Monthly Archives: January 2013

Franklin Roosevelt’s Greatest Strength

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President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882, to a wealthy family in up-state New York. After attending Harvard and Columbia Law School, he focused his sights on the White House by following his relative’s, President Theodore Roosevelt, footsteps by first becoming Assistant Secretary of the Navy. His journey to the White House halted in 1921 when Roosevelt became ill while vacationing with family in Canada. After several doctor visits over a span of a couple of weeks, it was discovered that Roosevelt had contacted Poliomyelitis and now had polio. At the age of 31, Roosevelt became paralyzed from the waist down. Roosevelt’s mother begged him to retire from politics, but his wife, Eleanor, would not let him because she knew that he would regret it. Though the current times believed people with disabilities were a burden, Roosevelt would use his paralysis to lead his country through troubled times.

Franklin D. Roosevelt in Warm Springs, Georgia...

Franklin D. Roosevelt in Warm Springs, Georgia  (Wikipedia)

In 1924, Roosevelt learned about Warm Springs, Georgia where the springs were rumored to cure paralysis. At the springs, Roosevelt found that his legs would hold him upright and that he could swim for hours so he bought the springs for $200,000 as a place for polio victims to seek therapeutic treatment; he personally led pool exercises. Though it was $42 a week for a polio victim to stay at the springs, no one was ever turned away due to lack of money because Roosevelt would personally cover the bills. Though the springs never did cure paralysis, it became a place for people with disabilities to seek therapeutic treatment. Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation Center is still in existence and serves 4,000 people each year.

While Roosevelt was in Georgia, he came in contact with the locals where he saw extreme poverty, something he never forgot about when he became president in 1932. In his first term, the New Deal (set of programs and policies designed to promote economy recovery and social reform) took place. Roosevelt signed the Tennessee Valley Authority Act (TVA) because the civilians of Tennessee Valley had an average income of $639 per year and 30% of the population had malaria. The TVA developed new fertilizers, taught farms how to replant forest and improve habitats for wildlife, and created dams that provided electricity. Another important part of the New Deal was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC hired a total of 2.5 million young men who planted 3 billion trees and created 800 parks.Each man was paid $30, but $25 of that was sent back home to his family. Separate programs put 200,000 Blacks to work and the Indian Emergency Conservation Work allowed Native Americans to develop roads and schools on reservations. Congress also passed the Social Security Act; it established  federally funded old-age benefits and funding for states to provide assistance to blind individuals and disabled children, and extended existing vocational rehabilitation programs. Roosevelt never forgot about the people he met in Georgia and made it his goal to put America back to work and to give Americans self-esteem.

One of only a few known photographs of Rooseve...

One of only a few known photographs of Roosevelt in a wheelchair (Wikipedia)

Roosevelt was never photographed in his wheelchair because he did not want Americans to view him as “weak” since he lived at a time when Americans believed people with disabilities were an inferior group of people. He only made two public appearances that showed his paralysis. In 1936, while dedicating a new building at Washington’s Howard University (a Black University) he was asked by the university’s president Dr. Mordecai John if the students could see that he was crippled because the students were crippled because of their race. By seeing that the president was crippled, he would inspire the students. Roosevelt agreed and walked, with his leg braces, painfully down the aisle to the platform. The second time happened in July 1944 when Roosevelt went to Pearl Harbor for strategy sessions. On his spare time, he visited military hospitals. In the amputee ward, Roosevelt was pushed in a wheelchair by Secret Service because he wanted to show his useless legs to those who would face the same affliction. As Sam Rosenman, adviser and speechwriter to Roosevelt, noted “I never saw Roosevelt with tears in his eyes… That day as he was wheeled out of the hospital he was close to them.”

Roosevelt continued to return to Warm Springs every year and every year he was reminded about the poor children in Georgia. Rosenman stated, “He (Roosevelt) made it clear in private conversation that he felt strongly that there was no reason why a child born in some county too poor to sustain a good school system should have to start life in competition with children from sections of the country that had fine schools.” Before World War II, less than 5% of young adults attended college because college was reserved to the wealthy. Roosevelt saw his chance to open education to all of America by using the World War II veterans. In his message to congress he requested federal support for college and vocational training for every returning veteran for up to four years. “Lack of money should not prevent any veteran of this war from equipping himself for the most useful employment for which is aptitudes and willingness qualify him…I believe this Nation is morally obligated to provide this training and education and the necessary financial assistant by which they can secure,” said Roosevelt. The G.I.Bill of Rights passed and Roosevelt signed it into law on June 22, 1944. For the first time in American history,colleges and universities accessible to the common man because Roosevelt saw how important it was for everyone to have education in America.

