I Disagree

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.


20 thoughts on “I Disagree

  1. I disagree with you , we are living in a society where you have a lot of women lesbians trying act like men with their pants sagging and showing off there boxer underwear , they are scouting us watching our mannerisms and trying to immitate us and now they want put their hands on you look that girl was man enough to hit him well she should man enough to take one of the best uppercuts I ever saw don’t start none want be none, keep your your hands to yourself I don’t care about her childhood drama or a bad day. Do you care about mines ?

    1. Keith,

      Even if she was a lesbian, and I don’t know if she is or not, I agree that she didn’t have to act the way that she did. Still, there could’ve been other ways to diffuse the conflict without going into battle. She was asking for it, but that still doesn’t mean we should deliver.

  2. Good post brother. That video was really hard to watch. It made we physically ill! I think that black woman was totally out of line. She was load,rude,unruly and fit the steroetype of the “ghetto chick”. Having said that,I still think he should have tried to restrain her without punching her. I understand she spat on him which was disgusting. And I understand why he was so upset. But she STILL is the weaker of the two. And he weighs a good 100 pounds more than her. It just looked bad all around. No one came out looking good in this altercation. It amazes me that some women even support the bus driver. A lot of black men on the Youtube and blogs are saying she deserved what she got. So this takes a lot of guts for you to say you disagree. I guess you and I are in the minority. What can we do to change that mentality?

    1. And not just black men, black women as well.

      Violence only begets violence. She was wrong. He was wrong. In the end both parties lose. Those who are committed to violence will never progress.

      I don’t know how this mindset can be changed with just a few people. The only thing that can fight such foolishness is love and wisdom.

      1. But I’ll say the same thing I said on another website that yes we are all human and some humans can not and should NOT be saved. They make their own choices and should be held accountable for them. Why do we always have to be upset because some black people aren’t treated with the utmost loving kindness?! You think God sits there and goes well you were oppressed so I won’t punish you for killing your spouse instead I’ll say you have ‘baggage’ and let you go with a warning.

  3. I need to disagree with a point of yours.

    “Bizarrely, if a woman were to put her hands on a man, part of the time, we would vilify her.”

    This is untrue, and I think you need to take a look at another perspective. Domestic violence and rape of men “by women” is not taken seriously in this and many other countries. It is largely due to the ideology that women are the weaker sex (also, not true). Domestic violence and rape of men “by women” if often unreported, and when it is, these men are largely stigmatized and rarely see justice as their reports are usually not taken seriously.
    Per various case studies, victims have reported such things as:
    – rape victims being asked “why are you complaining?”
    – DV victims being laughed at by cops (apparently happens often)
    – DV victims being told they must have done something to deserve it
    – being stigmatized as weak
    – prosecutors not handling their cases seriously
    – judges not taking their claims seriously
    – family members not taking them seriously
    – being told they were “not men”

    These are just a few examples, and due to lack of reports, the case studies are rare. However, there are many support groups for men who have been victims of rape and Domestic Violence and many report much of the same thing.

    ABC’s “What Would You Do” even did an interesting experiment. Every time people came to the aid of the battered woman, but no one did anything for the male victim, even when the woman was relentlessly wailing on him in a public park.

    Because of this ideology of women being weaker, women are able to get away with “small-scale” acts of violence against men without repercussions. This is likely what that young woman thought was going to happen; that she could insult and violate that bus driver without consequence.

    Violence begets more violence. If that young woman did not want a physical altercation, she shouldn’t have started one.
    I believe that man was in full right to defend himself, as any man or woman would be in the face of violence.
    Sure, I love the utopian idea that we should diffuse situation with words, but humans are animals and fight/flight is still very strong in us.

