Although she may deserve our pity and certainly our empathy, the fact is that what she did was a Hate Crime and that's unforgiveable.
Look, people - certainly she may require medical attention, counseling and psychiatric care - but that's no excuse! The claim had clear shades of the kidnapping and murder of Emmet Till, a young boy who was lynched for daring to whistle at a white woman (although in actuality, he only whistled to help control his stutter).
This was an attempt at repeat the story of the Scottsboro Boys who were tried multiple times for a rape that never happened.
Lets we think we've come a long way since the 1930's and 1950's lets not forget the false claims of Susan Smith in 1994.
Yes, what we're dealing with here is indeed a disease, but Ashley Todd isn't the only one who has it.
Bare with me, I've got a lot to get off my chest on this one. This isn't just a "Racial" issue, or even a political one - it goes far deeper than that.
For those who may who so quickly forgotten:
In 1994, Smith led the country on a wild goose chase for nine days by blaming a fictitious black man for carjacking her Mazda with her sons still in the car. The practice of unjustly blaming blacks and imprisoning them with alarming racial disparity, is not fictitious. It is a real national tragedy being revealed in studies by human rights groups and government agencies.
The truth was the Smith had sank her own car in a lake, with her children still in it. And her first attempt at a plausible alibi was to make up a story about a "black man in a knit cap."
Flash forward to today and Ashley Todd.
It is commendable that the police were vigilant enough to discover the truth of her story within a day. (Clearly the fact the "B" carved into her face was backwards was a bit a of a give away...) But suppose they hadn't? Suppose they hadn't decided to put her through a lie detector? How long could this have gone on?
And how many times have we seen this story played out before?
How viciously savaged in the press was the black girl who accused several members of the Duke LaCrosse Team of assault in 2006?
How many times do we see deference given to the "sympathatic" character in these situations and how often are those persons - young, (relatively) pretty and white?
We all know the story of the Pretty Private Jessica Lynch who was dramatically rescued from her Iraqi captures. Except that the rescue never happened.
Lynch herself doesn't remember a single thing and all the nurses and doctors and eyewitnesses on the scene say the Iraqi fedayeen guards had fled the day before the "rescue," and there was no danger whatsoever, no resistance of any kind, the U.S. forces could just walk right in, and they knew it.
And the hospital doors were wide open, and the nurses and doctors had gone out of their way to provide decent care for our precious Jessica, considering the circumstances, and doctors even tried to return Lynch to U.S. forces themselves.
Here's another thing, Jessica wasn't alone - she was with her whole unit. Jessica got the cover of Time Magazine, what kind of press coverage did Shoshanna Jackson get?
This is about more than just Ashley Todd's lies. This is about a sickness that America has, not neccesarily against black people - but to give undue and unreasonable deference to people who simply don't deserve it, and to deny it to those that do.
Clearly Ashley was fired up by weeks of charges by the McCain Campaign that Barack Hussein Obama was some kind of "Terrorist Sympathiser". "We can't trust him." He's a "Socialist!" "Kill Him." "He's an Arab".
The Fear of a Barack Presidency has been ginned up and deliberately set ablaze by McCain to keep his fading election hopes alive.
There should be little surprise that it's begun to erupt among the least stable among us. But let's just take a second and really think about this entire "William Ayers the Terrorist" thing.
Ayers and the Weatherman were Vietnam Protestors. They didn't set of bombs to "Kill Americans", they were doing it to try and end a war which killed 53,000 Americans. The only person killed by a Weatherman bomb - was a member of the Weatherman in an accident.
Yes, they were using extreme methods and certainly criminal - but they didn't "Hate America." This was the same time period that the American Indian Movement repossesed Alcatraz by force. This was the time of the SLA and the Manson Family. This was after Kent State. This was during COINTELPRO, which not so coincidentally is why Ayers was never successfully prosecuted, the FBI and police broke the law and participated in criminal actions which destroyed the case. What Ayers did and didn't do should be looked at in context of the surrounding events, not in a vaccum. 40 years later Ayer's is a college profession, education activist and winner of Chicago's 1998 "Citizen of the Year" award. He has no good reason to still be fighting to end a war that ended long ago. He and Barack live in the same neighborhood and have apparently only met about 6 times.
This is your dreaded Ameri-Qaeda member? A 60 year-old ex-war protesting professor? Really?
Yet, the drum beat of fear has marched on even after the fact as the McCain Campain specifically steered the media toward the story.
