The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:22-23 NRSV

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Open Letter to Sharpton

Rev. Sharpton,

I have been following the story of the brutal rape that occurred at Dunbar Village. I am aware that organizers on behalf of the victim repeatedly made efforts to engage you in speaking out on her behalf and on behalf of the residents of that under-served, under-policed, under-resourced community. I know that those efforts fell on deaf ears. For you to appear with the perpetrators' families and the NAACP to decry the "injustice" of keeping them in jail until trial is the height and depth of betrayal to the cause of justice.

I too believe in fairness as it relates to the treatment of prisoners. But I am clear, as you should be, that there are some crimes so heinous and some defendants so lacking in conscience that the public interest is best served by their being held without bail until their trial. Every rape case is not the same. Whether the white teens accused in Boca Raton should be out on bail or not is, therefore, immaterial. Advocate for a speedy trial, but don't insult the victims, the women of that community ,and Black women generally by standing up for young people who in all likelihood have committed an unspeakable and brutal act and calling that a call for justice.

Let me say that for me the final insult was your half-hearted, cast off remark about not supporting the brutality of that crime or any crime against women. The issue of the violence, humiliation, perversion, and torture that the victims endured should not be treated as an after thought, incidental to the larger and more important point. Their injury is really the whole point here. Your callousness contributes to that injury.

Rev. Leslie D. Callahan, PhD


rjweems said...

Great letter, Leslie. Thanks for the template. I'm furiously trying to write my own.

K E Alexander said...

Well said. Missed you at SPS.

SheCodes said...

I plan to post your open letter on my blog, I hope that you don't mind.

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