America, black, celebrity, crime, education, elderly, entertainment, fathers, media, misogyny, music, Notable Links, police, politics, racism, religion, sexual assault/rape, sports, violence, white, women, youth
America, black, celebrity, crime, education, elderly, entertainment, fathers, media, misogyny, music, Notable Links, police, politics, racism, religion, sexual assault/rape, sports, violence, white, women, youth
adversity, America, black, celebrity, crime, entertainment, fathers, hip-hop, history, intraracism, media, men, mothers, murder, music, news, Notable Links, politics, privilege, racism, science, sexism, sexual assault/rape, stereotypes, violence, white, women
By Lavern Merriweather:
This is a question I feel like needs answering any time there is an uproar over the actions of a famous, well-known black male. In this case, it’s about Minnesota Vikings stand-out Adrian Peterson who is being tried in the white-led media for crimes against human decency, because he took a tree switch to his son. Peterson was suspended after pictures of his little 4 year-old son surfaced with scratches from the instrument that Adrian used.
I have a shitload of feelings on this story but the main being where do these holier-than’s get off thinking they can tell a grown man how to discipline his son? Although I had an issue with some of the bruises, it’s not as if the child had severe marks on him or broken bones. Abuse is abuse and it doesn’t equal in any way shape or form discipline.
A number of self-righteous house Negroes like CNN correspondent Charles Taylor and advocate Stacey Patton once again played house slave for their massah bosses by throwing a fellow Negro under the bus. They were quick to criticize Mr. Peterson as if the boy was lying in a coma in the hospital near death. It wasn’t even hardly that physical traumatic. Yet, of course because this is a black male at the center of it, it’s being treated as such, even by the very same people that make pariahs of young black boys like Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown.
See, it is easy for the pathology of white arrogance mixed with hypocrisy to turn on a fucking dime, The same young black males that you demonize when it suits you, you now pretend to want to protect. Maybe I’m missing something here, because I don’t remember any Negroes rushing to speak out about former assistant coach at the famed Penn State School Jerry Sandusky.
Sandusky, as everybody should know by now, was arrested and convicted on several counts of lewd sexual behavior with minors, as witnessed by one of his co-workers at the college Mark McQueery who stated that he saw Sandusky taking a shower with a minor. That is extremely horrific, disgusting and illegal, and I, for one, am very grateful that the pervert finally got caught. I say ‘finally’, because Sandusky had accusations in 1999 and 2002 yet nothing was done about it. There were certainly no black folks around to give grief to Sandusky like they are with Peterson. Which leads me to believe that this is more about looking good for your white employers than it is about actually giving a damn about defending children from abuse.
While I am fully aware of the fact that sexual abuse is different than physical abuse, that doesn’t change them staying silent when it’s a white man. The reason I am coming down much harder on black folks and not their white counterparts is because of this wussy ass outdated mentality that we shouldn’t speak of white people’s ills. I say FUCK THAT! If you are as concerned as you claim, then everybody that is guilty should be feeling your wrath right about now. Still, that never happens; black folks are always tight lipped when a white person does wrong.
Years ago, a white Irish women named Marilyn Toogood wasn’t being too good to her 4 year-old daughter when she was captured on video yanking the girl harshly by her arm, then angrily slapping the little girl on the head. Ms. Toogood was discovered to be part of a group of roaming grifters that had been investigated numerous times for abuse towards children, said to be both physical and sexual.
Not only was there no outcry from black people, but a moronic black female columnist from the Chicago Sun-Times actually had the nerve to suggest that this white woman was getting criticized because she was poor, Irish and talked with a lisp. How about she was getting raked through the verbal mud because she was on tape beating the shit out of a child that she outweighed by about 75 pounds!?
I, like many other people, didn’t see what happened when Mr. Peterson gave his son a whooping, but I seriously doubt it was anywhere near the brutality that this white woman was inflicting. On top of that, if this were cover boy Tom Brady or the penis made from gold quarterback Aaron Rogers, I also doubt Negroes would be so bold to speak of it.
