This long weekend once again saw Facebook explode with racial tension. Angry BLACK WOMAN vs Angry WHITE MAN. So many opinions littered across every posting of the video, but the common question being asked is, what happened before?
As if that really actually matters.
Let’s break this down.
This was a man standing up and raising his hands towards a woman. This is a man shoving a table full of children.
“Stop making it about race”, they cry. “It’s just a father defending his child,” they declare. As if that should be a suitable justification for any of his behaviour.
And therein lies the definition of male privilege, because somehow you are convinced that the angry black woman must have done something to provoke his ire. Because God forbid, a grown man should be able to keep his emotions in check and control his behaviour.
“They are both at fault”.
“We don’t know what happened beforehand”.
“We can’t comment just on what we see in the video”.
Let’s make this one thing clear. It really doesn’t matter how he approached them or how anything started. At the end of the day this man raised his hands to assault a woman. He then shoved a table that had a bunch of children sitting at it.
If we want to ignore everything else, every other thing, the truth remains is that he should not have done that. Because if we at any point try to explain or justify his behaviour by saying she should not have done X, Y or Z, then we are failing women who are assaulted by men every day.
They truth that you may not like is that taking race out of this, then makes it a gender issue. It suggests that maybe the woman in the video should have been kinder, gentler and softer. She should have listened. What we don’t see does not justify what we did see. And what we saw was a man looming over a woman threatening her with physical violence.
And when say that you need to know what happened in the minutes before, what you are saying that you want and are desperately seeking something that will help you justify this man’s actions.
And that’s what makes this a race issue.
Because chances are, if you are looking to justify this man’s actions, you are probably white. If you are saying “I need to know what happened before,” you are probably white.
If you think this woman needs to check her behaviour, while you may not be wrong – once again – you are probably white.
If you’re saying that this is just a man defending his child, while completely ignoring the reports that this man grabbed the other kid and told his child to hit her, then you are probably white.
And then you should ask yourself why all those things matter.
You want to strip it down?
A man raised his hands to assault a woman.
A man shoved a table where a bunch of children were seated,
No man should do that. Ever.
It doesn’t matter what a woman says or does or how she’s dressed. If you need to know what happened before to justify his behaviour, check your privilege.