The facts you can't ignore about Lil Reese beating up a girl

The facts you can't ignore about Lil Reese beating up a girl

There is a video going around that shows Lil Reese, a rapper from Chicago who just got signed to a major label, beating the life outta some girl. Lil Reese claims the video was filmed a year or two ago. I don't listen to Lil Reese's music or know anything about him, but I read a few tweets from hip hop blogs that claim the girl Lil Reese was beating is actually his baby momma. According to statistics, one in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime, and one in five teens in a serious relationship reports having been hit, slapped, or pushed by a partner. So if she is a battered baby momma, she is not alone.

Man... Watching that video made me realize something bad about myself. I realized that I've seen so much domestic violence and tears and blood growing up, that I am completely desensitized to it now. It's just not shocking. At all. I've seen my dad do worse to my own mom.

These days, reporters love to talk about Chicago, and they're mostly discussing the gang violence and drug busts. I think journalists like to discuss that stuff because it's interesting and dramatic to people who are not from poor, mostly minority neighborhoods, a.k.a. "the hood." One thing that gets ignored, though, is the fact that people who grow up around all of that stuff, even if they don't participate in it, are affected by it. They never discuss how desensitized you get when things that are wrong become normal, and how hardened it makes you. To the world, it seems like people from the hood don't exist unless they fit into some sort of statistic.

In the battered women's shelter that my family lived in for about a year, there were women of many different races, so I know that domestic violence isn't something that only happens to black folks. Women account for 85% of the victims of intimate partner violence, and a lot of people don't know that women of all races experience it equally.  But what most folks don't acknowledge is that African American children are three times more likely to live in poverty than white children, and that fact is consistently listed as a factor for a lot of the problems in black communities. Not only do people like me grow up seeing domestic violence, but we also see gang violence, drug dealing, assault by the police, thieving ass crack heads, and the occasional prostitute, too. That's a lot.

I grew up in a really tough neighborhood. I went to a magnet school with friends whose families were well off. I never, ever invited friends over because I was embarrassed of how bad my neighborhood looked. I witnessed all kinds of crazy stuff growing up, and had some bad things done to me. I was a really sensitive kid. Then one day, I just wasn't anymore. I don't know if I'll ever be a sensitive person again.

To this day, I still struggle with apathy, I just don't care about so many things. Seriously... I'm supposed to feel compassion for how often black guys get beat down by corrupt cops when so many of them feel it's okay to knock a chick up and bail, so many feel it's okay to beat a chick just because he feels disrespected, so many feel like it's okay to call women bitches and hoes and treat us like we're less than them because their own parents never taught them otherwise? Screw that. I don't give a damn about them or the chicks who stick around for it. And not giving a damn feels normal to me. Maybe the same lack of giving a damn that I feel as a result of growing up in the hood might be the same apathy a guy feels that makes him think it is okay to beat a female. I dunno. Maybe it's hard for a hood ass dude who sees people dying everyday to understand that its NOT MANLY for a man to hit a woman.

And do you know what I can't stop thinking about after seeing the Lil Reese vid? There was a time when a dude putting his hands on a woman around other men like Lil Reese did would result in that dude getting stomped, because the men would not stand for it.  And while there are plenty guys in our communities who consider dudes that hit women to be "fuck niggas," there are just as many who think that it's justifiable to beat a girl just for being mouthy.

Seeing that video of Lil Reese made me remember a bunch of stuff that I like to forget. There is just so much stuff that goes into a hood mentality, so many things that you can't even define as right or wrong because no matter how you judge it, the reality that it exists can't be disputed. There is a lot I wanna say about this topic, but I feel like it would be pointless for me to try to put it into words because only the people who share a similar background as me will understand. I don't think it's possible to empathize with a lack of empathy.

I have to be honest, my lifestyle right now is the farthest thing from what I experienced when my family was poor and living on the South Side of Chicago. I consider every dollar I make as a recording artist to be a blessing, because it keeps me being able to maintain my lifestyle. I'm proud of how far removed I am from the stuff I have gone through, some of it is so messed up that I still can't even discuss it with the people closest to me. I have known for a long time that I'm a bit detached from the negative aspects of growing up in the hood, and I sort of thought that I had grown beyond it. But today, once I noticed how desensitized I am to seeing a female getting the Chitown beat down, I realized that the old cliche phrase is true: You can take the girl out of the hood, but you can't take the hood out of the girl.

