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Who Defines the Legacy of Our Sons?

Feminism Done Wrong in the Wake of Kobe Bryant’s Death

About twelve minutes after the world learned that Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter accident Washington Post reporter Felicia Sonmez posted a picture of him and his daughter with a caption reminding us that he was ‘credibly accused of rape in 2003.’ She retweeted a picture of a dead child (ignoring her existence) so she could be one of the first people to post Kobe’s demise and inform us that a black boogeyman had departed this earth.

Sonmez was then dismayed to discover that her tweets were poorly received by a large segment of the online community. She received intense backlash in the form of violent threats and was eventually suspended from her job. Sonmez defiantly reminded everyone that she had a duty to report on the rape charge because no one was talking about it…17 minutes after 9 people (including 3 children) died in a helicopter crash. Bye FeliciaBy … 

The “we have to tell the whole ugly truth about Kobe” brigade is especially hypocritical considering this energy is hardly ever directed at violent white men (namely the president who 53% of them voted for).

The problem with Sonmez’s claim is that by retweeting an article written 13 years after he was accused of rape, Sonmez invalidated her own argument. A google search of Kobe and the word rape currently returns dozens of articles written just in the last two days. In the last TWO days. The 2003 rape case did in fact shape Kobe Bryant’s image and forever changed the trajectory of his career, so it is being acknowledged. You can’t claim that no one is talking about an event when there are dozens of articles, tweets, and blog posts about said event. The math simply doesn’t add up. Every time someone laments that “no one is talking about the rape case” you are in fact, talking about the rape case. But you know logic be damned right?

 

Before 2003, Kobe Bryant was on the fast track to becoming one of the NBA’s most wholesome stars. He had several mainstream sponsorships, the perfect marriage, and multiple championships under his belt. After he was accused of rape, he publicly apologized, acknowledged his wrongdoing, paid the victim a settlement in a civil suit, and retreated from public life for a time. When he emerged, he made it a point to engage life in a more meaningful and purposeful way. He matured, he grew into a mentor, an involved father, a feminist, and a conscious businessman. For 20 seasons he inspired people around the world with the “give it your all” mentality. He secretly volunteered for Make-a-Wish foundation, he created a girls’ basketball program, and was an ardent supporter of the WNBA. 

 

The death of Kobe Bryant brought out a unique collective grief in the black community, especially for black men. They loved Kobe the NBA champion, the Olympian, the shit talker, the father, the brother, and leader. They identified with his perseverance and wanted to mimic his success in their own lives. But before they were even allowed to properly process this loss, white women started to demand that we demonize him and write him off completely “for the sake of victims and women” —regardless of what he did in the 17 years since the accusations were made against him.  

 

It is no surprise that a lot of the “why aren’t you grieving victims of rape” are white women. The “we have to tell the whole ugly truth about Kobe” brigade is especially hypocritical considering this energy is hardly ever directed at violent white men (namely the president who 53% of them voted for). I could name a dozen white men whose feet they aren’t holding to even the most lukewarm of fires, but sure let’s heap all our collective #MeToo rage on a dead black man who actually tried to change his life for the better. 

 

 White women who claim to “care about women” very often fail to mention the women and girls who died in that horrible helicopter crash. Ultimately, I’m not surprised white women are coming for Kobe this way because they are not socialized to see us as humans. We are potential threats, and because Kobe was accused of assaulting a white woman he graduated from potential to perpetual threat, thus forever stripping him of his humanity. They didn’t hesitate to publish pictures of his dead child with headlines about a rape she was not a part of because our children are also invisible to them. Your white feminism is showing.

 

And it’s trash.  

 

POC are constantly reminded that white America’s casually convenient moral outrage is always going to be inserted into our narratives.  In all the talk of karma and just desserts I’ve seen no one mention of the untimely death of Vanessa’s baby which tells me all I need to know about your “concern for women.” 

Let’s remember we are humans who will stumble, fall, intentionally misstep, apologize, attempt redemption, and grow. Let’s remember that in a white supremacist society black people will always be seen as other. Let’s also remember that restorative justice allows for people to remake and rebuild their humanity. Lastly, we define our heroes and should protect our sons from whatever legacy the world wants to force on them.    

What do you think?

