On Kanye, Black Mothers, Child Beating, The American Presidency, and Me
To American Black Men Of Electable Age Who Could Win The Electoral College
It’s a real shame that we don’t applaud mothers for beating their children anymore. When I think about things that can stop the wiseacre 1980s TV sitcom sons running America as of late, the only feasible solution is a strong, single, African-American mother rising up, slapping the taste out of one of their mouths, and then making them grab a switch from the tree of Democracy. But, frustratingly, Congresswoman Maxine Waters is only asking to reclaim her time.
The reason I’d love to see Kanye West become the 46th President of the United States is that he, like me, is the 40-year old black son of a single black mother. Black women who became mothers in the era when the blaxpliotative brilliance of Shaft, Superfly, Black Caesar, and Three The Hard Way supplanted a period after the black male excellence of Malcolm, Martin, and the Panthers, had an indescribably difficult time. Black people, black families, black excellence, and black sanity were, in retrospect, savagely and socio-politically assaulted by violence, drugs, and popular culture. In seeing fewer black mothers of this era rising with anger commensurate to beating their children with a belt, and more black sons who know of fear and pain attached to failing to excel to the highest of standards, it’s at present, Kanye’s race to lose.
To that end, by 1977–1978 (when Kanye and I were born, respectively) the divorce rate of black marriages between black men and black women was 50%, with black children in the hands of single black mothers 60% of the time. The notion that beating sense into the heads of black boys to keep them from sliding into an America in significant decline for black people makes sense. Even more so to this point, since the 1970s, incarceration rates show that so many young African-American boys have evolved into less than exemplary black men by the standard set by the turn of the 1980s America.