What race was the Richmond rape victim?

[Trigger warning]

That’s one of the top search engine phrases that’s been bringing people to this blog. That’s one of the questions I’ve not let pass through comment moderation.

What race was the Richmond rape victim? Really, people.  Does it matter?

Do you feel a little more at ease at the thought of a poverty-stricken 15-year-old Latina getting gang raped by a bunch of Latino boys/men?  Is that the kind of thing that’s a fact of life for those types of Latina girls?

Is it easier for you to cope with the situation at the thought of a 15-year-old black girl getting gang banged by boys at her school?  Is that how all this would make more sense to you, the thought of a sexualized black teenager drinking and hanging out with older boys in the dark?

Do you feel like forking out more cash at the thought of a pretty, 15-year-old white girl getting ravaged by a gang of brown boys, some older than 18?  Will donating to her recovery fund be your good deed for the month?

Because seriously, people. What does it matter what race she is?

Why do you want to know so badly?  How will this piece of information influence your thoughts on the matter?  What stereotypes are you bringing to the table when you ask this question?

A little girl was brutally assaulted.  A little girl had her world turned upside down.  A little girl has a long road to recovery ahead of her.  It could have been your sister, your mother, your favorite cousin, your best friend.  It could’ve been you.

The media has published reports about what kind of girl she is, what her interests are, what she’s like at school.  I’m sure everyone at her school knows who she is.  People in her community know who she is.  Eventually, she’ll have to face these people who know all about The Bad Thing that happened to her.

Jesus Christ, what race is she?  I hope I never find out.

About Melissa

I love donuts. Chocolate iced, hold the sprinkles.
This entry was posted in general assholery, racism, rape. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to What race was the Richmond rape victim?

  1. Hugh Wester says:

    Why in the age if information, do we purposely not want to know certain information?

    Race may well be the answer to so many “whys.” Why did this last so long? Why did so many stand around and do nothing? Why were they so callous?

    If you answer that people are less likely to feel empathy toward those unlike themselves, then you may be on the way to an answer.

    If so, then students need to know this. We can change our dress, behavior, route we use to walk home. Cant’t change our race.

    If you stand a greater chance of a negative outcome because of your race, wouldn’t you want to know it? We’re already hearing just such an assertion from the family of one of the accused saying he was arrested simply because he’s black.

    Ask yourself this? How long after the Robert Louis Gates incident did it take before it was reported that the police officer was white? Pretty quick. In fact, that is all he is known as in headlines “white policeman.”

  2. kate kane says:

    Thank you for pointing out a very true fact. I always see race associated with both the victim and the perpetrator. As if their race is going to explain such an atrocious act. Or provide more comfort for anyone. A violent crime was committed against a child, it should NEVER matter if that child is white, black, Asian, Hispanic, Indian, or any other race/ethnicity. I don’t know of ANY cultural norm associated with any race that normalizes the violent rape of a child. Do you?

  3. SarahMC says:

    Yikes.

    “What stereotypes are you bringing to the table when you ask this question?”

    Sent a shiver down my spine. People are wondering whether they need to damn the perps or damn the victim, based on her race. :cries:

  4. Samus says:

    I’m amazed that people rush into this idea so quickly. “People are wondering whether they need to damn the perps or damn the victim, based on her race”?? Maybe they’re wondering if this fits into a PATTERN that already EXISTS in this country. Maybe they’re looking for more evidence that they can point to when people try to tell them that racism doesn’t exist, or that women don’t get raped as often as we say they do.

    I think it has more to do with the fact that a black woman is more likely to face rape than a white woman. Women worldwide face a terrible amount of violence, but you can’t deny that the horrendous racism in America contributes to young black women getting singled out more often than not. Her race DOES matter, and don’t you strip her of it.

    If she’s black or Latina or if she is of Asian descent, she should be able to say as much without backlash from BLOGGERS. This article is the same as saying “I don’t see color!” BULLSHIT. Saying that you “don’t see color” is just racist BULLSHIT. She is more likely to suffer because of the absence of white privilege than a white woman, and you should remember that.

  5. Melissa says:

    Hi everyone, thanks for commenting! A few things, though…

    Why in the age if information, do we purposely not want to know certain information?

    This isn’t exactly on the same level as saying, “the earth is only 2000 years old and lalala I can’t hear you.” It’s a matter of trying to keep the victim’s identity as private as possible, and not feeding into the media frenzy that stirs up the muck in the first place. If it is later revealed that this was the result of racial motivations, then yes, it’s definitely going to change the conversation dramatically. But at this point, there’s been no indication whatsoever that this was a racially motivated assault, and every indication that it’s a result of our society’s rape culture.

    Saying that you “don’t see color” is just racist BULLSHIT.

