Thursday, June 21, 2007

"She's A Good Mother. It's A Freak Accident."

Friends Shakita Mangham and Fuhara Love left their seven children home alone, well past midnight, while they had drinks at a neighborhood bar. Authorities think the two oldest children, both only eight years old, set the house on fire while playing with matches. The 8-year-olds were able to escape the burning house. The five younger children were not as fortunate and all perished. They were trapped behind a bedroom door which may have been locked from the outside.

As the women returned home to find the house ablaze and their children dead, Mangham had the presence of mind to lie to authorities about a non-existent babysitter who was supposed to be watching the children. Neighbors immediately discounted the babysitter story, telling police that the children were often left alone while the “mothers” frequented the bar.

Absolutely heartbreaking but unfortunately nowhere near the end of the ugliness:

“Who is responsible? This city has been responsible for people living in poverty for years and years. How can you arrest and prosecute these women for neglect, and you won’t prosecute the past leaders of this city for neglect? It’s a shame on the whole of Pittsburgh.”
--- Jibril Abdul-Hafeez, community activist

“What does it matter? Five angels died! Who cares what happened and how it happened and when it happened? It’s our children who have died …”
--- Rev. William H. Curtis, addressing mourners at the funeral for the children.

“She’s not responsible for what happened. A fire broke out. She didn’t set that fire. She may have wanted to be there when the fire started, but even if she were there, the children might not have lived. In other words, just because a parent is in the home doesn’t mean the children can’t be in the basement doing some mischief. You have a loving parent who did something she regrets, but she didn’t kill the children.”
---- Ernest Sharif, Love’s attorney on why his client should not be charged with homicide.

“She’s a good mother. It’s a freak accident.”
---Sheila Ward, Mangham’s mother and owner of the burned house.

Ms. Mangham is a certified nursing assistant. Ms. Love is a senior student of criminology at Point Park University. Both must therefore have the intellect to know better. As should those who've made the appalling excuses on their behalf.


Anonymous said...

Where are the fathers and why aren't they implicated as well? If they abandoned their children they are equally guilty -

Lie Like Luke said...

The implications of society, absentee and/or dead-beat dads and poverty were all destroyed the moment that these two mothers, in face of deaths of their beloved children, conceived an alibi to avoid the consequences of their deadly, irresponsible actions. Avoiding arrest and the subsequent legal penalties should have been the farthest thing from their minds--it should have been their children who perished in flames because they decided to lock them in the house, alone, rather than stay in for the evening. Their actions will be reflected in their sentencing. I imagine that if grief-stricken they had admitted to their terrible decision, the judicial system and a jury of their peers would have taken the lifelong curse of their conscience into consideration.

Char said...

Where were the fathers at 1:30 in the morning when their babies were left unattended in a burning building on a work night? Probably sleeping in their own beds like the mothers should have been.

The persons responsible for the children's deaths are the ones who had custody at the time of the fire. If this had happened at the home of one of the dads while the kids were visiting him ...... then HE would be ENTIRELY responsible.

Don't know what's so hard about this. The person who has custody of a child is the person who is responsible for the child while the child is in their custody!! Period. Pretty straight forward.

If being a single parent was too difficult for these women ..... they shouldn't have created a child without a man committed to being a husband, a father to the children, and a full-time joint occupant of the family home. If they got duped by a fast-talking, irresponsible dead-beat one time .... well, we all make mistakes and hopefully learn from them. But Love was on her 3rd child and Mangham on her 4th!

Those two women made a bunch of bad choices. Over and over again. Leaving the kids alone in the middle of the night to get a beer was just their last and deadliest irresponsible choice .... one their babies paid for with their lives.

mick said...

Right on Char, I hear you all the way. I'm a male, 44, married for the 1st time 3yrs ago. For the last 25yrs, I had no desire for kids, I was too busy doing my own thing, being footloose, fancy free, and I was with more than a few people over the years. But I knew that I didn't want to have kids because I couldn't go all the way and do right for them. I didn't want the responsibility - therefore***** and here's the zinger!*****:


LADIES? EVER HEAR OF BIRTH CONTROL? Condoms, at the least?


We are not responsible for providing the world with children unless we are able to provide for them properly. Period. It doesn't require a Master's Degree to understand that, does it?
He wears one, or he don't get the booty!