"HELP ME WIN MY VICTORY^^- JOIN THE MARCH...

Join March of Dimes (Wikipedia)

President Franklin Roosevelt once considered retiring from the public life to focus on getting better, but instead he proved that people with disabilities can overcome obstacles at a time when Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were murdering millions of people deemed inferior due to race, religion, and disabilities. Though he never gave up on his dream of regaining the use of his legs, his paralysis opened his eyes to world filled with poverty, unemployment, poor education, and people who needed inspiration. In 1938, Roosevelt organized the March for Dimes; though it currently focuses on infant mortality, it was once the principle fundraiser for research on polio and provided aid for polio victims. On January 30, 1946, what would have been Roosevelt’s 64th birthday, the dime bearing Roosevelt’s face was released in his honor. On April 12, 1955, 10 years after Roosevelt died, Dr. Jonas Salk announced that that there was a cure for polio…the research was primary funded by Roosevelt’s March of Dimes. As Eleanor said, “Franklin’s illness . . . gave him strength and courage he had not had before. He had to think out the fundamentals of living and learn the greatest of all lessons — infinite patience and never-ending persistence.

Polio victims lay wreaths at Roosevelt’s grave (History.com)

Source: Smith, Jean Edward. FDR. New York: Random House, 2007. 186-636. Print.

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Black History Month: Is it Time for it to Go?

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I remember when I was in seventh grade (year 2002) walking outside the African Studies Club classroom. The Black History Month assignment was to write a short essay about who were the students’ Black role models. On the wall were pictures of Martin Luther King Jr., Oprah, Tiger Woods, and Michael Jordan. All the students in the club managed to pick the same four people – one is the most famous Civil Rights Icon, one is a billionaire talk-show host, and the other two are athletes. I thought the purpose of Black History Month was to show Black children how Blacks have been contributing to the United States’ history for hundreds of years, not the past decade in sports.

English: Portrait of African-American historia...

Carter Godwin Woodson.  (Wikipedia)

Black History Month began in 1926 when Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced that the second week of February was to be Negro History Week because it marked the birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Woodson’s purpose was to show the Black youth that they should be proud of their skin color and to show White society that Black people have contributed to American History. Woodson hoped that one day Negro History Week would be eliminated when Black History became fundamental to American History. Instead, Black History week became a whole month; meanwhile Hispanics were granted September/October, Native Americans received November, Asian and Pacific Islanders attained May, Gays and Lesbians acquired June, and Women obtained March. Instead of making sure that minority groups’ History was incorporated into American History in schools, the American government awarded each minority group one whole month to educate society about why its group is important. As a woman, I can say it takes more than one month to celebrate all the women throughout history. I am not the only critic of minority months, each February Black People criticize the month dedicated to them and their history. “Like college honorary degrees conferred on blacks and renaming streets in inner city neighborhoods for African-American heroes, Black History Month, in the opinion of many, is simply a guilt-driven public relations scam to pacify blacks,” says Earl Ofari Hutchinson, President of the National Alliance for Positive Action. “You’re going to relegate my history to a month. I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history,” says actor Morgan Freeman. Instead of creating months for every heritage/gender/sexual orientation in the world, the government should make sure that the public school teachers are teaching all of America’s history.

Growing up, Black History Month to me meant that television channels would show 30-second clip on a famous Black person. Luckily, February was not the only time I learned about famous Black people; I learned about Black History throughout the whole school year. In elementary school I was taught about Civil Rights Heroes Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, and inventor George Washington Carver. In Middle School I was taught about the slave trade, slavery in the South, the Civil War, and Harriet Tubman’s role in the Underground Railroad. In High School English I read literature from W.E.B. Du Bois, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, Alex Haley, and Maya Angelou. In High School History, I was taught about the slave Dred Scott vs. Sandford. Today I am still learning about Black History: I saw Maya Angelou speak at my college, I recently read “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” and last month while visiting Thomas Edison’s Winter Home, I learned about Edison’s Black assistant, Lewis Latimer, who helped him create a better light bulb, later becoming a patent consultant to law firms. Due to my experiences in the public school system, I believe Woodson’s goal of intertwining Black History with American History was successful, a reason why Black History Month is no longer needed.

