I’m throwing down a gauntlet. And I’m throwing it right at the feet of NAACP CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous.
Protocol says that it’s Jealous who’s supposed to pick up that gauntlet. But if he doesn’t pick it up, I’ll pick it up.
And I just might pimp slap him with it.
I’m challenging Jealous to show as much concern for the soul of little Carter Scott as he did for the murderers on Maryland’s death row.
I’m challenging Jealous to show some kind of concern for little Carter’s surviving family members. I’m challenging Jealous to show some kind of outrage that little Carter Scott didn’t live to be older than 16 months.
And I’m challenging Jealous to make some kind of comment – vis-à-vis his support for Maryland’s abolishing the death penalty this year – about the criminal record of at least one of the suspects charged in little Carter’s murder.
The boy was riding with his father in a red Chevy the evening of May 25. It was around 7 p.m.
Rashaw Scott, Carter’s father, was parked near an apartment complex in a Baltimore neighborhood known as Cherry Hill. At least two men, possibly as many as three, fired no fewer than 16 shots into the car.
One of them hit little Carter. He died. His father was wounded but survived.
Baltimore police soon arrested two men and charged them with the boy’s murder. Their names are Cornell Harvey and Eddie Tarver. Harvey is 26; Tarver is 20.
Before I proceed, I have to point out that both Harvey and Tarver are entitled to a presumption of innocence. But if both are found guilty, then that makes the gauntlet I’m hurling at Jealous’ feet all the more appropriate.
I went to the web site http://www.courts.state.md and took the liberty of looking up the criminal records of both Harvey and Tarver. Both are what is called “known to the system.”
Harvey’s arrest record is the more extensive. He’s been arrested for drug possession, robbery, armed robbery, second-degree assault, possession of a firearm with a felony conviction, illegal carrying of a handgun.
In May of 2011, Harvey was charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, but found not guilty.
Harvey might have indeed been innocent of that May 2011 murder. Or he might be one of the many murderers who are indeed guilty but were cut loose by juries in the town known as “Bodymore, Murderland.”
Over the years, Baltimore juries have developed a notorious reputation for acquitting those charged with murder in cases where there was overwhelming, convincing evidence that the defendants were guilty.
But such things don’t outrage Jealous. The thought of a murderer being strapped to a table and getting a lethal injection disturbs him to no end.
But murderers getting acquitted to walk the streets and kill again? Sixteen-month-old boys getting shot while sitting in a car?
I’m not saying these things don’t outrage Jealous. But it’s curious that we heard from him in the matter of the Maryland Legislature abolishing the death penalty, but haven’t heard word one from him about the outrageous killing of little Carter Scott.
The incident happened almost right under Jealous’ nose. The national headquarters of the NAACP is located in northwest Baltimore. It’s about a 10-minute drive from my house.
The community of Cherry Hill is located in south Baltimore. I can get there from my house in about 20 minutes.
So the site where little Carter Scott was murdered is only, at best, about a 30-minute drive from where Jealous’ office is at the NAACP. He could have – and should have – been at the site where the boy was shot, holding a press conference to express some kind of outrage.
By comparison, Annapolis, Maryland’s capital city, is about 40 miles from Baltimore. But when the Legislature passed a bill to abolish capital punishment in Maryland, Jealous made it his business to be there to cheer on the occasion.
This is a guy that sounds like his priorities are with the black criminal, not with the law-abiding black citizen. This is a guy that sounds like he’d have more sympathy for black America’s Cornell Harveys than for black America’s Carter Scotts.
That’s why the gauntlet is being thrown at Jealous’ feet. And I’m daring him to pick it up.