Friday, February 26, 2010

A White Woman From Waldo Speaks Out

It's been quiet around my blog for the last month, mostly because IRL I've been super-extra busy. If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know, Constant Reader, that I'm pretty opinionated and I'm finally taking the time to voice my opinion on an increasingly crazy situation.

For my out of town groupies, here's the gist: An African-American man is suspected in up to 4 rapes in a predominately white, middle-class, Kansas City neighborhood in the last several months.

The news media is making a circus out of it.
Vigils have been held to catch the creep.
Vigilantism is making the situation worse.
Some bloggers are blaming racism.
Innocent black guys are being given the stink eye.

As a white woman who lives in the Waldo/Brookside area, and as someone who was raped (when I was 19), I'm begging the craziness to stop. This is getting increasingly ridiculous. I have several women friends that live in the area. Curious about what they thought, I asked them their opinion about the situation. We're all 20s-40s, white, women who are often home alone late at night. In my case, I'm married and my 5 yr old daughter is home with me until Handsome returns around 11 pm.

Here's the crazy thing: None of us are freaking out about the potential of being raped by this guy, but the media coverage is upsetting us. Yes, they need to catch this guy, but the media is causing a lot of fear. When you're afraid of something, stupid shit starts happening.

It's a miracle that no one was hurt when the idiot vigilante followed that innocent African-American guy all the way to KCK because he thought he'd found the rapist. I feel sorry for all of the men being given dirty, suspicious looks. I wish to publically apologize to all of you for my neighbors' stupidity.

To say this has anything to do with race is ridiculous and you're a race baiter. Stop it. You're just making it worse. I don't care if the guy is purple, yellow, green or brown, rapists come in all sizes, shapes and colors. It's an identifying factor. Deal with it. In order to catch a criminal, you need a description.

Equally, it's stupid to say that just because this is happening in one of the nicest parts of the city to live in, it's getting all this media attention. People in Waldo/Brookside don't typically follow the "Don't Snitch" credo when it comes to crime. We live in an area where people take pride in their community and if something happens, we speak up and demand that it stop. Community activism is alive in our area. We call the police and demand media attention.

What does scare me is that 70% of all rapes go unreported. If that's true, are there more victims out there? Is he just targeting Waldo or are we the only ones speaking up? Is he also targeting women east of Troost and they aren't reporting it because of the asinine "Don't Snitch" crap?

I refuse to get worked up over this situation and live in fear. My friends feel the same way. Other than double checking the door locks and outside lights at night, and making sure that my cell phone is next to me when I go to bed (before Handsome gets home), I just make sure that I'm aware of my surroundings.

These are all things that women should be doing any way.

I live in between houses with two very noisy dogs. I figure between their barks and my fierce attack cats, I'll be fine.

If you see this guy, don't approach him, call the police.


Stacy said...

Thank you for posting this! I'm a fellow Waldo resident, and am glad to know that not everyone is going crazy in the neighborhood. If people want to talk about it with me, I keep telling them that I do what I've always done safety-wise (pretty basic stuff) and that I don't participate in promoting fear. My husband and I have also been talking a lot about how, unfortunately, we have many friends who are survivors of rape...none of them were by strangers. We are sick of all violence, in every neighborhood.
Thanks again for such a well-expressed post.
Take care.

kcmeesha said...

I posted a link to this on twitter and argued with a news guy that media exploits the situation for ratings and he was saying that the coverage is needed for safety. today even police chief said that excessive coverage helps spreading rumors and fears.stay safe

Donna. W said...

Excellent post.