Over the weekend, Tonja Bulley and her young daughter Brandy were peacefully gathered outside a St. Louis stadium in which the Rams faced off against the Seattle Seahawks. But a number of white people who’d shown up to attend the game didn’t take too kindly to these women practicing their alleged constitutional right to free speech and assembly. The mother and daughter were simply calling for justice for Mike Brown, who was heartlessly gunned down by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. As Ms. Bulley later commented, “We were peacefully protesting. We were saying something that this big, tall White man did not like.”
Tonja was taken aback when this large white man actually approached her daughter and “hog-spit” in her face.
“He just hog-spit at my baby… He took everything out of him and spit in my daughter’s face. She is a minor. That’s the absolute worst thing you can do, when you spit on another human being. She was just saying, ‘No justice, no peace’ and he hog-spit (at) and then smacked my baby. At that time — there was no more being peaceful.”
When Tonja retaliated in defense of her daughter and her dignity, others joined in and attacked the two women, violently knocking them both to the ground. Police soon arrived on the scene and immediately arrested the Black female protesters without question. They even at first charged Tonja Bulley with two felonies for defending herself and her daughter, while none of the white males who took part in the assault on them were even arrested.
Local corporate media outlets were very selective in the way they reported the story, publishing only an image of Tonja fighting back in defense of her daughter while neglecting to publish the image that showed the white man assaulting Brandy. This speaks volumes to how much media figures really care about women, namely Black women, assaulted by men. It seems the only time they are worthy of concern is when the assailant happens to be a Black male. As EBONY accurately reports,
“…at a time when the NFL has had its most heightened awareness of domestic violence against women, large White men can spit on and punch Black women in the face outside of a football game without consequence or retribution, and the only ones arrested are women of color. When the only times sports media seems interested in violence against women is when it comes at the hands of Black men, women lives become reduced to props in favor of an all too familiar narrative aimed at criminalizing men of color. Does the NFL or ESPN really love Janay Palmer? Or do they just love hating Ray Rice more?
The lack of police will to arrest any violent White male fans mirrors the recent muted coverage of Oscar Pistorius’s murder conviction, ESPN’s famous two-day omission of Ben Roethlisberger’s sexual assault charge, and a still barely-known story of baseball player Brian Giles, who smacked his fiancée on video years before Ray Rice.”