At 38, I look at most younger people and witness alien creatures. Sincerely attempting to analyze their antics, I am filled with more questions than answers: What ever happened to birth control? When did sex become so completely loveless? When did players, pimps, and gold diggers become revered role models? When did murder become an actual alternative to paying child support?...
In a classic essay entitled, “I Am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing Across Sexualities” [Burst of Light. 1988. Firebrand Books: Ithaca, NY], renowned scholar, poet, and author Audre Lorde wrote:
“When I say I am a Black Lesbian, I mean I am a woman whose primary focus of loving, physical as well as emotional, is directed to women. It does not mean I hate men. Far from it. The harshest attacks I have ever heard against Black men come from those women who are emotionally bound to them and cannot free themselves from a subservient and silent position. I would never presume to speak about Black men the way I have heard some of my straight sisters talk about the men they are attracted to. And of course that concerns me, because it reflects a situation of noncommunication in the heterosexual community that is far more truly threatening than the existence of Black Lesbians.”
If Audre was alive today, she would probably elaborate upon this reflection extensively. She might include her observations of paternity tests on TV talk shows, the increase in date rapes, and the usage of designer drugs that enable those rapes. She might elaborate upon the fact that such hatred is now dually expressed, irrespective of gender. On that note, she might reflect upon the misogyny that blares in music lyrics penned by men, or the lewd sexism that glares from pornographic music videos directed by men etc....
Clearly, gender wars are bloodier than ever. There is a hatred between heterosexual men and women that is tangible and seething in every arena. The intensity of such hatred was epitomized by 26 year old Rae Carruth’s murder of a pregnant 24 year old acquaintance, Cherica Adams. Cherica is most accurately referred to as his expectant “baby mama”.
This unique hatred has spawned its own vocabulary. Baby mama is a common noun used to describe an emotionally detached incubator that is unloved and uncommitted. Baby daddy/deddy describes a biological sperm donor that is rarely a father. It is profound that both terms seem to be deliberately incorrect grammatically. They imply no formal possession. Even a mere apostrophe s is forbidden as an implicit suggestion of any iota of ownership or attachment.
We live in an insane world...Only very strong persons can retain their sanity within it. Clearly, Rae was weak and insane. His trial was like a parade of random boy toys. His friends were a posse of drug dealers, thugs, and fools. Rae’s pathetic attempt to flee police was so inept that it was comical.
Unlike Rae, Cherica was strong. She survived an ambush and gave premature birth to a healthy baby boy. Wounded, she drove herself onto a residential lawn and called 911. She was shot on November 16, 1999. She clung to life in a coma for 30 days. Cherica was a real estate agent, a model, and a stripper. Not all strippers are bimbos. But, all of their fans are dogs. This trial exposed Rae as a pit bull.
I believe that Rae conspired to murder Cherica and his own son. He deserved an even harsher sentence than the one he received. He was sentenced to 18 years and 4 months to 24 years and 4 months. The maximum sentence was 25 years. No one can deny that Rae’s actions evinced absolutely no respect for women in general, and no love for Cherica in particular. Cherica was an unruly member of Rae’s stable. Unlike nearly all of the other women he had impregnated, Cherica dared to be disobedient. She refused to have an abortion. That refusal cost Cherica her life.
As I studied the transcripts of this trial, several specific pieces of evidence convinced me of Rae’s guilt:
Hauntingly and prophetically, on the night he attempted to slay her, Rae took Cherica to see a movie called “The Bone Collector”, a film about a police hunt for a killer. (Similarly, O. J. Simpson took a Nicole Simpson clone to see “The Perfect Murder” on the anniversary of his double murder. The unique arrogance of jocks is repulsive.)
During the date, Rae phoned his accomplices 16 times. Rae stupidly claimed that he was accidentally hitting his speed dial button, repeatedly. (The only thing more ignorant than hiding in a trunk was dialing the shooter repeatedly.)
