Historically, the images of Black men in the White controlled media have ranged from a threatening, glowering Black giant (like John Henry capable of super-human strength in working for his slavemaster) to the clownish buffoonery and grandiosity (of Amos and Andy’s King Fish) to yet still the docile shuffling of the apparently emasculated Stepin’ Fetchit.
Today, we are faced with a society willing to update these images for modern consumption, but never allowing Black men to define themselves in the role God created them to fulfill.
Case in point: The legal problems devilling Black celebrities are gleefully served up in all of the so-called mainstream media. Why? Is it attempts to slander, accuse and blame these admittedly fallible men and thereby drag the aspirations of young Black boys further down than they already are?
Let us examine the facts. The recent accusations against L.A. Laker Kobe Bryant have occupied hundreds of hours in national news time and there was talk that he might lose some of his commercial endorsements.
Yet, when NBC sportscaster Marv Albert was charged with sexual assault in 1997 and allowed to plead guilty to a lesser offense, his professional reputation remained intact and he can be heard once again on NBC.
Singer songwriter R. Kelly has been pilloried in the press as if he has already been found guilty of the crimes with which he has been charged. Does he not merit consideration under due process of law? Would film director Roman Polanski, a convicted pedophile, be subjected to the same ‘round the clock scrutiny?
Most notably and most recently, Michael Jackson, the King of Pop and beloved around the world has been pre-judiciously persecuted by a campaign of rumors and innuendo originating in America and spreading internationally.
Why? Is it because Mr. Jackson maintains global iconic status in spite of disappointing record sales? Even though Mr. Jackson’s new CD “Number Ones” has only sold 121,000 here where he has been attacked and charged with child sexual abuse, in the United Kingdom, the CD sits at the top of the charts with 400,000 units sold to date.
Who in White society accused of child sexual abuse has been subjected to the continual onslaught that Mr. Jackson awakens to every day?
The double standard is clear. When White public figures are actually convicted of a crime they reap the benefits of a public that is conditioned to forgive White transgressions. Black men face a public that finds them guilty until proven innocent.
Alleged criminal behavior by public figures is always more damaging because it disappoints those for whom those public figures serve as role models. If America wants to continue her charade of being a fair and just place to live, then Black public figures should be entitled to the same rights and protection under the law, which are extended to Whites in every arena of life.
But to salaciously drag the names of these men through the mud of multimedia mischief-making is a crime in and of itself. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has reminded us that Black America must assume control of the projection of our images in art, culture and the popular media.
Members of the Cleveland Browns and other Black professional athletes have recently received threatening hate mail of the most vicious and ugly kind warning them to “stay away from our White women.”
Don’t worry racists, every day Min. Farrakhan is reminding our brothers of the true beauty and lasting satisfaction that they can find only in the arms of the Mother of Civilization, the Black woman. (See point Number 10 in “What The Muslims Want” of The Muslim Program.)
If our people want freedom from wicked character assassinations and attacks on their reputations, we must unite. Remember, shenanigans like these of the White-controlled media remind us that they are not our brothers and the time of this evil world is at hand. We must accept our own and be ourselves.