Who Fights for Black Women?
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a video on IGTV because I was enraged. My blood was boiling. A lot of this post is transcript of my video, because it is something we need to talk about.
A Black woman named Kimberly Robinson got killed because an ex-boyfriend was mad that she didn’t want to be with him anymore. I found out because my sister knew her. A Black woman was killed because her ex-boyfriend did not want to accept the fact that she said she didn’t want to be with him. He felt like if he couldn’t have her, nobody could, including her five kids. So he dropped kicked the door of her house in the middle of the night. And 14 bullets went off. 12 of them hit her in the chest and two hit her four-year-old daughter who was laying next to her. One of them grazed the four-year-old’s face and the other hit her in the shoulder. This little girl made it (thankfully) but she watched her mother be killed. That baby girl had to describe how her mother was laying in a pool of blood with her eyes open.
A woman lost her life because a man felt like if he couldn’t have her, nobody else could. And I’m livid because this is not a strange occurrence. This is not rare.
It happens way too often. It’s called femicide. Domestic violence, intimate partner violence. It happens all too often. And for Black women, we’re constant victims of it. According to the CDC, Black women experience highest rates of homicide of any racial group in the United States. And half of the Black women who are murdered lose their lives at the hands of a partner. These are the facts.
So I got on social media and say “Black men, as a collective, you all got work to do, because we often don’t feel safe by you. We don’t feel protected by you.” Toxic masculinity, male fragility and unaddressed trauma are killing us. Literally killing us.
As we yell “Protect Black women” it’s an affirmation for us. And it’s a demand that is not being met. A Black man comes on my platform to tell me that I’m being bitter because I’m saying that Black men have work to do. Because you know what happens when Black women challenge our men? We get called bitter and angry. We get told to stop being bitter because clearly we must just hate them, which is why we’re saying these things to challenge them. Because honestly, to love you is to challenge you. If I leave you alone, that means I don’t really mess with you.
I saw a photo of this four-year-old in the hospital with a bloody face, from the bullet that grazed her face, from the man who killed her mother. This little girl now has a memory of her mother laying in a pool of blood, lifeless. And I say Black men as a collective have work to do. Because when something racist happens in the news, we don’t say “Oh, it’s just that one white person.” We know it’s part of an oppressive system. We know it’s part of that. So why is this different? Why is it different that when we challenge Black men we’re told “Oh, it’s just that black man who did it”? We always get the dude who goes, “Well, you know what? Let’s not generalize.” Oh, okay. So when it comes to you, it’s the exception, right?
Because the “good” Black men have to be told that it’s not them before we have this real discourse. Because, surely it’s some random boogeyman who is perpetuating all this harm. Because everybody they don’t know anybody who would do these heinous things. Yeah. It’s just some boogeyman out in these streets. And then I’m called bitter because I say Black men have work to do, when I just saw a picture of a four-year-old girl who just saw her mother be killed. A four-year-old girl whose face is bloody from the bullet, from the gun that killed her mother. And I’m called bitter. Fuck you, go to hell.
I’m married to a Black man. My brother is a Black man. My father is a Black man. My whole life. I’m surrounded by Black men and I’m bitter?
Let the word bitter fly. Let it fly, because you know what? If holding you accountable for growth is being better, then I’ll be bitter. If holding you accountable as a collective, fellas, is bitter then I’ll be bitter. Forget the fact that I have so much joy in my life. Bitter is not where I am. It’s not who I am, but you know what? If I have to be bitter because it means telling men you have work to do and that it’s not enough that you’re not doing the harm yourself.
You know what I’m tired of? When a Black man does something harmful to a Black woman, and we mention that Black men got work to do because as a collective, we aren’t feeling protected by them. Someone always gotta come thru with the #NotAllBlackMen comment. And the “good” Black men get offended that they are being lumped in with the trash amongst them. When something happens in the news with white people being racist, do we say “oh it was only that one white person” or do we realize it is part of a system of oppression that perpetuates the type of harm? It is not enough that you are NOT the rapist or the murderer or the gaslighter. That’s not enough. You don’t get a cookie for that. That’s the minimum. You actually have to do the work of being anti-sexist, anti-misogynist.
Black men have to face racism. Yes, that’s big. Black women? We’re not just facing racism. We’re facing racism and misogyny. We’re not safe outside. And now we’re not safe inside. So if holding y’all accountable is being bitter, then you know what? I’ll be that.
