All Articles Tagged "violence"
Well, this is not good.
Chad Johnson, receiver for the Miami Dolphins, was arrested Saturday night for headbutting his wife Evelyn Lozada, star of Basketball Wives, after they got into a heated dispute. According to police, the couple was at dinner when Evelyn confronted him about a receipt she’d found for a box of condoms. As they left the restaurant, the argument continued until they got outside of their home where Chad then headbutted her.
Evelyn called the police and Chad was charged with a misdemeanor for simple assault, domestic violence. He is being held until he can appear before a judge and Yahoo! reports that it might not be until Monday before that happens. Evelyn was treated at the hospital for a cut on her forehead and then released. The Miami Dolphins are aware of the situation and because most teams have rules about getting into such trouble, I’m sure they’ll have a few questions for Chad when they’re able to speak with him.
These two have had quite the fiery relationship from the very start and accusations of cheating have flown over them at many different times. In fact, many were skeptical as to whether or not their July 4th wedding would actually happen (yes, they’ve only been married a month and a half). Although you never want to see or hear about someone being abused, I would hope this isn’t yet another call for attention for their reality show. Domestic abuse is really not something that should be taken lightly or played around with for ratings since many people deal with it (or have dealt with it) on a daily basis.
Neither of their reps have made any statements yet but I’m sure there will be something forthcoming.
Junior year of high school I refused to buy “Doggystyle,” the revolutionary Snoop Dogg album that set my school abuzz. It was an informal boycott based on the album’s ethos and subject matter – a seemingly nonstop celebration of decadence, violence and promiscuity. My stance lasted for about a month. Then I caved and bought the CD, listened to it faithfully for the rest of the year and kept it in regular rotation thereafter. Musically, it was near-perfect, and even if I disagreed with what Snoop was saying, I couldn’t bring myself to dislike the way he was saying it.
And so we come to my central dilemma with hip-hop, a complicated love/hate relationship that finds me scolding myself for enjoying music – on the surface, at least – that often clashes with my personal values.
Case in point: Last year, I bought the ringtone to Waka Flocka Flame’s “No Hands” against my own better judgment. The song concentrates exclusively on watching a stripper remove her panties — sans hands. At one point in the song, he even talks about running a train on a female.
But there’s that monstrous, gargantuan beat from Drumma Boy, and that captivating chorus from Roscoe Dash that turns women into sex objects but manages to entrance a self-respecting woman who should know better. I would be appalled by the excitement I feel when this song comes on in the club if I wasn’t so busy dancing. It’s only afterwards that I’m left feeling guilty and ashamed, like I just ate a carton of ice cream while watching “Jersey Shore” reruns.
It’s a similar situation with Lil Jon’s “Get Low.” Although the entirety of the song deals with females bending over and shaking their asses while Lil Jon and his posse of Eastside Boyz spew vulgarities and implore women to drop it to the floor, I essentially become a woman possessed when I hear this in the club; I’m liable to burn off my entire daily caloric intake before the song is over.
And then there’s Weezy. I appreciate Lil Wayne’s wordplay, but I often feel the need to shower after listening to his songs, which typically involve lewd descriptions of random sexual relations with some female, somewhere. “Now jump up on that d— and do a full split” Weezy instructs on “She Will.” Thanks, but she won’t be doing that anytime soon.
In spite of myself, I love Young Jeezy’s “I Luv It,” a song that revolves around drug dealing and its so-called financial rewards. I also love Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin.” I don’t want to ever not love it. I don’t want to overthink it to the point that I can’t enjoy the song. But at what point do I draw the line, say enough is enough, and decide not to sing along while rappers call us b—–s and h—s, glorify destructive lifestyles and turn the very real social ill of pimping into a punchline?
Am I supposed to excuse, for example, Clipse’s morally bankrupt tales of cocaine-slinging because they’re lyrically brilliant, and because I personally understand the conditions that leave black men feeling like drug dealing is their only escape from poverty?
Hip-hop is my favorite genre of music. Always has been, and probably always will be. While R&B from the late ‘60s and ‘70s spoke to the promise of a post-Civil Rights culture enjoying new freedoms, hip-hop was the outgrowth of broken promises, of crack-infested inner cities realizing that while old forms of oppression had fallen away, new ones had taken their place, and they often came from within: the pimp, the pusher, the player, seemingly inescapable cycles of violence and poverty.
I have defended hip-hop early and often, spouting its virtues to relatives who only know hip-hop as a Nelly song, or jazz music professors who deem it universally “aggressive” and don’t understand that rap music is, in fact, a direct outgrowth of jazz, and aggressive content is only one aspect of a much larger, more nuanced picture. I’ve spent hours explaining, educating and making and listening to suggestions of those who think hip-hop is comprised entirely of promiscuous criminals and weed-smoking thugs.
But I’m tired of having to defend hip-hop. Tired of having to serve as a rap-to-real world translator for people who simply don’t understand the culture and see only its top layer. Tired of realizing that more and more, mainstream hip-hop is becoming that one-dimensional portrait of a black criminal or a self-absorbed hedonist, a misogynistic caricature that record companies and radio stations seem all too happy to depict and rappers seem all too willing to embody in exchange for a paycheck.
I love what hip-hop stands for in its essence: freedom, self-expression, the will to fight and overcome oppression. It emerged as the culture of the forgotten and the disenfranchised, the voice of a people that previously had none. It is the purest form of urban journalism: Chuck D of Public Enemy once called it the Black CNN.
I love hip-hop’s rhythm and its cadence, its wit and its charm, its anger and its defiance, its boldness and its swagger. I will continue to blast “Doggystyle” from my car speakers as I glide down the highway and rap gleefully along with every word. I just wish I didn’t have to temporarily stash my values on a shelf in the process.
Ladies, do you have a love/hate relationship with hip-hop? Let us know in the comments.
Lauren Carter is a writer, blogger and hip-hop head from Boston. Follow her on Twitter @ByLaurenCarter.
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So, yesterday morning, I was listening to a local, black news radio station. This particular program was discussing a weekend shooting, which happened outside of a popular specialty hamburger restaurant here in Philly. According to news reports the shooting was the result of an altercation, which began between two tables outside of the eatery. The altercation eventually spilled over to a side street, where one of the guys shot the other guy he was arguing with. The shooting victim would die later at the hospital.
As I’m writing this, there have been 162 murders in Philadelphia. That number might have increased by the time you finish reading this post. As sad as that is, the senseless violence on the streets of Philadelphia has been showing up in major, and minor, cities across the country. In Chicago, a city which has been suffering through double digit shootings over the last few months, the number of Chicagoans murdered in the last decade is two and a half times the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan. And in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the homicide rate there exceeds the rates in New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
It should come as no surprise that handguns are the weapons of choice in most of these murders. Many folks believe our easy access to guns, is responsible for the high murder rate in the country, particularly our community. Even the host of the radio program I was listening to theorized that guns make cowards fearless and most folks nowadays are scared of a fair one-on-one fist fight. All of those might be suitable responses however none of that really addresses the root cause of why people feel the need to resort to violence – be it with a gun or a fist fight – in the first place?
Later on in the day, I read an article in the Huffington Post about how meditation has been proven an effective treatment in lowering blood pressure among black teens. According to a group of researchers from Georgia Health Sciences University, in a study of 62 black teens with high blood pressure, those who mediated for twice a day had managed to lower left ventricular mass, thus reducing the chances of heart attacks and strokes later in life. So what does this have to do with the murder rate?
Homicide and suicide are the second and third leading causes of death, respectively, among teens ages 15 to 19, The common belief is that most homicides are over drugs or involve gang violence however the reality is that there are a lot of hotheads out there ready to pull the trigger and take someone’s life over the most mundane reasons. We read too many stories of people dying over parking spaces and other domestic disputes than we do about folks dying over gang colors.
