Posts Tagged ‘ violence ’

Oprah Winfrey’s Double Standard on Domestic Violence

bebeoprah11 I am not an Oprah fan…..

I used to be one of those big Oprah fans and dedicated supporters who loved the show and everything else affiliated with Oprah Winfrey. I was proud to see a strong, black woman rise up from a troubled childhood and climb the ladder of success, but in recent years my support of Oprah has dwindled tremendously. I don’t watch her show and I wouldn’t even consider picking up an issue of  her magazine. But this blog post is not about the various reasons I no longer support the Big O. This blog post is about Oprah’s continued support of singer BeBe Winans even after he was accused of physically assaulting his ex-wife in February of this year. It is about Oprah speaking publicly about her disdain for Chris Brown after his altercation with Rihanna, but still remaining bubbly and friendly with BeBe Winans as if one abuser is better than the other. Abuse is abuse regardless of who the abuser is.

BeBe was arrested, as was Chris Brown. Both men were taken to jail for a physical act of violence against a woman. Oprah, in my opinion handled the Chris Brown situation from a judgmental point of view. She not only spoke her opinion on the situation, but she also did an entire segment on Domestic Violence; a subject that the Big O didn’t appear to give a damn about before the Chris Brown and Rihanna incident.  Yet, in the case of BeBe Winans, who is one of Oprah’s favorite singers and close friends, she seems to have a innocent until proven guilty view of the situation. Even after the arrest and a pending court appearance, BeBe Winans will be hosting Oprah’s Karaoke Challenge which will air November 5, 2009.

Of course Oprah can befriend whomever she likes. She can have anyone on her show that she chooses, but I seriously do not believe that Oprah would allow Chris Brown to host a podcast, nonetheless a portion of her show.  Her actions when handling both of these situations just seems hypocritical and biased. Whether it be a push, which is what BeBe Winans was accused of doing, or a full out attack as in the case of Chris Brown, domestic violence is wrong.

If you are going to speak out on domestic violence and take a stance against it, do so without being biased. Do so without approaching the situation as a victim supporter and an abuser trasher…unless the abuser is your close friend. Don’t  look at it with a different set of eyes and speak on it with a different voice just because he is a gospel singer and a close friend.  That, Oprah is hypocritical.

 With the celebrity status that Oprah Winfrey has, she of all people should know that there are three sides to every story. Neither Oprah nor the rest of the world was in the car with Chris Brown and Rihanna, neither were we witness to the incident that occurred between BeBe Winans and his ex-wife Debra Winans. With that being said, we are not aware of the full details of either incident.

Oprah is quoted as saying in relation to the Chris Brown & Rihanna incident:

Love doesn’t hurt. And if a man hits you once, he will hit you again

If that is your belief, apply that to every abuser Oprah, not just Chris Brown. Please don’t get me wrong, I feel that the show was very beneficial. It not only gave the issue of domestic violence a louder voice, but it spoke about and to a group of people who are becoming victims of domestic violence far too often, teenage girls.

I just feel that efforts to end domestic violence should; provide awareness of the issue, assistance to victims and help for the abusers. You can’t have one without the other, if the cycle of violence is to be broken.

Somehow we done got it twisted

8596-largeI recently witnessed a woman falling out, crying and screaming obscenities at the police for arresting her son-in-law and his brother for selling drugs and gambling.  These same two young men shoot dice and deal drugs all day, every day on the mother’s front porch.

….somehow we done got it twisted!

Now some of you may not see a problem with this, but BGT does. It has come to my attention that many black mothers have it twisted. No, actually they have it turnt upside down or bottom ways up as my grandmother would say.

Far too many black women are applauding bad behavior from the males in their family. They smile and accept baby after baby out-of-wedlock from their sons, but raise hell when their “baby boy”wants to get married. They cause all kinds of drama, hoping to save their son from marriage, BUT they had no problem when he was making those sweet little grand babies unmarried.  On other occasions they are aware of their sons criminal behavior, yet they have the audacity to get offended if the police take them to jail. They call that picking on them. Ok well maam if your son is on the corner selling drugs day in and day out, he is leaving himself open to be picked on.

It bothers me that mothers are not only gladly accepting bad behavior from their sons but they are his cheerleader and co-signer for bad behavior.  It is almost as if things have been twisted. These mothers stick up for hoodlum sons who do everything under the sun, and get upset when society labels them criminals and thugs. Maam, your son calls himself a thug in your presence, so why is it a problem when society labels him as a thug.

