Lucille “Big Mama” Allen would give me lessons that were unapologetically authentic to her experiences as a Black woman. In my everyday activity, every single one of us leaned on her wisdom and it helped us face many of the negative experiences of being a Black man in America.
When Big Mama said, “A dog shot is low blow that is intended to defeat you destroy you and it comes from a friendly face.” It is so deceptive that people say, “Wow, I would not do that to a dog.”
A dog shot also became known as a sucker punch! As I lived and experienced the impact of professional attacks, I begin to embrace Lucille “Big Mama” Allen’s playbook. She taught me how to replace discouragement with inspired empowerment. She told us over and over again, in the midst of the valley, that “all skin folk ain’t kinfolk.” She had story after story about how members of her family in people in her circle would hurt her the most without warning.
She taught me that this betrayal and attack that felt like it come out of nowhere was targeted and planned to look as if it were without warning. She made me understand that a sucker punch had many faces. She would quote Romans 5:3 and 2 Timothy 2:3 and tell me, “Sometimes the hardest work we can do is to sit still and hang on, Baby.”
Our latest sucker punch comes from the highest court in the land. The recent decisions made by the Supreme Court delivered a harsh faith-shaking legal sucker punch to the Americans that rely on affirmative action, diversity and LGBTQ rights to obtain parity.
These decisions have created a ripple effect that resonated throughout the country. Five top effects of these decisions are going to impact our citizens at these levels: 1) decreased diversity in schools and workplaces, 2) limited access to fair housing, 3) reduced protection for LGBTQ individuals in the workplace, 4) potential for increased discrimination against marginalized populations, and 5) a step back in progress towards equality. As a result, many individuals and groups have to begin to navigate a complex challenging legal landscape in order to achieve fairness and equity in their lives.
Here is one shining example.
Increased employment discrimination: Decisions that weaken protections for diversity in the workplace can lead to increased discrimination against certain groups. Employers may face fewer legal barriers when making hiring or promotion decisions, which could disproportionately affect historically marginalized communities.
There will be negative impact on mental health and well-being as legal decisions will curtail protections for marginalized communities will generate psychological impacts. Many Americans may face additional barriers in accessing resources, opportunities, and equal treatment, widening the gap between privileged and marginalized groups.
This sucker punch was summarized by Judge Jackson – “With let-them-eat-cake obliviousness, today, the majority pulls the ripcord and announces ‘color-blindness for all’ by legal fiat. But deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life.”
Readers, do you have a Dog Shot/Sucker Punch to share? Email me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Allen is an award-winning media professional, journalist, and entrepreneur. He is also the founder of City Men Cook and 1016 Media. Reach him at email@example.com