This prompted an already growing in strength movement among Black Women that is still letting Sharpton, his National "Inaction" Network and other so called Black organizations that do nothing but do lip service and nothing for the plight of Black women in this country.
Sister Shecodes, Ms. Symphony, Ms. Gina and many others are showing in no uncertain terms that Black women are not taking this anymore.
Sister Shecodes over at Black Women Vote! has an excellent post about the sting that Sharpton and the others are feeling from Black women on this. In fact I just learned that she appeared on Sharpton's radio show and rightfully admonished him about his stupid statements. Apparently she chewed him out so bad that he backpedelled from his comments and admitted he was slow in commenting on the Dunbar atrocity. This was in response to the open letter that she wrote condemning Sharpton and the NAACP for what was essentially a slap in the face to the victim and her son.
As I was writing this I read Sister Shecodes account of her appearance on Al Sharpton's radio show and learned that he apologized for the comments, pledged to honor his promise to the residents of Dunbar Village and urged all bloggers and organizations to hold each other accountable. So in that spirit I am going to discontinue this particular post series and wait and see if the good Rev. will deliver on his words.
Here is an open letter by Sister Shecodes on the whole matter:
Subject: The Dunbar Village Atrocity
In the past week, a rapidly-moving viral email campaign was launched, and thousands of concerned black citizens spread the word about a shocking crime against a Black woman and her 12 year old son, in which crimes against nature were committed. (read more details of the crime here)
This email, entitled “Stop Al Sharpton and the NAACP from endangering Black Women,” described a stunning betrayal in which the NAACP and Al Sharpton held a press conference and demanded bail consideration for three suspects in custody for the crime. (source1) (source2)
Concerned Black citizens all around the country were outraged by the actions of the NAACP and Al Sharpton, and many vowed to withdraw volunteering and financial support from these agencies “until they make the safety of Black women and children a priority.”
On March 24, 2008 an NAACP memo that attempted to defend this betrayal was sent to Beverly Neal, who is the Director of the NAACP’s Florida State Conference. The memo claims that the NAACP was brought into this fray by Rev. Al Sharpton. Moreover, the memo was written by Maude Ford Lee, who is President of the West Palm Beach Branch of the NAACP. (read the memo here)
On March 27,2008, activist Al Sharpton went on the air to clarify his position on the treatment of the Dunbar Village Suspects. He invited writer Tonyaa Weathersbee and blogger Arlene Fenton to his show, to discuss the matter. Rev. Sharpton claimed that he never said that the Dunbar Village suspects were being treated unfairly, and that he did not want bail for the suspects in question.
Ms Weathersbee and Ms Fenton said that their research indicated otherwise, as indicated by video footage, eyewitness accounts, and the reporting from the Florida Sun Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post.
At the end of the radio show, Al Sharpton strongly condemned any activity that would promote bail consideration for the suspects in question. Rev. Sharpton admitted that “if the suspects were white, he would have been there sooner.” He stated that this is a problem with many black civil rights organizations. He apologized and vowed to uphold his prior promise to advocate for the residents of Dunbar Village. He also challenged all activists, bloggers, and writers to be accountable to each other.
To date, the NAACP has not made an official statement denouncing the Dunbar Village Atrocity, nor have they officially expressed regret to the victim. The NAACP also has not officially retracted their statement requesting bail consideration for the alleged rapists/torturers. To our understanding, neither agency has contributed to the Victim’s Assistance Fund or created a reward program geared toward the apprehension of the remaining rapists/torturers.
WE ARE SATISFIED with Al Sharpton’s qualifying statements that he made on his radio show on 3/27/2008. We will watch to see if he fulfills his promise to advocate for the residents of Dunbar Village, and we are willing to assist any effort that promotes safer black neighborhoods in West Palm Beach, FL.
WE ARE NOT CONTENT with the reckless, irresponsible actions of the NAACP (West Palm Beach chapter). We continue to urge all black people, women especially, to refrain from volunteering or giving financially to this organization until they take our safety seriously.
WHAT WE WANT
We want law enforcement to make a concerted, sustained effort to apprehend the remaining suspects. We want to see a genuine reward system in place to encourage members of the community to come forward with the knowledge of the whereabouts of the remaining suspects.
We want the NAACP (West Palm Beach chapter) to reverse their position that the alleged rapists/torturers of this case should be considered for bail.
We want both the NAACP and the National Action Network to cease downgrading the gang rape/torture/atrocity of the Dunbar Village by comparing it to an unrelated gang rape, in which guns, maiming, and forced incest were not involved.
We want to see genuine victim advocacy in the form of financial support for the relocation, medical expenses, and mental therapy for the true victims in this case.
My props to Sister Shecodes and all of the other Sisters who put the heat on Sharpton and got him backpeddling. However, as she said we are not stopping with this until all the aforementioned demands are met. That will be the beginning of ensuring that our Black Women and Children will be protected and cherished as they always should be.