The tune has reached a fever pitch. The salvo against black and white women was fired by Stayve Jerome Thomas and many responded in kind. Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill wrote an open letter to Thomas, questioning his comments and goading him to do better. Thomas, who is known to the world as Slim Thug, fired back and engaged Hill in a debate on Twitter.

Slim said his comments were taken out of context, which is a common refrain from entertainers (either journalists should reexamine their methods or the “out of context” defense is tantamount to pleading the fifth). Whether Slim meant what he said or not isn’t the most relevant part. After all, being a rapper from the streets of Houston doesn’t exactly qualify you to be an expert on critical relationship theory.

Slim Thug’s blanket generalization of how “Black women need to stand by their man more” is merely reflective of his experiences with Black women. Some random guy in, say, San Diego, California could utter the complete opposite and be just as wrong – or right.

I know plenty of brothers who feel the same way, just as I know many women who say “guys are all dogs.” Are they misguided? Perhaps. But these are their experiences. Their opinions. I can’t tell someone how good applesauce taste. I can only tell them how good it tastes to me. That’s where the response to Slim Thug’s comments fall short; ultimately what he said is what he felt. His platform is just high enough for his musings to reach millions.

Were his comments wrong? Not necessarily.

Did his comments strike a nerve? Yep.

Did his comments speak to the nature of archaic and idealistic gender roles? No doubt.

That’s where the problem lies.

Joking or not, Slim Thug brought up a great talking point that goes much deeper than the whole “Slim Thug is a douche and his music is crap anyway” ad hominem attacks that dominated the social commentary. Even in his hood persona, Slim Thug – and many others like him – can’t escape that aspect of European-styled patriarchy handed to him.

“It’s hard to find us so Black women have to bow down and let it be known that they gotta start working hard; they gotta start cooking and being down for they man more.”

Slim Thug’s “bow down” statements are indicative of a cultural trend that bases masculinity off of subjugation. This is understandable. For years, the American Black male have been fighting for equal standing from the dominant race. This fight has been passed down from generations, from the first slave off the Middle Passage to the current millennials. Over the years, many Black men have railed against white supremacy. They have brought discrimination and racist practices to light in the attempt to gain a sense of humanity in a country that was built on striping it. But in that fight, many Black men have forgotten to shed the patriarchal mindset that came with being acculturated into the American way.

During the Black Power Movement, Lyndon B. Johnson commissioned Daniel Moynihan to come up with a report to figure out what was wrong with Black America. This treatise would be known as the Moynihan Report. As J. Farand wrote:

In this white man’s mind, the problem with the Negro Family was the inability of black men to outperform black women. His stance was that there would be great improvements in the Negro condition if it were more patterned after other patriarchal societies.

From that point on, it was on to the races. The black woman was the enemy.

The media has perpetuated (maybe even bought into it) this narrative that Black women are rambunctious, insatiable and edgy (exotic). We’ve already seen how the single Black woman “pathology” has been drawn out. Conversely, the myth of the docile, subservient white woman has become a quixotic fantasy of the unexposed Black man, who relies on these media tales because he is, well, unexposed. While there are many men and women who reject this notion, there are also many men and women who buy into and play the game for their advantage or disadvantage.

Society has a tendency to subconsciously digest stories – false or true – without examining whether these stories are valid. Because of this lack of scrutiny, components of a skewed masculine system will always rear its head in some form or another.

All races use oppressive powers to subjugate women. But in the case of black men, it’s a special problem. Though hip hop is not the cause of hypermasculinity, it has become a case of the effect intensifying the cause. One could make an argument that the hip hop movement was a forging of black men expressing themselves, to say that “we, too, are human and have something to say.”

But it was doomed from the start. All because it was birthed into a patriarchal world that doesn’t even understand what true masculinity is. Consider the case of the American (U.S.) plantation owner (always a male) who procreated with black women only to leave her to raise the child alone. Then consider the irony of the Moynihan Report, which placed absentee fatherhood as a significant reason for the ills of the Black family. The legacy was passed.

Pop culture has a way of crystallizing the sociological and psychological shortcomings of a cultural agenda. Last week I wrote about the men accosting Katt Stacks. This week, it’s Slim Thug. Next week, and the week after…and the week after, it will most likely be something else.

Until the notion of Black masculinity is reexamined and reconciled, illusion and media-fed drivel will dominate the Black male psyche. Slim Thug’s statements exposed more than just his ignorance. It exposed a deep societal flaw, one that dates back to the birth of America.

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  • Agreed @ThePoshMIss.com he is an ass always have been! Funny how he says all of this but while he was dating Letoya Luckett he got another chick pregnant & she left his a%$ because of it LLS I guess she should have been more understanding & stuck it out w/him instead of leaving ha yeah right! Moving right along…

  • Julius

    This has nothing to do with “patriarchy,” but rather the peculiar Black Male obsession to be white. That’s why black men crave white women so badly: it’s almost an evolutionary desire to “improve” his genes by interbreeding with a human type he instinctively, it seems, believes is superior to himself.

    White men, OTOH, are guilty of something similar to this on the flip side of things (and any white man out there who denies it is lying to you): I once dated a young lady for a long time and things between us got rather serious. Then one day she told me she’d spent eight months dating a black guy, and he slapped her around, treated her like crap, used her as an ATM, all of this sort of business. She was trying to get it “on the record,” so to speak before things got any more serious between us. It’s a human failing, but I simply found it impossible to even touch her any more. I broke up with her a month later using some lame excuse, but she wasn’t fooled. “I should never have told you about DeMarrius (or whatever ridiculous name his mother had given him)!” she yelled at me, crying.

    She was right.

    Now, the afro-centrist will insist this is culturally constructed, while the HBD cultist will claim that rather more base impulses are doing the talking. Silly white people – which is most white people in 2010 – will gush “love is colorblind.” Somewhere in the middle of all that mush is the truth.

    • “this has nothing to do with patriarchy”

      Um who appointed you kind of the world where you can decide whether or not something falls under the realm of patriarchal masculinity?

  • Elle

    I took Slim Thug’s comments as a cry out of insecurity. Men like him complain about a woman wanting him for “his money” but can’t handle a woman that doesn’t have to depend on him. There is a difference. Where is he really meeting these women?
    That is the problem so many men feel like this. As a single black woman, I can not afford to be submissive when I am taking care of myself. But wen I meet that special someone, I understand the roles of being a strong woman and letting my man take the lead. A real man will understand an see that it is not a threat to his manhood, its about her being strong enough to stand behind him. You can’t expect a submissive person understand a plight that they don’t have to experience. So wanting a woman to let her man take the lead, to step down but yet stand behind them is asking for two different things.
    He doesn’t know what he wants it seems.

  • ChoCho

    “Gotta start cooking and be down for their man more”!?

    Negro, please!

    What about all these black male stars/athletes/singers/actors, etc. that HAD a black woman down for them, but then, as soon as they get up, leave her behind??

    Uh, yeah, I’d say that gives a woman (esp. in that situation) a reason to be bitter! And that ish Slim Thug’s spouting is just typical: probably think that if they hook up with a white chick, they’d get great head, no lip, and have them under their thumb without any questions, and figure they can just prance around with them all day, claiming they’re beautiful, and a black woman is not.

    I say if you love them–truly love them, black, white, asian, whatever. Do so. But just because you think they’ll give you less ‘hassle’ than a sister, then these dudes are DUMBER than I thought!!

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