Thursday, October 23, 2008
- Why do black women fail to report rape. Maretta Short, president of NOW New Jersey, recently forwarded two important articles on this issue. One was by Salamishah Tillet, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, the other by Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a professor at Princeton University. Both appeared on TheRoot.com. Both writers came to the same conclusion.
- Black women account for about l8 to 28 percent of rape victims. About 90 percent of victims report they were assaulted by a member of their own racial or ethnic group. Harris-Lacewell writes, “Black women raped by black male perpetrators often remain silent because they are alone. They don’t want to confirm white racial stereotypes; their own families and communities tell them to shut up; they have little reason to think that authorities will take their cases seriously; they fear the devastating ramifications of a manhunt in black communities if they are believed; and in the history of lynching, white women have been adversaries not allies, on the question of rape.”
- Tillet adds “ … rape victims do not want to perpetuate stereotypes about the black male rapist and … they fear criminalizing African-American men. But even more egregiously, African-American women know that they risk being labeled a race traitor by some who view their actions as airing dirty linen
- This is an attitude I am familiar with. All minority groups are protective of their communities. This is why liberal American Muslims have been slow to condemn fatwas by some Muslim clergy ordering the murder of dissidents, or to admit that some of the teachings in the Koran are destructive and are not to be taken literally but to be understood as ideas within the framework of the time in which they were written.
- In my own case, as a Jewish woman, I was raised to believe that ‘Jewish men don’t do that,” meaning they don’t rape women or beat their wives. Imagine my shock when I eventually met a pregnant woman who told me her Jewish husband had been beating her while she was pregnant. And then my surprise when, many years later, I heard a Yiddish song , probably written in the late l9th or early 20th century, which was a plaint by a woman telling about her abuse at the hands of her husband. Of course the group performing this song was a woman’s klezmer band. My mother’s mantra “ Jewish men don’t do that” was a means of not washing dirty linen in public, of protecting the reputation of our minority community
- We all know by now, however, what protecting criminals does to a community. Protecting drug dealers in public housing, or even ignoring bad behavior such as graffiti or inconsiderate levels of noise destroys the livability of the buildings. Ignoring rape or any other destructive, anti-social behavior just encourages more such behavior.
- From a feminist perspective, when a woman who has been assaulted is more concerned with protecting the innocent men in her community than with her own pain, she not only harms herself, but is committing a great injustice to other victims and victims in the future. This is a pattern of thinking that I feel quite sure is essentially female. When a man is violated in any way, by assault, robbery or rape – I doubt very much he starts worrying about everyone else before reporting the crime. A woman in that situation should be encouraged to think about herself first, and if she has the energy, to commiserate with her sisters who have been through the same trauma.
- As far as protecting her community, the only way to deal with a sensitive issue is to have the courage to tell the truth, to share that truth with other victims and with the community at large. Only then can the community begin to think about the problem and take action.
Alisha Burton, age 23, 10 years,kidnapping and assault.
Karen Burton, age 46, 30 years, malicious assault and violation of civil rights.
Linnie Burton Jr, age 21, plead guilty to battery on June 9th for striking Williams in the head with his fist. He was given a 6 month suspended sentence and 1 year of supervised probation.
Bobby Ray Brewster, age 25, 12-35 years, second-degree sexual assault, malicious assault and conspiracy to commit kidnapping or holding hostage.
Frankie Brewster, age 49, 10-25 years, second-degree sexual assault.
Danny J. Combs, age 21, 4-20 years, conspiracy to commit kidnapping or holding hostage, assault during the commission of a felony, and first-degree sexual abuse.
George Messer, age 25, 10 years, kidnapping and assault.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Backed by relatives of the defendants accused in last year's rape of a Dunbar Village resident, Sharpton said any act of violence against a woman is inexcusable, but he is seeking fairness, considering that the teens charged in a New Year's Day assault west of Boca Raton are free on bail.
"You cannot have one set of rules for acts that are wrong and horrific in Boca and another set in Dunbar Village," said Sharpton, a civil rights activist and president of the New York-based National Action Network. "You must have equal protection under the law."
Avion Lawson, 14; Nathan Walker, 17; Tommy Poindexter, 18; and Jakaris Taylor, 16, all were charged as adults with multiple felonies connected to the attack, in which police say the victim was repeatedly assaulted. Taylor has reached an agreement that would send him to prison for 20 years after pleading guilty to two counts of sexual battery and one count of burglary.
All four teens remain in the Palm Beach County Jail with bail denied, while five teens charged as adults with sexual battery on a physically incapacitated person and lewd and lascivious battery in the New Year's Day case all have posted bond as they await trial. Sharpton said the teens in that case had not been charged as adults; all but a 13-year-old were.
William Long, 18; Alex Perriello, 16; Eduardo Otaegui, 17; Ryan Lafferty, 14; and Blake Carter, 14, are accused of assaulting two middle school students along a canal bank after a night of drinking west of Boca Raton.
In that case, the consumption of alcohol by the teens, including the alleged victims, appears to have been a factor in the assault, according to court documents. The girls ended up in a hospital and one of them is reported to have told one of the boys she wanted to have sex with him, according to court documents. Three of the teen boys admitted to investigators they engaged in sex acts with the girls, one of whom was found by a deputy unconscious and half-naked.
In the Dunbar Village case, the victim was beaten, forced into a sex act with her son at gunpoint and ordered into a tub filled with vinegar and water, where household cleaners were poured on her, police said.
