Friday, October 31, 2008

Your Black World: Ashley Todd: A Counter-Argument to “Post-Racialism”

Ashley Todd: A Counter-Argument to “Post-Racialism”

By: Tolu Olorunda

Staff Writer -

Perhaps one of the greatest ironies of the 2008 Presidential race is the constant assertion of the notion of a “post-racial” period, while juxtaposed with an endless torrent of refuting occurrences. Last week, Ashley Todd, a Pittsburgh McCain worker, reported a compelling story of being “robbed at an ATM at the corner of Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street in the Bloomfield area around 9 p.m. Wednesday after leaving a Republican phone bank.” To avoid misleading the local police station, Todd was quick to comment that her purported attacker was a “dark-skinned African-American man about 6'4",” who “stole $60 from her and became enraged after seeing a bumper sticker supporting Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain on her car.”

The bizarre story took an unusual twist when Ashley Todd told Pittsburgh police that her “dark-skinned” bandit made sure to carve “a ‘B’ in her cheek,” when he noticed the McCain sticker on her car. From the onset, this mystery was suspicious at best. Nevertheless, John McCain and Sarah Palin swiftly conducted personal phone calls with the victim: Ashley Todd. Even Sen. Obama’s camp would not risk being charged with condoning this reported act of bestiality. In a released statement, the campaign stated: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the young woman for her to make a speedy recovery, and we hope that the person who perpetrated this crime is swiftly apprehended and brought to justice.” Damn. Tawana Brawley must be feeling pretty disgusted at this point.

With the president of College Republicans in Pittsburgh, Patrick Graham, comparing the incident to a “hate crime,” mainstream media exploded with outrage. FOX News, the conservative gangsters, milked the cow for what it was worth. Right-Wing radio shows questioned why the “left-wing” news networks didn’t devote more time of coverage to this gruesome tragedy. Before long, questions concerning the verity of Todd’s statement began creeping out of the woodworks. By the third day, the truth had resurrected itself. It turns out, not surprisingly to most Blacks however, that Ashley Todd had LIED about the whole ordeal. Todd was neither at the ATM – where the fantasy-driven mugging took place – nor was the backwardly-carved “B” a doing of anyone, other than her very hands. One wonders how skilled or devious the mind of a college student has to be, to have concocted such a well-detailed account of robbery and assault.

Ms. Todd borrowing a page from Susan Smith and Charles Stuart’s playbook is all but a shocker to African-Americans who see the value in embracing history. The myth of the “Black beast” is a resounding one in society these days. John Moody, FOX News’s V.P. went as far as suggesting that, “If Ms. Todd's allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator [Barack] Obama, not because they are racists ... but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee.”

Moody’s reminder that society still deems the actions of a singular Black man as representative of the whole culture, or better yet, all Black men, is impressively refreshing, in an age replete with cries of “post-racialism.” Worse than Moody’s assessment, is the lingering echo of Jim-Crowism which has found a useful servant in John McCain and Sarah Palin. Ashley Todd’s story was deemed credible from the start – as the widespread falsehood that Black Men have a preoccupation with White Women remains a firm belief in this very day and age. Sen. McCain promptly applied this theory in the “lipstick on a pig” charge against his Democratic opponent, a few weeks ago. Banking on the possibility of White Women blindly accepting the untruth that Barack Obama had “assaulted” Gov. Palin with the political cliché, John McCain was able to build a steady case against the “disrespectful” Obama. The disproportionately white media beltway has been just as culpable in proliferating the slime and slander of bigotry, as the McCain camp’s slime-filled talking-points. It has helped ensure that, most of the time, the only Black men featured on TV screens are jail-bound, dead or misogynists. Slain Hip-Hop Icon, Tupac, understood this reality tremendously. In a song titled, “Blasphemy,” Tupac noted how “the media be crucifying brothers severely.” The severity of mass-media’s assault on Black male integrity is what granted Ms. Todd ample confidence in misleading the country, and fearing no backlash.

Following news that Ashley Todd had fabricated the story and told a bold-face lie, the corporate-owned media hurried to provide some alibi in protection their integrity, and that of Ms. Todd. Insistently calling Todd’s law-bound statements a “hoax,” the mainstream press furthermore played the role of P.R. manager for Ashley, by propagating the myth that Ms. Todd has a history of “mental problems” – hence, unworthy of scrutiny, prosecution and incarceration. Radio host and activist, Mark Thompson, put it best: “Her mental problem is Racism.” In the wake of such criminal double standard, certain questions of concern must be raised to protect the sanctity of our democratic values: If Ms. Todd were a Black Woman, would the same media – with a history of torturing the integrity of Black Women – defend the lying, self-proclaimed victim – at will? Or, if Ms. Todd were a Black Woman, with a white attacker, would the same media outlets been as swiftly responsive in taking up her cause? History suggests otherwise; the present deepens the doubt; and the future is, at best, bleak.

Originally Appeared On Black Commentator

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