Somehow we done got it twisted…

I remember growing up and mothers not caring if their son was seven or seventeen. If you got out of line you would get put back in line. Nowadays grown men are living with their mothers, with their baby mama, the two children he has by her, the two children she had from a previous relationship, his best friend Clyde, Clyde’s girlfriend and their dog Rufus. They all live with the mother and she has no problem with all of these grown tale folks shackin’ at her house. She even keeps the sweet  grand babies so they can go out and party and come home high.

Again…somehow we done got it twisted….

When did it become okay to accept criminal behavior and triflingness from your children. I mean sure enough when they are grown you cannot control their actions, but you can still make sure that they know it is wrong. You can still tell them that you don’t agree with it and that you in no way support illegal activity and will have no part of it. Instead a lot of black mothers act as if society is picking on their babies and he is only doing the best he can. Oh really, is that the best he can do? Well damn, thats shameful then!

Black mothers need to learn to realize that loving your son does not mean co-signing on a triflin lifestyle. Regardless of what our children do, we love them. A mother’s love should be unconditional. But accepting and going along with mess is unacceptable mothers. Let’s quit babying these grown men as if they don’t know right from wrong. A mother should feel comfortable knowing that she taught her children right from wrong and if they choose to do wrong it wasn’t because they weren’t taught any better.

 

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Chris Brown & Rihanna (my two cents)

2007_6_betawards1We have all seen and heard the mountain of news stories, radio talk shows, blog posts etc concerning the incident between Rihanna and Chris Brown. Media outlets such as TMZ  and Access Hollywood have had day to day coverage on the story. For a while I stopped paying attention because it was becoming too much of a media circus. The truth has become too far and beyond and the here say and exaggeration overpowered the real issues of the case.

For those of you who know me personally you know that I take domestic violence very seriously. I in no way support abusers and I take a strong stand against violence against women.

With that being said, I would like to first address  the fact that I along with everyone except Chris Brown and Rihanna were not present the night of the incident. We are only partakers of what the news media chooses to report. What has been reported ranges from allegations of Rihanna giving Chris Brown herpes, to Rihanna attacking Chris Brown in the car because Leona Lewis text him. Then there was the story that it wasn’t Leona Lewis, but another woman that text Chris Brown that sent Rihanna into a frenzy that led her to hit Chris Brown with her shoe. The stories have been never-ending and recently it was reported that Rihanna has decided to tell the police the true story about the night’s events. This story includes a woman texting Chris Brown, Rihanna becoming enraged and attacking him as he drove. Chris tried to get control of her while remaining in control of the car and the fight ensued. This led to both parties throwing blows in the moving vehicle and outside of the vehicle.  

The many comments I have heard and seen concerning Rihanna’s decision to remain in a relationship with someone who allegedly  beat her have been for the most part negative and ignorant. When a woman stays with an abusive partner there are underlying issues and that issue is not just the fact that she loves him. If you allow someone to physically abuse you it is guaranteed that you have some emotional issues going on as well. Physical abuse and emotional abuse go hand in hand. Even if the abuser isn’t saying things that have you emotionally distressed the victim’s own self esteem issues feelings of worthlessness are .  Many people wonder why and how a woman can continue to love and stay with a man that abuses her, but if you are an emotional wreck and don’t really know where to turn or how to get out of the situation, you will remain in the situation. Many times women are embarrassed to seek help. So many times women hear all of the negative remarks about women remaining in these situations being stupid and deserving what they get, they are afraid to speak up and seek help for themselves.

The news has also reported that Brown is now seeking a plea deal in which he would not have to serve any jail time. This could only happen if the federal charges he is facing are dropped to misdemeanors. How could the courts allow that to happen, well if the recent reports are true and Rihanna is going to admit to initiating the fight by slapping Chris Brown first, then proceeding to hit him in the face with her shoe the felony charges have a great chance of being reduced to misdemeanors because of Rihanna’s actions. For many people the news of the plea deal is shocking, but as I stat4ed before, we don’t know the whole or true story, so in the end we have two adults who have decided that regardless of what happened that night they want to be together….that is their choice.

Diddy who is friend to both Rihanna and Brown recently caught flack for allowing the pair to reconcile at his Miami home. While on the  Ellen DeGeneres Show Diddy talked about his decision to allow the couple to spend time together at his home.

