A criminologist explains: 90% of black men falsely accused of rape are accused by white women
A few weeks ago, there was an extensive debate which occurred online over black men being falsely accused of crime, particularly rape. Some are under the mistaken impression that the number of false accusations are so low that they are not worth mentioning without the risk of insulting those who make legitimate allegations. Clearly, those who are inclined to believe such a thing are a) not familiar with the large numbers of black men who are in prison for crimes they did not commit and b) have never endured the stigma, trauma and humiliation of being falsely accused themselves.
So, to dig into this issue, I reached out to a real criminologist who understands these issues better than the rest of us. She doesn’t rely solely on emotion to make her point, but has actually spent years studying these issues. She isn’t using talking points for a political agenda to promote bogus scientific research, but has instead spent many years immersed in rigorous academic literature on this important topic.
Dr. Chenelle Jones at Ohio Dominican University, in the context of this interview about the Central Park 5, says that there is a study (among others) which argues that a very large percentage of the black men who are falsely accused of rape in America are accused by white women. I didn’t specifically ask Dr. Jones about rape, but it was a relevant topic, since the Central Park 5 consisted of five black and Latino teenagers who were falsely accused of raping a wealthy white woman.
The study’s results don’t surprise anyone who is familiar with the history of America’s criminal justice system, where thousands of black men have had their lives ruined by false allegations because others (including black people) either refuse to talk about it or don’t believe them. There is also no surprise when one considers how defendants (especially black males) are railroaded by the criminal justice system after being weighed down by a presumption of guilt. Most of these individuals who are falsely accused are doomed by the mere allegation. Black male defendants don’t typically have the vast financial resources necessary to fight their charges, and they are more likely to be racially profiled and arrested in the first place.
Also, I remind you that when football star Brian Banks was falsely accused of rape, his attorney advised him to take a plea deal because he was a “big black man” and “no jury would ever believe him.” Once again, anyone who has had a loved one sent to prison without the benefit of a jury trial understands that plea deals are typically met with such draconian consequences for demanding the constitutionally-guaranteed (yet racially-biased) jury trial. As a result, scores of innocent Americans go to prison for things they did not do. The same way a victim should have no fear of coming forward after being harmed by an assailant, a defendant should have no fear of asking for a trial by a jury of his peers.
The interview is below. I encourage the black community to have this conversation without allowing anyone to talk us out of this important discussion. Our men and women both matter, and we can’t let anyone’s racist political agenda cause us to sweep the brothers, fathers, husbands and sons of the black community under the bus. We’ve got to fight for ourselves and our scholars, activists and legal professionals must have the courage to address this very important issue.
The conversation is below:
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