    That may be, but I never said or implied that I “don’t see color.” I’m a brown Mexican woman. I couldn’t NOT see color even if I wanted to.

    If she’s black or Latina or if she is of Asian descent, she should be able to say as much without backlash from BLOGGERS.

    That’s absolutely true. If she wants to reveal that information—or any information—then the more power to her. But any information revealed should be on HER terms, not the public’s, and not the media’s. Also, the ONLY places I’ve seen examine and lament existing patterns of rape and racism have been on progressive blogs.

  6. Samia says:

    Thank you for this post. It’s really interesting (read: disheartening) what people Google in their free time…says a lot about our true beliefs and priorities.

  7. Tom says:

    [moderator's note: i debated deleting this, but ultimately chose to publish an edited version because i wanted to address his last statement:]

    You have yet again added 2 and 2 and come up with a negative. [...] A white woman is 100 times more likely to be raped by a blacks/latinos than a black/latino raped by a white.

    [oh, really?]

  8. Melissa says:

    Also, I forgot to address this:

    Maybe they’re looking for more evidence that they can point to when people try to tell them that racism doesn’t exist, or that women don’t get raped as often as we say they do.

    Maybe they are, but considering the number of people who have also hit this blog looking for the victim’s name, I highly doubt it.

  9. Nicole says:

    I guess I kind of want to know if it is a race-related hate crime or not.

  10. RobertH8r says:

    I think we should just keep quiet about this, its bad enough that she got raped, but does the WHOLE world need to know?
    We should just punish those rapist and all acomplices, and we should have her blend into society and not be known as the “rape victim” and be known as “the girl who did her best in her education”

  11. Adrian says:

    I hadn’t inquired about the victim’s race, because it seems so appallingly intrusive. But still…like Nicole said, I’m curious if there might have been elements of race-related hate crime involved. Or just racial bigotry contributing to the contempt and othering that can let one person treat another as an object rather than a human being.

  12. MissT says:

    RobertH8r:

    “I think we should just keep quiet about this [. . .] does the WHOLE world need to know?”

    Yes, I think so. How else can we make sure it doesn’t happen again? Keep quiet? Sweep it under the rug? I think the attackers and the bystanders deserve the strongest possible condemnation.

    This story is terrifying. Not, to me, so much the actions of the first attackers–but the cruel indifference of the bystanders chills me to my heart. They didn’t just not help–although that would be bad enough. They watched. They laughed. They took pictures. They joined in.

    Maybe what I find so upsetting about that is the knowledge that you can do everything pretty much right, but if the wrong person is around, it might not matter. After all, some reports are now saying that the girl knew one of her attackers well, and trusted him:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/11/06/BAP81AG00E.DTL&tsp=1

    I guess in my mind, if the worst starts to happen, despite your best efforts, you just have to hope that there’ll be someone around to see that you’re in trouble, or to hear when you scream or blow that security whistle or pound on a door for help, and that they won’t be too scared or indifferent to act.

    If we keep quiet about this, we abet that indifference.

    Do I think that the girl’s privacy should be respected as much as possible until such time, if ever, that she chooses to come forward about this? Absolutely. But I also believe that the story should be told–if only so that we can all start asking ourselves, “What would I do?” And hopefully we’ll find answers that will help make sure this doesn’t happen again.

  13. NewYorker says:

    Of course the rape victim’s race is important. It is important when other crimes are reported as “White on Black” or “White on Latino” or “Black gangs versus Mexican gangs.”

    Is this a hate crime? We can’t even find out who the parents are. There is a fund to receive donations that is called “Richmond Rape Fund.”

    If the victim was Black then the “Justice Brothers” Al and Jesse would have a congressional hearing.

    Please don’t be dumb! I have a feeling that the race victim is White, there is a cover-up to conceal this information, they don’t want an anti-immigrant or anti-mexican backlash.

    When White people inquire about “race” it becomes un-important!

  14. Melissa says:

    Of course this is a hate crime: against women.

    And why would you want to find out who the parents are? Most media outlets have a strict policy of protecting the identity of sexual assault victims. Knowing who the parents are would be a dead giveaway, now wouldn’t it?

    This isn’t about “being dumb.” Suppose the victim is white. That would narrow down the field quite drastically and allow people to come that much closer to finding her identity, considering how the school is mostly populated by minorities. And if she’s not white, will that make a difference? How would people’s perceptions of the rape change?

    The suspects who were arrested are white, black, and latino. It’s pretty clear this wasn’t a race-related incident. Bottom line: a little girl got gang raped. It doesn’t matter what race she is, she got raped. She deserves justice (and privacy). Period.

