[A thoughtful comment from Tony D'Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02; Madagascar 2002-03)]

This drivel was posted by an Illuminati-obsessed conspiracy theory website which regularly publishes anti-Semitic material. The “Great Peace Corps Rape Witch-Hunt of 2011″ is revealing its true colors.

There is no doubt that Peace Corps Administration mistreated Volunteer rape victims and should be held accountable. But no matter what improvements Peace Corps Admin makes, rape is a crime that happens everywhere, in every country, to every race. No military, police, or governmental force anywhere in the history of the world has been able to stop it.

According to a February, 2010 NPR report, research funded by the US Department of Justice says that 1 in 5 US college women will be raped. That means that at a theoretical US university with 8500 students (roughly the number of current Peace Corps Volunteers), where half the students are women (4250), 850 will be raped. In comparison, the Great Peace Corps Rape Witch-Hunt has been built on miniscule numbers. As quoted in the above article, “The New York Times reported that from 2000 to 2009, ‘an average of 22 women each year reported being the victims of rape or attempted rape… During that time, more than 1,000 Peace Corps volunteers reported sexual assaults, including 221 rapes or attempted rapes.’”

While 221 rapes sound like a shocking number, over the same ten-year period at a theoretical US university with an equivalent number of students, US DOJ research estimates 8500 women will have been raped. 8500 American college women raped versus 221 Peace Corps Volunteers raped. Even doubling the number of Volunteers raped to 442 to account for under-reporting still leaves an American woman at an American university with a 95% greater chance of being raped than a woman serving abroad in the Peace Corps.

So why have The New York Times, ABC News, and this Illuminati-conspiracy website run this story about rape in the Peace Corps when the numbers don’t point to any sort of emergency whatsoever? The idea of young, white American women being raped by men of color has deep roots in our culture, taps into our latent racist fears, sell papers, attracts viewers, and causes uninformed public hysteria, as it has in this case. The Volunteer women at the center of this story were raped in ‘colored’ Third World countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Mozambique, and Niger. Kate Puzey was murdered, of course, in ‘black’ Benin.

We Americans have a long history of ignoring actual numbers to incite dangerous racially-based mass outrage. In the 19th century, ‘white slave panics’ swept our country despite an almost complete lack of evidence that white women were being trafficked by foreign men of color. The myth of the black rapist was used to justify lynchings during the Reconstruction period. Jews in particular were singled out for persecution as being heavily involved in the fictional white slave trade, as is thoroughly detailed on another racist website, JewWatch.com. Even today, vitriolic Nancy Grace capitalized on the Natalee Holloway case, gaining a wide viewing audience because of a single missing blonde girl.

The danger during the Great Peace Corps Rape Witch-Hunt, of course, is that the Peace Corps has been hurt by it. Folks who have always wanted to see the Peace Corps eliminated have been able to dress their attacks in the sheep’s clothing of speaking out on behalf of the rape victims. In reality, however, much of the attention this story has drawn derives from a sub-text of racism. Take these lines from the article itself: “Our culture industry is putting these girls at heightened risk by portraying Western women as willing sluts. Third-world men are gorging on Western films and getting the idea your daughter is a bitch in heat. This increases the chance of rapes and attacks.” The language in this article is baldly fallacious-why use the word ‘girls,’ for example, when we’re talking about adult women? Why use the words ‘your daughter’ if not to stoke fear? 

While it’s been disgusting to know how Peace Corps Admin failed Volunteers who were raped, the fact is the risk of being raped while serving in the Peace Corps is low. Unfortunately, this story has lost sight of that, and is being used to propagate the same racist prejudices that the Peace Corps has worked to change.