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(ABOVE)Mobile home, left, and tool shed in Big Creek, W.Va., where authorities say 20-year-old Megan Williams, a black woman, was allegedly held captive for at least a week and tortured by six white individuals.

While most of the news media is still focused on the squabble between Kid Rock and Tommie Lee, in West Virginia a young Black woman named Megan Williams was held inside a shed and tortured for days, sexually assaulted, beaten and forced to eat rat droppings.

Her captors, all of them white, choked her with a cable cord and stabbed her in the leg while calling her a racial slur, poured hot water over her and made her drink from a toilet, according to criminal complaints.

It wasn’t until an anonymous tip led Logan County Sheriff’s deputies to the property on Saturday that her ordeal ended and she was able to limp to safety, arms outstretched as she cried, "Help me!"

What the f$%^!!!!

According to MSNBC’s website, at one point, an assailant cut the woman’s ankle with a knife and used the N-word in telling her she was victimized because she is Black, authorities said.

This is almost too much to take and begs the question, what is really going on?

In the past year and a half there have been an alarming number of racially motivated hate crimes against Blacks, almost to the tune of one every week, this latest one being one of the worst.

Just yesterday, I wrote about another noose found on a college campus in Maryland.  But let’s not forget the case against the Jena 6 in Louisiana, where a group of white students hung nooses from a tree that resulted in six Black boys being charged for second degree aggravated assault (a reduction from second degree attempted murder) and conspiracy to commit the assaults because they violated the "social space" of the white students at the high school, a tree that the white students stood under daily.  Add to that the incident of the “Ghetto Handbook” in Texas, the “Nigger-brown” colored sofa in Toronto, the various “Pimps and Hos” parties that took place on college campuses around the country, most notably Texas’ Tarleton State University and South Carolina’s Clemson University where photos posted on the Internet showed Martin Luther King Jr. Day parties with white students dressed to mimic stereotypes of Black people, the heinous murder of Sean Bell in New York, Don Imus, and of course Michael Richards.

So, what is really going on?  Why the sudden surge in racially motivated crimes against Black people? And I say surge, because racist crimes against Blacks never really stopped.  What stopped was the mainstream media’s reporting on it.

Just from the short list of atrocities that I posted here that have happened in the last year and a half, I’d say that these are the types of issues that our civil rights leaders need to be focused on. 

There is no excuse for what happened to Megan Williams.  None and it hurts my heart to have read what she endured and to know that it happened to her because she was Black.

If crimes like what happened to Williams are still taking place in remote parts of the country at the hands of whites, what makes you think that America is ready to send a brotha to the White House?  In all seriousness, I ask that question.

America is no better than the families that live within her borders that continuously sweep issues under the rug and go on like nothing is wrong.  That’s what we’ve done with racism.  We like to tell ourselves that race isn’t an issue in America, that everyone is treated fairly and that we’ve moved beyond the America of the 1950s and 1960s.  But most Black people will tell you, that’s a lie.  It’s just something people like to tell themselves to make it through their day and to feel good about themselves.  The truth of the matter is, America is still a country full of racist people.  And Black people are still oftentimes the victims of brutal crimes simply because of their race.  It’s just that we don’t always get to read about it in our local daily paper or see it on the evening news.  That’s why the Black press is so important in telling our stories.

You know, my biggest fear in Senator Barack Obama being elected to President is that some idiot would assassinate him simply because he’s Black.  Now think about that.  In 2007, I am worried about a Black man being killed for being elected President.  That’s not a concern that any of us should have.  But if you pay attention to what’s really going on in the world, then you know that it’s a reality.

I don’t have the cure for America’s race issues.  In fact, I don’t think there is a cure.  All we can individually do is our part.  That may be sounding the alarm on incidents like this one, it may be calling on our organizations to put the focus back on race issues, it may be to boycott media that repeatedly ignores stories like this.  That’s ultimately for you to decide.

This morning, I did my part.  Will you do yours?