NAACP apologizes for remarks about Steubenville rape case

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FORMER STEUBENVILLE NAACP PRESIDENT ROYAL MAYO

 

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

(YourBlackWorld.com)–A man who once ran the NAACP in Steubenville, Ohio made some comments that have drawn a sharp reaction from women’s rights advocates across the country.

In an interview with the International Business Times, Royal Mayo noted that the victim in the rape case in Steubenville wanted to leave with her attackers, indicating that she may not have been raped.  Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, two local high school football stars, were both convicted of raping the woman while she was too drunk to make her own decisions.

“They’re alleging she got raped; she’s acknowledging that she wanted to leave with Trent,” Mayo said. “Her friends say she pushed them away as she went and got into the car, twice telling them, ‘I know what I’m doing; I’m going with Trent.’”

Mayo also referred to the woman as an “alleged victim” drawing the ire of those who feel that the word “alleged” cannot be used for someone after a guilty verdict has been delivered.

“She said her mother brought her to the party, at 3 o’clock, with a bottle of vodka,” Mayo said. “Where did you get it, young lady? You brought it from home? Where’d you get it? You came to the party with your mother.”

Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams took issue with Mayo’s remarks.  But there are some across the nation who hear at least some of what Mayo is trying to say.  A poster circulating on Facebook says, “Apparently, a teen girl is not responsible for what she does while she’s drunk, but a teen boy is.”

Ms. Williams says that this is no matter, and that Mayo should be ashamed for blaming the victim.

“Apparently in Mayo’s mind, if you leave a party with a boy, you’ve signed off for whatever he may then do to you, even if you’re unconscious,” Williams wrote. “Got vodka in your house? Asking for it.”

Three boys who taped the alleged assault were given immunity in exchange for their testimony.  They say that the girl was so drunk that she didn’t know what she was doing.   The victim also says that she doesn’t remember what happened that night.

“They kept telling me I was a hassle and they took care of me,” she testified. “I thought I could trust him (Mays) until I saw the pictures and video.”

The NAACP got involved and issued these remarks in response to the statement by Mayo:

“The NAACP abhors the remarks attributed to Royal Mayo regarding the rape victim in the Steubenville. The remarks are Mayo’s own, and do not reflect the position of the NAACP and its membership. Rape is a despicable crime of violence. The NAACP understands that comments that blame victims for the actions of their attackers contribute to and perpetuate a culture of acquiescence to rape. The NAACP advocates strongly for a society where victims of rape and sexual assault can come forward and seek legal redress without further retribution from the community, media or society at large.”

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