What Is Wrong With The Black Man?

by Michael Oluwagbemi II

“I for one believe that if you give people a thorough understanding of what confronts them and the basic causes that produce it, they’ll create their own program, and when the people create a program, you get action.”
Malcolm X.

In recent times I have been pondering over this question (indeed inspired by contributions of certain NVS and NIA contributors)…and have been lost for a single answer. Not as if I think that a single answer exists but try I will still try. Think about it, in every society the black man finds himself, he is at the lowest wrung of the society. Lowest in income, education, and health in America (perhaps the world) and highest in every available negative index: crime, prison stewardship, poverty, HIV etc. It so sad, that even beyond America they are the lords of distant lands that are the epitome of poverty, disease, corruption, and bad government. The black man of the world, is basically is a walking laughing joke- a buffoon. We sit over the world most mismanaged economy from Caribbean (read Jamaica and Haiti) to Africa (read Nigeria and Zimbabwe) and even Australia (read Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands). Anywhere we find our selves, we have been a disgrace to manhood and a symbol of everything wrong with the human race.

The black man has lost respect for his person and has such sacrificed respect even amongst his peers. We traded our kinfolks and then whined about slave trade. We submitted sheepishly to the master’s orders and complain about a lopsided World Economic Order. While the Indian, Mulatto (Brazilian), Chinese and Russian male freed themselves from global inequality by the power of their brain and brawn, the black man is still held hostage to himself. We have been left behind in the latest wave of world economic development. How then can we stake claim to a thinking mind, as someone recently posited? It is so bad that the few ones respected amongst us have to either go to jail or get shot multiple times. You doubt what I just say? Please think Nelson Mandela, Olusegun Obasanjo, and 50 Cent (Gracing Forbes –white man capitalism – magazine this month). All “ex-jail men” or ex-ER room patients!

A race without leadership is doomed and headed to perdition. The black man has ceded his birthright position of leadership in our communities to no one but our women. We blame it on everything but ourselves. Some say is slavery, some blame feminism and other invincible gibberish. How about ourselves? What role did we play in getting into this quagmire? We have been out-maneuvered, outfoxed, and out-meandered in the global world economic and political order that we have been left with our pants hanging. Women respect three things in men: knowledge, money, and power. We have lost on those three counts to our women- at least in America – the melting pot of the world. More black women graduate in college than black men…at the last count with a three to one advantage. In addition, this boosts their earning power when they leave school and make them really not need any black man. Who needs a dead beat or a jail bird? We are rotting in prisons across the country while the black woman is expanding in knowledge, seeing the world and really just envisioning us as stud machine! Haba! The only logical reason the black woman will ever go into bed with us this day is for the common good: so that the black race will not become extinct. What have we to offer?

In the sphere of money and power, it is so easy to see why we are playing catch up with our women in God’s own country: America. America is a leveler many will say- we do not have the advantage of selfishness, oppression, and arrant madness going on in our respective land of origins. Be it Africa, Pacific, or the Americas. In the United States of America, Uncle Sam is the boss and the black women don’t have to answer to anyone! Not even you Massa. What is the end result? The richest and most powerful black people in America and perhaps in the world today are women. Ditto, read Oprah Winfrey and Condi Rice: the richest black person in America and Madam Secretary of State respectively. Now you see why I think the lot of the black man is a losing proposition.

What is wrong with the black man? Even in Nigeria, our women are showing us up; they have proven to be better managers and have earned the trust of the general public in their exemplary public service in the current democratic dispensation. Go to the Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Education, Solid Minerals, Due Process Unit, NAFDAC, Transcorp-NSE and you will see how Nigerian women are cleaning up the mess left by their ignoble men. Of course some of the few capable men have taken the easier route of taking comfort in the ease of life created in foreign lands by other male species of different color. We have become been-to, tokunboh and other terms used for us including hyphenated nationality; people without identity and pride of place. All in exchange for developing our guest homes while our own rot away in total oblivion handed over to men whose only claim to manhood is what dangles between their thighs. We have handed the key of the armory to the enemy and lost the respect of our women. Which kind of man runs away from his trouble?