  15. Sam_Spade says:

    [moderator's note: edited out second paragraph]

    Basically, people want to know if she’s white. There’s a feeling that crimes committed by minorities against whites are under-reported. The leftie, multiculturalist reporters find them too… embarassing. So people are curious. They’re just googling around for the full story.

  16. Tim says:

    Just saying, in the same manner that you are outraged by people wanting to associate a race with a victim, by the very name of your blog, you are trying to associate a sex with your world view. Who cares if this was a woman, shouldn’t you be just as upset if this was a man, or a little girl, or a little boy. If you are going to think like that you should see injustice as injustice against another person, not against any kind of non-controllable factor.

    [moderator's note: 1) did you even read the post? 2) the name of my blog has a sex? women and little girls are different sexes?]

  17. Charlene Pryor says:

    this is so terribel what happened to this girl.

  18. Sam_Spade says:

    heh… the moderator demonstrated the point of the second paragraph!

    [moderator's note: and the second paragraph demonstrated the point of my entire argument. it would've been posted, had you heeded the last line of the post.]

  19. Mark Podunk says:

    Of course Race should be an issue! That is one fact to determine if this crime was motivated by a racial component, which would determine if it was a hate crime. Race is important to evaluate what charges to file.

    Rape is terrible in any case but please do not dismiss all the facts.

  20. SMH says:

    I can tell you what race she was – she was HUMAN. She was/is a person apart from creed, color, culture and these animals dehumanized her – violated the heart, soul, mind, body, spirit and psyche of a HUMAN. That is all that matters. No one regardless of gender, should be allowed to treat another human like that without extreme swift and severe punishment. Savagery of this sort is NOT acceptable.

  21. beth says:

    I agree with you: i don’t care what race she is. But there is something about your post that bothers me. She’s fifthteen. When you were that age, did you appreciate being called a ‘little girl’? There seems to be a tendecy when someone young is raped to ephasise how young they are by using langiage that you only really use to describe very young people.
    I know that’s largely irrelevant to the post, but i just struck me again…

  22. Melissa says:

    I definitely didn’t consider myself a little girl at that age, but I guess as I get older and see teens now (or when I see pictures of myself at that age), I do see myself as a little girl (not like 5, of course, but still so much younger than I perceived myself to be at that age). But I see your point.

  23. blksista says:

    I’ve had the same static from readers at my blog about the girl who was raped. At first, I thought that it was a Latina girl because the perps are predominantly Latino and come from a mostly Latino neighborhood. But then information started creeping in that she was possibly white. With this information came some rather racist stuff along the lines of “why was the liberal media keeping this information from us.” Meaning, why won’t the media help us whip up race hate against immigrants and people who ‘shouldn’t be here’?

    Someone also criticized me for putting up Department of Justice stats that show that when a male rapes, it’s usually someone of his own color if not culture. Meaning that cross-color incidents like these are few.

    What is universal is their attitude about sex and sexuality. I am most concerned with now is the “she deserved it” and “no snitching” attitude among these children, regardless of color. They don’t stop to think that it could have been their sister or their mother or their own girlfriends. They gossip about the girl’s sexual proclivities, if any. She’s a whore to them, though she may not have had any sexual experiences.

    These children need some help. They’ve been inculcated so completely with street ethics that they’ve grown as hard as prison inmates–which is exactly where some of this stuff comes from.

  24. river says:

    I think these monsters should be shot to death even the ones who just watch and let it happened. It doesn’t matter what race the victim was, she is a person and no one deserves to be brutalized, beaten and rape. As a latino woman, I am disgusted and angry that some of these assholes are walking free. These pigs do not deserve to live or any opportunity for rehabilitation.

    [moderator says: Let's not get carried away, now.]

  25. A concerned american says:

    What difference? Well, if it’s a white victim with minority attackers, it’s just a rape. If it’s a black victim and white attackers, then it’s also a hate crime. Remember: equality through treating people differently based on race…

  26. Carl W. says:

    What race was the victim? Does it matter? I bet it matter to the perpetrators!

  27. Beverly says:

    BECAUSE IT DOES MATTER. Its called motive…..dummy!!! Just like hispanics who think that illegals should be here. Of course you think they should be here!! They are one of you. I’m sure if all the people in this country illegally were black the hispanics would want them OUT!! They are hiding this for a reason.

    Moderator’s note: I’m approving this comment because, though it’s off topic (and racist), it’s a perfect example of the “illegals”=latin@s sentiment that’s so prevalent in the anti-immigration narrative.

  28. Jo says:

    What happened to that young girl is horrendous no matter what race/ethnicity she is. But why is it immediately broadcast when the victim is black/hispanic or any other race and the suspect is white. When the victim is white and the suspect is anything other than white there is no mention of that fact. Just curious!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s