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Old 01-06-2013, 07:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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By Amanda Kijera, civic journalist and activist in Haiti

Two weeks ago, on a Monday morning, I started to write what I thought was a very clever editorial about violence against women in Haiti. The case, I believed, was being overstated by women’s organizations in need of additional resources. Ever committed to preserving the dignity of Black men in a world which constantly stereotypes them as violent savages, I viewed this writing as yet one more opportunity to fight “the man” on behalf of my brothers. That night, before I could finish the piece, I was held on a rooftop in Haiti and raped repeatedly by one of the very men who I had spent the bulk of my life advocating for.

It hurt. The experience was almost more than I could bear. I begged him to stop. Afraid he would kill me, I pleaded with him to honor my commitment to Haiti, to him as a brother in the mutual struggle for an end to our common oppression, but to no avail. He didn’t care that I was a Malcolm X scholar. He told me to shut up, and then slapped me in the face. Overpowered, I gave up fighting halfway through the night.

Accepting the helplessness of my situation, I chucked aside the Haiti bracelet I had worn so proudly for over a year, along with it, my dreams of human liberation. Someone, I told myself, would always be bigger and stronger than me. As a woman, my place in life had been ascribed from birth. A Chinese proverb says that “women are like the grass, meant to be stepped on.” The thought comforted me at the same time that it made me cringe.

A dangerous thought. Others like it have derailed movements, discouraged consciousness and retarded progress for centuries. To accept it as truth signals the beginning of the end of a person–or community’s–life and ability to self-love. Resignation means inertia, and for the past two weeks I have inhabited its innards. My neighbors here include women from all over the world, but it’s the women of African descent, and particularly Haitian women, who move me to write now.

Truly, I have witnessed as a journalist and human rights advocate the many injustices inflicted upon Black men in this world. The pain, trauma and rage born of exploitation are terrors that I have grappled with every day of my life. They make one want to strike back, to fight rabidly for what is left of their personal dignity in the wake of such things. Black men have every right to the anger they feel in response to their position in the global hierarchy, but their anger is misdirected.

Women are not the source of their oppression; oppressive policies and the as-yet unaddressed white patriarchy which still dominates the global stage are. Because women–and particularly women of color–are forced to bear the brunt of the Black male response to the Black male plight, the international community and those nations who have benefitted from the oppression of colonized peoples have a responsibility to provide women with the protection that they need.

The United Nations, western women’s organizations and the Haitian government must immediately provide women in Haiti with the funding that they need to build domestic violence and rape crisis centers. Stop dividing Black families by distributing solely to women, which only exaggerates male resentment and frustration in Haiti. Provide both women and men with job training programs that would allow for self-sufficiency as opposed to continued dependency on whites. Lastly, admit that the issue of racial integration might still need addressing on an international level, and then find a way to address it!

I went to Haiti after the earthquake to empower Haitians to self-sufficiency. I went to remind them of the many great contributions that Afro-descendants have made to this world, and of their amazing resilience and strength as a people. Not once did I envision myself becoming a receptacle for a Black man’s rage at the white world, but that is what I became. While I take issue with my brother’s behavior, I’m grateful for the experience. It woke me up, made me understand on a deeper level the terror that my sisters deal with daily. This in hand, I feel comfortable in speaking for Haitian women, and for myself, in saying that we will not be your pawns, racially, politically, economically or otherwise.

We are women, not weapons of war. Thankfully, there are organizations here in Haiti who continues to fight for women’s human rights like, MADRE, SOFA and Enfofanm.

Rather than allowing myself to be used in such a fashion, and as opposed to submitting to the frustration and bitterness that can be born of such an experience, I choose to continue to love and educate instead. My brothers can be sensitized to women’s realities in Haiti and the world over if these are presented to them by using their own clashes with racism and oppression as a starting point.

They must be made to understand the dangerous likelihood of the oppressed becoming the oppressor if no shift in consciousnesses takes place and if no end to the cycle of trauma occurs. I intend to see that it does…by continuing to live and work fearlessly with justice in mind, through the creation of a safe space for women in Haiti and by creating programming for Haitian men that considers their needs, too. Weapons annihilate, dialogue bears fruit.

It’s the fruit I’m interested in now, no matter how strange or bruised it might appear.


This is some seriously stupid ****.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Is she trying to say that she was raped because white guys run things?
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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whats wrong with it?
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
whats wrong with it?
This part seems a bit misguided:
"Because women–and particularly women of color–are forced to bear the brunt of the Black male response to the Black male plight."

