- Posted July 30, 2014 by
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Stephen A. Smith, and the Problems With "Political Correctness"
Recently, Stephen A. Smith was placed on a one week hiatus from his on-air ESPN programs for comments concerning domestic violence, and whether women can at times provoke the violence perpetrated against them.
Well, for the record, before anyone takes issue with this article, I am neither an advocate for, or condone violence against women, in any form. However, in the same token, neither am I an advocate for, or condone violence against men. Now, onto my commentary.
Whether you're a man or a woman, as HUMANS, we all have an internal defense mechanism that activates itself whenever we feel threatened, as HUMANS, in any way. In this regard, I want everyone to now reflect on the much publicized incident, where Solange Knowles clearly assaulted rapper Jay-Z in an elevator, unprovoked. While Solange clearly attacked Jay-Z in the elevator, ironically the same environment in which Ray Rice and his now wife had whatever altercation they had, the rapper demonstrated amazing self-control and restraint, all while being punched, slapped, kicked, and all out assaulted by Solange Knowles.
Now, here's where I would expect the "politically correct" crowd to get a little sensitive: Domestic Violence against women is without question, wrong, however it's imperative that we equally begin to explore the little publicized subject regarding domestic violence perpetrated against men, yes people, by women!!
In this writer's humble opinion, not all men classified as "domestic violence" abusers start their day with the intent of becoming an unwitting participant in such a horrible societal statistic. There are hundreds of thousands of situations in this country, as well as throughout the world, where men are assaulted by women, just as Jay-Z was attacked without provocation and assaulted by Solange. As HUMAN BEINGS, our internal defense mechanism is to first and foremost, protect ourselves at all times, period. As such, in situations like Jay-Z's, most often, there is an immediate reaction to "defend", oneself, and NOT to become a domestic violence statistic or contribute to any domestic violence event against a woman.
Now, regarding Stephen A. Smith's comments, again leveraging the Jay-Z incident as the example, an example that thousands of men who are in difficult relationship situations with woman can attest to. It is a fact that there are many abusive women in our society who themselves possess offensive, belligerent, and other negative personality characteristics. As such, it's imperative that we all recognize that women such as this can therefore themselves be just as dangerous as any evil-intended man can be. Understanding this, had Jay-Z finally responded with a slap upside Solange's head, not in the interest of committing domestic violence, rather as a measure to back up his attacker in an effort to "restrain" Solange, so that she would discontinue her unprovoked assault against him, would Jay-Z have been justified? Would Jay-Z have been "provoked"? As a HUMAN BEING, what were Jay-Z's rights to protect himself from the unprovoked attack and subsequent assault from Ms. Knowles? Again, HUMAN BEINGS!!
Far too often in this world, there are men who are assaulted by women, however because they are men, the societal reaction to these unprovoked assaults and other physical crimes against men perpetrated by women typically are: "Well, they're MEN,,, they can "take it". He's bigger than her, stronger than her,,, he can "take it". Imagine if Stephen A. Smith had said, "Clearly based on their behavior in the elevator, this could not have been the first physical altercation between Ray Rice and his fiancée. They probably fight all the time, so I'm sure she can "take it". Had Stephen A. said something like that, everyone would have been justifiably outraged, and Stephen A. would most assuredly have been fired.
So I ask; shouldn't the world be outraged whenever their is violence perpetrated against another "HUMAN" being, irrespective of their gender? Shouldn't the world be outraged whenever their is clear evidence of a woman assaulting a man, thus equally contributing to domestic violence statistics? Shouldn't Jay-Z be on every popular talk show, from Oprah to The View, answering questions regarding how he managed to demonstrate such phenomenal restraint in the face of such a violent physical assault? Shouldn't Jay-Z's situation have sparked a national media debate, as well as a no-nonsense, open and honest, spirited debate, to be covered by all the major media \ television talking head programs on the subject and origins of domestic violence against both women AND men? I ask, where's the coverage? Why has the coverage shifted to whether Jay-Z and Beyonce' are getting a divorce, Vs why Jay-Z got his "Bootylicious" kicked, albeit unprovoked by his sister-in-law, in an elevator?
Celebrity women that we see presented on television and radio, from Nancy Grace to Barbara Walters, beloved women of the journalistic, legal and television industry's are always moaning and groaning about equality for women. Equal jobs, equal everything, except for equal justice when it comes to domestic violence against men, and to this writer, this is the epitome of hipocracy that paints an unfair perspective on such a dangerous subject as Domestic Violence. It's as though many of these talking head celebrity's take it as a joke, labeling men as either wimps, punk's, or weak men if they complain or file charges against a woman who has assaulted them. Wake up people!! Domestic Violence is real, and it is the cancer that is destroying many families and communities throughout this country. When are we going to have a REAL discussion on this cancer, WITHOUT the pollitically correct crowd attempting to either sway the discussion, or punish those that have an un-biased, truthful perspective on this dangerous issue, as they have now done to Stephen A. Smith for his honest and sincere perspective on this topic? (Yes, Stephen A. has retracted his comments, as most of us would in an environment where being politically correct, or not, has a direct and immediate impact on your job status? Please, let's keep it real, for once people, for once!!)
