Another brother has gone in.
Angry Black Man, the cliché term used for brothers who can’t hold their tongue or swallow their aggression when it comes to their passion for certain issues. They have a tendency to fly off the handle whenever they feel “hoodwinked,” and often times their outspoken nature resembles the likes of King Kong; fiery, petrifying and merely seconds from crushing the city of Manhattan.
… or so White Folks think.
Most notable A.B.M. include Comedian Paul Mooney, Harvey Walden, Spike Lee, Bill Cosby, Dick Gregory, Martin Lawrence, Dave Chappelle, Randy Moss, Allen Iverson, Latrell Spreewell, Nino Brown, the 2004 Indiana Pacers Basketball Team, Mr. T, Kanye West, and now…
…Verbally gloved, and ready to pack a punch at any second, the latest brother to wear the crown of being dubbed an Angry Black Man, is none other than our President Barack Obama.
As CNN reported last week, President Obama, whom many, including A.B.M. alum Spike Lee, have criticized for his lack of public aggression pertaining to the happenings in the Gulf of Mexico, has finally issued an eye raising statement on the NBC “Today Show” about his plans for those responsible for the oil spill.
“I was down there a month ago, before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf. A month ago I was meeting with fisherman down there, standing in the rain, talking about what a potential crisis this could be. And I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar, we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers so I know whose ass to kick.”
So, Obama is looking for “whose ass to kick,” huh? But are his choice of words a reason to cause a spectacle, or just another excuse to peg a brother with passion an Angry Black Man?
Too often when a Black man raises his voice a few octaves, he’s forced to carry the weight of others fear for his passion and outspoken nature. Just because a man sounds off about an issue, (let’s ignore his light use of profanity), doesn’t mean they’re deserving of negativity or a racially charged moniker.
Yeah, he said “ass,”and see there– I said it too. I get that our beloved Pres, should probably choose his words carefully, as he’s not auditioning for “Jersey Shore,” but I’d rather have him express his real emotion than have to continue to defend himself for seeming to jovial when the world is up in arms.
And maybe that’s it. Maybe the cause and effect for why brothers sound off with mild or major aggression is partially due to the fact that the stereotype is so ingrained in their psyche that if they don’t show verbal passion, than their passive nature draws assumption that they don’t give a f#<$ about what’s happening in the world?
Maybe the world is guilty of asking for the monster, and then turning the other side of their face, when a Brother decides to bear arms. Or could it be like Dave Chappelle so cleverly pointed out in his parody of Samuel L. Jackson, “This is how I talk!”
Black people are a passionate group, sometimes our overzealous nature can be misconstrued, but definitely no reason to organize another A.B.M. hunt.
And if someone either than a brother were to do it…
It’s obvious through different incidents in history, that if someone white were to have an angry episode, their outbursts would be summed up to the idea that they were having a bad day, or caught off guard in a public arena.
It’s the age old double standard; the predetermined vote that says when a brother pulls up his sleeve or raises his voice, his humanity is replaced by the ideal that he’s likely still harboring repressed slave anger, or is seconds away from breaking out a can of whoop ass on someone.
Why is that? Why still to this day do black men have to be narrowed down to a blemishing title, when in reality we all have episodes of anger, and have stepped out of our comfort zone to express those feelings. Black men aren’t the only ones who use profanity or get upset, but the continual argument is for the idea that some of our brothers are untamed, whereas everyone else is well tempered.
At the G8 Summit in 2006, when Former President Bush was caught on tape saying, “sh#t” the world didn’t bat more than a few eyelashes, but in the wake of Obama’s angry outburst every blog from here to Ireland has had a thing or two to say about the 5 second exchange. Google “Obama + Angry + Black + Man,” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Remember the time University of Indiana coach Bobby Knight choked player Neil Reed? It would be years before his contract was not renewed, and even then, Knight is still one of the most respected coaches in the NCAA. Latrell Sprewell choked his coach over what he felt was disrespect, and as most of us can remember, that brother got suspended, lost his contract, and was quickly ushered off to another team. Where’s Sprewell now?
In short, a brother can’t win for losing when it comes to showing their emotion or lack there of. The only break they stand to catch, is the one alongside their accelerator pedal in a moving car. I think it’s beyond safe to say that a little aggression doesn’t make you angry, nor does an insane outburst denote that you’re a card carrying member of some ridiculous A.B.M. club.
But, the world will always have their opinion, and to them, that’s all that matters.
Do you think President Obama’s comments were out of line? What do you think about the A.B.M. stereotype? Share your thoughts with us!