Tag Archives: Domestic Violence

What Black America Must Learn from the Unemployment of Colin Kaepernick and Suspension of Ezekiel Elliott

Public Disclaimer: I am a proud alum of THE Ohio State University and a lifetime fan of the Dallas Cowboys. I promise to let neither of those things significantly affect my reflections on what the 6-game suspension of Ezekiel Elliott means.

In the aftershocks surrounding Ezekiel Elliott’s 6-game suspension for violating the National Football League’s (NFL) ‘personal conduct’ policy, I have heard many of my African-American peers lament that the punishment dispensed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as grossly unfair. A few have taken the step of insinuating that the fact that Elliott’s accuser is a white female is a deciding factor.

Although I consider Goodell’s punishment to be harsh when compared to prior league decisions regarding similar matters, I do not think that the Commissioner’s actions are attributable to any inherent personal prejudice or institutional racism in the NFL. However, I do believe that racial matters impacted the decision indirectly.

If one views the recent ruling regarding Elliott and the continuing unemployment of Colin Kaepernick from an unemotional position they would see that the decisions of Commissioner Goodell and team owners are motivated by rising concerns regarding league popularity; a polite way of referring to league finances. Put simply; the stewards of the NFL brand are caught in a peculiar predicament that forces them to do business in a manner that lessens the chances that those whites purchasing the bulk of game tickets remain loyal to the NFL brand.

When viewed in this light, it is apparent that Kaepernick’s difficulty in securing employment is an occurrence of collusion by NFL owners unwilling to offend patriotic whites who will never forgive the embattled figure for kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem. Elliott has likewise been sacrificed to appease women’s rights groups, many of which are filled with black women eager to follow their white ‘sisters’ lead in attacking the Dallas Cowboys running back regarding the highly questionable allegations. Make no mistake about it; the NFL realizes that if such groups disapprove of their handling of the Elliott case, their reaction will be furious and immediate.

In many ways, the most significant lesson that African-Americans can take from both matters is that regardless of the skills black workers possess, they are never so essential to operations that they can not be jettisoned the moment they affect bottom line financial realities. Although difficult for black workers to accept, when it comes to industry, they are never the machine performing the work, they are the grease that will be used until it is of no more use and then discarded.

We must never forget that for American Capitalists, it is ALWAYS about the money. And there is not a darn thing that Black Americans can do to alter that reality in this or any future life.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017

What’s Going On?: Domestic Violence and the Black Athlete

The African-American community has historically had to protect its young men from false accusations emanating from a hostile white community; particularly when charges of inappropriate behavior guaranteed that whites intended to serve as accuser, trial, jury, and executioner. Historically, there has been little disagreement that we, meaning Black men and Black women, supported one another regardless of the enemy or the odds of our survival.

Such a collective history makes these repeated incidents of domestic violence within the National Football League all the more disturbing. One is left to ponder; at what point did African-American men begin to look at the women who have served as their sisters, mother, aunts, cousins, daughters, lovers, and confidants as worthless a worthless enemy.

Make no mistake about it; the recent rash of domestic violence involving African-American athletes is certainly nothing new; rather it is being highlighted as never before. Put simply, it is the flavor of the day; a flavor that most likely will not subside as Commissioner Roger Goodell fights to maintain his position. Quite possibly the greatest evidence that the NFL has not taken the issue of Domestic Violence with the seriousness that it deserves is the presence of twelve players on rosters with previous Domestic Violence incidents.

  • Ray McDonald, San Francisco 49ers
  • Chris Cook, San Francisco 49ers
  • Tony McDaniel, Seattle Seahawks
  • Kevin Williams, Seattle Seahawks
  • Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears
  • Santonio Holmes, Chicago Bears
  • Greg Hardy, Carolina Panthers
  • Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
  • Erik Walden, Indianapolis Colts
  • Donte Whitner, Cleveland Browns
  • Randy Starks, Miami Dolphins,
  • Frostee Rucker, Arizona Cardinals

Unfortunately, this list will most likely continue to grow in the weeks to come.

