Some very strange things happened in my life this week. Things that turned my whole world upside down. It was a time when wrong became right and the sun revolved around the moon in a counter-clockwise fashion. It was a week when the “Basketball Wives” actually decided to act like they’ve got some damn sense and I just couldn’t believe it.
The week started with “Basketball Wives” Executive Producer Shaunie O’Neal admitting that the next installment of the show isn’t going to consist of as much fighting as there has been in the past.
This was a shocking thing to hear from the woman who has been laughing all the way to the bank as other women of color make absolute fools out of themselves.
Shaunie is the ultimate businesswoman, so to hear that she was walking away from her cash cow of violence told me that something might be up.
Then there were the ever-so-reflective remarks by the deeply bitter Tami Roman, who said that she has deleted her Twitter account so that she doesn’t have to wake up and deal with negativity every day. Tami swears she’s not a bully and that she is simply a product of abusive experiences in her own past.
Sorry, Tami, but every bully says this.
The truth is that every murderer, rapist, and child molester usually has a terrible story to tell about how their own abuse fueled their desire to hurt others. Not that we shouldn’t have empathy, but perhaps those of us who are encouraged to continue the cycle of abuse need to seek productive psychotherapy instead.
Finally, there is the “amazing” Evelyn Lozada, who made remarks about how she has become reflective of her behavior on television.
I am not sure how deep those reflections went, for I am sure that she was only reflecting on how empty her bank account will be if she continues down the road of unpopularity.
The fact is that all of this reflection, contemplation and deep revelation by the Basketball Baby Mamas (almost none of them were actually married to any athlete, making them either groupies, ex-girlfriends, or child support recipients) is likely due to the financial pressure of losing corporate sponsors because of the activity on their show.
The world has stood up to the bullies of reality TV and told them that they aren’t going to take it anymore. A petition started on Change.org led the way, and people around the country have let corporate sponsors know that they are not interested in supporting companies that finance a show that teaches young girls how to bully one another at school. Beyond this, there is the constant struggle for women of color to overcome their own negative images in media, and this challenge doesn’t get easier when women are signing up to behave like angry football players.
The calming of the Basketball Baby Mamas is a lesson for both the bullies on this show and for the rest of us. It says that if we want something to change, we should demand it. It also says that if we want a better future for our children, we must fight for it. It’s time to rise above this psychological poison.
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Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and author of the forthcoming book, “The RAPP Sheet: Rising Above Psychological Poison.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.