The four girls killed in the bombing (Clockwis...

The four girls killed in the Church bombing (Clockwise from top left, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair) (Wikipedia)

I learned about History not from a month but from my teachers, my books, my travels, my experiences – by my wanting to learn about it. I went to the same school as the African Studies Club members did, yet I could list more Black role models than their whole club could. The teachers are teaching the students about Black History, but do the students realize how important it is? Children need to realize how important it is to know where they came from, as Marcus Garvey said “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Instead of showing 30 second clips on famous Black people on television every February, society should be talking about how to get the younger generation interested in Black History throughout the whole year. It could be as simple as just suggesting that they read “Roots” or “I know Why the Caged Bird Sings” to learn about Black History. Maybe they need to read old newspaper articles online about the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing to see how bad it was in South in the 1960s (victims are shown to the right). Maybe parents just need to sit down and talk to their children about important Black Historical Figures, such as athletes Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson, whom led the way for all the current Black athletes.

Though I was taught about Black History throughout the school year, there are schools out there that do not stress the importance of Blacks in American History. Instead of society letting Black History month teach the students, parents should be contacting the schools about why Black History is not being taught throughout the year or the parents should teach their children themselves. In fact, all parents should be keeping an eye on their children’s school curriculum since there are schools across the country cutting all history classes since several politicians and educators don’t believe history is useful in a math/science world. This means children are not learning about Black History, Native American History, Women History, and even White Men History. At the pace America is heading, even America is going to need its own month to teach children why its history is important…one measly month.

Sources:

“Black History Month: Education or Tokenism?” The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education 3 (1994): 30-31. Print.

Are Gun-Free Zones Working?

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After the Sandy Brook school shooting left 20 children dead, the American government, media, and public demanded stricter gun laws. Some even demanded the United States banning types of guns and creating more gun-free zones across the country. Though I support stricter gun policies, especially ones focusing on individuals with mental illnesses, I do not believe banning guns and creating more gun-free zones will make the country safer. 

Is the United States becoming more Violent?

English: Clean-up crew at the ruins of Bath Co...

Clean-up crew at the ruins of Bath Consolidated School. (Photo credit: Wikipedia

Due to the media’s ability to focus only on mass-shootings, many Americans believe the country is heading toward a violent future. Inreality, the most mass-killings in the country occurred in the year 1929. Due to the ban of the evil alcohol (sounds familiar) the mafia and other gangs became involved in illegally selling alcohol to the American citizens, resorting to violence during turf wars with other gangs. Though what occurred at Sandy Brook was horrible, the deadliest school-related massacre in America occurred in 1927 when school board member Andrew Kehoe, upset with a property tax, wired the school building with dynamite and set it on fire. After the school building blew up, he drove the scene of the crime in his car where he blew his car up, killing him and a few more adults. A total of 45 people, including 38 children, were killed. And when the town population contained only 300 residents, everyone knew someone that died. According to FSU criminologist Gary Kleck, there are 2 million defensive uses of firearms by law abiding citizens each year, though those stories do not make the news. Though the media has painted a picture of a violent future for the United States, the country saw its worst days when Al Capone called the shots.

How many people die each year from guns?

In 2010, 11,078 people were killed because of a firearm, 26,009 died from an unintentional fall, 33,041 died from positioning, and 33,687 died from a motor vehicle accident.  Though guns play an important role in violence, Americans are more likely to die while driving in their car. According to the FBI, between 2007-2011, 8,967 people were murdered with knives or cutting instruments, 3,918 people were murdered with knives or shotguns, 2,918 murdered with blunt objects (bats and hammers), and 1,874 were murdered with rifles.Even if guns did not exist, thousands of people would still die every year from another weapon. Let’s not forget how the Aurora Movie Theater Shooter had a bomb set to explode if someone entered his apartment; that would of killed a lot more people if he had succeeded. 

Do Strict Gun Laws work?

