Skip to main content

Surviving the Community that Supports R. Kelly (and Men Like Him)

Read Finding Love After Sexual Assault Here
_______________________
My brilliant colleague, Danielle Williams Thiam, preached a sermon this fall on the rape of Tamar (2 Samuel 13). In her sermon she pointed out all the ways in which, not just Amnon, but the community and world in which Tamar lived participated in her rape. "Rape is a communal sin," she preached. I honor her words as a sexual assault survivor and as an advocate for holding the collective responsible for the violation of women's bodies, particularly the bodies of black and brown girls.
______________________

For every person who knew that Deacon so-and-so (who was in with the pastor) was touching little girls and turned their heads cuz they didn't want to 'fall out' with the pastor-
REPENT.

For every person who stood outside a closed door knowing that what was going on behind that door involved an abuse of power that ravaged a female body-
REPENT.

For every lawyer who knowingly defended a guilty predator for the sake of a fat check-
REPENT.

For every person who provided a false alibi for a "friend" they knew was up to mischief-
REPENT.

For every person who's asked a victim, "What were you wearing?"-
REPENT.

For every person who has murmured, "well, she's fast," "she doesn't look like a child," or "she enjoyed the attention"-
REPENT.

For every person who's blamed sex workers for their assault, as if their way of making of living warranted the brutal disrespect of their body, mind, and spirit-
REPENT.

For every parent who chose their child's abuser over their child-
REPENT.

For every person still stepping in the name of love (or whatever)- πŸ‘€πŸ˜‘

For every male contributing to "locker room" or "water cooler" conversations that objectify the female body-
REPENT.

For every person who said, "that's none of my business"-
REPENT.

For every person who voted for the proud sexual violator that is currently running ruining this country-
REPENT

For every campus security department that has launched an "independent investigation" on a college campus only to force dropped charges because alcohol was involved or because the perpetrator was white/weathly/an athlete-
REPENT.

For every colleague who turned their head when female PhD students struggled with abusive and inappropriate male advisors, some getting dissertation proposal rejected and being forced out of programs-
REPENT.

I can go on.
You can go on.
The list is infinite.

Will the cohort of communal sinners ever own up to the ways in which they've continually failed women and girls?

Add your call for repentance in the comments.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Finding Love after Sexual Assault

Disclaimer: For mature audiences only
I was sexually assaulted on a first date when I was 24. The events of that evening landed me in Harlem Hospital at 2 am with a concussion and a bruise on my forehead (among other things). During the hours in which I took up residence in a private emergency room, I was coached by a nurse on how to proceed--to take legal action immediately or to not take legal action...to complete a rape kit or to not complete a rape kit. It was overwhelming. I also had to take 17 pills, mostly anti-viral meds. It was intense. There was a moment when I looked up to the ceiling and silently bemoaned. "Really God?" I said, as the quick air from a painful chuckle slipped through my lips. I felt like I was in an episode of Law & Order: SVU. I felt defeated. I felt stupid. I felt isolated. And all because I said, "yes." The details of what transpired that evening are not important to this post. What is important, however, is how the lingering trau…

"We Thought You'd Be Next." πŸ’πŸ‘°πŸΎπŸ€ͺ

Recently, my little brother got engaged. πŸŽ‰ But can I just say, Hashtag Triggered?! πŸ˜‘
I was very thrilled that he finally proposed to his now fiance and that I absolutely love her. She is so sweet and brings goodness into his world. I'm so excited for them. However, during my last trip home to New Orleans, a family member was chatting with me about it and asked about my relationship, and then proceeded to say,
"I thought you'd be next." 😣
B*TCH, ME TOO! DAMN!
I did not say this aloud as I was in my father's house (#shondo #imchurchy), but everything in my body tensed up. Every hair stood up on my boiling skin and my heart began palpitating as I attempted to calmly explain why I wouldn't "be next" while simultaneously trying not to burst into tears in front of company. I started rambling about my burgeoning career--about "our" careers--and attempting to refocus the conversation while wanting to jump into the large pot of red beans simmer…

Embrace Your Evolution

Today, I learned that God's plans for us aren't final--that sometimes life/humans get in the way, and even God has to start all over again with the planning.
We may hear God speaking to us about something very specific that God has planned for us and years later, be questioning whether what was spoken was really God or some made up voice in our heads. Usually, we're interrogating that when we feel betrayed by what we thought was a God-plan that didn't come to fruition, or when we feel that God has been silent for too long and the plan hasn't manifested the way we thought it should've. We start to think we've misunderstood God.
But perhaps, God is rearranging some things--that God is adjusting God's plan for our lives so that it can stay true to the ways in which we've evolved since the plan was spoken. Perhaps, God is staying true to the ways people and the universe have evolved. Perhaps, the original plan no longer fits.
This was a most freeing r…