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  1. I am in diff country and don’t follow b.ball. first time I knew about Kobe was “these are our heroes” by Nas, a song. Where he criticises what bad examples ppl like Kobe were. (It was released I guess around the time of the rape). Personally I have been raped three times and to see this guy held up as a genius, a perfect hero, a great legend –purely for putting balls in hoops consistently while being worshipped and a billionaire for it.. yes it did piss me off. I didn’t actually connect Kobe to the rape case until I read an article on theroot.com which did not mention the rape but a comment did. I’m a woman whose been raped and to see how..it’s “evil” and “unfair” to mention him raping a 19 year old who he also publicly outed and smeared and retraumatised .. plus the fact that less than 1% of rapes get convicted..plus many don’t believe her even though she went straight to police and hospital confirmed she was Def raped.. his “apology” admitted rape yet he ensured that legally his admission of guilt could not convict him in criminal case.. for me he just another (rich) man who shat on a rape victim. And to say I only dislike him cus he is black I don’t think is accurate. If any guy is held up as a hero who is a rapist it affects how I feel cus I’ve been raped. May not be logical but it’s how I feel. And truth is as a normal person no I cannot mention the rape because yes I will be hated on, cancelled etc. So I talk bout it with my therapist only and suffer in silence. By the way NINE people died on that crash but u only care about two, the rapist and his daughter. I’m sure u will hate on my comment or not allow it. Problem is ppl want their heroes to not be human, they got to be perfect even Wen this means lying and complaining about truth being told. U act like the rapist who is dead is the victim here. He’s dead he can’t hurt. And his family all support him knowing he’s a rapist so I don’t see why their feelings, billionaires who can afford therapy etc, are more important than facts.

    • No. We can acknowledge the victims while also not ignoring the death of the other 7 people and a black child. White supremacy is leaping out here. The dire and overarching need to make sure we label this black man and ensure he is forever remembered as a rapist supersedes everyones compassion or empathy for the 7 other people who died…including the children. No one said it’s evil or unfair to mention the rape. But because you don’t see him as a human being you THINK that’s what was said. The point is that we don’t treat white men like this. The facts of the American judicial system support this. If you are unfamiliar with the way the American judicial system preferences white men then you might want to sit this argument out.

  2. Also I don’t see any change u say happened. So he supported make a wish Foundation. So does every celebrity. “He became a feminist” this is meaningless. Everyone says they are a feminist now. (I’m not a feminist tho I’m a woman). “He started a basketball team” so wat. He was a “conscious businessman” again specifically how does this mean are equate to anything. He’s just a billionaire. When poor ppl give to charity we give to charity. When rich ppl give it magnificent philanthropy and aren’t they the greatest most perfect ppl ever. All for putting balls in hoops. Like Nas said he’s not a very gud hero, but last few decades standards hav fallen so low.

    • Feminism isn’t meaningless when you put your money, time, and effort into projects that highlight and preference women. Which you would know if you actually read the piece. He also spoke about his work for the WBNA and several women IN the WNBA spoke about how he helped them legitimate the league and get pay equality. This is the very definition of feminist work. I understand that you can’t see your white supremacist attitude towards this black man and that’s fine. But don’t pass off your racism as logic or common sense.

  3. And finally if a 13 year old is a child in your definition then the 19 year old rape victim was a child. I don’t agree with that racist journolist tweeting wat she did. Yes many or most white women r very racist. However as a rape victim Any rich powerful man held up as a hero and then ppl told He is somehow victim when true fact is stated. Is b.s. like he’s more a victim than the woman he outed, called a slut, called crazy cus she has bipolar,, the massive smear campaign.. but cus he’s forced to pay compensation in civil trial and forced to apologize it’s ok ??? Basically u say u want to erase rape victims so u feel better cus u feel your “hero” is perfect and respected. Cus he way more important, cus he a billionaire who threw balls in hoops.

  4. I forgot. Also. He never apologized. He lied saying he thought she consented. So he said he accidentally raped her and did not intend to. Gaslighting her. Not an apology atall. Saying he was sorry for accidentally not consenting. He never ever took responsibility and all his family and friends likewise deny what he actually did. Rape victims are worthless. A millionaire is a hero no matter he a rapist. And y’all this is Your values.

  5. Question – if seventeen minutes is too early then what is the magic number of minutes when we are allowed to mention that a dead rapist is a rapist? The magic number of minutes will help me know how to not disrespect a rapist by referring to him as a rapist, the next time a celeb rapist dies. Thnx. Oh and on a related note – how many years pass before a rape is no longer a fact of history worth mentioning? Eg. If it happened to your mom? Again this will help rape victims like myself be more respectful to rapists. Thnx.

