“All the words in this song are gonna be about you…”
-Raheem DeVaughn, “You”
The website BlackDoctor.org recently reported that NeoSoul singer and activist Raheem DeVaughn has held an event he calls “Queens For A Day” in order to buoy the spirits of battered Black women:
“Black women are almost three times as likely to experience death as a result of domestic violence/intimate partner violence (DV/IPV) than white women. And while Black women only make up 8% of the population, 22% of homicides that result from DV/IPV happen to Black Women and 29% of all victimized women, making it one of the leading causes of death for Black women ages 15 to 35.
Many of these women’s stories go unnoticed or live in shame, but award-winning R&B singer and activist Raheem DeVaughn decided to do something about it.
Raheem DeVaughn held a “Queen For A Day” event through his Love Life foundation for a room full of women–strong, determined women who survived domestic abuse and now share their stories of triumph.
DeVaughn partnered with Lyn Twyman of the L.A.S.E.R.S. domestic violence awareness foundation to find the women to pamper for the day. The ladies were treated to a delicious brunch of chicken and waffles by Kitchen Cray and nail, massage and hair treatments by the host venue Maisie Dunbar Spa Lounge in Silver Spring, Maryland. This “Queen For A Day” event was created to encouragement these women to move forward, tell their stories and inspire other women to leave their domestic violent situations and start a living like a queen.”
For those who may not be aware of who DeVaughn is, I’ve written about his ilk in a previous article, “Noticing Deniro Farrar’s “Notice”, where I describe the situation with such “Conscious Brothas”:
“The song, called “Notice,” is Farrar’s ode to the Sista on the Block, who is ever the victim, don’tcha know, of “street harassment.” Such rappers are not at all uncommon in urban Black life; they form a part of the constellation of Black America’s Nice Guy™ contingent and White Knight Corps, though we Negroes don’t refer to these gents as such; we refer to them as “Conscious Brothas.” Though considerably overlapping with Good Black Men™, they are in fact quite distinct as a group, perhaps the most standout feature about them being that they are “creatives” of varying stripe—rappers, “spoken word artists” (a cutesy way of saying “poets”), sometimes bloggers/writers, video/film/photographers, and the like. Conscious Brothas mark themselves out as vastly different from more straight-ahead Gangsta Rappers like, say, a 50 Cent or a Cassidy, by not imbibing thetruth supposed “misogyny” of the former’s lyrical stylings and instead devoting themselves to extolling the virtues of the Sistahood, come what may. (Examples of this would include the likes of Common, Dwele, Raheem DeVaughn, Talib Kweli, et al. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of all of these artists, and have them all on my playlists, though I admit I’m not much of a “Dirty South” rap fan—too much of an Old School East Coaster for that. But I just had to stand up and tell the Truth—and shame the Devil.)”
Like Farrar, DeVaughn was raised by a single Black mom, and as such he is inclined to romanticize them and indeed all Black women; to see them only in a good, if not the best light; to live in denial. This state of affairs is a lot more prevalent in Black American life than we would like to admit, and a good part of the reason that it persists is due to so many Black men themselves remaining silent.
This is important because the stats cherrypicked to form the basis of the DeVaughn article, and his anti-DV initiative, are in fact a very different story from what we’ve been led to believe. Smelling a rat myself, I decided to turn to the crack-research team here at A Voice For Men, most notably one Mrs. Hannah Wallen*, who co-hosts the popular internet radio show Honey Badger Radio. Thanks to her and the rest of the staff, we were able to find the source of the cherrypicked stats the DeVaughn article cites; here is the very first paragraph listed in “Statistics”:
“In a nationally representative survey conducted in 1996, 29% of African American women and 12% of African American men reported at least one instance of violence from an intimate partner.”
Wait, what?–you mean to tell me that the very same source that DeVaughn, L.A.S.E.R.S. and BlackDoctor.org cites, also cites the fact – FACT – that Black men were victims of intimate partner violence, too – to the tune of 12%?
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. And if you’re Black, this hardly comes as a great shock to you.
Indeed, if you’re Black you know better than anyone, that Black women have every bit a capacity for abusiveness and violence as Black men – in fact, if you’re Black (and sometimes if you’re not), chances are pretty high that you’ve personally witnessed this in action for yourself. As I’ve said above, it’s a lot more common in Black American life than we’re willing to openly admit. Airing dirty laundry, and all that.
I think I know what you’re going to say: “12% isn’t that much, Mumia! More Black women are being beaten up or worse!” Oh, I don’t disagree that 29% is bigger than 12% – ah, but you see, that isn’t what’s at issue here. What’s at issue here is the way in which the issue of DV is presented: that its ONLY something that affects Black women. We know, from the exact same source that was cited to make that case in the first case, that this is simply not true.
