No matter how you feel about our media driven-society, the one thing most of us agree upon is the fact that social media, in particular, often sheds light on issues that are other wise none of our business.
Had steak for lunch? None of our business.
Off to San Tropez? Interesting, but none of our business.
Got a new pair of shoes? None of our business.
Nice video of your kid singing the equally annoying and adorable song from the movie Frozen. Cute, but none of our business.
Got a video of your fiancé (allegedly) knocking you the heck out in an elevator? That too, is none of our business. Or, is it?
Is it our business to chime in when the media catches wind of personal issues that allegedly plague the NFL, NBA, MLB, and quite possibly a city, community, neighborhood, or (as in my case) family near you?
The personal story of Ray Rice and Janay Palmer could be arguably none of our business. But, the light that their story sheds on an issue that, if really considered, is tormenting the lives of so many women (and some men,) children and the family members that love them, should not be ignored. This is one of those issues that touch victims of every race, class, and political standing.
If only for a day, a week, or until the next big thing in news we are either blinded by the light of sensationalism or illumined and diluted by it; and formulate opinions that have no real purpose, we are culpable in the senseless violence that effects 24 people per minute.
I sat in audible silence, while scrolling down the feeds of my favorite social media outlets, as my internal dialogue screamed louder and louder in disgust.
"She hit him first!” “What did she think would happen?” “She should have left him a long time ago.” “She just ruined his career.” “She must have been with him for the money.”
As you have probably experienced in your own feeds, opinions are flooding the media.
All I could think about were the words that women who are victims of violence probably say to themselves, daily.
"I hit him first!” “What did I think would happen?” “I should have left him a long time ago.” “I could ruin his career.”
Those words torment them just as much as the actual violence. So, they stay. They endure. They suffer (in silence.) They continue to allow the abuse. And, the 75% of them that are killed while trying to leave? Well…
This issue hits home for me. Right now, as you’re reading this, I am devising a plan to try to save one of my close family members from being murdered by her husband. She has been in an abusive relationship for more than 16 years. Some may even categorize it as a mutually violent relationship. The video that has been shared over 900K times (the last time I checked) was title by some, “Mutual Attack involving…”
The problem I have with that categorization is that the women (more often than not) are the ones with the black eyes, broken and fractured limbs, reconstructive surgeries, tortured souls, and countless hospital visits. The women are forced to pack up their children and live in hiding and on the run. The women are left to explain the actions of their intimate partners as well as their very own actions to their children. The women are left to start over with little to no money and carry the shame of having stayed for so long.
I've figured it out! You know what IS actually NONE OF OUR BUSINESS? Blame. Fault is a shallow inquiry. Who started it? Who finished it? Who should take the fall? Blame is a pointless discussion.
By stating your purposeless opinions about Ray and Janay’s personal business, you are an extension of the torture- and an extension of the violence. You are adding to the shame, the sensationalism, and you are abusing them verbally. The truth is: your opinion doesn’t matter. Very few people actually care about what you think. Don’t let social media fool you into believing anything different. Another truth is: you really don’t care about Ray Rice or Janay Palmer. You don’t care if she’s safe and you don’t care that he will reportedly lose $3.529 million dollars.
If you are engaging in pointless talk and recklessly focused on blame, stop it. Now! Go find something else to do with your life and get out of the way so that the people who actually care can create a healthy dialogue that could spark a solution.
If you are the victim of domestic violence, there are people who love you and will not focus on blame- but on love. There is hope. There is help. Call The National Domestic Violence Hotline and get help today. 1800-799-7233.
Until next time, Love...
"Pursue something you freaking love!
And, the process that it will take you to get it, will be worth it."