If you can’t finish it, don’t start it: Stephen A. Smith was right!
(ThyBlackMan.com) Stephen A. Smith, ESPN analyst, writer and social critic, recently got into a bunch of hot water while commenting on the most recent domestic abuse eruption between Baltimore Ravens running back Raymell Rice and then girlfriend (now wife) Janay Palmer. At issue was a videotape that was released by the hotel they were staying which showed Rice pulling his unconscious girlfriend out of the elevator after allegedly knocking her out during a domestic dispute.
Smith was extremely critical of Rice’s actions and agreed that the NFL should have punished him. And while many people, especially female fans, were outraged that Rice received only a 2-game suspension after admitting to the incident, Stephen A. Smith went on to say that equal attention should be paid towards women who intentionally provoke these kinds of outbursts.
As eloquently as Stephen A. Smith is, and in this case, as clearly as he distanced himself from condoning Rice’s actions, the overwhelmingly negative outcry that those comments received forced ESPN to suspend him for a week.
The bottom line is that he was right.
The national statistics for domestic violence against women are staggering. Last year domestic violence was the number one cause of injury to women, more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined. In the black community this is a huge problem because this is combined with the reality that more than 70% of all households are single parent homes headed by a woman. Many of these women have been victims of abuse, and they’re now raising children, alone.
Why is this important? There’s a lot of resentment towards men who don’t take care of their responsibilities, and rightfully so. Many women who have been victimized by the crime of neglect and abuse understandably become very cold and resentful towards their victimizers. This resentment and bitterness is often passed onto the children that come from these unions.
While it is not guaranteed that a child who grows up in a single parent household will become an adult who harbors resentment towards their fathers, the chances are that many will. And while the statistics for fatherless homes increases so do instances of domestic abuse. Why? Because most cases of domestic abuse are tied to economics, and it’s no mystery that having more than one income lessens the pressure associated with economic strife. Of course money is not the only antidote for domestic violence, but you rarely hear of these cases coming from a home that is intact and economically sound.
As they grow older a lot of these kids don’t have a healthy idea of what a balanced relationship is because they’ve never seen one. Ultimately when they enter into their own relationships the only emotions they’re familiar with are visceral ones; disgust and abandonment. Neither of these qualities are good for a sustainable relationship.
So now, in many cases, you have a woman who has grown up in a house where no man was present, and most conversations about men were probably negative. Top that off with the fact that a lot of men who did come around were temporary and now you’ve got the ingredients for a woman who doesn’t really like men because she doesn’t know men. So, when she enters into a relationship with a man, guess what happens when they have an argument?
In most instances women know that it is not socially acceptable for a man to hit her back in the presence of other people and they exploit it. It’s an unspoken code among most men that he will not shame himself by physically attacking a woman who is hitting him in public. Again, most women know and exploit this.
Sometimes women push the envelope because of this unspoken truce that men have to adhere to. Everyone knows that a woman hitting a man in front of her friends is not a fair fight. It’s equivalent to putting her head in the mouth of a trained lion while its trainers are standing next to it. The risk is always there, but she knows, and that lion knows, that should he decide to clamp down on her head that he’ll be taken out back and shot.
Ultimately when the man is attacked he is not simply defending himself against something he may have done to her. In a lot of cases he’s being forced to withstand the physical onslaught that she’s unleashing against EVERY bad relationship she’s ever had with a man, beginning with that of her deadbeat dad.
And it’s not fair, but then again neither is life.
Men have their limits, and that’s what Stephen A. Smith was alluding to regarding the incident between Ray Rice and his girlfriend. While his comments may have seemed conciliatory for something as egregious as domestic violence, they weren’t. He obviously knew something that didn’t come out until a few days later, and that was the fact that she admitted to attacking him when the hotel made it public that they had a security tape of what happened inside the elevator before the doors opened. By virtue of not releasing the security footage from inside the elevator (a la the Jay Z and Solange Knowles beat down tape), they’ve all but confirmed that the events leading to her ultimate demise were, in fact, inflamed by her. Should he have hit her with an upper cut to the chin? I’m thinking he’s probably regretting that.
So, again, while domestic violence has no place in society, especially between a highly trained athlete and his fiancé, we must boldly address the reality that some women back a man into a corner so far that the only way they can get out is to do the unthinkable.
Staff Writer; Steven Robinson
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