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HOAX: ‘Black feminist theory’ PhD student raised $40K on false assault claim, police say

Grad student says attack affected memory

Police criminally charged a University of Texas at Austin doctoral student with deceiving the public by fundraising off an alleged brick attack.

Roda Osman, a Somali Muslim student at UT-Austin, “was recently charged with felony-level theft by deception. In September, a friend of Osman’s started a GoFundMe called ‘Help Roda Recover’ after Osman was allegedly hit in the face with a brick,” Fox News reported. The fundraiser raised more than $40,000.

Osman posted a video (below) at the time where she criticized “black men” standing nearby for not intervening to protect her. She is a doctoral student in UT-Austin’s African and African diaspora studies department where her interests include “black feminist theory” and “decolonial studies,” according to her bio.

But her version of the story did not hold up, according to Houston Police Department records obtained by Fox News. KPRC 2 Houston posted screenshots of some documents in an interview with the man she accused of hitting her.

The news outlet reported:

According to court documents obtained by Fox News Digital, the Houston Police Department claims that Osman was in an altercation with a man when she was hit with a water bottle.

“It appeared Defendant Osman and [the man] were in the middle of a verbal argument when Defendant Osman swung her right hand while holding an unknown object and hit [the man] in the face,” the documents read. “[The man] then swung his right hand while holding what appeared to be a plastic water bottle and struck Defendant in the face.”

“The video footage capturing the incident did not support Defendant Osman’s recorded statement.”

Osman reportedly had a history of running online fundraisers on questionable grounds, Fox News reported.

She maintains her innocence, saying the result of being attacked affected her memory. “I’m not guilty…as a person who suffered from a head injury from blunt force trauma and went online five minutes later for my own safety, I’m not obligated to remember every single detail correctly,” Osman told Fox. “That is unprecedented, and it’s dangerous to victim-blame in that way, and to also hold me to a standard that is not legal.”

She also reiterated the claims made in her original video. “The manosphere [is] targeting me…for speaking out against a Black man because Black women are supposed to protect Black men from the justice system,” she said. “But I refuse to be silenced when I have been harmed so brutally.”

GoFundMe has taken down her fundraiser, citing a violation of company policies, according to Fox News.

NBC News promoted theory of backlash for criticizing baclk men

The suggestion that she is a victim of an alleged culture of black men not intervening to protect black woman was promoted heavily in an original NBC News article that quoted a handful of scholars who supported the general theory.

While NBC News reported last September that some people had called it a hoax, it also extensively quoted proponents of Osman’s theory.

The two reporters wrote, apparently in their own opinion:

“Brickgate” points to a familiar pattern of backlash hurled at Black women when they publicly denounce harm from Black men. And while it appeared to be an isolated act of violence, the back-and-forth from detractors and supporters of Osman represents long-simmering tensions between Black women and men that now play out on social media. The source of that continued tension, experts say, is unaddressed anguish from both Black men who deal with rigid views of masculinity and Black women who feel neglected in light of demeaning stereotypes pinned to them.

The article also quoted Duke University African and African American Studies Chair Mark Neal who said some black men feel “left behind” because they “have not had the kind of life and professional successes that they want.”

“This disaffected bloc of Black men may feel less convicted to stand up for Black women,” NBC News paraphrased Neal as saying.

Emory University Professor Dianne Stewart put the blame on “white Western understanding of patriarchy” which black men adopted. Black female success can “sometimes make Black men feel inadequate,” Stewart said.

University of Delaware Professor Roderick Carey agreed. “Young Black boys are socialized to believe they must ‘be the bigger person’ and ‘leaders,’ in their relationships with women,” NBC reported.

MORE: There were 19 campus hate crime hoaxes in 2023

IMAGES: The Shade Room/Instagram; College Fix edits

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