On June 12, 2019, comedian/recording artist Lil Duval and The Breakfast Club’s Charlemagne Tha God attempted to shift the national perception of Black men when they released their hit anthem “Black Men Don’t Cheat.” The first time I heard the song, I literally laughed out loud and thought, this is about as true as everyone claiming to be “Living Their Best Life” and we all know just how true that is. After listening to the song again I’ll be the first to admit, while I was extremely entertained, I was left utterly confused. Are they serious? Are they making a mockery out of generational infidelity which runs rampant in the Black community? Nobody is actually taking this song serious right? After scrolling through the internet, I landed on the one comment that seemed to sum it all up for me, “This is a whole Jussie Smollett ass lie!” I died! This person is absolutely right, the idea sounds good and it’s something we really want to believe but of course we all know better! So, as we sit back and watch some of the most ignominious of men across the nation take this blasted pledge of “attempted fidelity,” I’m sure many women, like myself, are left bewildered by this entire movement.
Let’s try to break this down, shall we?
For starters, Lil Duval made the twitter proclamation, “Ladies black men don’t cheat really benefits y’all” and in theory I can see where he was trying to go with this. I mean what woman wouldn’t support a movement promoting the growth of Black men and advocating for them to be faithful, upstanding pillars of our community? However, the question then comes into play how does a song that “benefits” us start off by calling women out their name? First verse- “I love my old lady/That’s my baby/Think I’m leaving her for you?/B**ch you crazy…” And please spare me with the whole, “they weren’t referring to all women” when they used the term “bitch” just the ones it “pertains” to. Perhaps, Black men should focus on eradicating the term bitch in reference to any woman before dipping his condescending misogyny all over the internet, but then again maybe I’m just being a little too nitpicky and should be thankful for the “benefit” these men have so graciously blessed us with.
Now Charlemagne Tha God, who’s arguably one of the most pompous yet brilliant black men of our time, claims that the intention of this “negro spiritual” is to change the world by creating a new narrative of black men by speaking positivity, faithfulness and growth into existence. Charlemagne goes on to explain that the keyword in this whole movement is “men” don’t cheat. He even quotes the infamous Bible verse, I Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” The issue I have with this train of thought is, it infantilizes men when they cheat; thus, making immaturity the scapegoat. This inherent male privilege allows for men to write off all the hurt, pain and agony they put women through under the guise of childish behavior and once “reformed” they redeem the title of being a “man.” GTFOH! So basically, what we’re being told is when men cheat, they’re considered boys, but the day they decide to TRY to stop cheating, they “expeditiously” become men? I’m sorry but for all anatomical intent and purposes, when a man is unfaithful, he is still very much a man, unless of course his infidelity causes him to pee while sitting down… Now, if we’re looking at mentality, research shows that the prefrontal cortex (the part of our brain that’s responsible for focusing, complex planning, decision making, impulse control, logical thinking, organized thinking, personality development, risk management and short term-memory) is full developed between the age of 20-30, so we’ll give those males 30 and under a pass. Finally, if we’re speaking in the Biblical sense, although the Bible doesn’t clearly identify an “age of accountability” I’m sure most theologians would agree that it’s well before the age of 20. So now that we’ve broken this down, it’s safe to say that immaturity can be taken off of the table as justification for an unfaithful man’s scandalous behavior. The more accurate narrative would be, when men cheat (as some, many, the majority but not all) will do they’re actually acting within the full scope of their capacity, which is an indicator of the type of man, not boy, he is.
As a woman, it triggers me to hear, “From this day forth we will try to be better;” kinda like when an ex makes the public service announcement on social media that he’s all of the sudden ready to be faithful or has learned what it takes to be a righteous man. Like, WTF were you doing on June 11th, the day before that or prior? Practicing? Getting ready to be faithful? Why not admit to your failure as a grown ass man, accept responsibility and not TRY but actually DO better? Now before some readers get all sensitive on me, I understand that a man has to start somewhere and no I’m not holding men to their past as I do believe in transformation and restoration; however, we can’t overlook the irony in one’s attempt at fidelity. Ladies, pay attention to what he’s promising you. If being faithful is something he has to work at, I’m curious to see the success rate.
All Jokes Aside
Let’s take a step back and focus on the reality of the situation. Generational infidelity has been the status quo in the Black community for decades if not centuries. While I applaud the attempt to bring about social change by highlighting this atrocity and starting the dialogue; all jokes aside, this is a serious issue. Families are torn apart, mortality rates increase, mental health and STD’s go unchecked and we’re left laughing about how Black Men Don’t Cheat. We can talk about Black men all day, but sis we can’t ignore our role in all of this. As a woman who has been cheated on, I will never condone the actions of a man; however, I will say if there wasn’t an abundance of insecure, scandalous, thirsty ass women, Black men couldn’t be in a position to cheat…as much. But we’ll save all that for another blog…Instead, let’s focus on a confession I have to admit. As much as I was offended by this song, Charlemagne won me over during an interview on the Breakfast Club with Keyaira Kelly when he forced a new perspective on us. Rather than viewing the phrase Black Men Don’t Cheat as a declarative, let’s set it in motion as a plea: Black Men, Don’t Cheat…anymore.