You know, I just spoke to a class at Morgan about bullying and violence in college, and my experience with it. I’d been hesitant to speak out about it before, because I didn’t want to be seen as weak, but as I’ve gotten older I realized that my story could administer help to some young woman. So I had to put that need before my pride. This generation of women has a predilection towards glamorizing fights, and it has to stop. My heart hurts so bad for Amy Joyner and her family. Not even at the precipice of her life, her time was snatched away by her peers – teens who themselves, are probably mimicking what they’ve seen on Love and Hip Hop or from their parents. Her life was ended disgracefully on the floor of the bathroom in school.
These shows, and these websites depicting young women fighting each other, and our perpetual girl fight blood lust points towards our degeneration as a people. It’s not enough to point the finger at media, and reality shows and say that they have to stop showing fights, they won’t, because what moral obligation do they feel towards us? None. They’re making dollars and profit off of our inability to look away from truly ratchet and harmful behavior. Who are we anymore? Why don’t we believe that we are our brothers and sisters keeper? I’m not calling for Kumbaya, I’m calling for us to save this generation of young women.
Black women (and all women) really have to take a stand against this violence and fighting among ourselves. We look like out of control animals. We’re perfectly fitting into the stereotype that our detractors push to the public daily, and yes, we should care. We should care about that image because it effects how our young women are treated by police, ignored by public officials, castigated and denigrated. It’s NOT enough to say “let’s empower each other” on Instagram. We shouldn’t hold another awards ceremony, celebration brunch, or panel about how great we are, and the work we’ve done for women’s empowerment until we come together to solve THIS problem. And I don’t care who’s butt-hurt about what I’m saying. Shaking our heads about another story of violence isn’t enough ladies, and I’m frankly ashamed of myself that I haven’t spoken out and taken action until now.
We have to get out in our communities and speak to these women who are getting the wrong message about what it means to be cool, and to be grown. Ladies we have to become mentors AND mediators. Fighting each other isn’t right. This sixteen year-old girl is dead. Who knows who she could have been, what lives she could have touched. We are losing our humanity, and it’s a problem. Young women and men look upon these fights dispassionately, filming the literal end to another human being’s life without helping at ALL. These girls don’t need to just be thrown in juvi or prison, adding to The New Jim Crow – the school to prison pipeline – they need counseling, and their parents should be held culpable as well. But you know who else is responsible? You, and I. Because we’re Amy Joyner, we’re those young women who fought her as well, and until we at least TRY to end the violence – and change the perception of “fights being cool,” they’ll keep killing us too. Because if we don’t care about us, why should they? At least, that will be – and is – their rational.
Let’s get together. I need, and want to do something. Have an idea? Let’s collaborate. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.