As of late, you can’t turn on the news without seeing headlines of politicians, Hollywood elites and company heads on the sexual assault chopping block. These allegations are not new to the famous but this year the insurmountable strength of what TIME Magazine called the ‘Silence Breakers’ made headlines and hit social media and other outlets by storm. It should be noted that, Tarana Burke, a black women, began this movement long before Harvey Weinstein became the center of controversy. Burke, a sexual assault victim herself felt the importance of relating this issue to others and ensuring them their case was not isolated.
According to an ongoing study by BWB (Black Women’s Blueprint), 60%–SIXTY PERCENT of black girls experienced sexual abuse before reaching the age of 18.
On a personal note, being a sexual assault survivor myself, you can imagine it’s sickening to know of the countless accounts I have heard from women AND MEN I know who have dealt with pedophilia and sexual assault mostly from family friends or family members (both female and male as close as siblings). What we’ve found is in the black community these issues often times go unreported and ‘swept under the rug’ of pride, family secrets and a ‘go pray about it attitude’. This topic has long been a sore spot in our community. I recall reading novels as a young girl such as Toni Morrison’s, ‘The Bluest Eye’ and Maya Angelou’s autobiography, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’. These novels detail both fictional and non-fictional versions of the same story of abuse.
Recently, in my home state of Alabama an important senate race took place between a Moderate Democrat Doug Jones and the notorious ULTRA Conservative xenophobic, homophobic, bigoted
Judge Roy Moore(google him). Within the last few weeks of the race…9–NINE Caucasian women came forward giving accounts of sexual encounters with Roy Moore while they were teenagers (between the ages of 14 to 17)in Etawah county, Alabama where he was the District Attorney. The entire nation and world began to pay close attention to this race for a senate seat left vacant by a controversial Attorney General in the Trump administration, Jeff Sessions. (JEFFERSON BEAUREGARD SESSIONS III– I’m sorry his name makes me giggle).
In the end, the votes were essentially split (Jones 49.92% VS. Moore 48.38%) leaving Jones victorious! But even beyond Moore’s circus show of evangelistic mood-ring politics, the state had trouble deciding if the allegations were true and if they believed him or the young girls now adult women 30+ years later. Yes, we all know ‘Innocent Until Proven Guilty’. *eye roll*
So now we come to my point….
I can’t tell you how many people….including black people HARPED on how disgusting Roy Moore was for dating under-aged girls. I saw think pieces on it and countless Facebook/Twitter posts. Forgive me for playing devils advocate but, why do we not hold those same concerns and feelings when it comes to people like singer R. Kelly (who illegally married a 15 year old Aaliyah when he was 27) and the countless unnamed/unidentified predators that use the leverage of victim blaming or notoriety to hide the abuse. I can’t tell you how many times I heard someone in my community say ‘quit being fast’ to a young girl because her ‘uncle’ liked her to “sit on his lap”. I am guilty of going to an R. Kelly concert and enjoying myself and not having a second thought about his video recorded abuse of a child. No, this is not a smear campaign against R. Kelly but this is a call to action. We need to address the elephant in the room and most importantly protect and support children. We can not let people get away with this. We must set a standard and remove the normalcy of abuse that cast a dark and painful shadow over our society. It’s shameful that only a few adults who have sexual assaulted other adults are paying the cost but our children are being left damaged for life and there have yet to be repercussions. Please note my perspective is from the black community but in a sickening turn of events of Tuesday nights election I now see this problem goes beyond my community and racial demographic. Let us not forget…R. Kelly was found innocent in a court of his peers…a court,
JUDGE Roy Moore will never have to face.
*Just my opinion