Megan William Smiles and glows as Malik Shabazz, left, founder of the Black Lawyers for Justice and hundreds of marchers do what other black leaders failed to do - Support HER. It's important to note that the rally was non-violent in keeping with the great tradition of Martin Luther King's Civil Rights marches.
Well. it looks like black leaders have left Megan Williams hanging. What happened to the NAACP, Urban League, National Association of Negro Women, Civil Rights RoundTable, SNCC, CORE, Congressional Black Caucus, and all those other national black groups that love to get on BET with Image Awards, or write reports on the condition of black America? How about those black preachers with the mega churches and mega money? Damn, oops Megan Williams does not deserve support right? she and her family are from the back woods of West Virginia, they don't count right? It's not high profile enough right? She is a petty thief she writes bad checks so she deserved to be raped right? She brought it all on herself right?
Here is what the media outlets are saying, through Associated Press:
Malik Shabazz, left, founder of the Black Lawyers for Justice, Megan Williams, center, and her mother, Carmen Williams, right, attend a rally at the Capitol prior to a march Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007 in Charleston, W.Va. Hundreds of people gathered urging prosecutors to add hate crime charges against six white people charged in the beating, torture and sexual assault of 20-year-old Megan (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner).West Virginia (CHARLESTON)
AP - Hundreds of people marched through the state capital on Saturday to urge prosecutors to add hate crime charges against six white people charged in the beating, torture and sexual assault of a 20-year-old black woman. Authorities say the accused, three men and three women, held Megan Williams captive for days at a rural trailer — sexually assaulting her, beating her and forcing her to eat human and animal feces.
Police stopped traffic in downtown Charleston along the 2-mile route, as demonstrators held signs calling for the suspects to be charged with hate crimes.
"Hate crimes are out of control in America," Malik Shabazz, a legal adviser to Williams and her family and a founder of Black Lawyers for Justice, told the group at a rally before the march. "Nooses are being hung and our women are being raped by white mobs. What happened to Megan Williams was a hate crime and we want this prosecuted as a hate crime."
Shabazz pointed to statements from suspect Frankie Brewster and her son, Bobby Brewster, that racial epithets were used every time Williams was stabbed.
Shabazz staged the rally despite a request by the city's black ministerial association and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not to gather because it could harm the prosecution's case.
Logan County Prosecutor Brian Abraham has not filed hate crime charges in the case saying the other charges already filed carried harsher penalties. A hate crime conviction carries up to 10 years in prison in West Virginia. All six face kidnapping and sexual assault charges. Kidnapping carries a possible life sentence.
Abraham, who urged Williams and her family not to talk about the case or attend the rally, has said it might be difficult to prove a hate crime charge because Williams had a "social relationship" with one of the suspects for at least several months before the alleged assaults.
Williams attended the rally wearing a T-shirt with the message "Protect the Black Woman." In a brief speech, she showed her appreciation to her supporters.
The Associated Press generally does not identify suspected victims of sexual assault, but Williams and her mother agreed to release her name.
Joe Marchal said he drove three hours from Berea, Ky., with his wife and infant son to show his support for Williams.
"If no one came out today, imagine how that would make Megan Williams feel," said Marchal. "We're here for her."
In addition to calling attention to hate crimes, organizers hoped the rally would help raise money for Williams' medical care and future educational expenses.
Zayid Muhammad, the national minister of culture for the New Black Panther Party, came to the rally from Newark, N.J.
"As a father of a daughter and a child of African ancestry, the idea that I can sit by idly, (in) the face of one of the most violent and obscene acts committed against a black woman in my life, was too appalling," Muhammad said. "I had to come."
The Rev. Al Sharpton had been expected to participate but did not appear.
Photos' by WSAZ reporter Amanda Barren.
Megan Williams and her mom sit at the front of the crowd at the WV capitol.
This rally of support for Megan Williams and family, organized by Malik Shabazz, a legal adviser to Williams and her family and a founder of Black Lawyers for Justice, did not reach the level of support of the Jena 6 rally. I have my own thoughts on the reason why. I wonder if you have any ideas on why it did not reach the level of support of the Jena 6 demonstration? Why did Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton not show? Why did the NAACP really refuse to support the demonstration? Is this the same old split between the old guard negro organization and the new guard black nationalist? Is history repeating itself in the black communities, as it is in the U.S. with Iraq like the Vietnam war?
It's too bad the NAACP has been more concerned about burying the N Word than it has been about a modern day attempt of lynching a young black girl.