Let’s set the stage. In 2013, two armed black males stormed the home of a white family in Louisville, Kentucky and robbed them at gunpoint. Jordan and Tommy Gray were forced to hand over their cellphone and $1,000 in cash, as their then three-year-old daughter watched in horror.
Fast forward to this week, when Judge Olu Stevens was handling a sentencing hearing for Gregory Wallace, one of the two perpetrators. The family made a victim impact statement about the trauma that had been inflicted on their daughter and said that even now, she is terrified of black males.
However, instead of expressing sympathy for the little girl and her ongoing trauma –and chastising the criminal — the judge turned his scorn on the victims. Because clearly they were racists.
Judge Stevens suggested it was the fault of the victims that their daughter was afraid of black males, and he was “deeply offended” by the victim impact statement. And then gives the criminal offender probation instead of jail time.
Don’t believe me? Watch it here.Judge Stevens wondered if the robbers had been white, would the child then fear all white people?
Well, a former police officer told me this: “The older the victim, the more selective they are in their fear. They tend to be afraid of a more narrow group of folks and it’s just the opposite with kids — they generalize the way this child did. There might be other triggers for the victim if the perpetrator was white, like hair color or beard or clothing, and believe it or not, some victims can get triggered just by a smell that reminds them of assailant. But this child isn’t old enough to know what the heck is going on.”
Bottom line: Judge Stevens’ comments are just absurd. How can it be that the victims of violence become the perpetrators and the perpetrators become the victims?
And don’t forget it was the very Reverend Jesse Jackson who said about black crime: “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”