Another thing that burns my butt is those black people mentioning slavery in regards to this situation. OMG! Listen carefully people, I understand that slavery was a despicable, cruel, evil and wretched act to which we are still feeling the effects, but damn! Can’t a flat tire just be a flat tire sometimes with black folks? Everything in our pathology doesn’t always link directly back to slavery, including taking a switch to the backside of your son.
Since these high-minded Negroes, as I like to call them, are so damn troubled by what Mr. Peterson did, why aren’t they offering solutions instead of the usual criticism and targeting another black person selectively routine. They didn’t say squat about what Adrian should do in the future when his son steps out of pocket again. They also seem to be forgetting that he gave his son a spanking because his son had done something unacceptable to one of his other kids. I haven’t heard one argument from them about those kids who absolutely need a belt on their ass because nothing else is working.
However, because this is a black male, the expectation is for a bunch of pious black pundits, scholars and those in the media to hurry with the pitchfork and torches, something that DIDN’T happen when a 9 year-old black boy was put in handcuffs by a white male cop who proceeded to fling him to the ground when the little boy attempted to stand up. The cop later claimed that his was ‘afraid’ for his safety despite being three times this boy’s size and appearing as if he was capable of whooping a man his own age’s size. But he chose instead to bully to a child that he could have easily just given a ticket or fine for not wearing his helmet.
So, let me see if I have this perfectly straight, black folks will speak out on behalf of a child being giving a lesson in his behavior from his own father as long as they don’t agree. Yet, if a black child is being physically assaulted by a white male drunk on power who sees black life or black people as either the enemy or expendable, that’s very acceptable to them. I guess the pious crowd thinks God is wrong too, because he said, and I quote, “Spare the rod and spoil the child”.
It’s really not my place, or theirs, to determine if Mr. Peterson crossed the line, especially when they have had ample opportunity to speak out before and chose not to. They should spend less time with the all the phony moral grandstanding and more time working on their lack of consistency.
News 12 New Jersey’s reporter Sean Bergin, a white man, reported a shooting of a rookie cop Melvin Santiago by Lawrence Campbell, a black male. Bergin decided to air out his views on air while covering the incident citing that an ‘anti-cop mentality’ is the result of young black men not having any fathers in their lives. He made that statement during an interview with Lawrence’s widow Angelique who said that he should’ve killed more officers who later apologized for making the statement. Bergin was reprimanded by News 12, because he “voiced an opinion rather than remained objective.” He walked out soon after.
Fox News’ Megyn Kelly interviewed Bergin on her show. His views had not changed, and he didn’t believe he was wrong. He cared nothing about the consequences:
“It’s important to shine a light on this anti-cop mentality that has so contaminated America’s inner cities,’ Bergin said. ‘The underlying cause of all of this, of course, young black men growing up without fathers…I knew there would be some consequences; I knew there would be some ramifications. I thought maybe I would get a reprimand, maybe a temporary suspension…If I had it to do over again, I would do the exact same thing.”
I hope I’m not the only one who thinks that Sean Bergin statements make no sense. I fail to see the link in fatherless, young black males and this animosity towards the police. But after careful thought, I see this is yet another weak attempt to associate young black men, absent black fathers and violence. This racist “logic” is very popular in American society, so popular that even some black people themselves, even the most liberal, accept it as fact. Somehow or another, not having a father in a black household spawns killers and rapists without fail. In this case, it even gives birth to cop-killers.
Bergin says how he was silenced for addressing the problem. He states that the media doesn’t want to talk about this subject due to “stark raving liberals who masquerade as journalists.” While Bergin is entitled to his stupid ass opinion, there are several things that also need to be addressed, but is rarely mentioned in the mainstream, liberal or conservative.
(As a side note, I’m not defending Campbell of any other criminal. But a few things need to be addressed.)