This is devastating. This is disheartening. It’s unnecessary. But there’s so many stories of people who have lost loved ones. Parents, sisters, friends at the hands of somebody who loved them, taking their life. There’s so many Black women who lost their lives to the hands of the men who say they love them. And we still love you all, though. Black women still loved black men. We still fight for you. We still fight for you. We still use our voices for you. And we will continue to, but who fights for us? When we ask for you all to fight for us, we’re called bitter. Who fights for us? Because it’s tiring. Who is speaking up for us?
All these #GirlDads who only care about protecting the girl they procreated, not realizing that their lack of work in calling out their boys or lack of work in being anti-sexist directly affects that girl they love as she goes out in the world and gets abused by these boys and men who were never taught to respect women simply for their humanity. Men talk about buying a gun when their girls become teenagers. You won’t have to buy a gun if boys/men knew that they had to treat that girl you love LIKE A HUMAN. That’s the work we ask you to do, fellas, so you won’t have to use a gun to threaten whatever knucklehead your daughter is seeing to behave himself properly.
Breonna Taylor got killed in her bed by cops. This woman who just got killed was murdered killed in her bed by a Black man who she used to love.
I’m even thinking about how Meg Thee Stallion was shot by a Black man, in both her feet, and what did she get? Not empathy or sympathy but ridicule. People made memes. Some trash ass men said “we shooting bitches all summer.” Everything is related. The same way Black women are constant fodder on social mewdia as we suffer is the same way our lives are devalued and taken outside at the hands of those who are supposed to love us. Our pain is easy to laugh at if we don’t matter. Our lives are easy to take if you don’t hold us in high regard.
We’re fighting outside and we can’t have no peace inside. And folks want to call us bitter. Even if we are, we’ve earned it. But here we are still loving Black men with joy and we will continue to. We’ll keep fighting for them. And all we’re asking is they fight for us. That’s it.
Below are some of the stories that Black women shared, of times they have been harmed by someone they loved or knew someone who was:
Also, this narrative of saying don’t call out all black men because it’s only a few? NO. I am a survivor of domestic violence at the hands of a black man. So is my mother. So was my grandmother. So was my cousin, who was killed by her ex and left on her lawn for her children to find her. So is my other cousin. So is my best friend from eighth grade. So is my coworker. The list goes on and on and on. The incidents are NOT isolated. It is a systemic issue. Black men need to step up and speak out and protect black women. And if you wanna call me bitter for saying it then f*ck it. – @evviejones
Thank you for bringing this up! My best friend was murdered on her due date by the father of her child. He stabbed her over 40 times in her belly and body killing her and the baby, and the. Casually walked her mother to the body when she went looking for her. To this day that haunts me I lost a friend before her 25th birthday who was so excited to be a mother because her man didn’t want her to have a baby. She already moved on got her own place and he still couldn’t take it. It’s sickening how we sacrifice everything for our black men only to be belittled, abused and killed by those very same men. – @flyeb3
So true Luvvie. My mom was married to a man that used to beat & verbally abuse her – & after he beat her he would come, pick me up in his arms and tell me that he loved me. Although he was my stepfather & ‘adopted’ me, it got to a point that at 6 years old, I was tired of my mom lying about how she got her black eye, or bruises – I knew that if I told my great grandad about the abuse – he would go to jail for taking my step dad ‘out’, so (at the age of 6) I chose to throw my step dad’s *ish on the lawn from the top floor & threatened my mom that I would tell my grandad & great-grandad the ‘truth’. I also knew that I was too young to get arrested & would protect my mom by ‘any means necessary’. Needless to say..I think he’s still in jail. Its so sad b/c I’ve never let go of my extreme desire to protect, & most kids don’t have their great grandparents @ or grandparents to truly protect them at all cost. It changed the dynamic of who I was as a child, yet I’m grateful for the confidence in myself BECAUSE of the strength of my grandparents, they may not have known what was going on, but I knew they would trust & believe my words & would protect me, which gave me the confidence to stand up. – @luxechucks
Thank you for this. My aunt was killed at her job because she didn’t want to be with her ex anymore. She saw him enter the store and so that he wouldn’t kill anyone else, she ran out the back door and the coward shot her in the back killing her. He then drove himself home and killed himself. My ex has me on edge because he doesn’t want to let go. I went and bought a gun to protect me and my boys, just in case. I don’t even feel safe in my own home. – @thelimitededition_k
Thank you for this. We have to hold our men accountable. My cousin was stabbed to death by her ex and then he set her house on fire to cover it up. Toxic masculinity is real…???? – @mrs_jazzyj
