My two shillings: It’s not surprising to me that a black interest publication negate the victimization of black girls and women. This is reinforced again and again through socialization. Black girls are expendable, they’re ‘fast,’ asking to be sexually exploited. To be fair however, I do respect that the publication worked quickly to address the concerns of the readers. I was on Twitter and saw a few exchanges, and the good news is, they seem to be getting the message. It remains to be seen if they will be more conscientious to black women’s interests in the future.
Take a read and let me know what you think.
Less than 48 hours after our interview with Genarlow Wilson went live, it is clear to us that this story and subject remain highly controversial.
For those unfamiliar, in 2003, Wilson was a 17-year-old high school senior convicted on child molestation charges for receiving oral sex from a 15-year-old female classmate. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the state of Georgia. After serving nearly three years, he was released early due to what that state admitted had been “cruel and unusual punishment.”
We have read every email, tweet and note regarding your concerns. We understand that many of you were seriously angered by three main things: our implicit support of Wilson; the story’s title, “Notorious to Glorious: Genarlow Wilson is Not a Child Molester and Never Was”; and a perceived lack of compassion towards the two young women who were involved in the case.
Regarding the title, we sincerely apologize for what was clearly viewed as insensitivity by EBONY.com about issues related to sex crimes against women and girls. We are not insensitive and it was not our intention to appear flippant about a most serious matter. Since the relaunch of EBONY.com six months ago, we have been diligent and steadfast in the promotion of information and healthy dialogue around subjects related to the emotional, physical and psychological wellbeing of Black women. In the very first week of launch we ran a story brazenly titled “Stop Telling Women How Not to Get Raped.” In the weeks and months after that, we continue on that path.
At EBONY.com, in particular, we are largely a female editorial team and we take pride in our consistently progressive stance on women’s issues. To suggest otherwise, simply means that you are not familiar with this website. To any who would charge EBONY.com with being “apologists” for Black men, you are wrong. We strongly doubt that you would find agreement among any of the brothers who have been taken to task in this space. What we are, and what the EBONY brand has always been, is a home for information, discourse and uplift for Black men AND women.
Many of you took issue with the word “glorious,” others felt that stating that ‘Wilson is not a child molester’ was misleading, as he was convicted on a child molestation charge. It is the spirit of the title that has been lost in translation and what we deeply regret—and apologize for.