Complex Media Group founder and Editor-in-Chief Torraine Walker recently appeared on the Black News Channel (BNC) to expound on his wave-making editorial, “The Black Boogeyman Lie”, taking to task the U.S. power structure that he said demonizes Black men.
Walker penned the op-ed in response to an article by writer and critic Jamilah Lemieux, which appeared in Vanity Fair. His response was published by The Moguldom Nation on Monday, Jan. 24. It quickly gained traction and received praise from several high-profile Black men including artist and entrepreneur Killer Mike.
In the article, Walker called out the media, academics, activists and other groups that he said actively promote Black misandry.
“The biggest and longest-lived lie in American culture is the myth of the Black boogeyman,” Walker wrote. “It’s a lie with more mutations and virulence than any disease. A lie that has been used to lynch Black men, incarcerate Black men, and demonize Black men since we were brought to these shores.”
To date, the original tweet in which Walker shared his op-ed has over 1,500 likes, 773 retweets and 95 quote tweets. The article has also been read widely directly from Moguldom’s website.
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With so much buzz around Walker’s piece, he was invited to discuss it on BNC’s “Start Your Day” show. During the interview with Mike Hill, Walker doubled down on his stance, reiterating that the experiences of a minority of Black men shouldn’t be used to define the entire demographic.
After noting he’d read the article and “loved it,” Hill asked Walker what motivated him to write it. Walker said, in addition to responding to Lemieux’s piece, he thought it was necessary to counter dangerous false narratives about Black men which far too many accept as fact.
“I thought that article took the really valid discomfort that some Black men and some Black gender-nonconforming people may have about Chappelle’s work and it kind of spun it out into this narrative that demonized all Black men in general,” Walker answered.
“I thought it also ties into what I call the myth of the Black Boogeyman which is sort of like African American men ever since we got here have been demonized,” Walker continued. “We’ve been seen as this sort of giant predator or potential predator and the only way we can be controlled is through state violence or political violence or death. And I just thought it was very dangerous.”
“What I wanted to do with that article was try to present some counter-narratives, bring some data into it to talk about the fact that there’s a small minority of Black men who can be dangerous, but the majority of us are not like that and it’s important to tell those stories,” Walker said.
“Is there really an excuse? Don’t you think people just view us the way they really intend to view us in a sense?” Hill asked.
“Absolutely,” Walker answered. “We’ve had almost 400 years of counternarratives of how Black men are portrayed to how we really are and with all the social media out here, all the different new content coming out for us to be portrayed as demons, for us to be portrayed as predators, that’s a deliberate choice.”
Walker referenced the example he used in his article of the racist movie “Birth of a Nation” and many other depictions of Black men in Hollywood that feed the Black boogeyman narrative by painting Black men as monsters.
The two men also discussed what Walker dubbed “Negro whisperers” – which are Black people who he says have been recruited by the white elite to push destructive narratives about Black men.
“People like Candace Owens and people on the right, those are easy people to spot and what she says is very vile, very disgusting and it needs to be condemned, but we also have to be aware that there are certain people in academia, certain people who work in media, who are ostensibly on the left or progressives who say some of the same things about Black men that people like Candace Owens does,” Walker said.
“If you go on social media anytime a day, usually once or twice a day, some hateful narrative about Black men goes viral, especially on Twitter or on TikTok,” Walker continued. “And if you go back and look and see who did it, a lot of times it’s a Black academic or pundit or somebody who’s connected to the media.”
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“These things go viral and what they do is they give the white supremacists who already feel this way anyway more cover to say more hateful things because they see a Black face pushing it – and that needs to be checked as well,” Walker added. “It’s very dangerous.”
Hill concluded his interview by asking Walker how Black men and women could come together and stop giving credence to the “us-against-them” mentality.
There is a “small minority” of people who have “big microphones” that seek division, but for the most part, Black men and women desire unity, Walker said.
Photo: Torraine Walker is the founder and EIC of Context Media Group. His Moguldom editorial about the danger of the “Black Boogeyman” stereotype recently made waves online. Photo Credit: torrainewalker.com