And that got me thinking about how so much of our existence centers around insecurity, which contributes to stress. I’m not talking about insecurity in the most vain sense of the word but the insecurity that comes from living in a situation of uncertainty. In the 2008 PBS four hour long documentary, Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?, the role that social determinants such as class and race was proven to have a greater impact on one’s health outcomes than genetics or personal behavior. According to the film poor people are often subjected to a poverty tax, which basically means that they must pay more for goods and services (including rent, food, transportation and taxes), have lower access to parks and recreation centers and are constantly living in fear of both violence and their shaky financial situation.
And let’s not forget about the impact that the persistence of racism has on the minds and spirits of black men, women and children? It has been proven that there is a clear association between experiences of racism and psychological distress for black folks. Taking all of this evidence combined, it would seem that both poverty and racism not only adversely affect one’s own mental health but also can also shorten one’s life through heart attacks, strokes and yes, even violence. In short, what we are probably seeing across the country is a collective mental breakdown among folks, who just can’t deal anymore.
Of course, the short answer to ending violence is a consorted effort to ending racism and poverty. However, this is America: the land of exploitation and indifference. And even folks, who genuinely care about doing one or the other – or even both – find themselves spitting into the wind, so to speak. While many of us know how to survive, very few know the key to learning to deal with what is the reality of our constant situation. I’m not saying that we have to accept our fate as eternal subjugated people, but we do need to learn how to mentally work around poverty and racism so that we, as a community, can be strong enough to not only fight against the trappings of racism and poverty but also ensure that it doesn’t kill us – or worse cause us to kill somebody else.
Folks have to take care of their mental health as seriously as they do dieting and exercising. Some thing as simple as sitting quietly for 15 minutes and meditating, twice a day, could go a long way in giving yourself the clarity needed to deal with whatever situation crosses your path.
The best thing about mediating is that there is no one correct way to do it. I did a traditional, legs cross, eyes closed and palms to the sky meditation sit-in before. It wasn’t my thing plus my legs got numb after the first ten minutes. So once a week, take a walk, preferably outside of the neighborhood. There is also yoga, tai chi and chanting. Heck, go to a park and engage in walking mediation, which teaches how to tune out the distractions and tune in to your inner self in a real life situation. I don’t know if it will cure all violence in the community but in the spirit of my favorite song by Talib Kweli, folks got to start questioning what it is they do to Get By.
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VH1 and Shed Media may be a day late and several dollars short now that viewers and advertisers have started to pull out of “Basketball Wives” and the “Chad and Ev” spinoff. The Change.org petition to boycott the shows is now up to just under 26,000 signatures and news that Summer’s Eve has pulled out of the series has finally prompted the companies behind the shows to respond—even if they are lying.
On VH1′s blog, the network and its parent company promised the violence would end, or at least slow down, on the next season Here are the statements from both entities.
“Shed Media US is fully committed to telling the compelling stories of the Basketball Wives in a balanced way. Our producing partner Shaunie O’Neal feels strongly about this, and we fully agree with this stance. We support her as she encourages the cast members to work out issues in a non-violent fashion. We look forward to working with her and the rest of the cast on conveying more balance in the next season.”
“Our viewers opinions always matter a great deal to us at VH1. Lately, there has been a lot of conversation about Basketball Wives, a series featuring strong, intelligent women with very passionate viewpoints which can sometimes escalate.
“We at VH1 agree with and support Shaunie and the show producers’ “no excessive physical confrontations” policy on the series moving forward. We are all committed to balancing the candid, bold excitement that the viewers have come to love in the series with storylines and representations they can be proud of. Shaunie has been a strong advocate for a more balanced approach to the show and we, along with our producing partners at Shed Media, are all in agreement about moving forward with that goal.”
Anyone want to take a guess at what that excessive qualifier means? At the very least, it suggests there will still be some form of violence on the show, which I have a feeling most protestors will not go for.
During the “Basketball Wives” reunion taping this weekend, Shaunie was also asked for her thoughts on the situation and she made a similar promise about cutting down on the violence and she also says she and the producers take responsibility for the backlash she receives—although she makes it seem as though she’s been advocating for this change of heart all along.
