Over 26 Thousand Sexual Assaults on US Military Bases Last Year

Rapes in the militaryDiscussions about state sponsored violence usually centers around our concern for police brutality..However, we need to make sure when speaking about this we include what is taking place in our military..Last year alone there were over 26 thousand sexual assaults.. 26 thousand.. and those are the ones that’s been reported.. Out of those 26 thousand only 238 had been addressed..This breaks down to over 70 assaults a day..

The other day a Facebook page showing pictures of battered women and ‘humorous’ comments like ‘She burned the bacon once’ was just pulled down after Bay Area Congress woman Jackie Spiers made a stink.. Her office had confirmed that the Facebook page was being updated by active military personnel..

Its estimated that over one third of the women enlisted in the military have been assaulted by fellow soldiers…There’s a stunning documentary called ‘Invisible War: Home ‘ which was nominated for an Academy Award, that addresses this you can click the link here http://invisiblewarmovie.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GB88QE0TSDE

Rape in the militaryAs this inexcusable conduct is taking place with no signs of slowing down or being contained several things need to be kept in mind. First, we just saw our President push to allow for the FBI to have more access to watch over ordinary citizens to make sure we don’t do something foul.. We’ve seen increased militarization of our police forces all over the country where surveillance, some form of stop and frisk are all being deployed..We should be asking what measures, what cameras, what sort of surveillance is being put in place to make sure rapes and sexual assaults cease within our military?  Seems to me that’s where we have a big time problem..

Second, many in the military who have committed sexual assaults or have witnessed them and remained silent eventually come home and get jobs as police officers or work in our jails..What sort of mindset do these folks have when they are patrolling our streets with a badge and gun and increased powers? Have you noticed over the past year the increase in the reporting of police sexually assaulting citizens.. There were high-profile cases in New York City, Chicago and several other cities  last year…You can peep more info at the site Campaign Against Police Sexual Assault.

Third, the fact that there has been little movement around this is beyond frightening.. Yes, the White House will respond to these allegations but keep in mind the documentary on sexual assaults in the military has been out for over a year and we haven’t heard or seen too much progress.. The fact that there was a heavily trafficked Facebook page making fun of battered women put up by members of the military in recent weeks underscores this lack of movement.. This means we have lawmakers who we put in office who have sat on their hands and done nothing..

battered-marine-250We need to ask ourselves where is this coming from? How is this allowed to happen? Where they influenced by entertainers like a Chris Brown or Rick Ross or was it the other way around? What we are dealing with is something systemic and deeply embedded in the culture of those who serve.. It’s no different then the culture of violence we see directed at citizens by our police..

Where are the good soldiers.. Male soldiers in particular to step up and speak out on this? Where are they to condemn this? Are there gag orders in place causing silence?

Right now we have a War on Terror which has had us in countries all over the world.. From the looks of things the terror that we are searching for is on our military bases as women are being raped with impunity.. All of us should be outraged and stunned into action to end this madness..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAOw1vRq-7o&feature=youtu.be

Steubenville, NAACP President Says Rape Victim Ain’t Really a Victim…Nat’l NAACP Condemns Remark

Update (03-29-13) So yesterday after we ran this story about Royal Mayo who was identified as president of the Steubenville, Ohio NAACP, stating he didn’t think the rape victim was really a victim, we soon heard from the National NAACP..Derek George Turner, director of communication sent this statement:

NAACP Condemns Remarks Disparaging Steubenville Rape Victim; International Business Times Article Misidentified Mayo as Local NAACP President

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The National NAACP released the following statement condemning the remarks disparaging the victim of the sexual assault in the Steubenville case:

“The NAACP abhors the remarks attributed to Royal Mayo regarding the rape victim in the Steubenville. The remarks are Mayo’s own, and do not reflect the position of the NAACP and its membership.

Mr. Mayo is not the president of the Steubenville NAACP and is not a spokesman for the NAACP. The article attributing him as such has been corrected by the International Business Times.

Rape is a despicable crime of violence. The NAACP understands that comments that blame victims for the actions of their attackers contribute to and perpetuate a culture of acquiescence to rape.

The NAACP advocates strongly for a society where victims of rape and sexual assault can come forward and seek legal redress without further retribution from the community, media or society at large.”

Royal Mayo

Royal Mayo

Reading this article from Steubenville, Ohio, where the NAACP president  Royal Mayo is raising the issue about why only two men got convicted and not everyone else.. His claims and layout of the incident should not be immediately dismissed, especially as he places it in the context of long standing police corruption in Steubenville. He notes it’s the first police department in the country to come under a federal court decree..

