Note From Book Review
A young scholar unearths some hidden history about women in the civil rights movement—then finds it unexpectedly echoed in her own life.
Ironically I had just turned off the showing of the book review from C-SPAN with the intention of watching it tomorrow. When I got on my computer I saw a story on CNN.com regarding the protests by Congolese women against the use of "rape as a weapon" in the context of their enduring struggle. (See video and story below).
Forgive the measure of skepticism that has built up within me justifiably after spending years observing how outrage is typically reserved with their is some clear cut adversary who can be hit by an indictment by the Black community. I am made to wonder if this new book expressing the "civil rights era" rape and injustice bestowed upon Black women here in America will blind out in Black America's consciousness the travail that other Black women experience regarding "sexual injustice" in the Congo, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The title of this post challenges the power of the dynamic of "time" versus "distance" as it relates to our attentiveness and prioritization. I am made to wonder out loud about which offense burns more powerfully within our mind:
- The offenses that have happened in a time in the past but upon the land that we reside?
- The offenses that are occurring today but at a great distance. The Internet being the only connectivity that we have with these others who reside in the diaspora?
In as much as what has happened to the African-America at the hand of the White man in America - the claims of "turning back the clock" (or "Take America Back") still have enough force to stimulate fear within the Black person. It is almost exclusively used in the "American Political Domain" for ideological unity enforcement. The Black man's version of "Remember The Alamo", if you will.
It also allows the notion of "White brutality and supremacy" to be extended. Theirs is an organic brutality while the same atrocities committed by melaninated people is merely that which emanates from what the White colonizer has taught him. In my notion of this popular point of obfuscation is it ME that is "defending the White man"? Or is it you that are INFERIORIZING the Black man, unable to accept that he is an equal human being and thus capable of doing these same deeds to another human?
Comedian Bill Maher can joke about the end of White male supremacy but are you ready to let go of your own "Non-White White Supremacist" assumptions in kind?
Those who fret as their "flock" gets riled up and threaten to being to ask question of them and their leadership are heavily dependent upon this tried and true "unity tactic". Though it might be true that Black American women today suffer from a threat that resides inside the protected circle this legacy of history brought to consciousness remains effective. Not for those who have experienced the direct victimization today but instead those who seek connectedness with their ancestors by attempting to live vicariously through the shackles that they once dawned in America.
Pssst - let me ask you a question:
Of the Congolese women who are ACTUALLY suffering the fate today that you are easily scared by the thought of, thus triggering the predicted response in the context of the American Political Domain that you are consciousness wedded to.......................................what if a cotton swap upon the inside of your mouth showed them to be your COUSINS per their genetic markers?
Would the evidence of the present day violations of their womanhood coupled with this knowledge of their genetic connections trigger you into ACTION?
Or are you interested in "where you came from" because Dr Skip Gates told you where Oprah and Chris Rock came from in Africa?
CNN: Congolese Women March Against Sexual Violence
Bukavu, Democratic Republic Of Congo (CNN) -- Many of Congo's rape survivors took to the streets Sunday to speak out against sexual violence in a country where it has become a weapon of war.
"My heart is in pain, why are you raping me?" sang the rape victims, many of whom left hospital beds to join the march in eastern Congo.
"They have had enough, enough, enough, enough," said Nita Vielle, a Congolese women's activist, of the women marching. "Enough of the war, of the rape, of nobody paying attention to what's happening to them."
The United Nations has named the Democratic Republic of Congo the "rape capital of the world," with 15,000 women raped in eastern Congo last year. The attacks occurred in parts of the country where armed rebel groups moved into areas considered to be pro-government but lacking in army or police protection, according to the U.N.