The Essence Magazine article entitled “Fighting Back,” by Lisa Armstrong, communicated very compelling arguments. “[Men] feel powerless?” How could so-called experts unabashedly and audaciously insinuate this asinine and erroneous proposition of powerlessness as a means to justify the revolting exploits of these rapists? What’s even more unnerving is the reality that their horrendous violation was once referred to as a “crime of passion.” Learning of the Haitian Government’s dismissive and misogynistic stance towards women did not quiet the exasperation and immense hurt I feel knowing that my sisters are forced to live in a society that blatantly trivializes an act that defiles and traumatizes them and all sufferers of rape.
The ravaging exploitation our Haitian sisters are forced to endure reverberates with an undercurrent that is all too familiar to African Wombmen throughout the Diaspora. These Wombmen of Divine Quintessence, the inheritors of Ancient African wisdom, are gravely afflicted with disrespect and disregard; they are typically blamed for the violent acts they bear. Displaced and desolate, rampaged by diseases, environmental catastrophes, poverty and hunger, our Haitian sisters still strive to live with a sense of gratitude, love, joy and peace in order to survive and build a future for their families. Nevertheless, as if their predicament could not be more dismal, they have to face yet another slap in the face since “until 2005, rapists were not imprisoned, but instead” the government “simply offered monetary compensation or marriage as restitution.”
Ancient Kemetic Spiritual Philosophy enlightened our ancestors and many of us today about The Ten Virtues, also known as The Ten Soul Attributes. Many of us, as the eloquent and masterly scholar Ayi Kwei Armah, in his works of art, Two Thousand Seasons and The Healers states, have lost our way. The egocentrism that has taken over many of us has dimmed our capacity to hear the call to higher consciousness. Instead, many of us indulge in debilitating gratifications knowing of the irreversible consequences. Investing quality time to introspectively cultivate our selves and our livelihoods according to the principles of these univer-soul attributes—justice, fortitude, temperance, to name a few—is secondary to the enticing carnal delights the mind perceives for the body and abides. What the body desires, even if those desires stem from a deficient, unnourished mindset of decrepitude, many impulsively leap into because once more, we have forgotten “the way ” of our Ancient Kemetic Ancestors.
Unfortunately, the choices these men have made to orient themselves with non-virtuous practices becomes compounded when they have a government that supports the peril they penetrate into the lives of their mothers, sisters, daughters, and significant others. Instead of being prosecuted for the wickedness they impregnate, they are rewarded with villainous capes that function as superconductors—essentially giving them permission, power, and an impetus to rape our women again.
Who can measure the amplification of a woman’s trauma when she becomes the laughing stock of a contemptuous police force asserting that her genetic make-up caused her to be raped? “[Her] behind is big” so she “must have provoked them.” Or, nudity, “having a shower in front of everybody…” is “like [you’re] provoking the men.” One word…ineffable.
Educator and Holistic Wellness Coach Sandra Friday posed the following questions: “Where are the men—the fathers, sons, uncles, cousins— to protect their women—daughters, sisters, mothers, significant others? Are they so excruciatingly mentally disabled that they cannot do anything to protect their families? How did the women become single and so severely abandoned?” It’s ironic that some ‘experts’ are quick to rationalize and perpetuate their virulent beliefs that “gender-based violence increases…three-fold… after disasters” without offering a complete analysis of factors that create this uncanny circumstance. We have been so completely brainwashed, indoctrinated with dreadful statistics for so long, many of us do not question the fallacies embedded in the information implied by these ‘experts’ on the African mind, condition, and behavior.
Fortunately, authors like Tom Burrell of Brainwashed, and compilations such as the Willie Lynch Letter, have intelligently and scientifically deconstructed the crises manifests by many peoples of the Diaspora. The brilliant, precise and strategic way these analyses trace the cause and effects of hundreds of years of slavery, offer tremendous insight into the behaviors that continue to plague African peoples like a malignant specimen of destruction, breeding within our psyches.
Furthermore, the fact that a vast number of people not only accept but advocate that it is the nature of a man to behave like a stud, to be rewarded for his sexual prowess—procreating with different women, abandoning his children within fatherless homes—etc, has catalyzed horrific behaviors like that in Haiti and other areas of the world. Where did this sickness originate from, that some men could even think such perverse thoughts of being pedophilic, of molesting his and/or other children, of raping and running trains on women? What were the factors that caused so many of us to lose our African Righteous Minds—minds that were holistically aligned, lives that were spiritually in sync with the essence and effervescence of righteousness, truth and justice—and repeat some of the same heinous crimes, assimilate with the same belief systems of the diseased, notorious, vile and hateful deviants that enslaved our ancestors?
Being who we are—creators of great Temples such as the Temple of Luxor –a temple that represents the blueprint of the Divine Human Being, seven Haitian men should not have had the opportunity to conceive the notion to rape a Haitian woman along with her two Haitian daughters at gun point—eight children in total, housed within this tent they called home. Being who we are, luminous masons of every imaginable skill to be mastered, United Nations peacekeeping patrol officers could be relieved of night duty and our women could tend to their needs and the needs of their families; a parent would not have to fear that an “18-year-old man” who had previously “sexually assaulted a 1-year-old baby girl” would attempt to assault an 8-year-old girl; a mother would not have to experience having to “persuade police” to keep this perpetrator in jail. And, rapists who are arrested, would not be able to “walk in the front of the police station and right back out.”’
Can one measure the damage a wombman—adult or child—has to surmount, subjected to the dire instance of being “infected with a sexually transmitted disease during her rape”? This same wombman, as if her life could not be ridden with more heartache—has to live in a cultural society that devalues women because “the courts will often negotiate a financial agreement between the rapist and the victim’s family, rather than prosecute the case?
I ask these questions to stimulate the mind because it burns my vascular system to know that so many of us have been conditioned to be so desensitized, some pompously ignorant, others utterly terrified, indifferent and void because of the pervasive acceptance and the pervasive silence regarding actions that should never occur amongst a people who can tap into the intuitive clairvoyance of Ancient Ma’atian Principles that will eternally resonate as our DNA?
Can we really excuse our men—any man—for these crimes because they claim to exhibit manifestations of “psychological strain of not being able to assume normal cultural and economic roles” so they “may become aggressive toward women” simply because they are angry, frustrated and plagued by the uncertainty of their future? ” Never. Power comes from within, from self-control, from knowing that you are accountable for being able to process the moral implications of your behaviors, from innerstanding the conveyances of our Udjat (third eye) that our proclivity to exist in the essence of Heru/Heru-em-akhet, lives within our ability to harmonize our internal state in a fluctuating external environment…that the stressors of your predicaments will never validate your regression to victimizing another.