Now CNN is getting in on the act. Leading their website this afternoon is an op-ed from Kevin Powell, former Democratic Congressional candidate in New York, and cast member on MTV’s original season of “The Real World.” Powell’s contention: it’s America’s culture of manliness that led Belcher to blow away his girlfriend and then turn the gun on himself. That culture of manliness includes men hiding their emotion, machoness, and homophobia. Seriously.
Belcher had problems. But to express that it is society’s fault – the most feminized society in the history of civilization – that Belcher couldn’t express his feelings, is moronic.
For the past several years, I have privately advised and counseled several professional and amateur athletes, and entertainers, all men, all grappling with very warped definitions of manhood. The recurring theme over and over is fear of expressing themselves fully, fear of letting others down, fear of not being the tough and rugged men they were told they had to be. And on the inside so many of them are damaged as a result. The very definition of manhood they’ve embraced is more an emotional prison than anything else.
This is probably why the one scene that is locked in for me is of Belcher thanking his coach and general manager for what they did for him. Then walking away and shooting himself in the head.
We must struggle, harder than ever, as men, as boys, as a nation, to reach the point where a heart-to-heart conversation is the first and only option, not a gun, not gun violence. The lives of Jovan Belcher and Kasandra Perkins will have been in vain completely if we do not go deeper within ourselves to teach and show our sons, our husbands, our boyfriends, our fathers, our men and boys, that there is another way.
What is this other way? Less male role models? Belcher had none. Less manliness? Belcher wasn’t manly – he never married his girlfriend and clearly didn’t care enough about his child not to murder her mother. Less traditional values? Belcher didn’t do this because he was gay, and put upon by the traditional values establishment. He did this because he had no traditional values.
If we are going to blame society for Belcher, let’s look at some real societal problems: single motherhood, tolerance for antisocial behavior, lack of behavioral standards, multicultural acceptance of sexism. But the media is intent on blaming conservative ideals, from gun rights to traditional manliness, for what is very clearly a breach with any conservative ideals whatsoever.
Culture of “manliness”? Isn’t CNN equating “manliness” with “gansta” culture? Sure sounds like it.
But the bigger point is how far liberal society will go to avoid the simple fact that evil exists. They are more interested in explaining away behaviors by some parenthetical and tangential means to prevent there from being societal rules that would prevent them from doing just about anything they want to do.
“Progressive”/liberal thought has become more about explaining away evil than directly confronting it.