(AllHipHop Opinion) I am going to tell you a story.
A couple seasons ago, I went to a Philadelphia Eagles game in Giants stadium. As an Eagles fan, at that time, I had no issue going into the belly of any other team's beast and represent “my set” with pride and power. Everybody knows Eagles fans are a bit crazy. But on this day I’d have to present a new sort of power and pride.
I was the guest of another person, a good friend that had invited me and the lady I was seeing at the time to the game. The game was a nail biter and the Eagles were on the losing side of the battle. It all came down to the very last play. The Eagles were on the verge of scoring and this was the last play of the game. After a timeout, the entire stadium is standing up with the game clock ticking to zero. When I say everybody, I mean everybody, my party included.
A few people in my row left and a pair of Black women moved in their place and were standing like everybody else to see who won/lost this epic nail biter. I paid it no mind. Time was moving so slowly, it was like the climax of a movie. The Eagles...suddenly I hear this chatter in the back of my brain, but really it was right next to me. Three white men were screaming at the two Black women. They were yelling down, as they were in the row behind us. Apparently, the older man was unable to stand up and they were in “his way.” I turn around and I say, “Who the hell do you think you are talking to?” to the three dudes. One was like, “We aren’t even talking to you.” Well that’s where they had me all f##ked up.
It is completely and utterly time for Black men to stand up and protect Black women from these bullies. This week Donald Trump called reality star and former Trump-aide Omarosa “a low life dog” in front of the world. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (Happy Birthday, Auntie!) continues to receive death threats, from faceless, smarmy types. And, over and over and over, we are seeing Black women abused in plain sight in Waffle Houses, pool parties and even the White House. Nothing is sacred.
This is business as usual if you look at the history of America.
How far do you want to go back? You can go as far back as slavery or perhaps just a few years. Or just yesterday. It is important to know that historically what we are seeing - this racist, selective aggressiveness - is nothing new. Trump has emboldened otherwise cowardly people into a false sense of power backed up by legislation and societal favoritism. White men and women have always received the benefit of the doubt. So, Susan Smith - for example - is able to blame the drowning death of her sons on Black men and believed and supported. That is, of course, until she is deemed a liar and murderer. White guys - especially the White Power crew - take extreme pride in defending their women from super predators even such a group doesn’t exist. Either way, no single human type is more protected, beloved and worshiped than Caucasian women.
Black women, not so much. Remember this video?
“The internets” applauded this girl for her courage and her ability to beat the collective brakes off of this Asian mob. I did too. I don’t know what happened, but I know for a fact, this wasn’t a fair fight. But I actually homed in on one nugget that gnawed at my soul. The only Black person seen in the video - a Black boy - is seen recording the whole thing with his phone as the Black girl literally fights for her life. Never once did he think to leap into the fray, fight or even de-escalate it.
I was disappointed in that kid.
Defending Black women is far more complicated for Black men, as it has been through history in America. But we don’t have to venture into antiquity to know this as fact, we just have to look at the Michael Drejka slaying of Markeis McGlockton in Florida. McGlockton parked his vehicle in a handicapped spot to quickly buy candy for his kid, who was in the van with his mother and siblings. This enraged Drejka, 48, to such an extent that he began yelling manically at the woman and children in the van. Unbeknownst to anybody in the area, Drejka had a concealed handgun on his person. So, he was screaming at woman and three children with a gun.
And then Markeis McGlockton - as any man worth his weight in salt - came out to defend his family. As he should have. The only difference, he gave the menacing Michael Drejka a shove that landed him on his butt. This prompted him to murder McGlockton as he backed away from him. A flatout coward, Drejka didn’t even take the time to stand up and now evokes “Stand Your Ground” laws to justify the murder. Black men have been brutalized, murdered and intimidated in the most horrific ways through the annals of time. I'll spare you the gory, sickening details. Conversely, if a Black boy even whistles at a Caucasian women, as with Emmitt Till, Caucasian men have the capacity for severe, inhumane levels of violence. And - even then - we now know that Till’s accuser lied about that whistle. It never happened. Read about it, since she is just getting older.
In my case, at the Eagles/Giants game, eventually security came and the whole thing was broken up. I am almost sure those guys didn’t even consider that there was a Black guy next to those two women. “We aren’t even talking to you” echoed in my mind and continues to do so. I felt disrespected. They didn’t even consider me. I wasn’t “supposed” to say anything to them. I was “supposed” to allow three men yell at two women. Is that a microcosm for bigger matters?
Sure it is.
On the way out, I almost got into another fracas. A man with a group of Giants fans tailgating yelled, “The Eagles suck and your girl does too!” They happened to be white. Up until that time, some pseudo competitive football gibberish was exchanged. But, that comment crossed my line. I ran over to the dude full blast, but in that moment, I had time to think. I pulled up and gave him a pound, cracking a smile in the middle of their group. He even said, “Dude, I thought you were going to hit me.” I said, “I was.” I smiled.
I as ran over, I knew that I was losing control of the situation. I could potentially be hurt, arrested, or even “legally” killed. I am not saying these guys were racist, but they weren’t Tim Wise either. The cops wouldn’t believe my account, even with three witnesses. And, frankly, a physical attack was not justified for some s##t talking dudes that didn’t even get in the game. I have a zero tolerance level for disrespect, particularly if the women is with me. But, I almost took the bait. Tragically, Markeis McGlockton took the bait. Michael Drejka, now in jail and charged with manslaughter, knew what he was doing and what he was likely to do if he could create a physical conflict.
I’d later write myself a few “rules” to remember and I’d like to share them.
Control Your Emotions
Know The Law
Understand: Nobody Cares
Before some of you get upset about the ideal of "protecting women," I am not suggesting that women are not strong or cannot defend themselves. Quite the opposite. I am stating that the community as a whole must rally in a right and just manner when one of ours is wronged. This extends to children, men, the LGBT community and even men. There is an assumption that we are otherworldly strong, magical and perform super human feats. And, guess what, we are. And still we need assistance and protection too. Our mothers and sisters have long come to our aid when in need. I am living proof, because women have defended me on several occasions.
I’m not a violent person, but I’m a father, son and human being. Some things are just not acceptable. Imagine three African American men yelling at Caucasian women at a football game, scaring them. The thought incenses me and I’m Black. Imagine that scenario. Now, visualize nothing happening. It is not my aim to generalize people along racial lines, but to recognize what I’ve seen and continue to see. Even the silence on Facebook is deafening. Black men have to protect Black women, but be diligent about a myriad of other factors that could prove life-saving, family saving and denying predatory cowards a big win. This is real life, not football and we have to begin playing the long game. I'm here for the people first.
Lastly I salute all the courageous women that continue to carry the torch to push progress forward steadfastly.