Black men, sexual harassment and justice
By Frederick H. Lowe
Sexual harassment and sexual assault are the buzzwords of the day. Will black men accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault in today’s environment be treated the same way as white men accused of the same crimes— by being given due process? The racial history of this country says no.
It’s like the cowboy westerns I watched on television as a kid. The sheriff always said, “We’re going to try you and then we’re going to hang you.”
Take for instance the sexual assault allegation of this century particularly because we have a widely published record of what occurred and what didn’t occur.
Emmett Till, a 14-year-old-African-American boy who was accused by Carolyn Bryant, a white woman, of touching her and making sexual remarks.
This incident took place in 1955 in Money, Mississippi, where segregation was the law of the land and black men and boys had no rights. Bryant told her husband Roy, and J. W. Milam, Roy’s half-brother that she was the object of unwanted attention.
The two men kidnapped Till from his uncle’s home, beat him to death, tied his body to an industrial fan and threw his anchored body into the Tallahatchie River. Till’s body briefly sank to the bottom before floating to the river’s surface.
Sixty years later, Bryant, now known as Carolyn Bryant Donham, told Timothy B. Tyson, a Duke University professor who wrote the book “The Blood of Emmett Till,” that what she told her husband and his half-brother to provoke them to kill Till was a lie. She admitted this 60 years after Till was brutally murdered. Till did not receive any due process, just a watery grave.
Even a sign, marking the place where Till’s body floated to the surface of the Tallahatchie, has been shot up by gunmen who are holding on to the belief Till insulted Carolyn Bryant.
Congressman John Conyers, the longest serving member of the U.S. Congress and co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus, is being asked to resign after several women claimed that he either sexually harassed or verbally harassed them. (He announced his retirement, not his resignation today).
Conyers has denied the allegations although it has been reported that he paid a former woman employee $27,000 to settle a claim of sexual harassment.
Four members of Michigan’s congressional delegation and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have demanded that Conyers resign from office.
His supporters recently held a rally, and they claim the 88-year-old Conyers is a victim of a double standard since U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D., Minnesota) and President Donald Trump are not being asked to step down although both men face similar allegations from multiple women.
Conyers’ supporters added that he deserved due process since these are only allegations. Hip Hop Mogul Russell Simmons recently faced similar allegations and he resigned from a company he founded although he had a different recollection of what transpired.
These actions continue to show that many people believe black men are guilty of something in the eyes of all women because of the implied bias against black men and that white women’s accusations often are the law.
What’s opposite of a good Jewish Boy like Harvey Weinstein? A no-good black men, everyone believes