African-American Issues

Why do People think that African American Men Cheat more than White Men

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"Why do People think that African American Men Cheat more than White Men"
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Who would are these people that think that Black men cheat more than whites? Of the men I know - Black and white, American, Caribbean, Latino, African and European - thinking that the Black men cheat more than the white men does not comport with my experience. I won't name names because I don't want their wives, girlfriends and partners calling me trying to find out which category their man falls into.

Men are men. There are good ones and bad ones. There are men that are faithful and there are those that are not.

The question remains about the perception of Black men as cheating more than whites. Perhaps some may feel that Black men are more unfaithful because of the images of Black men as braggadocios, hypersexual dim-witted creatures that permeate the media. The reality is that the socialization of males as predators positions most men to idealize being able to woo as many females as possible. It's a man thing that's not likely to change anytime soon.

In an era where more knowledge is probably garnered from television than books, I submit you that any episode of the nationally-syndicated show "Cheaters" will put this assumption about Black men to rest. As a matter of fact, women may be moving up or down, depending on your viewpoint, on the scale of philanderers.

Since this topic is about Black men compared to white men, let me get back to that.

An ugly reality of race and gender in relationships that play into the current stereotype of Black men is the history of slavery. I know many folks don't like to hear about slavery or even discuss it, but it's important for us to do so to move through it with healthy mindsets. We can't pretend that slavery didn't occur. We can't pooh-pooh its effect on the psyche of Blacks and whites.

There's a saying, I believe by James Baldwin that goes something like "You can't fix what you don't face", so let's just deal with slavery and race relations so we can move on.

During slavery, Black marriages were not respected. The Black family could be separated at the will of the white slave owner. The Black slave female was frequently expected to and forced to submit to the sexual will of her owner. [A lesser discussed topic is homosexual relations during slavery but I won't go there today.] The by-product of that stress and strain continues in black male-female relationships today. Some Black men continue to feel emasculated by society.

It's no secret that the assumption about Black men cheating more is intertwined with the latest Don Imus controversy and discussion on the negative impact of hip hop music. The sad reality is that if Black adults had not relinquished control of education to others, black children would not allow themselves to be used as they have in the entertainment industry.

The more people really get to know each other, the more likely such questions about differences in race will eventually be eliminated. While the races look different physically, there's so much more that we have in common.

Here are two things I know:
1. Men are men; and
2. Some men are dogs and some of them aren't.

No insult to four-legged dogs intended.

More about this author: Vanessa Byers

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