Check out her clip and tell us if you’re buying her spiel. Do you think VH1 and Shed will really listen to viewers for the next season or are they blowing smoke?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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I think that as long as people have gone to school, bullies have been a problem. However, it seems that today, kids are dealing with a whole new kind of bully. Almost like a super bully. One whose parents are blind to an issue, or better yet, in denial, and one whose violent and reckless behavior slides past school administrators far too easily. So how are you supposed to watch out for your kids in the hours that make up a school day (and they’re out of your hands) when everyone who is supposed to is not?
I remember when I first heard that my nephew had a bully. He’s one of my youngest nephews, and for his age, he’s a bit small (which makes him a prime target). This bully wasn’t just one of those a**holes I dealt with every once and a while as a kid who would poke fun at you and try and embarrass you in front of your peers. This snot-nosed kid had already put his hands on my nephew. In fact, he pushed my nephew down so hard in the bathroom that he hit his head on the ground and came home with a big knot. I was enraged, and of course, so was his mother–my sister-in-law.
You see, I’ve had nieces and nephews since I was a 4-year-old, and the oldest ones I have are, and have always been major athletes (it’s in our genes actually). Because they could bounce a basketball and get recognition from their peers for swinging a bat, they were deemed pretty popular. Therefore, they didn’t seem to have the burden of dealing with bullies too often (except for a niece who beat up a girl who tried to push her around…). But to finally hear that my little nephew was dealing with one, especially in a time when bullies are, as I stated earlier, super bullies (and more and more kids are committing suicide because of the harassment), I was worried. But my sister-in-law wasn’t having it. After not being able to get through to the mother of my nephew’s bully after telling the school, she went up to the young’n during lunch time, caught him while he was eating and let him know the real deal: “If you put your hands on my son again, you’re going to have to deal with me!” When I heard that she did this, I was kind of embarrassed for my nephew and thought she made the wrong move (what if his mother started coming around throwing threats?)…but that was until I saw the documentary Bully.
The recently released and much talked about film was so jarring because it put faces and names to the issue of bullying, aside from what we already know through school shootings, suicides, and our own personal experiences. They followed every kind of child, from a gay teenager struggling to get an education in peace, a boy with Asperger’s who was literally getting terrorized on the bus every day, to the families of young men who committed suicide, and even a teen who pulled a gun on her bullies while riding the school bus. While their experiences were haunting, nothing was probably more scary than watching a school administrator in the documentary blow off a family’s claim of abuse on their son (“They’re really just angels”), and try to solve a bully-victim issue by having two students shake hands. SHAKE HANDS!? I wanted to shake her. I realized that she was part of the problem and that in schools all across the country, there are many administrators just like her. Blind as bats and living like the society we’re living is a scene from “Happy Days.”
As much as I wanted to say that my sister-in-law had acted crazy a few months ago, while watching the documentary, I realized that there really isn’t a right move to keeping your kids safe when others aren’t stepping up and doing so when it’s their job–as both an administrator and parent. Was she supposed to wait until the bully broke my nephew’s nose or beat him like a mule? The boy’s mother clearly wasn’t going to wake up and smell the coffee (that her child is a heathen), so while I don’t agree with my sister-in-law’s actions 100 percent, sometimes a parent has to do what a parent has to do. Seriously, when you have people turning a blind eye to the bullying, saying it’s kids being kids and thinking things will be solved by having the bully and victim shake hands, it seems as though you really don’t have a choice.
In the end, if you were wondering, beef between my nephew and his bully seemed to calm down; not because my sister-in-law intervened, but because my nephew found a way to put him in his place. While in school minding his business, the bully pushed my nephew and called him a “baby.” Much to the bully’s surprise, my nephew must have downed his Wheaties in the morning, because he pushed him back pretty hard and said, “I’m not a baby!” That troublemaker somehow received the message, and for the most part, he isn’t terrorizing my nephew anymore (or sadly, maybe my nephew just isn’t saying anything anymore…).
In this day and age, it seems that the best way to get a bully off your back is to just stand up to them on your own; but it’s pretty sad to think that it’s left to a cornered kid by his or herself to deal with a bully situation these days.