Black men can be battered by their female partners, too. We know this, for a fact.
And, if you think 12% ain’t a big deal, then I have an interesting thought experiment for you:
Let’s say that tomorrow morning, you wake up and find that you have lost 12% of your brain functions; or 12% of your lung capacity; or 12% or your liver or kidney functions. No big deal, right? After all, it’s such a small number.
What if this coming Friday, instead of getting 100% of your usual paycheck, you only got 88% – because, you know, you missing 12% of your pay all of a sudden, without explanation, ain’t no thang, right?
So, let’s cut the BS – 12% IS a significant number. And in light of that fact, we simply have to ask: WHY wasn’t this fact included in BlackDoctor.org’s story? I mean, I’m cool if DeVaughn wants to do whatever for Black women, that’s his right as a private citizen. But BlackDoctor.org has a responsibility to ALL of Black America – not just one half.
The answer to that comes from Ms. Wallen, who said the following during an online conversation with her on the issue:
“I’ve written about feminist dishonesty on DV in the past. I have a couple of articles about that on AVfM and a couple on my blog. Previous DV law was gender neutral – one of the big things VAWA did was change that. The other was that it created professions for gender studies majors to fill. And of course, it attacked due process rights.”
Ms. Wallen argues that this is more a matter of ideology, personal axes to grind and just plain ole money – but she also notes something else, something even more insidious – what looks awfully close to demonizing Black men enmasse. She continues:
“African American men report violence from an intimate partner, but only women are talked about in the article. And since female violence is often not viewed as violent, we can be reasonably certain that 12% is an underestimate of actual incidence.
I think that I would add one more thing: The numbers from overall domestic violence studies, which show gender symmetry. The question becomes why are feminists trying to portray the Black population as significantly behaviorally different from the rest – particularly, Black men? Is this another example of privileged white women demonizing Black men, and this time they’re just using feigned sympathy for Black women to do it?
I don’t personally think that skin color makes a bit of difference in whether someone has a tendency to be violent or not – I think circumstances make a lot of difference, but even that doesn’t lead to the belief that a single ethnic group would have a significantly different gender ratio in domestic violence.”
Ms. Wallen sees a distinct pattern of feminists, usually but as we can see in the case of the DeVaughn story, certainly not always white, who have a documented pattern of propagandizing Black male perfidy, violence and criminality – Wallen specifically mentions last year’s horrendously racist Hollaback! NYC’s “Woman Walks Ten Hours In NYC” video, and says the following:
“To bolster their claims about rape culture and the necessity of feminism in western nations feminists say terrible things about India, the Middle East, and Africa, all areas where the people have darker skin. They have a pattern of demonizing darker skinned people in order to scare or shame westerners into accepting their dogma.
Mostly the reason they do that is that their target audience are people who aren’t very familiar with the cultures they’re demonizing.”
While it may be clear that the SJW crowd, white and at least some Black, may wish to propagandize the issues to serve their own ends, the stats remain the stats and what’s more, they are often reflected in social media. As avowed feminist notes in her acclaimed work “The End of Men”, Hanna Rosin documents the rise in violent criminal behavior among women that she devotes an entire chapter to, called “A More Perfect Poison”; she even discusses the trend of young Black women accosting and often violently attacking, men – something that your correspondent covered late last year.
And that’s not including the very public displays of DV violence committed by such Black notables as Mary J. Blige, Keke Wyatt, and more recently, Ray J’s girlfriend, just to name a few; even Beyonce’s kid sister got in on the act.
So, again: why is there no discussion of this, on the part of BlackDoctor.org, or Ms. Lyn Twyman, or Mr. Raheem DeVaughn? Could it be that they too, are a part of the problem that plagues Black America along these lines, rather than the solution?
Let me be clear, in closing: in no way am I attempting to suggest that Black women who are victims of intimate partner violence – i.e., beaten up by their Black male partners – shouldn’t get help or support. They most certainly should.
But what must also be made clear, is that by the exact same evidence the Blackety Black SJWs use to make their case, we know that Black men are abused by their intimate partners, too, and not just physically – as I noted in a previous article – and they are every bit as deserving of help and support, too. If Black women don’t report these things due to silence and shame, it must go at least double for Black men, who labor under a bizarre notion of what a “real man” is – notions that are wholeheartedly fostered and supported by Black women themselves, I should add.
If we are going to be serious about addressing domestic violence and intimate partner abuse, specifically as it relates to Black America, it’s going to take all of us looking at the problem through a clear-eyed door, instead of through an ideologically emotive keyhole.
*Mrs. Hannah Wallen contributed to this report.