The Bridge: We Think, Therefore We Are

By Darryl James

We think (bad about ourselves), therefore, we are (bad to each other).

African descendants in America may not be aware of salient political issues, but we sure do love to discuss relationship issues–purely from a position of blame. “What’s wrong with (insert Black men or Black women here)?”

Open a discussion on the minute details of ObamaCare and five people and some crickets will show up. Speak on relationships and the discussion will get hot! Sadly, people aren’t really into discussing alternate views, but in proving that what they think about the other gender is true (whether it is or not).

Americans in general have changed the ways in which we find each other as a society, while Blacks think it is only us. And then we point to the worst of us to indict the whole of us and to imply that the bad people within the other gender are the reason for our individual inability to find love.

It’s everyone.

Whites, Asians and Hispanics understand that it’s just hard for good people to find each other, but Black people blame each other across the gender divide as though we dislike each other, and sadly, it’s becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy for more and more of us. We’ve become divided and it has nothing to do with white people–just us.

For example, we hear the complaints that there are more Black women in college than Black men, but guess what?  There are more white women than white men in college.

And what of the Black men in prison piece? White men are in greater numbers (and percentages) in prison as recidivists and for horrible crimes against humanity. White women also fear that white men are down low (although they don’t use that term, more white men are gay than any other group), child molesters and violent in the home (statistics prove they are more prolific in these pursuits). A growing pool of white males are failing and circling the drain, because America is. Yet, there is no mass exodus from the white community, regardless of how much our race thinks that their men or women are dating us–they fix, we flee, we focus…on them…

As a race, we have allowed propaganda and unresolved issues from the past (individually and as a race) to divide us in public as both genders point fingers.

We are so divided that we talk at each other without even listening. We ask to be heard, but fail to return the favor. As an example, I respond to the things I hear Black women say about Black men in the media, because, well, because I’m a Black man. The overwhelming response I get from Black women is that I’m angry or that I hate Black women. The only two responses that are accepted without such charges are silence and acquiescence–no strong Black woman should EVER want a Black man to deal with issues this way. Yet, if I curse or speak strongly, people act like it’s a problem–even though they curse regularly themselves.

Too many Black men have failed to stand up as men, allowing our people to fall because it is simply too damned hard to keep facing people who hate you because they disagree with you, not recognizing that there is freedom in not giving a shit. We no longer need to march in the streets, but we do need to stand up for our children and protect our image–even from ourselves. And, we need to define ourselves, rejecting definition from ANYONE–including our women.

It’s been said that the key to the demise of any people is through the female and many Black women don’t like hearing that–even when it comes from other Black women. But when you forget how much power you wield over men, that power is easily used against you and your men. You don’t have power over a man because you have a vagina, you have power because you can capture a man’s heart, give him a family and change his focus to protector because he has a reason to protect, not because you say that he should protect you as you place yourself and he in danger.

In differing ways, we need to protect each other. Back to back, us against the world, individually and communally. But instead, we stand as individuals and judge each other for not doing what we think the other should do.

But being judgmental over nothing is one of our greatest wedges of division. Instead of searching for common ground to unite as a community, to become friends or to even date, we search for irrelevant differences and then we judge and dismiss. We spend a great deal of time focusing on the white community, yet we fail to do the things they do that WORK.

The now former governor of California is a staunch Republican, but he married into the most staunchly Democratic family in the history of our nation–the Kennedies. Yet, if one of us is Republican instead of Democratic, spiritual instead of Christian, Buddhist instead of Islamic, we are promptly judged and dismissed.

I’m not angry or jaded about all Black women–only Black women who see Black men in a negative light and I don’t think that is all or even most Black women. I love Black women and the only problem I have is when a Black woman sees Black men through the media and statistics, because I am not a statistic.

I don’t see Black women as statistics.

I don’t see Black men as statistics.

I refuse to allow our children to be viewed as statistics in ANY discussion.

Honestly, the greatest problem we have is that we have changed the ways in which we view each other, which dictates reality for us as individuals who embrace such reality.

Malcolm X said it and it’s still a mandate that we need to embrace or become irrelevant:  “We have to change our minds about each other.”

Otherwise, we will continue to become irrelevant.

We need to understand that we really don’t have to exist.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.” Now, listen to Darryl live on, relaunching on Sundays from 6-8pm, PST. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at

3 Responses to “The Bridge: We Think, Therefore We Are”

  1. I applaud you Mr. James! Very well Said. If I were to add a foot note I would say we need to stop judging one another because we don’t or won’t do what another wants us to do and just accept one another for who and what we are on face value. The analogy you gave of the Kennedy’s was awesome.

  2. @Darryl James: “It’s been said that the key to the demise of any people is through the female and many Black women don’t like hearing that–even when it comes from other Black women.”

    Get it right. The statement is that a nation can rise no higher than it’s woman, dolt. Or as a woman goes, so goes a nation. In other words, keep trying to destroy the woman, and you destroy the nation. It does not mean, as you imply, that women bring the demise of a people. **What an Idiot**

    Your whole article is trash! Obviously, by looking at the crime rates and other problems, the key to demise of any people is through their men, as it’s the men who overwhelmingly conduct the most murders, rapes, trashing of Black women in music, go M.I.A. on their own children, and commit crime in general. And Black men have been trying to flee Black women for years. Why? Because most Black men want to blame all their problems (and the problems they create for us, Black wowen) solely and disproportionately, on Black women.

    Most Black men have become too cowardly too publicly emphasize who their real problem has been for the entire time they’ve been in America – WHITE PEOPLE, WHITE SUPREMACY, AND RACISM. Period. White’s are the ones who emasculated you – since you feel so – not Black women. When you had NOBODY to support your slave behind, Black women were there for you. American racism and white supremacy and your stupidity is your problem – not us.

    They are the ones who castrated you, lynched you for even breathing around a white woman, systematically excluded you from positive media images (thus showing you as running through walls like coward back in the movies from the 1940s) or turned you into gun-toting thugs on screen, who no matter what still ended up in jail, having to spread your ass cheeks for full cavity searches by white law enforcement agents, and to this day lie on you every chance they get – let’s not forget the white woman who scrawled a bloody “B” into her own cheek and blamed it on an imaginary gang of Black male thugs who wanted to force her to vote for Obama. Or who try to screw you over any chance you get – the entire Tea Party was formed just to tear down Obama and the Democrats.

    The problem in this whole gender divide between Black men and women is that Black men today are COWARDS – too afraid to stand up to the people (read white americans in general, albeit not all individuals) who have proven in every way that they would love to see you die or be buried under their jails for life.

    What happened to Black men??? YOU’RE COWARDS! Any man that feels threatened or emasculated by a woman wasn’t much of a man anyway. Keep dissing Black women, it’s cool – too many of you have proven how evil you are and that you have allied with your former slavers, Jim Crow segregationist, and white supremacist – in all it’s levels – from accepting white supremacy, to demonizing Black women in comparison to all other women to cover your own self-hate and cowardice. FUCK YOU.

  3. Lala of Maryland Says:

    Shream: Your off the hook! You come into this blog with all that malice in a criticizing manner. Why not simply state your opinion without diving off the deep end into ALL THAT? WHY ATTACK and to add insult to injury you degrade and attempt to strip the dignity of this blog. Come on now…I didn’t ask you to change your opinion. I am just saying why can’t we all just be civilized about sharing our thoughts and show and share the very thing we are here to chat about?

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