Bad part of course is that many amongst us will not even acknowledge we have a problem. Oh, we blame everyone but ourselves. We blame the system, we blame the hate. Everyone hates the black man we are quick to say. We walk around with victim mentality. Once upon a time it was the white man conspiring against us, now it is so hard to prove that the Indian, Chinese, and Brazilian men were into that conspiracy as well. We now throw the books at our women: we blame them for being assimilated by the destructive ideology called feminisms but we don’t see our culpability of leaving them with no option. At least we gave them cause to move to the West when we destroyed our respective homelands; so how can we turn around to blame them for choosing to put their brains where their livelihood is? How many of us are contented with what we have and don’t live everyday as if it were our last? We don’t invest, or expand our horizon. We splurge money on big this and big that to reflect on our inferiority complex while we make the white man and his peers around the world richer. We are buying drugs and destroying our youths, yet we leave the drug routes and drug business infrastructure to the Mexicans and Columbians. Why? We are the best athletes in the world, yet the white man is getting rich being the NBA commissioner, sports club owners and promoters! Vis-à-vis for music; we loathe ourselves so much and we are locked in a cycle of fratricidal killing- Biggie killed Tupac and Abacha killed Yaradua. From Nigeria where the policeman shoots his fellow citizen men at random to America where the inner city black male is killing his contemporaries in drove, we are killing each other like no tomorrow. We hate each other and have an endemic complex. We buy foreign goods and treat our own with contempt; how else will you explain talking down on Aba while its counterpart in Taipei is frequented by your ilk?

For the progress of the entire black race, positive change is inevitable. Once upon a time, the black man was king. In the time of the black Pharaohs who ruled Egypt and those that sat over the affairs of Nubia, we reigned like men sh

ould reign. We lead the world. It has not always been like this – once upon a time we were the custodian of civilization, technology, and good government.It is time to return to Nubia. Hence, we must turn a new leaf and enter a new era. We must take back first the leadership of our homes and be called “real” men instead of the sissy mentality we are currently exhibiting. We must be responsible for our actions and free ourselves from what the Abami Eda called “Colomentality”. We must stop blaming others for our actions and see through our own folly. We must go back to school and apply what we learn for the development of our homeland. We must stop the self hate, understand the concept of cooperative domination, and that investing in the future involves making the hard decisions of self effacement and discipline right now. We should not expect the black woman to hand leadership back to us: we must take it back. It is a capitalist world, and you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate and work hard for. We must demonstrate that as black men we deserve the leadership we have abdicated in the past. We can only succeed when we put our best foot forward.

Last Line:

People go to Africa and confirm what they already have in their heads and so they fail to see what is there in front of them. This is what people have come to expect. It’s not viewed as a serious continent. It’s a place of strange, bizarre, and illogical things, where people don’t do what common sense demands.
Chinua Achebe

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BabyBaby February 25, 2011 - 3:32 pm

I wonder why there are so many non-nigerians on this site and what thir interest would be in poor devloping african nations such as nigeria…you say go to africa (as if it is one country) and be confirmed of its poverty…but let me tell you it is us black people who are seeing “africa” in those eyes….if not why woulld you have whiteys, indians, asians, etc…setting up in various african counrties- why do you have the expatriate communites in various countries- what do they see in our countries that we “bufoons” do not see? I do not agree with you…blacks can feel victiminzed because they are…i dont feel blacks should wallow in that role but truly they are…. But anyway, with all the positing you have done- wondering whether the black man is a bufoon, is he lazy, why doesnt he step up to the plate? Please stop. Don’t be sooo naive. With all the talents of black people- you know Nigeria in particular has alot of intelligent people, with all our ingenuity as a race, creativity, our willing to hussle, and etc., – do you think that blacks be they Africans, be they Carribeans- do you think that their condtions is because of their doing? DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT there are forces designed to keep the black man be him African or whatever in the condition that they are in. Example- someone cited South Africa as an example what is the difference between that country and its neighbor? Isn’t that whites ruled and are very vested in that county? Come on now, don’t be so naive and so insecure to think that black man is inherently inferior or incapable of leadership- because thats what this stuipisd article posits and the few whites/asians on this site are supporting that. Wheher you want to be believe it or not whitwes have put the structure in place to make sure your country (Nigeria) through their behind the scenes activity and other black counrties/nations remain the way it is. There is no coincidence that all black countries look the same- it is by design.

