By Gregory Moore
Last week every major news network ran the story about Bonnie Sweeten and how she said that she was abducted by two black men in Center City (that’s Philly peeps).
As the story grew legs, so did her lies.
By the end of the week we all found out quickly that she had lied big time about being abducted and that she actually ‘kidnapped’ her nine-year-old daughter from her first husband. We also found out that she had withdrawn several thousands of dollars from a bank account that obviously the second hubby knew nothing about. By the end of the week we now know that the 38-year-old surbanite is at best a bad mother and wife but at worst an embezzler who may have stolen over $50k from an employer and that the reason why she was running away was because she had ‘problems’.
But that isn’t the gist of this blog or any other news column today. Today we are talking about why White men and women who do wrong think it is okay to blame it on a Black person; namely a Black man.
Has this country come a long ways from the day when Emmitt Till was beaten and killed for whistling at a White woman in the South?
But in 1923, the city of Rosewood, Florida was destroyed because a White woman falsely accused an unknown Black drifter of beating her and possibly raping her. The suburb of Greenwood, better known as the “Black Wall Street”, is a part Tulsa, Oklahoma but in 1921 one of the worst race riots in the country’s history took place. The Tulsa Race Riot began because of an alleged assault of a white woman, Sarah Page, by an African American man, Dick Rowland.
Throughout history Black men were often falsely accused of heinous crimes and unceremoniously hung (lynched) or shot to death behind the word of a White man or woman.
Even to this day there is still the warning that many Black parents give their young sons and hope that they heed the warnings given.
Why is that?
Because of people like Susan Smith, Ashley Todd and Sweeten.
Luckily today we are all a little wary of such claims but that doesn’t mean that the media doesn’t jump on them.
When Todd said she was attacked by a “black man”, at least three days were devoted to the story before the lap dogs realized they were had. When Smith made her claims back in the 1990s, a good two weeks was given before she finally confessed.
I’m not surprised that Casey Anthony didn’t claim “a Black man stole my baby” when Caylee was reported missing.
For some reason it seems that White women think that the mere mention of a black man accosting them can save them from being found out to be liars and for whatever it is worth, it sometimes works for a little bit.
Why is putting a heinous crime on an unsuspecting Black man okay in the society?
We all know it shouldn’t but these women are given the benefit of the doubt for at least 48 hours.
There are thousands of truly innocent Black men sitting in jail behind such allegations.
In watching Larry King Live earlier this week, there was a gentleman by the name of Patrick Waller who was falsely accused of armed robbery. Waller spent seven years on a life sentence before a DNA test ordered by the new District Attorney of Dallas County revealed that Waller was not the man who committed the crime. Since 2001, nineteen men have been freed from prison because of a new DNA test.
Maybe that is why women like Sweeten, Smith and Todd are not as believable.
Without DNA tests, there is no telling how many more innocent Black men would be sitting in jail just because “he looked like the guy who abducted me”.
But DNA tests don’t change the ugly history that is very much a part of a community.
Being falsely accused because of your skin color is something that White America rarely encounters.
That’s not true for Hispanics, Asians, Indians, Middle Easterners and Blacks.
The darker the skin, the easier it seems to pin a horrible crime on the person.
That may not sound like something you say in 2009 but the truth is the ugly truth; especially for African American or Black men in this country.
The problem is that the stigma that this assertion brings is still around because you have individuals who still believe it is culturally acceptable to falsely accuse such ethnic groups.
That’s not something made up or media concocted.
That is the real world in families across this country.
Even to this day.