On November 24, 1987, Tawana Brawley was fifteen years of age, with an excellent academic record and a school cheerleader in Wappingers Falls, NY. She vanished and local police departments were unwilling to sound the alarm. This caused great frustration and generated suspicions of those police departments.
Four days later, she was found semi-conscious, with dog feces smeared all over her body and, also, with racial epithets written all over it. Her hair had been chopped. Steven Pagones’ arson investigator went to the hospital and seized the rape kit. It has never been seen again and the arson investigator fled the jurisdiction. He was last seen “living large” in Arizona.
In January 1988, a Dutchess County grand jury summoned a white mailman to give testimony about the delivery of mail to the Brawley family at their last residence. Before he appeared before the grand jury, he told the district attorney’s office about an unusual circumstance on the day that Tawana was found.
He observed an old, unmarked police vehicle with four white men in it near the site where Tawana had been found. The mailman suspected that the four occupants were involved in the kidnapping and rape of Tawana Brawley. The car was owned by Harry Crist, Jr. who was “murdered” soon after Tawana was found. Crist was also a police officer. Steven Pagones and Scott Patterson, a state trooper, were two of its occupants. They were together at the time that Tawana was found. This was a Saturday morning.
This was enough evidence for the local district attorney’s office to abort the criminal investigation and, reluctantly, turn the investigation over to the state. There was a conflict-of-interest. Pagones, an assistant district attorney in Dutchess County, had to be considered a “suspect”.
Within days after the state received the investigative file from the county, New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams immediately and wrongfully exonerated Pagones before a grand jury investigation had been initiated. Later, he would turn the table and “blame the messenger for the message.”
While the incriminating evidence was unfolding against Pagones and Crist, the NAACP went on the attack against me. Dutchess County had given the NAACP thousands of dollars in December 1987 without explanation. The NAACP had obviously been “dialing for dollars”. This organization demanded that I be “disbarred” and put under the jail for accusing white men of rape.
Laura Blackburne and Hazel Dukes led the attack. This attack by the NAACP gave the impression that Black women in general were opposed to any attack on white men for the rape of a Black girl. No Black women’s group or sorority would come to Tawana’s aid. I was and still am considered a troublemaker. To Black women, according to the NAACP, history had lied about the white man.
By immunizing white men, Black women and the NAACP was establishing a dangerous precedent for any Black female who would date a white male. Any sexual contact between this couple, under all circumstances, would be considered “legitimate rape”. This legal concept was established before the Civil War. It had been applied to the white, marital relationship and any sexual contact between a white perpetrator and a Black victim.
Even though a Manhattan grand jury had indicted DSK for raping Nafissatou Diallo, the local district attorney wrongfully dismissed it on the ground that a Black woman, under the law, could not accuse a white man of rape. He disagreed with the grand jury and found her testimony to be incredible simply because she is a person of African ancestry. Under the slave codes, Black women were incompetent to testify against white men. Old habits are impossible to break.
Black women took a different tact, however, when a Black, female college student was engaged in drug-dealing and given a sentence of twenty-five years in a federal prison. This sentence was given to Kemba Smith, a college student at Hampton University. She has always admitted guilt. The only issue was the excessive and discriminatory sentence.
Black women were outraged over this excessive sentence and viewed it as being “cruel and unusual” under the Eighth Amendment. They demanded that President Bill Clinton grant executive clemency. He did in 2000. On a form for financial aid when she was a college student, the only crime on the form was drugs. You could get financial aid after perpetrating a murder or rape.
Smith was a perpetrator. Tawana was a rape victim. In the eyes of most Black women, it is better to be engaged in drug-dealing in the Black community than to truthfully accuse a white man of rape. Under the slave codes, it was illegal for a Black woman to accuse a white man of rape. Black women, in the main, still honor this rule. This is slave conditioning.
It is necessary that Black women stop practicing this “insanity” and form an organization to end “legitimate rape” and to give support to Black women who are the victims of rapes perpetrated by all males. Otherwise, all Black women are subject to double jeopardy. New York has ordered Tawana Brawley to pay her perpetrator for the rest of her life. This is wrong and also illegal.
Last night at the UAM weekly forum, Rev. Herbert Oliver had said that these payments were “unacceptable”. He noted that he had already formed a “legal defense fund” for Tawana. She was raped in 1987. In 2013, she has to pay her tormentor. The Democratic Party is behind it.
Blacks are endorsing their own oppression by supporting a political party whose political philosophy is “white supremacy”.
Jane Fonda, the actress, is kicking off “One Billion Rising” in West Hollywood on Valentine’s Day. The purpose of “One Billion Rising” is “to end violence against women and girls including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sex slavery.” So far, no Black woman has had the temerity to form a similar organization. A similar organization, led by and financed by Black women, would wreak havoc on the white man’s psyche.