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Sunday
Aug232009

Ruby Walker: 'I guess people don't, they don't care, they don't have no heart.'

“You can take a picture,” said Ruby Walker. “Anything to help my son.”

Tabitha had begun the interview (see previous post), as Ruby Walker listened, in the courthouse's now-quiet 11th-floor hallway.

When Walker finally spoke she was direct:

“When I was coming up as a child, I got raped twice. I got raped when I was seven years old. I got raped when I was 12. They ain’t do nothing about it. They didn’t believe me I guess cuz a different color or whatever.”

She described another near-rape in 2007: being snatched by a Haitian cab driver while walking “to the Salvation Army to try to get some food for us to eat.”

She managed to escape, but "He was going to kill me," she said.

"I called the police, the sheriff came out. And don’t you know they didn’t believe nothing I said. White or black they didn’t believe nothing I said, said I made it up.

"That weekend they found him, and they questioned him, and they let him go. He stayed in for like a day. And they let him go. And he was staying right by me. They didn’t do nothing. My son, and them they wanted to hurt him.

"So, if that’s the case they say my son raped somebody, how is that when, I got raped when I was little I told him about it and he was going crazy. They said I couldn’t have no kids I thank God I had 13 kids...

"They’re trying to give these kids, 50 to life, for something they probably ain’t gonna live to do.

"They should put them in a community education where they can learn that. You know like a program or something. Locking these kids up ain’t gonna solve nothing. You know.

"And they can’t say they didn’t do because one co-defendant wants to go in and say, oh he’s scared now so he’s gonna say, ‘Oh, he did it, he did it, he did it.’ Now he wanna testify on them, you know what I’m saying?

"I don’t think that’s right. Like, like, like my friend was saying, “the state, and everybody is scaring them. You know what I’m saying? So I feel like, it’s wrong because, how you gonna take a child’s life from them, something they ain’t even lived long for. And my son just had a little girl. His little girl is one year old. And he’s never seen her just seen her picture.

"You know what I’m saying so it’s hard because (I) went in the crazy house. So I don’t know how I’m gonna pull through after all this is over. I just pray to God everything work out good. If not I I feel like I’m gonna be back in the crazy house that’s just how my mind is, you know?

"And I ain’t been around my son in two years. I ain’t seen him in a year. They won’t let me come up to the county jail to see him they say I had a felony. I ain’t have a felony they just stopped me from seeing my son. So I had to go out to the court right here and get a paper they had to accept it I didn’t have a felony. (And) I just starting seeing my son, Saturday that just left.

"For going on almost two years I didn’t see my son, for a year and a half. Every time I write him, mostly they don’t give him his letters, they send them back to me. You know I think that’s wrong.

"My son, he is slow he was getting a SSI check. The school, Northmore school and the school board helped him get a check. And he couldn’t read when he came here he couldn’t write. And he was going to school, he dropped out of school in the seventh grade cuz they kept him back, three years in the seventh grade. He was in ESE class. I was in ESE class, most all of my kids. And they didn’t keep us back. Why they kept him back?

"They used to pick on him in school. My little girl, they skipped her from the sixth grade to the ninth grade. She tried to help him they wouldn’t let her. They wouldn’t even give him tutoring.

"(But) when I lost his Medicaid, nobody didn’t want to be bothered with us. And, it was days we didn’t have nothing to eat. And days we slept in abandoned cars. We didn’t have nowhere to stay. I struggled. It was days I couldn’t buy my kids nothing, nothing to eat, nothing.

"And I guess people don’t, they don’t care, they don’t have no heart.

"If their kids were in that situation, how would they feel? We all black people here we should be able to communicate together. Here all our black America turned against us. There shouldn’t be no races. It don’t matter who’s purple green yellow blue white whatever. We all should come together in this. You know, instead of trying to hurt one another. I don’t think it’s right.

"When I lost my housing, my son in here being convicted, me and my daughter, we were homeless for two years. We got homeless in 2007 until May, this year. We just got in a place. We lost our housing we ain’t got nowhere to stay. Nothing. And they …

"There’s a lot of things been going on in Dunbar. People done been raped out there before and nobody do nothing about it I used to stay out there. With my husband, my ex-husband Nathan Walker’s father and mother. And we stayed there about five or six years.

"And I used to see people get robbed, and beat up, people break into people’s houses. Nobody do nothing about it. You call the police, I called the police couple of times. They didn’t do nothing."

As we concluded our interview, I reminded themr that I'll be seeing them during the trial, and asked them to think about anything else they want to share with people who need to hear it.

And I asked to take a photo.

“God bless you,” they said as they left to catch a bus to Riviera Beach.

“You can take a picture,” said Ruby Walker. “Anything to help my son.”

C.B. Hanif for WAOD:

Tabitha had begun the interview (see previous post), as Ruby Walker, mother of Nathan Walker, whose jury had just been selected in the infamous Dunbar Village gang-rape case, listened in the courthouse's now-quiet 11th-floor hallway.

