A couple of things are going on in the wake of the NFL/Ray Rice controversy, least of all the decision-making process leading up to the indefinite suspension of the player. As I watch news broadcasts repeatedly running footage of “the punch”, I’m asking myself when is enough, enough. How much reporting and reviewing of a couple of minutes of salacious footage do we need to see to get the gist of what occurred?
Adding insult to injury, newsreels are abuzz with discussions on other athletes who beat their wives; as if this is a new phenomenon. And now, Adrian Peterson is being indicted for spanking his son with a switch. Maybe it’s me but I’m of a mind that if we continue down this path, the public will begin to see the primary face of domestic violence as being a black one.
Even when it comes to other players, watching them give their reactions about the suspension, it seems as if it’s mostly black NFL players who support the Rice’s in their attempts at moving on with their lives; a sentiment that many in the public will see, I’m sure, as them condoning the assault and putting it in the list of, “Hey, shit happens. It could’ve been me.”
On the other hand, white NFL players are talking about the harm and disgrace of domestic violence, maintaining the integrity of the league and morality and all the other things that representatives of the money making machine the NFL is should say. And while I’m positive that the pendulum swings both ways-just as many white players support the Rice’s as black players espouse the need for morality and integrity in the NFL-I just don’t get that impression from what I see on the news or on the sports channels.
Of course, in all fairness, it is what it is and if the shoe fits frankly then wear it. Black men who beat their wives or significant others are just as culpable and despicable as the white men, or the yellow men or the brown men who beat theirs; in my book doubly so but I’ll get into that at a later time. But in matters of public perception, obvious care should be taken to paint an accurate picture of the crime’s demographics.
On the one side, when we speak about the receiving end, we clearly state that domestic violence knows no boundaries of race, creed or economic status; all women are fair game. But on the perpetrator’s side, we’re seeing mostly African-American men. To expose a truthful version of the scope of the crime, I’m of a mind that any depiction of domestic violence, especially when it comes to who’s throwing the punches, needs to include all races.
As such I, as an ordinary citizen watching a news broadcast, expect those preparing it to ensure that they have a spectrum of races shown when they’re going to parade a list of past offenders before the viewing public. I don’t want them to take that easy way out and tape the most recent black celebrity or athlete who beat his woman down. I want them to depict all celebrities or athletes who’ve laid a hand on their spouses or girlfriends.
And frankly, if the number of black athlete’s doing so outweighs the white ones, I still want them to research it enough so that they can present an “other-than-black-face to this discussion on domestic violence. It’s important that they do, particularly in light of the inquisition they’re willing to set in motion.