Here is the video of Diddy explaining his reasoning behind his decision

In my opinion the media’s attack of Diddy over this is ridiculous. Rihanna and Chris Brown are adults. If they come to a friend and ask a favor, why wouldn’t he grant that favor. How many of us in our everyday lives have known that our friends relationships had major problems and we allowed them time to talk it out. Not because we approved of any negative behavior, but because we were their friend.

Then there is the entire show that Oprah dedicated to the topic of Dating Violence & Battered Women. Oprah is beginning to pluck my last nerve. I know that many of you are strong supporters of Oprah Winfrey but I am not for many reasons. I won’t go into detail here because that would be an entire blog entry in itself, but I will say that sometimes we need to realize that everything isn’t our business. Everything isn’t an opportunity for us to speak up and speak out on, especially if we are going to make accusations and pass judgments when we don’t know the facts.

Along with Oprah was Tyra Banks, who recounted on the show her own personal battle with and abusive boyfriend. Banks stated that the boyfriend was not physically abusive, but was very jealous, controlling and emotionally abusive.

Banks and Winfrey’s message was that Love Doesn’t Hurt and that if a man hits you once he will hit you again. Winfrey went on to say that regardless of if Rihanna hit Brown first, he had no right to hit her.

I know I may get ridiculed for this, but I don’t agree with that statement. I in no way approve of men battering women, but human nature does not always allow the first reaction of walking away. It is 100% wrong for a man to hit a woman, just as it is 100% wrong for a woman to hit a man. We should all live by the golden rule we learned way back in kindergarten which is “everyone keep their hands to their self’. This action will keep everyone out of trouble. Now in the event that a woman does hit a man he should walk away. But how many times can you walk away from someone hitting you? How many times have the people who are passing judgment just sucked it up and walked away when someone/anyone hit them? So just as Chris Brown is being verbally pounded and chastised for laying hands on Rihanna if she started the attack, she also needs to be counseled and talked to profusely about keeping her hands to herself.

I know that many people who are watching the news coverage of the Chris and Rihanna ordeal was swayed to believe everything the news reports. It is hard not to look at Chris Brown as a monster who deserves to be thrown underneath the jail. But I can personally speak on behalf of abused women and I can also speak on behalf of one of the many people who witness on a regular basis women who cannot control their anger when it comes to their man. Just as I have a personal account of being a battered woman I also know many women who will throw blows and start fights with men and live this dramified life every day.

To end this I would like to say that Domestic Violence is wrong…end of story.

But for those of us who were not there we can’t say how it happened, who started it and what the outcome should be. For our own lives are oftentimes not as much of a clean slate as we would like them to be. If we can throw stones at Chris Brown for hitting a woman and we can ridicule Rihanna for reconciling with him, we should also throw stones at our self for the bad relationship we remained in for way too long. We should ridicule our self for slapping our ex boyfriend because we found out he was cheating. We should reminisce on each time we started drama and lived to tell about it because each one of those incidents could have been one where someone took our drama serious and ended our life.

John 8:7

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Tougher Laws For Domestic Violence

118629It should be hard to believe that a person who  has been served with a restraining order could still walk up to their victim and kill them…that should be hard to believe but sadly it is not only believable it is true.

Lavatrice Street is one of those people that a restraining order did not help to protect. Street was run off the road and killed by her ex boyfriend earlier this year. The restraining order was found lying beside her in the passenger seat of her car.

Lavatrice Street is only one of many whom sought protection, yet their lives were ended at the same hands of the person the law sought to protect them from.

In many cases a restraining order is merely a piece of paper with words that aren’t taken seriously. The order which sets forth to stop the abuser from harassing, harming or contacting the victim is often seen by the abuser as more of a threat than an order in which they should comply. The victims are often in more danger after the order than they were before they broke their silence and went for help.

Many victims are even at a greater risk of danger once they have sought protection from law enforcement. The abuser oftentimes feels the need to retaliate because they have lost an even greater sense of the control they feel the need to have over the victim.

This excerpt is taken from the Order of Protection from the State of Tennessee (take note of the sections in red) This is what the court advises the respondent (abuser) may happen if they violate the order of protection…

 That if you violate this order, you may be held in contempt of Court and punished by incarceration and/or a fine;

That, pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-3-611, you shall be arrested by a law enforcement officer without a warrant if that officer has reasonable cause to believe that you have violated or are violating this order.

Willful violation of this order by the respondent will constitute contempt of court and potential penalties include up to 10 (ten) days in jail and a $50.00 fine for each violation. The court may also impose a civil penalty of up to $50.00 for each violation pursuant to T.C.A. §36-3-610.