When Walker finally spoke, she was direct:

“When I was coming up as a child, I got raped twice. I got raped when I was seven years old. I got raped when I was 12. They ain’t do nothing about it. They didn’t believe me I guess cuz a different color or whatever.”

She described another near-rape in 2007: being snatched by a Haitian cab driver while walking “to the Salvation Army to try to get some food for us to eat.”

She managed to escape, but "He was going to kill me," she said.

"I called the police, the sheriff came out. And don’t you know they didn’t believe nothing I said. White or black they didn’t believe nothing I said, said I made it up.

"That weekend they found him, and they questioned him, and they let him go. He stayed in for like a day. And they let him go. And he was staying right by me. They didn’t do nothing. My son, and them they wanted to hurt him.

"So, if that’s the case they say my son raped somebody, how is that when, I got raped when I was little I told him about it and he was going crazy. They said I couldn’t have no kids I thank God I had 13 kids...

"They’re trying to give these kids, 50 to life, for something they probably ain’t gonna live to do.

"They should put them in a community education where they can learn that. You know like a program or something. Locking these kids up ain’t gonna solve nothing. You know.

"And they can’t say they didn’t do because one co-defendant wants to go in and say, oh he’s scared now so he’s gonna say, ‘Oh, he did it, he did it, he did it.’ Now he wanna testify on them, you know what I’m saying?

"I don’t think that’s right. Like, like, like my friend was saying, “the state, and everybody is scaring them. You know what I’m saying? So I feel like, it’s wrong because, how you gonna take a child’s life from them, something they ain’t even lived long for. And my son just had a little girl. His little girl is one year old. And he’s never seen her just seen her picture.

"You know what I’m saying so it’s hard because (I) went in the crazy house. So I don’t know how I’m gonna pull through after all this is over. I just pray to God everything work out good. If not I I feel like I’m gonna be back in the crazy house that’s just how my mind is, you know?

"And I ain’t been around my son in two years. I ain’t seen him in a year. They won’t let me come up to the county jail to see him they say I had a felony. I ain’t have a felony they just stopped me from seeing my son. So I had to go out to the court right here and get a paper they had to accept it I didn’t have a felony. (And) I just starting seeing my son, Saturday that just left.

"For going on almost two years I didn’t see my son, for a year and a half. Every time I write him, mostly they don’t give him his letters, they send them back to me. You know I think that’s wrong.

"My son, he is slow he was getting a SSI check. The school, Northmore school and the school board helped him get a check. And he couldn’t read when he came here he couldn’t write. And he was going to school, he dropped out of school in the seventh grade cuz they kept him back, three years in the seventh grade. He was in ESE class. I was in ESE class, most all of my kids. And they didn’t keep us back. Why they kept him back?

"They used to pick on him in school. My little girl, they skipped her from the sixth grade to the ninth grade. She tried to help him they wouldn’t let her. They wouldn’t even give him tutoring.

"(But) when I lost his Medicaid, nobody didn’t want to be bothered with us. And, it was days we didn’t have nothing to eat. And days we slept in abandoned cars. We didn’t have nowhere to stay. I struggled. It was days I couldn’t buy my kids nothing, nothing to eat, nothing.

"And I guess people don’t, they don’t care, they don’t have no heart.

"If their kids were in that situation, how would they feel? We all black people here we should be able to communicate together. Here all our black America turned against us. There shouldn’t be no races. It don’t matter who’s purple green yellow blue white whatever. We all should come together in this. You know, instead of trying to hurt one another. I don’t think it’s right.

"When I lost my housing, my son in here being convicted, me and my daughter, we were homeless for two years. We got homeless in 2007 until May, this year. We just got in a place. We lost our housing we ain’t got nowhere to stay. Nothing. And they …

"There’s a lot of things been going on in Dunbar. People done been raped out there before and nobody do nothing about it I used to stay out there. With my husband, my ex-husband Nathan Walker’s father and mother. And we stayed there about five or six years.

"And I used to see people get robbed, and beat up, people break into people’s houses. Nobody do nothing about it. You call the police, I called the police couple of times. They didn’t do nothing."

As we concluded our interview, I reminded them that I'll be seeing them during the trial, and asked them to think about anything else they want to share with people who need to hear it.

And I asked to take a photo.

Nathan Walker's mother, Ruby, and sister Tabitha, outside the courtroom. Nathan Walker's mother, Ruby, and sister Tabitha, outside the courtroom.

“God bless you,” they said as they left to catch a bus to Riviera Beach.


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Our Dunbar Village reporting is supported by the generous contributions of WAOD readers. If you would like to support this original reporting by CB Hanif, then you can make a donation by clicking on the CHip-in Widget in the sidebar to the right or by clicking this link.

Reader Comments (66)

Thank you for reporting this. I first started reading WAOD from a Dunbar Village link on the DaveyD.com website two years ago.

The DV incident and everything subsequent is so unsettling.

August 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNappy Mind

This good interview. Keep talking. This is more than we've heard in two years.

August 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

WOW!

I guess when you live a life where these things happen around you and then happen to you- you normalize it and think nothing of it when it happens to someone else.

