In 2003 an 18-year old Marcus Dixon had sex with 15-year old Kristie Brown, a white girl. Marcus Dixon is black, from rural Georgia. Marcus was charged with six counts: rape, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, sexual battery, statutory rape and aggravated child molestation. He was found not guilty of four of the six. The Jury clearly believed that the sex was consensual. He was however charged with statutory rape and aggravated child molestation because he was 18 and she was 15.
The Jury did not know when they handed down the aggravated child molestation charge that it carried with it a mandatory 10 year sentence. A teen aged Marcus Dixon was sent to prison for 10 years for having consensual sex with a teenage girl.
Dixon was welcomed into the home of his god parents, Ken and Peri Jones, a white couple that Marcus met through sports when he was a child. Peri believes that Marcus was charged with the rape and molestation charges because of the institutional racism that is ingrained in the judicial system of the deep south. She feels that the prosecution knew that Marcus was not guilty of rape, but so wanted their conviction that they wrongly accused him of those crimes to assure a conviction.
Atlanta based corporate attorney David Balser took up the fight to free Marcus, and led the appeal pro bono. 15 months into his 10 year sentence Marcus was released from prison.
Marcus was given a full scholarship to Hampton University where he was a three year captain on the football team and never had an off-field incident in four years.
Marcus was ranked as the 26th or 27th best defensive lineman out of about 150 that were ranked for last weekends draft.
Marcus was not drafted, but hours after the draft ended he was offered a three year 1 million dollar non-guaranteed contract by the Dallas Cowboys. Marcus will attend mini-camp next weekend with the Cowboys.
Kristie Brown is a cashier at the local Piggly Wiggly. This case highlights an inherent racism that is alive an well in America today. This issue has come to light again in recent months. First with the Vanity Fair cover that displayed LeBron James in an pose that was clearly an allusion to fear inducing images that were used in the past
Senator Hillary Clinton played on this same sort of fear with her now famous “3 am” ad that she used to such success. In the ad a young, blond girl is shown sleeping and an ominous voice states that it is “3 am and your children are asleep” the imagery brings to mind immediately the pre-emancipation fear of white slave owners that their slaves were going to break free their bonds and rape and murder their children in the night. This fear was used by southern slave owners as a basis why it was necessary to continue the peculiar institution for fear of black retribution.
It is this fear of dark scary men that has fueled the controversy surrounded the “inflammatory” comments made by the reverend Jeramiah Wright. Images of black men yelling about the actions of our government, and “God Damn America!” scare the hell out of a majority of white Americans.
This institutionalized fear has been a part of this country since the first Portuguese slave ships reached the Eastern shores of Virginia in the early 1500s. Marcus Dixon was a victim of this fear.