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Terrell J. Starr @Russian_Starr
, 26 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
I wanna share my thoughts about believing women who claim they've been sexually assaulted. I normally tend to listen in on these convos and never comment publicly, but I feel my thoughts will be helpful to folks. Namely, black men, especially, need to do better on this subject.
I'll start off by saying that I have learned so much by listening to women share their stories of assault and had no idea how abusive men are. That ignorance shows how being a man can inoculate us from the harm women face everyday. That, in itself, is troubling.
As a man, I really have not had to consider dangers to my body in remotely the same way a woman has to on a daily basis. I also admit that, for a long time, I was pretty ignorant of the workplace and casual abuse women deal with. #MeToo has been an education.
What I find interesting is the ways in which different types of men respond to #MeToo stories on here. You either see empathy or very defensive and, often, aggressive reactions from men who play down sexual assault. But black men's negative reactions bother me for a few reasons:
1. There are so many black men who cap for Bill Cosby--especially his friends--because of his national impact on the culture. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes. Cosby embodied a conservative, male-centric persona that many black men benefit from.
Bill Cosby, if you think about it, was the head of home that our parents encouraged us to be. It doesn't matter how abusive Cosby is so long as he "takes care of his kids." He was a "good father" on TV and a shitty man in real life. How common is that, folks?
Cosby really didn't love all black people--he liked a certain type of black person. Go back to the Pound Cake Speech to see what I mean. If you were "Pookie" or "Ray Ray," Cosby didn't mess with you. You were a failure. And many black people bought into it.
Sexual abusers center themselves. All at the expense of women. And many folks are OK with that. No one gives a fuck about women and we really never have. That is the issue with Cosby, especially. You can't decenter him (or yourself). It's all about him. Fuck the women.
Black men, too many of us, lack the range to consider gender in our societal critiques. We can easily break down police violence, yet have very little to say about the sexual violence black women experience. Because we lack the range. And we have no interest in acquiring it.
Also, black men are responsible for most of the sexual violence against black women and black men really don't like having those convos because it implicates either our violent actions, complicity or willful ignorance. We haven't learned how to support black women in that way.
I see famous black men defend Cosby, saying, "women come up to his room wanting to fuck" and "why are women speaking up 10, 20 years later?"

You know how many niggas complain about being abused by police but don't file a report? They def complain at the barbershop, tho.
I find it interesting that black men have no trouble believing other black men who accuse cops of abusing them, yet they do not trust the word of black women who say they were abused by a man.

I have a theory: Black men can't see themselves as part of the state.
Black men aren't "the man." But we ARE men. Even as black men, patriarchy (I tried not to use that word to not sound too "academic") benefits us. Just as the cop who never gets jail time for killing black folks, (black) men often don't have to face consequences for raping women.
I remember I wrote an article about a study conducted by Black Women's Blueprint that cited that 60 percent of black girls were sexually abused before age 18--many of the perpetrators were family members. Black men in the comments were horrible. I understand why. It hurt.
Many black men can't comprehend how we can be 1# targets of police violence and, at the same time, be perpetrators of sexual violence against our own women. Ya know what? Both are true. Cops are getting away with killing us and black men are getting away with raping black women.
This is a very painful convo for black men to have and I understand it. I really do. And I think, for many black men, we see ourselves as under attack already that we can't see ourselves as the attackers. But as black women tell us, many of us are and we have to listen to them.
It is very disappointing to see so many black men cap for Bill Cosby. What I am really seeing is that these black men have ZERO gender analysis and they read nothing of feminist theory. And many black men read feminism as white women. That is a big part of this issue.
What we're seeing with Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford is what black women have long endured. Black women say they were sexually assaulted and black men not believing them and accusing them of being sluts. Black men and white men share a camaraderie in sexually abusing women.
Black men don't have to worry about being raped, groped, verbally assaulted or viewed as a piece of meat. And we don't have to give a fuck. I wish black men would claim this and devote the time being better people for our community. We owe black women that much.
Black women are loyal. They support Democrats who don't do too much of shit for them. They back all kinds of community causes. But 1 thing they support more than any of that shit is the black man.

Yet, we can't even listen when they talk about being raped?

And, yes, there are women who do lie about sexual assault. Between 2-8 percent. That is not a high number at all, fam. But the issue is are women worth even listening to. Society says no and black men take advantage of it just like white men.…
I've curated my friendships so that I'm surrounded by men who do not engage abusive thinking about women. It took YEARS but I feel I am at a good place. We have to stop looking at women as disposable and start listening to them. But too many men are in their own heads to do that.
And, by the way, brothas:

There is a difference between loving black women and simply loving to fuck them.

Love black women for who they are and not what they can do for you.
And we do not need to have daughters or sisters or female family members to appreciate how sexual assault harms women. Please stop referring to family members when expressing sympathy for abuse survivors. I don't need to have a daughter to know rape is wrong. So stop saying it.
Cosby would still be on tour if he didn't rape women.
Russell Simmons wouldn't be in Bali if he didn't rape women.
Most women don't lie about being raped, just as most black men don't lie about being harassed by cops.
Last line doesn't make sense? Broaden your gender analysis.
I'll end here. If anyone (especially men) wants to DM me about anything I tweeted her, please feel free to do so. I will not share it with anyone. I want us to have real dialogue and I know Twitter is not the best point to have a longer convo.
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