Western Europe has some of the strictest gun laws, yet three of the worst school shootings in the world took place in either Britain or Germany. In China, a country that bans guns, it is common for a school attack to take place each month; instead of guns, the killers use hammers, knives, and meat cleavers to kill school children. In Kennesaw, Georgia, the law requires that each household (with a few exception) own a firearm. In 2007, Family Circle named it one of the 10 best towns for families. The reason is probably because ever since the law passed in 1982 requiring everyone to own a gun, crime rate has decreased 50% and continues to decrease, having one of the lowest crime rates in the country. The residents believe it is because criminals know that everyone had a gun, thus it is best not to rob someone’s house. Strict gun laws do not guarantee safety since criminals do not obey the laws and will do harm, even in countries where guns are not allowed, the criminal still manages to kill. Meanwhile a town with a lax gun law boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the country.

Do Gun-Free Zones work?

No guns

No guns (Leo Reynolds)

In 1999, John Lott of the University of Maryland and William Landes of the University of Chicago published a study that stated that mass shootings usually occur at places were firearms are banned, such as schools and malls. A shooter does not want to be shot before he finishes his goal of killing. When he goes into a gun-free zone, he knows that no one will be able to fire back at him. The Aurora movie theater killer, who killed 12 people, had 7 theaters to choose within 20 minutes of his house to commit his vicious crime. He did not choose the farthest theater or the closes theater, he chose the only one that banned concealed handguns. In the past, several shootings that occurred on gun-free zones were stopped when a civilian ran back to his car to get a gun out from the glove compartment and then confronted the shooter. Though some people are outraged that President Obama proposed more police officers in schools, the large number of mass shootings that require at gun-free zones show that gun-free zones do not work; to the shooter, he knows he has plenty of time to kill before the police arrive.

Conclusion:

Though people have gone anti-gun crazy since the Sandy Brook shooting, the facts show that the United States is not becoming a more violent society. While the media and politicians call for stricter gun laws, stricter gun laws will not deplete all gun crimes since criminals do not follow the rules; meanwhile Kennesaw is one of the safest towns in the country due to its relax gun laws. Gun-free zones do not work since majority of mass-shootings have occurred in them since the shooters know no one will fire back at them. If the United States government wants to decrease the overall crime rate it should focus on decreasing poverty and assimilating immigrants since gun violence is more likely to occur to minorities and those in poverty. The country should also focus on researching mental illness and making health care more available because majority of mass-shooters were suffering from a mental illness. Also, the country should increase funding for education since countless studies have shown that an educated person is less likely to commit any type of crime. America needs to remember that the whole society needs to work together to address these issues in order to decrease violence in the country.

Media Loves Mass Shootings

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The Media loves mass shootings. After all, it is the public actually turns on the news channels in order to find out why the shooting went on a shooting range. Within hours of the Sandy Brook Massacre several news outlets were interviewing the children who, hours earlier, were climbing out windows so a shooter would not kill them. Weeks later, an interview with the shooter’s hairdresser was on the front page of Aol. While an interview with the shooter’s hairdresser may be interesting, the media “forgot” to mention other news stories that involved an armed civilian shooting a potential mass shooter, injuring him before he could kill more people.

A few days before the Sandy Brook shootings, Jacob Roberts opened fire at Clackamas Town Center Mall in Oregon. Upset over a break-up, Roberts took his anger out on innocent shoppers, killing two. Roberts would have killed more when Nick Meli took out his gun and confronted the shooter. Roberts backed off into a store and pulled the trigger on himself; he was dead by the time the cops arrived. Meli has a concealed weapons permit and when he saw the shooter, he risked his life to save the lives of others and his friend. Meli should be considered a hero, but the media does not mention him. When Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts held a press conference he thanked the police officers but made no mention of Meli.

Two days after Sandy Brook, 19-year-old Jesus Manuel Garcia exited the Chinese restaurant he worked at and started firing at the theater located next door, injuring one person. Before Garcia could enter the theater, where he planned to kill everyone on sight, he was shot four times by an off-duty deputy working at the theater. The off-duty deputy, Sgt. Liza Castellano, should be a nation-wide hero for preventing another movie theater mass murder, but only the local news outlets and bloggers covered her story.

