Jimi Izrael: The Root’s Resident Misogynist Is At Again

Of course since we know Skippy Gates is the “mastermind” behind starting The Root on behalf of his white benefactors (at the Washington Post) my thoughts on this shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. I’ve already made my feelings known that Gates offers NO VALUE to black women whatsoever. It’s why we have to evaluate why certain blacks are elevated to a certain status and for what purpose. It was a reward in part for his loyal servitude at letting the world know black men are naturally brutes.

So someone sent me a link to Izrael’s latest ridiculousness: Memo to Black Women Get Real. Are you feeling warm and fuzzy by the title? I basically skimmed his latest “black women ain’t *hit” hack piece. Is Toure taking notes? I’m not even upset about it. In fact I laughed because I realized I’m reading the rantings of a weak, subjugated man. As long as he limits his jabs to the keyboard (yes that would be a Chris Brown reference) I can simply tune him out. Remember those commericals that said “living well is the best revenge”? I hope other women realize a few things:

1. Izrael has a book he’s trying to sell
2. He’s counting on black women being confused
3. He assumes that women will automatically take advice from a man
4. He hopes no one will ever question his motives for regarding all of the above

From the mule’s mouth: “You are not Michelle Obama, and you will probably not end up with Barack … or Denzel. If you want to find the right one, lose the high ideal and get your priorities in order.Please trust that it takes more than an education and a successful career to be wife material. And women think if they wait long enough, they will find their own Denzel Washington. The problem is, there isn’t enough Denzel to go around. As I mention in my upcoming book The Denzel Principle, if black women want to marry a black man, it seems as if they have only a few choices…”

The Denzel Principle….seriously?! Hmm I see he hopes using the oft-touted male role model of desire would automatically prompt black women to buy this book sight unseen. Plus how many times have you heard some random Negro sniff that Michelle is the lucky one and how Barack could’ve “done better”! In case you’re not aware Denzel Washington is supposed to be the epitome of a quality black man and the one that ALL black women want. Mmm okay. Not that he isn’t a great actor but of course he’s put on a pedestal by some for being married to a non-Euro looking black woman, etc etc. He is still a man though, flaws and all. So let’s get real here.

This also feeds into the indoctrination of black women only being available for black men and not considering men by CALIBER and AVAILABILITY. This “Black Love” myth needs to be slayed and I have to thank Izrael for helping do so. Does he think he’s doing himself any favors with his hurt boy throwing rocks routine? Race cannot be the main thrust of the tie that binds people together. We already know by sheer statistics there simply aren’t enough black men to go around anyway. So black women can either hope for the miracle of that one black man, be alone, settle for less or LOOK ELSEWHERE and find a man who’s able to love and protect them. I go for the last option.

Besides the last time I checked Washington is still married and I cannot co-sign panting after a married man under any circumstances. Man sharing questionable men is why black women have the highest rate of HIV/AIDS rate to date. So let’s recognize these articles as the last vestiges of a dying breed: bitter, angry, low-caliber black MEN who can’t compete in the real world so they have to level the playing field by knocking us down. I trust more of us see this from a mile away and aren’t falling for the okey doke.

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24 comments to Jimi Izrael: The Root’s Resident Misogynist Is At Again

  • SweetSoulSister

    Jennifer Singleton said:"real black men don't want bottom feeding black women, their standards are too low. As a black woman it saddens me to see us under such vicious attack, our personality, our character, our bodies, our speech, our dreams, our values, everything is the subject of disdain…and the ones in the front row throwing these darts are the men we give birth to, the men we long for, the men we pledge allegiance to, the men who seem to hate everything that we stand for."SweetSoulSister said:LOL! You canNOT be serious? "real black men" is an oxymoron. To address the rest of your statement, I would never give birth to a "black man", my children WILL be biracial, I don't long for black males now, nor have I ever. They actually repulse me. I am most likely the only woman on this forum who has never been with one and I've certainly never pledged allegiance to these males. I had to address this because your post borders on pathetic which makes me think you could be a male and not a real sistah.

  • rainebeaux

    This drivel was the third article citing the Obamas on on that site, and now I'm past tired.^sorry, that should read "the third article I'd read." also, excuse the extra "on."Oops, that's Izrael with a 'z'; I daren't insult the country like that. Barring that, he's still the enemy. Grr.

  • rainebeaux

    I had to take a couple of days to reread this post then come up with something more substantial than, oh I don't know…Mr. Israel, PLEASE GO SAT DOWN.This drivel was the third article citing the Obamas on on that site, and now I'm past tired. Of course, Roslyn summed it up better than I could. What is this "Sistas, you too can turn your First Lady on to get a black man…but first, you have to LOWER OR OBLITERATE YOUR STANDARDS." malarkey?! Oh, for the love of Maude…granted, I've awakened from the stupor, but I only have a few choice words for the black women lining up to buy these literary atrocities:watch the closing doors.

