We congregate in chat rooms, engage on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, at office computers, parties and places where people meet to have philosophical discussions.
How do you know who did it?
We tell as logically as possible with verbalizing intelligence why Michael Jackson did not molest the boy in 1993, or 2003. Kobe, Tupac, Mike Tyson, William Kennedy Smith and many others did not rape their accusers. Are you sure?
People are still in high school judging popularity contests for the yearbook and voting on King and Queen, and cutest couple. In a different world, it was the star baseball player that “Freddie” adored who, tried to rape her before being saved by our six eyed friend, Dwayne Wayne played by Kadeem Hardison.
The episode where Dwayne Wayne talked to Sinbad in the locker room about this scenario (before it happened), really helped me in my healing process to know that the things that have happened to me weren’t my fault.
As I look deeper, now that I’m writing about abuse consistently, aiming to support others in their healing process, I realize two main observations.
In main observation number one, we cheered on Dwayne Wayne because he was likable. We were in our homes, screaming and yelling as if this wasn’t a scripted part in a half hour television special. We shouted, “Get em’- that’s right, beat him up Dwayne!” Our hearts, and eyes cried out in a very real moment of fear, confusion familiarity and hope for Freddie (Cree Summer).
The collegiate baseball player was a guest in the house. There was a damsel, our quirky didnt-know-any-better passionate power-to-the-people sister who was in need of a rescue at the nearby overlook, and she needed it fast. Somewhere in our minds, we sent Dwayne Wayne.
We want the bad guy to be the stranger
We want the bad guy to be someone as unlike us and all of our associations as possible. That is why the media is obsessed with showing news stories of random attackers, even though their access to statistical data stating that ninety percent of predators hunt and abuse children that they know. That means a huge percentage of people, are in your household at some point during your children’s lives.
Why in the world wasn’t Jerry Sandusky caught or snitched on before now? It’s because he, Joe Pa, and Penn State the team were all likable. There is a brand, a family, an undercover, unspoken heritage of solidarity that may even survive this scandal.
Jerry Sandusky was a part of the right organization t0 be protected and he was fully aware of his ability to be invincible for as long as he was. I mean even the first judge in the case, who let him out on bail did so because of relationship. He was a volunteer at Sandusky’s Second Mile non-profit organization.
Tupac Shakur, who is one of my favorite poets to ever put a cadence to a beat was arguably the most likable rap artist to date with seventy-five million records sold according to XXL Magazine.
I mean how could this man write Brenda’s got a baby, and Dear Mama, but rape someone in between? And we all reacted the same way because we “liked” him. We subconsciously forgave him during his next public appearance as a guest being interviewed or a new rap video release.
And when Tupac started getting arrested and writing violent lyrics, we learned the words and claimed that he was being rebellious because of all that he’d been through. He cared about his environment, the drug infested projects he had lived in, but rape ‘that’ woman?
The Illusion of Likeability
The truth is, I don’t know anymore than you do. Tupac is the black Elvis. There are scores of people who seem to think that Tupac Shakur is going to be spotted somewhere on a remote Island full of health, sipping Swagoo, a term coined by Kanye West in a new Beyonce song hit.
This is not about Tupac Shakur. This is about the Predators we Love. As we know, Predators do not have to be found guilty in a court of law to be a predator. And, there are some people who have been found or what I call negotiated guilty and they should have been accused or put on the sex offender registry at all.
I am not saying whether Kobe Bryant, Mike Tyson, Michael Jackson or anyone else for that matter is a predator. I did not follow their trials enough to formulate an opinion that I feel comfortable sharing. I do however feel that Jerry Sandusky is as, he fits the profile down to his interviews.
The Predators we Love. In the book, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, The Hollywood producer Brian Grazer said of meeting Tom Hanks in 1983 (page 45) essentially that he was likeable.
With that said, it does not surprise me that we fall in love with fictional characters, actors, and entertainers whom we perceive to possess a certain kind of life or morality.
Take Lucille Ball for instance. She was never able to live down her famous “Lucy” character. She was so believable in that role that her fans never wanted to see her do any other characters, as if she would be “acting” in her other roles unlike being her “real self” in her role on “I Love Lucy.”
Turn the Channel Quick
Similarly, clergymen have a similar effect on the public. I have never listened to a sermon in its entirety by Bishop Eddie Long but my daughter and I caught an interview one time with him and some dude who was said to be his spiritual son who licked his lips during the interview.
It looked like they had an off-screen romance to us and without speaking (because he is a pastor) we scurried with bent faces bumping into one another trying to find the remote control to change the channel. Our stomachs turning, my daughter and I, who was very young yet discerning moved quickly and then had one of those irreplaceable moments of eye contact where we busted into to the confusion of laughter.
