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A mix of outrage, horror and despair probably best describes many people’s responses to the recent coverage of and reactions to the violent assault of black women. It conjures up questions about how race may have played into it. Would Ray Rice have been dropped from the Ravens quicker if the first video showed him dragging face down a white woman he beat unconscious from an elevator? Would we have needed to see the second video? Would media outlets have used the second video sparingly, out of consideration for the victim, if Janay Rice was white? But let me also ask this: how different might media coverage be of Daniel Holtzclaw, a police officer from Oklahoma City who faces 16 charges for allegedly raping several black women while on the job, if he was a black officer accused of the rape and sexual assault of eight white women during traffic stops? The answers lead to one cold, hard conclusion: black women’s lives do not matter. They simply do not matter. Not in mainstream America at least, and not in black America either.

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