A number of reported cases reveal the ubiquity of sexual abuse in American society. The incidents are also rampant in the African American community. Fortunately, the Me Too movement has brought attention to this issue, and has increased the ire of a number of Black men. Whenever Black women mention issues connected with rape and sexual abuse, some point to the white feminist movement as a cause saying that Black women are only complaining because of their influence.
The latter notion in itself is ridiculous, and it also smacks of racism. What is being inferred, and actually said by a number of “woke” Black men, is that Black women cannot make any decisions for themselves unless they have approval from white feminists. This is ludicrous, and more importantly, it reveals the seriousness of the sexual abuse problem in Black communities. If people refuse to acknowledge the existence of the issue, it will continue on unabated and unaddressed.
The Black community is not the only arena where women are muzzled when speaking out about sexual predation. It is quite predictable that whenever any woman of any race speaks up, she is likely to be attacked. This is why so many women carry the secret of victimization with them to their graves. The Me Too movement has encouraged women to speak up because there is strength in numbers.
Society is in denial about the problem, and too many people refuse to believe any claims of it, and women are just as likely to verbally attack women whenever they make claims. For instance, the venerable Bill Cosby has been accused of sexual misconduct with at least 60 women, but surprisingly, a lot of female observers question why the women took so long to come forth. In fact, this is one of the most common responses to women who claim to be victims. Others say that the women were probably gold-diggers and/or they provoked the incident.
The exact same sentiments have been claimed about the women, AND underage girls, that have been the alleged victims of R. Kelly, the R & B singer who actually married an underage girl, the late singer Aliyah, when she was 14 years old. Moreover, there are a number of new allegations that R. Kelly is actually somewhat of a sex “Svengali” who keeps women enslaved.
Parents of one such woman, aged 19, appeared on the well-received television program, Sister Circle, saying that their daughter is being kept from them. R. Kelly’s former wife, on the same program, tearfully said that she was the victim of his abuse. Predictably, most Black people responding in social media questioned why his wife waited so long to talk about this, and assume that she is looking to somehow benefit monetarily. These are the same old responses given to most cases. Actually, it seems as though Black women are on their own when it comes to sexual predation.
It must be said, however, that the problems connected with sexual abuse are not just limited to women; there are also boys who have been victimized. In fact, sexual predation is so pervasive in the Black community and American society as a whole that it is even a growing problem among migrant youth separated from their parents who are being detained by the Trump administration!
People don’t seem to understand the gravity of the problems connected with sexual predation. These result in scarred and flawed human beings who grow up in our communities so fragile that they are unable to forge stable family bonds. Suicide, depression, infidelity, fatherless families, and the often-troubled youth in street gangs creating havoc in communities of color are byproducts.
These issues coupled with the racism that infects American society, are a recipe for certain failure. It is time that people reach a new level of maturity when it comes to addressing sexual predation. One of the fixes would be to understand the value that women bring to family and community life, and to protect them. As long as they are considered second class citizens, our communities will continue to be debased. Moreover, society as a whole needs to rethink the issue of sexual predation. It is a spiritual problem embedded in our culture. A Luta Continua.