September 29, 2014
Ray Rice, the NFL, Black Men and the Barbarity of Benevolent Patriarchy

"…Benevolent patriarchy has no solution for the violence women experience at the hands of men. Its positions are riddled with contradictions. Benevolent patriarchy’s central mission is to justify male control over the lives of women. In this way it is not an alternative to male domination, but a justification for its barbarity. As long as the Black community silently embraces rhetoric that places a premium on the bodies of Black men at the brutal expense of Black women, we will continue to be caught in this position of indefensible contradiction. Our double standard as a community stares back at us through the battered eyes of Black women who live under a doubly oppressive system of racism and sexism that will tolerate a white California highway cop beating a Black women in broad daylight and a Black professional athlete knocking his Black fiance unconscious in a public elevator…”

September 10, 2014

Black men. Fellas. Brothers.

I need you to stop complaining about Ray Rice’s (much deserved and yet woefully insufficient punishment) RIGHT NOW.

When we - Black men are beaten, slain, left in the street and otherwise persecuted our sisters, our mothers, our women stand for us with nearly unilateral unwavering support. They march for us. They cry out our names and demand justice. They support us in our moments of quiet fear when we shed the bitter shameful tears of self-doubt and fatigue. If you cannot find it within you to get over your idol worship and stand up for our sisters when they are being abused and mistreated then you need to spend some serious time in reflection.

STOP looking for reasons to diminish Ray Rice’s actions.

'Well…it couldn't have been that bad. She married him.'
It doesn’t matter.

'She should know he's a big man and if provoked he's gonna hit back.'
It doesn’t matter.

'She charged at him.'
It doesn’t matter.

'She hit him first.'
It doesn’t matter.

'He's trained to hit. He can't stop it. It's a reflex.'
Are you f*cking kidding me. That’s absurd and even if it were true, IT DOESN’T MATTER.

When you say these kinds of things – when you look for ways to go easy on Ray Rice when you claim he’s ‘already been punished’ you do two things – first you tell black women “Your lives and your sense of safety have less value to me than the recreational sports entertainment I watch ritually.” You tell the women who stand for you- cry for you- demand justice for you ––”thanks for all that but don’t mess with my game” You deny them any hope of feeling safe with you. You reinforce the perception that they are ALONE in their struggle. Which in turn signals to those who would further victimize them (you know- general society that places Black women at the very bottom of valued humans) that they are free to move at will.

The second thing you do is – and this is irony – you borrow from the script of people like supporters of Darren Wilson. Let’s compare notes…

"He shouldn’t have been in the street"
It doesn’t matter

"He should have listened to the cop"
It doesn’t matter

"They say he stole so he was in the mindset to resist arrest"
It doesn’t matter

"Cops are trained to shoot to kill. He couldn’t help it it was reflex.."
Are you seeing the terrifying parallel? IT DOESN’T MATTER.

Brothers. Recognize wrong and stand up for what’s right. Whatever happened between them and whatever they did to patch things up is irrelevant to the fact that no man has business hitting (let alone knocking out) any woman over a spat. He should regard the use of his body against her as lethal force and exercise restraint above all else.

Also stop sipping your damn tea.


When one of our sisters is hurt, abused or in peril it’s OUR business. Because when somebody has us jammed against a car with 5 or 6 weapons drawn at us they sure as hell make it their business to monitor record and speak out. They throw themselves in peril to see us safe –– and you can’t manage as much as a a supportive facebook post?!

GTFOH. I mean it. we don’t need that sh*t in our community.


Julian Long

(H/T Karen Parker)

(Source: sonofbaldwin)

September 10, 2014

I completely understand the need and desire to protect Janay Rice’s privacy. I am deeply struggling with many people solely viewing her brutal and vicious attack as a “private matter between husband and wife.” But, I won’t debate about that.

I am curious, however, why many people are not equally as outspoken about the videos that expose vicious forms of White supremacist violence — Ersula Ore, Eric Garner, Marlene Pinnock— to name a few? Is it because they/their families are not protesting the circulation of the videos on the internet or is it because domestic violence is viewed as a private matter and white supremacist violence is not?


Aishah Shahidah Simmons

September 9, 2014
The Color of Violence Against Women

In 2006, I wrote “The War Against Black Women and The Making of NO!" which was published in Color Violence: The INCITE! Anthology. While the essay specifically focuses on intra-racial rape and other forms of sexual violence perpetuated against Black women in Black communities, there are many similarities to domestic violence. It is deeply disturbing that so many Black people are justifiably outraged about the relentless forms of white supremacist violence perpetuated against Black men. And yet, when it comes to male supremacist violence against Black women, many of those same folks (men AND woman) who understand racism/white supremacy can’t get comprehend/get a handle on misogyny/sexism/patriarchy. #WTF

EXCERPT: “What I find most interesting is that too many Black men, male-identified Black women, and progressive anti-racist White people, are unable to step outside the awful reality of many Black men’s lives to see and hear the physical, emotional, psychological, and psychic pain that Black women experience at both the hands of institutional White racism and at the hands of Black men, who are their fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, husbands, boyfriends, comrades, and friends. Fortunately, I’ve never been beat by the police, and I’ve never been incarcerated. However, whenever I hear a story about a Black man being beat or murdered by the police or about a Black man unjustly incarcerated, I am not only enraged, I am called to action. In my ongoing conversations with many of my Diasporic African, Arab, South Asian, Latina, Indigenous, feminist/womanist sistah-friends living in the United States, in Canada, and in Europe, I know I’m not alone with these feelings and fears…

And yet, very unfortunately, when it comes to rape, sexual assault, misogyny, sexual harassment, and other forms of violence perpetuated against women of color at the hands of men of color, men of color are too often silent. Instead of taking responsibility, more often than not, men of color want to spend time and energy on focusing the blame on women of color for the sexual violence that they experience.

