When I was much younger I dated a guy from Texas (the same state my dad was born and raised in). Though I’d been dating him for awhile and enjoyed his company, it wasn’t really anything too memorable going on. But one day something happened that within moments, totally changed my opinion of him.
My Texas man had flown out to California and was spending a week with me. We’d spent the afternoon perusing the shops on Haight Street which was a booming, up and coming restaurant, bar and shopping area during that time. We were headed back to my place when we were stopped at the corner of Haight & Ashbury at a red light. There was a lot of traffic since it was a nice warm day … lots of people out and about, walking and driving to Golden Gate park. I had my sunroof open and we had the windows down.
Suddenly, we could hear a woman screaming. We turn to the right and across the traffic on the opposite corner is a Brotha beating a woman down. This big ole dude is punching this little speck of a woman repeatedly… like there is no tomorrow.
Before I could even finish saying “did you see that?” Mr. Texas was out of the car, had hopped over the hood of my car and the car next to mine, darted through the traffic on the opposite side of the street and was between the woman and this out of control man.
He was right in the dude’s face saying to him: “Man, you wanna hit somebody HIT ME MUTHAFUCKA!” Now Mr. Texas was 6’2” and cut. He lifted weights and ran and was a rather imposing figure, especially when angry.
The brutalizer made like he was gonna swing, then I guess he thought about it and just turned and walked off. Mr. Texas helped the woman up and started walking her back to my car, yelling across the street to ask me if we could take her to the nearest emergency room. The poor woman was bleeding and looked totally dazed. I got paper towels out of the glove box so she could hold them on her head while we drove to St. Luke’s.
When he got to the car there were people smiling and a few were clapping and saying “yeah man!” and things like that to him. I remember him looking disgusted and telling three guys that were standing right at the corner where it all went down “you muthafuckas could have done the same damn thing!”
And he was right. There were three of them and just one of him, but not one of the several groups of guys stepped forward to do anything to help that woman from getting beaten down by a man who outweighed her by at least 100 pounds.
I started reflecting on this issue and how rare it is to see or even hear about black men stepping up to intervene in a situation where a female is being harmed by another black male. In this era of cell phone photos and video it is more common to see men whip out their phones and start recording the abuse than it is for them to help the woman. Even in extreme circumstances like that in the video below, is punching a woman that weighs 110 pounds soaking wet really necessary?
Thousands of videos taken by black males, witnesses to women being beaten, punched, kicked, and stomped. Videos of black males laughing, egging the attacker on, narrating the attack, and whooping and hollering with glee are all over the web. In few of them do you see a guy or groups of guys step up to do anything to stop the attack. In other videos the guys help the woman but only after she has been knocked unconscious or is bleeding profusely from her injuries. Their assistance comes across as an afterthought.
This is not to say that the only race of men that ignore women’s need for help is black men. I remember reading about many cases in the news over the past 20-30 years that involved both white AND black men and nobody stepped up to help the injured person. Not even calling the cops and reporting what was going on. Here are a few examples:
In March 1964 in Queens, New York, Kitty Genovese is set upon by a maniac as she returns home from work at 3 am. Thirty-eight of heram neighbors in Kew Gardens come to their windows when she cries out in terror; none comes to her assistance even though her stalker takes over half an hour to murder her. No one even so much as calls the police. She dies.
This was the first case I remember hearing about where so many people had in some respect witnessed a crime yet failed to respond to help the victim.
In another case, Andrew Mormille is stabbed in the stomach as he rides the A train home to Manhattan. Eleven other riders watch the seventeen-year-old boy as he bleeds to death; none comes to his assistance even though his attackers have left the car. He dies.
An eighteen-year-old switchboard operator, alone in her office is the Bronx, is raped and beaten. Escaping momentarily, she runs naked and bleeding to the street, screaming for help. A crowd of forty passerby gathers and watches as, in broad daylight, the rapist tries to drag her lack upstairs; no one interferes. Finally two policemen happen by and arrest her assailant.
A young woman catching the subway is picked up and carried down a flight of stairs to a deserted subway platform and raped twice. No one came to her aid though two employees of MTA SAW her being attacked, and one witnessed the entire abduction from the safety of his booth. All they did was call their supervisor to say that police were needed. They felt they were under no obligation to do anything other than call a supervisor though they saw what was happening to that women. They didn’t care.
