#MeToo issues statement in support of ‘Black Survivors’ following T.I. & Tiny allegations
'This tendency to ignore, mock, challenge, and discredit the stories of Black survivors is an attempt to coerce us into silence and, this too, is an act of violence,' the statement asserts.
In the wake of recent allegations against rapper T.I. and his wife Tameka “Tiny” Harris, the #MeToo movement has partnered with Time’s Up and the National Women’s Law Center to release a statement specifically addressing “Black survivors” of abuse.
“Over the last week, we know countless of you have come forward with credible accusations of horrific sexual abuse and violence at the hands of Black celebrities – including Soulja Boy and T.I. and Tiny,” the letter read. “R&B singer Raz B has spoken out once again about his experience of sexual abuse – yet no media outlets, corporate actors, or systems of justice have centered survivors’ stories or promised accountability. Like you, we are carrying the emotional weight of this news and know that we are reliving a collective trauma akin to the exposing of Cosby and R. Kelly.”
“Over the next few days, we know your stories and the experiences of Black survivors may be dismissed,” it continues.
“We know people will try to discredit and scrutinize you. We know people will evaluate your stories by a set of questions that shift responsibility from the accuser to the accused: “What were they wearing? What do they do for a living? What is the social status of the abuser?” And we know that when the alleged abusers are not only famous, but held up as pillars in the Black community, the tendency will be to sweep these allegations under the rug.”
“This tendency to ignore, mock, challenge, and discredit the stories of Black survivors is an attempt to coerce us into silence and, this too, is an act of violence,” the statement asserts. “This silencing of our stories leaves us unprotected. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 1 in 5 Black women are survivors of rape. The reverberating impact of silence and trauma spans across generations.”
The letter concludes by calling for the media to “make Black survivors’ experiences visible and reframe the narrative to center justice for survivors,” for the community at large to show “support for the survivors in your life by redirecting harmful narratives that shame or blame survivors for coming forward,” and for survivors know that their stories are “valuable.”
Alison Turkos, a sexual assault survivor and organizer of NYC’s first Slut Walk in 2011, took to Twitter to show her allyship for Black survivors, as well.
The post reads, “In defense of Black survivors. We see you, and we hold space for you. Our organizations affirm our commitment to ending sexual violence.”
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