March 18, 2011 at 12:41 PM ET
Some stories are so awful that it seems there isn’t much to say about them. Such was the case with this story about an 11-year-old girl who was gang-raped by 18 boys and men in an abandoned trailer in East Texas. But it turns out there is something to say, something uplifting and important, and journalist and father Nick Chiles says it in an open letter to the 11-year-old victim.
“What I must do is tell you about real black men,” writes Chiles, who is black, as are the alleged attackers. “I want you to know these things because I have a son who is 7 years older than you, a nephew who is about your age, a nephew just a little younger, and they all have friends, many friends. In other words, I am surrounded by black boys. And if, in 15 or 20 years, one of them should come your way, I want you to know what a fine young man looks like, what he sounds like.”
He will not ever raise his hand to you — for he has been taught that an assault upon you is an assault upon his mother, his grandmother, his sisters, his aunts and all the nurturing souls who have unconditionally showered him with care.
He will not raise his voice to you — for he respects your mind as well as your body and he knows that bluster and intimidation are really just a camouflage for weakness.
He will protect you but not disarm you. True protection is not smothering; it is providing you with the security to try and sometimes fail.
He will love you. And his love will feel like the most significant ingredient your spirit will ever encounter.
Wonderful words for all our daughters. Read his full post at My Brown Baby.