Though Sandy Brook is one of worst mass murders in the United States’ history and is the reason why it was the top news story in December, the media has a history of downplaying civilians’ actions in preventing mass shootings. In 1997, Mississippi high school student Luke Woodham killed two classmates and wounded seven after a breakup with his girlfriend (his x-girlfriend was one of those he killed). An assistant principal retrieved his gun from his car and confronted the shooter until the police arrived. Yet not all media recognized that the assistant principal used a gun, even CNN failed to mention it. As with most news stories, the story focused majority on the villain, not the hero. In 2002, Peter Odighizuwa went on a killing spree at Appalachian School of Law in Virginia after finding out he had failed out of school. He killed three, including a dean, a professor, and a student. Though the media praised the students who tackled the shooter, the media failed to mention how two students used their own guns to stop the shooter. When Tracy Bridges, a county sheriff deputy, and Mikael Gross, a police officer, heard gun shots, each ran to their cars to retrieve their own guns. Each tracked down the shooter and approached him at different angles and got him to drop his gun. Once he dropped the gun, other students tackled the shooter.

Mainstream media has a history of omitting heroes who used guns to saves lives; to them, the better stories are how loners used guns to kill a large number of innocent lives. Though the Texas Movie Theater shooting took place after Sandy Brook shooting, the media thought an interview with the Sandy Brook shooter’s hairdresser was more newsworthy than the heroics of Sgt. Liza Castellano preventing the next movie theater shooting. The media may believe ratings or politics are more important than the news, but to the average person, it is nice to hear about the everyday hero.

Common Sense: One Method of Gun Control

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On December 16, 2012, President Barrack Obama announced to the American public his four suggestions to Congress on how to decrease gun violence in the United States. Though banning military guns, cracking down on illegal gun trafficking, assigning police officers to public schools, and doing research on mental illness will all play an important role in decreasing gun violence, there is one inexpensive object that is free to all that can decrease gun violence: Common Sense. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary common sense is a “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.” Everyone has common sense, yet people in general do not always use it as much as they should. In a country where gun violence is resulting in hundreds of deaths each year, it is up to gun owners to use common sense to prevent innocent people from dying.

 

English: Clockwise start at the top left: Gloc...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nancy Lanza, the mother of Adam Lanza, knew something was wrong with her son, something more than just autism. Though he was awkward and lacked social skills, he was known to go into outburst in high school that required the school to contact his mother since she was the only one who could calm him down. Adam avoided social interaction, had zero friends, and was teased; he was the type of person who could become the next Columbine Shooter. My generation went to high school after the Columbine School Shooting, knowing that the loners being picked on could resort to murder in order to take revenge on the school bullies. He was an unemployed 20-years-old, living with his mother after dropping out of Western Connecticut State University. After his parents divorced in 2010, he cut off all contact with his father and older brother, an example on how he was angry about his parents divorce. Adam was also seeing a psychiatrist. Something was wrong with Adam, yet his mother kept several types of guns in the house, including the Glock 10-mm handgun, Sig Sauer 9-mm handgun, and Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle used in the Sandy Brook Elementary School Shooting. When Adam went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to purchase a rifle, he chanted his mind after he was told that there was a waiting period. He knew at home he had the Bushmaster AR-15, the assault-type weapon similar to the M-16 rifle used by the U.S. military, capable of firing 45 rounds per minute. Adam also knew how to use the guns since his mother had taken him to the gun range several times over the years… Even though Nancy knew there was something wrong with her son, she kept several guns in the house and taught Adam how to shoot. No parent with a child suffering from a mental illness should own guns in her house, much less teach the child how to use it.

On Christmas Eve 2012, William Spengler, 62, murdered his sister and then set fire to his house in hopes of burning down his neighborhood and killing everyone. When firefighters arrived at the scene, he used a semiautomatic rifle to kill two firefighters. After exchanging gun fire with an off-duty cop, Spengler used a handgun to fatally shoot himself. Spengler was not new to murder, after all, he used a hammer to kill his grandmother years ago when she refused to give him money for drugs.This also meant that Spengler was a convicted felon and not able to buy guns, yet he was able to obtain the two guns used in the attack. Did he purchase the guns from a guy selling guns from the trunk of his car? Did he purchase the guns from a gang member in the shady part of town? Did he steal the guns from a woman who lives alone? No, he asked his 20-year-old neighbor to assist him to a gun shop where he picked out the guns while she made the purchase, a “straw purchase.” Did Dawn Nguyen know Spengler was a former convict? There is a possibility because other neighbors have told police that they knew he killed his grandmother and served time in jail, making it possible that Nguyen knew she was committing a crime by purchasing a gun for a convicted felon. But even if she did not know, why did she not question why a man in his sixties was not able to purchase the guns himself? It is common knowledge that only convicted felons and locked-up mental illness patients cannot purchase guns. No one should purchase guns for someone she barely knows.

