adversity, America, black, celebrity, Columbus Short, crime, D.L. Hughley, domestic violence, entertainment, intraracism, media, men, misogyny, mothers, news, open letter, privilege, sexism, stereotypes, women
Dear Mr. Hughley,
I know you’re probably busy. So’m I’m just going to cut straight to the chase.
I too have heard about the recent alleged erratic and violent behavior of former Scandal actor Columbus Short. It is indeed a saddening and disappointing revelation of a promising actor on a popular drama. As you may know, there are very few positive images of black people in the media. Hopefully, the series story writers will find another positive black male character played by a positive black male actor. And I hope Short gets some kind of help.
But I digress. The main reason for this letter is to respectfully express my dismay over the misogynistic comments you made concerning Short’s wife Tanee McCall during your radio show. I caught wind of this at XOJane:
“I think that broad shouldn’t be telling all his business if she gone take him to court…This bitch was thirsty. The bitch was thirsty. What, she gone go back to dancing? She gone fuck her money up?…“When you’re very young, you’re very volatile. I’ve been in situations where the police were called. I don’t believe that every time someone says something in the heat of anger, they actually mean it. Everybody want a thug dude, a passionate dude, until you gotta live with your mother in an undisclosed location. You know what kind of dude you picked. Stop it.”
During your banter, a female co-host, Jasmine Sanders, wanted to bring some realness into the conversation, but it is reported that tried to silence her and play the victim. You even tried to shift blame back to the woman by using the “everybody want a thug” derailment. And when Sanders tried to tell you how that’s not the case, you called her dumb!
After reading that, and more, I got offended and embarrassed. But most of all, I got upset. Even though you apologized, I still feel the need to say something as a black man who witnessed domestic violence in my own neck of the woods.
Watching a woman in danger at the hands of her husband, boyfriend or even a family member, friend or total stranger first hand is not a laughing matter. It’s as painful to watch as it is for her to suffer. I will not portray myself as a knight in shining armor, but I have stepped in and defended the women who were victimized, even at risk to my own safety.
Mr. Hughley, it has been noted that you called black women “the angriest women on Earth“:
“I’ve never met an angrier group of people. Like black women are angry just in general. Angry all the time. My assessment, out of, just in my judgment, you either are in charge or they’re in charge, so there’s no kind of day that you get to rest…”
What I don’t understand is how can you make such a statement when you are married to a black woman and have two daughters and a son. Yet, you want to defend a man who allegedly abused his wife to the point where he threatened to kill her and himself? Though, one shouldn’t be too surprised hearing such statements from someone who defended Don Imus’ “nappy headed hos” comment several years back. (I’m sorry. I had to go there.)
Mr. Hughley, I’m doing my best to keep my anger in check, but it’s incredibly difficult seeing a black man who practically placed black women on the chopping block due to his anti-female animosity. Words can not express the depth of shame I have for your comments and overall sexist and misogynistic mindframe, the same mindframe too many black men have that are synonymous with that of racist white folks.
Black men are drowning in a pool of privileges he have because of our genitalia, and we use it against the women who have stuck by us since day one. Too many of us see black women as the enemy while at the same time, we see the oppressor, especially his women, as our friends and saviors. And what’s worse, there are black women and children who have adapted such thinking.
Let me ask you this; if black women are indeed the angriest on Earth, why do you think that is? Could it be that the world is practically against their right to exist as human beings and that members of their own community have allied with the world’s hatred of them? Could it be that for so long they’ve stuck by us, and we turn a blind eye to their problems, especially if their problems are black men who beat, rape and kill black women, and we’re too cowardly to confront this bullshit because we don’t like to have our dirty laundry aired and our images tarnished? Could it be that too many of us use them as sex objects showing off our prowess of being playas, but will run like cowards when a life is created and seek another to repeat the cycle? Could it be that some of us choose white women over them because we think they’re, in so many words, better than black women because we’re too fragile to stay strong with black women who are in the same damn boat as we are, and have loved us and been there with us in our struggles?
I think it’s time we, as black men, stepped up. And I think it’s time black folks, including those in the entertainment and sports industries, start addressing the problem. And Mr. Hughley, if you are reading this, I hope that you will be the one to get things started. I know we all make mistakes, but the point of making them is to learn from them. Our sistas are crying out for love and respect from our brothas. What harm could it do to listen?
If we, as a people, are to survive and empower ourselves, we must cure our illnesses.
Bro. James Wolf.