Provacative articles about rape, black conservatives

April 12, 1997|By Gregory Kane

Those of us still addicted to reading have much to choose from, much to pique our interest, stimulate our intellects and arouse our indignation. Here are just a couple of things for us bibliophiles to be thankful for.

The April and May editions of Headway magazine, which is fast becoming the leading forum for minority conservative thought. The April issue features the always delightful Walter Williams, a black conservative syndicated columnist who loves tweaking liberal noses.

In an exquisite piece lampooning the tendency of all too many Americans to freeload, Williams asks the question no doubt driving taxpayers throughout the country downright loony.

Claiming he and his wife paid "tens of thousands of dollars in taxes last year" while others he knows paid less than $3,000, Williams asks, "What did we get from government that others who paid much less didn't get?"

We all know the answer: nothing. All any taxpayer asks is a return on the money she or he has invested in the government. The current conservative revolt is based on the premise that we won't get that return from liberals.

The May issue features a round-table discussion with several black conservatives who, if we are to believe liberal black Democrats, have some lingering self-hatred about being black that makes them conservative. Or, to cite the other tactic beloved by liberal black Democrats used to put down black conservatives, we are nothing more than white conservatives in blackface.

In the round-table discussion, six blacks tell why they have adopted conservatism as a political philosophy. Their answers are quite revealing, and expose the charge that black conservatives have lingering self-hatred for the black liberal canard it is. In fact, what these folks reveal is that deep, deep down in their hearts, black conservatives believe black people can compete intellectually and in every other way with whites. Black liberals, deep, deep down in their hearts, don't.

The May issue of Emerge magazine has a special report dedicated to the issue of rape. It may be the first special report on this topic done by a major black magazine. The special report was inspired by an incident in which four students at Morehouse College allegedly raped a woman from Spelman College.

The courage of Emerge editor George Curry and other editors at the magazine should not be underestimated. Both Morehouse and Spelman are predominantly black colleges in Atlanta with nearly impeccable reputations. That four students from the all-male Morehouse would be accused of raping a student from the all-female Spelman would come under the category some blacks claim as "airing dirty linen in public." As though the fact that when a black woman is raped it's usually a black man who has done it is some kind of secret.

But had four white guys from, say, Georgia Tech been accused of raping the Spelman student in the September 1996 incident, it would have been national news instantly. Other black media outlets and the traditional black liberal leadership would have seen to that. That's what makes Emerge magazine's report so courageous.

Also showing more than her share of courage is Lori S. Robinson, a Spelman alumnae who reported the story of the young woman raped. Robinson tells not only that story, but the grisly tale of her own rape in Washington, D.C., in May 1995. Two men forced Robinson into her apartment at gunpoint and committed the deed.

As she walked to her apartment from her car, Robinson writes, "I jumped slightly when I saw two brothers."

That would be my only problem with Robinson's story. If these two guys raped you, they ain't brothers, dear. It's time we stop treating every black man as a brother and every black woman as a sister. Those who committed the despicable acts against Robinson and the Spelman student are deserving of several names - lowlifes, reprobates, scum and dirt bags are some of the few that come to mind. But not brothers.

Rape is, in 1997, still the crime we care little to speak about honestly. Every woman has a rape tale, either involving her or a woman close to her.

"How we debate the issue when 'heroes' such as Mike Tyson are the accused, but never seem able to find our voices when the victim is our mother, or our daughter, or our sister, our niece, or ourselves," Robinson wrote.

The time for debate is over. Now, thanks in part to Emerge, we can all begin a frank discussion about the heinous crime of rape.

Pub Date: 4/12/97

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