Alabama Governor Bentley Blames 8-Year-Old African-American’s Disappearance & Death On Parents, Community Condemns Him, Bentley Offers Fake Apology For Racist Remarks [TW: Racism, Ethnocentrism, White Privilege]
UPDATE: A spokeswoman for Gov. Bentley has offered an explanation; see end of post.
Hiawayi Robinson, of Pritchard, Alabama, a small city on the north side of Mobile, was looking forward to turning nine years old next week. On Tuesday, Hiawayi had talked to her father on the phone about what she wanted for her birthday (a laptop computer) and told him that she was going downstairs to see if her cousin was home. She never came back.
Her parents reported her missing that evening. Her grandmother, Brenda Populus, was heartbroken.
“I’ll do anything to get my grandbaby back,” she said. “Her birthday was on the 24th, in one week.” Populus couldn’t believe that Hiawayi could disappear so suddenly. “She went right down the steps — she didn’t have to cross the street or anything, just a little courtyard.”
When reporters asked Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley to comment on the news that Hiawayi’s body had been found, these were the words of comfort and support he had for Hiawayi’s family:*
“There are things that happen we just don’t understand. There are difficulties in families. We don’t know, maybe drug related. Maybe alcohol related. Maybe family problems. We just don’t know what the situation is.”
Bentley added he needs to do everything he can to make families more sound.
What a peach. A child goes missing, her family is frantic and organizing a search for her, and the governor’s first thought when her body is found is to shake his head and pontificate on the sad, sad state of the Black Family In America Today. And let’s keep in mind that absolutely no one in law enforcement has said anything to suggest that Haiwayi’s family had anything to do with her abduction and killing. Needless to say, people in Alabama are Not Happy.
Gov. Bentley has not yet replied to press queries about his comments Thursday (see update below), but on Friday, he abruptly offered a $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect and has issued a written statement saying something rather different from his earlier comments about the sad family with its possible drug and alcohol problems:
“Dianne and I were heartbroken to learn of the tragic death of this innocent child. We have been praying and following the situation closely, and our prayers for comfort are with Hiawayi’s family.
“We won’t rest until this little girl’s killer is brought to justice. Alabama’s state law enforcement agencies have been actively assisting the Prichard Police Department in the investigation into the death of Hiawayi Robinson. I directed the Secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Spencer Collier, to go to Prichard and offer any resources needed. As soon as Hiawayi was reported missing, we sent 10 State Bureau of Investigation agents to Prichard, and our Trooper Aviation Unit also assisted in helping to find Hiawayi. Those agents will remain in Prichard until a suspect has been arrested. Furthermore, I’ve directed an increased presence of state troopers in Prichard until the person who committed this terrible act has been found.”
Huh. You might almost think that was written by a completely different person from the one who moralized about the sad, impossible-to-understand family dynamics that no doubt killed the little black girl.
And yes, we are bloody well playing the race card. Anyone who thinks Gov. Bentley or any politician would say the same thing if an 8-year-old white girl went missing and was found murdered is a fool. Don’t worry, we’re already taking bets on which Fox News anchor will insist that Bentley’s comments had nothing to do with race.
UPDATE: A spokeswoman for Gov. Bentley offered an explanation of the videotaped comments to Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly:
Jennifer Ardis, the governor’s spokeswoman, told Lagniappe that Bentley was first asked about domestic violence, one of his wife’s primary platforms, before he was asked for his reaction to the girl’s death.
“He was talking about domestic violence prior to the question,” Ardis said.
She indicated the governor was still on the topic of domestic violence when he was asked about Hiawayi and there was some confusion when switching topics, adding some of his statements were taken out of context.
WPMI, which originally posted and removed the now-removed video, has posted another clipof the full interview. it does show Bentley answering a question about domestic violence at about the three-minute mark, and he’s actually the person who first brings up the death of Hiawayi Robinson:
Reporter: You touched on domestic abuse in your speech. Hot topic right now, what are your inputs?
