|Tony Cenicola/The New York Times. Photo of Bill Keller is from here|
Earl Wilson/The New York Times. Photo of Arthur S. Brisbane is from here
|photo of Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. is from here|
What level of disregard and disrespect of the humanity of Black women and girls is tolerable in the U.S.?
For the initial news about this, please see *this post* at What About Our Daughters. With many thanks to The Blogmother and also to C.W. for sending me the links.
Tell the New York Times to Apologize for Blaming a Child for Her Gang Rape
Overview Letter Targeting: Arthur S. Brisbane (Public Editor, The New York Times), Bill Keller (Executive Editor, The New York Times), and Arthur Sulzberger Jr (Publisher, The New York Times)
Started by: Shelby Knox
On March 8th the New York Times published a story by James C. McKinley Jr. titled "Vicious Assault Shakes Texas Town." The assault it described was, indeed, heinous: an 11-year-old was gang raped in an abandoned trailer house by as many as 18 men, with suspects ranging in age from middle school students to a 27-year-old. The attack came to light because several of the suspects took cell phone video of the assault.
Also appalling was the way in which New York Times reporter James C. McKinley reported the victim blaming sentiments of members of the Texas community in which the rape occurred as truth. McKinley insinuated the young woman had it coming, writing, "They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said."
Mr. McKinley also gave ink to community members who are more concerned about the impact raping a child will have on the suspects than being raped will have on the young victim. Mr. McKinley quoted Sheila Harrison as saying, "“These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.”
1 in 4 American women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. A culture that blames victims for being raped - for what they were wearing, where they were, and who they were with - rather than blaming the rapist is a culture that tacitly condones rape. A society that is more concerned with how being held accountable for rape will impact the perpetrator than for the well being of the victim is a society that doesn't take rape seriously.
The New York Times contributed to this dangerous culture by publishing this article by Mr. McKinley without asking him to edit out his and community members' editorial victim blaming.
Tell the New York Times to issue a published apology for their coverage of this incident and publish an editorial from a victim's rights expert on how victim blaming in the media contributes to the prevalence of sexual assault. No one ever deserves to be raped and no victim should ever be told it was their fault. New York Times, we expect better. We demand better.