It doesn’t surprise me that people fall in love with fictional facades either. People get an impression of you, and then your publicist, manager, and/or business team as a whole suggest that you keep the image that has drawn attention to you.
Leaders, pastors, and the rich and famous, all win our vote and our hearts by relating to us in ways that influence our decision-making. Of course they are likable or they wouldn’t have a platform.
So allow me to bring this home for the holidays! Kobie Bryant, Mike Tyson, Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Jerry Sandusky and Eddie Long, a host of teachers and people who work with children are fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and friends-of-the-family. Other familiar names are R. Kelly, William Kennedy Smith, and Jeffrey Dahmer (who was famous for murder but did commit acts of child sexual abuse on boys.)
Predators keep you close
Famous or unknown, The Predators we Love are not going outside of their home to prey (only ten percent do this), predators are staying inside where it’s warm and cozy; manipulating through communication and likeability and trustworthiness.
Predators seclude themselves at convenient moments with your children. They are grandfathers, judges, church members and friends.
Ninety percent of predators sexually abuse someone who they know. For homeless teenagers, single parents of teenage children entering shelters, there is increased risk of Predators who may in fact be strangers but come familiar by situation, circumstance and environment.
You will not be able to know if someone is a sexual predator in a shelter whether they are registered or not because they don’t often where the t-shirt. You can however always be conscious and take precaution.
We have to take the scales off of our eyes and realize that our children are at more risk of being harmed by a family member, friend, or someone you love and trust because they know you’ll become embattled, tormented by the thought of what will happen to your family, and what will happen to the predator.
You’ll momentarily and simultaneously sympathize with your love, and forget the victim. Whether you admit it or not, the victim is the person that you see as the “bad guy” because of their disclosure.
Sexual Predators Debate
Sexual Predators are not predators because they believe that they are. They believe that their actions are okay. One predator who wrote a book with a picture of a man and a boy on the front explained that, like homosexuality is accepted now, a man and a boy loving each other will be accepted in a hundred years. It makes my skin crawl.
Psychologically there is no differentiation to them with the appropriate relationships that we have, believing instead that society is intolerant and lack understanding.
Campaign FOR Healing
I want to be careful not to give any freedom to a predator to think their actions are acceptable. Rather than campaigns “against”, I believe in the potency of a stance “for” something.
I am for healing of the abused and the victim’s family which often includes those who have relationships with the perpetrators.
The Predators we Love are great manipulators. They are masters of conversation and will even admit their abuse and apologize leaving many religious people confused about forgiveness.
As a people, we become infatuated with people and our less than deserving loyalty to them is an expression of love. I’m not apprehending your infatuation with hopes that you would accept fear. I am asking you to take a step from darkness and into enlightenment.
In the case that you are a survivor’s family member or friend, I want to leave you with a few quick ways to support healing in your relationships.
Child sexual Abuse, Sexual or Domestic Violence, and any form of Molestation and violation has psychological effects on the victim in residence.
1. Be an active listener
Allow your friend or family member who was abused, to share their experience as they are comfortable, and that may or may not include the details that you want access to.
2. Be Love in your actions
Love is an action word. In order to truly love there should be evidence, something you do that shows your love in your actions. Whether you become a shoulder, or buy them a card, take them somewhere that involves them in an activity that they’d love during their healing like a dance, pottery or art class, your love in all you do is healing in itself.
3. Do not side with the perpetrator
This will forever change the dynamic of your relationship with the victim. You may not be sure if it happened but they are not questioning their invisible scars. Statements that try to minimize the victims story is a form emotional abuse and can be received as revictimizing. Silence for the moment to take in what you’ve heard is always better than blame, and/or denial.
The Predators we Love are still predators. They may not be who you thought a predator would be. You may have known or ignored the signs.
The Predators we Love is about the false sense of identity and allegiance that we choose to possess because of someone’s likability in the public eye or in your family.
Public Service Announcement
I’m asking the public to start using more than their physical eyes and their denial. Rather, use the rapid cognition, discernment, snap judgment or intuition as you may call it to determine whether a child should be alone with this person in question.
Be unselfish and allow the public protection from this person who is a predator and tell. If you want a deeper understanding, check out my blog, The Bible and Child Sexual Abuse and Molestation. I wrote another blog as well about sexual abuse, mental illness and the church. Seek help with coping with this situation as a family member affected by contacting http://www.rainn.org or other organizations that can support the healing process of The Victims we Love.
- Joshua Myers, Assistant Principal at Virginia Elementary School arrested for Child Porn, and Sex with Minors. (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- Who are Child Sexual Abuse Predators? (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- The Predators we Love (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
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