Note: I had written this response on yesterday and the 1st person I shared it with told me they would not give the Rev. any publicity. However since I read my response to this person I have received several messages asking me when was I going to respond because they wanted to hear my opinion. When I ran into one of my elderly faithful supporters this evening in a restaurant she was talking to me about this situation. I said I had written a response but had not posted it. Well oops here it is!
Will there ever be Justice for Star? (Opinion in The Weekly Defender)
by Nehemiah Smith, Jr.
It has been more than a week and the monsters that committed and were complicit in the sexual assault that shattered the innocence of a two-year-old Pinetops toddler now sit in the Edgecombe County Detention Center awaiting trial. Many believe that justice has been served because the perpetrators have been apprehended. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
(I have not spoke to one person who has stated that justice has been served just because the 2 people have been arrested. Anyone in their right mind ought to know that justice can not be served until the 2 people goes to trial and the verdict is rendered.
So I agree, “Nothing could be farther from the truth!”)
There is a more ominous issue that, in my opinion, may hinder this family’s quest for justice. The investigation aside, as well as all of the unfounded innuendo and misinformation, there are still those in our community who are bent on somehow laying the blame for this child’s attack at the mother’s door.
(How in the hell can you question the investigation when you have not been privy to those who have done the investigation? I would think that would be out of the norm for the investigators to share information with you to a large degree. So if they have shared anything with you it would be very small.
Unfounded and innuendo and misinformation? How in the hell can you determine that?
Hell yeah the mother plays a role in what has happened to this child be it voluntarily or involuntarily. Unless the mother can prove that she did not know the character of the female who was arrested then many will continue to question why these children were in the care of this 20 year old white female.
But inspite of all of that a parent is responsible for the welfare of their children. Sir as far as I know you don’t have any children so maybe you have a different outlook of a parent’s role than those of us who does. Maybe you are looking at it from a village standpoint and not from a parent’s role first and foremost. I am the father of 2 females and 1 male and I take full responsibility for the welfare of my children.)
When I first heard about this terrible incident, I had the opportunity to interview the child’s mother; and aside from the genuine pain, anger, and frustration in her voice, there was, just under the surface of her visible anguish, an inconsolable sense of guilt.
(So you interviewed the mother one time and you can determine that her pain is genuine. I hope so however considering the circumstances that is questionable and many are waiting to find out the whole truth. Well to me your observation is premature.)
And with that comes inevitable questions and second guesses.
“Why did I let this girl keep my child? Were there any warning signs that she was this type of person? Am I a bad mother?”
Those questions, though understandable, are really unfair.
(I be damn if the questions above is unfair in my opinion. One reason is because I have received many messages and have spoken to many who thinks the very questions are a concern of theirs. If I was approached by the mother to help her with this situation these are some questions along with many others that I would have for her. You see I would need to know much about the mother and the relationship with the 2 people arrested. I would do a thorough investigation on all involved, I repeat all and that would begin with the mother.)
There is an adage that says, “It takes a village to raise a child;” but, it takes that same village to protect a child.
(Damn I am confused you say, “It takes a village to raise a child;” but, it takes that same village to protect a child.” In my opinion this is one in the same. However I can’t help raise someone else child without the parent/s allowing me to. When I spend time with other folks children they tell me to treat them just like they are my own. I tell these children that they can hang out with my son and I if they keep their grades up and if they respect their parent/s in most cases it is the mothers who are raising these children.)
And when there arises a situation like this, it takes a village to support the family of the child and seek justice.
(You say it takes a village to support the family of the child and seek justice. This can only happen when I know the whole truth and when the legal system has been exhausted. Until that time there is nothing I can do.)
So, what would be justice in this case? Justice would be taking the necessary steps to insure that the magistrate who wrote the original $1500 bond never writes another bond in Edgecombe County (or any other county).
(Really? Can you share with me how you come to that conclusion? Did the magistrate break some law that I am unaware of? However I totally agree the bond may could have been set higher but then again I don’t know the guidelines for issuing bonds. I don’t know if the magistrate showed bias or not. But for me that is not my biggest concern.
Everybody that I have spoken to have an issue with the bond however as I stated in a previous response, I believe the bond would either be set higher and/or reduced depending upon the ongoing investigation. I don’t think anyone is concerned about the current bond after the investigation moved to the next level and the 2 were arrested.)
Justice would be that Chelsea Speight be charged with the same offenses as the sick individual who assaulted Star.
(How can you say Speight should be charged with the same offense? Obviously the investigation up until the point of the 2nd arrest do not show that she should be charged with the same offense because their bonds were different.)
Justice would be that these two individuals never breathe “free” air again.
More important to the movement for Justice for Star is that the community put aside its petty differences and divisiveness and come together in the spirit of unity.
(How can the community put aside its petty differences and divisiveness and come together in the spirit of unity when we don’t know the whole truth with this incident? When we learn the whole truth then we can make an informed opinion so until then we will not take your word as the gospel. Everyone I have spoken to, received emails, messages and etc. have stated they are for justice so that is not an issue. However they want to know the whole truth.)
In doing so, we send the clear message that we will not tolerate the abuse and exploitation of our children and that we will not accept the continued disrespect by the justice system when it comes to meting out justice for all.
(I am a little confused because everyone that I know do not tolerate the abuse and exploitation of our children and do not accept being disrespected by the justice system. So how did you come to that conclusion especially when the justice system has not ruled on this case?)
As a people, we are a mere shell of what we used to be. We seem to be afraid or unwilling to die for things that are worthwhile; but we kill each other over frivolous tomfoolery.
(So what about this case that brings you to the conclusion that we are afraid or unwilling to die for things that are worthwhile?)
Our forefathers fought, bled and died that we might be in a better place and position at this juncture in human history. And yet, it seems as though we are regressing and not progressing. Perhaps this is because there is more of a concern for the individual than for the whole.
(What? Damn I am confused?)
And as long as this is our reality, there will never be justice for Star or any of the other millions of bright Stars in our universe.
(As long as we have ignant damn college educated folks who think folks like myself who only has a high school diploma and/or less is more ignant than you are then there will be no justice.
This article is nothing but frivolous tomfoolery (in your words) and ignance at its best. Who are you to tell us how we should view this particular case when we do not have all of the details. I don’t know the mother nor the 2 people arrested so it would be ignant on my behalf to respond to the lack of justice when the trial has not begun and no verdict has been handed down.
What is sad is you are playing upon folks like myself intelligence by writing what some would think is a pretty good article but has little substance when it comes to justice for . . . .)
“It is better to be divided by Truth, than to be divided by Lies.” Author Unknown
Ignant Column: Pinetops NC – Open Letter To Rev. Nehemiah Smith Jr. Editor The Weekly Defender Rocky Mount NC In Response To Your Speech At The Car Wash Concerning The Child Abuse Case
Pinetops NC: Family, friends rally for sexually assaulted girl – Daily Southerner
Supporters look for answers in attack on Tarboro child – WRAL TV
Someone Called Me Last Night After 11:00 PM And Asked Me Did I See The News? White Girl Bond $1500 Black Parent Bond $200,000
NAACP Hosting A March In Pinetops Is A Lie!