Tuesday, November 10, 2009

11 Black Women Dead and Counting: There Goes the Neighborhood

(Photo of first victim found, Tonia Carmichael)

When a man who passes out bar-be-que (let's hope it was cow's meat), served in the US Marine Corps and has a pacemaker is arrested for raping, stranging and burying at least 11 black women in your neighborhood, do the neighbors question themselves?

There are reports of the residents often smelling the foul, decomposition of bodies, but somehow no one put two-and-two together.

Could it be perhaps that the missing were low on the social totem pole? Black women with "checkered" pasts, some in-and-out of jail. Others who had fractured family relationships.

What do I mean. A news outlet in Cleveland opened up its story about the first victim Tonia Carmichael with the the following leading sentence, "Tonia Carmichael often left her family for days at a time, searching Cleveland's streets for happiness."

So who in the world would even look for someone who is described as "often hanging" out on street corners rather than saying something like "she was a local socialite who knew many of the neighborhood residents." The way people and things are framed invites readers to dismiss a serial murderer who probably has done a lot more murdering than three black women.

What even gets more frustrating is that a woman named Tanja Doss reported a kidnapping and assault by the suspect Anthony Sowell in 2005 when he forced her to strip and started chocking her after they had a beer in his home. She said that she reported the incident, but police officials simply did not call her back.

Unfortunately, this is not an anomaly. Many disturbances in black communities are not addressed by law enforcement, especially when it comes to domestic issues, and complaints of abuse by men against women.

When it gets down to it, I question the level of elasticity in black neighborhoods that at one time were close-knit communities where everyone knew each other's business. Up to the point of who beat their wives, who drank too much, and who had a maybe baby with the pastor.

As a product of growing up in a black neighborhood, I know the power of communal rearing. And I have seen the effects of residents allowing the one fucked up family on the block to reak total havoc. Okay, maybe two or three families on my block post-crack epidemic in urban cities.

Frankly, in many neighborhoods in America, we have employed turning the other cheek to our detriment. Look at Jaycee Dugard's case.

Nevertheless, we have people allowing a drunken, young black woman wander the streets of Malibu! That one still gets me. And now, we have black women who have gone missing for months, are found out to be buried in their neighbor's backyards.

5 ish talking intellectuals holla at a sista:

RiPPa said...

They did the same thing recently with the story of women missing in Rocky Mount North Carolina. The sad thing about that one is that it's been a "mystery" since 2005, but yet nobody is caught. Just like you pointed out. All of the missing had socially unacceptable issues.

This is sad.

Max Reddick said...

My wife were discussing this case recently. From everything I know about this case, it seems that the bodies were housed directly under his home. This is unfathomable to me. Can you imagine the stench? And because he was living directly overhead, the scent must have permeated the dwelling. The stench must have permeated his clothing, his being. In other words, he must have smelled literally like death.

And I read that the neighbors had reported the smell, but nothing had come of it.

It goes without saying that some bodies are considered deviant, those disregarded in our society, but for eleven to disappear and because the bodies are considered deviant, no one should do any considerable investigation infuriates me. This whole case stinks to high heaven.

Goddess Intellect said...

There is a case up here in Toronto where an 18 yr old white girl has been missing since Sept...she disappeared in a park..they found her backpack and they have not stopped coverage since the story broke.
But folks have to rely on twitter re-tweets and blog posts to get word of any black woman or child who have gone missing.
I had to report a very serious occurence to the police last month and they have been horrible about following up. Blacks are just not a priority.
But i think they get away with being so lax because everyone has just accepted the shit...i think it has become "too much work to become an activist"

Goddess Intellect said...

Oh yes, and thank you for adding me on to your blogroll Eco.Soul.Intellectual, I appreciate it and I will add you on to my blogroll as well :)
I'll be back to visit!!!

Reggie said...

It's because of people like this, that I'm a staunch supporter of the death penalty. People like this thirsty son of a bitch can't be rehabilitated.

Why would anyone want a predator like this wandering around scott free or even locked up?!? He should be put down like the dog that he is!!!