I wish this was a comedic post. Lord knows I do… But it ain’t. It’s about a kidnapping, an assault and a violent gang rape. Are you feeling warm and fuzzy yet? Good. You can thank @ABYalley on twitter for bringing this story to my attention and *gasp* requesting my opinion.
The story in question centers around a report that came out of a small Florida town by the name of Hollywood. Hollywood is a relatively small, racially diverse seaside city (72% of the inhabitants identify as “White”), with a total population of 140,768 as of the 2010 census. The median household income is $40,587, approximate $6000 less than the state’s median household income and $10,000 less than that of the US in total. The violent crime index is at a 6 (with 1 being the lowest and the national index at 4), where violent crime is defined by the FBI as being composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
On November 1, 2013, a 16 year old girl was the victim of 2 of these 4 offenses. Her attackers were Erica Avery – also 16 – and Patricia Montes, 15. They conspired with three other men ages 17, 18 and 19 to video record the beating the two girls meted out against the victim, and then to finally gang rape her. When she was finally released from their grip, she was left with shattered bones around her eye sockets (where they pounded her head into concrete), a swollen face, and internal injuries resulting from the rape. One of the girls had been her friend since kindergarten.
I have never been to Hollywood, FL, and intuition tells me that there will be no business that would compel me to ever visit the city. Intuition also tells me that with a crime index that high, and the average purchasing parity that low, there are a lot of bored people wandering around Hollywood. I believe this was the impetus behind this poor victim’s attack.
When queried by the police as to why these girls might attack her, the victim said she “honestly did not know”. The six people involved in this savage incident had convened to “drink beer and smoke weed” at one of their homes. In the video, you can hear one of the male perpetrators saying “these girls really don’t like her” and one of females responding “I told you somebody was getting f*cked up tonight”.
“Somebody” is getting f*cked up tonight.
What else is there to say? That’s all the motive a teenager barely in possession – let alone the development – that God gave her needs to injure someone with such boorishness, it defies reason. It shows a total lack of control, a total lack of reasoning, a complete lack of compassion (obviously) and no ability to look into the future. Or does it?
During their bail hearing, Erica Avery grinned and smirked on several occasions and had to be admonished by her lawyer to get herself under control. The child has none. The entire ordeal is a joke to her…and why wouldn’t it be? Florida has a notorious reputation for letting murderers walk free. In addition to that, Avery and Montes have one thing in their favor: they are both under the age of 18. They will most likely be tried as juveniles and be sent to a minimum security prison where they be released upon reaching their respective 18th birthdays and be free to rejoin society where they will sell their stories to LifeTime, get on Dr. Phil and kvetch about how “mommy and daddy never loved me” and possible end up working in the mayor’s office as a communications director one day.
The Three (Black) Stooges – Dwight Henry (17), Lanel Singleton (18), and Jayvon Woolfork (19) – will all face a very different reality. For them, there is no hope of redemption, and I’m not even sorry for it. I hate to say what I’m about to say, but it must be said:
C’mon Black men and boys! Look around you! Stop being IDIOTS! You know what you are to this society, how America views you. It’s in every rap verse about coming out of the ghetto, cops looking for you, bullets flying past you…why would you do something so stupid? Why would you intentionally PUT yourselves in the crosshairs in this way? What, did you think that when your victim got home she wouldn’t tell? Did you think her parents wouldn’t ask who brutalized her in this manner? Did you think she wouldn’t name you specifically? You three cretins – and the other vermin roaming around Any City, USA right now – make me violently ill…and I hope the law throws the book at you.
You see, Patricia Montes is already out on bail. That’s why her friend can sit beside her and chuckle. Who’s going to bail you out? 22% of the folks that live below the poverty line in your city, and I’d bet my left cashew that you are smack in the middle of it. No one is coming for you, boys. NO ONE. You are 17, 18 and 19 years old. You will all be tried as adults and you will be sentenced harshly. They built these prisons for YOU! The cops roam the streets looking for YOU! There is a judge that gets a hard on just thinking about sentencing YOU! Stop being idiots! Stop letting people who think they are “down with your clique” use you and your body. If Erica Avery and Patricia Montes wanted to rape that girl, they had every means to do it on their own. You are not an animal to be bred with and used for sexual deviance. I’m sure if anybody asked you if you thought you were “a man”, you’d thump your chest and proclaim it. Act like it.
Here’s the thing: I don’t care if you had a daddy growing up, or your mama was strung out on crack, or you were raised by your senile, diabetic one-legged grandmother – you know right from wrong. You know what it’s like to be hurt and therefore what impact you have when you hurt others. You three had a conscience that night, and you chose to ignore it. What’s worse, you chose to ignore the reality of what it means to be a Black male in America’s justice system. The scales are not balanced, and they are not in your favor. You will rot in prison, and it’s your own fault.