Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cheer For Your Rapist, Dammit!

Considering the latest in lovely campus news, I've found myself particularly on alert for news involving sexual assault, harassment and rape, as well as attitudes toward the aforementioned atrocities. This afternoon, I came upon a San Francisco Gate article via Slutwalk Baltimore, which chronicled the plight of a Texas high-school cheerleader who refused to engage in a chant of her rapist's name at a Silsbee High basketball game. Four months prior to the game in question, the cheerleader (referred to by initials H.S.) proported that Silsbee's star athlete, Rakheem Bolton, had raped her while at a party in town. At the time, Rakheem pleaded guilty to the rape, receiving a "suspended sentence" on the misdemeanor assault charge.
The present issue revolves around the fact that H.S. was informed that she could either cheer for Bolton like the other girls or go home, at which point H.S. actively joined the team, but "folded her arms and was silent". H.S. and parents then did what I believe any soul-possessing human being would think to do in such a situation - sued the school district for violating her right to freedom of expression. Then, the unthinkable happened:
"An appeals court in New Orleans ruled against her, saying a cheerleader acts as a "mouthpiece" for the school. Federal courts have also ordered H.S. and her parents to reimburse the district more than $45,000 for the costs of defending against a frivolous suit."
What the HELL is going on in this country? As Baltimore Slutwalk comments on the travesty, "Rape someone? Be a star athlete. Refuse to cheer for your rapist? Get kicked off the team you worked so hard for. Priorities:  America has them."
Is this country really so morally barren that they demand a rape victim to publicly revere the man who violated her?

Prevailing Thought: Why the fuck was Mr. Bolton not banned from participating in athletics after committing a rape that the community was obviously well aware of? Where were the mothers of fellow athletes (and fellow cheerleaders, for the love of God!) not calling the school and raising holy hell about the fact that their children were interacting with this boy? If the courts had done their job, the dirtbag wouldn't be one-upping his victim in front of the entire student body - he'd been rotting behind bars.

1 comment:

  1. "Why the fuck was Mr. Bolton not banned from participating in athletics after committing a rape that the community was obviously well aware of?"

    It's because people are too quick to blame the rape victim and not the rapist. He's an athlete, right? He has power, she doesn't. Could you imagine what would happen if the star of the lacrosse team raped a young female student here? Even though our campus is so small and everyone would know about it within a day, they'd still let him get away with it because he's a valuable asset to the school. Also couple it in with the fact that rape is one of the hardest crimes to prove and I'm sure a lot of people would brush it off and blame the victim instead.