Community’s Black men who spoke out against sexual assaults showing much needed leadership
Whether on Black radio talk shows, on the few serious discussion shows on Black television, or in Black newspapers like the Community Journal, the topic of—and challenge to—Black men to stand-up, take control and lead their community and neighborhoods; to respect, protect and defend its women and children from forces within and outside it who prey on both.
That challenge was answered Monday, April 25, by a dozen committed, conscious Black men—some well known, like former MPS Superintendent Dr. Howard Fuller—who “stood up” in front of the offices of the Urban Underground community organization and made it clear they will not tolerate the indecent acts of what police believe is a serial rapist.
Over the course of a month, the rapist—who police and his victims describe as a Black male in his 20s—has assaulted and/or robbed seven women between the ages of 16 and 34 in an area bounded by 47th and Center St., 44th and Wright St., 60th and Clark St., and 18th and Clark St.
The men decried the deplorable acts, noting children in the community shouldn’t be afraid to walk the streets of their neighborhoods or stand on a bus stop at night. Said community organizer Reggie Moore: “This is our city. This is our community, and we have to look out for each other.”
Moore is right. We—as a community, particularly Black men—must take on the responsibility of being our brothers’ (and sisters) keepers and to speak out and take action when we see the wrong influences or actions being taken where we live, work, recreate, and educate.
As Dr. Fuller said, Black men speaking out and speaking up when trouble abounds should not be construed as “snitching.” This is about protecting our community and its men, women and children.
We applaud these 12 committed brothers for stepping forward to defend their sisters and children.
We hope their actions spark other Black men in our community to do the same; to be more mindful of their community, neighborhood and neighbors; to reach out and help, and teach…and more importantly, lead!