Unfortunately I have seen way too many pictures run across my timeline of men dressed in Ray Rice jerseys and dragging an inflatable doll behind them. Ohhh so clever!
This weekend I saw a photo of white people in black face, he was dressed as Rice and she was supposed to be Rice’s wife Janay and had an overdrawn black eye. This was the final straw, the one that prompted me to ask: What the f*ck is wrong with people? I mean seriously. What is wrong with people?
Last week, Janay Rice responded to a tweet from TMZ about people who were already starting with the Ray Rice costumes.
.@TMZ it’s sad, that my suffering amuses others
— Janay Rice (@JanayRice) October 22, 2014
If only she knew that it was about to get much, much worse.
Listen, no one should dress up as Ray Ricefrom the elevator incident for Halloween. Not Black people. Or Hispanic people. Or Asian people. And not white people. Especially those white people who then feel they need to come with the extra layer of foolery and add the black face. Why?
Black face is not ok. Like ever. Like just don’t do it. It’s mean and it’s a mockery of a race. I recently saw a picture of a white couple dressed as Jay and Bey from the On the Run Tour and this is the crucial part – WITHOUT THE BLACK FACE! We still knew who they were trying to be because the costumes were on point. The chick had the whole mesh face mask thing happening. No black face needed.
But more importantly, Ray Rice knocked Janay Rice out on an elevator and then dragged her. These are the facts. Regardless of who started what, etc., these are the facts. He abused her. Domestic violence is not funny and poking fun at this tragedy is hurtful, insensitive, and wrong. But of course they don’t think about that. The fact that a Black woman was brutalized and beaten is ignored and treated as an inconsequential matter. As usual. Our bodies and our pain can be mocked and shamed without conscience or consequence. It’s considered to be all fun and games. It’s just a joke. And we are at the butt of it.
I can’t help but wonder what would happen if Black men had dressed up as Michael Vick for Halloween and carried around dead dogs. Would white people have had a fit?
Or what if Black men did throwback OJ Simpson costumes and dragged around a “Nicole Brown” body and a bloody glove? I’m sure people would be ready to get a rope and have a hanging. These costumes would definitely be considered inappropriate and insensitive. I can imagine the shock, protests, and demands for an apology if these types of costumes made their way onto social media timelines.
But these Ray Rice ones? I have seen some outrage, but it doesn’t seem to be loud enough or even resonate that strongly with those in costume or those who think it’s funny. And so we are left with the ever-present question: Who will stand up for Black women when we are knocked down?
Diana Veiga is a Spelman woman, a DC resident, and a freelance writer. Of course, she’s also on Twitter.