Why is it, that on every website/blog I see about the Duke alleged rape case, people keep bringing up Tawana Brawley? As if she set the standard for all black women who can claim rape. It is very unsettling that because of Tawana’s story, which took place over 20 years ago, this black woman in North Carolina has been reduced to an immoral stripper, who is obviously charging these young men with rape for her own benefit. Although, I am not quite sure how she would benefit from these accusations.
When the media and other folks continue to compare her story to Tawana’s, they yet again, reinforce the idea that if a black woman claims rape, she must be lying. That black women cannot be trusted. That black women who tell their story of sexual assault, have a secret agenda. That black women are out to get white men. Bull. These two cases are exceedingly different on many, many levels.
It’s also interesting to note that, no one rushes to evoke the numerous stories of lynched black men who were accussed of raping white women. When white women lie about being raped by black men, no one resurrects photographs of black bodies hanging from trees, or the mangled and bloated body of young Emmitt Till who, supposedly, only whistled at a white woman.
If anything, the only connection I see between the two cases is the media hype and racial “taking sides” we have all fallen suspect too. How dare anyone to compare these two cases, when the facts and evidence are strinkingly different. People do lie. But that is no justification for criminalizing other rape victims.
I urge you all to see Aishah Shahidah Simmons NO! the rape documentary. I can’t stress enough how important this film is in challenging media hype about black female rape victims and idiots who continue to compare this case with Tawana Brawley. Black women are indeed victims of rape, just as much as other women–we must understand that.
Also posted on my blog