Have you ever seen a cane toad? They look really cool.
In 1935, an Australian farmer brought a suitcase filled with 101 cane toads from Puerto Rico and unleashed them in Australia, figuring it would destroy the Greyback beetles that were destroying the country’s sugar cane crops. He didn’t consider the fact that the toads couldn’t climb or fly, which meant they were unlikely to devour the specific type of Australian beetle that ate the top of the sugar cane stalks. He also underestimated how fast the toads bred and how big they could grow.
Soon, cane toads were everywhere.
There are now an estimated 1.5 billion cane toads in Australia and it is presenting an extraordinary threat to the continent’s predatory species including wolves, snakes and crocodiles. In Puerto Rico, Central and South America, the cane toad population was kept in check because other predators ate the frog-like reptiles, which secreted a mysterious, milky-white fluid. The animals in Australia also feasted on cane toads, but that didn’t stop the species from exploding in population there. And for some reason wherever cane toads show up, other animals end up dead.
Someone eventually figured out that the milky liquid Cane toads secrete from their eyes and shoulders only happens when they feel threatened. It turns out that that milky white substance is a venom that causes immediate cardiac arrest. The farmer didn’t bother to check out that fluid, nor did the farmer consider that native animals often develop immunities to environmental toxins that would kill animals in other places. Apparently, in his rush to solve his problem, the Australian farmer didn’t think about one thing:
Cane toads are poisonous as fuck.
Have you ever seen Amanda Seales? She seems really cool.
Ever since she was unleashed on the public, the fearless poet/actress/recording artist/comedian has systematically destroyed Hoteps, misogynists and racists with her unique brand of charm and logic. She’s witty and sharp, especially on social media.
She’s also woke as fuck.
Amanda Seales doesn’t have the family macaroni recipe but she doesn’t eat fried chicken with a fork. She’s your third-favorite cousin who lived in the suburbs, got a degree in fine arts, works at a nonprofit and fully enunciates words that end in R. She reads self-help books, travels with scented candles, uses words like “problematic” and “unpack” but also knows the lyrics to “Get Money.” When Amanda Seales comes to the cookout, she brings brown liquor but asks if there are vegan options.
She’s fearless and outspoken. She’s kinda funny. She’s kinda smart. She’s reasonably talented. She’s pretty cool, I guess.
On her recent podcast “Small Doses,” and during an appearance on “The Breakfast Club,” Seales singled out an anonymous person as an example of predatory behavior, accusing the unnamed person of ... well ... I guess it can only be described as “stuff.” A few days later, Seales revealed the name of the person to whom she referred as former NFL star, Rhodes Scholar and neurosurgeon Myron Rolle.
It was poisonous as fuck.
This isn’t the “slippery slope argument.” this isn’t whatabout-ism or even the idiotic “them too,” trope. What Seales did could possibly diminish how some people respond to victims of sexual assault, it could result in fewer people who believe women and ultimately, it could even kill people.
“I really don’t take it lightly what I’m about to say,” Seals explained in an Instagram video, while taking her nebulous accusations against Rolle extremely lightly. “Because when you name names, you put not only that person out there, but you put yourself out there.”
Calling herself a “warrior for the truth,” Seales went on to repeat unconfirmed, murky rumors she’d heard without really accusing Rolle of anything. She explained that Rolle “said some troubling things” during a phone call with her that made her “take a step back.”
What the fuck that even mean?
Did he say he likes sugar on his grits or call you the b-word (bananahead)? I too, have dated some people who have made me “take a step back.” But I would never reveal the name of the woman who told me she thinks Lil’ Wayne is a lyrical genius. I wouldn’t ruin the life of the woman who chose Tyler Perry’s first Madea movie for our first date.
Seales went on to accuse Rolle of opening his hotel room door, unclothed, for a date with an unnamed woman. As a man, I am not in the position to judge whether Rolle’s action might be a forward-but-stupid choice or an example of sexual harassment, but Seales admitted that she had done “literally no investigation” before telling almost a million followers this story. She didn’t even say she was told by the person who this alleged incident happened to. She only said she “heard that one story” after it was “brought to her attention.”
“It has been shocking and incredibly discomforting to me how many women—eight as of tonight—that have come forward to say his name,” Seales noted. “And that he has been incredibly problematic, and ... you know, behaved in a very sexual, predatorial way with them that some have said could have gotten him fired.”
“If you are approached by Myron Rolle, you should just be mindful,” Seales continued. “I don’t have empirical proof but I have had enough women come forward saying that he was incredibly inappropriate with them that I feel it would be inappropriate of me to not put the word out there that there is a man out there who is not being ok with women.”
In his defense, Rolle sent the following statement to the Miami Herald:
I understand that in today’s world the responsibility falls on the ‘accused’ to prove themselves innocent, as opposed to ones alleged ‘accuser’ having to prove their claims before going public. Unfortunately, I have found myself victim to these very circumstances.
A blogger/online personality, whom I have never met in person and have only interacted with once via phone, recently claimed that I verbally harassed her during a phone call exchange. She furthered these claims by stating that anonymous sources have come forward and added their accounts to her narrative.
Let me make myself perfectly clear—these accusations are absolutely false and should be characterized as exactly what they are—acts of bullying, intimidation and retaliation.
I have been raised to respect women and to also keep my personal affairs private, as that is the respectful thing to do. However, I will not sit idly by and allow someone to engage in intentional character assassination simply because I did not return their advances or wish to engage in a relationship as they may have wanted.
Accusations of sexual harassment should be taken seriously, but the same should be said for false accusations against someone and the impact those accusations can have in today’s digital world. I thank you all for your support and for allowing me the opportunity to stand up for myself and against any actions of bullying, intimidation and retaliation.
This is the danger of using the sweeping generalization of “sexual misconduct.” The charges against Rolle aren’t even accusations, they are a handful of libelous, vague allegations Seales admits aren’t rooted in evidence. It’s dangerous and scary.
Not only is it irresponsible, but it helps to create an atmosphere that reduces the importance of actual, evidence-based claims against people who are predators. If Seales has evidence, facts or even firsthand knowledge of Rolle being abusive or exhibiting offensive behavior, why not say exactly what it is? No one is asking her to be an investigator, but “Not being ok with women” is different from someone telling Seales about an incident of sexual assault or harassment. And Seales’ hazy conflation leads to speculation that belittles the cause she claims to support.
There are women who have seen Seales’s recrimination of Rolle and, like me, shrugged it off as an unfounded social media rumor. If, as Seales claims, Rolle has done something harmful to nine women, then the overwhelming responsibility of sisterhood that forced her to publicly insinuate he is somewhere between a serial rapist and a repeat sexual harasser should also force her to be specific, so that women won’t dismiss these claims as internet gossip.
Rolle is embarking on a medical career. Any potential employer will conduct a background check and, if they simply Google Rolle’s name and he pops up as an accused sexual harasser, most institutions aren’t willing to take that risk. This could literally ruin his career before it starts.
If there is any truth to these allegations, people should know. And if Rolle is just a knucklehead, a pompous jerk or a bad dater, it is perfectly ok for Seales to say that, too.
But this is not how you get rid of a predator.
Ridding the world of toxic behavior is necessary, but we should be careful not to poison our own environment when doing so. Saying something is always a good idea ...
But this ain’t it.