By Ken Morgan, Special to the AFRO

I do not defend or condemn Adam Jackson regarding the rape or physical abuse charges reported in the AFRO last week. Women do possess the right to say no. The right requires respect. Sadly to say, too often it is not. Think Aretha Franklin and “Give women R.E.S.P.E.C.T!”

A woman owns her body. No rentals exist. Women are not men’s possessions. The same thing exists regarding the right to choose. We call it freedom of choice.

Community voices need to say to the alleged rape victim, and the two who claimed they were threatened and intimidated to go to the police. Seek counseling.

Protect everyone’s rights involved, including the accused.  A person is innocent until proven guilty if it gets to the legal system. Legally it remains community gossip if it does not enter the system.

Kenneth O. Morgan

According to the alleged rape victim, the event took place in 2015. Traditionally folks not aware, or disbelievers or sexism defenders say ‘Why did the victims wait so long?’ Many women fear societal criticisms and reprimands that often block grievances and allegations.

The gravitas of the issues far outweigh any problems the Black community has with the police or the legal system. We do not need to run away from police misconduct or unfairness in the legal system. Fight back. History shows our advancements.

Individuals and groups could monitor the police and the legal system. Make the legal system do the right thing. The benefits far outweigh the costs.

Societal sexism exists in all communities whether White, Black or Brown. History shows us that since the beginning of society, this phenomenon reveals itself. These things are a permanent stain in this society, despite the advances women have made.

An African anti-apartheid freedom fighter once told me that the backward rituals that denigrate and deny women equality Africans need to be abandoned.  We in the Black community need not hide behind these African traditions.

No one needs condemning or harassing because he or she stands against sexism. Get on board.  Read Thomas Sankara’s Women’s Liberation and the African Freedom Struggle.

Dr. Ken Morgan is a human rights and Black activist scholar.  He can be reached at [email protected].