weren’t deemed beautiful. So in adolescence, the boys around him sought partners who would give them mixed children with “good hair”.
“By wanting mixed children with “good hair” I was in a way putting down my own black features. I had thick nappy hair and dark skin. My features where in direct contrast to the features I wanted my future children to have which looking back on it now I see as a big problem.”
He concludes simply: “If you want to know why some black men post derogatory things about black women online ill tell you. The answer is quite simple. Black men who put down black women do it simply because they are not comfortable in themselves and in their blackness.”
The piece was honest, reflective and poignant. It detailed a reality many people of color must face as we navigate a white-dominated world that incessantly claims we are inferior to whites. Why, then, was it met with such vitriol from black women? Here are some examples of comments on the piece:
With certainty, the subject matter hits close to home in a very hurtful way. We have all had experiences being undervalued and overlooked. Black women have every right to be angered by the continued marginalization they face not only by white society, but even by the men within their very community. But it saddens me when black people– men and women alike– cannot offer support in moments when we are the most vulnerable. When we put ourselves out there, not seeking judgement, yet we receive just that.
In truth, if more black men were honest and open about their internalized self-hate that translates to contempt for black women, we would have a stronger black community. But how can we expect honest, open dialogue if any attempts at them are stricken down in the name of offense? Racism is offensive. So is white supremacy and self-hate. The only way to overcome these realities is to foster self-reflection, openness and dialogue. It is important that we always put that goal ahead of our hurt and offense.
Image Credits: My Black Matters