feature: “if daniel holtzclaw’s alleged victims were white, everyone would know his name”

November 16, 2015

Daniel Holtzclaw is a former Oklahoma City police officer accused of raping and assaulting at least 13 Black women. However little has been written or spoken of him in the media, leading me to the following: Would there be this lack of attention if Holtzclaw was black, or (as Kirsten West Savali writes for The Root) if his alleged victims were White? Holtzclaw claims that he is innocent, and I’ve always believed in the cliché “innocent till proven guilty”; however I find the amount of support that the officer is getting and lack of scrutiny from the media extremely problematic. Is this a reflection of a black woman’s worth in America? FYI I forgot to mention, Holtzclaw’s trial will have an all-white jury (*side-eye). In her aforementioned article, Kirsten West Savali states: “It should not have taken a year of black feminists and womanists beating the drum for Holtzclaw’s name to surface, especially during a time when the nation’s focus is on state-sanctioned terror inflicted on black communities by police officers. Rape is brutality […] The outcry, though the trickle of mainstream reporting and social media interest is beginning to intensify this week, is still muted. It is muted because the same system that disproportionately criminalizes black girls in school is guilty of disproportionately criminalizing and killing black women in their cars, at their jobs, on the side of highways, when they call for help, in their homes. It is muted because racism and misogyny is a potent mixture that too often silences those who only pretend to give a damn. It is muted because this country likes its black women either invisible or for consumption; it always has. Nothing has changed but the weather.” Truths!

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor