View Poll Results: Are Black people particularly intimidating?
Yes, they definitely can be. 18 11.04%
No, people are people. 95 58.28%
I don't know. 6 3.68%
Maybe sometimes. 38 23.31%
Other 6 3.68%
Voters: 163. You may not vote on this poll

Are Black people particularly intimidating?

Will this thread get any replies? I'm curious about this and know it could get heated. But that's not why I'm asking. If you don't want to post, please
just respond to the poll.

I ask because when people (usually White) have described situations in which one person is intimidating another, they seem to make a point of saying when one of the people is Black.

For example, they'll say, "This big Black dude [read: really intimidating/scary person] came in and..." Is "Black" here just part of the description or is it integral to the story?

I was talking to someone today and she was recalling a case where someone (Person A) got smart with Person B on the phone, not knowing who she was talking to of course. She went on to say, about Person B, "In came this big Black woman" who was mad and put her finger in Person A's face. Person A didn't get smart with her anymore.

Can we discuss this honestly yet be chill about it? Doubt it, but I still wanna know if my take is correct or if I'm just over-sensitive to the subject.
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I wish I didn't feel this way, but I do. I live in St. Louis, and on average, around here, the black men are much more muscular and athletic than white men. Statistically, violent attacks on students and women (in this area) occur more frequently from black men than white men. I think honestly, though, I get equally scared if I see a "shady" group of white men as I do a "shady" group of black men. It seems that in this area, I tend to see more of the latter - I have tried to honestly ask myself if this is because of race... I think it has more to do with economic status, which is unfortunately often correlated with race.

I don't seem to think this about women, at all, though...
Hm, I realize I didn't really answer your question. I don't think race is relevant in the sense that I would include it in a story.
For me, no. Anyone bigger than I am, any man, who came at me in anger or in an imposing physical way would intimidate me. It would not matter what color he was. Same would go for a woman trying to attack me physically.

I'm generally a non-violent person and would be scared if anyone seemed to mean me harm. I'd just be thinking "Oh, ****!" and trying to figure out how to escape.

In a verbal altercation or exchange, I think I would be very aware of how complicated and easily misunderstood the situation could be if the other person were a different race and if the other person felt I was coming from a racially motivated or "white privilege" position in my argument.

That would never be my intention to do that, but I also think in many cases their paranoia (not knowing me) would be justified. And I wouldn't really have any defense or way to convince them otherwise.

So that might make me extra careful or even a little intimidated -- not by the person but by the situation. Does that make sense?
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For me, no. Anyone bigger than I am, any man, who came at me in anger or in an imposing physical way would intimidate me. It would not matter what color he was. Same would go for a woman trying to attack me physically.
Originally Posted by fig jam
Well said and this is how I feel.
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For me, no. Anyone bigger than I am, any man, who came at me in anger or in an imposing physical way would intimidate me. It would not matter what color he was. Same would go for a woman trying to attack me physically.
Originally Posted by fig jam
Well said and this is how I feel.
Originally Posted by CurlyCanadian
I agree with what you've said, too. I'm having a hard time trying to express how I feel... I don't think that black individuals are intimidating because they are black per se. Rather, I find large, physically fit men intimidating and I find myself involuntarily being intimidated due to crime statistics: for better or worse, where I live this coincides with blackness and maleness.
I can honestly tell you my answer is"wtf? No." But I dont see color (thats how I was raised).

I can tell you that I find tough, aggresive people intimidating, regardless of race, gender or size. And by that I mean people who seem more than willing to physically fight me. My mouth I am equiped to fight with; my hands, not so much.
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ITA w/rudeechick.
Intimidation is intimidation. It's all about the person's attitude and the way they carry themselves. Colour doesn't come into it.
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I think some people emphasize it because, no matter how politically correct they try to be, they still think black people are bigger/more dangerous. It's a cultural thing. They heard it from their parents since they were little kids.


.
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ITA w/rudeechick.
Intimidation is intimidation. It's all about the person's attitude and the way they carry themselves. Colour doesn't come into it.
Originally Posted by ellageorgina
Exactly, well said!
I think some people emphasize it because, no matter how politically correct they try to be, they still think black people are bigger/more dangerous. It's a cultural thing. They heard it from their parents since they were little kids.


.
Originally Posted by ag_613
For real? I think a person would have to be pretty damn sheltered to think that way.... This genuinely puzzles me.

