This shirt is funny, no doubt.
However, laughing at these self-depreciating jokes always hurts a little afterwards.
Let's take a look at more media and decode some of what we are seeing here...
Question: What does all this allude to?
I'll tell you: it alludes to the emasculation (and, ultimately, the effeminization) of Black men.
This is a hot topic that is normally over-run with hoteps and other folks who most people would label with terms like "toxic masculinity". But today, I'll drop my two cents in the matter.
Essentially, the white woman in the video above is bragging about her societal right to symbolically castrate (change his status from male to non-male/female) the African that she has entered into contractual debauchery with. As we watch the internalized male gaze and misogyny the African Aunty intermittently spews, we see the white woman shout down the African male, who we (Africans) KNOW wouldn't accept that from an African woman. (But anything for a papers right?) The white woman, in disdain, lets him know that: "I'm an American...when you're around your mom and me, you're the Michael that I fell in love with, but around your other family, you wanna be the bold, alpha, African man? Make up your choice! That's not who I married, or who I wanna be with. If you're gonna be an alpha male, sign the fucking divorce papers already!"
Translation: She wears the pants in the relationship. This is not inherently a bad thing. But it ceases to be a potentially good thing when the man is always forced to wear the skirt instead. Emasculated men (or men who feel emasculated) are a starter kit for dysfunctional relationships and chaos.
What is the true significance of this statement? What is she reminding this coon? (I call him a coon because he chose this massa-slave complex with this Person of Non-Color instead of all the other types of American women that could have given him citizenship AND: at least a little more respect.) She's evoking whiteness as property and reminding him of how her whiteness gives her the right to certain things, such as the ability to give or refrain from giving him access to the type of socioeconomic freedom he desires via American citizenship.
Towards the end of the debacle, you hear words that illustrate the white solidarity from the audience who, incredibly, managed to be most appalled by the Africans they saw, instead of the hypopigmented tub of lard who thought she was hot shit. The clip ends with the passive, subjugated African male, who relied on an aunty to speak for him, sitting in his pathetic resignation.
In the picture above, we see a burly Black guy in a shirt with some social commentary on it. The words draw on several phenomena in the white supremacist context:
Gratuitous violence towards Black people and anti-Black police brutality
The hypocrisy of law enforcement/the criminal justice system when doling out consequences for cItIzEnS who act in ways unsanctioned by society
White fragility- In which white personhood is characterized by a pathological victimhood that allows for a) white solidarity, with which they symbolically "jump" their non-white opponents in altercations (that they normally start); b) insulation from racial discomfort (which they don't deserve); and c) a covert means for the censorship, incrimination, and subjugation of non-whites.
White privilege aka white skin privilege- The culmination of benefits given preferentially to white people over people from other races in instances where otherwise, no person from any given group should be favored over another
Sexism- An oppression system which posits females as the more docile, delicate sex, as well as the sex in need of protection; this social pathology also structures language in such a way so that words that connote "sugar, spice and everything nice" are normally used to describe females
Whiteness as property- In which whiteness serves as a qualifier for the rights of white people to "things" that are "owed to them". (This man's t-shirt evokes this tenet of white supremacy in this way: 'As a white person, I am entitled to being treated humanely.') Here, while asking his audience to imagine that he is a white woman, he communicates that he should not be subject to being harassed (or killed) by police. A bit of this a) "imagination", and b) whiteness as property is ingrained in the clip from the 1996 movie A Time To Kill below:
All of a sudden....
A Black (turned-white) is worthy of your sympathy, worthy of being protected.
No! She did not deserve to be treated in inhumane ways (raped, beaten, urinated on, hung or left to die)...
Because she was white.
And white people deserve better!
And I suppose we, the Black people don't--right?
After all, we've been treated to so horrendously for so long that we're used to it.
Right? At this point, it's "normal".
One white mother suffering from dysconciousness evoked white fragility when talking about how we didn't deserve to be treated differently (at this point, or in the future) than we've ever been treated. It was in the context of Jane Elliot's Brown Eyed Blue-Eyed Experiment (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLAi78hluFc): "They're [Black people] already used to it!!! It's cruel to do this type of exercise on white children because they haven't ever experienced this before!!!"
LOL. Weren’t we (Africans) too, "virgins" to white supremacy-induced trauma at some point? What about OUR inexperience, innocence, and naivete? Does she think that we (Black people, and other marginalized racial or ethnic groups) are invincible? That we feel nothing when traumatized over and over again?
I'm an African woman and child of Nigerian immigrants that left their country because it being crushed under the weight of colonialism, capitalism, division, and mismanagement ever since the British invaded it in the late 1800s. The British STOLE AS MANY RESOURCES AS THEY COULD for the next 60+ years. I grew up in the USA, alienated from my culture, my mother tongue, my social status, etc.
I LOST all this...because of white supremacist-induced trauma initiated over a century ago when they invaded what is now 'Nigeria' for material gain. Yet, there is no sympathy for me, or people with worse stories, because we are Black (A Time To Kill) or should be uSeD tO iT (Brown Eyed, Blue Eyed Experiment).
