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Once and for all, Nakesha Abdur-Rauf is neither stupid, uneducated, sexist, or racist (The Mail, 8/6)! Clearly, you educated folks chose to read more into her “little” letter than even she misread into the whole Chiang murder case article (“The Murder Victim Next Door,” 7/30). Ironically (uh-oh, a big word), you educated folks did it for the same reason—oversensitivity to perceived racial slights in the past!
Ms. Abdur-Rauf received far too many letters for a woman whose misunderstanding of the article came out of oversensitivity and pain—not ignorance or racism. The college-educated purposely misunderstand words and statements, too; it’s not the sole domain of the poor or stupid to see only what they want to see, when they’re too busy “seeing red” to care.
As for N. Kemp, the embarrassed, educated, African-American D.C. resident (The Mail, 8/20), I am embarrassed that black men are more likely to attack a black woman (physically or in print) than defend one. Black women spend so much precious time explaining black male anger and cruelty by expressing the pain the men feel after years of being mistreated or ignored. Thanks to racism and sexism, black women are in no less pain—and thanks to black men, we live in constant danger. I hope that embarrasses Mr. Kemp, but, to judge from the patterns of black men’s protests (verbal and written), it doesn’t embarrass many of them as much as offenses against themselves or women they actually might have liked (had they known them).
Whether 100,000 (black) women are killed in D.C. or just hundreds of undesirable ones in Southeast (not Michigan Park), it’s still too many, Mr. Kemp. Even that racist Abdur-Rauf expressed genuine sympathy for Joyce Chiang. You, Mr. Kemp, didn’t even mention the black women and girls murdered. As for the dead men of D.C., not a day goes by when we are not subjected to another truly embarrassing story of a murdered black male, the black male who murdered him, and his tough time on the streets, in the prisons, in the courts, or trying to “walk the straight and narrow” again. It has become the backbone of city newspaper writing and a journalistic cliche (uh-oh, more big words).
Anyone who cared about human beings “at risk” would be concerned about those “hundreds” of victims and not just a handful of attractive, educated (so important!!) white and “honorary white” female victims. These women deserve no less attention, but they also deserve no more. That is the issue! But clearly, this segment of women is protected, largely because they are as popular under the newspaper heading “Murder” as they are under the heading “Matches.” This is no coincidence. And I am not racist for saying it, or stupid, paranoid, or jealous for thinking it. Is there anyone out there who really believes that there is little or no truth to the theory?
As we near the year 2000, how much a murdered woman or girl is missed is still strongly connected to how much she was wanted and sought after by this society (and its men) when she was here. Even we stupid, racist black women know the position that circumstance puts a number of us in (especially when dealing with educated African-American men).
As for me, I will join Nakesha Abdur-Rauf in keeping a constant watch for those who are hurting black women. Not because I am racist, but because no one else will. I hope you educated folks will pardon us if our view of things occasionally gets a bit blurry. It’s tiring work—when you’ve been doing it alone for this long.