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“We overstated the extent of gay gangs in the Washington area. . . . Detective

Wheeler has apologized,” O’Reilly stated on his show. And the report

about “Dykes Take Over” offered no evidence to support the allegations.

 

 

The media problem with black lesbians

By Rev. Irene Monroe

 

Issues of race, gender identity, and sexual orientation trigger a particular type of news broadcasting on the major networks. With their objective to provide viewers with “infotainment,” rather than fair and balanced reporting, discerning television viewers—straight and gay alike—are most often insulted by the news than informed by it.

Case in point: “The O’Reilly Factor” with Bill O’Reilly on the Fox News Channel, which recently tipped the scales of purportedly delivering fair and balanced reporting. O’Reilly carelessly brought defamatory news to his viewers about an alleged national epidemic of black lesbian gang violence terrorizing neighborhoods and schools in large urban enclaves.

According to Rod Wheeler, a Fox News crime analyst, these black lesbian gangs recruit and force kids into homosexuality. “There is this national underground network, if you will, Bill, of women that’s lesbian and also some men groups that’s actually recruiting kids as young as 10 years old in a lot of the schools in communities across the country,” Wheeler told host O’Reilly on the show.

And the notorious black lesbian gang, Dykes Taking Over, is supposedly a pedophiliac gang carrying weapons and violently attacking and raping the girl victims they recruit. “As a matter of fact, some of the kids have actually reported that they were actually forced into, you know, performing sex acts and doing sex acts with some of these people,” Wheeler continued.

And corroborating Wheeler’s crime-busting story is former lesbian gang-banger and evangelist Linda D. Jernigan, who was asked to speak at a Chicago area public school on the topic, but was turned down because the school wanted her to “de-Christianize” her conversion testimony. 

Jernigan nonetheless gives her testimony to all and any who will listen. She told Peter LaBarbera of the right-wing organization Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, “Lesbian girl gangs would drag a targeted female into the school restroom, hold her down, and perform oral sex on her to ‘turn her out” by forcibly seducing the poor girl through lesbian rape.”

Although O’Reilly had to apologize for the egregious errors and lies reported on his show, the story has nonetheless achieved the desired goal of “infotaining ” its audience by perpetuating both frighteningly racist and homophobic stereotypes.

“We overstated the extent of gay gangs in the Washington area. . . . Detective Wheeler has apologized,” O’Reilly stated on his show. And the report about “Dykes Take Over” offered no evidence to support the allegations.

The story about this purported trend of black lesbian gangs actually derives from a story about several black lesbians coming home late from a night out in Greenwich Village in New York City in August 2006. They defended themselves against an anti-gay attack.

Because of poor legal representation, three of the women pleaded guilty to attempted assault, and were sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation. However, these women were depicted in the media as “a posse of lesbians,” “a pack of marauding lesbians” and a “gang of lesbian women,” all created in the imaginative and entertaining world of news broadcasting.

But the real story not told is how little is ever accurately reported about hate crimes against black lesbians—and other gay, bisexual and transgender people of color—and how issues of race, gender identity, and sexual orientation trigger the type of violence against them. Nor are the reasons for the silence around such violence often explored.

For example, on the morning of May 11, 2003, Shakia Gun, 15, was stabbed to death when she and her girlfriends rebuffed the sexual overtures of two African-American men by disclosing to them that their disinterest was simply because they were all lesbians.

Around 3:30 a.m. that morning, Gun and a group of her girlfriends, ages 15-17, going home from Manhattan to Newark, N.J. While waiting for the bus, two African-American men in a white station wagon harassed the girls. "At some point during their interaction, they made their sexual orientation known. They made it clear that they weren't interested," Lt. Derek Glenn, a spokesman for the Newark Police Department, told the Associated Press.

Incensed that the girls rebuffed them—and by lesbians, no less—the two assailants reportedly jumped out of their car and got into a scuffle with the girls.

Stabbed by one of the men, Gun dropped to the ground and died shortly after arriving at University Hospital in Newark.The lack of reporting on this type of hate crime is for three reasons—all dealing with race.

The first reason is the "politics of silence" in LGBTQ communities of color to openly report these kinds of attacks unless it results in death. With being openly queer and often estranged if not alienated from our communities of color, reporting attacks against us by other people of color can make victims viewed as race traitors. So we end up colluding in the violence against us.

The second reason has to do with the dearth of LGBTQ reporters of color writing for both straight and queer white media. Those papers and television networks sensitive to race issues, but that don't have LGBTQ people of color working for them, often engage in the "politics of avoidance" and won't broach the topic for fear that the news organization won't bring the right angle or sensitivity to the topic. With the objective of newspapers and networks to report the news, those media engaging in the "politics of avoidance" when it comes to people of color do a disservice not only to the profession, but also to the entire LGBTQ community.

The third reason has a lot to do with how the media view the topic of violence and people of color as synonymous. From such a skewed perspective, there is no news to report. And if so, it’s both defamatory and sensationalized.

The end result is a kind of institutional racism and homophobia that not only revictimizes those targeted by such crimes, but also falters in serving the community these news organizations purport to serve.

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John Coltrane, "Alabama"  /  Kalamu ya Salaam, "Alabama"  / A Love Supreme

A Blues for the Birmingham Four  /  Eulogy for the Young Victims   / Six Dead After Church Bombing 

Audio: My Story, My Song (Featuring blues guitarist Walter Wolfman Washington)

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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The Last Holiday: A Memoir

By Gil Scott Heron

Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel.

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The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man's turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by "the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn't operate in his own home town." Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest. 

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 12 May 2012

 

 

 

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