Social Media Starts Wilding on Linda Fairstein
You reap what you sow.
Do unto others, as you want them to do unto you.
What goes around comes around and any other cliché that comes to mind that describes how hatred will come back on you if you give hatred.
Well, the hatred that Linda Fairstein showed the Central Park Five in 1989 has come back around on her in the court of public opinion 30 years later thanks to the Netflix limited series, “When They See Us.”
After people viewed “When They See Us,” this past weekend, many have called for a boycott of her crime novels and asked for retailers to remove the books from the shelves.
I stand behind this movement 100 percent because Linda Fairstein should not get to profit from a career, which showed that she used prejudice and hatred as a means of obtaining convictions against young minorities.
People now know of the innocence of the Central Park Five despite their convictions.
But how many other New York minorities went to prison for crimes that they did not commit, never getting the vindication that the Central Park Five received by having their convictions overturned and receiving a $41 million settlement from New York?
But what makes Linda Fairstein’s treatment of the Exonerated Five, as some have renamed the Central Park Five, sting even more is that she refuses to admit any mistakes and still believes that the Central Park Five were in cahoots with the serial rapist who finally confessed to the rape of a jogger.
Now, the current bestselling crime novelist can find out what it feels like to have her name and reputation dragged through the mud like she did to five innocent Black and Hispanic teenagers who she falsely accused of raping a jogger in New York’s Central Park.
In the 1980s, New York looked a lot different than it does in 2019.
Three decades ago, walking or jogging alone, especially for a woman, meant putting one’s safety at risk.
A lot of violence existed in poor minority communities.
Therefore, the stereotype of a violent person started and ended with skin color for many closed-minded and bigoted people.
So when a White woman, 28-year-old investment banker Trisha Meili, got brutally beaten and viciously raped one evening in Central Park, Linda Fairstein had no problems singling out young Black and Hispanic kids for the horrific crime.
It did not help that the night the lady got brutally raped, a large group of young kids gathered in a another section of Central Park, some just having a good time while following the crowd and others harassing cyclists and joggers.
When authorities asked some of the teenagers what they did while in the park, many said that they were just wilding, which means to harass, terrorize or bully strangers in a large group.
Linda Fairstein built a legacy on prosecuting rapists and the former head of the crime sex unit in New York County refused to let this crime go unpunished.
But by punishing the Central Park Five erroneously, she essentially did let the crimes go unpunished because the real rapist Matias Reyes did not stop his crime spree until he had taken the life of one of his rape victims.
That victim might still be alive today if he, and not the Central Park Five, went to prison for the Central Park jogger rape.
Nevertheless, Linda Fairstein and several detectives coerced five innocent minority children into confessing to the crime despite no physical evidence or eyewitnesses placing them at the scene of the crime.
Furthermore, the rapist beat the victim so badly that she had no recollection of the crime.
However, Linda Fairstein and her henchmen got confessions out of the Central Park Five by keeping the boys detained for countless hours without their parents and without legal representation under the promise that they could all go home if they would confess to being at the scene of the crime, while implicating others as the rapists.
To make matters worse, most of the Central Park Five did not even know each other until after their coerced confessions, making it virtually impossible that they committed this crime in concert.
Despite the lack of evidence, jurors found the Central Park Five guilty of the brutal rape.
The Central Park Five consisted of Yusuf Salaam, 14, Korey Wise, 16, Kevin Richardson, 14, Raymond Santana, 14 and Antron McCray, 15.
The young boys spent between six to 13 years in prison for a crime they did not commit.
Although the Exonerated Five have gone on to productive and successful lives as businessmen and family men, no financial settlement can give them back what they lost during those fateful days in 1989.
The young boys lost their childhood and the early parts of their adulthood because of the hatred and immorality of Linda Fairstein.
Therefore, if Linda Fairstein loses a bit of her successful literary career for what she did to those young boys, so be it.
Forgiveness is something that the Central Park Five should give Linda Fairstein.
But it is probably harder to forgive someone when they will not own up to their wrongs.
And although forgiveness is required for people to move on with their lives, forgiveness does not include purchasing or selling someone’s novels or putting money in their pockets.
People like Linda Fairstein and President Donald Trump, who called for the reinstatement of the death penalty as punishment for the innocent five young boys, have to face consequences for bigotry and racism.
America cannot just accept racism as a reality of this country’s sad state of affairs and then just move on like nothing else happened.
If people can lose their innocence and childhood because of racism, then racists should lose their livelihood for their racism.
There should not be a statute of limitations on stupidity.
And if someone stays stuck on stupid, then punishment should follow.
That punishment for Linda Fairstein should be fewer novel sells, a less than stellar reputation and another look at all of her convictions because some of those convictions might have been tainted by her disdain of who she thought were criminals.