On September 12, 2012, a two-year-old boy accidentally shot himself with a handgun and died. He was at home with his parents, one of which is a cop, when he picked up the loaded gun from the table and shot himself. Sadly, this type of gun accident is why 120 people between the ages 1-19 died in 2010, according to Centers for Disease Control. Every year hundreds of children die from guns because their parents did not keep guns away from them. Even a police officer, who knows how to use a gun and how dangerous a gun is, kept a loaded gun on a table in the same house as his toddler lived. Why would parents keep a loaded gun on a table? Did they think their “terrible two” son would not find the gun? As every parent knows, toddlers are magnetically drawn to dangerous objects; but yet some parents still do not keep their guns locked up on a high shelf. If one must own a gun in the same house as where children live, then they need to keep the gun unloaded, the bullets in a separate location, the safety on, and the gun locked up on a high shelf. Too many innocent children die each year because their own parents lack the common sense to keep a loaded gun away from a child.

The United States government can pass all the gun laws it desires but the laws will not work if people lack the common sense to follow the laws. Gun owners should not keep guns in the same house where someone with a mental disability lives or teach a person with a mental illness on how to use a gun. A citizen should not purchase a gun for a stranger/neighbor/friend in any circumstance since there could be a reason why he himself could not purchase the gun; plus, the gun buyer could also face 10 years in prison for purchasing a gun for a convicted felon. Parents should not keep a loaded gun in a spot where children can access the gun. If everyone just had common sense when it came to guns, then there would be less gun violence in the country.

 

Ohio Town Protecting Football Players from Rape Charges

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Ohio Town Protecting Football Players from Rape Charges

Rape: the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse; any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.

It is the year 2012 and yet there are people who still believe rape is imaginary; to them, a rape victim is just a girl who changed her mind after consenting to have sex. To them, drugging and gang raping a sixteen year old girl is not a crime. To them, taking pictures of a rape victim’s unconscious body and posting it online is not immoral. To them, they can do no wrong because they play on the high school football team; after all  the football team has won three state titles in Ohio since 2006. To them the whole town of Steubenville has their backs and will protect them, even when the rape victim is possibly dead, deader than “Oj’s wife” and “Caylee Anthony.”

On August 11, 2012, the 16 year-old rape victim was attending a Big Red High School volleyball game when her friend asked her to attend a party with her and her boyfriend’s friends. The victim agreed and was picked up by Mark Cole, Ma’lik Richmond, and Trent Mays. Getting into the car was the last thing the victim remembers – she does not remember how one of the boys slipped a date-rape drug into her drink. She only remembers her parents waking up her up on her front lawn the next morning. She does not remember being raped by multiple boys; she only realized it happened when she saw the Twitter statues and pictures of her unconscious body being carried around town online.

She does not remember attending Party #1, which was hosted by Football Assistant Coach Rick Cameletti and was where Michael Nodianos, Charlie Keenan, Cody Saltsman, and Anthony Craig were already drinking. She does not remember how after attending Party #2 (hosted by Football Assistant Coach Belederine) she was raped and sodomized by Mays and Richmond in the backseat of the car while Cole filmed it. She does not remember how at Party #3 at Cole’s house, she was carried to the basement and raped by multiple boys. She does not remember lying in the front lawn of a house while a boy urinated on her. She does not remember when the group grew tired of her and dropped her body on her front lawn.

Two days after waking up from this nightmare, she and her parents reported the crime to the police. On August 27, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond were charged as adults with raping and kidnapping, though the charges were reduced to juvenile court and kidnapping was dropped. The story was supposed to be over; the pictures were deleted and out of all of the boys that knew about the rape and even possibly raped her, only two of them were going to be charged… and though rape is a “big boy” crime, they were going to be charged as children. But then former Steubenville native and current blogger Alexandira Goddard began blogging about how the town was covering up a huge crime. She had taken pictures of all of the statues and pictures the Rape Crew had posted, proving that the fact that only two members were charged meant something was wrong. For blogging about the cover-up she received a law suit from one of the member’s families.

