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Wednesday, April 30, 2003  

It ain't easy being black

•Even if you're young and gifted

Jim Capazolla over at The Rittenhouse Review, who still hasn't added Mac-a-ro-nies to his blogroll, reports on a child who has been missing for more than a week.

A young girl from Savannah, Ga., is missing.

Her name is Ashleigh Moore.

She is 12 years old.

She is an honor student.

She is 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds.

She has black hair and brown eyes.

Jim learned about Ashleigh because one of her siblings wrote him an email about the case. Unlike other situations in which girls have disappeared, there was no national alert for this one. And there is a telling detail, so myopic she cannot see without her glasses, Ashleigh has disappeared without them. She did not leave her home in Savannah, Georgia, on her own.

Ashleigh was reported missing April 18 by her mother's live-in boyfriend, Bobby Buckner. The girl's glasses were left in her room, though she cannot see without them.…

Buckner, 26, has not been charged in connection to the disappearance. But he is on probation for the 1995 molestation and statutory rape of a 12-year-old friend of his sister's. Buckner was sentenced in 1996 to one year in jail and 14 years probation….

So, we have a teenaged girl who has disappeared and is linked to a convicted pedophile. Sound familiar?

Jim has one more thing to add.

Oh, did I forget to mention that Ashleigh Moore is a black, African-American girl?

I hate to sound cynical, but I wonder if Ashleigh, despite her very Anglo-Saxon-sounding name, is just a little too dark to earn herself an Amber Alert, let alone spark a new wave of national hysteria.

•No place to be somebody

Jo Brooks, the angry dreamer at A Thousand Yard Glare, has read Amnesty International's latest report on race discrimination and the death penalty.

It found that of 845 people executed since the U.S. resumed capital punishment in 1977, 80% were put to death for killing whites, while only 13% were executed for killing blacks.

The findings point to but one chilling conclusion: The criminal justice system places a higher value on the lives of whites than on the lives of blacks and other minorities.

The dreamer wonders why this point has to be made over and over again.

And the question i have to ask is who didn't already know this? if it can't be applied fairly, it shouldn't be applied at all. and until such problems as racial and economic discrimination are "resolved", fairness in the legal system will not exist.

True that!

Furthermore, think about the young African-American in a poor neighborhood in Atlanta, Detroit or Minneapolis. He or she is much more likely to be a victim of both property and violent crimes. He or she is also more likely to be falsely accused of a property or violent crime because of racial profiling, and of being convicted because of poverty. The system has people in this situation stuck between a rock and a hard place . . . with no way out.

•The strong men keep on coming

Rashunda, who phones in from Zurich, Switzerland, alerts us rappers we like are about to return to the scene.

They're right here: Hip-hop pioneers Public Enemy are still fighting the powers that be. The group, known for anthems including 'Don't Believe the Hype' and 'Fight The Power' will take on President Bush with their new CD/DVD "Son of a Bush" scheduled for a May 6 release.

Here's hoping the age 12 to 24 demographic will give them a listen.

Rashunda has several other fine entries up, including a plea to Ralph Nader and an hilarious story about a visit to a touchy-feely physician. Give her a read.

3:43 PM