Friday, August 19, 2016



  • Children cannot give consent. 
  • People who are owned, such as slaves, cannot give consent.
  • Unconscious people cannot give consent

Let us all understand, now and forever, that 14 year old Sally Hemings, his dead wife's half sister, did not have an affair with Thomas Jefferson.

She was not his mistress.
She was not his wife.
She was not his lover.

But she was his victim.

The one word that describes Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings relationship is "rape."  This is why romanticizing Jefferson's relationship with Hemings is so foul.

Because Jefferson's true history has been cleaned up and over written so many times, as has the history of so many men, that many people claim to not recognize rape when they see it. The new book "Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings"  presents the first sexual encounter between master and slave. From Kirkus:

  • And so, when some half hour after Sally Hemings arrives late at the upstairs parlor, and Thomas Jefferson confesses breathlessly that he would very much like to lie with her as a man lies with his wife, and she whispers that she would like that, too…

I can't remember how many history lessons I had in grade school, got piece meal from PBS documentaries and movies.  There wasn't even a hint that Jefferson did anything wrong by making  his property have sex with him. 

Just by being her owner he is a threat. He can sell her children if he is displeased. A woman slave was forced to have sex with the master, any way you look at it. And if that woman wanted to keep herself and her children in his good graces she had better pretend she enjoys it.  

Alfre Woodard's character in 12 years a slave is probably a more accurate representation of the owned sex slave. She smiled and behaved sweetly toward her master as she told Patsy (Lupita Nyongo's  character how he and his ilk were destined for the lowest circle of hell.   

I'm almost sure that the movie "Sally Hemings, An American Love Story" was not the very first television movie or documentary, created by white people, that I'd ever seen about Hemings. However many I'd seen prior to seeing the movie captioned on the left, in every single one Hemings was played by  a 20 year old actresses give or take a year or two.

Hemings was never represented as a 14 to 16 year old child being sexually pursued by an old white man

And if the producers and directors or movies and documentaries deliberately changed the Sally Heming's age, doesn't that mean they knew this United States President was an incestous, racist, pedophile rapist and decided to hide it?


10 Things You Should Know About Thomas Jefferson* Before You Tour ‘Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello’

It's not just the white men that cannot acknowledge what rape is and when it's been done.  It's not just white men that are constantly trying to rewrite history and the present, trying to clean up their legacy.

I think it is safe to say that our collective inability to acknowledge rape in the past is the reason it can't be acknowledged in the present. And rape isn't acknowledged in the past or in the present, in white community or in the black because in America rape and every other sort of abuse is always tacitly approved when the socially powerful abuse the socially weak.

White men use their white privilege to blind themselves to the abuse and murder of black people

Black men use their male privilege to blind themselves to the abuse and murder of black women*

Race privilege is not the only privilege that exists as quiet as its kept in the black community. Male privilege, a willful obliviousness of one's social power as a male, is why so many black men who can see that Thomas Jefferson was clearly a rapist --because Sally Hemings had no ability to give consent-- can still have problems seeing Nate Parker as a rapist even though one of the black men there gave testimony that indicated that Parker orchestrated the gang rape of a young woman at Penn State, and even made her clean up her own vomit the next day, and then walked away from a rape conviction.

As white people will say about white police officers that have murdered. "Yeah, he shouldn't have choked Eric Garner to death, but if wouldn't have been breaking the law in the first place the officer wouldn't have even been there"

"He put himself in that position." 

Black men say about black women that have raped. "Yeah,  he shouldn't have invited his friends to have sex with her when she was unconscious, but if she hadn't gotten drunk in the first place Nate Parker wouldn't  have even been there"

It seems like many black men and some black women agree with Nate Parker's statement to the rape victim:
"You put yourself in that position." 

In the rapist handbook this is translated as 
"Gotcha. Don't be a sore loser."

Jean Celestin was convicted for raping Nate Parker's date. He was convicted and Parker wasn't. From the portion of testimony I've read it seems like this is likely because the woman was definitely unconscious by the time Celestin went into the Nate Parker's invitation. 

Parker, like the dead victim's brother said, probably got off on a technicality. And that technicality involved the victim having had oral sex with Parker a few days before. The jury/judge couldn't draw a line between a consensual act and a non-consensual one. Again, I get that.

