Those of you who pay attention to the Black blogosphere are probably familiar with the heinous and violent crime perpetrated last summer on a Black woman and her son in Dunbar Village, a low-income, high-crime neighborhood West Palm Beach, FL. (If you're not, click here.) Especially if you read one of my favorite sites What About Our Daughters, you also know that repeated invitations went out to Rev. Al Sharpton and the local NAACP to get involved in righting the wrongs continuously perpetrated on the people of color who live in Dunbar Village without proper lighting or policing and are therefore left prey to the violent, pernicious whims of predators, resident and non-resident, adult and juvenile.
Now that you're up to date, let me tell you the latest. While stumping in FL to prevent the seating of that state's Democratic delegates, whose presence in Denver could potentially determine the Democratic nominee, Rev. Al took a moment to speak out about Dunbar Village. No, he did not finally come to his senses and offer support to the victim and her son. Rather, he joined the local NAACP in protesting the denial of bail to the four "boys" accused of the vicious rape.
What in the world is wrong with our so-called Black leaders? Why are they always falling over themselves to take up the cause of accused criminals? I too am a believer in the presumption of innocence for purposes of mandating a fair trial. The accused have a right to trial and to adequate representation during said trial. But my limited knowledge of the law (from watching Law and Order)and my common sense teach me that certain crimes are so heinous that the public interest is best served by the accused remaining in jail until trial. Leave these four probable perps in lockup and give them a speedy trial so that if they are not the actual perps we find that out quickly. But if they are the actual perps, then I don't want them to ever see the light of day on the outside again. They are without a conscience.
People, it serves no JUST cause to have all of the advocacy on the side of the ACCUSED and no advocacy for the VICTIMS. If Dunbar Village wasn't Rev. Al's thing in the fall when the whole community was placed in danger because those conscienceless criminals were on the loose, then Dunbar Village should not be Rev. Al's thing now. The fact that accused white rapist are out on bail in Boca is immaterial. When will our community learn that it is dangerous to advocate for wrongdoers uncritically? While it was surely a miscarriage of justice to charge the the Jena 6 with attempted murder, it was also wrong not to hold them accountable for the assault on the white kid, no matter how much that assault was provoked by insurgent racism in the Jena community. Now that one of the kids has been subsequently charged with another assault, the whole marching community has egg on its face.
Now that this post has a "...and the kitchen sink" quality to it, let me get to the real point. Obviously, as Renita Weems and others are pointing out, the time has come for us as Black women to defend our own selves and our own interests. That's what this post is all about. I am standing up in this post to join all the other sisters who are tired of having our lives, interests, and even bodies thrown under the proverbial bus of Black protest and progress. I love Black men because they are a part of our larger community. But the time has come for sisters to love only the brothers who love us back. Those brothers we should love hard and well. The others, like Rev. Al, can go back to the hell from which their sexist, demeaning, woman-hating ideologies and actions came.