It happened to my cousin. She was 19. Her ex-boyfriend shot her in the head in front of her mother’s house because she started seeing a new guy. – @nooknerd77
The justice system has failed us so many times! My friend Lajoya McCoy was murder! She had several police reports reaching out for help. He ex-husband finally killed her. When she passed her story was a big thing I’m a witness while she was alive it was brushed off and just a jealous ex wanting to spend time with his kids. ???? Believe Black Women! Protect us! – @mere_kensington
This is horrible. I didn’t understand just how little the system does to protect black woken. The same thing happened to my cousin @justice4atiyeh. Her ex-boyfriend shot her because she no longer wanted to be with him. He was released less than a month later after initially hiding out and with other previous cases. It has been an uphill battle fighting for justice. I hope the system does right by your sister’s friend, no one deserves that! Godspeed. – @kirstenbreanna_
Sickening. So sad for that baby to have to carry this with her. I have 3 families I know personally where the woman died because of a sick bastard. These men are mentally immature and have unaddressed traumas that make them think this is how to solve what’s made them mad. This shit has to stop! And I speak from a place of wondering if my ex-husband would harm me when I said it was over. I am thankful I got out unharmed. Hurt for all those who are still stuck or didn’t make it out. ???? – @sista_crafty
Nobody really thinks it will go that far until it does. Had a cousin killed by her ex-husband because nobody thought he would do that. I am very aware and possibly paranoid about red flags because of it. Especially when breaking up with a man for example. We don’t know if saying the wrong thing could escalate to violence. It’s sad and scary but its real life. – @faithfullofcurls
So real. I haven’t seen my neighbor in months because what I would guess to be a boyfriend tried to violently kick in her door in the middle of the night. We have to do something. Men have to do something. This cannot continue. – @ashleymcoleman_
The mother of one of my students lost her mother to murder at the hands of her ex-boyfriend. He strangled and stabbed her. My student found her mother’s body. This was three weeks ago. Thankfully, my student and her siblings weren’t home when her mother was killed. However, he did leave marks on the children. My student once recorded his abuse. – @wiserlemming
It is so so sad. One of my dear clients I found out this year was shot & killed in her front yard by her own husband. It broke my heart to know that my kind & beautiful friend & client, Rashad, left this world so violently. She didn’t deserve that. Nobody deserves that. What hurt worse was I found out she was murdered a couple of weeks after I saw her. I am glad we always told each other we love each other. My heart will always hurt for her. – @curlsbysunflowersandscissors
My cousin was killed in her driveway. Stabbed to death by a man who was not her boyfriend, but one who she tried to help, and he began stalking her. She had a restraining order against him was let out of prison by a clerical error. As soon as he got out, he killed her. – @rev.yalonda
I had a cousin that died the same way. She met her soon to be ex-husband at a park to discuss the custody of their daughter. Her way of trying to be civil. He shot her and took their daughter on the run. He committed suicide in jail. – @kimd36
There was also a black female police officer that was murdered by her ex-boyfriend after she took out a restraining order on him. Even she couldn’t be protected. It’s infuriating. – @charpatt82
My heart goes out to you and this family, those children! It hits too close to home. My grandfather shot and killed my grandmother many years ago while his children and me were all in the next room. He spent 3 years in jail based on a ‘crime of passion’ law and walks free today. It was as if she never fkn mattered, we were robbed of someone who was actively changing the narrative of my family’s generational mess. I’m still angry over this and it happened in ’89. But I continue her work today, not ever really knowing her. It’s her birthday today, she would have been 70. I’m praying for this family’s healing. – @jastwopointoh
Sadly, this happened to my cousin a few years ago. He put 9 bullets in her and then shot himself in the head, right in front of their son in broad daylight. This was heart-wrenching for my family. Every time I hear a story like this, I cringe. – @jeweljam2
I was traumatized as a child watching my mother be abused by my stepfather! It has affected how I live my life! The first sign of any type of abuse, I’m out! I can’t even be friends with an abusive man! – @shedoeverything
In December, a woman who was like a cousin to me was murdered by her son’s father in front of their 5-year-old son. He called and said that she got jumped. It wasn’t until her mom talked to the baby did she find out that “Daddy hit mom in the head with a broom” because she wanted to go to work instead of his company Christmas party. Now her mom is in the ICU fighting for her life right now. If she doesn’t make it in less than 6 months this baby will have lost his mother, father, and grandmother ???????????? – @professionalfatgirl
This post is a transcript of my rant on IGTV, below.