The Prancing Elites and Straight Black Male Insecurity

It’s barely been a week since I wrote about racism in the LGBTQ community and here I am writing an article because the Prancing Elites are getting a reality show and negroes are PISSED.

The Prancing Elites are an all-male majorette squad based in Mobile, Alabama and they sparked controversy in December 2013 when they marched in a Christmas parade in their hometown. Videos of the Elites doing their thang have been bouncing across the internet with a variety of reactions accompanying them. While they give some people, myself included, life, others see them as a source of shame for the Black community, namely Black men. I’ve said this before and I will say it again: the worry of the supposed emasculation of Black men is a crock and a manifestation of respectability politics.

I’ve talked respectability politics on this blog several times but it’s usually about the slut-shaming of Black women. Respectability politics surrounding Black men rarely gets discussed unless we’re talking sagging pants. Femme presenting Black men get a lot of shit because while they may not sag and act like a “thug,” they’re equally reviled. The only thing worse than a Black man being a thug is a Black man being feminine. Many brothers treat it as a betrayal at best and a piece of white supremacist weaponry.

And still, they slay.

And still, they slay.

The latter is almost understandable because Black men just earned the right to be able to decide how to perform masculinity. In slavery, they were treated as chattel and post-slavery until the Civil Right Era, they were expected to bow to white men as if they were children. My own grandfather told me stories of having to call white children sir and ma’am and move off sidewalks to allow white men to walk uninterrupted. Still, my sympathy ends there because I’m sick of femme men being the scapegoat of a bunch insecure immature men. Brothers, if you are offended by the mere sight of femme Black men, I implore you to question why. Why do the Prancing Elites offend you? If Black masculinity is supposed to be strong, how is it so easily punctured by femme presenting men?

Uncomfortable? Good.

Uncomfortable? Good.

While I agree white supremacy is actively conspiring against us, it isn’t in the form of femme men or any other non-normative Black person. If anything, pushing people to conform is colonized and oppressive thinking. Society sees femininity as weak and undesirable. That view is what fuels sexism, misogyny and homophobia. The Black community is a microcosm of American society and hypermasculinity, misogynoir and sexism regularly go unchecked in the Black community. And frankly, I’m sick of it and as a community organizer, it frustrates me to the point where I’m unwilling to do work for Black folks that aren’t queer or trans. No one is trying to force a lifestyle on anyone or change opinions because at the end of the day, your opinion is irrelevant. Queer and trans Black people just want to live and be liberated like everyone else in the Black community. We want to belong and be received and that’s difficult when you’re too queer for Black folks and too Black for queer folks. If the Prancing Elites offend you brothers, they aren’t the ones with the problem.

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24 thoughts on “The Prancing Elites and Straight Black Male Insecurity

    • David Johnson says:

      Ashleigh I wonder if you can help me with this. You don’t see other races like whites or Asians or Hispanics etc. etc. that are pushing an agenda this hard to make males or their males look feminine or are flamboyantly gay. They do it only for the most part with black males. But it’s not a conspiracy to emasculate black males in the eyes of the world? Other races try to portray their males as someone that others want to look up too and their women want etc. etc.. But in the black community aka black feminists it’s the other way around.

      Ashleigh L.A. Where were those feminists black or white that came out to defend that black woman who was beaten on that LA highway by the cop. Where was Gloria Alred or NOW etc. etc.. They only come out when the black man does something and all of them jump on to take him down. But when a white man or sports player does something Rosenberger has three rape allegations on him and no one talks about it. You don’t see feminists (white) putting their men under the bus and I know for damn sure black feminists aren’t going after white men like that to take down, why?

      The reason is they ran a con game (white feminists) on the black feminists, pure and simple. White women get benefits from their males via white supremacy and so it’s in their best interest to support their males and their male children so that they can have the things that they want. They told black women that it’s the black male that is doing this to you and that but how is it that the black male is stopping you from getting a job? Or getting a higher position in a company (fortune 500) etc. etc.. It’s white males that are doing that not black males. We don’t own fortune 500 companies, we don’t own govt. that way we don’t control the police like that, it’s white males.

      White female feminists said that you where women first and black second, did you ever ask them if they where women first and white second? You see a lot of those white feminists women on their 2nd or third husband with kids. Where is the you don’t need a man and your a strong white woman? They made black women or the black women who are feminists and their lackeys to hate not only their own men but their own sons. We are the only race on this planet where a section of our women hate their own men and their own sons. They are using you to destroy your men and family unit in order to sow dissention and confusion and make it where your men can’t compete for resources with their white males.

