I am just going to speak honestly here for a minute. I hope this doesn’t get me in trouble, I’m just being completely transparent because I feel a lot of internal confusion. I am a public defender for a living. One of the guiding moral principles I live by, is that nobody is defined by the worst thing they ever did. The other thing is, I absolutely believe that people of color, especially black men, are falsely accused on a regular basis. Dating back to Emmet Till, there is a significant historical context in this country that involves black men being accused of sexually assaulting white women. Let me be clear, I’m not at all comparing Kobe Bryant to Emit Till. I don’t want anybody to even try that bullshit, that’s not what I’m saying. Till was a victim of a heinous hate crime, nothing close or even in the realm of Kobe. I’m just saying, it’s with that history and context that I look at cases like this, and I have to find a way to balance “believe women” with “hundreds of years of systemic racism”. I don’t know where the balance is for that. But what I do know, is 17 years ago, the criminal charges against Kobe were dismissed and he and the woman reached a civil settlement. My question, is.... if this woman received her own sense of restorative justice, would we even know? Does it even matter? Do we look at context? Do we take every allegation of abuse and believe the victim no matter the context, no matter what happens after, no matter what happens before? If we ask questions are we automatically empowering a rapist while tearing down his victim? By creating such a narrow view of these issues, are we failing to consider these important historical issues that undoubtedly persist in their impact on society today? I really just feel like there’s a lot of conversation around these issues that we need to have to truly empower all women, not just a certain segment. We’re at a point now where if somebody is accused of rape, in the eyes of many, they’re immediately a rapist. Again, NOT saying Kobe is not a rapist, I honestly don’t know that much about his case. But is there any doubt that such a mindset will disparately affect black men more than anybody else? I don’t know the answers to these questions I really don’t. But what I do know is, feminism shouldn’t only be centered around the trauma of some women. I Know that men of color will be affected/accused by allegations like these more than anybody else. It’s just the reality of years of institutional and systemic racism in this country. And we got a sad history of not considering the grieving black/brown mother, daughter and instead only centering feminism on the feelings of white women. Is that happening here At the expense of Vanessa and her daughters? Idk. Anyways, those are just some questions I myself struggle with and I hope sharing them helps all of us grow out of these situations. Because that’s all I want to do myself. I want people to educate me on these issues and help me understand how to answer these difficult questions but sometimes I feel like it’s pointless because all I get are two extremes and no nuance.