  • ActsofFaithBlog

    Nia: There's a huge difference between He's Not That Into You and that other tripe. The author parlayed that one episode on Sex and the City into a book, talk show and movie deal but he didn't trash white women in the processWhy would so many black women read these books: because apparently they have no problem with it. Just like they have no problem with may things that are going on. I've questioned if I needed to reevaluate the current status

  • Nia

    One man wrote a book a few years ago about women and relationships (He's Not That Into You), and it sold millions, got him a movie deal and a talk show. Now all these other men like Steve Harvey and now this one think they can jump on the bandwagon and make money off of what is frequently an emotional and confusing subject for women. What woman in her right mind would read a book by a man who is so rude and condescending? At least the 'He's Not That Into You' author was in a happy, steady relationship and had a female co-writer in his book.I have also stopped reading anything about black women that is written by a black man -- especially when it comes to our looks or our relationships. As another commenter said, you just have to wade through too much sexism and toxic thinking on their part. I just feel sad that there might be black women out there that will rush to buy these books, under the mistaken impression that these black men are writing from a position of caring for them and genuinely wanting to help them.

  • ActsofFaithBlog

    Karen: Haha. Thanks….Brother OMi: Exactly. You would be a wonderful addition to the Root. I'd actually submitted something there but this was before my critique of Skippy Gates which I was certain would eliminate me from consideration. I used to have to shield my eyes from certain, ahem "writers" but that got to be rather burdensome so I mostly stopped reading over there period. I am certain you…and your lovely wife could offer some solid relationship advice. I am hard pressed to think of one such book with well-adjusted, proud, married blacks. Lovebabz: What you said was so eloquent and on point. We want what other women want: normal relationships with men who want to love us (hetero relationships as applicable). Jennifer: Welcome. It's the d*mned if you do, d*mned if don't scenario. Either way black women LOSE under these rules. It gets easier to spot them as they make themselves so publicly available.Roslyn: I have no idea who this man is, nor do I have any interest in finding out, but I do know that reading commentary from a black man is tantamount to walking through a garbage dump. It would seem that the inner workings of many black men is a scary, dark, nasty place full of vermin and pestilence.I had to repeat that because that sums it up! We're tired of having to deal with this nonsense and are simply leaving……

  • roslynholcomb

    Several years ago, tired of the platitudes about the trials and tribulations about the continent of Africa and the various nations therein, I decided to educate myself on the topic. Essentially I said to myself, "They can't ALL be corrupt, and undermined by ethnic allegiances." Almost a year, and some dozen books and many dozen journal articles later I found that yeah, they can (or at least most of them are.) Over the years I've found myself less and less willing to read anything a black man has to say about pretty much anything, but in particular I don't want to hear them talk about relationships or black women. From time to time I've let my guard down with the same comment, "They can't all be self-aggrandizing sexists?" And darned if they don't show me every time that yes, they can be. I have no idea who this man is, nor do I have any interest in finding out, but I do know that reading commentary from a black man is tantamount to walking through a garbage dump. It would seem that the inner workings of many black men is a scary, dark, nasty place full of vermin and pestilence. I'm sure there are some left who have somehow managed to hold the line and fumigate their spirit and bodies, but frankly I'm tired of digging through the filth. So, whoever you are Mr. Izreal just understand that fewer and fewer black women are willing to read your garbage, and since your whole point is to denigrate and degrade black women I would say you have reached the point of Epic Fail.

  • Jennifer Singleton

    What stands out to me is the way he appears to feel about himself. Telling black women to aim lower because there aren't enough Barack's and Denzel's to go around? He's referring to status and money and education with no reference to the emotional needs that a black woman is looking to get fulfilled, the inner qualities that she's looking for regardless of his position. So he's saying that black men have nothing to offer? All a black woman is looking for are material things? And if that's the case, aim lower. What's interesting is that men like him also criticize black women for only wanting thugs and deadbeats and not going after the Barack's and Hill Harper's of black society. So which is it, can a black woman win at all in their eyes? If she wants a man who is intelligent and successful (what nonblack women are praised for doing) she should be stoned because there are plenty of prisoners who need love too…but if she waits on a prisoner to come home and marry her, well that's the reason that real black men don't want bottom feeding black women, their standards are too low. As a black woman it saddens me to see us under such vicious attack, our personality, our character, our bodies, our speech, our dreams, our values, everything is the subject of disdain…and the ones in the front row throwing these darts are the men we give birth to, the men we long for, the men we pledge allegiance to, the men who seem to hate everything that we stand for.

