Friends of Webster

Raised in the house, but field certified.

Just a perspective.

I’ve done several things to keep me focused over the years. Whether it is prayer, family time, intense work ethic, or my fitness. The one thing that I believe with all of my heart is that I will be vindicated soon. And like I tell my close friends, what is the point of living life FOR vindication if you know it is going to happen anyway?

Now, you could say that I am foolish for believing that I KNOW it will happen. But that is just me. I am a guy who has seen the worst of the world yet, I have an awesome wife, daughter, and life. Considering that juxtaposition, you would have faith too.

The point is, I want to succeed more than most people want to eat food. Not because of money or fame but because I want to show people an example of what you can do when you act as if one of the greatest hurdles you could ever imagine – is only a footnote in your life.

I believe that when the story is done, everyone around me will be proud. And that vindication will be the footnote, not the deeds that I have done in the mean time.

November 26th, 2012 Posted by | 100 posts in 100 days | no comments

For Years…

For years, my most cherished verse in the bible was Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans that I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” I never thought that I had taken it out of context. I hadn’t. I really believe that my life will change for the better one day, allowing my family to fully live. See, my life is lived in two portals. I live for today but I live because of yesterday. I always think of my prayers from 2005 and 2006. I always prayed for protection. I was so scared back then. The seclusion almost killed me and back then, I felt that that was probably the point of having me in that seclusion.

You may not get what I am saying. In my mind, making me live a life on one of the world’s most suicidal Navy Bases (Groton to be exact), literally across the river from an institution that meant more to me than my behavior exhibited. This led me to believe that they wanted me to quit on myself. I felt that they wanted me to kill myself. So I remember that verse, playing through my mind. “I am going to get through this, I am going to get through this.” I remember thinking that as long as I can tell my story, there is no way that I will be damned to hell for the rest of my professional life. But things didn’t happen that way. I lost one of many but that one did me in.

Even so, I kept that verse close to my heart. And I built a family with it, I went back to school with it, I built a life with it. A life for my family, starring the most important little four year old princess in the world. So here I am today, over six years later. And I am reading the context of Jeremiah, FINALLY coming to God with a full heart. I need this.

I need to be free but I also need to tell you a little secret, I am not upset at all. The CRAZIEST thing about this ordeal is that the pain built me. And I know that the unwelcomed pain that the compromising moments shared by the people involved all shared, made each of us stronger and better.

I had a dream that continues to play in my mind. That dream involves resolution, freedom, truth, and progress. Yes, the crazy thing about this is that I would hug everyone involved. And thank them without an ounce of remorse. It’s time to live.

Jeremiah 29:7 is the crux of this entire passage: “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” I pray for the prosperity, not just of the friends that love me today but from the opponents that were after me yesterday. It’s time to live.

July 29th, 2012 Posted by | Dear Mr. President | no comments

What A Story. (Please God, Please…)

Who would have ever thought this to be possible?

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/highschool-prep-rally/5-years-prison-former-prep-football-star-exonerated-210345660.html

May 25th, 2012 Posted by | Dear Mr. President | no comments

Well this is interesting. Below is an excerpt from Judge London Steverson’s Book.

I agree with his purpose but I can’t say that I agree with his tone and portrayal. To this day, I don’t blame my peers. In a sense, we were all pawns. And if the tables were turned, I probably one have done the same thing to protect my career. Sad but true.

The Webster Smith Story is an American tragedy. It is not just the story of a Black Coast Guard Academy cadet; it is the story of an American family. It is the story of his mother, Belinda; and his father, Cleon; his wife, Lindsey and their daughter; and of his sister and brothers. It is the story of the friends of Webster Smith. They have all been harmed by the violence directed at their son, brother, husband, father and friend.

At the Coast Guard Academy, Webster Smith was a member of the Eclipse, Track Team, Football team, Regimental Staff, and a Swab summer Staff. He represented the Coast Guard in Washington DC concerning fitness and nutrition programs. He received numerous silver stars and never received a demerit prior the incident and investigation in 2005 that led to his court-martial.

To his classmates, teachers, and coaches Webster Smith appeared to be a magnetic, charming and gifted man, who had risen above his circumstances. Yet, in a moment, as if in the twinkling of an eye, a swift series of events diminished his popularity, vilified his name, and assailed his honor. His image was converted by senior Coast Guard officers from a popular athlete and nice guy to that of a sexual predator and public enemy number one at the Coast Guard Academy.

Webster Smith had dared to dream some big dreams. Like Alex Haley he had dared to believe that he could rise in the USCG to the highest level to which his talents and initiative could take him.

His parents were middle class African Americans. His father, Cleon Smith, was a graduate of the Coast Guard Academy in the Class of 1978 along with Vice Admiral Manson K. Brown.

