Reflections on Kasandra Perkins and Jovan Belcher

What about Our Daughters? (WAOD)  has an excellent and important post about this tragedy, “The Crucifixion of Kasandra Perkins: Victim Blaming, Black Maternal Homicide and Stupidity.”  I co-sign her thoughts 100%. A bit more surprisingly,  Mike Lupica tackles similar ground in “Let us not forget Kasandra Perkins, who didn’t deserve to be gunned down by Jovan Belcher.”

Ignoring, even disappearing Ms. Perkins. Blaming her for her own death. Appalling and borderline evil.

Some reflections

Context matters. The numbers need to be repeated again and again so that no one can claim they didn’t know or forgot. “The University of Minnesota’s Institute on Domestic Violence in the African-American Community found that thought black women comprise 8 percent of the U.S. population, but in 2005 accounted for 22 percent of the intimate partner homicide victims and 29 percent of all women victims of intimate partner homicide.” (h/t Clutch Magazine)

I was deeply saddened by Mr. Belcher’s final words to his coach. His gratitude to the Kansas City Chiefs organization struck me as sad. Understandable, but somehow pathetic.

The comments section of WAOD reminded me of a long ago meeting I attended at US, Maulena Karenga’s organization. They were deeply respectful of each other during debate. To my ears, almost comically so.  “If I understand you correctly, my sister…” Now I get it. Sarcasm and acrimony make it impossible for us to hear each other, but it’s more than that. We wind up wounding each other again, while the problem remains unsolved. Where do we wind up? More deeply divided, with deepened despair about our  ever being able to solve our problems.

Misdirected and squandered our anger is eating us alive and making us impotent.

20 years ago, a black feminist whose name I’ve forgotten wrote that black men and women would never be able to get together unless black men acknowledged sexism and black women understood the toll that racism, in particular, white men take on black men. That gap still feels impossibly wide.


About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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