Where Mayo, loses me and I’m sure many other folks is when he makes the outlandish statement that this teenage girl really isn’t a rape victim.. He claims that the teenager shown in those sordid videos and pictures wanted to have the type of sex the young men from the football team were on trial for… Unbelievable.. No wonder we have such confusion amongst people about sexual assault…Thinking like this is not usual it’s embedded in the minds of far too many people..The thinking goes; If she’s drunk and out of it and unable to stand, she’s good to go.. Inevitably that leads to young men making moves to get a young women in that condition.. ie Dropping a molly or some other mind altering substance in her drink.. All that gets accentuated when popular entertainers like rapper Rick Ross rap about it in a song..or as you may recall last fall, Cee-Lo Green gets accused of doing this..

Perhaps its time we draw clear lines in the sand similar to ‘No means No‘.. How about we make it clear, being drunk, too high, unable to stand and be in full control of your faculties means ‘No’.. end of story?

The article that appears in the IBTimes has the following excerpts: Peep the entire article

http://www.ibtimes.com/steubenvilles-naacp-president-says-rape-victim-was-drunk-willing-exclusive-1149517

Mayo described the 16-year-old girl as the “alleged victim” and said she might have been having consensual sex. “She said her mother brought her to the party, at 3 o’clock, with a bottle of vodka,” Mayo said. “Where did you get it, young lady? You brought it from home? Where’d you get it? You came to the party with your mother.”

Mayo added that she might have been a willing participant, apparently unfazed by the inflammatory nature of such statements. “They’re alleging she got raped; she’s acknowledging that she wanted to leave with Trent. Her friends say she pushed them away as she went and got into the car, twice telling them, ‘I know what I’m doing; I’m going with Trent,’” Mayo said.

By 10:30 p.m., other partygoers were making catcalls and bets to urinate on her, according to a New York Times time line of the incident. The victim was “carried” out of the party by Richmond and Mays two hours later. In the car on the way to another party, Mays was videotaped digitally penetrating the victim. At a third party, the victim was unable to walk on her own, and, according to testimony, Richmond was seen digitally penetrating her from behind. In the videotaped testimonies from the teens at the party, they understood that something wrong was happening but did not stop the sexual assault, as reported by Gawker.

Rosa Clemente Blasts Rapper Rick Ross.. Calls on Hip Hop to Say ‘No’ to Rape Culture

Rick Ross brownIn recent days a lot has happened that has kept the issue of rape and rape culture in the forefront.. It ranges from two female social commentators/ bloggers Zerlina Maxwell and Adria Richards being threatened with rape after speaking out against sexual assault and inappropriate sexist jokes to massive rapes in the military to recent fights and resistance that proceeded the passing of the Violence Against Women Act..

Most recently its come in the form of former law enforcement officer turned rapper Rick Ross, kicking lyrics in a new song that advocates date rape…. At a time where one out of three women globally are sexually assaulted and almost half of Black and Brown women in the US being sexually assaulted, Ross’s words are beyond wack. They’re dangerous, irresponsible and reflective of a corporate business culture that has hijacked cultural expression to plant seeds of poison.

The other day long time Hip Hop activist and former Vice Presidential candidate for the Green Party Rosa Clemente responded to Ross with a stinging rebuttal that she posted on youtube.. It was a stark reminder of whats at stake in terms of whats at stake.. Clemente ask for men in Hip Hop to step up draw lines in the sand and protect the culture and the women around them..She calls upon people to put an end to rape culture and uplift the humanity in us all..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lH7pU7PvFA

Long time industry vet Dee Dee Cocheta stepped up and penned a heartfelt  open letter to Rick Ross that appears on All Hip Hop..

Greetings William,

I am writing you a letter because I have sat back and observed long enough. I am coming to you as a ‘sister’ of the human family we all belong to. WE are connected! AND you my brother, I am tired of hearing negative things about you and now I am mad at how you are treating yourself. So please do not take this wrong or feel I am coming at you to scold or beat you up with my words. I am coming to you because I CARE and LOVE YOU!

What brought me to the point of writing this open letter was after reading ALLHIPHOP.com Hip-Hop Rumors on your new song, “U.O.E.N.O.” (you ain’t even know it) titled: YOWZA! New Rick Ross Lyric Will Upset Smart Women! So yeah I’m a little upset and rightfully so as the lyric you wrote about refers to ‘date rape’ and is exactly how I lost my virginity; someone STOLE it at the age of 14 before entering in high school. I take responsibility for being at a party I had no business being at but I want you to know how scary this now 41-year-old woman felt to wake up to blood on the sheets with an aching pain and empty feeling, that your heart is sunken where you feel you lost something. Well I did, I lost the right to choose whom I wanted to share that special moment with because I was knocked out and taken advantage of. See William, your lyric doesn’t educate it only further glamorize what fools like that man did to me 27 years ago. I happen to believe in karma and I know that man got his without me having to lift a finger.

You can read the rest of this letter at http://allhiphop.com/2013/03/25/open-letter-to-rick-ross-from-a-music-industry-vet/

To further demonstrate the extent Rape Culture has encroached upon us, here’s a panel discussion  we did last year for Free Speech TV dealing with the topic..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_-YfUKVGKY