UgoBabe February 25, 2011 - 3:08 pm

Good words my friend…….

John Smith July 27, 2010 - 1:07 pm

4 years later and a (half) black man is the most powerful person in the world! This brings me to my first point- anyone is capable of anything but a persons success is largely governed by what happens when they are young. Therefore it is highly up to the parents whether or not their child succeeds.

Opportunities come sparsely to the average child, it is up to the parents to ensure that their child gets more than the parent had- if you can't do this for the child then don't bring it into the world, period. Parents need to show some responsibility, talking from England I can confirm that the black man has performed as the stereotypes dictate for as long as I have cared about this stuff. I am not black. I am mixed race asian/white but I have black, white and asian friends and two parents who tried very hard to provide for my brother and I. This brings me to another point about cultures- most mixed race marriages fail because of a culture clash.

My Dad of asian decent follows the asian stereotype of a strong belief in education but I do not believe this is a bad stereotypical attribute- education is the only thing that can free people from poverty. In his home country his mother and father could not read but he is the eldest of his brothers and they all managed to move to England and educate themselves, one becoming a barrister and another a surgeon. My father took it upon himself to also teach his brothers and is the type to take a fall or hold back if it means he can help someone else progress- you could say he is a nice guy that arguably finished last compared to where he could have been. Nevertheless he is a selfless man and without him I would probably be roaming the streets.

From a young age my dad took an interest in our education and provided me with the same help my brother also got (he is 5 years older) but we took it two different ways. Both my brother and I were top students but also blessed with athletic ability as my father ensured we play sports, music and other activities to develop ourselves which is what parents do not do enough these days. As a result we managed to retain respect with our teachers without losing it with the other children. My mother is white, from a lower class family who in England have noticeably different culture to the upper class and it seems black people have replaced this type of culture- living in council houses and ghettos where often it is solely black people. The same families have been living there for years, they are unsuccessful and their children are friends with the other children who grow up with the mentality that they will also be unsuccessful. The successful families move out whilst the unsuccessful families reside and their children fight and die to protect their turf- this is ignorance and occurs because the children have lost hope. They have no desire as it is taken out of them by what they are surrounded by. People often refer to these situations as a barell of crabs- when one tries to escape the others will grab him and pull him back down. Eventually that crab will stop trying.

When my brother was in his teens, working a paper round to pay for a holiday he wanted to go out on a school night one time and my dad said no. My mother said yes and after a while my dad gave in. After this first time my brother started going out more and more, keep in mind he was still young and at an argueably very susceptable age. As this increased I found out he was smoking weed with those he went out with, he slowed any sports because of it, his grades were adequate as he was able to do well without trying due to a good education when he was young- to go off point quickly I think developing a child when they are young to read, do challenging problems etc is essential to making their learning a lot easier when they are older as I have seen it evident in my brother and many friends who seem to be able to learn without trying. To get back to my point he was generally going off the rails- started DJing at 16/17 at a radio station, then to clubs and was exposed at a young age to a lot of things. He picked up a heavy addiction to drugs and sold a host of them, he was granted unprecedented grace by an unexplainable force and was never caught or involved in anything serious like many of his friends no longer on this world. He didnt complete his A-levels and never went to university or as yet achieved anything close to what he could have. Unfortunately, most of his close friends were black and as a young boy I had constantly seen on the news the endeavor of the black man- as was the media in England back then. I never bought into the claims and stereotypes as I had a host of black friends who were on par, if not better than me in education and aspects of life. This has fuelled my ongoing fascination with why it still seems to be the case that stabbings, shootings, fights and muggings are so highly commited by black men even thought they are amongst the monority, and why similar behaviour is not evident with asians etc. I would like to highlight now from experience that asians and whites commit equal amounts of crimes, but they either get away with it or it is not reported in the media. I do not know why this is. Most of the drug dealers I know are asian, a prison guard I know says his prison is majority asian, so why are these going unnoticed by the public? I don't know. All I know is its not a "black thing" and probably never has been.

