The following is an updated response to a guest post by Lavern Merriweather entitled “Hit ‘Em Up, OG Style“.
I thought long and hard about the post by Ms. Merriweather, a guest blogger who posts excellent articles, about the recent surfacing of the video where a young, irate, black woman berates a bug driver until he gives her an uppercut knocking her down after which a struggle ensues. The video has been trending for days since its appearance on the infamous video site World Star Hip Hop. I gave my opinions on that site in the guest post and how this helps perpetuate negative stereotypes of black people that the world seems to embrace. However, I am ashamed that I didn’t give my true thoughts on another problem we must discuss, violence against women.
This society’s many isms and phobias are so saturated in its culture that it’s impossible to be born here without being racist, prejudiced, sexist and(or) misogynistic. It’s like something in the air that you breathe. For males, we are taught that women are inferior to us and if they step out of line, put them back into their place by any means necessary even if it resorts to physical harm. We are taught that they were created for men to do as they please with them even without their consent, and if they refuse, sock them.
I understand Ms. Merriweather’s point of placing the blame on both parties. Yes, the bus driver didn’t have to slug her, but she didn’t have to act like a impetuous child. I understand that. Still, he had no right or excuse to punch her. None. And Ms. Merriweather made that point in her post.
Sometimes without realizing it, we protect and support men who engage in such violent acts against women. We come up with logical explanations why a man would put his hands on her. We conclude that she was the cause and should get her just desserts.
Bizarrely, if a woman were to put her hands on a man, part of the time, we would vilify her. We consider that she is a violent, angry beast that has attitude problems. We hardly consider any explanation for her behavior. Instead we try and convict her unfairly.
It gets worse for women of color, black women especially. The people in that horrid video were black, including the driver and the irate passenger. Some people not only have already postulated that she got what she deserved, but have made comments that included the words “black bitch”. The actions of this one particular female in the video and other black women in similar footage from any type of footage that exhibit black women in violent outrageous behavior confirm the damaging Sapphire stereotype that demonizes black women and is backed by Western society.
Hardly anyone has speculated that this young woman obviously had a bad day. It’s even more unconvincing to many people, including those within the black community, that this young woman came from a poor socioeconomic background. This woman could’ve had a troubled upbringing. (If anyone has more information on this incident, feel free to comment) One thing is for sure, she was angry about something, and she was not angry just because she’s a black woman, as some fools would conclude. She’s a human being with real emotions and something sure pissed her off that day.
The young female may have been looking for trouble, but no one said that anyone should give it her. That bus driver was out of line. He could’ve found other ways to diffuse the situation without resorting to violence. He could’ve tried to calm her down somehow. Yes, I know bus drivers have it rough as they deal with passengers like her (of different backgrounds) all the time while driving a huge vehicle carrying groups of people from one place to another while maneuvering on the asphalt. But there are always alternatives to situations like this and they don’t all involve fisticuffs.
Violence against women, especially black women, has got to stop. It starts with changing with minds and hearts of those who excuse, approve and support it. To do otherwise is nothing less than victim blaming, a pathology that must be cured.