The title of this post comes from the following blog post:
“The article was based on the stats in a U.S. Department of Justice Publication documenting crime statistics in 2005.
There were 160,270 single-offender rapes/sexual assaults reported in 2005. 48.% of the offenders were black, an impressively high total considering that blacks are only 13% of the population.
What’s more interesting is when the race of the victim is compared to the race of the offender. For the 111,490 cases where the rape/sexual assault victim was white, 33.6% of the time the perceived race of the offender was black, compared to 44.5% white.
But for the 36,620 cases where the rape/sexual assault victim was black, 100% of the time the offender was reported to be black. (And we are told that 0% means 10 or fewer reported cases, so it’s possible that there have been as many as 10 cases of non-black men raping black women in 2005.)
This is a pretty strange statistic if you think about it. There were approximately 74,029 rape/sexual assaults committed by non-black men, but in no more than 10 of these cases was the victim black? What’s wrong with black women that no one wants to rape them? ”
I would like to include some responses from posters:
Commenter # 1:
There are so many things that are wrong with that blog post/comments that I don’t even know where to start. I’m not sure what’s worst the fact that the poster seems to think that Black women don’t get raped, that rape is an expression of physical attraction or that Black women are all too ugly to even be raped, despite history.
Let’s first look at the misogyny in this article. Rape is equated with attraction, but those who research rape or even read a book would understand that rape is about power and violence. Are some men physically attracted to their rape victims…sure, but rape is in NO WAY a compliment to a woman. It’s a vicious, violent and dehumanizing act. Now that we’ve got that out of the way. Let’s look at the actual validity of those so-called interracial rape statistics.
The US Dept. of Justice article that they are referencing is misinterpreted. Abagond did an excellent post explaining how white racists misread the statistics. If you look closely at the article, it is clear that the statistics in that sample are actually records of all forms of sexual abuse, which include kissing, groping etc.,not just rape. Therefore, to equate that sample with just rape is deceptive. Next, the asterisk (*) represents ten or fewer SAMPLE cases. That means that they didn’t ask EVERYONE in the country or even most people. The article has been skewed to seem as if NO white men ever rape Black women, but Black men are out raping white women en masse because they’re just “so sexually irresitible.”
I would also like to direct you to the following article on racial patterning in rape for more information.
Now that we all know that racist white people are MISREPRESENTING rape statistics to make Black women look undesirable, as well as make Black men look like monsters, we can address the posters.
Here is my Idea: I say that the whole issue is that some people do not view Black women as “real women.” People claim that Black women are unrapeable because we’re ugly, aggressive and strong, yet we’re always being raped. I submit that the men who claim that Black women don’t get raped by white men (or any men) because we’re undesirable are not only sexist, but are illogical because you can’t admit that Black women have been raped by white men throughout history, then turn around and claim that Black women are too ugly to be raped, and it only happened then because “they were there,” and they [black women] wanted it too. It doesn’t make any sense.
IF rape is an expression of sexual attraction and we know that white men raped Black women during slavery, then going by commenter # 1 logic, white men have always been very attracted to Black women and that’s why they raped them. That’s going by THEIR logic. You can’t make exceptions and excuses if that’s your logic. Otherwise, if you admit that rape may not have been based just on attraction, but on power, then you have to look at the sexual abuse of Black women from a different context and you would understand that rape has less to do with attraction and more to do with violence.
Slavery, Reconstruction and Jim Crow were a very violent time and the reason that rape of Black women was so prevalent was because for the large part of history Black women had ZERO legal protection and no rights to their bodies. Let’s look back at history just so we can see the “special treatment,” that Black women got from racist white men because “they were there.”
We need not look further than our own American history to see sexual exploitation of Black women. Black Americans have more European admixture than they do any other non-African admixture. Even in my own family, we have relatives who appear to be white, but they’re not. My Great Grandmother, God rest her soul, raised the half-white child of her sister who was raped by a white man. Nameless white men fathered so many children with Black women that the majority of Blacks have some paternal European ancestry in their blood. I’m not just talking about Louisiana Creoles either, but regular ‘ Black’ folk too. We can look at the words of Virginia planter, William Byrd II to see how SOME white men felt about sexually abusing Black women.
“he appreciated the beauty of black women and lusted for them…his diary referred to tawny nymphs, kissing black women and fondling the breasts of a negro girl who ‘resisted a little.’ ”
In his own words, William Byrd describes molesting a Black woman and later goes on to describe in intimate details having sexual relations with Black women slaves. Those were HIS WORDS. The sexual exploitation of Black women wasn’t restricted to North America either. Pretty much anywhere that white men went, they uhh…”colonized,” not only the land, but the bodies of the Black women there.
Let us not forget one of the most graphic accounts of sexual exploitation under slavery. Thomas Thistlewood, a white Jamaican overseer, kept a detailed account in his diaries of all the Black women he slept with. He used sex not only for pleasure, but to dominate, punish and control both his male and female slaves. His diary records often include the name of the slave, her owner, whether she was on her menstrual cycle, location, whether he enjoyed it, and sometimes the sexual position he used. Sometimes he forced other slaves to watch his sexual exploits with slave women. Not to mention the Spaniards who colonized what we now consider to be Latin America and their sexual appetite for BOTH African and Native women….In fact, the sexual abuse of African women started before they even reached the new world. It was common slave ships for African women who were held captive on the ships to be abused by the sailors and captains. Oh yeah, every time you take a trip to the US VIRGIN islands…I want you to remember the words of Johan Carstens, a planter from the Danish West Indies, which we now call US VIRGIN islands.
“this willingness has seduced most our young European men to have common intercourse with women.”