The presence of such incidents should spark an internal discussion amongst African-Americans regarding what is the definition of Manhood undergirding our existence. The belief that the primary role of a man is that of a provider is one of the primary reasons that we find ourselves in this present situation; each of the individuals on this list is most likely a multi-millionaire; that is if they have not squandered their fortune as athletes commonly do.

Quite possibly, it is time for us to construct a different definition of Manhood before we socialize the next generation of Black boys and girls to allow money to represent the personification of Manhood.  How different would the dynamics between African-American men and women be if we instructed our youth that a man possesses the following qualities: Protector, Caring, Considerate, Attentive, Educated, Rational, Dedicated, Loyal, and one who is committed to a vision that represents both partners’ goals and aspirations.

I dare each African-American to try it; if only for a generation.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

#MRC

A Low Down Dirty Shame: Domestic Violence within the Black Community

When incidents occur involving African-American males, two things are certain, (1) the matter will be manipulated until the African-American male, regardless of his role in the event, is the one shouldering the majority of the blame and (2) the image of all African-American males, regardless of their individual accomplishments, divergent political beliefs, various educational attainments, and levels of morality, will be maligned by the incident.

The consistent depiction of African-American males as thugs, criminals, hoodlums, and hopelessly immoral dysfunctional beings are to be expected by mainstream media outlets. Such maligning RayRice 3often creates a siege mentality within the community, leading many in our midst to make a conscious decision to defend and protect our own regardless of their guilt or culpability in the matter. However, there are moments when one of our own behaves in such an egregious manner that even the most ardent supporter of African-American males, such as myself, finds it difficult to support them. Ray Rice places me in such a position.

For those who are unaware, Ray Rice, a running back for the Baltimore Ravens, and his soon to be wife Janay Palmer was filmed having an argument in a hallway leading to an elevator at the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City on February 15th. Although a domestic spat between two individuals is nothing new, they occur everyday, it was the horrific attack that Mr. Rice executed against his soon to be bride within the confines of the elevator that have led to his recent release from the Baltimore Ravens and suspension from the National Football League. Interestingly, his recent punishment from his employer and the NFL far exceed any criminal punishment he has received to this date.

Although many have attempted to isolate Mr. Rice as an anomaly, those willing to speak the truth on matters of domestic violence will tell you that such behavior occurs far too frequently within our community. I have personally had many conversations with Black men, and a few women, who endorse the use of physical violence upon women within our community if they “get out of their place.”

Although a fictional story, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple momentarily addressed this issue when Miss Celie, the character played by Whoopi Goldberg, advised Harpo to beat Miss Sophia, the character played by Oprah Winfrey, if she would not behave the way he desired. Matters of human interaction are a pesky pernicious issue that often does not have a correct way of occurring; however, there is certainly a blatantly wrong way to interaction as exhibited by Mr. Rice’s beating of Janay Palmer.

However, the question remains why did this occur? I pose such a question not specifically to this single incident involving Ray Rice, Ricerather in a general manner. Although I would prefer to feign ignorance regarding what leads to occurrences of domestic violence, however, my moral compass will not allow me to cower away from the issue in such a way. In my humble opinion, I believe that this issue of domestic violence is merely an extension of the typical socialization that males receive within this nation.

The notion of “might equals right” holds influence among Americans from our foreign policies all the way through the bedrooms that we share with our loved one’s. Such matters are made exponentially worse by African-American males’ attempted assimilation into a European inspired patriarchal societal structure that contradicts the cooperative relationship that our people have embraced from the moment humanity existed on this planet. Those who abuse Black women know very well that the chances of their being arrested, tried, convicted, and sent to jail are minuscule; so there is in many ways no deterrent to their behavior coming from the criminal justice system.

It is this faith in white societal structures that have never and will never work within our community that not only marginalizes our interactions with each other, but also guarantees that we as a community will continue to experience domestic violence. Unfortunately, the next time it may not be captured by a video camera; regardless of if it is caught on camera or not, the abuser has little to worry about from our criminal justice system, ask Mr. Ray Rice.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

#MRC