Saturday, March 28, 2009

Capitalism and patriarchy exposed in Elgin, Ill.

By Caleb T. Maupin
Published Mar 27, 2009 11:19 PM

A recent court case has shed some light on this “great country” we live in and the way it treats women. The U.S. government and its propagandists are often foaming at the mouth denouncing Iran, Afghanistan and other nations for alleged “barbaric” treatment of women.

Of course they never mention the real conditions for women in the U.S., especially for working-class and oppressed women. Never mind that women make less money than men, that no equal rights amendment to the Constitution has ever been passed, or that physical and sexual violence is perpetrated on women every minute of every day.

A recent court case in Elgin, Ill., gives the lie to those who profess that women are “better off” in the U.S. than elsewhere in the world.

The Rev. Daryl Bujak, a former preacher at the First Missionary Baptist Church in Elgin, was recently convicted of a horrific crime for which he was only given a few hours of community service and a small fine.

A member of his congregation had a 12-year-old daughter who claimed she was being sexually molested and abused by her father nearly every day. However, her mother refused to believe her. So every week for several months, she took her daughter to Rev. Bujak for counseling. Instead of following federal laws requiring clergy to report sexual abuse, he decided to punish the girl.

Bujak also assumed she was lying and gave her a weekly beating with a wooden piece of crown molding, often leaving bruises on her. “Bujak would spank the girl 15 to 25 times, depending on how she had behaved the previous week.” (Chicago Tribune, March 19)

This continued for months. Finally the mother became convinced that the girl’s father, Matthew Resh, was indeed molesting the child, and he was charged with five counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, for which he is awaiting trial.

Low and behold, the girl had not been lying at all. She had been telling the truth, and she had bravely continued doing so despite the weekly beatings from her pastor.

So Rev. Bujak was put on trial for several crimes, including not reporting sexual abuse. He was also charged with child abuse himself, for beating a 12-year-old girl on a weekly basis.

Bujak was found “not guilty” for failing to report sexual abuse. He was given a slap on the wrist of two counts of battery for the weekly beatings he administered. He will have to perform only 80 hours of community service and pay a fine of $350, which is probably just a small fraction of the offering plate receipts in his church on any given Sunday. The only good part of the sentence is that Bujak is forbidden from ever again seeing the young woman he beat for telling the truth.

This is the “beautiful society” we live in, where a 12-year-old young woman who reports being sexually molested by her father is taken to a “preacher” at a “house of God” and then beaten every week until she is bruised, hoping to force her through violence to recant her story. The pastor is let off with a light sentence.

People go to jail for over a year sometimes for the crime of protesting the torture-training School of the Americas in Georgia and trespassing in the process.

A penalty of $350 and 80 hours of community service, for what? For beating a 12-year-old every week in the hopes of getting her to shut her mouth and accept being molested and abused by her father.

The young woman’s name has been left out of the papers for good reason. But whoever she is, she is a hero. She knew that she was a human being who did not deserve to be molested. She knew that she had rights, and she refused to back down. Weekly beatings or not, she continued to challenge those oppressing her.

This young woman, only 12 years old, who stood up for her humanity against all this brutal oppression, is proof that revolution is possible in the United States. Human beings are capable of fighting back. Human beings are capable of resisting, even in the face of the most horrendous oppression.

My hero is not the judges, the cops, the courts, and all the others who let this battering pastor walk away with a slap on the wrist. My hero is this unnamed 12-year-old girl, who refused to surrender, despite the fact that all the hell of capitalism and patriarchy was coming down upon her.

Articles copyright 1995-2009 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

No comments: