The Genarlow Wilson case is burning up the internet again…
This case gained notoriety when it hit the headlines back around 2007. The case and subsequent conviction of Genarlow Wilson was based on a flawed statue that made it a felony for a minor to engage in oral sex with another minor – while if those two individuals were to engage in actual intercourse it would only have been considered a felony. Upon conviction Mr. Wilson was sentenced to ten years in prison without probation and his case wound its way through the court system and his sentence was ultimately overturned on the basis of it being “cruel and inhumane” given the circumstances of the act itself and the laws that were on the books at that time. The laws themselves were as a result of this case amended. Mr. Wilson’s case gained media attention and quite a few persons of note lent their support to his case including Tom Joyner who personally backed Mr. Wilson’s entry into Morehouse College where He graduated this past Sunday with honors.
Ebony Vs WAOD
This story first reared its head via social media channels, namely Twitter and Facebook when there was a story published about Mr. Wilson that purported to demonstrate his overcoming the adversity surrounding his involvement in that case. The backlash as a result led to a campaign which targeted ebony sponsors and advertisers and led to the Genarlow Wilson story ultimately being pulled off the Ebony.com site.
Amid much gnashing of teeth and bickering on Twitter and Facebook The argument that Mr. Wilson’s crime was not properly addressed and that the “victim” in the case did not receive justice was a common theme and many were incensed at the idea that a convicted “rapist” was allowed to go scot-free.
Twitter Bursts Into Flames
Just when it seemed that story had died out or at least had been sent into retirement, the Morehouse graduation of Genarlow Wilson this past weekend managed to be the impetus for those who were engaged in the original slugfest, to bring it back to the forefront. Although this time around, it appears to be much uglier and volatile than before. The recent article can be found here including tweets from various people known to the blogosphere and Twitterverse. The vitriol that has come from this most recent piece is somewhat disturbing if not outright slanderous. Making inferences about someone being a child molester simply because they support Mr. Wilson is a little over the top if not way out-of-bounds.
I am not going to rehash the right vs. wrong of this case; it has been done to death already. There was a crime committed for which the offender served his time as the court dictated. So the question now becomes why is that not enough? IF the 17-year-old served his time and is now moving on with his life including seeking higher education and graduating with honors from a prestigious educational institution, why all the animosity. Should Genarlow Wilson have donned sackcloth and ashes and retreated to live the life of a hermit because of his actions back when he was 17?
The New Age/Self-Help meme has always been about not giving up and perseverance so when a young black male manages to transcend a negative incident in his life at what point do we acknowledge that?
There is no support for rape culture or those who wish to abuse or mistreat women and are incapable of understanding our value. There is however appreciation for someone who faced extremely negative circumstances and managed to turn his life towards a positive outcome. Especially when so many are not able to. Have we become so twisted as a society that this is actually the wrong thing? Is the new meme now that once you make a mistake you are eternally doomed to an existence of punitive daily acts of contrition or do you have to shed blood to satisfy the angry crowds?
With A Little Help From My Friends
Is the anger directed at the supportive structure surrounding a Morehouse or those who stepped forward to help Genarlow Wilson get into and attend Morehouse? Strange when complaints like that come from those who have themselves benefited at one time or another from being in the “cool kids club”. Of course there are thousands more in similar situations that did not get the opportunity that Genarlow Wilson did – it is not what you know all the time but who you know and this is real talk PERIOD. When wagons are circled to help or protect someone or support their attempt to do the right things, should it be met with hate and vitriol ? Then people whine about people not sticking together…..Think people i know it’s hard but the brain cells are up there for a reason to be used….
Kindly advice – before you jump on any side of this or any other issue you might want to apprise yourself of the facts before speaking out publicly. In this case the court transcripts are factual documents that outline the case and the outcome (Check them out).
Listen to Genarlow Wilson in his own words: