Believe it or not, Ebony.com has a story on their site about convicted child molester Genarlow Wilson under the title “From Notorious to Glorious.” They also do quite a bit of obfuscation in that they claim that he was acquitted. No such thing ever happened. He was released early, but the Appellate Court refused to reverse his conviction. He was then, and still is today a convicted and CONFESSED child molester. Mr. Wilson is seen, on videotape, with a five other young men, running a train on a 15 year old. Further, he is seen, on videotape, having sex with an incapacitated, if not unconscious, 17 year old. But, actually, I’m not going to spend much time talking about Mr. Wilson today. Frankly this is much bigger than him, and despite his PR machine’s best efforts I am determined to let him fade into the ether much as he deserves.
I want to talk about the victims here. The victims that apparently Ebony.com never bothered to consider. In their celebration of Mr. Wilson’s “gloriousness” none of them took the time to wonder why he was acquitted of raping the older girl. Apparently, they’ve forgotten our history in this country whereas raping a black woman (girl) was not illegal and was done by both white and black men with impunity. This oversight is particularly shocking when you consider that much of the staff at Ebony.com is female. I find it troubling, but not unusual that the black community was once again so caught up in the alleged injustice to a black man that they totally overlooked the abhorrent miscarriage of justice the 17 year old girl in this case endured. Keeping in mind that just because he was acquitted doesn’t mean he’s not guilty. That this oversight was continued by a venerable magazine like Ebony literally turns my stomach. I often wonder about that girl, now woman. Where is she today? Did she see this article? How did she feel about the “glorification” of the man who is shown on tape using her unconscious form like a rag doll?
There is a tendency in the black community to dismiss men running trains on girls in a benign fashion. In fact, I suspect that many of the black men who’ve taken to twitter to dismiss these girls as “hos” were once train conductors themselves.
That was certainlytrue in the small Alabama town where I grew up too. Young men there habitually ran trains on girls from “low-class” families. Even one who was intellectually limited and still in leg braces from a childhood bout with polio. We were warned to “be careful,” but no one ever did anything about it. It was just how it was…until suddenly it wasn’t anymore. One Halloween night a group of guys snatched a twelve year old out trick or treating. The fact that they did this openly, in front of people that could identify them is telling. Only this girl wasn’t from a “trashy” family. The police were called and they went to prison. Would that girl have had to endure that trauma had our parents spoken up when this was going on?
And that’s why I look at you Ebony.com. Why are you complicit in this crime? You put a out a story claiming, despite the facts to the contrary that he “was never a child molester,” when in fact he was. Unless of course you don’t consider running a train on fifteen-year-old molestation. Never once do you question why he was acquitted of raping the seventeen-year-old given that the evidence was so clear.
Rape convictions are notoriously hard to win, which is why it’s so difficult to get a prosecutor to even pursue one. It’s bad enough that black women have to endure the fact that to many the rape of a black woman is still a non-crime. Now we have black women “glorifying” a convicted and confessed molester. What type effect do you think this is having on victims? Will prosecutors use it as an excuse not to pursue these cases? Will rapists use it as vindication of their crime, or even as a path to a full ride to Morehouse? After all, it worked for Wilson. Of course they will. You, like our parents over thirty years ago are complicit. You have blood on your hands Ebony.com, and like that girl from so long ago, I’ll never forget this. But unlike then, I’m no longer a child. I will not stand by while you throw black women and girls under a bus with impunity. At the bare minimum I will shine light on your perfidy. Again. And Again. I will never go away.