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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Chicago Tribune Covers NAACP & AL Sharpton Joint Dunbar Village Press Conference and the Email Accountability Campaign-UPDATE: Larger NAACP Role???

UPDATE 3/30: According to Frank Cerabino who is with the Palm Beach Post and was at the rally, these fliers were handed out by the West Palm Beach NAACP President Maude Ford Lee. Oh the plot thickens.......
Maude Ford Lee, the president of the West Palm Beach NAACP chapter, spoke alongside Sharpton while the assembled media were handed a flier showing the photos of three of the accused Dunbar Village rapists with the words, "Voiceless, Vulnerable, Victims!!" next to them. Palm Beach Post
If this is true, the NAACP needs to explain their role in that press conference and those fliers!! Feel free to forward these fliers on to your friends who are NAACP members. Are the fliers their official position on the Dunbar Village case?

The Chicago Tribune did a story on the Dunbar Village rape and torture case and the press conference called by Al Sharpton and the West Palm Beach NAACP and the viral email campaign launched by African American bloggers to challenge their attempt to undermine the criminal prosecution of one of the most heinous hate crimes and crimes against humanity that I have ever heard in my life. Here is Sharpton's response to the reporter, Howard Witt, who wrote the article. NO WONDER AL decided to address this on his show Thursday. He knew this was coming:

For his part, Sharpton strongly denied in an interview with the Tribune last week that he was ignoring the plight of the Dunbar Village victims or insisting that their accused attackers should be freed on bond. He said his comments at the March 11 news conference had been misunderstood, and that he had visited Dunbar Village several times this year to show support for the residents and denounce the "hideous, deplorable" crime.

"My position is there ought to be one standard," Sharpton said. "The white kids in Boca Raton ought to be held just like the black kids in Dunbar Village. Why are they not doing the same with the white kids?" Chicago Tribune
Al Sharpton appears to be the only person who was at that Dunbar Village press conference who did not know why he was there. The Rape suspects families who HSarpton met with prior to the press conference and flanked him at the podium thought he was there to help get their boys get bail. The NAACP notified the press the day before that Rev. Sharpton was coming to town to say the rape suspects were being treated unfairly. Every news outlet that covered the press conference and eyewitnesses said he was there to speak about about the suspects being treated unfairl.you can read the very well written rebuttal to Sharpton's "explanation" that he wasn't there in support of the rape suspects. (Don't Believe the Lies: Sharpton's Backpedal) Or if you are a visual person, have a look at the fliers that were handed out at the rally some of which track the language that the West Palm Beach NAACP offered to "explain" their actions to their state conference.

Hat Tip to Symphony from The Dunbar Village blog for obtaining copies of the fliers.

The truth is, they NEVER should have held that press conference in the first place. There is no evidence that these boys are being treated unfairly because of their race, at least none that they offered at the press conference which would have been the responsible thing to do. If ten white teens had allegedly done this to a white woman, I would want the prosecutor to pursue the most serious charges available, if ever there was a crime that deserved a prosecution to the fullest extent of the law, the Dunbar Village rape and torture case deserves such treatment.

Al Sharpton has backpedaled on his support for their release. The NAACP is still silent and in my opinion since they appear to have been the ones to call the press conference and possibly prepare the fliers you see above, they are the ones who most need to clarify why they were there. Sometime this week I will talk about the presumption of innocence and why were are all entitled to it and the need for the public to be able to have confidence in the outcome of cases involving serious crimes and how the actions of Sharpton and the NAACP's actions that day were a threat to us all.