So Whoopi Goldberg is getting heat for saying, if you hit someone, then you have to be prepared to get hit back. She concluded with that’s why she personal does not hit because she does not want to be hit. And so there has been a little heat under Whoopi’s behind. It’s not the first time Whoopi has said something unconventional. What I do so appreciate about her though is her ability to have an independent thought. She raises a point and a reality I had not, heretofore, considered. The person who strikes first has a responsibility for their actions. After you hit , you have to be prepared for consequences.
So I looked at the video again. I watched to see this hit that came from Janay. Honestly I saw her touch him but a hit I did not see. My own partner argues it was a hit and so does Whoopi and various other people. They experienced it as Janay violently reaching out to her partner. And so if Janay threw the first strike, which we can hardly call a punch, does that change the game? If Janay was the first one to make it physical, does this new information change how we think about the incident? Does it change my belief that Ray was totally out of line? It may not change my opinion, but it changes the layout of the field.
I remember a friend telling me she hit her husband. I said what happened. She said he hit me back. And then what next? We found other ways to communicate she replied. I know her husband was not abusive. He did not hit her in other instances, but he made it clear, if you decide to cross that boundary, I have something for you. Now fortunately they are both slender in build. And fortunately this one time encounter forged a different path. But I always remember thinking that she did hit first.
I’m still a proponent of 0 tolerance as it relates to violence. Ray was wrong. But if Janay put her hands on Ray in the midst of the argument, she was wrong too. And if she did physically strike out first, then it puts in perspective her apology. And if she did strike first she’s not only a victim. And if she did strike Ray first then my 0 tolerance policy applies to her. This new information slows me up. It makes me ponder maybe there are more sides that the larger audience does not know. But at the end of the day Ray is a football player that partnered up with Black Barbie, and if he had punched me like he hit Janay I would have went out for the count too. And something about him hitting her still doesn’t sit well with me.