      They are using you Ash or women like you Ash to take down your men. This way it’s easy to control you and they know that a woman regardless of who and what she is can get controlled. You may think I’m full of it, but why is it you don’t have pride in your men being strong and protectors and such. The rest of the planets races do that for their men, but it’s not for the black male.

      • Jay says:

        This is an embarrassment to black males and culture! Black women created these type of black men from living a life of immoral bastard baby making without a husband! Three generations of female headed households Coupled with man hating has created black men who haven’t a clue how to build an economy or lead a family! It’s black women who support this and who created this. Just as they create the emotional thugs that they lost control of because she decided she doesn’t need a man to raise her son. Stop having babies out of wedlock and shut up! Of course not all but damn near all! Jails are filled thanks to them denying our boys are loving father from the jump! Get real!

  1. ven says:

    This is the worst blow to the black race, people with low thinking mentality and without respect for God’s rules, shammmmmmmmmmmmm! Read your Bible / Koran whatever; My God is against this life style, 1st Timothy chapt 1; v 8-10.

    • Jasmin says:

      Keep reading it states only god can judge. Don’t pull scriptures out that feel nice to you. Ughh o my lord people.. Stop it.. They happy let them be.. BC the old testament has a lot things in it that we don’t suppose to do but you do it don’t it.. But since this has a greater out come you going to cast the fist stone.. Sit down… And re read you bible for understanding not as a force field to say what you want and hide behind it..

  2. Kevin says:

    Everything said here was based off your opinion. You have no facts nor anything to support your claims. I was thinking this was going to be informative but it’s just your personal feelings that in couldn’t hold up in any debate or discussion. Anyone can speak, but why speak if you ain’t gonna say anything. And as much as u want to be upset with the black community, you are still black, so not working for the benefit of black people that are not like u is silly. I don’t believe anything u said but i work with anyone that needs help. Not just those in support of my agenda.

  3. Stef says:

    Wow. So you really mean to tell me there is nothing wrong with brocasting homosexual behavior showing the world it is perfectly fine to be gay when it clearly isn’t. I am a proud hetrosexual I am mature and I am not with that type of attention seeking behavior because I have a son and he does not need these types of shows and flagrant behavior ruining what I have tried to instill in him. It is funny that no one believes in God anymore. The Bible was suppose to be his word. People like you support the destruction and effemenization of our black men because why not a sissy is a girl bestfriend. I could tolerate the gay issue if it werent thrown in my face everytime my television comes on like they are trying to program us to be and accept gay. Noooo way. This shit has got to stop cause at this rate black men of the future are doomed to be the bitches

  4. Ife says:

    I believe the writer of this article has much studying to do and has missed the whole point. I am simply too blown away by the statements made by people who have not done their homework.

  5. Shon says:

    The only issue I have with them, is that there are going to be people watching that feel this is a complete representation of black gay males, that we all behave like such, and that couldnt be further from the TRUTH.

  6. Seph Rodney says:

    Nicely said Ashleigh. I don’t usually go out of my way to identify as a straight black male, but it seems that by the tenor of the rest of the comments, it might be helpful to you to know that one of us is in your corner. I know that the argument you make here is challenging to black people who take their masculinist cues from a certain kind of blinkered Christianity and a deeply ingrained homophobia and misogyny. The question you pose is a really important one: “If Black masculinity is supposed to be strong, how is it so easily punctured by femme presenting men?” I would answer that it isn’t very strong. It’s rather fragile and that’s one of the reasons that we seem to constantly call on each other to perform black masculinity, especially by and through hating gay men.

  7. Vincent says:

    While you danced on both sides of the subject, I think you have to understand that there has been a landslide of anti black male sentiment in society and especially in the media. From black men dying at the hands of police and citizens to more and more shows portraying black men in a non masculine light. Shows are adding a black character and gay character to every show…. So, they just make them one character. It is an undeniable attempt to downgrade black males. So, for many black males, the Prancing Elites are just another version of that. The prancing elites are not the problem themselves, just another example of how black males image is being shaped in a certain light. The powers that be are using media to redirect our beliefs and images. Just saying that it all has to be taken into account.

