April 12, 2004 |
EVER SINCE self-defacing teen Tawana Brawley smeared feces all over herself, scrawled "KKK" and "nigger" on her skin, climbed into a trash bag and blamed it on racist cops, America has been victimized by publicity-seekers so desperate for attention that they fake the hate by any means necessary. Brawley (now calling herself Maryam Muhammad) is grown up. But her psychologically stunted heirs continue to soak up public sympathy and squander police resources. Recent attention has focused on the pathetic case of Audrey Seiler, a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin who reportedly faked her own abduction and sent 150 cops on an intensive manhunt.
October 5, 1988 |
Show me, a philosopher once said, how a society treats its children, and I will tell you what kind of society it is. If that is so, then we must ask ourselves what kind of society permits thousands of teen-age American girls to remain at physical and sexual risk. These are among the vulnerable young females you see wandering the streets of big cities, alone and in pairs, late at night. They are easy prey for all the predators, especially drug dealers and pimps. The social workers who attempt to reunite these young runaway women with their families consistently say they discover one overwhelming obstacle: fear.
September 29, 1988 |
Tawana Brawley emerged from hiding yesterday and insisted, "I am not a liar and I am not crazy," but failed to provide any evidence to support her claims of abduction and sexual assault. In her first statement since the leak of grand jury material that labeled her story a fraud, Brawley said: "I simply just want justice, and then I want to be left alone. " She spoke at a packed news conference in Newark where her advisers had promised she would "tell her story" and "answer questions.
December 8, 1997 |
When I read that the Tawana Brawley mess is still with us, thanks to a $170 million defamation suit brought by one of the men her lawyers claimed raped her, I didn't want to believe it. Hours later, standing outside a locked store - my face pressed against the glass as three saleswomen ignored me - I didn't want to believe it, either. Both times, I believed it. Because that's the way things are. Merely annoying experiences, like mine at the store, can and do happen to everyone.
February 10, 1998 |
Flickering decade-old video images of the Rev. Al Sharpton accusing a local prosecutor of participating in the alleged rape and abduction of teenager Tawana Brawley came back to raise questions for the civil rights activist yesterday. The tapes, gleaned from talk shows, were played as Sharpton sat in the witness stand, defending himself in a lawsuit that accuses him of recklessly defaming prosecutor Steven Pagones during the Brawley controversy, which raged for more than a year and exposed deep racial divisions in the nation.
July 9, 1988 |
The Rev. Al Sharpton, adviser to Tawana Brawley, yesterday vowed mass demonstrations to disrupt the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. "We intend to disrupt Gov. Cuomo's attendance of the National Democratic Convention because of the lack of justice for her and the lack of equal protection under the law for blacks," he said. A spokesman for Cuomo's office said "the governor respects everyone's constitutional right to assemble peacefully, and to speak freely. "
June 10, 1988 |
The Tawana Brawley investigation is doomed to fail, barring a last-minute change of heart from the silent teen and her family, Attorney General Robert Abrams told the New York Daily News last night. "It has become abundantly clear that without Tawana Brawley and members of her family coming forward to provide information about what precisely happened during those four days, this investigation is not going to succeed," Abrams said. In his strongest statement yet on the case, the state's highest law enforcement officer declared: "We are not going to get information from the people who know the most here.
February 15, 1988 |
I've been following an unusual story that came to light approximately three months ago in New York state. The case involves Tawana Brawley, an attractive and articulate 16-year-old black girl, who is an active cheerleader and athlete. Tawana, who had been missing for four days, was found stuffed in a garbage bag, half naked and smeared with feces, with KKK scrawled on her breasts and nigger across her stomach. Details in the case were so murky I decided to watch the story as it developed.
November 6, 1988 |
The Rev. Al Sharpton brought his entourage to a West Philadelphia nightclub yesterday to rally support for Tawana Brawley and MOVE, contending both were victims of a racist legal system, and threatening "civil disobedience and plenty of agitation" unless city officials are jailed for their roles in the MOVE bombing. In a rambling, 40-minute news conference at the High Rollers Lounge, 59th and Market Streets, Sharpton and others blasted black leaders ranging from Coretta Scott King to Councilman Lucien Blackwell and attacked Philadelphia's black churches.
October 30, 1988 |
Tawana Brawley, the black teenager accused by a New York state grand jury of fabricating a story about being raped and smeared with excrement by a group of white men nearly a year ago, made a brief appearance yesterday at a rally in West Philadelphia. During a 16-second talk to about 80 people, Brawley, 16, who recently moved to Virginia Beach, Va., from Wappingers Falls, N.Y., thanked them for their support, gave her support for "the MOVE people" and urged all black people to "stick together.