But I wonder if both Ms. Walkers would have the same thing to say (i.e. have a heart, put yourself in their shoes) if it had happened to one of their children.

August 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZabeth

Of course not Zabeth. They don't have the ability to empathize or sympathize with others outside their immediate family. Because they were hurt harmed or wounded at some point, they think its "normal" for other people to be hurt harmed and wounded.

This is fascinating to read because it just shows that there is no common moral compass. We really are a bunch of countries within countries. I can't even relate to this.

Might I also add. "13 Kids?" 13 Kids?

August 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

13 Kids... SSI Checks... "housing"... homelessness, poverty, mental illness, illegitimacy, lack of empathy, fatherlessness, motherlessness, etc.

This is/was a recipe for a disaster. While I feel sorry for Ms. Walker's past tragedies, I cannot feel sorry for her.

I just can't help but to wonder does she think she that Nathan or any of her sorry children are responsible for anything besides being a libility to the community in which they live?

August 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBLKSeaGoat

Does this woman and Tabitha not deserve to be labled as DBR's?

August 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBLKSeaGoat

@Gem: I can't relate either. What's interesting is that when horrible crimes like this happen, usually, I wonder how people can have the lack of empathy/caring to commit such a crime. Now this is an instance where I can't understand how she can remember how she felt when she was attacked, and yet have no empathy for the victims of this crime. Two quotes really stood out for me:

"So I feel like, it’s wrong because, how you gonna take a child’s life from them, something they ain’t even lived long for."
“If their kids were in that situation, how would they feel? We all black people here we should be able to communicate together. Here all our black America turned against us. We all should come together in this. You know, instead of trying to hurt one another. I don’t think it’s right."

How can she see that Black America is trying to hurt her son, and yet not empathize with the victims?

August 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEby

wow wow wow! This interview is absolutely astounding. Mindblowing. I never knew people could think in such a way. Akin to if someone broke into my car and stole my radio/cd player, it's okay for the next person to get robbed, too, and have their's yanked out of their vehicle. Someone else should feel the pain I have just experienced.

I feel for her, but it seems like she can't discern right from wrong. It makes me question how many hundreds or even hundreds of thousands of other people out here share similar thought processes. This is one of the most profound revelations I have learned from this blog. We have a lot of work/rehab to do in the community. We need moral rehab.

Thank you for this education.

August 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter2Unruly

"It makes me question how many hundreds or even hundreds of thousands of other people out here share similar thought processes."

AH HA!!! And THAT is what makes Dunbar Village so important. I do NOT believe Dunbar Village is an aberration. That's what ought to scare the hell out of you. When they get through preying on poor Black women and children, TRUST that they are coming for YOU! This isn't some foreign land across an ocean, this is right here in our back yard. In our own cities. OT the extent you haven't been touched by people with this mentality, this complete and total lack of empathy, it is because you are blessed or lucky. Not to mention that the dominant culture tells us the same thing. Its okay to objectify women and girls to make money because the "artist" had a hard life. Everybody has an excuse for their inhumanity to other people.

This has been illuminating to me as well. I suspected as much, but it was actually refreshing to have her utter the words from her own mouth. 13 kids.

August 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

"How can she see that Black America is trying to hurt her son, and yet not empathize with the victims?"

She can't empathize. Neither could her son. That's the point. Because if you could empathize you wouldn't have turned gang rape, torture and forced incest into recreational activity.

August 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

Gina said, "AH HA!!! And THAT is what makes Dunbar Village so important. I do NOT believe Dunbar Village is an aberration. That’s what ought to scare the hell out of you. When they get through preying on poor Black women and children, TRUST that they are coming for YOU! This isn’t some foreign land across an ocean, this is right here in our back yard. In our own cities. OT the extent you haven’t been touched by people with this mentality, this complete and total lack of empathy, it is because you are blessed or lucky."

Exactly. And if "you haven't been touched by these sociopaths, it is because you are blessed or lucky". . . SO FAR. Your luck will eventually run out if you remain within striking distance of these sorts of people.

The African-American collective is FILLED with sociopaths like this. Black residential areas are TEEMING with them.

This is why I've been sounding the alarm for AA women to flee Black residential areas, and put as much physical distance as possible between themselves and the Black underclass.

It's not that there's no crime in non-Black areas; it's that non-Blacks generally still have the WILL to resist being totally overrun by criminals! African-Americans generally want to caress and play with destructive people. Other folks are not having that, and are willing to do what it takes to prevent their areas from becoming hellholes like Black residential areas. We "borrow" the safety benefits of these other people's common sense and will to resist rampant criminality when we move to other areas.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

August 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKhadija

Before I go to bed I just want to thank CB in advance. It has to be hard to hear stories like this and I know you are about to go through listening to testimony and viewing evidence. Keep up the good work, and keep bringing us these stories that we can't read anywhere else.

August 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

"African-Americans generally want to caress and play with destructive people."

That right there is a book title.

August 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

All actions have consequences and this woman has not made this connection yet (that's as if she ever will). Unfortunately, it's her son and his victims, that live with the consequences. How do you have THIRTEEN children in this day and age if you cannot AFFORD to raise them? Last time I checked, a $10 monthly birth control prescription is a lot cheaper than clothing, rent, food, electricity etc.....

When did moral degradation become the standard mode of operation? What can we do to reverse this?

However, one thing that I keep sensing is that "us" against "them" mentality. I fear that when we lull ourselves to a false sense of safety and believe that we would NEVER do that....is exactly when we start to remove ourselves from what is going on, only to do something morally irresponsible ourselves.

Albert Einstein said "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

We need to have the courage to call OURSELVES out on our own s@@t and THEN call OTHERS out on their mess as well. Give it to ourselves and others straight, but do it with love, not hate. Tell people don't have children you can't afford, look your neighbor in the eye and acknowledge them, stop calling ourselves n@gg@s and h@s. Dress with respect and show some class. Read a book.....etc.....all the things that people of character do.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertryin2understanurside

I used to think something was wrong with me because I did not relate to the kind of chaos and foolishness I saw/see in black underclass. Then I realized it really wasn't me.

Reading this interview...... I am sorry for what she suffered but it does not absolve her son.

And thirteen kids?!?!

Peace

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSouthland Diva

This is a link to a story from 2006. I just want to know if there has been a follow up on the end results. I find that hitting a woman ( especially a young woman ) who was not a present danger for jaywalking ( crossing the street??) is completely dumb.

http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=1064892&blogID=77774019&MyToken=83a5d806-3db4-4cb5-89ca-57141563d8f0

I am sure your website is very informative but I just want to post this story, to inform people of this dumb and sad action.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRegalSin

THIS IS NOT EVEN SAD TO ME IT IS F@#$ up so because someone raped her and nothing happen she expects nothing should happen to her son. I am sorry but it is black so-called mothers like this that turn my freaking stomach we are ALL victims but we all have the option to do SOMETHING about it i mean seriously 13!!! kids my God that is unhuman that is a litter and they are "slow" or illiterate or whatever hell you don't have the time or effort to nuture 13 kids and folks talk about octomom, and i am not trying to be disrespectful but you show up to court looking like that who did half of her damn head Sisters have got to do better!!! I have been there in the cycle of poverty, teen-aged motherhood, fatherless hell i had NO OPTIONS i joined the damn army to get away from the ghetto. and i am a better, person, mother, wife, friend sister because of it there is an ENTIRE GENERATION of battered, beaten and broken black women who are raising another generation of f-d up black children. GOD HELP US ALL!!

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlexdiamonz

How do you have 13 children? No man in sight. This woman is like a lot of black mothers in the hood. She refused to raise her sons with any kinda moral compass because she does not have one.

Yes, my heart went out to her when I read this piece. I believe strongly she came from a destructive background. So, when you look at her, you look at generations of bad behaviors and choices. So, her son's crime is probably typical behavior in her family. Sadly, black society jumps over backwards to defend black males like this. I'm sure Al Sharpton and the NAACP will come to these animal's defense. Watch and wait. Those ignorant fools defend animals like this.

At some point this woman should have been sterilized a long time ago. Like after the 1st child.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Thang

Wow! I am very sad and angry right now after reading this. I'm at work, so before I lose my job or my temper, I going to get back to work. But I will write something later. I just need to try to comprehend what the sister just said . . . . repeatedly . . . :( :( :(

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRevMamaAfrika

As harsh as this may sound, I can't find a redemptive quality in Ruby Walker's story that would inspire any sympathy from me.

Nothing in the entire interview suggests that she was ever qualified to be a parent. Equally important is the absence and non-chalant mention of Nathan Walker Sr. I am conflicted about who I should despise more, then endless parade of sperm donors or Ruby.

We all have a story and a past. That doesn't give us license to be degenerates. So someone picked on him in the 6th grade and he was mildly retarded... I don't care! He was lucid enough to get someone pregnant and lucid enough to rape and torture.

Mob mentality is a farce and group dynamic theory is precisely that. Each of those little bastards should be incarcerated for the rest of their lives.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBLKSeaGoat

I knew I didn't want to read this because it would only enrage me. I'm so tired of people blaming their depravity on poverty. For the overwhelming majority of us who grew up impoverished and didn't turn into a sociopathic pox on our community it's a slap in the face. Being poor doesn't turn you into a craven animal with an absolute disregard for human life. These people could've been born in the lap of luxury and they still would've been sociopaths. It's not the lack of resources, it's the lack of humanity.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

"Yes, my heart went out to her when I read this piece. I believe strongly she came from a destructive background." -- tryin2understanurside

My heart went out to her because I wonder what was really possible for her life if her experience was as she described it. I wonder what type of person I would be today if that had been my life story.