We're all HUMAN BEINGS, and our internal defense mechanism is to protect ourselves whenever we feel threatened or outright assaulted, irrespective of the gender of the attacker against us. As HUMANS, committing such a vile crime such as domestic violence in many instances where men are accused of assaulting women is, factually, often mis-characterized, and the "domestic violence" label was never the intended goal. Many men find themselves in situations where they are the abused, NOT the abuser. Many men find themselves in situations where they are DEFENDING themselves, and NOT assaulting anyone. While the true statistical numbers on domestic violence against men may never be known (because as a man, you're perceived as a "punk" or a "wimp" if you go crying to ol' Johnny Law because your lady "hot grits'd" your booty), domestic violence against men, just as it is against women, is real.
I believe what Stephen A. Smith was simply attempting to say is: If you're a Man, and you're attacked the way Jay-Z was attacked, you in essence would have been "provoked" into some kind of a reaction and\or response, and in most cases, your immediate, internal, God-created defense mechanism response will be to attempt to restrain your attacker and protect yourself from harm. Why, because we're all HUMAN!!
While not politically correct, it's time that we open and honestly begin to talk about difficult subject matter, as Stephen A. attempted to do, and to understand that in the everyday lives of many men who suffer their own domestic violence in silence, being provoked by a woman into a possible violent response is not pretty, it's not sexy, and definitely not politically correct, however it is REAL!! NO ONE, irrespective of your gender, should be a victim of domestic violence,,, NO ONE!! (I recently read an article by MSNBC pundit Goldie Taylor about the horrific domestic violence she experienced early in her life. To gain greater perspective on how domestic violence is real for both women and women, I encourage everyone to read about her horrific and terrifying experiences at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/28/goldie-taylor-stephen-a-smith-domestic-violence_n_5627923.html Ms. Taylor IS a survivor, and her story equally is one that should be leveraged in this much needed discussion on domestic violence.)
While Solange was eventually arrested, so too should Ray Rice, AND his fiance' have been. While we clearly send messages to our daughters that being the victim of an abuser should never be something they should accept for their lives, we should also educate our sons on the same. We should equally educate our daughters and sons NOT to initiate any level of physical violence against any HUMAN BEING, for any reason!! We need to educate our daughters as well as our sons that it is not a womam or a man's place to assault you, as Solange did Jay-Z, and particularly as a man, you don't just have to stand there and "take it", just because you are a man. These are the lessons where we need to equally educate our sons AND daughters. These are the lessons that the ESPN's and CNN's and MSNBC's need to talk about more often on air, whenever such an event such as Jay-Z and Solange, or Ray Rice and his fiancee' are thrust into the public consciousness for consumption.
By "Keeping It Real" regarding domestic violence, holding men and women equally accountable for their actions, AND as Stephen A. alluded to, that the "Provocation" that results in a domestic violence event can be initiated by both Men AND Women, then and only then will we see domestic violence statistics begin to decline in America.
Forget "Political Correctness", and let's just "Keep It Real",,, Solange PROVOKED Jay-Z, and he is to be commended for demonstrating incredible restraint in response to being assaulted. Perhaps, Ray Rice did not possess the restraining capabilities of Jay-Z, and perhaps, just perhaps, his fiancée realized that, albeit a little too late.
Let's honestly talk about all sides of domestic violence, and leave the political correctness at home!!
R. Paige, A.K.A. "True Stories" is a Philadelphia, PA based Talk Radio Host, on WURD 900 AM, (Sunday Night - 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM - "Staying Resilient Talk Radio), as well as an Author and freelance writer. R Paige primarily focuses on Political, African American Culture, Entertainment, Music, and Sports interest stories.
On Sunday, August 3rd, from 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM, you are cordially invited to Tune In to the "Staying Resilient" Talk Radio Program, (at http://900amwurd.com or listen on your radio @ station WURD 900 AM in the greater Philadelphia, PA area) where R. Paige, A.K.A. "TrueStories", and Dr. Robin Laysears-Smith will focus their discussion this week on all sides of the difficult but very real actions and consequences regarding Domestic Violence against Women AND Men, and what we need to do in our ability to "Staying Resilient" through these often difficult and challenging circumstances.
In August, 2013, R. Paige published his BLOCKBUSTER relationship advice book; "Think Like A Woman, Act Like A Man", now available on iBooks, BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, and wherever eBooks are sold!!
(You may also follow R. Paige on Twitter, under the user name: TrueStori