Why I Have Mixed Feelings About the Firing of the Co-Host of the “Opie & Anthony” Show

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.

Here’s a few screen caps of his live-time play-by-play. Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 10.56.33 AM Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 10.56.59 AM Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 10.57.24 AM

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.

 

65 comments
juniebjones
juniebjones

I am having a hard time believing his story.  I never listened to the show and never will (no satellite radio, nooooo interest) but there are so many holes in his version.  Where is the woman in the picture? Why doesn't she come forward and tell her version?

IAOSingleMoms
IAOSingleMoms

& just from his rants...I would assume that he instigated it all...he sounds like the violent one here.

IAOSingleMoms
IAOSingleMoms

A part of me feels at odds with this entire debacle as Cumia could also be inflating the actions of the black woman and his out right racist comments makes it hard to believe his entire story as it appears that his view existed well before this encounter and we all know...racists of his ilk already have a distorted view of black people in general.

IAOSingleMoms
IAOSingleMoms

"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." - I could never quite put my finger on why black women seemed to lead in these types of public humiliation online "fights" where the men are pounding the black woman while other men watch...we truly are unprotected.  

"FoxNews is probably doing preliminary interviews and audience market testing." - And why would Fox News want to be involved?

mystikspiral
mystikspiral

I wonder how badly this dude wanted out of his contract with Sirius XM so he could focus on his own "Live from the Compound" show.


It would be a most perfect plan to fabricate a controversy (make it racial for extra clicks!), make inflammatory comments, get fired, and play the noble victim forced to go his own way in this "New America"...


ETA: Were there ANY witnesses to this incident? Is everything known about this incident based on his testimony alone? Hm.

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden

Cumia was fired for using racist language, not for whatever that Black woman did (or did not do) to him.  Yes, I consider it a win.  Let his racist butt find another forum, which I'm sure he will.  I have no problem with racist speech being relegated to a tiny corner where racists can shout among themselves, i.e., Stormfront.  Siruis XM had the right to make a business decision and fire someone who was hurting their bottom line or who they found to be embarrassing for his racist rants.  


And while the Black woman in question is being portrayed as a fighter by Cumia, I have no reason to believe what he alleged is true.  Why didn't he call the police if she threatened to beat him up or if she actually assaulted him?  Good riddance to him.

Driving Miss Britt
Driving Miss Britt

I had to think about this post for a while, I think I disagree and agree with you. First, I disagree because I am mainly exhausted at the memo that black people, particularly black women, have to be robotic in our feelings and personhood of making sure we do, say, and act “right” (particularly in the face of adversity especially when justifiable) because we don’t want “others” to stereotype us as x, y and z. I think this line of thinking ignores the social structures, perception and hierarchy at play that usually don’t favor us to begin with since I highly doubt that this jerk and others like him thought highly of black women prior. I think that is putting a Band-Aid on the symptom of (not wanting to reinforce the stereotype…which I agree nobody should want to reinforce a stereotype) instead of questioning the syndrome of those who forms and holds onto these stereotypes. Furthermore, black people, particularly women, are human too. And just like any other human being sometimes we don’t react well or do the right things under duress.


I agree nobody should go around fighting/assaulting people particularly women against men because 9/10 we will end up on the losing side of a violent altercation. Nor should fighting be your first instinct but that depends on the situation. (Disclaimer: I do NOT believe that this woman’s first response was to hit him). I think what is glaring missing is HIS privilege of not being white but a male (i.e. thinking he could get away with being a racist to black women and a pervert to all women), which is a big part of the narrative being ignored from the articles and comments I read about this incident.


Yet, I DO agree that black women as a whole need to reassess what it means to not only be a woman but feminine and being comfortable displaying and accepting that femininity (though I don't think the lady in this incident had that problem because she looked great in her dress and heels!). Often times, people think femininity = being weak, being the damsel in distress or subservient when that is NOT the case.

Tammy_Ghalden
Tammy_Ghalden

It's just so much easier to pepper spray people. I bought this pepper spray from the Academy that leaves a pink stain on the perpetrator making it easy for law enforcement to identify him/her. As Christelyn said, you should run first if you can. If I can't run, I either have my gun, pepper spray, or a pocket knife. I'm also thinking about getting a Taser. 

ttyl203
ttyl203

My question is....if he felt so threatened how did he have the time to snap pictures of her and tweet about it instead of calling the police? And if you closely read the words in his rant, it is obvious that it came from a person who already had a deep seated hatred towards black people, even before this incident occurred. I hate the idea that I am supposed to take mistreatment quietly, in the fear of "showing my blackness." If I retaliate or respond angrily to being provoked, it is not because I'm black, it's because I'm a human. Should physical retaliation be my first response: HELL NO. I wasn't raised to throw fist in response to a disagreement, or yell/curse in a man's face because I am smarter than that. For the most part it is better to just get away and alert the authorities. However depending on the situation if someone is physically or verbally harrassing me, I will respond accordingly. I will not let the fear of whether or not I'm fulfilling a stereotype allow me to get hurt.

sparel
sparel

I've seen the picture, and it's obvious he was taking pictures of her. 

Vivaforever
Vivaforever

And just to be clear, this man IS indeed a racist piece of crap. For that alone I can see why people are cheering the BW on. No one really cares about whether the racist guy was hurt or not; he deserves no sympathy. 

The issue is that the BW did not KNOW he was racist--she didn't know who he was at all (it could have been an idiotic prankster) when she decided to get into a physical altercation with him. Try to disengage who he is from her actions; imagine him a completely unknown person. Can we at the very least acknowledge that it was a risky move for HER? That she comprised her safety by engaging with a man who could have been a loon ready to pop her for even coming towards him? It's awful that she was disrespected by that creeper, but her response was just not a smart move. 

stephanie88
stephanie88

I had a situation when I was walking home from the hair salon one evening and I walked past this short Hispanic guy and he grabbed my breast.  At first I wanted to hit him, but then I thought it "what if he has a gun?" so I got away and felt stupid.  Why? Because I honestly did not know what to do.  It's hard to know in the moment.  I know that I wasn't severely attacked or anything, but the situation left me feeling unsafe and angry. I told a few friends (some thought it was no big deal) while others said I should report it so I did.  The police woman said she heard about that guy before and thanked me.  My point of this story is that I understand it's not in your best interest to fight someone or provoke them if they haven't touched you, but what if they had and it wasn't violent, but invasive? One friend of mine said she would have smacked him, but I was afraid to do that. I don't know. There are gray areas so it's best to use your judgement. Don't get up in somebody's face but be prepared if your life is in danger and it's self defense.  I don't want to give up my feminine privilege either I just want to know where the lines of acceptable behavior are drawn.  Black women have a horrible stereotype of being quick to anger and fighting everyone. I don't want to be seen that way but I also want to retain the right to protect myself too.  I hope this makes sense. 

Maxine
Maxine

Guy has a history of vile, angry, racist rants castigating black people. He is a white supremacist period.  There is no evidence he was assaulted by her (police report?  witnesses?  photos or video?  none), but is using that as an excuse to dehumanize black women, call us savages and sacks of meat.  He was already so filled with hate that a black woman objecting to being photographed and made fun of--mouthing off and maybe taking a swat that may or may not have landed on him--is used as an excuse to promote racial hatred.  There is nothing she could've done or not have done to been seen as a human in his eyes.  No, zero mixed feelings.  Screw him to high heaven.

Lala88
Lala88

My concern is that we are always talking about how black women aren't respected and protected by bm or society at large, well that leaves us to defend us. I don't know all of the details but if someone was following me, I see that as a threat! If someone is calling me out of my name that is embarrassing and verbally abusive and I have a right to defend my honor! It may not always be physical and using physical force may not be my first resort but dammit I WILL PROTECT MYSELF AT ALL COSTS! So maybe he deserved it, idk but if he did deserve it then I feel no shame as a black woman and I feel absolutely no remorse for him! I think there is danger in caring too much about if you are or aren't portraying a stereotype if the situation calls for a particular action.

