I Stand Accused
by Michael L. Faulkner
As a black man in America, Iím appalled that my sexuality is being exploited and questioned by other segments of society. People are profiting from attempts to allegedly open the closet door on bisexual black men at the expense of defaming all black men. This means I stand accused.
I stand accused of being everything from the scourge of society to the genocidal mass destruction of my race. Itís bad enough that black men are often vilified and accused of being drug addicts, drug dealers, and gun-toting gangsters. I would be remiss if I left out sexual and violent deviants.
Some of the accusations are accurate. There are drug addicts and convicted drug dealers among us. Some of our youth did grow up as members of notorious gangs, and we have committed our fair share of sex crimes.
Yet, as a black man in America today I now stand accused of being a genocidal weapon of mass destruction. Statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, say I stand accused of being less likely to heed safe sex, there-by posing a health risk to my female partner.
Who are my accusers? They consist of a handful of for-profit entities that use scare tactics to target us. The focus of this latest vilification is the alleged identification of a new group of black men who donít identify as bisexual or gay, but participate in same-sex dalliances. As a black man in America, Iím not defending this alleged new entity of men, nor am I negating the seriousness of their posed risk and health threat to society. If only we could find a reliable source that would release accurate figures that likely will show even this group of black men represents a small minority.
There are books on the market that portray black men as living on the down low. In other words, the authors project images of black men who are willing to cross sexual lines without consciousness. There are books that proclaim to provide accurate information to help black women determine whether their man is gay or bisexual. Many unsuspecting, heterosexual black men are now suspect and must put up with women who allegedly search for signs of the menís sexual preference.
A female friend informed me recently of what took place at a Waiting to Exhale party. Women at the party shared ďhow toĒ advice when it comes to dealing with their mateís sexuality. The most interesting topic, my female friend maintained, was a discussion that included advice on how to tell whether a man was having sex with another man. It was suggested that during sex the women get their man into a compromising position to examine the tightness of his anus or rather the lack thereof.
I have overcome many of the defaming accusations targeted at me as a black man. I have never taken an illegal substance or sold one. I have never attacked, raped or maimed anyone. I am not gay or bisexual. Guess what? There are plenty of black men in society who are just like me.
In corporate America, I have secured a position where I am considered a value-added employee. My visible post in the company puts me in direct contrast with Ralph Ellisonís Invisible Man, a black man who struggled in a world that refused to acknowledge his existence. And guess what? There are many of other black men who donít fit the stereotypical portrait of what society has tainted of us.
One would think that black men would be applauded or appreciated more for overcoming what seems to be an all out attack of our livelihood. Instead, we are forced to remain vigilant in defense of our character, our freedom and our lives. Whatís next?