Friday, September 29, 2006

Smells like 'chicken'

This is one of those hang-my-mouth-wide-open-only-in-the-South stories that defies explanation.

Sharon Kendall--"God love her," as my mother would say--has some, let's say, issues.

The Ellijay, Ga. resident worked as a janitor for a local elementary school. Maybe she was overcome by the constant ammonia fumes from her mop bucket, maybe she was tired of being called on to clean up some little cherubs' vomit from the floor of the cafeteria, or maybe she's just Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Whatever the reason, she told local Gilmer County authorities that she was sexually assaulted at the school on the morning of August 17th, by a Hispanic male. Okay, she actually trashed the school to make it look like a struggle took place, and gave herself injuries.

What's even more intriguing is that she reportedly told said authorities that the man, "smelled like chicken."

I did a double-take when I heard that tasty tidbit on one of my local news channels. It seems that there is a Gold Kist chicken processing plant across from the school, which is heavily employed by Hispanic men and women.

Smelled like chicken? Well, at least she didn't say, "teen spirit."

However, she appeared in court, yesterday, to answer to charges that she made up the whole story.

Yep, maybe it was the weather that morning that made her say, "You know? I really hate those Mexicans across the street. And that SMELL of chicken!"

What's up with these wacky white women, who have suddenly decided that it's the 'Hispanic Male' who is the Chupacabra of the southern United States?

First it was the "Runaway Bride," Jennifer Willbanks, who made up her whole abduction story, with Hispanic males as the perps, and now this sad sack.

With the ongoing hate concerning illegal immigrants--most crossing the border from Mexico--the above Mensa geniuses really make me embarrassed to live in the South.

I remember my first encounter with an 'illegal alien,' about ten years ago. I was working a temp job, with two women who were here on Work Visas from Ireland. They were a riot to be around, and they were always amused when I attempted an Irish brogue.

Well, I went to lunch with one of the women, Gemma, and she told me about her boyfriend. He was Hispanic and had illegally immigrated from Mexico. Well, at first, that just didn't set well with me. My knee-jerk reaction was, "why couldn't he come over legally?"

We got into a heated conversation about the whole issue, until I finally met him. Let me tell you, this guy was one of the hardest workers I have ever seen. He held three jobs, with one as a sous chef for a local restaurant, and he was one of the most polite men I had ever met.

I changed my whole view about illegal immigrants after meeting him. As well, I watched a whole construction team, made up mostly of Hispanic males, rebuild my former neighbor's home, after half of the house burned to the ground. These guys would get there at 7:30am and they didn't stop working until dusk. I kid you not.

That house was rebuilt in a matter of weeks and it was good work. I know that there are no easy answers for the problem of illegal immigration. With 3000 or more immigrants crossing the borders illegally every day, we cannot support the number of folks crossing over.

But why should hard working individuals like my friend Gemma's partner be punished for some of the scumbags who really do come here to siphon off our Welfare system? I truly believe there are more hard-working men and women, wanting a better life for themselves and their children, who cross over every day, than there are deadbeats.

Conversely, why don't we start ejecting those US citizens who make a career out of Welfare, along with the undesirables?

I don't know what the answer is, as far as setting up a guest program that weeds out the undesirables and keeps those who are willing to work the crap jobs that many of the privileged in this country don't/won't work. It's not an easy problem to solve.

What I do know is that building some 600 mile 'Berlin Wall' is not the answer, nor is exacerbating the situation by giving press to lying bigots such as Willbanks and Kendall, who instill a real fear among many who already believe and promote these bad stereotypes.

No doubt that some folks in Ellijay--in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains--took on a lynch mob mentality, as one of its citizens was interviewed on television. He said, "That woman should be put away for a long time, because we took it seriously. We mobilized and were going to protect the rest of the members who live in our town."

During the time that elapsed between her 'confession' of assault, until her court appearance yesterday, I can bet that life for the Hispanics (particularly male) living in Ellijay was not a happy existence.

Ms. Kendall tearfully addressed the court, as she was sentenced to 500 hours of community service, ordered to pay $8,500 in restitution. What did she say in her defense? "I'm sorry." I agree with her.

Oddly, her attorney was former DeKalb County District Attorney, J. Tom Morgan. He claimed she was 'mentally ill' and that realizes that what she did was wrong.

That really touches my heart.

The judge said she didn't like having to give her community service, instead of a jail sentence, but she had to abide by the plea bargain.

I have a suggestion for the Ellijay school: Why don't you hire a hard-working Hispanic to replace her in the janitor position?

I haven't even addressed the audacity of 'crying wolf' concerning sexual assault, but I'm still laughing over the TV anchor saying, "...and she said her assailant smelled like chicken."

(singing to myself) "That's what I love about the South!"

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