We’re In This Together – Feminists & The Black Male Struggle
When racists are successful in weakening the black man economically, socially and academically, this has a direct impact on the black woman. In heterosexual black relationships, the relationships are stronger when both individuals are able to contribute financially to the relationships. The fact that black males academically underperform all of their peers throughout the educational pipeline should be important to every black female. This means the American education system is failing black brothers and diminishing the chances they can be positive economic contributors in relationships with black females. Without a quality education, the chances of black brothers finding gainful employment and/or earning a sufficient income are slim.
For black women who are in lesbian relationships or who will be in lesbian relationships, the marginalization and struggles of black males are crucial to you because you don’t want to have to live in an America where you have to simply depend on black women for economic, social, and academic support. If black men are out of the equation of being able to support you in any meaningful way, it will make racists’ jobs easier to prey not only on black lesbians’ race and gender but also on their sexuality. If black lesbians have to face the discriminations of race, gender, and sexuality without any support from black men, this would deepen the marginalization and struggles of black lesbians and black women in general.
While this article will not deny that America is a patriarchal nation, and that black men benefit from “black male patriarchy,” black feminists who are threatened by the minor privileges and power black male patriarchy grants to black men should not allow this to take their focus off how they share a linked fate with black men. Black feminists must remember that although black men have some privileges and power they enjoy because they are male, in a patriarchal nation, they still share a struggle that is interconnected. Yes, black feminists should critique black men who abuse their privileges and power, but those limited privileges and power should not result in them isolating themselves from black men.
In the fight against racism, sexism, discrimination and marginalization, black men and women must realize that solidarity is essential. Our white oppressors must see us stand united against their evil and efforts to tear us to shreds. We have no time, therefore, for intra-racial fighting when our white oppressors are not taking a day off from their singular mission to destroy us.
Will some black feminists always have an unwillingness to work in harmony with black males to fight racism, sexism, discrimination, and marginalization?