The Problem With Loni's Logic
During the holiday, I had an opportunity to watch Kevin Hart’s latest Netflix docuseries, Don’t F**k This Up, where he and his wife Eniko spoke out about Kevin’s infidelity.
Remember this? The video was part of an extortion attempt made by a close friend who threatened to release the tape unless he received payment. At the time the video circulated, Eniko was eight months pregnant. Kevin explained why he cheated which basically narrowed down to “working hard.”
After watching this, I had questions. Why would they want to bring this up again? What was the point? We had taken this off our radar. We weren’t talking about it anymore. In essence, we had moved on. Now, it was being smacked in our face once again.
Rapper Joe Budden tackled Kevin Hart’s cheating in a recent episode of his podcast. Being that he has cheated in past relationships, Joe offered up his understanding:
“He works really hard, I can work harder. Like, I can see how n—as cheat… In thinking about how hard he works, sometimes you’re not home but for 10 seconds in the day, for however many days. And I as a man can understand how that can be difficult.”
The women of “The Real” talk show also decided to join in on the conversation. Comedian Loni Love believes there should be an open discussion regarding the way successful Black men generally make excuses to be unfaithful. She says men like Kevin Hart, Joe Budden, etc. typically blame “working hard” on ruining their home lives.
Loni went on to say, “in the Black community – I don’t speak for the Black community but I do think that a lot of Black men they really don’t know how to have true, faithful relationships. They think because they have money, because they have power they can treat women any kind of way. And that is something we need to work on.”
Yes Loni, I can agree with you on that. However, it’s not just in the Black community. When Adrienne Bailon chimed in to say that men of all races cheat, Loni said, “It’s not across the board because what is happening is that we are still dealing with the point of slavery. And we are descendants of slavery and because our families were broken up we still do not have an idea of how to have togetherness because our families were broken up.”
So, here’s the thing. If we want to deep dive into this and attempt to identify a catalyst for the cheating behavior of black men, we can’t rest on slavery as one of the root causes.
I believe Loni was trying to articulate a truth, however, it did not come across well. She singled out Black men and made some generalizations that were ill-stated.
If she really wanted to say that the generational trauma of slavery and broken homes are the reasons for Black men cheating, it doesn’t help that she is in a relationship with James Welsh, a white man. For the purposes of this conversation, we’ll just call him - the oppressor.
Loni, the white man that you’re dating – his ancestors were raping your ancestors, subsequently cheating on their wives. Therefore, what are you really talking about?
This is another example of how we sometimes talk too much when we’ve found a good thing. Somehow, we become the resident authority for the subject that no one asked for. We saw this play out with singer Ciara after she married NFL player Russell Wilson.
She was accused of criticizing single women after posting a video of a Pastor John Gray sermon in which he says, “too many women want to be married but are walking around in the spirit of a girlfriend… if you begin to carry yourself like a wife, a husband will find you.”
My issue, along with other women, was not with Ciara but with Pastor Gray. Reaffirming self-worth is never an issue; telling single Black women they don’t have any is. With both Loni and Pastor Gray, their messages are toxic because they point fingers and perpetuate narrow-minded ideals.
Loni has found love which is a wonderful thing. It is possible to be in love and happy without claiming to know why other people do what they do. The range of Black men’s experiences is just too immense for the answer as to why they cheat to ever be so simplistic.
We can agree that cheating is a sign of superiority, among a host of other things. However, it’s not just the Black community that is hurting. Men from every race cheat. Therefore, other communities hurt as well.
Loni took to Twitter yesterday to say, “Folks will be mad but we need to work on building good relationships that honor women …” As we move forward, she’s right. In the midst of that statement, we need to stop with the generalizations that hold us back. There needs to be more emphasis on healing. We need more information (in all forms) that deals with Black relationships, and provide us with solutions.