The 13 black women who say Daniel Holtzclaw raped them while he was on duty as an Oklahoma City police officer have largely been ignored by the national media and human rights activists.
Daniel Holtzclaw, 28, is standing trial for raping or sexually abusing 13 African-American women. Prosecutors are trying Holtzclaw for 36 counts including rape, sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy and stalking. Holtzclaw has pleaded not guilty and says he had nothing to do with the allegations against him.
Holtzclaw is essentially saying all 13 Black women are lying.
It’s deplorable that Holtzclaw may have singled out women for violent sexual acts, but it’s also insidious that he directed his racial hatred specifically toward unsuspecting Black women.
Where was the outrage? Where are the protesters?
Holtzclaw allegedly told the women that if they didn’t comply, they would be arrested or physically harmed. The first victim to come forward was a 57-year-old grandmother who claimed Holtzclaw forced her to perform oral sex.
Prosecutors say Holtzclaw methodically ran background checks to single out women who had outstanding criminal warrants for drug and sex violations. Were these women pristine citizens? No. Did they deserve to be raped? Absolutely not.
And they shouldn’t be forgotten or overlooked either.
Holtzclaw didn’t just rape women randomly; he intentionally preyed on Black women, women who were living in obscurity, and women who didn’t have the legal legitimacy to fight back.
And Holtzclaw knew it. For many, these Black women were, and are, invisible.
The national media forgot these women because they were poor, had been previously incarcerated, and, for some journalists, the women’s stories, no matter how similar they were, lacked credibility.
So now, four weeks into the trial, Holtzclaw’s defense attorneys are aggressively going after the victims. The lawyers are trying to discredit the women one by one, digging up their drug use, drinking habits and suspended driver’s licenses to present to the jury 13 flawed women.