I am rarely amazed at the high degree of subliminal manipulation present in mass media. However, I was recently quite disturbed by an image of a nude black athlete donning orange Nike shoes and by the response that many women had in regards to the nude black male featured therein.
For the last 6 years I have produced many documentaries, conducted countless radio shows, and written numerous articles on the subject of subliminal messages. The image in question, while touting testicular cancer awareness, subliminally projects a nude greased-up black male athlete wearing Nike shoes. While the image of the nude athlete is not necessarily pornographic, the responses issued by several women were highly sexualized. In reading such responses I wondered how it was that a woman could find sexual stimulation while objectifying men. More intriguingly, I wondered how an image that subliminally represents the Young Black African Buck, a long standing racial stereotype that suggests that Black males are sexual predators or sexual beasts, are endowed with extremely large genitals, and that such males should be feared by white women and desired by black women, could be so easily accepted by black women without any criticism of the picture itself.
It is remarkable how long standing racial stereotypes can still influence the perceptions and the behavior patterns of people in general and, as it relates to the image of the nude black athlete dawning orange Nike shoes, Black women in particular. Given the responses posted by many black women it became clear that the nude black male was perceived as desirable, sexy, and powerful. I will propose that this degree of desirability is largely associated with race-based stereotypes of black males as having extreme physical prowess and superior sexual performance; qualities that were extensively considered in the selection of, and the breeding of, African slaves. As a matter of fact the nude greased-up black male is an image that was all too common on the African slave blocks throughout the diaspora.
If black women can find a degree of twisted sexual arousal via the objectification of black men, an objectification that is rooted in African-enslavement, then they effectively dissolve their ethical position to protest the high degree of objectification of black women. This is to say that the objectification of men will further the objectification of women. The objectification of women will further the objectification of men.
One would argue that it is perfectly normal to comment about how beautiful someone’s body is. Commenting on someone’s body is not the issue. The issue is the sexualization of a person based upon their physical characteristics. As a man, when I see a half-naked black woman being over-sexualized in a rap video I protest. As a woman, when you sexualize the image of a fully naked black male, then you have done to the fully naked black male in the image, what male perverts have done to half-naked black women in rap videos.
And what exactly are you getting aroused about “Testicular Cancer?”
Instead of sexualizing the black male that appears in the testicular cancer awareness ad, women would be better served to ask critical questions such as “Why does the nude black male have on Nike shoes in this particular ad?”
The reason why the nude black male has on Nike shoes is threefold.
1. Nike shoes are extremely popular in black communities and therefore the shoes function as a marketing tool employed to tap into a particular demographic i.e. the black community.
2. In some black communities Nike shoes are seen as a status symbol and are associated with financial prowess, physical dexterity, and social power. In essence, the Nike shoes worn by the nude male, subliminally projects financial prowess, physical dexterity, and social power; financial prowess and social power being a long standing dream of the descendants of African slaves.
3. The shoe brand Nike is the shoe of choice for modern day black athletes. Modern day black athletes are perceived to possess financial prowess, physical dexterity, social power, and symbolically represent the modern day black buck slave. Welcome to 2012!
Let me be clear in stating that my work and my life has been about respecting women, honoring women, and protecting women. In honoring women I honor the greatest creative force on planet earth, the life-giver, the nurturer. I only ask that a fraction of these levels of respect be afforded to black males. Thank you for your support.
Note: It is possible that these testicular cancer pictures are the result of Photoshop manipulation so as to further the current race-based mind control programming which I have been speaking about on my radio show “Transcending Media Manipulation”.
Copyright © 2012 Lenon Honor