One, America’s problems, with major help from the media, are racialized. In this case, we’re seeing a rehash of fatherless males and violence latched on to the black community as black pathologies. In our case, one creates the other. Black males with no fathers equal violent crime. Only black folks have those problems and only they must take care of it.
Two, the issues of children growing up without dads and violence is not a ‘black problem’. They are social problems that are not stuck with one group of people. They are damning stereotypes that the so-called liberal media likes to present.
Three, Not many people have the knowledge or guts to mention how the media is racially biased in regards to black people. Most of the news you see or read involving black folks involve sports and crime. Positive news about black folks is as hard in the mainstream.
Four, unless there’s an article I’ve missed, we don’t know if Lawrence Campbell had a father or not.
Five, Bergin said, ““I’m in these housing projects all the time, and it’s all for the same thing: black men slaughtering each other in the streets. Why is this happening?” He assumed that those within the projects he mentioned are mostly single parent families with no fathers.
Six, being a black man without a father doesn’t guarantee that he will end up a criminal just like having a father won’t mean that he will definitely not be a criminal. This kind of low-level, racist thinking must cease. There are, have been and always will be young people who grow up to be whatever they want regardless if the father’s in the picture or not, which leads me to…
Seven, we seem to give fatherhood way too much power. At the same time, we devalue mothers, especially single moms, who take care of their children. Yet, the blame for fatherless black males always goes to the mothers. There isn’t nearly as much finger-pointing for the douche bags who committed hit-and-runs. Instead, they usually regarded as ‘thugs’ who women love to fuck over so-called ‘nice guys’.
Eight, and most importantly, Bergin obviously didn’t think to consider that the anti-police sentiment that so many black people have is due to anti-black sentiments that the police have that resulted in serious injuries and even death. Recently, a 51-year old homeless black woman Marlene Pinnock was beaten within an inch of her life by a California highway patrol officer, and from what we’ve learned, she was only crossing freeway medians in bare feet. And just a few days ago 43 year-old Eric Garner, a black man, was choked to death by New York cops after breaking up a fight. Of course, let’s not forget the numerous cases where black people were harassed and taken down brutally by police for hardly anything that would warrant such force. But hey, it’s the fault of black folks without fathers in their lives, right?
Maybe if Bergin was so concerned with black male fatherhood, or the supposed lack thereof, he would dig deeper into the issue or at least question why the media is obsessed in seeing who our baby’s daddies are. But I doubt it. To people like Bergin, it’s simple, and there won’t be a heavy examination, especially to his questionable opinion. What he said in front of the camera is what people cheer for, and his penalty is what people are upset about. In the end, it’s our fault we hate police and it’s our fault we keep getting our asses handed to us by the nation’s finest, whatever it is to ease the collective guilt of the mainstream and law(less) enforcement.
adversity, America, black, celebrity, entertainment, fathers, guest post, Hispanic, history, Latin, media, men, music, Pierce Brosnon, privilege, racism, rants, relationships, Richard Williams, sports, Sports Illustrated, stereotypes, Steve Garvey, the Williams sisters, white, women, youth
By Lavern Merriweather
What do Stephen King, Demi Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Dolly Parton, Tom Cruise, Lara Flynn Boyle and the lead singer of Everclear all have in common? They were all raised without a father in their lives. There might even be more white celebrities on that list. Yet, as Brotha has stated on this blog and others elsewhere, white males in the media seem obsessed with the notion that single parent homes only exist in the black community. And I don’t mean he died from some unforeseen tragedy. I mean his sorry ass abandoned his kids by walking out the door and never looking back.
Matter of fact, when Mr. Brosnan, a.k.a. James Bond himself. mentioned his deadbeat father Tom, you could still see the hurt in his eyes. Believe it or not, white males can be cold hearted bastards too when it comes to not giving a shit about their offspring. Some probably can’t even wait to head out the back door when the true responsibility of being a parent finally hits them. That’s not an excuse, not hardly.
