Disclamer: My consligiare' Verb suggested I make clear that I am not saying ALL Black men are participants in the type of activity I am about to describe, nor that ALL Black men hate Black women, I hardly believe that this is the reality for the majority, but for a significant part of our group, significant enough that it warrents immediate and exact action. Basically, its not that "MOST" Black men hate our sisters, but far too many do.
One of my favorite bloggers (and possible cousin) Rosyln had mentioned in a discussion we had at the What About our Daughters blog, the frequency of "trains" or gang rapes that occur within the African American community. Rosyln had stated that these things occur more often than people would like to believe. Well, there was a time I would have thought that her position was an overstatement, however; with reports about things like Dunbar, the 11 year old girl in Milwaukee, and the recent attack and rape of a woman in Philadelphia I had to think about what Rosyln had said.
At the same time I was finally getting around to reading a book that my wife had given me a while ago, that being "Makes me Wanna Hollier" by Nathan McCall. I had just got to chapter 6 of his book "Trains" and was horrified at what I read. he talks about how he and his boys would run trains on 13 and 14 year old girls (amongst other things), and what shocked me most is how similar his story sounded to many stories guys told me of their "exploits" when I was a teenager.
There were many times guys would tell me about their participation in such events and I just would assume they were lying about a girl that wished they could get with. I am not so sure how many times they were actually lying now. The young ladies would deny it (who wouldn't) and the perps wouldn't give legal culpability admissions, just locker room talk.
What I do know is that when I was 13 myself, I hung out with some older teens (14-19), we had this little dance group. Anyway, there was a young lady who was like a groupie of sorts, followed us around. One day, the guys got her over to one of the members of our team's house when his parents were gone. Long story short, they decided to use her because she was "willing".
This girl was also 13 at the time, but it didn't matter to any of them. I arrived at the house expecting for one of our practices to take place, when I was told downstairs there was a girl who was available to "de-virginize" me. I get down there, and there is the last 2, literally in line (in front of her while she was being raped by the guy before them) to do what the other 8 members who were there were slapping hands about doing. I was horrified, I knew this girl from grade school, I knew she had a crush on one of the older guys particularly, she and I had talked about how she liked him, but everyone else she seemed to be allowed to do this to her because he had basically thrown her to the wolves after he had taken advantage of her (he was 19).
I'll never forget the look on her face, these guys believed she actually wanted to do this (maybe there are some women who would, but 17, 18 & 19 year old guys might want to find an actually "consenting" adult if this is what gives them thrills). In this case, this was a girl I had been in school with, who looked terrified and had a look in her eyes that she was complying out of fear. I expressed my displeasure at the situation.
Well due to a certain V.ery L.arge “Chicago urban youth group affiliation” I had (By nature as they looked out for me because I DJ'ed some of their sets), even at 13 I had a bit of an intimidation factor going as these guys never wanted my older friends and associates of this "V.ery L.arge" Chicago youth group to visit them, I was able to "persuade them" to discontinue what they were doing, so they allowed for the young lady get dressed. Then I walked her home.
She held her head down and said very little to me. All she said to me was a request that I promise not to tell anyone what happened, and I agreed. I said that what they did to her was wrong, and she said that it was her fault because she trusted the 19 year old and thought he liked her.
When I got back to the house, the guys were all bragging about what they had done, how much she “liked” it, the fact they thought they had "broke in a virgin", turned her out, etc., etc. I was cussed out by the 2 guys who didn't get their turn (they were both a year older than I and the youngest guys there besides me), and I was called sissy and "gay" by the older guys because I didn't take a turn. Some said I was "soft" or "catching feelings" for a "b----", and wasn't a real man, etc.
Honestly, I thought that was a rare event, when other guys said they had participated in this sort of thing, I thought they were just rehashing a story that they had heard, now I believe I may have been seriously wrong. Another thing came to mind as I read Nate's book. This happened to my mother when she was 17 about 6 months after I was born.
For those who don't know, my mother died at 42 from a disease cause by alcoholism. Don't get me wrong, my mother was a great mother, she sacrificed for me in ways I have just begun to appreciate, especially sine I have children of my own now, one of my regrets is that I didn't tell her how much I appreciated her more often. My mom's alcoholism was caused by her not being able to handle (or handling in the wrong way) many of the traumatic things that happened to her in her youth, and one of things happened to her on a visit to her father in Detroit.
