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April 27, 2012

The Sound of Silence is Deafening

Joe Charlebois

The silence from leadership is deafening. The noise rising from the community is frightening. So-called leaders in the black community have allowed a mob mentality to set in the minds of certain communities.


The blood of many innocent people on their hands is now on their hands. They have incited a lynch-mob mentality throughout the country that has led to the beatings and near murders of several innocent Americans.


Since the arrest of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case in Florida, the inflammatory rhetoric may have toned down, but the racial tensions that may have existed have been exponentially exacerbated not only by the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, but the inaction by the Department of Justice.


Attorney General Eric Holder, who has refused to prosecute an “open and shut” case against the New Black Panther Party regarding the 2008 election day intimidation, has yet to issue a word against them regarding the placement of a bounty on the head of George Zimmerman, who claims to have shot and killed Mr. Martin in self defense. Lawlessness cannot be ignored.


The lack of leadership from the Executive Branch, as well as the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton, have – in essence – emboldened members of the black community to seek retribution for Mr. Martin’s death.


An unnamed white teen in Oak Park, IL, was victim to two black teenagers, one a juvenile and the other named Alton Hayes III, who freely admitted to attacking their victim simply because he was white. He has been charged with attempted robbery, aggravated battery and a hate crime; the other attacker has been referred to juvenile court.


Earlier this month in Gainesville, FL, two separate incidents illustrate the vitriol that has been incited due to fire stoking of the last month. A 50-year old Carl Milton Babb set off a chain of events after he snatched the purse of a restaurant patron. He was chased down by the victim’s friend and another and was pinned to the ground after Mr. Babb had assaulted the friend by punching him in the face. After a crowd had gathered, several members of the mob started shouting “Trayvon” and attacking the man, who was attempting to retrieve the purse of his friend.


That same day in Gainesville, a 27-year-old man was attacked, according to police, by five to eight black men where the assailants invoked the name of “Trayvon” as a justification for their attack. No one has been charged in the assault.


In Mobile, AL, Matthew Owens was beaten so badly that he ended up in critical condition. Mr. Owens had an argument with some young men playing basketball in the middle of the street. The group left and a group of adults returned with “…brass buckles, paint cans and anything they could get their hands on,” according to Ashley Parker, the sister of Mr. Owens. Upon leaving the scene, one of the group of adults stated “Now that’s justice for Trayvon.”


In Toledo, OH, a man named Watts, 78 years-old, was attacked by a group of youths. He was hit from behind with a blow to the head, kicked in the chest, and had the foot of one assailant at his neck while the others cheered “This is for Trayvon!”


When will we hear for the voices of calm from leaders in law enforcement and the black community?


What is known is that justice will prevail in the Martin case. All the evidence will be presented at trial where a jury will be able to hear the testimony and sift through the facts as presented.


We don’t know if Mr. Zimmerman will or will not be convicted of 2nd Degree murder, but justice will play out.


Until then, we need strong leadership in the law enforcement community as well as in the black community, to speak out against the needless attacks on innocent people.


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