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by vivrant thang on what’s going on and the daily news


Mother, mother
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today

I often joke that the future Mr. Vivrant Thang will not only need to have the patience of Job, but should also have experience dealing with mental patients in order to live with me for the rest of his life. It’s cases like this that remind me that there are some issues that just aren’t a laughing matter.

I was talking with The First Lady yesterday and realized that people outside the area may not have heard about this case, although it has been picked up nationally.

It’s a difficult story to report on several levels because so much of it doesn’t make sense and there are so many details that are still unfolding. I suspect there are some things that will never be fully explained because there are no explanations.

banita-jacks.jpgLast week, authorities arrived at the home of 33-year-old Banita Jacks’ to evict her from her DC residence. Instead, they essentially stumbled upon a house of horrors. Inside the home were the badly decomposed bodies of her four daughters; Brittany Jacks, 16; Tatianna Jacks, 11; N’Kiah Fogle, 6; and Aja Fogle, 5. It’s unclear how long the children had been dead. The medical examiner says at least two weeks.

Jacks claims they were possessed by demons and died in their sleep some time before her electricity was cut off , which was back in September 2007. However, the girls were found to have blunt force trauma, stab wounds, and ligature marks around their necks. Jacks also admitted she starved them before they “died.”

There are many more details to this story which you can read about here and here. After you read them, I’m sure you’ll be left with several questions.

Here are my issues.

There were 30 family members in the courtroom at Jacks’ first appearance. Where were these same family members when these girls went missing?Reports have said that the family would come over there and she wouldn’t answer or she wouldn’t let them in. See, this brings up an issue in the Black community that I need to talk about in another post. We don’t have “Big Mommas” anymore. Big Momma would have gone over there to see about her babies. If Jacks’ would have dared to fix her lips to say that she couldn’t come in, she would have been backhanded and shoved to the side.

Apparently, there was a grandmother to two of the girls in the picture. She gave the same sob story about trying to contact them but had gotten cussed out and turned away. I guess she gave up.

What about the two fathers of the oldest girls? Did they not notice their daughters were missing? No, because neither of those negroes were paying regular child support so they probably couldn’t have cared less about seeing the girls. They probably were glad not to have seen or heard from Jacks. We won’t even get into how social services and the school system failed this family. Just like any inner city, you got a bunch of lazy heifers and negroes sitting up there collecting fat checks while claiming they are underpaid and overworked. Sure, the system needs major reform and Mayor Fenty wasted no time cleaning house, as he should have. It’s unconscionable that a school social worker actually did her job and after a visit to the home in April, had to plead for authorities to help the girls. At that point, they had missed over a month of school and were essentially being held hostage in a nasty house by a deranged mother. The social worker reported all of this and the cops went over there and left, apparently without laying eyes on them. Those girls could have been dying then. Can you imagine how terrified they must have been? The older girls probably tried to comfort the younger ones while dealing with their own hunger and fear. Horrible.I know there are rules that have to be followed, but officials seriously dropped the ball here.


Cellmates of Benita Jacks have said she admitted to killing the girls and that she is “crazy.” There is no question in my mind that this woman is indeed mentally ill. Apparently after the father of the two youngest died of cancer, the family situation changed drastically and something inside of her snapped. Why didn’t someone recognize this and get this woman some help?

Mental illness is a serious problem in this country that is not being addressed. We are quick to dismiss someone as “crazy,” and keep it moving until something like this happens. A girl that I hang out with on occasion is battling depression and I am the first to admit that I often avoid her or become impatient with her moody behavior and what I deem stand-offishness. I don’t know the extent of her illness because she doesn’t talk about it, but clinical depression is also nothing to ignore.

It’s time for us to go back to the days of it taking a village to raise a child. If we don’t start speaking up and getting involved when something ain’t quite right about a situation (and not stopping until there is a resolution!), we are going to keep losing our children.

Based on some accounts, it seems Jacks was a good mother before she snapped. So if she had gotten some help, there’s a chance this tragedy could have been avoided. Who knows what these girls could have accomplished had they actually had a chance at life? Perhaps this? Or any of this?

Sadly, we’ll never know.