Sunday, October 26, 2008
Blame a Black Man: Ashley “the mugger/carver hoax” Todd
Charles Stuart (Boston), Susan Smith (South Carolina), Bob Allen (Florida), Brian Wells (Erie)…they all blamed a big Black man for their nasty, criminal deeds. Add to this list the bizarre case of Ashley Todd.
Taking the hate-mongering coming out of the McCain-Palin campaign to its race-bating, expected end, Todd (a McCain campaign volunteer) claimed last week that a big Black man (bBm) rolled up on her at an ATM in my beloved Pittsburgh to rob her: “a six foot four African American of medium build, dressed in dark clothes wearing shiny shoes." [Shiny shoes? WTF?] She said that the bBm was just about to run off with her coin when he noticed her John McCain bumper sticker on her hooptie. The bBm, Todd claimed, return to beat her up and carve a “B” on her cheek—as in “B” for Barack.
It was all a lie (the backward “B” was a clue). The ‘blame a big Black man’ fiction strikes again. Most are writing Todd off as mentally ill. But that didn’t keep her, like so many others, from exploiting the brutal buck stereotype. The danger is that it sets up innocent Black men for a modern-day public and/or prison system “lynching.”
Thanks to Todd, we came THIS close to seeing real violence. She riled up all sorts of hate…far right-wingers Andy McCarthy, Dan Riehl, Noel Sheppard, Josh Painter all stirred up the venom, as did FOX News.
Police Chief Maurita Bryant has placed Todd under arrest and is charging her, for now, with filing a false police report. Bryant said, "We don't feel she should be able to walk out onto the street….We wouldn't want any further harm to come to her."
And…I don’t want to see her out on the street perpetuating stereotypes and thereby bringing harm to those in my community.
(Image: Keith Srakocic/AP)