Thursday, March 8, 2012

More Than Just the Leather Is Black (pt 2)

Further Reflections on Black History Month
Yesterday our dear friend mouse (of Omega and mouse) made a comment on my Reflections on Black History Month post that read:
Michael Sir,
It's interesting that mouse has known a few African-American Doms (both male and female), which seems to be more acceptable than in the submissive position.
Yes, mouse can see where economics would play into it. Wonder tho, if DD or simply spanking is used more?
I'd like to begin by thanking mouse for her thoughtful comment, just as I'd like to thank my friend Cherub for originally bringing this topic up in an email.  

Here's how I responded to mouse in comments:
Oh, thank you my dear mouse, for the added perspective, it's appreciated~!
Your comment is very thought provoking. I don't know the answer to the spanking and DD question, and I'd guess nobody really knows for sure. I'd be curious to know if you are correct, as this isn't the kind of information demographers often collect . . .
I'd never thought about the dominant role being more acceptable for individuals of African-American descent, but it makes a lot of sense, as it's perfectly logical that there would be less stigma for most African-Americans in a role without the direct connection to the word slave.
I'd originally envisioned an even longer essay, with more quotes and further thoughts on the topic, including a mini-essay on race stereotyping in the porn industry. Then I realized it wasn't going to be a timely BDSM reaction to Black History Month if the essay wasn't finished until May.
big hugs,
I guess it's easy to tell that I enjoy banter with mouse, and find her delightful, just as I have great respect for Omega.  I think he's a lucky man, but I can say it without a hint of jealousy, because I am also blessed by my beloved Serafina.

OK, enough gushing with the sugary, I'd not like to become so sweet as to give readers diabetes.  I'll be more topical in the next portion of the essay, I promise.

In all honesty, I don't usually think too much about topics like race. 

I guess that's probably a side effect of being a white middle-aged male, as I'm part of what should be considered as the historically privileged race and sex.  I'm probably not supposed to even admit that white males are privileged when somebody else brings up the subject, let alone make such a strongly and blatantly inflammatory statement unbidden, but, I enjoy all the advantages.  

When I was younger, back in my days as a community organizer, I wished for a world that was colorblind, and always tried to live that as a reality in my work.  I didn't think about race because I didn't think it was an important issue.  The color of an individual's skin has nothing to do with the content of their character, so I saw race as irrelevant.

Long before anyone had come up with phrases and names for the top one percent of economic elite, I argued directly to my Black friends that the color of our skin should not be a dividing line, that we were all brothers in being exploited by the economic elite.  As a poor white person working little more than sustenance jobs, I found a greater personal common cause with poor Blacks and Hispanics than I ever felt towards those of my own race who made over $100,000 a year (where I felt the dividing line between rich and middle class was drawn in 1990.)  

I argued that race was an artificial dividing line, that the rich wanted the black man and the brown man and the white man all to hate each other.  I reasoned that when "races" fought each other over the scraps the truly privileged deigned to throw us, it distracted us from hating those who kept us all in economic slavery.

In all honestly, I still believe all of that to be true today, perhaps more so than ever.  

But, I also understand today why my African-American friends liked my rhetoric, but never fully trusted it.  Despite dreams, whether they be mine, or whether they be the dreams of far greater and courageous men like the dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr., I know that race still divides far too many for it to be healthy to pretend otherwise.

Before concluding this discussion of the intersection of race and BDSM, I need to acknowledge that there are a number of relevant issues I've left untouched.  

For instance, there's one more loaded topic brought up by Cherub in our email exchanges:
 There is a lot of pornography that exploits racial sterotypes- big scary black men ravaging white women, and conversely black women being humiliated by white men- outside of the bdsm aesthetic.
Well, Cherub my dear, that's a topic I'd broach were it not for some brief banter I had with a psychiatrist friend from the building where my office is located.  During the most recent session of our daily banter, the good Doctor knighted me a "Master of the Obvious".     

Wearing that moniker proudly, and considering the old adage about the relative value of pictures and words, I'll just let the images I've attached tell the story.

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