Still--we need to take care and keep ourselves away from as much of this mentality and activity as possible because it is deadly.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdeborah

I'm not lurking, I'm just pissed and holding back 'cause I don't think I should say what I really want to say in this forum. I appreciate the coverage on this story.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiki

Ok, I'm back and I've calmed down a bit. :)

Honestly, there are many places to point fingers regarding this tragedy -- the "parents" of the accused, the housing project management, city officials, police department, public schools and other social service agencies, the faith community, the wider community, and of course the wider society of racism, classism, sexism, etc. Politically and socially speaking, I know that all these factors played a part in contributing to this. I also know that such incidents like this also happen in "well to do" communities as well; CNN, et. al., just doesn't report each and every incident. And like someone said a few days ago, wounded, violated people wound and violate others.

But you can't teach your child what you have never been taught yourself. Yep, I know that too and I truly wish the "parents" of the accused had been taught better so that they could do better. But what I find the most disturbing, the most interesting in what Sis. Ruby Walker said is what she DID NOT say, which speaks loudest for me. Even though she had an opportunity to say whatever she wished, NOT ONCE DID SHE SAY "MY SON DID NOT DO THIS; HE DID NOT DO ANY OF THE THINGS HE'S BEEN ACCUSED OF." Which should tell us that since he was present at the scene of the crime(s), he is indeed guilty of one or more crimes committed against the mother and/or her son on that terrible evening.

Yes, parents still love their children even when they commit the most horrendous crimes, but when a person has been accused of a crime AND there is reliable proof of the crime(s), then that person must go to jail/prison for as long as the law allows. PERIOD. And Sis. Ruby Walker does not show enough concern for the mother and her son; since she's a rape survivor, what is the concern? Sis. Ruby is a rape survivor, but this sister and her son are "survivors" of one of the worst kinds of rapes imaginable, the kind that happened in Rwanda and other war-torn places. I guess I'm still having a really hard time with this one.
:( :(

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRevMamaAfrika

I have to feel compassion for this woman's victimization. But at some point we have to stop being a victim and stop the madness. Many are able to do it in spite of their poverty, abuse and other tragic circumstances through determination and taking control to change their lives.

Many are able to stop this vicious cycle and do better for their children. I sadly have people in my family who think like Ruby. I know you were vicitimized but can I just shake a little common sense into you? Dear God in Heaven this is tragic! Even knowing how victimized this woman was, I couldn't be caught within a mile of her --- not even trying to help.

Look at what all the help has done for her --- SSI? He's slow? I doubt seriously that she got a proper diagnosis for her son, someone told her how to work the system and get a check. Our tax dollars at work people. Ms. Walker is not alone.

I am not ready to say that she is the majority, but there are a whole lot of thinkers out there like her. And Ms. Walker types just may be the majority at that.

Ms. Walker will stand by her son because this is all she knows to do. There is no call for him to take responsibility what so ever. It's someone else's fault cause we just black people. SMH, rolling and smacking lips. If Ms. Walker had recieved the proper protection and counseling she needed as a child, all of this may have been avoided. She was failed and may be a victim of racism, she took it, internalized and produced the very thing that had become normalized in her mind-a monster. And maybe more monsters are at home.

One positive thing, if her daughter was skipped three grades, there may be hope for her through education to see what is happening all around her and divest while she has a chance. Having said that, I do realize it's a mindset and not solely academics.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLorraine

oops, I am very sorry I forgot to add, I guess the other suspects will not be brought to justice because of the
"anti-snitch" culture in our community? WHERE'S THE $75,000 REWARD FOR INFORMATION ON THEIR WHEREABOUTS? :( :(

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRevMamaAfrika

I am wondering what are the "ESE" classes Ms. Walker mentioned. I am assuming ESE is an acronym for classes for those with less capabilities than the average public school student.

Someone used the words mental retardation, I wonder if that term would apply to Ms. Walker and then her children. I understand that term to be considered insulting in this day and age. Yet can someone here comment on whether IQ levels are hereditary? Not sure.

Is there a certain IQ level below which you can be deemed unable to function in society and not allowed to have children?

I remember hearing of a case of a woman whose extreme neglect caused the death of her child and part of her sentence was forced sterilization.

I do know that kids born with mental challenges can flourish if given the right tutoring and intellectual stimulus. I had heard that here in NY certain rich, white parents had their slower kids treated by therapists and labeled as ADD. Apparently the ADD label is tossed around quite a bit but I understand you can be alloted additional time to take tests like the SAT if you have these doctor approved labels.

Ms. Walker's interview reminds me of something one of the DV neighbors said after the incident happened and news camera and reporters rushed in. Many of the locals seemed thoroughly annoyed at the negative attention, but seemed to have no empathy or understanding why there was so much coverage. One woman said " I don't see what all the noise is about, everybody gets raped, she ain't the onliest one"

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterknockoutchick

I am assuming SSI means "social security income". How would a child receive this money?

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterknockoutchick

What I found interesting was the mother saying she was almost raped by who she claims was a Haitian cab driver back in 2007. Looks like the police investigated, but didn’t believe her story or there was no evidence. Her son is then arrested for raping/attacking a Haitian mother and son in their apartment around the same time. Coincidence? Might that have been part of the motive of why the victims were attacked so brutally? Perhaps her son has a seething hatred toward Haitian immigrants?

