On a late fall day back in November of 1987, a 15-year-old young black girl named Tawana Brawley claimed that she was brutally raped by a group of "white men" but somehow she was not able to describe or identify her attackers. Acting on a tip from a witness, police found her body in a wooded area up in Wappinger Falls, N.Y. Her body & clothes had been ripped up and covered with feces and the words "KKK", "N*****" & "BITCH", had been written on her chest.
From all initial accounts this appeared to be a clear cut case of forcible rape by a group of white men as Tawana had testified -as many as two were believed to be NYPD officers. This had the making of the kind of case that then Pentecostal Preacherhad dreamed about in his efforts to prove that the judicial system has always discriminated against blacks.
In those days, Preacher Al Sharpton considered himself to be an influential and rising star amongst the Black Communities and Civil Rights movement of New York City. His bigger-than-life persona, characterized by his $2000 a year worth of hair makeovers at Brooklyn's Prima Donna Beauty Salon, made him as ostentatious a figure as anyone had seen in the Civil Rights arena.
As it turned out, Tawana Brawley had lied all along and made up the story in an effort to fit Al Sharpton's case. After several months of examining police & medical records and interviewing hundreds of witnesses, the Grand Jury determined that Tawana Brawley's injuries were self-inflicted and she had lied. In the aftermath that followed, two of Sharpton's close associates in the case quit claiming Preacher Al knew all along that the case was a hoax.
The accused Police Officer in the case sued Sharpton and Tawana Brawley for defamation and won each case handily.
Fast forward to where we stand today and the Trayvon Martin case and you can see a parallel in many areas of the two cases. We still have a flamboyant Reverand Al Sharpton stirring up and inciting conflict between the black community and law enforcement. You have an irresponsible media that is convicting someone before he has even gotten a chance to go before a grand jury and you have celebrities injecting themselves into the fray without knowing all the facts.
As I have said before, anytime you see Al Sharpton getting involved in these types of cases, you have to have a sense of skepticism about his intentions. Al Sharpton has used these types of cases to try and bring to the forefront his own personal agenda and keep alive the notion of racial inequality.
And while the media has brought to light one case of a young black man killed way too young, it has ignored the deaths of thousands of other young blacks being killed by other young black men. In the meantime, it is Al Sharpton that is feeding his hunger for celebrity.