All together, with his satirical shirt, and in the spirit of dArK humor, this Black man is sending the following message to society, particularly the police:
"Instead of the police brutality and gratuitous violence you're inclined to aim at me because I'm a big, aggressive, threatening, Black man, why don't y'all treat me all nice and sweet like I'm one of these white women (who, via their white privilege, and white fragility, can get away with just about anything they might do to cops in general)??? Now that I've made you notice your hypocrisy and made you laugh (at my expense, of course,) how about y'all don't kill me today? Talk to me nice..."
But honestly, are they even capable of that? Probably not.
Which is why Black people, especially Black men in predominantly white countries where white supremacy is currently the strongest, practice avoidance tactics as much as they can:
A Black man avoids cops so he can live.
A Black man complies while in custody so he can live, not because he agrees that he deserves to be detained.
When white men (and their male minority pets) are tHrEaTeNeD by what the Black man represents (a threat to their masculinity), the Black man avoids (shuns) his (sexism-defined) masculinity...so he can live.
In this video, we see some of the same things that I talked about earlier:
Whiteness as property and Proximity to whiteness (via behavior, as in: 'Black men don't do sophisticated things like drink lattes, that's something that white people do.'). In the video Godfrey the comedian (shout out to my fellow Nigerian) says:
"Every brother should have a cup of Starbucks in their hand, cuz the cops leave you alone when you have a latte. Hold that brother--look how safe he looks."
"...Black men out there, get yourself a latte, cuz when you do your lips like this--" *demonstrates elongated lips and the effeminate air stereotypically associated with homosexual men when giving fellatio*-- "the cops leave you the fuck alone."
Then Godfrey draws on sexism, (and arguably, ableism and/or homophobia) by using his audience's knowledge of gender roles, and the stereotypical behavior expected of men (ex. aggression or acting on sexual desire, etc.). To emphasize his point, Godfrey repeats the pretend fellatio and says: "I'm sorry officer, was I aggressive?" He said this with a bit of a lisp as he sends his audience. But let's be explicit. Let's write out the rest of what Godfrey implied with his little skit:
What Godfrey implied with his joke was:
"Officer, I am just like you. I like what you like.
See this latte? It's pumpkin spice.
Yes, I am male, but I am not "a Man"
I suck dick like a woman, see?
It's givin' the 'gentle' in 'gentleman'
"I'm sorry officer, was I aggressive?"
Was my blackness alone that suggestive?
There's no uprising here officer,
I can't, won't (!) compete with you
I'm subservient (a woman, really), enjoying servitude
After all, I like what you like
I have no potential but sugar, spice, and everything nice
So, you think you could...spare me today...?
Let me sashay on my way?
You know I'm putting on this show so I can survive.
Honey, you know I'm just a street performer (who don't wanna die).
They're laughing about it,
but it's a serious issue,
and they know it.
It's tough living like this.
Using humor to cope with trauma
is not as fun as it looks .
The most absurd thing is that NONE of these tactics of avoidance is full proof. For every plan that Black people (not to mention all other major non-white racial groups) ever came up with to get along with white ones, there are examples of failure.
All this is very interesting, but, to me, the true intrigue is: "What are the implications of Black or African men ceasing to be seen as such for Black or African women? What does this antagonism of the Black or African male do to us?"
So far my brain is positing a few things...I don't know what to think yet, I'm just sharing some floating thoughts. Mind you, in my head, I often think figuratively and symbolically. If you read something that seems to be out of touch with what you would actually see in reality, try thinking in a figurative or symbolic manner.
The loss of the Black or African Male will lead to _________________ for the Black or African female:
a) 'A race of women (females) and children (males, regardless of age) only, ergo...an increase in the prevalence of single-parent households where the woman is the woman and the mom of her man. Wait...incest???' (Wild.)
b) 'Antisocial disorder...?...maybe because Blacks wouldn't want to associate with each other anymore??? There is a such thing as distancing oneself in a time of grief/shame...'
c) 'A race of all women (females) and...intersex...or whatever the opposite of intersex is...or or the absence of a sex???'
d) 'A drop in heterosexuality???'
e) 'A race of women (only)???'
f) 'Increased admixture that will change the melting pot from a myth into reality???'
g) 'A reversal of the roles where the (original) women "become" the "men"?'
h) 'Increased anti-Blackness and derision???'
i) 'A rise in misogynoir???'
j) 'The death of the Black family???'
k) 'A rise in religious fanaticism???'
l) 'A rise in sacrilegious behavior...???'
m) 'More Black men making it big as comedians???'
n) 'Plastic surgeons making lots of money???'
o) 'More light-skinned propaganda and colorism probably...'
p) 'Increased cooning?'
q) 'Increased cowardice?'
r) 'Reinforcement of the racist Black female troupes (especially the mammy and sapphire)?'
s) 'A booming weave industry??? LOL.'
t) 'A rise in domestic violence...'
u) 'A rise in mental health issues???'
v) 'A new hybrid race?'
w) 'Premature death due to suicide???'
x) 'A drop in police murders?'
y) 'Improved socioeconomic status???' (Wild.)
I mean, ain't I a woman (already)?
What about my place?
Will toxic masculinity and sexism take this from me too?
What do y'all think about this increasingly overt phenomenon (the emasculation of the Black or African male)?
Please feel free to share.