Vivaforever
Vivaforever

I agree with you, Christelyn. Personally, if someone feels threatened by a stranger taking pics of them (and I would feel threatened too), the best course of action is to get away from that person as quickly as possible and/or notify the police. I never understand people, and especially women, who are bold enough to lay hands on a stranger who didn't touch them first (assuming that guy was telling the truth which, judging by some of the pictures of the BW coming toward him, is highly likely). And tbh I mostly see this with BW who are ready to pop off at a moment's notice, apparently without thinking of the consequences of getting into it with a perfect stranger...who could have a gun or other weapon to use against them! I saw another prank video by idiots who were taking selfies while pretending to take pics of black people in the hood, and these guys were also physically assaulted by mostly BM. The fighting stereotype does much worse damage to black women's image though.
Taking pictures of people in a public space is distasteful, yes, but not illegal; however, assault is. In that case, the BW would have lost out if she called the cops after this; if she had called before, maybe they could have done something for her. So I don't know who is telling some of these ever-ready fighters that it's okay to touch perfect strangers even if not in self-defense, but they are leading them down the wrong path.  I just wish that some BW would utilize the appropriate resources or responses other women use when they feel they are under threat. Even getting hysterical ("oh my gosh, why are you taking pictures of me??!!/ I don't know you!" or something like that), but not touching him, to draw attention and help would have been a good course of action. The image of the black woman who doesn't need protection because she's always ready to protect herself, or who's ready to throw hands with a man over even a minor offense, does not serve black womanhood.

zipporah
zipporah

speaking of being labeled an 'it',

today, there was this hwy patrol man creep, who was beating a dark skinned homeless BW outside on Interstate 10 in LA, 

I'm thankful someone recorded it, BUT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER if someone tried to stop it.

she was badly bruised when they found her---i still believe, the guy who filmed it could have been close enough to try to stop this.

Maxine
Maxine

@mystikspiral "ETA: Were there ANY witnesses to this incident? Is everything known about this incident based on his testimony alone? Hm."


He claimed in his tweets that five black guys jumped in to defend this woman that allegedly hit him.  So here we have an altercation of six black people jumping one white person on a busy New York street and nobody has a cell phone camera?

SirLoinDeBeef
SirLoinDeBeef

@Tammy_Ghalden 

Pepper spray is OK, but I personally prefer bear spray - MUCH stronger & shoots 30' away, in calm wind.

I have one at home, one in the car and one in my motor-scooter.

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden

@ttyl203 This was not the first time that Cumia has made anti-Black comments.  My only question is why did Sirius XM decide to fire him for this particular incident.  Maybe it was the final straw breaking the camel's back.  Will be interesting to see who replaces him.

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden

@Vivaforever How do you know that the Black woman got into a physical altercation with him?  Beyond his baseless claim, are there any witnesses?  Why didn't he call the police?  I don't believe a word he says.

dani-BBW
dani-BBW

@Vivaforever We are taking his word for it that there was even a physical altercation or that she initiated it. All she could have done was grouchily asked or told him to stop taking pictures of her and he could have gotten in her face (he has that bombastic, aggressive personality coupled with a pre-existing simmering rage and racism toward black people). if this happened in Times Square when it was very crowded it would be easy for it to escalate, because it isn't easy to immediately get away in a throng of people without there being some sort of physical contact. Until there's independent corroboration of what happened, I completely do not believe his version of events because he's a loose cannon.

dani-BBW
dani-BBW

@stephanie88 You completely did the right thing in getting away and reporting it to the police.

427cielos
427cielos

@stephanie88 To me it's sad that a man can violate you and you have to fear reacting because of the fear that he might be able to kill you. What kind of crap is that? Ughhhhh. Makes me angry to no end.

Lili2009
Lili2009

@stephanie88  I'm so sorry that happened to you, stephanie88. You did the brave thing to step forward and report. And if you read my previous post, walking away was the RIGHT THING to do according to a famed martial arts school where I took self-defense classes. The WRONG thing would be to turn and slap or punch the guy. You get the hell out of there for your own safety.

