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Stagger Lee Syndrome

Black Men Need To Stop Living Up To The Stereotype Of Abuse
Hobbes In The House/MN Spokesman-Recorder

Domestic abuse plagues all cultures, regardless of color, ethnicity, what have you. This is as much a given as that rain falls down and lands on the ground. Any and every place there are women, there are men who abuse them. For some reason, though, African American women have a dubious distinction. They catch one hell of a lot more than their share of sh*t off the black men who supposedly love and care about them.

It’s a catastrophic legacy of African American culture. The Stagger Lee Syndrome, let’s call it. Stagger Lee Shelton – there actually was such a person outside the old Lloyd Price hit song – was a 19th century, St. Louis pimp who personified the word “bad”. As in that is one bad cat, so mean and evil his shadow’s scared to follow him around. Shelton thought little of going up against another man and even less of going upside a woman’s head. This made him an heroic figure. An enduring archetype against which far too many Black men, in this day and age, measure their worth, their self esteem.

portrait-129The stereotype is so prevalent black men who so much as exchange cross words with their women get branded wife-beater. The stereotypical behavior also is so prevalent isn’t really a stereotype. It’s a fact of life, a tragic truth of black life in America. A knuckle-dragging, Neanderthal mentality that victimizes dehumanizes and kills Black women like it was lunch. Consider, among victims who’ve made headlines across the country – and those who didn’t make the news at all – Kathyrn Rose Anderson, late of Eagan, MN., came a St. Paul Pioneer Press report. Anderson died of 109 stab wounds at the knife-wielding hand of one Ryan Stanley Hurd, who, when the cops caught up to his cowardly ass, confessed to the crime. Also attributing to her death was exposure to extreme cold. So, this bright, shining model of manhood not only stabbed her to do death, he left her bleeding out on the freezing ground.

Sad but so, it’s hard to know which is worse. The fact that this young woman was butchered or the fact that she is but the latest in a long, long line of America’s black women who have been murdered by black men. In the name of some idiotically savage approximation of manhood. You show me someone who is surprised that this was yet one more Black man brutalizing one more black woman and I’ll show you a two-headed orangutan. There’s an old saying and a true one in African American culture. It’s a quip that goes, “This [mess] is got to stop.” Truer words was never spoke. There has to be an end. We can look to the law. However, Kathyrn Rose Anderson, like countless others, had a restraining order against her killer.

Anyway you slice it, circumstance for black women subject to domestic homicide are, to say the least, bleak. Do you realize not a single presidential candidate has ever said, “Vote for me, because I will do something about domestic abuse”? Not Hilary Clinton, not Barack Obama, not nobody offered a method by which to keep women safe from sadistic men. Which should tell you something about how women are regarded in this supposedly new and improved society.

Badly as that impacts all women – white, by the way, is a color, too – it’ll be a miracle if The Stagger Lee Syndrome doesn’t break black women’s backs.

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