DETROIT (WWJ) – He’s ashamed of his own community. A local attorney says the lack of attention from the African American community over the severe beating of a Roseville man in Detroit is itself an outrage.
When 54-year-old Steve Utash was attacked by a violent mob last Wednesday — after trying to render aid to a young boy he’d accidentally hit with his pickup truck — Detroit criminal defense attorney Cliff Woodards, II, was watching the media accounts closely.
Silence was what he heard from the normally vocal civil rights activists like Al Sharpton, local pastors and radio hosts.
“After Mr. Utash was attacked, they seemed to be calm and quiet,” Woodards told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Tom Jordan. “… The voices were silent and the streets were empty; and, unfortunately, no one seemed to want to speak up.”
The lack of outrage from his own black community was what led Woodards to post a strong rebuke on his Facebook page.
The post, titled “Shame On Us,” questions what the reaction would have been if the races were reversed.
It reads, in part:
“It’s been 48 hours and I’m still waiting on the outcry. It’s been two days and I’m still waiting to learn where we’re going to march. I haven’t heard a peep from community leaders and activists. I haven‘t seen one teddy bear affixed to a light pole …
“Imagine though, if this happened to a black tree trimmer who was passing through Roseville? Al Sharpton would have been on a plane before the man got out of surgery. Local community leaders and pastors would have taken to the airwaves and the pulpits in search of justice for this fallen hero.
“But where is black outrage over their own who act so animalistic that they do reprehensible acts like this upon ANYONE, regardless of race? We have long been desensitized toward black on black crime. Have we now become insensitive toward black on white violence?
“… I hang my head in shame.” (Read the complete post, HERE).
Woodards said he hopes this “shameful” and “reprehensible” incident can be a turning point in the city he loves.
“The solution is not to attack innocent people,” he said. “Really, there needs to be outrage and people doing a lot more to break this culture of violence that results in these mob attacks.”
Woodard’s post had been shared more than 1,000 times as of Monday morning.
Utash, who police said was beaten by as many as a dozen people, remained hospitalized in critical condition on Monday.
There have been three arrests in the case as an investigation continues.