In Cleveland, Texas an 11 year old girl is taken to an abandoned trailer and gang raped for hours by 20 different black males. Some were called to the home after the rapes had begun and could have easily called the police before they got there, or stepped out and called when they got there. They used their phones all right, but only to record video of the rapes for fun. Not one of them felt it their responsibility to do anything to prevent that child from being raped repeatedly by grown men.
You Tube video of a rapper entitled Little Reese Beats Down a Girl shows the rapper at a young black woman’s home. She asked him and his crew to leave. He refused. Not only did he physically assault her by touching her body in a sexual manner, he threatened to shoot her and beat her down. His crew and other males filmed the assault while laughing; they did nothing to intervene. The people in the residence that tried to come to the woman’s aid were other females.
The shocking thing about these cases is that so many people failed to respond. If only one or two traveling alone had ignored the victims, we might be able to understand their inaction even though we wish they would have at least called someone to help. But when thirty-eight people, or 19 men, or 11 men fail to help, it demonstrates a coldness, cruelty and hatred towards the female gender that is difficult to fathom.
While I was pondering this series of essays and the topics I wanted to address, a female poster shared a story that she witnessed just this past week:
“I witnessed the craziest thing happening in the streets of Bedstuy Brooklyn less than 2 hours ago. So I’m on my way home minding my business and I see a woman and her 2 little girls around the ages 7 or 8 fighting a man. The man is in this woman’s face, he’s yelling at the 2 little girls telling them to get in the car. Judging by the conversation the man was the father of the girls and the woman is the “baby momma”. This was definitely an aggressive argument but I never see the woman put her hands on the man but I saw the man mush the woman in the face.
At that point a man walks by watching and shakes his head as he keeps it moving and another man sees that violence and is giggling and continues to watch from a distance.
One of the little girls ran up to me and told me to call the police so I did. As I was making the phone call the man grabs the woman in a headlock and throws her on the pavement. I was looking around to see if there were any men who could help her. As I looked around I saw 2 men watching and laughing.
I kept my distance, but as he threw this woman on the ground guess who comes running to the rescue of this woman about 20 little girls between the ages 14-18. They all came running at full speed towards the scene. I have no idea where they came from, but 2 of the girls came in and protected the little girls from their father and the other 15+ girls confronted the man. They were an inch away from his face like, “you don’t put your hands on no girl my nigga!” It seemed like some of these girls were getting ready to beat this man up.
Luckily for this man the police came and saved his life from these teenage girls. The police came and I’m sure the man is probably going to jail, but witnessing the whole thing from beginning to end it made me think of those 3 men that saw a woman getting beat up in the middle of the street, how come they didn’t feel any obligation as a man to protect her.
This wasn’t a situation where the girl wanted to “act like a man so she got hit like a man.” This woman was arguing back with the man but the only person that was physically attacking was the man and still these men were just enjoying the show.
The closest thing to reality I could remember another situation was when Snookie got punched on jersey shore and I remember the reaction all those white men at the shore had when they found out a guy punched a girl in the face. No one was laughing or snickering. Why aren’t black men even a little protective over their women? It broke my heart when I saw those two men behind me watching all of it go down as they were just laughing eating a Snickers bar. The whole thing was sad as hell.”
What’s interesting to me is that when you talk to black men that behave like this, most of the time they will tell you that they believe in God… that they are God-fearing Christian men. Really? Then why do these black males hang back and do nothing? Why are so many black men positively delighted to see a female harmed by an animal that portrays himself as human? Why are these guys so thrilled to further humiliate a woman by posting the physical attacks and even rapes on websites like YouTube and World Star for all to see? How does your stance of being a God-fearing Christian man fit in with this:
4 Ecclesiastes 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he has not another to help him up.
1 John 3:17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
1 John 4:19-20 We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
James 2:14-17 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Though you may not be an actual hands-on abuser of women yourself, your lack of action and failure to speak out against such travesties by other males provides the perpetrators with your tacit approval. Otherwise, you wouldn’t tolerate such behavior in your immediate neighborhood, in your family, on your job, or at any other location you visit. You would be raising holy hell against those that would dare to sully the image of the proud and purposeful black man.
I say this: any black male that is not part of the solution of violence against women is a part of the problem.
If you see someone victimizing a black child or woman and you do nothing to intervene, you do nothing to get them help, you do nothing at all but laugh or film it for your boys to see later, then you are as guilty as the perp. If you do nothing to change the outcome of the crime, then you are an accomplice to the crime.
And you are a piece of shit.
Category: Society and Culture