Comment: Racism Reinscribed Onto Black Male Bodies In The Guise Of Social Reform In A "Colorblind, Raceless Society"

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Cosby is portrayed as the sexual abuser, unlike Hugh Hefner who has created a fortune from exploitation of women


Social, Cultural Ills, Special Interest Groups, Scapegoats, And Racism

If one were to ask what the Second Civil Rights Revolution of the 1960s was about, specific topics relevant to the revolution would readily come to mind, and it would probably be impossible to answer the question in one word. 

The best answer however would be that the Second Civil Rights Revolution of the 1960s --which occurred in the lifetime of many of us still alive today-- was about a lot of things, such as: racism; white supremacy; social justice; oppression; inequality; feminism and/or women’s rights; Black power; individual and societal violence and abuse; special interests in human and animal rights; and, the list could go on and on. 

The revolution represented a special time in history when we as a people seized opportunities to inform, reform, and transform our world and ourselves into better places and human beings.

We felt capable of creating a better society by attempting to remedy a lot of social problems around us, which had dogged our lives for a long time. The Second Civil Rights Revolution of the 1960s was a time for lofty aspirations, a time to reach for the stars. 

The sky was the limit, and many bought into that unique moment in time and believed that they could change the world into a better place—sometimes for all, but always for self. 

Great things came out of the revolution only to be twisted by time.  A case in point is the all-time elusive Civil Rights for Blacks which time has since eroded and taken back. 

However, not so in the case of Civil Rights for White women—that was a winner, riding on the back of the Second Civil Rights Revolution of the 1960s.

And we can still see today how their winning momentum continues to play out.    

We saw it in their special interest in animal rights and the way they promoted their cause for reform.  We are seeing it again, more recently, in their interest in child abuse and abuse of and domestic violence against women, which has also expanded to include other cultural ills involving sexual abuse and exploitation of women via date rape and drugs in which women are made into sexual victims.

All of the above are long-standing, social problems in our cultural fabric that deserve repair and/or elimination. 

There is no doubt about that; however, where there may be dissension in bringing about such worthwhile causes may be in procedure and motive of special interest groups who take on these worthwhile causes for social/culture reform. 

Motives should emanate from a place of purity that embraces procedures to achieve social change on a grand scale for all. 

Motives and procedures should never be about attempting to effect worthwhile social change by exacerbating other social ills that also direly need social/cultural reform. 

What I am alluding to is what appears to be the singling out of wealthy Black professional athletes and entertainers to draw public support for social problems special interest groups have recently identified for social reform. 

What I see as a built-in problem to their approach is that they appear to be seeking solutions to specific social problems by heaping the problems on the back of other long-standing social/cultural problems, such as racism.

The end result will be that, while the desired social change may be obtained by attaching the social problems to wealthy Blacks, it will have been achieved unfairly at the expense of exacerbating other social/cultural problems such as racism that are also as direly in need of reform. 

Furthermore, in the case of using wealthy Black professional athletes and entertainers as scapegoats for social change, the ugly reality that results from such an approach looks, feels, and acts like invisible Jim Crow racism, intended to diminish their wealth and economic livelihood, ruin and/or tarnish their professional careers and reputations, and decimate and/or destabilize resources available to individual Blacks and Blacks, in general.    

Major League Violence, Scapegoats, And Feminist Special Interest Groups

Major league violence, as in the NFL, gives feminist special interest groups convenient scapegoats that can be used as double-edged swords to promote their social causes, while also carrying out Jim Crow type of attacks against Blacks and keeping a system of racial caste intact.

In each of the cases of interest noted above, symbolic racism, also known as invisible racism, played and is playing a critical role in gaining attention for social causes White feminists care about.

It has also assisted feminists in gaining positions to push their causes forward for social reform on the backs of Black males.

In each of the cases mentioned above, highly public and affluent Black men have been made into poster-children for representing social ills in our culture of ills, needing reform.  Professional sports and the entertainment field are great places to find a predominance of successful Black men White feminists can go after to cut down and then use to change social culture, while preserving racial caste at the same time.

