Message To The Brothers

Janay Palmer and Ray Rice address the media Friday (Credit AP)TransGriot Note:  This deserves a signal boost.

It was written by Julian Long in response to the renewed drama surrounding Ray Rice.   It has jumpstarted a  conversation in our community right now about domestic violence as a result of the termination of his Ravens contract and the indefinite (and long overdue) NFL suspension resulting from punching his wife following a domestic dispute in a New Jersey casino.

And now, take it away Mr. Long.

Black men. Fellas. Brothers.

I need you to stop complaining about Ray Rice’s (much deserved and yet woefully insufficient punishment) RIGHT NOW.

When we – Blackmen are beaten, slain, left in the street and otherwise persecuted our
sisters, our mothers, our women stand for us with nearly unilateral
unwavering support. They march for us. They cry out our names and demand
justice. They support us in our moments of quiet fear when we shed the
bitter shameful tears of self-doubt and fatigue. If you cannot find it
within you to get over your idol worship and stand up for our sisters
when they are being abused and mistreated then you need to spend some
serious time in reflection.

STOP looking for reasons to diminish Ray Rice’s actions.
“Well…it couldn’t have been that bad. She married him.”
It doesn’t matter.

“She should know he’s a big man and if provoked he’s gonna hit back”
It doesn’t matter.

“She charged at him”
It doesn’t matter.

“She hit him first”
It doesn’t matter.

“He’s trained to hit. He can’t stop it. It’s a reflex.”
Are you f*cking kidding me. That’s absurd and even if it were true IT DOESN’T MATTER.

When you say these kinds of things – when you look for ways to go easy
on Ray Rice when you claim he’s “already been punished” you do two
things – first you tell black women “Your lives and your sense of safety
have less value to me than the recreational sports entertainment I
watch ritually.” You tell the women who stand for you- cry for you-
demand justice for you ––”thanks for all that but don’t mess with my
game” You deny them any hope of feeling safe with you. You reinforce the
perception that they are ALONE in their struggle. Which in turn signals
to those who would further victimize them (you know- general society
that places Black women at the very bottom of valued humans) that they
are free to move at will.

The second thing you do is – and this
is irony – you borrow from the script of people like supporters of
Darren Wilson. Let’s compare notes…

“He shouldn’t have been in the street”
It doesn’t matter

“He should have listened to the cop”
It doesn’t matter

“They say he stole so he was in the mindset to resist arrest”
It doesn’t matter

“Cops are trained to shoot to kill. He couldn’t help it it was reflex..”
Are you seeing the terrifying parallel? IT DOESN’T MATTER.

Brothers. Recognize wrong and stand up for what’s right. Whatever
happened between them and whatever they did to patch things up is
irrelevant to the fact that no man has business hitting (let alone
knocking out) any woman over a spat. He should regard the use of his
body against her as lethal force and exercise restraint above all else.

Also stop sipping your damn tea.


When one of our sisters is hurt, abused or in peril it’s OUR business.
Because when somebody has us jammed against a car with 5 or 6 weapons
drawn at us they sure as hell make it their business to monitor record
and speak out. They throw themselves in peril to see us safe –– and you
can’t manage as much as a a supportive Facebook post?!

GTFOH. I mean it. we don’t need that sh*t in our community.


Scroll to Top