    • There are never enough minutes after a child has died to post her picture and discuss some act her father did. But next time just say you don’t care about black children and go

  6. The entire underlying premise of the piece is to highlight the difference between the white and black redemption arc in America. White men get to be new people and black men don’t. White men get to be defined by their good deeds and black men by their worst deeds. No one is saying don’t talk about his rape accusation. My very point is that we are talking about it. It is being talked about. Which is the way it should be. Let’s talk about it. But also, let’s not DEFINE him by that. Additionally, if we are going to say we are feminists then we should ALSO be talking about the wives, daughters, and mothers who also died and are left to suffer after the death of NINE people. Additionally, in the rush to say that “karma” got Kobe because he’s a “rapist” there’s a total erasure of all the women and girls who were also killed. All of it is problematic and lacks nuance. There are a dozen of white men who abuse, sexually assault, and rape women who don’t get the same treatment as Kobe. The president of the United States is a serial sexual abuser and it didn’t stop him from being elected president. To pretend like white men and black men are treated the same when it comes to criminal behavior and moral judgment is to be willfully obtuse to how white supremacy works in America.

    • Bullshit. What dead white althlete rapist has been treated differently ?? And if Kobe or Kobe daughter not in helicopter no one would care. Do U care about every woman who dies in a car crash? Car crashes happen thousands daily. Only rich ppl die in helicopters. In Ur life time hav u grieved or talked about every woman who died in every helicopter crash? And no it Isn’t being talked about until snoop threatened Gayle. Gayle timidly mentioned it for two minutes and was at too soft on rapists friend who Lied saying he was innocent. Who directly profits from this corporate Machine of NBA merch and Kobe b.s. and y’all dumbasses don’t even ever think…y are overpaid celebs who do completely unnecessary job – y “heroes” ? Y ? Look up “bread and circuses”. If u wanna be deep and woke look at y u worship overpaid asshole who does utterly unnecessary job smmfh. And y’all retraumatise millions of WOMEN and men rape victims every time u lie and pretend u care about structural this and feminst that. B honest. U worship a fucking basketball player. Gtfo. A fkg Rapist.

    • Excuse me????? When the hell did I EVER “pretend lie white and black men aren’t treated differently” ???????
      Get it in Ur dumb head. I’ve been raped 3x. By one white man, one black man, one mixed race (or black if u American) man. And an Asian (Indian) dude attempted rape. I don’t give a shit that Kobe is was black. I care about fucking rape victims but u got to keep twisting it back into “but but but but he’s black so it’s ok for him to be a rapist and my hero” do u see that u r racist to urself here. U saying black men need to be allowed to rape. Also — I never do that redemptive arc crap. I never forgive rapists.

      But—– Kobe insisted he the victim as late as 2016 he treated her like utter shit and his “apology” never took responsibility but gaslighted “I thought I wasn’t raping her'”

      —- to “redeem” (carry on being a rich c#nt) he donated to charity and stuff. I’m poor I donate to charity big deal.

      But he never donated to rape crisis centres or anything relevant
      .h

      He never took responsibility. He a c#nt.

      And if he white he a c#nt.

      I hate rapists I always will.

      Twist away but a rapist is a rapist the color of the dick raping is irrelevant to ME.

      Go cry about “the media” being soft on a black rapist but don’t expect sympathy from me towards a fkg rapist. Who never truly repented.
      Never repented. Never.

      And other vistims.

      And tens of thousands other victims stop reporting rape directly cus his LEGACY

  7. Two other women reported similar behaivor from Kobe in 2004 but saw that the consequence of trying to get justice would be huge trauma: identity outed, smeared, death threats, hate. Is it surprisng no one ever dared report Kobe raping them after his successful terrorism of victim? This is his LEGACy. Plus rape reports reducing in response in Colorado as women reminded of consequences of reporting rape. Now Vanessa rebrand dead rapists ‘charity’ (tax loop hole and publicity machine) to include dead rapists daughter’s name. Clever, use 13 year old dead child as HUMAN SHIELD for rapist. Same how writer of article whined “a dead child age 13” yeh rape victim was age 19 and the trauma for entire life. The rapist is dead. Rapist family and friends deliberately profit off lies and traumatising victims. No he isn’t a SON he isn’t a VICTIM he is NOT a HERO. If YOU choose the “grieve” for a rapist u never even met because u Choose to believe he a “stand up dude” “Cuz basketball dude!!” Then that’s on YOU. Keep crying bout “feminism done Kobe wrong” tho. Boo boo must not have actual facts and legacy mentioned. poor “fans” can’t cope with facts and truth. Poor pro-rape ppl boo boo. Must respect pro-rape “grief”. Gtfo the lot of u. Do u understand how Millions of real rape victims like me are being retraumatised by snoop and millions of likes shouting support for “back of bitch before we come get you” and namoi Campbell is in Jeffrey Epstein’s black book and private jet log and an accuser pictured at her Birthday party!! And she tweets “thank u so much @snoop *raised fist emoji* yeh..cus all these wealthy hypocritical elites dirty pedo rapist celebs are “our sons” smmfh. Gtfo. If u Choose to idolise pesos and rapists that’s on u. If u believe it’s SO HARD for black celebs to not rape – U r racist. U r saying black men need a pass to rape. U give such low standards for heroes. Y U SO WEAK that u NEED heroes even if they rapists ?????”our sons”. Weak weak sick sick dumbasses.

