Quote of the Day: Ta-Nehisi Coates

by TKOEd • Friday, Dec 7, 2012 • no responses - be the first

What bothers me here is the attempt to somehow erect a standard for domestic violence that we do not use anywhere else. If someone said that Osama bin Laden actually loved the victims of 9/11 we would generally object, in a way that we wouldn’t if someone said he hated the victims. That assessment would be based on action.

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On D.L. Hughley & Women

by TKOEd • Friday, Nov 2, 2012 • no responses - be the first

D.L. Hughley is an asshole. Furthermore, his ludicrous, reprehensible, and despicable answers to Michel Martin’s questions lead me to believe he’s a misogynist. I don’t know if he & Martin were in studio together, but if they were I wouldn’t have faulted Martin for smacking the taste out of his mouth. This exchange, which begins with Martin reading from his book, is more than enough to sour me on a guy who I once thought had some sense:

MARTIN: I’m sure every father feels the same way that I do about his daughters. I love them, but I don’t like them. Who likes women?


HUGHLEY: Really.

MARTIN: Really?

HUGHLEY: Really.

MARTIN: Really?

HUGHLEY: Really, darling. Really.

MARTIN: You don’t like women?

HUGHLEY: I don’t like the way they process – no, I don’t. I enjoy their company. I do not like the way that they reason. You can’t understand them

Mr. Hughley, I can’t fucking understand you. Wait, maybe I do understand you. You’re a misogynist asshole who in addition to saying women are incomprehensible, is an extremely condescending dick to boot. No surprise on the latter given the former I guess. I’m not going to read Mr. Hughley’s book just like I haven’t, and won’t read any of Steve Harvey’s books. I’m not interested in rich Black men telling our women they ain’t shit. I’m not interested in anyone doing it. Now I’m not sure what D.L. Hughley has to do with “Black manhood” (whatever that is), but Kimberly Foster is dead on when she says:

Painting Black women as irrationally angry justifies the verbal and physical violence we endure daily.

Let’s go a bit further. Mr. Hughley does not just paint Black women as “irrationally angry.” He paints them as irrational. Full Stop.

As I’ve written about before Black women in this country face an incredible amount of domestic violence. If you know that 91% of married Black women are married to Black men, and when you know that intimate partner violence is the violence that most women have to face, then you know who’s perpetuating violence against the women in our communities. Real shit, seeing someone say the things that Hughley says in this interview makes me think that maybe the police should be talking to his wife, and daughters when he’s not home.

I’m not done with that point either. Let’s pull out another D.L. Hughley quote from this interview. Bold mine:

HUGHLEY: 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(ph).

Now think about this quote. Again, the emphasis mine:

Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you.

Now I’m going to racially patholgize Hughley’s comments. They are his, and his alone. He does not speak for me or any other Black man. BUT he speaks to something incredibly pernicious in human society. Sexism. Misogyny. Patriarchy. As men, we are all responsible for our contributions to these issues. We have all contributed to them at some point. Knowingly, and unknowingly. We must do better. Black men must do better. You want men, and boys to respect your daughter? Your wife? Your mother? Respect your wife. Respect the random woman in the seat next to you. Respect the woman one lane over. Respect the women you hit on, and teach your sons, cousins, nephews, etc, to do the same.

Don’t tell me you “love Black women” if you talk like this. Don’t tell me you love Black women if you won’t speak up for them, and/or help them speak up for themselves IF they need or ask for your help. Don’t tell me you love Black women if you sit there, and chuckle when your boy/dad/son says “I had/wanted to smack some sense into her.”

If you do, I don’t understand you. I don’t like the way you process. I do not like the way you reason. Some of what Hughley does in this interview, and apparently is his book, is the same thing we always talk about when it comes to race. It’s not the blatantly obvious things any more. It’s not as obvious as saying women shouldn’t have the right to vote or that they shouldn’t be able to control their bodies, but it’s insidious all the same. And he’s talking about the women WE love. Who LOVE us. Who, often, give us everything they have. At a minimum we should speak up, but even more importantly than that, we need to self-interrogate. It starts with us. It starts with one. We have to take hold of our misogyny, our sexism, and our patriarchy.