Even if you live in an area that is not particularly homogenized racially, media, culture, music, sports, politics and on and on and on - people should surely be desensitized to skin color variables.
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lots of white folks are physically intimidated by black folks for a whole host of reasons, most of which have nothing to do with us. the purse clutching, window rolling, crossing the street when they see someone black is not a favorite joke for black comedians for nothing.
Intimidation is intimidation. It's all about the person's attitude and the way they carry themselves. Colour doesn't come into it.
Originally Posted by ellageorgina
I agree.
Location: Chicago

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."
Malcolm X
this is not a logical thought out rational reaction. AG 13 had the right of it. It is a fear that is taught and nurtured in the most insidious ways. Children listen to conversation, pay attention to what makes their parents nervous, see and hear their parents reactions to situations. They internalize their parents fear and it becomes their own without ever having been rooted in reality. Most of them have never even spent an meaningful time in the company of regular ole black people.
Intimidation is intimidation. It's all about the person's attitude and the way they carry themselves. Colour doesn't come into it.
Originally Posted by ellageorgina
I agree.
Originally Posted by YolyC
I agree as well.
I feel intimidated by groups of young men who don't appear to have a purpose to their gathering other than just hanging-out, no matter their color/ethnicity. When groups of young men hang-out together, no good usually comes of it, and, yes, I will lock-my-car-door, cross-the-street, avoid-the-area, whatever it takes, to keep myself safer.
I think some people emphasize it because, no matter how politically correct they try to be, they still think black people are bigger/more dangerous. It's a cultural thing. They heard it from their parents since they were little kids.


.
Originally Posted by ag_613
For real? I think a person would have to be pretty damn sheltered to think that way.... This genuinely puzzles me.

Even if you live in an area that is not particularly homogenized racially, media, culture, music, sports, politics and on and on and on - people should surely be desensitized to skin color variables.
Originally Posted by rudeechick

Before I met my friend M, I would have asked the same thing. I get so pissed at her sometimes. Her fear of black men is irrational.

What bugs even more is that even if the the person turns out to be a thugish Hispanic black man she'll automatically let down her guard. But, a normal looking Black American man in regular clothes still scares her.

I love her and all, but that's one of the many things she has some really ass backwards thoughts about.
Location: Chicago

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."
Malcolm X
I think some people emphasize it because, no matter how politically correct they try to be, they still think black people are bigger/more dangerous. It's a cultural thing. They heard it from their parents since they were little kids.


.
Originally Posted by ag_613
For real? I think a person would have to be pretty damn sheltered to think that way.... This genuinely puzzles me.

Even if you live in an area that is not particularly homogenized racially, media, culture, music, sports, politics and on and on and on - people should surely be desensitized to skin color variables.
Originally Posted by rudeechick

Before I met my friend M, I would have asked the same thing. I get so pissed at her sometimes. Her fear of black men is irrational.

What bugs even more is that even if the the person turns out to be a thugish Hispanic black man she'll automatically let down her guard. But, a normal looking Black American man in regular clothes still scares her.

I love her and all, but that's one of the many things she has some really ass backwards thoughts about.
Originally Posted by YolyC
That seriously makes zero sense. And thats sad.
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I feel intimidated by groups of young men who don't appear to have a purpose to their gathering other than just hanging-out, no matter their color/ethnicity. When groups of young men hang-out together, no good usually comes of it, and, yes, I will lock-my-car-door, cross-the-street, avoid-the-area, whatever it takes, to keep myself safer.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
I don't go near groups of men either. That IS intimidating.
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I feel intimidated by groups of young men who don't appear to have a purpose to their gathering other than just hanging-out, no matter their color/ethnicity. When groups of young men hang-out together, no good usually comes of it, and, yes, I will lock-my-car-door, cross-the-street, avoid-the-area, whatever it takes, to keep myself safer.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
I don't go near groups of men either. That IS intimidating.
Originally Posted by CurlyHairedFarmer
Same here. Color isn't a factor to make me afraid of someone.

Wouldn't you say a black/white/Asian/Caucasian/African American/whatever man wearing a tshirt/pants/sneakers came at you if that's what their skin color was? It isn't about making an issue of race but more about pointing out what they look like so the police or whoever can id them. Color to me isn't an indicator of the dangerousness of the person.

Last edited by Speckla; 07-26-2009 at 06:47 PM.

That seriously makes zero sense. And thats sad.
Originally Posted by rudeechick
Yes, it is. She's one of the people Aphro-Deeziac described.


this is not a logical thought out rational reaction. AG 13 had the right of it. It is a fear that is taught and nurtured in the most insidious ways. Children listen to conversation, pay attention to what makes their parents nervous, see and hear their parents reactions to situations. They internalize their parents fear and it becomes their own without ever having been rooted in reality. Most of them have never even spent an meaningful time in the company of regular ole black people.
She was raised in Cuba around Black Cubans so to her black Hispanics are "safe" I've introduced her to some of my friends once she gets to know them she is very nice. I'm trying to get her to see that a nice black man in not anomaly.

I'll get there, eventually. I just have to undo about 40 years of the crazy ideas her mom and Fidel with their "Evil Americans" thoughts passed on to her.
Location: Chicago

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."
Malcolm X

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