Facebook Livestream Townhall Saturday February 8, 7:30 AM PST 10:30 EST https://www.facebook.com/hutchinsonreport
Are Celeb Black men the Poster Boys for Sexual Crimes but not Celeb White Men?
Earl Ofari Hutchinson
CBS interviewer Gayle King and Oprah are being battered, harangued and hectored from pillar to post for in King’s case, her insensitive and inappropriate harp on the dismissed rape charge against the Kobe Bryant ions past. Oprah was bludgeoned some months earlier for giving mountains of free airtime to two alleged victims to level the ad infinitum allegation of child sexual abuse against Michael Jackson. Bryant and Jackson are deceased. They cannot defend themselves and this opened King and Oprah wide to the charge again that they delight in finger pointing prominent Black men as sexual abusers while saying not a mumbling word about celeb white men who rape, assail, and abuse women.
The brutal truth is that King and Oprah when they do take shots at Black men accused of sexual abuse simply follow a well-worn script. In fact, the two ritual questions many Blacks ask is: why is Bill Cosby behind bars and Harvey Weinstein still free? And, why isn’t his name along with other white celeb accused abusers along with pictures splashed all over the press as a matter of course when there’s talk of sexual misconduct.
When the issue is sexual abuse the script seems to go like this. A woman claims that a prominent African American celebrity or politician has engaged in sexual misconduct with her. I mean the names of the men who have been hit with the charge can fill up a small telephone book.
When the charge is made, three things happen. The press jumps all over it with a furious back and forth, he said, she said, reporting of the charges and denials.
The second is there’s a call from some women’s groups and the accuser’s supporters for action against the alleged offender that includes everything from an investigation to prosecution. However, it’s the third thing in the sexual misconduct battle that’s become almost a ritual when the accused offender is an African American. The lines are instantly and rigidly drawn. Many African Americans loudly see conspiracies and a hidden hand behind the charge. That is, it is just another ploy to damage, and bring down, a prominent Black man.
They cry: double standard. That being that Black men draw special fury, scorn, and condemnation from the media and the public that white men who are accused of sexual misconduct don’t get. So, rapper Snoop Dog hit back and demanded that Cosby be freed. It won’t happen, and he knows it. But it was the rage over the perceived double standard of dumping on Black men as King is accused of with Bryant that prompted the call.
There are countless numbers of Blacks who still doggedly defend convicted sexual assailant Cosby and the likes of R. Kelly. The same argument that there are sinister forces out to tar and tarnish prominent Black men, and nothing like that happens to white men who commit sexual abuse.
There is both truth and fiction in this. Black men are under an intense glare when it comes to the charge of sexual misconduct. This is no surprise given the horrific, vicious and relentless stereotyping of Black men as sexual predators. The fiction is that some Black men don’t do exactly what their women accusers say that they do, up to and including rape. They do. Despite Snoop Dog’s bitter call for Cosby to be freed, he’s the one celeb Black man, who did exactly what he was convicted of—sexual assault
The King-Bryant fiasco shows once more sexual harassment is a vile, dirty and disgusting business. But it’s also the business more time than not that’s shot chock full of racial stereotypes, media titillation and sensationalism, and one upmanship. Almost always at the expense of Black men who did or didn’t do what they were accused of, and in Jackson and Bryant’s case are gone. The Weinstein’s by no means get a pass for their alleged sexual ravages. Still, they are not endlessly pounded into the turf as the poster boys of sexual wrong, as some Black men are. King’s question about Bryant sadly proved that.
and innuendo. Fairfax is yet another example of this, with race and sex colliding on sexual misconduct.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is the author of Why Black Lives Do Matter (Middle Passage Press) He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network.