  8. Also despite hosp staff etc proving 100% rape (remember the teenage hotel worker went in hotel room to do job, left five mins later with severe injuries, went straight police and hospital) .. Kobe still whined “she done me wrong” as late as 2016 same as this article writer. Poor rapists huh. HeAdmitted rape but very gaslightingly said “i thought it was consensual from her body language” smmfh. I guess body language includes screams of pain since hospital staff said quote “too many injuries to count” from his dick in her. But obvs “she wanted it” I guess article writer must enjoy such five minute long sexual experiences since he whined “feminism done Kobe wrong”. He NEVER took responsibility. never truly repented or apologised. Article writer says “but but but he had a daughter and and and started a girl b ball team and and he became a stand up dude” umm no. No he never did. If once a rapist has a daughter, and rapist seems to suddenly become “woke” this is the rapist protecting the interests of his family. Nothing else. As late as 2016 he whine he innocent. U don’t get that 98% of *reported* rapists get away with it. So unreported rapes the vast majority obvs get away 100%. And u are re traumatising rape victims like me all of u journolists worshipping a dead rapist, and ppl literally millions of comments supporting snoop threatening a journolist who dares gently timidly state couple facts before scaredly backing off anyways. Like two mins of an hour of total bullshit hero worship. In YOUR world a billionaire doing completely unnecessary job, highly overpaid is Ur “son” Ur hero”. A fucking RAPIST. Ur head is sick AF. A guy u never even met is Ur hero smh. Ok souls carry on retraumatising and gaslighting Ur rapist readers. Cus must make dumbasses happy. Never mind victims so long as athletes get respect they “deserve” cus your “son”.

  9. Yes please let’s Define a rapist as a rapist.

    Cus he for enternity Defined victim as liar crazy slut

    And forced non disclosure agreement

    Vast majority believe she liar

    She Defined.

    She the criminal

    So yes actually

    Let’s define Men not by dribbling and beig overpaid

    But how they treat ppl.

    Yes please let’s Define a rapist as a rapist.

    Because 99.999% of rapists get away with it

    There is no justice

    Screw a privilege rich celeb who terrorised victims

    Yes please let’s define him.

    Once rape is proescuted hmm..

    Fifty percent?

    90%?

    If Kobe DID actually repent (no he never did)

    Then Perhaps

    Perhaps…
    IF victims CAN speak not silenced by NDA

    Then… mMaybe normt define rapist as rapist.

    Maybe.

  10. And I love it Mr. Gaslighted “it IS being talked about” so may I point you to your words “17 minutes” u stated that 17 minutes after death is too soon to call a rapist a rapist. Beijing the question when. Isn’t too soon ..to which the truthful answer is u want to “define the legacy” as not a rapist. Now u bacjpeddle and say ok yeh he admitted it but let’s not “define him” by it even tho he never repented never made amends continued to say HE the real victim, she still silenced and thanks to his machine most ppl,vast majority are overjoyed and retweet joyfully Wen snoop threatens Gayle for timidly and way too softly. Mentioning facts..in hour long promo to sell Lakers t-shirts.. “it IS being talked about” no thanks to u who tar me a rape victim as a “feminist” and we “done poor Kobe wrong”. Like Lauryn hill said “and ppl wonder y women hate men”. It is being talked about but we was SILENT respecting u pro rapist men “grief” for the b.s. MYTH (utter lies) about a stranger u never met..rape victims as always was Silent until y’all attack us. “Done poor rapist Kobe wrong poor Kobe must remember decades of dribbling but to mention him raping and his legacy of letting thousands of rapists evade justice by copying his intimidation techniques and anti victim smearing ….

    • First of all. No minutes is soon enough to discuss what any man did using his child’s image. The fact that you think it’s ok to post a picture of a dead black child and use it as a talking point about her father tells me you are a racist and everything you say is coming from a rapist point of view.

  11. It’s your fault u get this reaction.

    You CHOOSE. To treat a rapist like he literally Jesus.

    A “hero”.

    Nowadays we have social media

    So bullshit is called out.

    U choose to be dumb AF?

    Worship a guy of disgusting low character, cuz NBA and Kobe corporate machine,, hypnotise and delude u?

    It Ur choice.

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