Still, with the recent events regarding the National Football League and Running Back Ray Rice, we are bombarded with the usual array of social science experts like Bill O'Reilly, Charles Barkley, Colin Cowherd, and the like. As a result, we get "scientifically" based statements like that one coming from retired Baltimore Linebacker Ray Lewis who exclaimed "if the NFL went on strike, the crime rate would increase." Of course, Lewis's statement was a reference to the commonly bantered about analysis that the majority of NFL players, read young African men, are criminals. That you have to be violent in order to play professional football so therefore, it can be carried forward that these men are going to be violent persons off the field.
I can certainly understand the logic piece regarding violence in this analysis. It stands to reason that if a person is encouraged since childhood to be overwhelmingly competitive, to only care about coming out on top individually, in spite of the cost to the persons they are competing against, then the rational conclusion is that person is going approach life in the same aggressive, and violent, manner that they approach opposition on the field. In sports this is often referred to as not being able to "turn the switch off and on." But, that's far from the entire story. In fact, a major component that you aren't getting from these social science experts is the role capitalism, as the dominant political, economic, and social system, plays in shaping our values. In other words, you won't understand why a man would strike a woman he supposedly loves unless you understand the extent in which women are reduced to commodities in the capitalist system. As simply vessels from which to produce pleasure and children. Of course we know women have engaged in a movement to eradicate this oppression, but the values of capitalism are still here and very functional. The U.S.for example, was founded as a white homeland for white men. No one can deny that. As a consequence, women have been commodities here since the 1400s and before. The falsified Christian religion from which this empire's construction has been based, has been used to perpetuate this vision of women by proclaiming; in the Book of Ephesians in the Bible, that women emerged on the planet from the rib of men and are here to follow men as the man follows God. This backward concept is revisited and reinforced in every single community of this world everyday. The constitution of this nation doesn't recognize women as citizens and as any women's activist knows, getting amendments acknowledging women, just as doing the same for African and other oppressed people of color, has been, and continues to be, a challenge and has only happened because of mobilizations that fight for this to occur. Most people today, even those who consider themselves conscious, would struggle to name as many women as men who have made concrete contributions to society because this is certainly not something that is taught in school since the purpose of education in this society is to perpetuate these capitalist values e.g. women as commodities.
So, this is the context from which men view women. Not a few men. Not some men. Not a segment of men. All men. Male supremacy, like white supremacy, is tied to capitalism. Consequently, the best thing every man and woman can do is acknowledge we are infected with male and white supremacy and dedicate ourselves to fighting to overthrow capitalism (in our case, as a part of the unification of Africa under scientific socialism). Besides that, we are just mired in it.
So, the solution cannot be further criminalizing African men as was done in the murder of Mike Brown and so many others. Ironically, Ray Lewis's statement about crime increasing would be more aptly applied to police officers than football players. Any correlations made between African men and domestic violence would be equaled or surpassed by similar comparisons with police officers and domestic violence. And obviously, following the same analysis about football players, police work in a violent environment, carry guns, and perpetuate a macho culture that would swallow up that of professional football players. Yet, you don't hear any of these so-called experts criminalizing police? Why is that? Because, in the capitalist system, African professional athletes are also commodities, high paid commodities - like a high priced call girl if you will - who are there to entertain and distract. Overall, African people - like Mike Brown - are dehumanized as a part of the daily process of this system. Truthfully, Africans have also always been commodities or in fact - property - in this system. Thus, the racism and dehumanization of the capitalist system afflicts Africans and women and in this instance it's seen in criminalizing Ray Rice as an African and dismissing Janay Rice as an African woman. But, working class white people, especially men, shouldn't feel left out by any of this because they are dehumanized too (just watch an episode of "The Honeymooners" or "The Flintstones" to see how brutally white working class people are viewed), but there is a hierarchy to capitalism's exploitation and African people, particularly working class African women, are on the bottom of that scale. This is the reason you won't see many white feminists coming to agree with the analysis presented here. In fact, all you will see them doing is contributing to the criminalizing of Ray Rice. It's why you won't see a lot of African men coming to speak out against violence and oppression against women. All most of them will do is contribute to the concept that women are property. Finally, it's the reason you see women wearing Ray Rice jerseys and speaking out in support of him, because women perpetuate patriarchy like Africans perpetuate white supremacy. This is how capitalism functions. All of these contradictions exist because the capitalist system expertly pits us against one another while dehumanizing oppressed segments of society in specific ways that alienates us from one another. It trains us to see the true criminals - the capitalist class - as "successful people" while victims are blamed and the real criminals escape scrutiny of any kind. In fact, many of us spend most of our lives trying our best to emulate and pursue entrance into the capitalist class. None of this is to suggest that Ray Rice is a victim here. He isn't, but the subsequent criminalizing of African men is definitely a part of the oppression process. For our part, we as African people, and human beings, have to continue to work to politically educate our people with a new type of revolutionary consciousness that challenges the backward capitalist ideas that are institutionalized within us. We must create a cultural consciousness that encourages us to stop dehumanizing each other and doing the work of capitalism. We have to fight to raise consciousness so that violence against women is no longer denied in our communities. Where an atmosphere is developed where we as men stand side by side with women in developing and nurturing environments where this behavior is no longer tolerated instead of cowardly justifying acts against women that we know damn well we would not support if such acts were carried out against our mothers (or any woman we cared about). This is the type of work that's needed. You won't hear it on CNN, FOX, or CIA network. Very few other people will write about it, but if you have read this far, if you are honest, you have to live with the fact you can't refute it.