My grand dad (whom I never met when I was old enough to remember) had married my grandma when she was 12, my grandma had my mother when she was 13, so she wasn't the best mother to my mom (not necessarily because of her age). Anyway, my grandma left my grand dad when she was in her 20's, she put my mom out when she had me, so my mom ended up living with my grand dad for a while.
She told me this story when I was 19. When she was in Detroit , my grand dad got mad at her for something and threw her and me (at 6 mos) out. It was late, past midnight. My mother was walking past what was known as a drug house run by gang members. Long story short some guys forced her into the house (one she knew from previous visits), put a gun to my 6 month old head and threatened to kill me if she didn't comply. She survived that situation, but was forever traumatized by it. There are too many issues there to talk about in one post, parental responsibility (and grand parental responsibility) being chief amongst those issue, however, I will focus on what my step dad had to say about it, that being "Your mom shouldn't had been up in Detroit anyway". I will always remember that.
Don't get me wrong, I love my dad (my step day is the dad who raised me), and overall I think he did a decent job as far as provision and some morality, however; I am thankful I didn't pick up his backward Mississippi (no offense meant to Mississippi people) Black man mentality towards women. He would always ask me how many girlfriends I had, and if I said 1, he said I should have 5 more. Amazing. This gets to my point.
Before I get to that point, I am not putting myself up their as a beacon of nobility, you see I have come to the understanding and am of a firm belief that any man is capable of raping a women under certain circumstances (it comes down to choice), this is predicated on my understanding that ANY human is capable of ANY thing. I come to this by understanding and taking a honest look at history, current society and myself. For the most part, from my observation, people are selfish and self centered, which breeds a lack of concern for others, which leads to all manner of evil, but that's a whole 'nother post. Basically, I think people choose to act "good" (or civil), for fear of consequence.
That being said, I believe that from my observations and experiences I might know a way that we can combat this sick mentality that seems prevalent in our community. I have come to an understanding that Generally, the garden variety sociopath or psychopath who is the ring leader of these "trains" or gang rapes is a lost cause from the jump, its the "go along to get along" brothers who are the greater problem and the problem we might be able to affect change in.
The garden variety sociopath or psychopath who is the ring leader wouldn't get far in these types of situations if someone, the average guy that is present had the moral center and basis to KNOW that women and girls are PERSON deserving of respect and dignity. Maybe they would stop it, talk the other brothers to their senses, or run like hell and call the police. I am talking to Black men, not because I think this sort of activity is exclusive to the "Black Community" (we know that woman hatred and rape goes beyond color or culture), but because our racial hang ups contribute towards the overall low attitude of Black women and girls in general.
Mr. McCall wrote in his book: “I realized that we thought we loved our sisters but that we actually hated them. We hated them because they were black and we were black, and on some level much deeper than we realized, we hated the hell out of ourselves”.
And I believe he is absolutely on point in that. Black men have got to stop hating Black women and stop teaching young black me to do the same. From that hate (predicated on self hate) comes lack of regard, honor or concern for women who share our color.
These crimes are not about sex, they are about power and abuse, a feeling of ownership over another human being, and a false twisted sociological mentality of what "manhood" is. Black men however, are not the only problem.
Black women enable this. Treating young black boys as princes and treating young black girls as paupers. Black women have an enmity towards black girls (especially when it comes to their sons) often raising their daughters to be subservient to men, teaching both their daughters and sons (by their actions most often) primarily that the worth of a Black girl is their hips, and whats between their legs. All that "man gonna be a man" and "girls are trying to catch you up" drivel just perpetuates this madness. There are actually WOMEN and GIRLS who set other women and girls up for these gang rapes.
Media is part of the problem, but the bigger problem starts in our neighborhoods, streets, families and living rooms. WHAT we teach.
Take church for example. Often girls are told to remain chaste, sometimes getting put out if they get pregnant; yet boys are also compelled to remain chaste ( they may get some lip service), but overall they get the implied wink from their elders that "boys will be boys".
That is the sort of schizophrenic teaching that has to stop. Also in the homes, Fathers often teach their daughters to be pure, but encourage their sons to lose their virginity as soon as possible, again schizophrenic.
In the streets guys respect each others mothers (and sometimes sisters, girlfriends, wives and daughters) but all other women (who are generally someone else's sister,other, daughter, girlfriend or wife) are b------ who don't deserve respect and are simply there to pleasure them. It all comes down to our community's collective socialization. It starts with each one of US.
I'm just saying...