By now most fans of “Scandal,” the ABC drama featuring Kerry
Washington as D.C. fixer “Olivia Pope,” have heard the news that
Columbus Short, who played “Harrison Wright” on the show, will not be
returning for Season 4.
Though no reason was given, observers have made an educated guess
that his swift exit at the height of the show’s popularity is due, in
large part, to allegations made by his estranged wife, Tanee McCall
Short, that he choked her and placed a knife to her throat, all while
threatening to kill her then himself.
During a recent episode of his radio show, comedian D.L. Hughley, who once said that black women were the angriest people he’s ever met,
weighed in on the story. This black man, who for some reason has been
given a platform that reaches millions of people, used that platform to
viciously attack McCall-Short by calling her a “thirsty bitch” and a
“thirsty hoe,” who should have kept her mouth closed to get more money
from her impending divorce.
“I think that broad shouldn’t be telling all his business if she gone take him to court,” said Hughley.
He dismisses the concerns of his female co-host, Jasmine Sanders, to
converse with male co-host Steve Wilson because he has “nuts.” As Wilson
intermittently laughs in the background, Hughley stops just short of
calling McCall-Short a liar whose friends posed as witnesses to her
abuse. “I don’t think you believe half the sh*t you saying right now,
Jasmine,” said Hughley as Wilson laughed. “This bitch was thirsty. The
bitch was thirsty. What, she gone go back to dancing? She gone f**k her
In a shockingly sexist move, he played the “emotional” card to
silence Sanders, who continued to inject seriousness into the
conversation, by repeatedly asking her what was wrong with her, even
going so far as to feign concern and ask if she needed a hot water
Laugh it up, folks. Abused black women are the joke of the day.
What D.L. Hughley did on air to his female co-host and to every woman
who has ever been a victim of domestic violence went well past the
boundaries of misogyny and sexism, and into the realm of psychological
and emotional abuse.
Not once did Hughley, a father of two daughters, give any weight to
the allegations. Not once did he seriously denounce domestic violence or
consider that Short’s wife was in very real danger. Instead, he called
her a “thirsty hoe” and a “thirsty bitch” who should have kept her mouth
“When you’re very young, you’re very volatile,” Hughley said. “I’ve
been in situations where the police were called. I don’t believe that
every time someone says something in the heat of anger, they actually
mean it. Everybody want a thug dude, a passionate dude, until you gotta
live with your mother in an undisclosed location. You know what kind of
dude you picked. Stop it.” Sanders chimed in and said, “I don’t think
that’s always the case.” Hughley’s response? “Well, you’re dumb.”
The entire segment should have come with a trigger warning.
According to the Institute of Domestic Violence In The African American Community (IDVAAC):
• As with
other abusive men, African American men who batter are higher in
jealousy and the need for power and control in the relationship.
• As with
women of other races, among African American women killed by their
partner, the lethal violence was more likely to occur if there had been
incidents in which the partner had used or threatened to use a weapon on
her and/or the partner has tried to choke or strangle her.
African American women killed by their partner, almost half were killed
while in the process of leaving the relationship, highlighting the need
to take extra precautions at that time.
In “Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism,” bell hooks spoke
about the tendency within communities to silence female victims of male
violence while showing unwavering support for the men who abused them
and the reluctance to hold black men accountable. And it was Audre Lorde
who spoke of black women being “particularly vulnerable to the false
accusation that anti-sexist is anti-Black.”
D.L. Hughley is following in a long tradition of failing black women,
and he owes all women who have been victims of domestic violence an
apology. For every young woman who has ever been told to keep her mouth
shut, he owes them an apology. For every woman who has ever been told
that it was her fault, that she should have known that her attacker was
violent, he owes an apology. For every Black woman who feels unprotected
in her own community, and ashamed of being assaulted, he owes an
apology. For every woman who remained silent for too long, whose fears
were dismissed, and who, subsequently, ended up dead, he owes an
Black America Web, which so brazenly titled the clip they ran: “Why
Columbus Short’s Wife Should Keep Her Mouth Shut,” should also be held
accountable. It’s not as if the site, which ironically ran an article on
black women and domestic violence in last October, is oblivious to the
very real dangers that black women face. And the fact that they know
makes their willingness to ignore those painful, lived experiences for a
cheap laugh even more egregious. Hughley’s comments and the site’s
support of them, does nothing but add fuel to a blazing fire already
filled with the discarded bodies of black women.
Black women have been silent. We are known to be loyal to men who
abuse us without conscience and rape us without apology, all because of
the fear of being cast as the villain.
And we cannot, we will not, be silent any longer. We will continue
to speak out and stand up — even if D.L. Hughley and other cowards like
him refuse to stand with us.
This post originally appeared on XOJane. Republished with permission.Click here for more Kirsten West Savali on XOJane!
Edited by Alias_Avi - Apr 28 2014 at 5:25pm