Yippy Skippy: a sarcastic answer to anything that you have to do or something that doesn’t sound fun. Also can be used when you just don’t give a damn about something and want to use sarcasm. Example –
Idiot 1: I’m leaving.
Idiot 2: Yippy skippy.
According to the 2010 US Census, there are 38,929,319 Black people in America, making up 12.6% of the population. 50.9% of the Black newborn population is male, compared to 49.1 % female babies born. There is a significant shift in these ratios, however, when both sexes reach their 20’s and 30’s – prime marrying a reproductive ages. Suddenly the Black male to female ratios are 46.6% to 53.4%. The reasons for this shift – or decline in the male population – are well documented: many have lost their lives to violent crime and illnesses that remain untreated due to limited access to healthcare.
Out of that 46.6% population, 40% of Black males are incarcerated or have spent some time in a local jail.
It is estimated that 2-6% of all Black men are gay.
Last week I wrote a post about marriage not being for punks and wimps, in which a man that I encountered at Wal-Mart served as the central character. He later came to be dubbed ‘Yippy Skippy’, an homage to the phrase he hurled at me as I was leaving the check-out line. Yippy engendered quite a bit of conversation between my friends and I. The image and reality boorish and buffoonish manners where an immediate turn off, particularly in the face of his emphatic assertion that he was a “commodity” because he was “non-gay”.
Given the statistics that I have laid out above, which leave 54% of that 46.6% as possibly marriageable, I understand completely why Yippy might consider himself a SCARCE commodity (and not just simply a commodity, you nitwit). When social pundits discuss the reasons that Black women remain unmarried in America, they turn to traditional explanations:
Black men are either gay, in jail or marrying white women. However given that only 2.9% of America is biracial, how many White women are Black men marrying, really? In giving these explanations, pundits leave out a major component for why marriage is in such decline in the Black community – and that reason rests squarely on the shoulders of eligible – or semi-eligible – Black men.
As luck would have it, I ran into Yippy at work yesterday. He was standing at the check-out counter with a woman who looked to be in her low to mid 20’s. Wearing his trademark too-tight Eddie Long t-shirt (this time in beige) and his clear, gold-tinted sunglasses (indoors), I recognized him immediately. It made sense that he would be in a shoe store at noon on Easter Sunday. Yippy, by his own admission is not a family man. He vehemently opposes the very thought of marriage, even though I am certain he would never rebuff any gratuitous offer of sex. Whereas I was grumbling because I was missing out on time with my family on this Easter, where else would it make sense for him to be besides in a retail establishment? Empty men such as he have naught to do but shop.
I looked at the young woman he was standing with, who was attempting to return a pair of Life Stride shoes for her mother. Judging by the brand of the shoe, this would put her mother firmly in the 40+ range. This either made the 20-something Yippy’s daughter, with whose mother he’d carried on a relationship for decades and managed to remain unmarried…or his girlfriend!
I gasped at the realization. I was sure that the latter was the case. She was aggressive and unsmiling during her transaction, and his demeanor was reserved and retracted – the very opposite of the overt braggadocio he displayed in Wal-Mart. In the shoe store, he was quietly thumbing his cell phone, waiting for the woman to finish up her business so he could drive her home. Aha!
It all made sense. A man with Yippy’s flash wouldn’t be caught dead with a woman his own age. His vanity would not permit it. Just by the pure numbers, he has could have the pick of the population and can afford to be choosy. Yippy’s girlfriend, no doubt just a few years out of college, sees in him a mature and established man, and he being in his early 40s ought to be ready to settle down and take on a wife. However, she is too young to realize that this life of wanton whoring around and woman using has worked for Yippy thus far. She doesn’t have enough real world experience to understand that this type of man has seen and (literally) done anything she might have to offer. Does he even have a compelling reason to get married? Clearly not.
The many men possessing Yippy’s persona alone are not the only added reason for the decline in marriage in Black America. There are men who simply do not want to be in a relationship of any sort – EVER. Take my brother for example. Since he was 17, he has professed that his goal in life is to live a bachelor’s life in my or my sister’s basement, spending his days making art and smoking weed like our near 70 year old uncle who has successfully avoided the marriage trap thus far.
Then there are other Black men who are waiting for the “perfect” woman with whom to have the “perfect relationship” with. Although college educated and intelligent , they don’t have the possess the fortitude to grasp that there is NO such thing as the perfect woman or relationship. There is only good enough; and you have to work with what you’ve got.
For every Black man who doesn’t want to get married, I could point to one woman who doesn’t desire the constraints of marriage for herself either. But those women who are seeking matrimony, what is to be done? First, we have to stop blaming the lack of marriageable men on the assumption that a sizeable enough number of Black men are gay for that number to even make an impact. We also have to understand and accept that just because a man has some sort record that equates to guilt or is an indelible reflection of poor character. Some men languishing in jail are not guilty of the crimes for which they have been accused, and at worst have had unfair sentences commuted upon them. You don’t have to marry him, but a woman’s support when these men come out of prison could go a long way in his rehabilitation. He may serve as a father figure for someone else’s future husband.
In the meantime, what do we do about Yippy & Co.? That is a question for a team of psychiatrists. All I can say from where I sit is “Well dodged!” I have enough problems without having to convince some man who compares himself to cotton, oranges and other commodities to pursue marriage…the very thing that has been researched and shown to extend and improve the quality of a man’s life.
I sometimes wonder if Darwin knew just HOW right he was.