  • Lovebabz

    It is unfortunate that Mr. Izreal has decided to capture fame and fortune on the backs of Black Women. We are no strangers to exploitation by men…black white…rainbow.I am always hopeful that some Brothers (Black Men) would rush to our defense and rally support for our choices to be educated, strong and loving women. I mean we birth them… We raise them. We love them. We need them to do the same for us…love us and defend us and stand with us and push us forward for the greater good of US.Mr. Izrael is like a lot of Black men not interested in being in love with Black women. He speaks from a place of scorn and sadness and I suspect deep hurt. I cannot speak for Sisters and their dating habits, all I can say is that we have endured a lot of heartache and we want like other women wants, men who mean us well.

  • Brother OMi

    man, and I couldn't get a gig on the Root? wtf? So if i had hated on some black women, I would be hired? I stopped reading his posts a lonnngggg time ago and I stopped listening to Tell me More on NPR on Friday afternoons. I am really getting sick and tired of these men who are either divorced or not married writing books telling women how to get "mr. Right.."

  • Karen

    Faith,You said, "…When black women wake up, smell the coffee and stop supporting these men, taking advice from them and realizing them for the leeches they are they will die out all on their own. My exposing the cockroaches is part of that squashing process"EXACTLY!!!

  • ActsofFaithBlog

    Nu Girl: Welcome. I don't agree with your assessment and here's why. This is the first time I've discussed Izrael and I chose to do so at this time because he's amped up his black woman hate messages in preparation of his book release.I've received much more feedback than the comments listed here. Many are seeing this exposure for the first time or were wondering why no other black women had spoken up earlier. There's been a silent contingent disapproving but because they aren't black women didn't come forward to avoid the accusations of "picking on the poor black man". Also ignoring is one thing, being steamrolled over is something else. Plus as I said I wasn't upset, I find his rantings preposterous and unoriginal. I'm much more upset about Tyler Perry getting his hooks into For Colored Girls than Jimi Izrael's insecurity but they do share one thing in common: they are both using black women's struggles/pain/confusion to make a buck at our expense. So it needed to be said. When black women wake up, smell the coffee and stop supporting these men, taking advice from them and realizing them for the leeches they are they will die out all on their own. My exposing the cockroaches is part of that squashing process.

  • Nu Girl

    Hello Faith,Publications and commentary such as this is only a way for these males to draw black women back in.They are coming to the realization that bw are engaging in critical empowering talk and action, so they use tactics to draw us back in.I think it is important to engage these males at a minimum, because attention and our distraction is all they really want. As empowerment of bw continues the damaged males will become more and more desperate.I am stating this because I have noticed this desperation in various bm blogs and publications.

  • ActsofFaithBlog

    tertiaryanna: We've ALL been there. Until my eye-opening experience in July I may have been willing to give someone like Izrael the benefit of the doubt since he spoke so nicely in replying here. I would've thought he was a "lost little man-child" who needed time to grow up and would've possibly been appeased with thinking about his potential for change. Now I know better. A bad apple with a slight bruise on the outside is often ROTTEN TO THE CORE.

  • tertiaryanna

    @ Faith,I refuse to spend quality time trying to subdue a poisonous snake.This is excellent advice: I really need to learn not to rise to the bait.

  • ActsofFaithBlog

    lisa99: This was a no-brainer actually. I'd ignored this nonsense for long enough.Pioneer Valley Woman: Yes it's the more of the obvious put downs. Yet these men are so preoccupied with what we do and are very existence. Honestly if the situation is so intolerable why do they bother? Just move on and LEAVE US ALONE! It's really that simple.tertiaryanna: This was a very lengthy and nuanced dialog you offered. Someone sent my a reply on another message board that they think Israel is trying to be intentionally inflammatory but mean nothing by it and is making jokes like Steven Colbert. Yeah….right. First of all Colbert is FUNNY and he isn't bashing white women on his show. The comparison is ridiculous and inaccurate. Anyway they did mention the book as the motivation which I think is a powerful incentive but not the ONLY reason. Anyway you're more patient than I am. I refuse to spend quality time trying to subdue a poisonous snake.

