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Black men.

They cheered Lawrence on from the sidelines as he patty caked Tasha in the explosive season 1 ‘Insecure’ closer. They high-fived one another when season 2 opened with Lawrence’s passive revenge side strokes. And they celebrated the 3.5 pumps he delivered in no foreplay angry sex with Issa.

But where is the sympathy for Issa in the midst of Lawrence’s sexual assassination of any hopes for reconciliation?

So to begin, cheating is trash. I’ll never defend a cheater–just pack your sh*t and go if you’re unhappy.

But I will say that the circumstances that led to the Issa/Lawrence demise are not uncommon or rare. The difference is, Black women are expected to grant unwavering loyalty to Black men no matter the circumstance, and Black men, well, when they cheat the onus lies on the woman.

The chorus of excuses goes like this:

“He stepped outside of his marriage because she gained weight”, or

“She wasn’t sleeping with him anymore” (Ahem KIRK) or

“She was prioritizing the kids over their marriage.”

Blah blah blah.

But where is the blame for a man who failed to live up to his provider role in a household with his woman?

I think what some men fail to realize is that the pressure to be beautiful as a woman weighs just as heavily on our shoulders as their financial pressures do. Except, when a woman says she wants her man to provide she’s labeled a gold digger or not “holding him down” whereas a man’s physical demands on his partner is shrugged off as “just his preference.” Double standards galore.

The same way men parade around telling women to not wear weaves and to bounce back after a baby to a size 6 OR risk losing their man because she can’t “keep herself up” is no different than a woman demanding a man must hold up his financial end of the bargain in a relationship.

Not working is unattractive.

And it’s not about the fact Lawrence was at Best Buy, that’s a job. It’s the fact that prior to that job Issa had to come home to Lawrence sitting on his ass after she worked a full day for MONTHS. His lack of self confidence turned his stroke game weak, and hell, she was tired and wrong.

If the roles were reversed and Lawrence was coming home to Issa — hair unkept, and binging on donuts in the same place he left her — the court of public opinion would crown him with understanding for cheating with a perky-tittied Tasha.

To reiterate, cheating is trash. But the tense social media debate of #TEAMISSA and #TEAMLAWRENCE again reinforces the idea that Black women in relationships are held to higher standards than our male counterparts.

If Issa was to release her 4:44 mea culpa “Leave me alone, Daniel” at damn near 50, would y’all give her Hov props? No.

So nah, black men aren’t siding with Lawrence because he’s “right” or redeemable. They cheer him on because they can’t stand to watch a woman get away with the ignorant sh*t they pull.


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Why Black Men Can’t Forgive Issa But They Can Forgive Themselves For Cheating  was originally published on