    1. You’re right, the rape of men by women is underreported, and they don’t get the justice they deserve. However, I did say that part of the time (not always) if a woman hits a man, we would demonize her even if there are circumstances behind her attack like protecting herself from him. A good example of this is the Marissa Alexander case in Florida where a woman was attacked by her husband. She didn’t fight him, but she did scare him with a gunshot to the ceiling. Now, she’s in a lot of legal trouble because she was made out to be the aggressor in this case even though her husband has history of domestic violence.

      Also, I touched briefly on the problem we face is men attacking women AND women attacking men. I hope to blog about the latter one day.

      Finally, I mentioned that the woman in the video shouldn’t have acted the way she did. The man has the right to defend himself and he should’ve. But still, there could’ve been other ways to relieve the situation other than violence.

      Like I said, I thought about this long and hard, and there is indeed fault on both sides, but from what I’ve seen more people are blaming the woman than the male.

      I dunno. I’ll have to ponder on this some more.

      1. I think she’s getting more of the blame because she STARTED it. Brotha you know as well as I do that many women like to take advantage of the whole ‘a man should never hit a woman’ meme. They will do whatever it takes to push a man’s buttons and then piss and moan when they push the wrong one. You can’t get blood from a turnip and you can’t plead sympathy for someone who was being a fool. That’s why I have such an issue with the false infromation that she is a ‘teen’ that’s making excuses for her she doesn’t deserve.

      2. That’s true. I’ve been pushed to that edge once or twice when I was a kid.

        I figured that since I’ve witnessed it in my life and thought about it myself that I would take a stance against violence towards women. It’s hard if, like you mentioned, the women deliberately tries to push your buttons like dehumanizing you or insulting your family. But passive resistance can be achieved.

      3. Oh, I see. I misunderstood the ‘part of the time’.

        I am currently blaming the woman in this incident, but it is based on the film alone. What I saw was her abusing another individual. I feel that gender in this incident is moot, and this wasn’t a case of ‘violence against women’. I did not see a man abusing a woman because of his gender status. It’s likely that had she been a man, the reaction would have been the same.
        It’s also likely that, had she been a man, she wouldn’t have started the altercation because she would know full well there would have been retaliation. As I said before, she may have thought her gender would have kept her safe from physical retaliation.
        However, I do need to keep in mind that what I know of this only comes from the video. I have no idea what happened before that. She could have boarded that bus and been struck with an abusive attitude toward her gender. It could very well have started with him abusing his gender status. If that did end up being the case, then my entire stance would change.
        Then again, it’s also likely that had she been a man, the reaction may not have been the same. Perhaps the bus driver wouldn’t have so easily stepped up to defend himself against a man. Perhaps he did so, in this case, because he knew he could easily overtake her.
        Yes, there are many possibilities to this complex situation, and each facet adds a new dimension to the blame game. I see why you’re struggling with it, because now I’m questioning my own thoughts on the matter. ha

        But I do believe that, bottom line, she took the first hit, and that leaves her in the seat of blame.

      4. The driver was pushed to the edge by her. I know he didn’t think when he punched her. He may not have thought of any nonviolent alternatives. In any case there could’ve been another way to handle it.

  4. I didn’t see the video, where is it? Bottom line though; the bus driver, as a public sector worker should have called the police or transit security to remove the woman from the area. The only exceptions I could think of is if he was in imminent danger of being seriously harmed or possibly killed. Judging from the description of this scenario, I would think there was some sort of procedure that the bus drivers adhere to when dealing with an unruly passenger. In any case there was/is no call for violence regardless of the circumstance, the participants, unless there is the threat of imminent serious harm or death. With the exception of being spat upon(transmittable disease and all), and that is iffy, there was no call for the driver to put his hands on the woman. From the descriptions of the video, this was an escalation. The woman didn’t get on the bus and start beating the driver. Another consideration, what if this woman had mental health issues. In any case, violence is not justifiable unless under extreme threat of physical peril or death.

    1. It’s on World Star HipHop or Youtube but on that issue of mental health she didn’t seem ‘mentally ill’ she seemed like Brotha said like she was having a crappy day and wanted to take it out on someone.

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