November 13, 2007, - 11:01 am
By Debbie Schlussel
**** UPDATE: Looks like I’m not the only one who feels this way. An AP columnist agrees. ****
The NAACP chapter in Winston, Georgia rally knows how to create role models. The group not only gave a hero’s welcome to a former sex offender, but on Saturday Night, honored him with a Youth Award. And gave him a standing ovation.
Who’s the guy? Genarlow Wilson. You’ve probably heard of him because he received a 10-year prison sentence for an allegedly consensual session of receiving oral sex from a 15-year-old girl and having it videotaped. Yes, the sentence was way out of proportion for the crime, but there are statutory rape laws on the books all over the country. It’s not a novel occurrence. And most teenagers know at least that law.
Whether or not he should have been released from prison because of the outrage by race merchants claiming this typical statutory rape case was racially-motivated is one thing (yes, the sentence was far too long for the offense, but the then-Georgia law was not based on race). But honoring this guy as some sort of Black role model for inner city kids, merely because he received an underaged Lewinsky and managed to ultimately beat the charges after two years in jail, is entirely another: patently absurd.
If they willingly, enthusiastically choose honor are guys who participated in statutory rape BJs as their new civil rights heroes, then no wonder the Black community is in trouble. If it expects to receive respect, it must respect itself and not hand out awards for such questionable feats. Aim low, and you will be treated as lowly. There are so many Black Americans doing great things that actually deserve awards. But they don’t get them.
Hey, it ain’t the first time something like this has happened. After all, the most prominent illicit Lewinsky recipient was known as “The First Black President.” And his wife, Hillary Rodham Cankles, will become the first Black Female President very soon.
Regardless, the bottom line on Genarlow Wilson: This guy is no hero. Not even close. Too bad the NAACP is too blind to see something so simple.
Tags: AP columnist, Debbie Schlussel, first Black President, Georgia, Hillary Rodham Cankles, President, Saturday Night, Winston