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We Need to Stop Sharing Videos of Black Girls In Fights11/05/2014
by Ariel Williams Last week, a 17-year old Baltimore teen was viciously attacked by a local “Sis...
by Ariel Williams
Last week, a 17-year old Baltimore teen was viciously attacked by a local “Sisterhood” gang.
Unless you plan to engage in a street fight in the near future and are desperate to learn the latest fight winning moves, there are literally no incentives in watching Black girls featured in fight videos. And please note that this “pro” is completely sarcastic as there are numerous ways to resolve tense situations, such as effective communicating or by simply walking away, without being physical with someone else.
Last week, we celebrated ten Black girls who are changing the world with innovation, entrepreneurship, and humbling philanthropy from inner city natives to young celebrities. In that same week, another one of our daughters was stomped, dragged, and scathed in the streets until her head swelled on the way to a job interview. The 17-year-old girl was blocks away from the Mondawmin Mall in Baltimore when the “Sisterhood” gang got a hold of her – at least a 7 to 1 ratio – and savagely beat her in the street while I’d assume a member-in-training recorded the ordeal that has made the local news. The teen was hospitalized overnight.
We’re unsure what sparked the attack, but according to a police report obtained by WJZ, a school police officer at Frederick Douglass High School saw a group of girls trying to start fights near the school on Tuesday. The officer followed the girl group to ensure that they kept moving; still, the victim was jumped soon after and the recording has been constantly shared on Facebook.
Thanks to social media and infamous sites like World Star Hip Hop, fight videos instantly go viral, with many commenters laughing at (or blaming) the victim which in turn worsens the problem. I’ve seen Black women consciously fight naked in the streets to prove a point for some man or whatever street credibility they’re after that day and all of it is disgusting and perpetuates stereotypes.
The issue here is that while it’s idiotic to fight, the thousands of videos adorning Black girls throwing bows or beating another girl down feed the idea that we’re violent, aggressive, and angry. Worse, watching one (or more) video automatically breeds another because in a teenager’s mind, having Internet fame is everything. Additionally, enough consumption of violence desensitizes one to it, making it easy to watch, or worse, reenact.
Studies have shown that “exposure to violent media results in a blunting of emotional responses, which in turn may prevent the connection of consequences of aggression with an appropriate emotional response, and therefore may increase the likelihood that aggression is seen as acceptable behavior.”
When Black girls see variations of themselves in a less than positive light, i.e. fight videos, it can be easy for them to have a poor self-image and set lower standards for themselves. They can be confused about how they should act, especially when it comes to tense, stressful, or confrontational situations. And while it may seem fun and harmless at the time, being recorded while viciously beating the life out of someone else – while solo or in a group – could warrant years of unwanted attention, unemployment, and possible jail time. Five of the girls involved in the attack, whose names were not released, have been arrested.
Tyga had the nerve to say that there aren’t a lot of real role models for Black “females” to look up to. He’s wrong. There’s a plethora of Black women out here consciously serving as healthy examples for our daughters. But these videos circulating the web make it harder for teenagers to look up to them.
Please, stop sharing fight videos. Instead, share positive representations of Black women, so our girls can aspire to someone more worthy of their respect than the likes of Sharkeisha.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos
Ariel C. Williams is the author of The Girl Talk Chronicles, who writes to inspire women to thrive in life, love, and profession. Connect with her @ArielSaysNow for upcoming events.