Monday, July 6, 2009
Weak-Willed Men & What the Death of Steve McNair Teaches Us
Athlete Steve McNair was found murdered this weekend with a young woman who was not his wife. Someone asked why it mattered that the woman who died with him was white. Of course it matters but not for the reason some of you may think. This isn't going to be a bash-the-white-skinned-woman rant. Or chiding the black man for chasing the white flesh, lol! This is something that happens every day after all and has for hundreds of years since Frederick Douglass was a freed slave to now. That is nothing new.
The fact is McNair was in some stage of an adulterous relationship with this woman when he was married. He hadn't bothered to try to conceal it from his wife either. When it was publicized he had been murdered there was an immediate response where people talked about his career achievements and the celebrity worship of an athlete was in full effect. I didn't see a lot of responses that addressed the blatant disrespect shown to the surviving spouse. Well he didn't die in an accident, he died as a result of the choices he made about whom he associated with. I see this is a huge character - lack of - issue.
Sure there are two sides to every story, blah blah blah. He was cheating on his wife with a 20 y.o. waitress and by doing so had intentionally abandoned his family. So the sympathy should be reserved for Mechelle McNair and their four children who will certainly hear some horrible things in school and have to live with not only the loss of a husband and father but the public spectacle as more salacious details are revealed. This is also a lesson in how compromising standards in relationships won't slow its demise.
So this is where (other) white people (and other groups as well) come in. Here you have a well-known black male athlete who's running around town with a young woman and gets himself killed. We also have no idea that she actually murdered him. The truth of what really happened may never be made public - and perhaps that's best. Sure you have your Sanfords, your Clintons and whoever else gets busted but whites (males) are still the majority population and dictating most of the terms under which we live in this society. Racists and regular people alike take notice the massive dysfunction going on in what's left of the black community. That's why it matters. It's not about what they think, it's about the dismissal of the offenses to the wife and children by other blacks.
Some black people seem to be missing the larger issues and are focusing on the wrong things. As someone mentioned in another forum, it's a shame when so many black men can be described by a Britney Spears song: Toxic, Circus and Womanizer. Haven't we seen enough of that on display this past week? The dysfunctional behavior is RARELY correctly addressed. It's barely even acknowledged let alone being brought to the forefront to be resolved. It's why so many were confused about whether the BET Awards were a sad display of depravity. Umm hello - yes!! It's why those of us who should've known better (like me) should NEVER have watched it.
McNair nearly won a Super Bowl and had made a successful NFL career for himself. He had a family and presumably some money. Let's just say it all went to his head a little. Somehow I think if you're going to cheat at least find someone that has some stature or something equally important to lose so that it remains discreet. What does it say about his self-esteem and outlook that picking up a young woman with no significant career achievements was such a thrill for him? That it was her youth, naivete and/or white skin that was the draw?
Where was that steely resolve he used to build his career and generate wealth when it came to fulfilling his role as the head of his family through his actions and honoring his commitments to them? This seems to be a key missing component with a lot of black men today and it needs to be addressed BY OTHER MEN, not women. You know, the "good men" and "community pillars". You know who you are as I'll get several messages from women claiming you. Your silence is deafening!
This is why black women really need to pay attention. You can love and devote your entire existence to a significant other, but find they never really valued you for who and what you are at your core. The main goal for a hetero woman who wishes to reproduce should be finding and keeping a man of substance so her life is less likely to be one of hardships - and scandals. The man must have more going for himself than "simply" being famous or achieving career success, money or accolades. It's best to not be solely looking at the phenotype of a man or insisting he has to be a black and no one else will do. We do not belong to black men and we can't "save" the black community. We do not belong to anyone but ourselves!!!
We all deserve to be with someone who values us and our relationship. This isn't to say that people don't make mistakes, but you'd think after all McNair supposedly achieved in life this was who he was interested in, not another woman of equal stature or achievement. He was that weak and insecure. That woman may have ended up being the last woman he'd cheated with but she probably wasn't the first. Now she's lost her life as well - all for a fantasy.
I'm not here to pass judgment but to make an observation of the things that go on with regards to blacks. That means covering our sorrows as well as triumphs. That means speaking directly to the ones bearing the brunt of the grunt work with none of the glory: black women. Some asked if this would be an incentive for men to curtail their infidelity - of course not! Someone's always thinking they're the "exception".
What was the last profile piece of achievement you've heard of: Serena Williams winning Wimbledon. Again I submit not one personal scandal from either tennis champ, just a lot of jealousy and animosity from competitors to commentators. Black women had better take heed to the real deal: the black men and black community has (collectively) long been gone and trying to hold onto the concept is like grabbing onto sand. The harder you grab and try to hold on the faster it slips through your fingers. Stop wandering the desert and step onto fertile land. Let it go and live your best life possible. A life that is determined by you being fully functioning, independent and free.