Damn, He Got a Point: Why Do We Just Roll With Domestic Violence?

Earlier this week, TMZ released old surveillance footage where Quavo and Saweetie, now exes, got into an altercation. I’m still thinking about it. The video shows Saweetie hitting at Quavo, then Quavo pulling Saweetie into an elevator and towards the floor. Once he looks up in the corner, he see the camera and gets what’s up—there are eyes on them. He stops. She’s visibly hurt. But after a few moment both parties just walk out. Upon the release of this video I took stock of the public’s reaction. It was disappointing. I’m disappointed any time a situation like this arises, and no I don’t know what transpired prior but I always hope for us to be better. You’d like to think we’re making progress but it’s evident that we aren’t.

One hill that I will always be comfortable dying on is championing respectful treatment of women by men, specifically Black women by Black men. There are way too many times in which men are found to be aggressive or violent towards women where we seek to find excuses instead of making them culpable for their behavior and talking change.

While reading my Twitter timeline I noticed the usual schism of views that you generally see when domestic violence subjects arise. Usually people believe that you either shouldn’t lay hands on anyone at all, or people make distinctions on what counts as violence. Was it a tussle? Was it just a shove? I mean, does it really matter? I’ve always thought that if we go to those depths, it’s almost like splitting hairs. As men, I just don’t see the point in us feeling the need to impose our will physically on women. There isn’t anything to prove, it’s a selfish, ego driven, and hurtful act. 

This isn’t only about the Quavos or Deshaun Watsons of the world either. I hope those guys understand the errors of their ways and grow appropriately, but this whole situation is a reminder to all men about upholding the roles that we by play in our communities. I acknowledge that we all have different thresholds of patience. We also don’t have the same amount of self control. But amazingly, the majority of us don’t go around choking the bosses that we hate do we? We know when to exhibit restraint, so why do we not lean into that with our significant others? I’ll use myself as an example. I’m generally a very subdued guy, but disrespect or condescension can really set me off. Knowing this, I know that it’s important to remove myself from the situation. That can mean going back home on my own, leaving a room, choosing to give myself some time etc.

I happen to think that men (generally) are really good at noticing areas within themselves where they need to improve. If we feel we need to dress more fly, we see to it. If we know we could stand to lose some pounds, we get active. If we know we need to have income to maintain ourselves and actively date, the real men will make sure that will be done. Furthermore, the impetus many times for these improvements can be traced back to women generally. You want to be on point for yourself of course, but as a man you know you want to be solid for  the right women as well. That is only part of the role that we play in our communities.

As men, many of us want to protect and provide for those we value. We violate all of that by being aggressive or abusive. The reason I believe that we continuously see men, famous or not, behave this way is because they aren’t holding themselves to the right standard. To top that off, the other men around them aren’t holding them to the right standard either. So ultimately, we’ve cultivated this culture that lacks accountability, and that’s inexcusable.

If we aren’t protecting our families, our women, and advocating for their safety, what are we really good for? I often chuckle to myself because I feel like there’s a bunch of information my friends may not tell me because I’m not a yes man. I make it my business to tell them what I think they need to hear rather than what may always be pleasing to them. So if I think they’re slipping, I’ll say so, and I want the same from them.

It’s often said that if all of this abuse is happening to women, how is it possible that men never know who those men are? Therein lies the importance of your of male friends knowing where you stand on issues such as domestic violence. I can’t stop your behavior, but you know that I’ll definitely have something to say if I were to ever hear of any suspect emotional or physical abuse. There’s no other way for us to be better until the people around us express when they’ve been upset or disappointed by our actions. 

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Self control is a must, we’re adults. We can change our behavior, but if you don’t it’s only because you don’t want to. Your desire to change has to come from a place of purpose of self. That will be the only way that changed behavior has any chance of lasting. I’m not writing any of this to profess perfection from any of us, but this type of behavior is preventable if we make it a priority for it to be.

If you aren’t disappointed in Quavo’s lack of self control, you should be, if you aren’t, ask yourself why. My guess is that you’ve experienced or witnessed and have become desensitized. You will be judged by your behavior in the heat of the moment. Keep these things top of mind before you decide how to react when you’re angry. And to the ladies that this video or others like it may trigger, some men are out here trying to make sure that we’re better.

Kahlil is a writer, author, and content creator from Brooklyn, NY. He really thinks that you should be familiar with him by now, but if you aren’t, feel free to be. Follow his work on Instagram @Damnitpops and his thoughts and rants on Twitter @Damnpops 

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