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  • Writer's pictureArchuleta A. Chisolm

Search and Rescue Missions Are Not On Black Women's Agenda

Vanity Fair

I’m not the only one who was surprised that Jonathan Majors went from a rising actor in Hollywood to a pariah within several months. Last year, on March 25, Jonathan Majors’ former girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, accused him of attacking her during an argument. Nearly nine months later, Majors was found guilty of two misdemeanors, which include one count of assault in the third degree and one count of harassment. He’s been dropped from Marvel Studios and lost his coveted role as Kang the Conqueror, after being found guilty. Not to mention his management company dropping him, as well as several advertisers and endorsement deals since his arrest. Where he once had Oscar buzz around him is now dusty smoke. Majors will be sentenced on February 6 and faces a year in prison.


Despite text messages and audio evidence of Majors being what appeared to be mentally and emotionally abusive, the internet streets have been divided. But the evidence consisted of transcripts of the actor cautioning Jabbari against going to the hospital after sustaining a head injury because it could “lead to an investigation,” him threatening suicide, and audio where he asked her to “act more like Coretta Scott King and Michelle Obama” and represent him better.


Say what now?


It’s worth noting how many people have ignored the evidence and loyally stand ten toes down on the position that this is another example of being Black in America. Many have called this whole situation blatant racism, or the “that’s what he gets for messing with a white woman.” They say Majors was being chased down the block by a white woman (there was video footage of this happening the night of the altercation in question), so how could he be the guilty one? They say if Jabbari was really being abused, why would she be chasing him? Emmett Till was even mentioned in comparison.


This bothers me because supporting Majors spotlights how much people minimize verbal and emotional abuse. Unfortunately, our society has a narrow, cookie cutter view about how people should respond to that abuse.


As for people ignoring Majors’ abuse because Jabbari is white, that is counterproductive to the progress we’re trying to make when it comes to violence against women. Yes, white women have historically abused their privilege. The result is that Black men have been repeatedly convicted and killed because white tears have been weaponized and seen as more acceptable than the actual truth. But I don’t think that’s the case here. And we can hold space for two things to be true: Some white women abuse their power and wrongfully accuse Black men, and some Black men need to do better.


We watched the interview on Good Morning America. Majors wiped away invisible tears and said, “This has been very, very hard and very difficult and confusing in many ways,” in a shaking voice. “I’m sorry,” he said, sniffling a bit. “I haven’t seen my daughter in a long time, you know? A lot of it has to do with this situation.”

A misdemeanor reckless assault conviction means the jury recognizes that Majors may not have intended to cause injury to Jabbari, but his actions did result in injury to her. It’s the easiest out but even with that slap on the wrist, he couldn’t even own up to his actions.


GMA’s Linsey Davis said to Majors, “They’re saying you didn’t intend to injure her, but the result of your recklessness injured her.”


“Right,” Majors agreed.


“Were you reckless?” Davis asked.


“I was reckless with her heart,” Majors replied.


The term ‘search and rescue’ refers to the search for people who are lost, or in distress. People may go missing for a variety of reasons. Some disappear voluntarily, while others disappear due to mental illness, getting lost, an accident, abduction, or death. In combat, these operations are carried out during war that are at or near combat zones.


Black women are not the search and rescue calvary for abusive Black men who refuse to confront their trauma and heal.

We already face some of the highest rates of domestic violence, as Black women experience intimate partner violence at higher rates than our white counterparts. We don’t want it. We don’t need it.


By the way, we are supposed to be done trying to heal men who don’t want to even heal themselves. And yes, I’m giving a side-eye to our girl, Meagan Good, who is Majors’ current girlfriend – or should I say his Coretta Scott King with a dash of Michelle Obama.


To publicly stand behind a man accused of domestic violence during the blooming stages of your relationship is questionable at best. That said, if our goal as Black women is to unwrite this narrative about us as safe havens, and oftentimes enablers of trauma-ridden men, then this blanket loyalty has to end.


Just because Majors is an amazing actor doesn’t mean he wasn’t also an abusive boyfriend. It doesn’t give him a pass if he was abusive in any way, shape or form. The better we are at calling men out when they’re wrong and holding them accountable, the closer we can get to seeing real healing and progress.




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