marriage does not guarantee happiness or protection for black women

April 13, 2017

By Asher Primus*, AFROPUNK Contributor

I was saddened to learn that both the shooter and one of the victims in the San Bernardino school shooting on Tuesday were Black. You would think the media would jump on the case since the confirmed gunman was a Black male, and probably wouldn’t get much defense. Yet there hasn’t been much energy put into uncovering the breaking-point for Cedric Anderson, and the coverage on the Black victim herself is even more scarce.

So, I had to read up on the gunman’s ideology myself. What stood out to me the most was that he was married to the victim. Yes, it sounds very simple and vague, but along me to explain why this is important.

Black women are told constantly that marriage automatically leads to happiness. Black men hold an unaccountable belief that Black women have to earn the eligibility of their gaze. Black women are being accepted into the country’s top institutes at higher rates, yet they are disrespected on social media for the notion that they cannot measure to wife material because of their weave and their lust for bad boys.

There is a gaslighting perception that as long as a Black man is not sagging his pants, has graduated from a PWI, and he is conscious or religious then this by default labels him as a “Good Black Man.” Black women in religious or conscious faith groups are shamed and pressured to ignore the signs of abuse because being a divorcee or single mother could tarnish their respectability/reputation.

Often times in Black male dominated circles, it is hard to talk about the faults and accountability that Black men have to accept. Jamilah Lemieux and Amber Cole were discredited by Black men for being featured on the Breakfast Club as they cited statistics that Black men were the 2nd leading cause of death to Black women. Many Black men gave rebuttals on men’s rights blogs blaming feminism for spreading “fake news.”

Even years ago, responding to street harassment affecting Black women in New York, Feminista Jones’ hashtagged #YOUOKSis on Twitter and it was interrupted by Black men saying that it was a feminist conspiracy to lock Black men up. Yet when I witnessed street harassment twice on the city bus I did not see white men running and chasing down Black men to lock them up.

In these times, I get annoyed and angry with the Black community for being so focused on men and women staying together due to the fear of being forced to stay apart, but staying together without fixing issues only leads to abuse.

*Asher Primus is a graduate of Augusta University majoring in Communication with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. While in Augusta University, they were a part of Black Student Union, The Initiative, Thinktools Inc., and Women’s and Gender Studies Association. Their hobbies are video gaming and blogging.