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Editor’s Corner

Real Housewives of Atlanta and the Dangerous Loyalty of Black Women to Black Men

Confession: I love me some ratchet reality JUDGE NOT, LEST YE BE JUDGED. Now that we’re clear on that, last night I watched episode 7 of season 8 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA). As a regular viewer, I have my favorites and my not so favorites. Phaedra Parks is my absolute favorite character on the show. Kenya Moore, conversely, is like nails on a chalk board for me. Watching the latest episode though, I found myself reluctantly agreeing with Kenya.

The entire episode was hot ass mess. It started with the girls inviting one of the minor character’s nephew, (former NBA player Glen Rice, Jr.) and his friend back to the house to chill. From the time he walked on screen, I found him obnoxious and disrespectful, but a couple of the women, namely Porsha and Kenya, seemed amused by and attracted to him. On the way to the house, Kenya was brazenly flirtatious to him, and he rudely rebuffed her advances.

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Cast member Tammy pictured with her nephew, Glen Rice, Jr.

When they arrived to the house, a pregnant Kandi came down to find that a few strange men had been invited back to the shared vacation house. Kandi was unamused, she and Kim Fields (of Facts of Life and Living Single fame), who was also not here for strangers being brought to the house, sat by the pool away from all the commotion. Glen walked over to them, speaking to Kandi. Kandi was cordial, and Glen responded by asking her why she was giving him attitude. Kandi took it in stride, but made it clear to Kenya that she was uncomfortable with him being there.

Glen left and joined Kenya, Porsha and the others at the pool where he continued to drop “bitch” and “hoe” like they were buttery. After a few minutes, Kenya left and went over to where Kim and Kandi were sitting, telling them Glen was “acting weird” and making her uncomfortable. The other two ladies agreed, and Kenya said she was going to have him leave the house. She summoned security who asked Glen to leave. Glen protested, asking Kenya what he had done. We she explained that he’d made “several people uncomfortable,” shit got real.

He charged toward Kenya calling her “lil’ bitch,” and had to be physically subdued by security. His aunt, Tammy, came over to calm him and Glen pushed so hard she fell to the ground and blacked out. At this point, predictably and understandably, the entire house is in a frenzy. Security pins Glen to the ground while Phaedra and the other girls attend to Tammy. The ambulance comes and takes her to the hospital and Glen is FINALLY removed from the house.

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The girls attend to Tammy after she was pushed to the ground.

After the drama died down, Sheree, Phaedra and Porsha discuss how things got out of hand. To my dismay, they all blame Kenya for escalating the situation, alluding to the fact that Kenya was upset because Glen wasn’t interested in her and retaliated by making allegations that he was dangerous. They confronted Kenya, who explained that he’d been aggressive with Kandi too, and that she wasn’t the only one who felt uncomfortable with him being in the house. The next day, Sheree and Phaedra sat outside discussing what happened, and Phaedra teared up remembering how she’d sat with Mike Brown’s mother, relating Mike’s murder to this incident because she believed that Kenya’s accusations could’ve caused the police to become involved and a young black man to be killed. She mentioned how being the mother of two black sons, she is always worried about their safety, and that Kenya should’ve been much more aware of the power of her words.

After watching that entire event play out, I was struck by the unyielding loyalty of black women to black men, even to our detriment. Since her first season on the show, Kenya Moore has been a spiteful, messy instigator. She has disrespected and gossiped about every person on that show. She has been envious of most of the women. I do not care for at all, but Kenya Moore was in no way responsible for the violent savage behavior of Glen Rice, Jr. last night.

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Glen being removed from the house by security.

His behavior was scary and threatening. He came after a woman in front of millions of viewers, even (however unintentionally) injuring his aunt trying to get to Kenya. He deserved everything he got and more. That man belongs in a cell. He behaved like an animal. Kenya, as a black woman, has no duty to protect a black man to her detriment. She is in no way responsible for the criminally brutal behavior of this man. Whether motivated by rejection or not, asking that man to leave the house was absolutely justifiable.

We, as black women, have charged ourselves with protecting black men at all costs. I, as the mother of a black boy, the wife of a black man, and the sister of a black man understand that need we feel to cover our men as much as anybody. I fear and weep for our boys and men, too. I want them to be seen as full human beings. I will fight for their humanity and lives until the death.

What I will never do, though, is allow my fear for the perpetuation of violent stereotypes about our men to lead to an expectation that our sisters have to ignore, condone or shoulder violent black men. We have carried the weight of our community for centuries, and to our detriment. Black women have suffered silently at the hands of black men for far too long. We must not continue to sacrifice our own bodies for men like Glen Rice, Jr.

So, sisters, yes, always uplift and fight for our brothers. Always remember that they are viewed by society as imminent threats. Always stand up for them. Protest their murders at the hands of a racist system. Cover our sons, husbands and brothers, but never to your own demise.

 

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Kinfolk Kollective avatar About the author: LaSha is a writer who’s obsessed with Black people. Find her work here of course, but also on Ebony, The Guardian, Essence, Salon, Everyday Feminism, Teen Vogue, HuffPo and For Harriett. She’s loves trap music & 90s R&B, watches Jeopardy faithfully and believes fried chicken is her soulmate. The clapback queen is loud and clear about loving her kids above all else and kinda digs her Yankee husband too. Anti-Blackness gives her hives. Get at her @lashawrites on Twitter.

2 comments… add one
  • Deonte ,

    Super decent read! I never thought I would see commentary on this episode in favor of Kenya. She is wildly “unpopular” for the very reason of this post. While I agree Kenya signed on to the show as an agitator, she has never been wrong about any stipulation she makes. Phaedra Parks and NeNe Leaks are a couple of my favorite housewives, but I realize these women are mostly blind to their surroundings and will defend a black man over Kenya’s recommendation. Nene clashes with Kenya because Kenya doesn’t absorb Nene’s Alpha or nothing at all reaction to any group of black people. Porscha clashes with Kenya because Kenya sees right through Porschas adolescents and inability to keep her hands to herself if she feels she’s being attacked verbally. Personalities like Kandi’s rarely clash with Kenya because Kandi doesn’t have a front for Kenya to attack, which is the reason producers brought Kenya to the show and I question these women’s intelligence because they don’t realize how Kenya tactfully uses their own truths against them and succeeds every time. If Apollo isn’t the greatest testimony to this, then I need say no more.

  • Rachel ,

    Thank you a million

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