Roda Osman, the Somali mom who went viral after “Brickgate,” in which a catcalling man allegedly threw a brick at Osman after she refused to give her phone number, has revealed the backlash she received from sharing her story.
After describing her ordeal and calling out the men who watched in the now-viral video, Osman is facing threats against her and her son weeks later. Doubters examined her social media history in an effort to disparage her character, even going so far to claim her assault was a hoax.
Speaking to NBC News, Osman detailed how she has been struggling to cope with the intense cyber-bullying, enduring everything from panic attacks to nightmares.
“First, they’re like, ‘Where’s the police report?’” Osman said. “‘You don’t have a police report.’ I show the police report. Then they’re like, ‘Oh, it’s a fake police report.’ Then, they’re like, ‘Show us the hospital records. You don’t have hospital records.’ I show them the hospital records. ‘It’s fake hospital records.’ The goal posts will never be met.”
NBC News confirmed the records were legitimate. Osman’s left ear had blood coming out of the canal while the left side of her face was left bruised and tender. Police have identified a suspect in the incident.
Some point out that Osman’s experience reveals a growing pattern of Black women facing harsh criticism when they report Black men committing harmful acts against them. “I am an independent, strong, educated, successful Black woman,” she said. “That makes a lot of them just infuriated by my existence alone.”
Osman is aware of the deeper-rooted issues behind the online harassment, but that has not brought peace. The backlash has thwarted her progress toward her schooling as well. Osman is a Ph.D candidate in the University of Texas at Austin, focusing on Black feminist theory and diasporic studies. She was expecting to graduate according to her original timeframe. That was before the assault.
“I don’t know how I’m going to support myself,” she said. ” I don’t know how I’m going to graduate on time. I don’t know how I’m going to, you know, feel safe again.”
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Source: Black Enterprise