COMMENTARY: It’s Time for Reverend Al Sharpton To Step Up Again For Tawana Brawley

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    Do the math.

    Let’s say you owe $431,000. You have to pay that bill at a rate of $627 a month. How many years will it be before THAT debt is settled?

    By my calculation, a little over 57 years.

    Now if you were 18, it would take you 10 years past the traditional age of retirement – 65 – to make all those payments.

    But Tawana Brawley is 41. And she owes former New York prosecutor Steven Pagones that $431,000, which she has to pay from the nursing job she works in Richmond, Virginia.

    Remember Brawley? According to news reports, she’s been calling herself either Tawana Thompson or Tawana Gutierrez these days.

    A Virginia court recently ordered that Brawley’s wages be garnished to pay the $431,000 she owes Pagones, after she was found liable for defaming him back in 1998.

    The original judgment was for $190,000, but Brawley made no payments during the 15-year period from 1998-2013. With an interest rate of 9 percent, that total amount of what she owed Pagones ballooned to $431,000.

    The back story about that judgment began some 11 years before 1998, after Brawley claimed that two white men in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., abducted her and drove her to some woods. There, Brawley claimed, they and four other white men raped her over a period of four days.

    Brawley was only 15 at the time. Her story received some credibility because she was found in a trash bag, smeared with feces and with the letters KKK and the “n” written on her body.

    Enter attorneys C. Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox, and a then-obscure minister named Al Sharpton. They set themselves up as Brawley’s defenders and “advisers.”

    After a year of naked race-baiting in which Sharpton accused then-New York Gov. Mario Cuomo of being a racist and claiming that Brawley talking to the state attorney general about her allegations would be akin to having a concentration camp inmate talk to Adolf Hitler, a grand jury investigated Brawley’s accusation.

    What did those grand jurors conclude, after listening to 180 witnesses, conducting a seven-month investigation and compiling a transcript of testimony that ran to 6,000 pages?

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