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    Good article. VERY good article.

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    Damn that is sad. Its a systemic issue. These record exec's should be able do dig deep and find us better talent out here. Its looking like as long as they can find the next dummy to sell...then they sleep fat and well...and in the process...send our children to hell...Its real in the field. Great article. We are in the streets with you....http://www.streetsill.com

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    this made me sad because well ...i rally dont have enought time to elaborate but I have seen it all ...some of the things I said I would never do, I have done ...and it's all due to the fact we get desensitized to it all and become part of the apathy around us..the old phrase "the hood takes you under" ...we become monsters because there are monsters around us out to get us ...so if you cant beat them join them ...but I refuse ... I want to be happy about who I am and the decisions I make ... this reminds me of how sad my life was before I realized I have to love myself first despite my past however awkward it is ...I wont watch the video of him because I have seen enough of that already but from what I hear its pretty discouraging ...

  • Very smartly stated, Nikki.

  • What a great read, you expressed yourself and the situation perfectly. Things have truly gotten bad, or should I say, things have been bad. I can't watch that video without cringing, and it makes me feel awful.

  • Another coward that blends in with all the other ones. It just not the cowards that beat women, but the Bullies that beat and verbally abuse younger and smaller individuals and the assholes who carry and use guns.

    Being from Chicago, growing up on the south side between 64th and Harper and moving between that address to 66th and blackstone I like many Chicago residents have seen so much that it seems like nothiing to see the violence that went and goes on like its nothing.

    What gets more surprising is these shitheards are now filming their exploits and post them to the world as if it makes them tough.

    These same shitheads when confronted by someone they know they have about as much of chance as the individual they beat on they fold up like the first timer in prison when the baddest dude walks up and ask for the booty.

    I must admit I have hit one girl in my life and that was my sister I was 5 and she was 4 I was asleep and she put mustard all over my hair and face, but my mom gave me a remember ass whipping and a lecture about hitting people weaker than you, never has happen again even though I have been in situations that could have resulted in my wacking the shit out of a female.

    When my daughter was born it enforced my opinions about violence and each guy that as in her life I had that if you hit my daughter for any reason I am going to kick your ass so hard you will be shitting out of your ear conversation.

    Before she got married I had that conversation again with her future husband and the converatioin with him was different in that sure she is your wife but that does not have to last she is my daughter that will never change you hit her one time and I am going to jail.

    MY daughter grew up never seeing violence between me and her mom never, in fact she ofter wondered if we ever had an arugment, we laugh at her. I became so concern about her safety that we enrolled her in self defense programs which she has a black belt in karate, I recall as she was advancing in karate when she told me dad I dont have to take whippings anymore, I had to laugh and I told her well you wont be living here.

    Violence will it end naw to many things have caused cowards to feel disrespected and when you cant defend yourself with words or just walk away, you hit and that comes from what you have seen, expected from the nitwits you hang with and your own beliefs.

    Do I feel sorry for the cowards hell no what I feel sorry about is the individuals who get beat on that they continue to stay with the asswipe that beats on them, I just dont understand how anyone that gets physically and verbally abused stays with that person.

  • The igorance of us as a people is totally unexceptable!!! when are we going to realize that we are the reason that we are enslaved as a race? That don't nobody cares about us AS A RACE? That other races are looking at us like we are all some fool ass niggas!?! There is no longer "the white man" to blame for our lack of anything. We are!!! Too much time on your hands, not enough discipline, love or respect at home! At some point we have to take our city back, because at the rate that we are going we will be extinct. So many interracial couples now. If you don't think it can happen, look at the Native Americans! Chicago is my hometown, I am VERY proud to say that, but why should I be? When beating on a woman is glorified and being ignorant is cool or trendy? And SO MANY SENSELESS MURDERS! BEAUTIFUL BLACK PEOPLE, the time is NOW!!!

  • I can totally identify with your personal statements in this post. I also appreciate the stats on DV. I mention a cyber bullying workshop i was prepping to give to teen girl when my niece mentioned this. When i saw your blog i recalled the name & its sad. My life as a teen in Chicago was quite different from what my daughter seed in the suburbs. I have come a long way, but as you state a part of you is there. Thanks for the transparency.

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