My main problem with this “protective” order is the mays and ifs. With this much room for consideration it is clear why restraining orders are not actually serving the purpose in which they were created.Ten days in jail after violating an order of protection is only enough time for an abuser to sit in jail and get infuriated that their victim had them locked up. Ten days is just enough time to sit and think long and hard of revenge. Ten days in jail for violating a court order is simply not enough.

Dawn Creekmore, Arkansas State Legislator feels that something needs to be done about domestic violence in the state of ArkansasArkansas ranked 8th in the nation in 2006 for domestic violence homicides against women; Creekmore will be introducing 6 bills in the next legislative session to help combat the severe problem that Arkansas has with domestic violence. Creekmore stated that as the laws stands now in Arkansas victims are more likely t be re-victimized. Currently in the state, repeat violations of a protective order are only a misdemeanor; Creekmore hopes to change that to a Class D Felony punishable by up to 6 years in jail. She also has plans for changes to how the state views stalking and choking a victim, both which are currently misdemeanors.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence seek help or advise them to seek help. Domestic Violence kills. By Calling the National Domestic Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) victims or persons seeking help for victims can receive assistance 365 days a year 24 hours a day. Interpreters are available and referrals for assistance are offered for all 50 states

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Million Voices Campaign

Domestic Violence.org

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Commitment to Change

While browsing the Thaddeus Matthews blog I came across a comment from an anonymous poster that made me go hmmm. The comment was posted on a blog entry entitled “Hail to the Chief, President Barack Obama”. The comment not only made me go hmmm but I also said (silently of course) well isn’t that racist, but damn that has a bit of truth to it. Here is the comment

“I hope African Americans take this historic election and grow with it. Please stop the killing,robberies,home invasions and drug dealing.
Please take care of your children,support them financially and keep them in school.Please take pride in your homes,property,community and neighborhoods. And lastly please elect worthy local government leaders who have some business sense and can help bring jobs back to Memphis.”

I am pretty sure the anonymous poster was a Memphis resident and even though Memphis is riddled with crime daily the crime problem cannot be solely placed on African Americans. I am pretty sure the person who posted that comment knows that not all of the violence that takes place here in Memphis and elsewhere is committed by African American people but when they turn on the news what do they see, yep you guessed it, black people killing, shooting and robbing on the daily. So I placed myself in a white person’s shoes.

***putting on brown leather boat shoes***

I wake up in the morning, turn on the morning news while I fix my coffee and prepare to head off to work. The news anchor announces that there were two murders last night while we were sleeping. One involved a robbery gone bad in the South part of town, where two black men attempted to rob a home and one of the robbers were killed, the other fled the scene wounded. The second was a murder stemming from a domestic situation involving (guess who) two young black men. The altercation led to one of the men being shot in the head and killed, the suspect is still on the loose. The police have no clue as to what the initial disagreement was over. If you have any information please contact Crime Stoppers.

I fix my coffee, head to work and as I stop at the gas station I get out to see three black middle aged men buying Colt 45’s. They then crack open the beers right in front of the gas station and stand there chatting about who just got out of jail and who just went back. I pay for my gas (boy am I disgusted by these negroes) I pump my gas and head off to work (still disgusted by these negroes, don’t they have a damn job to go to)

As I get off work that evening I drive down my street in what used to be an all white, comfy and quiet neighborhood to what is now a neighborhood of Section 8 tenants who allow their children to play in the streets and dare you to even make eye contact with them when they run out in front of your car. As I get closer to my home I have to wait a moment to pull into my driveway because the young black guys who live a few doors down have set up a basketball goal right near my home and they are taking their precious time clearing the area so I can pull into the driveway.

As I lie in bed that night I flip to the news and here we go again, another black person has been killed. This time a black woman in her mid twenties has stabbed another young woman over what seems to be an ongoing feud. The news also gives an update to the morning murder that ended in the young man being shot in the head. A tip called in to police states that the argument was over drug money. As I lie in bed that night trying to think good thoughts, I decide that black people are worse than my grandparents told me they were. At least back then they were obedient, now they are uncivil, violent and a threat to themselves and everyone else. Damn them!

***removing brown leather boat shoes and the white person’s perspective***

I am fully aware that not all white people feel that way, just as many white people are aware that black people are not the root of all evil. But we as black people need to take a good long look at ourselves before we wonder why many other races want nothing to do with us. Of course it is wrong of them to group us as a whole, but many of the  sentiments that other races have about black people, many black people also believe.  Not only are many white people scared of black people, hell many black people are scared of black people!

