Calling A Spade A Diamond: RHOA Reflections

Reality TV snagged me in its intricate, drama filled, sticky web a few seasons ago. It started with watching with the roommates in college and now I keep watching to see where it goes for a little mindless entertainment. But, enough, with the defense of my partiality to the RHOA franchise.

On the most recent episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta (airing 12-20-15), the girls go to Miami to do a do-over of a celebration for Cynthia Bailey who was having some marital problems. The girls unite and try to forget the craziness of the last gathering. On this particular excursion, while living it up the ladies encounter the nephew of one of the participants, Tammy (Cynthia’s friend), and his side kick as well as a love interest for Porsha.

Once everyone is back in the elaborate house they were residing in for the trip things became a little hectic. Tammy’s nephew, Glen, was a major part of the sudden turn in the wrong direction.

The infamous Kenya Moore assisted in a prelude to the young man’s unraveling by trying to get his attention earlier in the day by addressing him by the not-so-classy nickname, ‘Young Buck’ while snapping her fingers. His response was not the most articulate but it was understandable given her less than respectful attempt to get his attention. Glenn’s response was something along the lines of, “I know damn well you ain’t snap your fingers at me.” A boundary was set. Things smoothed over, superficially, and the night progressed to the house.

Everyone was “chillin, relaxin all cool” in the pool area while Kim Fields and Kandi Burruss were lounging away from the rest of the motley crew who settled in the hot tub. Glenn approached Kandi, who is about ready to pop with new life, and congratulated her on her pregnancy. Kandi gave a simple, noncommittal, “Thank you” and Glenn perceives her response as at-ti-tude and joins everyone else in the hot tub again after popping off at her. Kandi was left a bit bewildered at his less than gentlemanly reaction to her appropriate “thank you”.

The night continues and Kenya recognizes that Glenn is a little aggressive and it begins to make her feel uncomfortable, reasonably so. What the ladies did not hear or see, was Glenn speaking to his friend saying things along the lines of “These hoes this and that” and “None of these hoes better not disrespect me” and so forth.

Kenya and Kandi compare notes and agree that the guy was behaving a bit irrationally and Kenya, looking in the best interest of her guests and herself, decided that maybe he should leave. She speaks to his aunt, Tammy, and explains that he has made them feel uncomfortable and thinks it best that he make his exit for the night.

As they are leaving, it appears that Glenn is curious as to why he’s being asked to leave. Kenya explains, yet again, that his behavior so far wasn’t conducive to the atmosphere of this little get away. She did so calmly and rather respectfully, for a change.

And here is where things take that proverbial turn for the worst. Glenn moves toward Kenya calling her a “lil bitch” and talking a whole bunch of nonsense. Security steps in and Glenn kicks it up a notch, still trying to get to Kenya through the security. Tammy somehow gets in his path and next thing we know, Tammy is on the ground due to an indiscriminate shove from her nephew. Finally, security earns their pay and secures the situation.

The ladies begin to recollect themselves and it becomes evident that Phaedra Parks, Sheree Whitfield, and a few others feel that Kenya somehow incited the volatile situation. A separate scene with Phaedra has her recalling a moment with Mike Brown’s mother and she discusses with one of the ladies the trials of being a Black man and how Black men are constantly seen as aggressive and waterworks follow.

Let me first say that Phaedra was coming in from the far left field with her sentiments and her concern for her own sons in comparison to Glenn’s actions. The violence against unarmed Black men by officers of the law is in no way related to the contained violence that ensued once Glenn was asked to leave. The men and women who have been assaulted or worse by law enforcers were in the hands of the law, for better or for worse, and ended up dead or close to death due to the actions of those who are supposed to serve and protect.

Glenn, from the moment he entered the scene, was a wild card. He didn’t seem to know how to communicate effectively without intimidation tactics and strong language. The attitude he attributed to Kandi had his name all on it instead. He called a Spade a Diamond essentially.

What bothered me, and what essentially inspired me to write this post, is how a few of the ladies were so ready to defend the young man at the expense of Kenya who (this time at least) was acting in the best interest of all those present. Granted, Kenya has been ‘extra’ in previous episodes and has been ready to throw people out for instances of perceived shade and tomfoolery (I guess she has been watching Bon Qui Qui as of late). This instance, however, was completely different.

I’ve seen posts from lovely Black women who write about how Black women often times support and defend Black men yet feel the reciprocity is a bit lacking. Black Lives Matter was founded by a Black woman. Black women have been at the forefront of organizing protests and also taking on the role of foot soldiers within those protests. Women like Sandra Bland have also been faces of Black Lives Matter, but so far it has been predominantly male faces spoken of  despite the fact that there have been many Black women who have fallen victim to the abuse of authority by police. For Phaedra to see her sons in Glenn perplexes me. I imagine that she is raising her children to be respectful to women and people in general. I imagine that she is teaching them how to use their words and to resort to violence (verbal and/or physical) as a last resort instead of the first response. Young Glenn behaved in complete opposition to such lessons.

This situation highlighted what many of my fellow writers have been stating in their compositions which is; Black women support the hell out of Black men yet a percentage of Black men don’t seem to give a damn about their mothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, friends, daughters, etc. who have to face the world everyday as a Black woman in a world that constantly seeks to undermine and disrespect them at every turn. And yet, Black women will still go to bat for their counterparts even at the expense of a fellow Black woman. Even when that Black man is behaving erratically.

Kenya is a bit much at times but there was nothing that Kenya did or said that warranted that man charging towards her yelling obscenities. She simply requested that he remove himself from the space he was invited into by the women he seems to abhor. He was a guest. He didn’t kick in any funds on that trip and even if he did, his actions would still be unacceptable. Provocation does exist but this was not an example of provocation. It was an example of irrational behavior. It was an example of a man without any strength of character. It was an example of a punk.

I hope that these women will review the footage and recognize their faux pas but then again, it is reality TV and many times the last thing they deal with is reality in these shows. But to be clear, the reality is that women, our women, Black women, need the support of Black men. They need us to defend them with the same vigor we defend our favorite musician or sports team. They need us to remind them that they are not bitches and hoes despite what the media has to say. They need us to stand between them and anyone who means them ill will, even if its another Black man. They need us to love them as much as they love us and to fulfill that love in words and in deeds.

Glenn, perhaps therapy is in order. The one with the attitude is you little man, not the ladies you project your own shortcomings onto. And to my Black women, please share the love you have for us with your sisters. We need each other and wrong is wrong no matter if you sit or stand to make a tinkle.