A wounded Cherica drove her car onto the lawn of Farrell Blalock. Farrell heard Cherica tell officers: “ I’m pregnant, and I’ve been shot [by] my husband, I mean my boyfriend”. (This is an expression of love/long range plans. Both severely complicate the lives of veteran playboys like Rae.)
At the emergency room, Cherica told police, paramedics, and nurses that Rae arranged her murder. Defying death and fainting, she rapidly penned many notes before surgery. They read: “...Rae was driving in front of me and stopped in the road...and a car pulled up beside me, and Rae blocked the front and never came back...” (Dying persons have no reason to lie. Cherica was not supposed to live to name her murderers.)
With a breathing tube preventing speech, Cherica remained a fighter. She refused to die and insisted on exposing Rae during every one of her sober moments. She named Rae as the killer verbally to police and paramedics. She penned additional notes to nurses that read: “Rae insisted on coming to my house...Now I need to blow my nose and cough, but I have to say...Before we left his house, he called someone and said we’re leaving now...”
Upon arrival at the emergency room, Rae never asked about Cherica or his son. Cherica’s father, Jeffrey Moonie, asked Rae what happened. Rae was hostile and combative, never saddened or apologetic. Moonie asked Rae what had happened to his daughter. Rae’s only reply was: “I didn’t come here for that. That’s why I started not to come”. (How callous and cavalier! A real man would have felt responsible for the safety of his date, and would have been anxious to explain every detail of the crime he had just witnessed.)
Rae rudely took another girlfriend to the emergency room, 22 year old Candace Smith. Candace said Rae confessed to her at the hospital, stating: “I can’t get in trouble can I? Because I didn’t actually pull the trigger.” Rae also discussed his curiosity about gunpowder tests on his car and clothes as deflection from blame. Rae demonstrated how he hit his brakes to slow Cherica’s car down, while Cherica drove behind him. Rae watched his three pals gun Cherica down. Then, Rae drove off, icily. Cherica was seven months pregnant. Rae expected to leave two corpses behind.
Candace said Rae discussed plans to clear himself of any blame by allowing his car and clothes to be inspected for gunpowder, since he did not pull the trigger. She also stated Rae discussed having someone beat or kick Cherica in the stomach, so that she would miscarry, to avoid child support payments.
Rae left the hospital and went to breakfast with Candace. She says she went to breakfast in fear because Rae swore her to secrecy. She finally called police at the urging of her new boyfriend, NBA player Charles Shackleford.
Candace also stated that Rae dated a “million” women and often disrespected her. Rae kept a box of 20-30 photos of current girlfriends.
Rae was arrested at 5:45 PM on December 15, 1999. He was hiding in the trunk of yet another girlfriend’s car. (Innocent men do not hide in such ignorant and desperate places.)
Officer Kevin Wallin confirmed what Candace stated. He said Rae acted strangely at the hospital. Rae asked him if the hospital was surrounded by the police, out of the blue. Rae also asked if he could cover his head if arrested. Rae also told him: “This whole thing is crazy...when this is over I am going to give up women.”
The driver, Kennedy, stated that Rae had asked him about buying a gun because someone was pregnant: “He was saying she was trying to juice him for the money.”
The shooter, Watkins, was 40 years old. Watkins was a drug dealer who used the thousands that Rae paid him to murder Cherica on bills. Those bills included an abortion for his own girlfriend, who was more obedient than Cherica. (Criminal losers like Watkins typically hang out with naive people who are half their own age.)
Since 1997, Rae had been paying child support to another baby mama, Michelle Wright. Rae was paying 3500 a month, by court order. (It is easy to understand how anticipating total payments of at least 7000 a month, after another baby’s birth, would stress Rae.)
Rae’s own family testified that Rae was suddenly depressed due to an ankle injury in October of 1999. A month later, Cherica was shot.
Amber Turner was the girlfriend who gave the most damaging testimony about Rae’s truly evil character. Amber obediently aborted Rae’s baby when she was pregnant. Amber said Rae forced her to abort their baby by threatening to harm her physically and bragging about having a former girlfriend and his own son killed. (Did the prosecution research this claim to see if an additional sentence is due Rae?)