..sorry yall but I have to tell the truth on this one. White people look at the news and shake their damn head and I look at the news and shake my damn head too. They are disgusted and I am utterly disgusted.

So I decided to dissect the comment by the anonymous poster

BGT sentiments in red

 
 

I hope African Americans take this historic election and grow with it.Please stop the killing,robberies,home invasions and drug dealing. (damn that’s what I was thinking)
Please take care of your children,support them financially and keep them in school. (shouldn’t that be a given for parents of all races why should someone have to tell you to do that) Please take pride in your homes,property,community and neighborhoods. (if you live like you don’t care, most likely you don’t. Why should the neighborhood depreciate just because you don’t care about cutting your grass or painting your home, why should everyone else suffer?) And lastly please elect worthy local government leaders who have some business sense and can help bring jobs back to Memphis.”  (we vote black, they vote white, we all vote in con men)

 

 

 

 

 

 

unit19

With Barack Obama being elected President of the USA African Americans are rejoicing all over the country. We wanted change and we believe that Barack Obama will provide us with that change.

…but what change will we committ to?  What changes in our community, in our outlook on life, in the way we view our neighborhoods and our responsibility to our children will change?  What changes will we make to how we view the importance of our education? What change will we make to helping each other instead of harming each other? What changes will we as African Americans offer in making our people better as a whole?

The killing, robbing, disrespect, ignorance and careless attitudes about education must end. That sector has to be done and over with. The chains of ignorance must be broken. The mindset of knowing better but not doing so must be tossed out the window.

If we demand change from Barack Obama, we must first offer change from ourselves. If the world changes and we remain the same, 50 years from now we will be right where we have been for so long, smack dab at the bottom.

 

 

Smoke or Beat Your Wife

 

<– Who knows what he might do if the didn’t have this smoke!

I really enjoy the commercials broadcast by The Sunny Side of Truth. You know the  commercials about cigarette smoking and how Big Tobacco lies to consumers and says some of the most absurd things imaginable. They are  very informative and quite entertaining. With little eye catchers on the website like In 2001, 250 babies died of SIDS from inhaling secondhand smoke,    BUT think of all the babies that live!

My favorite Sunny Side of Truth commercial of all is this Smoke or Beat Your Wife one that has been airing recently.

 

 If you smoke you might take your life

 

   But if you don’t you might beat your wife

How ridiculous is that notion. I can see a husband standing there now contemplating..hmmm lung cancer…assault charge…cancer…jail time..jail time..cancer…hmmm

Hopefully no one has had to place those two actions on a balance in their life to see which weighed out best for them.

Being that I have never been a cigarette smoker, I can’t try to explain what makes a person start or continue smoking cigarettes, but I will say that from what I have seen, trying to stop is one heck of an ordeal. I have seen people who try everything from the Nicotine patches, to stopping smoking by adding on another habit, to going cold turkey. Some of them have been successful, others begin the roller coaster ride of wanting to stop smoking but not being able to do so.

On the website I found the following information

  • Nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly with smokeless tobacco than with cigarettes, but it continues to be absorbed more even after tobacco has been removed from the mouth.
  • Tobacco is expected to kill 1 billion people this century. That’s 10 times the toll it took in the 20th century.
  • Big Tobacco labels their cigarettes with things like light, ultra-light and low-tar even though they can be as deadly and addictive as regular cigarettes.
  • In 2002, U.S. consumers spent about $88.2 billion on tobacco products

After visiting The Sunny Side of Truth website and just thinking generally about smoking, I began to wonder how people who actually have the habit feel when they are asked to not smoke in someone’s home, or when they have to put a cigarette out because most places are smoke now smoke free? Do they feel violated..even though the truth is that they violate non smokers every time we are forced to choke down their secondhand smoke?

Even though cigarette smoking is not illegal isn’t it still sorta, kinda a crime, being that a smoker’s habit forces other people to unwillingly smoke which may lead to that innocent person getting cancer or some other respiratory disease? That may sound weird, but when you are in the proximity of someone who is enjoying their smoke, you are inhaling a cigarette that you aren’t even smoking. We have all at some point in time been around someone who was puffing and enjoying and we were standing as far as we could from them, yet we could still smell the fumes of their cigarette. Is that fair?