Tuesday, October 02, 2007

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

It occurred to me that, in commenting on Orlando Patterson's call for moral reform in the black community, I might have seemed to give too little weight to his words about the abuse of black women by black men, which I did not mean to do. October is "National Domestic Violence Awareness Month", a bland title that obscures both the fact that "Domestic Violence" is almost entirely abuse of women by men, and that black women are far more likely to be abused than white women. I agree with Patterson that verbal and physical violence against black women is, to say the least, a serious problem, but I disagree that it is a problem that can be effectively addressed separate from poverty and racism (as well as the relentless contempt for women displayed by popular culture generally). This idea is beautifully expressed in a poem by Essex Hemphill posted today by Anxious Black Woman. The poem, oiginally entitled "To Some Supposed Black Brothers," concludes:
But we so called men,
we so called brothers
wonder why it's so hard
to love our women
when we're about loving them
the way america
loves us.

Update I deleted a (nonresponsive) comment from the Los Angeles chapter of the National Coalition of Free Men. If you want a lot of information about women's violence against men, I'm sure you know where to go.

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