Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Red Stories #17 - Call the brothas? Call the police?

For those of you who have been following this blog you may remember my Red Stories. They are a series of poems, conversations, thoughts about domestic violence. I began posting them because it seemed like for a period in my life it seemed like everywhere I turned the topic came up. My Godmother told me that things happen to artists because we tell it. So the thing that kept happening, and I mean KEPT happening was that it seemed I couldn't go ANYWHERE without being in the middle of a domestic violence conversation. So, I started Red Stories.

I was in a conversation with a group of brothas who were talking about why we don't need the police in our homes. The "our" in the conversation is in reference to black people. They weren't referring to all black people, but to those of us in "the community." Yeah, the community, where we barter incense for soap, poets are the preachers, jazz is alive, I think you get it. Anyway, the topic came up about domestic violence (of course) and whether the sistas should let the brothas handle the brotha or should she call the police.

Dear sistas, if you are ever in this situation, please call the police. I know you wanna be down for your people but if a brotha is beating you up you may need more than the brothas from the community dealing with him.

I say this especially because if this is a situation happening repeatedly you will need legal documentation such as your police filing to help you. If you are standing in court pleading your case about how long the situation has been going on, police records are what the judge is going to be looking for, not statements from the brothas.

Yes, there is value in service of the brothas. I am tired though, tired of hearing stories about women being beaten, killed, kicked, burned...tired of it. What the brothas can do though is start a dialogue about stopping the abuse. Is is just that easy? Probably not. But it's a start.

My two cents.

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