Popular women’s blog Jezebel has republished a blog post in its entirety with the title, “I Am Amber Cole’s Father,” which is already causing a controversy. Amber Cole, in case you missed this sad event, is a 14-year-old African-American girl who was tricked into performing oral sex on her ex-boyfriend while his friends recorded it. This video was then distributed millions of times in what is being called the largest act of child pornography distribution in history. But instead of the distributors being the “pervs” one would normally associate with such despicable acts, the perpetrators were our own friends, lovers, boyfriends, and co-workers who shared the video over their own personal social networks. And while this explicit image of a young black woman was rapaciously consumed by online audiences, our community leaders ignored what would have likely been a national controversy had the victim been white.
Madame Noire was one of the first major media outlets to stick up for this girl. Our scathing essay calling out the lack of support for Amber was then republished on Jezebel.com as well, bringing her story to a wider audience of women who needed to be aware of Amber’s abuse. Now that Amber’s perpetrators have been arrested, her story has become a widespread Internet meme with its own life. The tale of aggression against her in the form of media rape raises questions about who is truly responsible for her, and web denizens are eager to answer.
Some see her as being in the wrong for her actions. Others blame the boys. Some the parents. But in the essay “I Am Amber Cole’s Father” the author explores explicitly the role Amber’s father could and should have played in protecting her, because he is a man. On Jezebel.com, this is causing quite a stir.