Today a great Go-go and Hip-hop concert was held on the National Mall. It was organized by the HipHop Caucus and drew attention to the racially-motivated hate crimes happening across the nation. Yes, racism is alive and well in America. It's sad that these heinous and violent hate crimes seem to be happening more frequently. Mentioned were 14-year-old Deonte Rawlings' murder at the hands of police here in D.C., the Jena 6 (Louisiana) injustice and the abominable torture and rape of Megan Williams in West Virginia.
Rev. Lennox Yearwood did a great job as emcee, and there were some excellent D.C. Go-go acts, including TCB. Marine mom Tina Richards was working hard, as she often does and it's good to see her as such a solid working partner with Rev. Yearwood.
The speakers were eloquent, and expressed truly justified outrage at how messed up things are when it comes to how black citizens are viewed by the prevailing power structure. I enjoyed listening to the New Black Panther Party speaker Malik Shabazz who is the attorney for Megan Williams, that was until he uttered one word. It is a hate word. He was saying that black men must defend black women's dignity and honor, and must always show them respect. Which I completely agree with, and thought was really very powerful and truthful. But then he said if they fail to do this, they are nothing but "punks and FAGOTS." It's too bad that he used a word that is essentially the same as the horrible horrible N word. He tried to clarify saying that his use of the word was "political" and not homophobic. But, excuse me, as a straight male saying that -- I think he can understand the implications and how hurtful it can be. Besides that his speech was excellent.
Also, it was disappointing to see so few white folks there. The progressive movement is divided. At this event it was 90% black, and at peace marches, it's about 90% white. How can we seriously address racism in America, if we as progressives continue to divide ourselves along color lines? We must reach out across all barriers!
Megan Williams' story should be known by every single American. It is absolutely horrific. Here is an account of what happened to this 20-year-old woman:
This is an this ugly and outrageous ordeal. Prosecutors said. “Every time they stabbed her, they called her "nigger." Carmen Williams, the mother, told The Charleston Gazette. “She wakes up in the middle of the night screaming, ‘Mommy.’ What’s really, really bad is, we don’t know everything, and they did to her. She is crying all the time.” No doubt, had she not been rescued they were going to kill her and throw her in a nearby lake.
Arrested are: Frankie Brewster, 49, and her son Bobby Brewster, 24., Karen Burton, 46; her daughter Alisha, 23; Danny Combs, 20, and George Messer, 27 –six whites from nearby Logan County, West Virginia. The suspects took turns beating, stabbing, choking and sexually abusing Williams, while consistently threatening her with death, according to criminal complaints. A rope was placed around Williams’ neck, her hair was ripped out and she was made to eat dog and rat feces, drink from a toilet and lick up blood, the complaint charges. At one point, she was sexually assaulted while scalding water and melting hot wax from a candle was poured on her body. At another point she was forced to lick the toes of the sadistic defendants. She was stabbed in the leg at least four times and both of her ankles were cut by a female suspect who allegedly taunted her, saying, “This one is for Kunta Kinte, and that’s what we do to niggers around here.”
“The Megan Williams case is beyond a doubt, one of the worst hate crimes in U.S. History. The Megan Williams case is even worse than the case of the Jena 6”…said Attorney Malik Shabazz Esq., Megan Williams Family Attorney and Spokesman for Black Lawyers For Justice, speaking at the October 3rd preliminary hearing in Logan County, West VA.