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#MeToo Movement Inspires Man To Confess To Witnessing A Rape In 1969

The man pens his confession in a recently published essay for The Washington Post.

Earlier this month, 67-year-old Don Palmerine came forward about a rape he witnessed and participated in 1969, almost five decades prior. His reason for coming forward decades later is rooted in the #MeToo movement.

In a penned essay for The Washington PostPalmerine recalls the fuzzy night, admitting that though he fails to remember the trivial details of the night, he does remember the distinct "before and after" of the disturbing event.

On Sunday (Oct. 21), Palmerine spoke to Michel Martin of NPR's "All Things Considered," to speak further on his decision to come forward. Published soon after the heartbreaking testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, Palmerine confirms that Ford was the motivation for the piece, finding resolution in her "genuine" testimony. Not only did he feel that Ford "was really telling the truth," but he was also able to relate to Ford, having also experienced trivial gaps in his memory from the dark night.

Having attended an all-boys uppity Catholic high school in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, an invitation to attend the party was extended to Palmerine by a football player from a nearby all-boys Catholic school. In an attempt to impress the jocks, Palmerine accepted the invitation only to find that "there were far more boys than girls at this party" and that "other than the girls," no one was drinking.

"At one point, a boy told several of us to go outside and look through a window into the basement because another boy, a football player, had taken a girl there. When we peered through, we saw the girl passed out on a sofa, her feet facing us. As the boy approached her, he waved to us, smiling. He proceeded to remove her jeans and then her underwear. It was the first time I had seen a girl naked. He climbed on top of her and penetrated her. She immediately woke up and tried to fight him off. At this point, we all scattered in the yard. No one said anything. There was just nervous laughter."

Unfortunately, this was only the first incident of the night.

Going on to detail the disturbing moments of a later occurrence, Palmerine also confesses to participating in a "game" in which he and a group of boys would place their hands on a passed-out, drunken girl when the lights were off in an upstairs bedroom, but would remove them immediately when the lights flickered back on. "This happened four times, and then we all left the room. I’m glad it didn’t go further" he writes.

In holding onto the guilt for numerous decades, the guilt transitioned to a shame so strong that Palmerine was finally driven to resolve his wrongdoings in the way the girls never got the chance to.

"In 1969, there was nobody to turn to," he writes in a proper acknowledgment. "They [the girls] certainly wouldn’t have gone to the police — at the time, a subtle notion persisted that an assault was always the girl’s fault, that she shouldn’t have gotten herself into that position in the first place. They wouldn’t have told their parents, who would probably have scolded them. They are about my age now, 67, and I wonder if they had families. If they remember this night. If they told their daughters."

Having finally assumed the responsibility for his actions, Palmerine tells this story with a strong hope that men will begin "to tell the truth about the ways they’ve abused women and what our role has been in creating a culture that tolerates this."

READ MORE: Indiana Woman Admits To Letting Boyfriend Sexually Abuse Her 10-Year-Old Daughter

Ultimately, Palmerine believes that men should be apart of the #MeToo movement and begin come forward and talk about what they've seen and done in order to motivate others to become true heroes to women.

"The only thing I could say is I'm sorry I didn't help" regrets Palmerine. "A few women had called me a hero, but, no, I wasn't. I would've been a hero if I had helped these women then, but I didn't do it."

Founded by Tarana Burke, the #MeToo movement has taken several turns while building layers around what it means in the music industry as well as other victims outside of the entertainment business.

Reactions have been mixed for his essay. While some believe he is an ally in the movement, others feel he should face consequences for participating in the second assault.

See reactions below.

READ MORE: A Long Road Ahead: #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke On Sexual Assault, Stigmas And Society

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7.7. Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Jamaica, Cuba And Miami

A powerful earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea on Tuesday (Jan. 28) triggering temporary tsunami warnings and tremors felt as far away as South Florida. The 7.7. magnitude quake hit the waters between Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands, according to the United States Geological Survey and the International Tsunami Information Center.

The quake, which struck roughly 86 miles northwest off the coast of Montego Bay, Jamaica, resulted in multiple aftershocks including a a 6.1 tremor near the Cayman Island, and a 4.4 aftershock. “Light shaking” was also reported in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

“Despite the large size of the earthquake, the fact that it occurred offshore and away from high population areas lessened its societal impact,” the USGS said. The organization described the quake as “moderate shaking” in parts of Cuba and Jamaica.

