Oh my! Another black man accused of smacking down another black woman. This time however, it is BeBe Winans. The Grammy Award winning Gospel Crooner in a mouth spat with his ex-wife is alleged to have pushed her to the ground. BeBe's altercation with his ex-wife is a reminder of Reverend televangelist Bishop Dr. Juanita Bynum who, in 2007 came close to meeting her death after suffering a near fatal attack at the hands of her estranged husband.
So now we have Chris Brown, BeBe Winans and of course behind the scenes hosts of other famous or not so famous brothers either beating down to the ground or beating up from the feet up black women. Black America, where is the outrage! Are you afraid to finally wash the dirty laundry that has been so publicly aired by our community to White Folks? You don't they think they know about our problems? Pulleeze!
It is interesting how the NAACP and Black Leaders can jump all over the racism that continues to prevail even with the election of a Black President, but when it comes to abuse perpetrated by black men against black women, we issue no statements, have no press conferences and seem to be silent on an issue that is destructive to our community and the larger society. How come the only Black person most vocal about this issue is Oprah Winfrey? How come the majority of the other people vocal about violence against Rihanna have been white women and the organizations they represent? How come black women as have not come together as a collective to say enough-is-enough?
As the collective we spoke about the racist New York Post and its stupid Monkey cartoon, but as a collective we have said nothing about abuse against black women! It is appears with President Obama and his wife Michelle in the White House, we are trying to take some sort of hiatus from a reality about a moral issue concerning the black family in America. A part of me can't blame us for wanting to enjoy the fact that the First Couple represents an important part of the African American family that really exists -- The Obamas are the Huxtables finally reified. However, the other reality is Chris Brown knocked us up side our heads when he maimed Rihanna. Still, all we can do is talk about Chris and Rhianna at home, in the barber shops, hair salons, church parking lots, school cafeterias, chicken shacks, offices and even in the clubs or bars.
There is an undercurrent attitude by a number of African American men that it is okay to set a woman straight or let her know who the boss is when she gets too crazy by pushing her or jacking her up against the wall. When a black woman gets loud and in a black man's face or pushes what he perceives to be his manhood too far, some black men feel they have to let her know who the man is by slapping her, kicking her, punching her or in some cases body slamming her while he calls her bitch and like Chris Brown too threatens to kill her. Sadly, there is also an attitude by some black women that it's best not to challenge a "brotha" too much or in other cases "she must have done something" to have caused a scene for the beat down.
In addition to having Tavis Smiley's State of the Black Union every February, we should have the State of the Black Family and what we have to do to stop this viscous cycle of violence in our community. Additionally, when Black Leadership really and once and for all decides to come together to deal head on with our problem, let us not only review the problem from the same old black perspective pathology that blames the white man, slavery or a cycle of violence black boys witness as their fathers or boyfriends beat their mothers and grow up to do the same. While these issues have played a significant role in the dilemma and must be counted towards the solution, it is certainly not all of it, and we must stop the excuses.
Finally, let us stop psychologically becoming dependent upon President Obama to speak on the issues we already know about. Yes, he is black, but he has the whole country and the world the deal with right now (which includes us). His plate is overflowing. As our economy continues to struggle and the black community feels the pain perhaps more than any other demographic in this country, social ills like physical abuse increase. Therefore, the best approach African American leadership can do is to pro-actively take personal responsibility for this issue and not look to Obama take any lead on what we can do for ourselves!
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