I think any man who walks out on his family is a pathetic little punk, black, white whatever. But whenever we start a national dialogue on losers who leave their families, the blame almost always falls on the usual suspects. And that is of course black men. There was even some asshole Hispanic comedian, whose name escapes me and probably isn’t all that funny, that made a snide joke about the 50 Cent hit song “Magic Stick”. Mr. self-righteous had the gall to say that the song is called that because every time he gets a girl pregnant he disappears. So what? Latino men stay and not stray when they make a baby with a girl out of wedlock? Right! We NEVER have a Latino man leave a girl with a bun in the oven high and dry. Your absolutely right, dude. Every single solitary Hispanic male that has gotten a girl pregnant has stayed with her from the moment of birth, right up until the time that Junior enters college in the fall. And if you believe that, one then you might as well put milk and cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve. He’s bound to be a little hungry with all that traveling around.
While I understand that there are plenty of black males masquerading as men and not fulfilling their obligations as fathers, the idea that black males are solely causing the problem is not only racist and offensive but pure bullshit. My father was a black man, and he was in my life for practically my whole life until he passed in 2005. So, when I hear some jackass, especially a fellow Negro, knock all black men for not doing what they are supposed as fathers, I want to knock their block off. I’m not even kidding on that one, because I take that mentality personally. My father stepped up to the plate, unlike some white males, and was there for me and my siblings. The next motherfucker who makes a malicious comment about black men not being good dads or dads period better not say it in front of me!
What gets me most is that even if you are there for your kids, you still have to take shit from white men in the media. Famed tennis star Andre Agassi has no relationship at all with his father. Tennis player Mary Pierce had to temporarily hire bodyguards to protect her from her father. Tennis champ Steffi Graf’s dad has been in and out of prison for tax evasion, racketeering and swindling folks out of their hard earned money. And former tennis phenom Jennifer Capriati is a one-woman crime spree.
Yet, it is invariably the father of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams, Richard Williams, who gets the most grief. The only reason for that, I figure, is the glaringly obvious one. His daughters are well spoken, have never broken the law and have excelled in their chosen sport far past many others in a field where they have held their heads very high, despite taking cheap shots from the media, public and other players, which I can only imagine is that typical reason I was referring to. They have had to face resentment for no other reason than they are young black women in a white dominated game whose father’s amazing and valuable influence is highly evident. Still, that ain’t enough for the white media elite.
They just have to find some excuse – any excuse – to hate a black male, including one who is being the complete opposite of what they say black men usually are, and that is available to raise the kids you created. So, you are pretty much damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
When Richard was standing up for Venus because a jealous white ‘bleep bleep’ named Irina Spirlea deliberately bumped into her, he was still chastised. To those pious white males that whined about his comments towards Spirlea, I say kiss his black ass! You are the same ones decrying black men not being there at every turn, yet criticize them when they are.
When a black father was shown on video threatening some of his daughter’s classmates who were bullying her because she is somewhat slow mentally, he was also berated. Okay, first off, those kids were bullying little punks who deserved whatever the hell they got. He didn’t lay a finger on any of them, and he was just telling them if they didn’t back off, he was going to make them back off, something that most parents would do when they discover that some snotnosed fools are harassing their kid. But a black man, regardless of how hard he is maintaining his status as a good father, will face verbal terrorism from white males. His words came out of frustration for how his baby girl was getting treated by those thugs. Any adult worth their salt that has kids would prefer to face whatever challenges or obstacles their child is facing to spare them.
And if it’s not complaining or making stupid hypocritical jokes, white people make it up as they go along. When the late and very great syndicated columnist Carl Rowan wrote that rich, white stars in Hollywood don’t face the same vilifying that poor single black moms do for having kids out of wedlock, some arrogant snot responded in a letter by trying to claim that it was a financial issue. So, somehow that made it okay. Well, if that’s the case, fool, then why do white males in the media yack about rich black male athletes that have multiple babies with multiple women? Not to mention completely forgetting the fact that it’s really none of their business to begin with and that many of the white male celebrities that they admire on stage and screen are guilty of the very same thing.
