“When you go looking for the truth, be prepared to find it.”
My previous two columns, “Mo’Nique Proves That “Diva Culture” Is Ruinous To Black Women” and “Raheem DeVaughn’s “Queens For A Day” have on no clothes” had barely made it into the Wayback Machine when yours truly got word of two prima facia examples of precisely what I was arguing in the aforementioned articles; Madame Noire discusses Ms. Stone:
“Angie Stone may be done with reality television, but that doesn’t mean that she has escaped the drama. According to the WSBTV, the Grammy-nominated singer was arrested Tuesday in DeKalb County.
“Cops were called to a home on the 1400 block of Rogers Lake Road. Once officer’s [sic] arrived, Angie alleged that her daughter, Diamond Stone, had punched her in the face several times. The 53-year-old singer confessed that in retaliation, she struck Diamond in the face with a metal stand, knocking two of her front teeth out. She went on to say that once she realized what she had done, she turned to run away, but her daughter came after her.
“A third person in the home, who has not been identified, was able to break up the fight by the time police arrived. According to TMZ, Angie told cops that the fight began because Diamond wasn’t cleaning up after her children.
“Both women were taken into custody, but Diamond was released. Angie has been charged with domestic aggravated assault.”
Meanwhile, Hip Hop fixture The Source dishes on Ms. Campbell:
“Tina Campbell, known to the world as one-half of the gospel-and-blues duo Mary Mary – ”Shackles,” “God In Me” – stars in Mary Mary, a We TV reality show that highlights the personal life of the gospel star, along with her husband Terry Campbell, and the other half of Mary Mary, Tina’s sister Erika-Atkins Campbell.
“In the trailer for the 4th season of the show, a major moment came when the clip revealed Terry Campbell’s trashed car, which was reportedly a product of a fit of Tina Campbell’s rage, which came after Terry admitted to having several extra-marital affairs.
“’We had some days that were really bad, and the car is a clear indication of a very bad day. It was my car and she thought I could have been riding around town with another women in the car, which wasn’t the case. My wife in her pain wanted to hurt me.’
“It was VladTV that reported that the true story behind the trashed vehicle is that Tina took a gun to the car in her anger, and literally unloaded on the car’s windshield and body. No one was inside the car at the time.”
In both articles, I argued that not only was the adoption of “diva culture” a bad look for Black women in our time but that domestic violence was hardly a “one-way street” issue in Black America – that Black women very much had the capacity for wanton violence that any Black man could be accused of.
In case anyone out there wishes to poo-poo the above examples as mere gossip column fodder, consider this news story out of East Flatbush, NYC:
“Police took another teenage girl into custody Saturday in connection with the savage gang beating of a 15-year-old girl inside a Brooklyn McDonald’s — the fifth suspect apprehended in the attack that was video-recorded by onlookers and went viral on the Internet.
“A sixth suspect is still at large.
“Two of the suspects, Telani Marshall, 17, and a 15-year-old girl whose name is not being released because she is being charged as a minor, appeared in court Saturday.
“They were arrested in Brooklyn Friday on robbery and gang assault charges after they turned themselves in to police, according to the NYPD. Marshall was charged as an adult.
“Mercedes Wilkinson, a 16-year-old Brooklyn girl, turned herself in on Saturday morning and was charged as an adult with gang assault and robbery.
“One teen was taken into custody in Atlanta at the airport Friday as she sat on a plane that was set to head to Jamaica, a law enforcement official told NBC 4 New York. The NYPD alerted local authorities there, and they were able to take the girl off the plane before it departed.”
Please, view the accompanying video of the vicious femme fatale gang-attack at Micky D’s for yourself – and – please don’t forget to check out the other stories linked to the above news story that discusses still more instances of Black Women Behaving Badly.
Why am I bringing all this up, especially in the context of a men’s issues website? Why am I not addressing issues and problems that men, and Black men particularly, could better benefit from – say, schools/education, or homelessness, or police brutality? These are questions put forth by my haters, er, interlocutors, and they are quite valid ones. The following is my response:
1. Because I can.
2. See above.
3. Because it is very important for the world to know and understand, that not only don’t Black men in aggregate have any advocates in these and related matters, but that they are constantly being maligned, misrepresented and portrayed in the worst possible light, regardless as to the evidence.
As avid AVFM reader and astute commenter Mr. Jack Strawb points out, the notion that Black men being solely responsible for DV in Black America is a big, fat, stubborn lie:
“Wendy McElroy, in ‘Are Domestic Violence Statistics Bogus? A dominant voice in victim-advocacy and research on domestic violence stands accused of flatly fabricating data.’
