Why Black Men Turn a Blind Eye to Violence Against Black Women
If you see a man hit a Black woman in the face with a brick, and your reaction is to keep walking, look away, or blame the woman, you’re part of the problem, normalizing the violence women experience. Sadly, after a video surfaced where a Black woman shared her experience of being brutally assaulted after rejecting a man’s advances, the blame-the-victim and “it’s none of my business” rhetoric has grown legs. While some Black men would go to great lengths to protect Black women, their chivalry does not excuse the silence of those who don’t.
When a Black woman named Rho shared her story that a man hit her in the face with a brick, some Black men chimed in to say they weren’t responsible for her protection, while others suggested intervening would be too dangerous. However, even if they wanted to avoid a physical confrontation with a stranger, they could have used their voices to condemn the man’s actions, called for help, or at least expressed empathy for her experience. Instead, the Black men seemed more than willing to turn a blind eye to her pain. In a video taken from a hospital room, we can see Rho has a massive bruise and swelling on the right side of her face. Why was she beaten? A man asked for her phone number, and she rejected him. Instead of accepting this rejection, he responded violently. Sadly, this is a common experience for Black women.
Black women are often killed for rejecting a man’s advances.
One woman commented that she always gives her phone number to men who ask, even if she’s not interested, in fear that a man will react poorly to rejection. Let’s all keep in mind that women are not trying to be cruel in rejecting someone’s advances. They are expressing their right to socialize with whom they choose. Sadly, many women need to develop strategies to keep themselves safe, all because some men refuse to take “no” for an answer. As the Canadian poet and author Margaret Atwood said, “men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”
A few years ago, Rachaell Davis wrote an article for Essence, sharing the story…