If we are going to start holding men responsible, then let’s hold them all responsible. But that’s the problem. We don’t hold all men accountable. White males believe they are exempt when the criticism starts flying, particularly for something as serious as not being there for your kid. White males can dish it out, but never have to be bothered with taking the heat themselves.
A while back, the world’s most racist publication Sports Illustrated did a cover story called “Where’s Daddy” that featured a small black child on the front. The article was meant to be a smear campaign that pointed out the supposed rampant hormones of many black male athletes making babies that they didn’t want afterward. Keep in mind, this is the same magazine that has shown white males such as Mark McGuire, Joe Montana and Curt Schilling with their children. But when it comes to black men, the only image we see is of selfishness as a young black boy looks forlorn into the camera as if he were pleading with his eyes for daddy to come home.
This is the worst type of racist propaganda. They might as well be the Nazis spreading lies that Jews eat babies. No, black males just leave them to fend for themselves apparently. How much cash money you want to bet that if it were an entertainment magazine instead, they would not put a picture of one of the many kids Mick Jagger has with different women on the cover. I’d bet 50 million dollars, because that’s how confident I am. I would be right.
Former baseball great Steve Garvey has so many children out of wedlock, he could make a Little League team with just his kids alone. However, because he was once the media’s golden boy with perfect hair and a charming smile, they just can’t bring themselves to hate on their favorite son. Black men, on the other hand, are fair game. In fact, they are the white male media’s best game. They just better not have too many kids with too many baby mommas in the stands, lest they raise the high and mighty media ire.
I honestly don’t know what to do without Father Wolf. Even though we didn’t, and still don’t, always agree, we’re still tight.
I admire Father Wolf’s strength, stamina and unyielding drive to get things done. I’ve never seen a man worked as hard as him. Yet, he does it in a stoic fashion like he’s never tired. And he knows just what to do in almost any given situation. To me, Father Wolf is my role model.
Father’s Day is a time where we love and honor the men in our lives who have been there for us through thick and thin. I know dads get a bad rap in today’s trash TV-driven mainstream media, particularly black dads. But as another Father’s Day approaches – this will sound cliche, but it’s still true – we shouldn’t just reserve one day to show our fathers how much we appreciate them. I know this is something people say during the holidays, but it’s true.
I don’t have any cubs of my own. If I did, I would not only take care of them and be responsible for them, but I will show them lots of love like a father’s supposed to do. And I know (not think, but KNOW) there are plenty of dads out there doing their thing.
To all dads out there, I say thanks and Happy Father’s Day.
All the hype going around Paul Ryan’s racially coded message about the supposed ‘laziness’ of inner city men (you know who he means) and how he tried and failed to clarify his comment only to reveal that he’s more of a prick than we thought, it has prompt articles to put his right wing elitism in check. One of them is an article at Mother Jones by Erika Eichelberger through a commenter named Verveina that debunks the top ten poverty myths that conservatives and liberals latch on to as excuses not to do a damn thing for the struggling working class.
1. Single moms are the problem. Only 9 percent of low-income, urban moms have been single throughout their child’s first five years. Thirty-five percent were married to, or in a relationship with, the child’s father for that entire time.*
2. Absent dads are the problem. Sixty percent of low-income dads see at least one of their children daily. Another 16 percent see their children weekly.*
3. Black dads are the problem. Among men who don’t live with their children, black fathers are more likely than white or Hispanic dads to have a daily presence in their kids’ lives.
4. Poor people are lazy. In 2004, there was at least one adult with a job in 60 percent of families on food stamps that had both kids and a nondisabled, working-age adult.
5. If you’re not officially poor, you’re doing okay. The federal poverty line for a family of two parents and two children in 2012 was $23,283. Basic needs cost at least twice that in 615 of America’s cities and regions.
