Lola

Call it what it is, Quanell

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Mr. Quanell X:

I know you have been busy with TV and radio interviews, and rallies and town halls in Cleveland, Texas, talking about injustice, but I have to question your … focus.

I’m talking about an 11-year-old Latina who was gang-raped, allegedly by as many as 28 juveniles and men. At a televised rally, your reaction is, “It was not the young girl that yelled rape. Stop right there – something is wrong, brothers and sisters.” (And the crowd cheers.)

Nineteen men, who happen to be black, have been arrested, and all you can say is, “Do you mean to tell me that there is no other race of men in Cleveland that slept with that child, that the black men are so psychologically and morally depraved, with a loss of a moral sense of shame, that they are the only ones who touched her?” (And the crowd cheers.)

The police reported the attacks were captured on video, and you keep asking, “Where’s the girl’s mother?” “I want to know why nobody has asked, ‘Where is your mother and father?’ It looks like the KKK is leading the investigation.” (And the crowd cheers.)

At one of the televised rallies, you tell the parents of the accused, in a ceremonious tone, “You stand by your child …” (and the crowd cheers) and then you pass a hat to raise funds for their legal defense fund.

For his part, defense attorney James D. Evans III has told the press that the victim “wants to be a porn star,” and that “this is not a case of a child who was enslaved or taken advantage of.” Say again??

You, and the defense, and those who chime in to blame the victim make me sad. Very sad.

Republican Florida state Rep. Kathleen Passidomo takes the cake. While discussing legislation mandating school uniforms, she comes up with this: “There was an article about an 11-year-old girl who was gang-raped in Texas by 18 young men because she was dressed like a 21-year-old prostitute.”

Passidomo then adds, “Her parents let her attend school like that…. I think it’s incumbent upon us to create some areas where students can be safe in school and show up in proper attire so what happened in Texas doesn’t happen to our students.”

Portraying the accused as “victims” of the young girl’s “temptation” or of the system doesn’t address the problem. You, Quanell, for your part, also blame the elders for not watching the “kids.” Some of the accused are 26 and 27, señor.

I’ll give you credit for saying that all “the brothers” who “slept” with the girl must be held accountable. But it seems the emphasis here is in making sure non-black men are charged with the crime as well – instead of accountability. And for the record, it’s called rape.

Here’s the irony: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the theme for this year’s awareness campaign is “It’s time … to get involved,” a message to engage bystanders in sexual violence prevention.

I’ve not heard you question, “Why didn’t any of ‘the brothers’ speak up?” “Why didn’t any of them stop the rape?” As if the participants were hijacked by their phalli.

Your words, along with those who insist on blaming the victim, speak very loud and clear. You shed new light on what it means to be morally bankrupt.

Qué lástima.

Dear readers, please share this with your hermanos. Learn how you can help prevent sexual assault and protect your hermanas at nsvrc.org/saam, the online National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC).

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