The McCain campaign steered reporters’ attention to the story yesterday. John McCain even called the 20-year old woman. Sarah Palin called her family. Well, tonight that woman is charged with making a false report
It's probably fair to note that McCain and Co didn't know it was a hoax, but it also shows that they were quite willing to believe it could be true and take advantage of it!
Ashley was providing them with exactly the Mean Liberal Scum they been trying to frighten America with. But the sad part is that you can't completely blame McCain and Palin, as I said before this story has been told for a long, long time and the consequences have been devastating.
About half of all the people who are murdered each year in the United States are black. Yet since 1977, when a firing squad in Utah initiated the modern era of capital punishment, the overwhelming majority of people who have been executed -- 85 percent -- had killed a white person.
Only 11 percent had killed a black person.
Such a huge disparity seems to suggest that racial factors may be influencing how the death penalty is dispensed -- but in different ways than some people had suspected.
While death penalty opponents had long feared that the race of the killer would play a pronounced role in determining who would be executed and that blacks would be put to death far more frequently than whites, several studies suggest that the most significant distinction is the race of the victim.
If about half he people killed in the U.S. are black, and the other half white - while 85% of the attacker of the white person goes to DEATH ROW, just what's going on with all the black people that are killed year in and year out? Just whose really getting away with Murder around here?
Even worse, over the past decade or so 223 wrongfully convicted people have been exonerated by the Innocence Project using DNA evidence. False Witness Testimony, Miss Identification, Police and Prosecutorial misconduct, False Confessions, Forensic Fraud, Lying Informants and just plain bad Lawyers have put hundreds, thousands, and (even if these failures only represent a fraction of 1% of the total cases) there are more than likely tens of thousands of innocent people behind our bars.
Over and over again, the guilty go free while the innocent are punished.
The truth is that's the crime here isn't that Ashley cried "Black Man" in a crowded theater, it's the fact that she was so easily believed - particularly by the McCain Campaign - and immediately garnered national media attention when she never deserved it.
How many muggings usually get on the CBS News?
It's just like how the Jon Bonet Ramsey Story was blown completely out of all realistic proportion andh nearly ruined the life of her parents although they were innocent the entire time.
Just like Jessica Lynch (but not Shoshanna).
Just like the story of that poor girl who "disappeared" in Aruba.
Just like the Jennifer Wilbanks, the Runaway Bride, who original said she'd been kidnapped. Not so much.
Just like the Astonaut in the diaper.
Just like Anne Nicole Smith, who everyone knew was going to die from drugs - so of course we all just made some popcorn and watched her slow, sad decline, completely wrapt.
Just like the latest missing girl, Carrie Holmes, and her apparently murderous mother who spent a month driving around supposedly looking for her daughter while her body (it seems) rotted in the trunk.
It's like a fixation.
We can't seem to tear ourselves away from pouring all our sympathies into these liars and overhyped stories that quickly plug into our own most deep seated fear - that WE MIGHT BE NEXT - we can't stop ourselves from making excuses for them, identifying with them, for immediately trying to "Forgive" Ashley Todd... but she doesn't deserve our forgiveness.
She doesn't and they really don't. Not when it comes at the cost of our ignoring all the real victims of violence, hatred and intimidation.
How much coverage has the tires of Obama supporters being slash received?
How much of the stories of Obama supporters cars being vandalized been covered by the national media?
How much coverage has their been of the hacking of the Ohio Secretary of States Website?
How much coverage has their been of the Obama campaign supporter who really WAS assaulted and accused of being a member of the dreaded "Acorn".
Or the mysterious White Powder sent to the Philadelphai Obama offices?
Or the mutilation of Obama in Effigy?
No, I can't forgive Ashley - not when she's helping take attention away from what's really going on, from the real victims and the Real American Terrorists in our midst.
Update: Different people seem to have different definitions of "Forgiveness" - for the purposes of this diary, I was taking it to mean that she shouldn't face any responsibility for her actions, that she should get a little treatment and pat on the head. My position is that that simply isn't good enough, it's sweeping under the rug the consequences of what she did. NO ONE should suffer from false accusations and our entire justice system is currently far from accurate and effective for exactly that reason, the rush to judgement and "closure" by "Getting the Bastard" has far too often trumped fact, truth and "justice".
I'm not advocating hate or vengence of any kind against her. I'm saying what she did is SERIOUS and needs to be understood in the context of history!
She should get treatment AND be prosecuted.