6. Go to college, get out of poverty. In 2012, about 1.1 million people who made less than $25,000 a year, worked full time, and were heads of household had a bachelor’s degree.**
7. We’re winning the war on poverty. The number of households with children living on less than $2 a day per person has grown 160 percent since 1996, to 1.65 million families in 2011.
8. The days of old ladies eating cat food are over. The share of elderly single women living in extreme poverty jumped 31 percent from 2011 to 2012.
9. The homeless are drunk street people. One in 45 kids in the United States experiences homelessness each year. In New York City alone, 22,000 children are homeless.
10. Handouts are bankrupting us. In 2012, total welfare funding was 0.47 percent of the federal budget.
*Source: Analysis by Dr. Laura Tach at Cornell University.
Many upper class people have no idea what it’s like to work for little. Some are born into the high lifestyle, and are spoon-fed myths about poor people and meritocracy while living in their six to seven-figure homes in gated communities, sheltered from the harshness of poverty. Since they have power and privilege, they have more of a say in government. Some of them happen to be politicians themselves. And so, not only is poverty largely ignored, but it has gotten worse with the rich getting richer, even through underhanded criminal methods.
So, why is it when you help the poor, it’s considered a ‘handout’, but when you help the rich, it’s called a ‘bailout’? Is this economic Darwinism we’re seeing? Considering how the government has yet to punish the wealthy penny-pinching crooks that dumped the economy in the toilet seeing as how they’re “too big”, I guess you’re more likely to land in jail stealing $3.00 than $200 million.
Selfies are all the rage nowadays since we had mobile phones with cameras. One dad has used his to help expunge the recently adverse stereotype of the no-good, deadbeat, black sperm donor trash talk media has been dancing with.
Doyin Richards, 39, is a black dad who took a picture of himself styling his oldest daughter’s hair while having his toddler strapped to his chest. Word on the street is that it’s gone viral in the last several days.
Richards originally posted the photo on his website back in October with the title, “I Have a Dream: That People Will View a Picture Like This and Not Think It’s a Big Deal.” He’d taken it after his wife challenged him to do their 6-year-old daughter’s hair without leaving their infant on her own. Richards not only did it, but took a picture as proof. He later reposted the photo last month and the photo was eventually picked up by the fatherhood blog The Good Men Project.
The photo is a hit to many. Hundreds of thousands in fact. But since we’re talking about black male dads in America, it predictably got its fair share of racist insults such as, “He probably rented those kids,” and “I would bet anything that you’re a deadbeat.”
It’s so sad when you expect that to happen, but it’s a foot-up-the-ass painful when some of the hateful comments came from black folks!
As you can see, Richards’ kids are mixed. His wife and mother of his children is half-Japanese and half-white. No doubt this angered a lot of black folks as seen here in the following couplet of comments as seen in his article at the Good Men Project‘s website:
“This would be so much better if those kids were BLACK!”
“Your MOM is black and you dishonored her by marrying outside of your race? You probably can’t handle a strong black woman.”
I won’t lie. It is slightly disappointing that he didn’t marry a sista and had a family with her. But I don’t think – and everyone’s welcome to disagree – it’s a big issue in this case. There has been a push to defy the black baby daddy stereotype prevalent in the imaginations of most Americans, including African Americans. Yet, the image of a black dude fucking numerous women, getting them pregnant and leaving them for more women is a pop culture staple that exemplifies the remorseless irresponsible nature of black males.
There is a survey that helps defy the ugly stereotype. It shows that most black fathers are actively involved in their children’s lives. I’m grateful that one is done. But who are we kidding? The stereotype will persist. The media will continue to spoon-feed the gullible race-obsessed public the same sweets rotting their brains for bargain-basement entertainment and ratings that would excite toddlers.
I don’t know him personally, but Doyin Richards seems like a good dude, and he is being a man by staying in his family’s lives. Sure, he married a nonblack woman. It looks like he genuinely loves her for her and not for what she is or isn’t. Can we put that aside and see that he is helping to shatter a damning image?