Professional sports and the entertainment field are providing special interest groups, made up primarily of White women, with the most visible, exceptionally talented, well-known, wealthy, and successful Black men in the world.

These are Black men whose economic profile is off the chain in the racial paradigm that defines racial caste which still thrives in our society, contrary to popular beliefs. The cultural legacy of racial caste is still as alive and well today as ever before, contrary to progressive social/racial images the media feed us.

Unfortunately, the truth is that racial caste remains deeply rooted in cultural legacies that continue to define us as a people and a nation. For example, the recent attacks on wealthy Black professional athletes and entertainers indicate that they are being unfairly profiled and scapegoated for social problems in our society. 

They are held up and blamed as if they are the cause of whatever the social problems are for which they are being accused and for which they must be criminalized and punished. 

The punishment is to take away their economic livelihood—their jobs and whatever other economic advantages that come with their jobs. 

The racist pattern is to target famous Black athletes and, more recently, entertainers to draw attention to certain social problems in society that need to be legislated and criminalized for change and/or eradication.   The plan of special interest groups is to bring about social and/or cultural change on the backs of wealthy Black males at the expense of their economic and professional livelihoods and careers while, at the same time, carry out a racist agenda of keeping Blacks “in their place,”  which is always about White supremacy and  having economic advantages.

Consequently, the Black males will be subjected to negative stereotyping, maligning, criminalizing, hating, and punishing in ways intended to strip them of their economic livelihoods and professional reputations which they have worked hard to have and which are irrelevant to the social reform they are being used to effect.

What boggles my mind is why, for example, wealthy Black professional athletes and entertainers are targeted to be stripped of their professional and economic livelihoods, which are separate from the social ills in our culture for which they are being blamed.

The social problems to which they have been attached are problems that have existed long before their time—yet they are being economically disadvantaged and/or deprived, as well as economically and criminally punished, in ways that will/can cripple them economically and professionally for life. This is where the attacks unravel.

The attacks upon these men and their race, in general, are both sinister and morally unfair. But we have seen them all before.  However, in the minds of special interest groups who are driving these attacks, there is nothing to be lost, but everything to be gained, as long as they get from the attacks what they want which will greatly benefit them more than anyone else. 

After all, who cares about racism and/or classism today?  However, those of us who have a moral conscience should care, simply for the reason that the effects of the attacks on wealthy Black men impact Blacks, collectively, and all of us, generally.  There lies the intent and the rub of wrongfully making scapegoats of wealthy Black men for what generally ails society—it is wrong and unfair, and we all pay and suffer in the end.  If, for no other reason, this racist pattern against Blacks, in general, and this economic attack on them, specifically, must be publicly recognized, called out, and addressed, for the greater good.    

The successful, affluent Black men so far who have been made into scapegoats for social change in the media include but may not be limited to Michael Vick, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Jonathan Dwyer, Ray McDonald, and of course Bill Cosby, of all people—a 77-year-old senior citizen who, according to racial stereotypes,  just won’t stay in his place in these economic Jim Crow times. 

So, as a result, he now is being accused of sexual misconduct 50 years ago by women whose victim-hood seems suspect, to say the least.  But, then again, what is one to expect?  He, after all, is no Hugh Hefner, who has built an empire on sexual exploitation of women and a career as a professional playa and womanizer.

His empire is worth millions which will provide economic security, as well as a dubious legacy, for his heirs for generations to come.

But who is trying to scapegoat Hefner as a poster-child for reforming a culture that sexually exploits and abuses women by attempting to tear Hefner down and cause him to lose his economic livelihood and professional career and reputation? 

As always, the name of the game is double standards for blacks and whites! We still are unequal, no matter which rung on the socio-economic ladder we cling to!  Therefore, the race struggle is not over.


Dr. Joyce Watford is an educator and a Descendant of American Slaves, who also participated in and lived through the Civil Rights Revolution of the 1960s.© 2014 

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