By Lavern Merriweather
When news broke that “Scandal” star Columbus Short physically assaulted his wife, many in the blogworld and media were ready to attack. Brotha even wrote a post where not-at-all-funny ‘comedian’ D.L. Hughley called himself coming to Short’s rescue by attacking his wife and calling her a gold digger. He then proceeded to criticize black women in general while berating the female host who subsequently gave up trying to control his obnoxious and vile outburst. Brotha took Hughley to task and rightfully so for being such an ignorant, irritating asshole and fool. However in the comments section when he mentioned that Mr. Short shouldn’t be sold short, because there are white males guilty of domestic violence as well, a person commented that we, unlike white people, should be critical of our black celebrities when they do wrong, that we shouldn’t be like white people. Well, when you engage in the same type of hypocrisy and double standards, then you ARE being just like white people.
I have had many arguments with other Negroes over the issue of protecting black people that are famous even when they do bad unforgivable shit. I would understand their theory a lot more if they or white people in the media that usually lead these pitchfork and torch brigades could say, “Hey, we don’t attack white males or white people because they never commit any criminal acts”. The problem is they can’t say that because it would be impossible. So, my feeling is if you are so dogged and determined to face the issue of any serious subject such as domestic violence or child abuse or sexual harassment, then stop being so damn picky about who you vilify!
If it sounds like I am writing this with a tinge of outrage myself, the answer is hell yeah! I am! That’s because I don’t like hypocrites, I don’t like hypocrisy, and I especially don’t like either one when I know it comes from a completely racist standpoint. Even more so, I really don’t like that the main group of people who should be pissed off about the many times blatant double standards instead would rather go right along with it, as if this were 1842 and we were still slaves worrying about making ‘massah’ mad. I really don’t give a shit who I upset. There needs to be a shitload more speaking of truth to power from black folks, instead of this cowering in the corner bullshit hoping that we don’t get on white people’s nerves by telling them how utterly full of it they are. Not to play Oppression Olympics, but anytime another race has had it with white people’s selective sermonizing, they call them out quick, fast and in a fucking hurry.
When former Chicago Cubs player Rafael Palmeiro was suspected of using steroids and cheating, Hispanic people were tripping over themselves to defend him. Same thing goes for Arab-American citizens after 9/11. Not because they wanted to praise wrongdoing. Far from it. They just wanted white people to acknowledge that often times they are in an unsuitable position when it comes to judging people of color. I have no clue if Mr. Palmeiro cheated or not. That’s irrelevant at this point. I do know he would have gotten treated a lot worse by the media had his brothers in brown not stood up for him so soon the same way Barry Bonds was attacked by white males in the media who have yet to show even a third of that anger towards white males known for a fact to be guilty like Mark McGuire and Lance Armstrong.
There is also a distinct holier-than mentality for black male politicians we don’t see with white men. Former mayor of Washington Marion Barry was berated continuously by fellow black people such as comedians and shock jocks, oblivious to the fact that the same white males demonizing him as well had long-term memory loss for whatever disgraceful behavior was being committed by white males at the time. Now, we have the mayor of Toronto, Canada Rob Ford who has given late night hosts and stand-up fools so much material that he should be on the Writer’s Guild payroll. Yet instead of targeting him and hating on him with their snide words, they are taking the typical route of staying silent when it’s a white male.
Before anyone complains to me that Ford is in a different country and has nothing to do with American politics, this isn’t just about his politics. This is about how he behaves as an elected official and a human being. Those same folks who held Mr. Barry up to a standard of how he conducted himself are being very lenient with Mr. Ford. That can’t be for any other reason than race. However, that seems to sit just fine with many black people. They obviously need a reminder of what decade this is.
We do not, and I mean DO NOT have to tiptoe or walk on eggshells when it comes to white folks who behave badly, especially when same-said black people claim that was their reason for going after other black people. If that’s the case, then they have an extremely shitty way of proving their point. Most of the times I don’t think they even have one. I feel that it’s nothing more than their inability to give like they get to the dominant society. If that sounds like I’m playing tit-for-tat, then so damn what? It doesn’t change the fact that there are various white males and females doing the same thing that they are so adamant on criticizing black folks for. And they are extremely silent about it when it’s a white person, leading me to believe that we don’t want a dialogue on certain important issues. Black people just want to play follow the leader and go along to get along.