The term ‘good black men’ is becoming an oxymoron in today’s times of cultural appropriation and black folk blaming. We are always suspect at first sight. We are always searched for the worst of us and in us. And we are molded into one deformed collective based on those search results.
The good black man doesn’t exist, not even in the eyes of some black folks, in this society. A good black man, in a matter of speaking, must be flawless, a Christ-like human being in order for the suspicions to, at least, subside – a little.
I’m not saying black men shouldn’t strive to be the best. But we are only human, like everyone else. We definitely need improvement like anyone else with their faults. That’s no lie. There are good black men out there. So, let’s try to give some brothas like Doyin Richards some love.
The following is a list of snippets and links from several letters for the #31forMarissa campaign in which brothas write letters to Marissa Alexander, a Florida woman who was sent to prison for firing a warning shot to protect herself from her abusive husband. The shot struck no one. Yet, she was sentenced to 20 years for “standing her ground.”
It has been an example of Florida’s racial hypocrisy concerning the Stand Your Ground laws, the same laws claimed by George Zimmerman who confronted shot an unarmed Trayvon Martin.
It is also an example of blatant systematic disrespect, mistreatment and abuse by local, state and federal courts against women, especially women of color, who are physically and emotionally abused by inter-gender violence. The “justice” system continues to espouse male privilege, usually allowing many of them to continue their abuse on more women while guilt tripping the victims or allowing them to be put in harm’s way.
The Tumblr site The SWAG Spot is the center of a movement to demand Marissa Alexander justice and for men of all backgrounds to write letters detailing their experience witnessing or participating in domestic violence, how it impacted them and showing support for Marissa.
I am encouraging all male readers and bloggers to participate in this campaign. Domestic violence is no joke. We must not only demand justice for Sista Marissa, but for all women who are struggling with this problem.
Here are a few previews:
Many nights passed as I day dreamed of a superhero, that would bust through the door and come to the aid of me and my mother. Often my daydreams would end up short-lived disturbed by the rage of one man, whose only outlet happened to be his oldest son and his wife.
We failed you, Marissa. We fail women like you every day. You wouldn’t have needed that gun if a man never put his hands on you, or the state believed your life was worth protecting, or the spectre of violence wasn’t our daily reality, or we were all just decent fucking human beings. We’re not, though, and we let violence and misogyny and racism frighten people every day. And then they fight back and we lock them up. I hate guns, but more than that, I hate the necessity of guns. You wanted to feel safe. You deserve that. In this world, that meant firing a gun. In another world, that wouldn’t be the case, but we deal with the world we have. You protected yourself and I can’t hate that.
When I was made aware of this campaign, my co-workers viewpoints immediately came to mind. Domestic violence is often viewed as an issue for women and thus, women tend to be the predominant voice on this plight. Domestic violence is not an issue solely for women however. These women whom we tend to make faceless when we disassociate ourselves are our sisters, mothers, daughters and friends. These women are the nurturers of our society and provide the support system necessary for us all to flourish. We would not be here if not for these women. And every individual we empower with our silence exacerbates this issue tenfold. So it would seem then that EVERY issue that threatens a woman, especially domestic violence, threatens us all.
Marissa, I am really sorry that you had to experience such terrorism and violence at the hands of a man who claimed to love you. I have many women in my life that I love dearly, including my four-year old daughter. Because of the work that I do, I know that she is likely to experience some act of sexism, or some form of physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime, based on her gender. There is a long way to go before we can end this reality for so many girls and women across the world, but if my daughter is ever in the horrible position that you are in, I pray that her community will rally around her, and support her until she is completely exonerated for defending her life and the lives of her children.
These are a few of several letters, and they’re continuing to keep flowing in. I also participated by writing my own letter as I’ve witnessed abuse during my youth, and I strongly urge all men who read this to write their own letters as well as I believe this is first step towards justice and healing. You can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit the SWAG Spot on Tumblr.