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Last week, I read a provocative piece from Thembi Ford of Clutch Magazine, called “Is It Okay to Own a Gun?”
Ford writes that she felt compelled to pose this question after an incident where a close friend of hers was forced to brandish a gun at a lurker outside of her first floor apartment window. Ford writes, “She waved the man off, yelled for him to go away, and put a stern look on her face. That didn’t work, so she pulled out her gun and pointed it at him. That still didn’t make him leave (she ended up calling the police, who escorted him away), but it scared me plenty.”
Yeah that would scare me too. I thought this was interesting because just the day before reading it, I was on the phone with my younger brother, who asked me if I wanted to apply for a permit to carry. This, of course, was coming from my brother, who just a year ago would have sworn off guns completely. However that was before our hometown (Philadelphia) began to lead the nation in per capital murders. I could hear the angst in his voice as he recounted the tale of the teenage son of a cop, who had been murdered in a suspected gang initiation just feet away from his job. My brother, who is a father of three boys and a little girl, worries constantly about the prospects of having a gun in the house. But that day, he began to ponder their safety without a gun in the house. I worry too – not just only about my brother, his wife and my niece and nephews but my own security.
Many people, particularly women, fear guns. The perception is that only criminals, street gangs and white male patriotic right-wing nuts want to own a gun. Black women, as a whole, seem entirely absent from the gun discussion. In fact, Tyler Perry’s Madea only pulls her piece for comic relief. Prior to Zoe Saldana big gun-toting in Columbiana, the only other time I can remember seeing a Black woman packing serious heat in popular movies was Pam Grier in Coffy and Foxy Brown. And when Rihanna sung about shooting down the guy that sexually assaulted her, that image was demonized and completely banned from television.
However, women, particularly women who live alone, don’t have the luxury of fear. I remember being a teenager in Philadelphia, coming home from work at night; I got off the bus at the corner, which dropped me off around the corner from my house. I was met and accosted by a guy, who smelled of a mixture of weed and liquor. He pulled out a gun, stuck it in my side and pushed me into the shadows, away from public view. And as I pulled off my rings and necklace and emptied my change purse for the little bit of cash I carried, the perpetrator went on about how he normally doesn’t like to stick up “sistas” but he really needed the money now. I can still feel the brisk Fall wind on my sleeveless arms as he snatched my leather bomber and then ran off like a literal thief in the night.
That robbery occurred almost two decades ago. Reading the newspaper and watching the local news of home invasions, subway near death beatings and women being brutally attacked in their homes, I am certain that my own personal fear is grounded and shared by a collective conscious of many women, who truly don’t feel safe in their environments. According to statistics from both the Violence Policy Center and the National Organization for Women (NOW), somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 2 minutes. In 2009, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner, which averaged to around three women per day. And of all the women murdered in the U.S., about one-third was killed by an intimate partner.Young women, low-income women and some minorities are disproportionately victims of domestic violence and rape, with African-American women facing higher rates of domestic violence and murder than white women.
Yet, conventional wisdom says that owning guns doesn’t necessarily make you less of a target for domestic violence, rape and murder. Even using our best preventive measures we learned as young girls, you cannot predict or even stop a perpetrator hell bent on causing harm. Likewise, women victims of domestic violence living with a gun in the home were three times as likely to be murdered as women who were not. Not to mention that from 2001 through 2007, over 4,900 people in the United States died from unintentional shootings, with 8% of such shooting deaths resulting from shots fired by children under the age of six. That’s why the decision to carry or have a gun in the household should not be taken lightly. And whether it’s a gun, martial arts, pepper spray, or learning how to stop a perpetrator by jamming the biggest key on your key ring in his/her eye, our self-defense is something that every woman shouldn’t take for granted neither.
And it appears that women are becoming a little more conscious to their safety concerns. A 2009 study has found 70 percent of shop owners are seeing more female buyers than ever before, as reported by the Washington Times. As of right now, I am not among those women, although I plan on owning a gun in the near future. Recently I found a letter stuffed into my mailbox from our district police department alerting us residents to a series of home burglaries in our neighborhood. The letter wanted us to be aware and take prevention measures. I will not say for sure that owning a gun would prevent someone from breaking into to my house when I’m not there however I really don’t want to be home alone in the house without a gun if a break-in happens too. It’s all about options, you know?
