Sunday, May 07, 2006
Rape Case Is Seen as Symbol at Black College in N.C. - Washington Post
3rd Member of Duke Lacrosse Team Indicted - Washington Post
Trying to Break A 'Culture of Silence' on Rape - Washington Post
2nd Duke Party Dancer Faces Charges - AP
Duke to Bring Back Lacrosse Team - AP
Rape Charges Dropped In Duke Lacrosse Case - Washington Post
With all that is being said about the Duke Lacrosse rape case, and the obvious trauma the authorities believe the young woman experienced that night, the discussion is not fully on track. This case is not just about the alleged rape of a struggling single mom, from a troubled past, trying to make ends meet and better her family’s life. Rather, it is also about the unresolved rape of a whole people.
The argument of this case as a symbol of the disparity between Black and White, Durham or otherwise, is fallacious. More accurately, it is a reminder of a specific type of violation that occurred, by White moral discretion, during and after slavery.
When we look into the faces of Black America, with all the shades that exist, most times we see an amazingly talented group, fighting for their rightful place of contribution to the fabric of society. But at times like this, the shades of distinction are but sobering proof of rape.
While interracial births, by consent, dominate the last fifty years, the degrees of Caucasian features Blacks exhibit today emanate largely from White-on-Black institutionalized rape, which occurred during hundreds of years slavery and Jim Crow.
No one, Black or White, wants to be reminded of this part of our history, nonetheless it is there. The Duke incident stirs up emotion because it replays White men raping Black women. Blacks, during these times look at each other and themselves, in part, hating the ‘whiteness’ in them that was uninvited.
Regardless of the outcome at Duke, it will be hollow for everyone, as the full measure of the complicity of Whites relates to a stolen people, not simply rape. This guilt is not for Blacks to manipulate or absolve, as it is part of the ‘White man’s burden’. As well, it should not become any form of badge that thwarts self-review, advancing behaviors and Black progress.
James C. Collier
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Posted by James C. Collier at Sunday, May 07, 2006