Rape is a horrible thing to experience, let alone to have to talk about after it has happened to you or to someone you care for or love. And yet the whole world needs to talk about sexual assault - of women and girls as well as boys and men. We need to talk about rape and gang rape - sexual assault by a group of people; almost always committed by men. Before the recent community attack (instructing others to rape followed by vicious ostracism) and gang assault on a woman named Mukhtaran Mai in Pakistan, Black and Native women of the United States and of the Americas already had been enduring regular and systematic harm, death, destruction, collective defamation, and community and official collusion and apathy through the past 300 to 500 years. 500 years is half a millenium. It has definitely been racially motivated rape, gang rape, 'succession rape' (year after year through the course of a woman or girl's life) along with other forms of racially gender-targeted sexual, psycho- and social-sexual exploitation. In the US, people today are far more aware of and willing to discuss racially motivated execution by lynching. When it comes to the long, continuing tradition of raping women of colour there is silence. It's no longer acceptable for US society to "dis-remember" these rapes because, allegedly, people "wouldn't know what to say," it makes them feel 'uncomfortable', or because "I didn't rape anyone." In the US almost no historical or political analysis or credence is given to the personal and collective trauma (to the Black American community) of sexual abuse that previously was widely socially endorsed in the USA and which has been regularly meted out to Black women and girls. It is shameful but true - in many parts of the United States it has not been very many years since many local police jurisdictions actually began to legally recognise and enforce the social/legal idea that a Black woman could be raped. Look for US court and police records to find empirical evidence (practical evidence) of the earliest cases in which a Black woman was allowed to file a rape complaint against any man - but especially against a white man. One case not at all long ago was the virtually unreported and uninvestigated gang rape of Mrs Recy Taylor - rural Henry County, Alabama around 1944 or 45, just after World War II. Recy Taylor, a young married lady in her 20s or 30s, was gang raped by about six white American soldiers who had just returned to the US from World War II. One account from the period says these (still unknown?) men used condoms - to protect themselves from her because she was a Black woman. Other than one rather courageous white Jewish American journalist whose nom de plume was Earl Conrad, who else (beside the 1940s Black American press) has bothered to document and investigate the rapists and what they did to Recy Taylor? Were they ever arrested? I don't believe so. Is Mrs Taylor still alive? How did - or has -she live(d) with this treatment in years after? In the US state of Missouri in the 1850s, before the World War II gang rape in Henry County, Alabama, there was the rape, enslaved concubinage, three pregnancies and single motherhood - and finally the murder trial and lynching of a Black female teenager named Celia. At age 14 Celia was purchased and raped on the way to his farm by a white farmer named Newsom. For the remaining 4 or so years of her short life, the white Newsom kept Celia for sex as the only Black female on his farm. He kept her - and eventually the two children of his whom she had - in a cabin a stone's throw from the house occupied by Newsom's white wife and their children. Celia's true story is told from Missouri court records by North Carolina historian Melton McLaurin in his book, Celia: A Slave. Now we hear that the U.S. government "supports" a very brave lady named Mukhtaran Mai in a place called Pakistan. Yet in the same moment my country does not love its own people, and every December in the days before Christmas I remember Celia, who was enslaved.