Genarlow Wilson

Back in April, I organized an event in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  I hosted a film showing of NO! The Rape Documentary.  The film looks at sexual violence/assault in the black community.  I believe it’s important to give space to how  black women  navigate differently around this issue. Whether folks want to admit to it or not, there is a lot of sexism/oppression of black women/girls in the black community.  There are many black women who willingly thrown themselves under the bus in favor of black men, when it’s often not reciprocated.

This has never been more telling, than in the recent case of Genarlow Wilson.   I learned about the case from one of my favorite blogs, What About Our Daughters.  I have been keeping tabs on the happenings of Genarlow Wilson, via the website. Recently, the blogger posted more detailed information about the assault of  the 17-year-old black girl, that Genarlow Wilson participated in (from WAOD website):

LM, went to a party with her fellow athletes and when she fell unconscious, possibly after they drugged her, Genarlow Wilson and his buddies raped her, repeatedly and video taped it. That’s not what I say, that’s what the Georgia Court of Appeals describes in Wilson vs. State of Georgia.

A group of teenagers rented adjacent rooms at a motel and held a raucous, unsupervised New Year’s Eve party.  Among the participants were 17-year-old Genarlow Wilson, 17-year-old L.M., and 15-year-old T.C.   The next morning, L.M. reported to her mother that she had been raped.   Police were notified, and the motel rooms were searched.   During the search, a videocamera and videocassette tape were found. The tape showed Wilson having sexual intercourse with an apparently semiconscious L.M. and T.C. performing oral sex on Wilson. Wilson v. State.

I was floored after reading this.   I had tears in my eyes. It’s disturbing to me what happened to these young women. It’s not only that the black community has turned their backs on these young victims, but that Genarlow Wilson  has been given support and perks not available to his victims. While he has been able to make the media rounds, his victims can’t even show their face in public. While he was given a free scholarship for college, they probably fear going on a college campus. While he gets praising articles, they are written with scorn and disregard. 

Some folks say, well he was a young kid too. He made a mistake. Sexually assaulting an unconscious young woman, is not a mistake. Genarlow Wilson and his friends, videotaped the incident. Ain’t no mistake in that. Also, the fact that Genarlow Wilson doesn’t seem apologetic about it. If he were more genuine in his horror of his behavior/worked with other young men about this issue/offered some of his perks to his victims, than maybe one wouldn’t be as disgusted.

I lamented on the WAOD website what can we do to support these young women? She stated by helping her get the transcripts of the Genarlow Wilson case. She wants to make a film about this incident from the young women’s perspective.  Please donate if you can:

http://www.gofundme.com/genarlowwilsontranscript

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Kenyan model Ajuma Nasenyana fights skin lightening

There has been an ongoing agenda in mainstream/black media to wipe out images of darker skinned black women. In the 70’s and 80’s dark/brown women were frequently featured on magazine covers, television, and in movies.  Who woulda thunk that in 2013 representations (or lack of) of dark/brown women, would be worse 30-40 years later?    There has been a white supremacist push to encourage people of color to lighten their skin. As I noted in a previous post, the lightening of black women celebrities, is disturbing. It’s not just women, though:

Reggae artist Vybz Kartel lightened skin
Hip Hop artist Vybz Kartel lightened skin
Sammy Sosa lightened skin
Sammy Sosa lightened skin

“They” have worked diligently to make us hate ourselves. It takes a consistent conscious effort to resist being colonized mentally. It’s worse for black women,  because women in general, tend to be judged/have more valued placed on their looks. Since black women are regularly placed on the bottom of the lookist social ladder, it creates an urgent need to be accepted, even if it means bleaching one’s skin.

That’s why I was happy to read these comments from Kenyan model, Ajuma Nasenyana:

“It seems that the world is conspiring in preaching that there is something wrong with Kenyan ladies’ kinky hair and dark skin,” Kenyan model Ajuma Nasenyana told the Daily Nation. Nasenyana wonders why European skincare companies that push lightening creams are entering Kenya marketing the European standard of beauty. “Their leaflets are all about skin lightening, and they seem to be doing good business in Kenya. It just shocks me. It’s not OK for a Caucasian to tell us to lighten our skin,” she said.

Ajuma Nasenyana
Ajuma Nasenyana

Read the rest of the article at Clutch Magazine: http://thegrio.com/2012/06/27/kenyan-model-ajuma-nasenyana-fights-skin-lightening-and-european-standards-of-beauty/