Sunday, December 13, 2009


By: Deric Muhammad

( - They play tough positions on professional football teams, hold high political offices, supervise construction shifts and preach in the pulpits of spiritual places of worship. They are leaders of street organizations, captains of corporate industry, hard-core rap stars and short-order cooks. Who are they? They are Black males who were molested as boys.

While the rape and molestation of females has spawned a plethora of preventive programs and inspired international dialogue, the ever increasing rape of young boys is still a taboo subject. Statistics say that the abuse of young boys is on the rise, but I wonder how accurate those stats could be given the fact that most men who have been abused would never discuss or admit it.

As a Black male in America I have never had a friend, associate or family member confess that they were sexually abused. As an activist, I have assisted many with different types of criminal cases, social issues and problems. However, I have never received a phone call from a male stating that he had been sexually violated. It can be likened to the proverbial bowling ball underneath the living room rug; you can't see it, but you can't stop tripping over it.

How many Black men walk the streets of America suffering from such an unfortunate past? How many of them fear society's ridicule if they should choose to talk about it? How many sick molesters of boys depend on this very fear to remain unpunished and continue their victimization of the innocent? And how much of financial resources, time, energy and organization is being invested in programs that identify, support and promote the healing of men who were molested as children?


"Too often the pain and embarrassment of the community is made to be more important than the pain of the victim. So while we are able to put on a good face for the community in the end it comes back to haunt us."

Recently famed movie director/actor/entrepreneur Tyler Perry personally went on record about being abused as a young boy. Hundreds of news reports quoted Perry's sentiments about a deceased man whose family asked that Perry pay for his funeral. Perry reportedly refused, but later regretted it. He said that there would have been something powerful about burying the man that molested him.

Whether people agreed with Perry's sentiments or not, you have to respect his courageous address of his past in hopes of inspiring someone else's future. Years ago Oprah Winfrey went public about details of her experience being molested as a young girl. The world showered her with sympathy and rallied around her in support. I wonder if Mr. Perry has received the same outpour considering he is a man. God forbid the same world that rallied around Oprah secretly sees Mr. Perry as a weak human being because of his reported past.

While the Catholic Church has for years been marred by scandal on top of scandal surrounding this issue, I contend that child molestation has no religion. While it happens every day in the Black community, it is very seldom discussed. Too often the pain and embarrassment of the community is made to be more important than the pain of the victim. So while we are able to put on a good face for the community in the end it comes back to haunt us.

Psychologists say that boys who have been molested tend to suffer from depression, repressed anger, emotional confusion and fear. Many suffer from identity crises, drug addiction, alcoholism and the inability to maintain good relationships. Many go on to become molesters themselves repeating the very horrific acts that inflicted such great pain in their lives. Some end up committing suicide leaving their families with unanswered questions and visible teardrops.

While it should be clear that we as a community must do more to protect our young girls from rape and molestation, we must not forget to sharpen our collective eye to protect our boys. We must be mindful of their surroundings at all times and be careful whose hands we leave them in.

Parents must teach little boys regarding appropriate contact versus inappropriate contact with others. This conversation is no longer just reserved for little girls.

If you are a man who has suffered this kind of abuse, seek refuge in God for He is the master healer of all wounds. Be encouraged and know that the abuse from your past makes you no less of a man. As a matter of fact, your strength to persevere in the name of God makes you greater than most men. Much respect to Tyler Perry.

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