Now I believe that we need to take the right side of this fight across all of America, not just in the Black community. We can’t successfully combat patriarchy in our community if wider society has made no changes. The Black community is not an island. Our people are affected by American society on whole. So we can’t win at home if we’re not winning all across America. In white homes, as well a Black, and all the homes in between. That being said, I’m the man that believes that Barack Obama is a great symbol, and role model for Black men & boys in this country. I’m not going to sit here, and tell you that we can’t begin to make a difference. We can. We should. We will. I’m a role model for someone. My nephew comes to mind. I’m as big of an influence on him now, at 8 years old as anything else in his life. He watches me when I talk to my daughter. He watches me when I talk to my fiance. Gentlemen, the young men, and boys in your life are watching you too. What are you going to teach them. To love, and respect Black women on their terms or will you be another D.L. Hughley?

The Choice is Yours.

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Apparently Domestic Violence Is Funny

by TKOEd • Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012 • no responses - be the first

At least that’s what these students from Waverly High School would like you to believe. Yesterday I wrote about the blackface, today we’ll talk domestic violence.

Do you that it’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month? If you’re not aware, that’s probably due in part to it sharing the month with Breast Cancer Awareness.

Let’s get some stats (PDF):

      • 1 in every 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
      • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
      • 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
      • Historically, women, and girls have been most often victimized by someone they knew.
      • Women who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
      • Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
      • Intimate partner violence results in more than 18.5 million mental health care visits each year.
      • Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners, and children when they become adults.
      • Sexual assault or forced sex occurs in approximately 40-45% of battering relationships.

Emphasis mine. Anything about these stats funny to you? Unless you’re a complete & utter scumbag, the answer is no.

Apparently the blackface wasn’t enough for these morons. They had to make fun a brutal assault on a woman. A Black woman. I wonder if we would have seen these white kids making fun of DV in their community? I already know the answer though: Fuck No. That’s where the racism beyond the blackface comes in. It’s easy for them to make fun of a couple of Black people “acting ghetto.”

Who gives a shit, right?

We should (PDF):

  • African Americans account for a disproportionate number of intimate partner homicides. In 2005, African Americans accounted for almost 1/3 of the intimate partner homicides in this country.
  • Black women comprise 8% of the U.S. population but in 2005 accounted for 22% of the intimate partner homicide victims and 29% of all women & girl victims of intimate partner homicide.

But who are we to let facts, and reality stand in the way of a good laugh, right?

There’s nothing funny about someone abusing their partner(s) or ex. We especially need to get this message to the young folks in our community. Specifically our boys, and young men. Fellas, it begins with us, we need to let our boys (friends, sons & others) know that there’s nothing acceptable about harming the ones we care for. We must set a good example for them. It all starts with respect. In any disagreement with your partner respect must be at the forefront. Respect for women’s bodies, minds, and most importantly their boundaries. We do not force, we do not intimidate, and we do not cajole.

If you need immediate assistance, dial 911.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s Safety Plan.

Together we can help


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Apparently Blackface Isn’t Racist Any More

by TKOEd • Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 • no responses - be the first

At least that’s what the commenters on this CNN iReport article would have us believe. As infuriating as the story of some white kids donning blackface, and “reenacting” Chris Brown’s brutal assault on Rhianna is, I might be more pissed off at the commenters trying to downplay the whole thing. Now I know better than to get angry at anonymous commenters on the interwebz, but I see many of these comments as indicative of precisely what’s wrong with the way many white people in this country view racism, prejudice, and bigotry in this country. Their view is that if it doesn’t involve a Black person being called nigger to her/his face, or something akin crosses burning on lawns it’s not racist. Pretty much anything goes as long as there aren’t any Klansmen, or swastikas around. Let’s jump into some of these comments:

society should probably toughen up, theres zero chance that this was racist Chris Brown and Rihanna are icons, therefor the kids are gonna portray icons its  SKIT and I guaruntee if a black person painted their face white to portray Eminem, or a mime no one would be saying a word. stop being such a sensitive, sue happy, find something wrong in everything society, and toughen up and let kids be kids. -NotRacist123

Poor choice for a skit. Not intentional racism, but could appear to offend some people. - gapperguy

alright an adult.. this is not portraid to be racist this was supposed to be representing chris brown and rhianna yes i agree with the whole demestic vilonce part but it was not ment to be racist. you people twisted it into your own little project to make these kids feel like crap for just having fun. like i said it was not ment to be racist you guys just twisted it - waverlypride

