This letter is merely an empty letter, a clear public relations statement so that, god forbid, you don’t actually look guilty of doing something wrong. If you really believe in what you said and that this is sufficient, you clearly still do not get it. Your words are that of an entitled man that minimizes your actions. This is a clear statement of denial.
“no one has the right to engage in any conduct that is or has the appearance of domestic violence.”
This is absolutely disrespectful and is in fact domestic violence.
Oh and by the way…….
We will be critical of your work as an educator, “leader” or ”mentor”. As you might recall a book called “Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire speaks of praxis and defines it as “reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it.” Through praxis, oppressed people can acquire a critical awareness of their own condition, and, with their allies, struggle for liberation.
In your role you have young men looking to you to teach them how to not only be powerful students in their schools and in their community but they also look to you to show them how to love, respect and support their mothers, sisters, daughters, partners and friends. They were looking to you to model for them how to be healthy men of color. They are still looking to you. What will you do? Praxis.
This is not personal, you just happened to make yourself an example. We actually write this for the 2 womyn who were killed at the hands of their ex husbands in Tucson in the last 2 weeks and for the womyn in Delhi who was gang raped and beaten to death and although you may not see any kind of connection between yourself and these womyn, you need to. You need to see your behavior as a contribution to the maltreatment of womyn.
The letter you wrote is not good enough. If you care to truly engage in your personal struggle and evolution, you will not refer to your actions as merely “charges” but in fact state what you did and how you think it has impacted your family, friends and community.
You will include conversations of race, class and gender in your work.
You will begin to examine where you fall on the continuum of abuse.
You will begin to be aware of how you show up to your sisters in the struggle and give a shit about it.
Acknowledging yourself as macho will no longer cut it. You have a choice, now how you are going to put your reflection into action? People are watching you; many are hoping that you come through.
Accountability is hard and not for everyone. So what will it be?