Who's to Blame When a Black Man Rapes a Woman?
Truly, I have witnessed as a journalist and human rights advocate the many injustices inflicted upon black men in this world. The pain, trauma and rage born of exploitation are terrors that I have grappled with every day of my life. They make one want to strike back, to fight rabidly for what is left of their personal dignity in the wake of such things. Black men have every right to the anger they feel in response to their position in the global hierarchy, but their anger is misdirected.
Women are not the source of their oppression; oppressive policies and the as-yet unaddressed white patriarchy which still dominates the global stage are. Because women -- and particularly women of color -- are forced to bear the brunt of the black male response to the black male plight, the international community and those nations who have benefited from the oppression of colonized peoples have a responsibility to provide women with the protection that they need.
How is it possible, after being the victim of a brutal rape, to absolve the perpetrator of guilt and point the finger at men of another color who are nowhere near one's body? This projection is absolutely stunning and self-defeating.
The man who committed this crime committed it for his reason and his alone. Without holding him to account, what hope of change is there? If a person cannot own his behavior, he cannot change it.
This sort of rationalization would absolve white slave owners, by the way. They were simply victims of cultural thinking at the time. And the patriarchy? A remnant of twisted religious extremism.
No one would be responsible for any action at any time, anywhere. There is, after all, a context for every crime.
At the root of this absolution is a desire to push personal responsibility on the collective. Unfortunately, the collective was not in that room that night. One man raped one woman.
He alone is responsible. Excusing his behavior is a moral travesty. A society unravels when evil cannot be named and shamed.
Forget collective guilt. It is a collective shame that this sort of thinking permeates liberal thought. This belief in action will utterly destroy society should it go unchallenged.
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