As I woke up this morning to images of a tearful Amanda Knox on The Early Show, my heart went out to her….initially. I’m prejudiced, in her favor, because she is a college student, and I am a college professor. She could have been any number of fresh-faced, intelligent young white girls I have taught over the years. Therefore, I felt sympathy for Knox and her distraught family. The Early Show report suggested a number of improprieties in the Italian system of justice, suggesting that if Knox were tried here, she would have gotten off. The Early Show is right, but for the wrong reason.
In researching the details on the case, I uncovered some little-known facts that the American media conveniently forgets to report. While the American media is not shy about revealing the gruesome details of the murder, it seems dumbstruck when it comes to the black men implicated in the case, and Knox’s unsuccessful attempt to pin the murder on them. As soon as I read this, Miss Knox lost all of my sympathy.
It seems to be a time-honored tradition for white women to blame black men for their crimes. Dare we forget the Susan Smith case? Smith avoided arrest by claiming that a black man killed her children. When white women want to cover their tracks, they immediately point their fingers at the group who is even more oppressed than they are: black men. Why? Because it usually works….for a little while at least. Black men have been so criminalized in America, that black skin alone is probable cause. I won’t go into the number of historical cases in which a white woman falsely cried rape by a black man to again, cover some other misdeed up, even if that misdeed was consensual sex with a black man. However, I will point out that Lindsay Lohan seems to be Amanda’s role model. When she was pulled over for drunk driving last year, she accused her black male friend of being the one behind the wheel!
This pattern is too pervasive to be ascribed as merely individual irresponsibility or malevolency. Somehow, someway, and somewhere, white women got the idea that black men are the “usual suspects,” so can we really blame them for taking advantage of the misconception? Or do we blame an America justice system that still seems designed to arrest “just us.”
Nice try, Amanda, but you forgot one thing: You aren’t in America! Europe doesn’t have your history. People are identified by nation of origin, not skin color. In addition, truly innocent people don’t try to pin a crime on another innocent person! This is the sad fact that made you a suspect in the first place! When you told law enforcement that your friend Patrick Diya Lumumba killed your roommate, which led to his arrest, but not one bit of evidence was found that he was at the scene, it made the Italian police question why you would make such a claim about a friend! If you didn’t know who did it, just say so. No one was asking you to be a detective! When police discovered that you were indeed at the scene of the crime with your boyfriend and another black man (Rudy Guede), you then decided to pin it on Guede! I know blacks look alike to whites, but give me a break!
And brothas, all I gotta say to you is: Watch your back, boo! Now sistas, we are blindly and stupidly loyal to brothas, so much so that if a brotha commits a crime against a sista, we blame her!!! Debra Washington vs. Mike Tyson, Anita Hill vs. Clarence Thomas, and Rihanna vs. Chris Brown: Sistas are the biggest supporters of these brothas. On the other hand, that Barbie girl toy that you gain so much status from having can quickly become a deadly weapon. You just better hope she never gets in trouble, because if she does, you will be the first person she drops a dime on!
I have a heavy heart this morning, but not for Amanda. My heart is breaking because even before I did the netsearch, as soon as the two names were mentioned, I KNEW they were black. I knew they were black because Amanda said they committed the crime, and Guede was convicted and is awaiting appeal. And no one seems concerned about Guede at all. He says that Amanda and her boyfriend did it, and pretty much the courts agreed, so why the hell is he still behind bars?
This is a fairly easy multiple-choice test, because there’s only one answer.
Maybe I’ll plan a trip to Italy. I love Italian food and justice.