police and law enforcement police brutality rape and sexual assault white gaze white male gaze white men
We Need Surveillance for White Male Predators Who Operate Under the Radar9/30/2015
by Veronica Maria Brown-Comegys When I was 10 years-old, a white man parked his truck in the alley...
by Veronica Maria Brown-Comegys
When I was 10 years-old, a white man parked his truck in the alley behind our apartment building. He grabbed my four-year-old neighbor, Cynthia, who was in the backyard. In the vehicle, he demanded that the child perform oral sex. Her screams alerted the adults. The man shoved Cynthia from the vehicle and fled.
This attack is reminiscent of a time described by Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D. in Why Blacks Kill Blacks. “The master openly attacked and raped black women in the fields,” Dr. Poussaint said. “Non-blacks have always projected their sexual fantasies onto African-Americans.”
In this era, when the white-dominated media and law enforcement officials belabor the issue of “black on black” crime, I recall the times that I was the victim of white male predators. Two incidents were blatantly sexual. The others involved intimidation and lewd demonstrations of disrespect for African-American women. One episode involved police officers.
When I was seventeen-years-old, a white man attempted to kidnap me from a bus stop in front of Saks Fifth Avenue in Detroit. I ran nearly half a block before he gave up. When I was about twenty-eight, vulgar white police officers in a small city, assailed me. At that time, I was the police beat reporter for the local newspaper. As usual at 6:30 a.m. I arrived at the precinct. I went to the same designated office I always went to and began reading the reports. Eventually, the next room filled with rowdy cops.
One man loudly said, “What happened out there?” Another man shouted, “Oh, black woman.” Next, he began grunting. Another officer shouted, “Oh, black woman, walking down the street.” He grunted several times. Another white cop said, “Oh, black woman getting off the bus.” Another round of grunting. An officer shouted, “Oh, black woman, walking to work.” Another serenade of grunting. Yet another white cop shouted, “Young black female walking to school.” More grunting. Finally, the old police officer, who was always hostile to me, strolled into the room. He loudly said, “Someone can hear you.” Silence. I thought, Someone was meant to hear you.
Did I complain? To whom would I complain? Imagine me reporting the police, to the police. Should I have taken my objections to the white male newspaper editor? An absurd idea. One day, he was talking to a colleague about a pleasant, young African-American man, who was seeking a position. I overheard the editor say, “No, if you have two of them they might ‘play’ together. He’d probably get her knocked up.” Fortunately, there was no reoccurrence of the drama at the police department.
When I was in my forties and residing in a different town, I came face-to-face with another white male predator. In the early afternoon, I arrived in the parking lot of one of the city’s hospitals. Physicians were evaluating my elderly mother who had dementia. On the other side of the lot, in my sightline, was a black pick-up truck. When I reached the building entrance, a tall, skinny white man wearing cowboy boots, was walking too close behind me. He said, “Beautiful day.” I half-turned my head and said, “Yes.”
I stayed with my mother about two hours. I left and returned a few hours later. This time I departed after dark. When I started my car, at nearly the same instant, another vehicle also started. I could not identify the location because its lights were off. I drove to the street light and waited. A vehicle was behind me, and when I headed south, it stayed glued to my back bumper. When I increased speed, the driver did likewise. The stalker followed when I drove around the block. Nevertheless, I continued south and passed my street. However, I had a plan and a destination. I slowed waaaaay down, and cruised as if I did not have any cares. However, when I approached a certain street, I jammed on the accelerator and raced into the huge parking lot of a grocery store. I parked, turned off the lights, and lay across the seats. Every few moments I peeked through the windshield. The man in the black truck was driving through every row of cars. After a while, he left.
The following day, I returned to the hospital earlier. The black vehicle was present, however only two white females were inside. I approached the rear and copied the license plate number. The women started screaming, “Why is she doing that?” I have not seen that vehicle since.
Since the United States has always been unrestrainedly anti-black despite laws and pronouncements to the contrary, I was certain that “white on black” crimes occur, and law enforcement documents them. I was wrong. On a television news program the journalist stated that the Federal Bureau of Investigation retains a record of “white on black” crimes. The statement was made at the end of a report regarding the police killing of unarmed black men. One of my questions for officials was: “Has there been an increase in “white on black” crimes during the year following the August 9, 2014 police killing of Mike Brown by a white officer in Ferguson?”
When I emailed Stephen G. Fischer Jr., at the Criminal Justice Information Division, the response was “the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program does not have that data.” If the statistics exist, I assume that widespread public knowledge would not be beneficial for law enforcement. Unrest might result from people of color having additional documented evidence of law enforcement’s lapses in “protecting and serving.” Moreover, the data would be another example of institutional and individual racism.
Get Active! We need that data to know the true state of affairs regarding our safety, along with the degree of police attention to their mandate to serve and protect. It is imperative that we remain cognizant of “white on black crime,” especially in regards to children and women. Contact African-American activist groups, associations of black attorneys, prosecutors, physicians, therapists, social workers, members of the legislature and newspapers. Demand that law enforcement track “white on black crimes,” and inform the public.
Photo: vincenzo mancuso / Shutterstock.com
Veronica Maria Brown-Comegys is a journalist who has worked in Michigan and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.