I’ve been saying I wanted to get back to my blog, but I haven’t had any topics move me to write lately. That is until I saw the infamous Ray Rice and Janay Palmer elevator video and the disturbing conversations that came as a result of it. In the past 24 hours, I’ve realized that unbeknownst to me, I have been within six degrees of separation of some of the chauvinistic people I have ever met in my entire life. I understand we are providing opinions about two people that I probably will never meet in life, (which further means I will never know the ins and outs of their relationship) but I DO know domestic violence when I see it. What terrifies me most about the types of conversations that this incident has brought to the surface is that in 2014, there are still people who believe victims of domestic violence somehow provoke their situation.
She Hit Him First
First off, what a childish response to such a serious matter! While it’s true, I’ve always been taught “don’t hit no man if you don’t want to fight like a man”, and it’s stuck with me in situations where I have been angry enough to throw punches. My brother has ALSO been taught to NEVER hit a girl back. Why? Because in most cases men are much stronger than women, and your slap and his slap are two totally different forces of power. Especially in cases where men are trained to tackle 300 pound athletes. Yes indeed, men are oh SO powerful that they must also practice self control. What a bummer!
However, I am also sensitive to men who are in the receiving end of domestic violence, and it saddens me that it is not taken more seriously. Which is why I feel like Palmer’s “hit” is an insult to men everywhere who find themselves victim to domestic violence. Bottom Line: As an adult, if you cannot hold your composure in a situation without resulting to violence then you should not be in a relationship. As a man, if you cannot understand your power, and believe that a muff is an excuse to knock your significant other unconscious, then you need prayer.
But She Married Him So the Money Dried Her Tears
What is sad about this statement is that even if he just played football in his backyard, chances are she probably would have stayed with him. Domestic violence is real, and ANYBODY can become enmeshed in an abusive relationship, whether old or young, male or female, black or white, poor or wealthy, educated or unqualified. There are millions of organizations and shelters that support these victims and help them with their emotional, spiritual, and physical needs required to move on from this type of trauma. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during their lifetime, so chances are this is something that you have encountered so let’s not act brand new. If this topic IS foreign to you, then I urge you, especially for the sake of your family and friends to get familiar. Most victims feel isolated from their family and friends early on in the relationship and therefore need your support and ability to watch for signs.
He Shouldn’t Have Lost His Job
Yes, it is unfortunate that the NFL handled this situation so poorly. But let’s remember , Palmer did not terminate this man’s contract, the NFL did. It’s unlikely that the NFL is just now seeing the full version of the tape, and even if they did, what exactly did they think happened in the elevator that caused Palmer to lose consciousness? It is in fact more plausible to assume that they stood behind their decision for a two game suspension after seeing the full tape, until TMZ leaked it to the world and they fired him in an effort to save face. While football is an arrogant business, it is still a BUSINESS. A business that cannot afford any more bad press during football season. These stakeholders ain’t loyal!
Which brings me to my next point….
But Chris Brown Did It
Aw yes, the Breezy affect. While the severity of how to handle domestic violence in relationships is much bigger than playing a game of celebrity tic for tac, it seems as though people are unsure of what consequences should be faced by the abusers in this situation. It’s true; the squeaky clean pop star ruined his image in 2009 after having a similar situation with Rihanna on the way to the Grammy party in a Lamborghini. After which his career took a major hit including; withdrawal from public appearances , an arrest that resulted in, five years’ probation, community service, and domestic violence counseling, loss of several endorsements, music withdrawn from multiple radio stations, and even a temporary denial of his Visa! Long story short, the man suffered far more consequences than a measly two game suspension. Especially considering the NFL’s precedent disciplining players for what they do off the field. Think about the message that is being sent regarding a woman’s worth when they’ve given more severe punishments for smoking a substance legal in more than one state.
I will probably never get the answer as to why the same people on my timeline that were social media advocates for Michael Brown and were livid at the suggestion that any (insert excuse here) warranted a retaliation of a deadly reaction (because lets be real, that metal bar could’ve killed her), believed that Palmer “should have known her place and not aggravate him to that level.” At this point, I no longer care. I will just continue to pray for God’s discernment for all and hope that everyone teaches their sons and their daughters how to have healthy relationships!