Don’t Forget the Girls

Thanks to the homey Pretty Brown Girl for allowing me to see the bigger picture and for inspiring this post.

I’m sure most of you have heard the name Charles Ramsey.  He’s done countless interviews for being a hero.  And I know you’ve heard of Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight, and Gina DeJesus.  Oh, you haven’t??? Well, those are the three women that Mr. Ramsey saved, and they have been held captive for 10 years.  These women endured such horrors that I could never imagine.  And all have lived to be reunited with their families.  I do feel for Amanda Berry.  Her mother died in 2006, believing her daughter was dead.

Yesterday morning, a co-worker came up to me and asked if I had seen the interview with Mr. Ramsey.  When I had no clue to what he was referring, he gave me a brief update of the story and strongly suggested I see the video with this man.  Not because he was so eloquent or poised or looked nice.  Or because he felt that I should know about the three women that were rescued.  But because Mr. Ramsey could be viewed as a non-desirable.  Most people having been talking about Mr. Ramsey, from his appearance to his speech to his being a hero.  And while most of us have been focused on him, who is focusing on the victims? Has anyone offered to give them counseling?  Or an education?  Or a home?  Or any resources that they will need after being held captive and being abused for so long?

In short, we need to do better.  Sure, Mr. Ramsey was in the right place at the right time and risked his life to save others.  But let’s not forget these women who completely lost their innocence.  Let’s not forget these women who have been traumatized and victimized and abused for 10+ years.  Let’s not forget that they will need help in order to function as loving, healthy adults.  Don’t forget the girls.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Witty Wednesday-Is Reading Fundamental?

Thanks to the homey @MsRasberry I came across this article.  If you don’t want to read it (or haven’t read it), it’s regarding University of Connecticut basketball player Kemba Walker, who read a book for the first time, cover to cover, just a few weeks ago at the age of 20.  Yes, you read correctly.  I don’t know if that includes children’s books, but regardless, this isn’t necessarily something of which to be proud.  Oh, did you get the title of the book?  It’s Forty-Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of a Black Athlete  by William C. Rhoden.  Ironic, isn’t it???

So let’s discuss-This young man, who is graduating college a year early to enter the 2011 NBA draft, has gone through 12+ years of school without reading a book.  Even after reading the book, Walker still wants to enter the draft.  Walker attends a higher institution of learning and was admitted into this college without having read a book.  I’m not sure about you guys, but I don’t know how many book reports I had to do growing up, but I read every book (well, except that one time when I got Cliff’s Notes…)  In any event, this is disturbing on so many levels!  What most are wondering is did Kemba choose not read or can he not read?  I would like to say maybe he didn’t choose to read since he was able to get through Rhoden’s book. 

Did Walker get pushed through school for his athletic prowess and not because he did well in his classes?  It’s so disheartening to see another young Black athlete get treated this way.  And it’s like this situation is a double-edged sword.  While he’s graduating a year early, he obviously can’t be a dummy because he’s getting his degree, right?  Or is this just another example of some young kid wanting to play professionally a little too quickly?  Who’s to stop this vicious cycle?  Or will it go on forever, as long as their are sports fans with the means and money to continue to see these young Black bucks playing for dollars?  Are we teaching our children that as long as you are a star on the baseball diamond, basketball court, or football field, you don’t need to read-just do well playing your game and you’ll get a free ride to play college ball then move on to play in the big leagues.  If this is what we’re teaching, we need to come up with a new lesson plan.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Reaction to Mitrice Richardson

On my post last week during “This Week in the News“, I lightly touched on the Mitrice Richardson situation.  I posted a link to the CNN story that confirmed the skull and bones found in Malibu did belong to the 25 year old graduate student.  In keeping strong with the 31 Day Blogging for Branding challenge, today’s post will be my response to the situation revolving around her disappearance.  I could talk about Alvin Greene getting arrested, Philip Markoff committing suicide, the disappearance of overdraft fees, or the arrest of alleged serial killer Elias Abuelazam, but I will discuss the facts and share my opinion of the untimely death of this former beauty queen.

Mitrice had been arrested on September 16 of last year after not paying an $89 dinner bill at a Malibu restaurant.  The manager had her arrested and police took her into custody and had her car towed.  I won’t get into too many details, but a little after midnight, the police decided to release her from custody, even after her mother, Latice Sutton, told authorities that if they released her daughter, she would come pick her up.  Ms. Sutton also let authorities know that her daughter suffered from mental issues and that she may not be in her right mind.  Ms. Sutton did not learn of her daughter’s release until 5:30 am, at which time she filed a missing person’s report.  It took almost a year to find this girl, even though just a few weeks ago a former classmate claimed he saw her in Las Vegas.  Micheal Richardson, Mitrice’s father, is claiming negligence on behalf of police personnel, saying he heard about his daughter’s death via the press conference.  (Coroner officials did call him and left a message, which is standard procedure.)  Mitrice’s body was found approximately 2.5 miles from her last known credible sighting. 

So many questions pop into my head.  First, if her body was less than 3 miles from the police station, why did it take 11 months to locate her body?  I’m no forensics expert, but it seems to me the area surrounding her last known whereabouts should have been searched thoroughly.  Second, why wasn’t her mother notified of her release immediately as she requested?  Yes, it is illegal to hold someone against their will if they are not being arrested, but her mother asked she be called if her daughter were released, and she would come pick Mitrice up.  Her car had been impounded and her phone was in her car, so how was she going to get home?   Third, why did the national public JUST hear about this last month?  Whenever “certain” people go missing, the national media is notified almost immediately.  Lastly, isn’t it a little tacky that the press conference went on as scheduled even though not everyone in her immediate family may not have known about her death?  If foul play was involved, I hope her murderer is found quickly.  The ending to this story was very bittersweet, and I hope that she gets the justice she deserves.  

Have any of you heard about Mitrice Richardson before this post?  If so, how did you get the information?  For those of you well versed in the law, what am I missing?  Should her mother have been notified, or did she have a right to go about as she pleased?  I personally feel like this story has a lot of holes.  And I hope someone can fill these holes quickly.  Do you know of any other stories of people who have gone missing but the national media has paid little attention?  If so, I ask that you use this platform to share.  It’s about time we start speaking up for those who are done wrong.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.