If racism, in all of its violent manifestations, ended right this second, African and African American women, Arab women, Asian women, Pacific Islander women, Latinas, South Asian Women, Indigenous women would not be safe. Until African and African American men, Arab men, Asian men, Pacific Islander Men, Latinos, South Asian Men, Indigenous men take up the issue of rape, sexual assault, misogyny, sexual harassment and other forms gender based violence that happen every second of every day, with the same vigilance with which racism, xenophobia, colonialism, enslavement, police brutality, state sanctioned violence, and incarceration are addressed, communities of color will never be whole…will never be healthy…will never be safe…” ~ Aishah Shahidah Simmons

September 2, 2014
"Traditionally, in american society, it is the members of oppressed, objectified groups who are expected to stretch out and bridge the gap between the actualities of our lives and the consciousness of our oppressor. For in order to survive, those of us for whom oppression is as american as apple pie have always had to be watchers to become familiar with the language and manners of the oppressor, even sometimes adopting them for some illusion of protection. Whenever the need for some pretense of communication arises, those who profit from our oppression call upon us to share our knowledge with them. In other words, it is the responsibility of the oppressed to teach the oppressors their mistakes. I am responsible for educating teachers who dismiss my children’s culture in school. Black and Third World people are expected to educate whir people as to our humanity. Women are expected to educate men. Lesbians and gay men are expected to educate the heterosexual world. The oppressors maintain their position and evade responsibility for their own actions. There is a constant drain of energy which might be better used in redefining ourselves and devising realistic scenarios for altering the present and constructing the future."

— ~ Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider, Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference, pgs 114-115)

April 30, 2014
What Khadijah Costley White wrote yesterday (April 29, 2014) on Facebook: “I know I’m supposed to be happy that [Donald] Sterling can’t go to basketball games, but I’d be a whole lot happier if George Zimmerman was in prison and if Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride, Aiyana Jones, Tarika Wilson, Jonathan Ferrell, and a host of others were still breathing, loving, shining on this planet.”"

April 30, 2014
We Need An Intersectional Approach To END ALL FORMS OF VIOLENCE

Charlotte Pierce-Baker, Ph.D.,(photo credit: Wadia L. Gardiner)

Today is the last day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It is not the last day of raising awareness, breaking silences, and doing everything possible to eradicate the GLOBAL ATROCITIES of incest, child sexual abuse, rape, sexual assault, human trafficking…all forms of gender-based violence perpetuated against human beings — especially ALL children, cisgender women, trans women and men, and Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual people.

In an African-American context, I long for the day when our non-monolithic community will be as RIGHTEOUSLY OUTRAGED about DL Hughley’s APPALLING, SEXIST, MISOGYNIST comments about Tuere (aka Tanee)McCall-Short (Columbus Short’s ex-wife) as we are when Donald Sterling or ANY White person makes EGREGIOUS RACIST/WHITE SUPREMACIST comments.

If racism ended RIGHT NOW (and Goddess knows I wish it would!), I, as a Black Lesbian Woman, would STILL NOT BE SAFE from incest, rape, other forms of sexism/misogyny, homophobia AND heterosexism. We must have an intersectional approach to ending ALL FORMS OF VIOLENCE.

No One Is Free While Others Are Oppressed! ~ Aishah Shahidah Simmons

"The way out is to tell: speak the acts perpetrated upon us, speak the atrocities, speak the injustices, speak the personal violations of the soul. Someone will listen, someone will believe our stories, someone will join us. And until there are more who will bear witness to our truths as Black women, we will do it for one another. For now, that is enough." ~ Charlotte Pierce-Baker, Ph.D., Author, Surviving the Silence: Black Women’s Stories of Rape, featured in

April 8, 2014
Black Women, Racial Solidarity, and Rape

#SAAM #BelieveSurvivors #NOtheRapeDocumentary


Charlotte Pierce-Baker, Ph.D., (photo credit: Joan Brannon)

“We are taught that we are first Black, then women. Our families have taught us this, and society in its harsh racial lessons reinforces it. Black women have survived by keeping quiet not solely out of shame, but out of a need to preserve the race and its image. In our attempts to preserve racial pride, we Black women have sacrificed our own souls.” ~ Charlotte Pierce-Baker, Ph.D., Author, Surviving the Silence: Black Women’s Stories of Rape in

April 5, 2014
(Intra-Racial) Rape assaults Every One of Us in Black Communities

#SAAM #BelieveSurvivors #NOtheRapeDocumentary

photo credit: Joan Brannon

"Every rape is an assault against every one of us as a people. It also means that we are crippling, we are crippling are own folk. And because we’re focusing this conversation on intra-rape, it means we are crippling our own folk at our own hands. There’s enough out there to cripple us. Racism wakes up every day and begins to cripple us. With unequal access to decent education, unequal access to good health care, unequal access to jobs for which we are qualified, unequal access to affordable housing. Now we’re going to add stuff that we create? Not all on our own because again any violence, which we commit against each other must be understood within the larger context of the political, economic and the social conditions of this nation." ~ Johnnetta Betsch Cole, PhD, Big Sister/Friend, President Emerita, Spelman College and Bennett College for Women interviewed in

March 28, 2014
The Invisibility of Asian Americans by Grace Ji-Sun Kim (The Feminist Wire)

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