The Root, a media outlet associated with Henry Louis Gates, is in hot water after a grassroots Twitter movement reveals how disconnected the organization has become from the community it purports to represent.
Over the last several days, the internet has been flooded with memes and satire calling attention to alleged anti-black male bias in its articles. However, instead of changing course, The Root has responded to these claims with a sarcastic apology that may further alienate black men and lend credence to claims of bias in the outlet’s reporting.
Are Straight Black Men the White People of Black People?
For many, the controversy started when verysmartbrothas, a segment of The Root, published an inflammatory article suggesting black men enjoy some sort of privilege over black women and homosexuals. This assertion contradicts the hard data available on the subject.
A study published in the New York Times suggests virtually all of the financial burden of being black falls on black men, most of whom are straight. This may be because black women (as well as homosexual black men) are seen as less threatening in American society.
The problem may be even more insidious.
Many black men report memories of being subjected to harsher punishment and relentless unfairness compared to their female and non-black counterparts as children (especially in the school system). Such treatment can wither a child’s confidence and self-esteem, hampering their performance well into adulthood.
To add insult to injury, these black boys grow up to experience an even more vicious and relentless onslaught from media outlets like The Root when they become adults.
It’s hard to be successful in a hostile environment. And by constantly attacking straight black men, organizations like The Root may actually undermine their success by programming people to react negatively to them, further limiting their already limited opportunities. The irony is that when straight black men are killed, the liberal media ignores the effect their relentless propaganda may have contributed to the situation.
Instead of respecting straight black men, The Root decided to issue an aggressive “apology” that reads like yet another attack. Michael Harriot, a writer for The Root, states the following:
“We are sorry that you are so fragile that you feel bullied by a few articles. I’m sorry that your tiny, inadequate penises egos are made flaccid by the idea that black women might possibly recognize your ain’t shytness.”
– Harriot’s tone speaks for itself. He later writes about the killing of Mustafa Bearfield, a 16-year-old (probably straight) black male.
The controversy surrounding The Root is a microcosm of a larger problem in mainstream “African-American” media. Across the black community, there is a growing sense of dissatisfaction with the media outlets that claim to represent black interests. Specifically, straight black men feel under attack, and it is unclear what is motivating this onslaught. For many, the backlash against The Root symbolizes a rejection of mainstream media in general. Organizations like Melanoid Nation aim to provide an independent black alternative