Defense attorneys desperately attempted to dismiss Amber as vindictive and jealous. However, Rae himself refuted his attorneys’ slander in a jailhouse love letter that he penned to Amber:
“...All I ever want for you is for you to find someone to treat you right. You’re not the kind of girl who deserves to be a piece of ass on the side, you’re a good, faithful, caring, trustworthy, and beautiful woman...you should never allow yourself to be treated like anything else than a queen...Don’t sell yourself short. Amber, the women who do, may have fun now, but down the line, those aren’t the type of women who have great memories...they will always be overshadowed by shattered dreams...Girl, get you a good man who can offer you what you can offer him with no compromise...Also, about the police. Amber, I’m going to trial and there’s nothing anyone can say or do to prevent that...Please understand that and promise me you won’t talk to them.
When my attorneys ask about my son in a [sic] interview or in court, here’s what you recall:
...4. Didn’t mind paying child support.
...5. Felt like she wasted the money on stupid shit.
...15. She and I never argued about money.
...You’re not groupie or kept woman material. You’re an intelligent, beautiful, respectible [sic], trustworthy woman and that’s rare, that’s special, you’re special...” (Certainly such a special woman, who loved Rae so much that she aborted his baby upon demand, would not suddenly morph into a pathological liar, in a trial that should have led to Rae’s death. And, Rae is indirectly confessing to abusing Amber herein.)
The only thing more heinous than murdering a woman pregnant with your own child, is risking wounding that child in her womb. Cherica and Rae’s baby boy was blessed to live, with severe deformities. Rae’s depravity was checked only by fate. Rae’s son is named Chancellor Lee Adams. Though he was born in trauma 10 weeks prematurely, he is well and living with Cherica’s mother.
Like droves of irresponsible and fertile young men, Rae has impregnated more than one woman. Also typically, he blamed this particular woman exclusively for her own impregnation. It seems that the very men who do absolutely nothing to prevent impregnating women, are the ones who become most enraged when they impregnate.
Equally perplexing are women who deliberately become pregnant, and who seem to be selectively blind and sporadic amnesiacs. How do they forget about all of the single mothers around them who have been abandoned by fleeting seducers and deadbeat dads? Why are they unable to see that such devious schemes always fail to secure any meaningful relationships? True love is never won by lures. Lasting relationships are never secured by snares.
Teachers are the most important citizens in America. Yet, athletes are the highest paid. Increasingly, America’s most worshipped royalty are also its most warped citizens. Rae is one of many poster children for America’s most rabid athletes. Many of whom are miserable excuses for real men. They are coddled from birth. They are routinely extended gross exceptions for behavioral rules, beginning in Little Leagues. They are brats by junior high, bullies by high school, psycho by college, and maniacal by the time they reach the pros.
There are a host of persons to blame for the demise of their character. From parents to coaches, and professors to police, athletes are given carte blanche to behave badly. Even fellow psycho, poster boy, woman beater, and double murderer O. J. Simpson partied and played tennis and golf with police officers. These same officers slowly escorted him by parade (read “chase”) to a final glass of orange juice, before a cordial trip to jail. I am elated that, unlike the charmed O. J., Rae did not outrun justice.
I dream of a world where all heterosexuals and homosexuals have sex only with people they love, rather than people they can have executed at will. I dream of a world where all babies are planned and desired rather than accidental and loathed. I dream of a world where wombs are regarded as sacred spaces rather than bull’s-eyes for hit men.
In the real world, hateful games are foreplay. Contract killers have replaced relationship counselors. Intimacy without affection breeds ruthlessness without guilt. As the games that people play become more vicious, the losers are more venomous and the stakes are more deadly.
Being a lesbian in a homohating and sexist world is usually painful. But, witnessing such misogyny and madness eases that pain. I never have to worry about pregnancy or paternity. For that very special dual blessing, I thank the Goddess daily...