Judge Joe Brown happened to be on in the background today while I was cleaning up in the kitchen, and I saw something that I wouldn’t have imagined seeing on TV only a couple years ago.
A young black man and woman were in his courtroom over a disputed loan and wrecked car. The young man had fathered a child with the woman, but was no longer with her. Even so, he was trying to help her out for the benefit of his three-year-old son. He loaned her about $1,500 and had let her use his car. The woman lied about why she needed the money and wrecked the guy’s car with her new boyfriend.
When the story came out, Judge Brown really laid into the girl, telling her that the reason so many young men were behaving poorly was exactly because of ignorant, cheating, lying mothers like her. he admonished the father for choosing this particular woman and having a child with her, but otherwise was totally sympathetic to him. This young woman got a tongue-lashing I have never seen on one of these trashy judge shows.
That women’s bad behavior is even being exposed and denounced on popular TV says quite a bit, because not long ago I saw Geraldo, that short, ugly, stupid and annoying little pimp, arguing that all men who owed child support should be rounded up and thrown in jail. Donahue, for his part, made a living off of being a TV pimp, and never would have suggested that men have any role besides paying women for one service or the other.
But not Judge Joe Brown. He ordered the lying woman to pay her son’s father back every cent she owed and gave her a severe tongue-lashing as well.
I know that these court shows are largely a farce, but I also know that they have a big influence on your average woman’s concept of justice. In our intellectualized bubble, it’s easy to forget that average isn’t all that discerning, and that average derives a great deal of its morality from TV, but it is very true.
That an intelligent black man would be outraged by the behavior of women in his community hardly surprises me — I think a public airing of these feelings is long overdue. For too long, men of the lower socioeconomic classes, black and white, have been the whipping boys of pundits and TV spokesmen. As it becomes increasingly clear that the behavior of women in these cohorts is surpassing men in wicked disregard for society and children, perhaps it is inevitable that people start to lay the blame where it truly belongs.