Wednesday, March 29, 2006


(I wrote this at the end of March, but never published it. Reading it, today, that was a mistake, even if it has no links. Just because).

One of the oldest, unspoken racist myths is that Black women cannot be raped. Especially by a white man. It is one of those myths that, of course, never actually gets said. But you know it exists, like a cancer festering inside, by looking at the reaction when a sister does the unthinkable: makes an accusation of rape that involves, even peripherally, a white man. Or, in this case, the white men who constitute the Lacrosse Team at Duke University. It's impossible that any of them raped her. Because of course, nobody can rape a Black woman.

And especially not a Black exotic dancer, earning her way through college at the historically-Black North Carolina Central University while also raising her two kids.

So, as was once sung in that great countercultural musical Hair in a song aptly called "The Flesh Failures"

The rest is silence.

At least until tiny protests started up three days ago in front of the house, owned by Duke University, protesting the team's failure to step up and tell what happened.

At least until an enterprising blogger who writes about "stuff that matters only to us" posts the photographs, names and parents of team on his website.

At least until Duke forfeited 2 games at the direction of its coaches to punish the boys for having a "rowdy party" at which they served alcohol to minors (not for rape, of course - that still hasn't happened.)

And definitely at least not until the entire, nationally ranked team gets indefinitely suspended by the NCAA as the consequence of their "thin blue line" of silence and refusal to cooperate with police.

Then the story becomes national news. Lord knows suspending some upstanding white boys from Long Island who just want to play sports is detrimental to their future. Since it is their future that matters. Which is why despite the fact that the injuries the victim suffered were enough to land her in the hospital for several days, nobody has been arrested.

Nobody has been charged.

Nobody has even been subjected to a lineup.

And, until a judge said "Enough!", nobody volunteered their DNA (not that submitting a DNA sample under a court order/search warrant is "volunteering" - but you'd never know that from the news reports, which do not admit that the DNA samples were not voluntarily given; all they say is that the boys insist they will be vindicated by them.)

Silence is indeed a central part of this story, because it is the silence -- particularly in the left-wing blogosphere, which normally is up in arms about feminist issues -- that is most telling. This rape allegedly occurred on March 14, 2 weeks ago. If you want an education about the ongoing existence of the devaluation of Black womanhood, do a quick search on mainstream blogs for this story. My search this morning turned up three diaries.


But the rest is silence. Which means, yet again, that she was not raped. We all know this. Even as yet, we know nothing.


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