I remember when I was working as a lowly PR grunt representing a bagel company and trying to get a mention on the “Opie and Anthony” show when they were based in San Diego. I thought it was just a regional thing, but imagine my surprise that over time these shock jocks dominated the radio waves nationwide. Infamous for their raunchiness and disgusting stunts that they manipulate fans into doing, the twosome have been repeatedly fired from one station after another, only to pop up like ragweed at some other money-grubbing station hungry for ratings. That’s why I’m not holding my breath about the news that Anthony Cumina (aka the “Anthony” portion of the duo” has been fired from XM Radio for his racist rant toward a black woman in New York City who apparently got the best of him with her fists.
Cumina’s firing comes as a surprise to me, because from experience, XM has sort of an “anything goes” mentality. On the surface this might look like a win for black women. But upon a closer look, not exactly. Secondly, I wouldn’t start doing victory laps about this guy getting fired. History tells us that he’ll most likely pop up somewhere else. FoxNews is probably doing preliminary interviews and audience market testing.
Was this a Win for Us??
Well yes; and no. Depends. Ask yourself, what benefit is it to black women to have the imagine as combative, neck- twirling tough chicks who can kick your ass or castrate you with our tongues?
Right or wrong, this entire incident and the black woman’s understandable anger fits nicely into the narrative that black women are unfeminine, ready-to-fight she-beasts unworthy of protection–at least not like other women are. Black women are no longer human–we are “its.” It’s used to justify violence against black women because after all, we’re willing to scrap like men, so we should be ready to be beat down like men. All the You Tube fight videos of young black girls and women fighting like alley cats just reinforces the stereotype. And can we just be honest? The appropriate response to a person taking pictures of you against your will is NOT to punch him ten times. The appropriate response to that kind of harassment is the contact the police and remove yourself from the scene. If you feel safe enough, take out YOUR camera and record HIM harassing you. Ladies, it is NOT okay to punch a man (black, white, red all over I care not) that pisses you off unless you’re ready to get a severe beating or get yourself killed. So many black women think they are supposed to fight like men, and the behavior is often positively reinforced within the community. But it’s my opinion that a woman should never fight unless it’s in defense of her life or her person–so yes; get some martial arts training. Just don’t use it to drop kick someone just because you don’t like the way he looks at you. Like it or not, this is a patriarchy. If you act manly, you will lose your feminine privilege, and no “knight in shining armor” will come riding in on his white horse to defend your honor. Get mad if you like, but I don’t make the rules.
EDITING TO ADD BECAUSE SOMEONE THINKS I’M VICTIM BLAMING: Let me be clear. I’m not blaming this woman. I’m using the reaction as a teachable moment. IF what Anthony said was true, and she punched him, then yes I think it was inappropriate. In turn, I also think it’s inappropriate AND dangerous for a woman to get in a man’s face and cuss him out. You have no idea what strangers are capable of. George Zimmerman comes to mind.