  8. Edcardo Odom says:

    There us absolutely nothing OK with this. At best, this is trash! To try and elevate this into something respectful shows me you have poor taste and even lower class.

  9. Jasmin says:

    For you to sit here and judge like your shit to stank is crazy.. Also for the person that’s quoting scriptures… It also says.. Only god can judge.. So what gives you the right.. Life is about being happy and they are just that happy.. We took a step and but their lives where every one can see them but you hide behind words and text on the website who has more strength and faith? I’ll wait…

  10. sheek says:

    I feel there is nothing wrong with the Prancing Elite… I’m heterosexual and I’m fine. I believe in Jesus and I believe in the word. But I also believe if you don’t like something that’s ok, look away! If you don’t condone a certain activity that’s great, that’s you. But every since the biblical days there have been homosexual acts being committed. The lord couldn’t stop it then what makes you think you can stop it now? If it’s an abomination, then that person has to live with that. We all die ALONE. We all have to step in front of the lord above on judgement day alone. So don’t make what other people are doing affect your life. You’re the only one that can make homosexuality affect your life if you’re not. Like the bible says love thy neighbor. It doesn’t read love thy neighbor only if there straight, black and masculine…. If only people would put their hate to the side and love everyone the world would be a better place. STOP THE HATE! no sin is greater than the next. I bet everyone who has commented has sinned or is sinning or living in sin right now. There is no one person perfect. Just cause you’re straight doesn’t make you perfect in the Lord’s eyes so calm down and look at yourself and figure out why you hate these people so much!

  11. Otis Trotter says:

    The problem I have with this is the second dominant demographic in the black community, black males have historically experienced a dearth of positive images in the mass media. To prominently promote these black transgenders in very sexually suggestive performances, further chips away at the black masculine image that is already being compromised by assaults from multiple fronts in this country. I have nothing against these people, and they should be allowed to flaunt their stuff if they like, but I don’t feel that this is the right time for us to showcase them so conspicuously and flamboyantly.

  12. NY Fon says:

    Ashleigh, thanks for this article. I can’t imagine what “homework” you’re being asked to do, and the complaint that the “gay issue” is being thrown in people’s faces completely ignores what it must be like for queer people — of all races —to live in a culture where straight life *really* is, at every turn, being “thrown in [everyone]’s face.” I don’t mean to speak out of turn (since I’m white), and I know it’s a complicated issue, with the history of lynching and other forms of the emasculation of black men. Still and yet, I agree that in the end homophobia is a *product* of white supremacy, not a stand taken against it.

  13. Ariel says:

    Hey, interesting article. Even more interesting comments. I’d be interested in reading your thoughts on the intersection of misogynoir and transmisogyny in response to this group as well as this article.

  14. blackmanrising says:

    WHAT DID SHE JUST SAY:…..”femme men being the scapegoat of a bunch insecure immature men. Brothers, if you are offended by the mere sight of femme Black men, I implore you to question why. Why do the Prancing Elites offend you? If Black masculinity is supposed to be strong, how is it so easily punctured by femme presenting men?

    HERE’S WHY….

    GRADE F – for daring to compete with a woman for the love that only a woman can give to a man.

    If homosexuals are addicted to breathing like the rest of us then you will understand if my expectation for your homo-sexual lifestyle is for you to cease and desist with the hedonistic pursuit of gay power and concentrate on black power because homo-sexual, bald-head, 30 years on the job or money in the bank won’t save you. If you are an African American they are coming for you and when the wagon comes we all will go.

    I suspect that you have betrayed your man-hood, deserted your responsibilities and abandoned the front-line of our existence in pursuit of your perverse and immediate self sexual gratification.

    You have abandoned your duties and responsibilities as a black man to protect and provide for your black woman and child. You have committed this cowardly and treasonous act for the sole purpose of pursuing the penis and fanny perpendicular of another man.

    The ramifications from your despicable behavior and cowardly actions while African American lives languishes in the jaws of death are catastrophically incomprehensible.

    The futility of homosexual actions and behavior only adds insult to injury when considering that the object of your abandonment, desertion and homosexual attractions only rewards your desires with immediate self sexual gratification especially when considering the fact of nature that only a woman can produce life.

    If procreation through sex isn’t the objective then it stands to reason and logic that it is all about homosexuals getting yours even if it cost the lives of every African American man, woman and child.

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