Never Loved Us: How Black Girls Have Never Mattered in the Fight For Black Liberation

lafdjdlkj“I will not participate in the public bandwagon bashing Bill Cosby. Rape is rape and it is never justifiable, but rape is largely only punished in this country when the victims are white women, and the perp is a Black male….

Where was this outrage when Josh Duggar molested his sisters? There was no outrage instead excuses were made in his defense. While TLC continues to promote 19 Kids and Counting, I’ll continue to remember the images of Black culture that Bill Cosby was responsible for producing. The image of what Cliff Huxtable represented. This was not about any sexual relations Bill Cosby had, but more about tarnishing the legacy of yet another successful and prominent Black figure….

9 Black people were murdered by a confederate flag waving white supremacist, because apparently “you’re raping our women. Yet there’s still discussions about weather that flag should still be allowed, not even 48 hours after the tapes of Cosby were released and his status’, honorary doctorate’s, and awards have for the most part been stripped from him. So, no I will not bash the Black man responsible for giving multiple Black generations hope via a tv set, because now (a)ll of that is gone. My children will never be able to watch the Huxtables, or A Different World, but the Duggars are still having babies.”-Kwame Rose, local Baltimore Activist

Most of Black America is in complete disbelief right now, glaring at our television screens as one of the self designated Black “patriarchs” of this artificial black community is torn to shreds by the media. We all knew Bill Cosby as the conservative hetero-patriarch figure that was always telling us to “get our act together”, to pull up our pants and work for our freedom (because somehow that would magically stop us from being mass murdered), to stop naming our children ghetto names (as if that would increase the rates of black people being hired) and to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and work for our freedom. He was the proclaimed end-all-be-all in the black community’s neverending search for respectability politics.

Yet here we are in the midst of a rape scandal, where Cosby has admitted to not only drugging but raping women.

I’ll repeat that again, after months of the media as well as Cosby and his representatives slandering various different women for their “lies” and “false accusations”, he finally admits that he was indeed drugging and raping women; Some of which, were Black women.

When I heard about this whole fiasco, I instantly thought this would be it! What I have been waiting on for my entire life. Finally the black community will start to have more in-depth conversations about blackness and recognize the intraracial violence in our community, especially as it relates to the power dynamics between Black women and Black men.

I was mistaken.

Terribly mistaken.

The amount of posts justifying Cosby’s actions and saying that “this is just a distraction away from racism” is too damn high.

A distraction?

A distraction away from what?

The real problems?

The real problems of who?

Black women have been saying this for years; it angers me now more than ever that people do not get it, especially Black people. When it comes to saving our boys and our men, we can easily have conversations about that. It is easy to talk about how black men are vilified; so much so that many are attempting to stop the media and other Black people from “vilifying” Cosby. Why is it easy to protect Cosby? Because that is a common trope. X Black man gets killed by racist X white man or X Black man is being slandered by X white media outlet. But what I find angering is that we never want to address particular issues that do not abide by these white supremacist tropes. Like the fact that Black Women do in fact get raped, not just by “white slave masters” but by black men also. Not to say that Black men and white men wield the same power or that these two violent phenomena are the same thing but to say that there is still trauma being accrued to Black Women’s body.

But for some reason, we can’t talk about that. It’s too distracting.

Approximately 1 in 5 Black Women in the United States has experienced rape. (http://www.rrsonline.org/?page_id=944)

Black women make up the largest percentage of rape victims, which is 18.8%.( https://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims)

But our suffering is a mere distraction right?

Because paying attention to Black women shouldn’t be and isn’t the status quo right?

We have no time to worry about rape, when mass incarceration of Black men is on the rise?

*insert sarcasm along with a scowl here for those who don’t pick up textual subliminals*

VIOLENCE is being ACCRUED at disproportionate rates. Why is it that we can have a conversation about Black men having the highest incarceration rates and feel the need to intervene but when it is an injustice suffered at the expense of Black women, not only is the community silent but we get blamed.

“Well those women should have never taken that pill.”

“Next time wear a longer skirt.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t have gone to his room.”

Stop. Stop. STOP.

This is the same type of victim blaming rhetoric that white people use to delegitimize black people and y’all know it! “Well if Trayvon would have just not had on that hoodie, he wouldn’t have gotten shot. Well if Emmett would’ve just saved that whistle till he got to the porch step, he may still be alive today. If Cece would’ve just walked in the other direction than things would’ve been kosher.”

I call BULLSHIT.

Stop making excuses for Bill Cosby. He was raping women, Black women. What’s even sadder, is that those Black women aren’t even getting recognized as much as these white women. So stop telling Black women that when we point out violence that has been caused by Black men that we are doing exactly what white people do and are “bringing the Black man down”. No brother, you pulled yourself down there. You shouldn’t have been raping women. There is no other way to slice or dice it.