Christelyn
Christelyn moderator

@stephanie88 Honestly I think for safety reasons that best resort is to RUN. Why has running away become so UNfashionable? Get a description, call the police. Don't try to fight men! All it does is ESCALATE the situation and encourage powerless men to brutalize you! You are not wrong for running! I wish more women would run instead of thinking they need to prove something or "check" somebody. Too many of us are dying for that. IT'S NOT WORTH IT.

Lala88
Lala88

You totally make sense there have been times when I was totally caught off guard and just wanted to get away. There were times that I was so afraid that fight or flight kicked in and I went to work fighting back. I think you just know in the moment! Other factors play into it as well such as past experiences and simply how you're feeling that day! I feel it's best to report it no matter what or at least tell someone you trust.

Christelyn
Christelyn moderator

@Maxine But the other part of that is that it really doesn't matter if he's a racist, or he's been fired. He'll be re-hired like they always do. That's the second part of why I have mixed feelings. There's no real and lasting consequence.

sparel
sparel

@Lala88 I wouldn't be surprised that she hit him because he called her an n word

Christelyn
Christelyn moderator

@Vivaforever And that is all I'm saying. I'm sorry if it makes folks mad because I'm not "you go-girling" this woman who could have very well getting herself KILLED, but we don't live in the land of Unicorns and Glitter. 

Christelyn
Christelyn moderator

@blusoul Like I said, this isn't about blaming this victim. In general terms, it is a VERY BAD IDEA to goad a stranger into an argument or engage in fist-to-cuffs, especially for black women, a generally unprotected group. But hey, if you think it's okay to cuss someone out because they annoy you, and that person may or may not be crazy and/or armed with a gun, then by all means, go with God.

Justme65
Justme65

@zipporah 

Mr. Diaz filmed that incident on the I-10.  Well, he couldn't have called the police because the bad guys ARE the police.  Mr. Diaz was brave enough in revealing his name because who knows what grief the police will give him by coming forth with the video. Let's just thank him for as much as he exposed. 

SirLoinDeBeef
SirLoinDeBeef

@zipporah 

"I'm thankful someone recorded it, BUT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER if someone tried to stop it."

Please, please, stop and think about this statement - if 'someone' had tried to stop it, the officer would have been well with his rights as a LEO to turn, draw his/her service weapon and fire upon that person.

OK, there will be a hearing about his beat-down behavior, and possibly another hearing based on this hypothetical situation - well and good.

But that does the 'someone,' down and bleeding in the street, perhaps disabled for life or dead, no good at all.

Please, I personally ask you, discuss this hypothetical with an attorney AND a LEO that you personally know, before you speak or write on this topic again.

zipporah
zipporah

oh and yes, it was a man beating a woman similar to the Rodney King fiasco, and no one is rioting..so, it only when BM are treated like this, that people riot?..hmmm

Vivaforever
Vivaforever

@dani-BBW @Vivaforever  You're right, he could have said or did some foul things in her face when she told him to stop taking pics. I had assumed like 99% of racist people he would be too cowardly to express his racism directly/face-to-face to the people he hates, but judging by his twitter tirade it's possible he did. In that case, I could understand why someone might have a go at him although it would have been safer to not do so.

And if HE didn't call the cops after the alleged assault, then he probably is trying to cover something up too including the possibility that things didn't go down like he claimed they did. At least one good thing came of this...his firing and public exposure as the racist that he is. I think that since this is getting more national attention (hadn't heard of this guy or the radio show before this situation), this will perhaps shut him down once and for all. Or at least make it more risky for people to hire him (since companies don't want to be associated with overt racists), and thus less likely to hire him.

stephanie88
stephanie88

@Lili2009 @stephanie88

Thank you for saying I was brave for reporting the incident and that I did the right thing by running.  I agree with both you and Chris that it was the safest thing to do.  Thank you!

stephanie88
stephanie88

@Christelyn  @stephanie88


Thanks for replying.  I understand that running is the safest resort, but not one that is embraced by a lot of black women.  The reason I felt wrong and bad for running is because I felt powerless afterward and then my friend saying she would hit him... But now I see that I did the best thing and I don't regret it.  It probably saved my life.  Thanks!

