Black Male Syndrome

What’s with this title? We know certain things about Black males, but to address this topic as a syndrome indicates that there may be a pattern or aggregate of symptoms and signs characteristic of a specific condition in reference to Black males. Even though black males come in all shapes, forms, educational backgrounds, economical status, positions of power or privilege; stages of maturity, growth, and development; or even various likenesses and differences, there is still an aggregate of something that is distinctly a black male. This “thing” or persona has all but disappeared from pop culture. At one point it was referred to as Soul; brothers had Soul. I’m not sure if that term is still apropos, or even true?

It is easy to look at the big picture and see a negative connotation as you see the aggregate. There are certainly more negative images we see daily that paint a rather dark overall picture of black males. At the same time we see so many popular and successful Blacks at the forefront of society, namely our first Black President, scores of top level black professionals, professional athletes, gifted entertainers, Black CEOs’, and other very successful black males who are at the very top of their prospective games. Thanks to television shows like the Cosby Show, now we see blacks portraying images of successful people in all walks of life. That was not the situation just a short time ago when blacks were only portrayed in less-than-successful positions.

While there certainly are many males who have done quite well, the majority of our black males do not fit this mold. Most fall under the poverty line. Most are not well-educated. Most are not very successful by society’s standards. The fact is; the job of equalization of our males in America has not even made it to first base yet. We have miles to go before we can claim the dream that Martin Luther King spoke about in his famous speech, “I Have a Dream.”

There is a danger in becoming overly complacent to the point that we no longer push for equality, or fight for what is fair, right and decent. Since I have endeavored to learn how to work the system I have found a few inroads and have overcome many hurdles along the way to claiming my status in the “middle class.” My children are growing up not even knowing or appreciating our battle or what we had to go through just to be in this position. In a sense we literally had to break through walls that blocked us from achieving our God-given rights as human beings. We were denied civil rights, human rights, and the right to live freely and prosper. We fought many battles and overcame many hurdles, but the battle is far from over, even to this day.

I am not advocating violence, civil unrest, revolution, or anything that has to do with chaos. I am not against anyone nor do I wish to take anything away from those who “have.” I simply want an equal chance to gain what is available with the full protection of the law and the government on my side and on the side of all people that were formerly, and still are in many cases, denied an equal chance to succeed.

With Black males overall there has been a strategic policy for too many years to stack the deck against them. Our history books confirm this fact. First it was through bondage, then segregation, then by purposefully stacking the decks against them. When people have been kept in a state of poverty, denial, suppression, shame, guilt, or whatever negative mental state for so long the first thing that must happen is to convince them that they are not any of those negative terms. Those conditions were forced upon them against their will for centuries at a time.

After keeping a people in the worst of conditions and denying them the opportunity to get trained in order to fit into the system, it will take perhaps another century or perhaps even several decades and generations just to eradicate that mind-set before healing is possible.

Blacks who have overcome the many hurdles that kept our people down will need to teach others against the mental conditioning of poverty and lower-class thinking. If you believe you are lower class that is what you are. That is not what our people are; it was the condition that was forced upon them. We can no longer look back and give anyone the button to push that dictates who we are. They (the evil system) took the lid off the jar a while back and did not care what happened to us from that point forward.

Now it’s up to us to come together and become the help, become the assistance, become the helping hand, become our brother’s keeper, and to lift up a people to the water level and above. We have been down far too long. We have had about enough of that syndrome. However, it will not change until and unless we make, and become the change.

As a Black man my fight is not with the current white man. My fight is no longer against the system. My main battle is with the condition that makes me think that I am “less than” or, “not worthy of.” My battle is over the ownership of my mental state and condition. I’m not mad, angry, volatile, or revengeful. The last thing we need now is angry, mad, volatile, revengeful black males stirring up a fit. It’s not even necessary. All we need to do is reverse what was done to us; to become a collective of people like most races and capture the power that we have amongst us.

We could feed every black baby in America if that were our goal. We know how to work hard and to overcome any sort of insurmountable odds necessary. We did it before for this country by force. We can do it again this time with the love for our people. In order to eradicate the final chains of bondage that hold us back today we must break the mental bondage that comes with poverty thinking. It is not who we are, it is what happened to us.

No offense to my white friends, neighbors, and associates. For if they are my true friends they know the truth and love that comes from my heart. They also know the truth that resonates from this written message. We can certainly use all the assistance, support, and love from any race who is willing to step up to the plate and do what is right in order to correct a mile-high stack of wrongs that were done in the past. We must do something about this “Black Male Syndrome,” and it must be done fast.

7 Responses to “Black Male Syndrome”

  1. Thanks, Greg for your viewpoint and the courage to put the subject on the table for discussion. Dialogue is essential toward addressing what you call the “BMS”. Although you stated the condition eloquently, I believe the solutions are far to complex to articulate in a blog. To turn around 350 years of negative “mental conditioning” is a Herculean task to say the least. We are talking revolution here, Revolution of humanity. I don’t believe that their is a separation between the “black man syndrome” and “whole society syndrome”.
    Just like there is no separation between the HIV and AIDS.
    Our whole society has been infected with this negative mental conditioning. It exist in our religion, education , government and our personal and collective mindset.

    The black man problem is not black people’s problem no more than the female, gay, child protection, environmental, man inhumanity to man problems (and the list goes on and on) should be regulated to a certain group to solve or fix. In this line of thinking I believe lies the problem. When we transform our way of viewing these societal issues, we will be on the road to transforming the conditions we see that need to change. How can this happen? I believe that our society need a strong philosophical base to unite around that is not presently the status quo. To some degree religion has failed, and has been more of the problem than the solution. Government has failed us with their selfish interests. Our belief in the Almighty dollar, Euro, or whatever currency you subscribe to has not been the answer. Perhaps the answer lies in Divine or extraterrestrial intervention, or perhaps it lies in the untapped depths of our own humanity. I suspect the latter and believe that we have a better chance for changing this from a wholelistic approach, rather than piecemeal approach.

  2. admin says:

    Thank you Mr. Rogers for your thoughtful and well-stated reply. As you indicated, this is not just a “Black” problem. We are a nation of people so what affects a part also affects the whole. That would be like me trying to ignore the right side of my body or pretend it wasn’t there. I agree as well that most of our systems that we relied upon in the past are no longer affective. We can’t keep trying the same old things when they are no longer working. As a matter of fact, they never did work, they only appeased us for a temporary moment. Rather than waiting on anyone to assist our race or to correct our problem we must take the lead and become the correction. When you are waiting on others to solve your problem you are under their power. We don’t need anyone if we came together and start working on the problems we clearly see in front of us. Yes, this is a big problem but as you know, you have to eat a big elephant one bite at a time. With many mouths and many teeth we can eat that elephant much faster than trying to do it alone.

    Thanks again for your comments. -Peace-

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  4. greg1 says:

    You can contact me at my gmail address. it is gmrealmen@—-

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