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Although it was Strauss-Kahn who was charged with a crime, it was Ms. Diallo who received a trial — one via the media. Prosecutors, law officials and the media spouted that given Ms. Diallo’s alleged past lies and misgivings, it was impossible to trust her story. No one for a moment seemed to doubt Strauss-Kahn’s account that a consensual sexual act took place, not rape. There was no general admittance that race played a big factor in the sullying of Ms. Diallo’s image. Here was a working-class, immigrant accusing one of the most powerful men in the world of an act of violence! Who did she think she was? It was evident that despite her past, Ms. Diallo was not going to get the benefit of the doubt or a fair trial.

A black woman’s word is never enough. Some may say that is an opinion, but I’ll argue that it is a fact. Our cries of victimization are mocked and laughed at; our testimonies twisted and turned to appear preposterous and inconsistent. Even when we are proven to be right by the corroboration of others, we are rarely given credit. Rape culture thrives in America, and when it is a black woman who is the victim those pressures intensify by a thousand. I don’t care if Ms. Diallo’s friends were drug dealers and in prison (as it was reported); that by no means should have negated the fact that she may have been brutally attacked by a man who has been known to abuse his power and influence time and time again.

Valerie Jean-Charles, “She Told Us So: Nafissatou Diallo And Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s New Case,” For Harriet, 4/3/12

Yes, Ms. Diallo did.

Yes. She. Did.

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