By DaiJhah Owens
Over the past few months, there have been very public displays of violence against black women, at the hands of black men circulating on social media. Videos of Black women being stalked, attacked in their homes or killed. These experiences are not new for Black women. Experiencing harm a the hands of Black men is not foreign. However, there is a need to have a deeper conversation about this issue and what the call to action needs to be, to put an end to it.
Under Social Media posts of this violence, you will see common comments like “ladies get your gun licenses” “ladies get you a gun” “This is why black women need to stay strapped.” On the surface, these recommendations for safety seem like viable options. They seem practical, and one would think this would end the violence against Black women. But thinking a little deeper, I realized something, no one ever mentions any recommendations for what Black men need to change in order to keep us safe. The burden of our collective safety rest solely on our shoulders and not the people who continually harm us. Makes zero sense!
Now, let’s point out the obvious before I dive in. Obviously, self-defense is a must! People, in general, are cray cray, and anyone should have the ability to defend themselves when the need arises. However, what we’re not going to do is gaslight black women into believing we get violated because we aren’t adequately protecting ourselves. From birth, women are taught how to protect ourselves from assault. We hear very early in life; be aware of your surroundings, carry mace or a tazer, never go anywhere alone at night, don’t park next to vans in parking lots, keep your drink covered when out, don’t get drunk, get a security system for your home, have a man on call when you’re made to feel uncomfortable by a different man, and the lists can go on and on!
As you can see, Black women have many options to keep ourselves safe. This strategies rarely work in our favor though. We shouldn’t have to live like this. We should be able to exist without being violently attacked, at the hands of our own race. The conversation and call to action have to pivot to hold the people who perpetrate the harm accountable. We have to move past these tired responses. The Black community will have Black women do any and everything to protect themselves before they ever tell a Black man his actions are wrong and he needs to stop. The idea that Black men go through so much already and should be protected at all costs, even at the cost of the Black woman, is straight BS!!
If a man wants to hurt a woman, he will, nothing will stop him when the community turns a blind eye to his actions. In many cases, Black women who have guns to protect themselves, those guns usually end up being the weapon used to murder them, at the hands of their intimate partner. Black women will continue to do all we can to protect ourselves AND we need the so-called “good” Black men to stand in the gap. Speak up, bring awareness, and take action. The same energy y’all give to ending Police brutality towards black men needs to be the same energy y’all bring when discussing ending violence against Black Women WITHIN the Black community! (And no, just saying “black men we need to do better” is not enough.)
Stop talking about protecting black queens, and do it!!!
DaiJhah Owens is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. DaiJhah is passionate about shifting political power to oppressed groups through education. She believes there is nothing more powerful than an educated black woman who can smell political BS a mile away! Connect with her on Instagram at @d_nakhole!