The quake comes nearly a month after a 6.4. magnitude earthquake hit Puerto Rico, but the USGS said that the “seismic events” were unrelated.

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Black People Make Up More Than 50% Of U.S. Homeless Population, Study Finds

Black people in the U.S. are disproportionately impacted by homelessness, per an Annual Homeless Assessment Report released by the Housing and Urban Department. According to the report, blacks account for more than 50% of the country’s homeless population, despite making up only 13% of the U.S. population.

“African Americans have remained considerably overrepresented among the homeless population compared to the U.S. population,” the report states. “African Americans accounted for 40% of all people experiencing homelessness in 2019 and 52% of people experiencing homelessness as members of families with children.

“In contrast, 48% of all people experiencing homelessness were white, compared with 77% of the U.S. population.” People identifying as Hispanic or Latino are bout “22% of the homeless population but only 18% of the populations overall.”

As of 2019, the U.S. homeless population swelled to 568,000, an increase of about 10,000 from the previous year. In 2019, Roughly 35,000 of those experiencing unaccompanied homelessness were under the age of 25, a 4% decrease from 2018. The number of those experiencing chronic homelessness increased by 9% between 2018 and 2019.

A staggering 52% of black families experience homelessness, compared to 35% for white families.

The goal of the report is to “demonstrate continued progress toward ending homelessness, but also a need to re-calibrate policy to make future efforts more effective and aligned with the unique needs of different communities.”

HUD, which is has been releasing the annual housing stats since 2007, shows a 3% bump in the number of those experiencing homelessness on any given night, a 16% increase in California, and a “decrease” in other states. California accounts for 53% (108,432 people) off all unsheltered homeless people in the country. Despite being only twice as large as Florida, California’s homeless population is nine times that of the Sunshine State, which came in at a distant second place with 6% (12,476 people). New York, Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington have the highest rates of homelessness per 10,000 people.

Numerous variables come into play when determining the origin of the black homeless epidemic due to a longstanding system of oppression in housing, and beyond. Black families are twice as  likely to experience poverty in the U.S., compared to white families; and in spite of laws against open discrimination, black renters face overt and covert financial and racial prejudice, in addition to gentrification and the racial pay gap.

On Jan. 7, HUD unveiled a housing proposal that attempts to undue Obama-era housing mandates put in place to prevent racial discrimination. The newly-released proposal may end up further promoting racial discrimination.

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Black Texas Teen Barred From Graduation Because Of His Dreadlocks

A black Texas teen was suspended and is barred from graduation because of his dreadlocks, NBC News reports. DeAndre Arnold, a senior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas, has to cut his hair if he wants to walk the graduation stage.

DeAndre, whose family hales from Trinidad, has had locks for several years, gets A’s and B’s in school, and wears his hair in compliance with the school’s dress code, his mother, Sandy Arnold, told Houston’s NBC affiliate KPRC. “The dress code is [hair] off the shoulders above the earlobes and out of the eyes,” she explained.

The school district allegedly changed the dress code around Christmas of last year. According to the latest Barbers Hill Student Handbook, hair must be “clean and well groomed.” Students are not allowed to cover their heads, dye their hair, or wear “geometric or unusual patterns (such as Mohawks and Faux hawks) shaved or cut in the hair.” For male students, hair can’t fall below the eyebrows or earlobes and must not extend “below the top of a T-shirt collar.”Beards, goatees and mustaches are also not allowed.

DeAndre’s mother said that she reached out to board members and the superintendent to rectify the issue but with no luck.

“They say that even [when] my hair is up if it were down it would be not in compliance with the dress code. However, I don’t take it down in school,” said DeAndre.

The teen proudly rock his dreadlocks because the hairstyle connects him to Trinidadian culture. “I really like that part of Trinidadian culture. I really embrace that.”

Barbers Hill Independent School District released a statement noting that the district enforces a “community supported hair length policy” that has been in place “for decades.” The statement adds, “Barber Hill is a state leader with high expectations in all areas!”

The teenager's story is similar to that of a 6-year-old boy in Texas whose school also wanted him to cut off his dreadlocks. DeAndre's mother said her son won’t be getting a hair cut. “This is a pat of who he is. So [we're] absolutely not going to cut his hair.”

See more in the video above.

 

 

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