What about the rape?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

By Yvonne Tran

For those who are not privy to YouTube sensations, the Bedroom Intruder newsclip and subsequent remix music videos made have been making its rounds on Facebook newsfeeds, office emails, and probably procrastination fodder for college students.

You can view it here and the famous remix here.
What peaked my interest was the lack of recognition of the rape and assault that happened to Antoine Dodson’s sister, Kelly. He was clearly upset and angry about the violation and so was she. But in all of the media that I have come across, including this NPR story, the focus has been the fame Dodson has found himself under (many of his fans being White).

The taking of Dodson’s frustration and anger and morphing it into this parody of Blackness moves away from the fact that,
  1. They live in the projects and this type of violence is a daily occurrence,
  2. Someone (probably from the community if he knew she was sleeping in that exact room) broke in and tried to rape Dodson’s sister,
  3. Huntsville, AL (where the event occurred) has, on average, 60% more crime than the national average and with 1 out of every 6 American women has been a victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
It deserves recognition that families living in the projects are not safe and the continuing de-prioritization of the violence that women suffer under requires much more than a news story and hundreds of other parodies playing on the poverty of Dodson’s family. Instead, let’s take a minute to stop and ask, what about the rape? What about the violence in this community and what can they or we do to support the stopping of it? When an “average” story about violence that occurs in our community becomes an internet meme-viral-sensation-parody, it is easier to laugh at the presentation of poverty and race than it really is to address and SEE the root issues at hand. We all know oppression isn't THAT funny.
So I still ask, what about the rape?

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