Jay Z and Solange gained more than the attention of Atlanta, New York or Chicago they gained the attention of the world. It wasn’t a case of domestic abuse, a brother beating down a sister or murdering her in this particular moment captured on film. But domestic violence does lead to the murder of African American women at an alarming rate. The assault on Jay Z might be a teachable moment for all those who coach, prosecute, defend and are abused by domestic violence.
Obviously the support of a bodyguard does help, but the fact that Jay Z appears to present himself in a way that he would never attack or defend the fact that he had to use brute force against Solange. Our egos as men and as brothers, husbands and fathers must not allow us to abdicate the respect that we have for a situation that could be out of control for only moments.
This moment with Jay Z and Solange allows us to see that a man does not have to feel that he has lost anything related to his ego, self-esteem or dignity as a man when he is abused and does not retaliate.
As men we must not allow our egos cause us to disrespect, fight, bruise or black any woman’s eye. These are our sisters, who might in a moment of rage lash out verbally or physically, but we black men have to exercise self-control when we are attacked or made to feel worthless; we can’t respond in kind.
Jay Z, without hearing or knowing what was said, appears to respond calmly to the comments that were made.a And that is a teachable moment of how a man should handle an act violence perpetrated against him by a woman. One does not have to brutalize another person who could be saying hateful things or even acting out. There was no weapon, there was no gun, and they were in an elevator. People are engaging in domestic violence in their homes and their children are watching, and learning.
Domestic abuse must be removed from the urban community. This was a problem in a private moment that obviously went public, but there are far too many private moments where domestic violence ends up with a call to the police, which ends up with a brother being toted off to jail. Which ends up with a father, son, family and children assuming that fighting and violently abusing women, sisters, mothers, girlfriends, lovers is tolerable. Domestic abuse is an issue in our community; domestic violence is an issue in our community.
Mainly from this Jay Z moment the discussion can be less about why, and how and more about the fact that there was no violence and the peace that many from New York and Chicago to Detroit and Atlanta is what we need. African American men, Hispanic men and men in general can take the position that fighting and abusing women is not a part of dignified behavior, creates no motive of physical abuse of any woman: mother, sister lover.
We must strengthen ourselves emotionally as men so that we can deal rationally with people who might say or do things that affect us or hurt our egos or lead us not to trust them. These things cannot lead us to take our hands, arms, fist, knives and guns and aim them toward anyone. Instead, we must be introspective about who we are, remain dignified in what we do and if we are hurt, express the emotions with someone outside of the individual who has left us with this emotion that leaves us hurt. “By any means necessary” as Malcolm X has said. We need to respect ourselves. By any means necessary we need to be in control, not let anger or jealousy, envy or any other tool of destruction affect who and exactly what we are as men.
A moment of praise for Jay Z and all men who choose not to harm or participate in domestic abuse and violence. We love our mothers, sisters, lovers, wives and girlfriends. Peace