Maude Ford Lee, president of the West Palm Beach chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said she hoped Sharpton's presence would help expose the "injustice."
"We're quite concerned it seems there is a different kind of action that takes place with black kids and white kids," Lee said. "We are not condoning the crimes that these kids supposedly committed but we want equal treatment under the law for them."
Michael Edmondson, spokesman for the State Attorney's Office, said the allegations levied at Tuesday's news conference do not deserve a response.
Cathy Lawson, Avion Lawson's mother, said she is still hurting about the fact her son is charged as an adult."I'm not saying they shouldn't be charged, but I don't feel that they should be charged as adults," she said. "Because they don't have the mind of an adult."
Avion Lawson is "not doing good" in jail and is allowed out of his cell one hour every other day, she said."How would you be doing if you were a 14-year-old locked up in a room?" she asked.Walker's mother, Ruby Walker, also attended the news conference and complained about the treatment her son and his co-defendants have received."We don't like what's going on. It's not right," she said. "I don't think we should have to suffer."
Sharpton also said he plans to follow through on a promise to spend the night at Dunbar Village. He repeatedly expressed his concern about the lack of bail for the Dunbar defendants."In this situation, it is the imbalance that we are protesting. We are not condoning the acts on either side," Sharpton said.
"While we admonish young men in every community to not engage in crime and to respect women, we also admonish the system that you can't have one level of justice for whites and those with money and another level for blacks that live in Dunbar Village."Nancy Othón can be reached at email@example.com or 561-228-5502.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
She died from pretending the life she was living was a Kodak moment instead of a 20th century, post-slavery nightmare. She died from tolerating Mr. Pitiful, just to have a man around the house. She died from lack of orgasms because she never learned what made her body happy and no one took the time to teach her
And sometimes, when she found arms that were tender, died because those arms belonged to someone of the same gender.
She died from sacrificing herself for everybody and everything when what she wanted to do was be a singer, a dancer, or some other magnificent other.She died from lies of omission because she didn't want to "bring the black man down." She died from race memories of being snatched and raped and snatched and sold and snatched and bred and snatched and whipped and snatched and worked to death.
She died from tributes from her counterparts who should have been matching her efforts instead of showering her with dead words and empty songs.
She died from myths that would not allow her to show weakness without being chastised by the lazy and hazy. She died from hiding her real feelings until they became hard and bitter enough to invade her womb and breasts like angry tumors.
She died from always lifting something from heavy boxes to refrigerators.
The strong black woman is DEAD
She died from the punishments received from being honest about life, racism and men. She died from being called a bitch for being verbal, a dyke for being assertive and a whore for picking her own lovers. She died for never being enough of what men wanted, or being too much for the men she wanted.
She died from being too black and died again for not being black enough.
She died from castration every time somebody thought of her as only a woman, or treated her like less than a man. She died from being misinformed about her mind, her body and the extent of her royal capabilities. She died from knees pressed too close together because respect was never part of the foreplay being shoved at her.
She died from loneliness in birthing rooms and abandonment in abortion centers. She died of shock in courtrooms where she sat, alone, watching her children being legally lynched. She died in bathrooms with her veins busting open with self-hatred and neglect.
She died in her mind, fighting life, racism and men, while her body was carted away and stashed in a human warehouse for the spiritually mutilated. And sometimes when she refused to die, when she just refused to give in, she was killed by the lethal images of blond hair, blue eyes and flat butts; rejected by the O.J.'s, the Quincy's, the Tiger's and the Poitier's.
Sometimes she was stomped to death by racism and sexism, executed by hi-tech ignorance while she carried the family in her belly, the community on her head, and the race on her back!
♥If friends, family, police, counselors, or hospital workers treat you negatively, their secondary victimization, also called second assault, can further damage your emotional state and cause your healing to take even longer.
♥The rape of enslaved black women reached perhaps it most pathological extremes when slavers decided to "breed" more slaves.
♥Black women were used sexually in a number of ways. Sometimes the masters let their sons sleep with Black women for their first sexual experience.
♥The point is they had no sexual autonomy. And that is the injustice, that Black women did not own their body. Period.
♥This legacy of violence and sexual victimization affects every member of society, but Black women continue to bear more than their share of the fall out.
♥It is not something that families want people to know that their daughters have experienced.
♥"There is this idea that Black women's rapes are not as important as White women's rapes."
♥The racial biases are institutionalized to this day. "Black women's rapes are taken less seriously in the criminal justice system." Recent studies have shown that judges generally impose harsher sentences for rape when the victim is white than when the victim is black.
♥We still buy into several myths. [As] strong Black women, we just can take whatever and move on. And the other one is that we have to take good care of out men. If we take care of our men, then we're not going to report men who are violent
"While the laws in many states define rape as more traumatic and deserving of more severe punishment if a pregnancy results, juries seem to disagree.
If the survivor is black, it is less likely that the accused rapist will plead guilty regardless of his race. Ant it is also, sadly, less likely that the case will be won in a court regardless of his race. LaFree found that our criminal Justice system is prejudiced against black women. It is no wonder that so many black women choose not to report to the police, even thought they may go to the hospital to have injuries treated and for STD and pregnancy prevention.
This prejudice against black women was evident when Desire Washington charged boxer Mike Tyson with raping her. Even black college women were quoted as saying "she got what she deserved." Instead of being sympathetic towards her, they were angry that she had charged a prominent black man with rape."*****
*****Recovering from Rape by Linda E. Ledray, R.N., P.H.D
Some Justice System right????