But I'm not sure how Parker inviting Celestin and Kangas into the room wouldn't make everybody involved in penetrating her body while she was unconscious a rapist.

If I invite you into a room and say kill Grandma then hand you the gun, and you fire the gun at Grandma, I'm pretty sure the police will put us both in prison for Grandma's murder unless Grandma pulls a fast one kills us first.

 How is it rape isn't a big enough crime to warrant figure out who is an accessory to a crime and who isn't? How is it the one that orchestrated the crime wasn't found guilty?

I think the answer can be found in the fact that male privilege pays big dividends to all men, even oppressed black men whenever a lower status having black woman is involved.  And just like the white community responds with a how dare you complain type attitude when black people are murdered by police, so does the black community when a black woman is raped.   White women are betrayed by white men too when rape occurs. But white women aren't  routinely on the front lines, protesting. when their men are unjustly killed by Americans in the American justice system representing Americans in America.

In Nate Parker's case, even if the court/the jury couldn't draw a line between one consensual act and a non-consensual act in time  --within a patriarchal society where rape culture rules-- why wasn't Parker jailed for orchestrating Celestin's rape and trying to orchestrate Kangas's rape?  

 Anybody who cannot see that men have privilege and that this includes black men isn't paying attention.
A person can have oppressed positions in this society and also have privileged positions in this society. And white men and black men line up together against all women all the time -- believe it.  I worked in an environment where I saw it daily. 

White women don't usually show up for black women when racial issues arise.

And b
lack men don't usually show up for black women when rape issue arise (Bill Cosby, Nate Parker) or domestic violence type issues arise (Ray Rice, Chris Brown). 
Furthermore,  there's a growing debate among black women as we wonder if black men can even be bothered to show up for us within Black Lives Matter.

Black men and black women both have conditioned to believe that black men have it worse and that saving black men is the key to saving the race.
But if black women's race problems are usually minimized and/erased, how could we even start to believe that's true based on anecdotal evidence?  With black men, I hear about white officer shooting a black man within hours or one day. I often don't hear about a black woman's murder by police until weeks or months after it's happened which means I'm not hearing about some of black women killed at all. The word of a black woman's death simply does not travel via black social media the way a black man's does. 

The black women killed by police have often been, as far as I can tell, have been mentally ill in some way and/or already in a jail cell rather than getting gunned down in the street. In addition to this difference in how and where black women are killed by police, black women are also being abused and killed due to sexism and misogyny by black men as a result of rape and domestic violence - as crime is usually intraracial. This is especially true of intimate crimes.  

Of course, I've noticed that a lot more black men are in jail than black women. But that's not the comparison because many multiples of white men are in jail above white women too. Men are more aggressive among other things. They go to jail more. The comparison is black men to white men then black women to white women -- and I've seen numbers that show black women outnumber white women at three to one. If black men outnumber white men in prison at twice that rate, that doesn't mean black women's sufferings should be erased as nothing....again.  

I,  like many other black women, have not failed to notice how Alton Sterling's imperfections (sexual predator preying on a female child) have been over-looked because he was executed while Korryn Gaines's death because she fell head first into a war metaphor version of Black Lives Matter has been treated with silence, has been treated as if she is beyond redemption even though she was developmentally disabled. 

It makes me a little sick to my stomach to think that I might see her in more than one photograph of protesters marching for Freddie Gray one day.  Black women always leap to their feet for black men. Some of the woke are starting to hold back after seeing so little reciprocation. But black women are loyal to their own detriment.

Still, I have to acknowledge that Gaines did everything wrong. Everything. But she'd still be alive if she was white. So we, the black community owed her more than she got.

And we owed Nate Parker's dead victim more than she got too.
Her older brother told Variety that she committed suicide and overdosed on sleeping pills. “She became detached from reality,” the woman’s brother, Johnny, told Variety, asking not to use his last name to honor his sister’s wishes to remain anonymous. “The progression was very quick and she took her life.”
The news comes just days after Parker gave interviews last week to Variety and Deadline about being charged with rape as a student at Penn State. He was acquitted in a 2001 trial, but questions about the case persist.
“He may have litigated out of any kind of situation,” Johnny said. “My position is he got off on a technicality.” Other family members reached by Variety declined to publicly comment.

To be continued....