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“Black men occupy an interesting place in the popular imagination. Their superhuman sexuality is an integral part of American lore. It’s most prominently on display in the titles of pornographic videos that market the ability of big black men to ravish young, innocent white women. It’s more subtle in the white women who walk past with their eyes firmly locked on my crotch, undoubtedly pondering the question that the bold will occasionally whisper in a dark corner of a house party: “Is it true?” And the misguided among us will certainly whisper “yes” through a sly grin, unaware that entangled with the superhuman lore of the black penis is the dangerous specter of dehumanization. This strange combination of fear and fascination reveals the superhuman-subhuman duality that black men embody. The very same superhuman virility fuels fear of black men. It’s why white women run from us in the hallways, scream when they see us jogging toward them in the street, tell us we look dangerous, and clutch their purses in elevators if they get on the elevator at all (these are actual anecdotes from me and a friend, some of which occur occasionally, others, regularly). A few decades ago, these fearful reactions would be enough to put us in danger of mob violence, regardless of how benign our presence may have been. Even now, racial hoaxes are an ever-present danger. When white people claim to have been victimized by a fictitious black man, hundreds of innocent black men are endangered as law enforcement officials search out the supposed assailant. While perceptions of hypermasculinity elevate us to the superhuman, they simultaneously reduce us to subhuman status.”—Robert Reece, “White Women’s Gazes, Black Men’s Bodies: Superhuman-Subhuman Duality,” Still Furious, And Still Brave:Who’s Afraid Of Persistent Blackness 1/27/13
Kanye needs a Dave Chappelle Moment...
…where he drops the mic and gets missing for however long he needs to feel right again. I’ve watched a couple of videos today of Kanye’s outburst/rant/performance in London. The ten minute video of his ‘Clique’ speech, sounds like an expanded version of ‘Pinocchio Story’ from 808s. Watching the footage feels like witnessing a slow public breakdown.
I couldn’t help but think that Ye needs some time away from the limelight and some counseling to work through the issues he’s facing: the loss of his mother, the breakup with his former fiancé and successive high-profile relationships, impending fatherhood, and the conflict he sees between creating art and selling it in the music industry. There’s probably some other things he’s not talking about as well. As a fan, it’s really challenging to watch him struggle and people dismiss it.“The worst thing to call somebody is crazy. It’s dismissive. “I don’t understand this person. So they’re crazy.” That’s bullshit. These people are not crazy. They strong people. Maybe their environment is a little sick.”
- Dave Chappelle