Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fifty years later, not much has changed.

By now we all know that the "acid attack" victim was lying, that there was no jealous, vicious black woman pouring acid over lily white, pretty face. I am glad I don't watch tv, so I only got bits from the internet, I can only imagine how it was blown out of proportion on tv. In comments to news articles people were calling for death penalty for that "aggressor", exchanging openly racist attacks, calling for white solidarity.

But that's not sick enough. This article in TheRoot gives much more details about previous racial based hoaxes, where it was the African American males who were created as easy targets of imaginary crimes. And the public was drinking it all in. It was so "correct" that a black man would kidnap, attack, rape, harass a white person that only few (whose voices are silenced) try to question the story.
Interesting is what happens after. Who is the victim? Who is the offender? Just because there was no real African American who was falsely accused of committing a crime, doesn't mean there was no victim. Each and every episode of that kind, blind support and lack of criticism perpetuates people's racial prejudice, hateful beliefs and social injustice.

As Nikole Hannah- Jones says in her article :

Already, Storro is being painted as the victim, and the harm done to the black community is being pushed aside, says Russell-Brown. In a press conference that revealed the hoax, the police commander called Storro "fragile." And an editor from The Columbian posted a comment chastising people angry at the hoax by saying the community needed to keep Storro in their prayers. "Now we’ve moved away from 'She falsely accused a black attacker' to 'We have to help her,' " Russell-Brown says. "We have 'good victims,' and this denies the harm of the hoax to African Americans."

Why they can't call it for what it is? She might be mentally unstable, but that doesn't take away the damage she's done. No one would say anything of that kind of the person was African American. No one would say we need to help her, take care of her. She would be ready to be lynched. What that woman did was a hate crime, even if there was no concrete object of her actions, her behavior hurt thousands. It was a hate crime against the society and the slow movement toward justice.

So, it maybe fifty years since the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, but it's not too much of a past and history just yet.

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