 

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On December 23, 2012, a group of members from Anonymous called Knight Sec took up the case. Due to their hacking ability, they were able to uncover all of the statues, pictures, and videos that were deleted by the Rape Crew. It was they who learned that fellow high school students called several football players the Rape Crew because they were rumored to have raped several times before. Knight Sec posted a video stating that if the Rape Crew did not apologize to the victim, it would release evidence of them participating in that horrible crime. After the due date of January 1, 2013 passed, Knight Sec posted a 12 minute video of the Rape Crew describing the victim being raped, causing the world to focus on the small Ohio town. Another group known as LocalLeaks created a webpage on why the town was covering the football players, one reason being the football team generated revenue for the town and is the focus of illegal gambling at local sport bars. Now Steubenville police department is under fire for mishandling the case. They apparently failed to take a toxicology test on the victim because they told her the drug would be out of her system by now, though there are types of date rape drugs that can stay in the body for at least 72 hours and possibly more. They are accused of failing to arrest more of the Rape Crew members, even though there is proof that they all witnessed the rape and failed to report it to police, thus covering up a crime. Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla, who has refused to take over the case because it is not in his jurisdiction, states “It’s a disgusting video. It’s stupidity. But you can’t arrest somebody for being stupid.” LocalLeaks has confirmed that Sheriff Abdalla and Big Red High School Football Coach Reno Saccoccia have had breakfast together several times, just one example of conflict of interest. LocalLeaks also claims that Coach Saccoccia told the players to delete everything off their phones, an example of a great role model for the children.

Mays and Richmond are the only ones being charged for rape though evidence recovered by Knight Sec suggest otherwise. In the 12 minute video that was posted on YouTube, Michael Nodianos (former Big Red baseball player) describes how the victim was raped and urinated on. When one member asks why the girl isn’t waking up, it is he who suggests that she is probably dead, “You know she’s dead because someone peed on her.” He says if he had a daughter that was raped, he hoped she would be dead too. The one recording this horrible conversation was Evan Westlake at Jake Howarth’s house. The fact that several boys are joking about how the victim, who is in another room because one boy goes to check on her, may be dead and are not calling 911 shows that these monsters are covering up a crime and are all guilty of helping their friends get away with rape. The other boys in the video are Shawn McGee, Niko Murray, and Anthony Craig; Murray and McGee leave after being disturbed by Nodianos’ comments. Though they may not have participated in the

Provided by Knight Sec

Provided by Knight Sec

rape or have joked about it, they need to come forward and tell law enforcement what really happened, even if it means sending their friends to jail. Boys joking about how their daughters deserve to die after being raped do not need to be on the streets. Nodianos, wearing an Ohio State shirt in the video, has since dropped out of the college due to the negative publicity he is receiving. Another member of the Rape Crew is Charlie Keenan, the son of County Prosecuting Attorney Jane Halin, and it was his house where the victim was also dragged to. The final member of Rape Crew who is the one to blame for this horrible night is Cody Saltsman. He was originally charged but chargers were dropped after a private meeting between Saltsman’s father, the Sheriff, and a wealthy Steubenville resident. The reason Saltsman is the one to blame for the night is because the victim was his ex-girlfriend. One month before this all happened, he wrote to his friends “Nobody breaks up with Cody Saltsman, Ill ruin that bitch.” A few weeks after the break-up, it was Cody’s friend Trent Mays who started texting her, pretending to like her. It was Cody’s friend Trent Mays who got his girlfriend to convince the victim to hang out with all of them on August 11. It was Cody who took a picture of two boys carrying the unconscious victim around and wrote “I have no sympathy for whores.” He knew what he was doing was wrong, yet he didn’t care. To him and his friends, because the girl broke up with him she deserved to be drugged, to be gang rapped, to be masturbated on, and to be left out on her lawn for dead.

These monsters ruined an innocent girl’s life and because they play for the beloved football team in Ohio they will not be charged for rape or for covering up a crime. Only the two who were recorded raping the victim will be charged, but they will only be charged as juveniles. Some people even believe that these Monsters are the Victims because the girl was asking for it by her outfit or the fact that she was at a party with boys. In a society that continues to tell the Story of Adam and Eve, it is not surprising that people still do not believe that rape exists. After all, it was Eve who used her beauty to seduce innocent Adam into biting the apple. This silly story is just enough reason for some to believe that a girl deserved to be raped because a boy cannot control his mind or body when he sees her beauty. As Rape Crew member Michael Nodianos tweeted “Some people deserve to be peed on.” To Monsters, just for being a girl is enough reason.

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Provided by LocalLeaks

Check out these sources because they have more reasons why these monsters are being protected:

LocalLeaks

StopBigRed

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Video Describing Rape