And while I am not a official gun owner, my brother and I have been going to the range since my 34th birthday to both practice target shooting and familiarize ourselves with firearms. This has given me a newfound respect for guns. Not necessarily because I feel powerful holding a pistol or revolver but because I now realize the immense responsibility that comes from being a gun owner.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
Ryan: “Man, the look you gave me afterwards…”
Denzel: “Yeah, it was a REAL look. Like what the f***!? [laughs]”
Ryan: “Well, if it was your first on-set black eye, I’m glad it was by an apologetic Canadian.”
If you’ve seen any of the advertisements and TV spots for the new film Safe House starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, and read the above correspondence, you probably noticed two things: for one, there is clearly a lot of eye candy for women of all ages in this film, okay? But secondly, there is a whole lot of action, including black-eye inducing car accidents like the one mentioned above, that will keep you fully engaged and sucked in. People are running on the tops of houses in the film, getting caught up in the craziest and most visually insane car chases (Ryan actually drove in a few of those scenes), there are knife fights, actual waterboarding (which Washington says he did with NO stunt double), knock down, drag out, swinging brawls…and Denzel. Sounds like a great Friday night flick right?
The two charming and charismatic actors went in depth about their characters during a press junket about the new film recently. Reynolds plays Matt Weston, the sitter of a South African safe house in which criminals are held for interrogation and protection. When his safe house is attacked by rebels hoping to capture ex-CIA agent Tobin Frost, Weston goes from simple house sitter to a pseudo-agent trying to track down, battle, and often protect Frost. Washington plays the rogue agent, who is both calculated, and at times, pretty sociopathic while trying to escape capture from the agency he turned his back on. In preparing for the role, Washington says he worked with CIA operatives and studied the behavior of sociopaths.
“There are different kinds of sociopaths, and they don’t have to all be violent. Many can just like to create chaos because it’s simply a power thing. A sociopath will do anything to win.”
And he sure does. Frost lies, imitates others, kills and goes through a lot more to be victorious in his complex situation. He’s the ultimate bad guy, but he’s bad for good reasons (I can’t go in depth as to why, you’ll have to find out on your own). If you’ve been pining to see Denzel go from good to bad again (because we loved it in Training Day and so did the Academy), but also want to see him get his Street Fighter on like in The Book of Eli, here’s your opportunity. There are so many twists and turns and acts of betrayal in this film, I found myself with the bug eyes many a time (until a swift knee in the back of my chair knocked me back into my senses). Plus, the small side story surrounding Weston’s relationship issues is intriguing–and so is that body Reynolds has may I add!
All in all, Safe House is a pretty good piece of work. I’m not a die-hard action fan so I didn’t go in with the highest expectations–however, I was pleasantly surprised. Aside from a few slower moments of talking every now and again, it’s very entertaining and will keep your attention throughout its 117 minutes. And even if you were to go in that joint sleepy, there’s no way you would you find yourself knocked out. There’s too much intense action and noise for all that. Oh yeah, and hotness…
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South Carolina has one the highest rates of domestic violence. In fact, it’s ranked seventh in the nation in terms of the number of women killed by men. More than 36,000 victims around the state report a domestic violence incident to law enforcement agencies annually, and last year more than 40 domestic violence victims were killed.
What gives? Perhaps the fact that 60 percent of relationship violence victims are not protected by domestic violence laws because they aren’t married or don’t live with their abusive partner. South Carolina is 1 of 8 states that only lets married or live-in couples seek orders of protection. On Wednesday, a house subcommittee heard testimony on legislation calling for an expansion of domestic violence laws in the state that would include dating couples so as to allow these victims to seek orders of protection from family court and judges to order abusive partners to attend a batterer treatment program, but the bill is receiving some push back.
As Rebecca Williams-Agee points out, getting an order of protection is better for dating violence than a regular restraining order because it acknowledges that violence has already occurred and that each subsequent incident has a higher chance of being lethal.