Bentley: Well, you know, families have some difficult problems, and it’s a tragedy, you know, I just heard about the little nine-year-old that was killed, and things like that just break your heart when you hear of things like this. But you know there is a lot of domestic violence that goes on in families and we’ve been seeing a lot of this in the news right now…”
Bentley then talks more about domestic violence and his wife’s involvement in programs aimed at helping with the problem, and fields a question about whether Federal judge Mark Fuller should resign after being accused of battering his wife (probably yes, but Bentley doesn’t have all the facts). After Dianne Bentley briefly talks about how serious a problem domestic violence is, the governor offers the domestic violence hotline, and a reporter returns to the death of Hiawayi Robinson:
Reporter: One more question, and you touched upon the 8-year-old in Pritchard: What message will you send to people grieving right now in the area?
Bentley: There are things that happen we just don’t understand. There are difficulties in families. We don’t know if it’s — you never know — maybe drug related. Maybe alcohol related. Maybe family problems. We just don’t know what the situation is. Only thing that we can say is we need to do everything we can to make families more sound…
We can’t say we really buy Ms. Ardis’s explanation — the governor brought up “the little nine-year-old that was killed” himself when asked a question about domestic violence, and then when asked specifically to speak to people who are grieving her death, he went with the line of bullshit about drugs and alcohol, not “pray for this grieving family in their hour of need” or any of the nice things he said in the statement today. We’re pretty sure that’s not a problem of confusion or context, except in Gov. Bentley’s mind. Nice try, governor’s office, but you look no better.
*WPMI, the TV station that posted the video of Bentley’s comments, has now removed it from the website without explanation. News director Bob Noonan has not yet responded to Wonkette’s request for comment as to why the video was removed.
Rihanna at Altuzarra Fashion Show at New York Fashion Week
everything. she is Everything.
I just want to point out she’s at a fashion show looking like she stopped by on her way to put it on someone. Like “Oh I was going to surprise my boo at work, but lemme see what’s good here”. Also, her moisturizer game is beyond on point.
Dear Women, This halloween please say no to these costumes please just say no they are fucking insulting and Dia de los Muertos is NOT HALLOWEEN I REPEAT NOT HALLOWEEN THIS IS NOT A COSTUME PLEASE STOP TREATING IT LIKE ONE Thank you
TO ALL THE PEOPLE GETTING FUCKED OFF AT MY POST. THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I MADE IT. FOR YOUR PINCHE GUERO PENDEJX ASSES. “WE DO IT OUT OF RESPECT,” MY ASS.
this is capitalism ripping through my memories i hold so sacred. Memories of walking through the streets of Chapala after school with my grandmother, and the smell of plants for the preparation of the big event. Memories of memories of memories
This is capitalism and white supremacy destroying, erasing and making new… something that has connected me with my elderes and ancestors,
This is whiteness telling me my body, our gente is unwanted, dehumanized and conditioned to death but at the same time extracting a part of my identity and wearing it as a mask.
This is a mask made of our dead and torn bodies… this is literally a mask made out of ripped bloody flesh. The flesh of migrants who die every year trying to cross.. the flesh of people who become criminalized and confined behind bars. The bloody flesh of torn bodies from years of exploitation in sweat shops, fruit and vegetable fields, dish washers.. domestic workers…
this is our flesh ripped out cleaned, pampered and styled to fit a white face.
Anthony Mackie: I did a bunch of the stuff leading up to the stunts. I tried to do one stunt and I ran into a parked car, face-first.
Interviewer: The directors were telling me— I asked if there were any close calls and that was the one situation they brought up!
AM: [Laughs] No, but they tricked me. First of all, no one— if I tell you to fly, you’re not going to know how to fly ‘cause as humans, we don’t fly. So they tell me they’re going to raise me up ten feet and let me go. I swing in, land on my feet, and walk and talk…. so they pulled me up ten feet and said ‘how do you feel?’ and I said ‘I feel good!’ But I keep going up! They pull me up forty feet off the ground and I’m like ‘THIS DOESN’T FEEL RIGHT!’ [Laughs] And they let me go. And I’m coming down at like….mach 2, right? And I look at Chris [Evans]’s face and he goes… “You’re going to die.”
Here are 13 figures that illustrate how bad health care access for women of color in our country really is.
136%. How much America’s maternal mortality rate has increased between 1990 and 2013.
Colorlinesreports that the United States jumped from a rate of 12 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births to 28 per 100,000 — all in the span of 23 years. That’s twice the rate of Saudi Arabia, and three times that of the United Kingdom. The primary reason cited is a lack of access to quality insurance and adequate medical resources.
