I must give acknowledgement to Professor Tracey who in her blog Aunt Jemima's Revenge wrote a thought provoking article entitled :"The Soul on Ice Effect: Why Black Women and Children Don't Matter" As a matter of fact, before you read my response click here to read hers.
The book Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver is generally regarded as a classic work of political thought and a must read. In fact it usually can be found in the majority of Black bookstores. I have never regarded it as such. In fact I have held the opinion that Cleaver was an opportunist who used any means to promote himself during the Black Panther/Black Revolution period. Later after escaping and living abroad for many years, came back and eventually became a Republican conservative and spoke out against Affirmative action and other subject important to Black people. By the time he died in 1998, my feeling was that he had become reviled in the Black community.
I must add that I have not read Cleaver's book but Professor Tracey's analysis is enough for me. When you have a so called revolutionary admitting brazenly that he is a rapist pretty much seals the low opinion that I already had of him. He then tries to justify his raping of white women as a revolutionary act and his way of striking back to the man. He then says that before his "acts of revolution" rapes on white women, he in his own words admitted to," practicing on Black girls in the ghetto first" This sounds like the words of a serial rapist, a deranged sexual predator. Yet many gave Cleaver props and called him a revolutionary leader. No, he was opportunistic rapist who conned his way into leadership.
Unfortunately, this double standard regarding Black women has only worsened with the passage of time. Ever since I first found out about the brutal rape and beating crime in Dunbar village, I continue to be amazed and angered about the lack of coverage and mention of it by the mainstream Black Leadership. In fact, this double standard extends to many ills that it seems the majority of Black people don't want to face such as child abuse, sexual molestations, incest, serial murders and child abductions. When Black women go missing, I don't see much outrage from our "leadership". The same goes for the aforementioned ills. As a matter of fact it has become the habit of many in the Black community to give Blacks who are criminals or accused a crime a pass.
Look at R. Kelly. It has been six years and you would never know about him being accused of having sex with a minor since he continues to record and perform in concerts in front of enthusiastic crowds. Look at the madman in Memphis, Jessie Dotson who two months after being released, murdered members of his own family (Including small children).
I don't care that he is an Iraqui vet, I don't care that R. Kelly is a talented singer and songwriter. Wrong is wrong and I don't care who does it. We as Black people need to straighten ourselves up and stop with the excuses about those that do wrong. Stop falling for the stupid ass sniching ploy and start giving information to the police so that they can do their job and find these criminals.
Again stop with the excuses. Stop blaming the white man for keeping us down. We came through slavery, lynching and other evils that tried to destroy us and we are still here. We had brilliant women and men who despite the racism and prejudice, made gains and thrived. So don't give me that crap. Don't blame the prison system, if you make the right choices and obey the law, you generally don't have to worry about going. As a teacher in the public school system, I will admit that it is not perfect and have many flaws. However, blaming it for crimes being committed is where I draw the line. Again don't bring me that crap.
Then you have the disgusting method that the Black community has of blaming the victim. This just amazes me. I remember reading about the victim of the Dunbar atrocity that many were trying to blame the victim and many didn't even regard here as Black. (She is a Hatian immigrant) One woman who lived in the same housing unit said this, "Somebody got raped? So what? Theres too much crime happening down here." Instead of trying to get justice for the majority female victims, they get blamed instead. It was their fault they got raped, their fault they were molested, their fault they were murdered. This insanity has got to stop!
We have to start taking care of ourselves. We need to make stamping out these ills a priority. We must turn in the drug dealers. We must turn in the men who prey on young girls no matter wh they are. We must monitor who comes into our communities and tell the police if someone who has committed a crime is living there or is a convicted sexual predator. We must take the steps necessary to stamp out gang violence. We must educate our children to the fullest and ensure that they are recieving it in learning institutions. We must turn in the rapists, thugs and murderers and stop making excuses for them.
We must do this for our sake and the sakes of our children. We must put an end to the "Soul on Ice Effect and exorcize the sick viewpoints of Eldridge Cleaver from our lives. We must do this now!
Thanks again Professor Tracey for the inspiration.