*Blogger Deborrah Cooper has written an open letter to Taffi Dollar, the wife of Creflo Dollar, in the wake of news of the pastor’s arrest for assaulting his 15-year-old daughter.
In it, Cooper talks about child abuse and domestic violence in the black community and how black women always defend the pastor or any man, and throw the girl (or boy in eddie long’s case) under the bus.
Though we have never met Mrs. Dollar, we have two very important things in common… we are both black women, and we are both mothers of daughters. I believe that makes us and millions of other black women more alike than dissimilar, and it is on the basis of those similarities that I am writing to you.
In front of me lies a copy of a Fayette County Sheriff’s Office report. The report recounts the events which took place at your home on Friday, June 8th 2012 between your 50-year-old husband Creflo and your 15-year-old daughter Lauren. The reporting officer was quite thorough. It seems Officer Everett took extra care to be so, probably due to the celebrity status of the accused perpetrator.
I’m sure none of this is easy for you, Lauren or Alexandria, and it’s probably very confusing for the rest of the children as well. I’m positive even your extended family is filled with shock, dismay and fear of possible changes coming due to this accusation. Those are all things to think about at some point, but my primary focus right now is on Alexandria and Lauren. As a Mom, it is very easy for me to see them both as my own children, which is why I have to ask you some hard questions.
Let’s just get to the point: What are you doing, Taffi? Why are you protecting Creflo and allowing your daughters to be condemned by the world as belligerent, wild, liars, troublemakers and tools of Satan? Why are you not speaking up to counter those claiming your daughters are out to destroy their father by calling the cops? How can you stand idly by and allow Creflo’s violent temper and controlling behavior to terrorize your children?
Yes, I know of your husband’s world fame and mass fortune. I understand that this happened in your home and that you might consider this a private matter; however, the fact that your husband is a world-famous public and religious figure removes any possibility of privacy. Reality is that Creflo and your entire family are considered public figures, which makes you unable to escape public scrutiny. What happened in your house that evening is the business of every African American, every Christian that follows Creflo, and every person curious about what steps the law will take in this matter.
Sitting Creflo’s fame aside, let’s look at this matter as if his name were still Michael Smith, and he was any other father in a physical altercation with his 15-year-old daughter
- It’s completely normal for a 15 year old girl to want to go to a party, be with her friends, and to begin exploring the opposite sex. It is also normal for a father to tell his daughter that since her grades are not up to par she cannot attend fun events (like a party) until next report card. It is totally normal for a father to ground his daughter until grades show marked improvement. However, let’s look at the calendar. This is mid-June, when schools around the country are out for summer vacation. Kids Lauren’s age are having graduation parties and year-end “whoo hoo we’re out of school!” bashes. Since students won’t be returning to school for months, there is really no need to worry about grades until school resumes in the late summer. If the child’s grades show her to be worriedly behind, why not secure tutoring over the summer to make sure her grades are up to par by fall? Not attending one party is not going to make her grades improve by September. Why not drive her to the party and pick her up two hours later on the dot. She would be grateful that she was allowed to attend and make a “brief showing,” but she wouldn’t be there as long as she wanted. Parenting is not always focusing on punishing but showing your child that there are repercussions for their behavior.
- Repercussions and punishment do not include putting a female in a chokehold or body slamming her to the floor. According to the Deputy’s report, your husband followed your daughter into the kitchen after she chose to deescalate their ‘argument’ by removing herself from his presence. Yet, he trailed after her looking for trouble. He’d already won – she wasn’t going to the party. Crying tears of disappointment, frustration, perhaps even anger at herself for not doing better in school, Lauren was away from your husband. She was in a space where she could commiserate with her sister. What else is there for Creflo to say to the child when he’d already won the battle? So why ask her why she was crying when he already knew? It seemed he was just being a bully, looking for a fight with someone smaller and weaker. He came into the kitchen to taunt your daughter and to vent his rage.
- Charging across the room to put his hands on your daughter’s throat, bending her over a table, punching her, then beating her with his shoe? This is a young lady with a woman’s body – breasts, buttocks and hips. Why would her own father assault her in such a way? Why would he bend her over a table and throw her on the floor, placing himself in positions of sexual dominance while he beats her? Don’t you think such a reaction is over the top, distastefully aggressive and more similar to a jealous and possessive boyfriend than a father?
- Why did you not come to investigate what was going on when you certainly heard all the commotion? I’m wondering why you didn’t intervene long before Alexandria had to fetch you. Even then your reaction was shockingly serene when a scene of violence lay before you. That tells me that you are conditioned to such acts, and that violence in your home is normalized for you. That is why you didn’t bother coming to see what was amiss. That is why neither you nor Alexandria called 9-1-1. However Lauren, tired of being treated like a dog, had enough and sought help outside the clan. I applaud her bravery and sense of self-preservation.
Read the rest of Deborrah Cooper’s open letter at Women Pray Men Pray.