When you go on vacation and you look out onto the cool, blue, Caribbean sea…remember the slaves ships that sailed the waters and carried countless human beings. Remember the barracoons that were filled with African women who were sexually abused by the young European sailors again and again. Remember how men like Johan Carstens viewed the African women who were subjected to this sexual abuse.
Let’s not even get started on Brazil.
If you want to take it beyond the New World, we can go back to Africa and you will find the Cape verdean creoles, south african coulereds, rheobeth basters and afro-french creole peoples across Africa. They are the descendants of the white male colonizers and Black African women, many of whom were slaves. We could bring White Arab men and their sexual exploitation of African women in East Africa into the mix too, but let’s stick with European white men here.
If you think the uhhh…”attraction” white men had for Black women ended with the abolishment of Slavery, think again.
Lest we forget the US Reconstruction (1865- 1877)and the *special attraction* that gangs of racist white men developed for Black women. These white men were so “attracted” to Black women that some of them gang raped Black women after whipping them with cowhides, while others just stuck to more traditional methods and did one-on-one raping.
No one can describe the “appreciation,” white men had for Black women better than Rhoda Ann Childs, a Georgia born Black woman, who was “taken from her house, in her husband’s absence, by eight white men who stripped her, tied her to a log, beat and sexually abused her.” Countless Black women of the Reconstruction era reported being raped and sexually assaulted by racist white men to the FreedMEN’S bureau. This “special appreciation,” for Black women continued well into the later years of the twentieth century. Strom Thurmond, notorious segregationist held a “special place,” in his heart for his mixed-race daughter who he conceived with his 16-year-old Black maid, Carrie Butler.
There are plenty of Jim Crow horror stories of white men paying “special visits,” to Black neighborhoods, abducting Black women and raping them. ( see Gertrude Perkins) White Men paid Black women so much “special attention” that some Black women got overwhelmed.
From the earliest days of the Slave Trade and up to the present day, Black women such as Celia Newsome, Harriet Jacobs, Ruby McCollum and JoAnn Little rejected this “special attention,” from white men. Contrary to commenter # 1 belief about Black women wanting this “special attention,” from white men (Jezebel stereotype anyone?), many Black women fought back against these white men. Celia Newsome, an enslaved Black woman killed her master who was also the father of her two children, after he had sexually abused her from age 14-18. Harriet Jacobs intellectually resisted her slave master by turning her horrifying experience into an inspirational narrative and both Ruby McCollum and JoAnn Little were Black women who were sexually assaulted by white men in the later part of the twentieth century. Both ultimately killed their abusers, but not all their stories ended well. Celia Newsome was eventually hanged for killing her sexually abusive master after it was determined during her trial that she “wasn’t a real woman,” therefore she couldn’t possibly have bene sexually abused by her master. Ruby McCollum was committed to a mental institution and sentenced for murder, for defending herself against a white man who forced her to bare his child.
Both of these women were brushed aside and treated as if they were less than human just because they were Black and female. There were countless Black women who were sexually abused by racist white men, yet their attackers were not brought to justice MOSTLY because of stereotypes, stereotypes such as the ones expoused by the aforementioned commenters. All the pain, all the suffering, all the anguish that these women went through was reduced to nothing simply because of the stereotype that Black women were too unattractive, too sexually active, too aggressive, too strong, too desperate for white male affirmation to ever truly be sexually abused by a white man….or any man for that matter.
Even today, Black women are stigmatized with this notion that we can’t be raped. Studies have shown that men who rape Black women receive lighter sentences than men who rape white/non-black women. Despite the fact that Black women are more likely to be sexually abused, Black women are still seen as unrapeable.
At this point, you may be thinking that some anonymous poster on the internet is not indicative of the general perception of Black women overall, I urge you to look at a recent rape case involving a wealthy, white male politician and a Black maid. Despite physical evidence, including his semen on said Black woman, rich white men still get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to sexually abusing Black women. Afterall, according to Newsweek magazine, Black women aren’t “glamorous,” enough for white men to rape. Yep, an article written in 2011, by educated people, is still playing into antiquated stereotypes about Black women. I told you that anti-Black woman ignorance isn’t restricted to the internet.
That Newsweek article wasn’t a far cry from the Jim Crow Medlin- Reed Rape case. Mary Ruth Reed was a Black woman who claimed that she was raped by a white man named Medlin. Her story was corroborated by a neighbor to Medlin, but when she went to trial, Medlin’s defense attorney, Richardson had the following rebuttal:
“You see this pure white woman, this pure flower of life, God’s greatest gift to man…do you think he [this white man] would have left this pure flower, God’s greatest gift…for that [a black woman]?”
I guess that was a good enough argument because Medlin got off and Reed was made a fool of.
According to some, Black women don’t get raped…we’re too ugly…we’re too slutty, we’re too aggressive to be raped…except for one thing WE DO get raped and no white men are not exempt from raping Black women. Rape isn’t just about attraction, it’s about power and violence. Black women get sexually abused by white men, black men, hispanic men, especially in Prison. Even today, many Black women are sexually abused by male prison guards (most of whom are white) in prison. (See Cathering Fisher Collins book) However, because we’re Black women and because our bodies have never truly been our own…it’s hard for people to accept this. Some things have improved for Black women, but other things are still the same. Underneath the layers of political correctness, I still get the feeling that the same stereotypes are there lingering, waiting to resurface.
I guess at the end of the day, as Black women, our bodies are still seen as inherently evil and lascivious. After all, the most dangerous place is in our womb…right? My body is immoral, my womb is dangerous.
The same lies that have been told about us for centuries are still being told.