Ok, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say something about the latest crime to become a media circus. I’m sure by now most of you have heard about the murder of Jessie Davis, who was almost 9 months pregnant and was likely killed in front of her two year old child by the child’s father. Since Davis and Cutts were a black/white couple and I am someone who studies black/white interracial relationships and who is in a black/white interracial relationship, I know many people are wondering what I think about this case. I’m not here to offer any opinions on the particulars of the case1 , but I do want to talk about the media coverage of the case.
I went around to a few blogs, and I visited AOL Blackvoices and a couple white supremacist message boards to see what they were saying, and quite frankly it was horrible. Many people were saying that the victim deserved it; that she was “white trash;” that her child was ugly; and that she was a sleazy, homewrecking whore. Not surprisingly, the accused murderer, who is the poster boy for anti-black stereotypes, was also being trashed as a violent womanizer who lusted after white women. I can’t tell you how many racist and misogynistic comments I read; and not surprisingly the white supremacists were giddy over this case.2
Terrence Says has a reasonable post, which anonymous bigots tried to take over in the comment thread, and in his post, Terrence engages with the question that many folks are thinking–is the media circus surrounding this case about race? Terrence cites a recent case of a white man who killed his white wife and three children:
Today, like Bobby Cutts, Jr. who was arrested in Ohio, Christopher Vaughn was also arrested. Christopher Vaughn was arrested two hours prior to the funeral of his family in St. Charles County, Missouri (suburban St. Louis) where the family originated; yet, so far, there has not been a mention of Vaughn’s arrest that I have been able to observe on the weekend news shows.
As sad and tragic as the Jessie Davis story is, I can’t help but wonder if this story had involved a missing pregnant black or Latina woman if it would have the same media traction.
Well several of the anonymous commenters went crazy, saying that the case received so much attention because Davis was pregnant, because Cutts was a cop, because the child was left in the house alone, and everything but race. I certainly agree that all of those things make the story more sensational, but I really can’t fathom that it is much more sensational than the Vaugh family case mentioned above. However, I find myself having a slight disagreement with Terrence. I agree that white women victims get much more attention than Black, Asian, Latino, and American Indian women, and I agree that race is a big factor in the media attention the case has gotten, but I would be more specific than Terrence.
It’s about interracial sex. Interracial crimes make big sensational news stories, but crimes that involve interracial sexuality arouse the deepest passions of American bigotry. The OJ Simpson case, the Duke Rape, the Kobe Bryant rape case, and now this one–they all have tremendous sexual overtones. For a long time, I was surprised at how much attention the Duke case received, because I was focused on the fact that the accuser in the case was black, but I missed the mark. It’s more than the races of the people involved; if the crime is perceived as involving interracial sex, something snaps in people, suddenly they perk up.
The truth of the matter is that the US is a culture obsessed with interracial sex, but nobody will say this in polite company. During the slave era and the Jim Crow era, white people spoke with repulsion and disgust at interracial sex even though many white men were routinely engaging in sexual encounters with black women. In the colorblind era, people are still obsessed with interracial sex. However, they do not publicly say, “Wow, interracial sex is: bizarre, disgusting, exciting, adventurous, morally repugnant,” and so on. That’s part of the reason nobody in the mainstream polite media is going to openly say–“Damn that negro had two white baby mama’s. He must have really been packing some heat below the belt. Why else would those white women be interested in him?” 3 Nobody is going to say, “Those white women are white trash, whores for sleeping with this black guy. They probably only did it for his big dick.” Nobody is going to say, “Why can’t these black men just take care of their kids and stopping hopping from bed to bed. Only a white women with no self esteem will get with a guy like that.” They are not saying these dispargaing comments publicly, but when they get home to their families and friends, they are saying it. When they go on line to search for interracial porn, they are thinking it. When they can leave anonymous comments on blogs, they are expressing it.
I think my traffic at this site is evidence for the American obsession with race and sex. Within the last week here are a select few searches I have received:
- black men impregnating white women stories
- savages on blondes
- Biracial family pictures black and white
- BLACK ATHLETE MARRYING WHITE WOMEN
- Black men breeding white girls
- black negro slave woman naked pictures
- black women with white men in adult movies
- differences between white and black women’s breasts
- blacks in bed sexing
- george lucas in love black women
- how do you feel about interracial relationship
And this was a really slow week, I’ve gotten at least 100 searches over the past few months for “savages on blondes,” which was a popular racist pornographic website featuring black men who act like “savages” who want to have sex with white women. I mentioned that site exactly one time on this blog, and I still get people looking for it.
For some reason, people think interracial sex is exotic and daring, particularly when it involves Black men and white women and Asian women and white men. Numerous people, who clearly have no random sample to draw from believe that race is correlated with penis size. They believe race is correlated with a person’s level of sexual desire. They believe people who engage in interracial sex are deviant, rebellious, daring, gross, odd, oversexed, and ugly. But, most of them will not admit it publicly. Instead they go home and post horrible messages discussion boards. (Probably while masturbating to interracial porn.) They try their best to hide their discomfort, but most interracial couples can see how the stares they get in public often belie the facade of tolerance.
When it comes to interracial sexuality, the US is still not ready to come to grips with our racism, and the discomfort with the intersection of race and sexuality fuels the public obession with many interracial crimes.
NOTE TO READERS: I know this thread is going to be an ultra-sensitive subject, and white supremacist trolls will likely be coming out of the woodwork, so I am limiting this thread to anti-racists and racial abolitionists only. Moreover, this is not a thread to debate the merits of any of the cases mentioned in the text, so let’s focus on the larger issues. Finally, anyone who leaves bigoted white supremacist comments will be banned immediately.
Amending The Note To Readers to include feminist posters as well. So the thread is opened to anti-racists (or racial abolitionists) and feminists only.
- I also want to say that my heart goes out to the family of Jessie Davis and her child. I hope they are able to get justice in this case. [↩]
- I have a policy of not linking to organized white supremacist sites, but you can check out the big ones to see what they are saying. [↩]
- I don’t know if his wife is white or not, so I can’t comment on the third “baby mama.” [↩]