My brother's actions affected me as well. I was never allowed to get a job and was told to focus on my studies. Granted I smoked weed and drank but I was not allowed out on a school night and when I was out I was able to make the right decisions. Underage drinking and smoking was not the right decision but I had the ability to avoid it if I so desired which I don't think my brother did- I had a certain will-power (or guilt, a conscience that my brother lacked for a long time). I graduated from university with honours but have a lazy nature about me which I credit to a lack of job when I was younger. It is important to show children real responsibilty when they are young so they can value things when they are older but I believe strong values need to be instilled early on so when they are sent out into the world they can make the right choices. No parent can stop their child from going out when they are 14/15years old but the values need to be there so they can make the choice- even if they get caught up in something (as I have) they can make the choice to get out. They can decide that there is another route. They can see that their parents did not have nearly as much as they do today and they can see what hard work can get them.

If a parent is missing it does not spell disaster for the child, it does mean that they will seek guidance elsewhere so the remaining parent must capitalise on remaining family who are good role models, successful men and women to show the child what is possible and lead them.

If education is missing it does not spell disaster, but values, responsibility and a sense of morality need to be drilled into the child or chaos will follow. A person without education is not dumb. If the opportunity was there, who is to say what they could have achieved. An uneducated person does not need to be ignorant, as it is ignorance that had caused the downfall of the black man.

THINGS ARE IMPROVING. Black boys were continuously at the bottom of the education system but in the past two years (in england) they have out performed english white boys and pakistani boys in many subjects. I believe it is because although many of this generation of parents came from single mother homes, many will IGNORANTLY think "if I did not have a father, why should my child" but most will know that to stop the vicious circle it only takes one person to break it.

I apologise for the long rant but I have a real interest in this subject and feel black people are given a bad rep- I would argue that the white culture formed the black men here today but it is time people started taking responsibility for their own actions, the parent should and does make the child. Children are like sponges when they are very young, at this age if all they see is sadness, drugs, fighting and police it makes it very hard for them to imagine anything different.

Pat March 10, 2010 - 3:42 pm

Great article. Young black men are a drain on our society. A parasite. A failure. I’m white man with open eyes. Just saying what I see and believe.

Tiffany December 14, 2009 - 10:10 pm

I love your article.

Aga November 15, 2009 - 10:55 pm

See, when you mention other countries that are doing well, don’t forget to list how many wars and bloodshed they went through to get where they were…

Africa has a lot of corrupt people posing as leaders and aspiring leaders at the top and that’s why its so unstable…

For Africa and black people to rise up, each and every conscious-minded black man has to be willing to shed blood the blood of traitors and saboteurs or his own to further the cause…

So unless you are willing to colonise, conquer, rape, enslave and massacre a large number of people to make a point as whites have done, we will never get anywhere because the corrupt folks know that there are no consequences for screwing up at the top…

If you wanted a country like Nigeria to become better overnight, you have to kill off the old crew that has been in and around government since independence. Also, if every corrupt government official who is found is killed or constantly hounded by the Nigerian citizens wherever they try to hide, they will realize that they can never do what they do and get away with it?

We know that the children of Nigerian politicians and hangers-on are abroad in various countries. How many Nigerians have tried to track down, harass, expose and have these people deported back to Nigeria for trial?

How many of the Nigerian scammers have targetted the Swiss bank accounts of the looters of Nigeria’s fortune?

We can all sit here and moan all day but WHO WILL BELL THE CAT? WHO IS WILLING TO DO WHAT IT TAKES TO GET THERE?

While we are in the gutter we need to go with the gutter methods… A lot of people have to be wiped out before things improve to set an example. Until you do that, black and african people are just flapping their gums…

Cyril Okere February 16, 2009 - 9:35 am

Your article left me feeling chastised and pained. Perhaps such agitation it evokes is what is needed to jerk us out of our mass slumber. Those who oppose your views are entitled to their views and should express them. But in doing so, they should not shoot the messenger. Thanks for the piece

Gabriel Norbert January 21, 2009 - 8:05 am

I agree with you. The black man has a long way to go. Most of us are not proud of who we are and where we come from and no effort has ben made to bring a cahnge that will make us love oueself, what we have and where we come from.

dax July 8, 2007 - 11:27 pm

Good insight… As a neutral observer, I find the "victim mentality" and the sense of entitlement of many black men disturbing especially in the light of the successes and inroads gained by their women.

Asuquo Ema July 21, 2006 - 12:46 pm

What is wrong with the black man? Why has the black man gone astray and is still going astray while others are moving ahead? I have often wondered about this myself especially since migrating to the United States thirteen years ago.

I will use the word "Black" and not "African" to address us as a people because I personally think the word "African" has been misused all over the globe especially when it comes to identity issues.

We as a people are always quick to blame others for our problems instead of taking responsibility for our actions. In Africa we blame the European colonialists for our plight but at the same time we run to them for help whenever we are facing a crisis that we can't handle. We weren't the only continent to be colonialized – Look at Asia – Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. They are doing much better than us! China is now emerging as one of the superpowers of world and even India is gaining ground. The rest of the world has always come to our aid but we are still begging. In America, some of the Blacks are always quick to blame the white man as the main reason they are lagging behind economically but at the same time I see immigrants from Asia and Latin America doing well despite the fact that English isn't their first language. I must also point out that African immigrants do very well despite facing so many odds at starting their lives all over again.

Show me one Black Nation that is currently being ruled by a Black leader that is doing well economically. Is it Jamaica, Lesotho, Nigeria, Democractic Republic of the Congo, Equitorial Guinea or Haiti? Haiti gained it's independence from France in the 1800's but look at it today! It's one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. It's beyond third world description. The racist observer will just say "Put the black man in charge and all hell gets loose".

I have always used this proverb which says "The truth is a bitter pill to swallow". I have used this proverb in several of my comments I have made on this website. People don't want to hear the truth. They would rather avoid it or just shift it aside. South Africa is one of the few countries in the African continent that is doing well economically and that has very good infrastructure. The truth is that country was built by European Settlers! Yes! They oppressed the majority black population and other minority racial groups but THEY BUILT THAT COUNTRY! If it were left to we blacks that country could have been plagued by ethnic violence and poverty like any other African country in the continent. I know that I have probaly offended several people with this comment especially the blacks in South Africa who aggressively fought instituionalized racism (Apartheid) for years but I want to be honest and frank with readers. I have this terrible gut feeling inside me that tells me that in a few years South Africa will be like Zimbawe. Zimbawe was once like South Africa when it gained it's independence from majority white rule in the 1980's but look at it today. It's just another poverty stricken African country. Some observers have pointed out that in a few years South Africa will be just another third world nation. Time will certainly tell.

The perfect example I will use as a country that illustrates everything that has gone wrong with the black race in this world is Nigeria. A country that has many intellectuals and professionals but still hasn't got it right! A country that seriously lacks organizational skills or vision for a better tomorrow. If there was a black nation that was to be shown as an example to the rest of the world that black people can effectively govern themselves democratically it was Nigeria but unfortunately that can't be said because of obvious reasons.

The black man should start to learn from others especially from the Asians. It's only here in America that in a predominantly black neighborhood you will see an Asian store selling black hair products. We have become more of "Consumers" than "Producers"

Blackqueen July 20, 2006 - 10:42 am

I agree with this article. Great Article Mikey. The black man needs to Man-up, they have made excuses for too long. There are reasons why we are in the condition we are in, but what are the reasons that keep us there?

Lack of Courage I believe is the main reason.

Anonymous July 11, 2006 - 11:10 am

Very will put. This article ironicly reminds me of the article publisb in the New Times on March 20 ,06 "Plight Deepens For Black Men, Studies Warn"

By ERIK ECKHOLM. We are living in the time were the world have change from Biblical to present of human exitance days to now. Development of the mental and physical well being. Where ironically money has always been use as motivation.