His mother, Belinda Ingram Smith, believed in God and a good education. After attending college at WSSU for four years she went on to become the first Black female Crime Scene Investigator in the history of the Winston-Salem police Department.

This unbelievable turn about in what had been a Black success story is a singularly American tragedy.

That a cadet so deeply respected and loved by his coaches and classmates could evoke such an outpouring of hate and anger from the senior officers at the Coast Guard Academy is a Coast Guard tragedy and an American tragedy.

All of the female cadets involved with and associated with Webster Smith escaped clean without any consequences for their actions or their behavior. Mother Nature was the only one who exacted a penalty. Natural Law resulted in a pregnancy for his girlfriend. An abortion followed.

If women are equal, they should be treated as equal. Not a single woman was disciplined under the UCMJ or the cadet regulations. All of the female cadets involved in the Webster Smith case graduated and were commissioned as Coast Guard officers. Their testimony at the court-martial painted a picture of female cadets who were untrustworthy, arrogant, and certainly not ladies. Their conduct was unbecoming an officer and a lady. (Read more at http://judgelondonsteverson.com)

These women were witnesses at a public trial yet they were accorded the equivalent of rape shield protection. This was not a rape case. Not one of the women had been raped. There was testimony of consensual sex acts. Some of the consensual sex acts were unlawful because, among other things, they occurred in Chase Hall, or at Academy functions. How could unlawful consensual sex acts result in charges against only one of the participants? It takes two to tango.

Is it wrong for Black people to ask if there is a double standard? Would that amount to paranoia on the part of Black people? Or would that be considered playing the race card simply to inquire? Is it absurd to believe that anything more than pure chance resulted in the court-martial of Webster Smith? The fact that he was court-martialed speaks to a social reality that African-Americans are acutely aware of in America. Race is not a card to be dealt, but it determines whom the dealer is and who gets dealt a losing hand.

According to a 2008 General Accounting Office Report, from 2003 to 2006 there were NO sexual-harassment complaints at the Coast Guard Academy, but there were 12 incidents of sexual assault reported to the Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS), with one incident in 2003, one in 2004, “NONE” in 2005 and 10 in 2006. It is hard to conceive of the facts relied upon by, Captain Douglas Wisniewski, the Commandant Of Cadets when he asserted in 2005 that there was a climate of fear of sexual assault in Chase Hall.

The 10 incidents reported in 2006 would appear to have occurred after the Webster Smith court-martial. Webster Smith was removed from Chase Hall in 2005. Who was doing all of the sexual assaulting in 2006? Why were none of these people brought to justice? They could have been tried along with Webster Smith.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of Webster Smith. The justices declined to hear the case without comment. The decision of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) became the final decision in the case.

Thirteen female cadets and 11 males at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (CGA) reported anonymously in an April 2008 survey that they experienced “unwanted sexual contact,” ranging from touching to forced sexual acts, during the 2007-08 school year.

More than three-quarters said that alcohol or drugs were involved and that the offender was a fellow cadet.
None of the women sought professional help and only 7 percent discussed the incident with authorities.

When Alexander Hamilton organized the Revenue Cutter Service in 1790 it was established in the Department of the Treasury. Later it became known as the Coast Guard. In 1966 it was placed in the Department of Transportation. Today it is the nucleus of the Department of Homeland Security. Webster Smith’s case is currently being reviewed for clemency by the Secretary of the Department of Home Land Security, Janet Napolitano.

Webster Smith would have made an excellent military officer. It is Webster Smith and people like him that I want on the wall as our last line of defense for our American way of life protecting us from the great unwashed horde that is coming. Secretary Napolitano who do you want on that wall?
(Read more at http://judgelondonsteverson.com)

CONDUCT UNBECOMING an Officer and a Lady: A Case That Will Live In Infamy. The Conviction of Webster Smith. by Judge London Steverson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Webster Smith Story is an American tragedy. It is not just the story of a Black Coast Guard Academy cadet; it is the story of an American family. To his classmates, teachers, and coaches at the Coast Guard Academy Webster Smith appeared to be a magnetic, charming and gifted man, who had risen above his circumstances. Yet, in a moment, as if in the twinkling of an eye, a swift series of events diminished his popularity, vilified his name, and assailed his honor. His image was converted by senior Coast Guard officers from a popular athlete and nice guy to that of a sexual predator and public enemy number one at the Coast Guard Academy.The Webster Smith case was a litmus test for justice in America. Every once in a while a case comes along that puts our humanity as a people on trial. Everything that we profess to stand for as Americans was on trial. I am ashamed of our justice system. This was a tragedy and a travesty.

I wanted to know why Webster Smith was court-martialed? Now I know. This book is the full story.

AND THEN AN AMAZON LINK: Amazon.com
Tell me how it is. I am too focused to remember yesterday.

May 13th, 2011 Posted by | Dear Mr. President | no comments

Pennsylvania Ave?