scandal

After calculating the results of a completely random, unscientific, social media poll, I have come to the conclusion that 76.21 percent of black men do not like Scandal.

To the 23.79 percent of black men imbued with discernment and the ability to parse creative, political and societal nuance, “Thank you.” And I’m counting down the days with you until next Thursday, which is hereby renamed Scandal.

That’s right: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Scandal, Friday and Saturday.

In all seriousness, I brushed aside the occasional acerbic comments that would come across my Facebook timeline and Twitter feed. The Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson jokes that black female Scandal watchers would nervously bat away, secretly wondering if their black, male friends were laughing with them or at them didn’t even give me pause because I’ve long come to the conclusion that when it comes to inter-racial relationships, there are some black men who hold themselves to a different, hypocritical standard.

While their brethren, and themselves, are free to pursue and fetishize about any Sue, Becky and Kimmy that crosses their path — because black women are so demanding, fat, lazy, unsupportive [insert derogatory label here] — any sister who isn’t beating a drum in Leimert Park with dreads down her back or a TWA (Teeny-weeny afro),  is a race traitor waiting to spread her legs for the massa.

Let them tell it.

I swiftly discard that exaggerated criticism because it is so obviously steeped in feelings of emasculation and instinctive powerlessness that it would take much longer than a sweep of social media to peel back all of the layers and address its core.

But these anti-Scandal black men are a wily bunch. Oh yes, they are. They realized that they couldn’t continue to post pictures of Kim Kardashian on Monday, quote little Wayne talking about “bet that bitch look better red” on Tuesday, break down all the reasons why white women stay “#winning” on Wednesday, then complain about a black woman being in love with a white man on Thursday.

So, what’s the new tactic? Slut-shaming.

Forget that President Fitzgerald Grant III is white, they proclaim all aflutter with their hands clasped to their heaving bosoms. It’s that he’s MARRIED!

scandal men hate

After decades of black women living in a culture of infidelity that is reflected on screen without fail, now all of a sudden –when it is a powerful, black woman involved in an affair that viewers experience from her perspective — we want to talk about marriage.

After years of Blaxploitation films that depicted women as nothing more than breasts and asses, we want to talk about marriage.

After countless music videos shot in strip clubs with rappers collecting  “hoes” like parking tickets, now we want to talk about marriage.

Black women who root for Fitz and Olivia, in all of their complicated, “If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right” fierceness, should put ourselves in the place of the poor wife who is being disrespected in all of this and be ashamed for watching.

Spare me.

As my father used to say, “I might have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night,” so there is no way in hell that I’ll believe that concern for the institution of marriage and the negative portrayals of black women in the media is the reason why Scandal is such a sensitive subject for those black men for whom the show presents an issue.

It’s okay for “bandz to make her dance,” but sleep with a married man? Now, that’s just uncivilized.

^ See how silly that sounds?

Don’t get me wrong, if President Grant were black and Liv were white, black women would not flock to Scandal. I freely admit to that. It wouldn’t matter how empathetically and  compassionately their love was depicted. It. would. not. fly. Not in this life or the next. Those same deep, racial fissures that would turn some women away from that inverted plot are clearly causing resentment in some black men and that’s understandable. I get it.

I get that no one is allowed to objectify black women but them.

We could get into the details of the show and discuss just why exactly Olivia Pope is not being objectified. We could talk about the nucleus of power  — of which Olivia is at the forefront — and how the marriage in question is one of convenience and not truth. We could even discuss monogamy and why, if and should it be the standard of all relationships. But to delve into any of these things would be to fall for the distraction that Olivia’s affair with a married man is the real issue why some of these men are one step away from creating a petition on Change.org to boycott Shonda Rhimes — and we all know that it’s not.

This is about hyper-masculinity, patriarchy and possession. For once, a black woman is depicted on screen who is one self-reliant, skilled, bad-ass business-woman capable of making her own decisions based on choices independent of black male control — and she chose a white man.

More importantly, she chose love with all its drama attached — no racial qualifier needed. And attempting to slut-shame black, female viewers into turning the channel just proves that a lot of egos need to be adjusted for deflation.

For once, it’s not about you, sirs. And that’s okay, you’ll live. We’ve being doing it for years.

538 Comments

  1. Pretty_BlackIce

    This may come to a surprise for you because you have selective understanding, but I am supporting your belief in preserving black families and black love. Also, I am not challenging your research just your interpretation of what you may have read or have been told. My main point that I am laboring for you to comprehend is that the character Olivia Pope personifies power, which is something I feel a lot of our beautiful black women are struggling to possess. If you were able to really break down our society’s social hierarchy, and see how we are ranked in society maybe you would be able to understand my point of view. What I am realizing, while I am reading these different exchanges is that we, as a community, have a big communication problem. Apparently the plight of the black woman in today’s society is totally imaginary to you, but the plight of the black male will always be our burden. Despite the horrible, degrading, hateful things you say about young black women today, I would never fix my mouth to downgrade all black men like you are doing black women. I just want you to hear the cries for help with some of these women who feel disenfranchised and neglected. Think outside the box, go against the grain take these sorry mother’s who use child support as a secondary income, women who objectify themselves to keep up with the kardashiahs, and females who blame their problems on missing fathers as a crutch. My father was not present in my life as much as I wish he was, and I know he did his best and I don’t hate him and I know a lot of great black men who love great black women. I understand your disappointment and your disdain for the image that the characters portray, but it is our privilege to promote one another, to empower one another, so “others” won’t have to. This is the broken ideology in our community that needs to be repaired. I know that you are being defensive and joking around because you feel like today’s black women are dismissing our black men by supporting this show, but the two do not correlate. It’s really sad that there is so much self – hatred in these arguments because we aren’t trying to understand where each person is coming from. I also want you to think of how that show makes you feel next time you read comments like “Black girls are ugly, played out, tired, these ignorant expletives that you see on twitter, facebook, tumblr, contribue to speak against it, and you will contribute to the solution not enhance the problem, and my beautiful black women please continue to do the same…encourage one another and discourage degrading one another….that’s the real issues that fuels this petty argument!

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  2. Baakus

    Well said.

    I also wonder if in “Romeo Must Die,” Aaliyah had been allowed to kiss (or heaven forbid, sleep with) Jet Li, what Black men’s reactions would’ve been.

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