Is there an element of anti-Haitian bias here? From what I understand, the Haitian immigrants are often the victims of crimes in that community. Might it be possible that she feels so little remorse for the victims because they are Haitian immigrants? Her level of apathy for the victims is both appalling and quite disturbing. I’m attempting to makes some sense out of the senseless.

There is so much more to this story that is not being told.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDuane

"I am assuming SSI means “social security income”. How would a child receive this money?"

It's a common practice for some parents in poorer communities to encourage their children to fake disability so they can start collecting SSI checks at a young age. I grew up with kids that would do this for their parents. Get on SSI, apply for Section housing, do hair or odd jobs on the side and you're basically set for life.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDuane

"13 Kids… SSI Checks… “housing”… homelessness, poverty, mental illness, illegitimacy, lack of empathy, fatherlessness, motherlessness, etc."

umm.....did anyone forget how her story started off? Raped at 7 AND 12 and almost raped again? I think these are the things that have led to her self esteem being so low as to have 13 kids she can't afford, this has led to her mental illness, this has led to her being unable to raise normally-functioning sons, to even be able to fully understand the horrors of what her son did and eve what she herself went through. I completely feel bad about the horrible circumstances this life has dealt Mrs. Walker, I'm very saddened to rread about what this woman went through - please understand that my sympathy for her is in no way condoning the monstrous acts of her son. But I just recognize that violence begets violence and that her sons actions were just a continuation of the cycle of violence in Mrs. Walker's history. I think we'll continue to hear about more of these barbaric incidents like Dunbar Village until we recognize that the solution is inj eliminating the root of the problem. Hating and locking up Nathan Walker and the other perpetrators will not end any of these types of incidents until it's recognized that his criminal behavior was almost predetermined long before he was born. A society that allows 7-year olds to be raped with impunity can expect generations of the continuance of these kinds of problems.

I AM sad for her AND for the mother and child victims in Dunbar Village - it' s a continuing cycle of violence that shows that the problem is a broader, societal one.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLena

"If Ms. Walker had recieved the proper protection and counseling she needed as a child, all of this may have been avoided. She was failed and may be a victim of racism, she took it, internalized and produced the very thing that had become normalized in her mind-a monster."

Lorraine, you said it. Exactly.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLena

SSI means 'supplemental security income,' in the hood parlance it's known as a 'crazy check.' Very popular in some communities. Essentially it is for people who have disabilities or impairments. The system can be abused and many people deliberately seek out diagnoses for their children so they can receive this pittance. And I do mean pittance. In Alabama the most you could receive was a little over $500 a month, most receive a lot less, and for this they're willing to label their child for life.

"Is there a certain IQ level below which you can be deemed unable to function in society and not allowed to have children?"

To my knowledge there is no such cut-off, most would consider this to be eugenics. Remember, such parameters were often used against black people, such as Fannie Lou Hamer who was sterilized without her knowledge. Check out a book called Killing the Black Body, to read more about these type practices. While in theory it sounds like a good idea, but would you really want the likes of Rush Limbaugh, et al to be in the position to determine whether or not you're worthy to give birth?

For the most part, most mental health professionals consider an IQ under 70 to be retarded, though I've known plenty of people who were highly functioning with such low IQs, so it can't be the only variable used to determine people's functionability. Also, keep in mind that some learning disabilities, such as dyslexia can severely impact an IQ score.

As to the inheritability of mental retardation there is some evidence that this does occur. Of course, one has to suss out to what degree this is genetic and to what degree it can be traced back to being reared by people who are retarded. This is one of the issues that come up as it pertains to adoption. It's pretty much impossible to determine to what degree these type issues can be genetic.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

knockout,

SSI or Supplemental Security income can be received by anyone who meets the eligibility requirements. It's a social welfare program that pays 674.00 per month to people with certain disabilities that render them unemployable.

My grandmother calle it a "crazy check" because the majority of the people who got them, had some sort of mental illness (or not). Children with certain mental and emotional disorders can get a check THAT'S SENT TO THEIR PARENTS.

You also have to be living at the Federal Poverty level. Many of my former clients would be happy to hear that some quack had diagnosed their children with ADD, Asperger's Syndrome, or Explosive personality disorder because that meant "mo' money" for a household where everyone was hell-bent on not working.

Regarding the IQ and reproductive rights, Maragret Sanger (Founder of Planned Parenthood) actually had a plan to sterilize "negroes" based on that very premise. Richard Hernnstein, William Murray, and William Shockley felt the same way when the Bell Curve was written. So while forced sterilization sounds like a good idea, it's not because even stupid people have the inherent right to procreate. Our job should be to convince them that they shouldn't... OR make it so that if they received subsidies from taxpayers to live that they abide by our rules and they become accountable to us.

That is not the case now. We have eliminated shame and judgment from out vocabulary because we want to affirm people - in their jacked up states so as not to harm their self-esteem. Shame Ruby, Tabitha, Nathan Sr. and everyone else like them!

