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Perception Is Not Reality

Updated: Sep 20, 2020

Social media is an interesting medium. You can learn just about anything with instructional videos or view news clips and events from around the world. It has allowed us to move information around at a record pace. It has also given people the space and freedom to say what they want to anyone and anywhere. With the many positives this medium brings, there are also negatives. As we touched on in a previous blog, the young black community seems to be losing its footing. There seems to be a growing divide among our men and women due to a variety of historical and social factors. Now, you can find forums and other social spaces where black women are "telling their truth" and encouraging each other to engage in certain behaviors.

A good example is a conversation on the r/BlackGirlDiaries subreddit. One person posted a comment about the shooting incident between rapper Megan The Stallion and rapper/singer Tory Lanez. Although the particulars of the incident are still unclear and no facts about the case have been shared, some women in this thread view the incident as an embodiment of black men's abuse towards black women. What is interesting about this particular post is how this incident was connected to the shooting of Jacob Blake and the rumors of his sexual assault charges. The writer of the post seems to have the sense that straight black males care more about criminals getting shot by police than innocent black women getting shot by police (or by other black men). This person is also searching within the forum for guidance on how to reconcile the emotions they have. I imagine they are unaware of the articles posted by Reuters and USA Today clearing the rumors on Jacob Blake:

Under Wisconsin State Legislature, sex with a minor is not within the definition of a third-degree sexual assault as it is in Rhode Island.
In Wisconsin, a person is guilty of this felony if he or she “has sexual intercourse with a person without the consent of that person”. It also includes other sexual contact (see definitions (5)(b) 2 and 3 here ).
Posts with the claim erroneously reference the legal definition of third-degree sexual assault from Rhode Island, visible here , which states a person is guilty of third degree sexual assault if “he or she is over the age of eighteen (18) years and engaged in sexual penetration with another person over the age of fourteen (14) years and under the age of consent, sixteen (16) years of age.”
- (Fact check: Jacob Blake does not have an arrest warrant for having sex with a minor, Reuters)

This leads us to our topic for today: Perception is not Reality. Too often do people on social media jump to a conclusion without taking the time for due process. After the initial post from gigababejfl was made, other women from the subreddit offered their misinformed thoughts. Afterwards, the post creator replied.