3-4. The number of times higher the national maternal mortality rate is for black women than white women. This figure has held relatively steady for the past 40 years, according to the CRR report.
94. The number of black maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in Fulton County, Ga., which includes the city of Atlanta.
That’s more than three times the national average. The rate for white women in the same county is “essentially zero,” according to Colorlines, i.e., “too insignificant to report.”
77%. How much higher the maternal mortality rate is in states with higher populations of people living below the poverty line, when compared to states with smaller impoverished populations, according to Colorlines (citing a 2010 Amnesty International report).
Low-income populations in the U.S. are disproportionately made up of black, Latina and Native American women. The report claims these disparities are especially apparent in Southern states with high black and Latino populations, namely parts of Georgia, Mississippi and Texas.
1. The number of clinics in the state of Mississippi that provide abortions. Mississippi’s population is 37.4% black and nearly 25% poor — significantly higher than the national average for both categories.
19. The number of states (including almost all in the South) that have opted out of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Needless to say, this is disturbing: Expanding Medicaid would allow for unprecedented access to affordable contraception for low-income women, and women of color in particular.
This is important for one key reason: Contraception is not only a vital component of effective family planning, but according to some, a proven means of combating poverty.
72%. The percent decrease in women receiving health care services in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley over the past few years, Colorlines reports. The region has recently become “ground zero” for America’s ongoing debate around treatment of immigrants without documents for the U.S., originating primarily in Mexico and Central America.
70%. How much greater the likelihood thatan immigrant woman of reproductive age will lack health insurance, as compared to her U.S.-born peers. This figure has a clear racial bent: Most immigrants to the U.S. come from either Mexico or Asia.
5. The number of years immigrants must wait before they’re eligible for Medicaid under federal law. Texas, home to the nation’s second largest Latino population, makes them wait even longer, according to Colorlines.
1 in 3. How many Native American women will be sexually assaulted or raped in their lifetime, according to the Center for American Progress. That’s 3.5 times higher than any other racial group. An added problem hereis that federally funded health care facilities on reservations — where about 30% of Native Americans live — lack the capacity to treat and care for victims: CAP reports that women often must travel hundreds of miles just to receive a rape kit and STI screening.
35.1. The number of new black female AIDS cases per 100,000 women age 13 and over in 2009, according to a 2011 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report. Compare that to 7.9 casesfor Hispanic women and 1.5 for white women.
66%. The percentage of new female HIV cases nationwide which black women comprise. Forbesreports that HIV/AIDS is now the leading cause of death among black women age 25-34.
4.3. The cervical cancer death rate per 100,000 among black women nationwide — twice the rate for white women. The difference is so stark it has attracted the attention ofresearchers, who examined the disparity by focusing on the state of Maryland and published their findings in PLOS ONE health journal.
Among their troubling discoveries: Between 1999 and 2008, black women were far more likely to receive radiation or chemotherapy as their only form of treatment, regardless of their stage of cancer. White women, on the other hand, were significantly more likely to receive “multi-modality treatment,” incorporating surgery, chemo and radiation, andresulting in higher survival rates.
Researchers concluded the disparity is rooted in a few key factors. Oneis the lack of health care access for black women; the other is a deliberately discriminatory approach to treatment from medical practitioners.
The takeaway: The next time someone tells you we have a functioning and equitable health care system in America, show them these numbers. Any nation that claims medical equality but allows factors like race and gender, compounded by corresponding issues like poverty, politics and legal access, to prevent specific groups of people from healing is nothing short of hypocritical.
it’s sad to see so many people like this on this website
OP is praising the fact that women hold a fucking infant in their belly the size of a ribcage, get the fuck over yourself for 3.5 seconds.
*~*~follow for more fragile male ego~*~*
The male body is more susceptible to hereditary diseases because of their lack of a second X chromosome. Their testosterone production ages them faster and causes them to die sooner. Their center of gravity is higher because of their tiny little hips and overgrown shoulders, making them easier to topple. Their gonads are placed outside of the body, in a very vulnerable position, because they do not function properly if they get a little bit warmer than usual. They have non-functional nipples, but still enough breast tissue to get cancer.
The male body is not hardcore. The male body is to the female body what a shoddy, unstable mod is to a well-estabilished piece of software. Sit the fuck down. And try to not crush your fragile pathetic outside gonads when you do it.