That's just the first thing I noticed. It seems like she's blaming rape on racial oppression and turning a sick individual's actions into a social cause, while simultaneously relieving him of moral responsibilities.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Freebase Dali View Post
This part seems a bit misguided:
"Because women–and particularly women of color–are forced to bear the brunt of the Black male response to the Black male plight."
That's just the first thing I noticed. It seems like she's blaming rape on racial oppression and turning a sick individual's actions into a social cause, while simultaneously relieving him of moral responsibilities.
But it's not like it isn't true.

I'm sure she's capable of distinguishing one man's motivation from that of a ethnic group but she chose to write about it from a social perspective. Credit her for not just simply making it a gender issue.

It's funny if you google the headline you get lead here:
Professional Do-Gooder Raped (Lack Of Insight Astonishing). [Archive] - Conservative Underground
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
But it's not like it isn't true.

I'm sure she's capable of distinguishing one man's motivation from that of a ethnic group but she chose to write about it from a social perspective. Credit her for not just simply making it a gender issue.

It's funny if you google the headline you get lead here:
Professional Do-Gooder Raped (Lack Of Insight Astonishing). [Archive] - Conservative Underground
Whether societal factors play a role is all well and good, and should be looked at, but the point I wanted to make is that I think it's misguided to support a social agenda by acknowledging only one of its possible aspects.

We both know that rape isn't some new thing that occurred after a particular social change. It has been around since human nature has. And while I'm not saying rape is just human nature and should be disregarded, I do not think that any particular social situation is the cause of it, and representing the act in such a way is misleading.

However, if she's saying that a social problem is the cause of less restrained behavior, then she might be absolutely right. However, I don't see the need to prop up a position on it using rape as the motivational factor when the very issue of the problem has far wider-reaching implications in and of itself.

Edit:
Also, I'm not sure what you're attempting to say with that link. So far, it looks like a straw man to me.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hip hop bunny hop View Post
This is some seriously stupid ****.
please elaborate... i'm genuinely curious as to the foundations of this statement.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Freebase Dali View Post
Whether societal factors play a role is all well and good, and should be looked at, but the point I was trying to make is that I think it's misguided to support a social agenda by acknowledging only one of its possible aspects.
So in this particular scenario, you believe it's wrong for the U.N. to allocate more aid to Haiti solely based on domestic violence?


Quote:
We both know that rape isn't some new thing that occurred after a particular social change. It has been around since human nature has. And while I'm not saying rape is just human nature and should be disregarded, I do not think that any particular social situation is the cause of it, and representing the act in such a way is misleading.
But in different societies it is less prominent. Certain social conditions increase the likelihood. I think it's apparent she's talking about a crisis, not just instances of rape.

Quote:
However, if she's saying that a social problem is the cause of less restrained behavior, then she might be absolutely right. However, I don't see the need to prop up a position on it using rape as the motivational factor when the very issue of the problem has far wider-reaching implications in and of itself.
That is what she's saying, and i agree, she may be right. It's a universal issue, i don't see what's wrong with addressing it from a personal perspective.

The link was just for jokes. You may be on to something with the "Straw man" because i did find that link incredibly stupid.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
So in this particular scenario, you believe it's wrong for the U.N. to allocate more aid to Haiti solely based on domestic violence?
No. Of course issues like domestic violence problems should be addressed.
Do you believe that domestic violence should be addressed solely on the basis of racial oppression?
Quote:
But in different societies it is less prominent. Certain social conditions increase the likelihood. I think it's apparent she's talking about a crisis, not just instances of rape.
I don't disagree. But she is representing the larger discussion with something that is designed to create an emotional reaction in order to advance a social agenda, which I don't think is appropriate in lieu of actually taking all factors into account and using statistics to back it up. Of course, that could very well take some of the light off her own situation, which I'm guessing is why she approached at the angle she did. She's in the victim position, which carries more weight if she doesn't allude to other factors that could possibly weaken it from a standpoint of convincibility.

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That is what she's saying, and i agree, she may be right. It's a universal issue, i don't see what's wrong with addressing it from a personal perspective.
I agree, but if we both agree to this, then we cannot see the wrong in others addressing the issue from a perspective that runs counter to hers, assuming we're willing to take the issue seriously enough to accept that these individual perspectives could be a distraction from the truth as a whole. I would say the most reasonable position to take would be one that appreciates all factors, rather than those that simply have the propensity to create an emotional, reactive perception, which I'm sure she was going for, otherwise she would not have made it seem like the only reason she was raped is because black men are repressed in Haiti and white men rule the world.

Quote:
The link was just for jokes. You may be on to something with the "Straw man" because i did find that link incredibly stupid.
I was just wondering if you included it to attack my position based on what some random people on a random "conservative" forum said. I'd also wonder if you think conservatism is based on what moronic kids on the internet say.
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