How Did Black Women Become the Villians?

June 13, 2012  |  


By Kirsten West Savali

There is an epidemic in the African-American community that extends into our homes, relationships and throughout our religious institutions. That illness is the apathy towards abuse against our women and children by grown men who assert their physical power to physically and psychologically assault them.

This illness, in high definition in the recent case of Pastor Creflo A. Dollar, ranges from Stage 1, which is blind tolerance, all the way to the aggressive Stage 4, which is conscious support.  What becomes evident upon close examination is that many of us have taken three things from the Antebellum South and Civil Rights eras: The word “N***a,” Jesus, and the acceptance of physical abuse as a way of corrective punishment.

Let’s be clear: This is not an attack on the church at-large. To make such a narrow indictment would do the topic of ingrained abuse a grave injustice.  This goes deeper even than patriarchy. Because though that ugly word lies at the root of domestic violence around the globe and pre-dates this nation by hundreds of years, what we’re talking about is the fatal cocktail of gender, race and class that leaves black women disproportionately curled up into self-defensive balls in dark corners, and as Creflo’s 15-year-old stated in the 911 call, “scared” and not knowing “what to do.”

Read more about victim blaming in the black community at


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