ARE GROUPS OF BLACK MEN FRIGHTENING?
I work in a corporate environment, which needless to say is predominantly white. However, there are a few “minorities” employed in my department. Of the total amount, approximately 35% are black and about 1 5% are black male. It has been noticed that when groups of white males congregate for basic conversation, lunch or work, no one seems to take notice. To the contrary, when black males congregate either for conversation, lunch or work, it seems that no one can miss the opportunity to acknowledge the “event”. Comments like this are often made: “you all know you can’t be together like that,” or “what are you all up to?” and the most common one is “you are up to no good.” Typically we talk about sports, the weekend or just some random event that recently happened. Quite often it is about work. Nevertheless, these meetings seem to grab the attention of anyone who witnesses it. By the way, even black people notice and make comments. What is it about a group of black men that draws attention? Why are we not allowed to commune without being “up to no good?”
Initially, I wanted to believe that being noticed was just my perception of things. But every single time three or more black men were together in a hallway or an elevator, comments have been made that can lead one to deduce that this is not well received. The real question is; what is it about a group of black men, even in a corporate environment, that draws the ire of so many? We’re not gang members, nor are we selling drugs. Further, we aren’t trying to overthrow management to establish a black plutocracy, dominated by the family members of past and current middle to upper management. That would be too similar to the actual status quo. Whatever it is, I think it deserves attention, at least it’s worth mentioning. I also suspect that the relationship black men have, has been heavily influenced by this unwritten rule: don’t get caught in a group of brothers. If nothing else, it can make some hesitant to associate with the people in which he has so much in common. Divide and conquer; same game, different time.
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