Stop It : Minding Black Business
Twitter is a wild wild place. I like it, mostly. But every now and then I see some tomfoolery being spread by my people that just needs to STOP, and this recent incident with Jonathan Majors (not discussing him in particular but a facet of his situation) highlighted one of the big ones, in my opinion. This idea that abuse, discrimination, violence, of oppression against another group of people, non-Black to be specific, can be ignored by Black folks who even share in the identity of the victim or alleged victim. This idea that if a man is accused if doing something against a non-Black woman, his associating with that woman and her non-Black identity are reasons to ignore or remain silent.
STOP THAT shit right now.
These are Black women excusing themselves from a discussion on alleged abuse, not because he might be innocent and nothing has been proven, but because the woman who made the accusation was White. It’s an outlandish position to take, bit more essentially when you consider the underlying assumptions. First, the idea that him being with or near a White woman means he doesn’t like Black women. I mean the brotha was recently seen in an interview praising a Black woman and then long admiring her curves.
He doesn’t dislike Black women from the looks of it. He also recently expressed his love for Angela Bassett on a national stage, and has done nothing publicly that would further this claim. Stop that narrative.
More importantly, however, is this idea that if it’s not about us, it’s not our fight. Well domestic abuse is primarily towards women. Women die from domestic violence, are afraid to leave or report it, and is a form of violence used to control women. It is a woman’s issue, a man’s issue, a White issue, a Black issue, an Asian issue, everyone’s issue. This idea that the man is above support even if he is innocent and the woman, if she isn’t Black, deserves none if she is truly a victim is tooted in this idea that Black women won’t tell… for a variety of reasons that are all negative, harmful, and unhealthy.
It’s reminiscent of the Kobe Bryant rape allegations… if she was Black she’d have stayed quiet, maybe sued, but not attempted to ruin his reputation as a Black man. This idea that a Black woman’s safety and life is less important than a Black man’s reputation is offensive and deeply problematic. Black women are not whipping posts. We deserve justice if we are harmed. Any narrative that dismisses that is bullshit.
Additionally, Black men who are wrongly accused, regardless if who they are wrongly accused by, are due our support. Their choice to date or befriend a White woman doesn’t change that. He isn’t only valuable if he does what you think is proper or acceptable. He isn’t only valuable if he picks you.
Also just an aside, “believe women” does not equate with ignoring justice and probative evidence. It doesn’t mean that a man accused of violence against a woman is guilty until proven innocent. What it SHOULD mean is that the historical phenomenon of questioning women in ways that seek to negate or confuse or dismiss her claims, assuming women are lying, looking at a woman’s past, clothing choices, or personality to determine if she is warranted a fair chance at justice should never be employed in the decision to believe her accusations. It SHOULD mean that he is innocent until proven guilty and her claims are taken seriously. But it’s not a conviction. A man is not guilty dimply because a woman makes an accusation.
So Stop It okay… thanks!