Quick hit: Lori on the role of race in the Cleveland, TX, gang-rape case

Do not – I repeat, do not – consider your analysis of what’s going on in the media coverage of the horrific gang-rape case in Cleveland, TX, complete, until you’ve read what Lori has to say about it. From The Grio:

When a situation arises that seems to fit the stereotype — in this case, that some black men do rape — people become frenetic in their deflecting the stereotypes, going so far as to invoke other stereotypes to protect a historically targeted group. This helps contextualize, but certainly does not justify, some of the inconceivable media and community backlash against the young Latina rape survivor, which pointed to her clothing and behavior to attempt the suggestion that she was at least partially to blame for her own assault.

These are just a few examples of harmful and untrue sexual stereotype about blacks, Latinas, and women that came to a head in this case. So when will the cycle of race-baiting and violence be stopped?

Go read it, now. And then join me in my honest delight at the fact that there are thinkers like Lori, who engage fearlessly, and publicly, with these incredibly challenging and entangled problems.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    The comment I left at The Grio:

    “All rape is horrific and should be condemned, regardless of who the perpetrator or the victims are. And it’s disgusting that the KKK and similar groups are trying to exploit this for their own stupid racist agenda—as if I’m about to believe for one moment that they have any sincere concern for the well being of a Latina girl.”

    Also I’m curious, is there any sort of support for the girl and her mother? Even if it’s simply a fund to pay for a moving van to get them out of this hellhole?

  • http://feministing.com/members/bookaholic/ bookaholic

    This reminds me of the rape of a 10 year old Aboriginal girl with foetal alcohol syndrome in a remote indigenous community in Australia. She was raped by 9 teenagers, also Aboriginal, of whom six were under the age of consent (16) themselves. Foetal alcohol syndrome is an intellectual disorder, so the mental age of the girl was more like 7.

    There were three interesting responses to the rape. The first was the response of the judge, who used the girls past conduct in trading sex for favours to impute that she would have consented to the rape. The rapists did not see the inside of a jail cell.

    The second response was a media frenzy focused upon the judge and prosecutors, and not upon the broader culture of Aboriginal criminality and judicial harshness to Aboriginal criminality (see greater proportion of Aboriginals in jail, several deaths in custody), which did not really address the problems with the system.

    Finally, there is the foster care workers who returned the girl to her birth family, alcoholics living off welfare benefits (probably related the guilty consciousness of the heirs of a government which deliberately removed Aboriginal children from even stable families to be raised in white families with the aim of breeding the savage out of them in the 1950s and 60s).