As It Happens


Story by Chuck Tackett


“Beware that when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes into you.”

Friedrich Nietzsche
19th Century German philosopher


The only positive aspect of Trump’s America is the fact that issues like racism and sexual abuse have been out front and center with a spotlight shining on them.

For way too long, these problems have been brushed under the rug because of peoples’ reluctance to discuss them. Either it was because they were too cowardly, or because they somehow financially benefited from it. They will say either you are playing the race or woman card to diminish the problem in other peoples’ eyes or to get one from discussing it. It doesn’t work with me. My contingency is if you don’t want those cards played, then quit dealing out those bitches to us.

We do not live in a fair world. ALL Human Beings are imperfect, but that shouldn’t be the determining factor not to strive to be fair and empathetic no matter what your politics are. There is shade everywhere, even with the #MeToo movement. Here is what I learned:

When we all were becoming aware of Harvey Weinstein’s shenanigans in Hollywood with famous female stars, Actress Allyssa Milano encouraged survivors of sexual abuse to participate in a post where she revealed her story. The post was #MeToo.  The discussion on social media trickled down to sexual abuse survivors who were not celebrities.

Tarana Burke

Articles began coming out crediting Alyssa Milano for the ignition of the movement. A journalist named Britini Darnell explained that an activist named Tarana Burke created the movement over 10 years ago particularly for women of color. Tarana claimed she started the movement to aid sexual violence survivors in underprivileged communities ‘where rape crisis centers and sexual assault workers were not going.’

In Ebony magazine, Tarana explained. “It wasn’t built to be a viral campaign or a hashtag that was here today and gone tomorrow. It was a catchphrase to be used from survivor to survivor to let folks know that they were not alone and that a movement for radical healing was happening and possible.” Burke further confirmed, “What’s happening now is powerful and I salute it and the women who have disclosed, but the power of ‘me too’ has always been in the fact that it can be a conversation starter or the whole conversation, but it was us talking to us.”

Leslie Jones

Tarana Burke has received very little credit. Black women were left out of the dialogue that spread the movement. It was the same ole same ole apathy towards the struggle of people of color. White feminists didn’t feel the same urgency to boycott when actress/comic Leslie Jones was being harassed.


Tarana weighed in. “I think that women of color use social media to make our voices heard with or without the amplification of White women. I also think that many times when White women want our support, they use an umbrella of ‘women supporting women’ and forget they didn’t lend the same kind of support.”

Actress Alyssa Milano finally credited Tarana Burke about the #MeToo on Twitter.

Shade #2:
Sexual abuse/violence is wrong no matter your race, gender, religion or economic status, period.  With that said, I was appalled and disgusted over the lack of empathy shown to male sexual abuse survivors using the #MeToo movement. Some women and men made it a point to say the movement was not for them only women and they should start their own. To put it bluntly, stay in your lane.

Imagine the courage it took for these men to go on Facebook and reveal that kind of hurt. They took the first step in trying to heal only to be chastised by some women and some of their brothers. The shade of it all. When sexual abuse survivors, whether they be male or female, do not have an outlet to recover from their trauma, they usually will harm themselves or harm others.

#MeToo women and supporters, you need to check your sisters and male supporters to make sure they do not erode the power of the movement with their lack of empathy toward these male sexual abuse survivors. It was shameful, I was defending these men on Facebook and I was accused of playing the victim. Where, in their behinds, did these folks pull that out of, I don’t know. All I could think of the 1980’s era “Hairspray” when Motor Mouth Maybelle said, “Oh Papa Tooney, we got a looney.”

According to creator Taran Burke, the motto of the #MeToo movement is “Empowerment through Empathy.”  Get you some!

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