However I'll have to agree with you collectively we black men are doing ot to our sellves. And the sad reality of the situation is waht make proverb like " The apple doesn't fall far away form the tree" materialize. All we have to do is keep educated our younger brothers mentorring, Father sticking to the family taking care of things.

How do you evplain the alarming rather of single african american family.

"A little about me"

I was raise in a house hold in Liberia where my grand father had 3 wifes. I know what some might be thinking "FOUR Wives? Yes four wives. But as fra as support for a family he had it all laid out. real estates, rubber plantage, cocoa, sugar cane which materialize/processed into (cane juice) ,rum,. He had total support mechaniizim for him population.if you know what I mean. He had over 30 childern. At the age of 27 I have uncles and aunts that are far younger that I.

But that goes to say we as blak me must develope our self to support our families and stop putting the burden on the women these days.

A female might say how did the wives feel about sharing a man.

Well I an African traditional and Amerian educated, I will have to say is interest to think about it. These are some question I like interview and ask those women for those days.

The emotion side of me say it was unfair. Could it have been the same story ironically the did not have enough right or say so? And the man were suprpose to be dominant. And the slept with out gran fathers to grow the population?

Well my granmother who was the head wife "father's mother" seem happy as I remembered the woman I knew her to be.

We need to wake up and take care ourselves.

We keed to get us to the era where

"the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned.

King Hailes Salassie

one love

NNAMDI ORAKPO July 9, 2006 - 9:47 pm

I agree with this article in totality. I would also like to add that there is a design needing to be dismantled by the consciousness of the people. Education, Creativity, knowledge of Self and African History and Economics are essential elements. I also blame empowered people who do not empower their community, as many are unaware and oblivious as to how the world is evolving, and where they stand in the evolutionary process. We, the Talented Tenth are taking things for granted, ignoring the conditions of Global communities, and assume that everyone is totally responsible for their ignorance and situation. Some people are born into poverty, and illiteracy; its not a chosen lifestyle, its inherited. People need exposure, they catalysts, stimulators, activators and cultivators to nurture the seeds which already reside within.

Ruby July 9, 2006 - 3:35 pm

I dont agree with you…the picture is not so bleak…you really want to know what is wrong with the Black man? Its the way you see your self, thats what! If you see your self as a grasshopper…then you are a grasshopper…if you see yourself as a bufoon then you are a buffoon! Do you know who makes you see yourself as such….take a wild intelligent guess! Agreed our nation (Im a Nigerian) is fraught with developmental problems, corruption etc…do you know why? Because of Poverty mentality! You can be the richest man in the world and be be poverty concious…thats what makes the average African leader steal. He greww up in such lack that when he got to place of plenty he decided to stuff his pockets cos he doesnt want to be poor again…we need to start looking at the positive picture and not what the white man wants you to think. Most as you say come with a preconcieved notion of what they want Africa to be that even when they see different they refuse to change thier story. They control the media and what people think so if they want you to think about someone/something in a certain way, they do. A friend of mine was working in one of the big media corporations in America and gave it all up to come home and start her own production outfit…she is making more money in her home contry than she ever made abroad. She is respected and treated with dignity and is doing jobs that she can only dream of doing in Amereica.I dont believe being rich is a sign of successfulness if so why do so many commit suicide and complain of loneliness…we have a culture and a warmth the White man could die for…they pump thier lips with collagen and tan their skin to look like us…yes they tell us to tellourselves we are 'úgly', bufoons'and whatever negative word they want to level at us. The problem with the Black man my brother, is they way you look at yourself. God created you black and beautiful. If anyone has a problem with that, too bad! Go meet the Man Upstairs and tell Him he is stupid for creating some people Black, white, brown and yellow. If He likes variety, who the hell (excuse my French!) we argue with Him with our small myopic minds. "God created Man and said he was very good"…and I agree with Him.

Todd July 8, 2006 - 7:08 pm

As a "thinking" white man, I belive I can step back from my innate racism and look at your article with an objective eye.

So much of what you say rings true, that it seems impossible to argue with. I hope we can all get it together.

Anonymous July 6, 2006 - 9:49 pm

Good words.


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