Racism and the Angry Black Man Syndrome


A recent op-ed piece in the news reflected that the media may be painting President B.O. as suffering from Angry Black Man Syndrome as a result of his crude comment on the Matt Lauer-hosted “Today” show. The writer went on to describe this racial peculiarity in terms of black parents and educators raising black males to, essentially, hold their tempers in public or there would undoubtedly be heck to pay with their pale counterparts.

Now, I can remember my childhood in the South, the North and the Southwest in the mid-twentieth century and our parents and educators stringently admonished us by both word and deed to hold our temper and I can tell you for certain that nothing was ever mentioned about us having to become temperate because we were little “white” kids. Tantrums and flare-ups were not tolerated then and shouldn’t be now regardless of skin color.

I confess that I am getting more than a little bit weary of the reverse racism being so flagrantly proliferated by pundits and other public figures today, especially in the Black community. Any institution, illness, syndrome, social group or segment of American society can proudly wear the label of “Black” and get away with it in terms of racial protestation but let a similar group describe themselves in terms of “White” and watch all “heck” break loose.

There are Black associations but not white ones; there are Black colleges but what was the last college you saw that was explicitly designated for whites? There are Black syndromes but what syndrome is associated solely with whites or any other race for that matter? There is the NAACP—the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People—but where is the NAAWP—the National Association for the Advancement of White People? There are specific Black sports groups but are there any white ones? Not that I know of, but I could be wrong here.

Black specificity resonates throughout our society today but I can find no other segment of our American culture that so relates African-American successes or failures to their skin color than do Blacks themselves. They seem constantly to define their American experience in those terms whether good or bad. Maybe if they leaned less heavily on skin pigmentation and more on values and sound moral foundations they would experience less of what they like to call racism.

  1. February 15, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    America as a nation is mixed but as a race has only been agreeable to mixing since the 60s (in Legal Terms). Before then America was considered primarily white and organisations such as the White Supremacists and KKK were pro white. If you go to say Nigeria/ Uganda etc you wont find and Black organisations over there because its considered a Black country but if you went to South Africa before the 90s you would find plenty of organisations promoting Whiteness and White Advancement because they are white people in a black land. Just like in South Africa… this will happen. So give it a bit more time. You will probably not see it in your life time but when the scales have been balanced then it will fade away.

  2. Cassandra
    November 25, 2011 at 7:42 am

    I stumbled upon this after coming on line to purposely search for anything that will help me better understand my son (43) and my brothers (59, 57 and 56), all of whom I perceive to be ABM.

    Collectively we have a lot of pain no matter where one falls on the “color” line and I applaud any efforts that foster open, honest and sincere dialogue on race relations.

  3. Jerry
    November 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Thank you for your comments, Cassandra. I appreciate you reading my work.

    Best,
    Jerry Watson

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