I fail to see how this skit was “racist.” By this logic, we could say that Adam Sandler is “sexist” because he plays a female character in the movie “Jack and Jill,” which would be completely ridiculous. They were not being racist at all, the characters they were choosing to play in the skit just happened to be african american. I’m not saying this skit should have be tolerated or even allowed, but it is by no means racist. It should not of been approved because violence of any kind is not comical. Also, the kids that wrote up the skit and participated in it are not to blame and should not be under attack for doing so. Look at the mainstream medias in modern times, current comedy celebrity Daniel Tosh makes tons of racist, violent, and highly offensive jokes, but its accepted. Kids didn’t learn this stuff from themselves, the past generations and the mainstream media are to blame for how society accepts offensive and believes they are comical. - username24

Seriously this is ridiculous. For someone to even say the pep rally skit was racist when in all reality it was a reenactment of a TRUE event. The former student that is supposably ashamed of being from Waverly bc of this skit was part of something actually RACIST that is no longer continued at the school bc actual RACIST comments that were made. That incident did NOT reach any kind of news it was taken care of by the teachers and the administration.. Clearly the person having the problem should have talked to the SCHOOL before they went and did any of this. That should have been the proper first step. This whole business with involving outsiders that were NOT even present for the skit should NOT even be involved. It’s none of their business. And it’s none of CNN’s business either. So leave it alone. It wasn’t meant to be racist and there are more controversial topics someone could bring up that are important in the news then some high school skit that was never intended to be racist. - ClassOf13

What if these kids have never even heard of “black face”? How can you be racist on accident? Racism is intentional. They were making fun of a well known topic in pop culture. Not of black people. I have asked several of my black friends (who by the way did not attend waverly) if they were offended by this and not one of them said yes. - GreenLady82

That last one is my favorite, but far from the last comment of its ilk. Mind blowing stupidity, and willful ignorance on full display. White people think they face more racism than Black people. All accusations of racism, prejudice & bigotry now require “proof.” If this were merely limited to the uneducated populace it would of much less concern, but the Supreme Court has even taken this stance. Michelle Alexander in The New Jim Crow:

According to the Court, whether or not police discriminate on the basis of race when making traffic stops is irrelevant to a consideration of whether their conduct is “reasonable” under the Fourth Amendment.

The Court did offer one caveat, however. It indicated that victims of race discrimination could still state a claim under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees “equal treatment under the laws.” This suggestion may have been reassuring to those unfamiliar with the Court’s equal protection jurisprudence. But for those who have actually tried to prove race discrimination under the Fourteenth Amendment, the Court’s remark amounted to cruel irony.


As we shall see below, the Supreme Court ruled in McCleskey v. Kemp that racial bias in sentencing, even if shown through credible statistical evidence, could not be challenged under the Fourteenth Amendment in the absence of clear evidence of conscious, discriminatory intent.

This is a mindset that runs through much of white society, and the larger American society as well. I’ve had a Black friend tell me it wasn’t racist for some white kid to randomly come up to me on the street, and ask if I know where to buy weed. Why in the fuck would I know that?

What can we do about it? Personally, I don’t think we should shy away from “calling out” folks when they try massage away racism, bigotry, and prejudice. No need to get into people’s faces about it, but we shouldn’t be letting shit slide amongst our friends. A lot of folks just don’t know, and don’t get it. Now this is much harder in our work environments. I don’t think I can or should tell you how to handle that there. Each situation calls for different responses. With our friends as well, each person requires different tactics. Some say we shouldn’t have to “teach” white folks how to be, and how to treat us as humans. I agree to a certain extent, but I’m not sure how we expect things to change otherwise. Even if it’s just saying that “that’s not ok, it’s offensive” then leaving it at that. Sometimes we don’t have the mental space to go into this shit. White folks, sometimes you just have to accept what we’ve said, and go do some research. Learn something. We have to live in the wider America which is controlled mostly by white people. We have to know about yall. You don’t have to know about us. But you should. We all should try & understand the people around us as much as we can.

I’m going to have a follow up to this where we chat about making fun of domestic violence.

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