“If the victim has that order of protection on them, immediately showing that to police immediately takes that person to jail…. We like to think that increases their safety because it allows for that more immediate response.”
Concerns have been raised about who would enforce these stipulations because parties don’t come back to court unless an order of protection is violated, but Williams-Agee says that’s one of the advantages of the order—abusers don’t have further contact with the victim.
In a nation where single, un-married people are soon expected to become the majority in society, South Carolina and like-minded states would serve themselves well to get on board now. Considering how difficult it is for individuals to come forward about domestic abuse, the idea that they won’t receive protection when doing so compromises victims’ safety and could even lead to their death.
The state isn’t just behind in their thinking in terms of un-married couples, it also leaves minors and homosexuals without protection. A controversial section that would have allowed parents to file for orders of protective custody on behalf of minors was already taken out of the bill, but Williams-Agee and the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA) say they plan to fight for that change down the line considering the increase in violence perpetrated against women between the ages of 16 to 24. As difficult as it is for adult women to admit to being physically abused, there’s no telling the impact allowing parents to request orders of protection on behalf of their children could have on reducing repeat offences, not to mention the effect of battery treatment classes at an early age.
SCCADVASA and LGBTQ civil rights group South Carolina Equality also plan to oppose the bill if it doesn’t change its limited definition of a dating relationship as one that is only between a man and a woman. That stipulation leaves 120,000 South Carolinians unprotected and these organizations say gay couples have just as much a chance of being in abusive relationships as straight ones.
It seems South Carolina has been stuck in a very narrow-minded definition of abuse that its residents have suffered for, as evidence by their domestic violence ranking. If they want to keep themselves from becoming first in the nation in terms of violent abuse in relationships, they better consider expanding their legal criteria on this issue. Williams-Agee sums up the issue perfectly when she says, “the dynamics and the consequences of those kinds of relationships are the same whether you’re married or not [and] whether you’re living together or not.”
Do you think South Carolina should allow homosexual and heterosexual victims of dating abuse to seek orders of protection or should individuals have to be married or live-in partners? Do you think parents should be allowed to request orders of protection on behalf of minors?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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If other inner-city school districts are anything like the one I witness several days out of the week, it’s understandable why many parents are opting out of the education system completely for an opportunity to educate their children a variety of curriculum in the safety of their own home. More students are in the hallways than in the classroom nowadays (and that’s if they even bother coming to school at all). Political power plays leave educators and supporting staff who are actually invested in students unmotivated, powerless and in the worst case, jobless. Confusion and competition at the top of the education chain leads to a chaotic learning environment where students often fall at the losing end.
In my own childhood I had the chance to be both a student of a catholic school for 10 years (grades Pre-K to eight) and a high school student at a small magnet school in Philadelphia whose curriculum focused on college preparation and world relations. I often take for granted the advantage that having a solid, well-rounded basic education gave me. As a parent, you’d like to believe that everyday you’re sending your child to a place where for seven to eight hours a day they’re gaining the skills necessary to be critical thinkers and competitive players in the real world. Unfortunately, with all of the stories of sexual assault and molestation, violence and bullying, I often wonder how much learning is actually being achieved. We all know that children thrive on routine and structure, so I’m also troubled by the idea that many children who are already coming from unstable family situations can no longer find security and safety in the “typical school day.”
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The shooting occurred around 2:30 pm Friday in Brownsville, injuring an 11-year-old girl, striking a 31-year-old woman in the arm and chest, and ultimately killing 34-year-old Zurana Horton, as students were dismissed.
Police suspect that Horton, who had previously lost two brothers to gun violence, was in the wrong place at the wrong time—caught, unexpectedly, in the midst of a gang rivalry. At a march and vigil for the young mother’s passing, about 75 people chanted “Peace signs up. Put the guns down,” only to be interrupted by fighting between rivals of two separate housing communities.
It seems even in the midst of tragedy, death isn’t enough of a wakeup call for those who see violence as the only way. Very tragic. Our prayers are with her family.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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