This is Not a Lynching of Black Men
Over the past few days, I’ve come to the realization that there are a lot of trash ass men in this world. I know that by writing this statement, I’m setting myself up to be called a feminazi or a bra burner or a bitter Black bitch, but I don’t care. It’s a true statement. Ever since the Cosby guilty verdict was handed down, I’ve spent more time shaking my head and rolling my eyes than I have in my entire life. From the moment that we learned that Cliff Huxtable could be facing 30 years in jail, some men, mostly Black, have decided to take to the “streets” to preach about how this verdict is just another lynching of a Black man in America. Quite frankly, I’m sick of it.
I had a brief conversation in a GroupMe with some male friends right after the verdict was announced. They tossed around phrases like, “these hoes are lying,” “they did this for a come up (money),” and “I don’t believe them coming out of nowhere with these accusations four decades later.” At first, I tried to be respectful and cordial in my responses. I didn’t want to lecture them, and I certainly didn't want to stand on any soapbox. I used statements like, “yes some women lie, but 9 times out of 10, they’re telling the truth,” and “yes, let’s protect ALL women.” I was non-confrontational, but deep down, I was digging my nails into my palm so that I didn’t scream, “are you fucking kidding me?!”
And just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, one of them said, “I’m sick of examples being made out of us when white men get away with doing the same thing.” Once again, I tried to be polite and explained that, yes, it is jacked up that white men, such as Weinstein, are not being punished at the same rate as Black men. I agreed that black men lose their lives because of false accusations made against them by white women, but we must also remember that black women lose their lives because of harm inflicted on them by black men. After that, no one responded and our conversation was over. Looking back at it, and especially now that the Times Up campaign has begun their fight against Robert Sylvester Kelly, I’m quite pissed at myself. I should have gotten in my friends’ asses.
Since when is holding black men accountable for their fucked up actions considered a lynching? Furthermore, since when are black men comfortable with being compared to white men? As one of my girlfriends stated, "when have white men been considered to be the moral standard for decent human behavior?" Many black men speak about how the white man has their foot on the back of their necks and is doing everything in their power to keep them down, but suddenly, they want to be equal to them? Come on, let’s call a spade a spade. You want to be on the same level as white men when it comes to maintaining the patriarchy and “keeping women in their place." That’s what this is really all about.
Just because a black man is more likely to get punished for sexual assault or rape than a white man doesn’t negate the trauma that is inflicted on women and girls. It does not excuse the behavior. It doesn’t matter if the perpetrator is black or white. It’s still wrong! Why is that so hard to believe? This is not a lynching of black men. It’s not a Strange Fruit scenario. Stop throwing that word around when folks call you to the carpet to explain your actions. Nobody cares if you’re a federal judge, a singer that made us step in the name of love, or even if you were the television dad that everybody wanted growing up. You are a predator, and you deserve to rot in jail. Saying you’re being “lynched” basically makes you sound like a shitty, guilty person who can see the writing on the walls about their freedom. You know the end is near, and you’re pulling out every trick in the book, including the victim card, to save your own ass. You’re managing to take a situation that should be about justice for the victims and turning it around so that it focuses on you. Not everything is about men, especially black men. Furthermore, men who support these “lynching” statements sound stupid, selfish, and suspicious.
I’m shocked by the amount of men who seem to feel this way. I told one of my male friends, “Believe Women,” and, to me, that means that when a woman says that a man raped or sexually assaulted her, we should not allow a man’s status, influence, relationship with us (family or friend) automatically make us assume that it is an impossibility. My friend said, “I’m just supposed to take her word for it? What about evidence?” I didn’t have the time to fully explain to them about processing for rape kits, stigma, and how processing trauma of such magnitude really works. I found it amazing how some men will ask for evidence when it comes to a woman and sexual assault but expect the world to take them at face value when they’ve been accused of other crimes. It doesn’t add up to me. Just say that you don’t care about women and be done with it.
I think at the end of the day, we, as women, need to continue the fight. We need to stand up to our male friends when they say dumb shit like this, and we can’t be afraid to do it. The time for placating and complacency is over. I know I say this all the time but black women need to believe other black women. Because it’s clear that if we don’t, nobody else will.