Black Man Hunting And Posterizing

By Walter L. Hilliard III


Where are the Black men when Hollyweird or the mainstream media wants a leading man or is creating a dramatic series or holds a panel discussion on a morning news show?  No, you cannot find Black men on TV or in the movies – unless they’re up to no good or exhibiting a proclivity for putting on women’s clothing and acting like girls, you know, like Martin Lawrence, Tyler Perry, Eddie Murphy, or any one of the Wayans brothers.   Or Hollyweird just wants to feel “comfortable” so they bring Bill Cosby in to make them laugh . . . or Ill Bill, himself, finds his own airtime to chastise poor Blacks.  But notice he doesn’t mouth off to Hollyweird about their racism.  (People may not know this, nor did I until I watched a couple of old online videos, but Bill used to come off as pretty radical guy and didn’t tolerate racism.  Sigh!  I guess he got older and tired?)


So when the mainstream media wants to feature Black men, their purpose is to label, posterize and/or glamorize any pathological behavior they can.  For example, Michael Jackson (freak), Bobby Brown (bad boy), Barry Bonds (steroid user), Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson (domestic abuser), Chris Brown (domestic abuser), and Vince Young (unstable) are all media favorites.  In years past it was Muhammad Ali (unpatriotic; Muslim fanatic), Mike Tyson (rapist), and on and on and on the list goes.


If you want to see Black men vilified on a daily basis, just watch or listen to the mainstream sports media, especially ESPN’s “First Take” with Skip Bayless, whose commentaries vacillate between overt and covert racism.  One of his favorite pastimes is “hating on” NBA superstars like LeBron James, whom he regularly calls The Frozen One, because LeBron didn’t perform well in one of his  NBA championship series, but did win one in recent times.  You see, this is how racism operates – stereotypes, labeling — when it comes to Black people; they become the standard by which “all things bad” shall be compared.  You see, stereotypes are dehumanizing and once they stick, society can do anything to a people and no one will care.  I mean, how can you rationalize that there are a million and a half Black men and women in the prison system and no one seems to care.


But what’s even more disturbing than Skip Bayless’ comments are the negative commentaries about Black athletes by loud mouths like Stephen A. Smith, the ultimate Skip Bayless fan and butt-kisser (because he wants to stay on Skip’s show).  It’s funny to see Bayless and Smith debate one another, but even funnier when you consider how ESPN uses Smith after not signing him to another contract, previously.  So now Smith has resorted to letting them exploit him — and for less money.


Ultimately, Black people are going to have to take control of their images by owning and creating their own outlets.  Black people are also going to have to raise their standards and stop acting out the mainstream’s stereotypical views on who we are and how we should act.



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