The System's Wilding in Central Park

Revolutionary Worker #1173, November 3, 2002, posted at

We received this statement from the RCP, New York Branch .

October 2002


LIARS! LIARS! The conviction and jailing of five youth, 14, 15, and 16 years old -- Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Yusef Salaam and Kharey Wise -- for the 1989 Central Park jogger rape was based on lies and fabrications.

Now another man, Matias Reyes, has confessed to the brutal rape of the woman who became known as the Central Park jogger. Just weeks after the jogger case hit the headlines in 1989, Reyes was arrested for the rape and murder of a pregnant woman. He had also committed several other rapes in the nearby upper east side area, including one in Central Park just two days before he raped the jogger (a case that was unsolved until his recent confession). Incredibly, Reyes was never interviewed in the Central Park case, nor was semen evidence in the Central Park case compared to his or any other cases. And the fact that another rape, with an almost identical MO to the jogger case, happened just two days before in a nearby location, was never introduced into the trials of the five youth.

Now we know that the DNA semen evidence from the Central Park jogger case matches Reyes. The semen evidence never matched any of the youths, and the flimsy physical evidence presented in the two trials of the five young men has been shown to be fake.

And we are expected to believe the claims of the police and prosecutors that this evidence against their "wilding," "wolfpack," "crime of opportunity" scenario was buried through "oversight"?

What did happen that night?

The cops had already swept up dozens of youth in and around the park that night in relation to other incidents. When the woman was discovered, they started interrogating many of these youth, without access to lawyers or parents, some with no sleep or food. Several finally agreed to make videotaped "confessions." They quickly renounced these confessions, but in spite of this, in spite of the lack of physical evidence of their involvement in this brutal crime, and in spite of the fact that substantial physical evidence pointed to someone else, five of the youths were quickly convicted and sentenced.

But these youth were not the only ones to be held "responsible." There are over 200 rapes a day in this country -- a fact that rarely seems to distress politicians or the media. But the "roots" of this rape had to be examined and dug up. A national campaign unfolded to slander a whole generation of oppressed youth as though they were the sole source and perpetrators of violence against women. Every Black and Latino youth was now a criminal until proven innocent. Every group of youth was a potential "wolfpack." Every Black and Latino parent, educator and clergyperson was put on the defensive to explain how the community had brought up this generation of "savages." The wealthy capitalist real estate parasite Donald Trump jumped out as point man for the whole power structure, demanding the death penalty for these teenagers.

This case became a signal event in the criminalization of a whole generation. Years of the lives of these five men were stolen in a frenzied atmosphere that evoked the 400 year legacy of mob lynchings and Klan-style terror.

Who was the real wolfpack in 1989? Who continues to stalk the oppressed of this country and the whole world? The ruling class's apparatus of lies and oppression, their cops, prosecutors and judges, their prostitute reporters and "experts" of every variety--it was these servants of oppression who went wilding that bitter spring, in a massive political assault on the oppressed people, and on young Black and Puerto Rican men in particular.

But those in power didn't stop there. They took the opportunity to send a chilling message to independent women, by casting blame on the victim herself as well. "What was she doing in the park?" they asked. Didn't she know that a woman shouldn't be on the street after dark? Didn't she in some way "ask for it?" The fact that most rapists are known to the victim, and the fact that women are at greater risk of physical injury at the hands of their boyfriends and husbands than out on the street -- these facts were nowhere in the public discussion of the root causes of this brutal crime and rape in general.

The toll from all this has been high. You can see it in the wary look of Black youth in the downtown areas. You can see it in the doubling and more of the prison population in the '80s and '90s, mainly Black and Hispanic youth, with vicious sentences handed down through the course of the "war on drugs." And in the over 2,000 police murders in the '90s, which again and again are justified by painting the victims as "dangerous" and their neighborhoods as a "jungle."

All of the young men have served out their jail sentences in this case. They can never get those precious years back--and it is totally outrageous and unacceptable that the prosecutors are still refusing to reverse their convictions. Those responsible for crafting the railroad, the coerced confessions, the lies and coverups, must now be brought to justice.

And it's not too late for the people to learn some crucial lessons that can help us to stop such crimes, and even greater ones, perpetrated by this system.

-- The next time the authorities scream that they want "justice" for women and other victims of oppression, think about the Central Park jogger case and check their real agenda.

-- The next time they argue that "racial profiling" is necessary now for everyone's "security," and that we can "trust them" to carry this out fairly -- think about the Central Park jogger case, the 2,000 police murders in the '80s and '90s, and the millions of Black and Hispanic youth wasting their lives in jail.

-- The next time they swear that "we have evidence," remember that they will not hesitate to concoct and twist "evidence" to fit their aims -- whether it is in a local criminal case, a case against supposed "terrorists" or against the governments of other countries.

Take what comes out of the mouths of these cynical liars and criminals with more than a grain of salt. Take their "truth" as suspect; take their cries for "justice" as a sure sign that the blood of innocents is about to flow heavy. Take their "concern" for victims as a warning that "culprits" will be produced and repressive clampdowns will be ratcheted up even higher.

And understand that this is the American way of life, and this horror will continue until the oppressed take it in their hands to overthrow this cruel, hypocritical and unjust system!

New York Branch, Revolutionary Communist Party

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