I have a new post up at Global Comment.
Domestic violence happens across race, class and sexuality. It is an extremely damaging social phenomenon and yet we rarely speak about it. Until the latest incident with Chris Brown and Rihanna, the last time this subject matter was prominently figured in our social conversation was during the OJ Simpson trial. What these two incidents have in common is that the violence was perpetrated, allegedly – as in the case of Brown, by a black male.
Blacks have complained about the coverage that the Chris and Rihanna incident is receiving in the media, often referring to it as a modern day lynching. Though many will agree that violence against women is wrong, there is still constant victim-blaming. Along with a desire to support patriarchy comes the fear that once again blacks are being presented as uniquely violent. If we can somehow place the blame for Brown’s actions on Rihanna, then the black male patriarchy can free itself from another in a long line of social stigmatizations that continues our race divide.
A social conversation about domestic violence and its harmful effects is necessary. Daily, women are brutalized. Often, it ends with the loss of life. Children who are raised in this kind of environment repeat the patterns of behaviour, whether they identify with the victim or the abuser. The cycle of abuse continues and we end up having generation after generation of people living with the shadow of violence as constant companion.