Ruby is right; I just don't care. NOT ABOUT HER SON and his criminal behavior anyway.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBLKSeaGoat

"And Sis. Ruby Walker does not show enough concern for the mother and her son; since she’s a rape survivor, what is the concern?"

@RevMamaAfrika

But is she really a rape survivor? It seems to me like she is very much a rape victim and tragedy. The fact that she was ignored when raped at 7 and 12 (extremely young ages for something so terrible to happen) obviously diminished her own esteem to the point where she basically believes that rape and violence is almost just a natural part of life, noone cares, so why should she? I believe she knows her son did this crime, but honestly has no reference point in her life/mental/social experience in which to say "this is a wrong and terrible act". I think all she knows is "oh well, so a lady got got raped? It's too bad, but hey don't we all? I was raped twice, and noone did anything, I know many others who have been raped, and noone helped them, so obviously it can't be too big a deal and it's fairly standard behavior. So why's everybody complaining about what happened in Dunbar Village? My son just did a 'little thing' like everybody else I've known. It was normal for me and for everybody else etc, etc, etc"

That's how I see it, that's how I think her mind has been forced to work. Sure there are those who go through the same or much worse and survive to become wonderful, fully functioning and contributing people, but I don't think that is the case for the majority. I think many are scarred and develop a warped point of view for life.

Ok, I'll stop there. This whole case and ALL circumstances involved is just insanity.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLena

"it’ s a continuing cycle of violence that shows that the problem is a broader, societal one."

You know Lena, I agree with you, unfortunately, at this point all we can do is lock these monsters up. I wish there had been someone there for Ms. Walker 30-40 years ago when she was sexually assaulted. The truth of the matter is, the system was different then. That's not to say that plenty of girls aren't raped now with no recourse. But what is, is. That didn't happen. We can't go back and change her life or his, all we can do now is try to clean up the mess that's left behind. Locking these people up for life is really all we can do to protect society from them.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

I hope we will be very careful about suggesting or promoting forced sterilization for women. Once that ball gets rolling, only the sterilizers will decide when and where it stops.

My guess is that somebody, somewhere is sitting in a room thinking many of us could do with a little "preventive surgery" as well. Something to think about.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdeborah

@ Roslyn

Thanks...yes even after I typed the sterilization query I felt it was inappropriate.

Are there parenting class requirements for those receiving the SSI or "crazy check".? If you have had your child labeled as having an impairment and therefore being in need of these funds....wouldn't it then follow that special parenting would be needed to care for them?

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterknockoutchick

"wouldn’t it then follow that special parenting would be needed to care for them?"

As far as I know there is no such requirement. Of course, the money is distributed on a state by state basis, so other states might have different requirements. I know Alabama did not. It's my understanding that in some instances simply being in Special Education and having an IEP was enough to justify getting SSI.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

Roslyn,

You're right. DC's SSI approval rate is 56%... over twice the National Average.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBLKSeaGoat

If we lock them up...we are locking them up after a crime or violent act.

Is there ANYTHING that is working prior to that?

We all know of the cycle of poverty in poorer black neighborhoods and we see the horrible outcomes.

For instance, Ms. Walker's child rapist son, now has a child of his own. This baby certainly would seem to be starting on a rough path, the grandchild and child of mentally ill or challenged individuals. What can be done for this child?

New Orleans native Ivory Harris also known as " I B Stupid" is believed to have killed as many as 11 men. He was sentenced to 25 years in jail. His father was also a violent criminal , as was his grand father.

Clearly the majority of people living in the "hood" are not violent criminals...but a small percentage who are violent and psychopathic are not being made to suffer any consequences.

One of the many things that shocked me about DV is....why weren't the other women and mothers so shocked or afraid to live next to these kids?

I would be horrified to feel that I was living next to a 14 year rapist...particularly if I had small children.

I am just posting about it and talking about it to try to understand....it's so upsetting.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterknockoutchick

Wooooowwww!!!!! Isn't it funny how when black folks get in trouble they want to pull the "fight the power black people need to stick together the white man is oppressing me race card".

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLD

...i haven't even read the story or people's comments, the title spoke for itself!!!

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLD

Sounds to me like she's mad her son got caught and others have gotten away.
My drug addict flag is on red hot. I highly suspect drug abuser here. That is my only reason to justify thirteen kids and the lack of empathy. The rape traumatization seems kind of old after the sixth child.

SSI! Mental disabilities!!! It's always the case in rundown poverty-stricken neighborhoods. I think it's a crutch and an excuse to use for lack of self-control at times!!!

