Friday, June 29, 2018

So about Terry Crews...

This week Terry Crews gave a statement at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. He goes into not just the assault that he suffered at the hands of a influential and powerful producer but also of witnessing his mother being abused by his father. From there he bridges that into how he felt he was more important than women and and more valuable than women but that's a different thought for a different day.

What I want to focus on is the value of a black man speaking up about his experience of being assaulted.

Frankly speaking I think its a good thing that a black man has opened up about his story of being assaulted. Black men are burdened with a uniquely high (notice I'm saying uniquely high, not trying to say that its higher than the expectations on men in general) expectation to appear to be invulnerable.

On top of being men we are expected to maintain an aura of invulnerability. That we are pillars that can never weaken, crumble, or need maintenance. The idea of the strong black men is one that we get drilled into our heads from the earliest of times. That we are the foundation of the community. That we have to give our all or else we are a failure.

The problem is that this expectation tends to get in the way of basic things like taking the time to heal, taking the time to seek help and support, and taking the effort to support ourselves when we need down time.

For the most part unless a black man is the victim of a racially motivated crime or issue not many people care what happens to us. I'd even go as far as to say that outside of such racially motivated crimes and issues black men don't get much in the way of support and will more likely be met with condemnation from many if not all sides.

But I think Crews does something important.

He as a black men does the service of making the point that black men do have issues that affect us and that support for us in them is quite valuable.

While its true those outside of black men don't care about unless there is a chance to show off that they are anti racist it's also true that black men ourselves have a very valuable tool for gaining the proper support and help that we need.

We can use our voices to tell our stories.

Yes it will be a hard road. People will try to silence us. People will try to co-opt and take over our struggle. Hell even Crews with all his fame and star power isn't immune to this. There is a reason Crews didn't immediately speak up about what happened to him and since speaking up he has faced quite the bit of mockery (go to hell 50 Cent).

I'm glad that Crews spoke up because doing so gives voice and attention to an issue that often goes unnoticed.

I would encourage more black men to do the same. We can't wait for anyone to heal us. We have to heal ourselves.