Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Queer Qase in Reverse Reverse Racism

It was a blustery, cold, January afternoon in Baltimore's Fell's Point, when Shamekia Watts lost her baby.

"It was my husband's birthday, and he wanted that movie, Putney Swope. So, I went down with my daughter, Tamara, to pick up the DVD."

Ms. Watts, a Harvard Law graduate and partner at the law firm, Watts, Day, Fuchs, and Associates, had just picked up her three-year-old daughter, Tamara, from day care when the incident occurred.

"We were just about to enter the CD store, when three white men approached," Ms. Watts stated. "They were big, and there was something wild in their eyes. I tried to rush into the store, but Tamara bent down to tie her shoes. That's when it happened."

What happened is still confused in Ms. Watts' own mind, but apparently these "three white men" with "something wild in their eyes" proceeded to jostle the mother and her child, knock the mother down in the middle of the street, took her purse, and her daughter.

"It was absolutely horrific," the 35-year-old mother wailed. "They took my baby!"

But the horror was only compounded when the authorities arrived.

"They didn't believe me," Ms. Watts claimed. "They didn't believe three white men would abduct my daughter. They didn't believe I had a daughter. They didn't believe I only had one child. They didn't believe I went to Harvard or that I had my own law firm. No matter what I said or did, they wouldn't believe me."

The police held Ms. Watts overnight in jail and ultimately charged her with filing a false report. She served six months probation and was expelled from the Maryland BAR Association. She and her husband are yet to find their daughter.

"We've received absolutely no assistance," Ms. Watts continued. "No one would believe us. We provided lie detector tests, hospital records. One security camera had even caught the three men on tape with my daughter. Yet, everyone decided to treat it as a hoax. We didn't even get an AMBER Alert."

The AMBER Alert (a backronym standing for America's Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response") is a child abduction alert issued nationwide via commercial radio stations, satellite radio, television stations, and cable TV through the Emergency Alert System whenever there is a suspected child abduction. After much investigation, we at Tome discovered there actually was never one issued for four-year-old Tamara Watts.

"No parent should have to go through this," Ms. Watts moaned.

When asked about the failure to issue an AMBER Alert and asked about Tamara and Shamekia Watts, Baltimore Chief of Police, Harry Quim was incredulous.

"It was a hoax," Quim guffawed. "Shamekia Watts is a con artist. She got what she deserved. Like she went to Harvard!"

He continued, "I mean, come on, three white guys, stealing a black baby? Who's ever heard of such a thing?!"

The local media was equally unimpressed with Ms. Watts' story.

"What? Does Harvard have affirmative action?" WFUN producer, Liam Sacco-Shipp asked.

"She was graduated summa cum laude," I informed him.


Nanny Mace, the host of cable network WNN's Mace Up Her Sleeve, didn't believe Shamekia Watts' story either. Mace's nightly show focuses on murdered women and missing children. According to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), some 264,000 black children under the age of 18 go missing every year. The Violence Policy Center (VPC) reported that, in 2005 (the last year such data were collected), "574 black females were murdered by males in single victim/single offender homicides." None of these stories have been featured on Mace Up Her Sleeve.

"That was all a hoax, right?" Ms. Mace questioned. "She was the one who claimed carjackers took her kids and drowned them in a lake?"

"No. That was Susan Smith."

"Oh, right. She's the one who said she got kidnapped and ended up going to Disney World with her daughter."

"That was Bonnie Sweeten, and that just happened this week."

"Got me there," Ms. Mace smiled. "She was the one who got mugged, and they carved a backwards 'O' on her forehead for being an Obama supporter?"

"What the hell is a backwards 'O'?"

Ms. Mace shrugged and smiled impishly.

"No, that was Ashley Todd, a backwards 'B' because she was a McCain supporter, and a hoax."

"Right," Ms. Mace conceded. "She was the one who shot her pregnant wife in the stomach and blamed it on car jackers."

"What the hell kind of sense does that make?"

Ms. Mace shrugged once more.

"That was Charles Stuart," I finally huffed.

"Who knows?" Ms. Mace concluded. "Maybe her babby daddy took the kid."

"You mean, her husband?"

"Ooh, that reminds me. What has O.J. been up to lately?"

She reached for the phone to talk to her production assistant.

"It's a damned tragedy!" exhorted self-proclaimed civil rights leader, J.C. Sharktowne. "A white woman go claimin' a black man hurt her, and all the national media come runnin' to her side! Say, he hurt one of her children?! Hoax or not! There's an all-out manhunt! Brothers are rounded up and thrown in jail! AMBER Alerts go up in Sweden!!!

"But, you ask me! That AMBER Alert be lookin' mighty alabaster! What about our black babies?! Where Nanny Mace then?! Where CNN?! Where BET at?!

"No, forget the AMBER Alert! We black folks need a EBONY Alert! Something to protect our black babies!!!"

Shamekia Watts could not agree more.

1 comment:

Max Reddick said...

This is a mighty fascinating story. Is it all true? How was it finally resolved?