On March 21, 2013, two armed black men [Gregory Wallace and Marquis MacAfee]
Gregory Wallace and Marquis MacAfeebroke into Jordan and Tommy Gray's home near Buechel, Ken., while their 3-year old daughter was watching SpongeBob Squarepants and robbed the couple at gunpoint. "Two years later when Gregory Wallace was about to be sentenced, Jordan wrote in a victim impact statement that her daughter was still 'in constant fear of black men.'" "Whenever we are running errands, if we come across a black male, she holds me tight and begs me to leave," the mother said. "It has affected her friendships at school and our relationships with African-American friends."
Judge Stevens, who is also black, ignored the fact that the child had obviously been extremely terrorized by the incident and only gave Wallace probation.
Stevens said, "I am offended. … I am deeply offended that they would be victimized by an individual and express some kind of fear of all black men."
"This little girl certainly has been victimized, and she can't help the way she feels," he said. "My exception is more with her parents and their accepting that kind of mentality and fostering those type of stereotypes."
As a Vietnam Vet, I quickly recognized the possibility that the child was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I don't have the professional credentials to make a definite diagnosis, but I believe the child needs professional help even if she doesn't have a full blown case of PTSD.
Based on my studies of the southern system of injustice during the Jim Crow era, Steven's behavior is similar to what a white judge 60 years ago might have done in a case with white criminals and black victims.
I'm not familiar with Kentucky law, but Wallace should be prosecuted for psychological child abuse if that is possible under Kentucky law.
The judge's treatment of the parents was totally unjustified. They are not responsible for the actions that traumatized their daughter and they lack the professional expertise necessary to deal with their daughter's trauma.
Overcoming the psychological impact of traumatic events can be difficult enough for adults, such as some of my fellow Vietnam vets. It is harder for children who don't have the ability to understand the way adults do.
The article doesn't say if the child consciously remembers what happened that night. It's possible the only thing she remembers is that men with dark complexions did something very bad in her home. She fears black men because of what black men did to her family not because of something her parents said. It is common for memories of traumatic events to be triggered by an object (living or dead), a sound or even a smell.
Incidentally, the double meaning of ASAP is intended. The judge who is "a sap" should be removed "As Soon As Possible".