Thursday, May 8, 2014

Under the Bus—Black Women and Girls in America

As Black women and girls, it seems like we can’t heal fast enough before we find ourselves under the wheels of the bus of a society seemingly determined to crush our collective spirit. And what’s especially hurtful is when the driver of the bus is someone who should be pulling us out of harm’s way instead of trying to run us over!

The thing about media and Black folk is that we are not held to the same standard as other folk. There is microscopic scrutiny of our action. Beyoncé singing sexy music to her husband is responsible for an increase in teen pregnancy among African-American girls who look at her as a role model according to Bill O’Riley. Donald Sterling, on the other hand is looked upon as an anomaly of sorts. Black people are always being judged and held accountable collectively rather we like it or not.

Black men share Black women’s struggle for justice and fair representation; Black men know our story, so the last place we want to see them is behind the wheel of a bus barreling toward us. The tire tracks on our backs were still fresh from the Mimi Faust fall-out, when I saw this bus coming at us full speed just as we were about to step off the curb at we-can-move-past-this latest-episode Avenue.

The driver, Columbus Short, from the highly popular ABC drama Scandal  was fired from the series when he was caught in his own real life scandal of domestic violence. There had been a number of altercations between the two dating back to February according to reports, but after an incident on April 7, Tanee McCall, Short’s wife filed a restraining order against her husband.

So, what does Short do? He shows up at the house he shared with his wife accompanied by another woman to help him collect his belongings. McCall is said to have attacked the woman after McCall asked the woman to leave and she refused. Short released a video of McCall attacking the other woman. Why didn’t Short try to stop the fight or call the police? Because he was too busy trying to run his wife down.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, Comedian DL Hughley jumped on the bus with Short and took it for a spin. When news of the alleged abuse charges broke, Hughley went on a wild rant on his radio show about it.  He called McCall-Short a “thirsty bitch” and went on to say, “I think that broad shouldn’t be telling all his business if she gone take him to court.” Hughley pumped his breaks, promptly removed the audio and issued an apology when the public responded negatively to his comments. 
But this wasn't the first time Hughley has been behind the wheel. When Don Imus comments  "nappy-headed hoes" comments caused a ruckus,” Hughley co-signed on that foolishness remarking that Imus hadn’t lied because they were “nappy-headed hoes.” Hughley apologized for his dismissal of the abuse allegations, but he doesn’t seem to find anything wrong with continuously calling us out of our name. Too bad we can’t revoke his license.

Before long, I could hear the rumbling of another bus coming. This time it was Floyd Mayweather behind the wheel driving full speed ahead. After pictures of his ex, Shantel Jackson and Rapper Nelly all cuddled up surfaced, a revenge seeking Mayweather posted a sonogram picture on his Instagram account of the twins that Jackson allegedly aborted. The backlash was furious and swift, and Mayweather removed the picture, but it was too late. Jackson’s body had already been tossed into oncoming traffic.

While these are individual stories, they do help drive public opinion and push the rest of us off the curb. Once something personal becomes public, and the public feeds off pre-conceived notions of a marginalized group, the personal becomes political for us all. Beep, beep! Get out of the way!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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