  • tertiaryanna

    pt 2.But it's not mockery where the women are concerned, it's malice. So the lazy fakers like Talib and Bartleby are still acknowledged as being desirable but the high-achieving doctorate with the positive net worth is not womanly, the uneducated earthmother wannabe is a stinky space cadet, and the red-hot mama with aspirations isn't high-achieving enough. So beauty, brains and soul are just smokescreens for some unworthy female creature who's not even a good lay. Even the 4-minute brother with gray pubes got more sympathetic treatment. Your essay would have a little more validity if some of the female examples you'd given actually had careers. Only one of the three did, but then later you said that the big problem with women is that they're putting the job before the family. The logic doesn’t work there, so either it’s just illogical, or the kind of sloppiness that happens when people speak from emotion (like contempt of women) rather than from rationality. Also, unless you expect the women to have a family by 18, there aren't going to be many instances where she can't focus on some career before starting a family. So what's it to be? Lay on the couch and wait for Christmas (bad) or be patient like the saintly Michelle (good?) That’s also being coy: wasn't Michelle actually working as a laywer before Barack's campaigning? She's in her 40's, which means she's only sacrificed a few years. According to her taxes, she made over 250K in 2006, so she’s definitely not thrown a career under the bus to be with her man. Plus, in her case, it’s not a sacrifice at all really, because her work interruption is at a totally different level from any other woman in the nation. She could go back to practicing whenever she chose. And in this economy, and the known lower levels of Black families net worth in comparison with their peers, anyone not focusing on their career is taking a chance with their family’s long-term financial health. So Michelle’s example is a pointless comparison on it’s own merits, but falls even farther down when considering that when achieving (non-celebrity) BM "marry out" they don't choose low-achieving non-Black women. Their WM, AW have degrees, careers and ambitions in a way that you must think BW are not allowed to have.You mention a BW should love family, but you fail to recognize that you've show no love, no esteem, no respect, no concern and no consideration for women in the post you wrote. You've paired them with losers and you've denigrated by some zero-sum trade off that pits intellectualism against femininity, beauty against ambition, and spirituality against authenticity. You've lauded a false sacrifice as true virtue, and you've used your forum to say that BW make poor mates. This is both hostile, contemptuous and although it doesn’t include a sense of violence, the first two components put it squarely in the territory of “hatred” (according to M&W). As it’s directed to women and not men, the misogynist term fits well. So as a thought exercise, I hope this satisfies your requirements and puts your mind at rest for the next time someone uses that word to describe your work. Please note: the fact that you omit some women in your life from this doesn't negate what your comments -- everyone has people that for whom they're willing to make exceptions.Finally, you comment that you love your daughter. I hope you can take this following statement in the manner that it's meant: in utter honesty and with no sarcasm or malice.Your daughter's views of her worth as a woman will be colored not just by your views of her, but by your views of women in general. Few people hold themselves in isolation in comparison against their peers. So I hope, for her sake, that you address both the fallacies in your logic and the negativity of your opinions with as much diligence as you’ve asked people to do when they critique you.

  • tertiaryanna

    pt 1.@ jimiI find that calling me misogynist is really just another way of saying "I don't get it." It's the first, best, easiest way to nullify any constructive discussion or argument and neutralize any man…it's an insult wrapped in an accussation that can't really be quantified or successfully argued away.You're being duplicitous and coy. The same force and weight can be given to both terms, so calling you a sexist should be no less of a conversation stopper than calling you a misogynist. But they're not conversation stoppers: people went over your comments and gave you a forum to air your critique of their views.And even though it's semantic nit-picking for you to try and dismiss your detractors by pedantically saying they're not using the right noun, it still doesn't work as a valid critique: the misogynist part is clearly visible. First off: you've given some references to the barrel-dregs BM that are available to BW, but there's just mockery in your description, and according to you, these low quality men still get the BW….

  • PioneerValleyWoman

    Acts of Faith:This also feeds into the indoctrination of black women only being available for black men and not considering men by CALIBER and AVAILABILITY. This "Black Love" myth needs to be slayed and I have to thank Izrael for helping do so. Does he think he's doing himself any favors with his hurt boy throwing rocks routine? Race cannot be the main thrust of the tie that binds people together. We already know by sheer statistics there simply aren't enough black men to go around anyway. So black women can either hope for the miracle of that one black man, be alone, settle for less or LOOK ELSEWHERE and find a man who's able to love and protect them. I go for the last option. My reply:This is it right here. He admits up front that there are imbalances among black men and women, for example, in colleges, and yet, black women are to blame for not being successful in finding black male partners?But it is the usual, blame black women for not putting themselves through contortions to get the few who are there. Blame them for not being "quality" women.The same old, same old. The issue once again is that black women are looking for black men, rather than looking for quality men regardless of race!

