Written by Nicole
Social media has lit up after (white) football player Chad Wheeler assaulted his (black) girlfriend within an inch of her life, then proceeded to have dinner next to her lifeless body. This savage attack was allegedly as a result of her not “bowing to him”. Thankfully she survived, and Chad was arrested. He has been fired from the Seattle Seahawks, and now faces charges of first-degree domestic violence assault, domestic violence unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest. He will enter a plea at his arraignment, scheduled for February 9. My sincerest hope is that those charges are upgraded to attempted murder, that he is sentenced to jail for a very long time, and never gets the opportunity to see, much less injure, another woman ever again.
Because the perpetrator was white, and the victim was black, the discussion about this incident had a notably different feel. While there has been rallying around the victim, and calls for Wheeler’s punishment to be swift and severe, the conversation has rapidly devolved into fake concern.
I’m not talking about the contingent of men literally rejoicing that a black woman was nearly beaten to death, saying that was the cost of “switching sides”, “swirling gone wrong”, and so on. Nor am I discussing the fervor with which people demanded everyone to “keep the same energy” as when black males are the perpetrator. The goal for that group is to abuse with impunity, not get justice for victims. The fake concern from black women was definitely more disturbing. Because the perpetrator was somewhat famous, this incident would naturally get more press. However, violence against black women is nothing new, and is a HUGE problem, even when the perpetrator is nonwhite and non-famous.
However, if violence against black women is the main concern, why did it take a white male beating a black woman to stir the masses to action? Even the CDC knows that domestic violence is a problem, having reported data on this for quite some time. Here are a few statistics that are frequently referenced on the blog:
Homicide is the #2 cause of death in black girls and women aged 0 to 19, and the #4 cause of death in black women aged 20-44. The CDC goes further, stating black women have a homicide rate of 4.4 per 100,000 women. Indian/Alaska Native American have a homicide rate of 4.3 per 100,000. Asian, Latina and white women are killed at the rates of 1.2, 1.8, and 1.5 per 100,000 respectively. Furthermore, a whopping 76.6% of black female homicide victims were in a relationship with their killer.
With those numbers being so high, the concern for battered black women should have been far higher, before this incident went viral. By this point we all probably know someone who has been harmed as a result of domestic violence, or wouldn’t have to look far to find one. So how come this particular incident is the one it took to shine a light on this problem?
On December 3, 2020, Black Femicide – US, a Facebook page dedicated to documenting the murders of black women and girls, marked 1000 murders of black women and girls for 2020 to date. According to their research, a black woman is murdered every eight hours. That’s three women per day, every day. Alternately, that’s 20 black women per state.
And January 2021 has continued the trend, with at least THIRTY black women and girls murdered before the month was over. The same week as this incident, a black woman was murdered by her son because she asked him to get a job. The same week, a black woman had her face mauled for declining advances when she went to buy some wine. And the very same week, a 17 year old male opened fire and murdered six people in his home, including children as young as 13, a pregnant woman and her unborn baby. The outrage with these incidents simply does not match. You can check out the Black Femicide – America Twitter feed or their Facebook page for news articles covering these cases.
Because these atrocities against black women are so frequent, why then is the Wheeler case getting more outrage?
Let me be clear.
Lock Chad up, burn the key, and salt the ashes. Let him serve as a lesson that violence against black women is unforgivable and will land you in jail, no matter the team you play for.
I am merely pointing out the difference in responses from black women when it comes to violence against us depending on the race of the perpetrator. Is it that intraracial violence “doesn’t count”, since all races of men engage in domestic violence?
Not one but two visitors to the blog requested the Chad Wheeler case be covered. Most of our engagement takes place on the blog’s Facebook page, so for two different people to ask was noteworthy. For reference, Christelyn has covered it here. The verbiage was “make sure you talk about this”, which made me take pause.
I have discussed similar cases at length in the past, including black femicide, sexual abuse in the black community, and our pain being the perpetual punchline. Discussions of violence against black women is not uncommon on the blog.
It is a strange phenomenon, that black women who encourage character over color are supposed to account for events like this. I never see anyone asking Black Love proponents to account for when black women are hurt or die by a black man’s hand. Perhaps this is a scare tactic to keep black women race loyal no matter what.
Nowhere on this blog will you see any writer say “just pick any random white guy”. Absolutely not. ALL MEN must be vetted, across the board. And, ALL MEN can pose a threat to women. Clearly Chad has NO CHARACTER and I sincerely hope his career is over, retribution is swift and relentless, and that his victim heals rapidly. Violence is violence, no matter who carries it out. Abuse is still abuse, irrespective of the melanin content of the abuser.
ALL MEN who beat or murder women LACK CHARACTER and should be avoided at all costs.
Once more, let me again state that I AM NOT DEFENDING CHAD’S MURDEROUS ACTIONS. I hope his years in prison are long, difficult, and more painful than what he did to his victim. But if violence against black women is the real reason that everyone is angry here, let us be consistent – it should not take an interracial assault from a semi-famous football player to stir us to action.
Additionally, eliminate athletes from your dating prospects. I AM IN NO WAY BLAMING THE VICTIM FOR WHAT HAPPENED TO HER. These domestic violence incidents are way too common among male athletes, and as a collective, they should be axed as potential suitors. The NFL in particular has a lot of domestic violence arrests in their roster. Income is not an indicator of character. This may be a contentious viewpoint, but you should also remove mentally ill men who don’t take their meds from your prospects too. You can’t, and shouldn’t, sign up to save everyone.
And in the meantime, let’s skip the fake concern and selective outrage.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, here is an international list of domestic violence hotlines. You can check out The National Domestic Abuse Hotline for additional resources. For news on the black femicide epidemic rampaging in America, be sure to follow Black Femicide-US.
Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Nicole, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.