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLD

I read this blog at least almost daily, but seldom comment. I couldn't hold back any longer. I am shocked, angered and saddened by the comments of the Walker women. For the first time in a long time I am sad to be a black woman in America. I understand hoping your child really didn't do these things and even wanting to find an excuse for him (the he's slow comment was her attempt at a mental defense I suppose) but brushing off this brutal attack because you were attacked...I'm at a loss. I understand the comments from other black women on here about moving away from black areas for survival. I feel you. But it really makes me sad and angry that we can not live together without victimizing one another. It hasn't always been this way. During segregation we had to be together and you didn't hear of things like this, not to this degree. What happened.
My old mentality of wanting to protect the so-called black community is also rising. I don't want others to judge all of us by these statements which is what they do and what angers me so. However I then have to look inward at us as a people and admit we allow ourselves and to be defined by these lowest among us, by coming to the defense of people accused of such things, defending gutter rappers who degrade women and themselves just because they make money and are no longer publically dealing drugs and by defending our 80 percent out of wed-lock birthrate. I might be rambling but I can't order my thoughts just yet.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBee

I have found Haitians to be very family oriented, hard working people.

But having many Caribbean friends, I also have witnessed a lot of bias against Haitians.

The same old tired mess.....but Puerto Ricans and Dominicans generally are harsh to Haitians and look down upon them because they are poorer and darker and often try to flee to PR or DR for work.

In Florida again, Haitians tend be among the poorest, not arriving with favorable status and government support as the Cubans do. And also being outside the Latino support network. You can live your entire life in Miami and never speak a word of English. It is said that Latinos in South Florida squeeze other groups out of jobs......I could go on

The older Cubans are quite educated, but younger Central Americans and other Latinos are not knocking themselves out to speak English ...which has the older white retirees steaming mad.

The Haitians are outside all of that speaking patois or creole, that even the fewer French speaking transplants don't understand. The poorer isolated blacks are then condescending to Haitians because again the Haitians are poorer than them.

But just wait 20 years.....and you'll see the Haitians will own many of the stores and small businesses surrounding DV...and Ms. Walker will be a great, great grandmother.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterknockoutchick

"But having many Caribbean friends, I also have witnessed a lot of bias against Haitians."

See that's exactly what I was wondering myself. Could anti-Haitian bias have a motive and lead to the exessive brutality of this crime?

It's one thing to break into a house and steal items. It's quite another to break in, torture, rape, and throw chemicals onto someone's body. To me that sounds like the attack was personal in nature and not as random as we might believe.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDuane

@knockoutchick, yes, that's true; Haitian sisters and brothers tend to be looked down upon by other African immigrant groups and sometimes we Africans born in America look down on them as well.

But this is precisely why I think the suspects should also be charged for hate crimes against a particular ethnic group, in this case Haitians. To commit a sexually violent crime like this took some planning and pre-mediation and like someone said before, with this type of viciousness, what other crimes have they committed in the past, but just didn't get caught or charged? Do they have other victims out there? Some young girls perhaps? IS ANYBODY TRYING TO FIND OUT IF THERE ARE OTHER RAPE VICTIMS OF THEIRS?

You can't tell me the young "brothers" did not plan this carefully and carefully chose their victims. Haitian? Immigrants? They talk funny? They don't hang out with the rest of the folks? She working all the time? The son never come play or hang out with us? What, they think they better than us?

Believe it or not, I truly feel sorry for the accused and the victims, but I'm saving the greatest amount of my sympathy for the victims . . . . PERIOD.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRevMamaAfrika

I resent that "slow, retarded, mentally handicapped, special needs" label given to criminals who happened to get caught. I resent it on behalf of all parents who have children who are born with these disorders and have to fight because insurance won't pay or because their income is a little too high or way to high to qualify for these much needed benefits. I don't know too many autistic and or retarded children who will go and premeditate a crime, choose a victim and a weapon and carry out the crime as planned. I only know of one and he was high functioning. And HE got the DEATH penalty for killing a woman in a most heinous manner.

So that didn't even save his behind. When I think of retarded, I don't think of a man or woman who makes choices to commit crimes. I think of down syndrome or retarded kids and adults who could not help how they were born and will ALWAYS need physical assistance from another human being charged with their caretaking. These criminals (they attorneys) have highjacked these conditions for convenience in their lame attempts to garner leniency with the judge or jury. Black people have this bad although I know others do it too, we have shown them how. WE need to stop the disrespect and slapping the people who really suffer from these conditions in the face. Sorry for the rant, but I get fed up with this mess.

Besides I don't know how many REAL retarded men going around spreading their seed all over town.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLorraine

Please don't misquote me. I too believe that strict punishment should be handed down to all involved in this case. I want them to get ALL of the attackers and make the punishment swift, long and fair. I also want counseling and healing for the victims. Dare I step out there and say counseling and healing for the family members of the attackers who are willing and able to receive it?

My concern is that people get so caught up in outrage towards other people and finding a target group to expend their fury that pretty soon the "us" becomes "them". I just don't want us to get so caught up in condemning, the attackers, the "church people" "the Al Sharptons" "the DBR" that we forget to check our selves to make sure we are handling our business in our homes, hearts and minds. We better not let the DV attackers, the DBR's, the church groups and the black "community" be our focus and our EXCUSE for why we are not moving forward and shining our brightest light.

Don't just focus on what you don't want in life, focus on what you do want a hell of a lot more! By the way this doesn't mean flee and leave everyone who is suffering behind in the dust.

I don't know if this is making sense but I'm just throwing my two cents out there.

August 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertryin2understanurside

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