Furthermore, to be clear I think that most Black men’s reaction to this, especially as we look at Kwame Rose’s post, is exemplary of how hetero-sexual Black men are able to manipulate white supremacist tropes to dominate interracial conversations and ultimately transform Blackness into a monolith. We can’t possibly have a conversation about how Bill Cosby was a serial rapist because he’s a black man. As if the black community cannot multitask. As if we cannot simultaneously value black life and criticize Cosby’s violence. Your attempt to paper over the violence that Black women are facing and have specifically faced at the hands of Bill Cosby is not only sickening but it exemplifies that not all Black life matters. No, in this instance Black women’s lives do not matter because it comes at the “expense” of Bill Cosby’s dignity.
To me, that’s nothing short of a punch line for some existential joke that will never make any damn sense.

Bill Cosby is a rapist. He admitted to that. Stop trying to shore him up in a lifeboat of blackness because “black men have it so damn hard”. We get it, Black people are getting killed, no matter what the intersection, we are getting killed; not one of us is more important than the other. We are all being taken to the damn slaughter house.

But that statement does not justify violence. You don’t get to say “Well yeah Bill you may have raped some black women and about 30 other women, but hey let’s not beat him up too bad because you know black men have it hard enough as it is. Instead let us go focus on how the Confederate Flag is still flying high.”

So getting back to Mr. Rose’s statement,

Maybe you should stop worrying about whether your kids will be able to watch the Cosby Show or ever catch A Different World Re-runs, because I think that a black woman being raped, is a little more important than Cosby’s reputation. I think that the violence that Cosby caused is a little more important than some air time. We are not the ones that are distracted you are.

Stop pretending we are “massa” coming to beat up some more on the Black man.
That little trope is getting old and I have no time for it.

I will say this last thing,

I am no longer standing behind our Black men. I am no longer rallying in the name of justice for what is right and fair. Why? Because who will rally for the people that look like me? Who will rally and fight for what is right for Black women. Who will march for Black Women? Who scream and cry and have teach-ins for Black Women. Who will cry peace, peace for us?

I wrote this post in tears and rage.

I hope you can feel my pain.

I have cried my soul in to this post because I am genuinely hurt.

I hope you can feel that Black Girl Pain.

Because it eats away at me everyday of my life.

And I pray just maybe one day, everyone else will see the shit we carry to Olympius and back

Because we are enduring hell on earth.

But ya’ll don’t see that….

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. darrell Milburn says:

    Love the article. Understanding what bill Cosby did is a powerful statement to people everywhere, especially in the black community being an influential role model for some. All role model make mistakes all humans make mistakes and they got to live with it, Mr. Cosby has to live with it. Hopefully we all can do what Mr. Cosby did and look in the mirror and face the truth

    Like

    1. Ms. Korey Toddae says:

      Darrell! Thank you so much! It actually means a lot that you read my post. I literally agree 110% I think we all need to realize Bill messed up and we should let him face the consequences of his actions. You Know? I agree with you!

      Like

  2. Catherine says:

    Thank you for this insightful and powerful article. I, too, don’t understand how paying attention to harms inflicted upon black women is a distraction from the harms inflicted upon black men and why one group is treated as it is more worthy of advocacy vs. another. I read another article on the same topic in the last week that might interest you. It’s title is “Say Her Name: Billie Holiday and the Erasure of Black Women’s Experience” and can be found on the American Prospect website. I noticed that in the statistics that you linked to that the rate of rape is much higher among women of American Indian/Alaskan women (34.1%) than for any other racial group but I realize that they also make up a tiny percentage of overall population thanks to the white men murdering tribes of American Indians.

    Like

  3. myosha walker says:

    Next Nikki Giovanni. Please fb me Nae Walker (MLK pik)

    Like

  4. BmoreBeauty07 says:

    Great article! I genuinely feel your passion and admire your much needed tone as an advocate in favor of Black women. Well done. I agree with so many of the comments except that I don’t see this as Bill Cosby making a mistake. It was a choice.
    I started writing an article earlier this year about how Hannibal Burris felt so empowered to speak out against Mr.Cosby when it involved mostly white women. I said he could have used his platform for statistics on the rape of Black women. So I am glad that you cited those statistics. We need to be aware. Nevertheless, as you state, rape is a crime and perpetrators should be exposed.

    Like

  5. Ashfronomenal says:

    Reblogged this on Scholarship, Sneakers, and Some Randomness and commented:
    Yup

    Like

  6. Snare says:

    Excellent post!

    Like

  7. Style Barker says:

    Reblogged this on Beats Style Wrote and commented:
    I have thoughts on the subject, but they say it a lot better than I could. Great read.

    Like

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