Reporter Brianna Hamblin recently provided social media with a clear-cut example of what women, especially Black women, have to deal with every day. While cameras were rolling as Hamblin was about to start reporting live from a neighborhood location, she is approached by a white man who starts to catcall her.
“You look nice, by the way,” the man says as he passes behind Hamblin, who attempts to avoid eye-contact. “You’re beautiful as hell,” he adds, as she tries to offer a de-escalating “Thank you.”
Following up, the man says, “God damn. I better not be on camera though.”
Hamblin maintains her composure, but the shift in her body language is instantly familiar to most women who have faced harassment in public.
“You see, that’s why I can’t be left alone with a Black woman,” the man finishes. “Or a Mulatto, s**t. Because I can’t stand these f*****g white girls.”
Later, Hamblin took to her Twitter account with video of the encounter and a series of tweets about how this wasn’t an isolated incident.
“Being hit on and harassed as a woman, especially as a woman reporter out in the field, happens so often you learn how to roll with it or ignore it. This time it happened to be recorded only seconds before my hit. There are A LOT of things wrong with this,” she wrote. “The audacity of the things men say to me never ceases to amaze me. What makes you think women want to be talked to that way? In no way is this endearing. It’s uncomfortable. It’s gross.”
She added later in her tweets: “Being a Black woman in this industry has its own headaches, but talking down on one group of women to ‘praise’ another group is NEVER okay. It just shows you have a disgusting fetish based on stereotypes, which is just as racist.”
And right on que, many in her comment section tried to defend the man, claiming he was just trying to compliment her.
“You should have noticed the beer in his hands and the fact he might be homeless,” one Twitter user wrote. “You spoke to him..when you acknowledge crazy expect crazy. You can be a victim or learn how to avoid these situations.”
“I think that you're f*****g this up with the identity politics stuff, and there are elements that can and should be parsed without regard to gender,” another person tweeted in reply.
Others tried to blame her for doing a standup in a neighborhood.
“Biggest thing wrong is that you went to that neighborhood and thought it would be safe. Duh lady,” a Twitter user replied to her original video.