Thomas Jasen Gardner Monday, Apr 8, 2013
Perhaps if the slave history of old white men and young black boys were not deemed irrelevant by the medium we would not wonder why an old white university coach would sexually molest young black boys. Neither would we guess why a college basketball coach believed that homophobic rants and raves would work like an overseer’s whip. Images to invigorate black players to increase performance are the same cotton field mentality our ancestors left behind. Perhaps we should also wonder why police officers in Milwaukee, New York and Chicago believed that sodomizing black men with toilet plungers, police batons, and screwdrivers would intimidate these men into volatile submission. Its no coincidence that these violations of mind and body are symbolic of what white slave masters did to terrorize enslaved black men and young boys into meek obedience. Then it should be no coincidence that a Penn State coach and a Red Sox manager used their fame and fortune to intentionally rape and sexually molest undereducated and under privileged adolescent black boys for their deviant enjoyment.
What are we as Americans doing in working together in identifying these perpetrators as prowlers for little urban and suburban boys regardless of race, religion and class? When will learn to differentiate between the heterosexual deviant and homosexual qualities.
In his book, Slavery By Any Other Name, Douglas Blackmon writes about southern plantations whose only crop were slaves for the sexual pleasure of northern heterosexual/homosexual tourists. Girls, boys, women and men were selected, bred, brought and sold for the purpose of illicit sex. It is also no coincidence that the sexual plight of 18th century neglected slave boys and 21st century neglected black boys have financial benefits. Today’s legal authorities, the religious community, the mass media and university administrators enable the sexual abuse that indirectly or directly achieve the same financial success from the same type of sex labor on similar antebellum plantations.
After all, like their colonial ancestors, todays black boys were offered opportunities and advantages that were absent from their poverty restricted lives, physical violence, neglect, sexual assault, or emotional cruelty. The combination of good and bad circumstances was by far a better condition than that of an antebellum field hand or modern day poverty. Under the pretentious cloak of supporting black pride or decreasing black crime, these horrible men feigned interest in improving black economics and culture. Their true intent was to torment or molest innocuous black males.
Black historian sociologist Thomas Foster writes in a recent book that white molesters of black men represent sexual predators whose convoluted ignorance or invested racism is nefariously obsessed with a black males skin, hair and sexual organs. It should be understood most that adolescent sexual predators are heterosexual. The American Freedmen Inquiry Commission of 1863 reported that some heterosexual white men got a homoerotic charge from the brutal whipping of black male slaves. The media has shown a double standard when reporting on the contrasting manipulation between the racism and religious dimensions that describe physical consent for blacks and volatile violations for whites.
In her first person accounts runaway slave Harriet A Jacobs wrote that the normalcy of sexual abuse she suffered was minor compared to the sexual atrocities committed upon black males working as domestic slaves. Records from as early as the 17th-century show that men like Connecticut aristocrat Nicholas Sension, sexually preyed on his black male slaves several times a day.
Other male slave journals also recount in horrific detail the required duty of being sexually sodomized by southern aristocrats. Even more plantation slaves wrote about black boys offered as token sex gifts to visiting slave masters. It is no wonder that Penn State coach and child molester Jerry Sandusky had a pedophile sex ring that participated in the abuse of his adolescent victims. Even more so, sea historian Jeff Bolster discusses the Moby Dick sailing tradition of young black boys enslaved on ocean voyages as a ship’s sex servant.
Is it any wonder that black men reject any thoughts of homosexuality after knowing the black male heritage of enforced sodomy and unwanted physical intimacy? This is reason enough to explain why some black men associate homosexuality with enslaved rape. In the antebellum South blacks were not allowed the character trait of courage and strength for defense of self or family. Today’s black men believe that this missing trait of masculinity is the only defense against the continuing reprehensible racism of a autocratic society. A black religious myth contends that defending black rights against historically white abusive behavior requires macho motivation. They believe that this male testosterone is lacking in effeminate men. This belief is indifferent to our West African anthropological principals as a people of compassion, empathy, and trust. The hateful diatribe of anti-gay statements mainly comes from slave formed black congregations that are extensions of Southern white conservative congregations.
If religion opposes same sex relationships, maybe you should tell the black gay football full back what the Bible says about wimpy gay men. The rest of us will jump out of the way of your flying body as we ponder the overwhelming number of black athletes, celebrities, and politicians who have come out of the closet or in support of legalizing gay alliances. This is evidence that any reciprocal loving relationship is a human condition we can all have respect for. We should ask a gay black guy’s forgiveness for alienating them from friends and family. First and foremost they are black in soul and body. Plus, you don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. Only the unconditional serenity of black culture defends against the apoplectic charges embraced by slave masters, police officers and pedophilic coaches.
From his discourse about the American experience, the renowned Baptist preacher turned writer James Baldwin said black homophobia embodied his honest annoyance about the scarcity of kindness, the lack of brotherly love and the rippling hypocrisy of adopting conservative values as a path to the Promised Land. Before and after MLK, the black church has been a cancerous symbol, which represented the white hierarchy of social and economic black repression. The renowned preacher turned writer James Baldwin was bewildered that religious blacks thought he was less of a black man because he was gay. While black preachers replicate the gay hatred endorsed by prominent white theologies, they placate the black gay voices in Sunday’s church choir and present a palpable silence while the cross-dressing Uncle visits for Thanksgiving dinner. By adopting values that are not part of African culture, they also forget that these same white religions prophesized that it was divine providence for the sanctioned subordination of blacks as articles of objects to white slave owners.
However, it is hard for a preacher to ignore a self-proclaimed black gay 300-pound football linebacker sitting in the front pews. Black athletes, celebrities, and politicians are falling over each other as they come out of the closet. Many say they were more afraid of losing the camaraderie of teammates, the emotional support of families, or the financial hardship from losing a job. A black Cleveland Brown halfback said despite conniption fits from Christian football players about gay teammates, he pays more attention to a teammates supportive friendship then a teammates sexual orientation.
This is quite possibly the attitude that many black men are taking. They are adopting the philosophy of Langston Hughes who believes that black gay men will be black first, no matter what other pronoun is used. The achievement of accomplishing anything as a black man in America should crowd out homophobic tributes. Like hierarchical Catholic Church parishioners, the assimilation of black homosexuals in black society has been achieved without being condoned of the tiered black church leaders. From the flamboyant gospel singer to the stranded Raven linebacker, black homosexuals have been extraordinary in traversing two worlds of digressed opinions. Despite the opinions of a vocal few, it is ironic that most black people are supportive of gay civil rights but resent the comparison to the civil rights struggles of black men. When there are no records of gay men being burned to death after their genitals; toes and fingers were cut off for audience souvenirs.
Nonetheless, we have a moral imperative to recognize the coerced sexuality of enslaved men as rape victims. Many of those abused boys may become abusive men. A man who has been sexually abused as a child is more likely to sexually abuse children when he becomes an adult. We as a community should cease our infighting about values forced upon us by a dominant society, and come together to heal these children. We should direct our bitterness, contempt and rage to the society that cohouses this behavior. We should help end the palpable silence that keeps us apart as a people of gays, lesbians, women, men and children.
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Thomas Jasen Gardner Monday, Apr 8, 2013