Leille
Leille

Running may make you further victim... Run and yell for help!

Lili2009
Lili2009

@Christelyn  @stephanie88  Right on, Christelyn!  I took self-defense courses at a well-known martial arts academy. Among the TOP things they teach everyone is RUN if someone pulls a gun, tries to grab you, or even manages to assault you by grabbing a part of your body. Run and call the police because you really do not know if the person has a gun or anger enough to do real damage.  So, yes, interestingly enough, a place teaching self-defense was telling us women to run like hell instead of fight (basically, if you are grabbed, etc. use one of the techniques they teach and if you are able to then get away, GO and don't turn and start pounding the attacker out of anger, revenge, etc.

stephanie88
stephanie88

@Lala88 Thanks for your response, and I agree about reporting the incident no matter what.  And yes, there are times that you are caught off guard and just want to get away. I've had subway incidents like that. A guy ran his hands through my hair as if we knew each other and were on a date.  Again I left the situation, but I never reported it because I was embarrassed to.  Simply because it was invasive but I wasn't physically harmed. As a woman, I've had incidents that were not exactly violent but violated my personal freedom to feel safe. I also agree to always tell someone you trust.  Thanks again!

Christelyn
Christelyn moderator

@sparel @Lala88 Okay but say she did hit him because he called her that. While those are "fighting words" and totally justified anger, is it a good idea to HIT a stranger? No. That can literally get you killed. Sometimes it's just plain foolish to stand your ground. 

Bellaventa
Bellaventa

@Christelyn  @Vivaforever I don't think anyone is asking you to "You Go Girl" anyone in this story, Christelyn. This is your website and you are entitled to your opinion. 


I wish we could have heard from the woman herself with her side of the story. Then again, she also could have lawyered up and is preparing to go full court press on Monday, hence her silence. Who knows?  


And can I just say that I have always hated the phrase "You Go Girl?" Talk about stereotypical behavior and/or expectations from Black women....ugh. 

Christelyn
Christelyn moderator

@SirLoinDeBeef @zipporah Yeah...no. While I'm grateful for law enforcement, I'm not naive. That kind of power is a magnet for psychopaths. Getting involved in police business could very well get you killed. Some folks are all, "Shoot first ask questions later." 

sparel
sparel

@zipporah if my memory serve me right, people riot only after the trial.  I wish people would just stop reaching.

SirLoinDeBeef
SirLoinDeBeef

@Leille 

I was told, many years back, that 'yelling for help' actually does very little, because folks-just-don't-wanna-get-involved.

Think of what you do when you hear a car alarm go off - do you go over to check out what the potential armed thief is doing with the car? ... or quietly walk away and/or cross the street? ... 'cause it's not your car!

Yell FIRE ... scream GUN ... cry BOMB.

That gets their attention.

Then yell for help.

dani-BBW
dani-BBW

@Lili2009 @Christelyn  @stephanie88 I agree Lili. I've taken police led women's self-defense courses as well and they are designed for you to create enough space (through inflicting pain on your attacker, knocking him off balance, etc) to run away. Every technique ended with getting free and running away. 

Lala88
Lala88

Yes even if I didn't report an incident I told ppl I trusted to rid myself of shame and anxiety. You as the victim shouldn't be ashamed the person who violated you should feel shame.

Lala88
Lala88

I don't think that's what we are using as an example. I've been called a lot of things without reacting. But follow me, get too close to me, or touch me and it's a different story!

sparel
sparel

@Christelyn  @sparel @Lala88 I completely agree with you.  I'm very liberal in this conversation just like you.  I'm at both ends of the spectrum.  She shouldn't have hit him that's what really happened, but he's not the innocent one either (not that you thought he was).  I just think that guy needs sociological evaluation.  It doesn't excuse either of their behavior (if what he said was true).

Side note: I do applaud you for opening up a discussion and going against the grain and having an unpopular opinion. I for one have to side with her based on the no evidence he has.  and the fact that she's a black woman lol.