I would like to respond to a comment in the article, “List from Black Guide Sparks Outcry.” (News, Feb. 6) With respect to his offensive list ‘Top Ten Signs Harvard Has Driven a Black Woman Crazy,’ Marques J. Redd ’04 “emphasized that he wrote the piece because he feels his experience is not unique in the black community at Harvard.” Assuming that he is trying to say that the experience of being falsely accused of rape is not a unique experience in the Harvard black community, his statements and original list are problematic for many reasons. First, he provides no substance or backing to his “feeling” about the prevalence of false accusations of sexual assault in the Harvard black community, other than his own personal experience. He also contradicts himself in saying it was all about one girl and should not offend black women as a whole, and then also saying he was in fact trying to make some larger commentary. Furthermore, stating that he thinks “this topic is one that the black community needs to deal with” is ludicrous in that his list in no way provides a constructive base with which to initiate any real dialogue. Lastly, it is frustrating for an individual to go to such destructive lengths to bring attention to the so-called prevalent issue of false accusations of sexual assault in the black community and make no attempts whatsoever to bring serious attention to the larger issue of sexual assault itself. We as a black community and as a society will never be able to confront the issues surrounding sexual assault head on until we are able to recognize its existence, acknowledge its prevalence and then deconstruct it fully. If we spent time educating each other on the tragedy of sexual assault and the damage that it causes to people’s lives, then maybe men and women alike would finally be able to understand for once that it is not an issue to be lied or joked about.
Margaret C. Anadu ’03
Feb. 9, 2003