“Jacquelyn C. Campbell, a professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, is accused of fabricating ‘key statements [about domestic violence] and then representing the statements as findings of a government survey.’ On January 14, the victim-advocacy organization Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) filed a formal complaint with the Office of Research Integrity of the Department of Health and Human Services. SAVE wants the unit to ‘investigate these allegations of research misconduct by Dr. Campbell and colleagues, and take appropriate corrective action.’ (As of January 31, the complaint has been rejected and the rejection is being appealed.)
“In two highly respected journals, Campbell and various colleagues claimed that ‘the leading cause of death in the United States among African American women aged 15 to 45 years’ was homicide. In the American Journal of Public Health Vol. 93, No. 7, 2003, page 1089, the deaths were described as ‘femicide, the homicide of women.’ In the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Journal 2003, page 18, the deaths were ascribed to ‘intimate partner violence’ or domestic violence homicide.
“Attorney General Eric Holder repeated the domestic violence version of the statistic in a 2009 speech; he stated, ‘Disturbingly, intimate partner homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 15 to 45.’ The statistic was posted in at least two places at the Department of Justice (DOJ) website. The conservative feminist Christina Hoff Sommers took exception. In USA Today (Feb. 4, 2011), she wrote, ‘That’s a horrifying statistic, and it would be a shocking reflection of the black family, and American society generally, if it were true. But it isn’t true.’
“Over two years later, the Washington Post fact checker, Glenn Kessler investigated Holder’s statement and published his results. Kessler wrote that CDC ‘data show that, for the year 2008 (the year before Holder’s speeches), cancer, heart disease, unintentional injury and HIV/AIDS all topped homicide. Then if you break out intimate-partner homicide, that ends up being seventh or eighth on the list (depending on whether you also include all homicides.)’ As a basis of comparison, in 2008, cancer killed 1,871 black females; heart disease, 1,629; all homicides, 326.”
One simply has to ask: if we know these “stats” are indeed bogus, if we know – proved by eyewitness cellphone video cameras and reality television shows – that Black women can and will be quite violent – WHY does the “dangerous Black male” myth persist? WHY, are Black feminist activists (and others!) still pushing this BS line of reason/argument?
As AVFM Editor-in-Chief Mr. Paul Elam recently noted in his column, “Concerning Concern Trolls,” not only is it hugely important for men (and women!) to speak truth to power on these and related issues, but that the mere act of doing so is powerful in ways many may not realize:
“You want to know what this movement is about? It is very, very simple in my opinion. The MHRM I envision is about one simple thing. Talking without fear or capitulation.
“Seriously. That is it. It is about nothing more than people talking to each other, openly and freely, in a world that does not want them to. Neither I nor AVFM has a legislative agenda, nor any politicians to endorse, nor lobbying to accomplish because none of that is of any value in a society that still refuses to accept reality.
“Sure, if you look at our mission statement you will see many items that will require political and judicial remedy to ultimately accomplish. That, however is not our job at AVFM to accomplish directly. Our job is to push society to a place that it is able to sustain a narrative change that will in turn lead to sustained problem solving.”
As a Black man of blue-collar roots, it is hugely important for me to speak, loudly and clearly, about matters I care about. I care about Black men like me, who have been cowed into silence (and in some cases, shame) about what this and related articles of mine talk about. I want to create the space for Black men like me to really start speaking the heck up. I want to inspire other Black men to speak the heck up. And in doing so, it will create even more space, to address the problems the concern trolls cry crocodile tears over.
I also do this, because I want to drive home the point, that yet again Black Feminism has utterly failed Black women; it has no answers for “diva culture” or the well-documented rise in violent and antisocial behaviors on the part of Black women – indeed, if anything, it may have contributed to both in our time.
And, for those who attempt to argue that what I and other Citizen Journos in Black America – like Mr. Tommy Sotomayor, for example, are really only talking about “ghetto sistas” – let me disabuse you of that. As Solange Knowles showed us last year, and the cases of Mo’Nique, Angie Stone and Tina Campbell show us currently, “diva culture” and violent acts on the part of Black women are something that is hardly limited to the lower classes – indeed, it doesn’t take one long to find much evidence of these behaviors being very much “system wide” throughout Black America. It is no respecter of Class.
Not all Black women are like that, but enough of them are like that.
It really is that simple.
Me, speaking on it, calling it out for who and what it is, is one of them.