Given that 90 percent of all sexual assaults are interracial, one has to wonder if the men defending Cosby are protecting him—or themselves.
It’s about time for black men to take a long look in the mirror and ask how our male privilege can be harmful to black women.
During the most turbulent of times, it seems that when black women raise their voices to discuss their unique experience with racism and sexual violence, too many of us have a tendency to discredit their claims.
Black women have always taken our claims—of being victims of state-sponsored brutality—at face value, yet we often struggle to return that same benefit of the doubt when they discuss sexual violence directed at them. This is a serious issue we have to confront in our community because we have to challenge whether we really honor black womanhood, as many of us would like to believe.
Emphasis on the word “womanhood.”
A recent example of black male betrayal of black women took place last weekend when comedian Faizon Love responded to black women who dared to challenge his Twitter tirade in defense of Bill Cosby, by calling them “bitches” and “hos” and repeating the same illogical refrain of other Cosby apologists: that neither the national press nor social media has allowed “due process” to investigate the allegations against him.
It’s a peculiar argument, given that black men as a whole often don’t trust “due process” to work to our benefit. In central New Jersey, for example, 99 percent of police-brutality cases go uninvestigated. According to the Cato Institute, most of the 17,000 local and state law-enforcement agencies don’t self-report acts of police misconduct, and many states have laws that won’t allow agencies to release results of misconduct investigations.
If black men aren’t expected to trust such a system, why should we expect women to trust “due process” when 40 percent of college sexual assault cases in America go uninvestigated? Or consider New Orleans, where detectives followed up on only 179 of 1,290 sex cases between January 2011 and December 2013. Do we really have to ask why only 60 percent of sexual assault cases are reported to begin with?
Are we really that shocked that women are often left with no recourse other than the court of public opinion, when data show that their alleged perpetrator will probably never see the inside of a courtroom to begin with, much less a jail cell?
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SOURCE: The Root
Terrell Jermaine Starr