  • lisa99

    If I hear ONE more time that most black women wouldn't have dated a Harvard law educated community-organizing Barack, I will scream.The thing that's pissing me off too is that black WOMEN are now spouting off this nonsense too… talking about how their "friends" and "classmates" wouldn't have looked at Barack because he was "just" as summer associate (which lets me know that they have zero knowledge about the process involved in becoming an attorney), and maybe their "friends" and "classmates" will NOW realize that the hard-workin' truck-drivin' brotha they looked past could be the next Barack.Oh please.Thanks for this post Faith. I've had my issues with Jimi's articles for a long time and you provided a great critique.

  • ActsofFaithBlog

    Renee: Thanks for the feedback and the RTs on Twitter. ebstarr87: Welcome and you're welcome. This is just par for the course for punks.jimi: You assume that I haven't "engaged your work". You need a therapist to work out all of your shortcoming and anger issues. Stop taking it out on who you perceive as weak: black women. You put it out there. Don't expect to not receive a response or to be allowed to continue SLANDERING black women with no repercussions. Do you have any idea how many emails I've received from WHITE women who are equally as disgusted with you? they're finally glad to see a black women respond. It was LOOOONG overdue. I hope your book TANKS.

  • jimi

    Hi.I'm always grateful when people want to engage the work. Thanks so much for reading and writing.I'm disappointed that people choose most often to engage me and whatever you suppose my sundry shortcomings may be instead of the issue or issues I'm writing about.I find that calling me misogynist is really just another way of saying "I don't get it." It's the first, best, easiest way to nullify any constructive discussion or argument and neutralize any man, just like calling a woman a "crazy bitch" used to be: it's an insult wrapped in an accussation that can't really be quantified or successfully argued away. I get that. I'm OK with it, but I will issue the same challenge here that I have elsewhere: using M-W's definition of "misogyny" (which is, more or less contempt, hatred and/or violent behavior [e.g. rape or murder] towards all of woman-kind) as a base to draw up objective criterion, prove your thesis. Examine as much of my work as you can find online — dig up the print stuff, if you like — and, in aggregate, catologue this evidence of "misogyny." What you will find at the end of the day that while there may some evidence that I am a sexist (GUILTY), and often make hard points in the seemingly rudest way possible (sorry), there is no evidence to back that claim. Not any. I know — it's the Internets, so you don't need to be right, just loud. I get that. But I marvel at people hiding behind clever screen-names sit on high Hobby horses lobbing really quite harmful insults.Thanks again for reading and writing. I hope, at a minimum, my work starts important conversation.best,jimi

  • ebstarr87

    Thank you so much for this. I was so exciting when I starting reading The Root last year because I thought the articles were smart, funny and timely. But then Mr. Obama got elected and someone over there declared open season on college-educated black women. If I hear ONE more time that most black women wouldn't have dated a Harvard law educated community-organizing Barack, I will scream. Everyone knows a great deal of black women will date any black man if he has 'potential', even if she is a lawyer and he is 40 and STILL talking about maybe going to community college and what he's 'boutta do'. Jimi Izrael is an angry misogynist and the tone of his articles about black women is damaging, hurtful and downright scary if he exemplifies mainstream black male thought. Against my better judgment I submitted some comments about my experiences dating as a twentysomething black woman and wow, what hateful comments I received about the validity of and supposed reasons behind my experiences. Instead of focusing on my factual comment that over 70% of black women who gave birth last year were not married, someone used the old tired "you couldn't get a black man so you settled for a white one" line. Perhaps women who date or marry (or are open to) non-black men have a little more distance from the trenches of these issues and that it why we sometimes attempt to offer some insight or share our experiences. I am realizing now that some folks' dysfunction and myopia is far worse than I thought. NO ONE pointed out that based on those non-marital birth rates, a WHOLE LOT of child-bearing aged black women for whatever reason cannot "get" a black man, at least not long enough to marry them after they have become pregnant. I am not discounting the women's willingness to have sex and have children with non-committed men, but come on 70%?! Something much deeper is occurring here. I will be writing The Root and NPR to share my displeasure with Mr, Izrael's blatant and continued black-woman bashing. Maybe they'll hire me. My middle-schoolers write with more critical thinking skills than he displays.

  • Renee

    My brother could not understand why I take such issue with Jimmi until yesterday when he sent me a link to that post. Jimi is obviously The Roots resident misogynist. His bitterness comes through with each anti woman tirade that he types. I have long ago learned to disregard his work as that of a bitter angry man. Every time I read his work, I know why he is single. What self respecting woman of ANY race would have his sorry ass. He rants about his ex wife and his mother in-law are unmistakable attempts to express a form of power over them. I say good on the ex wife for escaping a relationship with that man. This was an excellent post Faith. The man needs to hear from more women what a complete ass he is because he clearly is high on himself. (rant over)