Dear Black Men

Social Justice

Dear Black Men,
I came to you two weeks ago with concerns about your lack of representation in regards to Korryn Gaines; I was met with white noise and static. Again you met us with silence, and those who did respond to the issue at hand responded to us with ignorance and anger. You met us with hostility and victim shaming, once again you did nothing to protect us.
I don’t need your responses of “not all black men…’ or “maybe if she had done this or that differently”. You sound like the white apologist that blame us for our own deaths, and expect respectability politics and compliance to keep us alive. You love black women in their effort to love you unconditionally but you treat us like Kaepernick critics when we hold you accountable. All your life you’ve been waiting to disrespect us when we step out of line, or call you on your shit. Waiting for the opportune time to call us bitter black bitches when we hold you responsible for your actions or lack there of. We have stood up for you for so long that WE are the true MARTYR’S in this cause. You want us to suffer so black liberation can live; you want to be liberated so you can further oppress us.
Nate Parker’s rape allegations have come forward and hear you are once again, vilifying victims. Using black liberation as an excuse for sexual assault, using conspiracy theories to shame a dead victim. Why do we, a new generation, continue to feed the code of silence? That black women should not condemn black men when they are indeed some of our most vicious abusers. And maybe you personally have not sexually assaulted anyone, but maybe you stood idly by while your homeboy did, or listened in on crass conversations and said nothing. You’re guilty, and you don’t want to hear that. Our community confuses holding you accountable with criticism; it’s not the same thing. Accountability improves our community and makes us better; it helps us to raise better men and encourages conversations about rape culture and consent.
While you’re defending Nate Parker’s “alleged” actions, he’s admitting to them and admitting to his privilege. He admitted she was unconscious and he took advantage of her. He admitted that he never really understood or learned about consent and rape culture. Nonetheless you can’t get over your own privilege to see that, it’s a lesson that black men in America could all stand to learn and a productive conversation to have. You would much rather burn your own women at the stake in an effort to preserve your pride.
We protect black men at all cost; we protect them so often and so viciously that victims protect their abuser. 60% of black women are sexually assaulted, at least 25% occur in childhood and at least 30% occur in adulthood. These aren’t strangers assaulted women, its people we know. It’s you, your friends, your father, and your uncles. Yet you manage to make excuses about your pervy uncle, further enabling his behavior, and when we come forward you spend your time blaming us. Of the 25% of black women assaulted in childhood, how many of those girls deserved it? Pedophilia within the black community is a real problem, and we encourage it by thinking we can protect our daughters simply keeping them away from Pervy Uncle Joe. 90% of children that are subjected to sexual assault are assaulted by people they know, so you are not protecting your children, you are in fact protecting and enabling Pervy Uncle Joe.
What about those assaulted in adulthood? Their assailants were more than likely not strangers. How many of your friends have gone to a party with the intention of taking a drunk girl home, a girl they know will be comfortable with them? What about your married friends committing spousal rape? What about girls you’ve slept with before these are real situations, situations that you know of. You know about these situations and take part or do nothing. You know about these real life situations and reduce to sluts and whores that got what they went looking for. 
Sexual assault and unhealthy relationships with sex within our communities go all the way back to slavery. Where we were treated like property, raped and beaten in front of our husbands in an effort to diminish your manhood and make you feel helpless. We were forced to bear the masters children in order to produce more livestock, or forced into sex with other slaves in order to create the strongest hardworking offspring. Black women had no choice but to be used as concubines, then suffering the abuses of a jealous spouse. This is where the hypersexualization of black bodies begins, but instead of changing a 400-year-old trend you perpetuate it further. You hypersexualize young black girls, or sit by and listen to your friends do it, you encourage rape culture, and you negate yourself of responsibility when it comes to educating your sons about consent.
So again here we are… begging you to come to our aid. Begging you to see us as victims and not villains. Black men don’t need more allies, you have them, but we do need you. We need you to hold other black men accountable, and we need you to protect us, women and children alike. Stop perpetuating the hypersexualization of our bodies, and taking innocence from us.

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Rape isn’t a distraction

Social Justice

After watching this video about Nate Parker and his part in a rape case when he was 19:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7wupF1V-d5c
I felt very conflicted about seeing The Birth Of A Nation, a movie our family was originally very excited about seeing. Nate Parker is a VERY successful actor and becoming a well known leader in the black community.

Because of this many members of the black community feel the sudden resurface of this case is due to his success. I noticed the same thing with Bill Cosby and the Anita Hill case. Why are we so willing to condemn victims and blindly follow black leaders and celebrities? 

Is it because we are so deeply rooted in an unhealthy relationship with sex that dates back as far as plantation life? Maybe because since slavery we have been taught that our bodies are not our own. Black men couldn’t protect us then and they are unwilling to protect us now. 

I take this personally because I am a victim of sexual assault and apart from those close to me I never came forward to report it. Because of this it took a long time to have a healthy outlook on sex. Black families don’t talk about the gross uncle,cousin, or friend that leers at young girls. And our community members blame victims for their plight. 

We’re called fast ass girls if we develop too soon, and they will look for reasons why we deserve it. I noticed this and saw it more clearly when a local high school basketball coach was accused of rape of a male student. Not only was he a volunteer coach, but he was a substitute teacher, AAU basketball coach and ran a group home. Community members rallied behind him and condemned the victim. Then more came forward in troves… The count on his charges have surpassed 50 and they include statutory rape and crimes against nature.

What is wrong with us as a community? Why is it so easy to blame victims? Black women have a 1 in 4 chance of being sexually assaulted, and these are the odds before we even turn 9. So why aren’t we protecting these victims? Because you’ve heard rumors about women who lie about rape? That occurs about 6% of the time, that percentage isn’t even relevant enough for you to make that comparison. 

So when are we going to start having conversations about consent and turning in dirty uncles? Stop teaching our daughters to be victims and teaching our sons to respect women and their right to say no as well as accepting a lack of an answer as no. 

While people are defending Nate Parker he has essentially admitted to his wrongdoings and his male privilege. The timing itself may be convenient but the act itself is inexcusable.

You can read the article here:

http://www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/nate-parker-rape-charges-consent#axzz4IXuYYFFQ