No matter where you are, it seems that there is some source out there that will tell you that a black person has done something wrong. It can be a newspaper in the store or through word-of-mouth from a friend, relative or family member. At some point during the week, a black person somewhere will do something stupid, it will become big news somewhere or everywhere.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t hear about a crime or accident that happened, but it seems that when it comes to black folks, when we screw up, it most likely is seen as the only kind of news that matters.

In the past few weeks alone, there have been plenty of news in which delights the fancy of white racists. Black-on-white murders, famous black celebrities with drug problems, reported violence issues and anger management problems are circulating the mainstream news media.

What doesn’t move as much are news stories about young black geniuses, young black heroes/heroines, black celebrities who give back to their communities, black people who aren’t in positions of sports and entertainment, who aren’t poor, who aren’t stupid and who aren’t violent. In short, black people who don’t fit society’s mold of inferiority are given a brief notice or are not mentioned entirely. Why?

Black pathology is big business. This is the answer to the reason of the severe imbalance of black images in the media. It is also the theme of an article written by Ishmael Reed in 1989. The article states that in issues of drugs and crime in the news media, blacks were to blame despite information that illustrates that both problems are predominately caused by whites:

“Two-thirds of teenage mothers are white, two-thirds of welfare recipients are white and white youth commit most of the crime in this country. According to a recent survey, reported by the OaklandTribune, the typical crack addict is a middle-class white male in his 40s. Michele Norris of a has cited a study that dis- covered “no significant difference in the rate of drug use during pregnancy among women in the public clinics that serve a largely indigent population and those visiting private doctors who cater to upper-income patients.” Yet in the popular imagination blacks are blamed for all these activities, in the manner that the Jews took the rap for the Black Plague, even in countries with little or no Jewish population.”

There isn’t a huge difference between then and now. The “Blame the black man” campaign continues to be the answer for all things broken in this nation.

black-pathology-teen-pregnancyWhite racism, no matter who suffers from it, uses the media as “I told you so” moments of the dysfunctional nature it always links to that of the black community. It sees the criminal activity, whenever and wherever it erupts, as common within not only that particular area, but throughout the entire Black American Community which is seen as largely poor and run-down through the twisted imagination of whiteness.

Whenever a crime – a violent crime is reported, and the suspect is black, white racism will not only record it, especially if it’s on the internet, but it will also likely be shoved in the faces of other blacks. Anti-racist black people deal with those plagued by whiteness who interrogate them as if they had something to do with the crime, even if it’s hundreds of miles away. Whiteness then expects the Black American community at large to be held accountable for these individual incidences, because it sees all black people as the problem. And the media is loaded with whiteness.

White people, as one might expect, are seen with a more balanced lens. There are plenty of examples of positive white stories in the media, way more than some people realize. The media, for them, is almost like an anti-depressant drug that keeps them stimulated in a state of happiness while maintaining the double standard that whites are individuals while blacks are one, huge crooked monolith.

Many white folks see blacks as a monolith and sadly, some blacks, including yours truly, have the same vision problem. But to help remedy that, there must be more positive black images and stories. It is nothing short of fair to show the vast humanities and greatness of blackness that is lacking from the perspective of whiteness. Do these stories exist? Do such images exist? Yes on both counts, probably more so than we believe. They are out there. All one has to do is look. Unfortunately, as shown time and time again, you can’t expect those views to come from the mindset of whiteness.


  • “Whiteness then expects the Black American community at large to be held accountable for these individual incidences, because it sees all black people as the problem. And the media is loaded with whiteness.”

    This pretty much says it all. A black person doing something positive is an individual or is just ignored. A black person doing something negative is typical of all black people.

  • Likewise, a white person doing something positive is typical of all white people. A white person doing something negative is an individual or just ignored, unless it is severe like a mass shooting.

    Yet, whiteness will not see the obvious double standard.

  • AnnaRenee

    I decided that misbehaving black folks aint none a mines.

  • dusttracks

    This is true. I don’t understand why you would post photos of pregnant teenagers who are Black. Wouldn’t posting photos of pregnant white teenagers go along with the point of the article? The photos reinforce what you’re complaining about.

  • Your comment is a perfect example of how black pathology is internalized hence my decision to use those photos with this post. Your fixation was the choice in images rather than the message.

  • dusttracks

    Not at all. I just asked a question. There’s a lot I could say here about this article, but I don’t want to argue with you, and I WILL NOT BE ACCUSED of suffering from pathology just because you can’t handle a simple question about choices that you have made. I will say that it’s hard not to notice the pictures. Are you saying you didn’t want people to look at them? They’re very sad! Furthermore, you still didn’t ANSWER MY QUESTION! What specific editorial decision was made to include these photos???

  • dusttracks

    I look CRITICALLY at EVERYTHING in the media. I don’t care WHO writes it.

  • dusttracks

    I read Ishmael Reed. Extensively. Your response makes no sense.

    I hate to keep posting, but I’ve been following this site for years and considering the often interesting and well written content, I am very surprised at your response. It really makes no sense.

  • It may not make sense to you right now, but give it time and it will (BTW, your deep concern about these images as displayed by your numerous comments helps to explain my original point – black pathology or portrayals of it and responses to it is conditioned by white supremacy).

  • dusttracks

    I don’t have DEEP CONCERN about these images. The reality that they reflect should be of DEEP CONCERN to all of us. My question, again, is about the editorial decision to USE them. Let’s just be real about this. I don’t need you to talk down to me or hide behind some ‘give it time and you’ll understand’ riddles.

    Why don’t you just admit that you used them to get clicks?

  • dusttracks

    I’m not posting in response to the photos. I’m posting in response to your condescending remarks.

    I’m done here. If all you can do is insult me and my intelligence, there is no need to expend any more energy here.

    Get yo money, boo boo!!

  • May I ask you a question, what feeling did you get from viewing these photos? I’m just wondering.

  • Val

    I agree with “dusttracks”. As I was reading this and viewing the photos I thought the point of the post would have been better made showing photos of pregnant White girls. Especially since the whole pregnancy pact thing was a originally a White girl thing.