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The Unprotected Black Woman

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This week I have had the disappointing pleasure of reading comments from men and women concerning an entertainer that was shot by a rapper. Not only was she accused of lying or making up the situation (with a bullet wound to the foot), but people justified why she should have gotten shot. People were mad at her for getting shot and not the man who shot her. She was talked about so badly even when she kept her mouth shut. When she finally had enough and spoke out, men and women were siding with the man who shot her for no reason at all. People questioned why would he shoot her for no reason? She was damned if she did speak out and damned if she didn’t speak out. Did it ever occur to you his prior behavior and his lack of respect for women is why he did it? This isn’t his first brush with doing things to people for no apparent reason. Lastly, people have done things to others for no reason at all. Most importantly, what could she possibly have done to deserve to get shot? To make matters worse, people felt as if she should have kept her mouth shut since she didn’t tell the truth to the police when it first happened. Black women have been assaulted and even killed by black men just for denying their advances. Have you ever told a black man who was trying to get your number, “no thank you, I have someone” kindly and he replied, “Fuck you then bitch!!”? How about the black man slapping the shit out of a woman for not giving him the number? What makes this situation different?

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Did it ever occur to you that black women are ALWAYS trying to protect black men even when they don’t deserve protection? Did it ever occur to you that maybe black women understand the impact of black men going to prison and that our black men already have it hard enough; therefore she wanted to save him from the rest of the world? But who is saving us? Who is protecting us who have always been beaten down by not only our race but others who can’t fathom the stress and tribulations that we endure daily just for being a black woman? Hell, black women are against black women. Guess why that is? Because she is protecting the black man even when he is wrong.

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I went through the same thing when I finally spoke out about my abuser. I had some of my associates accuse me of lying or justifying why I was abused. I had to listen to the lies that he told on me and suck it up because I didn’t want to hurt him. I had his family and friends against me because I finally spoke up. I wanted to protect him from the systematic problem we see with our black men. I wanted to change him and make him a better person than who he is; therefore, I took the brunt of all the hate, lies, and abuse given by him and others. I even blamed myself for being so stupid for protecting him in the first place. I had to get extensive counseling and isolate myself from everyone. I was victim shamed and abused all over again. Never did he have to endure any blame or responsibility for his actions or have to deal with the consequences. He didn’t lose any friendships, sleep, or spirit. Instead, he was rewarded for his actions by gaining unwarranted support that makes it okay for him to do it again.

This scenario happens all the time with black women. Keke Palmer talked about her assault. No one believed her because of who she was referring to. When a white woman had the same experience with the accused, it was believable. Instead of asking black women, “Why did you put up with it or do something?”, start asking black men, “Why do you continue to abuse black women?”. Why can’t black women get the same support given? Why is it that black women have to continue to be unprotected? Why can’t our black men start protecting us for once? Black women go to hell and back for our black men even when they are dead wrong. Black women will fight and hate each other because of the wrong her black man continues to do to the both of them!

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Black women do not talk about assault, rape, or abuse because we will never be protected or believed. We have been abused and raped since slavery and our black men watched. Now, some of our black men are glorifying raping, assaulting, drugging, and abusing us through music and movies. I look back at some of the old sixties and seventies movies that were out, and it was amazing how we were made out to be in black films. This is the same generation that refuses to see the similarity in the culture of entertainment today. It is all the same. Nothing has changed. Think about it. We are the only race of women who have demeaning songs, movies, and pictures of us. It is okay to be called out of our names and abused. It is acceptable. We are called angry, vulgar, hoes, bitches, sluts, sexual, ghetto, ratchet, and any other derogatory name you can think of. It has become a normal part of life for some black women. It has also desensitized many black women. I am guilty of believing it isn’t a big deal and it’s just entertainment. But in reality, it isn’t okay.

Not only have we endured some form of abuse in our lifetime, but we are the only race of women who deals with the highest rate of broken families. Black women will continue to rationalize with broken men who refuse to commit to their children and relationship. We will live with our man for years until he finally decides to fully commit. We are the only race that accepts the fact that most of our black men are afraid of commitment and continue to follow the generational curse of being a “rolling stone”. We accept that as part of our culture, when in fact, it has done nothing but left children fatherless and the black woman continuing to do her best with the hand she is dealt with as a single mother. Hell, some of us won’t put him on child support because we don’t want the backlash from him or others who feel like the government shouldn’t be in our business or be labeled as a “scorned woman”. Black women will struggle to make ends meet before hurting our black men. Why does the black man choose to procreate with a black woman, but leave her with his child? Why are we labeled as “baby momma” instead of a wife? Why abandon your responsibilities? Yet, we still protect our black men.

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I am heartbroken because as black women, we are the most unvalued, unappreciated, and disrespected group of women on Earth. We have been broken down spiritually, sexually, and emotionally. Our black women have been killed and still victimized at their death. We all marched heavily for the black men who were killed, but our black women that were killed had few voices for their cause. It’s as if our voices will never be heard unless we are labeled as angry black women. I am not stating all black men and women are the same, but when will our black men be held accountable for their actions towards us? When will we stop making excuses for our black men? When will our culture admit when our black men are wrong and should be held accountable for their actions? When will we stop glorifying the disrespect of our black women? When will we discontinue the “free Tony” bullshit when Tony is guilty of the crimes he has committed towards another woman? When will you stop befriending the same brother who abused your sister? When will uncle Ray be convicted of raping your daughter? When will Mr. Jones get that ass served for beating your mother? When will black men begin to correct other black men when they are doing wrong towards their black women and their children? When will we finally be protected? Stand up black men and be the change needed. You are all we got. Who else will protect your black women?

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