Protect our children by any means necessary

children

“Single mom & has a 3 year old daughter. She’s not a very good mom and she ignored her daughter constantly. 2nd day of meeting her daughter she ran up to give me a hug and buried her head right in my crotch, So im gonna get to work on that.”

According to local law enforcement, these are the texted words of Benjamin Worster, an Ormond Beach resident who was arrested and charged with lewd or lascivious molestation and possession of child pornography. Right in our backyards.

Prompt action this time

Our children are being molested every single day, and there is no action being taken. Luckily the Volusia County sheriff bounced on this case immediately. But if the victim was a Black girl, would there be the same amount of outrage?

In our community, we sweep molestation and rape under the rug like yesterday’s dust. Our girls and boys are being exposed earlier and earlier to indecent acts by those that they trust the most. Teachers, coaches, even priests and clergymen have been in public cases recently revolving sexual assault and sexual misconduct amongst minors.

But one situation is rarely aired out. What happens when the molester is family? Your favorite uncle? Your cool cousin who you look up to? Or even your stepfather?

According to law, the children are to be believed and justice is rightfully served. However in our reality, we know that’s not usually the case. How many of our cousins and little sisters did you see begin to act differently when “certain” family members came around? Or how many of our sons and nephews have joked about losing their virginity to an older woman? We’ve become so desensitized to these incidents that they’ve almost sadly become a part of the average Black household.

‘We need him’

We all know that famous scene in “Woman, Thou Art Loosed” when a young Kimberly Elise reveals to her mother that she’s been abused by her stepfather. She tells her to shut her mouth and don’t tell anyone else, or else there’re gonna be problems. “He’s a good man. And we need him. Ya hear?”

If that sounds familiar or hits close to home, it’s time to speak out! There’s nothing more damaging to the psyche and innocence of a child than to know that the ones that have been put in place to love, protect and provide for you are the ones causing such irreparable damage.

A word we like to use to describe young women who may be exposed to indecent situations is “fast.” That’s a dangerous fourletter word that has been used to attack child victims since the beginning of time. Here in Daytona Beach, like many other urban communities, these incidents occur right at home and justice sometimes is never served.

The worst part of this entire epidemic is the lengths that we will go to defend the alleged perpetrators. When news broke out about R&B legend RKelly’s illegal and immoral sexual assaults against children, the majority said, “Those girls wanted it. They knew what they were signing up for.” We bashed the victims, made light of the situation, and he broke sales records with his music from the publicity.

Ironically, here in Daytona Beach, bootleg copies of his original albums and DVDs have been flying off shelves at local music shops in support of the veteran singer. Some go so far as to argue that the fact that his victims are Black female teenagers, he most likely won’t be charged with a crime. Now with Michael Jackson, another Black childhood hero, being accused again of such acts, it is finally time to allow victims of sexual assault and childhood survivors to speak their truth ‒ no matter how many feelings, legacies or families get damaged along the way.

Kids should be first

It’s time for our children to become the priority they are meant to be! They deserve to be loved, catered to, and respected, as they will one day be our leaders. In our community, there are organizations such as One Bad Decision, Inc., which specializes in helping children who suffer.

Talk to your kids. Be very honest. The world is much different from when you were a child. Social media, YouTube and the Internet have made adult situations more accessible than ever.

Let’s start paying more attention to our children’s behavior. Let’s start speaking up on their behalves. And ultimately, let’s show the adults in our community that our children are our future and will be protected by any means necessary.

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Rell Black is an award-winning activist, blogger and the founder of Community Healing Project Inc. 

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