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To Sam of Chicago: The ‘wounds of slavery and Jim Crow’ are no excuse for the dismal treatment that many of my friends and I have received from black men – we don’t deserve it. We have always loved and supported black men through the best and worst of times. I am a good woman, conservative in manner and dress, who is respectful and thoughtful of others, and I instill these and other good values in my six-year-old son, who is my world and No. 1 priority.
Here is a sample of the hostility I receive from black men: Degrading comments about my body (I dress conservatively – some friends say too conservatively), offers to ‘stop and talk,’ and when I don’t respond the way they feel I should, they become insulting, invading my personal space by pressing their leg against mine on public transportation, etc. It’s bad enough these things happen to me, but I become extremely resentful when it’s done in front of my little boy; he certainly doesn’t deserve this. I have not attempted friendships and, especially, ‘relationships,’ with black men since my son was born. I believe the hostility black men display toward black women is extremely dangerous to my son, and to me. As his mom, it is my responsibility to protect him from anything and anyone who could cause him harm. I realize my decision is extreme, but I feel that me and my little boy are better off.